Lake Twp.: Zoning change resolution falls in all 4 precincts

By: 
Larry Limpf

News Editor
news@presspublications.com

Voters in Lake Township Tuesday easily blocked a change in zoning of a parcel where the property owner wanted to install self-storage rental units.
Installing the units on the Bailey Road site would have required a change in zoning from R-2 residential to B-2 general business.
Opponents to the zoning change cast 730 votes while only 363 voted in favor. The issue was on the ballot after residents of Bailey Road and surrounding area filed a referendum petition to overturn a decision last year by the township trustees approving the zoning change.
According to unofficial results of the Wood County Board of Elections, the “no” votes won in each of the four precincts the issue was on the ballot:
-Precinct 370 Lake Twp. East: yes 107, no 222
-Precinct 371 Lake Twp. North: yes 67, no 146
-Precinct 390 Lake Twp. Latcha: yes 104, no 162
-Precinct 420 Lake Twp. Union: yes 85, no 200
The issue was on the ballot only in precincts covering unincorporated areas of the township; not in the villages of Millbury and Walbridge.
Joe Zemenski, a resident of Bailey Road, said he wasn’t surprised by the results.
“We were getting a lot of good feedback from homeowners while we were going door-to-door with the petitions,” he said. “They’ve been dealing with problematic zoning issues for several years now.”
Residents in the Bailey Road area have begun referring to township zoning personnel and the trustees as the “B-2 bombers,” Zemenski said.
Ted Thomas, the property owner, had planned to install 168 units on the property and place an 8-foot-high privacy fence around three sides. He also planned to pave the site and install lighting. Access to the units would only be available from Woodville Road.
He also owns a car wash adjacent to the parcel and planned to have each property re-platted into one parcel.
Prior to Tuesday’s vote, Thomas said he’d been clearing debris from the site of the proposed storage unit, including car frames, discarded fencing and concrete, and other waste.
But even with all the improvements - Thomas said he was investing more than $2 million into the site - residents weren’t swayed.
There were even more “no” votes cast in Precinct 370 than in Precinct 420 where Bailey Road is located.
And in Precinct 390, the Latcha precinct, which is well to the south of Bailey Road, almost 61 percent of those voting were against the zoning change.

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