Council finally approves zoning recommendation


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — It has been over a year since the rezoning of a parcel of land on State Route 121 North came before the Greenville City Council after the Planning & Zoning Commission gave a favorable recommendation to rezone the parcel from General Business to Planned Unit Development. The council had been unable to come to a consensus on the issue. A simple majority is needed to approve Planning & Zoning’s recommendation, but three-quarters of the council must vote against the recommendation to quash it.

For most of the past 12 months, the item has been tabled and sitting on the agenda with no action being taken. At the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the council’s newest councilman, Greg White, made a motion to lift the recommendation from the table to give members an opportunity to vote. Although this had been done one previous time when Councilman Leon Rogers changed from a no vote to a yes vote, this time was different with the newest councilman voting in the affirmative and Councilwoman Delores Eley changing her vote from no to yes. Only Councilman Chris Norris voted against the motion. Councilman Doug Schmidt, a previous no vote, was absent.

Eley explained her reason for changing her vote. “I know that in the past, I have been a no vote in regards to this item. I recently made a trip with Councilman White to Upper Sandusky to meet with the CEO. After meeting with him, hearing a presentation, visiting with the residents, visiting two centers, I find that its necessary that we have this type of housing they’re offering.” She expressed her original concern that they were offering low-income housing, but also understood the need of some senior citizens wanting to downsize. She learned this was not low-income housing but does have income requirements.

Much of what she discovered had been addressed at previous council meetings. At the Feb. 9, 2023 meeting, it was brought up by a representative of the company that this development was not “subsidized housing” but operated through tax credits that are sold to investors. It is owned by a non-profit company and is not operated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Councilman Brian Brown had visited a similar community a year ago and brought the information to the council then. Even then he equated the community to one that will nearly be neighbors to the planned development, Fox Run. Both he and Councilman Clarence Godwin reached out to Fox Run at the time and learned they had a waiting list.

It is uncertain if the company that originally approached the city about the development is still interested in coming to Greenville. At a meeting in November, property owner Geoff Surber suggested they would need to reapply for the tax credits because their original request had expired.

Since the recommendation has been accepted, the council will have an opportunity to approve the change in zoning legislation at its next meeting.

In other business, the council:

Reconvened after an executive session and a conference with their attorney to approve a settlement for a workers compensation claim;

Approved appropriations for the General Fund, Water Works Replacement Fund, Wastewater Improvement Fund, and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Fund. The total of appropriations was over $4.5 million;

Approved Choice One Engineering for engineering services in 2024;

Waived a payment for a water leak;

Authorized the safety service director to enter into an agreement for aggregation consulting services. The new cost for electric and gas will be determined later this year.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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