WHAT ZONING IS

Planning and Zoning helps a community maintain established general guidelines set by the greater community, which apply to all of its citizens.  These tools are used to address and manage community change in a responsible way, insuring that impacts are minimized in order to protect and enhance the Township’s quality of life over time. This is accomplished by insuring that adjacent land uses are compatible with one another, or that steps are taken to mitigate any impacts which may be found to exist.

Under the Ohio Revised Code, Township Zoning Resolutions must comply with a Comprehensive Land Use Plan that establishes general guidelines established by the greater community, for the purpose of providing guidance in the management an ever changing  landscape.  Goals and objectives are established to provide the basis for establishing planning policies that provide guidance in the Land Use decision-making process over time.  Once the plan is in place, these established policies are implemented through not only the adoption of, or a text amendment to the Township Zoning Resolution, but also through the County Subdivision and Building Code Regulations.

The most recent Land Use Plan update (2007) was followed with a number of text amendments to the Sylvania Township Zoning Resolution, based upon perceived changes and/or threats to the community.  As these zoning amendments come into effect, Zoning Certificates are reviewed based upon the criteria in place at the time of an application.

Zoning Map amendments are also processed based upon Ohio Revised Code standards, which require public notification to those residents within the immediate proximity (200 feet) of the property under consideration for rezoning.  Additionally, the public  hearing for the application to be heard by the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission is advertised in the Toledo Blade at least 10 days prior to the public hearing date.  The property under consideration for the re-zoning is also posted with a sign providing notification of the hearing where it will be considered.

A total of three hearings are held by the County Planning Commission, Township Zoning Commission, and the Township Trustees respectively.  If ultimately approved by the Township Trustees, the zoning action becomes effective 30 days from the date of the Trustees final decision, with one caveat.  If a referendum petition is submitted within 30 days from the date of the final approval which contains signatures of at least 8% of the voters who participated in the last Gubernatorial election, then the issue is placed on the ballot for a Township wide determination of the zoning proposal.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The review and approval of Zoning Permit applications for any number of requests regarding residential, commercial, and industrial properties including: signage, alterations or additions to structures, new construction, fences, garages/sheds, ponds/pools, and parking and landscaping requirements.

  • The review and preparation of staff comments to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for requests to be considered by the BZA.  These requests include the consideration of variances, exceptions, the appeal of the Zoning Manager’s decision; in addition to the consideration of Conditional Use Permits.
  • The coordination of all rezoning requests and text amendments to the Township Zoning Resolution.  This process includes the scheduling of hearing’s, the posting, mailing and publication of a notice of intent to rezone property before the County Plan Commission, Township Zoning Commission and the Board of TownshipTrustees. The Planning and Zoning Department staff is also responsible for the preparation of an analysis of the proposal as well as a final recommendation.
  • The evaluation of unique/special construction projects for the township.
  • The coordination of the Plan Review process which requires a review of all projects which exceed a threshold of development intensity as identified in the Zoning Resolution.
  • The enforcement of compliance to the standards established in the Sylvania Township Zoning Resolution.

The American Planning Association recommends the update of the Township’s Land Use Plan every 5 years in order to maintain and enhance the ability of implementing the Township’s vision for the future.  This process requires the collection and evaluation of current data and a comparative analysis from the preceding planning process, a review of the existing goals and objectives in addition to the reconsideration of land use alternatives from the previous update. The integration of  these identified Goals and Objectives developed during the plan update, establishes the implementation strategy to be followed in future land use decision-making.

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