Fairfield trustees await word on zoning questions

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — During Thursday’s trustee meeting, Zoning Inspector Adam Booth said he is waiting for a response from a private consulting firm to 15 questions on the final revisions to the zoning code.

Zoning has been in the township since 1993. It was reaffirmed in 1997 and remains “a strong foundation for a healthy balance of rural and residential lifestyles,” according to the township website.

Last March, after Adam Booth was appointed inspector, efforts to update the 84-page zoning book began. A private consulting firm was hired.

Trustees have talked about tightening up the text, because as Trustee John Garwood said last March, “… some of it doesn’t apply.”

He said more clarification was needed to be spelled out for the zoning commission and board of zoning appeals, so the zoning inspector can key it to the book.

“It’s more of local management, how we manage it so it’s user friendly but also protects and preserves our land-aesthetic value of the township,” he said.

“We’re an agriculture state and county and farmland is important to how we develop. We want to make people are aware it is zoned and if they do know, they know just what it means.”

As a way to help preserve those land values, he said they needed a plan and road map for generations to come.

Trustee Barry Miner agreed, saying they were 25 years out from 1993 and pointed to issues with enforcement.

Booth has routinely reported the progress regarding the amendment.

He advised trustees he wanted answers to the questions, submitted by the zoning commission’s text review meeting, held last month.

Miner thanked Booth for his work on the zoning plan.

“We’ve had a pretty good plan in place over the years, (and) they didn’t have a lot of substantive changes,” Miner said.

In other business, Booth said two new building permits were issued, one for a garage and one for a new home on state Route 164.

Trustees also discussed and a right-of-way issue on Redpath Drive. They agreed to send the resident a letter and advise them to contact Road Foreman Mel Miller with any questions.

Also, in other business, Miner said there will be a meeting with Howells and Baird Engineers to set a bid date for the large-diameter culvert project that will address four priority culvert areas determined to be the worst.

He expects that in April or May.

When trustees approved a resolution to proceed with the culvert program at its Dec. 6 meeting with a 2-1 vote, Trustee Chairman Bob Hum voted “no.”

He wanted to use the Columbiana County engineer’s office for most of the work.

On Thursday, Garwood asked Miner if Howells and Baird “were still going to ask the county to some of them?”

Garwood said in December he didn’t have an “issue that it needs to be done” but, “my concern is if it (bids) comes in too high …”

He said and he wanted to know if the project could be broken down into doing two at time.

“Yes, Mel (Miller) and I can look at the next two and see if we can get a time line and we’ll see if they can do two,” Miner said.

Miller said the list was prioritized by “physical inspection.”

During the December meeting, Miner said, “Spring is the optimum time, my concern is we’ve talked about this a long time and I don’t want to be sitting here if we have a failure.”