Township Topics – September 19, 2022

Mike Jones

Zoning Decision

The Sixth District Court of Appeals has upheld a judgment in Lucas County Common Pleas Court which affirmed the decision by the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals in its decision to not grant a conditional use permit for the construction of a residential care facility.

OMNI Properties Inc. of Beechwood, Ohio, applied for the permit in order to construct and operate the facility on 10 acres on Whiteford Road with its eastern border being Vineyard Road and Whiteford Elementary School as its southern border.

In denying the permit, the BZA stated that the facility would change the essential character of the area. Its decision came after a contentious public hearing with most area residents voicing their disapproval of the project. OMNI appealed that decision to common pleas court, resulting in Judge Ian English affirming the decision of the BZA.

OMNI appealed that finding to the Sixth District which has now upheld the finding by Judge English. OMNI had contended that the judge’s decision was erroneous as a matter of law.

The appeals court, in a 23-page opinion, reached the conclusion that the decision by Judge English was supported by “substantial, reliable and probative evidence.”


Storm Response

At about 7 pm, a half-hour or so after the first raindrop, Rob Nash, superintendent of the Sylvania​ Township Roa​d and Service department, began to call department employees back into work. He had already begun to hear reports of large branches and, in some cases, whole trees coming down in the sudden rain and wind storm.
“Streets and sidewalks were being blocked and it’s our responsibility to keep them clear,” Nash said when discussing his department’s response to the Aug. 29 storm.

The first step was primarily using front-end loaders to push debris away from the right-of-way and that work went well into the night. Most of the next day and some of the day after that, crews were busy reducing the limbs and trees into manageable sizes and taking them to Clean Wood Recycling.

The road and service department wasn’t the only group with extra work.

Chief Mike Ramm, of the Sylvania Township Fire Department, said they responded to a total of 16 incidents, including a structure fire, in a four-hour period.

“Wires down, trees on fire. We were busy, and we still had regular EMS calls coming in,” the chief said.
As the department said in a Facebook post, “Life is about turning tough times into great accomplishments.”

New Housing Permits

In keeping with a national trend, permits for the construction of single-family homes in Sylvania Township have declined significantly.

In August, the township issued seven such permits bringing the total issued for the year to 58. Last year at the end of August the township had issued 93 single-family housing permits.

Although the number of permits issued has fallen more than 35 percent for this year so far, the average value of the houses has risen almost that much.

Permits issued this year are for homes with an average value of about $420,000. The average value of single-family homes last year permitted at the end of August was about $310,000.

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