Austintown Township trustees passed a resolution at Monday's meeting to hold hearings on changes that amend the zoning ordinances dealing with storm water retention and detention areas for business, industrial and planned unit developments. The change involved underground systems that have become popular for those zoning districts.
"Austintown is taking the lead to ensure the township is meeting the standards," said zoning inspector Darren Crivelli.
He told trustees that B1, B2, B3, I1, I2, and PUD zoning district property owners don't want to install above ground retention and detention ponds as it can't take away a lot of useable property. Instead, the owners opt for underground retention and detention, which can help them meet the requirements for dealing with a 100-year storm.
The changes to the township's zoning ordinances, according to Crivelli, would require property owners and developers to document the construction of underground systems. This could require photographic evidence and mapping to show the system during construction. Crivelli said systems can take a few weeks to install, but once done, are covered over and no longer visible for inspection purposes. The ordinance changes would require recording the system so it can be documented proof that it meets the standards.
Also on Monday's agenda was a hearing on a requested street lighting district on Aldrich Road. A petition had been turned in and the hearing set. Three township residents spoke during the hearing in opposition to the district.
Austin Green said, "I've lived on Aldrich since 1969. We never had a problem or a need for lights. I don't want to pay for lights."
Karen Garcia said, "We didn't sign the petition and we don't want the cost."
Township administrator Mike Dockry said to form a street lighting district takes 51 percent of the residents within the proposed district. He said there are 35 lots on the street and the petition was signed by 20 lot owners. The question came up as to whether those 20 included the five renters on the street. Dockry said it was made clear to those taking up the petition that it could only be signed by the property owners.
Chairman David Ditzler explained how the formation of a lighting district is done. He said the first step is the petition drive.
"You have to have one more than half the residents [within the proposed district]," he said, "then we can initiate a cost study."
Dockry presented the cost study for the Aldrich street lighting district. He said the initial cost would be $2,950.88, which when divided among property owners would work out to $84 for the first year. After that the cost would be roughly $10 per year to maintain the lighting. The costs would appear on the property tax bill for each property.
After the cost study, the public hearing is held at which time residents can speak for or against it. Following that meeting, trustees can vote to accept or reject the district. Because 20 of the 35 residents on the street had signed the petition, all three trustees agreed that they had to go with what the majority wanted. They approved the street lighting district with the stipulation that a sixth light at the intersection of Aldrich and Elmwood be moved or eliminated. Dockry said it was placed outside of the street lighting district, which would not be allowed.
In other business:
Trustees approved a motion for the removal of junk vehicles at 65 County Line Road, 3179 Meanderwood Drive, and 3841 Ayrshire Drive. An order for removal will be sent to the property owners, who will have 14 days to remove the vehicles. All seven vehicles involved were declared inoperable and were either unlicensed or having expired license.
Trustees approved holding a hearing on a liquor permit transfer from Noday's Hideaway Inc., dba Noday's Hideaway Lounge and Patio, 3713 Oakwood Ave. to Shotz Bar and Grille, Inc. dba Shotz Bar and Grille and Patio, 3713 Oakwood Ave. The hearing would be pending approval from the chief of police.
Trustees approved the transfer of a liquor license from Wickliffe Property Management LLC, 4200 Mahoning Ave., to Shell Wickliffe, 4200 Mahoning Ave. Permit classes were C1 and C2.
Under the road report, Dockry noted that while the township is saving on road salt and overtime hours from the warmer temperatures, the department is using over three times the normal amount of cold patch and man hours to fill potholes.
Canfield city resident Frank Micchia spoke during public presentation, complimenting the trustees. He said he is attending neighboring community meetings to observe how they are run and he was impressed with the way trustees handled things.
Former trustee Warren "Bo" Pritchard spoke during the public forum to urge voters to consider David Ditzler for county commissioner. He said research he had done revealed that Austintown has not had a resident holding a county seat since 1960, and possibly back even further than that.