Union Township land use plan is going to be updated

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Union Township trustees gave administrator Ken Geis the go-ahead to update the township’s comprehensive land use plan during their Feb. 14 meeting. The plan was last updated in September of 2011.

“It needs to be done,” Trustee Matt Beamer said about updating the plan.

Geis said much has changed in the township and in the Greater Cincinnati area since the plan was last updated.

“We are in a very different time than we were in 2001,” Geis said.

The previous plan, approved in 2001, highlighted property values, population, single family housing development, multifamily housing development, parks and recreation as well as focus area development throughout the township.

Focus area development in the previous plan included the State Route 32 corridor, Aicholtz Road commercial office corridor, Mt. Carmel area, Ohio Pike corridor, and more.

Geis said they are looking to update and revise the plan to include changes and guidelines for the future.

“We are going to look at everything,” Geis said about the plan. “We call ours comprehensive. We look at not only the land plan, but the economics, population, different housing stocks.”

Geis said they will be using the most current census information and recent trends in the plan. He said they will also utilize knowledge of individuals in the area.

“This plan is not what the staff believes, but what the community believes should occur,” Geis said.

Geis said the plan will have about a 10-year life and will be used as a resource in the coming years.

“It’s really a planning process and you use the document going forward,” Geis said. “If people want to come in or make a change you can go to that plan. If it is consistent with that, it’s a good jumping off point. If it’s not, maybe it’s not a good idea.”

Trustees also passed a resolution during their Feb. 14 meeting to adopt the Summerside/Mt. Carmel Reinvestment Corridor Strategy.

“This is a precursor to the comprehensive land use plan talking about reinvestment in Union Township and specifically Mt. Carmel,” Geis said.

Geis said the township has already invested in the Mt. Carmel area and is looking at several more projects in the future.

“We invested downtown in Mt. Carmel with commercial aspects, street scape lighting and the purchase of the Boys and Girls Club,” Geis said. “We’re looking to continue that and to change some of the character of Mt. Carmel while retaining the feel of the small town downtown area.”

Trustee Tim Donnellon said the strategy would really be a continuation of what the township has already done in that area.

“We have already invested a lot in the Mt. Carmel area,” Trustee Tim Donnellon said. “There is no reason to stop now.”

Beamer agreed, and said it will be nice to have a strategy for that area.

Geis said they hope to have the entire updated land use plan complete by the end of the year.

For more information about the land use plan, or to view the 2001 plan visit www.union-township.oh.us/zoning/planning.html.