Batavia Township Trustees approve a zoning change

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Batavia Township trustees approved a zoning change for a property located at 1868 state Route 125 during their meeting May 6.

Jonathan Wocher, professional zoning consultant for the township, presented the zoning case during the meeting, and discussed the specifics of the property as well as the intentions of the applicant.

“The applicant is proposing indoor basketball courts,” Wocher told trustees during the meeting.

Wocher said the applicant is requesting the zoning be changed from agricultural to business because the facility they hope to build will be commercial recreation.

Wocher said trustees would not be approving the facility, they would only be approving the zoning change. He said they would have to approve and discuss the facility later as the project progresses.

Wocher said an issue they ran into when it comes to the property, is the fact that it boarders Grimes Lane.

“Grimes drive is a public right-of-way but it is not a public street,” Wocher said.

Wocher said the residents who live on the road maintain the road. He said Grimes Drive is also one of the only residential pockets on SR 125.

“The status of Grimes may become an issue,” Wocher said.

Wocher said he believes Grimes Lane would have the be brought up to county specifications before the township would have any responsibility for the road.

Wocher said several residents who live off Grimes Lane and neighbor the property expressed concerns during a previous zoning hearing.

He said mostly residents were concerned about people parking on Grimes if parking at the facility was full.

“In general speakers were more in favor of this use as opposed to others,” Wocher said the response from residents.

Mark Jaehnen, with JVAC Construction, representing property owners Michael and Michelle Williamson, addressed several of the issues brought up to trustees.

Jaehnen said they intend to use SR 125 as the access road to the facility and not Grimes Lane.

“It is not our intention at all to utilize Grimes,” Jaehnen said. “We would use the curb cut on 125.”

Jaehnen said they would need to get approval from the Ohio Department of Transportation to make an entrance of SR 125. He said they didn’t want to proceed with the application process until they knew if the zoning would be approved.

Jaehnen said they also recognize concerns from residents in the area, and said they intend to add buffering in the form of a fence or landscaping on the side bordering Grimes Land as well as placing “No Parking” signage if needed.

“There is not anything close to this in this area,” Jaehnen said about the facility. “We feel like we can really add a nice facility to the community.”

Trustee Bill Dowdney said he likes the idea of having basketball courts in the community.

“I agree there is nothing else out that way,” Dowdney said.

Trustee Jim Sauls said if everything comes together he also things it will be a good addition.

“If this comes to fruition, I think this would be a great addition to the township,” Sauls said.

Trustees approved the zoning change for the property during the meeting.