GALENA — Harlem Township’s Strategic Planning Committee held a communitywide meeting called “Intel and Columbus on our doorstep” Tuesday in the Harlem Road United Methodist Church and via Zoom.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform “residents of development activities taking place in and around Harlem Township … gain insight from residents regarding challenges, opportunities, and potential actions the township could take in response to these development activities (and) to identify the best communication channels for disseminating information to residents,” said a PowerPoint presentation.
The presentation was given by Holly Mattei, a consultant with Crosswoods Community Planning, LLC.
The most pressing, immediate challenges for Harlem Township are sewers and annexation. A City of Columbus trunk line sewer will be installed at the township line near the Smothers Road roundabout by 2026; and potential future sewers may be coming from the Village of Galena and the southeast at South County Line Road NW, too.
“Sewers bring developers,” the presentation said. “A large number of tracts have already been purchased by real estate investment companies.”
When property is annexed into another jurisdiction, the “township loses control over the design, development standards, and density of the development.”
It was suggested that development pressures be addressed in the southeast corner of the township (between state Route 605 and South County Line Road), the southern boundary (between Harlem Road and SR 605) and the northwest corner (along Trenton Road). However, it was said not to lose sight of the south-central portion of Harlem (between and adjacent to Hatch, Miller-Paul and Robins roads and SR 605).
The next steps include surveying the community to understand their perceptions of what’s taking place, hold future meetings, and “identify strategies to address immediate concerns” such as future land use, storm water management, infrastructure and agreements neighboring communities.
Finally, residents were reminded to check the township website (harlemtwp.com) at the Public Notice link under Coming Events. To contact the committee, email [email protected].
The Strategic Planning Committee is a seven-person advisory group appointed by the Harlem trustees. It consists of one trustee, the zoning inspector, a member of the Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, and three residents. Its purpose is “to develop a strategic plan, identify and guide growth, to integrate the township in a regional approach to development and to mitigate any negative impact of unplanned or poorly planned development.”