Berkshire Twp. residents vote down referendum


GALENA — Voters in Berkshire Township overwhelmingly voted no on a referendum proposal in Tuesday’s special election.

The Delaware County Board of Elections’ unofficial results said 611 residents (76%) voted no on the referendum, while 193 (24%) voted yes. There were 806 total ballots out of 3,718 registered voters, so the turnout in Berkshire’s five precincts was 21.68%.

The ballot language was: “A proposal to amend the zoning map of the unincorporated area of Berkshire Township, Delaware County, Ohio. On October 10, 2022, the Board of Township Trustees for Berkshire Township approved the rezoning for Application #22-104 — Plumb Creek, a PRD Zoning Application submitted by Highland Realty Development, 720 East Broad Street, Suite 200, Columbus, Ohio 43215 to rezone ±87.70 acres, Parcel numbers 41733001048000, 41733001060000, and 99999902000000, Dustin Road and 6269 Plumb Road, Galena, Ohio 43021, from Planned Institutional District (PIND) to Planned Residential District (PRD) to permit the development of single-family homes. Shall the zoning amendment as adopted by Berkshire Township be approved?”

Minutes from that meeting said the applicants had reduced “the number of units from 141 to 91, eliminating age-targeted units and making all homes single-family units.” The applicants said the plan had 37% greenspace. Big Walnut Local Schools had told the applicant the district could accommodate added students from the development.

“Many residents voiced concerns over the increase in traffic and the potential for more dangerous conditions on affected roads, not only for vehicles but for pedestrians and bicycles,” the minutes said. “Other concerns included the lack of infrastructure, the effect of the plan on schools and on other resources such as fire, police and electric. Many people voiced the opinion that this development was not a good fit for the neighborhood and would negatively change the community. There was also concern that approving this development would set the precedent for future, similar developments in the area.”

Further, some residents thought they would lose their homes due to road widening and that a cemetery would need to be moved.

Trustees Mike Dattilo and Paul Disantis voted yes on the application, and Trustee Rod Myers voted mo.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].

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