Liberty Township’s Comprehensive Planning meeting started strong, but quickly dwindled once zoning officials informed residents the meeting “doesn’t get into the meat” of the plan.
Zoning officials said Monday night’s meeting was only one in a series of sessions to be conducted for the township’s comprehensive plan. One zoning official said the planning process could take as long as 1-2 years.
“The audience wasn’t expecting an overview with the intent of going over the criteria, ”said Jim Cirigliano, township zoning services supervisor. “The presentation went as planned.”
According to Cirigliano, the zoning committee sent out 5,225 picture postcards to residents of Liberty Township with 78 participating in the meeting. Some were county and township officials who attended only as residents of the township.
Scott Sanders from the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission gave an overview of the township’s history and changes that have occurred in the township since the its 2006 plan was written. “It was a little introduction to what we should do,” Sanders said.
Sanders said the primary purpose of the plan is to be a guide for future zoning and land use. The plan allows for housing and commercial development along with open spaces for parks and other land reserves.
When comparing the township to the City of Powell Sanders said, “The township would want to offer something different than the municipality.”
According to Sanders, updating every 5-10 years is normal for a comprehensive plan. “You can make adjustments along the way without calling it a rewrite,” Sanders said.
Sanders told residents the summary of land use shows 9 percent of Liberty Township’s land is single-family housing, while 8.4 percent is used for parks.
Though residents were not permitted to formally ask questions, some managed to ask anyway.
One man from the audience wanted to know about the township becoming more proactive in attracting business. “I don’t see any commercial development that would spread out the tax load other than property owners,” he said. “What about attracting data and fulfillment centers like those in Orange Township?”
Near the conclusion residents asked to be part of an email list for updates on future meetings and input into the plan. Matt Huffman, township administrator, said they were working on a “mechanism” for the residents.
Residents can view the township’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan and the draft of the new plan on libertytwp.org, the township’s website. The next meeting on the plan will be held Sept.12 at 7:30 p.m. at the township hall at 7761 Liberty Road.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.