GALENA — The Harlem Township Zoning Commission will consider adopting an updated comprehensive plan next month.
The Harlem Township Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2008. Initiated in 2018, the Zoning Commission began the update in 2019, and the new comprehensive plan is dated 2020.
“This update will build on and replace the 2008 Comprehensive Plan as the guiding document for development, and zoning and policy changes related to development, for the next 5 to 10 years after adoption,” reads the plan’s introduction.
Specifically, Harlem’s updated plan is intended to do five things, it said in the introduction:
“1. Review changes in land use, population, utility services, roads, and boundaries that have occurred since 2008, as well as the changes in economic, legislative, judicial, and regulatory conditions; 2. Review any existing policies and judge whether they are still representative of the community’s values and visions of its future, and if those policies conform to current federal and state land use legislation and court decisions; 3. Develop a set of goals and objectives for the community for the next 5 to 10 years; 4. Create a revised text and map for the recommended land use to guide future growth of the Township; 5. Recommend amendments to local zoning, and the adoption of development policies to ensure that the Township will be what it has envisioned.”
The Ohio Revised Code says a zoning commission is responsible for submitting a master plan to a township’s trustees. Typically, townships and municipalities update their plans each decade to reflect changes during that time. Those changes may necessitate amending the township’s zoning resolution.
In 2010, the township’s population was 3,953. The plan said a 2018 estimate raised that number by 571 to 4,524 a 14.4% increase.
“Harlem Township has not experienced the same kind of rapid pace of growth as seen in Berlin, Genoa, Orange and Liberty Townships, but increasing growth pressures are likely in Harlem’s near future based on its proximity to the growth occurring in the New Albany and Johnstown areas, as well as discussions of expanding sanitary sewer service into the Township,” it said in the plan’s third chapter.
In addition, it was recently announced that Delaware County was tops in Ohio for raising a family by Niche.com, and 24th in the United States (www.niche.com/places-to-live).
The plan divides Harlem into five subareas — Fancher Road; Gorsuch Road; Montgomery Road; Woodtown Road; and Center Village. The 15th chapter then provides 14 recommendations.
Copies of the proposed comprehensive master plan were made available to review by the public earlier this month. It is also available on the township website at harlemtwp.com.
The zoning meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Township Community Room, 3883 S. state Route 605, Galena. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask. The meeting will also be available via Zoom.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.