WESTERVILLE — The Genoa Township Zoning Commission is seeking public input on rules for protecting Hoover Reservoir.
These regulatory changes would “seek to add and strengthen development provisions to better protect and enhance the character of Hoover Reservoir and its watershed,” the township said.
When residents speak of Genoa Township being “a nice place to live,” as its slogan says, Hoover is one of the first examples they give. The reservoir was constructed starting in 1953. This vastly changed the township “by flooding the meandering Big Walnut stream valley to provide water supply to the City of Columbus and surrounding communities,” the township website states. “Land, homes, and tax revenue were lost to the reservoir, causing controversy. The recreational opportunities the reservoir has since provided have become a distinguishing characteristic of Genoa Township and an asset for residents and visitors to the area.”
A recent memo issued by Director of Development and Zoning Joe Shafer said Hoover makes up 17% of the acreage in Genoa, and its watershed 45% of the acreage. The watershed includes Big Walnut Creek, Duncan Run and Prairie Run.
The subsequent growth of the township has concerned some officials and residents about future over-development, particularly around Hoover.
The proposed zoning resolution amendment would create a Hoover Watershed Overlay District (HOD) that provides standards that “shall apply to all Lots or Tracts within Genoa Township that are located wholly or partially within the Hoover Reservoir Watershed … regardless of their existing or proposed Zoning District classification.”
The amendment then outlines design standards for planned developments; permitted, conditional and prohibited uses; and administration and enforcement.
The amended text goes on to state that if there is a conflict between rules for a parcel in both an existing zoning district and the HOD, “the stricter requirement shall apply unless otherwise expressly stated within this resolution.” Genoa’s zoning districts are Community Business, Light Industrial, Planned Commercial, Planned Community Facilities, Planned Industrial, Planned Residential, Rural Residential and Suburban Residential.
The Zoning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Genoa Township Hall, 5111 S. Old 3C Highway, Westerville. Residents may comment in person, by mail, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are considered public record.
For more information, visit www.GenoaTwp.com/Hoover.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.