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New land use plan to be discussed at Perrysburg committee meeting

A new draft of the Perrysburg land use plan, including potential plans for the Perrysburg Heights neighborhood, will be discussed at the city’s planning and zoning committee meeting on Wednesday.

Paul Belazis, board president for the Perrysburg Heights Community Association, said while the new draft is not as extreme as past versions, Heights community members are still concerned about changes to their neighborhood.

“It is already a vulnerable community,” he said.  The committee meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Perrysburg City Council chambers.

The Heights is a 90-acre Perrysburg Township community south of I-475 and bounded by State Rt. 25 and Roachton Road to the west and the south, respectively.

Last year year, a draft of Perrysburg city’s land use plan, dubbed Perrysburg Tomorrow, was released. That initial draft included several possible changes to the Heights that many of its residents oppose, such as enhancing walkability, establishing mixed-use zoning for commercial and residential development, and adding centrally-located green space to an area where residential homes currently sit.

A revised draft was later presented to the community that identified the Heights as a legacy neighborhood, meaning that little or no development would be slated for that area.

The most recent draft includes a “more sensible plan” for commercial development along Route 25, said Perrysburg Councilman Tim McCarthy, chairman of the planning and zoning committee.

“It largely preserves the residential character of the Heights,” he said.

Mr. McCarthy emphasized that property is not going to be taken by eminent domain and any annexation would be done at the request of property owners.

Councilman Cory Kuhlman, planning and zoning committee member, said his goal is to make sure everyone feels like they have a voice, and he also noted that the Heights are not technically located in the city but are connected to city water.

“I think there’s points on either side,” he said. “I understand where they’re coming from.”

At the same time, Mr. Kuhlman said the city has an obligation to form land use plans, and without a guide, then council is left to approve or deny development projects in a piecemeal format. If the Heights is left out of the land use plan completely, Mr. Kuhlman said it could end up being even more detrimental for the neighborhood.

“I think that comes with potentially dire consequences for them,” he said.

Mr. Belazis said being left alone, though, is exactly what the Heights community wants. The draft for the land use plan is essentially a road map for development, he said, and any zoning changes would mean that developers would buy up Heights property for commercial use.

“Little by little, that’s how gentrification occurs,” he said.


Posted By: The Toledo Blade on February 26, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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