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Oregon to consider advanced manufacturing zoning change

Posted By: The Toledo Blade on December 5, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


The dream of a buffer zone between Oregon’s residential neighborhoods and heavy industry centers might soon become a reality.

At 7 p.m. on Dec. 19, the Oregon city council will hold a public hearing to consider a zoning change to four parcels at 4315 Corduroy Rd., 4701 Corduroy Rd., 4713 Corduroy Rd. and 700 N. Wynn Rd.

The idea would mostly make use of the new “advanced manufacturing” zoning designation, created earlier this year in an attempt to draw the city’s economic development away from heavy industry such as the refineries that are in the city limits.

City officials have said in the past that they hope to potentially attract a more modern factory that would include things like landscaping, noting how Oregon’s factories like the BP refinery are integral to the city’s economy but are something that the city would like to move their focus away from.

City council president Tim Zale said that the focus on the properties in question resulted from several months of scoping out the right area.

“We made a change in zoning in March that did not necessarily apply to that property,” he said. “It is basically in our industrial district, so we are not necessarily branching out into something new since there is some industrial development already there.”

Mr. Zale is referring to several industrial sites like Asphalt Materials Inc. and the Adler Pelzer Group, which sit further north on Wynn Road before one reaches Cedar Point Road.

“The advanced manufacturing idea limits what can go in there,” he said. “Like it is not going to be a refinery. It is not going to be something with smokestacks.”

Mr. Zale said that the property has potential suitors but nothing is official as of yet and cannot be revealed at this time.

“We are following through on something that has been planned for a long time,” Joel Mazur, Oregon city administrator, said. “Because it affects what is around it, zoning is of interest to people that live and work around a certain location. In this case, you have some legacy farmland that is there because that is the way the makeup of Oregon is, but a lot of that farmland is actually under option for purchase by the Oregon Economic Development Foundation.”

Mr. Mazur said that the development foundation is currently working on submitting requests for information to JobsOhio and various site selectors to solicit interest in properties like those that will be spoken on Dec. 19.

The foundation already owns two of the four parcels that will be considered for zoning changes, while the other two are privately owned.

One of the two privately owned parcels is under option, and the other still fits under the city’s Future Land Use Planning Map, which has had the potentially rezoned area “designated for future industrial growth” for several years.

“We have been in communication with that owner. They understand that this is going through a zoning change and they said it makes sense, so they are aware,” Mr. Mazur said. “The other kicker is that the city of Oregon got an Economic Development Administration Grant from the federal government, for a road to be built and that would be Wynnscape.”

Wynnscape Drive is a short road built off of Wynn Road near the potentially rezoned properties. Mr. Mazur said that the road, which was finished this year, is built to industrial grade in terms of the roadways and utilities. A 1000-square-foot spec building is even being built in the potentially rezoned area as well, which also has rail access.

“As we submit these project ideas to the Oregon Economic Development Foundation, this will be one of the boxes we can check for them, that it is zoned for whatever their desired use is,” Mr. Mazur said. “A lot of these companies and site selectors are looking for a building they can move into right away.”

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