Saturday, January 2, 2016

2004 Eldred Township Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map

The 2004 Eldred Township Zoning Ordinance (click to open)
The 2004 Eldred Township Zoning Map (click to open)

The definition of "water extraction/bottling" is on page III-26, where it is defined as "manufacturing", and the definition of "manufacturing" is on page III-16.

On page IV-7, it is seen that Manufacturing in not permitted in the Commercial district, though Manufacturing, Light is as a special exception.

On page IV-8, is it seen that Manufacturing and Industry are both permitted in the Industrial district, as special exception uses.  Manufacturing, Light is a permitted use.

Therefore, light manufacturing is permitted in either the Commercial or Industrial district, but manufacturing is only permitted in the Industrial district.

Note that Carson Helfrich, the planning consultant for CJER, under the company name "Community Planning and Management, LLC" authored both the 2004 and 2014 ordinances and amendments.  His name is at the on the cover page of the 2004 ordinance.  Therefore, an expectation would be that Mr. Helfrich would be keenly aware that "Manufacturing" and "Manufacturing, Light" were distinctly different in the 2004 ordinance, that in the March 27, 2014 final draft the water extraction definition change from "Manufacturing" to "Industry" was semantic and only for uniformity, but that the water extraction definition change from "Industry" to "Manufacturing, Light" in the amendment he abruptly prepared on or about March 27, 2014 created both a change of use and violated the objectives of CJER.  This merited careful review by both CJER and Eldred Township, and should have resulted in Mr. Helfrich attending either the the April 2014 Eldred Township BOS or Planning Commission meetings, with final adoption scheduled and advertised for May 1, 2014.  Mr. Helfrich also should have met with CJER representatives to discuss this change and its consequences for the entire region.  However, the April CJER meeting was cancelled, and the record does not indicate that a meeting or substantive correspondence between either CJER or Eldred Township officials and Mr. Helfrich occurred between the drafting on or about March 27, 2014 and adoption of the amendment on May 1, 2014.

By comparison, note that when the topic of adding the use of shooting range to the Rural Resource district came up in 2015, extensive discussion took place in multiple hearings at Eldred Township.  This was proper procedure, whereas what happened with the water extraction amendment was not.  You don't choose to change land use without discussing the change at a public meeting with a consultant.  The irony is that Mr. Helfrich was under contract in March and April of 2014, and it should have been a simple matter to arrange for him to attend a meeting to discuss this substantial change to the ordinance.

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