BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some people in Boardman have been urging township trustees to put a moratorium on new construction — to basically stop the building — until the flooding problem can be solved. Township officials say they can’t do that.
Boardman leaders have been saying such a moratorium is illegal. Now they have a legal opinion, proving they’re right.
A hundred people attended the last Boardman trustees meeting a couple of weeks ago and many in the audience seemed to support one thing.
“The first thing you need to do is to put a moratorium on any new construction until we get some things under control,” Judy Peyko said that night.
In a letter dated June 27, Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor Karen Markulin Gaglione answered the questions for the trustees.
“That townships and counties don’t have the expressed authority under revised code to stop building or redevelopment,” said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree.
Giving townships and counties the right to issue a construction moratorium would require the Ohio State Legislature to change the law.
As the assistant prosecutor wrote in her letter to trustees, “This office would agree that enabling legislation for moratoria to regulate land use must be present in order for a township to enact a moratorium on the issuance of zoning permits.”
“We don’t have any ability to do that legally and any attempt to do that would be a government takeover, so we’d be taking someone’s property and literally have to pay them value for that land,” Loree said.
However, trustees do have some say.
“They allow you to set up zoning requirements and regulations, but they don’t tell you, they don’t allow you to just stop development and regulation,” Loree said.
Loree plans to meet with officials from CT Consultants this week to start work on a comprehensive stormwater master plan — a plan he wants the people of Boardman to be involved in as well.
“What I kind of see happening out of this is a citizens committee group formed for the Boardman area to work with the engineer directly, to go over the priority list and look at the entire Boardman Township watershed — both of them — and come up with that plan so we can start instituting changes as soon as possible,” he said.
Loree said he’d like to have five to seven people on the citizens committee, one from every neighborhood affected by the flooding.