BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday night, Boardman Township trustees denied a zone change to build apartments or condos on what’s considered to be the last large piece of undeveloped land in the township.
It’s a plot of farmland at the intersection of Tippecanoe and Leffingwell roads.
The trustees decided it will remain zoned as agriculture for now, that a proposed planned unit development will not be allowed.
Sixty people filled Boardman Township Hall Tuesday evening for a public hearing on the zone change that would allow the 180-unit development of either condos or apartments on what’s currently 50 acres of farmland.
“People are always hesitant to embrace changes on nearby land or be actively hostile to it,” said Attorney J. Michael Thompson with Universal Development of Liberty.
Universal Development wants to develop the property.
“Your duty tonight is not to measure whether this project meets with the approval of the people watching from the audience, it’s to determine whether it meets the criteria set forth in your zoning resolution,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the development would not create additional flooding or traffic congestion along Tippecanoe. He said the proposed development follows all of Boardman’s zoning regulations.
“According to the resolution you passed that if a development meets these criteria then it has to be approved,” Thompson said.
“It’s well within your discretion to deny this application,” said Lawyer Brian Coulter.
Coulter represents Canfield’s Michael Bruno, who lives along Tippecanoe Road. Coulter questioned Universal’s position to guarantee there would be no flooding.
“I don’t think that’s a statement that can be made confidently or accurately,” Coulter said.
Others who spoke addressed the potential of traffic issues.
“By the time they get to my house, they’re going about 70 mph. We really don’t need more traffic. We need to get it under control,” said Tippecanoe resident Lynda Flowers.
The Boardman trustees followed with questions and comments.
“Does not provide a harmonious relationship between what’s being proposed and the current surrounding developments on Tippecanoe Road. The combination of rural and residential,” said trustee Tom Costello.
But when it was over, the trustees voted unanimously to deny the request for a zone change.
Universal Development’s next option is to take its case to Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Its lawyer said it was too early to decide if the company would appeal.