Communities use zoning to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents. Zoning preserves the character of our communities by allowing certain types of development in specific areas – keeping factories out of residential districts and neighborhoods out of retail districts. Of course, at some point, those uses may be adjacent to one another. Through its height and setback controls, zoning ensures sufficient light and air at street level so communities would not be dark and dreary canyons.
There are generally four types of zoning districts. Commercial zones allow things such as office buildings and retail stores. Factories and warehouses are found in industrial zones. Residential zones consist of houses, condominiums and apartment buildings. Planned unit development districts allow a combination of uses after review of the Township Trustees.
Zoning also ensures that development takes place in those areas that can support it; low density residential development in areas without sewer and water and a higher density residential in areas that have sewer and water. Major commercial and development is limited to areas with sanitary sewer and water. Development is consistent with the Township Comprehensive Plan -–its vision of the future.
In recent years, communities have been using zoning to encourage the protection of the environmental, control storm water runoff and soil erosion, and preserve historic structures and discourage suburban sprawl.
Township zoning can regulate most building and land uses. There are uses which are exempt from regulation, such as agricultural uses over five acre, public utilities, group homes as defined in the regulations, downspout locations and the issuance of liquor permits. While we may attempt to make recommendations in some of these cases, there are no township regulations to refer to for compliance or enforcement.