Residents, trustees discuss ideas for Perrysburg Township development

PERRYSBURG – Township residents are helping their government chart the road to an ideal community by
2029.
A group of about 15 people – consisting of interested residents and various township officials – gathered
at the W.W. Knight Nature Preserve Wednesday to generate a unified vision for the township as part of
the first of three "Visioning Sessions." The township will draw upon the goals identified by
these temporary community think tanks when drafting the beginnings of a master plan which will outline
benchmarks for future development in the area.
Attendees of Wednesday’s session were vocal about both their likes and dislikes within the township, and
although the issues varied widely, participants often seemed to agree on which issues were important.
The participants, as a whole, issued most of their votes for compatible land use, communication with
neighboring towns, smooth traffic circulation, expansion of parks and recreation, historic farmland
preservation, and township ownership of utilities.
Representatives from the Michigan architectural firm Beckett & Raeder, who were hired to
facilitate the sessions, asked participants to think about how the community should look in 20 years.

"Because in the end, the master plan … is simply a statement of all your values," said
Benjamin Tallerico, a senior associate with the firm. He said the architects knew generally what
solutions would work, "but you know your community."
During group discussions, Ferral Frazier, a Wexford Drive resident, said he was "thoroughly
disappointed in the roads." And John Kolbeck, of Ault Road, agreed with Trustee Gary Britten that
traffic was a problem in the township. Community members also seemed to value the township’s low taxes,
strong fiscal footing, historic farmland, and business-friendly environment. Less popular features
included annexation, excessive traffic speeds, the ratio of zoned to unzoned areas, and lack of control
over assets such as utilities.
Among some of the identified emerging issues that may effect township development were: abandoned
properties due to foreclosures, communication with surrounding municipalities, the cultivation of
efficient energy industries, the preservation of historic farmland, and the availability of
entertainment and recreation.
Trustee Robert Mack noted that the township contains many apartment facilities that draw upon students
from Owens Community College and Penta Career Center. And while the local housing, schools and industry
may attract younger residents, the township still falls somewhat short of meeting the needs of that
particular demographic.
"My first inclination is we aren’t right now," Mack said. "We don’t have the type of parks
that a city would have, or a swimming pool or community features that appeal to young people."
Before lists were collected as the session ended, Mack said the public’s feedback would serve as an
important foundation that could be referenced during completion of the township’s comprehensive master
plan. Mack took note of recurring concerns about transportation and recreational options for the
community. Regardless of how the comprehensive plan is written, he said, the township may proceed with
at least one of the public’s suggestions.
"One thing that (Trustees) Gary (Britten) and Craig (LaHote) and I have been talking about a little
bit discreetly, but I think is going to be more publicly, is this common theme of park land," he
said. "You know, there’s land for sale all around our township. (It’s) probably not bad time to be
buying land."
Township residents and anyone else who is interested in participating in the sessions may attend one or
both of the subsequent meetings. The remaining sessions will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 25 at Penta
Career Center, 9301 Buck Road; and June 30 at the township Public Safety Building, 26609 Lime City Road.