Perrysburg Twp. voters return trustees, reject zoning decisions

PERRYSBURG – Township residents voted Tuesday to return two incumbents to the board of trustees, while at
the same time voting to overturn a couple of controversial zoning decisions that the same candidates
Gary Britten, a local farmer and employee of the Wood County Engineer’s Office, was elected to a second
term with 2084 (42 percent) of the vote. And board chair Bob Mack, principal with the real estate firm
Signature Associates, was granted a third term with 1,646 ballots (38 percent) of the total ballots
cast. A challenger, James Neu Jr., garnered 959 votes (19percent) during his second run for a seat on
the board.
"We can carry on with our work in process," Mack said Tuesday evening after all precincts had
reported results. "We’ve got some ambitious goals for the next few years, especially with our work
on our comprehensive plan and the water supply alternatives and attempting to zone the unzoned
Prior to the election, both candidates pointed to the township’s financial stability despite the sluggish
economy and its detrimental effects on other communities. Specifically, Britten and Mack noted that the
township’s general fund had reached roughly $17 million even after pending spending $5 million cash for
a new emergency services building.
Neu, a volunteer firefighter and union steward at Chrysler Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, had said
he wanted to give residents of the township a stronger voice on the board.
The election also closed the door on about two years of debate surrounding the rezoning of certain
properties south of U.S. 20 in the township.
The more than 2,600 voters who could cast ballots on the issue opted to throw out the township trustees’
approval of zoning changes for two properties – the Neiderhouse and DeChristopher parcels, totalling
about 180 acres – in the area of Neiderhouse and Thompson roads. Fifty-four percent of residents voted
against rezoning of the Neiderhouse property (41 acres) from Agricultural to an Agricultural and
Suburban Residential District mix. Fifty-six percent of the voters wanted the 100-acre DeChristopher
parcel to remain Agricultural, as opposed to the Suburban Residential District designation approved by
the board.
"It’s a lot of hard work over two years, and I’m glad to see that the township residents support
their fellow residents and we need to control development in the township," said Lynn Hunter, a
Neiderhouse Road resident who helped organize the referendum effort.
"I think now (the trustees are) aware that we aren’t just going to take whatever they decide,"
Hunter said. "They’re going to have to work with the residents and realize that we do have a say in
what goes on in the township."