Zoning for industry in Middleton approved (2-10-14)

Making the land more attractive to developers, Wood County Planning Commission members voted unanimously
Tuesday to recommend rezoning a 160-acre parcel in Middleton Township.
The final decision rests with Middleton Township, but the county planning commission took the first step
on Tuesday, recommending the zoning change from A-1 Agricultural to M-1 Industrial at the southwest
corner of Mercer Road and Ohio 582, near Interstate 75.
"There is no end-user right now, but the people who are now looking to develop properties really
want it to be zoned before they commit to it," said Diane Huffman, a Bowling Green attorney
representing property owners James and Connie Ziss, of Sandusky.
"That does seem to be the trend nowadays, is shovel-ready," said Dave Steiner, planning
commission director. "Companies don’t want to wait for zoning. They want it already zoned."

Brian McMahon of Danberry National Ltd., who is marketing the property and an adjoining 70-acre parcel to
the west, illustrated that point by recalling the development of the FedEx facility in the northern part
of the county. The site was chosen because zoning was in place, and even when the mayor of Rossford
tried to meet with the company and promise rezoning of a city-proposed site, FedEx balked.
"The company decided that they would not even consider it because it wasn’t zoned. So that’s really
the driving force as to why we’re here tonight, is to allow us to more effectively market this
property," McMahon said.
Steiner outlined the many potential uses for the property that would be allowed under the new
"This is important to remember, because if this property does become rezoned, any of these uses
would be permitted under an M-1 district."
The wide range of permitted operations includes food processing, high-tech engineering or research labs,
hospitals, trade schools, correctional facilities, and more. Additional conditional uses that would
require approval include retail operations, hotels, restaurants and bars.
Separately, the commission unanimously gave conditional final plat approval to the second stage of the
River Bend subdivision, also in Middleton Township.
The development began as a planned golf course in 2001. After that plan was abandoned, it shifted to a
neighborhood with several large lakes, but the developer had financial difficulties after the first
plat, according to a planning commission report.
The new developer, represented Tuesday by George Oravecz, now plans to continue expanding the subdivision
with 26 single-family lots on 15.1 acres, an extension of the neighborhood just off West River Road.
There is a ditch easement in the area, and conditional approval was given pending discussion of who will
maintain it. The developer was also asked to install a temporary turn-around during construction,
requested by Jeff Ford, Middleton Township’s zoning inspector.
Oravecz said the developer hopes to begin a third plat this summer.
At the beginning of the meeting, the commission voted to name Rob Black as chair, Wood County Engineer
Ray Huber as vice-chair and Donna Schuerman as secretary. Also present were Scott Lockwood and John
Alexander, who may fill vacancies on the commission.