By Rick Palsgrove
The Franklin County Board of Elections has reviewed the signatures on a Canal Winchester citizens’ referendum petition.
In a letter to the city of Canal Winchester dated March 10, Jeff Mackey, Franklin County Board of Elections Manage of Petitions & Filings Jeff Mackey wrote, “I hereby certify that the board has examined the part-petitions for referendum (Ordinance 21-054) received by our office from you on March 2, 2022. The numbers of valid and invalid signatures on the part-petitions for the prospective referendum are as follows: valid signatures: 539; and invalid signatures: 104.”
The required total number of valid signatures was 430.
“The next step is for Canal Winchester to ask us to place it (the referendum) on the ballot and when they do we will add it,” said Franklin County Board of Elections Public Information Officer Aaron Sellers.
The board of elections received the referendum petition, which had more than 600 signatures, from Canal Winchester on March 2 and had 10 days to review the signatures for validity.
The city of Canal Winchester originally received the citizen referendum petition on Feb. 17. The referendum seeks to stop a pair of warehouses from being developed by Northpoint at Bixby and Rager roads.
Members of the Canal Winchester for Smart Growth organization spearheaded the referendum that would place legislation, passed in January by Canal Winchester City Council, before voters.
The referendum is in response to an ordinance rezoning 70.6 acres of land owned by members of the Schacht family from rural to limited manufacturing. Northpoint wants to construct a pair of warehouses to compliment two already located in their Canal Crossing development.
The city of Canal Winchester was required to keep the petitions on hand for public inspection for at least 10 days from the date of receipt before forwarding them to the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Due to a pre-annexation agreement passed by Canal Winchester City Council on Sept. 7, 2021—the property owner can request that council detach the property from the city and reverse a recently approved annexation. The property would then revert back to unincorporated territory in Madison Township and the owners could pursue an agreement with a different entity, if so desired.