Monroe Township is the only township in Madison County that is not zoned. On Nov. 4, voters will decide if the township will stay that way or adopt a zoning plan.
If the measure passes, Monroe Township will adopt the county’s zoning plan, rather than create a plan from scratch. The county will monitor and enforce the plan.
"The work has already been done (by the county), and we can have that for ourselves," said Phil Adelsberger, a member of Monroe Township’s zoning committee.
Thirteen of Madison County’s 14 townships have adopted the county zoning resolution, which works in tandem with the county comprehensive land-use plan. The county enforces and monitors the zoning rules for 12 of those 13 townships. Somerford Township uses the county zoning resolution, but enforces and monitors it at the township level.
The plan pro-vides for regulation of: the location, size and use of buildings and other structures; percentage of lot areas that may be occupied; setback building lines; sizes of yards; and uses of land for business, industry, residences, recreation and other purposes.
If zoning is put in place in Monroe Township, existing properties will be "grandfathered in." That means they can continue to be used as they are now. If the use of a property changes, however, the new zoning rules will apply.
Without zoning, Monroe Township has little recourse to turn away "unwanted development," Adelsberger said, citing as examples landfills and manure digesters for large livestock operations—both of which have been issues in recent months and years.
In campaign literature, the zoning committee further states: "…the City of Columbus and its developers will grow to the path of least resistance. Keep Monroe Township rural and put a roadblock to urban sprawl."
According to Madison County Commissioner David Dhume, zoning has been shown to increase property values and the quality of the content of a community.
"From the commissioners’ perspective and the townships that are zoned, it would be a plus if all of us talked the same language," he said. "If everyone used the same zoning rules, we could work together better and it would, in my opinion, give Monroe more protection from unwanted development."
The Madison County zoning resolution and comprehensive land-use plan can be viewed by going to www.co.madison.oh.us and clicking on "Building and Zoning."