(Posted Nov. 7, 2018)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
West Jefferson village council approved the annexation of 205 acres into the village.
The decision came during council’s Nov. 5 meeting and pertains to what is known as the Maple Project. Duke Realty is exercising an option on the purchase of the land. The exact nature of potential development of the land has not been publicly released.
The acreage sits on the south side of Route 40 to the west of the village, between Enterprise Drive and National Road Golf Course and across from the Ace Hardware distribution center.
Following approval of the annexation, council held public hearings on two zoning change requests. One was for the Maple Project land. Council went on to approve the request, changing the zoning from residential to a planned commercial district.
The second public hearing pertained to 394 acres associated with what is known as the Sky Ranch Project. The land is located on U.S. Route 40 on the east side of the village. A developer is looking to put a mix of commercial and residential development on the property. The request was for a zoning change from agriculture to planned mixed use.
During the public hearing, West Jefferson area resident Linda O’Reilly asked if anything could go into the Skyranch area without approval. Mayor Ray Martin said anything planned for the district would require approval from the village’s planning and zoning department.
Area resident Mike O’Reilly expressed concern that changing the zoning and allowing commercial businesses on the property would have a negative effect on West Jefferson’s downtown area.
Following the hearing, council approved the zoning change request.
In other action, council:
* expanded the boundaries of its community reinvestment area, a designation that allows the village to offer tax incentives to potential businesses in that area;
* gave the mayor and Public Services Director John Mitchell permission to negotiate with the Jefferson Local School District for the purchase of Garrette Park;
* authorized the village’s annual $1,500 contribution to the Christmas in the Park celebration, set for Dec. 14-16.
In the parks and recreation report, director Marci Darlington noted that the Roosters team once again won the league and tournament championship in softball. She also said that 75 children planted flowers around the West Jefferson Community Center on Make a Difference Day on Oct. 27. She is now shifting her focus to securing grants and setting programming for 2019.
Martin advised council that the Ohio Contractors Association has awarded the village a grant for installation of a sidewalk near the middle school and high school. The sidewalk will be poured on Nov. 1