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  ZONING CODE UPDATE  
  “Standards developed in 1948 may not apply to today”:   May 2, 2019 Edition  
      In an effort to revise the Boardman Township Zoning Ordinance, first developed and instituted in 1948, a ‘Building a Better Boardman’ survey was taken in late February seeking input on a variety of topics considered for ‘updating.’ Upwards of 1,000 persons took the survey.
      The Boardman Zoning Ordinance has had several minor revisions since it was first instituted, with the only major revision coming in the early 2000s, when Site Plan Review was developed.
      “We are trying to revise the current ordinance to provide a balance between a business-friendly community and what residents want,” Planning/Zoning Director Krista Beniston said, noting the zoning code needs to be updated to address the changing needs of the community, to make sure it remains a vibrant place to live and work.
      “Standards developed in 1948 may not apply to today,” she added.
      Following are excerpts from the survey, tabulated by the consulting firm of Turning Point, of Blue Ash, Oh. Those excerpts include a host of comments that were collected and that do not necessarily address the functions of the zoning ordinance, but to reflect concerns of the people who responded to the survey.
      For example, some respondents noted they wanted no Section 8 housing in Boardman. Such housing is governed by federal mandates, not the township zoning code.
      Additionally, many respondents expressed a dislike for cheap motels on Market St. Such sites appear to be regulated by codes enforced by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, with some more limited input from local police and fire departments, and the county board of health.
      Sometime later this year, after a first draft of proposed changes to the Boardman Zoning Ordinance is competed, a community forum will be held to discuss the change and receive additional input from resident and businesses, Beniston said.
      ZONING QUESTIONS/ANSWERS
       Question: Do you think that people should be allowed to have up to five chickens (no roosters),
      rabbits, or other small farm animals, on residential lots? 992 responded. 51 per cent thought people should be allowed to have chickens, 49 per cent were against such a measure.
       Comments:
       •Boardman Township is very built out with a large number of smaller lots and residential-only
      subdivisions and any raising of farm animals is only appropriate on very large farms, or outside of the township.
       •The raising of livestock would only be okay if located on larger lots in the township with controls to address the smell, noise, and care of animals so that the lots continue to be well-maintained.
       •There is a need for limitations on the number and size (no pigs, goats, cows, horses, or similarly large livestock animals) and strong regulations for maintenance but any regulations need to be
      fully enforced.
       •Keep the regulations as they are now currently, do not make any additional changes.
       •Small livestock should only be allowed if the animals can be maintained indoors (e.g., rabbits but no chickens).
       •Raising of chickens and rabbits should be similar to people having dogs and cats.
       •There is a definite need to control animals that will create a noise nuisance.
       •The township should not be allowed to regulate what people do with their own properties as long
      as it does not create a nuisance for their neighbors.
      Important Note on this Question: Townships in Ohio have limitations on what they can regulate as far as it relates to agricultural uses, based on state law. From the standpoint of the Ohio Revised Code, agricultural uses including the raising of farm animals, regardless of the size of the animal. Agricultural uses on lots that are five acres or more are exempt from zoning, and as such, the township cannot regulate the raising of chickens, rabbits, or even larger farm animals on these large lots, including not being able to regulate setbacks, fencing, structures, etc. For properties that are between one and five acres, the township has some limited ability to regulate where structures (e.g., coops, pens, fencing, etc.) are located but cannot outright prohibit the raising of livestock. It is for properties that are less than an acre that the township has the authority to fully regulate agricultural uses such as the raising of chickens and rabbits.
       Question: How much do you agree with the statement that “Boardman Township should substantially increase the design standards for the construction of any new buildings (architecture,
      landscaping, site design, etc.). 103 people responded to this question.
       Comments:
       •The township should focus on maintenance and vacancy issues over focusing on minor design element (e.g., shingles or roof design).
       •This is a township and not a city.
       •Requiring better designs should have been done during the township building boom and will not be as effective.
       •Regulations are too arbitrary now and they need to be more evenly applied.
       •There are already too many regulations and too many requirements that already put a burden on business or home owners.
       •The design of buildings should not be regulated by the government.
       •Consider improvements to public areas, including burying utility lines.
       •Focus on infrastructure, traffic, and flooding issues first.
       •New development is looking good in the township and the township should encourage reinvestment and improvements.
       •We need better looking development.
       •Don’t get to a point where buildings will be all cookie cutter in design. Part of the nice part of
      Boardman Township is there are a lot of unique buildings.
       •Regulations should be reasonable.
       •Improve standards for signs.
       •Increase green space and landscaping.
       •Regulations are chasing businesses away.
       •Design standards would be good but not if they will raise taxes.
       Question: How much do you agree with the statement that “Boardman Township should enhance current design standards for new buildings but should not be too restrictive as to burden property owners.
       Comments:
       •The township should focus on filling current abandoned or vacant buildings first before encouraging new buildings.
       •This question is too vague to be able to fully answer.
       •Take control of the signage, which is an eye sore along the highways.
       •Allow people to do whatever they want as long as it complies with the building codes.
      Important Note on this Question: There appeared to be confusion about the question as it
      relates to zoning regulations versus property maintenance (e.g., tall grass, paint condition, etc.). The Building a Better Boardman project is an effort to update the township’s zoning regulations and will not include changes to the property maintenance codes. However, all comments related to both zoning and property maintenance were incorporated into the themes noted above and may be considered for future changes to the property maintenance code.
       Question: How much do you agree with the statement “Boardman Township should place a
      priority on filling vacant buildings rather than focusing on the design of buildings.
       Comments:
       •There should be incentives to construct on vacant lots because vacant lots bring in less tax revenue.
       •Eliminate vacant building if the landowners do not maintain or refurbish or if they remain vacant
      for an extensive amount of time.
      slow” signs for streets with children. People speed down our street (Redwood Trail) and use it as a shortcut to go to the mall, St. Charles, Market and 224. Please also see that the mall is developed or it will further deteriorate the township.
       •Get rid of Section 8.
       •Do something about Salinas Trail, i.e. doors propped open with cement blocks for years is just one example on that eyesore of a street.
       •I think that as we progress to better building standards more businesses will be attached to the
      area. New constructions looks great but we also need to focus on existing buildings and work on
      filling vacant lots and buildings. Possibly offering some sort of tax break to attract new business to the area. I feel that we can attach new business
      that is not in the area yet if existing buildings are
      updated and the 224 corridor traffic conditions are improved, as well as traffic conditions on secondary roads such as Western Reserve and Shields.
       •I stopped in to get a fence permit from Krista Beniston (soning/planning director), in talking to her she advised me that the fencing guidelines for the township ship are from 1948. How about we get off our tails and bring the township up to speed with the rest of the world? You want to allow small farm animals but your regulations for fencing are spread across three different books. How about bringing the sewer system up to modern standards?
       •Fewer apartments and rentals and more residential homes.
       •Please remove hotels on Market St. Also, why are single dwelling homes allowed to have multiple people living there, like homes by Mizu restaurant?
       •Improve the drainage so that home and businesses don’t flood so easily.
       •Get rid of Wal-Mart. It’s trash. Police are called
      there daily for theft. I think if you have reoccurring issues (then) they must hire a police officer to be there at all times. Also if theft or issues occurs then the fines should be $1500 for the thief and $500 for the problem store. The system in place now does not work. Police are wasting their taxpayers’ time having to deal with these issues.
       •Worry about what will happen to the Market Street school sitel. Love Boardman and want
      it to stay a great place for all.
       •Eliminate the Market St. motels.
       •My main concern is the empty buildings in
      Boardman.
       •Just get rid of the horrendous motels on Market St. and Rt. 224
       •I encourage someone to assess the neglect along the open drainage trench that extends from Euclid Blvd. along Yarmouth Lane.
       •I think the motels on Market St. needs to be addressed. Not sure if that is a zoning issue or the
      sites themselves becoming a nuisance to the community issue for the police to address.
       •Fix the drainage problems.
       •I would like to see the motels on Market St., north of Rt. 224 to be rezoned and shut down. There is too much effort involved to keep trouble out of this area because of these “projects.” It’s obvious people there are unemployed and polluting the area. This will be the demise of Boardman...
       •I think residents should be allowed to have vegetable gardens, and a small amount of smaller
      farm animals on their property as long as there is
      good husbandry. New building s is the area should
      kind of match present buildings in architecture and landscape. Parking areas should allow for greenery and areas where animals can live in.
       •What is the plan for the Southern Park Mall? Are you just going to let businesses move out? (Editor’s note: What businesses close is not the jurisdiction of Boardman Township govenrment).
       •Improve the walkability of Boardman where
      possible. Adding sidewalks where there are none.
      Better bus stop signage.
       •Please cleanup/update the old gas station on the
      corner of Parkside and 224. It really brings down
      the look of the nice neighborhood behind it.
       •No section 8 housing of any kind.
       •Get rid of the slum motels on Market St that has pulled down the neighborhood and attracted crime.
       •North side Boardman has too many single family rentals with landlords that do not maintain property. My neighborhood has changed drastically because of this and my property value goes down no matter how much I improve my home. Last month a home at the end of my street was auctioned with a starting bid around $5000 because of back taxes. Why was the house not sold
      before so many years of back taxes were owed? What will that do to my property value? What incentive do the current property owners have to invest in their property. The value of my home has come down and my taxes have gone up quite a bit. The more our homes decrease in value just invites investors to purchase them and use them as rentals that they don’t maintain.
       • I wish...Boardman can regulate Pokemon go at Boardman Park.
     
      Comments:
       •These uses will only create more flooding, traffic, and other problems.
       •Section 8 housing should not be allowed in the township.
       •There is no space for this in the township unless you consider areas for redevelopment including currently vacant buildings.
       •These uses are already here, just with different designs.
       •We have enough of this type of development.
       •As long as there is additional greenspace provided.
       •Appropriate as long as it is not inside subdivisions or developments that are primarily single family detached housing.
       •We need senior-only developments in the township.
       Question: Are apartment buildings with multiple floors (18+ units per acre) acceptable? 70 per cent did not favor this concept.
       Comments:
       •Boardman Township is a suburb and we do not need this.
       •These uses will only create more flooding, traffic, and other problems.
       •Section 8 housing should not be allowed in the township.
       •There is no space for this in the township.
       •These would be appropriate in areas close to businesses or in very select areas of the township.
       •We have enough of this type of development.
     
      CONCLUDING COMMENTS
       Question: Do you have any final comments regarding what the township should be doing to improve the zoning in Boardman Township?
       Comments:
       •Prevent obscene signs.
       •Make sure politicians remove their political signs after elections.
       •Landlords should be required to register, and maintain the exterior. Many homes on Glenwood,
      Oregon Trail are rentals, and the exterior flower beds, and grass are not maintained. Brings down
      the value of the whole area. Also, noticed some homes back in Presidential yards and flower beds are not maintained.
       •More enforcement on the multi-family establishments. Some of these places are really gross and terrible looking. The appearance of no one caring makes those living there not care either.
       •All trash cans/dumpsters should not be able to be visible from any road. Sidewalks and bike lanes should be a priority.
       •Every resident should keep their properties neat and tidy. Cars should not be parked and not moved for months!
       •There is too many motels that really need cleaned.
       •I understand every business wants to be noticed
      and looking for that edge but 224 is too busy with
      too many accidents as it is and does not need something more to take the attention of the driver
      away from the road.
       •Get on the landlords to fix the property up. They allow trash to move in and it is not good
       •Need to place some type of stricter format for landlords that own housing in our neighborhoods.
      Possibly maintaining them so they don’t become an eyesore in our neighborhoods.
       •Boardman should be more invested on filling the vacant buildings and shutting the drug houses
      down.
       •I would like to see every street have a sidewalk on at least one side. And they need to be maintained better. Businesses should be required to install public sidewalks and along they’re Street fronts especially along Rt. 224 and South Ave. Also there should be some kind of plan to get all of the utility poles switched to ‘underground’ for the long term...Old telephone poles have their day.
       •Improve pedestrian travel, particularly near motels/hotels...Lack of sidewalks along commercial areas results in people walking across parking lots and/or landscaping.
       •Nothing helps to diminish a neighborhood more than cars parked on front lawns, especially junk cars. Also, houses should need to maintain a
      certain standard of upkeep.
       •We need more lighting in residential areas, especially around the schools.
      •Fixing, maintaining, and filling vacant building should be a priority.
       •Do not remove trees or sell park land for development.
       •Encourage the filling of vacant buildings but do not do so to the detriment of attracting businesses that may want to build new.
       •Provide tax incentives for refurbishing old buildings and filling vacant structures.
       •There are too many empty buildings in the township.
       •Decrease the amount of concrete and structures, and replace with more trees and green space.
      This would also help with flooding and stormwater issues.
       •Protect historic buildings.
       •Building owners need to make sure their buildings are up to code instead of putting the burden on tenants, existing or potential.
       •Rent costs are too high in Boardman Township to attract people to open businesses in vacant spaces.
       •Focus on our infrastructure, traffic, and flooding issues first.
       •The township and county should not be able to dictate the use of someone’s property, including building design.
       Question: There have been multiple comments and issues raised about the parking and storage of
      recreational vehicles and trailers. Tell us how you would like to see the township regulate the parking and storage of different sizes of vehicles.
       Comments:
       •These regulations should also incorporate buses, vans, limos, and commercial vehicles.
       •Allow with time limits that accommodate loading, unloading, and temporary parking during the
      summer but park or store in the rear during the winter. For example, allow for parking anywhere
      between May and October.
       •Don’t understand why this is something that the zoning would enforce although poorly maintained storage should not be allowed.
       •The larger vehicles are an eyesore in neighborhoods.
       •Boardman is a township and not a homeowners’ association. The township should not be regulating this issue.
       •No parking on residential properties anywhere. If you can afford the vehicle, you should be able to afford storage.
       •As long as they are for personal use and not stored on the street, it should be okay.
       •There should not be any regulation other than making sure they are licensed, insured, and wellmaintained.
       •There are more important issues to worry about in the township.
       •These are the equivalent of mobile homes/trailers and should not be allowed on residential lots.
       •Smaller items such as boats are okay but not the larger recreational vehicles.
       •These have created blight in our neighborhoods that needs to be addressed.
       Question: Similar to the issues with recreational vehicles, there are questions about how to regulate trailers and commercial vehicles. Tell us how you would like to see the township regulate
      the parking and storage of different sizes of trailers and vehicles.
       Comments:
       •Box trucks should not be allowed at all
       •Smaller commercial vehicles should be allowed for people who use those vehicles for work.
       •Most lots were not designed to accommodate commercial vehicles and trailers and should not be allowed in residential areas.
       •Okay as long as not parked on the street.
       •There are more important issues to worry about in the township.
       •The township should not be regulating this issue.
       •Allow the utility trailers to be parked anywhere as long as they are being regularly used and moved. Long-time storage in one place should not be allowed.
       •If someone owns a company that is large enough to have a commercial-sized vehicle, it should be large enough to have space to store the vehicle outside of neighborhoods.
       •There should be a permit required for larger vehicles to allow them to temporarily park on
      residential lots. For example, they can be parked for ‘x’ number of days, ‘y’ number times a year.
       •Limit to ‘3500’ series trucks or vans or smaller.
       •Overnight parking is acceptable.
       Question: There may be some opportunity for new, higher density housing along major corridors as part of mixed-use developments or as a buffer between single family neighborhoods and commercial areas. Do you think the residential use and density is appropriate or not in Boardman based on this scenario---Single family detached housing on smaller lots (6 to 8 units per acre). Note: 52 per cent believed such development could be appropriate and 48 per cent did not want such develop around the area, like me who go there to play Pokemon Go year round. There are players that break the law when playing, like blocking the flow of traffic when their car is not damaged, and just blocking parking lot entrances and traffic flow into parking lot. I have emailed park people about this issue multiple times and they simply don’t care to do anything about it. I try a lot to get people to park and play.
       •No more Section 8. Raze the ‘motels.’
       •What will happen to Market Street School? If the school is sold will the property need to be rezoned commercial? Will rezoning the property be a ballot issue that residents will need to vote to approve? This is a very great future concern. Also
      what is happening to the Dillard’s property? Will
      there be some future rezoning to accommodate future business?
       •Clean up Market St. Get rid of the motels.
       •Do not allow any additional Section 8 housing or low income rental properties.
       •You have to eliminate excessive Section 8 housing and start to clean up the north end of the township.
       •The township should focus on current buildings that have become eyesores. The first two buildings on both sides of Carter Circle are deplorable as well as the hotels on market street. Boardman has enough on their hands with these buildings as well as the constant flooding issues and should put their emphasis on those issues.
       •Motels on Market St. are a nuisance. Get rid of
      them. The one I see has cops there all the time day and night
       •The plaza that has the Georgetown in it is disgusting looking. Also the Boardman Plaza could use some updating
       •Fix flooding first.
       •Many homes on street I live on have many cats that just roam everywhere two houses in particular leave front door and windows open and cats just are constantly in and out.
       •No more apartment complexes. They are bringing property values down.
       •Get rid of Section 8 housing entirely. It’s drags
      down the quality of our community.
       •Street parking needs to be addressed. Most street parkers have driveways but are too lazy to move cars around. Very dangerous and I wonder how emergency vehicles get through.
       •We have way too many empty buildings and it is starting to actually discourage people coming into the area. We need to preserve the precious land that we have for the animals and focus on the buildings that are already built.
       •Destroy Wagon Wheel, Boardman Inn, and Travelers Inn in Boardman.
       •Please be more receptive to enforcing open the
      burning regulations....There are people in Boardman who have asthma and other breathing issues as well and we cannot enjoy our yards when this is going on. And often, smoke even enters our homes from these fires.
       •The township should consider access roads behind large retail areas for easier access, to spread out traffic.
       •Tear down Wagon Wheel Motel on Market Street.
       •Eliminate motels on Market St. and apartments
      on Brookwood and Lemans Dr.
       •Boardman needs sidewalks, and walking and biking trails.
       •Please keep Boardman upscale and classy. Otherwise, it just looks like Austintown and Liberty.
       •No more Section 8 housing. We have enough
       •Clean up the Market St. corridor and the north end of Boardman first. My property value is falling and beginning to feel less safe. has ecological and environmental impacts in addition to being aesthetically pleasing.
       •Unrelated, but I think the fact that this survey was created is great! I really feel like my voice is being heard. Thank you!
       •The township in Market St. area looks terrible. It’s starting to look like Youngstown north of Shields Rd. Drastically needs greater standards and improvements. Get rid of all the drug infested
      hotels. Ruins Boardman Township.
       •Please try to get rid of the motels along Market St. They bring zero value to Boardman
       •Please do something about the raunchy motels on Market St and the yards in the Aravesta St. apartments
       •Pet peeve...no pun intended. A restriction on the number of dogs or cats in a single family dwelling along with ensuring those animals are not allowed to freely roam from owner’s property.
       •Fix the Southern Park Mall.
       •The path from South Shore Dr. to Boardman High School should be kept up much better.
       •Garage sale signs in places other than the home
      site should be allowed.
       •I think the biggest concern will be the vacant buildings and what happens to/with them. Especially concerning is what is happening out at Southern Park Mall with Dillard’s closing, possibly Macy’s and Penney’s next?
       •Motels along Market St. are drug dens and should not be converted into “apartments”. Farm animals do not belong in residential neighborhoods. Commercial properties along Market St. and Southern Blvd. look terrible and need proper code enforcement.
      Email questions, comments and concerns to
      bnews@zoominternet.net
 
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