June 25, 2016


Westfield survey focuses on land use

Lisa Hlavinka | The Gazette

WESTFIELD TWP. — Township residents will find something other than bills and catalogs in their mailboxes next week — surveys asking about future development.

With the help of a 29-member Steering Committee, the township is aiming to update its Development Policy Plan, which is used by the township, and particularly zoning officials, when making development decisions, said Mark Majewski, president and CEO of Northstar Planning & Design LLC, the company overseeing the policy update.

The 15-question survey will be mailed out to all Westfield residents within the next week, Majewski said Thursday. Topics covered range from zoning and utilities to water quality and protection issues. Residents will have two weeks to return the survey by mail to Majewski.

The Steering Committee first met in February. After performing a “soft survey” with members, Majewski said he came up with a preliminary land use plan based on past development policy data and professional insight. The township‘s land use plan was updated last in 2003 and originally was adopted in 1978.

The land use draft states about 90 percent of the township consists of rural residential and agricultural areas, and historically, township residents have expressed a desire to keep and strengthen that zoning.

Still, the draft makes no concrete recommendations and is in no way a finalized document, Majewski said. It only is a start to updating the Development Policy Plan, and the Steering Committee will wait until results of the survey are tabulated before making any recommendations, he said.

The Steering Committee will conduct public hearings for comment and questions before proceeding, though no dates have been set up at this point, Majewski said.

“(Residents’) response is important, and we’re anxious to hear from them,” he said. “We want to tabulate the results of the survey and hold public meetings so people have a say, and can let us know what they think.”

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@ohio.net.