SABINA — Mayor Dean Hawk reported Thursday it’s likely village residents will vote on zoning this fall, and later in the council meeting said as it stands the zoning proposal “stinks.”
During the public comment portion of the same council meeting, two citizens made it clear they don’t support the zoning proposal, while others in the gallery wore “Sabina Forward” pins in favor.
Sabina resident Nathan Hamilton, an owner of Traditions Restaurant in town, said the zoning proposal would not help Sabina grow. He added the proposal means “more regulations.”
Hamilton also said no one had asked business owners for their input on the zoning question.
Sabina Village Councilman Bill Lewis, a leader in the effort to have zoning in Sabina, responded by asking Hamilton whether he had ever gone to one of multiple public meetings held for more than a year on the matter.
Hamilton acknowledged he had not, but asked Lewis, “Did you ever come to us [business owners], to our doorstep?”
Lewis said the initiative petition that proposes the village be zoned “is a general citizens action.” He told zoning opponents to look at page three in the ordinance to see the purpose of zoning, which he said is “a matter of management of land use.”
Lewis also said opponents of zoning sometimes confuse building standards with zoning regulations on land.
Resident James Mongold said the proposed zoning ordinance is largely a copy-and-paste of Clinton County’s zoning ordinance, adding “to me that means it doesn’t fit Sabina.” Lewis responded the group that worked on a zoning proposal wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel.
Sabina Village Councilman Michael Walls said the proposal would limit the number of rummage sales per year to one per household, with seven days as the maximum.
Resident Abe Arnold said he is “not for total zoning” but he is for one type of zoning.
“I don’t think certain businesses should be allowed in residential neighborhoods because it would affect the tranquility and quietness of your neighborhood,” said Arnold. He also gave an example of work activity that releases chemicals into the air of a neighborhood as something to prohibit.
In response, Walls recommended calling the EPA in those circumstances.
Hawk expressed displeasure the village will have to pay an “unnecessary surprise expense” to put the question on the ballot. He said he had learned there is a cost for the proposal to go on the ballot, and that the village will get billed.
“As hard as everyone has worked to recover from the [state] auditors’ hit on our general funds, I’m certainly not pleased with the unnecessary surprise expense,” said the mayor.
In other news from council chambers:
• A decision whether to purchase a new or a used street cleaner, or to not acquire one for now, was tabled for further research. Lewis asked whether it is really necessary to obtain one at this time given the cost and a need to spend Street Fund dollars to repair “a lot of bad streets in town.”
• The village was not awarded Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant funds in the Safe Routes to School program for which the town had applied, reported the mayor. There was a lot of competition, he said, with 90 projects submitted to ODOT.
• With half the swimming season over, the cost of Sabina Community Pool passes will be cut in half. The $3 daily general admission fee remains the same, however.
On Saturday night, July 25, there will be a pool party for a $1 donation, with free food and games, said Hawk.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.