Survey: Zoning in Sabina has support

Sabina police officer John Griehl, who formerly was a partner with a canine unit at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, will be the handler of a drug-sniffing dog that’s expected to join the Sabina police force later this summer. On Thursday night, he addressed Sabina Village Council.

SABINA — The results of an informal survey conducted here suggest there may be support for basic zoning.

Sabina Village Councilman Bill Lewis, chairperson of the Zoning Study Committee, reported Thursday to the full council that 174 residents gave positions during the month that surveyors tried to learn how locals feel about the question.

Of those surveyed, 146 gave favorable responses, 15 stated “maybe” and 13 were against, according to Lewis. Those surveyed, he said, were 18 or older, and included registered and non-registered voters as well as homeowners and renters.

With those results, Lewis said “the stage is set for a citizen-engaged initiative petition for zoning” to go on the November ballot.

After Lewis’ presentation, Sabina Village Councilman Michael Walls said he thinks the reason for the high number of supporters was the questionnaire’s “very vague overview of zoning,” which he said left participants with little information about zoning and which lacked details on what zoning does or does not do.

Walls added, “What zoning will do is cost the village and the taxpayers more money, with the village hiring a building inspector and creating a possible zoning department plus an appeals committee.”

He also said if zoning is established, future village councils will add more zoning, “and unless we have businesses knocking on our door and houses being built, zoning is useless in my opinion.”

Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk commented on Lewis’ report, too.

“As far as I can see, you’ve not moved forward a bit in terms of the study of what you were determining the zoning thing would look like to us,” said the mayor.

In March, Hawk proposed that a zoning committee continue to meet six more months to study the matter. On Thursday, he told Lewis he had expected the committee to bring recommendations on zoning to the full council and to ask council to move forward with it.

Lewis responded to Walls’ claim that the questionnaire was vaguely worded with its description of zoning. Lewis said the section in question was primarily prepared by Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Taylor Stuckert, and Stuckert believes the “survey has been a reliable indicator for Sabina.”

In other news from council chambers, Hawk said he attended a meeting Thursday at the village’s sewer plant along with an EPA inspector.

“We have several issues with the samples that were turned in over the past year, and in a few days we’re going to receive another [EPA] report along with some suggestions and I’m sure some demands,” the mayor stated.

The Sabina Police Department will proceed and acquire a drug-sniffing dog with the blessing of village council. Chief Keynon Young said the estimated amount of $15,400 to purchase and train a dog has been accumulated through donations and the drug fund.

The dog will be the same breed as the Wilmington Police Department’s canine officer, K9 Karson, a Belgian Malinois.

The dog’s handler will be officer John Griehl, who formerly was a partner to a canine unit at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.