Liberty Township trustees are poised to add a zoning district – R-E, residential estate – to the township that would mirror the A-1 agriculture designation with one exception: it would not automatically allow communications – cell phone – towers.
Following a nearly two-hour work session this week, trustees agreed to begin the formal process of establishing the R-E zone at their Sept. 17 meeting.
At that meeting trustees will consider adding properties to the zone that have houses on them but are zoned agriculture. Those properties will be located in the northeast quadrant of the township.
That area is roughly bound by the railroad to the west, Millikin Road on the south, the Butler-Warren county line to the east and the township boundary line to the north.
“We should take this one quadrant at a time,’’ said Trustee David Kern. “Any subdivision not having split lots (more than one zoning designation) – we (should) convert to residential.”
Township officials are looking at all 1,619 agriculturally zoned parcels in the township. It is part of an effort to identify parcels in residential subdivisions that are zoned agriculture rather than residential.
Of those, most – 1,027 – are less than an acre in size, said Jonathan West, director of planning and zoning. Another 150 are 1 to 1.99 acre; and 194 are 2 to 4.99 acre. There are 248 parcels that are five acres or larger.
Initially, trustees plan to go quadrant to quadrant, to change the zoning of parcels zoned agriculture in subdivisions, to the R-E zone. Once that is finished, they will go back and review parcels with unusual circumstances – such as split zoning or larger parcels surrounded by subdivisions – to see if zoning should be changed.
“We are making headway. I’m not happy with the speed, but we’re moving forward,’’ said Trustee Tom Farrell, a former member of the Liberty Township Zoning Commission.
Once the zone changes are initiated, affected property owners will be notified before any public hearings take place, trustees said.
The proposed new zoning classification and any rezonings would be reviewed by the Butler County Planning Commission next month, provided trustees initiate the process Sept. 17.