On January 26, 2011 the Newbury Township Zoning Commission (ZC) held their regular monthly meeting in the upstairs meeting room of Newbury Town Hall. The rescheduled November and December meetings for Dec. 8, 2010 had been cancelled because of weather.
Carolyn Paschke called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. with Alice Munn, Lou Tomsic, Judd Douglas and Steve Kitko present. Ray Fidel, Mary Lee Brezina and Ken Blair, members of the BZA, were also attending. Ms. Paschke reminded everyone that the meeting time had been changed to begin at 7:00 p.m. The minutes of the 10-27-10 meeting were approved and signed.
Mr. Flesher of Mr. Excavator, and John Bonner of Geauga Organics asked the ZC to address “Composting”. Mr. Fidel asked why composting has legal EPA status but not in the NZ code. He said composting is nothing new, been going on a long time and suggested a Conditional Use for “recycling”. He acknowledged that the BZA decision was not against the GO operation but that it was not sited in the right location. Discussion continued regarding stable waste recycling into landscape mulch, Newbury’s central location for 8000 horses in the suburban area, Dave Lair’s introduction of Mr. Flesher at the Newbury Trustees (business friendly) meeting to present his product and the resulting convoluted code definitions of chemical conversion, refining, composting of logs, stumps, branches and leaves vs. a manufactured product made from wood chips. Thousands of dollars were expended on expert witnesses with conflicting testimony. The zoning code needs revision. Mr. Kitko added he was concerned over the scale of the operation, the community health issues and the runoff and water-table contamination.
Mr. Flesher likened the GO operation to a micro brewery and that the EPA issued a permit for the 3 acre site. He cited active composting at several landscaping locations in Newbury specifically the TRC shredding process. He pointed out that Ms. Endres and Mr. Sniveley had visited a similar Brunswick operation. Mr. Ralston had supplied Dr. Michals of OSU as an expert and advocate on environmentally safe composting methods. GO had agreed to embankment design criteria for a 1000 year flood, clay liner under the pile and fail-safe emergency backup procedures. He said he wanted a facility in Newbury; several other sites were suggested: Haueter’s, Kaufmann’s and Teague’s gravel pits and the former dump on Rt. 44. Mr. Bonner said they were willing to comply with conditions set forth for their operation. Mr. Fidel asked if the operation was better suited as an agricultural use rather than commercial or industrial. Mr. Kitko explained for an agricultural exemption the use must originate on the site, not raw material trucked in and the manufactured product shipped out.
Mr. Flesher described his application as a landscaper was denied; he may appeal as he produces a landscaping product. He asked the ZC to revise the code to allow the GO operation as a Conditional Use. Mr. Tomsic said he preferred a Trustee’s Judgement Entry to an appeal. He recommended amending the definition and adding composting as a conditional use. He pointed out that chemical conversion and contaminated runoff were currently on this site. Discussion continued regarding the tannin retention pond.
Ms. Paschke summarized the need for approvals from the health Dept, the EPA, larger lots and setbacks, asphalt base vs. clay and compaction of ground and berms. She recognized Mr. Fred Van Ness who said he has conducted a landscaping business on Rt. 87 since 1989. He said he presently composts yard waste in a pile with a clay base. He uses loaders to turn the (messy) pile and cleans the equipment frequently to reduce maintenance. He described his operation as a small pile on Teague’s industrial lot that is turned (but not watered) with mulch results in 3 to 5 months. He too requested a code change to permit composting as a Conditional Use.
Ms. Brezina said she favors a permitted Conditional Use to make a useful product from waste material but acknowledges the prevalent “not in my backyard” mentality. She said N code should be revised to allow permitted EPA operations. Mr. Flesher asked the code to be modified to permit a manufactured process to produce mulch.
Ms. Paschke recommended the ZC to consider composting as a Conditional Use. Mr. Fidel reiterated his prior requests to include all “construction trades” in the permitted category. Ms. Endres asked him to submit a comprehensive list for bricklayers, stone masons, glaziers, drywallers, etc. as all must be listed to be permitted. Ms. Endres recommended that Lou Tomsic and Steve Kitko draft the revised code language for composting and “smell”?
Ms. Paschke asked the board to table the Wind Turbine Agenda Item for the next meeting as Sue Wagner, who is absent, had the presentation.
Discussion revolved about Land/Parking Banking, the definition and needed revisions. Ms. Endres said the parking banking was used at the BZA level for a startup of Newbury Center. Mr. Kitko agreed it should remain at the BZA level with the land reserved till needed. Ms. Endres asked that the code allow the Zoning Inspector to administer using site plans and shared use of business parking spaces. Mr. Douglas agreed the formula needs revision as we have too much unused parking spaces now. Mr. Kitko said Model Zoning requires deed restrictions but Speedway and Mangia’s suggest BZA conditions are more practical. Mr. Douglas suggested eco-friendly non-impervious paving.
The ZC and BZA were all invited to the Tri-board Zoning meeting with the Trustees, 2/19/11 at 9 a.m. with breakfast provided. The next ZC meeting will be held February 23, 2011.
Mr. Snively confirmed that Lou Tomsic and Steve Kitko had been reappointed to the ZC.
Alice Munn moved that Carolyn Paschke continue as chairman and Lou Tomsic as vice-chairman; Judd Douglas seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote.
Ms. Paschke adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.
Wed, January 26, 2011
by Ann Wishart