Generally, zoning regulations are created in order to maintain certain minimum standards for the community, thereby preserving and enhancing property values. Townships are authorized to enact zoning in accordance with Section 519 of the Ohio Revised Code. In 1959, the Union Township Board of Trustees took the appropriate steps to establish districts where different and conflicting uses were separated to the extent practicable. Guidelines were also established to define the type and scale of uses to be permitted in each district. Special conditions, exceptions, uses, and other variations to adopted requirements are also established in the zoning code.
Hundreds of permits are issued annually in Union Township. However, before a permit can be issued, all requirements of the zoning resolution must be met. This sometimes means that the property must change its zoning district designation. In certain circumstances, property owners may need to request variations from standards due to challenging site constraints. The Zoning Resolution also establishes duties for appointed and elected officials, defines specific procedures to follow with regards to complaints, violations, and also outlines the manner in which rezoning requests are to be processed and reviewed. The Planning and Zoning Department staff welcome the opportunity to assist you with any questions you might have regarding the specific requirements of the Zoning Resolution.
Zoning Department is permitted to administratively review and approve minor amendments to any approved Planned-Unit Development site plan, including those within the R-3 Planned Multi-Family Residential District, R-4 Single Family Variable Structure Residential District, and PD Planned Development District. Approval of a proposed amendment is subject to discretion of the Planning & Zoning Director.
Administrative Approval Documents:
Elected and Appointed Boards
Union Township Zoning Commission
As new development or redevelopment is proposed, it is sometimes necessary to change to a different zoning district to accommodate the project. The Union Township Zoning Commission is comprised of citizens who are appointed by the Board of Trustees, and who are charged with reviewing the details of the requested zoning amendments. After reviewing proposed amendments, the Zoning Commission forwards recommendations to the Union Township Board of Trustees, which ultimately determines whether to amend the zoning map or text as requested. The same process is required to make an amendment to the text of the Zoning Resolution. It is also the same process utilized for new Planned-Unit Development proposals or where the approval period has lapsed due to lack of development activity.
For any requested zoning map or zoning text amendment, a strict schedule is followed with regard to submittal deadlines, public hearing dates, and decisions, as all of these requirements must be administered in accordance with state law. Additionally, every zoning change application must be accompanied by all required documentation prior to moving forward in the process. The Planning & Zoning Department is ready to assist interested parties in navigating the complex rezoning process, and our staff can answer any questions regarding application requirements, public hearing notices, or other zoning-related issues.
Zoning Commission Documents:
Union Township Zoning Commission Members
Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals
Zoning regulations are applied uniformly across the township. Each project must follow the specific regulations established for its district along with the basic underlying requirements for all properties as they are on the books today, or no permit can be issued. Essentially, the Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals is comprised of citizens who are appointed by the Board of Trustees and are empowered by the Zoning Resolution to grant variance regulations. In the same text are the standards that the “BZA” must use to consider whether or not a variance may be granted.
The Board of Zoning Appeals also reviews and approves Conditional Use applications. Certain uses, while not generally permitted, may be given special consideration by the BZA, provided the use is located in a designated district and provided certain conditions can be met. Conditional use applications follow the same procedure and schedule as variance requests.
The BZA holds a public hearing, actually classified as a legal proceeding, once a month to consider applications that have been submitted for either conditional use approval or variance. As with other zoning processes, a pre-application meeting with staff is required to assist you in determining exactly what issues are involved.
Union Township Zoning Appeals Board Members
Focus Overlay District Regulations
In addition to being charged with numerous other responsibilities and duties, the Union Township Board of Trustees also reviews and approves Focus Area Overlay District applications. Essentially, Focus Area District Regulations are options available to property owners that grant additional flexibility over conventional zoning regulations by relaxing restrictions in order to achieve redevelopment goals, including the promotion of economic development and the elimination of blighting influences. This tool is available for properties that lie within the corridors specified in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan 20/20.
If a property lies within a Focus Area and has the appropriate zoning designation for the desired use but can’t meet every requirement set down in that district, an application may be made to the Board of Trustees submitting the details of the desired project. In this fashion, commercial properties and business operations that pre-date zoning or were developed under outdated guidelines can seek approvals to make changes or upgrades they would otherwise be prevented from making. Overlay District applications are considered as part of the Board of Trustees’ regular monthly meeting.
Focus Overlay Documents:
Planned Unit Development Major Amendment Process
The Union Township Board of Trustees also reviews and approves administrative amendments to approved residential and commercial Planned-Unit Developments. The Zoning Resolution specifically authorizes applicants within an approved Planned-Unit Development to submit an application directly to the Board of Trustees for consideration. Major Amendments within the R-3 Planned Multi-Family District, R-4 Single Family Variable Structure Residential District, and PD Planned Development District are considered as part of the Board of Trustees' regular monthly meeting.
Administrative Action Documents:
PD "Planned Development District" Major Amendment Application