Center Township zoning plan deserves a chance

Center Township is attempting to do something all communities should do – protect their residents’ property values.

The township is about to unveil a zoning plan that has been three years in the making.

A public hearing hosted by the Center Township Zoning Committee is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the township hall, with residents encouraged to attend so they can review the proposed plan and ask questions. The zoning resolution is not a done deal. Voters will decide in November whether it is adopted.

Committee Chairman Bob Berg says it is a “very limited” plan that is mainly focused on preventing the next junkyard or landfill from locating within the township.

Current property owners will be grandfathered in, so no one will be forced to undergo a major cleanup or make costly changes to their property.

What the zoning plan will do mainly is protect current property owners when a residence changes hands.

Our homes are usually our largest investment. Most people treasure them and take good care of them and their surroundings. Some, though, allow their property to reflect the same lack of pride they display in other aspects of their lives. That’s why zoning laws are necessary – to protect the neighbors of junk-hoarding nuisance properties.

The attitude of “what I do on my property is my business,” doesn’t fly when what you do affects the value of surrounding properties.

Perry and Fairfield townships in Columbiana County have zoning plans, as do several of the municipalities, and the difference they make are readily apparent when driving through those communities

We urge Center Township voters to give the plan careful consideration.

Every community that lacks one should consider making a zoning plan. And those that have them, should make sure they are enforced.