City votes to rezone amidst township protests

UNION, Ohio (WDTN) – The city of Union voted Monday night to proceed with rezoning two plots of land amidst protest from people living in Butler Township.

More than a hundred people showed up to speak at Monday’s city council meeting. Many of those had to wait outside in the rain because the meeting space was filled to capacity.

“And we didn’t ask for any of this,” said Benjamin Jones who lives in Butler Township. “We were living a quiet, peaceful life out there. And all of a sudden this just happens.”

Jones, along with many others in Butler Township, showed up protest the city of Union rezoning an area west of Dog Leg Road and north of US-40. The plan calls to change two areas of land totaling more than 270 acres from commercial, residential, and agricultural to light-industrial.

Homeowners in the area are worried the rezoning those properties will add noise and safety problems to the quiet neighborhoods.

“In addition to that you got the road problem,” said Jones. “You got the safety problem with children going back and forth to school. It’s just a plethora of problems.”

City leaders say despite the complaints, they are trying to help those homeowners who are affected.

“Over there, we’re putting up mounds and doing everything we can to be as good a neighbor as possible,” said John Applegate, Union City Manager. “Can we satisfy everybody? Probably not.”

Applegate said the change is to attract more businesses and jobs to come to the area. Procter & Gamble is slated to move into part of the rezoned area bringing with them 800 new jobs.

City leaders believe the change is necessary for the area to grow.

“We knew what had to be done,” said Applegate. “We knew things had to be done. We’re starting that process and it will happen.”

While many sat and waited for council’s decision, others like Jones remained outside holding signs protesting the city’s plan.

He is hoping awareness will keep others from going through the same problem.

“The only optimism I have is that we can change the law so that this doesn’t happen to other townships,” said Jones.

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