BUTLER TWP., Ohio (WDTN) – The voices of Butler Township residents have been heard over one commercial business developer.
Township officials recommended keeping zoning as residential on one property on the 3600 block of Little York Road.
Some residents described their fight to keep residential zoning as David versus Goliath, the little guy versus the big, bad wolf.
A local resident, Mary Heizer put her large property up for sale. An office developer, Moore Partners wanted to expand its business and purchase the land.
“We were hoping Jean (Maychack) would be able to buy it and do something with it,”explained Heizer, the property owner. “The land is just seating there. It’s just all grown out.”
Heizer has lived at the property in question for nearly 40 years.
The elderly woman says she needs to sell fast; her husband is now handicapped and can’t move around their large house.
She thought Jean Maychack with Moore Partners and Vancon construction could buy the 5.5 acres of land; Heizer’s home is to the rear of Maychack’s current Butler Township office developments.
“There was never going to be any trucking back there,” Maychack detailed. “There was never going to be any CVS or a coffee shop or anything. It was just intended to be a professional office space.”
Maychack says development wouldn’t start for 5 to 10 years.
It seemed like the perfect match for the buyer and seller, but hundreds of residents weren’t quite convinced.
For the proposed sale to work, township officials would have to rezone the land from residential to commercial.
A good majority of residents did not support the proposal, fearing increased traffic and an open door for a commercial take over.
“You will not find anybody that wants this,” said Jeff Jacobs, a resident who organized against the proposal with nearly 1,000 mailed leaflets against the measure. “We’ve got residents in this township we’ve spoken to hundreds of them. Zero– nobody want this thing to happen.”
It’s why Monday residents packed into tight spaces at the Butler Township hall to voice their opinions.
Commissioners seemed to already be listening. Their recommendation was to keep residential zoning versus creating commercial zoning.
But while a majority of residents applauded the commissioners’ decision, Heizer and Maychack did not.
Asked whether she would consider developing in Butler Township in the future following this pushback, Maychack appeared unsure, later answering, “I don’t know yet. I’m disappointed.”
As for Heizer she’s not sure what’s next either, but she’s fearful the other options will not be as fruitful as Maychack’s proposal.
Township officials would not comment on camera about this matter, but the rezoning issue is not over yet.
Butler Township Board of Trustees will have the final say. They will consider the recommendation of commissioners and have a final vote at a public meeting on November 9th.
2 NEWS will continue following the developments in Butler Township.