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Richfield trustees discuss Hazard Mitigation Plan

2/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Blizzards and other severe storms are the most likely disastrous events to strike Richfield, according to the Summit County Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was a topic at the Feb. 19 Richfield Township Board of Trustees meeting.

Township Administrator Linda Bowmer presented the trustees with the report, which came from the Summit County Division of Public Safety. It charts disasters, ranking them on a scale of one to five in the categories of probability (P) and on Richfield’s vulnerability (V).

Severe storms and winter storms were the only disasters to get the highest rating of P5/V5, according to Bowmer.

Receiving the lowest rating of P1/V1 were flooding, dam/levee failure, civil disturbance and coastal erosion. Also, while an earthquake would cause the most damage (V5), it is not very likely to happen in Richfield (P1), said Bowmer.

In other news, Bowmer said the Summit County Engineer’s Office has been working on a grant possibility for the repair of Hawkins Road after the failure of a previous effort. The plan would involve the township joining Richfield Village and Hinckley Township in an effort to fund the repair for 2015.

“It would be a combination of communities like on the Boston Road project,” Bowmer said. “It would be a different pot of money than we tried for before.”

Before the regular meeting, the trustees met with Mike Todd, of the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, regarding an ongoing legal challenge from JJJ Properties to a decision from the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).

This past May, Pinney had issued JJJ Properties a zoning violation, which was upheld by the BZA, according to the minutes of a special meeting Jan. 23.

Trustees had voted at that special meeting to withdraw it. After an executive session Feb. 21, trustees voted to ask the BZA to vacate the decision that prompted the lawsuit.

“The decision is based on the fact the violation had not occurred yet, so it was not yet ripe,” said Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney.

In other business:

  • Trustee Janet Jankura reported she attended a recent meeting of the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) board with Pinney and Trustee David Wyatt. She said the board is hoping to increase promotion of the JEDD, which is located in the northern portion of Richfield.
    Jankura also said the board would like to see more participation from the businesses in the JEDD.
  • Pinney also reported that the BZA is seeking a legal opinion over whether off-site requirements can be attached to conditional uses in the Commercial/Industrial district. For example, the BZA would like to know if visitors to a property can be directed toward highways rather than county roads.
    In addition, Pinney said the BZA also inquired about whether police can check whether a residential area is being overburdened with commercial traffic.
    Also, Pinney said the proposed rezoning of the southeast corner of Broadview and Boston roads, which had been disapproved by the Summit County Planning Commission last month, was also disapproved by the Zoning Commission Feb. 14.

Richfield trustees will hold public hearings on the proposal at its next two meetings March 7 at 10 a.m. and March 21 at 6:30 p.m. Both meetings will take place at Richfield Town Hall, instead of the township offices, at 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.

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