By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Wood County took another step this week to get nearly 800 acres shovel-ready for prospective developers.
The Wood County Planning Commission voted to recommend rezoning of 793 acres in Troy Township, from A-1 agricultural to B-PUD planned business district. The acreage is located off the west side of Pemberville Road, just south of U.S. 20, near the Home Depot distribution center and the East Ohio Gas Co. site.
The zoning change was requested by the gas company, also called Dominion Energy. The recommendation will go to the Troy Township Trustees for a final decision.
With the economy picking up, East Ohio Gas has gotten some interest in the property, according to Dave Saneholtz, of Poggemeyer Design Group.
“They are getting a lot of calls from perspective users,” Saneholtz told the county planning commission. And the companies calling are interested in large acreage areas, he said.
“We don’t know exactly who’s coming,” Saneholtz said. But that specific information is not needed for the zoning change, which is intended to consider the best overall use of the property. Once a company makes a proposal for the site, then it will be required to present detailed plans to the township.
Most of the surrounding zoning in that area is for industrial uses, with some agricultural land. Wood County’s land use plan calls for the area to be the site of growth.
“We assumed it’s going to be growing,” said Dave Steiner, head of the county planning commission. “It’s an area we’d like to see economic development.”
The acreage already has utilities to the site, and it has been declared by the state to be a “Job Ready Site.”
“That’s a pretty important distinction there,” Steiner said.
The zoning change now would be one less hoop for developers to jump through if they select the property.
“This would get the property ready for development,” Steiner said. “So it will be shovel-ready. They won’t have to wait for the property to be rezoned.”
The planned business district zoning classification allows some flexibility, but it will require the owners to meet buffer and setback regulations set by Troy Township.