CHESTER — Township trustees reviewed five new zoning amendments during a public hearing last week and then approved the changes.

Zoning Commission members on Sept. 10 detailed a number of changes to the existing zoning code related to garage and estate sales, regulation of agriculture on lots of 5 acres or less and other miscellaneous items.

Zoning amendment 2020-1 expanded the list of uses that the township has no authority to prohibit, and adds biodiesel production, biomass energy production, electric or heat energy production and biologically derived methane gas production to the current list of “Powers Not conferred” to be consistent with ORC 519.21.

In 2012, an act was passed by the Ohio General Assembly which revised the Ohio Revised Code stating the township zoning laws have no authority to prohibit these uses under specified circumstances on any land.

Zoning amendment 2020-2 was introduced to help resolve a conflict in the current zoning resolution which infers that agriculture on some lots less than 5 acres is regulated, but the resolution does not contain any rules regulating agriculture on such lots. In order to eliminate the confusion that exists in the current zoning resolution, the reference that implies that agriculture on lots of less than 5 acres is regulated will be deleted.

Zoning amendment 2020-3 was introduced to align current zoning regulations and practices, and clarify that the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is the regulatory authority for review and approval of water management and sediment control plans and not the township zoning inspector.

The director of the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District and the Geauga County Planning Director reviewed the proposal and had no objections.

Zoning amendment 2020-4 was introduced to add garage, yard, barn and estate sales to the list of permitted uses to help eliminate the conflict between historical practices of allowing such sales to occur in residential districts. This modification allows such sales without requiring a zoning certificate.

Trustee Walter “Skip” Claypool said he wants to do what is in the best interest of the community. “We don’t want to overregulate people and restrict them from being able to do garage sales.”

Zoning amendment 2020-5 is being made to allow all personal health establishments (day spas) in the commercial and shopping center districts to exist as permitted uses. The current resolution only allows day spas as a permitted use within the commercial and shopping districts if they are state licensed. This requirement subsequently disallows establishments that are not required by the state to be licensed to exist in the township (e.g. salt caves).

The Geauga County planning director and assistant prosecutor have reviewed the proposed amendment and had no objections.

In other business, trustees moved to approve payment of $526,736 to Chagrin Valley Inc. relating to asphalt resurfacing of various roads as recommended by the Geauga County Engineer’s Department.

A motion was also made to approve advertisement in local newspapers, and the township website for administrative support for the Road and Fire departments with applications due by Sept. 25.

The next regular trustees meeting is Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

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