Planning Commission to Board of Trustees:

“Why R U Selling the Historic Barker Road Fire Station?”

“What Are We Planners, Chopped Liver?”

Report on the March 6, 2019 Planning Commission Meeting

by David Gordon     March 8, 2019

The Planning Commission last night unanimously urged the Board of Trustees to rescind it’s Feb. 26 decision to sell historic Barker Road Fire Station, claiming the Board ignored the work of two new planning groups and failed to seek advice of the township planner.

“I find it disturbing” said PC Chair Larry Roman who made the motion asking the Board to rescind its decision. “Why spend that ($20,000) on the Downtown Strategic Action Plan (DSAP) and not follow it,” he said. “Maybe this is why the public doesn’t want to get involved.”

Commissioner Sam Iaquinto, owner of Mac’s Marina, said “as a business owner for 25 years, the Board decision sends a message that this community will continue to decline.”

Trustee Janet Chick, who is the Board representative to the Planning Commission, voted in favor of revisiting the Board decision even though she voted to sell the historical fire hall at the Feb. 26 meeting on a 6/1 vote. The only Trustee who opposed selling the property was Treasurer Lenore Zelenock.

Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Chair Barb Griffith Watson said “the DSAP has been completely ignored by the Board.” DSAP member Jack Secrist said “we spent a lot of time on our plan” and that selling 75 Barker Road would kill any chance of using the property for parking.

Resident Tim Saville said the Board should keep the property for parking and David Gordon said the building should be saved for its historical significance.

The township’s Kiwanis Club has been lobbying the Board for more than a year to use the former firehouse without success.

In other business, the PC discussed its Marijuana Ordinance draft. “I don’t think marijuana should have any more restrictions than a liquor or drug store,” said Iaquinto.

The current ordinance under consideration is eight pages long and places a number of requirements on any dispensary business including:

  1. Need to get permit approval every year.
  2. $5,000 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Need to get a compliance permit that can be denied on an annual basis.
  4. A rule that no “product” may be visible from the street.
  5. Limiting hours of operation – 7am to 9pm
  6. A permit may be revoked if it’s determined the store creates a “nuisance”.

At the final Call to the Public, Gordon questioned why the PC’s $25,000 rewrite of the Master Plan is so biased in favor of growth and development. “The Master Plan spends three times as much ink on development as it does on preservation,” said Gordon.

Preservation doesn’t even show up until Page 25. Residents can comment on the Master Plan draft for the next 60 days by visiting the township website.


Former Planner Leah DeMouchel's analysis of the 1996 and 2010 surveys.