Monclova Township Aims To Adopt Limited Home Rule

Kevin Reynolds and Kyle Jackson work on a home in the Rutherford subdivision. This home on Silverado Drive is one of 68 new home permits issued last year by Monclova Township. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — With 68 zoning certificates issued for new homes in 2023, Monclova Township is the fastest-growing community in the area – with homes being added to Stoney Creek, Rutherford, Williams Way and the newer plats of Blystone Valley in addition to homes built on acreage lots, according to township zoning administrator Eric Wagner. 

In the last month alone, 12 new certificates were issued.

“That’s a lot for the winter,” Wagner told trustees during their March 18 meeting.

While home construction continues at a brisk pace in the township, in central Ohio – where the lack of housing is more dire – homebuilders are pushing state legislators to limit the authority of townships that are not established as limited home rule governments.

Limited home rule enables townships to enact legislation that is not in conflict with the Ohio Revised Code. Only 33 mostly larger townships in Ohio are considered limited home rule entities. Monclova is not among them, for now.

If enacted by the state legislature, this change would remove residents’ ability to defeat zoning changes through referendum and eliminate the ability of townships that are not established as limited home rule to control zoning decisions.

That concerns Monclova Township trustees. While the trustees didn’t discuss the matter during the meeting, trustee Barbara Lang listed it among her priorities as she was appointed to the Ohio Township Association’s board of trustees last month.

“I think that should be at the top of our agenda – understanding the benefits and consequences,” she said.

For townships over 15,000 residents, a change to limited home rule could be done without taking it to the voters. The township, however, fell just short of that 15,000 mark in the 2020 Census.

So instead of waiting for the 2030 Census, the trustees – also including Chuck Hoecherl and Trudy Vicary – voted unanimously to place the issue on the November 2024 ballot. 

Over the next several months, more information will be rolled out to explain just what this means for residents.

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