A new basketball court was dedicated last week in Genoa Township, a growing part of southeastern Delaware County bounded on the sides by Alum Creek and Hoover reservoirs, and Westerville to the south.
Jennifer Frank, a resident who lives across the street from Center Green Park, said she loves the area with its wildflowers and playground, but there wasn’t much for her 11-year-old son Peyton Frank to do there. In February, she requested a basketball hoop with the township, who told her there needed to be donations to make the court happen.
Friends and neighbors contributed, and McCoy Paving, Inc. contributed materials and services. Township staff installed the hoops and benches alongside the court.
“It’s been planned for years, but we didn’t have the funds to get it up, so we asked if there were contributions,” said trustee Karl Gebhardt at the ribbon cutting on Aug. 31.
“It’s good to see the 5th grade and middle school students here now,” using the court, Jennifer Frank said. Five neighborhoods share the park, which is well-patrolled.
The new amenity for the park is a positive for Genoa, as is the renewal of its waste renewal contract with Rumpke as part of a consortium.
“There was a lot of confusion — people thought they weren’t going to get their yard waste picked up at the curb anymore,” said Leslie Strader, township spokeswoman, about an article with erroneous information in another publication. “That’s not the case, the service is staying the same. Their yard waste is getting picked up, it’s just going to a landfill rather than a composting facility.”
However, like many other growing parts of the county, there are issues to contend with that are far more complex. For example, Genoa Township recently had a public hearing about marijuana.
“Communities are being faced with the decision of how they’re gonna allow processing, distribution and growing of marijuana,” Strader said. “I was told it was a very emotional meeting, because you have people on both sides of the issue — either they have a condition where this is important medicine for them, and then you have people who came to the meeting who have lost a loved one due to drugs. It was very informative. No decision was reached, the trustees just wanted to better understand the community’s feelings. It’ll definitely be discussed again. There might even be another special meeting on it.”
Development is a concern for many. In one case, 43 acres of property west of Hoover Reservoir owned by Benton and Katherine Benalcazar is planning to be developed into a farm with 2,500 swine; 1,000 head of cattle; and 1.25 million pullets (female chickens). In a letter, the Benalcazars said they have tried for 12 years to get Genoa’s trustees to agree to a residential development, but were hung up on the matter of housing density.
Another proposed development, Vinmar’s phases 4-6 on 75 acres between State Route 3 and Lewis Center Road, is of concern to some residents because the trustees could change the zoning from Rural Residential (RR) to Planned Residential Development (PRD) to allow for greater housing density.
Finally, “Cardinal Self-Storage filed two lawsuits against Genoa for denying a request to exceed the 65,000 square foot limitation for building sizes,” writes trustee Frank Dantonio in the township newsletter. “Genoa lost the first lawsuit in Delaware County Court of Common Pleas and has appealed the decision. The second lawsuit is pending in the United States Southern District Court and will not be decided until sometime in 2018.”
Strader said the zoning commission examines each request on a case-by-case basis. The newsletter notes, “the Zoning Commission is currently Revising Genoa’s Zoning Resolution to comply with Genoa’s 2016 Comprehensive (Land Use) Plan previously enacted December, 2016.”
Land use is an issue for political candidates as well. There are six vying for two Genoa Trustee positions to serve terms from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2021. One of the candidates, Kevin Gainer, has said his main priority would be preservation.
Send your opinions on medical marijuana to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The trustees typically meet at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Thursdays at the Community Hall.