Council authorizes zoning, speed limit changes

By Christopher Selmek - [email protected]

The Urbana City Council unanimously approved a zoning map update revoking the Scioto Street Plaza Planned Unit Development zoning and rezoning two parcels from PUD to B-2 General Business District at the regular meeting on Tuesday. Community Development Manager Doug Crabill explained that there has been no development within the PUD containing Taco Bell, Goodwill and Tim Hortons for at least five years, and that when the PUD was established several owners ago it included language to the effect that the PUD could be revoked if it had not been effectively utilized.

“The new property owner bringing this forward requested us to bring it to B-2 to make it simpler, and again there is some development interest in trying to redevelop this center,” Crabill said. “We don’t know what that means, we haven’t seen anything, but this is at least the first step in trying to clear the path for a new owner who hopefully will bring some investment back to this location.”

Following passage of this rezoning ordinance, there will be an additional process of subdividing the B-2 zone into four sections. The city has received no reply from Tim Horton’s corporate either supporting or opposing the change.

New speed limit

Council unanimously passed a resolution requesting that the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation establish a speed limit for a portion of South U.S. Route 68 after its first reading.

“The current speed limit on South 68 is 50 miles an hour,” said city administrator Kerry Brugger. “That’s the way it was established 30 years ago before the school was built. Once the school was built there was a request to have a traffic study redone to see if we should be able to lower that speed limit to 35. The study was completed and ODOT came back and said it really doesn’t warrant coming down from 50. They came in at about 48, but because you can’t have a speed limit of 48 they recommended it be left at 50.”

Following the traffic study, city Engineer Tyler Bumbalough spoke with both Police Chief Matt Lingrell and Sheriff Matt Melvin, who agreed to write letters in support of taking the speed limit to 45. During school hours, a flashing light atop the speed limit sign will inform drivers that the speed limit is 20.

Also at this meeting:

– Council unanimously approved five collective bargaining agreements between the city and various entities, including the Urbana Firefighters Association, the Urbana service divisions public employees of Ohio teamsters, and the Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council, Inc.

All five agreements eliminated “fair share” language in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision that ended compelled union dues for public employees. The city agreed to a 2.25 percent or 2.5 percent base wage increase for firefighters and police officers during each contract year, depending on their union affiliation and length of service.

– Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the director of administration to enter into an indigent defense agreement with the Champaign County commissioners to allow the city to receive partial reimbursements from the Ohio Public Defender Commission for indigent defense expense in the Champaign County Municipal Court, which may be passed on the first reading.

– Council heard the second reading of an ordinance adding an additional six-tenths of one-percent tax on income to the current additional four-tenths rate, establishing the new additional tax rate at one percent. This ordinance was the subject of a public hearing prior to the council meeting.

-Amy Deere was rehired as council clerk and council member Dwight Paul was re-elected as council president pro-tempore.

By Christopher Selmek

[email protected]

Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304

Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304