Several dozen residents crowded into the Orange Township board of trustees' meeting room Monday, April 15, to urge trustees not to allow an adult-oriented hotel in the township.
While no formal application has yet been made to the township, a man who operates such a hotel -- Belamere Suites in Perrysburg -- has shown interest in building an adult-themed facility in the township.
John Kranjec told trustees and residents April 15 that he is looking at vacant property on Gooding Boulevard, northwest of the fire station and west of U.S. Route 23.
"We're considered a four-star hotel that works well with our community," he said. "In the past nine years, 75,000 couples have stayed with us ... this isn't a fly-by-night" operation.
Some residents who attended the meeting shared concerns that the hotel would be near residential areas, the township pool, a day-care center, a library and other facilities that cater to families and children.
Dr. Sandra Boyle, who operates a pediatrics practice in that area, said there is no precedent for a hotel there.
"Do you have clientele who come in for the day, stay for a period of hours and then leave?" she asked. "The question is how the public uses your facility. Our concern is ... people who could have illicit motives."
Kranjec said his hotel in Perrysburg has had no problems and simply offers romantic getaways for adults. Prices range up to $250 for couples for a one-day stay.
He told residents the Orange Township property already is zoned for a hotel.
"I will listen to your comments," he said. "This has not been a secretive thing."
But a number of residents said they do not want such a hotel and questioned why he is looking in Orange Township.
"We oppose your facility," said Kristen Fenker. "I think we would oppose any hotel. We're going to fight anybody wanting to come in there."
Trustee Rob Quigley told residents that while trustees allowed an open debate on the matter at the April 15 meeting, nothing has yet been brought to trustees. Such a development would have to go through the township's zoning process before being heard by trustees, he added.
Parks levy planned
Also at this week's meeting, Orange Township trustees discussed preliminary steps to place a renewal of the community parks levy on the November ballot.
Collections from the current three-year, 1.5-mill levy expire at the end of 2013. Trustee Debbie Taranto said a 1.5-mill levy would raise about $1.54 million a year and cost homeowners about $46 annually per $100,000 of property value.
"My personal opinion ... Parks are a huge part of Orange Township," she said. "It gives us part of our identity."
Trustees decided they will discuss a parks levy more thoroughly at their next meeting May 6. Trustee Lisa Knapp said she said wants to hear more input from residents.
"I think it's great (for the community)," Knapp said. "It's just going to be a renewal."
Quigley said he has seen more and more people using township leisure trails and parks -- but added he would not favor going for anything bigger than a renewal.
A couple of residents voiced their opinions about the potential levy.
Robert Steele said he is an avid runner and that his family uses the parks and trails a lot.
"I would be in support of the levy," he said.
Kirby Nielsen said the discussion at the April 15 meeting was the first time he had heard about the renewal levy.
"I think there will be some people with some questions," he said. "I'm initially pleased to hear it's for the same amount" as the expiring levy.
Parks Director Beth Hugh said the parks' annual operating budget is between $900,000 and $1 million a year. The fund has about $7 million in it. In the past year, about $4.8 million has been earmarked for construction of additional leisure trails and other parks projects.
In recent years, the township has been aggressive in applying for state grants and other grants, which have pulled in about $2.7 million in reimbursement funds for construction projects, Hugh said.