Liberty Township: Commission to review mixed-use plans for 190-acre site along Hyatts Road

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek

The Liberty Township Zoning Commission will continue its consideration of a planned overlay for mixed commercial and residential development when it meets Dec. 16. 

The request would create a roughly 190-acre overlay north of Hyatts Road, primarily between Sawmill Parkway and Liberty Road.

The overlay would include commercial, multifamily and single-family zoning and would be incorporated into the township’s zoning resolution, according to township zoning inspector Tracey Mullenhour, making it the township's fourth such overlay. 

This revised planned-overlay-district map will be considered during the Dec. 16 meeting of the LIberty Township Zoning Commission.

Discussion of the proposal began at the commission’s Oct. 21 meeting, but the proposed overlay has been altered from the original submission, according to the attorney for the landowners bringing the zoning request.

Attorney Steve Cuckler, representing the various landowners, said the proposal has been changed in response to residents' input, removing a 20-acre tract at the southeast corner of Liberty and Hyatts roads, referred to informally as the Booker farm.

The other properties in the original proposal remain, Cuckler said.

He said the plan now includes additional buffering between the rezoned land and residential properties.

Among those speaking in opposition to the plan at the October meeting was township resident Scott Miller, a 22-year resident of Liberty Road, south of Hyatts Road.

Miller said the proposal is inconsistent with the township’s comprehensive plan, which was approved in 2018. Removing the Booker farm property from the proposal is a positive, Miller said, but he still questioned the plan’s scope.

“This plan still lacks details,” Miller said. “If the existing comprehensive plan needs revisited, the township should hire a planner and go through the entire process again.”

Cuckler said the overlay's goal is to maximize planning continuity and allow diversification of the tax base.

“It’s about having shovel-ready ground to attract commercial users and not lose out on projects because we’re not ready for them,” he said. “The schools and local governments are overly reliant on taxes from single-family property and would benefit long term from the diversity in the tax base.”

Some area residents created a group called Liberty Residents for Responsible Growth, online at lr4rg.com and Facebook. Miller called online efforts at awareness of the proposal imperative because the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult to visit or discuss the topic face-to-face with other township residents.

“I encourage people to get involved,” he said. “We want (development) to be responsible and rely on the comprehensive plan.”

The commission's meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 via Zoom. Mullenhour said the meeting will include an opportunity for public comment.

Residents should go to libertytwp.org for a meeting link and email Mullenhour at tmullenhour@libertytwp.org with questions.

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