Marysville City Council questions allowing Hope Center to use UCF as base of operations
The term is “conditional use” and is a phrase Marysville residents can expect to hear and read a lot about in the months to come.
As is known, the Hope Center lost its home last spring when the Marysville Exempted Village School District, owners of the building at 212 Chestnut St. where the Hope Center operated, had to reclaim the building for their own use due to the booming population. of students in the district over the past few years. Since then, the Hope Center has been looking for a new location.
The Hope Center, which is administered by the Marysville Area Ministerial Association (MAMA) has a long tradition of serving the disadvantaged and disadvantaged in our community with meals, clothing, and other basic necessities. After a long search, the Hope Center and the Union County Fairgrounds have reached a handshake agreement that would allow the Hope Center to establish a headquarters in one of the Union County Fairgrounds buildings, beginning as soon as possible in order to to continue its mission.
This is where the Marysville City Council gets involved.
*****Although the Union County Fairgrounds owns itself, the land is within Marysville city limits, which means that the Marysville City Council (and to a lesser extent the Marysville Planning Commission), has a say in whether the Hope Center can use a building or property on the fairgrounds for what is called “conditional” use, which simply means that the proposed use of the building or property is not specifically stated in the city’s zoning code, hence the “conditional” modifier. This type of request is not at all unusual and the Marysville City Council sees a number of such conditional use requests each year.
An ordinance for second reading and public comment before Marysville City Council on Monday would allow conditional use of a community center on the Union County Fairgrounds. If passed, the ordinance would allow the Hope Center to operate its community center in one of the fairground buildings under “conditional use” criteria, as noted.
City Council and members of the public made full use of the comments from Monday’s public hearing. The third and final reading of the ordinance, which if passed would make the ordinance into law and grant the Hope Center the conditional use provision, is to take place at the next scheduled meeting of the Marysville City Council. .
It’s probably for a bumpy ride before that.
Among the members of the public who spoke in favor of “conditional use” at the council Monday night were Mike Schnell, director of Union County Fairgrounds, and Pastor Gene Miller of the Marysville Area Ministerial Association. Both spoke in favor of allowing conditional use, while others disagreed, expressing concerns that using the fairgrounds for such an endeavor was uncomfortably close to the MEVSD campus. An issue that was also raised was that of the status of people in need. Would a conditional use permit allow the Hope Center to provide temporary accommodation for transients, which it did not do at 212 Chestnut?
Council Member Deborah Groat reminded those gathered that this was a zoning issue and that if passed, it would not only affect the Union County Fairgrounds, but nine other properties in the city subject to similar zoning restrictions. Ms. Groat made it clear that while she has the full support and trust of the Hope Center and its mission, she is loath to endorse the ordinance, again citing the precedent it would have on other similar properties in the city and whether the property could be converted into a transitional facility.
There have been talks about changing the order to make it more palpable for Ms Groat, but she has none of that.
“I don’t want to amend, I want to defeat the legislation,” Ms Groat said emphatically. The third and final reading and deciding vote on the ordinance is scheduled for the August 22 city council meeting in Marysville.
Another controversial ordinance was on first reading Monday as the city considers annexing approximately 263 acres of the city’s west side to the city to make way for what is currently known as the Stillwater Project.
Normally, after Monday’s first reading of the ordinance, the legislation would go for a second reading and public hearing at the next Marysville City Council meeting on August 22. However, as it was deemed that the language regarding the zoning of the planned annexation has not been finalized, at least not to the Council’s satisfaction, Acting Council Chairman Henk Berbee filed the public hearing on annexation until October 10 and referred the order back to the Planning Commission so the language could be clarified.
And there was good news for those using the roughly four-mile U.S. Route 33 “loop” around the north side of town, as the Marysville City Council heard first reading on Monday of an ordinance authorizing the Ohio Department of Transportation to invest $8.6 million to repair pavement failures and resurfacing the US 33 Loop extending from Delaware Avenue to W. 5th St. ODOT intends to fund the entire project, except for the occasional contribution from Marysville, for which the city has set aside $150,000. ODOT intends to open tenders in early 2023 and plans to start construction as early as April 2023 with a completion date set for October 2023. It was discussed if the works could be carried out at night as it is the case on some projects, but this increases the cost of the project almost fourfold, so it is unlikely to be at the night project.
In another action, Marysville City Council passed at third and final reading an amendment to the city’s Civil Service Commission rules that will allow civil service tests to be web-based and be computerized rather than using pen and paper. The measure passed by a 4-0 margin as Council members Mark Reams, JR Rausch and Alan Seymour were excused from the meeting.
After the final vote, the Marysville City Council retired in executive session to discuss interaction with other policy divisions regarding public infrastructure.
Marysville City Council is scheduled to meet again Monday, August 22 at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, Hall, 209 S. Main St.