Future of Boardman: Locals discuss changing zoning codes at 1st meeting

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Boardman is developing a new land-use plan, and at Thursday night’s first public meeting, some people were talking about renovating.

Much of Boardman was built from 1950 to 1980. So, this plan looks to bring it into the 21st century.

Boardman Township’s Director of Zoning and Development Krista Beniston led the meeting of about 75 people at Good Hope Lutheran Church.

One priority of the new comprehensive land-use plan will be changing the zoning codes.

“You know, do we want the buildings up to the road? Do we want them in the back? How much parking? How much landscaping?” Beniston asked.

Beniston had demographics that showed two Boardmans: the older neighborhoods to the north where the population is decreasing, and the newer neighborhoods to the south where the population is increasing.

The total population is holding steady at around 40,000.

In an era of online shopping, Boardman is also a retail hub.

“Are big-box stores staying? Are they going? How do we adjust to those trends so we stay competitive?” Beniston asked.

“We know that a lot of the stock of our buildings are getting sort of older now, and now we’re starting to say, ‘How can we reinvent ourselves? How can we redevelop some of these older properties?'” said Boardman Trustee Larry Moliterno.

When the meeting was over, Phillip Wawrosch talked about what he would like to see. He travels for work.

“I notice a lot of open spaces, I notice a lot of greenery,” Wawrosch said.

Debbie Liptak wants changes at the major intersections that connect Boardman with other communities.

“Maybe they need to have some roundabouts in those areas so that people can actually go around where Handel’s is, the Newport Library, you got that beautiful bank in that corner,” she said.

George Farris both lives and owns a business in Boardman. He says zoning is a priority.

“When you’re controlling where there can be commercial businesses, where there can be rental homes and rental properties, and where there can be upscale homes or single family homes, it does a lot to add value to your home,” Farris said.

A second public meeting about the plan will be held on Monday, Feb. 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Boardman Park. It’s hoped that the final plan will be in place in about one year.