Amherst Township is committed to providing reliable services, being environmentally conscious and encouraging a viable local economy with sustainable development and growth. It is hoped that these commitments will foster a family-oriented community in which our residents can live, work and play.
These commitments demand effective and efficient land use planning, reasonable land use zoning regulations, consistent zoning regulation enforcement and supportive infrastructure (e.g. utilities, schools, sanitary sewers, fire hydrants, street lights & roads).
Planning in Amherst Township has been, and will continue to be both anticipatory and reactive, requiring the Township Trustees, Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals to anticipate and develop responses for future development pressures, while at the same time responding with immediate solutions to the current needs of township residents, business owners and property owners.
Existing land-use and zoning regulations are located in the "Amherst Township Zoning Resolution" located on this website under "ZONING" (reference Zoning Resolution -1 & -2).
Future and long range planning is presented in the "Amherst Township Comprehensive Plan".
(Scroll down to "Section 1 - Amherst Township Comprehensive Plan" below.)
A current special project that supports the Amherst Township Comprehensive Plan is the
"SR 58 Corridor Traffic Study Plan", initiated in September of 2006.
(Scroll down to "Section 2 - SR 58 Corridor Traffic Study Plan" below.)
Community Supportive Infrastructure must be funded with private and/or public monies.
Funding options available to Amherst Township:
(Please scroll down to see more information about each of these areas.)
Section 3 - Quarry Development
Section 4 - Grants (under construction)
Section 5 - Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDD's)
Section 6 - Enterprise Zones
Section 7 - Tax Incremental Financing (TIF's) (under construction)
September 25, 2007 - Final Report Presentation
IRG's Quarry development will be comprised of 970 acres and will have a total of approximately 1500 residential units in a wooded and rural setting, of which 250 will be condo hotel units that can be placed into a rental program. There is a lodge/club component that will be the centerpiece of the community. The lodge will have a restaurant, lounge, day spa and meeting space. IRG has also planned close to 20 miles of walking and equestrian trails throughout the property. Other amenities are an equestrian center with indoor and outdoor show rings, non-powered watercraft boating in some of the quarries, indoor activities building with racquetball, basketball and indoor pool, trap and skeet area, and a 100 ft. water fall. They look for pre-sale activities to start sometime in mid 2008 and completion of all phases of the community sometime in 2018. The developer, Stuart Lichter is new to residential development. His firm "Industrial Realty Group" from Downey, California, has mostly done conversions of industrial sites into sub divided warehouses to mixed use developments throughout the country.
Q.: What is a Joint Economic Development District?
A.: A Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) describes the result of an arrangement between a township and a city (or village) that allows them to share the benefits and responsibilities of commercial and industrial development in Ohio. A JEDD permits a regional approach to economic development. The statutory purpose for a JEDD is the facilitation of economic development in the state and in the region of the municipality and township that are the contracting parties. The statewide provisions governing JEDD’s are Sections 715.72 to 715.83 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Q.: How does a JEDD benefit a city?
A.: If a city annexes property, it must provide all the city services to those properties, including expensive police and fire protection, zoning, road development and water and sewer services. By using a JEDD, the city can obtain a portion of an income tax levied by the JEDD without annexing the property, and without providing all municipal services. The city benefits because its share of the JEDD income tax revenues can go into its general fund. The city also benefits by avoiding the animosity that annexation can cause between local governments that should be working together to serve area citizens.
Q.: How does a township benefit from a JEDD?
A.: Normally, a city that is party to a JEDD agrees not to annex property anywhere within the JEDD, or anywhere within the township, for the duration of the JEDD term. This agreement allows the township to preserve its geographic integrity as a political subdivision while continuing to receive all the real estate taxes from the property. Also, the township and city share the JEDD income tax revenue, which gives the township access to a new revenue source. This share of income tax revenue allows the township to continue to provide local services without constantly asking residents for real estate tax increases.
Q.: Must the township and the city be located next to each other in order to form a JEDD?
A.: No. Property need not be contiguous. In fact, a JEDD can be formed between a township and a city even if there is another township or city in between the two borders that is not a party to the JEDD. Property must be zoned and used for commercial or industrial purposes, and cannot contain property that is zoned or used for residential purposes.
Q.: Why would a property owner want to be part of a JEDD?
A.: Many property owners need city services, such as water and sewer, that may not be available in townships. Through a JEDD, a property owner can access those services without having the property annexed into the city. Some JEDD’s provide that a certain percentage of the JEDD income tax (say, 20 percent) must be put into a fund to be used only within the JEDD area. Such funds might be used to extend infrastructure (such as roads, water lines, sewer lines, street lighting, curbs and sidewalks) necessary for industrial and commercial development.
Q.: Can a JEDD benefit residents who are not included in the JEDD?
A.: Yes. Many JEDD agreements in Ohio allow for residential service areas that are not required to join the JEDD and, therefore, do not pay a JEDD income tax. Nearby cities generally agree to provide water or sewer services to those residential areas without annexing them. Often, these services are provided at either the same rates as city residents pay, or at a much lower surcharge than other out-of-city residential users generally pay for water or sewer. The logic is that, since the city will pass by residential customers when it runs water and sewer lines to the commercial and industrial property covered by a JEDD, the city might as well allow those residential customers access to the city’s water and sewer services.
Q.: Do township and city residents get the opportunity to vote on a JEDD?
A.: It depends. City residents are not afforded the opportunity to vote on a JEDD. The municipality and the township must approve the JEDD contract. If the township trustees' approval is not unanimous, the contract must be approved by the township voters at an election in the township.
Q.: Why don’t we see more JEDDs in Lorain County?
A.: The process of creating a JEDD is not easy. Negotiating and drafting the JEDD contract is often a lengthy process. Once the contract has been prepared, the petition process is initiated. Creating a JEDD requires a petition from a majority of the property owners in the JEDD and another petition from a majority of the business owners in the JEDD. Past animosities, a lack of trust and friction between political jurisdictions may inhibit cooperation among the respective political leaders.
Please scroll down to see more about each of these areas:
A description of the area or areas to be included in the district, including a map in sufficient detail to denote the specific boundaries of the area or areas and any zoning restrictions applicable to the area or areas, is attached, as required by Ohio Revised Code §715.75(B). All zoning requirements are specified in the Amherst Township Zoning Resolution.
The JEDD shall include the following parcels of land:
The areas shown in blue on the attached map at the intersection of Middle Ridge Road and West Ridge Road:
Provision of new, expanded, or additional services, facilities, or improvements described in division (A) of section 715.74 of the Revised Code, as required by §715.75(C)(1)
A schedule for the collection of an income tax levied under division (C) of section 715.74 of the Revised Code, as required by §715.75(C)(2)
Amherst Township is classified as an “Enterprise Zone” within the state of Ohio. Enterprise Zones are designated areas of land in which businesses can receive tax incentives in the form of tax exemptions on eligible new investments. Enterprise Zones allow local officials to negotiate with businesses to encourage new business investment in the zone. Enterprise Zones serve as an additional economic development tool for communities attempting to retain and expand their economic base.
The State of Ohio has certified Amherst Township as an Enterprise Zone through a legislative agreement with the Lorain County Board of Commissioners. Only those businesses that will create and preserve jobs within the zone may apply for the local tax incentives. Local officials may limit the type of businesses and projects which are eligible through policy guidelines. A business must make a substantial investment in either real or personal property to be eligible.
The Enterprise Zone law permits unincorporated areas to offer the following incentives:
Each Enterprise Zone Agreement submitted must include a $500 application fee payable to the “Ohio Department of Development”. In addition, Lorain County requires an annual monitoring fee of $500. Agreements are monitored annually by the “Tax Incentive Review Council”, and companies are required to complete reports which are submitted to the “Ohio Department of Development”.
Local legislative authorities are required to notify all local boards of education having jurisdiction over the project site at least fourteen days prior to taking any formal action on the request for exemption. If the request exceeds the maximum allowable exemption levels, the boards of education must be notified a minimum of forty-five business days prior to action being taken; and the boards of education must reply indicating their stance on the exemption.
If a company is relocating from another area within the State of Ohio, a notice must be sent to the community from which the business is departing and a waiver must be received from the “Ohio Department of Development”.
Additional information about the "Ohio Enterprise Zone Program" is available through the State of Ohio's "Development Services Agency" website or by clicking on the following link:
Currently Under Construction