NORTHFIELD CENTER — Revisions to the township’s zoning code relating to residential carport canopies, pergolas and gazebos; commercial district lots; and accessory uses in commercial districts were approved April 1 by township trustees.

The zoning code now defines residential carport canopies and storage structures, pergolas and gazebos, and specifies only one pergola or gazebo and one carport canopy can be located on a lot, in addition to a storage building. 

Pergolas and gazebos cannot exceed 144 square feet, must adhere to setback requirements and can have a roof, but walls are not allowed.

Residential carport canopies and storage structures cannot be larger than 200 square feet, must be behind the front face of a primary structure and the owner must obtain a zoning permit before erecting them.

The code also states the covering of a canopy or storage structure which develops rips and tears must be repaired with the same fabric or better.

Only one principal building for non-residential uses will be allowed on commercial district lots. Accessory buildings cannot exceed 144 square feet, and those in a C-4 commercial district are based on Joint Economic Development District requirements.

A clause that required an accessory building for nonresidential uses in a commercial district to be located a minimum of 15 feet from the principal building was eliminated.

In regulations for height of freestanding or projecting signs, a clause was included that no more than 2 feet can be added to the sign height for a base.


Trustees approved the extension of an existing contract with OTARMA/Burnham & Flower Insurance Group for township employees’ medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage from May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020.

Township manager Steve Wright said cost for the coverage is estimated at around $104,000, a reduction of about 4 percent over 2018-19. He said the reduction is largely attributable to a higher deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.

Trustees authorized the township to purchase 300 tons of road salt for next winter under the ODOT contract and through the Community University Education Purchasing Association collaborative bid process. A price will not be known until later this year.

They also OK’d a transfer of $5,000 from the "other expenses" fund to the computer networking and equipment fund to pay for web design services provided by Town Web Design LLC.

Trustees discussed some possible improvements at parks, including a new playground, walking paths, benches and basketball/tennis court upgrades at Beacon Hill, and perhaps a dog park.

The township also is looking into developing 18 acres under conservancy district/JEDD jurisdiction into a park. The land is located on Olde 8 Road near Fairhaven Drive.

Timber Lane resident Garrett Fredericks urged the township not to sign a memorandum of understanding which would allow the rezoning of 16.6 acres owned by Spitzer A-Team from residential to commercial. The land is on the north side of Route 82, west of Route 8.

The resident cited stormwater concerns, increased traffic, competition for existing businesses and the wetlands nature of the property as reasons not to rezone.

Trustees noted none of the parties involved in settlement of a lawsuit brought against the township by Spitzer have signed the memorandum yet, and the issue remains in court.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or