Residents to pay more to appeal zoning decisions

by Laura Bednar

Sagamore Hills trustees approved a fee increase for board of zoning appeal meetings and resumed renting the trustees’ meeting room to township homeowners’ associations for 2023.

The fee increase for board of zoning appeals public hearings came after Zoning Inspector Ray Fantozzi analyzed the cost of the hearings for the past two years. The township was charging $500 for a public hearing but has raised it to $750.

Trustee John Zaccardelli said after a resident is denied a zoning change, he or she can file an application to the board of zoning appeals. A public hearing before the board involves advertising the hearing in local new outlets, mailing letters to properties affected by the proposed change and paying board members, zoning inspector and township attorney who attend the meeting.

Zaccardelli said the cost to prepare hearings was more than $500, and the intent behind the increase was to “balance the cost out so the township can break even.”

He said in 2022 the expense of holding two board of zoning appeals meetings exceeded $750 and one meeting in 2021 exceeded $800.

Before the pandemic, homeowners associations in Sagamore Hills – including the subdivisions of Mottl Reserve, Heartridge, Red Hawk and Towpath Park – were permitted to rent the trustees’ meeting room for meetings. When COVID-19 health and safety guidelines were announced by the Centers for Disease Control and other public entities, the room was restricted to township business.

The room is again open to HOAs but with new stipulations. The rental fee is $35 per meeting; food and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. During a discussion on the subject at a special trustees meeting in December, trustees said HOAs had previously left the room in disarray with food left on the floor. They unanimously agreed to add the following to the agreement: “Failure to comply with the rules … will necessitate prohibition of any future use of the facility.”

To access the rental agreement form, visit, click on the “community” tab and choose “township forms” from under the “township information” category. For more information, contact township Administrative Assistant Joanne Taylor at ∞