Township Administrator’s Corner by Vito Sinopoli

To ensure sustainable development and respond to the evolving needs of the community from a land-use perspective, Bath Township took the important step of establishing a Comprehensive Plan Review Committee. Resident volunteers, many with land-use experience, were selected to participate on this committee and have been tasked with the responsibility of thoroughly reviewing and evaluating the existing comprehensive plan and providing written revisions to the board of trustees. The Bath Township Comprehensive Plan is the basis for zoning in Bath.

Zoning fundamentally controls land use within any community by creating the framework of how different areas can be developed and utilized. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the character of a community, ensuring orderly growth while balancing the diverse needs of residents, businesses and the environment. As societal demands and economic landscapes change, periodic review of a comprehensive plan becomes imperative to ensure it will align with and serve as the basis for future zoning in a community.

The formation of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee reflects a proactive approach by Bath Township through the trustees to understand the changes that have occurred since the last zoning update in 2011. This encompasses examining future economic development, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, technological advancements and environmental considerations. By examining these changes, the committee aims to identify areas where the current comprehensive plan may be outdated, or in need of adjustment to better guide future zoning in Bath Township.

Part of this initiative will be community engagement and transparency. The committee will thoroughly review the current comprehensive plan and seek input from residents, businesses and other stakeholders. The review will also rely upon the assistance of a professional planning and zoning consultant.

The Comprehensive Plan Review Committee is entrusted with several crucial tasks:

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of the existing comprehensive plan, identifying strengths, weaknesses and areas requiring possible revision.
  • Engage with the community to gather insights and opinions on the current zoning comprehensive plan and understand the vision for the future.
  • Ensure a revised comprehensive plan achieves a balance of sustainable development with environmental conservation and maintaining the rural residential nature of Bath Township.
  • Evaluate the impact of zoning on local businesses by seeking ways to encourage responsible economic growth and job creation in the proper areas.
  • Explore innovative zoning solutions, with the assistance of a consultant, that promote flexibility to adapt to changing needs while maintaining the rural character of the township.

The committee will operate within a timeline, with periodic updates provided to the township trustees. Final proposed revisions, including recommendations, will be presented to the township trustees. These revisions to the plan will serve as a blueprint for future zoning changes and decisions.

The establishment of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee is a significant commitment by Bath Township to ensure that its comprehensive plan is not only current, but also reflective of the values and aspirations of the community. Bath Township aims to build a more resilient and vibrant future, where land use planning plays a pivotal role in fostering sustainable development while enhancing the overall quality of life for its residents. ∞