–by Mike Jones

Volunteers needed
As a new year approaches, Sylvania Township trustees are seeking volunteers for positions on several entities due to the expiration of terms. There will be one spot open on the zoning commission, which is a five-year appointment, beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and expiring Dec. 31, 2023, and an appointment as an alternate on that commission. The alternate is a one-year appointment running from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019.
There will also be a five-year term open on the board of zoning appeals. That appointment will begin Jan. 1, 2019 and end Dec. 31, 2023. Appointment as an alternate member of that board is also available and that will take effect Jan. 1, 2019 and end Dec. 31, 2019.
A position on the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District will also be open for an appointment. The term will run from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2021.
Those interested must be residents of Sylvania Township. Applications must be returned no later than Dec. 17.
Applications are available and must be submitted at
sylvaniatownship. com/ community-application/.

Leaf collection
The crews of Sylvania Township’s road department are on schedule to begin their third circuit of gathering leaves from the township’s 174 miles of roadway Dec. 3.
Rob Nash, road superintendent, told township trustees at their most recent meeting that the crews “have been doing a tremendous job” in staying on schedule during the first two circuits of township streets. It is a task that always gets more difficult as rain and snow can make the job harder as the weather moves toward winter.
The most efficient collection method, according to Nash, is to use a large vacuum tube attached to a truck which is used to collect the leaves. A crew member walks behind the slow-moving truck vacuuming the leaves. Residents can help by making sure the leaves that are raked or blown to the roadside are clear of branches and garden debris which can harm the machinery.
If necessary, the township may use a contractor, which can use trucks and front-end loaders to remove the leaf piles.
Residents are able to track progress by going to the township website and locating a map divided into grids. Locate the property and call the township leaf-collection hotline at 419-517-1620. A recording, updated daily, will inform you where collection has taken place and where crews are expected to be working next.
Some property owners have begun to make the chore a little easier on the crews by using a mulching mower and simply mowing over the fallen leaves to provide nutrients to their lawns over the winter. Several studies have found it is a beneficial way of dealing with fallen leaves as well as lawn enrichment.
Leaves cleared from the yard should be placed alongside, but not in the roadway and, Nash added they should not be placed in bags.

Zoning approved
The Sylvania Township zoning commission has recommended approval of zoning changes that will allow Oakleaf Village to construct a 54-unit, four-story senior living facility on its Holland-Sylvania campus. The plan also recently received the approval of a conditional use permit and some needed variances by the Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals.
Wallick Communities, the owner of the complex, said the new building would have 42, one-bedroom units and 12, two-bedroom units. They estimate about 68 residents would live in the building.
The property currently has split zoning and the commission has recommended that the area currently zoned as general commercial be rezoned to a planned unit development, and that zoning as a planned unit development also be established for the portion now zoned as residential.
The final decision will be determined by the Sylvania Township trustees.

Housing permits
For a few years, the Sylvania Township zoning department kept a close eye on single-family housing unit permits, hoping to hit 100 for the year. Hopes were high in 2014, but the final tally ended at 92. The next year was even more tantalizing but fell just short with a total of 98. The goal was reached in 2016 when the 100th permit was issued on the last business day of the year. Last year the total again fell short of the mark with a total of 93.

This year, there will be no nervous pacing in late December, the century mark was passed without acclaim somewhere in the midst of October and the month ended with a total of 114 permits issued so far in 2018.
Although there is no specific correlation, it is generally thought that housing permits are an indication of the health of the local economy.
In the last 20 years, the record high was 256 in 2004. The low was 28, set in 2009.