2023 Bath Township
Comprehensive Plan
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The Vision - Keeping Bath Township Rural

The vision statement of this comprehensive plan update is to “Keep Bath Township Rural”. The rural character of the Township is what has shaped Township development in the past and how the Township seeks to remain going forward. The open spaces, preserves, parks, and low-density developments within the Township are assets that contribute to that character. With that in mind, we cannot ignore the fact that development pressures within and around the Township are real and will continue in the future. Knowing this, the focus of this plan will be to identify areas where future development is most probable and develop strategies in those areas to limit, control, and shape future growth. By providing these strategies in these areas the Township will have tools at their disposal to maintain and enhance its rural character. 

The goals of this Plan will mimic the goals from the previous comprehensive plan update in 2011. The goals are listed below.

  1. Rural, Single-Family Character

Goal: Low-density, single-family land use will continue to be the prevailing pattern in Bath Township, other than in the existing business or hamlet portions of the township.

  1. Protected Natural Resources

Goal: The valued natural resources of Bath Township, such as water resources, floodplains, riparian corridors, wetlands, soils, slopes, and tree canopies, will be preserved, enhanced, and mitigated from potential negative impacts of existing and future development.

  1. Open Space, Greenways, and Trails

Goal: Bath Township will have a connected system of preserved open spaces, greenways, and trails.

  1. Preserve and Enhance Hamlets

Goal: The hamlets of Ghent and Hammond’s Corners will be preserved, enhanced, and developed to have a vibrant historic hamlet atmosphere with enhanced walkability and accessibility.

  1. High Quality Corridors

Goal: State Route 18, Cleveland-Massillon Road, and the township’s Heritage Corridors will reflect high design quality in both the public and private realm.

  1. Sustain Neighborhood Values

Goal: The residential neighborhoods, including those abutting Route 18 along the southern portion of the township, will remain stable and attractive residential environments for families.

  1. Sustain Business Vitality

Goal: The businesses and nonresidential areas of the township will be a prime source of economic development for the community and will contribute to the strong sense of place that is Bath Township but shall be limited to those areas where business uses are recommended in this plan.

  1. Public Facilities that Reinforce Overall Growth Management Goals

Goal: Public facilities will be provided in a fiscally responsible manner with adequate levels of service and will be coordinated with land use planning and development decisions.

  1. Multi-jurisdiction Cooperative Planning

Goal: Land use planning and public facilities planning will be reviewed with adjacent and relevant jurisdictions and agencies, especially near township borders, to support complementary zoning.

  1. Sustainability

Goal: The township will continue to act as a role model incorporating sustainable practices within the township as well as embracing, educating, and encouraging sustainable development practices throughout the community.

February 2024 Steering Committee Meeting

At the February 2024 steering committee meeting the comprehensive plan consultant, Envision, was introduced to the steering committee. Envision reviewed the approach to the planning process, public engagement strategy, and plan schedule with the group. The presentation from this meeting is attached within the link below. Envision anticipates a 4-phase approach to this planning process with a draft plan document complete by the end of 2024. The anticipated plan schedule is illustrated below.

021424_Bath-Township-CP-SC-Meeting-1Presentation.pdf

Focus Area Determination

As the overarching mission statement for the Township’s comprehensive planning process is to “Keep Bath Township Rural”, a priority of this process was first to determine locations where development has occurred and where it is anticipated to spread in the future. By identifying these areas, the Plan can then develop strategies to control and restrict development to meet the desires of the steering committee and the general public.

In December of 2023 the steering committee completed a workshop to identify areas within the Township that they thought were vulnerable to future development. The committee was divided into three groups and each group was asked to highlight areas on the Township map in

  • red that they considered “developed”;
  • yellow that they considered “vulnerable” to further development; and
  • green that they considered “rural” and did not anticipate future development.

Mapping from this workshop was consolidated and analyzed by the consultant team to identify focus areas for the comprehensive planning process. Five unique focus areas were identified all with distinct characteristics and different development characteristics.

The five focus areas are:

  1. Northern Cleveland-Massillon Road/Hammond’s Corners Hamlet
  2. Ghent Hamlet
  3. Ghent Interchange/Ghent Road Corridor
  4. Springside Drive/Montrose
  5. State Route 18/Medina Line Road

A map highlighting the focus areas is below.

Focus Areas Map - Copy

Upcoming Public Participation Opportunities

There will be many opportunities throughout the planning process for public participation. Listed below are the upcoming public participation opportunities:

  • Public Forum 1 – Wednesday, April 24th @ 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Bath Elementary School (1246 N. Cleveland Massillon Road)
    • This open house will provide background on the comprehensive planning process, plan schedule, and have interactive stations to provide targeted feedback.
  • Spring into Nature with STEM – Saturday, April 27th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Bath Nature Preserve (4160 Ira Road)
    • The Envision Team will have a booth at this event to gather public feedback on the comprehensive plan. Please be sure to stop by their booth!
  • Steering Committee Workshop – March 20th @ 6:00 PM at Bath Township Hall
    • This workshop will gather feedback on each of the five focus areas.
  • Steering Committee Meeting – May 22nd @ 6:00 PM at Bath Township Hall

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What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan is a planning tool that looks at the various elements of the township and creates a series of broad policies to help guide future decisions about the physical, economic, environmental, and social aspects of the community. Comprehensive plans are general in nature and are purposely long-term, recognizing that some visions cannot be achieved immediately but take years to accomplish. Other than the future land use plan element, this plan does not make recommendations about the future of specific properties, and even within the future land use element, the plan is designed only to provide a vision of the community over the 20-year planning horizon.


Bath Township Comprehensive Plans:
The first comprehensive plan was completed is 1997 and served as a catalyst for several changes to the zoning resolution.  Many of these changes were centered on environmental protection.  The most notable are the adoption of the riparian corridor overlay and steep slope regulations.

In 2011 the Trustees adopted an update to the comprehensive plan.  This plan built upon the 1997 plan and focused on areas of concern and the pressures of developments within the Township and  along our borders.

Since the adoption of these plans, the township faces ever changing challenges.  One of our main areas of concern is todays retail and office environments.  With the increase of online sales and work from home office how does this impact our commercial zoning districts?

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1997 Bath Township Comprehensive Plan


2023 Bath Township Comprehensive Plan Committee Members:
JoAnn Alexander, Melanie Baker, Jack Baumann, Tyler Bolanz, John Chlebina, Martin Denholm, Jeff Kerr, James McClellan, Jeff Mockbee, Steve Moore, Marshal Pitchford, Ben Scott, and Norma Shaub.


Comprehensive Plan Committee Meetings:

 

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