Marion Township residents had the opportunity to weigh-in on proposed, future objectives and goals for the area.

A workshop held Tuesday at Township Hall was attended by approximately 20 community members interested in the township’s Master Plan, which sets the goals and objectives for the next five years, after which it is required to be updated. Planner John Enos presented some ideas that have been suggested by officials regarding the region’s transportation needs, maintaining agricultural areas, open space preservation and land use. Following the presentation, attendees were given green and red stickers to place on the poster of ideas to indicate whether they were for or against them. Each of the categories received only green stickers, except for some transportation items.

A number of guests voiced concerns about development that would increase traffic because the township is already somewhat of a thoroughfare due to its proximity to D-19. Enos says development can be mitigated or increased based on what land use within the Master Plan dictates and the extension of water and sewer lines. Developers can threaten a lawsuit if their plan for development is refused, so Enos says it's important the township stays strong by refusing to give in.

Residents also felt keeping the area rural was important, which Enos says can be done by establishing permanent preservation of large pieces of agricultural land, as well as avoiding industrial, commercial or residential uses from encroaching on agricultural space. That may not be a major issue as Enos believes brick and mortar development is lessening due to an increase in online shopping and delivery services.

Enos says the community feedback will be incorporated into a new draft of the Master Plan and brought back at a later date for further discussion. Officials hope to complete the Master Plan by the end of this year. (DK)