Green Oak Township officials are looking to protect surface and groundwater resources in the municipality by establishing an overlay district.

Overlay districts include special requirements and restrictions that are applied to land uses and activities to eliminate or minimize contamination of the aquifers supplying the Township’s municipal water wells. The Wellhead Protection Area is the surface and subsurface area surrounding a public water supply well or wellfield. The Wellhead Protection Overlay District is a mapped zoning district that imposes a set of requirements in addition to those of the underlying zoning district.

Green Oak Township Planner Paul Montagno says officials have been working toward establishing the overlay district for several years now. Montagno adds, “It’s ultimately important to the township because we get all our water from the ground here and so we want to make sure those wellhead areas…we don’t want any contaminants getting into the ground. It’s really just extra precautions in those areas.”

To establish such a district, the township would need to amend its code of ordinances in order to provide supplemental regulations in the wellhead protection zone. The issue came before the township’s Planning Commission at a meeting Thursday. Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend approval to the Board of Trustees to amend the ordinance to establish the district.

In addition to all land within the Wellhead Protection Areas, the overlay district would also include recharge areas of groundwater aquifers and watershed areas. Land uses that would be prohibited in the overlay district include business and industrial uses that generate, use, treat, process, store, or dispose of regulated substances, or dispose of processed waste water on site. (DK)