LIMA — Allen County levies were largely approved Tuesday night by voters.
Meanwhile, the county’s largest point of contention — a referendum on a Bath Township zoning overlay — found the traction it needed to reverse what Bath trustees had earlier decided.
If approved, the overlay would have simplified the zoning process for commercial developers looking at Harding Highway’s north side if residents in that area decided to sell their properties. The initiative would have also instituted specific limits on the appearance of each new business.
Lost Creek residents, however, contested that the overlay would spur commercial investment that neighbors don’t want, which would change the character of the area.
The referendum vote, based on numbers as of press time, appeared to be on its way to an overwhelmingly win with more than 2-to-1 cast to overturn the overlay thanks to Bath voters agreeing with Lost Creek.
Ruth Hollenbacher, a Bath resident who largely led the referendum, thanked everyone who helped with striking down the overlay.
“I always said all along that the people of Bath Township would support Lost Creek and their neighbors. I’m very thankful that the people realized what would happen,” Hollenbacher said.
“I live right there in the Lost Creek area,” Julie Culp said after she left the polls Tuesday. “I’m not against expansion, but I don’t think people should lose their homes.”
A second contested zoning referendum — this one in Amanda Township — ended up being approved by voters.
Property owner Josh and Mae Vandermark had planned to establish The Vandermark Estate and Events Venue out near Spencerville to create a special events venue for weddings and other celebrations, but the township zoning board had shut down the idea with a unanimous vote earlier this year.
The Vandermarks decided to appeal the decision via a referendum and ended up winning Tuesday night with 775 for and 440 against.
“I just want to say thank you for those in Spencerville and Amanda Township. I hope I live up to all their expectations,” Josh Vandermark said.
Results for all the levies in Allen County (as of press time, with 46,710 votes counted) are below:
• Bath Township zoning referendum, Rejected, 32.71% for and 67.29% against
• Amanda Township zoning referendum, Passed 63.79% for and 36.21% against
• Senior Citizens Services renewal levy, Passed, 75.96% for and 24.04% against
• Monroe Township renewal levy, Passed, 71.64% for and 28.36% against
• Perry Township fire renewal levy, Passed, 68.78% for and 31.22% against
• Village of Cairo renewal levy, Passed, 65.27% for and 34.73% against
• Village of Lafayette renewal levy, Passed, 69.75% for and 30.25% against
• Perry schools renewal levy, Passed, 62.78% for and 37.22% against
• Spencerville schools renewal levy, Passed, 71.38% for and 28.62% against
• Vantage Career Center (overlap) renewal levy, Passed, 72.24% for and 27.76% against
• Elida B local option on Sunday sales, Passed, 73.77% for and 26.23% against
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.