Monclova Twp. residents rally against development

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 13

With signs reading “Honk for safe streets,” about two dozen Monclova Township residents held a roadside rally yesterday to protest what they consider unsafe development in the area.

“We’ve got to keep this under control, or our roads will be unsafe really quickly,” said Joni Shugarman, who led the rally.

Ms. Shugarman is concerned about the pace of commercial and residential development in the township, which has been largely rural but is undergoing rapid change.

More than 1,000 housing units are either proposed or being built in the township, mostly along its eastern edge near Maumee.

Because of its access to I-475, the township has been promoted as a prime site for suburban commuters.

In addition, the area is seeing substantial commercial development.

This month, the city of Toledo expects to close the sale of 213 acres it owns in the township. It is selling the site to Eclat, a local partnership that plans to create an office and light industrial park.

Ms. Shugarman and other people at the rally said they don’t have a problem with the type of development, but do have questions about the impact the extra traffic would have on the township’s roads.

“If you add thousands of cars and hundreds of trucks to this road, you’re going to be taking your life in your hands every time you try to make a left turn,” she said, standing on Maumee-Western Road (U.S. 20A).

She criticized the Eclat proposed site plan, which would have put six new curb cuts or roadways in a short stretch between I-475 and Strayer Road.

But Tom Lemon, a staff planner with the Lucas County plan commission, said that Eclat has agreed to reduce the number of curb cuts and roadways to three, and that the company has been receptive to other proposed changes.

Others at the rally said they were afraid the rapid development in Monclova could turn the peaceful, quiet area into another Airport Highway, clogged with traffic.