City Council asks for opinions on rezoning plans


Falcon Media Staff

Corner of Main street and Clough Street

Jess Oberski, Reporter

BG City Council is looking to rezone the neighborhoods around downtown Bowling Green through their current ZoneCo pedestrian residential rezoning proposal. 

The rezoning will focus on the blocks running on each side of Main Street, from Poe Road to Napoleon Road.

City Council started the discussion of rezoning back in 2018, but now they are looking for the public’s opinions on the proposal.  

Bowling Green’s Zoning and Planning Commission discussed and planned the rezoning proposal for several months before the council brought it back for discussion. 

Currently, a pedestrian residential zone is being discussed, but with the proposal, more single-family homes would potentially be able to be converted into duplexes or apartments.

There is the potential for small businesses, such as corner stores, to move into these neighborhoods as well. 

The community has collected over 500 signatures on a petition against the current rezoning plan, David Drain said at the Feb. 6 meeting.

During the Feb. 21 meeting, community members went before the council to oppose the current rezoning plan.

Community members presented a “central residential district.” This district would not allow the establishment of multi-unit homes such as duplexes or apartments, nor would it allow any commercial businesses to move into the district.

Nick Rubando, a city council member, said he has been partnering with the coalition to hear the community and find a plan that makes everyone happy.

“I completely understand where they’re coming from and I’ve worked with them to try to ensure that we can all come to a kind of agreement here,” Rubando said.

Rubando also said the proposed central residential district could affect BG’s off-campus student housing, making it more sparse and expensive for students. 

“This could certainly affect students,” Rubando said. “If it does turn into the central residential district and it is what Rose and that organization has proposed, there’s a possibility that it could certainly make it much more difficult for students to find off-campus housing.” 

City Council will be hosting three meetings outside of their regular, bi-weekly meetings at the veterans building in City Park.

“It will allow for community members to come in and speak. They can have a really solid input into the process. And we can again, you know, try to come up with a way that everyone is happy, feels like everyone is heard, and we’re doing the best for the community,” Rubando said.

The first meeting was at 6 p.m. on March 13, focusing on working with the city council to form the best possible zone proposal. 

The second meeting will be a public forum at 6 p.m. on March 23. The public forum will be an opportunity for community members to speak with the city council.

The last meeting will be at 6 p.m. on March 27. Public input will not be allowed at this session and is, instead, for the city council to discuss. 

After the last meeting, the agreed-upon rezoning plan will be introduced at the next city council meeting as a new legislature.

The public is able to give input at the following three meetings after the new legislature has been read. 

BGSU students are encouraged to attend all city council meetings to be aware of what is happening and bring attention to their opinions. 

“I think they [BGSU students] are a very valued part of the community and anytime they want to make their voices heard they can always come to council and speak up,” Rubando said.