Monday, July 19, 2004

Big job awaits zoning overseer

Liberty's growth creating need for new position

By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

LIBERTY TWP. - Dina Minneci's first priority as administrator will be hiring the township's first zoning supervisor.

Trustees are expected to approve advertising for a zoning chief today, two days before Minneci, the Wyoming city finance director, starts as administrator in Butler County's fastest-growing unincorporated area.

"We've been aware for some time that we need a zoning supervisor, that we've been short-handed," said Trustee David Kern.

"We wanted to get the ball rolling so in a month she could start interviewing - and get someone in place as soon as possible," Kern said.

The township, located along the Ohio 129 regional highway connecting Interstate 75 to Hamilton, led all townships in Southwest Ohio with 867 single-family housing starts last year.

The township is on pace to match that home-building record - in addition to processing hundreds of applications for decks, pools, fences and home additions, said Christine Matacic, trustees president and acting administrator since the firing of administrator Barry Tiffany in January.

As acting administrator, it became clear to Matacic that the township needed to divide the duties. Tiffany acted as economic development director and zoning supervisor, plus oversaw all the other township departments.

The township has a senior zoning coordinator; one full-time zoning code enforcement officer; and two part-time zoning inspectors. Discussions with all five administrator candidates last month included adding a zoning department head, Matacic said.

The need has become crucial with an increasing number of inquiries about commercial development. Most of the development has been residential, with population tripling (to 28,000) since 1990, and projected to triple again by 2030.

Matacic said the township needs someone with expertise in commercial development.

Minneci, 34, a Liberty Township resident, was hired June 30 at an annual salary of $80,000. She had worked five years for Wyoming.



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