Public Service

Improving our community.

Jim Havens served as an elected Granville Township Trustee for three terms (1996-2008) and as trustee chair for 11 years. He formed and implemented Ohio’s first open space acquisition program under the newly enacted ORC 5705.19(HH).  This program collected approximately $5 million in tax and unrestricted proceeds, which were used to acquire 18 properties, involving 753 acres, in Granville Township.

During this time Havens was involved in the strategic planning for all of the 14,850 township acres outside of the Village of Granville. As a governmental body of three elected trustees, the township board leveraged its resources through strategic partnerships that furthered the mission set forth in the Granville Community Comprehensive Plan. The township has actively encouraged the development of non-residential structures, the continued protection of open green spaces, and the creation of restrictive residential real estate zoning. To date, the actions of the trustees have resulted in contributing more than $30 million of real estate tax base for the school district.


In 1996, Granville Township opposed the annexation of 281 acres of property to the City of Newark, partially due to the effect it would have on the Granville School District. A landmark decision by the Ohio Supreme Court cited that the impact on a school district could not be considered in annexation cases. Thus, the Ohio Annexation Law was eventually changed by the Ohio legislature.

The township then partnered with the Granville School District for the formation of a Community Authority, creating a special real estate tax district that collects additional millage in annexed territories, partially offsetting school district expenses created by additional enrollment.


Protecting Green Space

In 1997, Granville Township became the first township in Ohio to acquire open space and development rights through an Open Space Levy. Funds from the levy are used to purchase property within the township and reserve it as community green space. The township has also used unrestricted money from its general fund to purchase community property, strategically restricting development of approximately 600 acres of prime residential land. The purchases were leveraged with funds from Ohio Nature Works, an endangered habitat and issue grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


Creative Partnerships

The township was part of a landmark partnership among the Southwest Licking Water and Sewer District, Union Township and Paramount Financial Group to facilitate the construction of a community friendly commercial development which improves the school tax base.

In another situation, Granville Township acquired a 130-acre farm that had been under repeated threat of residential development. The township and Denison University, which owns adjacent property, then partnered with the Kendal Corporation to encourage the construction of the Kendal of Granville continuing care retirement community on portions of the property. Today, Kendal also provides a vital addition to the school district's tax base.

Joint Economic Development District JEDD

Beyond the landmark Southwest Licking Water and Sewer District Agreement, the township is seeking to protect and enhance the existing non-residential tax base of the community by negotiating a selective extension utility agreement with the Village of Granville.