The land encompassing Genoa Township was parceled as a United States Military District and given to soldiers as compensation for their service during the Revolutionary war. The amount of land a veteran was eligible to receive was determined by their rank achieved during the war. While the first deeds for land in Genoa Township were granted in 1800 under President John Adams, actual settlement of the land by itself by non-native inhabitants is not known to have occurred for another six or seven years.
The Township was officially organized in 1816 and given its name by early resident, Elisha Bennett, after the town of Genoa in Italy, the birth place of Christopher Columbus. The areas’ rich resources made it a natural farming community. Some historic barns still stand today dating back to 1900. Another relic still visible today is the remains of the railway that bisected the community, operating from 1873 to 1950 and repurposed into the Genoa Trail in 1989.
Many of the area’s first residents are buried in four historic cemeteries maintained by the Township.
Genoa Township first enacted zoning in 1951 for properties east of Tussic Street Road. Greater land use control was desired in this area because it was believed that the soon-to-be-completed Hoover Reservoir (1955) would result in an increase in demand for development. The construction of Hoover Reservoir began in 1953, vastly changing the landscape of Genoa Township by flooding the meandering Big Walnut stream valley to provide water supply to the City of Columbus and surrounding communities. Land, homes, and tax revenue were lost to the reservoir, causing controversy. The recreational opportunities the reservoir has since provided have become a distinguishing characteristic of Genoa Township and an asset for residents and visitors to the area.
Zoning regulations for properties west of Tussic Street Road were enacted in 1956. The East and West Zoning Resolutions were later revised in 1969 and 1971, respectively. In 1987, following an extensive study, the two, separate Zoning Resolutions were combined and significantly revised. In 1999, the Township adopted a Comprehensive Plan to guide future development.
The Township went through another transformational change between 1998 and 2003 when 3,810 new residential dwelling units were permitted, adding over 7,000 new residents, nearly tripling the population. The growth highpoint during this period occurred in 2002, with 716 new residential dwelling permits being issued that year. Today over 8,000 homes exist for the Township’s population of over 25,000.
Both the Zoning Resolution and the Comprehensive Plan have been revised and updated numerous times since they were initially adopted. The latest iteration of the Comprehensive Plan was adopted on April 20, 2023. The latest iteration of the Zoning Resolution became effective May 20, 2023.