The Warren County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 on Tuesday to approve the annexation of more than 220 acres, including the former Peters Cartridge Factory, by the Village of South Lebanon.
The annexation would enable the developer Bloomfield/Schon to avoid property taxes on improvements made through the $25 million redevelopment project to the Kings Local Schools. The village could still negotiate an agreement to compensate the district.
RELATED: History of old ammunition factory
The area to be annexed by South Lebanon covers more than 222.7 acres, running from the existing village limits south down the riverfront bike path to US 22 and Ohio 3 and up the hill from the Peters Cartridge redevelopment site to a 67-acre farm.
“I think our hands are tied,” Commissioner Tom Grossmann said before the vote. He was joined in the vote by Commissioner Shannon Jones.
Commissioner Dave Young voted against the annexation, although the state law requires approval of such expedited Type II annexations, provided the annexing community meets the conditions under the law.
Hamilton Twp., the community from which the land was annexed, failed to object to annexation, simplifying the approval process.
Township Administrator Ray Warrick said the township wasn’t properly notified and would otherwise have objected.
But South Lebanon showed it had provided the notification required by the law.
“Sometimes I’ve got to vote with my gut if I think the law is stupid,” Young said.
Plans for more than $34 million in construction along the Little Miami River, including a new $9.5 million bridge, hinge on approval of the annexation of the 14-acre Peters Cartridge Factory property.
Developer Bloomfield/Schon is planning to convert the historic complex, where ammunition was made for almost a century, into 128 loft apartments, office space and a restaurant.
The development site is along the east bank of the Little Miami River. It fronts on a stretch of the multi-use trail along the east bank of the river. It was the site of a U.S. EPA cleanup.