Oakwood settles year-long condo dispute

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Oakwood settles year-long condo dispute

A settlement agreement that could bring a proposed condominium complex to Pointe Oakwood was approved by City Council on Monday night in a 3-0 vote.

Vice Mayor William Byington and Council Member Anne Hilton recused themselves from the vote. Byington previously said he lives across the street from Pointe Oakwood and Hilton said she has relatives in that neighborhood.

The agreement was reached after a year-long dispute between residents, the city and the developer.

“We wanted a consensus agreement; we weren’t trying to ram anything down anybody’s throat,” Oakwood Mayor Bill Duncan said.

The settlement abandons the proposed 32-unit complex at the corner of Far Hills and Schantz Avenues called “The Pointe,” and approves 84 units along Old River Trail called “The Trails.”

Oakwood Investment Group, the owners of the property, must also amend their master plan to allow for the construction of a three-story office building on five acres of land in the southwest corner of Pointe Oakwood. The building will complement the existing Sugar Camp campus near the development, said City Attorney Robert Jacques.

Also, four single-family homes will be built on the lots where The Pointe had been planned.

Council initially approved The Pointe development, but denied construction of The Trails. After the settlement agreement, the two developments switched fates.

“Part of it was the developer looked at what made the most economic sense,” Duncan said, in reference to the decision to develop The Trails. “They felt like the 84 units at The Trails would be reasonable density.”

Last year, two lawsuits were filed against Oakwood over the two proposed condo developments — one by 15 Pointe Oakwood residents, and the other by the developer.

Oakwood residents said that construction of two, high-density developments would cause major traffic concerns. They filed a lawsuit against the city to stop construction of The Pointe. The developer, Hills Developers, filed a lawsuit to appeal the rejection of The Trails.

No one representing the developer attended Monday’s meeting.

After more than a year, the three sides have made compromises to suit all parties.

Stephen Susta, who has lived in Pointe Oakwood for two years and was part of the resident group that filed suit against the city, said for all parties to be on common ground is “an accomplishment all itself.”

“I don’t think anyone is thrilled with the complete outcome,” Susta said. “People are happy with the settlement that I think will be a solution to all the parties. We’re pleased to hopefully someday soon get this all behind us.”

Last February, a council meeting regarding the development lasted for more than six hours. Monday’s meeting was much shorter, lasting about 20 minutes before being adjourned.

The settlement agreement must now be reviewed and accepted by the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court before the developer can move forward.

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