Concerns raised about increased traffic near proposed Springboro subdivision

Several residents raised issues about the amount of additional traffic that will be created near the Springboro High School/Junior High School campus if rezoning is eventually approved for a proposed 75-home subdivision off Ohio 741.

A public hearing was held Thursday by Springboro City Council on a recommendation to approve a rezoning request for 35.08 acres located at 1525 S. Main St./Ohio 741 by home developer M/I Homes of Cincinnati to change from an R-1 estate-type residential district to a Planned Unit Development Residential as recommended by the city Planning Commission.

Community Planner Dan Boron said current zoning has been in place since 2015 when the land was annexed into the city. The estate-type zoning allows up to two dwelling units per acre on a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet. He said the property would only allow up to 70 units and there was no green space requirement.

Boron said the rezoning enables the city to have some control over the development by working with the developer. He said this has enabled the city to ensure the historic preservation of the Janney House, built in 1832; as well as providing 37.6% of required open space, which is more than the 25% open space. The PUD also sets the maximum number of homes to be constructed at 75.

Justin Lanham of M/I Homes said a traffic study has been completed and that they will be extending the current right turn lane on southbound Ohio 741 into the junior high campus by 200 feet. The developer also agreed not to use vinyl siding for the new home construction.

“We’re really excited to come to Springboro,” he said.

Lanham said the exact preservation of the Janney House has not been determined. He said M/I Homes will be offering ranch-style homes at the subdivision, something Councilwoman Becky Iverson, who chairs the Planning Commission, wants the developer to promote.

Resident Sandra Calmes’ property is located just north of the proposed subdivision and raised concerns about water runoff onto her property. While Calmes is not opposed to the rezoning, she’s concerned that the construction could affect the quality and supply of her water well that she’s used for 47 years.

She requested the construction of a 4-foot berm, privacy fence and the planting of evergreen trees to create a light, noise and water barrier between her property and the subdivision.

Margie Gitzinger, a Clearcreek Twp. resident, said she was against the project due to traffic and proximity to the city’s Historical District.

“It doesn’t seem to be a good fit,” she said. “I’m concerned about the traffic and the congestion with the school campus.”

She asked council to look at the request “with a critical eye” because it will have a permanent effect on Springboro.

Councilman Jim Chmiel pointed out that the property owner has rights and that the PUD enables the city provide input into the development plan. In addition to one-third of the property remaining open space, Chmiel added that the original proposal was closer to 90 homes.

The proposed rezoning ordinance has two more readings before it can be adopted by City Council, which will be sometime in January.

About the Author