Housing development next to Springboro school campus subject of Wednesday meeting

Planning commission questioned traffic, impact on historic site; developer reduced the number of homes to be built

The proposed construction of a 75-95 home subdivision next to the Springboro High School / Junior High campus is under further review after questions about traffic, historical impact and the number of homes to be built.

Last month, the Springboro Planning Commission heard a rezoning and preliminary site plan review for the proposed Whispering Pines subdivision, which was to include 95 single-family homes. The project is located on 35.6 acres of land in the 1500 block of South Main Street, just north of the school campus, according the application submitted by developer M/I Homes of Cincinnati.

The planning commission asked the developer to consider comments on multiple topics that were made at the July meeting and present another plan for review. That will occur at the planning commission’s next meeting, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Springboro Municipal Building, so the group can continue its review.

The commission wanted to know the plans for the unoccupied historic Janney House on the property that is to be developed.

City officials said the old farmhouse was a conductor house on the Underground Railroad. Planner Dan Boron said last month that the city would like to see it preserved rather than destroyed. M/I Homes said the house is not registered on any historic registry and said a portion of the house dates back to 1832.

There was also a concern raised about traffic around the proposed subdivision. The school campus has an access road at its northern edge, where it would border Whispering Pines.

The developer is proposing two access points for the subdivision, both from the frontage on South Main Street, one at the midpoint of the property frontage, and a second on the northeast corner aligned with the intersection of Heatherwoode Boulevard. A stub street is also proposed for the west end of the site, according to the application.

M/I homes said they intend to keep the current tree-line buffer which separates the property from the Junior High School and the athletic facilities where many school sporting events take place.

In its latest submission to the city, the developer has reduced the number of single-family homes from 95 to 75, reducing the density from 2.67 units per acre to 2.11 units per acre.

The submission also increases the proposed open space to 13.72 acres, up from 10.6 acres or from 30% to 38.5%.

The developer seeks to rezone the land from R-1 Estate-Type Residential District, to PUD-R, Planned Unit Development-Residential, according to the application.

Current zoning permits two units per acre on lots no less than 20,000 square feet.

If the revised plan and rezoning are approved by the Planning Commission, the development would still require approval by City Council.

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