140-house plan in Yellow Springs takes another step forward

Duplexes and townhome renderings that Oberer presented at a Nov. 9 Yellow Springs Planning Commission meeting. Contributed.

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Duplexes and townhome renderings that Oberer presented at a Nov. 9 Yellow Springs Planning Commission meeting. Contributed.

Oberer’s plan will go to council in December.

YELLOW SPRINGS — The Yellow Springs planning commission on Tuesday recommended that village council rezone land meant for a new development south of the village, with a few modifications.

Oberer Homes, a Miamisburg-based company that builds new developments, is planning to build about 140 new homes on 55 acres south of the village. Available homes in Yellow Springs have become increasingly expensive and scarce.

The new development would be on open land west of Spillan Road and north of Hyde Road.

Village council will vote on the rezoning on Dec. 6.

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The modifications the planning commission asked for included changing the angles of outdoor lighting to 90 degrees, to minimize light pollution, and working with the village on modifying homeowner’s association rules for the development to align with the village’s values.

Oberer initially planned to construct 117 single-family homes but chose to build more because that’s what the village asked for, said Greg Smith, a developer for Oberer who presented at Tuesday’s planning commission meeting.

Within the new development, called Birch Creek, Oberer plans to build a mix of single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes, according to plans submitted to the village. Oberer says it will also donate 1.75 acres of land in the northeast corner of the development to the village for affordable housing. Oberer will not necessarily be the company that develops that part, and the village will ask for proposals later, according to plans submitted to the village.

Oberer plans to build 64 single-family homes, 30 three-bedroom duplex units, 22 two-bedroom duplex units, and seven townhome buildings with 24 units of housing.

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Price ranges for these homes have not been finalized. Oberer says similar single-family homes between 1,450 square feet up to 3,700 square feet in other communities sold for between $330,000 to $565,000. Oberer said previously the homes would start at around $280,000.

Smith said people would be able to move into the homes beginning in 2023 and the development would be completed within five to six years.

In addition to the homes, Oberer plans to build a park and wetlands in the area, and trails are planned in the wetland area so people who live in Yellow Springs and in the development can walk there. About 11.82 acres, or 23% of the overall development, is meant for open space for preservation, stormwater use, walkways and a neighborhood park. Part of the open space would include an existing creek.

However, there is still a lot of opposition to the development. The planning commission received 10 letters in opposition to the development, and several additional village residents spoke at the planning commission meeting.

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Oberer owns the land they plan to build on and it is already zoned for single-family housing. The village would need to approve a higher-density zoning to include the duplexes and townhomes in the plans.

Some residents also expressed concerns that the land would be developed and not left as green space or for wildlife.

“Green space should be left as it is — green for wildlife, green for carbon sequestration, green for farms, and green for the enjoyment of people,” said Charles Werking in a letter to the planning commission dated Nov. 3.

Several residents expressed concern at Tuesday’s meeting about traffic. Oberer completed a traffic study, which Smith said did not show any significant increase in traffic.

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