Bethel-Huber Heights annexation spat continues as 260 acres sit in limbo

Township and city were talking about long-term annexation moratorium after this move, but now mayor says they won’t vote on it

BETHEL TWP., Miami County — The proposed annexation of 260 acres from Bethel Twp. to Huber Heights remains on hold, as the communities discuss a larger agreement that would stop future annexations in that area.

Bethel Twp. trustees were hopeful a proposed annexation agreement was soon to be approved, until they saw a Facebook post from Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore this week, saying it would not be presented to city council for a vote.

Township Trustee Beth van Haaren said Thursday that township and city representatives had met several times to discuss a proposed agreement.

The trustees were willing to “take the bitter pill” and go along with a pending annexation of 260 acres next to the Carriage Trails subdivision — in order to get a moratorium on future annexation of land south of U.S. 40, east of Ohio 201 and west of Ohio 202, she said.

“They got what they wanted – this 260 acres – in exchange we have a moratorium on annexations for 50 years and renewable for 25 years thereafter,” she said.

Bethel Twp. trustees approved that agreement Tuesday.

Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore’s Facebook page Thursday afternoon showed the following post: “I have emailed all of Huber Heights city council and informed them that given the makeup of this council, I will not be bringing forth any agenda item related to annexation. This includes the annexation agreement passed by the Bethel Township trustees and the annexation legislation itself.”

Last year, after an extended fight, Miami County commissioners reluctantly approved the annexation of these 260.360 acres from the township to Huber Heights, after first denying the move. They were ordered, though, by the 2nd District Court of Appeals to approve the annexation, which had been sought by the property owners in question.

But Gore’s post appears to say Huber Heights will not, at least for now, approve the annexation of that land into the city.

The land in question lies north of the large existing Carriage Trails subdivision. The Bethel Twp. trustees and the Bethel Local School District both had opposed the annexation, citing concerns such as traffic and the growing number of students filling the Bethel district’s school buildings.

The Miami County commissioners said Thursday they were not aware of the Huber-Bethel discussions or the proposed agreement until Commissioner Wade Westfall was contacted by a township trustee Wednesday. He was provided a copy of the proposed agreement.

Commissioners said they sent the proposal to legal counsel at the county prosecutors’ office for an opinion.

Although there has been a lot of debate about annexations from the township to Huber Heights, the last was finalized in 2003, said Andy Ehrhart, township administrator. This was the approximately 680 acres of the Carriage Trails subdivision.

About the Author