Bethel Twp. annexation request to Huber Heights by landowners has opposition

These houses on Linden Silver Dr. are some of 132 being built in the Carriage Trails subdivision in Huber Heights. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY
Caption
These houses on Linden Silver Dr. are some of 132 being built in the Carriage Trails subdivision in Huber Heights. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY

Bethel Township trustees say they oppose the annexation

HUBER HEIGHTS —Three landowners in Bethel Twp. filed petitions on Sept. 13 to annex their land, a total of 233 acres, to the city of Huber Heights.

Bethel Twp. trustees, who object to the annexation, have sent a letter to Miami County with their grievances, which include traffic concerns and school size concerns if the land is sold and developed.

Miami County commissioners met Tuesday in a public meeting and administrator Charlotte Collier said the meeting was “very good,” but led to more questions that require legal opinions before the annexation could move forward.

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The land has not yet sold to a developer, but city and township officials speculate the reason the owners of the properties want to annex to Huber Heights is because the land would be worth more to a developer in Huber Heights, but with Bethel schools. Parts of Huber Heights are in Montgomery County, Greene County and Miami County.

The land in question is north of the Carriage Trails development, which is located in Huber Heights, but students go to the Bethel School District.

Bethel Twp. trustee Beth van Haaren, who is up for reelection this fall, said she is worried about additional traffic from more people moving into the area. Bethel Twp. is very spread out, she noted, and doesn’t have the same four-lane major roads that Huber Heights does.

She said while she doesn’t speak for the schools, she believes Bethel Schools have struggled to keep up with the increased flow of kids to Carriage Trails.

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“That school district is struggling to keep up with that additional overflow of additional students in all grades, and it’s a strain on school district,” she said. “I think that people move to Carriage Trails because Bethel schools is a draw, because it’s such a phenomenal school district.”

This annexation was initiated by the landowners, which officials said means it is easier for the annexation to continue forward.

Recently, Huber Heights City Council voted to say they could handle the additional services required if the annexation goes through. Two council members - Glenn Otto, who is running against current mayor Jeff Gore for mayor, and Richard Shaw, who is running for an at-large council seat against current member Nancy Byrge - voted against the ordinance.

This is not the first time that part of Bethel Twp. has been annexed to Huber Heights. A prior annexation occurred in 2003.