Tension mounting for Bethel Twp., Huber Heights over land annexations

Carriage Trails subdivision developer wants to put more Bethel Twp. land within the city limits

Members of the Huber Heights City Council and Bethel Twp. trustees met in joint session on Thursday in an effort to find middle ground on an annexation dispute involving the two parties.

DEC Land Co. I LLC, developer of the Carriage Trails subdivision, wants to expand the housing development further north on around 260 acres of Bethel Twp. land. DEC has filed a petition with Miami County to annex the land to Huber Heights, as the city’s zoning laws allow for more houses to be built per acre.

Bethel Twp. trustees are against the annexation and requested Thursday’s meeting to allow the two municipalities to discuss the township’s concerns.

“We don’t have anything against Huber Heights … but we would like for you to develop property you already own and leave us alone,” said Don Black, president of the Bethel Twp. trustees. “We have enough traffic, we have enough impact on our schools, (and) we would like to stay the way we are.”

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Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore noted it was not the city seeking to annex the land, but landowners and the developer.

“What we have done is what we’ve been statutorily required to do based on a petition for annexation,” Gore said. “It needs to be clear that the city of Huber Heights is not taking land. The city never initiated any of this.”

Miami County Commissioners will vote on the annexation next week, and if approved, the petition will then come before Huber Heights City Council, which will make the final decision.

Township trustees expressed concern that annexation of land would continue further into Bethel Twp., potentially creating excess traffic, pressure on the school system, and a loss of the area’s rural charm. Trustees proposed the city and township come to an agreement moving forward.

The two parties agreed to reconvene in 45 days. In the meantime, Bethel Twp. Administrator Andy Ehrhart and interim Huber Heights City Manager Brian Chodkowski will work together to produce a draft of such an agreement which will take into account the issues discussed during Thursday’s meeting.

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