Vote expected on rezoning of 19th century farmhouse land for apartments



A vote to rezone 18 acres to build a 90-unit apartment complex where a 19th-century farmhouse sits is expected by Riverside City Council Thursday night.

The project by Redwood Apartment Neighborhoods is supported by the property owner of 7544 Union Schoolhouse Road, but opposed by some residents.

A proposal by the Independence, Ohio business calls for the demolition of a Union Schoolhouse farmhouse built in 1815 on land just north of the Dayton border and within the Fairborn City School District, Riverside records show.

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

The city’s planning commission last month endorse the zoning change — which was supported by city staff — in a 3-2 vote.

Council is set to hold a public hearing on the issue tonight.

Riverside Mayor Pete Williams said he thinks the case presented for the change from residential to a Planned Unit Development district “was compelling” and he expects a vote on the issue.

“I think the planning commission recommendation and the staff report that outline the reasons for the rezoning, the justifications for it, the rationale behind it … present a very strong case,” Williams said.

Landowner Robert Allen told council Feb. 2 that “it’s pretty obvious that the highest and best use of the property is for residential development.”

Allen called the land “an infill site. It’s a doughnut hole and I think Riverside agrees with” the proposed use because of its current zoning.

Allen said earlier in a letter to the city “the house is relatively old, but in no way historic by the usual definition of that term.”

It is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places “and is likely not eligible to be listed, according to the published criteria.”

But John Calligan, who lives nearby, said “the proposed PUD circumvents several” city ordinances.

The current zoning “does not allow multi-family residences either as a permitted nor as a conditional use,” Calligan told council earlier.

Neighbor Kelly Bush said she wants Redwood to explain how it will prevent her water from being disrupted or contaminated.

“When a development comes in and disrupts the land next to mine and has the possibility of disturbing my water, cutting it off or polluting it, it becomes an issue,” Bush said.

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