But zoning changes like the one proposed are a big deal, and Parks’ application contains no information about what kind of business would occupy the site, said Greg Scott, Dayton Plan Board member.
Everyone wants new jobs and investment, but the applicant’s request doesn’t even have the “bones” of a redevelopment plan, Scott said.
“Sometimes the board and the city, we get this reputation that we’re anti-business, we’re anti-development — we’re not, we’re pro city,” he said.
Plan board member Jeff Payne said the city had a “tumultuous time” getting the Dayton Tire site under control and completing some environmental clean up. He said the applicant does not have a development plan and the application did not contain any information about where the development on the site would occur and what areas have environmental concerns.
It would be “ludicrous” for the plan board to rezone the property on the chance that it might be redeveloped or that the applicant could get grant funding from the state to do environmental work, Payne said.
Jason Parks, a Franklin resident, has applied for a zoning map amendment to rezone 38 acres at 2340 W. Riverview Avenue from open space to general industrial use.
The vacant site has been zoned open space since 2006 when the current zoning map was established, and there have been efforts to establish a prairie at the site, according to city of Dayton staff documents. Prior to that, the site was zoned heavily industrial.
The Dayton Plan Board considered the request for a zoning map amendment on Tuesday evening.
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Mike Heitz, managing member of Tax Redevelopment LLC, said city staff have told him that the city wants the property to be a park, even though it does not own the site. Tax Redevelopment owns the site.
He said the property when redeveloped will have jobs and bring new investment to an area that really needs it.
“The west side of town is very depressed and … this resistance from City Hall is just unbelievable,” Heitz said.
Tax Redevelopment LLC bought the tax lien for 2340 W. Riverview Ave. in November 2017. Parks is interested in acquiring grant funding for an environmental study of the property to identify any issues that need to be addressed before it is redeveloped, said Heitz.
City of Dayton staff said they have concerns about rezoning the property without a proposed use and site plan.
Without that information, it is impossible to determine the impact of the change, staff said.
“Further, allowing (industrial) at this site is at odds with a number of previously adopted plans and policies,” according to the plan board’s staff report.
The city’s comprehensive plan calls for open space in that area, and the Riverfront Master Plan says the site could be a trail link and could offer new recreational opportunities, the report states.
Heitz said the city can buy the site if it wants to create a park, but so far it has not set money aside for that. The company did sell the city a right-of-way on the property for a bicycle track.
Heitz said the site is ideal for industrial use because it is the largest tract of property in Montgomery County that has utilities available and a rail line.
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