Developer to Sugarcreek residents: This updated homes plan should help traffic flow concerns

A plan by Oberer Land Developers to build nearly 100 homes in Sugarcreek Twp. will include changes that will improve the traffic flow, according to CEO George R. Oberer Jr.

He met with concerned residents during an informal meeting Tuesday night at All Saints Church, which sits adjacent to the 85-acre site along Wilmington-Dayton and Conference roads.

Oberer is seeking approval from regional planners and township officials for plans to build 98 patio-style homes with relatively small lot sizes on roughly 42 acres. The plans call for a conservation easement to establish a permanent open space on the rest of the site.

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“There’s a need in the community for new housing. What we’re trying to provide is niche-type housing … It provides for an empty-nester targeted community,” Oberer said. “This kind of development produces little or no burden to the school system. It produces very little additional burden to the traffic system. It takes advantage of the terrific utilities that are already present on site.”

Megan Simmons, who is actively opposing Oberer’s plans, said she was not impressed with the presentation.

“The whole community was still upset at his proposal because there is basically no changes to the Wilmington Pike road like they were supposed to do. Actually, I didn’t see much changes to the proposal at all,” Simmons said.

The latest modifications to the plan include establishing a “40 mph curve on Wilmington Dayton Road” and reconfiguring the layout of the area to the east of the proposed open space, according to Cara Tilford, Sugarcreek Twp. director of planning and zoning.

County regional planners last month advised Oberer representatives that the plans need to accommodate a wider turn radius on Wilmington-Dayton Road and establishing a speed limit of 45 mph. The thoroughfare plan calls for maintaining a 55 mph speed limit on that stretch of road.

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Current traffic must slow down considerably to make the 90-degree turn as it is now.

Earlier this year Oberer withdrew the original plans to build 114 homes as they did not comply with the county’s thoroughfare plan, which called for straightening the 90-degree turns at Wilmington-Dayton and Conference roads.

Oberer said the new design “will improve traffic flow” through both turns.

“The traffic is already a problem here,” he said. “We’ve already been working with Greene County regional planning and the county engineer to understand their thoroughfare plan needs for the future … We want to be a part of the overall solution to the issues and not the problem. We’re here as a good neighbor.”

The small lot sizes are a concern for resident Robert Dean, who said zoning restrictions require five acres to build a house in his neighborhood.

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“”I like more open space,” Dean said. “You can have your kids play outside, and you don’t have to worry about cars hitting them or anything. It’s a lot nicer to have houses with lots of space. It’s just not as crowded.”

The regional planning commission may consider the plans for approval at its meeting Nov. 27. If approved, township zoning officials will consider the plans, and township trustees will have the ultimate say on whether Oberer’s plans get the green light.

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