70-acre subdivision outside Lebanon approved despite resident opposition

Warren County commissioners on Tuesday approved a planned residential development opposed by neighbors after rejecting claims the plan fell short on open-space requirements.

The plan for 62 homes just north of Lebanon on the Meadow Lane Farm was approved 2-0 after Assistant County Prosecutor Bruce McGary rejected legal opinions expressed a week ago by Mike McNamee, a lawyer representing one of the neighbors.

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Last Tuesday, the commissioners delayed a decision on the plans for the 70.4-acre Meadow Lane Farm on Ohio 48 in Turtlecreek Twp.

The commissioners voted after McGary said McNamee’s legal opinion was “flawed.”

On Feb. 5, McNamee said the plan violated county zoning regulations by including land set aside for sewage treatment as open space required in the planned-unit development.

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After Tuesday’s meeting, McGary explained McNamee cited sections of the code for planned unit development overlays, rather than “new base districts” like the Meadow Lane Farm development.

McNamee said McGary was "categorically wrong" and pointed to sections requiring that land set aside for sewage disposal not be included in open-space calculations. He said he would consult with his clients, Randy and Victoria Powell, before deciding what to do next.

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Once the 8.3-acre sewage-system drain field is subtracted, the plan fails to meet open-space requirements, according to McNamee.

Also Tuesday, McGary said his review determined the plan would need to comply with stricter conditions for the development’s sewage system than were previously included.

With Commissioner Dave Young absent, Shannon Jones and Tom Grossmann voted to conditionally approve developer Mike Williams’ plan.

Williams will have to comply with conditions set out in the stage-one approval, including installation of the on-site sewage system, to move through remaining steps of the county planned-unit development process.

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