Huber Heights homeowner, bank settle dispute

New houses possible after compromise.

An agreement has been reached between Huber Heights resident James Ewing and Liberty Savings Bank, which owns property in Artisan Walk and plans to sell lots to Ryan Homes.

Ewing, who lives on Ballauer Place with his wife Tina, has been opposed to the proposed plan of the new layout because it will affect how they get to their garage.

Ewing believed the driveway built on the lot next to his property — leading only to his property — would make his home less safe and put their privacy at risk.

They took their fight to Huber Heights public meetings, and after a lengthy discussion last week, the two parties came to an agreement.

Joe Ulicny, vice president of Liberty Savings Bank, offered half of the lot and the soon-to-be built driveway at no charge to Ewing, who accepted. Liberty Savings Bank initially offered half of the lot to Ewing for $7,500 or the entire lot for $15,000 — offers Ewing scoffed at.

Otherwise, the homeowners association would have owned the driveway and “no parking” signs would have been erected.

“We’re trying to make the best of a bad situation,” Ulicny said at last week’s public works meeting.

Liberty Savings Bank said it will build and pay for the 12-foot-wide asphalt drive. Developers want to remove the road the Ewings use now to get to their garage and replace it with this driveway for them to use.

“I achieved my best outcome,” Ewing said. “I’m still not happy with a road next to my house. However, from the beginning, I did tell Liberty, ‘I’ll be less resistant with you if I get the property.’ A compromise was made by all parties. My compromise was a strong one. City council could have disregarded me, and they didn’t. For that, I’m appreciative.”

When reached later in the week, Ulicny declined to comment, citing negotiations are still ongoing to sell the Artisan Walk property.

According to Huber Heights assistant city manager Scott Falkowski, the city will reduce future fees — water, sewer, street — in the amount of $7,500, spread out over the remaining 42 lots for phase I of the development. Phase I is expected to take two years to build out.

“The city is happy that a compromise was able to happen and future development can proceed in that area,” Falkowski said. “I’m glad that all parties are seeing a benefit of moving forward here.”

City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on Liberty Savings Bank’s request of a major change to the previously approved basic and detailed development plan.

Ryan Homes wants to build homes in Artisan Walk similar to what they’re constructing in Carriage Trails, doing away with the original design of houses having garages with driveways off the backs of lots.

Artisan Walk — which is at the northeast corner of Chambersburg and Bellefontaine roads — was approved in 2007 for homes with rear-entry garages, and a year later, the first houses were built, including Ewing’s.

Then the housing market crashed and the development — once owned by California-based Valeo — went through foreclosure.

Six homes have been built in Artisan Walk. The new plan calls for a reduction of one lot — the lot directly south of Ewing’s property to accommodate the road that would provide a continuous drive to his rear-entry garage.

Ewing currently accesses his garage from Toia Lane, off of Bostelman Place. Toia Lane would be removed, paving the way for three new homes on Ballauer Place with front-entry garages.

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