Warren County neighbors oppose septic business

Neighbors of a rural neighborhood outside Springboro are protesting a new arrival trying to set up a septic business at his residence.

On Tuesday, the Warren County Rural Zoning Commission held a four-hour public hearing on a conditional-use permit sought by Scott and Laura DeHart to operate SepTek, a septic tank cleaning installation, cleaning and repair business, where they live on 16 acres off Beal Road in Franklin and Clearcreek townships.

While proposing a series of conditions, if the permit is approved, the neighbors, including retired Judge Daniel Fedders, former Springboro Law Director Roger Eckert and Fred Abrams, past president of the Montgomery County Historical Society, are opposing the septic business operations.

“No set of conditions can make the collection, hauling and disposal of disease-carrying septic materials — and the accompanying parking, repair, cleaning and maintenance of heavy trucks and equipment — acceptable in a residentially-zoned, well-maintained neighborhood of single-family homes,” Eckert said in materials submitted at the hearing.

A decision is expected in May.

The area, on the edge of the Springboro school district, is a made up mostly of large-lot homes and farms, some operating home businesses, east of Interstate 75. The homes are served by septic sewage systems.

At the hearing, DeHart urged his neighbors to be “more concerned” about the effect of their home septic systems on Gander Run, a creek running through the neighborhood, than his home business.

The county’s conditional-use permit process is designed to reach a compromise with neighbors permitting the business through conditions set by the commission. Most permits are approved, according to county data.

DeHart requested the conditional use after he was found in violation of county regulations, following a complaint by neighbors about his business.

SepTek also injects treated liquids into the ground on area farm fields as permitted by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The DeHarts are renting the property at 3101 Beal Road with plans to purchase. At the hearing, DeHart said he also wanted to operate an organic farm on the property.

During the hearing, Mike Yetter, the county zoning manager, told the commission the business could be permitted and listed some conditions under which it could operate.

“The idea is to mitigate surrounding property owners’ concerns,” Yetter said Wednesday.

But Abrams said SepTek created noise and other problems unfitting to the rural character of the neighborhood.

“This is where I plan to spend the rest of my life,” Abrams said Wednesday.

The commission is scheduled to begin deliberating privately — with answers to questions raised at the hearing — on April 26.

“We want answers to all these questions,” said Chris Koch, chairman of the commission.

The commission is scheduled announce its decision at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, during its meeting at the county administration building, 406 Justice Dr. in Lebanon.

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