More than 86 percent of voters in the unincorporated part of this Warren County township overturned a rezoning that would have permitted the construction of 39 homes on 40.7 acres just outside Waynesville.
According to unofficial totals, the referendum passed 754 to 113, with just shy of 87 percent of ballots voting no on the plan.
Developer John Federle wanted to subdivide the land fronting at 5615 Lytle Road into a planned community.
On Tuesday night, Federle said he was unsure of his next move.
“I’ll have to sit back and think about that for awhile,” Federle said.
Federle said voters were misinformed about the issue. For example, he said people at the polls were talking about quarter-acre lots in the development.
“I think there was a lot of misinformation out there,” he said.
Despite opposition, the Wayne Twp. trustees voted 2-1 for Federle’s planned community, also setting aside 8.5 acres as “green space,” in an area envisioned as a transition from residential Waynesville to more rural Wayne Twp.
Residents led by Tom Duerr petitioned the trustees to call for the referendum, which stayed on the ballot despite challenges by Federle to the Warren County Board of Elections and Ohio Supreme Court.
Duerr could not be reached for comment at the end of the night.
Earlier in the day, he expressed confidence in voters to understand the issue and ballot language.
Voters had to vote no to undo the rezoning.
Still Duerr expressed confidence in voters to correctly mark their ballots.
Duerr also said Federle had spread misinformation, such as literature claiming taxes would be reduced if the development went forward.
“It is what it is. I’ll just go with the flow,” he said.
Wayne Twp. includes the villages of Waynesville and Corwin.
Population estimates put the township population at 8,996, including 5,468 in the unincorporated area - more than Waynesville, 3,081, or Corwin, 447.
But voters on the referendum came only come from the unincorporated areas of the township, just south of the Greene County border, off U.S. 42 and Ohio 73, east of Springboro-Clearcreek Twp.