Dayton plan board meeting gets heated

Dayton airport development sparks clash with Plan Board, residents

The president of the Dayton Plan Board this week clashed with a couple of people about a zoning change for vacant land near the Dayton International Airport.

The city of Dayton asked the board to change the zoning of about 157 acres west of the airport that it recently annexed from Butler Twp. The land would go to airport district from a suburban residential designation.

The land is being targeted for redevelopment into new industrial facilities, possibly for warehousing or distribution.

RELATED: Dayton considers land sale, development deal at airport

Vandalia resident Richard Oaks said the board should reject the city’s zoning map amendment request until studies are completed and plans are put in place to address the increased traffic and possible water runoff issues related to any new industrial projects.

“This zoning will immediately lead to an increase in the traffic density and water runoff that affects problems in this area — it’ll exacerbate those,” said Oaks, a registered professional engineer who lives near the property.

But board president Greg Scott said the Plan Board’s task is to appropriately zone this newly annexed land, and right now it is vacant and — if developed — will have to comply with the city’s zoning code and other regulations.

“Sir … you are not bringing anything to the table that helps us make a decision concerning this zoning issue,” he told Oaks. “You are talking about things that might happen that haven’t happened yet.”

Union resident Paul Thies, another speaker at Wednesday’s meeting, grew frustrated after his comments were cut short by Scott after also talking about the potential impact of industrial redevelopment.

“What kind of meeting is this?” said Thies.

Scott responded, “It’s a meeting, sir, where we are addressing a very narrow issue.”

RELATED: More jobs coming to new airport industrial site

The city of Dayton has annexed 157 acres of land from Butler Twp., which it has owned for many years.

Last week, the Dayton commission approved a purchase option agreement for the land with NorthPoint Development, which has built a 570,000-square-foot facility at the airport that is occupied by Spectrum Brands. NorthPoint is constructing another massive facility next to it.

NorthPoint plans to build a third facility on the newly annexed land, which would be about 440,000-square-feet in size. Some of the facility would be occupied by an unidentified consumer goods company.

Oaks said the city is barrelling towards selling the property to NorthPoint, even though there are no plans right now to mitigate transportation and water runoff problems.

Oaks said it is imperative that the jurisdictions that will be impacted by this development work together on a transportation, infrastructure and storm water plan. He said the communities include Dayton, Union, Vandalia and Montgomery County.

Scott said the Plan Board can’t make decisions based on what might happen at the site. He said the city of Dayton owns the land today and, by law, the board must give it proper zoning.

“I’m afraid, Mr. Oaks, I am going to stop you right there,” Scott said. “You are going off into things that might happen, might not happen, could happen, should happen — we have other protections in place to address these issues that may come up.”

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