Hamilton residents, business and city reach deal on building that had required removal of trees

Zoning deal over building will save trees that act as a buffer zone between proposed warehouse and homes.

A Hamilton zoning issue was satisfactorily resolved for everyone involving new commercial buildings to be built close to neighboring homes.

Such resolutions aren’t always so popular in the zoning world.

JWF Technologies plans to build a 55,000-square-foot facility at 3095 Moser Court that will include manufacturing areas, offices and warehousing on eight acres that now are empty fields.

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Construction of that building wasn’t controversial. However, a potential 44,000-square-foot expansion to that proposed building — which could happen in five-to-20 years — concerned residents living south of Hamilton-Mason Road and north of Tylersville Road, near Hamilton Enterprise Park Drive.

The second building’s construction initially required removal of a 125-foot-wide buffer zone of trees that the residents wanted to remain.

In 1996, an organization of the residents, called Gilmore Area Preservation, signed a 20-year agreement with the city requiring preservation of the buffer zone and other conditions. But that agreement expired early in 2017, and the city no longer owned the land, which was sold to JWF.

“We’re real happy with what the city came up with,” said Stephen Yeary, a neighbor who built his home in the 1990s. Shortly after that, the city bought a nearby farm to build an industrial park.

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“The city worked with us really well, and we’re really happy with what they came up with,” Yeary said. “We talked to the owner of the company Wednesday night, shook hands with him, and he’s happy with what they did. The city gave him a little more property … and he doesn’t have to impact the berm at all.”

JWF Technologies owner Dom DiPilla was unavailable to comment. He had said at the May meeting that if he had known about the buffer-zone issue, he would not have bought the property.

Senior Hamilton Planner Michael Ionna said he told city colleagues, “‘Look, guys, we have to find a way to make this work. This is something that’s really important to them,’ and all city leadership was on board with it.” He said DiPilla was happy with the resolution.

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The city’s planning commission in May tabled consideration of the matter so city officials, JWF and residents could seek a solution. Three city departments got together to seek a way to keep the buffer area.

Hamilton agreed to provide JWF a small piece of additional land so the proposed buildings and parking area could be shifted northward, allowing the buffer area to be untouched.

In another plus, when city officials met with neighbors at the home of one of them, they had discussions about other issues of concern to the residents.

Ionna said he was pleased with the beneficial outcome: “We’re looking to do that anytime we can. However, sometimes, no matter what you do, somebody’s not going to be happy.”

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