One of Dayton’s largest new-home projects in years —a plan to build more than 250 houses in the northeast part of the city — has run into opposition from neighbors who say they are worried about traffic, safety and water runoff.
Oberer Land Developers LTD proposes building new market-rate, single-family homes at 4400 Old Troy Pike on vacant land that years ago was targeted for a mobile home park.
People who live near the property say they fear the project will exacerbate neighborhood issues with standing water and flooding and also could result in more traffic snarls and crashes.
“You put 250 houses on that property, and you’re going to have problems,” said Anita Baker, who lives on the 4400 block of Needmore Road.
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Bob McCann, with Oberer Companies, said it is natural for neighbors to have concerns when a new development is proposed near their homes, and he believes they can find satisfactory solutions for some of their main concerns.
“Traffic is a typical concern when a new development is proposed,” he said. “The existing zoning for the site allows for 300 manufactured housing units to be built upon it. Our proposal of 253 homes will generate less traffic than what would be created by the existing zoning.”
Oberer wants to build 253 single-family dwellings on a 101-acre site in northeast Dayton.
The land, located in the Mad River Schools district, was rezoned in the mid-1990s to pave the way for a mobile home park development.
But adjacent property owners then objected to a mobile home park and voiced support for single-family homes instead, according to a city of Dayton staff report.
The project didn’t happen, and the land right now is wetlands and used for agricultural purposes.
Oberer plans to partner with Ryan Homes and has asked the Dayton Plan Board for a zoning map amendment to rezone the property to a suburban single-family designation.
The new homes would range in size from 1,250 square feet (two-bedroom ranches) to 2,300 square feet (five-bedroom, two-story homes). They would be a Simply Ryan Homes community.
The entrance for the proposed subdivision would be on Old Troy Pike. The developer originally proposed a second entry point from Lloyd Avenue, which is a cul-de-sac off Needmore Road.
But Dayton’s civil engineering staff said Lloyd Avenue has no curbs, walks or storm sewers and expressed concerns about increasing traffic on the road from about 30 vehicles per day to a couple hundred.
The civil engineer recommended having multiple entry and exit points on Old Troy or an access from Needmore Road.
The Dayton Fire Department said the development needs a second access point for fire and emergency vehicles.
Oberer said it would be willing to have an access point from Lloyd Avenue that is only for emergency vehicles.
However, McCann, said constructing a second entry point to the homes from Old Troy Pike or Needmore Road would be expensive and would hurt the project because the depth of the sewer will prevent homes from being built along it.
Multiple people who live and own property near the development said they are afraid it will hurt the areas.
Edson Waite, who has lived on Lloyd Avenue since 1992, said his cul-de-sac is quiet, peaceful and has little traffic.
He said the whole street has water runoff issues, and he’s worried the development’s proposed ponds will drain out and the water will head downhill to his and other people’s properties.
He also said he expects residents of the new development to use any kind of secondary roadway from Lloyd Avenue, even if it is supposed to be just for emergency vehicles.
Brian Fetters, who owns 19.5 acres along the 4300 block of Old Troy Pike, said his yard floods so much that he can’t walk in it because the water is so deep.
He said the water comes from the proposed project site, which is a hill. He said retention ponds that are part of the project will not be able to hold back the water and prevent flooding.
He also said neighbors in the area get their water from well systems, and the development’s water runoff could pollute their clean water.
Fetters also says Old Troy Pike is already a dangerous road for motorists, and the project could lead to increased crashes.
“There’s accidents all over the place,” he said. “I can show you the car parts.”
Fetters said he’s not against developing the site if done right and if measures are taken to protect surrounding property owners. He said the developer did not share any kind of drainage system plan, and he questions how Old Troy Pike would be improved and who would pay for it.
Old Troy Pike is a two-lane road with no shoulder, and the road likely would need to be widened and improved, which will be hard to do since homes are so close to the road, said Brian Gaskin, who lives on the 4200 block of Old Troy Pike.
“There is no way that’s going to be able to handle the load — you’ll have to put a turn lane in, or else traffic is going to be at a standstill …” he said.
McCann said the city and state have strict rules about storm water runoff, and the regulations require the internal systems to capture and hold the water to prevent impacting properties downstream.
He said in most cases development helps existing storm water issues because water is captured in a system that allows it to drain in slower and more controlled way.
The Dayton Plan Board unanimously voted to table action on the zoning map amendment case until its next meeting in February.
City of Dayton staff plan to provide the board with a report providing more details about water, sewer and traffic issues.
“Having some additional information helps us then make a better, informed decision of how we move forward — and not to just say no to a plan, but to give an opportunity for additional information,” said Dayton Plan Board member Geraldine Pegues.