A residential development plan submitted by Oberer Homes in Sugarcreek Twp. is on hold because the proposal does not align with a long-standing plan to improve traffic flow, according to Sugarcreek Twp. Administrator Barry Tiffany.
The plans call for 113 homes to be built on 42 acres with an equal amount of open space across from Sugarcreek MetroPark at Wilmington-Dayton and Conference roads, according to township records.
“This process is just starting, and it’s a very public process. We will have four public hearings,” Tiffany said.
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A public hearing in front of the township zoning commission has been delayed until the developer gets approval from the Greene County Regional Planning and Coordination Commission, Tiffany said. The regional planning commission will consider the issue March 27.
The plans must be modified before they can be considered because they conflict with the Greene County Thoroughfare Plan. Tiffany said the thoroughfare plan, established in 1989, calls for straightening the 90-degree turn where Wilmington Pike turns into Conference Road. Oberer’s plans have to change, Tiffany said, because they call for homes to be built where a potential new road would be built to improve safety and traffic flow as part of the thoroughfare plan.
Proposed lot sizes range from less than a quarter-acre to about three-quarters of an acre, according to records.
Many local residents took to social media to voice concerns about the project, stating the plan calls for homes to be built on lots that are too small for the area.
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Cara Tilford, Sugarcreek Twp. director of planning and zoning, said the site is a priority area for planned residential development, and housing density is determined on a “case by case basis.”
“It is also a priority area for conservation subdivisions characterized by the clustering of lots to preserve 50 percent or more of a site,” Tilford said.
Oberer is only developing half of the land into single family homes. The other half they will keep as a conservation easement to preserve it, said George Oberer Jr., CEO of Oberer Homes.
“We are developing the property very responsibly. We’re respecting the natural, physical characteristics of the property, preserving trees and moving very little dirt in order to minimize the impact of the development,” Oberer said.
Oberer’s plans call for a conservation easement on half of the property, about 42 acres, which would fall under the purview of the township, the park district or Five Rivers MetroParks. The conservation easement means that land “would be undeveloped and permanently preserved,” Tilford said.
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“This development would be utilizing our Residential Planned Conservation Development District and permanently preserving 50 percent of the development site (namely the existing wooded areas and the creek corridors),” she said. “The density proposed here is also lower than densities approved in other residential subdivisions approved using the planned development process.”
Tiffany said given the public interest in the planned development, he anticipates a large crowd will attend the zoning commission meeting in April.
“If residents have concerns, they should absolutely show up and have their voices heard. We encourage that,” Tiffany said. “Nothing has been approved at this point. It’s a very long public process.”
Township officials acknowledged that the potential development site could be annexed by the city of Centerville, which borders the public park.
The zoning commission meeting is set to happen at 7 p.m. April 24 at Bellbrook Middle School, 3600 Feedwire Road.