Trustees reject plan, but will land in Sugarcreek still be developed?

Trustees on Monday rejected a plan to build homes in Sugarcreek Twp. by Oberer Land Developers, but the land could still be developed with a different plan.

Trustees voted 3-0 in denying the rezoning request from Oberer, which would have led to construction of 98 patio-style homes on approximately 85 acres known as the Peter Rammell property on Wilmington-Dayton Road. The plan called for half of the acreage to be set aside for open space.

Township Administrator Barry Tiffany said among the concerns of trustees, zoning board commissioners and others was that the open space would have been tucked into the development and not visible from the roadway.

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“The trustees aren’t saying ‘no’ to development on that property, they’re saying ‘no’ to that particular plan,” Tiffany said. “The trustees are hopeful that Oberer heard the comments and concerns and comes back with something else.”

The trustees’ vote aligns with the township’s zoning commission, which recommended not approving the request because of traffic concerns; the plan did not promote a sense of community; and the proposed density of homes was higher and “inappropriate for the neighborhood,” according to a staff report.

Trustee Nadine S. Daugherty said she put a lot of thought and research into the potential development before deciding against the proposal.

“The bottom line is I work for the residents and I listen to the resident and I understand their concerns. I had the same concerns,” Daugherty said, adding that she’s an advocate of “sensible, controlled development” and maintaining “quality open space,” which she said she didn’t see in Oberer’s plan.

The trustees’ decision was appreciated by resident Megan Simmons, who spoke against the plan and rallied residents to fight it. Simmons said she was pleased to see the trustees “stand up for the community and what we wanted.”

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“I plan on staying in contact with the staff at Sugarcreek and keeping my eye out for any other proposals or developments,” Simmons said.

Simmons added she will stay informed of any news relevant to the Rammell property, which could be annexed into the city of Centerville. The township has a non-annexation agreement with Rammell, but that agreement was challenged by Oberer’s lawyer as being unenforceable. Centerville records show there was interest in annexing the property among city officials in 2013.

A representative for Oberer Land Developers could not be reached for comment.


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