Voters to weigh in on Bethel Twp. rezonings

Ohio Voted stickers. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Voters in Bethel Twp. in Miami County will decide in the Nov. 3 election if two rezonings approved in early 2020 by township trustees should be allowed to move forward.

Referendums on both rezonings were threatened by opponents when the Bethel Twp. trustees held public hearings on the requests in late January.

The first zoning case, ZC-08-19 , was to rezone a 71.55-acre general agriculture (A-2) parcel to 66.55 acres single family residential (R-1AAA) and one 5-acre parcel, zoned office/residential district (B-2). This property is in the area of U.S. 40 and Palmer Road. The proposal was submitted by Trevor Bean of Tipp City.

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For the 66.55 acres to be rezoned R-1AAA, the applicant presented a plan that would have a road coming off Palmer Road containing 14 lots, all of which would be between two and seven acres.

The second zoning case, ZC-01-19, was to rezone a 14.182-acre General Agriculture (A-2) property to six lots with a minimum of 2 acre parcels all zoned Single Family Residential (R-1AAA). The property is at Agenbroad and Dayton Brandt roads. The proposal was submitted by Michael Gutmann, trustee of Piqua.

“The requested changes in zoning in both cases were consistent with the zoning code of the township and were similar to surrounding parcels,” Bethel Twp. Trustee Beth van Haaren said. “Both cases were passed by the (township) zoning commission and the Board of Trustees.”

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Township resident Barb Pierson said residents circulated the referendum petitions because they were upset that they had voiced opposition but trustees wouldn’t table the requests to obtain more information.

Residents are concerned about statements that the plan for the number of homes in the the Palmer Road/U.S. 40 rezoning could change.

“Traffic is a big concern, along with the already overcrowded condition in Bethel schools,” Pierson said.

The concerns with the Agenbroad Road/Dayton Brandt Road rezoning include existing flooding in some areas and the potential of requests for more rezoning to accommodate housing once the 14 acres would be developed, she said.

A “yes” vote on the referendums would be to uphold the township trustees' votes to approve, while a “no” would be to oppose those decisions.

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