Wetland area does not get Greene County stamp of approval, land trust makes plans for another proposal

A potential new Greene County wetland conservation area located near Byron and Yellow-Springs-Fairfield Road. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS

B-W Greenway Community Land Trust plans to apply for a grant to purchase land to create a wetland conservation area, but the Greene County Board of Commissioners voted last week against supporting their application.

B-W Greenway wants to purchase about 40 acres of land from Jane and William Doorley for a permanent conservation area. The land is a Category 3 wetland and about a mile away from Pearl’s Fen. Part of the wetland is located near the intersection of Byron Road and Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.

Greene County commissioners voted down a resolution of support for the conservation area at their Sept. 3 meeting. Commissioners Bob Glaser and Tom Koogler voted “no” and Commissioner Richard Gould voted in favor of the wetland.

Koogler said he was concerned about the numbers in the proposal. Koogler said he did the math and even though this new proposal was less acreage then a prior one, the Doorleys were making $2,500 more per acre.

“There’s something funny with the map there,” Glaser said, regarding the revised map in the new proposal.

Glaser and Koogler also had concerns about this agreement not making the land available for public enjoyment. Glaser said he wanted to make sure there was a provision in the agreement making it available for the public.

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Bob Jurik, with B-W Greenway, said the organization hopes to have another chance to work through the proposal at a county commission meeting. B-W Greenway and the county have a meeting this week, he said.

Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said commissioners also denied a request for support at a previous meeting.

The proposal voted on at the Sept. 3 meeting is less acreage and is only the wetland portion of the property.

A wooded area would not be part of the conservation easement, as previously proposed. Huddleson said commissioners objected to the request last time because the non-wetlands portion of the conservation area could potentially be used for future development, and this would limit that.

The commission works to balance conservation and development, Huddleson said.

B-W Greenway wants apply for a $515,000 Clean Ohio grant. They needed a resolution of support from the commission to help their application for the grant, Huddleson said.

The Doorleys have agreed to make an in-kind contribution of about $130,000.

William Doorley sad his grandfather bought the farm in 1935. As most recently proposed, the conservation easement would be on two-fifths of the farm.

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