Thursday, April 29, 1999

Lebanon subdivision would have homes up to $500K

Annexation and approval needed

Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — This city that prides itself on small-town charm is going upscale.

        A Cincinnati developer wants city approval to build 59 homes in a 57-acre subdivision along Cook Road, with prices starting in the high $200,000s and going as high as $500,000. Construction could start in the fall.

        It would be the first high-dollar, upscale subdivision in Lebanon. To be called Catalpa Ridge, the project calls for a gatehouse, Lexington-style horse fence, sidewalks and a landscaped entry island.

        “This will be a new product for Lebanon,” said Joseph Farruggia, president of Classic Properties. “They haven't had any new developments like this. We are the pioneers on this one.”

        The subdivision sits along Cook Road in Turtlecreek Township, but Classic Properties plans to seek annexation into Lebanon.

        Warren County commissioners decide annexation requests. The process could last much of the summer.

        In addition to winning annexation, the development's site plan must be reviewed by Lebanon's planning commission, which will forward a recommendation to city council, said Doug Johnson, Lebanon's director of planning and development.

        Council will hold a public hearing and then make a decision on the planned unit development (PUD).

        In a PUD, the city can alter some zoning requirements in exchange for concessions from the developer. In this case, Classic Properties will be asked to dedicate plenty of green space in the development. The PUD cannot allow the development to exceed an overall density of one unit per acre.

        “PUDs do have their place,” Mr. Johnson said. “And we've got two or three fairly nice PUDs in the city.”

        Restrictions for homes in the subdivision say that building materials must be approved by the developer and that builders must spend at least $1,500 per lot on landscaping.

        The plans made a good first impression on Lebanon Councilman John McComb.

        “It's where we want to go if we've got to go anywhere,” he said. “That's a heck of a good plan.”

        Mr. Farruggia, who has developed a wide range of neighborhoods in Warren and Butler counties, said Lebanon's location and atmosphere could make a for a good project. Catalpa Ridge will be the company's first venture in Lebanon.

        “Lebanon itself is going to draw people from Cincinnati,” he said. “Lebanon is not as far out to everyone as it was five years ago. I think Lebanon's going to control its growth. (Officials are) going to keep that small-town feel.”


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