Thursday, March 01, 2001

Yankee Road zoning on ballot

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LIBERTY TWP. — Hundreds of angry residents have successfully pushed a zoning referendum onto the November ballot, arguing their children are endangered by proposed businesses along Yankee Road.

        After protesting unsuccessfully in January against a zoning change to convert two residential lots along Yankee Road to commercial, residents of the the Stonehenge neighborhood vowed to take the issue to voters.

        They, along with other Yankee Road-area residents, quickly collected more than 560 petition signatures. Butler County Board of Elections officials said Wednesday a referendum on overturning the commercial zoning will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

        It will be the first zoning referendum in the township in years. Those who oppose commercial development along Yankee Road say they want to protect children, and lessen traffic gridlock.

        “It's already very crowded and safety issues come into play,” said Mitch Culbert, a Stonehenge resident and father of two children. “We need to plan for development around here and not do it piecemeal like this.”

        Township officials approved rezoning the two properties — 1.9 acres and a little more than a half acre, respectively — despite dozens of residents speaking in opposition.

        The properties are north of the Michael A. Fox Highway, which cuts across southern Liberty Township and connects to Interstate 75.

        Mr. Culbert said many residents fear the properties would be sold to fast-food restaurants, which would draw children from homes on both sides of Yankee Road. He said there already are a lot of children walking along the road because of nearby ball fields, a YMCA and schools.

        It has not been determined what type of businesses might be built there.


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- Yankee Road zoning on ballot
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