Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Shortcut to be short-lived

Wetherington residents vote for privacy

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A favorite shortcut through one of Greater Cincinnati's more affluent neighborhoods came a step closer to being put off-limits this week.

        Homeowners in the Wetherington development off Tylersville Road voted to privatize the community and gate the neighborhood's entrances at Tylersville Road and Wetherington Drive and at Eagle's Wing Drive and Cincinnati-Dayton Road.

        Those gates will effectively eliminate a short cut connecting Tylersville Road with Cincinnati-Dayton Road around the hamlet of Maud.

        “I can say the vote was an overwhelming yes,” said Kevin Plank, president of the Wetherington Homeowners' Association.

        While a final vote tally has not been taken, and a few ballots may still be out, Mr. Plank estimated 85 percent of the votes cast favor gating the community. He said 90 to 95 percent of the neighborhood's 379 home and condominium owners voted.

        The next step will be to take results of the vote to Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth, for certification.

        Under an agreement authorized by the judge, Wetherington residents would be permitted to privatize if 285 of the 379 residents, or 75 percent, voted by May 18 to do so.

        Mr. Plank said the gates will likely be installed in late summer.

        Mr. Plank said a Metro Park 'n Ride at a Meijer's store parking lot next to Wetherington has put an even greater number of vehicles on neighborhood streets.

        Privatization means the residents will be responsible for all street maintenance with no taxpayers' money available for that task. Emergency services - police, fire and paramedics — remain the responsibility of the Butler County commissioners and West Chester Township trustees.

        Wetherington is home to many high-profile professionals, business leaders and politicians, including U.S. Rep. John Boehner, Judge Stephen Powell of the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals and developer Carlos Todd.

        The news does not bode well for residents of the Cobbler's Creek and Homan Estates developments west of Wetherington. Savvy motorists likely will discover another shortcut.

        “Obviously, it is going to have an effect on our neighborhood but we do not know how much,” said Cobbler's Creek Homeowners' Association President Gary Renner. “We hope the (Michael A. Fox) Regional Highway (Ohio 129) has taken traffic away from the area. We do not have much choice right now.”

        It is likely future development northeast of Wetherington, along the west side of Interstate 75, will result in connecting Tyler's Place from Tylersville Road to Hamilton-Mason Road, providing another way to avoid congested areas of Tylersville Road, officials said.


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