Thursday, April 25, 2002
Milford lot may become new school
District offers to buy land from Bryco
By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MILFORD The city and Milford School District think they are on the verge of finding a location for a fourth elementary school and resolving what to do with 167 acres of vacant land off South Milford Road, the last large undeveloped tract in the city.
The school district has agreed to buy the land from Bryco Co., which had been turned down by the city in its attempts to develop it for 355 single-family homes.
The school district and Bryco still haven't closed on the deal, said Valerie Miller, communications coordinator for the school district. The cost is $2.6 million.
As part of the plan, the school district would keep just six acres of the property for a new elementary school, donate about 47 acres to the city, mostly along the East Fork of the Little Miami River, to keep as greenspace and a park. The remaining 110 acres would be sold at public auction to a developer.
It seems to provide so many winning opportunities for everybody involved, said Ms. Miller. The schools would get what they needed and the city would get park space.
The plan also would involve requiring the new developer to provide utilities and infrastructure to the development, including a connecting road between South Milford Road and the Milford Parkway.
Mayor Jim Antell said he is pleased by the partnership between the city and school district for two primary reasons it keeps an elementary school in the city, and the 47 acres would represent the city's largest park.
It would probably not be suitable for an active recreational area, said Mayor Antell, citing its proximity to the East Fork. But it would certainly be a great greenspace for walking trails and things like that. So we're happy with that.
Loretta Rokey, city manager, said, We're excited about the potential for greenspace and doing something really nice on the property.
The city would not like to see another developer buy the remaining land and propose another large housing development, nor have it be strictly commercial, the mayor said.
What we would like to see is some kind of mixed use, said Mayor Antell. Whatever we do there is going to have to be something that makes sense for the citizens. The general consensus seems to be some kind of mixed-use down there probably would be acceptable. Greenspace and whatever. The key here is the "whatever.'
The school district had been looking for a location for its fourth planned elementary school for some time. A bond issue was passed in May 2001 to build four elementary schools. Locations for three have been found; all three are in Miami Township.
Bryco had wanted to develop the South Milford property for residential use and a park. But city council turned down its plans in late January, citing small lot sizes and traffic congestion.
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