By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LEBANON - A church on Tuesday got the zoning that it needs to build homes for the elderly in western Turtlecreek Township.
Warren County commissioners voted 2-0 Tuesday to approve Solid Rock Church's rezoning request, despite concerns that the 36 single-family homes and 30-bed assisted-living facility would be built in a floodplain.
"I don't want to see the neighbors flooded on this," Commissioner Larry Crisenbery admonished church officials.
The 14-acre site is on Union Road just north of the church. The church shares its 60-acre Monroe site with a home for unwed teen mothers that's scheduled to open in January.
Solid Rock has 3,500 members, church administrator Ron Carter said. Many are senior citizens.
"We're looking to meet the needs of our elderly congregants," Mr. Carter said.
The project will be built in phases, with the assisted-living facility coming last, he said. Mr. Carter hopes to have the first houses built in 12-18 months, but that will depend on how long Solid Rock must wait for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to approve its plans.
The commissioners refused to let the church begin building without that approval, noting that it has rarely allowed any construction in floodplains.
The church will have to raise the level of the land where buildings will be constructed by 2 to 2‡ feet. The county is requiring that the dirt used come from elsewhere on the property - such as the planned location of a detention pond - in hopes of minimizing flooding.
The senior community would be the third of its kind in the area.
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