Sunday, February 2, 2003

Bumpy road halts approval for housing



By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - A local development is finding several bumps in the road - literally - could push back plans for multifamily housing units.

City council denied a motion this week that would have approved a final plat of a section of Weatherstone, a growing subdivision off Ohio 741 being developed by Monogram Properties. The developers failed to pave the street properly, despite repeated warnings by a city inspector that the work was not being done correctly, city engineer Richard Fair said.

When the contractor proof-rolled the street's subgrade on Dec. 13 - driving weighted equipment over it to prove it's solid - bumps started appearing and a city engineering inspector said the groundwork was too loose to continue the street paving. But the contractor continued the work anyway, and for a second time, the inspector said the work should stop, Fair said.

But instead of removing the asphalt, the contractor finished the work, and now the engineering department says this area of the subdivision should not be approved until the road is replaced.

Council agreed, and unanimously denied the ordinance at its Jan. 27 meeting.

"Not only did they do it without inspections, but they did it under freezing conditions," Fair said. "We feel there is no alternative - the contractor has to remove the asphalt."

Steve Kelly, who represented the developer at the council meeting, said the contractor has done "good work" in other parts of the project, and was trying to have the road paved and ready before the council meeting, despite freezing weather conditions.

"I think the situation came about by trying to pave in inclement weather," Kelly said. He added the street likely would be replaced when the weather conditions improve.

He declined to comment further after the meeting.

Another part of the subdivision did get approval from city council. That 9-acre section, which comprises 20 single-family lots, had road paving to city standards, Fair said.

Weatherstone spans more than 100 acres from Ohio 741 to U.S. 42. It comprises 144 single-family lots and almost as many multifamily units, Fair said.

E-mail esolvig@enqurier.com




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