Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Batavia votes on rezoning tonight



By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BATAVIA TOWNSHIP - Trustees are scheduled to decide tonight on a rezoning application that would pave the way for a new subdivision along Amelia-Olive Branch Road just south of Judd Road.

Residents of a neighboring subdivision, Meadow Green, and others who live near the 99-acre site have urged Trustees James Bushman and Deborah Clepper to deny the request.

The third trustee, Archie Wilson, has removed himself from the discussions because he is co-owner of the land and one of the developers.

He has promised to sue the township if his fellow trustees deny his zoning request.

In a public hearing July 1, dozens of residents voiced concerns, all fearing that the plan would be too dense for the area.

They fear a new development would drive out wildlife, strain utilities, hurt the area's aesthetic appeal and lead to higher taxes because of school overcrowding.

Developers have asked for a zoning change on the land - much of which is zoned for agricultural use - to build 203 houses, each on a quarter-acre lot.

They say that about 20 percent of the land will remain forested with the remaining greenery acting as buffers between the two subdivisions.

They contend that sewer, traffic and other utility concerns will be taken care of and that there will be adequate drainage in heavy rains.

Homes in the proposed Twin Gates subdivision would sell for a minimum $170,000.

Some residents have also suggested Wilson give up his seat on the Board of Trustees. They accuse him of lying in order to get votes in the last election. They say he went door-to-door promising some residents that he wouldn't develop the land while he was in office.

Wilson denies ever making such statements and says he has no intention of resigning. He said he can do what he wants with his land.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the township offices, 2401 Old Ohio 32.

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E-mail mmccain@enquirer.com




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