By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SYMMES TWP. - A group of residents said Friday they're dropping a campaign to block a 50-home, high-end development along Polk Run Creek, the site of deadly flooding two years ago.
They did so after developer Steve Zerhusen said that attempts to block a zoning change for the Hearthstone Estates subdivision off McKinney Road might cause him to revert to the original residential zoning. That would mean even more homes.
Fed up with flooding and erosion from Polk Run Creek, a group of residents had already collected 300 of 480 petition signatures needed to place an issue on the ballot asking voters to reject the change that allowed construction of 36 single-family residences and 14 cluster homes on the 36-acre site across from Arnold Lane.
"I don't think anybody wants to run the risk of giving him an opportunity to just revert back ... which is far worse than what we had in the first place," said Jim Murphy, who was helping lead the charge for Concerned Citizens of Polk Run Watershed.
The group had planned to file the petitions by Sept. 4.
Zerhusen said that if he reverted to the original residential zoning, he would have to eliminate the cluster homes and build between 50 and 60 single-family residences instead.
The Symmes Township resident said he's done all he can to address the residents' concerns and still keep the development profitable. "I told them straight out the property was going be developed. It was just a matter of who and when and how it's going to be done," he said.
Residents have demanded strict controls along the creek, where flooding during July 2001 caused more than $10 million in damage across Greater Cincinnati and killed a teen in Loveland, about a mile from the proposed Hearthstone site.
At the same time, the Army Corps of Engineers is immersed in a study of the creek - which runs through Montgomery, Deerfield, Symmes and Sycamore townships - to determine the scope of the problem and what, if anything, will be done about it.
Kroger: New garage or we go
Big potential seen in long-ignored river
A QUESTION OF FAITH
Shaken, Catholics shunning church
Church spokesman believes in message
Nothing will shake her faith of 82 years
Elder High student's beliefs not affected
As a teen, he left the church
He believes in ideals of the Catholic faith
Victim abandoned dream of priesthood
Men of the cloth can be creeps, she says
Want to share your feelings about your
IN THE TRISTATE
Two truck accidents cause headaches on highways (Photo gallery)
11 accused of participating in large cocaine, marijuana ring
Rental program freeze sought
Order restricts release of Bengals lawsuit information
Bronson: Lynch is not a resident, and Lindner is not cheap
Howard: Good Things Happening
Faith Matters: Art show honors Mary
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
AK Steel's the place to be
Subdivision opponents want land checked for lead
'Grandpa' keeps kids laughing
Glass sculptures stolen
Widened part of Kemper to open
Symmes group drops petition
Street on project's edge faces cloudy fate
Virginia Coffey fought against discrimination
Former osteopath William Houser made house calls to his patients
Role of relay switches examined in blackout
Lawyer accused in drug-ring probe
Popular boy band no longer 'N debt to city of Columbus
Pharmacist gets 3 years for embezzling $1.2 million
Meter runs while judge blocks prison shutdown
Tiny village in jeopardy as new law takes effect
Woman, 105, donates $1.25 million for park
Restaurant shootings called unrelated
Doctor accused of unnecessary hysterectomies
Covington bishop apologizes for abuse by 30 priests
Overcrowded jail prepares for busy holiday weekend
Longtime legislator will not run in 2004