By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer
GREEN TWP. - Residents from a quiet neighborhood near a proposed park in Monfort Heights are backing the township's park plan, saying they'd rather have green space than another new subdivision.
"We want to keep everything the way it is; but if we're going to change, we'd rather have a park than a subdivision," said Joan Pitula of nearby Quakerhill Drive, who spoke for more than a dozen neighbors at a Green Township meeting Monday night.
The owner of a rural Reemelin Road property, Clem Wegman, had an offer from a home developer before the township decided to ante up $2.38 million to purchase the 34 acres of pasture. Township trustees Monday night took more steps toward acquiring the property, including retaining a surveyor and an attorney for the transaction.
Some $600,000 of the purchase price will be paid for by the Hamilton County Park District under the condition that the park remain at least 75 percent green space. It would become the largest park in the township.
To keep the feel of the neighborhood, Pitula asked the township to make sure the athletic fields to be built at the park have no lights, no concession stands, a sound barrier to keep the neighborhood quiet, and ample parking so park patrons don't park on side streets.
Trustees at the meeting said they don't know the projected cost of the park.
Trustee Stephen Grote, the only trustee to vote against buying the property, said last week he expected it to cost at least another $4 million to $5 million to turn the land into anything usable.
"It's just not the best possible use for our tax money," Grote said.
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