Tuesday, April 25, 2006

24 April 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

24 April 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Patrick deMaynadier (arrived about 7:30 PM), Jane Ohlmansiek, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Tarry Feiss, Nick Held, and Robert Laws. Also Absent: Arnie McGill, Attorney
Also Present: Mark McCormack, Planning Director and Todd Listerman, Transportation Director.


Approximately 60 people were in attendance for the Zone Change request from Ag to R for single-family homes on One Mile and Sneakville Roads in Logan Township on 108 acres. In addition the 108 acres there is a little over 50 acres already zoned R in this development plan. Randy Maxwell and John Maxwell presented. Randy addressed the access points particularly noting pros and cons of each. It was noted that this development would be “much less dense” than the adjoining Picnic Woods which has 198 acres and 438 units.

17 citizens spoke in opposition and presented over 300 petitions opposed to the zone change.
Dan and Linda Johnson on Grubbs moved to their small farm 8 years ago to escape congestion on the west side of Cincinnati. They noted only parts of the adjoining properties are R. This land butts up against working farms as well. They cite this density as being out of character with the adjoining properties. They questioned the speed of development and that the adjoiners had only 11 days to prepare. They felt this was an inadequate amount of time to address the issues of the residents. Utility capacities, road issues, traffic problems, safety, and taxes were all questioned. Greenspace and buffering were needed. How can they maintain the buffers? Potential problems with drainage were big concerns. Wildlife issues as development drives nature out and nuisances increase as a result. He doesn’t want to lose the quality of life and atmosphere we came for.

Norm Andrews- Mountain Meadows and One-Mile- concerned with sprawl as he moved here 19 years ago to escape that. Concerned with schools, fire and EMS service, and police. So far we haven’t brought much crime with us- but that is changing. Tax increases for schools. Maybe a golf course would be a better use.

Paul Noble – Renck Court – ALSO ON THE SCHOOL BOARD. Noble went into some detail about the school’s current capacities. Bright Elem is at capacity. N Dearborn has 2 classrooms to use, but is at 30 per class. Staffing will be cut perhaps with the budget issues SD board is facing. Still doesn’t know where they are going to get the $2.5 mil the state cut this year. Going to be looking at possibly a couple years of insolvency where the state has to come in.
He was concerned about the entrances to the development- particularly Renck as it is a direct shortcut to Stateline and Jamison. Safety issues with children and walkers and roads with blind curves.
Mitter asked him about how the PC could get better info from school districts to help with development.
Noble disagrees with the form letter approach- noted that we can build a lot of schools- with bonds, but then we have to staff them.
Possibly get the school board and PC members together.

Linda Mitchell- Bright- If they bring a letter from the schools would you really consider it? It seems like those letters and evidence are always ignored.
Asked who pays for Grubbs rd upgrade (Applicant)
Mitchell went on to say that high density does NOT conserve farmland. We are actually using farms to the max and still consuming the land. She quoted from Nugent’s recent mailing addressing property taxes. “…property taxes affect mostly seniors, small business owners, and farmers.” Nugent spoke of income tax as replacement. She noted that if you do that it would be better to attract high income residents with larger homes and less of them. This development does not fit the character of the community.

Daughter of Linda and Dan Johnson- Cleves- works with her parents selling their organic produce. She doesn’t want to move here now that she’s seeing all the overbuilding. She also noted the drainage issues along Grubbs and asked if there were tax incentives for farmers to help with the loss of income this will cause.

Dale Schroeder – Renck Court- noted this road traffic would be in his back yard. Hookup is to Tucker’s sewer. He questioned capacity and permits for this (county has jurisdiction actually, but is letting Tucker service apparently) Wondered what will happen to the water pressure of the EXISTING residents. Noted there were NO FIRE HYDRANTS THERE! He also noted significant examples of flooding and drainage issues in the area.

Tom Perdue – Renck Court – met earlier with Jeff Hughes and Gerald Nixon. Gerald had a letter in the packet. Traffic impact study stated that significant pass thru traffic to Renck Court is not anticipated. The presentation tonight stated the opposite. He did his own “study” and noted all the people questioned would choose Renck as a significant shortcut in travel time. He then showed numerous pictures of the issues on Renck Court.
[NOTE: The are video footages of these county roads from our transportation study. This perhaps would have been good to show at this meeting to demonstrate the road issues.]He noted tree damages from missed turns and snow issues up the hill to a STOP sign.

Dave Voss- Renck Court- Gave detailed discussion citing sections of the county code section 305 j and k on grade exceeding allowed limits for the road. No sign was posted to let us know this could become a thru street. (This was before the new ordinance) He noted this impact and traffic will raise the classes of all these roads and their structures are not commensurate with that.
He wanted to know if transportation dept. had a letter and who would maintain this road?

Mark Gephart – Picnic Woods- said he bought after talking to Mrs. Alexander who said they’d never develop those 50 acres, as it was her father’s wishes.

Brian Comley (sp?)- discussed the vehicles per day generated by this development (over 3,000 trips per day). He noted that in the comp plan Miller and Harrison were the top two townships deficient in park space. He also noted traffic issues at Salt Fork and Stateline.

Terrence Evans – Cedar Ridge – moved here 15 years ago from Seattle. Noted three issues for him were schools, the overloaded sewage plant (bad aroma in summer!), creek will be fed by this sewer drainage, and the traffic overload.

Ralph Thompson – Washington Township –(Republican candidate for commissioner- VOTE IN THE PRIMARY IS MAY 2)Comp plan should be considered. This is similar to the recent Sun Valley Acres proposal. Conservation of property values- what happens to those? Has anything been done to address that? Or considered?

Janice Adams- Garden Meadows – Lives 2 doors from Grubbs Rd and home is 25 ft from centerline of road. Wonders what happens to her home when road is widened.

Donna Aspens – Schoolteacher in city and EC coach. She and bus cannot cross on Renck. DO NOT let it be thoroughfare with that blind turn.

Phil Jackson- Picnic Woods- house has been flooded 12 times! Water runoff is bad now.
Do it the best way to harm the least amount of people. Not against progress. Plan it well. Not a big proponent of how Jerry Tucker did things here.

Bill Moerlein- front yard is a lake- floods 4-5 times a year.

Mitter asked if they’d gone to Soil and Water Board.
Jackson’s Answer- same luck as you have with school board. Sewers back up- been round and round with LMH over it.

Deborah Lee – Cedar Ridge – Sewer is enlarged and no one is notified.
Works at West side Pediatrics and sees traffic issues all the time. Has a son on Fire dept.- have you looked at hydrants and fire protection?

Mark Schum – Sneakville by Grubbs – would like to see bigger homes and bigger lots. Traffic issues would be better with less density. Kids use Mt Pleasant to Sneakville to get around the school buses- RACE home! Cited Thompson article in the paper on profit motives and homes. Other houses on 1 acre close to road- what happens to septic tank when acre is cut back? [NOTE: sewer line may come be by their home and they will be hooked on.]

Public discussion ended at 8:55.

John Maxwell thanked the people for being respectful to himself and his family. Likened this to Park Place- upscale. Noted he’d been contacted by the Rencks 10 months ago and tried to do their best to get access issues ironed out and connectivity accomplished. They bought all the additional property to the west of Grubbs to widen that access. Commented that he sure wasn’t running for office.
Randy Maxwell answered Hughes question about access to Sneakville as have rough topography.

Plan commission went through the connection issues briefly and the rezoning requirements. Most members felt it fit the character. Some questioned the fiscal balance with the current school potential insolvency issue. DeMaynadier noted that the school letter didn’t say they had capacity and it didn’t say they didn’t, which was actually more telling than their usual letters. He’d be more comfortable with less density and more open space in the total plan. Hall wasn’t sure if utilities were sufficient but it would be addressed at sub’n review. Mitter thought it fit the comp plan but was concerned about the schools.

Hall motioned and Ohlmansiek 2nd for a FAVORABLE recommendation to the commissioners for a zone change and also recommended that RENCK COURT AND PICNIC WOODS ROAD would NOT be used as connections. All ayes.

Changes to the zoning ordinances were discussed and passed to go on to commissioners for approval. These included a change in parent tract language with a 2-year limitation between divisions and other setback regulations.

Mark McCormack – noted 15 applications for the enforcement officer from all over the country even. Will interview next week.
He gave out meeting info on 2 OKI meetings- one for master plan information so we can continue working on our land use element. The other was the annual OKI meeting with Mayor Mallory of Cincinnati.
He also noted letters from state and OKI still recognize original VRUC board as the legitimate authority to date. [NOTE: Elections for that come up soon.]

Meeting adjourned at 11 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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