40 people showed up to oppose this Warren County development

A proposed rezoning request of 30 acres off Lebanon Road in Union Twp. to an industrial zone was withdrawn by the applicant following a more than two-hour public hearing Tuesday before the Warren County Commission.

More than 40 local residents around the property attended Tuesday’s meeting to oppose the rezoning request. One resident, Barbara O’Neill, said there were more than 80 residents who had expressed opposition. Krystal Powell, commission clerk, said 24 letters of opposition had been received prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

Tyler Holden of KT Construction and Blue Rock Properties LLC had sought to rezone the land from mixed use to industrial to create a business incubator park at 2300 Lebanon Road.

Holden said the project would be completed in multiple phases over the course of multiple years. The existing buildings provide accommodation for a civil construction company, which is much needed in the construction industry. He said the proposed rezoning will help this business grow and help other small businesses find industrial zoned accommodation, which is in short supply in the area.

The land is adjacent to the former Lebanon city landfill, which has been repurposed into the Premier Health Atrium Medical Center Bike Park. Holden said he has interest from four companies to locate at the proposed business incubator.

Holden said if the county won’t approve the request, he might consider annexing into Lebanon. He also told the commissioners that he does not have access to water and sewer service. Holden said he wanted to work with the county.

Bruce McGary, assistant county prosecutor, said the property owner has the right to annex contiguous property into a municipality. However, the municipality does not have to accept an annexation request.

Union Twp. Trustee President Chris Koch likened the situation “to being between a rock and a hard place.”

“We understand what the Kings Acres residents want,” Koch said. “This is not up to the township, which is why we didn’t make a decision on this. We do want a seat at the table (to discuss future development.)”

Lebanon City Manager Scott Brunka said annexation of this land was not on the city’s radar. He also said that the proposal would have 75% of property zoned as heavy industrial, something he was not certain why the I-2 zoning was necessary.

Brunka also said the city “was not supportive of the proposal” and if the land would be annexed, it would be as professional offices. He also said the city would not be able to provide utilities for the project.

County water and sewer officials at the meeting also said the county would be unable to provide those utilities.

“We look at the totality of all the factors,” Commission president Dave Young said. “We love small businesses in Warren County, but we’re big on balanced growth.”

Towards the end of the discussion, Young asked Holden if he wanted to withdraw his request before he opened the floor to residents to speak. Holden agreed to withdraw, adding, “This isn’t over yet. We’ll be back.”

One resident responded, “so will we.”

Young said the need to hear from residents was not needed because of Holden’s withdrawal of the request.

Holden told the Dayton Daily News that this will give them time to improve their proposal. “I don’t count this as a loss,” he said. “A small business incubator is needed and we’ll keep pursuing this and keep trying. We have a good idea of what’s needed based on the feedback we got today.”

Frank Dimos, the leader of the neighborhood opposition, said, “We’re happy with today’s outcome, but we know it’s going to come back with a new request.”

Dimos said development is a good thing and the Warren County neighborhood is business friendly but there are other places to locate an industrial zone.

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