New 337-unit subdivision denied in Clearcreek Twp. after residents form group to object

Rezoning for a proposed 337-unit subdivision off Lytle-Five Points Road east of Ohio 48 was denied Monday by the Clearcreek Twp. trustees.

After a lengthy public hearing, the trustees voted 2-0 to deny the request that had been recommended by the Warren County Regional Planning Commission and the township’s zoning commission. Trustee Steve Muterspaw was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Design Homes was seeking to rezone 172 acres to build 337 units that include 113 single, detached homes, and 224 multi-family quad units with a density of about 3.56 units per acre. The development would have had nearly 65 acres of open space and a 2.5-mile walking trail. The open space equates to 38% of the total acreage.

During his comments, Jeff Palmer, township planning and zoning director, said in the 2017 request, the developer wanted to have one-third acre lots but that the trustees rejected that proposal saying the lot sizes were not appropriate.

David Reed, an attorney representing Design Homes and the property owner, said the developer has been a custom builder for 34 years and builds upscale homes and developing “beautiful communities.” Reed said the development is focusing on active adults 55 years and older.

“The question is not if its developed. The question is how it will be developed and by whom,” Reed said.

He said the development had already met the requirements for a PUD and that it was designed to be harmonious with the environment and with adjacent properties.

Reed said the new development would have less traffic impact; less total residents; and less of an impact to the Springboro and Wayne school districts, which splits the property.

“We believe we’ve met the Stage 1 PUD requirements,” he said.

Reed said there is a need for housing for people older than 55, or empty nesters who want to downsize. He also said the oldest Baby Boomers will turn 75 this year.

Trustee Ed Wade said he thought there were too many of the quad buildings and would like to see 10 fewer quad units or increase the lot sizes.

Trustee Jason Gabbard, referring to the 2017 request, said, “we gave specific instructions. We were clear on what we were expecting. I have serious concerns about the density.”

Residents in adjacent subdivisions have expressed opposition to the new development and have formed an group on social media called Clearcreek Residents United and have submitted petitions opposing recommendation.

Chris Jacquet, a resident in the adjacent Cypress Ridge subdivision, told the trustees that residents ‘are fine with development” but they are opposed to density exceeded township zoning regulations, the quad dwellings and the one-third-acre lots. He also said the traffic impact study submitted was insufficient.

After the meeting, Jacquet said he was “happy” with the trustees’ decision.

“I think the township trustees saw this as an attempt to get more homes on the property than what zoning allowed,” he said. “Our group wants the (zoning) rules to be followed.”

Jacquet believes the developers will be back with another proposal because “its developable land in a hot area.”

Reed declined to comment about the decision after the meeting until after he spoke with his client.

About the Author