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Warren County approves construction of 300 new homes, contingent on Butler County sewers

Warren County commissioners compromised Tuesday with a developer counting on sewer service from Butler County to make his proposed 300-home project a reality. STAFF FILE PHOTO
Warren County commissioners compromised Tuesday with a developer counting on sewer service from Butler County to make his proposed 300-home project a reality. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Warren County commissioners compromised Tuesday with a developer counting on sewer service from Butler County to make his proposed 300-home project a reality.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve new plans for the Glenmore Park subdivision on 141 acres off Butler-Warren Road.

In exchange, developer Ken Campbell agreed to build no more than 300 homes on the land, 50 less than proposed in the new plan and 30 less than recommended by the Warren County Regional Planning Commission, but 55 more than permitted under the existing plan.

The new plan replaces one previously approved for the project, but set to expire on July 30. Otherwise the land would have reverted to mixed use-neighborhood zoning. Campbell said he could then have built 600 apartments on the land, rather than the homes now permitted, with this zoning.

Explore245-home develoment along Butler-Warren county line hinges on sewers

The development now hinges on Butler County, already providing sewer service to other Warren County subdivisions in this booming area, agreeing to take on the additional sewer capacity for the Glenmore Park subdivision.

“I think it gives us additional leverage with Butler County,” Campbell said during the two-hour public hearing and negotiation.

The deal was reached after Jon Sams, a trustee in Turtlecreek Twp., which provides fire and emergency management service in the area, expressed concern that the homes proposed would not create enough tax revenue to support the services or the cost of children from Glenmore Park attending Lebanon City Schools.

ExploreBig developments at risk as Warren Butler counties fight over sewers

In 2017, the two counties debated how to provide sewer service to the area along the county boundary where development has boomed, creating traffic issues, as well as new homes. Butler County continues to study how much sewer capacity to take on there and in areas it serves outside the county.

On Tuesday, Warren County Sanitary Engineer Chris Brausch urged the commissioners to agree to turn over the area to Butler County for sewer service, since his department “struggled to break even” by serving the area through rates paid to Butler County for sewage treatment. In 2016, Brausch opposed to the previous plan, under which Butler County would provide water service.

Under the new plan, water service was undesignated, although Brausch said afterward he would push for Warren County to provide this utility.

In 2016, the commissioners agreed to a 245-home plan, also including 38 acres for commercial development, at Glenmore Park. Campbell said there was no market for commercial development there.

The commissioners debated among themselves and with Campbell before reaching the new deal.