Badin High School to alter expanded parking lot plan

The need for a larger parking lot is tied to growth ― and anticipated growth ― of the student body

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton City Council will entertain the city’s planning commission recommendation approving Badin High School’s rezoning request, though part of the school’s preliminary plan will change.

The school will no longer consider the current restructuring of the parking lot which called for access off Jerdan Lane, according to Hamilton Planning Director Liz Hayden. She said conversations between the city and Butler County’s only Catholic high school have prompted changes.

At the April 21 planning commission meeting, Badin officials presented a plan to expand its parking lot and have bus access off Jerdan Lane. Residents were not happy with this proposal, with some saying it posed a hazard to small children that lived there and encroached on the access to their property.

“Since that meeting, they have agreed to not move forward with either part of the (parking lot) proposal,” she said. “So they are no longer proposing access onto Jerdan Lane, and they’re also going to reconfigure the parking lot.”

Hayden said the school will need to do a traffic impact study a New London Road prior to any final plan approval.

Badin spokesperson Dirk Q. Allen said the school’s next step is the May 25 public hearing at Hamilton City Council.

“We are certainly respectful of the input we are receiving from all members of the community,” he said, deferring comment until after a City Council decision.

What the Hamilton Planning Commission approved last month was a rezoning recommendation to City Council to change Badin’s zoning district from residential to business planned development (BPD). Also approved was a preliminary planned development request to develop on the zoned BPD.

The development plans include the expanded parking lot, which would increase by 284 spaces to a total of 650, and the athletic complex, which included a football and soccer stadium with a track and practice field, behind the school.

While the parking lot plan will be reconfigured, the athletic complex is not at this time. However, Hayden made two important notes: the preliminary plan would only be good for a year unless Badin asks for an extension, and any final plans would have to go through the planning commission process again.

“There’s a process going forward right now that is a preliminary plan, that is subject to change,” she said. “They actually need to go through this entire process again with a final plan, that has more detail. Neighbors will get letters again, and be invited to meetings and there will be an update. There will be a lot more public input coming through this process as they fine-tune this (plan).”

Badin hadn’t said when they want to move forward with the athletic complex, though they want to expand the parking lot as soon as possible, according to city officials. Badin officials previously told the Journal-News that their student population is growing, and more parking is needed.

This year, student enrollment at the New London Road high school was around 625, which is around a 65-student increase from enrollment five years ago. The school purchased land on Jerdan Lane to accommodate parking and bus traffic, as well as flexibility for future development.

Though Badin hasn’t announced a possible project cost, Hamilton Executive Director of External Services Tom Vanderhorst told City Council last week “from my understanding,” the project would be around $7.5 million.

“What they wanted to do is to make sure this is a feasible project so they can start moving ahead with fundraising,” he said to City Council. “They have to know if this is possible because they have to go out into the community for fundraising and say, ‘This is a definite. We can do this.’”

Columbia Road residents behind the school’s property were not happy with the proposal, and don’t want to see the project intrude on the wooded area, which is mostly on Badin’s property, behind their homes. Their backyard wooded view would be replaced by a sizable retaining wall, according to the plans.

Hayden said Council will need to vote on the preliminary plan and repeated the point for emphasis that “there will be another round of review with a final plan that will go through a similar process” as the current preliminary plan.

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