Neighbors said they’re against building 50 ranch-style homes on the property due to the density of the development, the size of the homes and the additional traffic the neighborhood would generate.
Lolli said he expects the next proposal to include 40-44 homes. He said D.R. Horton wants to have time to address residents’ concerns during a town hall meeting before the next vote by City Council. The next public hearing, the third on the project, probably will be held July 19, he said.
City Council voted 3-1 to give D.R. Horton additional time to make another presentation. Mayor Nicole Condrey voted no and council member Tal Moon, who is affiliated with the church, abstained as he has throughout the process.
“It can’t hurt to see an alternative plan,” said Vice Mayor Monica Nenni.
If Moon doesn’t vote on the ordinance, three of the four other council members would have to vote for it to pass. That vote is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 2.
Lolli also addressed the storms on June 13 that brought 72 mph winds and left behind “major damage” in parts of the city.
He said there were five reports of structure fires within the first 36 hours, mostly weather related. He said the department received numerous calls from residents who were on oxygen at home and had lost power. Some of the residents were transported to Atrium Medical Center or Kettering Health Network, he said.
The city received assistance from the Butler County Emergency Management Agency, Lolli said.
Jim Bolen, deputy director of the EMA, said his agency surveyed 244 storm sites throughout Butler County and Middletown and Hamilton were the two “hardest hit” cities.
He said the Butler County Fairgrounds were used as the logistical staging area for the 150 Duke Energy trucks and 400 Duke employees who responded to the storm damage.
TIMELINE OF PROPOSED HILL DEVELOPMENT
2016: Oaks Community Church purchases 16 acres from Middletown Regional Hospital for $500,000, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office.
March 9, 2022: Planning Commission approves the Hill Preliminary Development Plan and Map Amendment for a new subdivision that proposes 50 single-family homes with public streets.
April 19: A large crowd of concerned citizens say they’re against the housing development. Pastors from the Oaks Community Church, a representative from D.R. Horton and a Middletown attorney speak in support of the project, while 10 residents voice their concerns.
May 3: The legislation is pulled from the City Council agenda to give the developers and city leaders more time to “evaluate,” according to a city official. Council was scheduled to hear the second reading, then vote on the legislation.
June 7: Representatives from D.R. Horton present three options for the property. Nine Middletown residents say they’re against the development during a public hearing.
June 21: Legislation is pulled from the City Council agenda.
July 19: Another public hearing is scheduled during 5:30 p.m. City Council meeting.
Aug. 2: A possible vote on the legislation.
SOURCE: City of Middletown, Journal-News archives