Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Jonathan Sams told the commissioners that the township did not oppose the church’s mission to develop a facility which looks attractive but said there were better locations in the township to build. He said the township wants to expand its tax base but struggles due to the proximity of three correctional centers.
In August, the trustees sent a letter to the county Rural Zoning Commission asking that it deny the zoning change. The trustees cited the zoning change was contrary to the area plans adopted the township and the county commissioners for future development as well as being contrary to the business/economic plan and would have a substantial negative impact for planned business and residential uses.
In July, church representatives withdrew a similar plan rather than risk rejection because the existing plan for the land use, approved in 2002, only permitted senior-living facilities, including a 30-person building and 36 single-family homes.
It would expand on a 12-boy home already set up in the church and make way for a similar program for 12 girls
Commissioner Shannon Jones said the proposed facility will address “a great need in the county” of placing foster children. She said the county places children in facilities that are hours away from Warren County and in different states. Jones said the facility would be on church owned property and it was a service they want to provide that isn’t available now.
“This would be cost-effective to the county,” she said.
Jones said the goal was to reunify children with parents and placing them locally would be a benefit. While she wants to help the township, she did not think the facility competes with the township efforts.
Commissioners Tom Grossman and David Young agreed.
“We’ve been partners with the township but it looks like this time we’ll have to disagree,” Young said.
He said the church’s plan was an extension of their ministries.