HUBER HEIGHTS — Residents of neighbors of the Lexington Place development showed up in force at Monday night’s Huber Heights City Council meeting to express opposition to a zoning change for the remaining part of the development.
Lexington Place is located between Fishburg Road and Chambersburg Road west of Old Troy Pike. Work on the development started in 1999 but has slowed in recent years. Developer DDC Management has asked the city to rezone the remaining area from R-4B (residential) to PR (planned residential district).
The change in zoning includes reduction in lot size and less amount of space between houses, which would allow the developer to add around 24 more homes than what was planned in the original development. Ryan Homes would be the builder.
The requirements for houses built in R-4B zoning are lots of 10,000 square feet with 60 feet of lot frontage, 25 feet front yard setback, 8 feet minimum side yard with total of 20 feet between lots and 40 feet rear setback.
The proposal under the planned residential district development calls for front setbacks with 25 feet minimum, side yards with five feet on each side and a rear yard of 25 feet. The minimum lot widths would be 55 feet for 91 lots and 65 feet for 42 lots, with the larger lots located next to the current houses. The original approval called for 258 single family lots, while the rezoning would makes space for 282 lots.
DDC Management representative John Bills was on hand to present reasons for the change. He said the greater density was needed to make the plan profitable. Addressing concerns about home values, he said the new houses would start at around $190,000 but he said he expected most homes would sell from $265,000 to $280,000.
He also said that DDC would be careful to make sure that drainage from the new houses would not impact local ponds located near the development.
“We’ll go through full storm water designs, we will work with city staff at that time, we have to get it all approved by the EPA,” he said. “There are strict guidelines about what we can and can’t do with it, but we will work through all those and we’re confident at this point that we’ve done enough additional analysis to know that we can avoid any issues at that part of the property.”
After Bills’ presentation, a number of residents asked questions and spoke against the plan.
Don Lewis was concerned that drainage might affect drinking water for residents who live on Endicott Road. Houses on Endicott rely on wells for their water.
Cindy Davidson read from a copy of the Lexington Place homeowners association covenant that called for homes to meet certain requirements, including lot size and setbacks. That resulted in a discussion with Law Director Jerry McDonald, who said it appeared that the covenant applied to current homes but not to the area which is not yet developed. Bills then said his company had done research and discovered that the covenant applied to the first section of Lexington Place, which included lots 1-35, but had never been applied to sections two through six which were subsequently built and that no homeowners association meetings have been held. Mayor Tom McMasters asked McDonald to investigate the covenant for council’s next work session.
Scott McDonald questioned whether the smaller lots would have the value the developer claims they will have. Barry Payne said he didn’t think the design of the new homes would fit in with the neighborhood’s custom-built homes.
Scott Darnell, who owns property adjacent to the development, asked if there had been a traffic study done on how a new entrance to the area from Fishburg Road would affect safety.
Yvonne McGinnis made a plea to keep the zoning the same.
“To sum it up,” she said, “all we are asking is that you keep the integrity of our neighborhood the same. We don’t care who comes in to build, Ryan can come in to build, just follow the rules that are there and keep the integrity and feeling going that we have.”
Other residents spoke about property values and the potential impact of the homes on the school system.
“I could have lived anywhere, but I’ve lived in Huber Heights since 1978,” David Statcer said. “I could have moved a long time ago, but I stayed. I ask you, when you vote on this, consider the long-term effects, not the short term.”
Bills said his company was confident all the questions about drainage and property values would be answered.
”At the end of the day the burden of proof will be on us that we will be able to sell the homes,” he said. “We are confident that we will be able to come in and finish this project out with what we’re presenting before you here tonight.”
After the public hearing, council agreed that the ordinance concerning the rezoning would move to a second reading. That second reading will take place at council’s May 22 meeting, at which time council could approve or deny the request or decide to delay the decision. Council does plan to discuss many of the specifics brought up at Monday’s meeting at its next work session on May 16.
Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.