HUBER HEIGHTS — The Huber Heights City Council paved the way for two new Habitat for Humanity homes at Monday night’s council meeting.
The Habitat for Humanity issue was one of two rezoning issues that took up much of council’s time at Monday’s meeting.
Norm Miozzi of Dayton Habitat for Humanity was on hand to explain to council the group’s request for rezoning property at the south side of Shull Road west of Lone Tree Road from light industrial to R-4 residential. The group plans to build two houses on the property.
But the request didn’t go without some questions.
Council Member Janell Smith referred to complaints about the condition of the property, citing concerns about wild animals that live on the property and potential water runoff problems as well as trees with “widowmaker” branches that hang over property lines.
Miozzi said his group recently did some clean-up on the property but maintained the property has been maintained according to city standards since the group acquired the property in late 2014.
“Moving forward, I’m not really comfortable unless I know everything is in order before we actually rezone it,” Smith said.
Council Seth Morgan spoke in favor of the rezoning. He said development of the property would remove basis for complaints since the new houses would have to follow all city maintenance standards and codes.
Miozzi added that residents are not given the houses, but have mortgages like all homeowners.
In the end, council voted 7-1 to approve the rezoning, with Smith voting no.
Council held a public hearing on another rezoning request Monday.
This request is from HMOFFIS, LLC, or Sure Shot Boring, for a property at 4359 Taylorsville Road. The company is requesting the land be rezoned from R-2 Residential to Planned Industrial.
Sure Shot purchased the land from another company and was operating its business there until nearby residents complained that the land was not zoned for business. The city issued a zoning violation and the company ceased operations at the site.
The city planning commission opposed the rezoning on a 3-2 vote. In order to overturn the commission’s recommendation, council would need a supermajority vote, which means six votes for rezoning will be required.
City Manager Rob Schommer explained that the rezoning request includes a number of restrictions, including a large buffer zone that would include a mound and vegetation between the site and nearby residences, as well as erosion control measures.
Tom Donahue and Heidi Green of HMOFFIS were at the meeting Monday to answer questions about the rezoning. They said they did not know the property was not zoned properly when they started operations and hoped to work with nearby residents to find solutions to their complaints.
Smith asked whether the company’s operations would affect local residents’ wells. Schommer said he felt the erosion control regulations and buffer zone would eliminate that possibility.
Councilmen Glenn Otto and Mark Campbell both said they thought the rezoning was the best option available for everyone involved.
“I truly think that the rezoning of this property to allow for these improvements to be made is going to be the best solution for everyone involved, especially the neighbors, because it will provide that buffer to them,” Otto said.
Responding to nearby residents’ concerns about property values, Mayor Jeff Gore summed up by saying, “I think what we’re trying to do would be, in my opinion, is just trying to make the best of a bad situation.” He said he thought the berm and the added vegetation might be the best solution available.
After the public hearing, council passed the rezoning ordinance onto a second reading. It will take up the issue again at its next meeting.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.