Council approves re-zoning

By Dave Lindeman - For the Courier

HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council approved a rezoning Monday night that will lead to the development of the remaining area in the Lexington Place subdivision.

Developer DDC Management asked the city to rezone the remaining area in the subdivision 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. The houses would be built by Ryan homes. Two weeks ago, council held a public hearing on the issue and held off on a decision.

DDC representative John Bills was at Monday’s meeting to assure council that water runoff issues would be addressed and that no additional runoff would be diverted into a nearby lake. Local residents were on hand to ask questions about drainage and additional traffic that would be created by the new houses. The ordinance presented Monday night addressed the drainage and setback issues that were discussed at the public hearing.

Council Member Tyler Starline then questioned Bills about the amount of masonry that would be acceptable on the new houses.

The rezoning ordinance would allow houses with 25 percent masonry coverage on the front façade instead of 50 percent coverage.

“By allowing the percentage to go from 50 percent down to 25 percent, this would not match the other houses,” Starline said. He made a motion to amend the ordinance to make the minimum amount of masonry on the front of the houses to be set at 50 percent.

That turned out to be a deal breaker for Bills.

“Unfortunately, we would not be able to move forward with this builder under these conditions,” he said, referring to the masonry change.

Council then voted down Starline’s proposed amendment 5-2, with Starline and Janell Smith voting yes.

Council then voted to approve the rezoning 6-1 with Smith voting no.

Also on Monday night, council:

  • Heard Mayor Tom McMasters suggest a number of topics for upcoming discussion at council work sessions. They included potential pay raises for council members, who currently are paid $300 per month; further discussion on the Brandt Pike revitalization project; and the idea of making the city’s chief executive officer an elected position. Currently, the city manager is hired by the city.
  • Approved changes in the city police department organization. Council had been asked by the police chief at its meeting two weeks ago to approve a new sergeant’s position and a lead communications officer. Council members had questions at that meeting and decided to not take action until they had more information. On Monday, Smith said she was concerned about the impact on the city budget, but City Manager Rob Schommer said the changes did not require hiring any new officers. The sergeant’s position would be filled from the patrol ranks, giving the department eight sergeants. The changes in salary would be within the city’s budget and would help with the department’s planned reorganization later this year. The resolution passed 6-1 with Smith voting no.
  • Listened to Smith ask why the Rose Music Center box office opens at 11 a.m. while Ticketmaster begins selling tickets for new concerts at 10 a.m., putting local residents who want to buy tickets at a disadvantage. Schommer said he would make inquiries why the times are different.
  • Had a brief discussion on Council Member Richard Shaw’s absence from the meeting. Council voted 5-1 to excuse Shaw’s absence, with Otto voting no. Smith left the meeting early before the vote was taken. Council Member Judy Blankenship said she thought Shaw was at his son’s sporting event but did think that as an elected official his priority should be the council meeting.

Council’s next meeting is scheduled for June 12, 7 p.m. at city hall.

By Dave Lindeman

For the Courier

Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.

Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.