City Council approves new development plans

BEAVERCREEK — City Council on Monday approved the specific site plan for a 46.9 acre residential development that has been the subject of myriad residential concerns.

Grand Communities — part of northern Kentucky-based Fischer Homes — plans to build 96 single family homes on land between the intersection of Swigart and Darst roads and the 90-degree curve on Swigart west of South Fairfield Road, near the Walnut Grove and Fairfield Downs subdivisions.

Residents voiced a plethora of concerns during the May 28 meeting and after it was discovered that many residents did not receive the appropriate notification of that public hearing, council tabled it and re-opened it Monday for residents who did not have a chance to speak.

Kathryn Howard, who resides on Mesquite Drive near the development and spoke at the May 28 meeting, was the first to try and speak using another resident’s three minutes, but she was told she couldn’t by Mayor Don Adams because she spoke at the May meeting. After some debate — and the threat of a lawsuit if she wasn’t able to speak — Howard was able to give her input.

She told council that the proposed “postage stamp” lot sizes are too small for one of the “beautiful homes” and two mature trees and the city should reconsider the lot sizes. At the May meeting she hinted that a class action lawsuit could be forthcoming, according to city records.

Al Gotwald, who lives on Westwind Drive in the Hawthorne Glen neighborhood, said smaller lots and more homes will drive traffic into his and the the Walnut Grove neighborhoods. He added that residents will not go out to Swigart to South Fairfield or Darst roads to get to I-675. Instead, they will “shoot through” Walnut Grove directly to Darst. Gotwald said his neighborhood has no sidewalks and there are many older people who like to walk along the streets.

Others talked about the speed limit on Swigart, and potentially moving mailboxes along Swigart to the side of the street where homes are. Currently there are about 15 mailboxes across Swigart.

Another resident said he was concerned about the selling price of the homes, which averages at more than $600,000. During council comments, David Litteral said he preferred smaller lot sizes but he learned that people are buying $600,000 homes on small lots.

“These builders are actually providing their customers with what the customers are actually wanting,” he said. “It may not be for anybody in this room. It’s not for me. They are getting these prices for these houses.”

He also said from a density standpoint, if the sidewalks, curbs, and retention ponds aren’t taking up extra spaces there would be half-acre lots, not the roughly one-fifth that residents are citing.

The site plan was approved 6-0 (Vice Mayor Pete Bales was absent) with 33 conditions including:

— Hours of construction for any grading and exterior work associated with the development will be limited to 7 a.m. or dawn — whichever comes later — to 7 p.m. or dusk — whichever comes earlier — Monday through Saturday.

— The developer will pay for upgrades to the curve on Swigart Road, which will include, but not be limited to, the cost of construction of roadway, cost of acquisition of any necessary right-of-way, and the cost to extend the existing sidewalk along the length of the curve-softening project.

—There will be one tree, a minimum 2.5” caliper at the time of planting, provided for each individual buildable lot, which will be planted between the sidewalk and the front of the house. A second tree of the same size will be planted to the rear of the house. The trees will be maintained by the respective property owner and replaced if dead or dying. Corner lots will have one minimum 2.5” caliper at the time of planting on each frontage.

— “Masterpiece Series” homes, or homes of a similar size if not constructed by Fischer Homes, will only be permitted on 44 lots, mostly adjacent to the existing neighborhoods or directly across from them. Those plots are larger than the others where Masterpiece homes are not permitted, according to the site plan.

— The minimum square footage (excluding garages and porches) is 1,700 for single-story homes and 2,500 for two-story homes.

Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.