Friday, October 17, 2003

In Green, growth is issue of the day



By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MONFORT HEIGHTS - The ongoing debate among candidates in Green Township's trustees race highlights issues faced by a community that's close to becoming completely built out by developers.

At a candidate forum this week at Monfort Heights United Methodist Church, incumbent Tony Upton and challengers Ken Brodbeck and Bob Luckey responded to residents' concerns about the growing pains of burgeoning development.

"It costs to control your own destiny," Upton warned more than 50 residents who gathered at the church Tuesday to quiz the candidates.

Upton noted that adopting township-wide zoning - which gives the township power over zoning changes instead of Hamilton County - would be costly because of the need to hire employees for zoning issues.

He said Green Township has some of the lowest property taxes among comparable urban townships in the area at 8.31 mills. Colerain Township's is 18 mills, Delhi Township's is 20 mills and Anderson Township's is 14 mills, Upton said.

The biggest issue among residents appeared to be the preservation of green space.

"Can we afford to keep on letting developers mow down Harrison Avenue?" Brodbeck said. "We need to preserve our hillsides."

There was a sense of urgency among the three trustee candidates because Green Township is 85 percent built out, and the remaining 15 percent is getting eaten up quickly. The candidates agreed land will get more expensive and predicted a busy and stressful time for whoever is elected.

"We have a big fight on our hands against these developers who run Hamilton County," Luckey said.

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




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