Sunday, February 22, 2004

Subdivision fights shortcut

Neighboring developer says connector was planned

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

SOUTH LEBANON - Residents and the developer of the upscale Vista Pointe at River's Bend are fighting a proposed cut-through street that would link their subdivision to one proposed next door.

What: Village council will host a public hearing regarding the Villages at River's Bend
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Village offices, 99 N. High St., South Lebanon
They say the roadway, which was not in their subdivision's plans, would bring high levels of traffic and drive down property values. But the developer of the neighboring Villages at River's Bend points to a 2002 annexation agreement in which the village promised the connector, even if the South Lebanon has to use eminent domain to get it.

Both sides will argue their positions at a public hearing Tuesday.

"I don't know how we could possibly get onto (Ohio) 48 quick enough without traffic backing up," said Paul Hogya, one of several Vista Pointe residents who argue the connection will become a shortcut for drivers trying to avoid major roadways. "I just think this connection is poorly planned."

The newest, undeveloped section of Vista Pointe, a subdivision that's hosted Homearama two years in a row, already has plans to connect to a subdivision to the south. But instead of a connection to Villages at River's Bend, Vista Pointe plans show a cul-de-sac and greenspace.

While Vista Pointe residents and developers argue they were never told of an annexation agreement promising the street, Edward Rogerson, president of Oak Leaf Homes, said the agreement was discussed publicly several times.

"All we're doing now is walking down the path that's been laid out for years," Rogerson said.

It's up to city council to decide whether to approve the connector, which would give residents and emergency vehicles an alternate route.

"From everyone I've talked to, it's good planning practice to tie developments together," Village Administrator John Louallen said. "There's a lot of things to consider in this. But that is not my call. I don't know how council will vote."


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