Thursday, April 1, 2004

Housing hiatus gaining support


Some in Warren dismayed by boom

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

TURTLECREEK TWP. - When Bob Buffenbarger heard about a developer's plan to build a large new subdivision in Turtlecreek Township, he says, his hair stood on end.

"We'd like to die here, not be driven out," he said Wednesday.

Buffenbarger is not alone among longtime Warren County residents in his concern over continued development of Ohio's second-fastest-growing county.

Commissioner Mike Kilburn said Tuesday he is close to recommending a housing moratorium in the county - prohibiting the issuance of building and/or zoning permits - to freeze residential development.

His suggestion comes after the planning commission's decision to approve a Turtlecreek Township development, with 970 homes and 109 multifamily units, near the Shaker Run Golf Course.

Kilburn said development in Warren County is "getting scary" and burdening residents with taxes, crowded schools and congested roads.

Mike McMurray, communications director for Lebanon City Schools, said a moratorium won't affect plans in the district where officials closely follow population projections.

"We feel very satisfied that we're prepared for anything that comes our way," McMurray said.

In August, the school district will open a high school and elementary school to accommodate the growth. The high school will open to 1,400 students, but will be built to accommodate 2,400 with the ability to add academic wings.

Glen Brand, the Midwest regional representative for the Sierra Club, said Warren County has suffered from "poorly planned suburban sprawl."

"The Warren County commissioners are finally waking up with the sprawl hangover from years of allowing poor planning to overwhelm the county's quality of life," he said.

Buffenbarger supports a moratorium. He is one of 100 members of the Residents Association of West Central Warren County, a group that focuses on "anything that affects the quality of life that we are now experiencing." He wants to see a rational approach to growth.

"It will help some people to stand back and take a breath and see what they can accommodate reasonably," Buffenbarger said.




TOP STORIES
Luken presses probe of gang
Songs of the cicadas: Oh, love is in the air
Senators want center audits
EPA head predicts cleaner air soon

IN THE TRISTATE
Bush: VP Cheney to toss 1st pitch at Reds' opener
Recount begins next week
City grants $1.3M to arts
EPA assays role in lead case
Parents' group underwrites sports programs in Franklin
Glenn talks of integrity at Miami
Green Township offers landowner $600,000 for wooded area
Top judge backs disclosure bill
Little Miami pitches expansion plans
Heimlich, Portune chastise Dowlin
Calendar changed to accommodate move
Celebration unites religions, cultures in single purpose
Law doesn't fault shooting suspect's family
State delays forcing voting-system decision
Warren Republicans split chairman's job
Housing hiatus gaining support
Street preacher sues XU over speech
Public safety briefs
News briefs

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Crowley: Did Bunning's so-called joke go too far?
Bronson: This grant just perfect for April 1
Terrace Park team to race for diabetes

LIVES REMEMBERED
Herbert Edelman, executive, hobbyist

KENTUCKY STORIES
Fletcher filling positions slowly, re-evaluating some
Paramedic coverage costly
Ludlow to lop school expenses
Murphy program pushes for jobs
New controls on body piercing