Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Planners approve Loveland condos

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOVELAND - Fifty-one condominiums will be added to the historic White Pillars development off Ohio 48 to replace the commercial project that was axed in a November referendum.

The city planning and zoning commission voted Monday night to allow the condominiums, despite resident concerns about the development's impact on the school district.

More than 200 homes are now proposed for White Pillars, an 85-acre city-owned site surrounding the former home of Loveland's first settler, Col. Thomas Paxton.

Developers Hines-Griffin and Parrott & Strawser already plan 72 single-family homes and 89 condominiums for "empty-nesters" on 55 acres. The latest addition puts another 51 condos on 13 acres that were set aside for a campus-style commercial park of office buildings and retail stores.

"To go from what we had to this density of this plan is just obscene," said David Miller who, with Councilman Paul Elliott, led the citizen referendum against the commercial project.

Miami Township resident Robert Rutter suggested that the planning commission require the developer to restrict the minimum age of condominium residents to control the number of new students entering Loveland City Schools.

"They are well aware of this development and have been for the last five years," developer Bill Hines said of the school district Tuesday. "The (condominiums) will produce a lot less kids than a normal single-family neighborhood."

Treasurer Jill Manville said she isn't sure what impact White Pillars will have on the school district, where enrollment of 4,293 students has nearly doubled since 1990. The district includes students from the city and areas of Symmes and Miami townships.

Condominiums have potential to add students depending on what type is built, she said.

"One bedroom makes a difference compared to if there are three to four children in a condominium. It does make a difference to a school district whether they are for empty nesters," Manville said.


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