Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Growing pains unabated

Warren County looks at modifying subdivision regulations

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - Warren County commissioners are taking another stab at reining in growth and this time, they're targeting the planning stages of new subdivisions.

Commissioners on Tuesday told the Warren County Regional Planning Commission to look at amending subdivision regulations to address controlling growth. The goal, according to commissioners, would be to limit the number of houses that get built each year.

Commissioner Mike Kilburn said he would like to see those limits reflect a 3 percent annual population growth.

"How many people do we want to be in this county in the next 20 years? That is the question," Kilburn said to nearly 50 people Tuesday. "I've been preaching this for 10 years and I want to do something. ... Let's get on this horse and ride it."

It's now up to the Regional Planning Commission, the planning agent for the county's 11 townships, and county staff to specify the changes and set a date for a public hearing. Commission Executive Director Bob Craig said it could take at least 90 days for the process to move forward.

"It's one small step of many," Commissioner Pat South said.

The idea of changing the county's subdivision regulations was the highlight of a two-plus-hour meeting Tuesday afternoon to talk with residents, township leaders, developers and school representatives about managing growth. A similar forum was held last week, and the discussion will continue during next week's meeting.

Tuesday's decision was the latest in a string of attempts to better manage the population boom in Greater Cincinnati's fastest-growing county and the 52nd-fastest-growing in the nation. Most of the recent discussion has focused on Hamilton Township, in the southern part of the county along the Little Miami River.

Local leaders have discussed such steps as making subdivision lot size requirements more stringent or implementing a moratorium that would prohibit any more building and/or zoning permits from being issued.


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