By Erica Solvig
Enquirer staff writer
MORROW - Lead contamination from a former National Guard shooting range on a small part of a 425-acre site is not expected to hold up plans for a large subdivision there.
The lead is confined to an isolated, 1-acre area and will be cleaned up by the current landowners before development begins along Morrow Blackhawk Road, according to Joe Allen, president of Western Hills-based Nathaniel Development Co. Inc.
The company plans to build 900 single-family homes and an undetermined number of condos on the site, a development so large it could easily double the village's population of 1,370.
"It would be 10 years before we would be developing that area," Allen said about the contaminated part. "We don't see this as a problem, as long as it's been taken care of."
Lead contamination on building sites has become a sensitive issue in Greater Cincinnati because of shooting ranges that once operated on land now being developed.
In the last couple of years, lead has also been discovered at three school sites in Warren and Hamilton counties and two subdivisions in Butler County.
The lead at the Morrow site is contained in an embankment on the west side of the property. The National Guard used the area, which is "no larger than a couple of city blocks," until about 1980, village Mayor Bob Brown said.
The land is commonly known as the old Alpine property, because at one time there was a ski resort on the northeast side of the site.
Representatives of the landowner, Tecumseh National Limited Partnership, could not be reached for comment.
Officials with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's southwest district office said they have not been notified about the site. That's not uncommon, according to site coordinator Scott Glum, because companies will often hire a consultant to do the initial studies to EPA standards and then bring in the EPA later, depending on the size and scope.
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