Thursday, August 12, 2004

Riverpointe condo plan in Dayton wins OK

By Travis Gettys
Enquirer contributor

DAYTON - The planning and zoning commission approved the first stage of Riverpointe Condominiums, despite the objections of dozens of residents concerned about increased traffic and other issues.

The project's developer, Towne Properties, plans a 165-unit residential complex that could generate up to $100,000 in yearly property tax revenue for the city.

More than 100 residents turned out to voice their concerns about the project, forcing the meeting to be moved from the city building to Dayton High School's cafeteria.

The commission approved the development plan Wednesday - with eight zoning changes requested by the developer - by a 5-1 vote. It also recommended that an independent traffic study be conducted before the project moves forward, although zoning laws do not require one at this point.

Towne Properties had asked commissioners to allow changes to planning and zoning regulations.

Those would include a steeper street and smaller cul-de-sac, to allow a 15-building development to be placed on top of a hill northeast of Dayton Pike, with an access road directly across from Belmont Road.

"Citizens on Belmont are going to get hit on this, (but) the pain should be shared," said planning and zoning commissioner Lynn Adams, who lives on Belmont Road and voted against approval.

Edith Mariani helped organize a petition drive to slow the project because she thinks traffic and the development's environmental impact should be studied further by independent analysts.

"This land should be developed, but it should be developed well," Mariani said.

Dayton Pike, a narrow and crumbling two-lane road, cannot handle the increased traffic that would come with construction and additional residents, Mariani said, and removing trees on top of the 32-acre site will affect the amount of storm water that washes down the hillside.

Jeanne Meyer, who owns several houses adjacent to the proposed development, knows what can happen when trees are cut down on the hill.

The site's former owner cut down several trees in 2000 behind properties she owned on Seventh Avenue, and a subsequent rainstorm sent water and mud cascading down the hill.

"Consequently, my whole entire house cannot be lived in at all," Meyer said.

"I lost all my belongings, and I still pay the mortgage," she said.

Downspouts will lead toward two retention basins, and the development will be surrounded by trees to help minimize storm water runoff, said Jay Bayer of Bayer Becker a civil engineering firm working with the developer.

Each unit will cost between $125,000 and $275,000, said Towne Properties general manager Brad Austing, and many will feature a panoramic view of the Ohio River.

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