Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Subdivision access debated



By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

FAIRFIELD TWP. - Scott Mondi and his neighbors don't want a new, small shopping center, restaurant and bank on Princeton Road near Ohio 4 Bypass to be connected to their Lakewood subdivision streets.

"It doesn't make sense to build a strip mall and dump the traffic into a residential community," said Mondi, who lives in the 200-home subdivision north of Princeton Road.

"Residents are very concerned about the safety of their children. Our subdivision is like a maze," said Mondi, a father of five.

Dozens of Lakewood residents are expected to attend the township zoning commission meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the township hall, when developer Fred Straub explains plans for a restaurant with a liquor license, bank and small shopping center at the northeast corner of Princeton Road and the bypass.

The Butler County Engineer's Office refused to let Straub's development have an exit onto the bypass, the overloaded limited-access road called "the most congested highway" in Butler County by Greg Wilkens, county engineer.

"That is definitely not a possibility," said Chris Petrocy, the engineer's public information officer.

The developer will have in/out access onto Princeton Road, which is being widened for the new mall, said Mike Rahall, township administrator. Three new traffic lights also will be installed in a half-mile stretch, two for the mall and one at Morris Road, which will allow customers to turn left out of the development, Straub said.

Because of the Princeton Road improvements, the township likely will not permit a connection to Clearview Lake Drive, Rahall said.

"We'd like to avoid going through the subdivision at all costs," Rahall said.

The 7.5 acres, zoned for business-planned unit development in 1998, is opposite the new Bridgewater Falls shopping center expected to become the township's economic and retail center. Target will open on Oct. 10, followed early next year by Dick's Sporting Goods and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com



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