Saturday, November 6, 2004

Growth frustrates Warren Co. officials



By Erica Solvig
Enquirer staff writer

LEBANON - Warren County commissioners, in yet another move to harness residential growth, are capping the number of sewer system connections to the largest subdivision ever proposed in Morrow.

The local system can accommodate only another 500 to 550 single-family homes. But that's not enough for the more than 900 new homes that Morrow Village Council has said could be built at a former ski resort.

Nathaniel Development Co. has offered to contribute toward a $2 million sewer system expansion so all the homes it wants to build are connected. But Commissioners Mike Kilburn and Larry Crisenbery said Thursday they won't OK any additional pipes.

"I don't know that we want to put a thousand more houses in the Little Miami school system and right around the village of Morrow, guys," Kilburn told village officials. "That's consistent with my position with Maineville, with Hamilton Township. With growth comes a lot of problems. ... We're not gonna have any nice small villages around - all in the name of growth."

Warren County is the region's fastest-growing county and most of the recent development has been in southern areas of the county near Morrow.County commissioners have been trying to stop the building spree by boosting lot sizes and proposing impact fees and moratoriums.

Morrow officials argued that developing this land - the last major parcel in the village - could raise the tax base and generate more revenue.

The Woodlands at Morrow subdivision would easily double the village's population of 1,370.

"We haven't caused any of that problem. It's all Hamilton Township," Mayor Bob Brown said in response to Kilburn's concerns.

Kilburn and Crisenbery acknowledged their decision could be overruled. If Commissioner Pat South (who was not at Thursday's meeting) and commissioner-elect Dave Young (who is taking Crisenbery's seat in January) agree to expand the system, Kilburn would be outvoted.

Joe Allen, president of the Western Hills-based developer, said the extra space won't be needed for several years; and until then, "we'll just continue along."

"One way or another, we'll have it worked out," Allen said.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com




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