More than 150 residents of Centerville, Ohio, sign petition opposing construction of 85 single-family homes by NVR's Ryan Homes on 33-acre plot; plans will go to the city council for approval if endorsed by city's planning commission

DAYTON, Ohio , March 25, 2014 () – More than 150 Centerville residents have signed a petition opposing plans to build 85 new homes off Alex-Bell Road.

Creators of the petition plan to attend tonight's planning commission meeting in hopes of swaying opinion on the project. If recommended by the city's planning commission, plans would go before city council for final approval.

"I think we have plenty of people who care about this neighborhood," said Jennifer Sargent, who created the petition two weeks ago. "I hope we have a great turnout at the meeting because that's the only way that the planning commission will understand."

The 85-unit Ryan Homes development would be built on a 33-acre plot across from Chardonnay Drive and between the Deer Run and Pleasant Hill subdivisions. The city has said home prices expect to range from $230,000 and $300,000, and be between 1,800 and 3,000 square feet.

Plans include connecting two stubs of Zengel Drive and extending Treeview Drive. The city says these changes, along with adding an entrance off of Alex-Bell, will connect the new neighborhood with others. But neighbors say the increased traffic will change the tranquil neighborhood for the worse. Thousands of additional vehicles per day could also create safety issues, they said.

"This is a walking neighborhood," Sargent said, referencing both Pleasant Hill Park and the swimming pool nearby. "And it's a ridiculous amount of houses they want to put in here."

City manager Gregory Horn said this is the last remaining parcel of undeveloped land in that area.

"Sooner or later it's going to be developed," he said. "It's zoned for multi-family construction ... it's been zoned that way for decades.

According to the city, Ryan Homes has opted for 2.5 units per acre. That's less than half of the maximum permitted.

Residents Tom Agnew said as four new lots could be butted up next to his. Agnew said he's talking to attorney John Koverman Jr., who specializes in land development.

"They're going to be within 15 steps of my patio," Agnew said. "I won't see the light of day until about noon -- because (houses) are so high."

Horn said, "In one respect, the owner and the developer have come in with a project that is less dense than what our code has permitted. If it can be done in a manner that's acceptable to the neighborhood, that certainly is a win-win."


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