Commission public hearing
Court neighbors bring concerns over development
Plan of the proposed residential
development on Hull Court, a three-acre parcel off Xenia Avenue
between Herman and Allen Streets.
At Planning Commissions
April 14 meeting, neighbors of a proposed residential development on Hull
Court brought their concerns about the plan to a public hearing. Stormwater
drainage and tree removal were two of the biggest concerns neighbors raised
about the plans by local architect and builder Ted Donnell of Axis Architecture
for the ten-house single family plat on a three-acre parcel off Xenia
Avenue between Herman and Allen Streets.
After sometimes heated discussion, commission members tabled the issue
for a later date to provide more opportunity for public comment at a special
meeting scheduled for Monday, April 28.
Donnells proposed drainage system involves siphoning water into
a soil area to the rear of the development that will naturally hold water
because of its sandy, pervious quality, he said.
In lieu of detaining the water, were collecting it and putting
it in the soil, Donnell said at the meeting. There should
not be any water collecting at all; the process is peculiar to this site.
Though commission chair John Struewing assured residents that the Village
engineer had reviewed the drainage plan, several people still had concerns.
Hull Court neighbor David Hergesheimer asked if the drainage area would
be large enough for ten houses. Arnold Pence, whose farm abuts the retention
area to the west, expressed concern about excess water seeping onto his
property. Two other Hull Street neighbors, Tom Kumbusky and Village Zoning
Inspector Richard Zopf, said that neither of them had ever found anything
but top soil and clay in the digging they had done in the area.
Ive never witnessed this magic area of percolation,
Zopf also said the water system may need maintenance because of the flat
bottom detention area where water could stagnate and prevent mowing.
Donnell restated that he had confidence in the plans, which were developed
by local engineer John Eastman. Struewing assured residents that no more
water than usual would be discharged onto surrounding properties.
The Village has spent a lot of money to assure that the water wont
be a problem for you, he said, addressing the developments
Water retention in the area has long been an issue, said Earl Hull, whose
family has for several generations owned the property to be developed.
But he said it was time to finally develop the property.
Neighbors also had questions about the number of trees that would remain
on the development site.
In a letter concerning the vegetation of Hull Court, local landscape architect
Roger Beal wrote that the sites existing trees were densely matted
with invasive, nonnative euonymus and honeysuckle vines and shrubs that
were preventing any natural progression of a wood lot.
He also wrote that the existing trees were largely black locusts, an alley
cat tree best for fill and highway strips.
The volunteer thicket contains no real trees of landscape value,
Beal wrote. He recommended the perimeter trees be kept just for mass
and buffering. Current plans involve removing trees at the
bottom of the property basin and maintaining a tree line along the edge
of the property, Donnell said
Neighbors also raised concerns about parking for visitors, increased stopped
traffic along an already busy street, the width of the roadway into the
plat and issues of contractual obligations.
Toward the beginning of the meeting, Donnell expressed frustration over
the untimeliness of information distribution and therefore the delay in
his ability to move forward with the project. He and another developer,
former Yellow Springs resident Jim Alt, tried unsuccessfully to develop
the Hull Court area two years ago.
Its frustrating to be mandated to supply information at such
great detail that it costs so much to prepare before you know if its
a valid risk, he said Monday. Yellow Springs is different
from other communities; our zoning is written according to a no growth
The extension of discussion and public comment periods will give all parties
involved more time to review both the development plans and the site plan
reviews by the Villages engineer and solicitor, Struewing said.
The plans still have to go through two Village Council readings and then
be approved by several other public agencies, Donnell said. He said if
things move smoothly, he hopes to break ground sometime in August. Six
of the lots are unofficially spoken for, he said, and he would like to
get started before the winter.
* * *
In other plan board business:
The Ohio Department of Transportation awarded the village a $14,750
grant to complete a traffic study on U.S. 68, employing the services of
Frank Douglas of TEC Engineering and Roger Beal of Yellow Springs Design.
The study will focus on the 1.5 mile segment of Xenia Avenue from Kahoe
Lane to Cemetery Street and aims to reduce the roads accident rate.
By studying the volume, speed and kind of traffic on Xenia Avenue, the
study should be able to make recommendations that could improve the route
as a safer, more efficient and less polluting roadway, Douglas said. Researchers
will take a close look at pedestrian safety in the business district downtown
and major crossings near the school and the bike path.
Douglas also said the study should take no longer than three months and
that the results would be completed and approved by Sept. 30.