change on farm approved
Local residents Kathy and Rick Sanders will be allowed to build a house
and have a couple of horses on nearly eight acres of family farmland,
thanks to action by the Miami Township trustees.
After a public hearing Monday night, the trustees unanimously agreed to
grant the familys request to have a small portion of the Pitstick
farm on East Enon Road rezoned from industrial to agricultural.
During the hearing the Sanders restated their desire to zone down a portion
of the family property, which is owned by Kathys parents, Roger
and Peggy Pitstick, to build a house and continue farming the rest of
There was some question that we might meet with some initial resistance
from the Township board, Kathy said after the motion was passed.
We appreciate all of our friends and neighbors who came, and we
want to thank the Township for understanding.
Several friends and neighboring landowners spoke in favor of the request
at the meeting. Bonnie Hoagland, a member of the Township Zoning Commission,
stressed the importance of maintaining agricultural land around Yellow
Springs and also the need to respect the rights of the landowners to zone
their land as they wished.
Other residents echoed these sentiments from slightly different perspectives.
Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road resident Jerome Borchers, a former dairy
farmer, said he moved to town a few years ago because of its commitment
to land preservation. He felt the zoning change would be an opportunity
to maintain some green space in the southwest part of Yellow Springs,
which may eventually become developed.
Hyde Road resident Dale Amstutz spoke in favor of allowing family members
who want to move back to the family farm to do so without resistance.
He said landowners who chose not to develop their land but to keep it
agricultural should have every opportunity to do so.
Honestly, our decision was easy, trustee Mark Crockett said
after the meeting. The issue of private land use is always at the
front of the decision, and the process was weighted in favor of the Zoning
The Zoning Commission and the Greene County Regional Planning Commission
recommended last month that the land be rezoned as requested. Trustee
president Chris Mucher had initial reservations about accepting the recommendations
because both groups had referred to outdated and inaccurate maps when
making their decisions. But Mucher said he felt confident the necessary
corrections would be made.
The parcel the Sanders will build on is part of a larger plot included
in the Cooperative Economic Development Agreement, which the Village and
Township signed to encourage business growth in town. The CEDA also
includes farmland owned by Vernay Laboratories at the corner of East Enon
and Dayton-Yellow Springs roads. The Sanders expressed concern that the
parcels status inclusion in the CEDA could have affected the trustees
Kathy Sanders said that though they understood their land could be part
of a joint development plan, the couple made no final agreements regarding
Crockett, who is also a member of Community Resources, a group that is
working with the Village and Township to promote business growth, said
that he didnt anticipate any conflict of interest between the CEDA
agreement and the zoning change.
The use of the land in terms of building a home on it and keeping
it farmland works well within the overall plan, he said. I
dont think anybody believes land for the CEDA is going to be a problem.
With the zoning change, 32 acres of the Pitstick farm are still available
for development under the CEDA.
The trustees had three to four weeks to make a final decision on the zoning
request, but trustee Lamar Spracklen motioned to grant it immediately
after the public comment period ended.
* * *
In other Township business:
Trustees agreed to extend to another three weeks the bidding time
for a new equipment truck. When bids were opened at Mondays meeting,
the only correspondence the Township had received was a no bid
from S&S Equipment Manufacturer. Fire chief Colin Altman felt confident
that three weeks would be ample time to get an acceptable bid for the
truck from companies that were slow to pick up the notice the first time.
Trustees will hold a budget workshop Monday, March 10, 9 a.m.,
to set permanent appropriations for the Township for the year.
Altman reported the fire department will not enroll in the small
pox vaccination effort coordinated by the County health department. The
threat of biological warfare was not pressing enough to warrant risking
some of the side effects that could force employees to be off work for
days, he said. In addition, because the treatment uses a live vaccine,
workers would have to be isolated for 21 days from patients who may be
immuno-compromised. Hospital officials recommend that unless there is
a reason to feel at extreme risk, taking a wait-and-see approach is best,
Trustees agreed to purchase three radio pagers at $333 each for
fire department communication.
Altman reported that a part-time Fire-Rescue staff position has
opened up because one of the volunteers left Miami Township for a full-time
position with the Springfield fire department.
Trustees agreed to donate $250 to become members of the Little
Miami River Partnership, an organization that helps promote sound watershed
planning and protecting the Little Miami River.