Trustees to Oppose Dille Rd. Development

DJI 0088 Bethel Township Trustees of Clark County announced last week that they will oppose the final zoning of land parcels along Dille Road until further research has been conducted. Land owners went before the Rural Zoning Commission late last year in attempt to have two parcels zoned residential and one zoned industrial. That board approved the two residential zoning requests but denied the industrial designation, saying that too many possibilities existed for types of businesses that could occupy the land.

The matter is set to go before the board of Clark County Commissioners on Wednesday, January 20, and although the Rural Zoning Commission has made their decisions on the three parcels, the commissioners may vote to overturn those rulings and hand down the ultimate zoning.

Trustee Nancy Brown said she had talked to Dan Studebaker, who planned to go to the commissioner’s meeting on behalf of Tecumseh Local Schools to voice the district’s opposition to one of the residential parcels. The parcel on the south side of Dille Road, located just behind Park Layne Elementary School, was approved by the Rural Zoning Commission for residential use, as the landowner said he intends to sell it to a developer who will then build duplexes. Brown said she has learned that the developer would build 40 buildings that each hold two duplexes, resulting in a total of 80 residences on the 26-acre lot.

The board of trustees is concerned with the amount of traffic that many residents would place on Dille Road, saying the narrow road is not designed for much traffic. They also expressed concern over the intersection at State Route 235, which will also be impacted by the influx in traffic.

The Rural Zoning Commission also approved a residential zoning request for a parcel on the north side of Dille Road that is intended to become 40 homes, which Brown said will include lots roughly the size of Park Layne lots or smaller. The increase in traffic from these 40 homes as well as the 80 duplexes will jeopardize safety at the intersection of 235 and Dille Road, said Trustee Dave Phares.

“This is going to affect a state intersection,” said Phares, who added that the intersection posed a threat to safety because it does not have a traffic light and also because many of the new residents will be going to school at the same time that Park Layne Elementary buses are arriving at school. “There’s no traffic light for the buses already, and now you’re going to add this?” Phares said.

Trustee Don Minton was also opposed to the zoning until further traffic studies are completed, saying the situation “is going to be a big safety issue with the school buses.”

Phares recommended that the board send a letter to the county commissioners ahead of this week’s meeting, asking that they reject all zoning requests until details and further traffic studies are completed.

The trustees also included in that letter their opposition to a construction request for a property on Aspen Road. The trustees opposed any construction on the part of the property that their easement runs through.

During the trustees’ meeting last Tuesday, acting Fire Chief Jennifer Cotterman said her department has been quite busy since the beginning of the year, reporting that as of last Tuesday evening, they had responded to 76 calls for service since January 1. Cotterman said that automobile accidents have “been through the roof,” describing a semi accident that occurred last Tuesday afternoon just north of Route 40 on 235. She said that a car slid off the road in the bad weather and road conditions, and the person who came to tow the car out of the snow stretched a tow rope across the entire road, which was struck by a semi truck that ended up on its side because of the collision.

The trustee meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Bethel Township fire station, located at 3333 Lake Road, with the public always welcome. Call the township at 849-9499 for more information.

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