|Housing expansion rejected for Williamsburg on the River|
|Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor|
|Wednesday, 03 April 2013 10:07|
Plans for an expansion of the Williamsburg on the River housing development were rejected again Tuesday evening, even though the proposal now meets county requirements.
The Wood County Planning Commission voted 5 to 1 Tuesday evening to deny the subdivision expansion that would add 43 single-family homes and three two-family lots on 49 acres abutting the existing Williamsburg development. The new acreage is bordered by Ohio 235 to the west and Back Bay Road to the north.
The vote came after neighbors expressed their displeasure with their subdivision growing. The Williamsburg area in Washington Township was first developed in the 1960s, and has seen no major growth for at least 10 years.
Judy Westmeyer said Back Bay Road, which already has 35 homes on it, cannot handle the traffic from 46 new homes.
"This is a road which is narrow," she said, explaining that because the development lacks sidewalks, children and adult walkers use the road. "That road is not going to tolerate that type of traffic."
Westmeyer also expressed concern about the additional run-off being too much for the lake by her home which already rises quickly with a heavy rain.
"All that water is going to flow into our lakes," she said.
Neighbor Karen Higgins agreed the existing lakes will be harmed by the additional development. "Our property values are based on the lake system," she said.
"We are very concerned about flooding and water pollution," she said.
Higgins also criticized the plan for three two-family homes along Route 235. The original plan called for single-family lots, but was changed when ODOT said it would not allow multiple driveways on the state route.
"That has always been a one-family development, period," Higgins said. Once multi-family homes are permitted, it will be difficult to keep those type of homes from being developed, she added.
"We're concerned about our home values," with some Williamsburg homes valued at more than $500,000, she said.
Higgins also questioned the motivation of the developer, William E. Moll, of W.E. Moll Engineers.
"They are not stakeholders in Washington Township," she said.
Moll responded to run-off concerns by saying the majority of the drainage from the new homes will go into the new lake proposed. That water will then be metered into the existing lakes.
Moll said he understood that the dams in the lake system had to be taken into consideration. "The drainage is sensitive," he said.
The original expansion plans were rejected by the county planning commission in December. The new proposal reviewed Tuesday had been modified in response to concerns, such as:
• A minor change in road alignment.
• A reduction of lots from 49 to 46 single-family lots, and three two-family lots along Ohio 235. The two-family lots will share one driveway so they comply with ODOT requirements on a state route.
• The proposed park lot next to the existing park has been increased in size.
• Road access next to the park has been eliminated.
• Drainage outlet from the new lake has been split to outlet to the north and south lakes to follow the existing drainage pattern.
• A section of the pond edge has been added to aid in storm water management.
• Fire hydrant in the cul-de-sac was moved.
• Park requirement table was added to the plat drawing.
"It met all the requirements," Wood County Planning Commission Director Dave Steiner said of the revised plan.
However, despite those changes the board voted down the project because of concerns about only one road into the development. It was suggested an access be added on Route 235.
"They were worried about the traffic flow in there," Steiner said. It was also mentioned that the homeowners may want to consider sidewalks, which are now required in all housing subdivisions.
Steiner said the developer has the option of resubmitting his proposal or appealing the decision in court.
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