The city of Centerville and developer Oberer Realty are at an impasse over one of the central features of the Cornerstone North development: the community park.
Centerville City Manager Greg Horn said the original agreement gave the developer increased density for some of the residential area, and in exchange, Oberer was to build the project around the central “park” feature.
“That’s what we’re supposed to be getting in return,” Horn said. “We just want to make sure the common elements are developed in a high-quality manner and that there’s proper funding established to maintain it for the future.”
The disagreement is largely about who will be responsible for the planned park’s maintenance and ownership.
The original agreement called for various parcels on the development site to contribute toward ongoing maintenance of the park. The green area, which is to feature a small amphitheater, would be owned by the developer until about 80 percent of the development was completed. Then ownership and maintenance would transfer to the Master Property Owners Association — a collection of property owners in the Cornerstone development.
As it stands, the park land is owned by the developer, though that may not be true for long if Oberer can find another entity to assume ownership.
“They’re looking at essentially trying to turn that responsibility over to another entity if they can find one to assume that role,” Centerville City Manager Greg Horn said.
Oberer has the ability to transfer ownership to another entity — like an area park district — if they came to an agreement, though Centerville would have to sign off on the transfer. Centerville would have no such power if Greene County were to assume ownership of the park.
The property where Cornerstone sits was annexed from Sugarcreek Twp. to the city of Centerville in 2006, but remains part of Greene County.
George Oberer said the “optimum” scenario for Cornerstone would be to have an area park district own the park, saying there would be an added benefit for the new owner.
“If a park district were to take over the park, the portion of the budget that would be generated through (Master Property Owners Association) to maintain the park, those funds could be paid to that park district,” Oberer said. “The district could have additional funds over and above what the park levies might give them to maintain the area.”
In an effort to create additional funding for park maintenance, Oberer proposed creation of a new community authority — an entity that relates only to properties on the north side of the development.
The new community authority would create a $750 tax per acre per year. Horn said creating the group would put a heavier burden on the other facilities and not the site’s anchors like Costco, Cabela’s and Kroger.
“We questioned whether that was really needed or if they could adjust (Master Property Owners Association) fees accordingly if they needed additional money,” Horn said.