A plan to build new homes on Cedarbrook Flower Farm in Beavercreek has been adjusted to take into account concerns of traffic safety and drainage problems raised by residents.
The plan for the first phase on the Design Homes and Development project will be up for approval by City Council next month.
The city’s planning commission is recommending the site plan for 59 homes. The home prices will average above $400,000, according to city records.
The project requires that Newton Drive be extended to connect to Shakertown Road, which some residents say will lead to more traffic and dangers, especially for walkers and bikers.
Two speed tables and a traffic circle on Newton Drive have been added to the plan in an effort to slow down motorists traveling from the older neighborhood and into the new before connecting to Shakertown Road, said Beavercreek City Planner Randy Burkett.
Speed tables are longer, elevated sections of the roadway as opposed to speed bumps. At least one speed table exists in the city at the Walmart on Pentagon Boulevard.
“The traffic circle will keep traffic down in terms of speed,” Burkett said. “These types of projects take a long time. Assuming it’s approved by council, homes may not be built until next spring.”
There is only one entrance to the older neighborhood, which comprises 322 homes, at Newton Drive and North Fairfield Road. The latest traffic counts indicate 1,774 vehicles go in and out of that intersection on a daily basis, and all but 500 of those vehicles turn to and from Shetland Road, the opposite direction from the proposed development, according to city records.
While residents say they are worried about increased traffic along Newton Drive once it’s connected to Shakertown Road, the engineer on the project said the plans for the development will make it safer for travel.
“The existing entrance has over 300 homes on it and that’s really a safety issue,” said Reinke Group’s Steve Lisle, the engineer hired by Design Homes and Development. “The city requires a connection to Shakertown Road.”
Design Homes and Development owner Shery Oakes declined to comment for this story as they are still in the early stages on the project.
Residents have voiced concerns about drainage problems too, where stormwater runoff often overflows the nearby creek, resulting in standing water in some of the existing homes’ yards.
The developers plan to build two ponds, one that holds water permanently and one that collects stormwater and drains it out slowly.
“Right now, the water just sheet flows into the creek,” Burkett said. “With this plan, we let the water out slower than what it was before the development. As we do with any project in the city, the developers are required to not make a drainage problem worse.”
Lisle said he understands why residents would be concerned about such a significant project and those concerns have been addressed in the updated site plan. While this is Design Homes’ first project in the city of Beavercreek, Lisle said he’s worked on many projects in the city.
“We will be able to significantly reduce the stormwater runoff and better direct the flow to the stream,” Lisle said. “We feel like it’s a good fit. The planners and developers are anxious to get started in the Beavercreek community.”
Council members are expected to vote on the first phase of this project at their Feb. 12 meeting. The original plans called for building a senior living facility or multi-unit building on the 28-acre property in addition to the new homes. Burkett said city planners will be working on that aspect of the plan as a separate project in the future.