breaking news

Magnitude 8.2 earthquake strikes off Alaska coast, tsunami warning issued

First phase of 4,500-home Warren County development under final review

State transportation officials and Warren County planners are doing final reviews of plans for the first section of Union Village, a 1,400-acre, 4,500-home new urbanist community between Springboro and Mason on Ohio 741.

RELATED: $445 million in development projected over 20 years at Union Village community

By next spring, the 30.5 acre first phase, including a four-story commercial building, should be under construction across from the oldest building on Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices’ main retirement campus.

Otterbein’s headquarters will anchor the new town center, to be built across Ohio 741 from 200-year-old Marble Hall, once the center of activity for a 4,000-acre Shaker community.

A handful of “destination” restaurants are to be part of the town center, drawing visitors and driving excitement about the new community, said Bob Turner, who lives Habersham, S.C., another new urbanist community he has developed.

Another commercial strip also designed to remind visitors of a bygone era of quaint, walkable downtowns, will frame the town center, expected to serve residents of the retirement community and new development, as well as draw visitors and tourists.

“You really have the character of the old town,” Turner said.

RELATED: Union Village authority formed in Warren County

Last month, the Union Village New Community Authority approved the plans, conditional on approvals from the Ohio Department of Transportation and Warren County Regional Planning Commission.

The authority will function much as a homeowners association for a condominium community or subdivision. It also enables the development company set up by Otterbein to be reimbursed for about $8 million spent on demolition, roads and other infrastructure through special assessments paid by property owners and property taxes set aside through a taxing district.

RELATED: Retirement center entrance moving as part of redevelopment

Eventually, roundabouts are planned on the north and south ends of the development on Ohio 741, to calm traffic nearing Union Village.

Last week, ODOT and county officials indicated they were still studying plans for the first phase, designed by Turner’s firm, and including three intersections at the state route and across from roads leading into the Otterbein campus.

“The goal is to make a walkable neighborhood (crossing the state route). We’ve got to balance that with moving traffic,” Turner said. “We’re trying to make an intersection where people will cross the street.”

MORE: Why roundabouts are popping up around the region

Ultimately visitors and residents will be able to travel from the town center, across the property by interior roads or paths to the sports park being developed on 109-acres off Ohio 741 and Greentree Road.

MORE: County raises lodgings tax to pay for $15 million sports complex

“Everything, is connected together, all in the neighborhood,” he said.

Locals wonder how this can happen on a busy two-lane state route.

MORE: Warren County unable to find millions needed for roads

Turner said the solution was in spreading the traffic within the development and along multiple access roads onto Ohio 741 and Ohio 63, the other main route bordering the property, east of Interstate 75.

“You form a grid system that alleviates a lot of the traffic,” he said.

In addition to the commercial center, the first phase is to include 89 homes, four apartment buildings and seven town homes, all developed using the design principles associated with new urbanism.

Lebanon’s historic downtown and Mariemont, a planned community in the Cincinnati area, were used for “historical precedent,” Turner explained.

“It’s quite different from other development being done,” he added. “It’s something we’ve done in other places that’s been successful.”

Assuming the state and county approvals are forthcoming, Turner said some of the homes and the town center should under construction this time next year.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Schumer’s ‘cave’? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on Dem leader
Schumer’s ‘cave’? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on Dem leader

Republicans tried to make Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the face of the government shutdown. Now, he’s becoming the face of the Democratic retreat. For two days, Schumer, perhaps the most powerful Democrat in Washington, succeeded in keeping his party unified in a bid to use the government funding fight to push for protections for some...
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad

Attorneys for a condemned killer whose execution was stopped last year after 25 minutes of unsuccessful needle sticks are once again recommending the firing squad as an alternative. The execution could also proceed if the state adopts a closely regulated lethal injection process that includes a headpiece to monitor the brain activity of death row inmate...
‘Defiance Disorder’: Another new book describes chaos in Trump’s White House
‘Defiance Disorder’: Another new book describes chaos in Trump’s White House

In late July, the White House had just finished an official policy review on transgender individuals serving in the military and President Donald Trump and his then-chief of staff, Reince Priebus, had agreed to meet in the Oval Office to discuss the four options awaiting the president in a decision memo.  But then Trump unexpectedly preempted...
President Trump signs bill ending government shutdown
President Trump signs bill ending government shutdown

A Senate standoff that partially shuttered the federal government for nearly three days ended Monday when Senate Democrats agreed to support a bill to re-open the federal government through Feb. 8. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined 31 Democrats and independent Angus King of Maine in backing the spending bill, which they did under the condition that the GOP...
Why other countries don’t have government shutdowns
Why other countries don’t have government shutdowns

Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected to stay home this week, after the Senate was unable to reach a deal Sunday night to end the government shutdown which began three days ago. This may not be the first time in recent history that funding for government operations and agencies was interrupted — since 1976, there have been 19 shutdowns...
More Stories