Residents promise action in fight with Springboro


City officials and residents of a development outside Springboro limits are at odds again.

On Wednesday night, the Springboro Planning Commission unanimously approved - with conditions - plans for a 15,685-square-foot assisted-living facility already under construction 600 feet southeast of the corner of Lytle-Five Points Road and North Main Street (Ohio 741) in Springboro.

RELATED: Planning Commission to review plans for project under construction

The commission approved plans for an assisted living center already under construction, despite warnings from neighbors it would result in “protracted litigation.”

Paul Van Maldeghem, president of the Woodland Greens Homeowners Association, said he planned to appeal the decision expected to result in construction of at least one 24-unit assisted-living facility on the land next to his home.

Van Maldeghem’s home, as well as most of Woodland Greens, is outside Springboro city limits. As a result, they are not represented by the city council members and other commission members making the decision.

Reading from the city code, he said the plan failed to satisfy the requirements of the zoning for buffers and transition from residential to commercial uses. More than 30 Woodland Greens homes are inside city limits.

Seven years ago, Van Maldeghem, a lawyer at the Air Force Research Laboratory, was among the leaders of a group of Woodland Greens residents who fought plans for a bank and day-care center on the land.

RELATED: Developer pulls plan for day care center in Springboro

That plan and a rezoning required for the development to happen were withdrawn in April 2010 by a different property owner, who balked at additional changes sought by planning commissioners, although most of the residents affected live outside city limits in Clearcreek Twp.

MORE: Springboro residents oppose residential development

On Wednesday, the commissioners sought no additional concessions from representatives of the company developing a 6.3-acre property for Beehive Homes, a national operator with similar facilities in 18 states. A second phase is expected.

City staff said it complied with zoning and none of the 30-plus conditions was expected to stop builders from continuing with construction.

“There’s no show stoppers here,” Development Director Elmer Dudas said.

Although the plan was not approved until Wednesday, construction had already begun.

“The planning commission seems to have given some sort of prior approval. It’s very concerning to us,” Woodland Greens resident Jane Van Maldeghem said.

However Dan Boron, the city’s chief planner, said clearing grading and other early construction activities were permitted without plan approval.

“Clearing and grading is permitted on private, undeveloped property, subject to compliance with sedimentation and erosion control regulations as well as the marking of trees for compliance with landscape and buffering requirements of the local code. Footer-foundation work is also permitted, at the risk of the property owner, subject to compliance with a preliminary review by the planning commission and issuance of a building permit,” the staff report for Wednesday’s meeting said.

The assisted living center would be Beehive’s first in Ohio, according to the company website.

FOLLOW LAWRENCE BUDD ON TWITTER

Architect Jim Alt said he would be responding to the remaining conditions set by the city within 15 days.

“We’re hoping to be open by the fall of 2018,” said John Schaeffer, administrator of the proposed facility already offering tours.



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