Plans to locate part of the $15 million Warren Sports Park at Union Village on Greentree Road are being reconsidered due to objections from residents who would live across from the complex.
Instead the commissioners delayed their decision until April 11 while studying the possibility of moving this section of the park west up Greentree Road closer to Ohio 741 or entirely onto Ohio 741.
This would move the projejct away from homeowners on New England Way, a residential street that runs off Greentree Road, near the Warren County Airport.
The move would also respond to concerns of the operators of the airport about the lights that would be used to illuminate the fields until 11 p.m. from March to November.
The delay is the latest setback for the plan, which hinges on transfer of land from Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices, passage of 1 percent increase in lodging tax and approval of tax abatements and creation of a community authority to fund and maintain the 1,200-acre development.
Neighbors predicted traffic, noise and light pollution would follow the park’s development on Greentree Road, a winding two-lane outside Lebanon.
“I’m not sure whose interests are being served. It’s not the local community,” said Nick Sargent, the first in a series of New England Way residents to appeal to the commissioners to relocate the park.
Unless the park plan is in place by Nov. 11, Otterbein would be permitted to build more than 400 homes on the land currently designated for the park and the county would have no land for the sports complex, seen as an engine drawing more tourists to “Ohio’s Largest Playground.”
» RELATED: Sports park previously planned in Lebanon
Officials said the location, split on either side of a Turtlecreek Twp. park, was the one selected by Otterbein, rather than three other locations where the park would be on one piece of land.
» RELATED: Union Village another step closer to reality
In addition to moving the park away from New England Way, Commissioner Dave Young said swapping the park land with the township would also prevent them from having to build two concession stands and rest room facilities, as was planned to serve the current proposed location.
Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Dan Jones said the trustees would consider the swap.
“I’m not saying this can be pulled off. I think we should explore it,” Young said.
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