breaking news

Reds fire Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins

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

Guns, opioids dominate talk at local Washington fly-in
Guns, opioids dominate talk at local Washington fly-in

The Dayton Development Coalition’s annual fly-in to Washington is typically a pretty locally-driven affair — lots of discussion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Wright Brothers historical sites — but on Wednesday, the conversation briefly veered into a national social issue. Asked whether he supports outlawing assault rifles...
Moraine considers filling open council seat after longtime leader dies
Moraine considers filling open council seat after longtime leader dies

Four applicants for the vacant Moraine City Council seat created by last month’s death of Jim McGuire will be the topic of a special meeting tonight as the deadline for filling the post draws near. Council is set to meet at 6 p.m. to consider Bob Allen, Rocky Bangert, Donald Burchett and Basil Tom Hicks for the at-large seat, one of two on Moraine&rsquo...
Major reforms could come to payday lending industry in Ohio
Major reforms could come to payday lending industry in Ohio

A week after Republican Cliff Rosenberger’s abrupt resignation, state lawmakers moved to push through the strongest reforms on payday lending that Ohio has seen in a decade. House Bill 123 calls for closing loopholes, limiting monthly payments to no more than 5 percent of the borrower’s monthly income, limiting fees to $20 or no more than...
Kucinich discloses $20,000 speaking fee from pro-Syrian group
Kucinich discloses $20,000 speaking fee from pro-Syrian group

Democrat Dennis Kucinich is under attack for his association with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and now disclosure of a $20,000 payment he received from a pro-Assad group. Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland accused Kucinich of deliberately trying to hide the $20,000 payment by listing the income on his ethics statement without disclosing that it...
The fight with the West is isolating Russia. But that isn’t stopping Putin.
The fight with the West is isolating Russia. But that isn’t stopping Putin.

At least one bright spot stands out in the Russian economy, even as its prospects darken in the face of escalating sanctions: the manufacture of work uniforms.  The production of specialized work clothes, including bulletproof vests, is one of the lone growth areas in the economy, up by 27 percent, said Igor Nikolaev, director of the Strategic...
More Stories