Residents ‘concerned’ over possible state Route 55 re-zoning


By Matt Clevenger

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TROY — Members of the Troy City Council held a public hearing on Monday, June 5, about an ordinance to rezone 58.093 acres of property located at 3055 State Route 55, from A-2, general agriculture, to city zoning of R-5, single-family residential.

Residents raised several concerns over future development of the property, citing issues with drainage, increased traffic and the size and price of homes that could be built there.

“Our preference would really be to maintain the agricultural zoning, and preserve the growth of Troy in a way that can be done incrementally,” Troy resident Sarah Kampfe said. “We do see expanding the city as a way to make it grow, but we just would like to see it done in a way that makes sense.”

“Some of us are confused why this land is even being considered for re-zoning to begin with, when it’s considered to be prime agricultural and not very good for residential,” she said.

“It’s the cost, and the impact of what we’re looking at putting in,” resident Pete Zelnick said. “I’m concerned about the long-term ramifications it’s going to have.”

Troy Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Graves, who also serves as CEO of the Troy Development Council, spoke on the need for more workforce housing.

“Our industries cannot fill entry-level positions,” he said. “One of our largest industries actually busses employees from Springfield on a daily basis, to fill the needs of our local employers.”

“We as a community must talk about this need for workforce housing,” Graves said. “We need more people with more affordable housing, where people can live in Troy and work in Troy.”

Jonathan Bills of DEC Management spoke on behalf of the project’s developer.

“Stormwater is always a big concern,” Bills said. “We have to make sure we’re not releasing anymore water at a faster rate than what it is today, so that we’re not causing any downstream problems.”

“We know there will be some improvements that will need to be done,” he said. “We don’t now the full extent of that yet, until we get to the next stage.”

Prices and lot sizes for new homes have not been decided yet, Bills said, but similar developments in other areas are priced in the $255,000 to $300,000 range.

“I can’t guarantee anything,” he said. “We’re not far enough along in the project.”

“People think we’re coming in with $120,000 homes or something,” Bills said. “With the way things are today, that’s just really not possible; as for the lot size, it’s not determined.”

The rezoning ordinance was given its second reading, and will now be assigned to the Community and Economic Development Committee for a meeting on Monday, June 12, and will appear before council for a third reading on Monday, June 19.

In other business, council members also approved a resolution to authorize a natural gas aggregation agreement with the Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC), and a resolution authorizing a contract with LJB, Inc. to design phase II of the South Stanfield Road reconstruction project at a cost not to exceed $121,761.

Council members also approved a resolution of necessity for the completion of the Oakmont Creek subdivision, and a resolution authorizing the city’s participation in the 2023 CHIP Partnership with Miami County and the city of Piqua. Council members also approved a resolution authorizing an increase in the cost of an equipment shed that will be installed at Miami Shores Golf Course.

Council members went on to approve an ordinance for an expansion project agreement for the Project Next Employee Creation Incentive Program, and ordinances for the appropriation of four parcels of land for the West Main Street construction project, if needed.

A resolution to accept a donation of real property from Tavern Building owner Randy Kimmel and enter into a settlement agreement was held over for a second reading. Council members also approved Janet Newman’s appointment to the city beautification committee, for a term beginning immediately and ending on June 30, 2024.

Council members also heard a presentation from Beth Taylor of Community Rides to Work, which was granted its 501C3 status last summer. The organization is planning to expand it’s services in the future.

“Community Rides to Work provides reliable transportation to low-income individuals to and from their job in Troy,” Taylor said. “We have been around for about 10 years.”

“We are now our own non-profit organization,” she said. “We’ve re-named and re-branded ourselves as Community Rides.”

“We still offer rides to work; that’s our main focus,” Taylor said. “But we have a vision now of in the future offering transportation to low-income individuals; community rides to the health clinic, community rides to job and family services, community rides to the grocery store.”

Community Rides to Work has already provided approximately 8,000 rides this year, Taylor said. The organization charges $2 to $4 per ride, on a sliding scale based on income.

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