By Megan Alley
During a public hearing on Dec. 5, the Batavia Township trustees approved a preliminary development plan to turn approximately 82.23 acres of property at 4149 Amelia-Olive Branch Road into 184 single family detached dwelling lots.
Boyd Billingsley owns the property, and NVR Inc./Ryan Homes is the project applicant.
Billingsley’s existing parcel is 112.89 acres, and NVR Inc./Ryan Homes has proposed to subdivide the property, purchasing 82.23 acres and changing the zoning from “R-1” single-family district to “PD” planned development district, with the remaining 30.65 acres to be maintained as an R-1 district.
In the staff report, NVR Inc./Ryan Homes called the fully maintained subdivision “Lifestyle by Ryan” — lawn care and snow removal will be provided by the homeowners’ association — and it will be marketed to “active adults” ages 45 to 65.
The development will be the first of its type in Cincinnati, according to Jason Brown, a representative for Ryan Homes.
“We think this is a great fit,” Brown said.
The trustees unanimously approved a zone map amendment and preliminary development plan for the subdivision in front of a roomful of concerned residents.
The residents were on both sides of the issue.
Maury Jacobs, whose residence neighbors the north end of the property, said of the subdivision, “I think it’s a good concept.”
Conversely, neighbors Dick and Debbie Westheimer, husband and wife, spoke in opposition to the proposed development.
During his presentation, Dick Westheimer noted that developers plan to cut down an existing old growth stand of pin-oak and old shagbark hickory dot trees, and destroy a trail system dating back to the 1970s and that is connected to a trail system on his property.
“[This development] is being done largely in disregard to the current use of the land,” Dick Westheimer said.
He asked the trustees to delay their vote, so that he could bring in an arbiter to talk with the developer about how to accommodate some of the historical use.
The trustees did not approve his request.
Gretchen Billingsley, part owner of the property, said that in making plans to develop the property, she and her family are “trying to make something nice for this county, and for this farm that we feel strongly about selling. “
She continued by saying, “We hope it will give the community something to be proud of.”