Council rejects $10 million investment


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Plans to build two affordable senior housing developments will most likely not happen. The two businesses wanting to invest $10 million each into the community received mixed results when their plans came to a vote on Tuesday night at the regular meeting of Greenville City Council.

A proposed zoning amendment to rezone a parcel on Adrien Avenue from General Business to Planned Unit Development Residential came to council from Greenville Planning & Zoning (P&Z) with an unfavorable recommendation. Council unanimously approved the P&Z decision that quashed the development.

A second proposal would have changed the zoning on a parcel on State Route 121 N from General Business to Planned Unit Development. This proposal received a favorable recommendation, although Mayor Steve Willman said it was a split vote in P&Z with four members voting for the change and two voting against. Council voted 2-5 in favor of the recommendation. However, Council needed to garner six votes in order to go against P&Z’s recommendation. They need a simple majority to proceed with the zoning change. The issue was neither approved nor disapproved and will come before council at its next meeting.

Greenville resident Nancy Myers told council she has issues with “subsidized housing” and urged council to vote against the zoning changes. Frank Fugate, representing the development on Aiden Drive, corrected Myers on her assertion that these units are subsidized. He pointed out his units are affordable housing and the people that live there must have a certain amount of income. The units are not operated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. His unit is owned by a non-profit. They are able to make the units affordable through tax credits that are sold to investors. Mr. Valentine shared his planned development was similar.

Myers also questioned the increase in police, fire and EMS calls the units could possibly see. Geoff Surber, owner of the properties, pointed Myers to the minutes from the zoning meeting where that issue was discussed by Dean Flannery and how there weren’t many complaints at Fox Run. Surber shared these developments would be comparable to Fox Run.

Councilwoman Delores Eley pushed for the city to conduct a housing study for these two items. “At present, we have six housing, whatever we want to call them, subsidized senior citizens. We have six of those in our system right now. I’m thinking a study like this… I don’t think we need seven housing developments for senior citizens or low-income people. I think we need to do our homework and practice some due diligence. I feel very strongly that we need to gather some more resources.”

Councilman Brian Brown said he had visited a development in Delphos, which is owned by the State Route 121 developers, and was impressed with how well it was maintained. He also shared that his grandfather was a disabled veteran and when his grandmother retired from Fram they could no longer afford to live in their single-family home and had to move to a similar development. He said, “They were forced into low-income housing.” Brown also asked, “Are we bringing new residents in or are we just chasing out…and leaving our old homes to rot and not having anyone in there.”

Valentine, who represents the development on State Route 121, shared that what generally occurs is when people downsize and move into one of the developments, their house goes on the market and allows another family to move into the community.

Valentine pointed out they would not have considered Greenville without a marketing study. They do not consider bringing people in from outside of the community. Instead, they look at the need two to three miles outside of the city area. “We’re not banking this development on whether we can bring somebody in from Dayton,” he said. “We’re looking at the market analysis as to the, which is usually two to three miles from the epicenter of Greenville. We’re not reaching out into other counties. We’re not counting on that. We’re basing that on the income levels that are existing within Greenville now.”

Councilman Leon Rogers questioned the cost of additional roadways and first responders. Valentine pointed out all of the roads in the development are private and maintained by the owners. He also said there would definitely be an increase in calls because there is nothing there right now.

The vast majority of individuals living in senior communities are single women, widows, on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, ages 62-69.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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