By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
At first glance, these two articles about a zoning change affecting the Heatherwoode Golf Community HOA in Springboro, Ohio, seemed unremarkable.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners of spacious, upscale single family homes to object to development of a new subdivision that might impact neighborhood traffic or lead to possible overcrowding of schools.
But, in this case, dozens of homeowners and representatives of their HOA are objecting to a tiny 7-home subdivision proposed to intersect with the main street in town. They have attended two Springboro City meetings to voice their concerns, and have obtained 130 signatures on a petition opposing the rezoning request.
The 2.3 acre parcel is currently occupied by one home, and surrounded on three sides by the Heatherwoode Planned Unit Development (PUD), which was established in 1991. The landowner proposes rezoning for seven single family detached homes on one-third acre lots. According to reports, that’s equivalent to lot sizes of 14 adjacent Heatherwoode properties.
Will Springboro City Council approve Daniel Family Trust’s request to subdivide the parcel?
As a condition of approval, the council required the developer to work out questions about the homeowners association before breaking ground.
After all, it is hard to argue that adding seven homes will have a meaningful impact on Main Street traffic or public school enrollment.
The main objection of Heatherwoode homeowners, according to local reports, is the fear that the new subdivision — which will have its own separate HOA — will have somewhat smaller homes and might (gasp!) allow its owners and residents to park boats and RVs.
This takes NIMBYism to a whole new level.
(NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard)
Not only has it become common for homeowners to object to almost any new development, no matter how reasonable and benign, but now it is also becoming the norm for existing HOAs to impose their preferences for restrictive covenants and architectural standards on any new nearby development.
Should Heatherwoode HOA have the political clout to pressure an adjacent landowner to enact Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that are essentially identical to their own?
Is a 7-home HOA really necessary?
And, of course, it’s equally insane to create yet another deed restricted association-governed community for a mere 7 homes. Is common area truly necessary for a handful of homes on one small cul-de-sac, particularly if the new road will be dedicated to the City, as other roads in Heatherwoode?
Is it practical to create a situation that requires three people on the HOA board to enforce rules and standards and collect assessments from homeowners? Seems certain to create plenty of future neighborhood conflict, up close and very personal.
Why can’t the landowner simply subdivide without imposing an HOA, and without unnecessary restrictive covenants? Why have local governments across the nation elected to make property ownership so complicated?
You can read about the proposal and view a map of the property here:
No guarantee of open space, good views, or private back yards
And here’s another life lesson for home buyers and homeowners alike: change is inevitable.
If you purchase a home adjacent to a property on acreage, or any open space such as a family farm, a park, or a golf course, there is absolutely no guarantee it will remain that way forever.
Local governments and landowners alike benefit from increasing housing density, at least up to a point. In this case, the owner of a 2.3 acre lot can make a lot more money selling seven home building sites instead of one. And Springboro can collect significantly higher property tax revenue from seven residential properties than one.
Heatherwood homeowners are fortunate that Springboro is not approving the 2.3 acre lot for 8 or 10 homes per acre (townhouses), or rezoning the site for 2 or 3 dozen apartments. In many cities and towns across the U.S., multifamily rezoning is the new normal, even if not ideally suitable for a vacant parcel of land.
And what about the community’s integrated city-owned Heatherwoode golf course? In the future, if it becomes excessively costly to operate, you can bet it, too, will be rezoned, perhaps for even more housing.
Springboro residents appeal proposed rezoning of neighboring land
By Lawrence Budd – Staff Writer, My Dayton Daily News
Posted: 12:00 a.m. Friday, December 08, 2017
Residents of a local golf-course community appealed to the Springboro City Council on Thursday to reconsider the proposed rezoning of neighboring land for residential development.
The residents of the 212-home Heatherwoode community spoke during a public hearing on rezoning of 2.3 acres at 1360 S. Main St., just north of the entrance to the community, featuring the city-owned golf course.
The property owners, the Daniel Family Trust, are seeking rezoning to allow the development of a 7-lot subdivision at a density, following the dedication of 0.22 acres of right-of-way along South Main Street, of 3.29 units per acre.
Read more (Video):
Springboro council to vote tonight on new housing opposed by residents
Lawrence Budd Staff Writer, My Dayton Daily News
10:35 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 Local
The Springboro City Council is expected to vote tonight on rezoning and approving the general plan for 2.3 acres at 1360 S. Main Street in Springboro — despite opposition from area residents.
The development, to be known as Streamside at Heatherwoode, has been opposed by residents of the 212-home Heatherwoode community.
“We do want to hear their thoughts and concerns,” Rebecca Diver said. “We understand change is difficult.”
Staff has recommended approval.
The residents pointed to how close the new, smaller homes would be to those in Heatherwoode and noted they would be represented by a separate homeowners association.
Permitting the new homeowners to be represented by a different association could result in the homes being permitted to do things on their property, such as park boats and RVs, Hemmert said.
Read entire article here (Video):