WILMINGTON — Council has held the first reading of a rezoning request for a proposed residential subdivision off Prairie Avenue.
In connection with the planned Bill Marine Estates Subdivision, Marine has asked that the zoning of a 109-acre parcel be changed from “Rural Residential” to “Suburban Neighborhood”.
Bill Marine said at Thursday’s meeting of Wilmington City Council, “I think everyone in this room agrees we need to give people the opportunity for a nice-size home that’s affordable, so that they can live here.”
Local realtor Walter “Butch” Peelle, the agent for Marine, said he reached out to Marine in late 2018 regarding the lack of building lots within existing subdivisions in Wilmington. As a result of that scarcity, potential residents are going elsewhere to live such as Hillsboro, Mason or Loveland, he added.
Peelle mentioned that Marine had plans for a subdivison at the same site 11 years ago, but shelved them when DHL announced it was leaving town. This time around, the planned building lots are larger, said Peelle.
As previously reported, Phase 1 of the Bill Marine Estates Subdivision has 32 building lots, and would include an entrance on Prairie Avenue.
It’s anticipated by council’s Judiciary Committee Chairperson Matt Purkey that the second as well as the third and final readings of the rezoning legislation will be heard and voted upon at council’s next regular meeting on Sept. 5.
Wilmington Service & Safety Director Brian Shidaker encouraged anyone who has questions regarding the subdivision to attend the Wilmington Planning Commission meeting 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 in council chambers at city hall. A couple matters will be addressed then, including the residential development’s likely impact on nearby traffic.
Council on Thursday approved a Wilmington College request for $4,245 in lodging tax funds for a downtown banner project in conjunction with the college’s Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary year) in 2020-21. The college has invested $1,900 toward the graphic design of the banners.
Wilmington College spokesman Randy Sarvis said the banners will help promote the Sesquicentennial kickoff event, which will coincide with WC’s 2020 Homecoming and will be held in the downtown — in essence an addition to the city’s summertime series of Third Friday Parties.
The Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau has committed to contributing $30,000 for a band or bands at that downtown event.
During the council president’s report, President Mark McKay said there had been a little confusion at the prior meeting in regard to public comment. When somebody in the audience wishes to comment, “We ask that you be recognized by the chair before making a statement from the floor,” said McKay.
Further, the hope is that audience members’ remarks and comments, unless relevant to the subject at hand, be offered at the end of the meeting during the designated public comment period, he said.
During public comment, DP&L Design Engineering Supervisor Bill Gourley responded to a concern raised at a July council meeting by At-Large City Councilperson Bill Liermann. Liermann had asked what type of plan DP&L has to guard against prolonged power outages.
On Thursday Gourley said because DP&L is a regulated utility, it has metrics to meet. Over the past 12 months in the Wilmington area, DP&L has replaced 140 poles and has about 80 more to go. In addition, DP&L has replaced 210 switches in the area of Wilmington, and conducts a tree-trimming program.
The company makes adjustments to its system when growth occurs, he said. For example, in the past year, DP&L has built two miles of a bigger line with greater capacity along State Route 730 headed toward the new World Equestrian Center.
The DP&L representative gave details on four recent power outages around here, the most widespread of which was caused by a tree coming down and landing on a utility pole.
Gourley also said he was advised DP&L has a group of people working on a “smart grid initiative” to work on challenges.
During the mayor’s designated time on the agenda, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth administered the official swearing-in of new fire department lieutenant Jeremy Rolf, and also presided at the swearing-in of a new police officer, Nathanial Powell.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.