HUBER HEIGHTS and BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – Huber Heights and Bethel Township will hold a meeting to discuss annexation issues on Thursday evening.
According to a release by Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore, this joint meeting between the Huber Heights City Council and Bethel Township Trustees will be held on April 7. Both groups will meet in the council chambers at City Hall, located at 6131 Taylorsville Road.
This is the second time that landowners in Bethel Township have filed for this annexation of over 260 acres, the first being in September of 2021, Bethel Township Administrator Andy Erhart said. The first petition was struck down by The county for issues relating to the ODOT Right of Way policies on US Route 40.
These landowners then filed a second petition on February 28.
According to Gore, landowners made this petition because the zoning laws in Huber heights allow residences to be built much closer together, making the land significantly more valuable to developers.
After a petition such as this is filed, Huber Heights must follow the legally required procedures. The Miami County commissioners must then approve the annexation petition before Huber Heights can decide whether or not to accept the annexation.
“It all comes down to cost-benefit, right?” Gore said. “Because we will then have to take care of all those streets. We’ll be responsible for infrastructure, the maintenance, so certainly there’s tax revenue that’s involved there…but we just don’t know that yet because we don’t know what those numbers are.”
Mayor Jeff Gore said he does not know whether Huber Heights would accept the annexation or not. At this time, the city is working on filling the seat of City Manager, after which the council and manager can run the calculations of whether the annexation would be beneficial to Huber Heights.
“Our top administration levels right now are very short-staffed,” Gore said. “We have some senior administrators in the city who are pulling double and triple duty, so we haven’t asked them to do these cost-benefit analyses and to do this due diligence in research on whether or not that will make sense because we don’t even know if Miami County is going to approve it.”
The Bethel Township Trustees have expressed that they are opposed to the petition, and have no desire for it to go through.
The Trustees composed a resolution objecting to the annexation for several reasons. First, the resolution states that, while the township may not have had the infrastructure in 2003-04, it now has the ability to support development in this area.
Thanks to Miami County Engineering, Bethel taxpayers and multiple grants…, there is sewer and water all along US Route 40. Miami County has invested in this infrastructure, it has the capacity and the ability to service it. we request that this area remain in the FPA and be serviced by Miami County.Resolution by the Bethel Township Trustees
The resolution also mentions the lack of resolution from the city of Huber Heights as well as concerns about overwhelming the current traffic and school systems.
The plan for an additional 600-900 units will result in an additional 500-700 students in our already overcrowded Bethel Local School District.
We have not seen the traffic studies for this area. US Route 40 is already a busy road- adding an additional 1000 cars per morning and afternoon with no additional thought about traffic … The Trustees believe that these issues need to be addressed before the annexation petition should be considered.Resolution by the Bethel Township Trustees
The meeting will begin at 6 pm. and can be watched live on the Huber Heights website found here.