A new housing development is coming to Plain City, village officials announced Monday.
Darby Fields, a project of M/I Homes, will include lots for 236 single-family homes, village administrator Kevin Vaughn told council members. The development will be located at Plain City-Georgesville and Converse-Huff roads.
It’s the first new development in 14 years, Vaughn said. The last development, built in 2002, included 84 homes.
M/I developers were careful to plan a lot of green space, he said. About 51 percent of the project is open space.
Homes in the subdivision will be priced in the $250,000 to $300,000 range, he said.
There will be two entrances into the development: one at Plain City-Georgesville Road and one at Converse-Huff Road, Vaughn said.
Resident John Doig asked if there would be a traffic light at the Converse-Huff entrance.
A traffic study determined the intersection will not require a light, Vaughn answered. However, he is working with the county engineer about a solution.
The subdivision will be a topic at the village’s next planning and zoning meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 in the conference room (former village council chambers).
In other business on Monday, council members introduced legislation to increase water and sewer rates, but decrease surcharge rates. The changes will balance each other. Resident utility bills will likely remain stable, officials said.
Current resident rates are $16.24 for trash with a $10 monthly surcharge. The 2017 trash rate will be $17.65 with a $7 monthly surcharge. Water rates will increase from $15.05 to $15.80 for 2,000 gallons; sewer rates will increase from $16.39 to $17.21 for 2,000 gallons.
The average minimum bill in 2016 is $57.68, said Renee VanWinkle, fiscal officer. The average minimum bill in 2017 will be $57.66, she said.
Also on Monday:
• Council members approved via emergency spending about $86,000 for paving West Avenue. The project is being done in coordination with the Madison County Engineer — a move that saves about $40,000, said Vaughn. The paving is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Earlier this month, Madison County Commissioners approved a $906,407 contract with Decker Construction Company of Columbus to widen the intersection at West Avenue and U.S. 42 and install a traffic signal.
• Doig complained to council members that he was not notified earlier of an irregular water meter read due to a leaky toilet. It resulted in a $500 monthly water bill, he said. He asked the village to notify residents when workers come out to homes to double-check irregular meter reads. Vaughn said his office would look the matter.
He also questioned officials about a possible partnership with the City of Marysville to provide water and wastewater services. Some may not want another municipality having “a gateway in our community,” he said.
• Council member Nick Kennedy raised concerns over a recent vote by the board of zoning appeals (BZA) to approve a duplex at 430 S. Chillicothe St. He was among two dissenting votes, he said. He asked if Ohio law required a BZA vote and suggested the decisions would be better made by council.
“It’s nothing against the other members, but they don’t have the information we have,” he said. “When they don’t have the information we have, they’re doing a disservice casting uneducated votes.”
Paul-Michael Lafayette, village solicitor, said Ohio law requires a BZA. He encouraged council members to take BZA appointments seriously.
Andrea Chaffin can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.