by Elizabeth Robinson
Dear Fellow Lovelanders,
I want to speak to you about vision and make sure you are aware of an important ongoing process before the Loveland Planning and Zoning Board and Loveland City Council. Drees Homes is requesting a change in the current low-density zoning status on 110 lovely acres of green unspoiled land, with historic buildings, currently owned by Grailville (The Grail). This land sits between where East Loveland Avenue turns into O’Bannonville Road and Rte 48. Drees desires this zoning status change to put 209 homes on this green space.
The Grail Mission and Vision Statement speaks of Care for The Earth. This has always been vital to Grailville/The Grail in its history and practice. Grail members including myself are expressing significant and ongoing distaste that the Grail is seriously considering divesting itself of this land to Drees to build another subdivision in our town.
There are important long-term practical reasons why many Loveland residents have spoken AGAINST enabling a zoning status change proposed by Drees to build 209 homes. They include, among others, an overcapacity school system, aggravating already clogged traffic and infrastructure concerns including sewer and water. (Please reference the below open letter to Loveland residents by Elizabeth Murphy for more details on these pressing issues)
I want to concentrate here on a compelling and magnanimous (great of mind or heart) vision of protection from development such as the proposed Drees subdivision. Standing up for a NO vote on this zoning status change from low density is a very important first step.
If the Grail is determined to divest itself of this land, are we as citizens willing to stand up for a vision that will honor the cultural and spiritual history of the Grail on this land, and also stand up for the inestimable value of added community green space which will do so much more than another subdivision to keep Loveland a treasured place to live into the future?
I wonder: If Loveland has the foresight to reject this proposed Drees zoning change, would The Grail accept significantly less money from the city or other entity committed to a higher vision that cares for the earth and the people of Loveland?
I have lived in Loveland all my life and our Loveland Bike Trail was just such a vision. There were many who could not see the immensely positive difference this green path of natural beauty that intersects our town and all enjoy, would make for the future of Loveland. It is with gratitude we now look back and honor those who had vision and were tenacious, so we could see the flowering of that vision.
Today Loveland is thriving. With that has come some of the problems of success mentioned earlier such as traffic and stress on infrastructure. We can make decisions now that see another subdivision that destroys precious green space and exacerbates traffic and stressed infrastructure will not be a decision that is truly good for the future of Loveland.
Loveland citizens will thank us years from now if we reserve green and natural places for the good of all, as did those bike trail visionaries.
I ask the Loveland Planning and Zoning Commission and Loveland City Council to reject this Drees proposed zoning change. Reject it not only on very real practical matters such as traffic and infrastructure, but to support a greater vision of the intrinsic beauty and value added of green spaces for Lovelanders into the future.
East Loveland Avenue
April 11, 2022 Dear Fellow Loveland Residents, It is important that you are aware of a process which is now ongoing involving 110 acres of Grailville land between Rt.48 and O’Bannonville Rd. Loveland City Council and the Zoning Board will have to make a decision on the Drees Homes’ request for a change in the zoning status to allow them to build 209 homes on that land. The iniPal public hearing drew a standing room only crowd. Everyone who spoke, with the excepPon of the Drees representaPves, requested that the Zoning Board say NO to the Drees proposal. There are important long-term reasons why it is best for our community that the Drees proposal does not go forward. We all know the traffic situaPon in downtown is bad now. The construcPon of a large subdivision on this Grail land will iniPally cause several years of construcPon trucks and dirt funneling into town from Rt.48 and O’Bannonville Rd. As the houses are built and sold regular traffic of several thousand car “trips” through town will phase in. This will never stop. Our school system is currently overflowing recommended capacity. Extra trailers are needed for space. It is esPmated that 4-5 addiPonal classrooms of children are likely to be added by this subdivision. We are all painfully aware of the costs that would be incurred to build new schools, as well as the stresses on children and teachers involved in overcrowding. Again, once this increase is allowed to happen it is unlikely to be reversed. There are also serious general infrastructure issues relaPng to water. The Loveland water system is a series of wells which when run at high demand can drop the water table in a significant way. One must ask at what point will this become a problem. Water pressure has at Pmes been an issue and more homes drawing water cannot but aggravate this. The other end of this problem is the management of the addiPonal sewage. The sewer line under East Loveland Ave. is outdated, fragile, and it is quesPonable whether it is adequate to handle a large new neighborhood. The receiving Polk Run sewage treatment plant has no more room to expand. There has been no confirmaPon of sewer availability, capacity, or access compliant with MSD standards. Will the City of Loveland be put in a posiPon of providing this infrastructure at Loveland residents' expense? With the Liale Miami River so nearby it is crucial that there be no chance of contaminaPon. Natural rainwater run-off must also be considered. The land from White Pillars on slopes to the northwest. The homes along O’Bannonville Rd. are all in the path of this natural drainage and vulnerable to surface flows or overflowing of Bares Run Creek in Pmes of heavy rain. The new roads and houses will eliminate acreage which currently absorbs the rainwater and so more will conPnue on downhill. The final thing I need to speak of is the special quality of this parPcular piece of land. For about 80 years women of The Grail have lived or worked there. They have tended the land, holding it, knowing the sacred nature of this place. As the Grail has shared access to their land with others for walking and connecPng with nature, many have become aware of the spiritual calm which it provides. In today’s world we need this more than ever. In conclusion, I would encourage everyone who feels that we do not need another big subdivision on this Grailville land, with all the negaPve side-effects, to please make your views known. Aaend the public meePngs (the next is on May 4), write or call members of the Zoning Board and City Council. In our country we have government of ciPzens for ciPzens. Our officials have a duty of honor to listen to the members of the community which they serve. They are us; and therefore, we must speak so they may be guided. Sincerely, Elizabeth Murphy - Fallis Road Loveland OH