Elizabeth Murphy has been an area resident for over 30 years.

Dear Fellow Loveland Residents,

It is important that you are aware of a process that is now ongoing involving 110 acres of Grailville land between State Rt. 48 and O’ Bannonville Road. 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 initial public hearing drew a standing-room-only crowd. Everyone who spoke, with the exception of the Drees representatives and one real estate agent, 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 situation in downtown is bad now. The construction of a large subdivision on this Grail land will initially cause several years of construction trucks and dirt funneling into town from State Rt. 48 and O’Bannonville Road. 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 estimated that 4-5 additional 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 relating 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 times been an issue and more homes drawing water cannot but aggravate this.  

The other end of this problem is the management of the additional sewage. The sewer line under East Loveland Avenue is outdated, and fragile, and it is questionable whether it is adequate to handle a large new neighborhood.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 confirmation of sewer availability, capacity, or access compliant with MSD standards. Will the City of Loveland be put in a position of providing this infrastructure at Loveland residents’ expense?  With the Little Miami River so nearby it is crucial that there be no chance of contamination.

Natural rainwater run-off must also be considered. The land that White Pillars and Grailville are on slopes to the northwest.  The existing homes along O’Bannonville Road are all in the path of this natural drainage and vulnerable to surface flows or overflowing of Bares Run Creek in times of heavy rain. The new roads and houses will eliminate acreage which currently absorbs the rainwater and so more will continue on downhill.

The final thing I need to speak of is the special quality of this particular 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 connecting 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 negative side-effects, to please make your views known. Attend the public meetings (the next is on May 4), write to or call members of the Zoning Board and City Council. 

In our country, we have a government of citizens for citizens. Our officials have a duty of honor to listen to the members of the community they serve. They are us; and therefore, we must speak so they may be guided.

Sincerely, 

Elizabeth Murphy

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