BATH TOWNSHIP – Township Trustees Steven Ross and Tom Pitstick will be attending the June 13 public hearing of the Fairborn Planning Board that will address an application request for a development plan approval for a parcel at Waterford Landing subdivision, east of the Bath Township Park, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.
“We are planning to attend the meeting for the purpose of making the City of Fairborn aware of the issues we are facing concerning this matter,” Ross said during the June 7 township meeting.
In May, the township trustees sought the advice from the Civil Division of the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office and consulted with Stephanie Hayden, assistant prosecuting attorney, concerning a property rights issue at the township park.
According to township trustees, Lance Oakes, project manager at DDC, (Design Develop Construct) LLC., a Dayton-based general contractor, contacted the township about the issue. Oaks is claiming that three-fourths of the paved walking path on the east side of the park, a portion of the parking lot, and the fence bordering the park is extending onto undeveloped property in the Waterford Landing Subdivision. He is requesting that the existing walking path and fence be removed and relocated and the parking lot be cut back 10 feet.
The township trustees is requesting, in an official letter written by Hayden and addressed to DDC, that the entire boundary line be staked off and verified by an independent surveyor. The trustees have also asked for a punch list and cost estimates from DDC.
During the June 7 township meeting, Ross reported that the boundary line had been staked off up to the fence adjacent to the road garage. It appeared, Ross said, that several residential lots would border the fenced area around the township garage where fuel tanks and roadway construction materials are stored. He pointed out that during inclement weather, the township road crew would be working out of this area throughout the night, which would create a certain amount of noise. Bright lights would be lit during this time as well.
“I would like to have the entire boundary line staked off and verified by an independent surveyor as soon as possible,” said Ross.
Bath Township Zoning Inspector Jim Miller suggested that the City of Fairborn consider the construction of a noise-barrier mound between the township and residential properties. Township Road Supervisor Vern Heizer also expressed his concerns about a possible issue with the township’s salt barn. He noted that a change in the topography from the recent construction has caused an increase in storm-water runoff. Ross asked Heizer to compile a list of all the issues that need to be considered.
Ross stated that the board of trustees reviewed a proposal from Strawser Construction regarding the section of the paved walking path that DDC is requesting to be relocated. He had previously asked Heizer to collect bids for the reconstruction of a new, paved walking path. The contractor’s bid totaled $29,700, which did not include the cost for the removal of the existing walking path. Ross requested that a copy of the proposal be sent to Assistant Prosecutor Hayden.
During the May 31 township meeting, Township Trustee John Martin pointed out that the township has occupied the property where the existing walking path, parking lot and fence are located for a statutory period and should consider acquiring title to the land.
“This land is ours because we treated it as ours for 24 years,” Martin said. “We have a right to adverse possession.”
According to Ross, the fence and the township building were erected in 1970. The walking path was later constructed in 1993 after two, five-acre lots were obtained from Cemex (now known as the Fairborn Cement Company).
At that time, Assistant Prosecutor Hayden agreed that there was credence to the fact that the walking path was constructed on the property and used by the public for more than two decades.
Ross said the township trustees would present all their concerns to the city planning board on Tuesday evening. That public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the City of Fairborn Government Center, 44 W. Hebble Ave. in Fairborn.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.