Land rezoned for STEAM academy


XENIA — City Council recently voted to rezone the property at 855 Lower Bellbrook Road from an I-1 light industrial district to an O-1 office district for potential use by a charter school.

Dan Mayer, an architect representing the Community STEAM Academy, 135 E. Church Street, and 578 E. Market Street, hopes to lease space and establish a temporary STEAM location on Lower Bellbrook Road. CSA is a public K-12 charter school which had planned to renovate and occupy the former Xenia YMCA building on Church Street.

It was supposed to open for this past school year but it was delayed due to myriad issues.

The proposed temporary location is vacant and owned by Mt. Holly Farms. Currently, it is a ready-to-occupy building that was formerly used as a call center for the Nationwide Biweekly Administration. The CSA wants to establish a temporary location while it continues to build resources for renovations of the East Church Street and East Market Street locations.

According to city records, the current zoning does not permit K-12 educational uses. An O-1 Office District permits K-12 educational uses as conditional use. Additionally, minimal renovation to meet the school’s needs will be required.

After review, the rezoning request was found to meet six of the seven rezoning approval criteria in the Land Development Code. The O-1 Office District also supports a more gradual transition in intensity from industrial development/zoning to more sparsely developed areas in Xenia Township.

The Planning and Zoning Commission conducted a required public hearing on May 10, and voted to recommend to council that it approve the zoning request. The rezoning will become effective on Saturday, July 8.

We have reached out to CSA officials to find out exactly what their plans are.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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