Rezoning a bad idea
The column by Dr. Hammond from CSU is short on some facts. The parcel of land they are attempting to rezone is in a residential neighborhood. Indeed, it is in an historic neighborhood.
The school has tried in past years to put a gas station on that parcel of land and now wants to put a building on the land because they just want to. They have over 200 acres available for the building that are already zoned I/G (industrial/government) but they have chosen to attempt to get the township to indulge in spot zoning, ruining the neighborhood by injecting noise, light and loss of privacy.
The increased traffic in an area already congested with traffic alone and the danger of students and others crossing US Route 42 to access the building should have been enough to make the college understand that the site is unsuitable. The township fire chief spoke out against the placement in the name of public safety at the last public meeting.
The college did not consult with any members of the Wilberforce community No public meetings were held sharing their intentions or the reasons for the location. The only reasons shared at the recent public hearings at the Township were so that people would not have to go on campus (why not?) and the fact that they wanted it to be the “front door” of the campus. The disrespect demonstrated for the wishes of the community has been amazing.
The Wilberforce Community is unequivocally opposed to rezoning this residential property. As the president of the Wilberforce Property Owners and Voters Association I have made this abundantly clear to both the college and the Township Trustees.
The placement of this building in a residential neighborhood would only add validation to the demonstrated disrespect for the Wilberforce Community and its residents. The people who are advocating for this change do not live in Wilberforce or the Township. It will not impact their quality of life. The Trustees owe the people they represent some vindication of our trust in them when they were elected.
— Dr. Melva Newsom, Xenia
CSU has other options
How wonderful that Central State University is now a Land Grant University and will be providing many more benefits to our community and students. A recent editorial by CSU President, Cynthia Jackson-Hammond shares information about a request from CSU to the Xenia Township Trustees to change zoning on a piece of property directly across from Central State, a piece of property that is located right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The president also presents a list of services this building will make available to the community, and it all sounds so amazingly wonderful.
But, I think it is fair to question an organization’s commitment to “work with the community,” when the location they choose to place an institutional building will cause significant disruption to the quality of life to the people who call the neighborhood home. This new building will require round the clock lighting. Would you want this next door to your home? Would you want a multi-storied building with a large parking lot and its increased traffic next to your home.
The request for this change in zoning is coming from people who do not live in this neighborhood. They do not even live in Xenia Township. President Jackson-Hammond lives in Beavercreek.
We, the people of Xenia Township who live here and lay our heads down every night are the community that will be affected, not the consultants from Columbus, nor the college administrators and staff who live in communities other than Xenia township. Not the students who come and go.
The piece of land in question is so small compared to what is available for placing this new building. Central State University’s Land Grant status will not be affected by the placement of this building. Central State has hundreds of acres from which to choose. If they honestly, sincerely and truly care about working with the community, they would make a different choice.
— Janis James, Xenia Township