2013-02-09 / News

Council supports low-income housing

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE – Village council members unanimously approved a resolution at their January 28 meeting supporting the development of Fairlawn Village “for the purpose of the owner/developer applying for low-income housing tax credits.”

Fairfield Homes Inc. of Lancaster is proposing to build 30 single-family homes for Lancaster Fairfield Community Action on Circle Drive. A similar proposal was submitted in 2009, but was not awarded the critical low-income housing tax credits.

All the homes would be reserved for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income. After 15 years, the homes would be available for purchase.

Christine Collins, Director of Development for Fairfield Homes Inc., said the plan is very similar to the 2009 version except that a park originally proposed would be replaced with a bike path to Johnson Park.

“We had it rezoned,” she added. “We’re building within the code.”

Council member Jim Hochradel said he believes some compensation should be made to the village park system. He doesn’t have a problem with it as a conceptual plan.

“All we are doing tonight is we think it is a good idea,” Village Administrator Scott Brown said. “If they get the grant, then we’ll discuss the details.”

“It is not the site plan,” Collins agreed. The developers will find out in June whether they can submit a final application which will be due in August. About one-third of the applications are approved, Collins said.

In other business, Ron De- Paolo, representing Baltimore Industrial Park LLC (BIP), complained that the company installing a 12-inch water line along Ohio 256 east of the village had trespassed on more than 3,000 feet of their property. He noted that BIP received approximately $41,000 in 2008 when the same contractor used about 1,900 feet of the property when constructing the eastside water tower.

DiPaolo asked to be compensated in the same manner this time, but isn’t asking for cash. He would accept future taps to be used by 2025.

“You don’t get to drag a thousand feet of pipe all over my property,” DiPaolo said. “Five years ago I was asked and paid.”

He also questioned whether the new customer that will be served by the pipeline extension is paying the right tap fee. “Somebody is getting a great deal here,” Dipaolo added. “I would like to be part of that deal.”

Council members discussed his claim in an executive or closed session at the end of the meeting. No decisions were made when they returned to public session.

In response to some questions from The Beacon, Brown said a developer asked the village to extend a new water line to the corner of Ohio 37 and Ohio 256. The existing line doesn’t meet the developer’s required fire flow or water pressure demands. Brown said the developer agreed to pay the entire cost of the project and to turn the line over to the village. He didn’t address the issue of the tap fee. Brown said two new businesses there could generate up to 65 full-time jobs.

The 2013 Baltimore State of the Village Address is set for 9 a.m. on Presidents Day, Feb. 18, in the Liberty Union High School cafeteria. Fairfield National Bank is sponsoring a free Continental breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m.

State of the Village presenters are Mayor Robert Kalish, Village Administrator Scott Brown, Police Chief Michael Tussey, Fiscal Officer Flo Welker and Liberty Union Thurston School Superintendent Paul Mathews. The address is free and open to the public.

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