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Developer asks board to reject bid to vacate road

LISBON — A developer with plans for property near the Salem Golf Club asked the Columbiana County Commissioners to deny a request by neighboring residents to vacate a strip of roadway leading to his property.

Chuck Beiling said he has been planning the development of the property since 2015 and wants to run the access road to where he plans to build the nine duplex senior rental condominiums and create four lots where $350,000 to $400,000 homes could go off of Foxden Drive.

Beiling told the commissioners by going into the property that direction he can afford to put in the best roadway, curbs and gutter. However, if he has to run the road to the property from state Route 45, Beiling said he the project would cost more and he would only be able to put in a chip and seal road with a ditch.

Beiling also said he has been building developments for 40 years and the commissioners should speak to County Engineer Bert Dawson; Bobby Durbin, who used to work with the engineer’s office; and Fairfield Township Trustee Barry Miner about his work before making a decision. He also named some people who live or used to live in the area where he plans to build, stating they were in favor of the project.

However, several of the people at Wednesday’s meeting wanted the road vacated voicing their concerns about Beiling using the roads in the area. Tom Darling said a lot of traffic would be added, coming in and out of both Foxden Drive and Golf Club Drive, which is narrow.

Another resident, Daniel Sanor said he does not care if Beiling develops the property, but he just wants him to make a road off state Route 45 and leave their neighborhood alone. He claimed Beiling couldn’t resist driving by while he was talking to people in his own yard.

A third resident Eric Smith said they bought their home at the end of the road and their young daughters could ride their bicycles on the quiet street. Now there is heavy equipment in the area and all the trees behind his home have been torn out due to Beiling’s project. Smith said he does not want to stop progress, but the traffic from 18 rental residences and four possible home could be a safety risk on a road that is so narrow, two vehicles nearly touch mirrors.

Additionally, Smith said Beiling’s plan to run utilities off Foxden Drive would mean his front yard would have to be torn up to connect to what is there. Smith suggested when Beiling put in Lincoln Rental, it blocked his ability to come off state Route 45.

However, Beiling had claimed the Salem Township trustees were in favor of vacating the project, but Commissioner Mike Halleck questioned him about it after the other residents said what the trustees actually said was they could not do anything with it because a road vacation has to go before the county commissioners.

Halleck pointed out that the homes in that area are “the crËme de la crËme” in the area and he has been up there to see the mess being created. Beiling pointed out what he plans to put there would be quality and he wants to put in a quality road.

“I’ve been approached by a man a couple of times that would put 50 trailers in there,” Beiling said, adding he would not feel right about doing that.

Smith took exception questioning if Beiling was threatening them that he was going to put trailers in there if he does not get what he wants. Beiling denied that he wanted to put in trailers.

Halleck asked Beiling if it were not true that someone having to drive up Foxden Drive to get to their property would really make the property he is developing more valuable than a road off state Route 45. Beiling agreed that was the case.

The commissioners took the street vacation under advisement, giving them time to research it and look at development drawings Beiling had presented them. They assured everyone in attendance they would be ready to decide at the next meeting.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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