Planners presented options to create a downtown feel in the Dayton Mall area, and residents responded with questions and concerns about the proposals.
“It is about creating a downtown in an environment where a downtown wasn’t developed in the 1960s when this area was growing,” Steve Kearney, project manager, said.
Bike lanes, walking paths, green areas and improved infrastructure all play into the master plan and reinvention discussed during Wednesday night’s meeting in the Miami Twp. Government Center.
“We see the success at Austin Landing and The Greene, and that is what we would like to create in this area,” Kearney said. “The Greene (in Beavercreek) is probably one of the best examples in the country of creating a mixed-use urban walkable environment.”
The downtown vibe that malls like The Greene depict attract young professionals and empty-nesters, according to Kearney.
“There’s no downtown anyplace,” said Marge Mott, a Miami Twp. resident. “When our children graduated from school, we lost a sense of our connectedness.”
Stantec Urban Places Group spent three days in February speaking with community members, stakeholders and neighboring businesses and communities. Stantec now has isolated three areas — called catalytic sites — surrounding the Dayton Mall and has created three to four possible scenarios for each one, Kearney said.
One scenario in the Lyons Ridge Road area includes 60,000 to 70,000 gross square feet, or GSF, in retail space, 150-200 residential units above the retail space and 24,000 GSF in green space. Green space could be used for outdoor concerts and entertainment, Kearney said.
“We want to share all the hard work that’s gone into this and continue to get feedback from the community,” Kearney said.
Armed with questions and a stack of sticky notes, community members responded.
“I just think, generally speaking, the whole concept of all this development is overdone,” Miami Twp. resident Noel Baldwin said.
Baldwin has lived in the area since the early 1970s and said, after hearing all the information, he will definitely be back for the next meeting about the project.
Robin and Carl Galloway live in one of the catalytic site areas near Mad River Road. They welcome the change a reinvention could bring and were excited about the various scenarios.
“I think things need improving. We need more people coming to the area, not moving away from the area,” Robin said. “It’s time for an update.”
One of Carl Galloway’s big concerns is traffic flow, an issue he said he was relieved to find was being considered by the planners and would be addressed during the master plan presentation in the summer.
During the presentation, Kearney laid out the possible scenarios that could be included in the master plan that will be presented in June.
During the hour-long presentation, residents voiced concerns about traffic flow, police presence and annexation.
“As a township, annexation is always a constant issue for us,” said Chris Snyder, Miami Twp. planning and zoning director. “All I can say at this point is, over the last 10 years, we have entered into more extensive partnerships with the city of Miamisburg and Springboro, it puts us all in the same pot together so that (annexation) won’t be as much of an issue.”
The next steps in the planning, according to Kearney, are:
• Determine which specific scenario will be used for each of the three locations.
• Do a complete financial market analysis and 10-year performance evaluation.
• Set models, develop the design and create the master plan specifics and present it in June.
The implementation goals will be defined at the June master plan meeting. Those will include outlooks for up to two years, from two to four years and for five to 10 years, Kearney said.
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