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No oversight of PRD


January 23, 2018 Letters to the Editor

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For those who promote the Planned Residential Development concept in rural areas, it would be worthwhile to visit the uncontrolled destruction along Davidson Road in Adams Township. The very existence of the high density PRD concept on Davidson surrounded by nothing but Rural Conservation housing units, including Meredith Estates and Heaven Lane, should never have been proposed or approved by the township.

Existing residents along Davidson have been told repeatedly how the PRD protects the natural landscape and habitats, assures trees are saved, and offers the township control and leverage. In fact, the actual performance of the contractor over the past 10 weeks has demonstrated exactly the opposite characteristics in all respects.

What is left of the natural landscaping is surrounded by huge piles of dirt taken from many areas that are, at best, peripheral to the space required to build on a half-acre lot. The trees that are left after the logging of mature trees that also were peripheral to building the homes per the plan consist primarily of those on steep slopes and in the drainage wetlands. The water tests that were promised before construction began are still not available and basically useless at this point for the intended purpose. Vibration tests and monitoring were never discussed prior to residents being subjected to decibel readings that would never be allowed in a manufacturing facility.

In short, no attempt was made to control anything that has been done to date. Requests to the township are met with no response or a referral to see an appropriate expert. Recently, a plea for help involving destruction of trees at a different PRD was met with the township directing the resident to get an attorney.

As noted in several recent Butler Eagle articles, an amendment was recently approved by Adams Township which included the reduction of required open space from 40 percent to 35 percent. Given the destruction of the open space on Davidson Road, this change will even accelerate the conversion of southern Butler County to a suburban/urban area without regard for declared long-range plan objectives being to maintain rural characteristics.

We Davidson Road residents realized too late in the approval process that the PRD concept was being misapplied with the property rights of existing residents being subservient to the interests of the landowner, the developer and even the township. This is being written to warn others who believe they live in a rural zoning that the existence of the dreaded PRD on their municipality books can override every aspect of your rural zoning.

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