PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission approved a zoning request Tuesday evening that is expected to lead to future redevelopment on Wood Street.
The Miller-Valentine Group sought to have a parcel of land on the 400 block of Wood Street rezoned from light industrial to multi-family residential to build a 62-unit multi-family apartment complex.
The target applicants for the apartment complex are expected to be young families and professionals, with a representative from Miller-Valentine indicating that the apartments will not be rented to low-income people receiving assistance from a Metropolitan Housing Authority, or Section 8.
The parcel area is situated across the street from its current owner, Transformed Life Church, located at 421 Wood St. The property is near the intersection of Wood Street and Roosevelt Avenue and is also near the bike path, also called the East-West Ohio to Indiana Trail.
The property was previously zoned for light industrial use stemming from the former railroad use of the site, which has since been vacated and demolished.
The Miller-Valentine Group is the contract purchaser of the property.
“We will be the long-term property manager,” Pete Schwiegeraht of the Miller-Valentine Group said.
Schwiegeraht said the Miller-Valentine Group, which is partnering with St. Mary’s Development, believed this location would be a “great site to provide housing,” noting its proximity to the downtown area and its access to the bike path.
Mayor Kazy Hinds noted concerns about property management that were brought up at the previous Planning Commission meeting, where this request also received approval.
Schwiegeraht reiterated that they will be a long-term property manager and have full-time staff on-site.
“We’re very critical in the way we select residents,” Schwiegeraht said. “Through fair housing, certainly you have to be open to all, but there are things we can do to assure a safe living environment for our residents.”
Schwiegeraht used the example of rejecting resident applicants who have a felony on their record. “We do that across our portfolio,” he said. Additionally, they reject people who have been convicted of domestic violence or abuse.
“We’re very selective, but at the same time, open to the residents, and that’s the whole goal here — is to improve the quality of life of folks that rent in your community,” Schwiegeraht said. “The reality is there has not been any new apartments built in your community for quite some time, and there is a substantial workforce that can benefit from that.”
Schwiegeraht added that the addition of their apartment building could “raise the bar” for other property owners renting in the city to improve their properties in order to be competitive with them.
This apartment complex will have a variety of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, ranging from 675 square feet for one-bedroom units to 1,100 square feet for three-bedroom units. There will also be a fitness center, a business center, a playground, and connection to the bike path. Rental rates will vary between $575-$625 for one-bedroom units and around $750 for a two-bedroom unit.
“I think it’s needed there,” Hinds said.
During public comment, Paul Bubeck of Piqua asked Schwiegeraht if the apartment building was “going to be metropolitan,” possibly referring to the Metropolitan Housing Authority. People eligible for rental assistance through Miami County’s Metropolitan Housing Authority program must be living below 50 percent of the median income.
Schwiegeraht indicated no.
Garbage collection discussions continue
Garbage collection returned before the commission for a fourth time, and it is expected to return for a fifth time.
The commission tabled their previous ordinance on the matter, holding a first reading for a new ordinance that includes the previous recommended changes from the commission.
If this ordinance updating the city’s code in relation to garbage collection is approved, the Health and Sanitation Department will be providing 96-gallon trash carts to customers.
In this updated ordinance, a second trash cart will be provided to customers at no cost if they requested one.
City Manager Gary Huff also noted other minor changes made to the updated ordinance, including minor changes to the rates for commercial customers.
A new rate structure is also included in the ordinance, which will raise monthly rates by $1 for residential customers.
Director Amy Welker of the Health and Sanitation Department said that the city is working on providing three options of different trash cart sizes, including 32-, 64-, and 96-gallon sizes, with the 96-gallon size being the standard size.
Commissioner Bill Vogt asked about the expected purchase of a refuse truck, which will be automated and include a tipper, and how it will navigate narrow and “twisting alleys.”
Huff said that purchase will probably take place next year. Huff said that the trucks are smaller and will be able to drive through the alleys, but he did not have the information available about the specific navigation those trucks will take.
Commissioner John Martin later requested a cost comparison between the cost of in-house trash collection and having an outside company collect the city’s trash.
The commission also approved contracts for the Piqua Power System and the Wastewater Treatment Plant previously noted in Monday’s edition of the Daily Call.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336