Darby Creek Advocate Volume 11, Issue 1 January 2003
Homewood Filling Saga
Despite opposition from virtually the entire western Franklin County community, and an explicit stay issued by a local judge, Homewood Corp. continues to fill flood plain along a Hellbranch tributary. Much of a 12.5-acre parcel was filled over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The stay had been issued by Judge David Johnson in response to a request by attorney Matt McClure, who on behalf of DCA and a group of local residents has appealed the decision allowing the filling. DCA and residents are contending the decision went against an existing local plan, namely the Brown Township Comprehensive Plan. That case is pending.
When the filling activities were reported, DCA issued a press release, and held an impromptu protest at a Homewood office. The event was covered by local media.
Unfortunately, Judge Johnson later required a $10,000 bond to keep the stay in place pending his
decision on the appeal. DCA declined to post the bond, and will instead seek to have the dirt removed through its appeal.
The zoning decision sets a dangerous precedent, and shows that Franklin County needs, at minimum, an ordinance banning floodplain filling.
The Homewood debacle is the latest example of an all-too-familiar pattern in central Ohio:
developers ignoring the wishes of communities in their pursuit of profits. The fact is, developers are not long term stakeholders in a community, and are reluctant to give up profits for planning.
Much time and money has been sacrificed by stakeholders in the effort to protect the Darbys.
Developers such as Homewood would undo this work for profit—and then skip out of town.