Wilberforce residents pleased with ‘no’ vote

By Scott Halasz - shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com

XENIA — Some walked out with smiles, others were more stoic.

But everyone against a controversial rezoning walked out of the Greene County Commissioners meeting Nov. 2 feeling as though they scored a big victory after the three-member board voted to deny the annexation petition.

The City of Xenia was hoping to annex Central State University, approximately 650 acres, from Xenia Township. The annexation would be done in several phases. The first, which the commissioners ruled on Thursday, was for 45.637 acres which is part of the Ohio to Erie Bike Trail and some state-owned property. That would have enabled the city to annex the rest of the campus.

Opposition emerged almost immediately to the request, none stronger than from the Wilberforce Community Property Owners and Voters Association, which feared the annexation could lead to isolated commercial zoning in a residential area and a deterioration of quality of life.

“I’m very happy the commissioners looked more closely at the legalities,” said President M. Cookie Newsom, a CSU grad and former faculty member. “I also believe they heard the will of the people.”

The American Association of University Professors also sent a letter to CSU President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond expressing displeasure with the request.

“I’m really pleased,” said Mike Gormley, a CSU communications instructor. His excitement was somewhat tempered, as he knows there is a chance the city and CSU could take the case to court

“This is just round one,” Gormley said. “I hope the courts make the right decision.”

Township resident Janis James gave kudos to the three commissioners for how they handled their decision, basing their rationale on the law.

“I was very pleased to see the commissioners did their homework,” James said. “Paid attention to the facts.”

By Scott Halasz


Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.