Developers drop plan for Hithergreen nursing home

WASHINGTON TWP., Ohio (WDTN) – It can often be a quiet road hidden in a northern corner of Washington Township.

“Matter of fact, when you go out there in the morning there’s deer out there,” said Brian Feldmeyer, who lives nearby the Hithergreen Center. “There’s foxes. It’s really a neat little area.”

It is a view Feldmeyer hopes will only be more inviting in the future.

“There’s no green space or park in that area,” said Feldmeyer. “And typically, in Washington Township, an area that size would have a park or a green space.”

It is a vision different from a recent proposal to rezone the area where the Hithergreen Center sits.

The township was listening to a proposal which would have rezoned the residential area where Hithergreen sits into a proposed commercial development.

It follows a change at the Hithergreen Center where activities have moved to Rec West located on Miamisburg-Centerville Road. After the state pulled about $1.4 million in funding from the township, officials put the Hithergreen Center and property up for sale.

It was a unwelcome proposal for those living in the surrounding neighborhoods.

On Friday, it was withdrawn by Chapel Development, the group looking to change Hithergreen into a nursing facility.

The developer said in a letter to the township in part, “We continue to believe that our approach to positive community development through quality design and respectful operations would yield an asset for the neighborhood. Yet we also respect the right of Hithergreen residents to object to our senior living use. It is our desire to enhance community environment rather than divide it.”

Washington Township officials said on Monday the property remains up for sale.

“This particular purchase agreement was contingent upon the rezoning,” said Jesse Lightle, Washington Township Administrator. “There could be other purchase agreements in the future. Currently, we do not have any other purchase agreements.”

With no developer lined up, the township is left footing the bill to maintain the Hithergreen Center.

Feldmeyer, along with others in the area, said during Monday’s township meeting they would rather see more green than a potential for more traffic.

“That’s our goal,” said Feldmeyer. “That’s what we’d really like to have happen. We’d like to see the building taken down and the area converted into a park or a green space.”

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