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Right-of-Way Issue Holds Up Couple's Plan to Build House in Dayton

A couple in Dayton is looking to obtain the right-of-way on Belmont Avenue in order to build a new house on their property.

The city would like to create pedestrian walkways through the adjoining woods along the property line of the residence which would connect to a grass opening along Dayton Avenue to Belmont Avenue. In order for that to be possible, however, the city would have to build it within the property of Cheryl and Ron Newman. A negotiation was briefly tossed around before City Council decided that both sides needed more time in order to fully evaluate the options for both parties. 

The Newmans’ plan is to build a new home in 2016, but they're apprehensive to do so without the right-of-way ownership. They worry that a road could be built there which would change their perspective on the value of building a home there. Members of city council, along with City Administrator Michael Giffen, and Mayor Virgil Boruske all said that there were no plans of any motor traffic through the right-of-way, but that pedestrian access throughout the city remains a high priority for future plans.

There had recently been a planning commission meeting that recommended against giving the right-of-way to the Newmans, but Roy Newman suspected that was based on concerns that he and his wife would not be favorable to a pedestrian walkway, which he refuted by saying he had no problems with such a plan. The value of the house he plans to build there, he said could be as high as $500,000 which would triple the current property tax revenue the city currently collects from the address.

“I wasn’t at the planning commission meeting, but I think where some of these discussions are stemming from is in terms of how we make our city and community a walkable environment. It’s something that we should continue to strive for, being in the urban core, but in this particular instance, that discussion really hasn’t occurred until recently,” Giffen said.

The two sides agreed to meet as early as this week to hammer out some details and hopefully find a solution that does not hamper either plan for the area’s future.

Other Notes:  

Dayton Independent Schools Superintendent Jay Brewer presented a few highlights of the system’s success, showing how kindergarten-readiness in the district has climbed from 35 percent in 2014, to 50 percent in 2015. Kindergarten-readiness is crucial, he said, because a child’s brain is already 90 percent developed by the age of five. Also, the school district rose from #152 to #125 in the state, out of 173. For the future, Brewer talked about the $1.2 million renovation plans that will enhance safety and security with a more identifiable entrance and more windows and natural light as well as parking and landscape enhancements. The project is expected to move forward in August or September.  

The Kite Festival at Gil Lynn Park in October was a success after raising over $4,000 for the Dayton Civic Club and its future events. Over 450 kites were made and entire celebration attracted over 60 volunteers that helped out.

The next Civic Club event will be Light Up Dayton which will take place on December 6 at the Bellevue-Dayton Firehouse. Children will receive candy and books and 40 donated pizzas. There will also be ornament crafting and a visit from Santa himself. 

-Bryan Burke, associate editor