As it updates its comprehensive plan, Anderson Township finds growth and space hard to reconcile

River, renovations seen as areas for development
As it updates its comprehensive plan, Anderson Township finds growth and space hard to reconcile
Posted at 7:01 AM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 07:01:13-05

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories explaining the Anderson Township 2016 Comprehensive Plan.

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Anderson Township prides itself on its homes and retail development amid lush trees and green space that make it unique.

But, like other townships in Greater Cincinnati and places like Madeira and Hyde Park, there's limited space to expand, which also limits the kinds of developments, said city officials.

The Anderson Township 2016 Comprehensive Plan sets guidelines to provide for the mix of housing and business development the community wants, said Paul Drury, director of planning and zoning. There's little space, but a future area for housing development is likely along the Ohio River while industrial would fall near the Little Miami River in the Ancor area.

The township has used the comprehensive plan since 2005. This is the third revision of that original plan, which led the way for the town hall and redevelopment of Anderson Towne Center into more of a city center approach.

The comprehensive plan does set clear guidelines for development, said Drury and steering committee member Kathleen Wagoner.

"It's a guide that we use," said Wagoner, also a member of the township's Betterment and Beautification Committee and a local Realtor for Sibcy-Cline. The focus is to keep housing needs, retail and entertainment balance with walkablity and green space, she said.

Tight space makes it more challenging to offer more housing variety, she said.

Anderson, population 43,500, attracts families because the school district is good, said Drury. That drives the need for mixed housing needs.
One option, which is happening on a very small level, includes tearing down the old to make way for the new, said Wagoner. It's more likely that Anderson will see new housing along the Ohio River or in Anderson Towne Square, she said.

The comprehensive plan includes a push for empty-nester and senior housing on the Ohio River, as well as restaurants, gas stations and office buildings.

Drury said the Skytop Pavilion on the west side of the township is likely going to be reasoned to also allow for residential and office use.

The township also wants to take advantage of the new development at the Anderson Towne Center, and wants to have upscale apartments within walking distance, she added.

"We don't have a whole lot of apartments or lifestyle housing (age 55 and older), or homes on small lots," Wagoner said. 'We don't have that product."

The housing challenge is not only diversity of home sizes or upscale apartment living, she said, but also in price. "Homes under $400,000 are hard to find," Wagoner said, noting that the few new developments feature homes over that price.

When it comes to light industrial, the Ancor area also is challenged by some land being in the flood plain or in conservation areas. Several companies are already in the area, including Ancor, Martin Marietta and Evans Landscaping.

To grow, public transportation to the area would also need to be addressed, he said. Other issues with the site include lack of sewer lines and road development, Drury said. Anderson competes with all other Hamilton County communities for new sewer projects through the Metropolitan Sewer District, he said.

It's not about using every inch of space for development, he said. It's about Anderson keeping its rural roots with existing farms as well as current lifestyle and amenities with the resources it has.

Find the plan

The Anderson Township Comprehensive Plan was first created in 2005 and is updated approximately every five years. Find the plan at