To the Editor:
I have lived in Bethel Township for almost 30 years. What attracted me and my husband to Bethel was the rural feel to the area. We like being out in the county but close enough to commercial venues to not be remote or isolated. Over the years we have watched farmland being sold off piece meal to people who build their ‘country’ home out here. Some of these folks have issues with what country living really is and try to force their city mentality on us long time residents. We, the residents, have managed to keep those individuals in check. This massive rezoning effort sounds more like a development or planned community. The people who buy in planned developments tend to be the people who have that fantasy of bucolic country life and are often dismayed with the reality of the smells, occasional noise, and lack of city services. These are the very people who will want to change our rural lifestyle to fit their fantasy.
My bigger concern is the current owners of these properties are saying what is proposed at this time for that land may change. Change to what? Commercial use? Retail use? Smaller lots for more houses?
I grew up in Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township. In the ’60s and ’70s Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township was very much like Bethel. Then I-675 was built and Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township was transformed from a quiet rural community into the upscale community it is today. They still tout their country living but I can tell you it is no longer rural as it was in my youth. When I visit in Bellbrook it feels like an extension of Centerville/Washington Township. I can’t help but feel that these rezoning efforts are the beginning of the end of Bethel Township’s quaint rural lifestyle. Vote No on the referendum.
— Nicole R. O’Quinn