Rich / Davis / Primrose Intersection Safety Improvements Update
Deerfield Township has been working with the Warren County Engineer’s Office for the past two years on the design of a project that would realign Primrose Drive with Rich Road at the Davis Road intersection. These improvements are necessary to improve safety for drivers in the area. The realignment greatly increases visibility and reduces conflict points that can lead to injury-related crashes.
Township Trustees and Administration are moving forward with this safety improvement plan in order to eliminate injury and non-injury crashes that have been known to occur at this intersection. In the past five years alone there have been six injury-related crashes and three non-injury crashes at the intersection of Primrose Drive and Rich Road.
The majority of the land needed to straighten the roads and realign them into a conventional intersection is already owned by the township. However, in order to move forward with this safety improvement project, the township did need to acquire several small easements from two private property owners. To date, township officials have been able to come to agreement with one of these private property owners, located at 9361 Davis Road, who agreed to sell the necessary easements to the Township.
Township officials have made several attempts to work with the property owner of the second property (9181 Primrose Drive), which, in total needs three easements. Two of the easements, totaling 0.021 acres, are needed to reconstruct an antiquated and failing storm sewer system that crosses onto the private property. The last is a permanent highway easement that amounts to 0.013 acres that allows for the intersection realignment and needed safety improvements. (An aerial showing the overall impacts of the project are shown in Exhibit A of this document.)
The Township has made every effort to minimize the impact to surrounding private property owners. An alternative solution, which included roundabout was considered and ultimately discarded as it would have required the acquisition of two entire properties. (Exhibit B shows the impact that a roundabout would have had to the existing private properties.)
Additionally, whenever a public project has the potential to impact private property, there are specific guidelines set forth to protect and notify property owners as soon as possible.
Below is the notification timeline for this project:
- March 14 – Choice One Engineering submitted a preliminary design for the safety improvement project.
- April 17 – Heritage Land Services was contracted by the township to perform appraisals for private property impacted by this design and to provide acquisition services.
- May 8 – The Township’s Director of Public Works contacted the property owners to explain the scope of the project and discuss the process the township undertakes to acquire property. The property owners indicated that they would wait to hear from Heritage Land Services regarding the appraisal and compensation offers for their properties.
- May 29 – The Warren County Commissioners passed a Resolution of Necessity, formally indicating its position that construction to replace the existing offset intersection at Davis, Rich and Primrose roads with a conventional intersection is necessary for the public health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Warren County.
- June 11 – A Property Agent from Heritage Land Services attempted to deliver a Notice of Intent to Acquire and Good Faith Offer to the property owner at 9181 Primrose, in accordance with Ohio law. The Good Faith Offer is based on appraisals performed by an independent third party for the fair market value of the property. The offer included improvements to fix the failing storm sewer infrastructure on the property. The property owner refused to accept the documents.
- July 16 – Deerfield Township attempted to coordinate a meeting to negotiate terms for purchase of the easement and additionally, possible land transfer of excess township property that was adjacent to the private property owner, approximately 1/10th of an acre, amounting to more than what was proposed to be purchased. The property owner denied the request to meet and discuss the details of the project, and stated he would only consider a complete property purchase in the amount of $150,000.
- Deerfield Township purchased the property at the corner of Davis and Primrose in 2001, in anticipation of this intersection realignment, safety improvement project.
- In June of 2017, Deerfield Township received a $52,000 grant from Warren County for the engineering work related to this realignment project.
- January 9, 2018, Warren County entered into a design contract with Choice One Engineering for the realignment project.
- In May of 2018, Deerfield Township received a $258,000 grant from Warren County for the construction work related to this realignment project.
- Alternate solutions for the intersection have been evaluated. A roundabout was considered but would have required the acquisition of two entire properties. The intersection realignment was the preferred option because it has less impact on existing properties. (Exhibit B shows the impact that a roundabout would have had to the existing private properties)
- Construction of the realignment project is proposed to begin in late summer of 2018, and be completed before the end of the year. This will include the storm sewer repairs to the property at 9181 Primrose Drive, along with water main reconstruction around the proposed intersection.
Our Property Acquisition Process
Deerfield Township uses the same guidelines outlined by the Ohio Department of Transportation for improvement projects that require the use of private property.
For more information about this process please visit: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Engineering/RealEstate/Real%20Estate%20Forms/When%20ODOT%20Needs%20Your%20Property.pdf
The township adheres to the following steps:
- The need for a project is established. Traffic is studied, various alignments are considered and initial project designs are prepared. If there are environmental impacts resulting from a project, those are identified and studied.
- Any private property required for a project is identified, and property owners are notified. If transportation improvements impact private property owners, they are notified of this fact and of their rights.
- Offers are made to purchase property affected by the project. Property values are analyzed, and the fair market value of properties are determined.
Property owners who are potentially affected by proposed transportation improvements have the right to have their property appraised and evaluated by third-party representatives who have no interest in the outcome of those decisions. Property owners also have the right to negotiate the offer they receive. If an agreement cannot be reached, compensation offers can be reviewed by a court of law.
Deerfield Township follows the letter of the law and operates in good faith.
The township is continuing to exhaust all options in hopes of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with the property owner at 9181 Primrose in order to obtain the necessary easements to make the safety improvements. Our wish is for the property owner to reach out to our Township Administrator, Eric Reiners, the Township Trustees, or Heritage Land Services to enter into a good faith negotiation of the terms of the easement purchase and possible transfer of land that the township is willing to grant.
For further information about this project, please contact Jim Flick, at 513-770-2386 or email@example.com.