Yellow Springs Development Corporation prioritizes housing
- Published: July 10, 2023
At the May meeting of the Yellow Springs Development Corporation, or YSDC, the group discussed ways in which the Village could help meet the housing needs of employees of a planned Honda EV battery plant coming to the area.
As reported in a Jan. 30 Dayton Daily News article, the $3.5 billion Honda construction project is a joint venture between Honda and LG Energy Solution, on 454 acres in nearby Fayette County that were purchased in November 2022 for $23.3 million. The plant is expected to employ about 2,300 people.
According to the May 2 YSDC meeting minutes, city/village managers coordinating a Greene County effort to attract residents appointed Eric Henry, director of Greene County’s development department to lead the effort, and the community of Jamestown is already planning to add 300 homes. Yellow Springs is located 32 minutes away from the future job site, and workers are encouraged to live within a 30-minute radius from work.
YSDC plans to invite a representative from Honda to a future YSDC meeting to discuss opportunities for both Honda and Yellow Springs.
A May 18 Executive Committee report states there is an “an urgent and growing opportunity” for new housing options in the region for employees and suppliers of “several new economic development projects coming to the region in the next two to five years.” This opportunity is along the same trajectory of “parallel needs for commercial property, workforce development [and] infrastructure updates” in the village. YSDC has identified pockets of land in the village that could be developed “for employee/workforce housing.”
Miller Fellow Lisa Abel is identifying collaboration opportunities for YSDC to work with local and regional partners in an effort to prioritize housing development. Abel also is looking for “potential development partners and landowners who may be interested in housing developments on their properties.”
In other YSDC business:
A member of YS Planning Commission and one of two representatives to YSDC appointed by Village Council, Gary Zaremsky, who became YSDC’s secretary this year, resigned from the development group during the May 18 Executive Committee meeting. According to the Committee report, commitments in other areas of Zaremsky’s life led him to conclude that he was unable to “put the time and attention into board work.” The YSDC executive committee accepted his resignation, thanking him for “his thoughtful contributions to our discussions during the past years.”
Procedurally, Village Council now has the responsibility of naming Zaremsky’s replacement.
YSDC member Ryan Carpe suggested that in the future, a YSDC director take on grant writing as a service for local nonprofits and government agencies. Recent grant-writing experiences by YSDC and the Village’s recent decision to contract with a grants writer highlighted the need, he said. “Having a relatively impartial grant writer that is accessible to the various organizations could be a good silo-busting action,” according to the Committee report.
YSDC’s community role
YSDC is planning a series of public work sessions with both Village Council and Miami Township trustees. A joint Council meeting with YSDC was scheduled for Thursday, June 29. The agenda included discussions about visions and goals for economic development, what a YSDC and Village partnership would entail and conversations about next steps related to the management of Village-owned rental property and business growth and retention incentives.
An article about the June 29 meeting will be published in a future News issue.