Galena Village Council has approved the annexation and rezoning of 60 acres at the northwest corner of state Route 3 and Dustin Road that will become a new M/I Homes development.
The development -- originally called Cottages at Dustin but now known as Bungalows at Dustin -- will include 120 senior condominiums and a clubhouse. Condos are expected to cost an average of $350,000.
In late May, council approved the annexation that was first presented in March, which brings the land from Berkshire Township under control of the village. The township will continue to collect property taxes from the 60 acres.
At the same meeting, council approved the land's rezoning from agricultural use to a planned residential district.
Village Administrator Jeanna Burrell said M/I Homes "listened and paid attention" to the village's requests and guidelines, making the process "very smooth."
"We have a process where we ask prospective developers to come in and sit down with us and we go through information about our master plan and sewer plan and our zoning requirements and say, 'Here's what we expect,' " she said. "With M/I, they came in, they heard us, they listened to us and there were really no conflicts between what our requirements are and what they brought forward."
Burrell said Galena and M/I addressed only "minor neighbor concerns," moving a driveway to appease nearby residents.
For Galena, the condos represent crucial senior-focused housing.
As in many communities, aging residents in Galena have few single-story options; the Bungalows at Dustin should offer a manageable place to live, Burrell said.
"We saw, probably even up to a decade ago ... that we have an awful lot of people who have lived here 30 years or their whole lives and the older houses in town tend to be two-story houses," Burrell said. "So a lot of those residents had to move out of town because there were no options ... and we just kept saying, 'There isn't any senior housing in the Big Walnut area, really.' "
M/I now will work to finish its engineering plans and a final development agreement with the village.
Burrell said M/I is expected to begin infrastructure work in the fall, with construction on homes to begin in spring 2018.