Archives of selected past articles from

Some Notes on Process:

Village Council has assistance from a hired Planning consultant, a Technical Review Committee*, and the Planning Commission.

The new code is based upon the present system.

Upon implementation of the new code there will be a Zoning Administrator who is part of the Greene County Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission.

Planning Commission judges conditional uses and hears requests for variances, Planned Unit Development, etc.

 Board of Appeals to take second looks at judgments passed on requests,

 A draft of the proposed new Zoning Code has been discussed by Council and Planning Commission.  It  returns to the Consultant and Technical Review Committee to make further changes.

Council and PC will receive the revised document once again and eventually the code will be proposed to be adopted into law with the required first and second readings.

After adoption as the new Zoning Code for the village additional changes can be made through actions of council as needed.

*TRC includes Maryann MacQueen, Steve Conn, Ted Donnell, Steve Anderson (GCRPCC)

  Designing the Future Yellow Springs

Residential zones R-A, R-B, & R-C, changed to allow denser housing.  Smaller minimum lot sizes, smaller minimum house square footage, and reduction in the minimum lot width.   Three story residential buildings (max. 35 ft) are allowed in R-C which has not been permitted before (is this a typo?)

 R-C (high density) zoning expanded to continue along the full length of Xenia Ave and Dayton St and to an area between Millworks and Cliff St.  There is also discussion about making all of lots fronting onto S. High St. a R-C zone.  note R-C permits multifamily (apts) and two-family (condos).

The future Yellow Springs will be more tightly packed and more urban as a result of these changes-however it will take a while to occur as much of this area is already built upon.

There is also much discussion about what should be permitted in the residential zones.  Particularly as to whether client based home occupations and day care situations will be permitted, conditional or prohibited and where. 

New in this code all three residential zones will have farming/including the raising of animals as a conditional use (requires PC approval).  Raising animals usually in  agricultural zone but this zone is discontinued.  Government buildings/offices are newly listed as permitted in all residential zones with no discussion about why this is necessary.

The industrial zone has been split into two, and there is quite a bit of discussion about what should be permitted or conditional in each.

Two business zones remain as before - there is discussion about adding the west side of S. Walnut to the business district, or perhaps creating a B-3 zone on a part of S. High St.  What should be permitted and conditional in B-1 and B-2 is also under debate.

see for more details on the Zoning Code redo


Why is the Zoning Code being Revamped?

Reasons and an announcer (may be others also)

Zoning Code is outdated and not in line with Ohio law
Council Member

Lax enforcement of zoning code has been an ongoing problem. Planning Consultant [or is this excessive variance granting?]

Zoning Code should promote higher density housing, because such is more affordable and increases walking in town.  Council Members

Zoning Code helps to balance rights of an individual with the rights of neighboring individuals.
Planning Commission Member (rephrased question)

Zoning Code should protect property (foster improvement with the certainty that the adjacent area will not change negatively) and keep residential neighborhoods for living use.
Planning Consultant

Zoning Code should manage competition between the business districts.  Draft Goals Section

Zoning Code should establish and fix a mixture of residential areas around the village because diverse people have different tastes in how they live.


proposed Zoning Map as of Dec.4th
                           under revision



Harvest Brought in by Big Machines

New era combines make harvesting local corn and soybean fields easier.  Each combine can cost more than $300,000 and they dwarf ordinary vehicles.  It seems that a new combine may have arrived to our area in fall of 2010 as this is when sounds of the machine at work began to be heard in parts of Yellow Springs.


see one of these amazing combines at work on youtube.


High School Football Again

It's no mistake if you hear football sounds coming from the high school on Friday nights.  Although Yellow Springs schools do not have a football team they are allowing Greeneview High School (from Jamestown) to play their home games on the YS field.  Four games remain all start at 7:30 and there is an entrance fee.

Sept. 21st  vs. Cedarville
Sept. 28th vs.
Oct. 12th vs Springfield Catholic
Oct. 26th vs Southeastern


  5.7 Million Dollar Renovation at Antioch College

Antioch College is renovating North Hall, the first building completed at the college site around 1853.  North Hall was originally the women's dorm while South Hall was for the male students.

The $5.7 million dollar renovation will add a full kitchen and an elevator and will have geothermal heating.  The new North Hall will be LEED Gold certified as an energy efficient building - the oldest such building in the country.

Once completed the modernized South Hall will increase the amount of dorm space for students about 2-fold - just in time for the entering class of 2016's arrival.

See the Antioch College website for more details.



What they/we want......RESPECT

I enjoy the graduating high school seniors essays published in the Yellow Springs News because many writers express how they feel without the self censorship of older folks. This year Liane Rothman made very clear that many students are looking for respect from the school they are a part of (and the reason for). It has been said many times by other seniors but her essay started me thinking.....

We here in the village have a problem in that experiences in high school frequently motivate young adults to leave the area. We pour effort and money into the education of high school students and yet lose sight of the fact that these newly minted people would be helpful as members of the community.

It is true that during the development into adults, young people sometimes struggle to think clearly in the complicated world they must confront. Often this causes older people to mistakenly view them as children. I've been guilty of both of this myself. If we keep in mind the long term goal is that the adolescent becomes an adult - then the way to proceed will be evident. I believe that giving respect to the adolescent is a required part of the transition to adulthood. That is, to learn the value of being respectful requires first experiencing being treated with respect.

I have been to our high school many times and the ubiquitous presence of video(and audio) cameras disturbs me greatly. Because it assumes that students are going to do bad things, and because the collected information has uses even beyond the school community. I know that the schools do it for safety and liability reasons but it feels disrespectful to watch the students all the time in the building we provide for them. Furthermore, people live up to the expectations others hold for them and we want adults who can control their own behavior even when no one is looking. Clearly video surveillance at the high school is a choice between freedom and safety, what would you choose for yourself?

Probably there are other ways that cause the students to feel disrespected. Ms. Rothman says that "High school students are fragile, and feeling unimportant or disrespected by the administration is going to make the administration very unpopular." She gets it right, none of us appreciate being disrespected or made to feel unimportant. I stopped coaching at our high school because I was tired of being disrespected by some adults there. (Could my gray hair or female sex have prejudiced some to think I was an unlikely coach?) I miss being there for the students but I was made uncomfortable and I am even an adult.


Judy Parker's Recipe for Respect (thanks Mom and Dad):

Look for each persons contributions and ignore their looks, age, sex, etc and respect will happen.
Acknowledge that every person has their own set of difficulties to deal with and respect may happen.
Institutions must aim for a culture of respect - if disrespect is tolerated then it will exclude all else.





 "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."  Sir Winston Churchill


321 Xenia Ave in Yellow Springs

As you can discover from reading the article on the people connected to the house at 321 Xenia Ave*, none of the occupants have been especially famous.  Instead the previous occupants have been ordinary people who have been successful in life.  The occupants have valued education and were willing to go the extra mile for family members.  They have married and raised children. They have had absent fathers, sacrificed their young in war, and suffered the keenest loss of very young children. Some have moved west to make a new life. In general the house has held a lot of people at one time in keeping with its large size and the spirit of those who lived there.

*there are links to print out the long article

prev. articles about Barr property





Senior Project Worth an A

Thursday April 26th the students at Yellow Springs High School experienced the aftermath of a car accident.  A demo of an accident and the ensuing work of EMTs, Care Flight, and others was presented as the senior project of Cole Edwards.  A heartrending story was also told by the mother of a young man killed 6 years ago in an auto accident in which he was a passenger.  I thought of a 17 year old I knew that was killed when she tried to pick up her phone from the floor while driving, (her younger sister survived the crash). ....and nearly everybody knows of similar terrible accidents.  Thanks Cole, the sights and sounds made it seem real!

It's  uncool to drive like a fool !



Yellow Springs First Promoter - William Mills

William Mills, later Judge Mills was the son of Elisha and Nancy Perry Mills, early settlers in Yellow Springs.  William believed that the village had immense value and he brought both the railroad and Antioch College here on the strength of this view.  Yet he had to convince others to bring the financial support that was required to achieve his plans.

The link below to his letter can show what he said in 1853 to promote Yellow Springs as an up and coming place at a time when few lived here.  He did succeed in bringing more people to the village which sparked a housing boom in the 1850s.  (Letter is long - see below for a link to print out and read).

Mills saw with great clarity that it is primarily the natural adornment and the scholarly attitude of the village that attract people to this place.   A central public park with a historical building would be a boost to the attractiveness of the village along with its direct benefit to the villagers.  We have a once in a lifetime chance to make such a park at 321 Xenia Ave because such a location and home will not come up again.


print version of the Mills letter







A Bully Discussion

Last summer the YS Schools surveyed the community.  Many things were rated good, yet high school students and teachers gave some low scores for "awareness of bullying", "prevention of bullying" and  "making sure all students are treated fairly".  However survey results indicate that any mistreatment of students was not because of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status or special needs. 

Bullying is a national problem and it has been my experience that targets of bullying are either very good hearted, very intelligent, nonconformist, or isolated from prevalent groups.  They don't speak up for themselves because they have found that disbelief and retaliation result.  We need these people to be treated fairly and with all rights they are due. 

Edith Hahn Beer (see right) was saved from death by a non-Jewish friend who conspired to give her own identity to Edith and she later received a medal for her heroism.  Students, you are in the front lines of bullying, show that you are one of the brave and step forward to help a target.  Just something small and kind - yet it won't be easy.

Shalom aleichem





Do we have a problem with attacks on pets?

Back in April of this year our smallest pet, 6 lbs of cat named Gigi died mysteriously.  Recently I have learned that another villager's cat died after being shot by someone and I wonder if the two events are related.  No one was home when our cat disappeared.  When we found Gigi dead in the yard she had tracks on both sides of her mouth where some clear liquid had run out in large volume at a time when she was upright.  As a longtime pet owner it was not a typical pet death and it appeared to me that she had been filled with liquid against her will. (Vomit tends to project forward and there were no signs of stomach contents).  I was unable to get anyone to answer the question of whether she had been killed, the details of which I won't list here. 

Our other pets have had their troubles too after we came to town.  The year we arrived a different cat was poisoned by something and barely survived acute kidney failure.   We had a third cat that died in January 2011 from what appears to have been internal bleeding.  It used to be that when no one was be home for an  extended time our dog would be ill on our return in spite of being inside.  For example, once our dog could not get up for 4 days in a row after we left him at home for a day and other times he would be bleeding from small areas on his upper chest.

Could someone (or a group)  be harming innocent pets?  I thought it was only my pets that were suffering but maybe there are others too. We need to find out whether the village has a pet problem or not.  The first step is to speak up if your pet is mistreated when you are away or if it dies in an odd manner. 






The last four power outages in Yellow Springs


Mon. May 30th  Memorial Day - weather clear and hot.
Power outage from 7 pm -10 pm

Mon. July 18th  - a thunderstorm arrived at 9:15pm and right away the power went out until 11pm

Thurs. Aug. 24th  - storms the night before that ended at 4 am with power still on.  Power outage began at about 5:48 am although the storms were long gone.

Mon. Sept. 19th - a light rain in YS arrived at 10:30 am.  No lightning, thunder, or strong winds occurred.  Power outage began within about 4 minutes after rain began.  Power returned somewhere around 11:15am.

What is the full story?

Listed at left are the last four power outages in Yellow Springs.  All of the Monday outages effected the entire village but I don't know about Aug. 24th.  On each of the Monday outages I drove out to the substation on Snypp Rd just west of Yellow Springs during the power outage.  Each of those three times the power was out when I left home and was on when I got back even though the round trip is less than 10 minutes.  Each time I passed the substation I saw work vehicles and people but no one working on the equipment.  It cannot be coincidence that three separate times I have chosen to drive by at just the time the power outage is fixed.  Please join me in trying to figure out what is going on (keep notes) and make the trip yourself. 


Power Outages cause trouble.......
  1. traffic lights don't work and driving becomes less safe in the village
  2. electronic equipment may be damaged by power surges
  3. businesses cannot conduct usual activities in the village
  4. households are deprived of light and electricity to work in and enjoy their homes
  5. schools and government offices are restricted in what activities can occur
  6. perishable produce may be ruined and have to be thrown away at homes and businesses
  7. people relying on electric equipment for their health must make alternate arrangements
  8. generators burn gasoline to produce electricity for some local establishments
  9. village employees must work to repair the problems after hours if necessary




top of the canopy damage probably due to gypsy moth
(one large caterpillar eats 1 sq. ft of foliage in 24 hrs.)
What's the Gypsy Moth Situation Here?

These photos are of gypsy moths in Yellow Springs.  I have not noticed these moths in the past but see them often recently.  The females are whitish with ruffled looking or wavy markings (a bit like skirts of a gypsy) and the males are smaller and browner.

Our area is having some spotty infestations with these moths.  The caterpillars seem to cause loss of foliage at the top of the tree first (below).  Healthy trees can survive but some will die if they suffer damage two years in a row or are already weakened.

The caterpillars mostly feed at night and come down the trees to hide during the day.  Info on the web says the female cannot fly - but I have seen them flying in a weak sort of way just above the ground and they fly in Europe.

The Ohio Dept. of Agriculture sprayed 'splat' on May 28th in the village.  This phermone attracts the males to the tree top away from the females on (near) the ground.  This reduces the chance that males find females and may diminish the outbreak. Splat has no effect on people.

See the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture for the many  things you can do to reduce the gypsy moth's harm to trees.

***Keep trees healthy and do not transport gypsy moth life stages when you travel or move.



Update on March 29, 2011

A surveyor has confirmed the suspected place where the water main goes under the bike path.  The last picture shows a guess at where the water main goes assuming it follows a straight line.

Please ask our local government to explain what is the exact situation and why was this never mentioned before.  Isn't it  time for some transparency?

Even if the village failed to solve the problem in the past we can still try again - are we community enough?

1) heading north - the crossing point

2) at the 'bridge'

3) the outflow of the lagoon which goes under the 'bridge' and over the buried water main

4) the sandpile from the 'bridge'

5) estimate of the path -a guess
  Distribution of Coaches Pay 2008-09FY

In public data listing coaches pay for the 2008-09 fiscal year there were 29 male coaches and 9 female coaches (includes cheerleading).  Among the men were 5 volunteer coaches and there was one volunteer female coach.   In the graph at right pay for each named coach position is represented by a single bar.  Coaches for grades 7-12 are included.

Male coaches were paid  a total of $55,153 and female coaches $13,093. There were 3 times as many men coaches as women coaches which accounts for much of the difference in dollars.  Yet men coaches received 4 times the dollars that women coaches did and the extra differential is due to pay for women coaches generally being lower than men.  That is, among  paid coaches the median pay for a female coach position was 59% of the male pay (average pay was 66%). 

Male students had higher participation in athletics using 146 participants slots compared to 86 participant slots used by female students (grades 9-12).   This shows male students participating a bit more than female but even may be exaggerated because middle school participation numbers were not available (females in grades 7-8 often participate in equal numbers to males).