A proposal by the Mayerson JCC that would transform 30 acres of 130 acres in Amberley Village into a space for pools and summer camp is being considered by Amberley Village.
According to the village, the design, at Galbraith and Ridge roads, is “meant to create something that looks and feels like a park and enhances the value of the remainder of the property and the village as a whole.”
The plan calls for:
•Two outdoor swimming pools
• Day camp facilities
• Multipurpose playing fields
• Playground space
• Walking paths
When not being used for camp activities, the area would be open to the public, with the exception of the pools, which would have a membership requirement. The existing tennis courts may remain where they are, or be moved.
“We’ll also have separate bathrooms that will be there all year round that will be able to service the property if someone comes up for running or walking their dog or whatever, those bathrooms will be there,” said a spokesman for the JCC. The existing building would be torn down and others would be erected under the plan.
The JCC is “really creating some multipurpose space for other uses during the non-camp period of time,” the spokesman said. “Camp is about nine weeks during the year. We want to see what else we can be doing, what else can happen there extending both earlier and later in the year.”
Amberley Village Manager Scott Lahrmer said all of the details are not worked out yet.
“We are seeking resident input about what they like or don’t like about the plan and use of the property,” Lahrmer said. “We are seeking any kind of comment from residents so we can take that next step with the JCC.”
No cost estimate was released. The JCC spokesman said work at the existing center will be factored into the budget.
“And we know we have to look at what we have to do as for modifications on our existing building, and look at the total cost of all of that,” the spokesman said. “By pulling the camp and the pool out of there it allows us to start thinking about other uses of the property that we can’t do right now. For us it’s like a domino effect. We can’t dream of what we do there until we free up space.”
There is no set timeline on when this work would begin.
“We had hoped to be along farther, we had hoped to begin construction this summer,” the spokesman said. “That is not going to happen. We hope to have some plans ready and break ground sometime next year.”
As for the other 100 acres, Village Mayor Tom Muething said it is complex since portions of the property are hard to access.
“One of the things we’ve look at … what else can we do on the property,” Muething said. “Down the road many of our residents would like the opportunity to stay in Amberley and be able to downsize. So is there an opportunity to put a small number of town homes or something on the property. The very back southwest portion of the property, which is the hardest to get to, but is the flattest portion of the property, might be, down the road, an ideal place for a corporate campus or something like that. That’s probably 10 years down the road.”
He said he would like to see restaurants, walking paths and other amenities, similar to what Blue Ash has built in its Summit Park.
“We don’t know what we are going to do with the rest of the property,” Muething said. “But we do know there will be a lot of green space because there is a substantial portion of the property which can’t be developed because of terrain and things like that. It will be green space, park-like. But maybe some little bit of development here and there.”
For the village, it comes down to being able to afford those amenities.
“The downside is the village is not in the financial situation to do anything beyond what the J is doing,” village manager Lahrmer said. “The plan looks great, but most people will want a street to go beyond where the J’s development is but we don’t have those resources to do any of that. That just generate more discussion about how do you provide additional amenities of what the people are seeking … and how to provide those amenities.”