Dayton City Commission Meeting 6/19/2019 and Correction of Inaccurate and Misleading Statements
Jun 21, 2019 —
Our thanks to all who attended the most recent City of Dayton Commission Meeting on Wednesday, June 19th. More than 50 people spoke out to permanently preserve Knoop Prairie and as always, we greatly appreciate your support, dedication and eloquence! You can read more about the meeting in the Dayton Daily News article Dayton plans for prairie development draw more protests
However, a number of inaccurate and misleading statements were made at this City of Dayton Commission Meeting. Here are the facts:
“Airport staff regularly shares the airport layout plan. This map clearly shows the development parcels controlled by the airport.”
FACT CHECK: The map received by Aullwood Audubon from Airport staff on February 28, 2019 did not show the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie as a site for “future development”. The map shows “future development” as coded yellow. Note that the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. parcel (#313) on the attached map is coded white. (See Attachment A)
“The lease agreement for this property [Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie] expired in 2007 and was not renewed.”
FACT CHECK: Aullwood Audubon attempted to renew the lease of the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel but the Dayton International Airport refused to renew the lease. (See Attachment B) Then Executive Director, Charity Krueger, responded to this letter in February, 2008. (See Attachment C)
“In the almost 12 years since the lease has expired, Aullwood has never approached the City with an offer to purchase the property in order to maintain it in its current undeveloped site.”
FACT CHECK: Aullwood Audubon was repeatedly told that the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel could not be purchased under FAA regulations. In addition, Aullwood Audubon was repeatedly assured by Airport staff that there were no development plans for the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel because it was in the Airport Protection Zone. In fact, for the past 4 years, Aullwood Audubon was contracted by the City of Dayton to conduct airport research on bird populations on land parcels that included the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie (Parcel #313 on the airport master plan) and never once during this close partnership was it made known to Aullwood that the parcel could be sold in the future.
“On February 20th a notice was sent to many nearby landlord-owners, nearby land owners, including Aullwood Audubon, to make them aware of the potential rezoning and the public hearing that would be held on March 12th.“
FACT CHECK: After receipt of the zoning notice from the City of Dayton regarding the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. parcel (#313), Aullwood Audubon reached out to Airport staff for clarification and were assured that there were no development plans for that parcel and that the rezoning was only an FAA requirement.
“On May 1st, the airport again met with Aullwood to explain that there may be an end user to the site.”
FACT CHECK: Only after the City of Dayton had agreed to sell Knoop Prairie for industrial development did Airport staff arrive at Aullwood Audubon on May 1, 2019 with an Airport Master Plan map and a Plat of the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel, indicating that there was a definitive plan to develop this parcel. This was the first notification that Aullwood Audubon received regarding the proposed development.
FACT CHECK: On May 6, at a regularly scheduled Friends of Aullwood Executive Board Meeting, the Airport’s plans to develop parcel #313 were shared with members by Executive Director Alexis R. Faust.
“During Aullwood board meetings on May 13th and May 22nd, a City of Dayton staff member, who is a member of the Aullwood board, was dismissed from meetings regarding the subject. This was a missed opportunity to have an open dialogue among board members about this project.”
FACT CHECK: At a regularly scheduled Friends of Aullwood Board Meeting on May 13, 2019, the Airport staff person referenced here was asked by the Chair of the Friends of Aullwood Board to recuse himself from discussions between Aullwood Audubon and the Dayton International Airport because such actions would put him in violation of the Friends of Aullwood Board Conflict of Interest Policy, signed by said employee, which clearly states in part that “Board members have a fiduciary duty to conduct themselves without conflict to the interests of the Friends of Aullwood, Inc. In their capacity as Board members, they must subordinate personal, individual business, third-party, and other interests to the welfare and best interests of the Friends of Aullwood, Inc.” (See Attachment D for the full policy)
FACT CHECK: There was no Board meeting held at Aullwood Audubon on May 22, 2019.
Your steadfast efforts to help permanently preserve Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie, Wiles Creek and the local watershed are crucial and greatly appreciated! Please continue to direct people to www.saveknoop.org to expand the circle of those engaged in this effort, and thank you.
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