Cincinnati to propose changes to prevent demolition of certain historic homes

Cincinnati to propose changes to prevent demolition of certain historic homes

MT. LOOKOUT, Ohio (WKRC)- Karen Robertson has been trying to find a way to save the house at 1228 Grace Ave. since she found out it is going to be torn down. She and her family lived there for 17 years.

"It breaks our heart, honestly, it just breaks our heart. Not only because of all the work and effort we put into it but mostly because of the history of the place,” Robertson said.

Robertson said she’s heard from plenty of folks in the area who are outraged.

"Not only to this house but to their street, around the corner from where they live. It's all over Hyde Park. It's all over Mt. Lookout," Robertson said.

Robertson said she wants to see historic homes like the Grace Avenue one try and be saved.

"Instead of them being carelessly tossed aside and thrown away," Robertson said.

Mark Morse has lived in Mt. Lookout his whole life. He lives about a quarter of a mile from the house he grew up in. He said new developments are popping up all over the Mt. Lookout and Hyde Park areas.

"In a lot of cases, the historic homes in the area are being torn down and being replaced by cheaper models."

Morse and his wife have an eight-year-old daughter.

Morse said many of the new homes being built in place of the destroyed ones don't fit in.

"It looks like houses that you see out in areas like West Chester, Mason or Liberty Township."

Morse adds he's not against development he just wants it to fit in.

"If it matches the intent or the integrity from a design perspective of the neighborhood," Morse said.

He said something needs to be done to prevent the overdevelopment of the area.

"My biggest fear is that it becomes over-developed and that it loses the historic charm. So, I want for her, what I had growing up," Morse said.

These families are getting signs of hope from city hall.

The city said it's worried about the impact losing historic homes like this one could have on the area.

It’s making two requests to the City Planning Commission at the 9 a.m. meeting on Friday, May 18.

In a release the city said. “The Commission will consider a request by the Acting City Manager for the establishment of an Emergency 90-day Interim Development Control (IDC) Overlay District and a temporary review process for the City’s Subdivision Regulations.

The IDC is a temporary zoning measure that will require demolition permits for the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout to be reviewed by the City Planning Commission before the permit can be approved. This review will be required for demolition permits only. It will be in place for an initial 90 days, with the option to extend it for 9 additional months. If approved, during the time the IDC is in place, the Department of City Planning will conduct a public study to consider potential changes to the zoning code.

The temporary review process for the City’s Subdivision Regulations will require applications for subdivision of land in Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout to be reviewed by the City Planning Commission before they can be approved. If approved, this temporary process will run concurrently with the timing of the IDC.”

Robertson was happy to hear about the proposed measures from the city.

"It's about time that another set of eyes are looking at these historic homes up and own our community. Historic homes that actually make the character and feel of our community be what it is today," Robertson said.

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