Elected and Unelected Officials Are Ignoring City Code, Precedent and the Priorities Set by the Community for Grandview Heights’ Future. Redefining the City’s green space was identified as No. 8 on the List of Priorities for the Future of the City at the November 17, 2017 Leadership Conference held by the City:
But every action taken by the City with respect to the Green Space is contrary to that stated priority, including the City’s Protest of the proposed Ordinance to the Board of Elections, the Mayor’s inappropriate posting of a letter to state the City’s opposition to the proposed Ordinance, and the granting of a lot split and aesthetic approval of a proposed house on the newly created lot known as 980 Elmwood Avenue.
The corridor along Goodale deserves to remain the green space that it is, to be enjoyed for future generations and wildlife that lives in the area. It doesn’t deserve to have a box like structure looming over other homes, the Green Space, and the park along Goodale.
Approval of a Controversial Lot Split on Elmwood Avenue. The owners of 1000 Elmwood filed 3 applications for a lot split. The first 2 were denied by the City, after numerous residents objected to the split, and after the Planning Commission, the Director of Building and Zoning, and the City’s Engineer all noted that the location of the proposed driveway was dangerous for foot and vehicle traffic.
But, the third time, the property owners came with a lawyer, gave little to no notice to residents, and threatened to sue the City unless the Planning Commission approved the lot split application. The City then cut off residents’ rights to appeal the decision by failing to post the approved minutes from the April 19, 2017 Planning Commission meeting for nearly 5 months, after the time for appeal had long passed. What does the City Attorney say about that? In a nutshell, that the City isn’t going to take any action to correct its mistake that affected residents’ rights.
On August 8, 2018, the Board of Zoning Appeals held a hearing on the same property owners’ application for aesthetic review and approved plans for a home on the new lot that are contrary to City Code and the City’s Design Guidelines. Nearly every resident in attendance objected to the approval of the plans for a number of reasons. But the BZA approved these plans even though, in January 2018, the same BZA denied approval of another property owners’ plans to construct a home significantly larger than other homes in the vicinity and with a front facing garage just like the plans for 980 Elmwood. Unlike other BZA meetings, 2 attorneys attended for the City, and they appeared at times, to be advocating for the property owners and approval of the plans rather than remaining neutral.
Other Property Owners Have Indicated They Intend to Develop a Large Lot in the Green Space With Multi-Family Homes. The possibility that land in and around the current Green Space will be carved up into smaller and smaller lots, with larger and larger homes built on them is very real. The son-in-law of another couple that owns property in the Green Space has stated that he intends to develop that property with multiple homes, similar to the Stonegate development. The City’s actions detailed above set a precedent that will allow overdevelopment to happen unless residents take action.