Response to Public Records Request Reveals New Documents Relating to BZA Aesthetic Review Of 980 Elmwood Plans

In response to a Public Records Request, the City of Grandview Heights recently provided information and documents relating to the proposed house at 980 Elmwood Avenue. Among the documents produced by the City was a packet of documents containing computer-generated renderings (pictured above) which show how the proposed house will look on the site from 4 different angles. These were prepared by the Applicants/Owners’ Architect.

Note that the renderings do not show the house at 1000 Elmwood directly to the North which would be appx. 20 feet from the proposed house and that the property included in the renderings is much larger in size than the actual lot.  The rendering on the bottom right shows an outline of the actual lot.  Above the garage (which includes finished space), the proposed house is nearly 34 feet tall and has sheer exterior walls.

As of the date this article was posted on, the packet of documents containing the renderings was not part of the documents posted on the City’s web page for the public to view in connection with the August 8, 2018 Application for Aesthetic Review.  Although the renderings were not made public before the hearing,  did the BZA have them at or in advance of the hearing?  It seems unlikely given the conversation at the August 8, 2018 hearing.

BZA Member Bo Pomante, who ultimately voted against aesthetic review approval, questioned how the house would look on the site, particularly in comparison to the 1000 Elmwood house directly to the North.  He suggested that a rendering showing the house on site would be helpful in making a decision.  But no one said anything in response to Pomante’s concerns to indicate that the renderings existed, not the Applicants/Owners, their attorney, or anyone from the City at the meeting (including City Attorney Joelle Khouzam, Asst. City Attorney Matthew Koppitch, or the Director of Building and Zoning Charles Boshane).

Why didn’t any of these individuals speak up? What about the City’s failure or decision not to post the renderings on the web site in advance of the hearing?  Were they concerned that the renderings would spark more objection from residents about the massing of the house or the soundness of a decision that allows a driveway on the Elmwood hill and high retaining walls so close to the street?  Is this just more of the same from a City who seems to care little about public input in matters affecting our neighborhoods and appears to be advocating for and favoring Applicants/Owners who have threatened suit against the City?  Look at the renderings.  You decide.

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