Wednesday, August 14, 2013

$640K will fix long-standing Mt. Auburn landslide problem

At its meeting on August 7, Cincinnati City Council approved $640,000 from its wall stabilization and landslide correction capital improvement program project account to stabilize a Mount Auburn hillside that has been giving residents problems for more than four years.

The money will be spent to build a retaining wall behind the residences between 1815 and 1855 Walker Street, which began slipping due to an absentee landlord's burst water pipe and a Metropolitan Sewer District project on the adjacent Alma Street, causing damage to sewer lines, decks, and backyards of multiple properties.

$400K grant could help Cincinnati buildings become more energy-efficient

City Council on August 7 authorized an application for a grant of approximately $400,000 to help develop energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, specifically for private sector buildings.

The grants are available through the City Energy Project, a joint venture between the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation that seeks to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in 10 American cities.

Appropriation of 5 acres for $11.3M W MLK project official

In May, Cincinnati City Council announced its intent to appropriate 75 parcels – or nearly five acres – of property for the West Martin Luther King Drive Improvement Project, and on August 7 they made it official.

Council's emergency ordinance allows the City to begin acquiring property and temporary easements for the $11.3 million project, which will smooth the S-curve and improve sight lines between McMicken and Dixmyth avenues and will add additional center-turn capability. Other improvements will include wider lanes, a bicycle side path, new pedestrian islands at Clifton Avenue, and upgraded traffic signals.

Wrecking Cincinnati: 1218 Quebec Rd

USE: Two-family dwelling
OWNER: Asset Management Directors LLC (Chico, CA)
CONDEMNED: July 2009, for a rotten roof structure, defective guardrails, deteriorated foundation, missing siding, broken and missing windows, gutters, disconnected electrical, and litter. A civil fine was issued in October 26. At a hearing one month later, the owner's attorney claimed he was trying to get the bank to take back the property, and that it might be going to sheriff's sale.
HAZARD: November 2012, adding missing rake boards and damage from fallen trees. Tax delinquent.
REASON RAZED: Declared a public nuisance and entered into the City's hazard abatement program. Demolished using Moving Ohio Forward program funding.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Resolution supports federal tax credits for low income development

Cincinnati City Council has passed a resolution expressing its support for the federal Low Income Housing and New Markets tax credits, which are currently under threat of elimination as Congress considers changes to the tax code.

Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee have recently asked all senators to identify which tax breaks, deductions, and credits should be retained – and which ones should be dropped.

Council authorizes more than $426K for 7 NBD projects

On August 7, City Council authorized the expenditure of $426,645 in capital improvement program project funds for seven neighborhood business district (NBD) economic development projects on private property, which it called a public purpose that will create and preserve jobs.

The projects include:

  • $150,000 for the acquisition and redevelopment of 6025 Montgomery Road in Pleasant Ridge, which consists of two storefronts totaling 3,600 square feet that has not seen significant commercial activity in five years. The Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation is partnering with the Pleasant Ridge Montessori Foundation to remodel the property for a daycare program, community clinic, and restaurant.
  • $79,145 for a marquee and community message board at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts in West Price Hill, the fifth and final phase of the building's renovation. The digital sign panels will share information on a rotating basis and will be visible to the estimated 15,000 that pass the building daily.

Northside, East Price Hill buildings named local landmarks

Two Cincinnati buildings were designated as local historic landmarks following a City Council vote last Wednesday.

The Farmer's Hotel at 4000 Colerain Avenue in Northside and the Masonic Temple Price Hill Lodge No. 524 at 3301 Price Avenue in East Price Hill now will be protected from insensitive alterations or demolition unless approved by the Historic Conservation Board.

Residential parking minimums for Downtown significantly reduced

Minimum parking requirements for residential developments in the Central Business District have been significantly reduced and could be eliminated altogether in adjacent neighborhoods through the implementation of Urban Parking Overlay Districts.

The changes, approved by City Council on August 7, amend chapters 1411 and 1425 of the Cincinnati Municipal Code by reducing requirements from one space per unit to zero spaces per unit for new development of 20 units or less. New development of more than 20 units would require 0.75 spaces per unit.