Thursday, July 14, 2011

Preservationists up stakes in Friday 106 hearing with AG complaints

This property on Moosewood, a turreted Queen Anne is viewed by experts as eligile and  candidate for restoaration (photo courtesy auditor)
Historic Preservationists are raising  the stakes in the Section 106 review process with complaints to the State Attorney General office, raising the issue of if the meeting called with only seven days notice and without notifications of property owners, neighborhod groups or Community Council Presidents violates the State of Ohio , open meeting laws.

More complaints will be filed today.

Knox Hill sent email to Michael Cervey, Ed Cunningham,  Larry Harris, Paula Boggs Muething and the mayors office advising them that Knox Hill neighborhood was filing a complaint with the AG's office amd  the meeting went on as planned that the neighborhood was preparing a  formal federal "Citizens Complaint" to the Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD) that administeres the CDBG (community Development Block Grant) program, specifically calling into question if the notice meets Federal guildines and if Mr Harris is properly performing his responsibilities under a programmatic agreement entered into between the City and OHPO.

This rare Shingle mansion was once home to Emery Barton,art dealer and noted author of two books on Art. Often an improperly trained Urban Conservator will determine a house just on architecture (and changes) and not perform a historical search which is why proper public input through section 106 is critical (photo courtesy CPA FB website)
The draft complaint may be revised to include the County if it is determined that these demolitions are connected to the county land banking program. As was noted yesterday in a Cincinnati Enquirer article the land bank is being modeled after one in Cuyohoga Country that has spent millions in acquisition and demolition but has yet to attract any real redevelopment. The Hamilton County plan pulls monies from several programs and many question if the county would have any sucess at actual 'development" or if the demolition of restorable Historic property would hinder many neighborhoods effors at turnaround by eliminating viable historic housing stock.

One Preservationist is getting ready to circulate a petition seeking the termination or reassignment of Larry Harris as the Urban Conservator.

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