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Thread: Norwood battle made national news.

  1. #31
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    I live just minutes from this area. I drive through it on a regular basis. One thing is certain: it is no longer a healthy, viable residential neighborhood. That fact is evidenced by the 100 other home owners who have agreed to sell. If the Gamble's win, their so-called "castle" will be surrounded by dozens and dozens of empty homes. The neighborhood is triangle-shaped and bordered on all three sides by extremely busy roads - including I-71. It's prime land for a burgeoning business district which serves, not only Norwood, but Hyde Park, Oakley, Mount Lookout, Pleasant Ridge and any commuters who use the 71. Norwood, a city on the state's watch list for its desperate financial situation, is in dire need of anything that will generate money.

    Frankly, until the Gambles can charge $10,000 per night to rent their three bedrooms or they agree to sell, their home is going to continue to hold an entire city hostage. For those of you who don't live in the area, most of Norwood is a pothole-riddled city completely surrounded by the City of Cincinnati. A drive down Montgomery Road thru Norwood is hazardous to the health of your car. But the city can't afford to do much until it can make money.

    Rookwood Exchange, as the development is to be called, will include shops, restaurants, offices and a hotel. It's a complement to the hugely successful Rookwood Pavilion and upscale Rookwood Commons Development. Among the tennants already there are P.F. Chang's, Bed Bath & Beyond, J. Alexander's, GAP, Wild Oats, Pier One and others. Crate and Barrel is one prospective tennant who is eying the new project. For those of us who are tired of driving out to the suburbs to find these types of businesses, this is a welcome development.

    Also, building these developments in urban environments such as Norwood greatly reduces urban sprawl. If it's not built in the existing city, I'm sure developers can find some old-growth forest or farm land in the suburbs to bulldoze and build there. Considering all that, I'd say it's the Gambles who are acting selfishly. Unfortunate for them? Sure. Good for everyone else? Absolutely.

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  3. #32
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Thanks for the post, R/F Fan.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
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  4. #33
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    They get to act as selfishly as they want. They own the property. It's the inconvenient residue that comes with living in a free country.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  5. #34
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    They get to act as selfishly as they want. They own the property. It's the inconvenient residue that comes with living in a free country.
    But for those of us who are being harmed by their actions (i.e. Norwood residents), I guess that if we don't like it we can just move. It's their right to harm a city's populace.

    Well, they've already been told once by a Judge that it isn't their right. And hopefully their challenge will fall on deaf ears.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

  6. #35
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD
    Did Rob and Laura Petry join in the fight
    Yeah, it was one of those flashback episodes where Sally tried to hustle some guy and Buddy cracked jokes. Oh, wait, that was every episode.
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  7. #36
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Gambles = 2 people!

    In the early 90s, when the Boston Red Sox wanted to build a new spring training home near downtown Fort Myers in a crime-riddled, drug-infested neighborhood, one old lady balked at the plan. The city stepped in an eminent domained her property; the neighborhood was razed; a spectacular spring training complex was built; Red Sox and baseball fans flocked to a forgotten part of town bringing $$$$$$; and all is well today. Despite the awkward situation with the old lady, trading a drug slum for a ballpark is a trade I'd make 7 days a week and twice on Sundays.

    While the Norwood neighborhood isn't drug-riddled, it is blighted and inconsistent with what the city wants to do in the area (which is immediately adjacent to upscale Hyde Park.) More power to city officials for wanting to improve that area. For too long the answer to this problem has been to desert the inner city and just build further and further out into the suburbs. Not anymore.

  8. #37
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie-a-go-go
    But for those of us who are being harmed by their actions (i.e. Norwood residents), I guess that if we don't like it we can just move. It's their right to harm a city's populace.

    Well, they've already been told once by a Judge that it isn't their right. And hopefully their challenge will fall on deaf ears.
    They're not harming you. They're living in the house they bought with their own money. You're probably looking at appeals that go on for years if they're adamant about this.

    You're trying to dictate where they live (or more to the point, where they can't live despite the fact that own the property).

    It's sounds like an interesting development and a good revenue generator for the city. We've got some similar spots in the Boston area. Though rather than doing it by taking residential property it was done by converting old warehousing/manufacturing sites. Wild guess, but I'll bet you've got more than a few of those sitting empty in Norwood. Developers often prefer to convert residential land because the cleanup costs can whack you on former heavy industry sites. Ultimately it doesn't stop them from getting rich, but it can make the lucre less filthy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Reds/Flyers Fan
    While the Norwood neighborhood isn't drug-riddled, it is blighted and inconsistent with what the city wants to do in the area (which is immediately adjacent to upscale Hyde Park.)
    Well, if it's inconsistent with the zoning priorities of minor officials then I don't see where individual liberties or property rights should apply.
    Last edited by M2; 02-01-2005 at 02:08 PM.
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  9. #38
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD
    Logically, it might make sense to convert that area in Norwood to a mall, but I don't want the government to have the power to force me to sell my house for some coorporate benefit.
    So...

    It makes sense to build the development.

    But...

    The Government shouldn't have the power to do it.

    My take is just the opposite.

    If it's a good idea, I want the government to be able to get the ball rolling & get it done asap. It's the horrible ideas that I want to prevent from ever getting off the drawing board.

    If these folks don't want to sell, I say fine. Rezone and build around 'em. On the first morning of demolition work, I'd politely ring their doorbell, and present them with a bag of cash and a contract offer on their house. One last time, they'd have the opportunity to sign the contract and vacate within 7 days.

    Otherwise, it's time to issue them his & hers hardhats, then fire up the bulldozers and dumptrucks and get working on the development.

  10. #39
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Background from the Institute of Justice....

    http://www.ij.org/private_property/n...kgrounder.html

    Pay attention to the open sky

  11. #40
    MarsArmyGirl RosieRed's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    I live in Hyde Park, just minutes from this part of Norwood. Apologies to those who live in Norwood proper, but I have no desire to see more commercial property anywhere in this area. Crate & Barrel? No thanks. If I want new dishes, there are already a ton of places I can go around here to get them. Think the traffic in that area is bad now? It'll only get worse. Etc.

    I am sympathetic to Norwood's problem. Since the city is completely surrounded by the city of Cincinnati, they can't expand outward. They are limited to whatever land is already within their boundaries. I understand they need more of a tax base.

    But, what's really gets under my skin the most about this situation is the definition of "blight" that was used to pull off the eminent domain. I drive through that part of Norwood all the time; sure, the main roads are busy. But only a small fraction of the houses in question are on the main roads. You turn down a side street, and viola: Regular neighborhood, with regular houses. They most certainly aren't "blighted".

    This article has a good summary of events. It's long, and I can't access the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

    According to the Institute for Justice (IJ), a public-interest law firm, this is a growing trend. The institute analyzed eminent domain cases between 1998 and 2002 and found more than 10,000 instances where local governments had attempted to use a power once reserved for indisputably public projects like highways and railroads to obtain properties for private development projects such as box stores and golf courses.

    No properties are off-limits -- working-class communities, ski chalets, and one-tenth of San Jose, California, have all been targets of condemnation proceedings on behalf of enterprises as varied as casinos, Costco, and the New York Times -- and no one has yet been able to thwart this newly privatized version of eminent domain. But by litigating against what it calls "eminent domain abuse," the IJ has succeeded in creating enough disarray in state courts to achieve its ultimate goal: convincing the Supreme Court to revisit the issue. This spring, for the first time in 50 years, the court will address the parameters of eminent domain, and the institute hopes the justices will rein in the private use of what the court itself once called government’s "despotic power."

    ....

    The City Council authorized the urban renewal study, which Anderson paid for, in April 2003. Citing certain facts -- small driveways, narrow streets, lots that don't conform to current zoning regulations, houses that are more than 40 years old, a neighborhood subject to all the light and noise and traffic that progress (much of it Rookwood-related) has brought -- the study declared the neighborhood blighted and thus eligible to be seized, emptied, and razed.

    Standing in the Gambles' tranquil back yard, with its lilacs and bird feeders, it's hard to understand how anyone could think this property was blighted. Horney points out that by the study's criteria, nearly anyone's home could be taken by the government. "You could call the White House blighted because it's over 40 years old, it's got a lack of parking, it's surrounded by commercial development. I'm sure there is noise. If you tore it down and put in a big office building, certainly it would generate more taxes than Mr. Bush living there." The City Council proceeded to condemn the five properties not under contract with Anderson.
    Here's an article about the same developer doing essentially the same thing near Cleveland. An excerpt:

    Lakewood, Ohio, residents have sued the Lakewood City Council for designating their 18 homes and small business blighted so that Anderson can build a $151 million complex of offices, condominiums, retail space and entertainment venues.

    In many cases, the homes were considered blighted because they lacked three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and an attached two-car garage.
    These uses of eminent domain are just scary, in my opinion.

    Also, if anyone is interested, there's a web site done by people against the Norwood project: www.norwoodblight.com

  12. #41
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by 15fan
    So...

    It makes sense to build the development.

    But...

    The Government shouldn't have the power to do it.

    My take is just the opposite.

    If it's a good idea, I want the government to be able to get the ball rolling & get it done asap. It's the horrible ideas that I want to prevent from ever getting off the drawing board.
    .

    No, I don't want the government deciding what's a "good idea" and what's a "horrible idea". They've proven time and time again that they can't distinguish between them.
    And I don't want the government to be able to force me out of my home if someone decides it would be better for my neighborhood to be a golf course, landfill, mall, or whatever.

    If this couple can't be bought out of their home, just build the mall around them. Both sides get what they want.
    Also, perhaps if the government and developer had been more diplomatic about this situation, maybe the couple wouldn't be digging in their heels.
    In other words, on day 1, show up with a $280k check (contingent on the rest of the neighbors selling too). Now it's become a matter of principle, and the couple won't voluntarily sell for a million bucks, I'm sure. That's the price for the heavy-handed approach the government/developer chose to use.

    Also, where does it end? Someone in government might decide it's a good idea to sterilize all people below a certain IQ... Seems to me the government already has a history of taking a mile when given an inch.

  13. #42
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Why doesn't Cincinnati try to annex Norwood? It seems like it would be beneficial for both, Cincinnati is slowly losing population, and Norwood could use the cash.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
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  14. #43
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    I'm no NIMBY fan, but this isn't a case of NIMBY. NIMBY is when you're trying to stop someone else from doing something to which you're only tangentially connected. If this was a case of people with an aesthetic complaint about something happening across the street, I'd probably agree with you.
    I'll give you credit for knowing what NIMBY is but you lose points for nit-picking when you obviously understand why the acronym was used to make the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Plus this isn't a question of whether change is a good idea. It's a question of whether you can force someone out of their home in order to forcibly create that change.
    And the answer to that question is: 'YES' Emminent domain is not only the law but it's derived from the concensus of the people.

    Rem

  15. #44
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by RosieRed

    But, what's really gets under my skin the most about this situation is the definition of "blight" that was used to pull off the eminent domain. I drive through that part of Norwood all the time; sure, the main roads are busy. But only a small fraction of the houses in question are on the main roads. You turn down a side street, and viola: Regular neighborhood, with regular houses. They most certainly aren't "blighted".

    I disagree RosieRed. I think the neighborhood is most definitely blighted. Blight doesn't have to mean boarded up windows, crooked gutters and weeds. Blight can also mean incongruent construction (see Newport), tacky appearance (see Colerain Ave.) or other noise. Studies have shown that the noise in the backyards of the homes in this neighborhood register the same decibel levels as the non-liveable acres surrounding a major airport. Also, many of the homes in the area haven't been single family for years. Instead, absentee landlords rent the homes to apathetic tenants who care little for the neighborhood's appearance or its future. Futher, many of the homes were converted into businesses years ago. So, in effect, two-bedroom homes that were once residential have been converted to dentist offices, insurance agencies and, in at least one case several years ago, a place where you could get your palm read. It's unrealistic to think that they could ever be returned to their original state.

    This simply isn't the mom 'n' pop neighborhood that it was built as in the 1920s. Remember, Fourth Street in Cincinnati was once a high-end residential street. Beautiful homes lined the street from the base of Mount Adams to west of modern day I-75. But as the city grew in the 1800s, Fourth Street real estate became much too valuable to be tied up for residential purposes. Those homes were all razed - save for the Taft residence at Lytle Park - and I don't think anyone would consider that a negative thing. Fourth Street evolved from a residential neighborhood into the economic engine that has fueled Cincinnati for more than a century. Yet we would deny Norwood a similar opportunity today?

    For those reasons and many others - cut down on urban sprawl, much-needed tax revenue for a dying city, big city amenities for an underserved population, an added recruiting tool for UC, Xavier and many other area businesses - this project HAS to be done.

    RedsFaithful - I believe that Norwood once was part of the City of Cincinnati, as was St. Bernard. Now both of those cities are entirely surrounded by Cincinnati. I think it would be easier for a team managed by Bob Boone to win the World Series than for either of those municipalities to revert back to the Queen City.
    Last edited by Reds/Flyers Fan; 02-01-2005 at 07:29 PM.

  16. #45
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Norwood battle made national news.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful
    Why doesn't Cincinnati try to annex Norwood? It seems like it would be beneficial for both, Cincinnati is slowly losing population, and Norwood could use the cash.
    I believe Cincinnati has tried multiple times without success
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