Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the proposed development located?
The proposed development includes 7 lots with 6 single-family homes on the northeast side of Linwood Ave between Sheffield Ave, Beverly Hills Dr, and Richwood Ave. It is on the border between the Linwood and Mt Lookout neighborhoods of Cincinnati, Ohio.
How much do we know about the developer’s plans?
The developed submitted a draft Cluster Housing Application (PDF) to Katherine Keough-Jurs, Director of the Department of City Planning, on December 14, 2018. He presented separately to the Linwood and Mt Lookout Community Councils during closed meetings in January 2019, but has not shared any additional details with the neighborhood. We have obtained detailed site plans (PDF) for the proposed development that clearly demonstrate how Redstone MTL, LLC intends to exploit the cluster housing guidelines.
Why are you opposed to the proposed development?
We favor growth and development, but only if it respects what makes our neighborhoods special. The developer is trying to exploit the cluster housing guidelines to extract as much monetary value as they can from these larger lots with little regard for how it impacts our community’s personality, history or livability.
Why isn’t there a petition against this development?
We will consider sponsoring a petition once the developer provides additional details about his proposed plans, either by submitting a final application to the city or sharing detailed plans in a public community council meeting.
What is cluster housing?
According to § 1403-11. Purpose of Cluster Housing, Zoning Code of the City of Cincinnati:
“The purpose of Cluster Housing is to provide for efficient and economical development of a specific property while protecting natural open space, ecological, topographical and historic features that may exist on the site from damage that might occur from traditional zoning and subdivision regulations.”
Cluster housing permits denser development outside of the open space and buffer yards within the development. In particular, the minimum lot size required by current zoning in this area does not apply to individual lots within a cluster housing development. The consequences of this well-intended code is that homes can be compacted onto much less acreage, posing drainage, traffic and safety issues at the development site and to nearby residences, along with changing the traditional look of the neighborhood.
What potential protection do we have if this development is done in a hillside, wooded area?
The entire area for the proposed development is covered by the Hillside Overlay District designation, and the Hillside Trust has agreed to be involved with our efforts.
According to § 1433. Hillside Overlay Districts, Zoning Code of the City of Cincinnati:
“The purpose of the Hillside Overlay District regulations is to establish standards to assist in the development of land and structures in existing hillside areas and procedures for the review of proposed development, so that development will be compatible with the natural environment and respect the quality of the urban environment in those locations where the hillsides are of significant public value.”
What is the current zoning for these lots?
The current zoning is SF-6, medium-density single-family housing. The minimum lot size is 6,000 square feet. However, cluster housing is permitted in all single-family (SF) districts, and the minimum lot size required by current zoning in this area does not apply to individual lots within a cluster housing development.
Will this be reviewed under the new Subdivision Rules & Regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2019?
Yes. Please see the overview of the new Subdivision Rules & Regulations and the full Rules and Regulations of the Cincinnati City Planning Commission for the Subdivision of Land (PDF) However it is important to realize that this development represents the first test of these new rules and will set precedent for the future.
What happened to the requirement all demolitions and subdivisions in Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout to be reviewed by the City Planning Commission?
Interim Development Control Overlay District Number 81 for Hyde Park and Mount Lookout (PDF) required all demolition permits and subdivisions of land in Hyde Park and Mount Lookout to go through additional review by the City Planning Commission. It expired on December 28, 2018.
What can I do to help?
Please sign up to help! We are looking for assistance with:
Distributing flyers and yard signs
Displaying a yard sign
Contacting city leaders
Attending public meetings
Please also plan to attend one of the upcoming public community council meetings where the developer will be presenting:
How can I get a yard sign?
Where is the boundary between the Mt Lookout and Linwood Community Councils?
The bylaws of the Linwood and Mt Lookout Community Councils are not completely consistent on their boundaries in this area. The Cincinnati Community Council Boundaries Map shows the proposed development as being within Linwood, with directly adjacent properties in both Linwood and Mt Lookout.
We hope that any boundary discrepancies will be clarified prior to votes on the proposed development by either community council.
What about other nearby neighborhoods like Hyde Park, Linwood, Oakley, and Columbia-Tusculum?
Looking Out for Mt. Lookout supports efforts opposing similar developments in other nearby neighborhoods, and will share helpful information and strategies with these neighborhoods. However, our primary focus at this time is opposing the proposed development along Linwood Ave.