January 27th, 2012 By Kevin Osborne | News | Posted In: News, Development, Neighborhoods, Urban Planning

Old St. George Gets Cited

1 Comment
churchCameron Knight

Next month marks the fourth anniversary of a fire that destroyed parts of the historic Old St. George Church in Clifton Heights. But the structure remains vacant and building inspectors this week cited the owners for conditions at the site.

The city’s Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Division posted a citation Wednesday on the fence in front of the church. It was issued by Housing Inspector James Hatton, and states the building’s owner failed to comply with an order issued by the Buildings and Inspections Department on Aug. 31, 2010.

For those keeping track, that order was issued almost 18 months ago. The violation is a Class D offense, which is punishable by a $500 fine. The owner must pay the fine or respond in writing within seven days, or the fine will double.


The church, which was built in 1873, is owned by the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. (CHCURC). The group plans on creating a boutique hotel at the site, but little progress has been made during the past few years.

Old St. George was damaged in a fire on Feb. 1, 2008. The blaze caused about $2 million in damages. Since then, CHCURC has been trying to secure funding from various sources to redevelop the building.

01.29.2012 at 04:03 Reply

Just what legal law is being broken? This is nothing but extortion on the part of  the city. There is no public danger here. The building is fenced off and vacant. The city can do this because they can claim immunity. The taxpayers pay for the city's legal team and the citizen has to pay for their own lawyers. And challenging the law itself is cost prohibitive especially when one considers that the benefit of winning is hardly worth it in Cincinnati. I think we call this practice fascism.

I have to wonder if the Bortz family has anything to do with it. They are the favorite developers for the property the city just about gave them after the city spent a lot of taxpayers money. If I heard correctly, this city is noted for favoritism. I think we call this practice corruption.