by German Lopez
Appeals court says incomplete application must be refiled with lower court
The latest appeals court ruling did not give the Anna Louise Inn much peace of mind in its ongoing feud with Western & Southern. On Friday, the
Ohio First District Court of Appeals affirmed most of a lower court’s ruling against the Anna Louise Inn, but it sent the case back down to the lower court on a
The ruling means the case could restart, potentially
setting Cincinnati Union Bethel, which owns the inn, and Western &
Southern on another path of court hearings and appeals that will take up
taxpayer money and the courts’ time — all because Western &
Southern is bitter it didn’t purchase the Anna Louise Inn when given the
By agreeing with the lower court that Cincinnati Union Bethel filed an incomplete application, the appeals court is now asking the owners of the Anna Louise Inn to resubmit their
funding requests to the city of Cincinnati — except this time Cincinnati Union Bethel
will have to include details about previously omitted parts of the Anna Louise Inn and the Off
the Streets program.
But Tim Burke, Cincinnati Union Bethel’s attorney, is
hopeful the process will not have to restart. He says Cincinnati Union
Bethel already carried out the appeals court’s requirements.
After Hamilton County Judge Norbert Nadel handed down his May 4 ruling
against the Anna Louise Inn, Cincinnati Union Bethel started a second
chain of zoning and permit applications to obtain a conditional use permit that met
Nadel’s specifications. So far, the applications have been approved by Cincinnati’s Historic Conservation Board and the Cincinnati Zoning Board of Appeals,
but Western & Southern is appealing those rulings as well.
Burke and Cincinnati Union Bethel hope to meet with Nadel Monday to make their case. If they’re successful, they’ll stave off another series of court hearings and appeals.
Burke says the case has been a uniquely negative experience — previously calling it one of the most frustrating of his career. He says
Western & Southern’s actions are pure obstructionism: “They benefit
from delays, and that’s all they’re trying to do.”Cincinnati Union Bethel wants to use city funds to help finance $13 million in
renovations for the Anna Louise Inn, which are necessary to keep the building open and functional.
The Anna Louise Inn is a 103-year-old building that
provides shelter to low-income women. Its Off the Streets program helps
women involved in prostitution turn their lives around.
Western & Southern previously supported the Anna
Louise Inn and the Off the Streets program with direct donations, but the
friendly relations abruptly ended when Cincinnati Union Bethel refused
to sell the building to Western & Southern, instead opting to
renovate the Inn. At that point, Western & Southern began a series of
legal challenges meant to obstruct Cincinnati Union Bethel’s renovation
The zoning debate centers around whether the Anna Louise
Inn qualifies as a “special assistance shelter” or “transitional
housing.” The Anna Louise Inn originally claimed to be transitional
housing, but Nadel ruled the building is a special assistance
shelter. After that ruling, Cincinnati Union Bethel obtained a conditional use permit for the new classification, but Western & Southern is now disputing the approval of that permit.
For more information about this ongoing dispute, visit CityBeat's collection of coverage here.
Proposal to city council could restrict access to abortions and birth control in certain neighborhoods
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Cincinnati might soon be Ground Zero in an unconventional effort to potentially restrict access to abortions on a neighborhood-byneighborhood basis. A member of a Catholic order is lobbying city officials to change Cincinnati's zoning laws and allow the creation of 'life peace zones' aimed at prohibiting certain types of activities.