0 Comments · Thursday, May 2, 2013
MONDAY APRIL 29: Cincinnati police were kept busy today
searching for a large monkey on the loose near Union Terminal. Witnesses
on the scene said the primate ran through a tunnel near Dalton Avenue.
1 Comment · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The Historic Conservation Board knew it
was in for a long afternoon when Western & Southern showed up to
Monday’s hearing with an army of suits to argue against a recommended
zoning permit for the Anna Louise Inn.
by Danny Cross
Western & Southern expected to appeal something else next week
In the ongoing saga of Western & Southern vs. the Anna
Louise Inn, there have been several court cases and zoning rulings,
most of which have been appealed by one side or the other. Today it was
the Cincinnati Zoning Board of Appeals’ turn to rule on
something that’s already been ruled on, and it went in favor of the
Anna Louise Inn.
The Board upheld a certificate of appropriateness for the
Anna Louise Inn’s planned renovation, which essentially also upholds the
Historic Conservation Board’s right to issue a conditional use permit —
at least for now. Western & Southern is expected to appeal that
permit, granted by the Conservation Board Aug. 27, before its 30-day
window to do so expires.
Before this series of appeals can play out, the 1st
District Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Anna Louise Inn’s
appeal of Judge Norbert Nadel’s May 27 ruling, which set in motion the
Inn’s attempts to secure zoning approval from the Historical
Conservation Board in the first place.
(All of this could have been avoided if Western & Southern would have purchased the Anna Louise Inn when it had the chance. CityBeat
previously reported the details of Western & Southern’s failure to
purchase the Inn and the company’s subsequent attempts to force the Inn
out of the neighborhood here.)
About 40 people attended today’s hearing, including City
Councilman Wendell Young, who said he supports the Anna Louise Inn but
was not there to testify on its behalf.
By upholding the certificate of
appropriateness, the ruling keeps alive a conditional use permit that
could allow the Anna Louise Inn to move forward with a $13 million
renovation of its historic building, once the expected appeals process plays out. (CityBeat covered the Aug. 27 Historical Conservation Board hearing here.)
The Board heard brief arguments from lawyers for both
Western & Southern and Cincinnati Union Bethel and then entered
executive session for about 15 minutes before ruling in favor of the
Anna Louise Inn.
Western & Southern lawyer Francis Barrett, who is the
brother of Western & Southern CEO John Barrett and a member of the
University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, told CityBeat after
the meeting that he disagreed with the board’s finding because a
designed expansion of the building’s fifth floor has not yet had its use
“With this case, the Historical
Conservation Board is basically approving for the certificate of
appropriateness the design of the building,” Barrett said. “But the
design included an expansion of the fifth floor,
and until that use issue is resolved the code reads, in my opinion, you
can’t approve the design because the use hasn’t been approved.”
Barrett during the hearing read a written statement to the
board arguing two main points: that the Historic Conservation Board
didn’t have the jurisdiction to grant the certificate of
appropriateness; and even if it did, Barrett argued, the physical
expansion planned makes it a non-conforming use which wouldn’t qualify
for the building permit.
Cincinnati Union Bethel attorney Tim Burke told the Board
that the Anna Louise Inn is not seeking a permit for non-conforming use
because it already received a conditional use permit from the Historic
“Western & Southern is doing everything it can to block this renovation from happening,” Burke told the Board.
At the Historic Conservation Board hearing last month
Western & Southern tried paint a picture of the Anna Louise Inn’s
residents contributing to crime in the area because a condition of the
conditional use permit is that the building’s use will not be
detrimental to public health and safety or negatively affect property
values in the neighborhood. But the Board granted the permit, stating
that the Anna Louise Inn will not be detrimental to public health and
safety or harmful to nearby properties in the neighborhood and that the
Board found no direct evidence connecting residents of the Anna Louise
Inn to criminal activity in the neighborhood. Western & Southern has until next week to appeal that ruling.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
WEDNESDAY APRIL 17: The Vermont House of Representatives last
week approved a bill that will reduce the penalty for possessing up to
an ounce of marijuana. The bill passed by a 2-to-1 margin, which shouldn’t
come as much of surprise in the state that Phish is from.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
MONDAY APRIL 15: Believe it or not, a cruise ship full of
people are miserable and pissed off. In the most recent case of this
happening, a seven-day Caribbean cruise on a Crown Princess ship turned
real un-fun after the toilets stopped flushing.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
WEDNESDAY APRIL 3: Weed, gay marriage, what’s next?
Apparently, the next liberal trend to sweep the nation will be bringing
your pet along to work with you so you can both be miserable and
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I’ve written about mindless political correctness, but there was an eye-popping example on HuffingtonPost.com the other day.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 20, 2013
WEDNESDAY MARCH 13:
WWE! readers might be surprised to learn
that those of us whose jobs necessitate following real news are, in
general, quite terrified of the future. For every pop culture or sports
story we actually care about, there are dozens of stories about things
like nuclear weapons, environmental catastrophes and murderers who act
nice before they kill people.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 12, 2013
THURSDAY MARCH 7: The American thing to do is buy an even
bigger and more expensive TV than the one you already have even though
it works just fine. Fountain Square, located in America, will soon
follow this cultural imperative.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I hope the tabloid Enquirer holds current subscribers and attracts new readers, especially folks who are drawn more to the visual than the verbal. Publisher Margaret Buchanan promises its debut Monday. Trucks will bring it from Columbus, where it’ll be printed on Dispatch presses.