Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Blue Ash rejects new office

Fighting 'commercial creep'

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BLUE ASH - City officials' decision to fight "commercial creep" along Kenwood Road has a dentist crying foul and a long-time landowner gearing up for a battle.

"It's not done," vowed owner John Blust, after the planning commission rejected plans to build dental offices on his property just south of Pfeiffer Road and bordered on three sides by office towers and a Jiffy Lube. "For them to have the ability to hold up something like that is just not right."

City officials want the area to remain residential, even though Blust doubts anyone would buy his property to live there.

The small house, now a rental property, sits at the brink of a major thoroughfare and commercially zoned district.

Blust recently struck a deal to sell the property to Marc, Rick and Stuart Silverman, who thought it was a prime location for their dental practice - a 30-year business now on Carver Woods Drive.

But the city planning commission this month rejected the Silvermans' plan to demolish the 1920 house and build a $1 million, single-story building for their practice, a dental lab and small office.

"It's the creep thing, said City Manager Marvin Thompson. Council members "are concerned that if we start rezoning going south on Kenwood, where's it going to stop?"

Tammy Hauff, 29, lives with her 11-year-old daughter in the house next door to Blust's.

"If they were to have gone ahead and rezoned that property, who's to say my house wouldn't be next?" she said. "It's pretty disappointing to see all the building."

For now, the Silvermans are shopping for another location.

"The dinosaurs don't want change," Marc Silverman said. "We were not going to put a Burger King there. We were asking for just a nice professional building and to be an owner instead of renting. They just didn't have the vision to see it."


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