Saturday, January 31, 2004

Eyesores will give way to zoo parking

Ask a question

David Hofmeister
The Cincinnati Enquirer

QUESTION: On my daily commute I pass by deteriorating buildings at 3332 and 3333 Vine St. Some of the windows in these buildings are boarded up and others are broken and have Venetian blinds hanging out of them. Behind the larger building are mountains of fill dirt studded with broken concrete. Certainly these sights do nothing to enhance the decor of the neighborhood. What does the current owner, the Cincinnati Zoo, plan to do with these properties?

Marion Bulow, Springfield Township

ANSWER: "The zoo has always had a major parking problem," said zoo spokesman Chad Yelton. "The solution involves the properties at 3332 and 3333 Vine St. The massive pile of dirt (170,000 cubic yards now, with 30,000 to 40,000 additional cubic yards still to arrive) is being moved and leveled to create a beautifully landscaped parking lot that will park 1,100 to 1,200 cars. This will also allow easy access to the zoo at the corner of Vine and Erkenbrecher."

By this summer, most if not all of the abandoned buildings should be down as well, Yelton said.


Q: Two or three years ago, Surf Cincinnati closed. Last year all the equipment was auctioned off but the signs remain on Interstate 275 at the Mount Healthy exit. There is also a sign on the corner of Hamilton and Waycross directing people to Surf Cincinnati. Wouldn't you think it is about time for these signs to come down?

John W. Wintz, Springfield Township

A: The signs on Interstate 275 will be covered in the next week or two, said Ron Mosby, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 8 office in Lebanon.

The sign at Hamilton and Waycross will be taken down soon, said Chris Anderson, community development director for the city of Forest Park.

Anderson said he knows of no plans to reopen or redevelop the old Surf Cincinnati site.


Q: I have heard rumors that Miami Township has had money to build a recreation center for five years, but so far has done nothing to get started.

Heather Chitwood, Miami Township

A: There's no truth to that rumor, township Administrator Dave Duckworth said.

But plans for building a recreation center and swimming pool for Miami Township likely will be decided this year by trustees and, ultimately, by voters.

Duckworth said the township's five-year levy for parks and recreation will expire this year, and it does not generate enough money for a large project like a rec center.

Trustees must decide whether to renew or replace the levy, providing funds for current operations, or to give voters a shot at a continuing levy. A continuing levy would allow the township to sell bonds for a major project.

Duckworth said a levy likely will go on the ballot in November. "The idea (of building a rec center and/or pool) is gaining momentum," he said.

The township spent about $60,000 on the skating facility, while a recreation center would cost at least $5 million, and a pool, $2 million.


Have a question? E-mail Dave Hofmeister at or mail to Ask a Question, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069.

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