Thursday, April 15, 2004

White Pillars still tops city's list of projects

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOVELAND - Finishing a development that has been delayed by lawsuits and a citizen referendum remains at the top of the city's priority list this year.

The White Pillars project on Ohio 48 - now proposed as a residential-only development - was among six priorities council unveiled Tuesday in an action plan for 2004.

Voters in a November referendum rejected a campus-style commercial project to be built along with houses at the 85-acre city-owned site, and a lawsuit challenging the city's zoning at White Pillars is still on appeal.

Meanwhile, developer Hines-Griffin has replaced that plan with a proposal to add 51 condominiums on the 13 acres initially pegged for offices and small retail shops.

A public hearing on the latest proposal is tentatively scheduled before the planning and zoning commission at 6:45 p.m. Monday, he said.

The developer's proposal to build 72 single-family houses in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, plus 89 townhouses, was approved in 2002.

City officials said they are relying on the $3.4 million from sale of the property to pay off the $2.3 million owed on the property and to proceed with other economic development in Loveland. The closing has been held up by the remaining lawsuit filed by resident David Miller and new freshman council member Paul Elliott.

Council's other goals included:

• Streetscaping and a long-term revitalization plan for the Loveland-Madeira business district.

• Establish a tax increment financing district in historic downtown to attract development.

• Rezone areas to match the city's Comprehensive Master Plan.

• Continue neighborhood revitalization through street repairs, sidewalk construction and other measures.

• Complete a master plan for recreation needs.


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