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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Growing Pains Article from Cincinnati Business Courier

This weekend's edition of the Cincinnati Business Courier has a front page story called 'Growing Pains' that focuses specifically on Hyde Park and Mount Lookout's efforts to restrict creative development in an older community with little to no available land for new housing stock.

This is a problem that is all too familiar for Fort Thomas residents. The specific issue that the article drew attention to included buying an older home with a depressed value then tearing that house down, subdividing and then building two larger homes and two smaller plots of land. In many cases this included mis-matched setbacks than the neighbors creating an odd appearance on the street that doesn't match the historical appearance of the neighborhood.

An interesting quote from the article really hit the heart of the discussion: "How does a city preserve historic, signature communities while also providing attractive new places for people to live."

I think the answer for Fort Thomas and for these other communities include using their other assets that make it such an attractive community in the first place. This includes great schools, low crime, and the community feel that sets them apart from newer communities where neighbors drive into their garages not to be seen or heard from until the morning commute.

I have heard from more and more residents that are really concerned that Fort Thomas is losing the battle against development and subsequently losing the charm that attracted them in the first place. They are not only concerned about the practice of wedging homes into corners on a cul-de-sac but also larger developments like Fisher's Villa Grande, or the condos at the country club. What are your thoughts?

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