Hillside Trust refutes developer’s view of ordinance

Per Gary Osterfeld’s comments in the August 1st issue of the Enquirer, “Views up for debate” I have this rebuttal.  Mr. Osterfeld contends that had the view corridor ordinance been in place, he would not have been able to build his leed-designed, energy-efficient homes as part of
the Cottage Hill development in Columbia Tusculum.  This simply is not true.

Mr. Osterfeld’s development is located within the public overlooks of Alms Park.  In particular, the Comisar Overlook is the nearest overlook to his development. The fact is, Mr. Osterfeld could build his Cottage Hill development on Handman Ave, and on a number of other properties he owns in Columbia Tusculum, and this proposed ordinance would not prevent him from developing any of his properties
whatsoever.  If anyone would like to check this, they may contact Cameron Ross, City Planner, at 352-4891 who informed me of this fact.

Mr. Osterfeld also contends that Leed design requires you to build vertically as opposed to horizontally. This may be true if you are talking about building an office high-rise on a quarter-acre of downtown land, as opposed to building a Wal-Mart type development on 5-10 acres of land.  For a residence, on a hillside, there are advantages to building into the ground whereby one can take advantage of such things as thermal massing (using the ambient temperature of the ground  to heat and cool the foundation), thus saving on utility costs.  And, with steep hillsides you can still enjoy views from lower levels because the dramtatic change in relief often allows you to see out, especially if you keep vegetation trimmed down.

Above all, this ordinance would affect only 467 parcels of land (318 private and 149 public) out of a total of some 9,300 parcels of land in the entire Hillside Overlay District (HOD).  That is less than 5% of the entire land area of the HOD.  This is not anti-business.  It demonstrates we care about our civic assets and are willing to preserve them for present and future generations to enjoy.

Eric Russo
Executive Director

Message from the Director

From the time I was a young child, I have always enjoyed our hillsides. Whether it was feeling their imposing grandeur as they tower over the Ohio River and downtown basin, or taking in distant views from their commanding overlooks, I believe the hillsides are a dramatic part of our landscape. It is my sincere pleasure to serve an organization like The Hillside Trust that advocates the thoughtful use and preservation of this wonderful natural feature.

Share your stories about the hillside overlooks with us.

One Comment

  1. Posted August 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

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