Sunday, December 21, 2008

What"s Happening With the SID? Updated

Last year we were featured in the local news because we were considering setting up the neighborhood as a Special Improvement District. Something that hasn't been done before in Ohio for a residential neighborhood. Since then not much has happened. The main reason being that I didn't have much time to produce petition forms and go out into the neighborhood to get signatures from residents. We were also faced with a school levy late in the year which required an outcome before I could ask property owners to put up money to take care of their own neighborhood. With something like 2500 properties within the neighborhood boundaries, in order to obtain the assessment, we require that 1200 owners (60%) agree to the special assessment which was $50 per property per year with a five year term. In order to continue beyond the five year term we need to go through the signature process again. There is still some paperwork to finalize also before proceeding at full tilt. Since this signature gathering phase is truly a monumental task, I decided that the best thing to do was talk to the first two hundred property owners myself and have them sign a petition that states whether they are in favor or opposed to the idea. This will give us actual results that indicate whether there is support for the concept beyond the neighborhood association. If the support exists than I will seek a team of volunteers to get signatures from property owners on their own streets and finalize the service plan which also needs to be approved by signatures from 60% of the owners.

I will update the results as I proceed but here is what we have so far. These results will determine whether or not we proceed with the process.

As of 12/29/08 Total number of property owners consulted = 97

In favor = 79 (82%)
Opposed = 9 (9%)
Undecided = 9 (9%)

Although this is a "tax" attached to our property, most owners are viewing it as an investment in our neighborhood. Those opposed to the assessment so far are elderly on fixed incomes and the few people who don't want to pay any taxes for any reason. The numbers could adjust dramatically once we start talking to the owners of rental properties and bank owned foreclosures.

I have been informed that the city commission and planning department are 100% behind this initiative now that they fully understand that this would make Walnut Hills a very desirable neighborhood to reside in. Basically we would be generating some $100,000 a year which can only be used for improvements in our neighborhood. By taking care of many of our own problems and having the ability to fund our own projects we should find that numbers of vacant properties become reduced as desirability increases. Rents should become more competitive also which will filter out many of the irresponsible tenants.

We should all be proud to be willing to attempt this. Especially in the current economic climate. We have been called "pioneers" and "trailblazers" by other neighborhood associations which follows in the tradition of the first settlers in this neighborhood.


Cory Aldrich said...

Glad to hear you didn't freeze for an overwhelming no. :)

James F. said...

Perhaps if we show our commitment to the area, Kroger will reevaluate their decision.