Wednesday, September 08, 1999
Cold Spring zoning request now on hold
BY PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COLD SPRING A nearly yearlong zoning battle over a 20-acre lot at AA Highway and U.S. 27 will last at least another two weeks.
Cold Spring City Council agreed Tuesday night to delay voting on a disputed zone change, while a group of residents try to reach a compromise with a local developer who has been trying since November to build a commercial development on the site.
A vote is scheduled for council's Sept. 21 meeting.
I'm just trying to do something that, yes, is business, but also something that will be good for the community and the county, said developer Jack Morris, who lives just outside Cold Spring in Campbell County.
Mr. Morris and a group of residents in the Sturbridge subdivision who oppose his plans have been trying for weeks to negotiate a compromise over how the site should be developed.
Both sides want to reach an agreement and avoid filing the lawsuits each is preparing if a compromise can't be reached.
I want to do all I can to keep this out of court, Mr. Morris said after the meeting. But I can only go so far.
The Sturbridge subdivision is accessible from U.S. 27. Several homes in the neighborhood abut the property Mr. Morris wants to develop.
We're not anti-development, Sturbridge resident Brian Rieger, a lawyer, told council members Tuesday night.
But whatever happens on the property, we are going to have to live with, and we just want to make sure we can do that.
Last year Mr. Morris proposed a $20 million development that included a hotel, conference center and restaurant. A zone change approved by City Council is needed for such a project because the land is now zoned for residential development only.
Mr. Morris has changed his proposal several times, and he now is seeking zoning that would allow commercial development as well as some homes.
But while Mr. Morris has told residents a nationally known company is interested in the site, he won't say who the company is or what it intends to build.
Under state and city law, Mr. Morris won't have to name the company until after the zone is changed.
In the dark
That is a major sticking point for the residents, Sturbridge resident Keith Van Meter said.
We're worried what they want to put in there if they won't tell us up front what it is, said Mr. Van Meter, one of the residents who packed the council chambers for Tuesday night's meeting.
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