house on eleventh 007

Despite millions of dollars invested in Weinland Park this is seen as an improvement.

Since last June various residents of Weinland Park and members of the civic association have been meeting with City Council members, city officials, and anyone who would listen about Hometeam Properties illegal renovation of the house at 225 E. 11th Avenue.  The company added a dormer, boxed in a portion of the second story, moved all the windows and the backdoor, and essentially doubled the square footage in order to make a student group home out of an 1890s single-family home. The issue was that they skipped architectural review and just went ahead and did the renovations. In the meantime, after vigorous complaining, the city did put a stop order on the work while the whole situation got sorted out. In the end it turned out that the University Area Review Board does possess the authority to reverse the work that was done without a Certificate of Appropriateness. And building services could fine the company for work done without a permit. Because of a zoning quirk (the block is zoned C-4) Hometeam had to obtain a variance for continued residential use. City Council passed this last week. Then Hometeam finally had to go before the UARB to have the renovations approved or denied. It was the hope of the neighborhood, in light of the sophomore rule and general good taste, that this type of renovation would not be approved after the fact. In fact, it was the hope that they would be reversed and the lawn restored too.

DSCN0361

Before the renovations – an eyesore waiting to be improved.

So, on December 20th, 2012, the 92nd anniversary of Weinland Park, the UARB voted 5-1* to approve the renovations after the fact with a few conditions. The dormer must be moved back in a desperate attempt to mitigate it’s function as an eyesore. The major problem, in the eyes of the review board was the bathroom window which is odd since nearly every window in the house was moved. In addition, some porch details were sorted out. But why not get rid of the dormer and put the wrap-around porch back on the 1890s house. Because as the UARB said, they had approved this type of thing before which is plainly evident from driving through the student area, and it wasn’t the time to change precedent now. They do have to make 5% of the back yard into green space and plant a 2.5 inch tree. The tree should provide welcome solace to the cars parked in the yard.

restored jesus fresco

We’re just trying to help you improve the neighborhood. You could be more grateful.

Your local blogger feels it’s time for a new board or time for Weinland Park to secede from the University Area because the neighborhoods needs and wishes certainly aren’t being respected by a board that votes to perpetuate the same mistakes over and over and then drives back to their guideline protected neighborhoods.

*The lone dissenting vote was a resident of the University District. The five votes for the renovation live in other Columbus neighborhoods. Weinland Park does not have any representation on the UARB.

Advertisements