In fact the city may already be in hot water over another property declared a nuisance in another neighborhood at 292 McGregor. In a email communication I have obtained between Justin Cook of the Ohio Preservation office to Larry Harris of the City Of Cincinnati, the state noted the following concerning the use if Federal funds :
In addition to the language regarding public involvement included in stipulation 11B.1.b, Stipulation VII.A of the PA makes clear that the "public notification procedures outlined in 24 CFR Part 58 for the Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds (NOI/RROF) and funding of no significant impact (FONSI) requires the grantee to make information about individual projects available for public inspection and to consider the view of the public and consulting parties in decision-making about individual projects"
The city must make information about every project that it undertakes using Federal funds available to the public. Members of the public must be made aware of how they may submit comments to the city regarding concerns they may have about how projects will affect historic properties.
Knox Hill Neighborhood Association is awaiting a response from the State and it is hopeful they can get the city on track with proper public hearings and input, but has indicated it may pursue additional avenues including contacting the State Attorney Generals office and the Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD). The group feels a review of all properties on the VBML /condemn list in their neighborhood boundaries should take place and may directly petition the city council to conduct a review of city inspection policies to see if the ordinances are being properly implemented. The "fast-tracking" of foreclosed properties from almost instant VBML to Nuisance hearing is very disturbing.
My Take: The city and county is about to receive 24 million dollars in Federal Stimulus money for "Blight Abatement" due to the foreclosure crisis. The city has been fast tracking foreclosures for the last year from VBML to Nuisance in a number of neighborhoods that are in the early stages of turning a corner. New people have come in to areas like Sedamsvile, Price Hill, Fairmount, Avondale and are restoring. Just because the city has its eye on a big pot of Federal money does not mean they can circumvent proper procedure.
The city had 'written off' these neighborhoods long ago, but the people who have invested heavily in the turnaround of these neighborhoods are not going to sit idly by and watch as the city bulldozes everything in site to throw up a bunch of vinyl sided low income housing.
The city 'appears' to be engaged in Governmental "redlining' of many urban neighborhoods with its VBML process and nuisance orders making it impossible for residents to turn around their neighborhoods or obtain loans. Hopefully when the city realizes their Federal Funding can be yanked they will understand that even their "good ole boy" way of doing things must come to an end. The public is tired of our Tax dollars being wasted. Its important that those responsible for breaking the law, if that turns out to be the case, be fired and appropriate legal action be taken.