What is People Over Porsches?
People Over Porsches is the unofficial name for residents of the Madison Place community in Columbia Township, Cincinnati, who oppose the commercial rezoning of residential lots on Cambridge Avenue to allow Woeste Development, Ltd. to construct a 76 space asphalt parking lot to store inventory for Beechmont Automotive Group’s Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Volvo dealerships located on Plainville Avenue.
Why is there opposition?
None of the neighbors surrounding Porsche of the Village and its associated dealerships oppose car dealerships, cars, or the brands being sold, at all – we love cars! What we don’t love is a car dealership aggressively attempting to expand its footprint beyond a clearly established commercial zone into a quiet, older and middle-class community filled with homes built in the 1920s and 1930s.
This attempted action by Woeste Investments, Ltd. and the Beechmont Automotive Group literally crosses the line.
The four residential homes and lots owned by Woeste are currently zoned residential and take up nearly half of the north side of the block of Cambridge Avenue between Plainville and Edith in South Madison Place. Woeste has received permits to demolish the charming residential homes and that work has already begun.
However, what is still pending is Woeste’s application to have the lots rezoned from residential to commercial, which is required in order for the construction of the 76 space asphalt parking lot smack dab in the middle of a residential block.
What is happening?
The vast majority of residents in the surrounding neighborhood are vehemently opposed to the destruction of residential properties in a charming, low key, middle class, and historic community.
There are three steps in the application for rezoning in Hamilton County, Ohio:
1) Hearing before the Hamilton County Planning Commission in order for them to review the application and make their recommendation to the Hamilton County Rural Zoning Commission, which has jurisdiction over Township zoning in Hamilton County (Columbia Township in our case). This hearing has already occurred, and the Commissioners recommended that the rezoning be approved. You can read more about this meeting and the insulting and dismissive attitude of the planning commissioners to this issue here .
2) The next step is a hearing of the Rural Zoning Commission, which is on Thursday, August 8th at 1:00 PM. The Commission will review the application and hear public input on the rezoning application. This is a special hearing due to the urgency and profile of this issue. You can read more about this upcoming meeting here .
3) The Rural Zoning Commission has up to 30 days after the meeting to make their recommendation to the County Commissioners, who have the final say on the application. However, it appears that due to the high profile and urgency of this issue, the Commissioners will make an effort to give their recommendation as soon as possible after the meeting on August 8th.
What are we doing?
We are not formally organized as a non-profit or community organization, but neighbors and supporters in the community have been canvassing, showing up monthly at Columbia Township Trustee meetings, sending letters to the Zoning Commissioners opposing this rezoning application, and making their opposition known through the over 125 yard signs throughout the community. This issue is perceived as a threat to the integrity of this historic community and is a case of commercial interests literally crossing the line and destroying residences in order to construct an asphalt parking lot to store vehicle inventory – clearly out of character with the community and in clear violation of zoning and development statutes and guidance.
What are we raising money for?
To maximize our chance for success and because frankly, we realized we needed help in interpreting and understanding zoning regulations and statutes, several of us in the community engaged some well known attorneys in Cincinnati with extensive experience in planning and zoning issues to assist in our opposition to this rezoning application, represent our views to the Planning and Zoning commissioners, advise us on actions to take, and lend their presence and support at zoning meetings.
How does this work?
We could use your help in defraying the costs of representation as we move through the stages of this case being heard. Anything you can contribute will be appreciated and will be a huge help. 100% of the funds raised will go towards legal fees already charged and future fees as we see this issue through its completion.
How do I contribute?
Visit our Go Fund Me page here.