Information and Opinion about Woeste Development, Ltd. & Beechmont Automotive Group’s proposed demolition and rezoning of residential property to construct a 76 space asphalt parking lot to store inventory.
The Madison Place neighborhood is a middle class, historic and tightly knit community in Columbia Township, adjacent to the other communities of Madisonville, Fairfax, and Mariemont on the east side of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Many in the neighborhood oppose the proposed rezoning from residential to EE Retail of four properties on the north side of Cambridge between Plainville and Edith, owned by Woeste Investments, Ltd. Woeste plans to demolish the four houses and replace them with a 76 space asphalt parking lot to store inventory for the adjacent auto dealerships owned by Beechmont Automotive Group.
In addition, Woeste has vacated the adjacent building formerly housing the Dollar General Store and has plans to demolish it in order to allow the construction of a stand-alone Maserati and Alfa Romeo dealership. After Woeste purchased the Dollar General property in 2008, they demolished the structures adjacent to the building and installed a parking lot. This is what they now want to do with residential properties on a residential street.
The residents of Madison Place acknowledge and appreciate Beechmont Automotive Group as a valid business and member of the community. But, the proposed rezoning and destruction of four residential properties – not to mention the loss of the Dollar General Store which is a valuable resource for people in the community who only walk or drive infrequently, or do not have access to other types of transportation – will dramatically impact the character of the neighborhood and the quality of life for this walkable, charming neighborhood.
This proposed action by Woeste Investments, Ltd. and Beechmont Automotive Group literally crosses the line.
Residents within 200ft were notified of a status meeting to be held by the county of the zone change application. At the status meeting, General Manager Jim Woodall presented plans for an aluminum clad 28 foot high Porsche dealership which would occupy most of the space between the nine lots that make up Dollar General and the four homes now. It was explained that Porsche was requiring the auto group to build a stand-alone dealership as part of its franchise contract, but, that no more cars would be sold, no exits into the neighborhood would be included on the Cambridge Avenue side, no more employees would be hired, and no more room for inventory would be needed as all of the inventory for all of their brands is stored offsite and carried in as needed.
Since that time, the plans have been altered to those described above and the county is not required to notify residents of any plan changes. The only required notification was the original letter sent to residents within 200ft, inviting them to attend the status meeting which was not televised or recorded in public minutes – a staff report on the plan will be published June 24th, however, one must request a copy if they wish to review it.
Our mission is to help residents of the area, even beyond 200ft, stay informed on this because it will not be a matter that goes on any ballot, it simply will be decided by the County Commissioners after review & recommendations of The Regional Planning Commission July 1st and The Rural Zoning Board July 18th (See our calendar for details).
Because there is little public input included in this process and one must go out of their way to stay informed on this matter, we have made it our mission to raise awareness. We have implored our Township Trustees and Administrator every month to reconsider their support for this development and the effect it will have on our neighborhood. We have written letters to various county officials to express our concerns. Still, demolition permits have been filed for this quaint row of homes – electric service has been severed, meters removed gas line capped off underground, and it seems that the county may permit demolition to take place even before the first hearings on the proposed rezoning occur.
We invite you to watch the story as covered by Local 12 as well the open forum at the last four Columbia Township Trustees meetings (on our videos tab) in which residents have appealed to our Trustees to reconsider their position on this development. We will endeavor to update this site with any breaking news (on our news tab) and to keep in touch with anyone who expresses interest in our efforts by emailing [email protected]
Please email us at [email protected] to get on the mailing list and receive updates of upcoming meetings and important milestones.