Update on Local Historic District designation process

Work continues on the report to Council regarding the establishment of a local historic district.  The Village hired Historic Preservation Consultant Beth Sullebarger to prepare this report.  To date, 6 property owner meetings have been held for the purposes of discussing possible guidelines, reviewing the designation process, and getting input on the boundaries for a local district.

Commons themes discussed in all 6 meetings included the following:

What are the boundaries of the local historic district?

The boundaries have not yet been determined. The existing National Historic Landmark district boundaries include Greenhills’ original historic district that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, plus Gambier Circle and single-family homes on the west side of Ingram and Farragut, and Damon Road.

The local historic district could include homes built in the 1930s as well as those built in the 1940s, since homes in both time periods exceed the 50-year mark for historic consideration.

Will the shopping center be included in the boundaries?

Yes!  There was consensus in all 6 meetings that – given the importance of the shopping center – it should be included in the boundaries.

Will the value of homes in the local historic district increase?

The value of homes does typically increase in an historic district. This is because there is a high degree of certainty offered through design guidelines that all surrounding homes will be maintained in a similar manner, thus protecting your property investment.

Would design guidelines cover paint color?

There was a consensus in each meeting that paint color should be regulated to the extent that a palette of colors (probably natural/ earth tones) would be permitted and bright primary colors would not. Concern was expressed by residents that just one home painted a hideous color could blight an entire neighborhood.

Would residents have to restore their properties to its original look if changes have already been made?

No. Any existing improvement can remain in place. The design guidelines would only apply going forward.

What if a certain type of item, such as a door or window, cannot be found or would be too costly?

The design guidelines will be drafted in such a manner that a variety of acceptable materials or rehab techniques will be identified and available in a range of prices.

If cost is truly a hardship, that will be taken into consideration.

Who will enforce the guidelines?

The Planning Commission (working with an historic consultant), and zoning and building department officials will be responsible for enforcing the guidelines.

Will the Village be able to restrict small satellite dishes?

No. Per federal regulations, design guidelines WOULD NOT, and legally CANNOT restrict TV dishes / antennas.

Are property owners giving up their rights as an owner?

No. Property owners are gaining an additional level of protection for their own investment, over and above current zoning codes. At the same time, they can insure that quality housing – as intended in the original plan for Greenhills – continues for future generations to use and appreciate.

Garbage & Recycling Container Storage

Do you know if your garbage or recycling cans are visible to the public? If they are, then you are not in compliance with Village regulations.

Something so simple as storing garbage containers neatly makes such a big difference in how our Village looks.

FYI, when it is not collection day, Village Code requires containers to be neatly stored next to the rear wall of your house or garage, or in a confined area where at least 90% of the containers are screened from the view of anyone passing by. 

Screening is not as difficult as you may think.  If you don’t want to do a small fence, try a couple of bushes.   You can view examples of garbage can screening by clicking here. Materials for these projects can be found at Home Depot, Menard’s, Lowe’s or other similar stores.

The first batch of flyers with this very message went out last week.  After driving 16 of our streets, 55 instances of unscreened containers were found. So, if you receive one of these notices, don’t worry – you are not the only one!   Interestingly, 22 of the notices went to rental units and 23 went to homeowners.

Why is screening and storage of garbage cans so important?  Because proper storage will certainly add to the curb appeal of your home.  And with each home looking its best, everyone benefits.  Face it – garbage containers are – well, full of garbage!  Please keep them hidden away except for garbage day!

What’s coming up in Greenhills this summer?

Here are a few things coming up in the Village this summer:

  • Road repaving in the I & J blocks. This will complete the water main project that began last year.
  • Construction of the new school will continue.
  • Winton Road will have repairs and be repaved in front of the shopping center.
  • Street sign replacement throughout the Village will continue.
  • The local historic district process will continue, with a report to Council & Planning Commission due in early summer.

SO WHAT IS GOING ON ALONG WINTON ROAD NOW!?!

Well, no one can say Winton Road isn’t taking a beating this year! After multiple water main breaks and our crazy weather, the road surface in front of the shopping center is practically crumbling! Temporary filling of the holes is lasting less than a week. So to address the bumps and potholes, the Village has had the road milled down 1 to 1.5 inches.  That will actually provide a better temporary driving surface than what existed.

The road will be like this for a while. Asphalt is extremely expensive right now, and – in fact – plans are being completed for improvements to this portion of Winton Road. The project will go out to bid probably in July and work will start later in the summer. Milling the road is part of the bigger project to come, but pouring asphalt is an expenditure we would like to avoid if possible.

In the meantime, know that we will continually evaluate the road surface and take the steps necessary to keep it safe.

Signage will be posted to alert drivers – we can only hope they will adjust their speed, accordingly.

Summer 2018 in Review

It has been an action-packed summer in Greenhills! So much happened it is actually difficult to remember everything!

We definitely had a very good season at the Greenhills Swimming Pool!  Attendance was way up thanks to the 90+ temperatures! We believe the addition of a credit card machine helped, as well.  The staff had to work through an issue early in the season regarding proper swim attire. Enforcing the rules is not always a popular thing to do, but the pool staff did a great job and members appreciated their efforts!

Community Day at the pool and Member Appreciation Day at the pool were both well-attended.  The Recreation Commission did a great job with every aspect of these events!

Pool members have asked us to consider options for keeping the pool open longer at the end of summer. We will take a close look at the suggestions that have been made and see if we can work something out!

For the first time we have opted to not cover the pool this winter.   There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, pool covers are very expensive. Second, nationally, the best practice for large pools is to leave them uncovered. Prior to shutting down the circulation, the water is treated and perfectly balanced. The pool is not being neglected; with no circulation the water is going to turn dark.  It does the same thing even if it is covered.  You may wonder why we don’t drain it completely.  The reason is because a certain amount of water in the pool serves as a counter-weight against water pushing on it from underground.

Mosquitos are NOT an issue because they do not breed at this time of year. By the time breeding season rolls around in the spring, the pool will be drained, cleaned and filled for another season of swimming!

Park Talks were great this summer with more than 50 people attending a park talk for the first time.  We couldn’t help but notice that serving food was well received, so you can plan on food at all future Park Talks!

Some much-needed street repairs were completed this summer. (Driving on a newly-paved surface is always a pleasure.)  And there is more repaving planned for next year as well!

Time was spent this summer responding to and working with our residents who were the target of complaints filed against their property valuations. It was upsetting to see the lives of so many of our residents interrupted as first they had to figure out what the heck was going on, and second, they had to journey downtown to attend hearings in front of the Hamilton County Board of Revisions. Those involved were immensely grateful for Village staff’s support and assistance through this process.  And we were very happy to be there for them!

Planning for the third and final phase of repairs on Winton Road took place this summer, as did the planning for construction of the new school on Farragut.  Both projects will be underway in 2019.

Internal operations of the Village had some ups and downs this summer with the departure of our part time golf course superintendent and our Finance Director.  But I am pleased to report that both positions have been filled and the quality of my staff remains intact! 😊