May 2018 – What’s Going On?

Grass Violations

After months of crazy weather, we had a few days of rain and now with the sun and warmth – grass is growing like crazy! So far this year 99 grass violations have been issued.  Violators are informed if grass gets to a height of 8 or more inches.  If you are one of the 99 – all you need to do is cut your grass.  If you fail to do so, the Village will arrange for the cutting and the cost will be assessed against the property as a tax lien.

For those of you who are frustrated every time you pass a yard with tall grass, please know that our process requires that for the first violation notification of the year to a given address, the Village must wait for the certified mailing slip to be returned before we can take action. This can sometimes take 3 to 4 weeks.  Once that has been completed, we will NOT have to go through that process again in the same year in order to cut the grass. Typically, we only end up with about a half dozen addresses that we have to cut repeatedly in a season. The vast majority of residents remedy the violation right away.

Oak Tree Plantings have started

The first of the 80 oak trees to be planted this year in honor of the Village’s 80thIMG_1648.HEIC anniversary have been planted!  One oak was planted at the Greenhills Municipal Building on Arbor Day.  Four have been planted in front of Bargains & Buyouts, 1 on Andover island, 2 along Jack Molloy Lane, 1 in greenspace at the corner of Jennings and Japonica, and 1 on Ireland.  More plantings will take place in the fall.

You can contribute to the planting of the 80 oaks.  A contribution of $100 or more will place your name on a list that will be inserted into a time capsule commemorating our Village’s 80th Anniversary!

Purchase an Oak this year through the Memorial Tree Program and have your name and the name of the person honored/memorialized included in the time capsule. Memorial Tree Program information can be found on the Village’s website.

Drainage Issues & Repairs at Pool are almost done!

And not a minute too soon since the pool opens for the season in just 15 days! These are the kinds of projects that cause a serious lack of sleep!  But the end is in sight!  Soon you should see a concrete truck pouring new decking.  From that point, you will see obvious signs of the swimming season to come!

We also had a large portion of the deck sealed to protect the concrete and insure it lasts longer!

Residents – remember you can join the pool at a discounted rate through Memorial Day!

Golf Course

I am hoping by now you have taken the time to walk or drive to the golf course to see how beautiful the grounds look. Please take advantage of this asset by joining or playing regularly this season.  The Village would be happy to work with you to schedule a league, a party or special event at the golf course!

Soon to be completed!

The new ADA-compliant pathway and restrooms are scheduled to be completed by May 18th.  These new amenities really enhance the recreation area that includes the golf course, playground, pool, and picnic shelter.

Schedule the Picnic Shelter for your next party!

Call to reserve a date and time for a fun outing with family or friends! Call the Village to schedule your event.

Street Repairs Coming Soon!

Village Council has approved a contract with the JK Meurer Corp. to repave or crack seal certain streets in the Village. For details, read the article here!

 

Street Work to Begin Soon

Today the Village received bids for the 2018 Street Paving Program! I plan to take this item to Council on Tuesday, May 8th, for approval so work can get started.  The anticipated contractor is the JK Meurer Corporation.

Work will be performed on the following streets:

Jewel Lane

Jewel will have certain areas of curbing removed and replaced; some full depth repair work done in the worst areas; and a total pavement planning and resurfacing.

Foxworth Lane

Foxworth will have total pavement planning and resurfacing.

Handel Lane

Handel will have certain areas of curbing removed and replaced; some full depth repair work done in the worst areas; and a total pavement planning and resurfacing.

Carini Lane, Hadley Road (the cul de sac), and Junefield Avenue will all have crack sealing work.  In an earlier article about pot holes I explained crack-sealing.  Just to review, it is a tool that can help to prevent surface cracks from taking in water.  Crack-sealing is exactly that – cracks are sealed with a tar-like substance.  These are those dark squiggly lines you might notice on streets and parking lots. It may not be very attractive but it really prolongs the life of the pavement.

After Council approves the contract, the next step will be the pre-construction meeting.  I will provide project specifics after that meeting.  Please check back!

Next Steps of a Local Historic District: The Historic Overlay District

I hope you are finding my articles on establishing a local historic district to be informative. In the first article I laid out the pros and cons of a local historic district.  In the second article, I have given some insight on what the guidelines could include.   So, what is the next step?

Section 1143 of the Greenhills Codified Ordinances provides for an Historic Overlay District – meaning that any local historic district guidelines that are created would be in addition to the current zoning requirements for those zoning districts.

The first step is the creation of a local district.  The beginning phases of this are currently being planned.  It will consist of a joint meeting of Council and the Greenhills Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission will serve as the official Historic Preservation Commission for the Village unless a separate commission is appointed by Village Council.  Planning Commission is required to seek input from an historic consultant in making decisions that impact any locally-designated district.  This will allow the Planning Commission to learn the importance of the architecture and design guidelines it is responsible for enforcing.

Planning Commission will need to create, review and approve an application form to be used for local designations.  Such designations can be for districts or specific properties. The criteria for designation are outlined in Section 1143.05(e), which you can view for yourself by clicking here. To be considered under that Section for designation, a property or properties must be fifty years old or older and retain integrity of design and materials.  The following criteria will also be considered:

(1)   Its character, interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the Village, the state or nation.

(2)   Its association with a significant historic event.

(3)   Its identification with a person who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the Village, state or nation.

(4)   Its exemplification of the cultural, economic, social or historic heritage of the Village, state or nation.

(5)   Its embodiment of distinguishing characteristics of a building type or architectural style.

(6)   Its identification as the work of an architect or master builder whose work has influenced the development of the Village, state or nation.

(7)   Its embodiment of elements of architectural design, detail, materials or craftsmanship which represent a significant architectural innovation.

(8)   Its relationship to other distinctive areas which are eligible for preservation according to a plan based on an historic, cultural or architectural motif.

(9)   Its unique location or singular physical characteristic representing an established and familiar visual feature of the Village.

(10)   Its potential to yield information important to prehistory or history (archaeology).

Council and Planning Commission must think about what area or areas should or could be designated and what additional regulations should be incorporated into a designated district or districts.  These are discussions that are an important part of the planning process for a local historic district.  Village Council and Planning Commission may decide to designate multiple properties to create the local historic district.  They can also select property outside of a local district boundary and apply the same architecture and design guideline restrictions to those properties.

All these decisions will be made with input from various groups and individuals.  The Village will continue to work closely with its historical consultant on identifying potential options for a local district and its guidelines, and the Village will soon hold public meetings where residents and property owners may ask questions and provide their own input on this process.  The goal is to create a district of properties that tell the story of Greenhills and will benefit from careful oversight to protect their architectural and design features: the features that make Greenhills unique!

Code Enforcement – Garbage & Refuse Collection

A periodic review of our garbage “dos and don’ts” is always worthwhile.  Such review can be a refresher for long-term residents and a primer for new residents!

Section 939 of the Greenhills Codified Ordinances regarding garbage and refuse can be viewed here.  The Code addresses such things as the types of containers that may be used, the times for setting out containers and for removing containers from the right-of-way; how the containers should be stored; and enforcement mechanisms.  The Village webpage section on trash and recycling can be viewed here.

I think we would all agree that visible garbage is a negative for any property and for the community as a whole!  The vast majority of our residents comply with the Code, but there are those who just don’t seem to notice or care about their garbage.

Village staff are always driving through the Village, but we always appreciate residents who notify us about violations.  To the extent possible, Village staff attempts to reach property owners by phone to inform them of violations.  When that is not possible or not successful, the Village enforces the relevant Code sections in the following ways:

1)         by leaving a written notice at or mailing a written notice to the property owner advising as to the permitted hours for setting out garbage and that any future violations may result in a charge for collection and/or criminal citation.

– OR –

2)         the Village can order the immediate collection of the garbage and then send the property owner written notice of the additional fee incurred for the pick-up and notifying the owner that the garbage was set out in violation and that the cost of the additional pick up shall be paid within 14 days of the notice.  If payment is not made, the Village will in have the cost added to the tax duplicate and collected as a tax lien.       The Village uses this tactic for evictions, excessive amounts of garbage, etc. We act quickly in these situations because it is unsightly and unfair for surrounding residents to have to look at a garbage pile for any amount of time.

Here are some other garbage-related requirements to keep in mind:

Containers should be of a non-rusting material with tight-fitting lids.  Plastic bags may be used for set out, but not for storage during the week.

Containers not be set out until 3 pm the day before collection and must be removed from the streets within 24 hours of collection.

No garbage may be set out in open containers.

Containers must be stored throughout the week either next to the rear wall of a dwelling or garage, or in a confined area screened from view of passersby. Trash handling areas are allowed to be located in front yards if screened with fences or walls, provided that the fence or wall does not extend more than 6 feet from the front of the house and not taller than 4.5 feet in height.  Decorative bushes are also a nice way to screen containers.   disposing of mattresses, sofas, chairs, or other such items – Rumpke requires they be wrapped or placed in plastic bags before they will be picked up.  For your convenience, the Municipal Office stocks the necessary plastic bags in a variety of sizes for $6 each.

If you have large and/or heavy items for pickup, Rumpke would appreciate a head’s up.  Give them a call at 851-0122, ext. 3732, to allow them to be prepared for a large pickup.  While our current contract with Rumpke allows for unlimited household waste, large and bulky items aren’t considered household waste and the collection of such items may be limited by Rumpke.

Tree & Stump Removals Will Start Soon

The Village is just about to embark on a critical component of its tree management plan – tree and stump removal. Removals and pruning are an important part of maintaining the safety of our urban forest. Trees to be removed are identified with an orange dot.  We received some calls from property owners about trees that were possibly marked in error.  Please know that we will check the health of the trees once again before we enter into a removal contract to be sure no mistakes are made. 

New plantings will follow – some this spring and some later in the fall.  In addition to other tree types, we are going to be planting 80 oaks throughout the Village this year in honor of our Village’s 80th anniversary!  Some of the oaks will be planted along the streets – such as Bachman, Burley, and Jack Molloy Lane. A number of them will be planted in our parks and greenspaces.

If a tree is removed in front of your home and not replanted immediately, don’t worry!  Your location is maintained as a future planting location on our new data base. From time to time residents request certain trees.  We try to accommodate these requests, but musts be able to adhere to a plan.  We also have a list of approved street trees.  This list is generated by specialist throughout the State of Ohio who know how to match tree types with tree planting sites.  I have attached our current list of street trees for you to see.

The planting of trees was part of the Village’s development back in the 1930s. I came across a document that identified original tree plantings in Greenhills.  I compiled a list from that document which you can view by clicking here.  It is fun to look at the list and compare it to the trees you see growing along your street.  Many of our original trees are still surviving but we continually supplement the original inventory with new trees to insure we always have our beautiful tree canopy for future generations.

Planting strategies have improved over the years. For example, we no longer plant just one type of tree along a particular street as done originally.  We diversify the selection just a bit to be sure we do not have a total loss of tree coverage as we did – for example – along Gambier with the Emerald Ash Borer disease.  We no longer plant within 10 feet of a driveway, or within 20 feet of another tree.

Always let me know if you have questions about our trees! You can contact me through Ekovach@GreenhillsOhio.org

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