A Note from the Community Council President

Spring has arrived!

As I look out the window I see that spring is once again visiting the valley. My grass has turned quite green and during the recent rainstorm I saw a river of water running down my driveway towards the street.

As many of you know, the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has been ordered by the EPA to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Mill Creek by 2018. As a result a project has begun to separate storm and sewage sewers and return the Lick Run to a historic state

The media company Numediacy visited our council and spent many days in the area gathering photo footage and interviewing people about South Fairmount. They helped create “Too Shallow for Diving, the Weight of Water”, a multimedia presentation currently showing at the Weston Art Gallery adjacent to the Aronoff Center, free to the public.

What you may not know is that the City Department of Transportation plans to increase the number of traffic lanes on Westwood Avenue and make it a two way boulevard with seven lanes. This will require the demolition of all the existing homes on the south side of Westwood Ave. between the Western Hills Viaduct and White Street. In addition Queen City Avenue would be changed to a two way street with one lane in either direction and parking on one side of the road.

David Mann, the Vice Mayor, is planning to attend our next meeting on the 14th of April. I would like to see many attend and share their views on this project.

We are currently working to have a spring party day in Shadwell Park. It would likely involve food, games and a walking tour of the areas to be affected by the MSD project. We are still looking for ideas so please stop by the Council meeting and let us know your thoughts.

In closing. the City Sanitation Department is changing garbage collection schedules so that Fridays can be used to help clean problem dumping sites. On April 24th they will target South Fairmount. If you would like to help with the coordination please let us know at southfairmountcouncil@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Jim Casey

President, South Fairmount Community Council

Public Meeting: Westwood Ave. Widening Project

March 11, 2015, 5pm – 7pm, Orion Academy 1798 Queen City Ave.To support revitalization in South Fairmount, a majority of Lick Run Master Plan participants recommended converting Westwood (WW) and Queen City (QC) Avenues from one-way to two-way streets.

The project is expected to have safety and mobility benefits:

  • Removes the s-curve, provide wider lanes and updates traffic signals on WW.
  • Reduces through traffic on QC.
  • Creates a shared-use path for walkers and bicyclists.
  • Provides a direct path for through traffic to and from the Western Hills Viaduct.
  • Connects to the future new I-75 interchange and the future new Western Hills Viaduct, which will also include a shared-use path for walkers and bicyclists.

The conversion will require that the widening of WW will be done on the south side of the street. The City will need to buy properties on WW for that purpose.

Project Timeline:

  • Study and Design (On-going)
  • Begin Right-of-Way appraisals (June, 2015)
  • Right-of-Way Plans complete (December, 2015)
  • Begin Right-of-Way Offers and Acquisitions (February, 2016)
  • Right-of-Way Acquisitions Complete (March, 2018)
  • Final Construction Plans Complete (April, 2018)
  • Construction (October, 2018)

Cincinnati Choice Neighborhoods Transformational Plan

Executive Summary

The community – composed of English Woods, North Fairmount, and South Fairmount – is a community with many assets: it is located minutes from downtown, Uptown, and Interstate 75; it has a rich residential, industrial, and transportation history; it has numerous hillsides and excellent views of surrounding hillside communities, the Mill Creek valley, and of downtown; and it has long-time residents that are committed to the community.

Even with all of these assets, the community has suffered disinvestment and decline in quality-of-life over the past 30 years. The numbers are staggering: the community has lost a third of its popula- tion since 2000, two-thirds of the house- holds have incomes below $35,000 (and one-third are below $15,000), a quarter of the units are vacant, the unemployment rate for the neighborhoods range from 12 to 20%, and there are few essential services and businesses nearby.

While the list of challenges is great, the commitment and shared vision of community residents, stakeholders, and local partners resulting from this planning process can be marshaled to create the positive change needed to attract new residents and improve quality of life for current residents.

Housing, people, and neighborhood recommendations will first benefit current residents (in terms of housing quality, education and workforce opportunities, access to amenities, health, and safety) and will then work to rebuild the housing market to attract new residents who share the community’s vision which values diversity, engagement, historical and natural assets.

The plan looks to build on community anchors and future opportunities such as English Woods to the north, St. Leo the Great Catholic Parish on Baltimore Avenue in North Fairmount, and the Lick Run urban greenway in South Fairmount through strategic housing and commercial recom- mendations.

This plan is a direct response to the community’s collective voice. To make it a reality, community residents must take a leading role in its implementation along- side local partners.

Prepared by the Community Building Institute with support from the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, Michaels Development Company, Model Group, and WRT Design

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