Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Would you vote to restore owner property rights?

Restore privately owned green belt property rights    10 votes

  1. 1. Restore privately owned green belt property rights

    • Re zone privately owned green belt to residential use
      8
    • Keep private citizens from using their own land that they pay taxes on
      2

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

20 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Winton Woods park comprises over four times as much of our original acerage as the entire developed area of Greenhills and completely surrounds the village as a green belt.

Some residents own strips of land that touch their residences but are zoned green belt. All of this is surrounded by Winton Woods Park. While we have come to call these strips of mostly weeds and dying trees our "intact green belt", there's no doubt that Winton Woods Park is actually the type and magnitude of green belt intended when Greenhills was established.

So while these residents own and pay taxes on this land, they are, in all respects, denied the use of it as private property by our green belt zoning. They can't improve it, fence it, park on it, put a shed on it, or even cut down a dead tree (without written permission from the Village Manager.) And if there is a perfectly good reason to make an exception, our zoning prevents our entire village government from making a common sense exception (even though they ignore this when they want to -it's still against our restrictive zoning). Other publicly held green belt land within the village is owned by the village (the commons, the parks, etc).

So, before all the work begins to put it on the ballot, what do you, the voters, think?

If it were on the ballot to allow citizens to have their private property rights restored by rezoning the strips of "green belt" land they own next to their homes into residential (r-1) lots, would you vote to

1 restore their personal property rights and rezone their land that they pay taxes on to their personal use (R-1 just like their yards) or

2. Keep the use of their own land from them just so we can say we have a green belt -even though Winton Woods completely surrounds Greenhills as green belt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Since we are surrounded by a protected park, I vote option one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I absolutely 100% agree that the greenbelt which is already bordered by the Hamilton County Park District and lies on private property as an easement of sorts should be dissolved. Other pieces should be reserved/preserved as it stands right now. Those pieces can always be reviewed at another time.

I will take you up on one point you are trying to make though. It is not uncommon for homeowners not to be able to do what they want with every single portion of their "personal property". There are situations where property owners have easements on their property. Easements will make at least some portion of a person's property unusable by the property owner. A strip of land in front of your house which is in the right-of-way is another piece of your property which are essentially off limits as well. So, there are situations where what people pay in taxes are not "usable" by the homeowner.

However, easements are documented on property plats and must be at least disclosed, if not shown on a property survey, to the homeowner PRIOR to the contract of SOLD being signed.

If the portion of greenbelt which lies on your property was properly defined to you by the representative(s) who sold the house at the time of purchase then the onus of responsibility lies clearly on your shoulders. It is unfortunate and I can completely understand why you may be upset, but the contract you signed would have stated the restrictions that came with that strip of land. If it did not, then you may have a case.

My question to you is - Do you have your initial contract that you signed when purchasing the home and does the plat or contract state easements of greenbelt and its definition?

The greenbelt had a purpose 60+ years ago. The use of the land which now completely surrounds Greenhills has been defined as park property. That won't change (won't is a permanent word, but I think/hope you get the point).

This is not the first time this discussion has come up. Years ago at a Planning Commission meeting this was brought up and the person who brought it up was silenced after the meeting for doing so. Neither party resides on the current Planning Commission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Can you cite an example of this?

(even though they (The Village) ignore this when they want to -it's still against our restrictive zoning).

1139.01 PERMITTED USES.

In a Greenbelt District, no land shall be used and no building or other structure shall be erected or altered to be used in whole or in part, unless otherwise provided for, except for the following purposes:

(a) Public park reservation and playgrounds.

( b ) Public recreational buildings.

( c ) Allotment gardens, farms, nurseries and gardens.

(d) Public utilities.

(e) Bus passenger stations.

(f) Signs erected by public authority of an educational or directional nature for the welfare and convenience of the public.

(Ord. 2013-04-CD. Passed 4-2-13.)

1139.02 HEIGHT REGULATIONS.

In a Greenbelt District, no building shall be erected or altered to exceed twenty-five feet or one story in height. Unoccupied towers are excepted.

(Ord. 2013-04-CD. Passed 4-2-13.)

1139.03 PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVAL REQUIRED.

In a Greenbelt District, no land shall be used and no building or other structure shall be erected or altered to be used in whole or in part for permitted uses, except after plans for the proposed use, building or other structure, and the location thereof, have been submitted to the Planning Commission for their recommendation.

(Ord. 2013-04-CD. Passed 4-2-13.)

553.01 PERMIT REQUIRED FOR REMOVAL OF TREES IN GREENBELT .

In the Greenbelt District, as defined in the Zoning Ordinance, no tree may be trimmed or cut down and removed nor any other natural forest growth trimmed or removed unless application for a permit has been filed with and a permit has been issued by the Municipal Manager. (Ord. 951. Passed 2-13-68.)

553.02 APPLICATION FOR PERMIT; ISSUANCE.

The application for such a permit required by Section 553.01 shall designate the area and state the purposes for which the permit is to be issued and give such additional information as may be reasonably required by the Municipal Manager to carry out the objectives of this chapter. Permits shall be applied for on a form prescribed by the Municipal Manager.

The Municipal Manager shall issue a permit unless it appears that the applicant proposes to remove trees which are necessary or desirable for the preservation of the character of the Greenbelt as a public park and recreation area. The permit shall designate the purpose for which it has been issued and designate the areas and trees and other natural growth the applicant is permitted to remove, which removal will tend to preserve and promote the development of the character of the Greenbelt as a public park and recreational area.

(Ord. 951. Passed 2-13-68.)

SECTION 2.05 POWERS OF COUNCIL.

G. The power, by Ordinance, to control the development or use of land within the corporate limits and regulate construction thereon, except Council shall not have the power to amend any of the provisions of the Greenhills Zoning Code with respect to the Greenbelt District, Council shall not have the power to vacate the public use of the Commons area and Council shall not have the power to permit any change of use of the golf course, unless it is to be set aside as a park or for walking trails or nature preserve, without submission to and approval of a majority of, the electorate. (Non-use shall not constitute a change.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Jenonhayden and Real Talk --thank you for your votes and comments. WWWarrior, do you want to vote?

Right now, the only way to change this zoning is for the residents to vote. If we have to do it by petition, it's going to be a lot of work. Just testing the waters about how folks would vote.

This is about the concept of private ownership of property that cannot be used by the owner for any purpose at all. And no, we weren't informed when we bought the property that we couldn't use it. Our situation is different from those little strips of weeds that some have at the back of their lots in that the greenbelt lot we own is larger than the lot our house is on. When we bought the house, we had planned to put a nice garage on it with a hardened room in it to serve as a storm cellar since we have no basement. We were surprised when our building plan was returned to the builder marked simply "no -greenbelt"

The comprehensive plan, adopted by our own council, recommended that many of these lots (including ours and all the ones on Carini and Justicia) should be rezoned as residential, but it wasn't followed through. For some reason, a handfull of the little strip lots that folks think are all zoned greenbelt on Junedale are actually zoned residential. Can't find any record of how that happened.

Many others (over 40) have illegally put sheds or parking on their greenbelt lots. For some reason, the watchdogs of Greenhills have not attacked them and so they are just fine -for now -but that could change unless we fix this issue at the ballot box. I can take the village to court, but even if I would win, that won't fix the issue for my fellow citizens.

Thank goodness, the village concocted a way to let the man on Carini keep his fence on His greenbelt that he needs to keep his special needs son from wandering off, but there's really no difference in the issue. They aren't legally allowed to do that, either! (WWWarrior, these are some examples).

The village even went to court with a church over a small extension of their own parking lot --and lost. Please, let's not use our tax dollars fighting our own citizens! For once, can we just do the right thing and pass this remedy for all the homeowners with greenbelt lots? Is it time to restore property rights? How would others vote?

Would any council member be our hero on this issue and get it on the ballot in 2016? ph34r.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The Greenbelt has existed since the Village was started. It's existance as well as the restrictions on it are a matter of record and available to the public.

Anyone who purchases land near the Greenbelt is at least on constructive notice of the the restrictions.

What you are asking for is not a restoration of property rights, but a modification of the rights currently in existance.

WWW was correct in pointing out the provisions of the Village Charter relative to the Greenbelt. Restrictions can only be modified by a vote of the people.

If you wish to start an Initiative to put a measure on the ballot to change the restrictions on the Greenbelt, you have every right to do that. We do live in a Democracy.

The Village lost the Lutheran Church case because when the parking lot was extended the restrictions did permit that.

I decline to vote until I see specifically what is proposed.

Cicero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Doesn't mean that if you vote here, it's the gospel!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Yep, Screaming, just testing the water. Thanks

Warrior thanks for sending the code and charter quotes. I almost know them by heart --now.

Cicero, you are right too, in that I want folks' property rights changed with a zoning change. To me, that's a restoration of property rights in the larger sense, but you're right, it's a change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Would any council member be our hero on this issue and get it on the ballot in 2016? ph34r.gif

I think you will see a miracle happen if any council member stands up and take a stand on this issue (And, let me be clear - their stand wouldn't have to be a proponent for your side). It is unlikely you will see any movement on this issue until it's time for the election cycle.

Real results will have to come from a movement from you. Too many times the council have sat on issues without openly declaring their opinions. It's sad to note that open discussion has rarely been heard from the elected officials. When you think about what the process is (and, this is not just particular to Greenhills) you really only have a chance to hear from your elected officials twice a month. I would bet that if you put a stop watch on each council member in a one month period the time spent by these council members talking about individual resolutions and their opinions regarding the issues that face Greeenhills wouldn't exceed one hour. Again and again we (the constituents) miss hearing individual views from our elected officials. There are many ways our elected officials could communicate. But, none of those outlets are taken advantage of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Any citizen has the right to come before council and raise an issue. The status of the Greenbelt might be an issue to raise so that council members would have the option to express an opinion.

While there are differences of opinion in the Village regarding the Greenbelt, I suspect that the vast majority of the citizens support the" status quo" regardng that issue. You have to remember that most of the citizens do not live adjacent to the Greenbelt or own property in the Greenbelt and therefore they have no need to ask for change.

I suspect that most citizens feel that the Greenbelt was a good idea when it was created and years later still feel it is a good idea. Many communities are struggling to get back green space. In Greenhills our predecessors have handed it down to us.

People who purchase Greenbelt property are at the very least on constructive notice of the restrictions. The Greenbelt and its zoning is not and never has been a secret.

When a person buys real estate they buy "As Is" and they have a duty to check the property and any restrictions before they purchase. This is one of the few places in Law that the rule "Caveate Emptor" still applies. This basically means "Buyer Beware".

Perhaps the Village Council has not spoken on this issue because everyone on Council is in favor of the Greenbelt and its restrictions.

The Charter Committee considered the Greenbelt issue and all members of the committee were in agreement with the Greenbelt provisions and in fact suggested language that would strengthen some provisions with special protection given to the Commons and the Gulf Course. The proposed charter changes were put to a public vote and accepted by nearly 75% of the electorate.

This all happened within the last four years.

Given this climate, I suspect that it would be unlikely that the voters would approve any major change in the current zoning or agree to eliminate the Greenbelt.

Cicero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I doubt an informed voter would have a problem with this. There is no logical reason to maintain a thin belt of trees to protect us from a thick forest of trees. At the time this was put into the charter, there was no assurance that winton woods wouldn't get sold off for development. If that happened, Greenhills would maintain a thin strip around the perimeter of town.

Winton woods is not going anywhere. These greenbelt laws are absurd.

What this would provide is a platform for those who wish to get on council.

VOTE FOR ME AND KEEP THE GREENBELT

DON'T VOTE FOR HIM, HE HATES THE GREENBELT

Winton Woods is the Greenbelt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

One area where it should be maintained is along Sharon Road (south side). There has been some "degradation" to the zone in recent years due to downed trees and even some homeowner actions.

That is one area where Winton Woods does not border and could potentially become an eyesore if not kept green space as it is now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

One area where it should be maintained is along Sharon Road (south side). There has been some "degradation" to the zone in recent years due to downed trees and even some homeowner actions.

That is one area where Winton Woods does not border and could potentially become an eyesore if not kept green space as it is now.

The strip of land you are talking about is not greenbelt. It is privately owned.

Actually I don't know exactly what section you are referring to, but contrary to what Real Talk stated, that section on the South side of Sharon coming down the hill is owned by the Village now. There has been some trimming back for safety reasons (tried to make a turn off Junefield onto Sharon) as it is also the right-of way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Does anyone have a map that shows what is greenbelt and what is park?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

QUOTE (Luv Bug @ Jun 3 2015, 09:51 AM)

One area where it should be maintained is along Sharon Road (south side). There has been some "degradation" to the zone in recent years due to downed trees and even some homeowner actions.

That is one area where Winton Woods does not border and could potentially become an eyesore if not kept green space as it is now.

The strip of land you are talking about is not greenbelt. It is privately owned.

I believe that strip of land is owned by the utilities company. I know that Duke comes by and maintains the trees. But if a tree is too far from the stripe, even by a foot or two they won't touch it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I believe that strip of land is owned by the utilities company. I know that Duke comes by and maintains the trees. But if a tree is too far from the stripe, even by a foot or two they won't touch it.

Again, the strip of land which is being described IS privately owned. It is maintained by utilities because it's also a public utility easement. Look it up on www.HamiltonCountyAuditor.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The strip of land you are talking about is not greenbelt. It is privately owned.

I ask for a clarification.

I looked at several homes that backed up to Sharon Road and was informed by my agent that about 17 feet of that property was "protected green space". There are several on Jewel and some on Ireland that we were told of.

This may not be fact, but at least also speaks to being informed of the existence of the "protected" green-space prior to purchase. You better believe I would have done research before purchasing that property.

Isn't most of the green-space privately owned? Isn't that the whole topic of this conversation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I believe the Village Office does have a map showing where the Greenbelt is located. It should be available for the public to inspect and copy.

Cicero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I looked at several homes that backed up to Sharon Road and was informed by my agent that about 17 feet of that property was "protected green space". There are several on Jewel and some on Ireland that we were told of.

This may not be fact, but at least also speaks to being informed of the existence of the "protected" green-space prior to purchase. You better believe I would have done research before purchasing that property.

Isn't most of the green-space privately owned? Isn't that the whole topic of this conversation?

This particular tract of land that runs parallel to Sharon Rd. was purchased several decades ago by the resident who lives where Jewel and Julep cross at the turn in the road. This tract also is in the R/W of Sharon Rd.

This strip of land is completely useless for any further development other than an extra lane of road. Why anyone would purchase a piece of property that not only is in the R/W of Sharon Rd., but is also an easement for the utility companies is beyond me. Perhaps, they had money burning a hole in their pocket.

The Greenbelt should go away in every instance. NOTHING in the Village could be constructed on any property, in regards to commercial development without prior approval anyway. The greenbelt serves absolutely no purpose and is antiquated. Get rid of it. It's just yet another burden on the people and the administration of Greenhills.

If I were a council member I'd start researching how much money, if any, is spent maintaining the greenbelt areas. There was, in fact, a study done over a decade ago which detailed what type of work needed to be done to ensure that proper care and maintenance was being done to make sure severe undergrowth and pesky vegetation would not smother the good growth of vegetation (i.e. honeysuckle tree removal, etc.). That's probably lost under a mountain of other issues which have gone to the wayside since the comprehensive plan was adopted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Real Talk, It is certainly your perogative to push for the elimination of the Greenbelt.

The only people who would benefit, are those who own parcels in the Greenbelt.

Once it is gone, it is gone, and I do not think we can assume that Winton Woods, which is owned by the county and run under the guildlines of the Corps of Engineers would necessary permit access to the Greenbelt over park property, which means the citizens of Greenhills would have to foot the bill for road modification and access, all for the benefit of just a few citizens who own Greenbelt property. The return on tax money to the Village at this time would be problamatic at best.

People who knowingly buy property on or near the Greenbelt are somewhat like people who buy next to an airport and then complain about the planes.

Perhaps it would be best to put an initiative on the ballot regarding the Greenbelt and let the people vote on it. I have stated before, I doubt that the majority of citizens in Greenhills would agree to it's elimination. But a vote on the issue might settle the matter at least for the next decade or so.

Just remember, an initiative is a two edged sword. There is nothing to keep other citizens from placing an initiative on the ballot that would make the restrictions on the Greenbelt even more restrictive.

There might be some room for compromise depending on what specific use change is being asked for. IF EVERYONE REFUSES TO CONSIDER A COMPROMISE THEN IT WILL BE AN "ALL OR NOTHING" APPROACH AND EVERYONE WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.

Cicero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0