Saturday, February 06, 1999

Home could become stranded

Businesses might grow on all sides

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MADEIRA — Bob Bross would like to sell his house here before it becomes an island in a sea of business.

        City council is poised to approve zoning Monday night that would permit office development in what is now a residen tial zone. It includes the Bross home on Steigler Lane — an undedicated drive leading to and owned by the Madeira Health Care Center which abuts Mr. Bross' property.

        The 10-acre tract to be rezoned south of Camargo Road is on either side of Steigler Lane. It will become a “transitional zone” to allow for office development — but with no retail or industrial businesses.

        By a quirk of development years ago, the other four residential properties in the affected area have frontage on the south side of Camargo Road opposite a commercial strip to the north. But the Bross property is tucked behind another private home and in front of a wing of the nursing home.

        Over the years, the development of the commercial district opposite the residences and an expansion of the nursing home earlier this decade changed the residential atmosphere of the area and helped lead to the proposed zone change.

        The Bross home is surrounded by private property with no direct access to Camargo Road or any other public right of way.

        “With frontage (on Camargo Road), those other properties are more likely (to be developed) while ... my small house with a detached garage will not. I have no access to a public street. Steigler Lane and a 20-foot easement along it are owned by the nursing home,” Mr. Bross said.

        Mr. Bross has brought his concerns to city council and the planning commission during public hearings about the rezoning. There has been no other major objection, he said.

        “I can see the possibility of an office building right up against my property line on one side and the health care center on the other,” Mr. Bross said.

        Mr. Moeller said he empathizes with Mr. Bross' situation and said the city will help him, if possible. “But the city is not going to buy his house.”

        “All I really want is to sell it (at fair market value),” Mr. Bross said. “That will be enough for a down payment someplace else.”

        Lisa Weber, co-owner and administrator of the Madeira Health Care Center, said there is no immediate need for expansion of the facility but such a situation could develop in the future and the Bross property might become useful then.

        Meanwhile, Ms. Weber said she thinks the entire tract will be attractive to office development, doctors' offices or support businesses to the nursing home and suggested Mr. Bross might align himself with his neighbors and a developer to jointly market their properties, if they so desire.


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