This will come as something of a relief to just about everyone that’s been following the story. Everybodys Records and Gaslight are safe, at least for the time being. According to Citybeat, City Council’s Livable Communities Committee has voted to recommend the establishment of an Interim Development Control (IDC) in Pleasant Ridge. From the article:
[The IDC] will essentially act as a temporary order of protection on the Pleasant Ridge business district, according to Chamlee. City Council was to take the final vote on the IDC’s establishment Wednesday, June 20.
An IDC is a tool city council can use while a study is going on — in this case, the city’s study on form-based code — that helps to protect changes to a geographic area such as the Walgreens undertaking, explains Alex Peppers, Cincinnati city planner. Implementing an IDC in Pleasant Ridge would temporarily regulate the establishment of uses, construction of new buildings and any demolition plans, effectively requiring any of Walgreens’ requests to go before the city planning commission in a public hearing, rather than just requiring a simple building permits approval.
The establishment of an IDC in the Pleasant Ridge Community Business District would last 90 days, with the potential for a nine-month extension once that time is up. According to [Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation President Jason] Chamlee, an IDC would allow the Pleasant Ridge community and other advocates more time to mobilize and work with Anchor Properties representatives in hopes of finding a mutually beneficial solution for both parties — possibly a less controversial spot for relocation.
That’s great news, but what’s just as good (or perhaps even better), is that since the last time I posted about this , Bill DeJonckheere, the owner of the lot that Everybody’s occupies, has apparently received “several increasing offers” from Anchor (the development corporation that Walgreens is using) and has told Citybeat that he’s “just not interested at this point”.
Those two factors combined improve Everybody’s chances pretty drastically. City Council is apparently prepared to make Walgreens jump through some hoops, and the trouble of that combined with at least one holdout landowner may make it more trouble than it’s worth for Walgreens to (quite literally) move down the block. It’s a temporary victory, but it would appear that the sudden groundswell of support for the affected area caught the attention of everyone involved, and I think that probably bodes well for the cause.
On a personal note, this has been pretty inspiring to watch. Seeing a community rally around a cause like this one says quite a bit about that community, to say nothing of the speed with which they were able to do it. Support went from Zero to Effective in the span of a weekend; that doesn’t happen often. I hope that other neighborhoods in the Tri-state are able to see what a determined group of neighbors can do, and learn from it.read more