Local groups raise concerns

By Sebastian Aguilar, Blobcast Show Manager

Local neighborhood groups have raised concerns over the planned Victory Vistas affordable housing project in the Paddock Hills neighborhood adjacent to campus. 

The project is located at 4106 Victory Parkway at the confluence of the northern edge of campus and lower Millcrest park. Victory Vistas is one of three affordable housing projects approved by the Cincinnati city council in May 2022, receiving tax credits and affordable housing funding. The project is backed by Councilman Reggie Harris and being developed by Kingsley and Co., a minority-owned development firm in Cincinnati.

According to the developer, the project is projected to contain 50 affordable housing units for those aged 55+ at the 30-60% area middle income. Victory Vistas is planned to be a singular four-story building comprised of mostly one and two-bedroom apartments. Both the North Avondale Neighborhood Association (NANA), and the Paddock Hills Assembly have voted to pursue a joint appeal to overturn the approval for the project from the Cincinnati Zoning Board.

In NANA’s Jan. 24 open letter to the city council and mayor Pureval, they have listed concerns such as safety for District Four police officers and Dohn School students, lack of a public environmental impact study, the necessity of how the project will affect the Hillside Overlay District, the size of the project, lack of parking spots and lack of engagement and transparency with the residents of North Avondale and Paddock Hills.

Developer Kingsley and Co. invited community members to an information meeting about the project on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to meet and ask questions to both the development and construction management teams for the project.

President of NANA Sara Koucky, in her open letter to the city council, is calling for a full stop on the development until all of NANA’s demands are met.

According to the latest zoning appeal hearing documents, various NANA committee members and Paddock Hills trustees were noted to be arguing with the zone administrator over what violates the Hillside Overlay District, the property line or the building itself. The property line does cross into the district, but the proposed building does not. The zoning committee argues that since the building itself doesn’t intrude on the district, it is free to go through. However, NANA and Paddock Hills argue that the current map of the overlay district is inaccurate.

“I don’t see what the big problem is, it’s just housing for old people,” Claudia Jimenez, a Xavier graduate and resident of North Avondale, said.

“I feel the neighborhoods get less of a say in what’s happening in their communities. We need to make a stand,” Lina Orr, Paddock Hills Assembly treasurer, said.

The next zoning appeal hearing is set for March 16.