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April 22, 2024 15 mins
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(00:00):
Just falling apart and we need amajor change. Fifty five krc the Talk
Station seven oh six. Here atfifty five KRCD Talk Station. A very

(00:25):
happy Monday team, made even happierby the return of Todd z ins Or
Not talking about a railroad. Heis. He founded the Citizens for a
Transparent Railroad Vote. He lives inWest Pryce, sil City resident. He
is. He's retired as the InspectorGeneral of the US Department of Commerce after
thirty one years of conducting audits andinvestigations of federal officials, programs and operation.
He remains a certified fraud examiner andhe is looking into something since any

(00:47):
mayor I have to have provo wouldlike. In his op ed piece,
Todd zens are welcome to the program. Did a nice job of explaining what
a bit of a lack of transparency. Todd good to see in studio,
my friend, thanks for making thetrip. Thank you, Brian. This
proposed zoning reform that he want citycouncil to approve before they adjourn in June.
Connected communities sounds good? What's connectedcommunities? God? Sounds great.

(01:12):
I tried to find out what thiswas all about, and when I started
looking. It's something that is happeningin various big cities across the country,
and it's called up zoning, andbasically the idea is to squeeze more people
into the same space, and theywant to do that by taking away the
density restrictions also known as single familyhousing zones. And so in Cincinnati,

(01:40):
what the plan is is they've identifiedseven corridors where they have various neighborhood business
districts, and they want to focuson those corridors and then a quarter of
a mile or in a couple ofthe corridors, a half mile around those
neighborhood business districts, they want toreduce the density, reduce the requirements for

(02:02):
single family homes, and they wantto eliminate the minimum parking requirements that developers
have to meet when they build newbuildings or build new apartment buildings and push
all of that parking onto the streetor in the mayors and the city planners
shangri la, people will just walkwherever they need to go. Yeah,

(02:23):
I was just going to say,because you say that, you know,
push people onto the street with theircars amid proposals, I guess it was
that most recent proposal by that outsideentity to increase amount of meters on the
street and reduce the available parking that'sout there. I mean, it's the
natural effect is going to be there'sgoing to be less parking on the street

(02:44):
if that proposal were to go throughright. Well, and electric vehicles too,
I just want to throw that outthere, because how do you charge
your electric vehicle if there's not acharging center in the highly densely populated housing
that they plan on building. Well, that is so funny, Brian,
because there's a vig online of apublic hearing or a public meeting where the
city planners are explaining this and whatthe virtue is of going to walkable neighborhoods,

(03:09):
and then the planner says, andif you really do have to drive,
we're going to have a series ora set of EV chargers set up.
So the whole thing is to getout of your combustuh combustion engine vehicles
and go to either evs or walkor bicycles. And I have no idea

(03:31):
what this is really going to accomplish. When we're trying to create more affordable
housing. That's the whole idea iswe want more affordable housing. And here
they've inserted this ridiculous you know,green Cincinnati plan business into the objective of
creating affordable housing. It doesn't makeany sense. Well, can they guarantee

(03:51):
that this housing would be affordable?I mean, you know the cost of
let's just take for example. Youknow, when you describe this, I
don't know why my brain immediately tofall to the Cabrini Green Housing project in
Chicago, where they had very dancehigh rise buildings where people who are on
life's margins were concentrated. It wasin a disaster, and they've since knocked
it down because they determined that thatpublic housing concept just didn't work. It

(04:14):
concentrates everybody in a bad environment andyou can't get out of it. But
if they build it, will peoplecome, I guess is the question?
And can they build it and stillmake it affordable considering the cost of building
these days. Well, that's thething. If you go and you look
at the experience of these other cities, it's mixed. There's no guarantee that
this is going to work. Andin addition to that, the question is

(04:40):
whether builders will come in and build. Well, yeah, that's part of
the component and the supply demand realitythat I'm asking. That's why I asked
the question will people come if it'sbuilt? And the builders and developers usually
assess that component first before being willingto invest money in any given project.
Is this going to be a wasteof my time? Exactly? And if
you look at to Cincinnati Futures Commissionreports, you need to read pages twenty

(05:03):
through twenty five because it basically givesthe city an enema about how it's been
operating in terms of economic development.There's a quote and I'll just read it
real quick. It says developers fromCincinnati and from out of town are choosing
to skip this market or decrease theirinvestment here in work in cities and regions

(05:26):
where it is easier to do businessand are incentivizing growth appropriately. Hm.
Well, every time I hear aboutthe ease of doing business, I'm reminded
of a story that now retired.Everybody knows Elmer hensl Or, the the
creator of Queen City Sausage. Andyou know his story, you know,
venturing through his childhood where you know, and he dropped out of high school

(05:48):
to work in the meat industry.He built Queen City Sausage by acquiring all
these other independent sausage makers, famouslyfantastic business. He wants to expand we're
going back several years. He didgo through with the expansion, he had
to jump through so many hurdles,and his expansion was delayed so much just

(06:11):
because of the eurocracy and the inabilityof people in the city to go ahead
and say, go ahead, overyou're going to be hiring more people and
bring more taxes of it to thecity. It's an undeveloped industrial area of
the neighborhood, so have at it. I mean, that should have been
the immediate default reaction. Instead hewent through several years of heel dragon on
the part of administration officials or whoeverelse he is having to deal with,

(06:33):
had to work through elected officials andget them to try to grease the skids
to make it happen, a projectthat should have just been embraced and facilitated
from the get go. That's justone story among I'm sure countless countless others
out and it's still happening. It'sstill great. Oh, it's still that
way, Brian. And the theissue for on the housing question, of

(06:56):
the zonning question is that this ideaof eliminating parking minimums. They claim that's
going to incentivize builders. Well,I think the thing that would incentivize builders
and if they streamline that bureaucracy andthey and they paid attention to what the
Cincinnati Futures Commission said about their processand how terrible it is. Well if
you ident I mean, I knowthey have a map on this that it

(07:18):
went along with your your your oped piece in the enquire Again, city
leaders doing a sales job on proposedzoning reforms. Where where are these I
mean, can you be able toidentify any trend in connection where these these
populated population density restrictions would be removed? Are they connected in any way that
the one of the communities that they'veidentified for this proposal. Well, they

(07:41):
they have tried to align this withthe bus routes. So you've got two
bus rapid transit routes coming through onHamilton Avenue and Reading Road. Okay,
and that's going to be bus rapidtransit where they have like fifteen stops along
the way, and that is usedin many many cities across the country.
My son lives in Seattle and he'sused bus rapid transit for a long time.

(08:05):
The other corridors are some of themain thoroughfares where they claim there's twenty
four hour bus service. So you'vegot Western Northern Boulevard, Glenway Avenue,
Harrison Avenue, Madison Road, GilbertAvenue. So those are the seven corridors,
and then the question of the loweringthe restrictions on density. Are all

(08:33):
within a quarter mile of these neighborhoodbusiness districts, And like in my neighborhood,
we're plenty dents already. West PriceHill, East Price Hill, we're
plenty dents. We have plenty ofyou know, cars already crammed on the
streets. There are streets where youcan't even pass because there's cars parked on
both sides of the streets. Well, isn't there argument? Though? The

(08:56):
problem is because it's single family homesand not these dense, populated high rise
type things that it sounds like they'reproposing that if we only got rid of
private property and single family dwellings,gosh darn it, look at all the
land we could acquire to build thesehigh rises on. Yeah, I think
the plan is to give incentive tobuildings with ten units or less so somewhere

(09:18):
between four and ten units is whatthey're targeting. And so if you've got
a lot next door to you that'sempty in the city, yeah, and
you're in one of these buffer zonesthey call them. Somebody's going to come
in and put a ten unit ofa building in there and not provide any
parking for the for the residents,and the residents aren't going to be walking.

(09:39):
They're going to bring at least onecar, probably two cars, and
those go on the street. Soundslike ready, fire, am. We'll
continue with Todd Zender. It's timeto take a quick break. Here's seven
fifteen fifty five KRCD talk station mentionedsomething near a seedy talk station here if
pitty above KRCIT talk station Brian Zinser, He's call an activists, seeker of

(10:03):
transparency and truth and a person raisingquestions about what they're calling. What is
this Connected Communities program. It's azoning proposal by the mayor. I have
to have provole. He's trying toget it passed very very quickly. Basically,
it is going to create zones thatwill allow the building of more apartments,

(10:24):
yes to the exclusion of and tothe detriment of the individual home owner.
Yes, so this is just goingafter the concept of individual homeowners period.
End of story. Sure looks thatway, Brian. Yeah, but
we'll be able to just walk towork and take our bike to work,
and we'll have to work close towhere the high dense population center is or

(10:48):
take public transportation, and it'll allbe a nirvana and everything. They don't
understand the concept of people maybe wantingto be able to leave at some point,
to get out of that particular communityor environment, even for maybe a
few hours or a few days.It just it sounds like it's so much
hostage taking in a way. Well, they are trying to accomplish these climate

(11:09):
change goals at the same time they'retrying to fix the housing problems that we
have with affordable housing, and Idon't think the two really need to go
together. Let's fix affordable housing andlet the Green Cincinnati plan, you know,
sit there and gather dust like itought to. All Right, fix

(11:30):
affordable housing sounds simple. Yeah,how does one actually in your mind?
Todd, what's a proposal that webetter solve the problem that we have right
now of affordable housing. Well,it's affordable housing is the holy grail of
you know, major cities, andin Cincinnati, I think that you need
to look at the neighborhoods like theWest End, like Lower Price Hill,

(11:52):
East Price Hill. I don't knowso much about the East Side, but
you need to look at those communities. And if you go back, I
can look at the record. Thecity voted down a zoning proposal in March
of twenty two that was introduced byLiz Keating. They voted that down.
But if you look at the recordand all of the input that coming from

(12:13):
the community councils and the residents ofthe cities, there are tons of recommendations
and suggestions in that record that asfar as I can tell, in this
Connected Communities proposal, that none ofthose are answered, and so there are
solutions out there. If I thinkthe city leaders would just listen to the

(12:33):
people in the communities, well,I note the West Price Hill in your
op EDPCE you pointed the West Brycesal community Council almost voted to oppose the
plan. They were given assurance bycouncil members Jeff cameroning and I'll be that,
well, we'll still be open forcommunity input. In other words,
you'll be able to tell Todd,you'll be able to answer ask these questions

(12:56):
and they'll be answered before we voteon it. Well, the community council,
there's an update there. They votedto oppose it. Oh they did.
Westwood is opposing it. I'm sureEast Price Hill is opposing it.
But the the bill itself, youknow, they have this website. It's
very well done, probably very expensive. You go on the website and you'll

(13:16):
try to look at the ordinance thatthey're proposing. It's one hundred and forty
eight pages long. Oh jeezuz,and it is all it is is edits
to the current zoning ordance, soyou can't really follow exactly what they're doing.
Yeah, you have to have theunderlying ordinances to understand the changes they're
going to make. This is likeso many legislative un bills that are packed

(13:37):
exactly and I'm kind of into thisand it was like intimidating to me to
try to look at that and figureout what it was doing. And that
supposedly is transparency. The the idea, the idea that they didn't tell the
public that this is a controversial issuein cities across the country is called up

(13:58):
zoning. Here are some some ofthe downsides. The downsides like it's led
to gentrification in some cities, thereare strains on the infrastructure like water and
sewer are it contributes to parking shortages. And if you look at what's going
on in these other cities and thereports, they're all over the place.
It's really not a tried and truesolution here. Well, I suspect,

(14:24):
and going back to your hypothetical,you go to any given area where they've
got a vacant lot, and thisupsetting allows them to build say ten unit
building in it, the individual homeowner that's in that same neighborhood's home will
decrease in value rather precipitously. Iwould think so. And in West Price
sal for example, the median salesprice in West Price Sill decreased last year

(14:50):
from the previous year, and Cincinnatias a whole, the median sales price
for homes increased almost sixteen percent.So terms of affordable housing, I don't
think West Price Hill has a problem. Apparently not. Todd's inzer. It's
a pleasure talking with you. Thanksfor staying up on this. You're op
ed piece and the acquire city leadersdoing a sales job on proposed zoning reforms.

(15:11):
I have a feeling it's not thelast we're going to hear from you
or others on this particular proposal.Looks like the Mayor wants to get it
passed before the council adjourns in June, and it could have a profound impact
on communities throughout the city of Cincinnati, and from what I've learned today,
probably not a positive one. Todd, Thanks for doing the laboring or work
on this. I always appreciate withmy listeners and folks like you're out there

(15:31):
doing that all right, Thank you, Brian, Stay strong my friends,
seven twenty six. Right now,Christopher Smithman, the Smither event coming up
next. It's time for a wordfor my friends at Colin and congratulations to
Colin Electric celebrating twenty five years inbusiness, doing a great job. For
all my listeners out there for residentialelectric work, they are the ones that

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