Battle over mapping debate rages on; council delays decision until next month

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - It's a battle over boundaries. Two community councils are at odds. Council members are trying to figure out exactly where 500 families live.

Neighbors packed the Oakley Recreation Center on Tuesday night to demand an answer, but homeowners in what's being called Hyde Park East will have to wait for that answer. Tuesday evening, Oakley Community Council members decided to wait a month to vote on the issue.

It was standing room only as hundreds of homeowners fought to leave the Oakley community.

"Why do you want to force 500 families into your community who do not want to be in your community," said one homeowner at the meeting.

Right now, the Cincinnati Community Council boundaries map lists some 500 homes in Oakley, but residents say they live in Hyde Park East, and now, they say they're paying for the discrepancy.

"I bought a house several years ago in Hyde Park," said Lee Hoffheimer. "I pay taxes in Hyde Park, but I'm told I live in Oakley."

That's because the Hamilton County Auditor map lists the 500 homes in Hyde Park, but the Multiple Listing Service (or MLS), what realtors use, puts the homes in Oakley. So homeowners who bought homes in Hyde Park now have to sell their homes with Oakley addresses.

"We've been this way for a very long time," said Essie Pederson. "We're not asking anything new or different. We want to maintain what we have."

Four-hundred and ninety residents signed a petition and sent it to City Council. They asked members to change the boundaries. Tuesday afternoon, Council members voted to push their vote on the issue to September.

Lawmakers said they can amend the council community boundaries map if both community councils agree on the changes and put it in writing. We're told The Hyde Park Community Council has drafted a letter. Tonight, Oakley Community Council members said they needed more time.

Oakley Community Council members said they will take up the issue, possibly voting, at their next meeting on September 7th.

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