YourUptown Launch

The Uptown Consortium has launched a buy local campaign to drive customers to local businesses. The YourUptown Campaign will spotlight businesses and events in Uptown through a new web site and bi-monthly email blasts.  Buying local means your money goes directly into the community to support its growth and sustainability. It makes the community more vibrant and attractive to even more local businesses. Sign up for the bi-weekly newsletter for exclusive Uptown offers, events and hidden gems! YourUptown.com is the best resource for shopping local in the Uptown Cincinnati neighborhoods. Sign up here: http://youruptown.com/sign-up/Support our Uptown businesses and have a great time doing it! It’s time to Sign “UP”!

CTM Resolution – Preserve CCAC & Access to Quality Public School Education

Clifton Town Meeting Trustees unanimously passed the following resolution at the CTM meeting on Monday, April 4 after listening to substantial feedback from many Clifton residents and others who utilize the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.

Resolution by Clifton Town Meeting to Preserve Clifton Cultural Arts Center and to Seek Guaranteed Access to Quality Public School Education

Whereas Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) finds Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) to be an essential asset to the schoolchildren and adult citizens of Clifton, Uptown and beyond, and

Whereas CTM finds access for Clifton schoolchildren to quality public school educational opportunities to be essential

Therefore, be it resolved:

That CTM respectfully requests Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) not terminate the 2005 lease agreement with CCAC which would result in the loss of this essential asset to Clifton, Fairview-Clifton German Language School, Uptown and the Cincinnati community-at-large, and

That CTM respectfully requests to be an active partner with CPS in assessing demand for various educational alternative among residents of Clifton and the entire 45220 zip code with the shared goal of achieving guaranteed access to high quality public school education, and

That CTM respectfully requests CPS to join with all community stakeholders including, but not limited to, CTM, Fairview-Clifton German Language School administrators, faculty and staff, LSDMC, CCAC, and CUF in an effort to build strong partnerships that lead to creative solutions to the current and future educational challenges of this community and beyond.

ULI – Technical Assistance Panel (TAP)

Ludlow 21 LLC has organized a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) through the Urban Land Institute (ULI).  CTM along with other community stakeholders were invited to attend the meeting on March 16.  Below is a summary of the invitation.  Attached here is a presentation about the ULI TAP process made by Ludlow 21 at their most recent public forum event on February 23, 2016.  On March 7, the CTM Board voted to send three Trustees to participate as invited:  Malcolm Montgomery, Cindy Oakenfull, and Peter Block.

Dear Clifton Town Meeting,
Since last Spring, Ludlow 21 has been discussing the possibility of working with the Urban Land Institute’s local branch to conduct what they refer to as a “TAP” (Technical Assistance Panel) to assess the viability of development options at the Merchant’s Lot on Howell.  We had the Urban Land Institute present at the Spring Ludlow 21 Public Meeting to introduce the concept.  Most recently we announced the beginning of the TAP at a Ludlow 21 Public Meeting on February 23rd.  I have attached that powerpoint for your reference.
For years there has been discussion about the possibility of developing the surface lot as it is far from the “highest and best use” in an urban environment.  As early as 1994 an possibly before, the site was mentioned in the Ludlow Avenue 1994 Plan which was endorsed by all the stakeholder groups at the time. The Plan at that time introduced a stepped back design of structured parking and a new library on the top floor.  The discussions have yet to produce results and in some cases, more actionable development plans have been presented and not been well received by some in the community.  It is with this history in mind that Ludlow 21 saw an opportunity to engage the Urban Land Institute’s technical expertise.
As a group, Ludlow 21 feels that the development of this under-utilized piece of land is critical to the long term viability of our businesses and the district as a whole.  It represents an opportunity to change the dynamic by: 1) adding parking ; 2) adding density in the form of more shoppers ; and 3) potentially adding a new product that Clifton currently lacks whether that be apartments, condos, or office space.  A common thread amongst successful urban business districts has been and continues to be density.  As a community and as a business district, we have a tremendous amount to offer but we need to constantly reassess and improve or risk stagnating and falling behind.
The benefit we see in this exercise is the ability to bridge the gap between community desires and market realities in the hopes of finding common ground.  The nature of the TAP is to engage professionals on a volunteer basis to assess the land use issue (in this case a potential development site) and provide market insight into what is and is not viable or under what conditions it might become viable.  The TAP will bring professionals in construction, development, retail, housing, financing, and public policy to the table with the goal of providing the community with an analysis of the site’s possibilities.
As a group, Ludlow 21 acknowledges the important role the Merchant Lot plays in the parking needs of the business district and so we want to be clear that any future development of that lot must include a public parking component comparable to, if not greater than, the current number of available parking spaces. Furthermore, the income from the parking lot provides its owner, the Clifton Business & Professional Association, with a very valuable revenue stream which it uses to fund important efforts such as additional police patrols, sidewalk cleaning, etc.  Any plan should account for the desire to maintain these resources or somehow account for that function.
Fundamentally, the goal of this effort is to provide the community with an assessment of the site without the pressure of having to respond to an actual actionable development proposal where the community is simply being asked to support a fully developed plan.  Ideally, the TAP report will give the community and its varied stakeholders a guiding hand in assessing any future development proposal.  That feedback from the stakeholders would then be grounded in market realities AS WELL AS community desires thereby providing for the positive and effective exchange of ideas and solutions.
We have scheduled the TAP to take place at the Clifton Library on Wednesday March 16th from 11:30am – 6 pm.  As an important stakeholder in the community, we would like to invite 2 or 3 people from Clifton Town Meeting to sit in on the meeting so that the Panel can make use of your knowledge of the community and take into account your perspective when developing their plan.  The meeting will involve introductions and preliminary sharing of information, a site visit, a working session and then a “debriefing” at Arlin’s afterwards.  Afterwards, the Panel will compile findings and draft a report within 6-12 weeks which will be shared with all the stakeholders and presented publicly shortly after issuance.  If you could let us know who you can have attend, that would be wonderful.   If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Update on Clifton Water Main Replacements

The Clifton neighborhood has had multiple water main pipeline replacements happening over the past two years. Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) presented an update on the work to CTM in April 2015. CTM asked for a fresh update from GCWW during February so that residents would be advised. GCWW responded with the following details.

The Clifton 30” Water Main project is on schedule. The project started later than anticipated due to issues with the contract. The project officially started in November 2015 and is estimated for completion beginning of May 2016. The remainder of the work for the Clifton 30” Water Main will be between Ludlow Avenue and Woolper. Construction will be slower in this corridor due to the increased traffic, narrower roads, and installing the new water main in the trench of the existing 30”. This is a slower process removing the old water main and then installing the new one in the same location. The production decreased significantly, but our Contractor is doing a great job staying on schedule.

Once the 30” water main is complete, there is one more Clifton water main project that still needs to finish. The Clifton McMillan Water Main project includes installing 12” water main from Ludlow Avenue to Woolper. The Contractor cannot install this water main until the Clifton 30” Water Main is complete. The 30” Water Main is being installed first since it is deeper than the 12” water main will be.

The Ludlow Jefferson Water Main project was installed in 2015 and is complete. The Morrison Terrace Avenue Water Main was also installed in 2015 and is complete.

CTM Education: Call to Action

Does Your Child Have Access to Quality Education? This is a call to action for Clifton as well as Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview (CUF) residents concerned about public education access. Did you know that our neighborhood assigned public school is failing on the state report card?

Access to Fairview-Clifton German Language School, a CPS magnet school, is only available through the CPS lottery. Not having access to quality public education in Clifton could result in fewer families moving to and staying in Clifton, which may also negatively impact our property values.

Let’s join together to improve the ability for all children in our neighborhood to attend a quality public school. Our neighborhood and CTM Education Committee is working hard to make positive change happen.

If you are interested in getting involved in now or would like to be added to our education email list, please click here to subscribe to the email list. Additional information is available here and in other posts on the Community News section.

CTM Renews Support for Bicycling Infrastructure Resolution

The following resolution was sent by email on January 20, 2016:

Mayor John Cranley, City Manager Harry Black, and members of Cincinnati City Council:

This month Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) passed a resolution regarding bicycling infrastructure in Cincinnati. This resolution is the same one we sent to you in August of 2014. Our community continues to desire more bicycling infrastructure, and we are amplifying their voices to you. We have seen improvements in 2014 and 2015 such as the installation of 3 Red Bike stations in our neighborhood, a climbing lane on Woolper Avenue, the installation of a portion of the Central Parkway protected bike lane, and the installation of a pilot thermal traffic sensor at the intersection of Ludlow Avenue and Central Parkway. We see these as the beginnings of progress, and we look forward to meeting with DOTE staff and you to plan and implement additional infrastructure that connects Clifton with other neighborhoods. CTM formed a Transportation Committee at the beginning of 2015, and bicycling infrastructure topics will be handled by this Committee.

Our resolution does not necessarily connote acceptance of the current traffic issues raised regarding Central Parkway. As such, CTM urges the City to continue to address issues and solve the problems affecting cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists along Central Parkway. CTM requests that any change to the current protected bike lane on Central Parkway must continue to include a safe, protective bicycling infrastructure route on Central Parkway and not negatively impact the efficient travel of cyclists.

Resolution for Bicycling Infrastructure
Clifton Town Meeting desires to make Clifton into a premiere bicycling community within greater Cincinnati in order to improve the vibrancy, safety and overall health of visitors and residents. To do so requires continued investment in on-street infrastructure such as the Central Parkway protected bikeway, bike lanes, sharrows, and bicycle related signage. These features add tremendous value for local businesses and help make our communities more livable and attractive to active individuals and families. Our neighborhood supports the initiative to promote more on-street bicycle infrastructure that connects Clifton to other neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Residents of Clifton use bicycles on established roadways in order to commute to work, school, and shop. We need and endorse the full usage of roads for cyclists for a full and productive lifestyle, not just recreational riding on off-road trails.

Sincerely,

Eric Urbas, President
Clifton Town Meeting

CTM Resolution to CPS Board of Education to Reserve Spaces for Clifton

CTM voted to pass the following resolution in late November 2015, and it was transmitted to the following parties by email on November 28:
Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education
Superintendent of CPS Mary Ronan
Fairview-Clifton German Language School Local Decision Making Committee (LSDMC)
President of GEBAS at Fairview-Clifton German Language

November 28, 2015

RESOLUTION

A Resolution of Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) in requesting that the Cincinnati Public School Board of Education (CPS BOE) reserve spots for children living in the 45220 zip code in the event that the Fairview-Clifton German Language School expands its current location or obtains additional space in the former Clifton school building which is currently occupied by the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.

Whereas, the Cincinnati neighborhood of Clifton has a population of 8,500; and
Whereas, the children living in Clifton do not have a neighborhood school within their neighborhood; and
Whereas, the assigned neighborhood school is rated as failing and thus inhibits Clifton’s ability to attract and retain young families; and
Whereas, an expansion of Fairview-Clifton German Language School would create new openings and thus not decreasing the current number of openings for city wide students; and
Whereas, Cincinnati Public Schools has set a precedent with the Hyde Park School for a magnet-neighborhood merged school; now, therefore

Be it resolved:

1)CTM requests that any future expansion of the Fairview-Clifton German Language School include reserved Kindergarten spots for children living in the 45220 zip code.

2)CTM requests that Cincinnati Public Schools provide CTM with the enrollment data for children living in the 45220 zip code. Specifically; how many children enrolled and the corresponding data on school placement versus preference.

3)CTM requests that an Assistant Superintendent be assigned to work with CTM in order to help facilitate input towards achieving equitable short and long term solutions.

Decorating Ludlow for the Holidays

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Under the direction of the CTM Beautification Committee, several volunteers decorated Ludlow Avenue light poles with lighting, pine roping, and ribbons on Sat, Nov 21, 2015.  Adam Balz is the Chairperson of the committee, and he is the steadfast organizer of this event (from getting supplies to providing training).  CTM is grateful for the following […]

CliftonDeer.Org Update

Written by Beth Whelan, for CliftonDeer.Org

CliftonDeer.Org is pleased to report that we have met our $40,000 threshold funding goal and will be launching the program on schedule very soon. A huge thank you to CTM for a matching challenge grant of $2,500 that helped stimulate donations from Clifton residents, and for the suggestion to invite participation by other Clifton organizations, which resulted in a generous grant from the Clifton Community Fund. Our intrepid UC student volunteers recently distributed flyers to all houses within the study area informing residents of what they can expect. If you are in the area bounded by Clifton Ave., Ludlow Ave. and I-75 and have not received one of these flyers, please contact us so we can get one to you.

We’re now focused on establishing bait stations, cleaning the building that will be used as a field surgical center, and preparing volunteers to transport anesthetized deer the nights of the program operations. Finally, we are continuing to look for ways to reduce costs, cover unexpected expenses and put funds toward next year’s costs which are expected to be much smaller than this year’s. One way you can help is to do your Christmas shopping at Ten Thousand Villages in O’Bryonville on November 29th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. CliftonDeer.org will receive 15% of the value of all purchases you make that day if you tell the cashier at checkout that you’re shopping to support CliftonDeer.org. Another is to donate Marriott Rewards points to defer costs for our out of town team. A third is to enroll in Kroger’s Community Rewards Program and select CliftonDeer.org as your charity of choice. If you can help in any of those ways, please contact us through our web site for details.

Thanks again to CTM and our donors and volunteers, especially our bait station volunteers, for your help and support!

2015 Membership Drive

Clifton Town Meeting is your local community council. CTM sponsors many activities and festivals throughout the year for our community including: Memorial Day Parade & Cookout, Lantern Walk, CliftonFest, the House Tour, Golf Outing, Holidays on Ludlow and more. We provide funding for beautification projects such as the new flower pots on Ludlow Avenue and Holiday decorations on Ludlow Avenue. We provide communications including community email Clifton News, website and the Clifton Chronicle. We partner with the Clifton Business and Professional Association (CBPA) to keep the Clifton Plaza operating.

In addition to these great things, we also advocate on behalf of the Clifton community. Issues we have promoted in the past year include the return of a local grocery store, renovation of the Probasco Fountain, more programming at the Clifton Plaza, restarting CTM efforts on Public Safety & Parks, creating Transportation & Education Committees to focus more on these areas, creating a more active and useful Community website, and engaging more in social media on Facebook and Twitter to promote CTM produced and sponsored events.

To support our important community work, we need your generous support. Membership dues are tax deductible and make up the second largest source of income for CTM. Starting or renewing your membership will help us keep Clifton a vibrant, desirable, and fun place to live, work, and play. You can click here to renew online.

If you wish, you can also use this Membership Form to do a mail in membership renewal.

Thank you for your support.
CTM Membership Committee

CTM Proposed Bylaws Changes

CTM Trustees formed an ad-hoc Bylaws Review Committee during the October meeting this year. Various bylaws topics were set for review. During the November CTM meeting, three bylaws changes were proposed and the Trustees voted to put these changes before the membership at the December 7, 2015 meeting. All CTM members who have paid their dues for 2015 are eligible to vote on these changes.  The CTM Bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting provided the amendments have been introduced in writing at a previous CTM meeting and proper notice has been given.

This post summarizes the changes being proposed. The actual language is linked below at the very end. If you have feedback on these changes, feel free to email Trustees.

Click here to read the current CTM Bylaws as revised by the membership during 2010.

Officer Succession

Current bylaws language is not clear on how the President is succeeded if s/he resigns. Trustees encountered this issue during September. This proposed bylaws change creates a very clear succession plan for President and Vice President by ensuring the Vice Presidents are elected with new titles: 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President. The 1st Vice President shall succeed the President. The 2nd Vice President shall succeed the 1st Vice President. In addition, the proposed bylaws changes make it mandatory to immediately replace the Treasurer or Secretary position should a Trustee resign either position.

Five Trustee Election Cycle

Current bylaws language does not advise on how to ensure that 5 Trustees are elected each year. The CTM Board is comprised of 15 Trustees.  To have a good balance of veteran and new Trustees, there should be 5 elected each year for full 3 year terms. This balance provides for a more effective Board. This proposed bylaws change create language to ensure that this cycle is preserved when there are more than 5 positions open for election by providing for less than 3 year terms to Trustees who are elected with lowest vote counts.

Nominating Committee Formation and Report

Current bylaws language does not set a deadline on when the Nominating Committee must fully form. The language also has no details on what the Committee’s required report to the Board must contain. If the Nominating Committee is formed too late in the year, it will not have time to properly perform it’s work of finding candidates and preparing for the Fall election of Trustees. This proposed bylaws change sets the August CTM meeting as the latest formation date. The current Board feels that the required Nominating Committee report should have some minimum acceptable standards and details. This proposed bylaws change provides for specific report requirements. This creates a minimum standard for future Nominating Committees to meet.

Proposed Bylaws Language Files

In each of the pdf files linked below, the existing bylaws language is shown first, and the proposed changes for member approval are shown afterwards.  We urge you to read these changes carefully.  If you have feedback on these changes, feel free to email Trustees.

ARTICLE V – Paragraph 2

ARTICLE VI

ARTICLE VIII – Paragraph 1 and 2