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Council Approves Funding For Banks Music Venue; Delays Vote On Short-Term Rental Law

city hall
Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati City Council Wednesday approved a financing plan that will allow construction of a music venue at The Banks to move forward.
The music venue will sit atop parking garages on lots next to Paul Brown Stadium.

The $29 million cost of those garages will be covered by a state grant, proceeds from other Banks developments and $8.7 million in Hamilton County funds.  

The county is covering the city's portion of the project and will be re-paid with revenues from The Banks project.

The Bengals organization had to sign off on that location. The team had the right to block the development of anything next to the stadium based on the structure's height. In order to get Bengals' approval, the county agreed to purchase 15 acres of property west of the stadium. The site would be redeveloped for parking.

The land is currently used for concrete production, and Hilltop Basic Resources would have to relocate. The company has its eye on land along the Ohio River near Lower Price Hill, and that disturbs some neighbors.

City Council last week approved a measure placing a 90-day interim development control (IDC) overlay district on the land Hilltop was considering in Lower Price Hill, which is west of the Mill Creek.

City, county and Hilltop officials held a meeting Tuesday and are working on a solution, which could include the company using city-owned land east of the Mill Creek.

Meanwhile, City Council delayed a decision on legislation that will bring some changes to short-term rental units in the city.  The issue was held because with two members absent, there were not enough votes to approve it.

The proposed new law is not as strict as when it was first introduced last fall.

The measure would require short-term rental hosts to register with the city; self-certify the units comply with city and state codes; pay a seven percent tax that will go into the city's affordable housing trust fund; and the operators must have insurance.

The original measure capped the number of units a company or individual could operate. But that was removed when it was apparent a City Council majority would not support them.

A proposal last month would have required short-term rental operators to have a certificate from an architect or engineer stating the units met city and state codes. But that was replaced with the self-certification.

Council Member David Mann first proposed the legislation to protect affordable housing units in the city.  He was concerned about affordable units being turned into short-term rentals. He changed his focus earlier this year to making sure such short-term units are safe, but he said he's still concerned it could hurt affordable housing.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.