Avondale man fights to keep commercial land amid zoning dispute.


AVONDALE, Ohio (WKRC) – A battle is raging over the fate of three vacant lots in Avondale.

James McCreary bought it on Vine Street near Juergens Avenue in 2018. He used it to store and repair cars.

But a few weeks ago, the city towed McCreary’s cars.

“They said they wanted to clean everything off the lot. They took my race car,” McCrary said.

It is the latest development in a nearly two-year war.

The city said McCreary’s land is zoned residential and the drive-thru is not allowed.

Regulators begin imposing fines in 2021. The 10 quotes he received totaled $20,000.

The city wrote that McCreary’s property was in disrepair and distressed.

“I guess it’s personal,” said Brian Gary with Neighborhoods United. “One man’s disease is another man’s auto mechanic shop.”

There are several businesses just a few doors down from McCreary’s property, and the Hamilton County Auditor confirmed that McCreary’s land has been in commercial use since at least the 1990s.

While that doesn’t mean it was as commercially regional in those years, some question the town’s timing.

“If it was commercialized in the 90s, why would they claim it as a residential property?” Gary asked.

Last year, the city sued McCreary for a $20,000 fine and won by default.

Macri did not respond because he never received the summons.

McCreary, an Army veteran, fears he could lose the land if he can’t work out a payment plan with the city.

“Am I not entitled to something if I can serve my country? Don’t you have the right to come and talk to me about it instead of being treated like a criminal if I’m wrong? he said.

The city said McCreary could apply for a zoning variance so he could clean up the property and leave it vacant or restart the car business.


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