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Old 02-07-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,363,536 times
Reputation: 1919

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Lebanon was laid out in 1802. So it is not surprising there are a number of older homes in the downtown area. It is also not surprising some of the older homes are very substantial and attractive while others not so much.

For a large number of years Lebanon was the only city of any substance in all of Warren county, being the county seat and rather centrally located.

When I first moved to Mason in 1976 it was a very sleepy little farming community. The local hardware store sold most items by bulk out of bins and barrels. None of that plastic pre-packaging for them. My next door neighbor owned the local coal and lumber yard. We would take one of their dump trucks over to the Fred's Mushroom Farm in South Lebanon to get the compost for our gardens. The compost was basically a mixture of straw and manure. It grows mushrooms like mad. But since mushrooms themselves are a fungi they are susceptible to several diseases, so they must turn the compost over to prevent a wipeout of their entire crop. But a dump truck load or two, and your garden will grow some of the best tomatoes of your life.

But the tides of change had already been set with the opening of Kings Island in 1972. Some of the principles in Taft Broadcasting which built Kings Island had independently invested in property across I-71 on which they built the Golf Center designed by Jack Nicklaus as a public 18-hole par-3/4 executive course plus a regulation 18-hole full size course. For a short period of time it hosted the Ohio Kings Island Open PGA tour event, even though the course was not designed as a competition course. The executive course was along I-71 and originally was lighted for night play. The intent was obvious. Mom and Dad could brings the kids to Kings Island, hire a babysitter at the hotel to take them to the amusement park and then scurry across the road for a day or night of golf. When Nicklaus declared he was designing Muirfield Village outside of Columbus as his competition course the PGA left Kings Island and the LPGA moved in. The course may not have been a stern test for the men, but it gave the women all they could handle. For a number of years the LPGA tour Championship was held at Kings Island. Then some of the members began grousing about the tournament being in the same place year after year - particularly Cincinnati? So the LPGA left and I believe has not enjoyed the success they had in Cincinnati since.

Anytime you have an influx of vacationers spending money, everyone wants a piece of it. The number of motels, fast food, etc. begin to proliferate. Then someone starts to build new subdivisions. I live a few hundred yards from the Golf Center. When I moved in my back yard ran into a field with cows grazing. The older kids used to go back to the fence and pet the cows. Out the front was a vibrant, upscale golf course, out the back was cows.

I will still declare there is a division between Mason and Lebanon and then on to such as Springboro and Dayton. But I also feel Lebanon is the next explosion within Warren Co. When you cross I-75 to either Hamilton or Middletown you are confronted with having to rebuild a city structure decay far worse than anything Lebanon has experienced. What developer wants to take on environmental issues, EPA brownfields, etc? Lebanon is surrounded by virgin farmland, and like Mason is midway between I-75 and I-71. What else could you ask for?
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,302,589 times
Reputation: 52030
Quote:
Originally Posted by woxyroxme View Post
This one. You will have to scroll toward the bottom to see the story, lots of interesting reading on the way down.

Recall Matt Rodriguez | Recall Lebanon OH City Councilman
Yeesh!
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:50 AM
 
3,750 posts, read 10,206,509 times
Reputation: 6560
KJ --

I also think Lebanon/Turtlecreek will *boom* eventually. It had already started to some degree (the neighborhood I live in, along with others in turtlecreek along 123 towards I-71) when the economy tanked and some future plans for development (my cherished movie theatre in S. lebanon, San Mar Gale, etc..) were killed.

But, that won't last long-term. Already there are plenty of builders coming back into the area (Fisher, Cristo, Ryan) between 741 and I-71 (no, not all is Lebanon proper, but the townships/city have fairly friendly relations).

Lebanon may not pop like Mason did in the next decade, but I would be surprised if it didn't within the next 20 to 50 years.

Of course, likely we won't be around to see it.

The townships are sort of trying to get in front of development (i.e. the Jedd that just passed) which I think is admirable - if you know its coming, you might as well try to steer it a little bit.

We laughed because we have people in our neighborhood who moved from Mason, because it had "grown up too much". For us, the idea of moving 10 miles to "get away from it all" is kinda silly, because again - we ultimately see the same thing happening to Lebanon that has happened in Mason. (We'll see if the Racino hastens this occurrence).
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,363,536 times
Reputation: 1919
Briolat21...

I agree the current economic climate has slowed down the development around Lebanon, but it will come. The location is just too much of a natural.

The development in Mason I give so much credit to our former mayor Lou Eves, who owned the Houston Inn Restaurant on the north side of town. Lou was a tireless worker for Mason in addition to being a pretty fair businessman. He pressed for the city to set aside areas for commercial industrial park growth. He also pressed for ordinances to set a cap on multi-family apartments versus single family residences. I hope eventually he is honored with more than just his name on our outdoor swimming pool, which he championed.

When the wife and I moved here, we decided to go out for dinner. From the about 10 page local yellow pages we found the Houston Inn. We had moved here from Madeira so had never heard of it. The only place we had ever heard of in Warren Co was the Golden Lamb, but that seemed too far up the road.

Into the Houston Inn we go. Wow, I was overcome. The salad bar was something I had never witnessed. Bowls of giant green and ripe olives, plates of deviled eggs, bowls of candied watermellon rind and sweet country corn relish. I was in 7th heaven. We finally decided to order dinner and went for the roast beef with the country green beans and the cornbread. Shortly after we had ordered out came Lou. Of course he had recognized we were new to town.

After introducing himself, he asked What is wrong with the frog legs? We looked rather quizzically and he said it is our specialty. We admitted to not being familiar with frog legs and he said that is why I have put in two orders on the house. After that it was frog legs for us whenever we went there. The only other place I would order frog legs was Little Rock Arkansas, now they have some giant frog legs, equal to chicken legs.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,302,589 times
Reputation: 52030
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Shortly after we had ordered out came Lou. Of course he had recognized we were new to town.

After introducing himself, he asked What is wrong with the frog legs? We looked rather quizzically and he said it is our specialty. We admitted to not being familiar with frog legs and he said that is why I have put in two orders on the house.
That's a great story.

You gotta love Lou; he was an original. They broke the mold after he passed.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:17 PM
 
3,750 posts, read 10,206,509 times
Reputation: 6560
KJ -

As a child in Michigan I loved frog legs at a restaurant my family frequently went to..

while we go to the Houston Inn (I do enjoy a good salad bar) on a semi-regular basis, now that I'm an adult, I just can't order the Frog Legs..

Just can't!

lol! Sounds like Lou was quite the guy. Wish Lebanon had had someone championing it that way, but from what I gather, sounds like Lebanon's politics have been nightmarish for years...
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,363,536 times
Reputation: 1919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
That's a great story.

You gotta love Lou; he was an original. They broke the mold after he passed.
You got that right. He was a great promoter of Mason. And he promoted the entire city, not just the part his business was part of. After his term limits as mayor, and after he decided to retire from his business and let his sons run it, I used to get a kick out of going to the council meetings where he was just an observor.

In the public comments section he would speak up and state such and such address, what is the city doing to remove this eyesore? As a citizen I want to proclaim this is the first public hearing to have it declared a public nuisance. The other councilmen would go What is this? Lou would declare as a citizen I have the right to declare it a public nuisance. After three hearings if there is no response from the owners the city has the right to demolish the structure.

As I said, I attribute much of what Mason is today to the good will and tenacity forstered by Lou Eves whil he was mayor.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
5,681 posts, read 5,886,651 times
Reputation: 12037
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
Lebanon may not pop like Mason did in the next decade, but I would be surprised if it didn't within the next 20 to 50 years.

Of course, likely we won't be around to see it.
I hope the farmland that surrounds Lebanon now stays that way for a long time and Lebanon is not swallowed up by suburban sprawl, things are bad enough now. I have lived in Lebanon off and on since 1966 and things were so much better in the old days. I can remember when the only fast food place was the Burger Chef on Columbus Ave and Colony Square was brand new. Back then I could ride my bike anywhere in town and not have to deal with the traffic we have now.

I hope to be back in Maine in ten years, the town I am moving to has been virtually unchanged during my lifetime.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:51 AM
 
3,750 posts, read 10,206,509 times
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Woxy --

I think in the 10 year timeframe you're probably safe enough. There may certainly be some more development around the edges (neighborhood wise), but Lebanon itself is already fairly built out in the commercial areas.

Of course you could commercialize Rt 63 all the way to Monroe, and that may eventually happen, but not likely in the next 10 years

Long term - unless there's a total collapse of the population of the Cinci/Dayton metros, I think development will continue -- and eventually Lebanon to Centerville will be continuous evidence of communities. I'm sure some farms will remain, but there is a difference in feeling to farms that you know are within incorporated areas, and farms that exist within a feel of rural-emptiness.

48 to Centerville already doesn't really feel "rural" at this point. I think that will continue to accelerate.

I think the JEDD (just approved) at 123/71 will eventually be developed (again, perhaps starting within the next 10 years, but not necessarily built out in that time)...

and you will basically have a much more developed area surrounding Lebanon and connecting it to nearby population centers/highways...

That said, there will still be neighborhoods of lower population density, and farmlands... but Lebanon will lose a little more of that "middle of nowhere" feeling. (which already isn't really applicable - because honestly its only 10 miles to anywhere)..

but in the 10 year timeframe I think you are relatively safe as to impacts on traffic, etc..

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Old 02-08-2013, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
5,681 posts, read 5,886,651 times
Reputation: 12037
I think my saving grace will be depressed home values, as long as homes cost more to build than they would sell for they won't be built.

Maybe if I were to bring in a polar bear or a spotted owl and set it loose I could have Warren county declared crucial endangered species habitat and there would be a ban on any new building.
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