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March 2011

News & Updates 

Large Turnout for Long Range Plan Presentation

Nearly 150 residents attended the Long-Range Planning Committee’s (LRPC) presentation of its recommendations for the North Site and Amberley Green on Mar.2 at Adath Israel. They expressed a variety of concerns as well as general support of the plan. To allow sufficient time to review this input, the LRPC will postpone presenting its final report to Council until the April 11 meeting.

The plan recommends immediate marketing of the North Site and outlines a mixed-use vision for the Amberley Green that incorporates four concept categories. Throughout, the plan emphasizes a balance of maintaining environmental sustainability, adding value for residents and generating revenue for the Village. To provide greater organizational support for development, the plan recommends exploring the creation of a non-profit community improvement corporation.

The Committee’s process included consultation with University of Cincinnati planning classes and participation in the local American Planning Association’s annual World Town Planning Day. Documents resulting from the work of both of these groups can be found at the Hamilton County Planning Day Site.

Vice Mayor Jon Chaiken, LRPC Chair, noted that the results of the committee’s work are recommendations to Council and that actual implementation will be the responsibility of Council and staff.

The assistance of Adath Israel with meeting logistics, the underwriting of the room rental by an anonymous congregant, and the donation of design services for the slide presentation by resident Jeff Ernst were gratefully acknowledged by Mayor Merrie Stillpass in her opening remarks.

Stillpass also thanked the LRPC members: Peg Conway, Chuck Kamine, Bill Lennard, Andy Radin, Scott Wolf, Andy Young, and Chaiken, as well as volunteer facilitator Jim Rulli. 

Energy Opt-Out Election Postponed to November

When Amberley’s opt-in program for group energy purchasing at a lower rate was announced in early Jan., the Village indicated that residents would be asked in May to approve an opt-out program that would be administratively simpler. However, the Ohio Secretary of State has ruled that this type of issue can only be placed on the ballot during an election in which candidates are also being voted on, so it must be postponed until the November 2011 election.

Ohio law generally permits a community to aggregate its electric load and achieve a lower rate than if individuals act on their own. Many residents have taken advantage of this opportunity to enroll in the opt-in program. Under an opt-out program, you would be automatically enrolled unless you act to withdraw.
It is not too late to participate in the opt-in program. Contact Eagle Energy at 251-7283 if you would like to enroll. The rate is substantially lower than Duke Energy’s current rate. You continue to receive one bill from Duke. 

Calendar Events

Mar. 14 Council Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 28 ESC Meeting at 7:30 p.m.

View Video:
February Council Meeting
Long Range Planning Presentation


Growing Community at Pleasant Ridge Montessori

Eager young minds won’t be the only thing sprouting at Pleasant Ridge Montessori this spring.  We will soon be breaking ground on our brand new Community and Educational Gardens.  Reserve your very own plot and meet with our Civic Garden Center partner during on of our Community Garden Forums at the school library.

Saturday, March 19 10-11:30 a.m.
Thursday, March 24 3-4:30 p.m.

We need your green thumb to make the PRM Community Garden experience blossom.

Tree Removal on Ridge Road

Many residents have asked why trees and other vegetation were removed along the east side of Ridge Road south of the entrance to Rollman Reserve.  The work was undertaken on behalf of Duke Energy as a safety measure, to clear the area along the gas line right-of-way.  Pipeline rights-of-way are parcels of land of various widths in which pipelines are installed and can be on public or private property. 

Duke’s initial focus for clearing are areas that they consider unmaintained, including fence rows or brushy areas separating properties, and those areas in which gas lines are directly under the vegetation.  Trees and other woody stem plants on the gas line right-of-way can be a safety hazard and can also impede repairs and equipment maintenance.  In response to gas line accidents around the country, new federal regulations require increased clearing along their path.  Landowners are notified in advance of any work to be done on their property unless an emergency requires immediate action. 

Rights-of-way and easements are generally formalized by a written agreement and recorded against property taxes.  For more information on the use, location and size of the right-of-way, visit duke-energy.com and enter “right of way” in the search function.   
 

Village Partners with Jewish Family Service

Anticipating demographic trends, Amberley Village has agreed to partner with Jewish Family Services (JFS) to create a framework of prevention measures and supports to ensure that all residents, especially adults over the age of 50, are able to continue to live successfully in their homes.  Council endorsed this initiative after hearing a presentation from Beth Schwartz of JFS at the February 14 meeting.  The first step is the formation of a committee of residents and professionals to identify needs and assess available services.  This model has been called “aging in place” or more recently, “communities for a lifetime.”  Statistics show that 70% of seniors spend the rest of their lives where they celebrate their 65th birthday and two-thirds of empty nesters do not have children nearby.   Amberley is an ideal site for this model as the Village’s population of residents 65 and older is significantly higher than the national average.  JFS relocated its offices to the Mayerson JCC in late 2010 and is a recognized leader in the field of aging, with connections to national and international projects. 

2011 Tax Info

This article recaps information all residents received in the mail at the beginning of the year.   Remember all residents must file an Amberley tax return even if you have no taxable income, and a copy of page 1 of the Federal 1040, W-2 forms, all necessary Federal Schedules and statements and other local returns must be attached to your Amberley return. 

Tax ID Numbers:  In response to resident concerns about the use of their Social Security number for identification purposes, the Village has assigned an alternate Tax ID number to each account for your use on Village tax documents.  The letter mailed to homes indicated your number.  Email KHarcourt@amberleyvillage.org if you need your number again. 

Due Date:  Amberley will follow the federal and state tax due date of April 18, 2011, delayed due to a holiday in Washington, D.C.

Credit Card Payments:  Effective Jan. 1, 2011, a processing surcharge of 2.75% for credit card payments will be the taxpayer’s responsibility.  Click here for more details

Late Filing Penalty:  2011 will be the second year that a late filing penalty is in force, which is a graduated penalty.  The first year a return is late, the fine is the greater of the penalty and interest accrued on a balance due or $25.  The second year a return is late the minimum fine is $50, and the third and succeeding year the return is late the minimum fine is $100.  If you were late filing your 2009 return, don’t be late again—your fine will double.  To be considered timely, the Village tax office must receive your return or extension form postmarked by April 18, 2011 for 2010 returns.