Cincinnati parking

photo by Michael Keating

In his weekly chat this morning, WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with Maryanne Zeleznik about Cincinnati's plan to lease its parking facilities and why the issue has ended up in court.

Sarah Ramsey

A Hamilton County Judge will hear arguments next Friday to decide whether to issue a permanent injunction preventing Cincinnati from moving forward with a parking lease Council approved Wednesday.  

Judge Robert Winkler denied a city motion Friday to dissolve a temporary restraining order he issued just minutes after the council vote.  

Attorney Curt Hartman, representing the citizens who filed the complaint, said there are a couple issues for the judge to decide.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati is going to federal court to try to overturn a Hamilton County judge's temporary restraining order on the city's parking lease plan. 

Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler issued his order Wednesday, just minutes after city council approved the parking lease agreement by a five-four vote. 

Cincinnati's controversial plan to lease most of its parking facilities is now moving to a courtroom. 

A Hamilton County judge has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the plan and has set a hearing for March 15th. Read the full complaint.

Cincinnati Council will be meeting Tuesday evening to likely give a second reading to the legislation needed to let the city lease most of its parking facilities to the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority. 

Council rules say ordinances must be fully and distinctly read by title on three different days unless three-fourths of the members suspend the rule.  It takes seven votes to do that and it nearly always happens.  But not with the controversial parking issue. 

The Council is likely to vote on the issue Wednesday afternoon during its regular meeting. 

Update:  It appears likely five Cincinnati Council members are ready to support the city manager's plan to lease most of the city's parking facilities to the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority and four private companies.  

The Budget and Finance Committee could vote on the issue Monday.  

Council Member Wendell Young confirmed Friday he plans to vote yes and four other members have generally expressed support during recent hearings.

City website

Update: Cincinnati Council Member Chris Seelbach Friday released a different plan to balance the city's budget without leasing the city's parking facilities. 

He posted the plan on his Facebook page.

His plan includes nearly $5 million in spending cuts, redirects anticipated casino revenues to help the troubled general fund, and puts two issues on the ballot for voters to consider. 

Cincinnati’s Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the city manager’s proposal to lease some parking facilities Friday at its regular meeting. City Council could vote on the plan next week.

There was a final public hearing last night with about two-dozen speakers offering their thoughts, and all but four were opposed to the proposal.

Tabitha Woodruff is with the Ohio Public Interest Research Group. She said the organization is happy the city has shared detailed information about the lease agreement.

Sarah Ramsey

Two dozen people spoke at a public hearing Monday night on a proposal to lease some of Cincinnati's parking facilities to a private operator.  And all but a couple of them were opposed to the plan. 

Chad Weldishofer owns Queen City Crossfit in Downtown.  He's concerned about the possibility of high rates at parking meters near his business.

Cincinnati’s City Manager has laid out a plan to let a public/private partnership lease and operate some the city’s parking garages and all the city’s parking meters.  

Now City Council has to decide whether to approve it.  

The city would partner with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority and four other companies to operate the system.  

City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. addressed the issue of parking rate Tuesday during a presentation to Council’s Budget and Finance Committee.

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