Meaningfully address the Oakley community's serious concerns about a stadium

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To FC Cincinnati (FCC), the Oakley Community Council (OCC), and Cincinnati City Council (City):

The Oakley community has serious concerns about the proposed stadium in our neighborhood and we are tired of not being given a voice in this process. We demand meaningful action from the team ownership and our elected officials to provide more details and seriously engage with the over 10,000 residents who live, work and play in the neighborhood. Until that time, there will be no community support for the proposed stadium.

Oakley’s residents will bear the brunt of the stadium’s massive increase in traffic, parking demands, noise and light pollution, and a potential regression in all the amenities that Oakley residents love such as walkability, accessibility and our unique central business district.  Oakley has a great balance of residential and business areas.  An onslaught of loud and intoxicated soccer fans has the potential to disrupt that balance. 

We are disappointed in FCC’s lack of interest in engaging our community since it convinced the OCC to vote for a stadium vision based on a 20 minute presentation.  It’s unnerving to see how we’re being treated by FCC and we wonder if this will continue to be the future of this partnership between community and team. If so, then we say NO!

We are disappointed in our elected representatives at the neighborhood and City levels. The process to get the OCC’s “support” has been fraught with a lack of communication, a lack of transparency, a rushed vote surrounded by private meetings with select OCC trustees and FCC, and serious questions of objectivity. The OCC promised engagement but has failed in substance. Contrast the OCC’s lack of effort with the West End Community Council, which has held numerous public forums and is conducting a resident survey prior to any vote. At this point, we wonder if we have any advocates from those perceived to represent us.  Oakley’s concerns are valid and we need to trust that our representatives are actually representing Oakley and not self or team-interests.

Cincinnati City Council has done our neighborhood no favors either. We appreciate the thoughtful and pragmatic questions raised by Council members Seelbach and Sittenfeld, who understood that their vote was being rushed based on a timeline manufactured by FCC. We’ve seen the donations from the owners and associates of FCC to the Mayor and other council members and understand what “team” they are on. Councilmember Murray supports city money on infrastructure, but what about the single family homes that could be demolished for road widening to that will bring us more traffic problems?

In closing, Oakley residents are tired of being ignored. We are a strong community of over 10,000 residents that will be significantly impacted by FCC’s proposal. We have daily needs that this plan will not alleviate, from skyrocketing home and rental costs, to overcrowded schools, to a need for more parks and recreation opportunities, to improving the existing traffic congestion and improving the amenities that already make Oakley desirable. As it stands, this vague plan will only make Oakley worse. If FCC wants to be a good partner with our community, then start treating us with the respect we deserve. We demand that FCC, the OCC and the City make a real and concerted effort to address our concerns and improve Oakley.

Sincerely,

Oakley’s Concerned Residents



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