Help Steffanie and John

We need to help two retired school teachers in the fight against their city’s negligence and malfeasance.

One recent morning, Steffanie and John Haueisen awoke to find the foundation for a new house being poured only 6 feet from their property. They were aware that the property next door had been recently sold. What they hadn’t known was that, in violation of the City’s own zoning code, the City of Worthington had allowed the buyer to scrape off the existing house and split the property into two parcels.  Splitting the property permitted the buyer to make a quick $175,0000 and resulted in two houses being squeezed into the space where one had been before. This would destroy the character of their neighborhood.  

When the location of the new house became clear that morning, they protested to the City. The building inspector agreed and revoked the new house’s building permit.  The builder hired a lawyer and appealed.  During this time, Steffanie and John also discovered that, when the original property had been split into 2 properties, the property next to them did not meet the City’s requirements for a buildable lot.  Simply put: the initial split never should have been approved by the City. 

Steffanie and John’s home on Fox Lane is Steffanie’s childhood home and resides within the historic section of Worthington on the east bank of the Olentangy River. The neighborhood is quiet, residential and full of large trees. Most of the neighborhood homes have a 20 to 30 foot separation between them.  None of the homes are 6 feet from their neighbors.  Now the City has approved building a 63 foot wide house on a 68 foot wide lot.

At the hearing before the BZA, the members of the board admitted that the new house was not eligible for the 6-foot setback.  Nonetheless, the board ignored the findings of fact and conclusions of the building inspector, ignored the opinion of the city’s law director and ignored the Zoning Code definition of a “lot” and overruled the City’s building inspector.  This permitted the house to be constructed as originally plotted: only 6 feet from Steffanie and John’s property.  

This is not about a 2 foot differential; it’s about the repeated and continual decisions of the City of Worthington to ignore its own laws and in doing so destroy the character of a neighborhood.  If the City can do this to Steffanie and John, they can to it to any resident of Worthington.

This GoFundMe account has been established to help Steffanie and John recover from the costs of trying to avoid this travesty and, if possible, send a message to the City by appealing the BZA’s decision in court.   Doing so we may be able to send a message to the City and keep this from happening to others.

Please consider giving whatever you feel is consistent with your resources. 

(If you're wondering about their picture, Steffanie and John give thousands of hours each year with the Worthington Historical Society)
  • Richard Baker 
    • $75 
    • 23 mos
  • Annonymous Donor 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 46 mos
  • Dennis and Jennifer Hennen 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 (Offline)
    • 46 mos
  • Doreene Linzell 
    • $500 
    • 47 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Anker Bell 
Tucson, AZ
John Haueisen 
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