Preserving the Future
David Zieverink decided enough was enough. After years of being hounded by developers wanting to turn his family’s suburban Cincinnati farm into yet another upscale subdivision, the 1966 graduate opted to leave his own stamp on the future. So last spring he sold the prime 24-acre property and Greek revival house to the local township with the stipulation that it be used as green space. The selling price was $700,000, which seems like a lot until you consider that developers would have paid as much as $1.2 million. Numbers like that would make many people do a double-take, but Zieverink, a retired pilot and vice president of maintenance with airfreight hauler Wright International, says the decision was easy.
“You just can’t pave every square inch of the planet,” he says. “I’m not a fool. I know what it’s worth if I’d chosen to get top dollar for it. But you have to choose your values.”
The township hasn’t decided how to use the land, although it’s been suggested the house become a museum of local history. In the meantime, Zieverink can stay as long as he wants. “The township realized that if they didn’t act now, they weren’t going to have any green areas left. I’m financially stable enough to do what I want. And the reaction I get from most people is it was the right thing to do.”