Getting up close and personal with the Scioto River is a daily routine for some Dublin residents.
A handful of neighborhoods – Historic Dublin, Bellaire-Limerick, Donegal Cliffs, Amberleigh and Karrer Place – have houses right on the river, allowing homeowners the luxury of waterfront living. There are many independent homes on the river as well.
Local Coldwell Banker King Thompson real estate agent Chris Close doesn’t just sell houses on the river – she lives in one in Bellaire-Limerick. Her daughter and fellow real estate agent, Alli, lives in the same neighborhood.
“We both live on the river, and we both love the river,” Chris says.
Privacy is one element key to the appeal of riverfront living for Chris and her husband, Mike, who live on 2.5 acres. The beauty of nature – both trees and wildlife – glimpsed from the windows and a big back deck is a plus, too.
“My son-in-law is a bird-watcher,” Chris says. “I always miss them, but he sees them all the time, the eagles that run up and down the river.”
Another highlight is the opportunity for activity on the river, such as canoeing and kayaking, both of which were favorites among Chris’
children when they were younger. And the proximity to nearby events and services is a positive as well; during the summer, she and Mike can hear the Dublin Arts Council’s Sundays at Scioto concerts from her yard, and they’re within walking distance of City bike paths and the park at Donegal Cliffs. They’re also within walking distance of schools, which was a big help before the kids were grown.
Though some riverfront property has a strip of city-owned land between the yard and the river, particularly in the city of Columbus, that’s not the case for either of the Closes’ house; their property lines go right into the river. That means it’s possible to fish right off the property, Alli says, or just sit by the water.
Alli and her husband, Rion Myers, have lived in their house on 2.3 acres for about eight years and have two children, a son and a daughter. Growing up on the river factored into Alli’s decision to live there herself, but the proximity to Bailey Elementary School and walking paths sealed the deal for her.
The peacefulness was a bonus; there’s no boat traffic in Dublin, which keeps the noise down. There are also owls, eagles and even foxes to spy.
“There’s no motorized access behind us, so it’s very tranquil,” says Alli. “It’s kayaks, it’s canoes, it’s fishermen wading.”
While many Dublin riverfront houses are on the west side of the river, there are a handful on the east side, and one of them is owned by Tony Amorose and his wife, Suzanne Walker. She’s been there since 1976 and he’s been there since they married in 1990, but living on the river was nothing new for Amorose – he grew up about a half-mile down the road to the south.
Amorose enjoys yard work and gardening, so the 2.5-acre property is perfect for him. The house likely dates to the 19th Century, Amorose says, starting out as a small fishing shack – as many houses in the area did – before extensive remodeling.
A pond, a gazebo, decks, sidewalks and a garden railroad all add to the enjoyment.
“We enjoy the river, (and) we enjoy all the natural surroundings,” Amorose says.
Those natural surroundings include a variety of wildlife, including egrets, blue herons, ducks, geese, turtles, snakes, mink, foxes, groundhogs and the occasional coyote. The house’s proximity to local attractions – the Dublin Arts Council is right down the road, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium isn’t far away – is another upside.
As with the Closes, Amorose’s property line goes right down into the river – about halfway into it, as it’s a fairly shallow section. He and Walker kayak and canoe, as did their son and daughter before they were grown.
The fantastic views of the river and wildlife are what attracted Tim Kelton and his wife, Mary, to the Dublin riverfront. They’ve lived in a house in Amberleigh with a property line that goes into the river for about 16 years.
“We get the sunrises over the treetops, and the sun reflects off the river in the mornings and dances across the ceilings,” Kelton says.
A back deck and a walkout basement allow for multiple views from different spots in the house. The proximity to the river also gives the Keltons the opportunity to fish, canoe and kayak.
They also keep an eye out for birds – grey herons, white herons, geese and ducks are just a few of the dozens of birds they get to see. A pond on an island in the river never freezes, making it a popular hangout for birds in the winter.
“I think we have four different types of woodpeckers,” Kelton says. “Three hundred and sixty-five (days), it’s great to watch.”
Dublin isn’t the only place in central Ohio where one can own waterfront property, but Kelton, like Amorose and the Closes, appreciates much about what the city has to offer – bike paths, parks, restaurants and more.
Garth Bishop is a contributing editor. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.