Zoning board gives approval to tourist rentals

A Curran Street couple received the OK to keep renting out their two homes to tourists.
Andy Ouriel
Jan 21, 2012

A Curran Street couple received the OK to keep renting out their two homes to tourists.

The five members from Sandusky's zoning appeals board unanimously approved a request from Ann and John Arnold, allowing them to continue renting their properties as vacation homes.

Previously, city officials told the Arnolds -- along with five residents living on or near Cedar Point Road -- they violated Sandusky's zoning code by letting tourists into their homes for a fee.

Board members rejected an appeal from all those involved in December to reverse the decision.

Recently, however, the Arnolds asked and received a special permit to keep renting out their Curran Street home.

"We gave them a conditional use permit," board member John Feick said. "It doesn't change the zoning law, and (the Arnolds) can use the permit for rentals."

Feick's decision came from the overwhelming support nearly 20 neighbors and community residents displayed during a Thursday hearing in City Hall.

Many spoke about why the Arnolds should be allowed to rent out their homes.

For one, the couple rejuvenated a street once infested with criminals and drugs, Cove Street resident Don Mather said.

"We had a deteriorated neighborhood," Mather said. "But we got people out of town investing in our homes, and now it's just a wonderful place to live."

Another reason includes the benefits city officials reap from the Arnolds' initial investment, city resident Bob Warner said.

"I have watched hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction go down there," Warner said.

Better homes also elevate property values. Nicer-looking homes also encourage people to come to Sandusky.

"They continue to do good things for the street and the city," Warner said.

The Arnolds began renting homes on the street 24 years ago.

John's motivation for sprucing up the street came from growing up in the neighborhood and wanting to stay there.

John's just happy this months-long saga has concluded.

"People want to live and stay down here because it's a great neighborhood," John said.

Check back later for video.



Julie R.

@ mrmorency: First thing I would like to say is--- I know for a fact with the Huron property alone that when the auditor's records state unknown or that a Sale was not valid, what you are looking at is flat-out fraud. And just because this is corrupt Erie County does not mean that fraud is not a criminal offense ---- on property or otherwise.

Second, you say that the current owner of the elderly woman's property at 722 Curran Street is a Matthew Ruff and not John Arnold. You say that Ruff obtained the property from the fudiciary of the elderly woman's estate and you even admitted that the auditor's records show that the sale was not valid. Records I saw showed the following:  In 1987 the property at 722 Curran Street --- Land Only --- was owned by a Marjorie Ritter. There were no other acts upon this property (that I could find, anyway) until 2009 when a Matthew and Diane Ruff bought it and the SELLER is listed as Marjorie Ritter. (is that the elderly woman?) It's also true what you said ---- that Sale is listed as invalid. Another thing it states --- when the Ruffs bought it in 2009 it was not Land Only.  

You also forgot to mention that a Matthew and Diane Ruff also own another property on Curran Street. (713 Curran Street)  Records on that sure are ODD. Records show that on 2-26-1998 a Matthew and Diane Ruff (the Buyers) obtained the property for zero dollars from themselves. (the Sellers)  It states that Sale was ALSO INVALID.     

Another thing I would like to mention ---- I noticed that the Ruffs own a lot more properties in Sandusky then the two they own on Curran Street. What I found very interesting ---- all the rest of their properties have INVALID SALES connected in one way or another to them, too.


Julie - I'm not sure that you are asking the right person those questions - shouldn't they be asked of the auditor's office?  And if you don't get the answers you want - when is his job up for reelection?  maybe a new auditor can be more responsive to your questions and investigate the things you don't like.

But, I'm sure that MrMorency will not be able to properly explain or answer those questions you are posing to him.

Make sense?

Julie R.

sanduskysteve: As I'm sure you know, Erie County has a NEW auditor. He wasn't involved in any of these past records.  


Julie, I do not know for sure if that is the elderly womans name. What I can see on the auditors site is the same thing you see. With a wee bit of sense, I can conclude that that is indeed the elderly woman's name since she owned it from 1987-2009. But, I can't prove it.

Does every sale that doesn't have a 'yes' by valid sale mean it somehow isn't a LEGAL sale? I looked up the home I currently own and the owner transfer prior to ours says it's not a "valid sale". Does that mean I don't own by house? Not likely.

I did a little experiment and just for fun I searched for random last names. You would be shocked by what I found. There was a TON of "unknown" and "no" answers to valid sales. Check it out yourself, you may be surprised. Since you're so interested in exposing this obvious corrupt activity perhaps you should keep a list of these addresses and go door to door and let those people know they don't own their property.



I never said I knew she had that many cats and I certainly never made reference to being able to prove it. I said it was rumored, just like the accusations of abuse. It's all rumors. You can't prove it. I can't prove it. Difference is, I'm not spewing it out as fact, like you did.

As far as my anonymous status, it's hard to hide when I use my REAL last name. My name is Mr. Morency and I can honestly and with clear conscience say that I have never, in my many years of being acquainted with the Arnold family, seen John or any of his family/friends commit any act of animal abuse.

Julie R.

One thing for certain --- the records online alone sure do show a lot of odd things going on with the properties on Curran Street.     

On the auditor's online records it shows that on 1-1-1987, John Arnold and his wife obtained 3 properties on Curran Street --- all Land Only --- for zero dollars from an UNKNOWN SELLER.

On *2-26-1998, it shows that a Matthew & Elizabeth Ruff obtained 1 property on Curran Street --- NOT Land Only --- for zero dollars and they are listed as both the Buyers and the Sellers of the property. (?) That SALE is listed as NOT VALID.

On the recorder's online records it shows that on 4-22-1991, Matthew & Elizabeth Ruff as the Grantees obtained property ( Legal Description: Radcliff Addition First Ward PB 04 P602 Block 3 Curran Street) from John Arnold & wife. (the Grantors)

The next related document to that document (same legal description) was on *2-26-1998.  The Grantee (buyer) on that was Matthew Ruff and the Grantor (seller) was Elizabeth Ruff.  (*Take note of this same date on the auditor's records)   


I wonder how much damage it would cause if they ever went back to try to fix all of those records.  How many people would be in some serious trouble over all of this mess.  I can't imagine.

Julie R.

@ mrmorency: Who are the people named SILVA that lived on Curran Street?


Julie.... Is that a loaded question? I don't know anyone with the last name Silva. I'm curious as to why you ask me that. I'm also curious as to why some people have nothing better to do than to investigate someone else and their property purchases.


Although I may not be the first to admit it, I don't know everything. I certainly don't know what any of this has to do with the people involved with this story or how these property transactions would prevent him from renting. Julie, you see very eager to get to the bottom of this. Save your questions for someone more suited to answer them, perhaps Mr. Arnold or Mr. Ruff themselves? Or even the Erie County Auditor. I would imagine with your record searching skills you can certainly find a way to contact all three of those gentlemen yourself. From my experience with the first two, they're reasonable people. 

I'm more than willing to provide my opinion or answers to questions I know to be fact.


I'm very sorry you that you choose not to believe this Mrmorency.  Nothing I can do about that.  I guess it really doesn't matter if you believe it or not.   I'm also sorry that you  truely believe in your heart that this does not go on with your "friends".   Believe me,  I am one that can truly say I WISH this was not going on as it sickens me more than you know.   But it is, has and probably always will.  Once you start abusing/killing/maiming animals it never ends.   It is a very sad situtation but it is fact. They do not stop until they are caught and maybe not even then.  They will be caught sooner or later.  It can't go on forever as it has already gone on WAY TOO LONG!   As for you being a friend of theirs-sorry.


It also sickens me to think of the way those poor living, breathing things  must have/are  suffered with more to join them I'm sure.  Why would I make such a horrible thing up?

BW1's picture

sanduskysteve: BW1 - A grand show if ignorance there I might say.

You might, but a reading comprehension failure on your part doesn't constitute a basis for claiming ignorance on my part.

You are one who believes break the law as long as no body is looking - right?

And just why would you say that?

The reason they should be paying the proper taxes is because there is a law that says they are supposed to.

No, there isn't.  There is a law that says hotels are supposed to. Rental houses are not hotels, any more than Avis is a taxi service.

The reason there are building permits required to remodel homs is because there is a law that says they are supposed to.

And your point is?  

If you do not like the laws or ordinances (where the city is concerned) please change them - many people would be behind some of those changes.

Which is what I advocate.  Are you perhaps confused?  

There are plenty of other countries to live in which still handle things in the mid-evil methods of Old England.  You should fit right in there.

Ah, clearly you ARE confused, and confounded, since you seem to think I prefer what I have condemned.


I saw the inside of the elderly woman's house, after she had been taken to a nursing home. If you have ever seen an episode of Hoarders, that is what it looked like.  And the smell was unbelievable. . There was nowhere for her to sit or cook a meal. It was unsafe and unsanitary and the poor old lady needed to be taken out of there to be properly cared for. The house was then condemned.  John did not force her out, nor did he kill cats. And there are still cats on Curran St. There is a long-haired black cat with thinning fur that is always wandering around the area.

You can believe this or not, but it is true. People who have a personal gripe with someone should not spread stories until they get their facts straight.

Julie R.

@ LadyC: So why did YOU go into the house after the elderly lady was taken to a nursing home? What interest did YOU have in the house? (just curious) I'm also curious how she was put into a nursing home to begin with. To do that, somebody would have had to petition the probate court to be her guardian. So WHO was her guardian? I'm also curious as to the nursing home she was taken to. Was it the one owned by corrupt Erie County?

There sure has been a lot of conflicting stories about this lady's property. According to Mr. Arnold's brother, her house was eventually sold at a sheriff sale to Mr. Arnold and a neighbor, who then tore the house down. Yet according to somebody else the house was sold to pay for her care in the nursing home. Yet according to the auditor's records (assuming her name was Marjorie Ritter, that is) her house wasn't sold until 7-16-2009 under a Fudiciary Deed to a Matthew Ruff for only $16,000 and it's also stated in the records that the Sale was Invalid.  (one thing for certain --- there sure are a lot of INVALID SALES going on in Erie County "under the watch" of the Erie County Probate Court)

Julie R.

@mrmorency: Assuming the elderly lady's name was Marjorie Ritter who was Gladys Aust, Edward Aust and Lisa A. Olemacher Aust?

Julie R.

@ mrmorency: If a Marjorie Ritter was the elderly woman with all the cats on Curran Street, who is Gladys Aust? According to the Auditor's online records, a Marjorie Ritter owned the property (Land Only) from 1987 until the Seller (Marjorie Ritter) sold it to Matthew Ruff in 2009 under a Fudiciary Deed ---- yet that Sale says it was NOT Land Only.

On the Recorder's online records it shows that on 1-16-1991 a Gladys Aust (Grantor) transferred something over to an Edward J. Aust and a Marjorie Ritter. (Grantees) The legal description is the Sandusky Land & Building Comp and the addresses that are listed are 313 & 314 Hollyrood Road. It says that one-third interest was given to Edward Aust and two-thirds interest to Marjorie Ritter. This was done under a Deed but it doesn't say what kind of Deed. 

The next related document was only a few weeks later on 2-13-1991. The record there shows that a Marjorie Ritter (Grantor) then transferred her two-thirds interest over to Edward Aust (Grantee) and the legal description is the same. (Sandusky Land & Building Comp)  It also says that the consideration was $24,300.00. That was done under a Deed, too, but it doesn't say what kind.

The next related document then shows that when the property on Curran Street  was sold to Matthew Ruff on 2-16-2009 for $16,000.00 under a Fudiciary Deed the SELLER wasn't just Marjorie Ritter it was also a Lisa A. Olemacher-Aust. 



LADYC,   I am not a liar.  I believe the cat with long black hair belongs to one of your neighbors.    Maybe they know they better not make that one disapear.  I have no personal gripe except for this one. As for believing you, I don't because I know this is fact.  Nice try though.   I pray to GOD there are no other cats in that neighborhood!    And yes, why did you go into that house?

Julie R.

@ mrmorency: You said that you picked out a bunch names at random and there were a ton of "unknowns" and "no" answers to valid sales.

All I can say for that is --- I know for a FACT that the property in Huron sold at a court-ordered Erie County scam sheriff sale that states "NO" under Valid Sale WAS invalid.  I know for a FACT also that the transfer of the elderly 1st owner's half a short time before her death that states "unknown" under Valid Sale was flat-out FRAUD.

So I would have to say that there's a 99% chance that all the rest of the documents in the auditor's office that state "UNKNOWN" and "NO" under Valid Sale were also in involved in FRAUD. And once again, these records were all PRIOR to the NEW Erie County auditor.   


I know nothing about the old lady herself, not even her name. I clean houses in the area and went in shortly before the inside was gutted. I don't know anything about titles, deeds, fidiciaries, invalid sales, or anything else pertaining to the house.


Once again, Julie, you're barking up the wrong tree. Why and how would I know anything about an Aust family? Or a Silva family? Like I told you, ask the questions you have to someone more suited to answer them.  Your habit of asking the wrong person to answer your questions doesn't make your cause just. For you to assume I know anything more than what I can see as public record is absurd.

I noticed you said "Yet according to somebody else the house was sold to pay for her care in the nursing home"...... if this is referring to me I need to clear something up with you.

I never said this was absolutely the case nor did I infer this was the situation. I merely stated that this was a possible cause. Possible. Please, if you're going to cite my comments atleast use them in proper context.


Julie, just so you know this article, this comment thread and our current course of debate has little to do with your conspiracy theory about a sale in Huron.

If I may make a small suggestion to you....

Either take your concerns through the proper channels or get over it. For you to come on to this website and constantly make reference to the same old situation is not only getting old but it's making you look foolish. Have you not noticed the sarcastic and down-grading remarks made towards you? It's time for you to "get real". Not everything that happens in Erie County is because of some grande scheme to steal property from the elderly and sell it at auction. We get it... you feel wronged by someone and/or something that has happened through our court system. Good news! The nice thing about the United States Judicial system is that you can always appeal to a higher power, that is, if your case is legit.

Far too often I get the impression that whatever you don't understand is, in your mind, somehow a plot against you. i guess I'm finally seeing the "mothership theory" that everyone refers to you with. I hope for your sake that you will someday remove your aluminum foil helmet and see that no one is out to get you, me or the random senior citizen.


@BEHAPPY--Assuming YOU are a neighbor since you seem to have seen all this cat killing and forcing the old lady out of her home, why didn't YOU step in to help, why didn't YOU even know the old lady's name or try to help her while she was living there? Real great neighbor! And why didn't YOU call the Humane Society? Could it be because your allegations have no basis?

@Julie--MrMorency said it well; you seem to think there is this huge conspiracy going on in reference to properties in the area. What business do YOU have in the area or in this neighborhood? You seem to be hell-bent on creating a huge saga out of a property transaction that probably has nothing to do with you. Perhaps your time would be better spent on something positive.

Julie R.

@ mrmorency: Sorry, but that's no conspiracy about the sale of the house in Huron that's now being used as rental property. That's a fact not to mention a matter of public record. I should know --- I was one of the inherited owners. I also have the Title Search Report that was done by Lawyers Title for the realtor that bought it at that scam court-ordered Erie County sheriff sale --- the Report showing why he was being denied title insurance. Would you like me to post it in its entirety? Take note that the Title Search Report says the very same thing as the auditor's online records --- the sheriff sale of the property was invalid. And it sure was! Now take note that the auditor's online records under Valid Sale of the 1st owner's half states "Unknown". No, it wasn't. It was flat-out fraud. Why do you think he was denied title insurance?   

I would be curious to know how many of the rental properties on Curran Street would be able to be sold through normal channels tomorrow if they wanted to sell them. By normal channels, I mean --- as we all know when you go through a realtor to buy a house prior to closing the bank requires a title search to be done, right? As we also know, no bank around would ever give out a loan on property if a title company refuses to insure the title. I would be curious to know that about ALL the rental properties in Sandusky. 

Julie R.

@ LadyC: Instead of telling me to spend my time on something positive, maybe you should take your own advice. I sure would never be ignorant enough to go into an elderly person's house after she was put into a nursing home only to then say negative things about her. If she had as many cats as you people are claiming she did, the poor soul obviously had something serious going on, like dementia or something. You people on Curran Street sure do appear to have a real lack of  compassion for the elderly and the way I see it anybody cruel enough to have a lack of compassion there just might also be cruel enough to have a lack of compassion for the animals she had.


Julie R.---You twisted my words. I described the deplorable conditions she had been living in, not in a cruel way at all. No human or animal should have been living in there, and she had probably reached the point that she was unable to care for herself or her pets. I do not live on Curran St, and I am not ignorant. I was in the area that day and knew the people gutting the house. Curious, yes, cruel, no. It saddened me but it was after the fact. There are probably a lot more people that we don't know about living that way. I didn't know her, didn't see her cats, and didn't say anything negative about her at all.


@LADYC,  I am not a neighbor for your information.   You say you did  not see her cats?  I BET you didn't.


So, then, BEHAPPY, how is it you saw him drowning cats, or claim to know that there are no cats on Curran St. (which there ARE) ?? Hearsay, perhaps?? Or total BS???


For  being JUST a cleaning lady that JUST happened to go into that womans house AFTER THE FACT to clean it, sure seems like you are awful touchy for them.  It is neither hearsay or BS it is called FACT and if you are so "close" do not pretend you do not know it or maybe you don't know them as well as you think??   So get off of my A$$ you know I'm telling the truth.   Do you want me to get others I know that know about this to start blogging the truth here?  I bet not!

BW1's picture

BEHAPPY : It is neither hearsay or BS it is called FACT

No, it's an ALLEGATION, one for which you've offered no evidence.  All you've offered is the naked assertion that "plenty of people 'know' about it"  I can show you plenty of people who "know" about alien abductions, or that 9/11 was an inside job, or that the Apollo landings were faked.  From what I see in this thread, you're not even willing to claim that you've seen these cat killings with your own eyes.  Has anyone seen them?:  It's been at least 4 years that almost every cellphone on the market has had video capability - so it would seem that anyone with FIRST HAND knowledge could produce video evidence of this.  Either you have evidence or you don't.  Put up or shut up, because unless you produce some evidence, you're just another crackpot with an axe to grind.  

FACTS are established by EVIDENCE, not rumors, and so far all you've done here are repeat rumors, rumors that "plenty of people" supposedly "know"  The Spanish Inquisition had more stringent standards of proof than that.

BW1's picture

Julie R.: Sorry, but that's no conspiracy about the sale of the house in Huron that's now being used as rental property. That's a fact not to mention a matter of public record.

Julie, you don't even understand the vocabulary you're abusing.  Whether or not it's true has nothing to do with its being a conspiracy, and your OWN description of the situation points to a conspiracy, since you've clearly said several people were involved and cooperated in it.   Even newcomers are starting to notice your need to hijack every thread and make it about your own personal tale of woe.  Enough already - everyone who reads the Register website now knows your story that some sleazy lawyers conspired with county officials to cheat you out of your inheritance.  The Register staff knows it, and apparently they are not interested in investigating it.

You need to step back and contemplate what exactly you're trying to accomplish at this point, and whether your actions have any positive impact on achieving your goals.  It's time for you to either find a more effective, productive approach, or get over it.  Take your documentation to the Register in person, or take it to Marcie Kaptur or ANYONE.  All you're doing here is damaging your own credibility, and insuring that no one who can help you will take you seriously.

Julie R.

Had I not seen the comment first about drowning the cats of an elderly woman that somebody said was forced out of her home on Curran Street, I probably never would have even commented on this story. Like who really cares that Mr. Arnold and five residents of Cedar Point Road were given approval to keep renting out their properties as tourist rentals. We all knew they would --- after all, who lives on Cedar Point Road but the lawyers, judges and even your Erie County prosecutor.

Had I then not seen the comment that the elderly woman's property was sold at a sheriff sale --- which caught my interest right away --- I probably never would have checked out the auditor and recorder's online records, either. Nevertheless, I did --- and I must say I sure was surpised to see all those "unknowns" and all those "invalid sales" pertaining to property on Curran Street. Looked exactly like the auditor's online records for the Huron property that the joke Erie County courts forced to be sold at an invalid scam sheriff sale because they knew the property after the death of the 2nd owner in 2005 could not be sold through normal channels unless the attorneys and the other morons followed the LAW  --- which meant they would have to acknowledge the fraud they committed on the elderly, incompetent 1st owner's half a few months prior to her death in 2002 so the property could be put back into her probate estate and sold with a clear title.