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.




BW, I really don't care what you believe.  Who says I have no proof?  If you really know these people you KNOW this is going on so why come here and try to make me out to be a liar?  Make others believe I am?  I really don't care.  What would I have to gain by making up such a horrible thing?  People can believe whatever they want.

BW1's picture

BEHAPPY : Who says I have no proof?

YOU do, by failing to produce it.  We're all waiting, but you've produced nothing.

If you really know these people you KNOW this is going on

That's hearsay and rumor.  Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.

so why come here and try to make me out to be a liar?  Make others believe I am?

I'm not - I don't have to - YOU are doing that all by yourself.  

What would I have to gain by making up such a horrible thing?  

Who knows?  You could have a grudge for any number of reasons.  Maybe he didn't pick you for his baseball team when you were both 7.  Maybe you lost a cat and you need someone to blame, and he's handy.  Maybe you're just crazy.  It really doesn't matter what your motive is, you can't just go around publicly accusing someone in print  of heinous acts without some sort of proof - that's called libel.


You are so defensive I would swear you are Mr. Arnold himslef, maybe Mr. Ruff? Maybe a relative?   Why else would you care?.   What kind of proof would you like me to supply here?  I have already stated in the past EXACTLY how it is done.  You say cell phone pics?  How would you like me to do that here?   What kind of proof do you want here on these blogs, I'll see if I can help you out.


Libel, you say?   I'm not the bad guy in this situation here.  There are laws on animal cruelty,  ya know?

Julie R.

According to the Tax Map office, the property at 722 Curran Street (the one somebody said was owned by the elderly woman) --- that property was owned by a Kristine (sp) Ritter and a Marjorie Ritter from 1945 until 1968. From 1968 until 2009 it was owned by Marjorie Ritter.  In 2009 it was sold to a Matthew Rufff under a Fudiciary Deed and the sellers were Marjorie Ritter and a Lisa A. Olehmacher-Aust. The Sales prior to 2009 are listed as VALID but the 2009 Sale to Matthew Ruff is listed as INVALID.

Just out of curiosity, I'm going to find out WHY the 2009 Sale was invalid. That should be a matter of public record.  

Julie R.

Considering all the criminal activity including Medicaid fraud that went on during the short time the elderly, totally incompetent 1st owner to the Huron property was in a nursing home ---- fraud power of attorneys, fraud Wills, fraudulent transfer of her property, internal criminal changes to contracts, etc., etc., etc. ---- I wouldn't doubt for a minute that the same criminal crap went on when the elderly woman from Curran Street was in a nursing home.


Go awful quiet in here????      Offer to help them out if they let me know what kind of proof they would like here and it gets quiet.  strange.


Sorry, meant to say *goT* awful quiet




 Actually, I find Julie R.'s experiences interesting to read.  She is very knowledgeable.


OK, I called the county treasurer's office to ask what the difference is between a valid and invalid sale. An invalid sale is simply one that was not sold at fair-market value, such as in a bank-owned, foreclosure, or sale to a relative. The price does not reflect its market value, in other words. Does not mean that the title is not good or valid, just has to do with the price. And yes, Julie is knowledgable, to be fair. Suspicious, but smart. And I may be JUST a cleaning lady (among other things) but I'm no dummy either. I have a rental myself (NOT on Curran St. OR in Huron), bought from a bank, and it says that on mine, too. There is title insurance, and the title is clear. Just some FYI.

Julie R.

@ LadyC: You're correct. I was basically told the same thing by the auditor's office. Sales of property can be listed as invalid for a number of reasons.  As for the property at 722 Curran Street (that I assume was owned by the elderly lady with all the cats) that was sold to a Matthew Ruff in 2009 under a Fudiciary Deed --- she said that Sale might be listed as invalid because it was sold by a family member or maybe sold for less than it's value. Nevertheless, I think I'm still going to do a title search on it just out of curiosity. I'm really curious to know if it was really sold at a sheriff sale like Mr. Arnold's brother said it was. 

As for foreclosures --- she said those are listed as invalid because they are sold at a substantial discount in comparison to the tax base or whatever on them. The example she used --- an $80,000.00 house gets sold at a sheriff sale for only $20,000.00. 

As for the property in Huron ---- she had no explanation at all for that one. That's because she said houses get sold at sheriff sales because of foreclosures --- she never heard of a house being sold at a sheriff sale through a partition action.  Of course she didn't. That's because that was an illegal scam pulled off by attorneys and the Eeerie County courts. They knew the property couldn't be sold through normal channels after the 2nd owner's death because a title search would find the FRAUD committed on the 1st owner's half. So they came up with a devious plot to sell the property with serious defects in the title instead at a scam invalid sheriff sale through a scam partition action and a fraud preliminary judicial report.   

Julie R.

@ LadyC: When you went into the elderly lady's house before it was gutted (as you said) what year was that? Was that done after the house was sold in 2009 or was that after she was put into a nursing home? If it was done after she was put into a nursing home how did they ever get away with gutting her house?  


Oh My, I must have struck a nerve on LADY ( I could think of a better name) Buuut we won't go there.   Tell me, if you are not one of these crooks/animal abusers listed or a relative, why are you so touchy?  Is it because you know I am telling the truth and you want no one else to know so lets just try to shut me up?  Well, you just try and do that then.  You go JULIE R.  Maybe you can get some answers since we are all avoiding the animal abuse issue but don't bet on it.  It's ok for them to do whatever they want because they didn't pay 1 million dollars for their home so they can do whatever they please. I found that very interesting.  Somebody has someone in their back pocket for some reason.  It's just a matter of time before I find someone outside of Erie County that will protect a cat if they just so happen to be  unfortunate enough to walk down HIS  precious (not) street.   Arnold Avenue sounds much better than Curran Street to me, that will be next. Let's all just put a buoy or an anchor in our front yards and well can all have our streets named after us. Even you Miss Lady


Julie--It was in the summer , and  the house had been condemned for awhile before that, in the late winter or spring. I am not 100 percent sure that she specifically went to a nursing home, but I believe someone told me that when I asked what happened to her. I didn't clean her house, just looked through before it was gutted. Nobody lives there now.



BW1's picture

BEHAPPY : Libel, you say? I'm not the bad guy in this situation here.

Says who?  You?  And just who the heck are you that the public, the courts, etc. should take your word for it that you're the good guy?  You're an anonymous (for now) voice on the internet.  Take a look around you.  There are anonymous voices out there claiming Elvis is alive. What makes you any different?  The only difference is they are harmless, whereas you are accusing known people of crimes and damaging their reputation

So, if the person you're accusing does bring a libel action against you, what's your defense?  "I'm not the bad guy?"  The judge will wet his pants laughing at that.

There are laws on animal cruelty, ya know?

Yes, and there are also laws on publicly and frivolously accusing people of crimes and heinous acts.  If you post online that person X molests little boys, person X can haul your behind into court and take everything you own, UNLESS you can PROVE what you posted is true.  

You are so defensive I would swear you are Mr. Arnold himslef, maybe Mr. Ruff? Maybe a relative?

Nice try, but prior to reading this claim of yours, I didn't even know the name of the individual you are accusing - which one are you alleging is the cat killer?

Why else would you care?.

Why would you care?   Are you related, perhaps conjugally, to one of the missing cats?  I care about living in a nation of laws where people's lives aren't ruined by rumors from crackpots, and you've provided absolutely no reason to believe that's not what's going on here.

What kind of proof would you like me to supply here? I have already stated in the past EXACTLY how it is done.

I'm beginning to wonder if you understand what evidence and proof mean.  Description of HOW something is done says NOTHING about IF it was done, or WHO may have done it.  People claiming alien abduction provide vivid, detailed descriptions of the process - does that make it true?

You say cell phone pics? How would you like me to do that here? What kind of proof do you want here on these blogs, I'll see if I can help you out.

You're getting ahead of yourself.  You haven't said that pictures or video EXIST.  If you had, then a way to share them could be worked out. Heck, I don't see where you've claimed to have seen these crimes with your own eyes, or, for that matter to know someone else who's see it and is willing to go on record.  You haven't even claimed to have seen the tools of the crime.

For starters:

-is there ANYONE who has seen these acts being committed, and are they willing to say so publicly, and testify, if necessary?

-is there any PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, such as traps, cat remains, etc.?

-are you now saying that photos or videos DO exist?  If the activity is ongoing, do you think you could GET some? 

You and others have gone on for some time here that someone on Curran Street is getting away with cat genocide.  All you've accomplished so far is setting yourselves up for a libel suit.  The question is when any of you will sit down, think things through, and come up with a course of action that has a snowball's chance in hell of being effective to achieve your goals, which presumably are to have the responsible parties punished. Getting real evidence would be a start.  You can get an automatic motion activated night vision camera for less than $100.  Or you can just keep screaming unsupported accusations on the web.  How's that working out for you?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is alternatively given as the definition of insanity and/or stupidity.

BW1's picture

Julie, I followed your link to the records on the Huron Property,  the 2002 sale was from a man and woman with the same last name, presumably husband and wife, to the man alone, for zero dollars.   You say this is when the "second owner" (presumably the wife) died.   There's nothing there to indicate fraud.  When one spouse dies, the deed reverts to the surviving spouse, and the sale appears in the records just as it does in this case.  

The last name is Meola, not the most common name, and there are four other Meola's listed as property owners in Huron.  It seems reasonable to conclude they are relatives - why are none of them joining in your crusade?

Again, what is the goal that hijacking every thread is supposed to accomplish, and how is this course of action related to achieving this goal?

Julie R.

BW1: What you are seeing in the online records is very misleading. It doesn't even come close to showing all the fraud that was committed on the property --- but if you do a title search you sure will find it. That's why the realtor that obtained the property at that scam Erie County sheriff sale that tried to get title insurance 9 months later (9 months?) was denied.  In fact, one of the employees at the title company wasn't even half-way through reading the report when she made the comment: "My God! This guy will NEVER get title insurance!" 




Julie--I did check out your link and wondered how a sheriff's sale had taken place without a bank. Ususally, the bank forecloses and takes ownership, then it goes to auction, I believe. This had people's names as the sellers, to a sheriff deed. That does seem kind of strange.  I don't know what happens in the case of condemned property, or how the transfer is shown. The house on Curran had been condemned for awhile, a least a few months or more, but it was a person to person sale, the lady and/ or her custodian sold it to Matt. There are a lot of condemned properties around town and I often wondered if they stayed that way because of complicated titles. Like, if the house was fully paid for, a bank wouldn't take it over and sell it, so who does if the owner or their family is no longer alive or around?


You people are impossible and quite frankly, not worth my time.  Like I said before, believe what you want to believe.  There is a reason you are so "bent".   And it isn't because you do not know them.    Why are you not worried about discussions of illegal sales but are worried about this issue?  BE----CRAZY?  Nah. 

Julie R.

@ BW1: Just to show how misleading the auditor's online records are:

The records make it look like the property was transferred over to the spouse after the 1st owner's death, making it look like it was joint survivorship. Sorry, but the transfer of the property was seven months before the 1st owner's death when she was totally incompetent. It was transferred under a fraud quitclaims deed that falsely stated a fraud power of attorney concealed in the Lorain County Recorder's office was on file in Erie County. Take note how the auditor's online records doesn't even mention a quitclaims deed. The recorder's online records doesn't mention a power of attorney, either.

Also, the 1st owner's half would not have transferred over to her spouse after her death, anyway. Instead it would have become a part of her probate estate.  That's because the property was owned one-half undivided, tenants-in-common which is totally different than joint ownership. Lots of married people in 2nd marriages own their properties in this manner.  It's a smart move ---- that is,  if you don't live in corrupt Erie County.    

BW1's picture

BEHAPPY : You people are impossible and quite frankly, not worth my time. Like I said before, believe what you want to believe.

But, but......what about the kitties?

What's impossible is getting you to comprehend that in the real world, it's about what you can prove. 

Julie R.

@ LadyC: The property in Huron sure wasn't condemned and as you can see it sure wasn't sold at a sheriff sale through foreclosure, either. Once again, it was sold at a court-ordered scam sheriff sale because it had serious defects in the title caused by the fraud on the 1st owner's half and the joke courts knew if the defects weren't cleared up and the property put back into the correct owner's probate estate then it couldn't be sold through normal channels. Also, the SELLERS that are listed are the ones that CAUSED the serious defects.  

That's why ~ just out of curosity ~ I'm going to do a title search on that property on Curran Street that belonged to the elderly woman. When it comes to corrupt Erie County I wouldn't trust anything they do with the property of the elderly --- but then I wouldn't trust what they allow attorneys and other dirt bags to do to the elderly PERIOD! 

Julie R.

@ BW1: I think your comment to BEHAPPY is nasty. I also think there's some truth to what happened to the elderly woman's cats --- and if so THAT was despicable.  


Thank you JULIER for acting like a compassionate human being.  Be careful, they call you crazy if you have compassion.  Also, it has not been just her cats.  Now I am done here.  I will spend my energy taking care of what needs to be done.  GOD bless and good luck JULIER

Julie R.

@ LadyC: Considering how you asked the question --- if a house is fully paid for, a bank couldn't take it over and sell it, so who does it if the owner and the family is no longer alive or around to sell it --- were you maybe trying to imply that was the case of the property that belonged to the elderly woman, Marjorie Ritter? If so, who was Lisa A. Olemacher-Aust that records show sold the property of a Marjorie Ritter in 2009 under a Fudiciary Deed? Who also was a Gladys Aust and a Matthew Aust? Records show they had something to do with something pertaining to property and a Marjorie Ritter in 2001. Were all those people the family members of the elderly woman? Also, I still can't find anything online that the property at 722 Curran Street was sold at a sheriff sale. But then once again that doesn't mean that it wasn't because I showed proof with the Huron property alone how misleading property records are in Erie County. Wonder how much of the information on the Curran Street property of the elderly woman will turn out to be misleading or maybe even omitted?  


Julie--not making any implications, I simply don't know. If the elderly woman was Marjorie, the Austs involved might have been relatives. I do know that the house had been condemned for at least a few months prior to it being sold. Someone else on here said at a sheriff's auction, but they may have been mistaken. I don't know how condemned properties are sold. I actually see a few around town with both Condemned signs and realtor's For Sale signs on them. How on earth would someone be able to get financing on a condemned house? Strange stuff. I do not think that the other person on here was correct when they had those big bold letters saying that the elderly woman was dragged from her house because the Arnolds didn't like cats. I mean, they had lived across the street from each other for 20 plus years. The house is still empty to this day, so I don't believe it was a hostile takeover, simply that the woman was too frail to stay in there any longer. It really needed a lot of work, and she and her pets could have gotten seriously injured or ill from the condition of it. And there was no way to tell how many cats had been in there either. I could have been a lot or maybe just a few that hadn't been cleaned up after for a long time. I think a lot of rumors went around and got bigger as they went. So far, I am the only one on here that can actually say that I witnessed anything, and that was the condition of the house. Marjorie (?) the elderly lady, may even still be alive for all we know.

Julie R.

LadyC:  I don't know anything about condemned houses but I know how the realtor got financing for the house in Huron that he bought at a SCAM court-ordered Erie County sheriff sale to use as rental property. Public records show he took out Home Equity Loans on his other properties. He also set the property up in an LLC before the joke common pleas court transferred that joke Sheriff Sale Deed over to him. After that was all done that's when his idiot Sandusky attorneys whined that he tried to get title insurance and was denied.

That said --- I noticed that John Arnold and Matthew Ruff sure do own enough properties in Sandusky. Are they realtors? Arnold owns five properties on Curran Street --- 4 single-family residences and 1 vacant land ---- and Ruff owns 4 properties --- 2 on Curran Street, one on Billman and a Chesapeake Loft condo.  I also noticed that the property on Billman was sold under a Fudiciary Deed and it states UNKNOWN under Valid Sale. Same with the condo. Under DEED TYPE it states UNKNOWN and under VALID SALE it states UNKNOWN. 

Just out of curiosity, I guess I'm going to have to call the auditor's office again and ask why they put UNKNOWN under not just VALID SALES but even DEED TYPES.   


Julie--hmm, not sure where Billman is but I think it is off First, maybe one of the streets that are boathouses. I think one of John's is a boathouse too. There are quite a few at the far end of Curran. The street used to be very run down, way back in the 70s and 80s from what I remember. I didn't live nearby, but had seen it a couple times.  Maybe he bought them cheap and fixed them up.

As for yours, it already went to court? And the property was a premarital asset of First Owner? Wow, that is messed up if you are one of the first owner's children. I can see why you would be upset. Now, if there is no title insurance on that property, does that mean that the ownership could still be contested, appealed, or whatever? That is way beyond my scope of knowledge, but it doesn't sound right. And what is a fudiciary deed exactly? Like a Power of Attorney or Executor sells it rather than the owner?