Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Cuyahoga County Planning Commission


September 2004 Archives

With many neighbors expressing their opposition to the project, Solon City Council's Public Works Committee rejected a developer's request to extend Springside Lane by about 500 feet to create space for more residential development. A Committee member said the drainage plan submitted by CVE Development LLC was incomplete, and the developer will offer a revised one for next month's meeting.

Maple Heights City Council agreed with the concerns of member Richard Taylor, and unanimously decided to void any special agreements the City had with the Cleveland Housing Network. The group still intents to continue with its housing renovation program in the City.

Cornerstone developers have purchased two retail properties at Pearl Road and W.130th Street in Parma Heights, aided by municipal assistance in the negotiations. The former Sun TV store and the Conrad's Total Car Care are slated for demolition, as is an Arby's that has not yet been purchased.

As recently mentioned, Ray Fogg Corporate Properties is constructing two office/warehouse buildings on Resource Drive in Brooklyn, as a speculative development. Tenants could move in by early January.

A new study from the RAND Corporation published in the journal Public Health links urban sprawl to "a broad range of chronic health conditions," saying that living in a high-sprawl area has a similar effect on an adult's health as aging four years.

Employment in environmental protection industries in Ohio account for 176,000 jobs in Ohio and is already a growth industry for the state, according to a report (PDF) by the Jobs and Enironment Initiative.

The study sparked the interest of Cuyahoga County development officials casting for ways to clean up some 6,000 brownfields in the county.

"There are some additional benefits in brownfield cleanup that have not been taken into account," said Development Director Paul Oyaski, who joined (study author Roger) Bezdek at a news conference at the Great Lakes Science Center.

The first round of bidding for the state's first-ever electric auction will take place in mid-November, with multiple power companies set to bid for residential and commercial customers. Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a review of the electricity industry's voluntary efforts towards building a reliable power grid and deemed their efforts to be inadequate.

Cleveland's port could once again handle container shipping according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's maritime administrator.

Former sacred spaces throughout Greater Cleveland are increasingly being converted into residences, stores, and other uses, including Cleveland's Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist and Lakewood's First Church of Christ, Scientist, among other buildings.

The Ohio Department of Taxation has recommended against granting tax-exempt status to a Cleveland Clinic office in Beachwood, saying "Property where only a small percentage of care is given without regard to ability to pay 'does not connote significant charitable activity.'" The Clinic can to appeal to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, which could take over a year to reach a decision.

Lillian Kuri, the director of Cleveland Public Art, has resigned as of Monday.

While most New England cities have seen an exodus of young educated people, Portland, Maine has used a combination of events, the creation of affordable studio and living space, and private/public collaboration to reverse the "brain drain".

The Association for Environmental Law and Sustainability at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law will present an all-day conference on "Urban Influences in Environmental Policy" this Saturday, with CPC Director Paul Alsenas as the keynote speaker.

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule next year on the constitutionality of the use of eminent domain to foster economic development. The case of Kelo vs. City of New London pits a group of homeowners who claim that the demolition of sound homes and businesses to make way for a private development constitutes a taking.

On Tuesday, Shaker Square was sold to The Coral Co., which intends to follow through on its committment to revitalize the center and introduce a new mix of retail and residential development.

A new group, The Downtown Tech 25, has been formed by a consortium of high-tech downtown businesses. Its goal is to attract similar companies and create a Cleveland destination tech corridor.

Amtrak plans to eliminate the Ohio portion of its Three Rivers train, reducing the number of lines through the state to three from a high of five routes two years ago.

A common complaint about the Amtrak routes is scheduling. All four daily departures from Cleveland, for example, are scheduled between 1:08 a.m. and 4:21 a.m., and the schedules are often unreliable.

The Maple Heights Planning Commission voted 3-2 against the unpopular Dollar General store proposed for Granger Road. City Council has not yet discussed the issue.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has selected Royal Wagenborg, a Dutch company, to operate the future ferry between Cleveland and Port Stanley, citing the firm's experience with both leisure and commercial traffic.

A 7,000 acre farm on the Illinois River has been purchased and will be returned to its natural state as a wetland. The Nature Conservancy, implementers of the Emiquon Project, predicts that the reconstruction of wetlands will improve water quality and that similar projects can prevent the spread and creation of dead zones.

The City of Cleveland will review conceptual drawings of the proposed Steelyard Commons, a suburban-style retail power center planned for a west side Cuyahoga Valley site owned by ISG. Suitability of the site for retail uses is still being questioned, and this project has become part of the regional dialogue concerning large national retailers versus locally-owned independent stores.

This week's development news includes the planned conversion of a Tremont cold-storage facility into housing and retail uses, the delayed sale of Shaker Square, and the return to speculative development by a local industrial builder.

The Plain Dealer profiles Case's aggressive strategy to build expand its campus, strengthen its areas of expertise, and revitalize neighborhoods throughout University Circle.

Inner-ring suburbs throughout Greater Cleveland are implementing programs to combat residential housing decay.

Interest is being raised about developing a trolley service in Lorain.

Over 100 Berea residents have signed a petition calling for repairs to a deteriorating Norfolk and Southern railroad bridge.

The City of Parma is considering the creation of a nuisance abatement program that would address the problem of neglected houses.

Lyndhurst officials plan to kill deer in a city which, like other communities with new developments, is experiencing a conflict between people and nature.

Shaker Plaza owners Wald and Fisher have dropped their plans to demolish the south end of the shopping center, and are now proposing a design that incorporates a Walgreens into the existing structure.

Disagreements about how to address poverty in Cleveland have arisen specifically about the perceived lack of representation from businesses, regional leaders, and poor residents on the leadership teams.

Ohio and Northeast Ohio continue to have some of the worst air pollution in the nation, according to the Ohio Public Interest Research Group. Ohio PIRG places much of the blame on power plant emissions.

Michael Gill of the Free Times challenges Cleveland to maintain its bike lanes and offers his perspective on eminent domain.

CSU's Thomas Bier advocates for a renewed and enhanced lighting program for the Flats, writing, "Cleveland's remarkable treasure would be a must-see. And not only in good weather. Each season and all possible conditions would offer distinctive sights. Imagine scenes with fog, snow, misty rain. Photographers will be exhausted."

Scene Magazine tells the story of how higher fuel prices, lower lake levels, poor management, and aggressive acquisitions conspired to cripple lake-carrier Oglebay Norton.

This week's Cool Cleveland includes links to the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers' train tour of the Cuyahoga Valley and a Cleveland Jewish News article on the revitalization of Midtown Cleveland.

Renovations of Shaker Square and the Cleveland Museum of Art are among this quarter's beneficiaries of the Cleveland Foundation. Also included is a grant to the City of Cleveland to develop a sustainability program, including the hiring of a sustainability officer.

EcoCity Cleveland's environmental portal lists a number of interesting events this week, including a program on Dike 14.

Maple Heights residents express anger at not being allowed to raise their concerns at a public zoning board meeting that included review of a proposed Dollar General store on Granger Road.

Cleveland businessman Dan Moore is set to purchase the former Cleveland Graphite Bronze factory in Collinwood, and plans to bring several small manufacturers to the site. The 63 acre, three building (totaling 758,000 square feet) property has been largely vacant for almost 20 years. Some brownfields remediation and asbestos removal has been performed, and more work may be necessary.

RTA will hold a grand opening ceremony for the new W.65th Street Rapid Station today starting at 4:30 p.m. A community celebration will follow, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., where EcoCity Cleveland will present their annual Bioregional Hero Awards.

Yesterday's Plain Dealer devoted several pages to discussions about Lake Erie, with Joe Frolik writing, "We need to realize that Lake Erie and the rivers and watersheds that flow into it are an enormous asset, one that can define us and help shape our economic future."

The Cuyahoga County Department of Development is offering low-interest loans to owners of storefront buildings with upstairs apartments to remodel the buildings and rent the apartments to moderate-income tenants.

In the current edition of the Free Times, Michael Gill writes about disagreements surrounding the City of Cleveland's Doan Brook naturalization plans, Roger T. Jones looks at the City's poverty and unemployment problems, Ed Hauser laments the lack of interest in preserving of our steelmaking heritage, and City Chatter mentions the latest happenings in the Whiskey Island saga.

The effort to restructure Cuyahoga County government has fallen short of its goal, failing in its attempt to put a proposal on the November ballot.

Suburban municipalities are feeling the pinch as the economic downturn continues to shrink tax revenues.

Concentrated poverty in Cleveland negatively affects the entire region, requiring solutions that extend throughout Northeast Ohio.

The developers of the Pointe at Gateway will donate $1000 to Case Western Reserve University for each university employee who purchases one of the Gateway condominiums. This announcement follows Case's program to encourage home-ownership in the city.

Bentleyville Village Council reached the same conclusion as a committee did last month, voting against proceeding with a study that would examine replacements for the collapsed Chagrin River Road Bridge. After the vote, Council decided to investigate the potential of hiring an independent planner to create a "vision for the future."

Three Village-owned houses on West Orange Street in Chagrin Falls were demolished to make room for a future development. Amidst criticisms over the demolitions from some council members, residents, and preservationists, Mayor Champlin appointed a three member committee to evaluate any developer's plans for the site.

In green building news, Mayor Tom George named members to the City of Lakewood's green design committee, while architects Doty & Miller have installed solar panels in their Bedford offices. The panels supply about 4% of the company's electrical needs.

The Sun Courier reports that Zaremba Land Company explored the possibility of building a Giant Eagle store on a 16 acre parcel at Broadview and Boston Roads, but learned that the site was too small. Broadview Heights leaders say they would prefer a store in the center of town, as specified in the City's Master Plan.

Broadview Heights City Council decided to not create an economic development director post for the City, despite the objections of Mayor Goodwin and some residents.

Scott Bradner of NetworkWorld reports on municipal Wi-Fi, implications for private ISPs, and cites the OneCleveland project.

Some neighbors of the former Heights United Presbyterian Church near Cleveland Heights High School are opposed to converting the building to a youth center, prompting the Planning Commission to table the issue for 30 days.

On Tuesday, The Coral Company will officially take ownership of Shaker Square from Key Bank. In addition to the previously announced Dave's Supermarket, other vacancies could soon be filled. Company President Peter Rubin says "there is more interest than there is vacant space."

The latest installment of the Quiet Crisis series (now subtitled "The Road Back") is an exploration of Lake Erie and the opportunities it provides to improve the region. The Plain Dealer's Joe Frolik interviewed David Beach of EcoCity Cleveland, Robert Farley of Team NEO, David Orr of Oberlin College, and Chris Ronayne of the City of Cleveland.

The program will air again on Sunday, September 19 at 3:00 p.m. on WVIZ, and on Wednesday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m. on WCPN.

The latest Bruce Blog includes interest in making a trail connection from the Towpath Trail to Solon, using a TIF to finance the Towpath Trail, and other news.

The City of Cleveland is planning to spend $37 million to improve access to the Flats based on its Eagle Avenue Viaduct Study.

(Update: The proposed alignment roughly approximates a combination of Alternative 2 and Option B.)

Chris Maag of Scene Magazine writes about the political fight between the YMCA and the City of Cleveland in the aftermath of the closing of three inner-city branches.

Citizens opposed to a new retail development in Hudson are asking residents of other communities that are experiencing large-scale retail development to tell their stories. Hudson Tomorrow is against the rezoning of 60 acres of land for the Promenade of Hudson.

The Detroit Superior Bridge Promenade will open this Friday with a 1:30p event on the bridge itself. The Promenade will include bike lanes, art installations, and a pedestrian viewshed along the entire length of the bridge's north side.

(via Cool Cleveland)

Cleveland fared well in the 2004 Urban Mobility Study, which reported the city as having one of the smallest transportation congestion problems in the nation. Some attribute the good score to unemployment and a poor local econonmy.

Nuturing a culture of creativity and technology should be part of Cleveland's strategy to combat poverty, according to Lev Gronik, Board President of OneCleveland.

Maple Heights residents continue to fight against the construction of a proposed Dollar General store on Granger Road.

Neil Pierce of the Washington Post Writers Group lauds OneCleveland as the "most exciting vision yet" for communitywide Wi-Fi, singling out Cleveland among cities across the country that are also attempting to make wireless internet broadly accessible.

(via Brewed Fresh Daily)

A proposal by the Bush Administration to create "Opportunity Zones" was recently unveiled. The press release specifically references Cuyahoga County as an example of an area that could possibly receive one of forty new Opportunity Zones. While similar to the "Empowerment Zones" set up during the Clinton Administration, Opportunity Zones would not benefit from federal subsidies (relying instead on providing income tax breaks) and there would be far fewer zones created.

Ohio University will release a draft study that measures the effectiveness of the E-check program and concludes that regional air-quality would deteriorate if the program was replaced by other controls, including cleaner-burning fuels and point-source regulations.

WCPN's David C. Barnett takes a look at lifestyle centers across Greater Cleveland.

Despite setbacks by another Great Lakes ferry operator, the Port Authority believes that it can begin ferry service from Cleveland to Canada by April 2006, buttressed by a feasibility study (PDF) that asserts the profitability of the project.

Developer Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate Properties confirmed that there has been interest in building a hotel at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, but current zoning would not permit construction.

Economic Development Manager Martine Divito has left her position in Maple Heights due to poor relations with City Council, and has accepted a similar position in Bedford Heights.

The City of Brook Park is offering $120,000 in incentives to attract Fosbel, Inc. from their current location in Berea to the former DIY store on Sheldon Road.

Plans for the redevelopment of Beachcliff Market Square in Rocky River are proceeding smoothly. A zoning variance was granted for a proposed parking garage and surface parking lot which will provide 330 spaces, short of the required 508.

Emily Seguin, a Cleveland State student working through the University's Public History Internship program, will collaborate with the Euclid Landmark Commission to gather and scan historic photographs of Euclid Township in an effort to increase public awareness of the City's heritage and physiography.

Cleveland remains one of the ten U.S. cities most afflicted by "urban hardship", according to the Rockefeller Institute's study, "An Update on Urban Hardship" (PDF). The Hardship Index differs from poverty rate as an indicator of the extent of difficulties encountered by the poor and takes into consideration unemployment, dependency, education, income, crowded housing, and poverty statistics.

(via Cool Cleveland)

An agreement between RTA and the Federal Transit Administration augurs the impending construction of the Euclid Corridor project which will provide bus rapid transit service from Downtown Cleveland through University Circle. The federal government will provide nearly half of the $186.4 million needed to complete the project.

Suburbs throughout Greater Cleveland are redeveloping historic downtowns, some in response to ersatz-historic Main Street-style developments like Westlake's Crocker Park, built despite an excess of retail space throughout the region. Hudson is another city following the mixed-use development trend with First & Main, a development that is intended in retail mix and urban form (PDF) to complement the rest of downtown Hudson.

Increased exurban housing development in communities like Avon Lake is creating conflicts between farmers and new homeowners.

Residents of the EcoVillage townhouses and their neighbors have been debating over the need for parking on W.58th Street.

The State of Ohio and the City of Brook Park have combined to offer $18.2 million in incentives as part of local efforts to attract NASA's national consolidated business operations to a site near Glenn Research Center. The winning bid is expected to be announced next May.

Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed argues that more workers from Cleveland should be used for construction and road projects in the City.

Eric Fisher, a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is the subject of a Plain Dealer interview regarding a recent report that provides answers to the question "Why Are We (in Ohio and the U.S.) Losing Manufacturing Jobs?" (PDF).

A low-income apartment building in University Circle will be converted into market-rate apartments by the Boston-based Finch Group, developers of Arbor Park Village.

The poverty summit convened last Friday attracted 200 participants who responded to Mayor Campbell's call for a "Marshall Plan" to address the causes of poverty. A Plain Dealer editorial offers some suggestions for next steps.

Four property owners in the Cincinnati suburb of Norwood can sue the city for improperly designating their properties as "blighted" rather than wait until the city begins proceedings to condemn the land for future development, according to a First Appellate District of Ohio ruling (Microsoft Word).

The cool weather this summer has contributed to low levels of ground-level ozone and fewer water advisories.

The Great Lakes Science Center wants to build a 135-foot wind turbine on its lakefront property. Also mentioned is Green Energy Ohio's progress on building a wind monitor on the water department intake crib in Lake Erie.

Eight Cuyahoga County arts and culture organizations (including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Cleveland Film Society) were recommended to receive the first of the County's arts and economic development grants.

While the City and the County are encouraging the redevelopment of brownfields and the reuse of abandoned industrial buildings, a legal support firm has reused a century-old textile mill on St. Clair Avenue.

Among municipal issues on the November 2nd ballot is a proposal to bring a charter form of government to Parma, which is currently the largest Ohio city without a charter.

Cleveland should create a better environment for economic development according to a report by the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Several proposals are outlined in the report (PDF), including economic incentives, educational reforms, and the creation of a new regional development authority.

A leadership summit will be convened this morning by Mayor Campbell in response to the new news about widespread poverty in Cleveland.

A group attempting to restructure county government from a three commissioner led system to a county executive/representative council system received another blow with the impending collapse of the Citizen's League.

A state program to give manufacturers tax credits for new machinery and equipment has been judged unconstitutional by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling yesterday. Companies can no longer receive personal property tax abatements for improvements and investments for such improvements.

Village of Bratenahl and North Collinwood leaders want to include redeveloping E.140th Street as a priority in the Village's master plan.

Despite receiving criticism for refusing to hear public comments, Chagrin Falls Village Council voted to demolish three city-owned houses on West Orange Street.

A Maple Heights City Council member is opposed to granting a zoning variance to the Cleveland Housing Network. The City's Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously voted to grant the agency a variance that freed them from posting $130,000 for point-of-sale inspections in their housing rehabilitation efforts.

City of Berea officials expect to break ground in the next two weeks on the new Heritage Park, located downtown on vacant land next to the Riverside Gardens condominiums.

At a public hearing last week, Lakewood bar owners expressed their willingness to cooperate with residents in keeping the area clean and free from public intoxication.

Rysar Properties is planning to bring two big box retailers to the intersection of W.117th Street and I-90 in Cleveland. Construction of the stores will require the acquisition and demolition of 104 houses. The project is expected to proceed without public financing or use of eminent domain.

An unsigned Plain Dealer editorial sides with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the farming debate raised by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Sidewalks in the Gateway sports complex can be used by protestors according to a ruling by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which ruled that the privately owned sidewalks are indistinguishable from public sidewalks. Other common areas in Gateway are not affect by the ruling, and are not designated public forums.

Residents of Columbia Park, a mobile home park in North Olmsted, have petitioned CMHA to acquire the park by eminent domain in order to stabilize rents.

The design review process, a plan for a new house, and questions about whether a councilperson can be treated as a private citizen are the subject of a Free Times article.

Michael Gill of the Free Times wonders how the Lakefront Plan will be implemented, and asked how the possible movement of Ontario Stone from the southeastern tip of Whiskey Island on the Harbor Node could be accomplished.

Two new sections are now available on our Cuyahoga Valley site, one describing the valley's physiography, and the other covering its topography.

Bill Callahan and Roldo Bartimole provide their perspectives on the latest news regarding poverty in Cleveland.

(via Cool Cleveland)

WCPN's Making Change series is focusing on Northeast Ohio's infrastructure, and what needs to be improved in order to support the local economy.

A "clean-coal" plant is being planned by American Electric Power. While less polluting than other fossil-fuel powered plants, questions were raised at the stakeholder meeting regarding better and more environmentally benign technologies.

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