February 2006 Archives
28 February 2006
MAGNET, the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, is a new organization that will support and promote manufacturing in 15 Northeast Ohio counties.
27 February 2006
Chris Varley of Tech Futures provides more information about the wind monitoring project in Cuyahoga Falls and the Tall Towers Project.
The Plain Dealer took a detailed look at the past, present, and future of the Flats; the area's successes, problems, and development proposals. They also published a map showing the turnover in businesses over the last 18 years.
Budget reductions due to a drop in income tax revenues have led Bratenahl to delay the purchase of 12 acres for a nature preserve.
Greater Cleveland politicians are discussing the division of taxes on revenues from downtown casinos, should they be approved by voters.
A small group of people who live on boats at a marina on the Scranton Peninsula are facing eviction by the Ferchill Group, which plans to build 76 townhouses on the site. The boaters vow to fight the move.
A Plain Dealer analysis found the largest concentrations of City of Cleveland employees in the Kamm's Corners and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods, and presents the increasing population drops in Detroit as an example of what might happen if Ohio's ban on municipal residency requirements is upheld.
The Akron Beacon Journal provides more detail on the new signs that will direct travelers along the Ohio & Erie Canalway along with a reminder of this week's public meetings for reviewing the designs.
24 February 2006
Reflecting on a recent article in The New Yorker that advocates simpler solutions to solving homelessness, Roldo Bartimole calls for more attention and resources towards addressing poverty, including a renewed emphasis on providing affordable housing.
Some Duck Island residents think a proposed CMHA development along Columbus Road would be too dense, despite being scaled back to 171 units.
In Maple Heights, developers and parish leaders of St. Wenceslas Catholic Church have proposed converting the closed school and part of the church into apartments. The buildings and a proposed new three story apartment would be used for senior housing.
Prompted by vacant storefronts at Solon Square Shopping Center, leaders in Solon will meet with retail brokers to design a retail development strategy.
Orange Village will join the growing number of Greater Cleveland communities permitting natural gas wells on municipal property. Meanwhile, residents in Chester Township are concerned that a well drilled last year may be killing surrounding vegetation.
Following a delay when the project was refocused, bids for the Lakewood Public Library Main Branch expansion will be opened on March 9. Construction is expected to last approximately two years.
The City of Westlake will appeal a $5.6 million dollar jury award given to a landowner for a property needed for the Crocker-Stearns extension.
Flooding problems in Brooklyn Heights and northern Parma and Seven Hills should be alleviated when work on an intercommunity relief sewer is completed in May.
A new wayfinding system proposed for the Ohio Canal Corridor will include signs, markers, and kiosks. Public meetings to review the designs will be held on Wednesday, March 1 at 6:00 p.m. at the Independence Technology Center on Brecksville Road, and on March 8 at 6:00 p.m. at the Coventry Oaks Pavilion in Akron.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's first State of the City address called for increased cooperation between the City and surrounding suburbs.
The Mayor connected the City's need to balance the budget to using regional approaches for economic development, the possibility for revenue sharing between municipalities, making tax abatement policies uniform throughout the region, and improving the City's own practices through decreasing operating costs.
Today's WKSU program on regionalism looks at how the region would respond to threats from natural disasters or terrorism and asks whether current emergency planning and coordination efforts are adequate to meet the challenge.
Volunteers are being sought to monitor vernal pools, which are temporary wetlands that generally appear in the spring and dry up in the summer. The year-old Ohio Vernal Pool Partnership hopes to catalogue, monitor, and conserve these areas throughout the state.
Mayfield Village will begin providing free public WiFi hotspots through a collaboration with OneCommunity (formerly known as "OneCleveland") and Euphonix (a high-tech startup). Part of the agreement to create "OneMayfield" would allow Euphonix to sell access to a secure wireless network to nearby businesses.
Summit County, as part of a settlement with the Ohio EPA, will spend over $17 thousand to fund shoreline restoration work along the Cuyahoga River above the recently removed Munroe Falls dam.
Cleveland Councilman Joe Santiago intends to hire a full-time code enforcer to address the abandoned housing problem in Ward 14.
23 February 2006
Lorain City Council will consider legislation that would prohibit sexual predators from living within 2500 feet of a school, preschool, day care facility, park, library, or public pool, which would encompass almost the entire city.
Sam Fulwood of the Plain Dealer ponders over the reasons why most shopping center owners refuse to allow RTA buses on their property, and cites remarks made by RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese on a recent radio appearance.
Wind monitoring equipment was recently installed on the eastern rim of the Cuyahoga Valley in Cuyahoga Falls. The equipment, like a similar monitor in Lake Erie, will be used to gauge the suitability of the area for commercial wind turbines.
Chas Rich contemplates the Port Authority's lack of transparency and its expected tax levy, and wonders if they eventually could lead to a loss of public input in the convention center issue.
The Ohio Senate yesterday passed a predatory lending bill by a vote of 29 to 4. Most consumer advocates support the bill, but some say it does not go far enough. The legislation now heads to the Ohio House.
WCPN reports that the Ohio Department of Transportation and the City of Cleveland have agreed to resolve disputes over plans for the Innerbelt trench within 60 days.
22 February 2006
A predatory lending bill in the Ohio Senate is being rewritten because of objections to a provision that would have severely weakened its effectiveness at discouraging violations.
Roldo Bartimole argues that the same factors influencing the decision to subsidize the Gateway garages are being used to subsidize the Flats East Bank project.
A Plain Dealer editorial supports the Ohio EPA's stand against proposed legislation that would impair the agency's ability to regulate air pollution.
A group of Avon Lake homeowners agreed to each pay back taxes for a lakefront parcel that provides shared access to the neighborhood. An adjacent neighbor, a state representative working on lakefront property legislation, had earlier laid claim to the property.
21 February 2006
Regionalism remains a popular topic. Today, WKSU began a new series on regionalism with a look at local attitudes and the increasing level of interest. Regionalism was the lens through which the Plain Dealer examined the reasons for low expectations and cynicism in Northeast Ohio, and Channel 3 reported on municipal competition and the poaching of businesses.
A Plain Dealer editorial urges the Ohio Senate to remove two controversial provisions from Senate Bill 185, the predatory lending bill.
Amidst rising fuel costs, the RTA board is considering fare increases, but is pledging to not cut services. The increase would be the first since 1993.
In light of the Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler case that will be heard in a week by the U.S. Supreme Court, the research director of Policy Matters Ohio argues that state tax credits to companies are not just unconstitutional, but are also ineffective and self-defeating.
A recently-created Lake County taskforce has asked for an extension from the federal government to develop a plan for preserving the Fairport Harbor breakwater lighthouse.
The National Park Service will study how facilities for mountain bikes can be integrated with the trail master plan for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer reviews the architectural transformation of the University of Cincinnati and favorably compares its imaginative design to the more conventional developments at Case and University Circle as well as Cleveland State University.
A Plain Dealer op-ed from a citizen who has been homeless describes the challenges of being without a permanent home and advocates for community support and the creation of more affordable housing units.
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is expected to put a countywide tax levy increase on the 2007 ballot. The additional revenue is slated to support its development finance activities as well as the proposed relocation of the Port west of the Cuyahoga River.
A study funded by the City of Avon and local businesses and developers recommends the construction of a third I-90 interchange in the city at Nagel Road.
An Associated Press article examines the conflict between the City of East Cleveland's need to redevelop and the retention of the Wall of Sorrows, a memorial wall dedicated to victims of violence.
17 February 2006
The developers of Carrington Court, the large senior housing project on Aurora Road in Solon, say they cannot commit to building the mandated minimum 200 senior apartments and 40 single-family homes due to the presence of wetlands on the site. Some council members support re-bidding the project if Gross Builders cannot meet the deed restrictions.
Strongsville leaders are promoting the 1.2 mill bond issue that will appear on the May ballot. Funds from the bond would be used to build a new $25 million municipal complex.
The Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation and Old Brooklyn Neighborhood Services have begun exploring a merger that would lead to a consolidated local development corporation for the Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Center neighborhoods.
An 11 unit, $2.9 million townhouse development has been proposed for a Fulton Road site near St. Rocco's Church in Clark-Fulton.
The Waxman Chabad Center on Green Road in Beachwood opened in December, and will hold an official opening celebration later this year.
The City of Euclid is exploring options for reopening or redesigning the closed women's wing of its city jail.
Steven H. Steinglass, a professor of law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, examines the Home Rule Amendment and subsequent laws and focuses on a conflicting constitutional provision (reinforced by a controversial 1989 Ohio Supreme Court ruling) that could potentially give the state power to overturn municipal residency requirements.
Brent Larkin of the Plain Dealer declares that a slots-only referendum being proposed for the November ballot will result in casinos that take money solely from Ohioans without attracting tourism.
The old Miles Drive-In movie theater in Warrensville Heights will be redeveloped as the "Cinema Park" neighborhood, encompassing around 100 single-family homes.
The developer of The Avenue District is optimistic that construction of the mixed-use project in Downtown Cleveland will begin late this summer starting with a 10-story building on East 12th Street and St. Clair Avenue.
16 February 2006
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is proposing regulations that specify the quality of constructed wetlands that developers are required to build to replace wetlands eliminated as a part of their projects.
The Akron Beacon Journal provides more detail on the new air-pollution advisories that will alert Northeast Ohio citizens when fine particle pollution levels reach unhealthy levels. Several recommendations are provided that will help limit the creation of minute soot that lodges deep inside lungs.
A judge with the U.S. District Court ruled that the State of Ohio, not the Federal Courts, have jurisdiction over a lawsuit concerning public access to lakefront property.
(Update: WKSU provides more information about the controversy.)
The awarding of $4.5 million to a Westlake landowner for property that will be purchased as a part of the Crocker-Stearns connector will not delay the project, which is scheduled to link I-480 with I-90 in three years.
A Plain Dealer editorial urges Cleveland City Council and Mayor Frank Jackson to work with Councilwoman Fannie Lewis to get the proposed minimum-security prison (previously and erroneously portrayed as a work release facility) constructed someplace other than the Ward Bakery site on Chester Avenue, adjacent to Myers University.
15 February 2006
Despite reports that Ohioans endure one of the nation's highest levels of air-pollution related health risks, two bills are making their way through the Statehouse that would severly limit the state's ability to regulate toxic air emissions. While industry lobbyists argue that the bills provide clarity to the permitting system, the Ohio Environmental Council calls the legislation the "Bad Air Bill" (PDF) and pledges to fight continuing efforts to weaken standards.
A new clean-air campaign launches today with the goal of advising Northeast Ohio residents when fine particle pollution reaches unhealthy levels. The Fine Particle Pollution Program aims at decreasing the pollutants from sources such as diesel engines and power plants that exacerbate heart and lung disease, especially among children and the elderly.
America's inner-ring suburbs are being overlooked amidst a series of challenges, especially Northeast Ohio's older suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution's report: "One-Fifth of America". The study ranks Cuyahoga County suburbs as having the highest concentrations of the elderly and lowest increases in property values. However, the authors single out the Ohio First Suburbs Consortium as leading the way in advocating for these municipalities, and they recommend that leaders take a regional approach across several strategies, including attracting development.
Corporations are investing more money in researching and developing products to generate renewable energy.
Ohio elected officials pledged $2 million to study the state's subterranean geography to determine if it is suitable for injecting carbon dioxide that would come from the FutureGen prototype coal-gasification power plant.
14 February 2006
A new website is available for the collaborative effort to redevelop Market Square Park in Ohio City. It includes a project overview and conceptual designs.
In order to address a $1.1 million annual shortfall directly attributed to the City of Eastlake's minor-league stadium, City Council has placed a property tax increase request on the May ballot.
The movement of a Target store from Rocky River to Fairview Park and its portion of the redeveloping Westgate Shopping Center has raised comparisons with a similar use of tax abatements by Strongsville and offers a reminder of the forces that can derail regionalism.
The new trolley buses that RTA will be purchasing will be different in design from the tour trolleys usually seen downtown. Their drivers will act as "downtown ambassadors", providing assistance and information to visitors.
13 February 2006
The Cleveland Law Library Weblog provides more detail on the Ohio Senate bill intended to protect homebuyers from predatory lending practices, which inludes a clause that would limit recoverable damages to "actual economic damages".
The two garages built as part of the Gateway project have cost the City of Cleveland $75 million over the past 12 years.
Several renter-occupied duplexes in South Euclid are being sold by a landlord who has had difficulty maintaining the properties. The City had solicited assistance from the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, which provided the rent vouchers used by tenants to rent the properties, and is viewing the sale as an opportunity to redevelop the property, including the short-term option of leasing the homes to Notre Dame College for use as student housing.
A recently-launched website provides a tool for potential home owners and sellers to access property value estimates.
A local developer is continuing his efforts to restore the Faerber/Morse House, a historic home in Lakewood that was the focus of a lawsuit prohibiting the former owner from dismantling the house in order to sell its architectural details.
A Summit County Common Pleas judge has ruled that voters cannot block a development that was approved by Green City Council. Green Pointe Development Inc. and the city had already entered into a binding contract prior to a referendum seeking to overturn the decision.
The old Ward Bakery site on Chester Ave (west of E. 55th Street) is the focus of a disagreement between Myers University, which wants to use the site for its fieldhouse, and Councilwoman Fannie Lewis, who wants the County's work release jail to be built there.
(Updates: Sam Fullwood III argues against the jail and urges action from City Council, while Tom Beres reports on the disagreement.)
The Euclid Corridor's new vehicles were on display last Friday. The hybrid electric-diesel vehicles will provide the backbone of the Bus Rapid Transit system connecting East Cleveland to Public Square.
More details are emerging regarding the development of a "lifestyle center" and soccer stadium on Ohio 8 on the border of Macedonia and Northfield Center Township including the possible involvement of the Summit County Port Authority to provide financial assistance.
Professor Walter Leedy has established an endowment fund for the CSU Library to acquire materials documenting the history of Cleveland's built environment.
10 February 2006
Karen Schaefer of WCPN describes how removing dams along the Cuyahoga River can contribute to water quality and community development. Last year's removal of the Munroe Falls dam is beginning to yield ecological benefits, and the City is planning to build an adjacent amphitheatre. Meanwhile, Brecksville and Akron are pursuing the removal of the canal diversion dam and the Gorge Park Dam, respectively.
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will hold public meetings next Wednesday to discuss proposed changes to a loop route and additional routes for their new buses which resemble trolleys.
Developers of the proposed North Royalton Town Center project are in the midst of conducting a marketability study to determine the makeup and balance of potential uses, and report that responses from retailers have been "very positive."
The builders of a proposed three story building on Chagrin Boulevard southeast of Lander Circle in Pepper Pike may attempt to lure Smith Barney away from their Chagrin Falls offices.
The City of Parma Heights intends to have a inspection program for residential rental properties in place by this summer.
CMHA's plans to build a public housing development above the W.25th Street rapid station have been scaled back from 398 units to 171 units. The agency also announced that they will not pursue construction at the municipal parking lot across from Burke Lakefront Airport, saying they couldn't "figure out a way to make that site buildable."
Tom Beres of WKYC covers development actions taken by at Case in light of recent discussions about CWRU's possible withdrawal of funding from the University Circle Police Department and concerns about its financial ability to follow through on other commitments, such as the movement of employees to Playhouse Square.
A 600,000 square foot "lifestyle center" and 20,000 to 25,000 seat stadium are being proposed for a site on Ohio 8 on the border of Macedonia and Northfield Center Township. The $240 million project, requiring public and private financing, could be used to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Northeast Ohio.
09 February 2006
With the Towpath Trail pedestrian bridges over Granger and Warner Roads in Valley View currently under construction, property owners are expressing concern about the impact the structures will have on neighboring businesses.
Cleveland's inner-ring suburbs proposed potential redevelopment opportunities to local brokers and developers by focusing on several sites throughout the county.
Sam Fulwood III of the Plain Dealer revisits the possibility of merging East Cleveland into Cleveland.
The Ohio Senate is considering legislation that would prevent citizens from using the referendum process to block the creation of new quarries in their communities.
The Cleveland Home & Garden Show features the debut of a pre-assembled house that utilizes green building principles. The H-Haus emphasizes energy and resource efficiency.
08 February 2006
Case and University Circle are discussing the possibility of CWRU diverting funds towards its own security department and away from the University Circle Police Department.
Cleveland ought to bridge the digital divide between the rich and the poor by providing inexpensive internet service and increasing community technology investments, asserts Bill Callahan, who responds to the recent selection of the city as a top seven intelligent community.
07 February 2006
Several municipalities throughout Northeast Ohio are drilling for natural gas at an increasing rate on property that they own.
Millions of gallons of water continue to be flushed through Brecksville fire hydrants in an effort to prevent water stagnation in pipes that were designed for higher levels of development projected prior to the creation of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority was referenced in an article about the Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority that raises concerns about the open-records requirements of these quasi-public authorities.
(via Brewed Fresh Daily)
Beachwood Place will undergo a $15 million expansion that will increase the mall's footprint by 10,000 square feet and will change the main entrance that faces Cedar Road.
The Ohio Second District Court of Appeals has ruled that a municipality may not appropriate property in excess of the stated purpose expressed in the ordinance authorizing the use of eminent domain.
06 February 2006
Public perception of the Cuyahoga Valley is improving and projects throughout the area are moving forward, according to advocates of the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative.
Housing values are not expected to fall in neighborhoods with high proportions of City of Cleveland employees, despite recently-passed State legislation banning municipal residency requirements.
Cleveland neighborhoods are increasingly turning to the use of security cameras that monitor public spaces in efforts to secure safety.
Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman calls on State leaders to focus efforts on Ohio cities and build a new urban agenda.
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, is soliciting photographs and oral histories from its visitors in order to better understand the parks' histories.
Plain Dealer music critic Donald Rosenburg writes about Severance Hall and its history, given its 75th anniversary as the Cleveland Orchestra's home.
A four-building block across Euclid Avenue from the proposed County Administration Building is the subject of plans for redevelopment into mixed-use buildings with condominiums.
03 February 2006
Rebuild Ohio, a new statewide group formed to address the challenge of vacant and abandoned properties, is offering opportunities for involvement through committee membership and meeting attendance. The group has also launched a mailing list, and you can subscribe by sending an empty message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says it is on schedule to meet a deadline of 2007 for having 50 plans to clean up state waterways. A 2004 court settlement established the deadline, and the agency intends to exceed its terms by preparing 110 plans. However, the plans' effectiveness will not be measured for years, with testing for some starting as late as 2021.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has installed the first of 17 backup generators at their sewage treatment plants, pump stations, and main office. The generators, intended to prevent a release of untreated sewage in the event of another major blackout, cost $15.2 million, less than the original estimate of $24.2 million.
The owners of Mapleside Farms in Brunswick signed an agreement with an affiliate of Parkview Homes to sell a portion of the 91 acre property for residential development.
At a meeting last week, Middleburg Heights residents expressed mixed reactions to a proposed 2.3 mile Cleveland Metroparks trail that would link Lake Abram and Lake Isaac.
An online survey conducted by Lakewood Alive about the Grow Lakewood Report found that residents are concerned about housing stock maintenance and commercial development.
Fairview Park leaders met with retail property owners and real estate brokers in hope of spurring interest in several vacant retail storefronts in the City.
Brooklyn City Council is expected to enact stricter guidelines for the maintenance of rental properties.
Cleveland Councilman Kevin Kelley is working to accelerate demolition plans for the former Memphis School, which was badly damaged by an arson fire in October.
02 February 2006
As part of their campaigns for state office, State Senator Timothy Grendell and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell are endorsing legislation that would prevent Ohio environmental regulations from being stricter than federal standards.
PolyOne Corp. will build an $8.2 million, 100,000 square foot expansion of its Avon Lake plant. The company will shift four manufacturing lines from its Broadview Heights plant, which it plans to close this summer.
01 February 2006
In April, the downtown Cleveland special improvement district will launch its "clean and safe" program, which will fund private "safety ambassadors" and maintenance crews.
Roldo Bartimole criticizes the Cuyahoga County Commissioners for their use of new taxes to fund major projects, including proposals for a new convention center and a new county administration building, and identifies the continuing costs of the Gateway project.