The Sun News profiles the work being done by FIRST, a new organization formed through the Senior Transportation Connection that facilitates the movement of senior citizens to doctors, meal programs and jobs.
March 2006 Archives
31 March 2006
Legislation has been introduced in Middleburg Heights for an economic development director position and the creation of a Community Reinvestment Area, within which businesses can apply for tax abatements.
(Update: The Plain Dealer reports that the position was established to fight poaching by other cities.)
Cleveland City Council passed a budget this week that will include funding increases for demolishing blighted structures, maintaining vacant properties, and targeting vicious dogs loose in neighborhoods.
The Links golf course located in Olmsted Township will be reduced to nine holes, with the remaining land sold for developement. The land is zoned for residential development.
The Berea Neighborhood Development Corporation is assisting organized citizen groups to improve their neighborhoods through lawn maintenance, exterior painting, and landscaping projects.
The City of Berea is seeking a developer for the Greenhouse Vegetable Packing building, located on West Bagley Road.
30 March 2006
Yesterday, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced the appointment of the team that will push his economic development agenda. The two new members have significant sustainability backgrounds: Michael Montgomery, the Chief of Regional Development, led Portland's River Renaissance Initiative and Brian Reilly, Economic Development Director, was instrumental in the redevelopment of Milwaukee's Menominee River Valley.
The postponement of work by the Convention Facilities Authority due to the consideration of the "Medical Mart" concept has led to a request to temporarily redirect funding to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Ohio General Assembly passed several bills on Wednesday, including a provision allowing for the funding of arts through cigarette taxes, the predatory lending bill, and the air pollution exemption bill.
29 March 2006
Roldo Bartimole looks at the current discussions about tax abatements and recounts their use in Cleveland over the last 30 years.
Steve Litt reports on Cleveland State University's selection of an architect for its new $40 million student center on Euclid Avenue, and sees the choice of Charles Gwathmey (who designed the adaptive reuse of the University of Cincinnati's Tangeman University Center) as part of a local trend away from conventional architecture.
A Plain Dealer editorial discourages the Ohio House from making lobbyist-directed changes that will further weaken the predatory lending bill.
The Cleveland Municipal School District Board will convene a special public meeting this evening to discuss the future of the Bond Accountability Commission, which was intended to oversee the District's school construction project.
The Ohio Senate has passed legislation changing how the state regulates air pollution. The House will now consider the bill, which was pushed by the chemical, petroleum and manufacturing industries, and which is labelled by opponents as the "bad air bill."
28 March 2006
Garfield Heights City Council approved $3.5 million for improvements to the 47 acre Hathaway Park. An outdoor recreation complex will be developed on the site of the former Wargo Farm.
Middleburg Heights City Council is expected to vote tonight on legislation for an easement for the Lake-to-Lake Trail proposed by the Cleveland Metroparks.
Charter One will launch the Charter One UPtown Initiative, a plan to invest $150 million in grants and low-interest loans in University Circle and its surrounding neighborhoods over the next three years. $100 million is slated for economic development, and $50 million for housing.
Most property owners in the Flats east bank have in recent years sought property devaluations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision. The revised valuations lowered property taxes, but also may lead to lower purchase offers in the Flats east bank redevelopment project.
(Update: Chas Rich discusses eminent domain as used by one large developer against another.)
Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer takes a look at changes and plans at the Cleveland Institute of Art, among them the possibility of consolidating the campus around the Joseph McCullough Center on Euclid Avenue.
DirtWorld.com examines the prospects for mountain biking in national parks, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Cleveland Cavaliers will build a $20 million practice facility on a wooded lot near Brecksville and Rockside Roads in Independence. The Cities of Cleveland and Independence will evenly split income tax revenue, and Independence will get all of the property tax revenue. Construction is scheduled to be completed in fall 2007.
(Update: A Plain Dealer editorial lauds the cooperation between Cleveland and Independence.)
27 March 2006
Scott Muscatello's report of the March 17, 2006 Cleveland City Planning Commission meeting includes details on plans by the Cleveland Housing Network, discussion over the temporary storage of trolleys in a Lakefront warehouse, and the extension of East 17th Street between Euclid Avenue to Prospect Avenue.
University Circle's Cozad-Bates House will be the focus of a public meeting on Friday, April 7 at Cleveland City Hall to discuss its possible designation as a Cleveland Landmark.
Kent State's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative will host an exhibit showcasing the portfolios of the six architecture firms competing to design the new Museum of Contemporary Art building. It will be open from March 31 to May 15 at the CUDC and from April 7 to May 15 at MOCA.
Cleveland City Council approved nuisance abatement legislation that will permit the city to clean up vacant and abandoned properties.
The use of cleaner-burning gasoline may be mandated in Northeast Ohio in order to bring the region into compliance for ozone by April 2010. NOACA will continue to review recommendations to address air quality.
A report by the Ohio PIRG says that Ohio has the most point-source discharge violations (including sewer discharges) under federal clean water permits than any other state.
CMHA has presented to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development its plans for the Riverview HOPE VI project, while the Ohio City Near West Development Corp. submitted its own alternative plan to the federal agency.
Laketran and the City of Painesville have received a $75,000 grant from NOACA for developing a "lifestyle transit center" that will link public transportation service, multipurpose trails, and retail development on one site.
24 March 2006
Some Hudson residents spoke out in opposition to Middleton Park Manor, a proposed 46 unit residential development for a 27.5 acre site at Stow and Middleton Roads. The Hudson Planning Commission made no decision, and will continue the discussion at its April 10 meeting.
Construction of the Saint Luke's Pointe project on the site of the former St. Luke's Medical Center near Shaker Square has been slower than envisioned. Developers hope that the project will gain momentum by hosting the Citirama home show in September.
Last week, Hunting Valley Village Council approved a cluster home ordinance that permits a maximum density of six units per 30 acres.
Casino proponents agreed on ballot language for a constitutional amendment that would authorize slots-only casinos at sites including Thistledown, Northfield Park, Tower City, and the Nautica complex in the Flats. Supporters plan to spend $12 million or more to promote the issue, but three of the four candidates for Ohio Governor oppose the proposal.
(Update: Local officials want to increase the tax rate on slots proceeds)
23 March 2006
Steven Fong, dean of Kent State University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design and advocate for innovative Cleveland architecture, is planning to move the University's entire graduate program in architecture to Cleveland.
Despite opposition from clean air advocates, an Ohio Senate committee supported an industry-backed bill to streamline the air pollution permit process. The full Senate will consider the legislation next week.
A Cleveland Botanical Garden program extolled the virtues of landscaping with native plants, asserting that the restoration of backyard prairie habitat saves money, is easier to maintain, and is better for the environment.
22 March 2006
The Ohio House of Representatives passed a resolution in support of a proposed Constitutional amendment that would exclude non-citizen immigrants from U.S. Census counts.
Racetrack owners and developers are close to an agreement to put a casino gambling issue on the statewide November ballot.
(Update: Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones comments on behalf of Northeast Ohio officials dissatisfied with the issue as written.)
21 March 2006
WCPN has collected all of their Innerbelt coverage in a new section of their site called Inner Belt Rehab.
Ohio environmental groups lashed out at air pollution legislation in the Ohio House and Senate that they have dubbed the "Bad Air Bill".
(Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial disputes the need for the bills, asking, "Isn't Ohio's air dirty enough?")
Case Western Reserve University has posted its Master Plan which is intended to guide campus development over the next several years.
20 March 2006
In an op-ed piece for the Akron Beacon Journal, Steven H. Steinglass, dean emeritus for the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, explains why the U.S. Supreme Court may not be able to provide clarity in the Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler case regarding how states may use tax incentives to retain industry.
Cleveland Metroparks' annual budget will include funding for planning Parma's West Creek Reservation, opening the First Tee golf facility in Cleveland's Washington Park, and construction of the Towpath Trail Bridges in Valley View.
The Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District may approve a rule prohibiting local landfills from accepting waste from Ohio counties that have a lower recycling rate than the District's. This change should not affect Cuyahoga County, which has a recycling rate of 29%, higher than the three-county district's 8% rate.
Saturday's Plain Dealer Community News Briefs covered the approval by Cleveland City Planning Commission of a 70-unit apartment building at East 100th Street and St. Clair Avenue. The building is part of the Cleveland Housing Network's plan to create affordable housing for the chronically homeless. The Planning Commission also recommended that the City lease a warehouse on the lakefront for temporary storage of 40 historic trolleys that would eventually be moved to a permanent trolley museum off of East 9th Street.
17 March 2006
John Kuehner reports on two pollution-related projects: the upcoming construction of a sewer tunnel to mitigate combined sewer overflows through Dugway Creek on Cleveland's eastside, and an upcoming public meeting by Ohio Citizen Action to address air pollution emanating from the Cuyahoga Valley.
A fire yesterday destroyed at least four houses and damaged others in the Ashbury Towers development under construction at West 53rd Street and Walworth Avenue in Cleveland.
The Museum of Contemporary Art has selected six architecture firms that will compete to design its new University Circle home.
TransCon Builders have proposed a golf club community for seniors on 32.1 acres east of Hawthorne Valley County Club on Aurora Road in Solon, but have not yet submitted a site plan.
On February 28, a Lorain County Common Pleas Court judge ruled that the current two-family residential zoning of a 13 acre site south of Avon Commons is unsuitable because of surrounding commercial development. The Avon Planning Commission will consider the zoning of both this site and another controversial proposal at a special meeting on Wednesday.
Brook Park City Council is expected to reject a proposal for a multipurpose trail along Cedar Point Road. Council members cited negative reactions from neighbors of the proposed trail.
Prospective tenants for the Westgate redevelopment include a bookstore and an "upscale, specialty grocery store".
On Tuesday, neighbors of the proposed Stoneridge Place development in South Euclid discussed the possibility of building a public road on an easement off of Trebisky Road, between Monticello Boulevard and Ammon Road.
Great Lakes Resources acquired Green Lite Shopping Center in Collinwood last year, and demolished the rear 21,000 square feet of the plaza. They intend to sell the rear portion of the site to Rysar Properties for development as Duggan Place, a 32 unit single-family housing development. Improvements have been proposed for the remaining section, renamed Village Green Shopping Center.
The Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine will move from University Circle to the former Realty One building in Independence. City Council recently approved a financial offer from the college intended to offset a loss in property tax revenue.
Noise barriers along I-71 in Cleveland's west side will likely be built of brick, since the material was favored by a majority of residents. ODOT intends to solicit bids for the work in July.
16 March 2006
Population shifts from Cuyahoga County to the surrounding counties continue to accelerate, according to county population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Ohio's population growth remained flat, with the largest gains in suburban counties and most major urban counties in the state registering losses.
A Plain Dealer editorial decries the poor judgement that has led to the postponement of the opening of the West Third Street bridge.
The Ohio City Near West Development Corporation has decided not to support CMHA's plan for affordable housing through its Riverview HOPE VI project.
The Downtown Cleveland Alliance has chosen a firm to oversee its "clean and safe" program throughout the downtown special improvement district.
General Electric's Nela Park complex in East Cleveland will expand its focus beyond lighting technologies to include monitoring and switching roles in a move that will increase attendance at the institute.
The previously-threatened historic Singletary House in Streetsboro will be moved to a new location and eventually renovated thanks to an agreement between the City, the developer of Streetsboro Commons, main tenant Wal-Mart, and the Streetsboro Heritage Foundation.
15 March 2006
Subsidized and market-rate units will be indistinguishable from each other among the 110 rental units slated for CMHA's Valleyview Homes HOPE VI redevelopment.
The Cleveland Institute of Art is considering selling its main classroom building in University Circle and consolidating its campus around its existing McCullough Center in the arts and retail district on Mayfield and Euclid Avenues. Representatives of the art institute hope that the vacated property adjacent to the Museum of Art would be the site of an architecturally significant residential development.
14 March 2006
Most Greater Cleveland counties are not pursuing funding available from the Angels On Track Foundation for improving railroad crossings.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park reported approximately 2.5 million recreational visits in 2005 (PDF), down from the 3.3 million reported last year. It was the eighth most visited national park in the nation.
13 March 2006
Cleveland City Council has pushed for additional funding to expand its program to deal with vacant and abandoned properties.
10 March 2006
An Avon City Councilman recommends studying the development impacts that the proposed new I-90 interchange will have on the community. Meanwhile, the planner hired by the City to update their master plan notes the continued population growth amidst residents' desires to maintain the City's rural character.
Residents of the City of Olmsted Falls will meet to discuss the formation of an Olmsted Falls Historical Society, independent from the existing Olmsted Historical Society, which covers the boundaries of the original Olmsted Township.
The Planning Commissions for the Cities of Fairview Park and Rocky River continue to independently review plans for the redevelopment of the Westgate Shopping Center.
Voters in Seven Hills will decide whether to approve a charter amendment that would permit the formation of a new planned unit development designation for the 70 acre Rockside Terrace mixed-use project. City Council has placed the issue on the May 2nd ballot.
Solon City Council will wait for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval of a wetlands mitigation plan submitted by Gross Builders before they decide whether to approve the developer's plan for the Carrington Court senior residential project on Aurora Road.
Work is progressing on the development in Parma Heights that has replaced the troubled Cornerstone project. McGill Property Group is expected to formally take over the property in mid-March.
The Ohio Supreme Court will not reconsider its earlier ruling blocking the Jaylin Investments's Owl Ridge cluster development that would have violated the Village of Moreland Hills's zoning code.
The owners of the Cleveland Motel have won an injunction that blocks health inspections by the City of Fairview Park and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, pending court review. The Lorain Road motel has a history of violations and maintenance problems.
The former South Brooklyn Branch of the Cleveland Public Library will be converted into a small-business incubator. Alternatively, the building could be used as the the home of a development corportation formed by the merger of Old Brooklyn Neighborhood Services and Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
The City of Berea may install landscaped traffic islands in Front Street, similar to those put in as part of the Bagley Road streetscape improvements.
Public sentiment at last night's meeting supported the restoration and redevelopment of the former Coast Guard station on Whiskey Island, which is in dire need of repair. Cleveland City Planners and their consultants to develop a final plan for the historic site over the next several months.
Cuyahoga Valley mayors had an opportunity to review the signs that will be used to mark the Ohio & Erie Canalway Scenic Byway and Towpath Trail. The project recently received a $400,000 federal grant, which must be matched locally with $100,000.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has given CMHA a March 22nd deadline to acquire control of several sites throughout Ohio City for the Riverview HOPE VI project. Some of the sites are being contested by local residents and OCNW for various reasons.
The cables for the West Third Street Bridge are too short to allow vehicles to cross the Cuyahoga River, thus postponing the opening of the bridge from mid-June to around Labor Day. ODOT, the contractor, and the designer all claim that they are not culpable, and the cost of solving the problem has not yet been established.
Cuyahoga County will launch a new service to assist homeowners who face foreclosure. Modeled after the national Don't Borrow Trouble campaign, the local program will use the United Way of Greater Cleveland's First Call for Help hotline.
09 March 2006
Channel 3 reports on a new video by the Greater Cleveland Partnership that highlights development projects in Cleveland.
The Cleveland City Planning Commission will host a public meeting this evening to discuss the future of the former Coast Guard station on Whiskey Island.
More suburbs want to emulate Westlake's Crocker Park to by attracting young single professionals with new walkable developments. Among the municipalities attempting to create new "town centers" are Parma Heights, Seven Hills, and North Royalton.
08 March 2006
WCPN's Dan Moulthrop interviewed Melissa Holbrook Pierson about her new book, The Place You Love is Gone: Progress Hits Home, and her hometown of Akron.
An Ohio House committee chaired by Speaker Jon Husted unanimously voted to support a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would exclude illegal immigrants from U.S. Census counts.
The Brookings Institution released a report on racial demographic shifts throughout metropolitan areas. The result of white retirees moving to southern states and Blacks, Latinos, and Asians moving to areas with job growth tend to be population stagnation in Northeastern and Midwestern cities like Cleveland.
07 March 2006
WCPN describes work being done by volunteers to catalogue seasonal wetlands through the Ohio Vernal Pool Partnership in an effort to identify and protect these areas from destruction through development.
The Cleveland Foundation has tapped Richard Steubi as the BP Fellow for Energy and Environmental Advancement. Mr. Steubi's job will be to use the region's existing assets as the foundation for focusing efforts towards developing and growing Northeast Ohio's renewable energy industry.
The 2006 Canalway Symposium, titled "Implementing Regional Innovations", will be held on Wednesday, April 5, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m at the Akron-Summit County Public Library Main Library. Registration is $20.
Following a recent report on first suburbs, the New York Times interviewed Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution about suburbia.
(via Crain's Cleveland Business)
Yesterday, workers fit the rebuilt span of the West Third Street Lift Bridge into place across the Cuyahoga River. The bridge is scheduled to be operational by late spring.
Mittal Steel and the Ohio & Erie Canal Association each pledged $45,000 for development of the steel heritage exhibit at Steelyard Commons.
In a decision that pleased both sides, the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday decided an eight year dispute over water rights issues and set rules governing the City of Akron's diversion of the Cuyahoga River into Lake Rockwell.
(Update: An Akron Beacon Journal editorial calls for increased regional cooperation to avoid similar conflicts in the future.)
06 March 2006
The penultimate installment of WKSU's series on regionalism focuses on the coordination of transportation infrastructure planning and mentions work on the West Shoreway and the Innerbelt.
Saturday's Community News Briefs mentions the departure of Greg Huth, the Economic Development Director of the City of Cleveland, to Kahn Kleinman, LPA, the impending annexation of 226 acres of Carlisle Township to the City of Elyria for residential development, and an upcoming public meeting of the Northfield Center Township Board of Trustees to discuss the soccer stadium and "lifestyle center" on Ohio 8 and East Twinsburg Road.
03 March 2006
As the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative looks to expand its community collaborations, a new position for a Cuyahoga Valley Coordinator is available. The application deadline is March 22.
About 65 residents attended a South Euclid Planning Commission meeting about Stoneridge Place, a proposed 16 unit housing development on 4.5 acres between Trebisky and Ammon Roads.
The Cleveland Municipal School District purchased a 13 acre lot at West 65th Street and Walworth Avenue from WIRE-Net for $1.4 million. Construction of a new $40 million high school is scheduled to begin next year and end in 2009.
The Krather Building and the Masonic Temple Building, historic three story buildings in Brooklyn Centre, are being redeveloped as market-rate apartments with first floor retail.
After a three-hour discussion, the Bay Village Planning Commission tabled the expansion request for Bradley Bay Health Center, at the request of owner John O'Neill. He intends to study the feasibility of a smaller expansion.
The News Sun reports on a pledge forbidding business poaching that is being explored by the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association.
Strongsville officials are working with the Turnpike Commission and the Illuminating Company to plant trees in the hope of reducing noise from the widened turnpike.
Plans for senior housing at St. Wenceslas in Maple Heights were approved by church parishioners and a request for a zoning change has been submitted to the city. The plans for St. Wenceslas Senior Apartments call for a new three story building with 54 two bedroom units and converting the school to about 50 one bedroom units.
Chagrin Falls Village Council approved a reduction in the number parking spaces required for restaurants, and the owner of a nearby shopping plaza responded by announcing that he would let a municipal lease of 200 parking spaces expire in July.
Mayor Canty of Bentleyville sent out a letter about a possible reconstruction of the Chagrin River Road Bridge prior to the completion of a study, much to the dismay of Cuyahoga County Engineer Bob Klaiber.
The Coral Company intends to redesign the attached housing units proposed for the Shores of Edgecliff in Euclid, and hopes to replace a planned pair of two-unit buildings with three-unit structures.
Accommodating both development and environmental needs in the Cuyahoga Valley is the focus of today's WKSU series on regionalism. While growing communities such as Brecksville and Independence host additional development, the environmental impacts of our land use decisions threaten not only the health of the Cuyahoga River and its streams, but also negatively impact basic needs, as seen in this winter's drinking water problems that the City of Akron faced as a result of upstream nutrient loads.
Balancing market-rate and affordable housing continues to be a struggle in Ohio City where Councilman Joe Santiago has threatened to withhold some of his CDBG money from Ohio City Near West Development Group, charging that the development group's actions are pricing lower-income residents out of the neighborhood. The dispute may eliminate a site on West 41st Street and Lorain Avenue from consideration from CMHA's Riverview HOPE VI project.
The repeal of Ohio's commercial property tax rollback is being challenged by apartment owners and trade groups who argue that taxing larger apartment complexes at commercial rates will negatively impact renters.
02 March 2006
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Cuyahoga Falls, the Ohio Environmental Council, and Metro Parks Serving Summit County remain united in their opposition to the Gorge Park Dam while Advanced Hydro Solutions moves forward in its attempt to develop the hydroelectric project on the Cuyahoga River.
The Community Briefs section of the Plain Dealer mentions an upcoming CSU Levin College of Urban Affairs symposium on rebuilding New Orleans that will address factors of race, population loss, and poverty that beset both Cleveland and New Orleans.
Also, the Ohio EPA has given the U.S. Army Reserve approval to fill in existing wetlands and remove trees to facilitate their move to Twinsburg, provided that they replace the removed natural assets.
01 March 2006
Cleveland's suburbs are turning to intermunicipal cooperation to provide better services which could lead to increased sharing of resources, according to WKSU's latest feature on regionalism.
An agreement with a Cuyahoga Valley business has been reached that would lead to the amelioration of odors coming from the plant.
Money spent on Cleveland Municipal School District's short-term Warm, Safe, and Dry program, which is a part of the larger school construction project, was sometimes spent on rehabilitating schools that were subsequently closed due to other structural problems or declining enrollment. The Bond Accountability Commission that was supposed to oversee the repairs has not met since last September.
The City of Cleveland will host a pair of public workshops to show neighborhood block groups how to write proposals for the Cityworks Neighborhood Matching Grant Program
The City of Lorain's law director may modify a proposed sexual predator ordinance restricting where convicted offenders can live. Changes could also be made to the 2,500 foot radius in order to allow the law to withstand a court challenge.
An illustration of the challenges faced by inner-ring suburbs that seek redevelopment and the need for a regional development fund is seen in the delays besetting the rehabilitation of the existing retail strip near the construction of new residences in the Shaker Towne Center area.