Today, Voices & Choices launched their Online Dialogues, a tool to gather more community input on regional priorities and actions. Also, the weblog I Will Shout Youngstown posted a review of the Regional Town Meeting held earlier this month, and Cool Cleveland continued their series of video profiles.
September 2006 Archives
29 September 2006
Suburban communities are not ready to work with one another despite the success of "no poaching" agreements between the City of Cleveland and some of its neighbors that has helped to spur regional cooperation.
A Plain Dealer editorial urges the City of Cleveland to exercise its leverage and enforce laws that would force lenders doing business with the City to reinvest in her neighborhoods.
The redevelopment of an entire neighborhood has been spurred by the creation of the Hyacinth Lofts in Slavic Village.
A court hearing will be held on October 4 about the McGill Property Group's attempt to back out of their purchase of the Cornerstone complex. In the meantime, the property is unofficially for sale again, as Mayor Zanotti of Parma Heights said, "If McGill doesn't want the property, we don't want him to have it. We want someone who wants to develop it."
A Plain Dealer op-ed argues that borrowers and neighborhoods are both hurt by practices on the part of lenders that charge higher mortgage rates to African-Americans.
A parking lot developer has purchased 6 acres of vacant land in Little Italy that is near a planned site for RTA's new East 120th Street rapid station that would serve University Circle.
This week's Brooklyn Sun Journal provides updates on the status of several downtown Cleveland housing developments.
Tom Feran of the Plain Dealer provides an explanation for the detailed questions that are part of the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
Downtown Cleveland's juxtaposition of new residents and people who are homeless is the subject of the latest installment of WKSU's series "Here Goes The Neighborhood."
The owners of the 14-acre Pickering Hill Farm on Detroit Road are seeking to change its zoning from residential to commercial. The Avon Planning Commission did not approve the rezoning, and is scheduled to reconsider the request on October 18.
A final decision about the routing and eventual northern terminus for the extension of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has not yet been made.
The finance director for the City of Solon is requesting a better estimate of the costs of making improvements to the SOM Center Road-Bainbridge Road intersection.
Berea, Olmsted Falls, and Strongsville will convene a series of town hall meetings to discuss the results of an ODOT study on reducing turnpike noise. The first meeting will be held on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ehrnfelt Recreation & Senior Center.
The City of Brecksville is planning to remove sediment from a channel through a wetland near Riverview Road and Greenhaven Parkway in order to address flooding issues in the city. Work is taking place with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in order to ensure that the actions improve the quality of the wetland.
The Tri-City Senior Center has begun a petition drive for a ballot issue that would, if passed in May, establish a joint recreation district.
The Lakewood Historical Society and the City of Lakewood are trying to raise $30,000 to move the historic Hall House from its threatened Detroit Avenue site.
In the City of Independence, a new residential development has been proposed. Thirty-seven small, single-family homes would be constructed under high-tension power lines, and the project has raised concerns about property values and effects on stormwater and flooding.
The Shaker Heights Neighborhood Revitalization Committee unanimously recommended authorizing the use of residential tax abatements in certain neighborhoods. The plan calls for five-year, 75% tax abatements on new single family homes over $200,000, and eight-year, 75% tax abatements for renovations of $80,000 or more.
28 September 2006
The City Club posted podcasts of recent speakers, including Ronn Richard's September 8 talk (MP3, 19 MB) on redefining the local economy, as well as the final program (MP3, 19.6 MB) in the "ReDeveloping Cleveland: Revitalizing Housing" series, titled "Thinking outside the House", and featuring Anthony Brancatelli, Jeffrey Ramsey, and Daryl Rush.
A congressional reauthorization may double the amount of funding available for fish and wildlife habitat in the Great Lakes
A request for Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission funding from the developer of a proposed soccer and retail facility in northern Summit County has raised an objection from a Northfield Center Township trustee who accuses the developer of backing out of a verbal committment to invest $90 million of their own money into the project.
The West Side Community House moves into its new facility this week. Their former building in Ohio City is expected to be converted into condominiums.
Reminder: a documentary on Cleveland's decline and possible regeneration will air tonight. In anticipation of the airing of Making Sense of Place: Cleveland, Confronting the Decline of an American City, Sam Fulwood III also comments on disinvestment in the city.
Neighborhood groups in Cleveland are becoming more involved in crime-prevention activities in the face of pervasive safety problems.
27 September 2006
The U.S. Coast Guard is presently convening a conference in Cleveland to discuss plans to prevent invasive species from further infiltrating the Great Lakes. It is estimated that one new non-native species is introduced into the lakes via ballast water discharges every six months.
Providing services to senior citizens and helping them to remain in their communities are addressed in the next installment of WKSU's series "Here Goes The Neighborhood".
26 September 2006
Rural areas such as Wayne County and they issues that they encounter as a result of a sparse population are the focus of WKSU's series "Here Goes the Neighborhood".
Lawyers for the Port Authority are arguing that fourteen lawsuits by property owners should be consolidated in order to prevent delays regarding the Flats East Bank eminent domain battles.
25 September 2006
Next week, Cuyahoga County Commissioners will choose an architect to design the new County Administrative Center, effectively deciding whether the Marcel Breuer-designed Ameritrust Tower will be demolished.
This week, WKSU is examining the diversity of Northeast Ohio's neighborhoods, beginning with the impact of the Spanish American Committee on Latino communities in Cleveland's westside.
The stagnant state economy continues to be a major issue among Ohioans. A Plain Dealer op-ed maintains that Northeast Ohio's priorities must be on investments in education and infrastructure, rather than tax-breaks. The editor of the Columbus Dispatch agrees, and adds that the state should encourage entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, the Toledo Blade has just published the second part of a four-part series examining how gubernatorial candidates may address how to improve the state's economy.
Battles over the development of the Clark Freeway and the Lee Freeway through the east side of Cuyahoga County led to the creation of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and became a model for community activism.
This Thursday, the Nature Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary and the successful fight against its destruction by highway interests.
Legislation to address eminent domain proceedings may be introduced in the State Legislature, partly in response to the Flats East Bank proceedings. Meanwhile, court proceedings have begun between the developer and current property owners.
A public park may be created along Lake County's Grand River to take the place of a neighborhood that was devastated in late July by floods.
Environmental concerns and slope subsidence from building on a landfill were not issues that precipitated putting Garfield Heights' City View Center on the market, according to the developer.
22 September 2006
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is being asked to support a plan for Northeast Ohio motorists to use fuels that may help reduce ozone levels.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson extended an invitation to the City of Akron to engage in regional cooperation centered on shared use of the City of Cleveland's water supply as well as revenue-sharing practices similar to Cleveland's agreements with Shaker Heights and Independence.
The George Gund Foundation awarded a $3.5 million grant to the Cleveland Institute of Art to plan its move to the University Circle Arts and Retail district.
The conversion of a Rockwell Avenue warehouse to a technology park is one of fourteen projects in Northeast Ohio vying for funding (PDF) through the Ohio Job Ready Sites program.
From 2001 to 2005, the City of Cleveland did not enforce laws that were designed to support reinvestment in its neighborhoods under the Community Reinvestment Act.
National Geographic has developed a new mapping website that includes attribute data and theme maps, and acts as an alternative to other online mapping utilities.
The Cities of Euclid and Mayfield Heights will be adversely affected by University Hospitals' planned move of 900 employees to the old OfficeMax headquarters in Shaker Heights. The two cities are not part of any tax-sharing plan.
Rocky River City Council is examining the results of a recently-completed study examining railroad-related noise and quiet zones.
The City of Strongsville is seeking a Homeland Security reimbursement that would go towards the construction of an outdoor swimming pool.
Plans by Olmsted Township to construct a new fire station and service garage have halted due to cost overruns.
21 September 2006
1,500 new residences and nearly one million square feet of commercial space are planned to be built throughout the Flats West Bank to complete the Stonebridge development. The developers also announced their intention to connect their project to Wendy Park on Whiskey Island.
Doug Price and Bob Corna discussed their plans with Henry Gomez of the Plain Dealer. The interview is available as an MP3 (8.5 MB) and as a stream (RealAudio).
The US EPA will issue a ruling regarding air pollution and whether or not to keep existing fine particle (soot) limits at their current levels. Coal-fueled power plants, industrial smokestacks, and diesel-powered and gasoline-fueled vehicles would be affected, as would children, the elderly, and asthma-sufferers.
20 September 2006
University Hospitals will move staff to the old OfficeMax headquarters in Shaker Heights. The Cities of Cleveland and Shaker Heights will engage in a cooperative tax-sharing agreement as part of the move.
The Canal Adventure continues from Valley View's Canal Visitors Center to Akron via the Towpath Trail and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
Governor Taft announced increased provisions and enhancements to the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which is designed to reduce sediment pollution that infiltrates the Western Lake Erie Watershed.
Communities and school districts continue to challenge claims by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals that their properties should remain tax-exempt.
Education and work-readiness must be the priorities of the region, according to participants in the Voices & Choices town hall meeting. Cool Cleveland interviewed participants and leaders in the effort.
19 September 2006
The historic Marcel Breuer-designed Ameritrust Tower must be preserved as a part of the County Administration Building complex, according to Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer.
Sixteen groups, including the County Planning Commission, signed an agreement to extend the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad into Downtown Cleveland.
More than 110 people interested in the Towpath Trail project attended a meeting last night, which was convened as a part of the multi-day "Canal Adventure", intended to increase awareness and support for maintaining the existing Trail and extending it north to Lake Erie.
A planned Westlake indoor ice rink may become the practice facility for a minor-league hockey team. The developers of the Westlake rink are also building similar projects in Geauga County's Chester Township and in Summit County.
The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board recommended listing Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places. A decision will be made by the end of the year.
18 September 2006
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland has developed a new website that describes the programs that they offer to homeowners while providing news regarding foreclosure initiatives.
GreenCityBlueLake summarizes the recently-held public meeting convened by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the dredging of Cleveland Harbor, including the lakefront area within the breakwalls and the Cuyahoga River Navigation Channel.
Far too many unqualified borrowers in Cleveland receive house-purchase loans, which contributes to excessively high foreclosure rates. Exacerbating the problem is a decrease in the number of housing inspections and code violation citations brought about by fewer and less-effective inspectors.
The City of Buffalo has been experiencing similar problems of residential abandonment and neighborhood blight, and has a documentary illustrating the problem.
The development of a bike station would enhance the City's quality of life, according to a plan advocated by Cleveland Bikes. The facility, which would be similar to a bike station in Chicago, is being planned for a space in a City-owned Gateway garage.
15 September 2006
A new website has been launched to promote the documentary "Making Sense of Place: Cleveland, Confronting the Decline of an American City", which will air on September 28th on WVIZ.
The University Circle Blog interviews University Architect and Campus Planner Margaret Carney of Case Western Reserve University, an advocate for establishing a University Circle "Design Review District".
Next week will see the opening of the inaugural North Olmsted Senior Center Housing Fair that will provide area senior citizens information and guidance concerning residential decisions.
The developer of a proposed soccer facility in northern Summit County wants the City of Macedonia to annex land in order to provide city services to the project and is also courting state funding for part of the development.
The City of Valley View will proceed with construction of an emergency access road that will be used in the event of future flooding in the Cuyahoga Valley.
Housing Advocates, Inc. may file lawsuits against several Greater Cleveland communities whose zoning codes may violate federal fair-housing laws by restricting housing choices for persons with mental and physical disabilities.
The City of Lakewood is attempting to address concerns of Ward 1 residents regarding bars and taverns on Detroit Avenue, and the litter, parking, and noise issues related to the businesses.
The City of Parma Heights may go to court to force the clean up and maintenance of the former Cornerstone development site.
A Civil War cemetery off of Rockside Road in the City of Seven Hills will remain in City ownership despite a "squatter's rights" claim by an adjacent property owner.
Nottingham and Collinwood homeowners groups are taking action to pressure the City of Cleveland to eliminate abandoned houses and improve curbs, lighting, and sidewalks.
The City of South Euclid has demolished an abandoned house on Whitehall Road as it continues its program to rid itself of nuisance residential properties, many of which face foreclosure.
The City of Beachwood will purchase a 20,000 s.f. warehouse/office building on Mercantile Road for expansion of its Service Department to anticipate the needs that will be brought about by future development at Chagrin Highlands. The City had previously purchased the Huiseman U.S. Army Reserve Center on Harvard Road for a similar purpose.
14 September 2006
Ohio would experience the sixth-largest CDBG funding cut in the nation, according to a new report that examines the ramifications of HUD-initiated proposed legislation. This cut would continue a trend of disinvestment in Ohio cities.
The Village of Chagrin Falls has hired a firm to draft new visions for the area along West Orange Street amidst increasing real-estate activity and the departure of a major private employer to Pepper Pike. This decision effectively scraps previous development plans presented to the Village by private developers.
Improvements to Cleveland's Airport System are being planned by the City of Cleveland, including potential income-generating changes to Cleveland Hopkins as well as a new master plan for Burke Lakefront Airport.
13 September 2006
Citizens of Northeast Ohio have fewer than 30 days to express their opinions and concerns about the Cleveland Innerbelt's Central Viaduct project.
This morning, the WCPN program The Sound of Ideas focused on sprawl and regional fragmentation as a part of the Voices & Choices agenda.
Plans have been revealed for the construction of an all-weather connector that would link the Great Lakes Science Center and the Steamship William G. Mather Museum. If approved by the City of Cleveland, the North Coast Harbor connector could be completed by Spring 2008.
In 2005, regardless of income, black Cuyahoga County residents were much more likely to receive high interest loans than white borrowers, according to a Federal Reserve report (PDF- 561kb) that interpreted HMDA data released last week. It is postulated that predatory lending practices have contributed to this inequity.
12 September 2006
The Tinkers Creek aqueduct will undergo reconstruction to replace the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's historic structure that carries water over the Ohio & Erie Canal to the Cuyahoga River.
The First Suburbs Consortium original duplex conversion in Cleveland Heights to demonstrate how older residences can be renovated to meet current market preferences remains unsold after a year of being on the market.
The Windows Live™ Local website now includes aerial and oblique photography of Cleveland, allowing the visitor to view geographic areas from four different perspectives.
Regionalism must be paired with equity if all of Northeast Ohio is to benefit from ongoing and upcoming discussions and plans spurred by Voices & Choices, according to an op-ed by Lonzo Coleman of The Presidents' Council.
The Hyacinth Lofts project in Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood is helping make Cleveland more attractive for filmmakers.
Input and active engagement by the public drastically improved the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Main Library expansion and renovation, according to Steven Litt.
Last Friday's City Club speaker, Ronn Richard- President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, focused on the redefinition of Cleveland as a post-industrial city, including the evolution of current manufacturing strengths, a special emphasis on the advanced energy strategy, and the development of a comprehensive regional economic plan with a long-term view.
A same-day model tested this past summer at Huntington Beach to determine when bacteria levels were unsafe for swimming has shown an 80% accuracy rate. Similar models are being tested for other Cleveland-area Lake Erie beaches.
11 September 2006
Criticisms are being raised about the use of public financing from the Port Authority for the Cleveland Cavaliers practice facility.
08 September 2006
ODOT has finally released its Conceptual Alternatives Study for the Cleveland Innerbelt project after several months of delays.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is seeking a series of rate increases that will be used to fund projects that will reduce pollution flowing into the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. A series of public meetings will be convened over the last two weeks of September.
Cuyahoga County Commissioners voted against rebuilding the Chagrin River Road bridge across the Chagrin River between Miles and Solon Roads after evaluating a study that concluded that the new bridge would not significantly improve traffic in southeastern Cuyahoga County.
The Cities of Lakewood and Westlake are competing against each other to either retain or attract the Beck Center, respectively.
The Cleveland City Planning Commission has approved plans for two public art installations: the WindWorks artwork that will complement the Great Lakes Science Center wind turbine, and a sculpture that will be sited within the Quigley Road roundabout.
North Royalton residents and leaders from the City and school district continue to hope for the awarding of a Clean Ohio Conservation grant that would create a 15 acre protected riparian area along Chippewa Creek.
A Chagrin Herald Sun article provides additional detail on the Village of Moreland Hills' plan to create the Forest Ridge Preserve, a 115 acre nature preserve along Chagrin River Road. The most recent land purchase may be aided by a $50,000 federal grant. ODNR has also recommended funding for two other Northeast Ohio projects.
The City of Cleveland and RTA will decide whether to extend transit improvements along Pearl Road to include sections of State and Broadview Roads. The Brooklyn-Brighton Community Development Corporation (formed from the merger of two Old Brooklyn area CDCs) will submit a scope of work by the end of the month.
Residents in the City of South Euclid will continue their fight to block the Stoneridge Place development by seeking redress though the Ohio Supreme Court.
A company in Euclid has filed a lawsuit seeking permission to crush concrete on its Lakeland Boulevard site. While the City forbids rock crushing, Calabrese Enterprises maintains that concrete crushing is permitted and argues that the process will lead to the eventual construction of office buildings on its property.
07 September 2006
Parma residents adjacent to reconstruction of York Road and Pleasant Valley Road are bothered by the soil used for the project and question its safety.
06 September 2006
The US Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a public meeting at the Carnegie West Branch of the Cleveland Public Library in order to solict input about the dredging of the Cuyahoga River.
Residents in Sheffield bemoan the transformation of their quiet residential neighborhood into a heavily-trafficked commercial district.
The pedestrian bridge spanning Lee Road will be unveiled as a part of today's Cleveland Heights-University Heights Main Library grand reopening. The sometimes controversial structure serves as the centerpiece of the Library/Cultural Arts Center.
A Plain Dealer editorial exhorts Clevelanders to do something to address poverty amidst statewide difficulties in retaining jobs and wealth.
Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer praises the new Cleveland State University Recreation Center, which is the latest project in the rebuilding of the Downtown campus.
The Cleveland City Planning Commission voted to approve a project that would change the East 12th Street area by removing medians and creating more parking and bike lanes while widening sidewalks. In the meantime, the developer of the Avenue District expects to break ground soon.
In a decision that improves the health of the Chippewa Creek watershed, the North Royalton School Board voted to effectively create a 15 acre conservation easement by selling 10 acres of land to the City of North Royalton for preservation and placing another 5 acres along the Creek under the same easement. The land was previously proposed for residential development, which would have exacerbated flooding problems in North Royalton, Brecksville, and Broadview Heights. The sale still requires the awarding of a state conservation grant.
The City Club's third panel discussion podcast (MP3, 20.4 MB) in their "ReDeveloping Cleveland: Revitalizing Housing" series is titled "Affordable Housing". Featured panelists were John O. Anoliefo- director of the Famicos Foundation, Mark McDermott of the Central Region Enterprise Community Partners, and Marge Misak of the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust.
01 September 2006
A new report from the Center for Community Solutions says that hunger has increased in the City of Cleveland and suburban Cuyahoga County. In addition, some analysts feel that the poverty figures in the American Community Survey provide more evidence that the middle class is shrinking.
The US Army will likely scrap its plans to burn old buildings contaminated with PCBs at the Ravenna Arsenal because of a decision by the US EPA.
The court-appointed receiver for the former Cornerstone development in Parma Heights is asking a judge to find the McGill Property Group in contempt of court for backing out of the project.
North Olmsted officials are in the midst of preparing a recreation master plan for the city, and presented scenarios to residents at meetings on August 25 and 26. The slideshow from the meetings (PDF, 3.9 MB) is available online.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell continues to promote his plan to lease the Ohio Turnpike, and now says some money raised from the lease could go to highway projects, with priority given to those along the Turnpike.