Mark Rosentraub is stepping down as dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, but will remain on the college's faculty. An interim dean could be named as early as the middle of next week.
September 2007 Archives
28 September 2007
Several developers are quietly working to build a "collegetown" on Euclid Avenue across from Cleveland State University. They plan to eventually build 300 housing units and 100,000 square feet of ground-level retail.
At his lecture at Case Western Reserve yesterday, Robert Bruegmann said that urban sprawl is neither new nor bad. He was also optimistic about Cleveland's future, saying, "Unless the opportunity is squandered, unless the remarkable investment in assets is squandered, Cleveland and Northeast Ohio are poised to do very remarkable things in the 21st century."
North Royalton City Council is considering a measure that would require wetlands or riparian areas lost to development to be remediated within the City. If suitable sites are unavailable, mitigation could be done outside of the City.
The North Royalton Greenways Plan remains stuck in a City Council committee because its sponsors fear that City Council would not approve it.
North Royalton officials will request another extension for meeting job creation requirements in a grant the City received for the York Road industrial park. The City will have to repay the grant if it is unable to obtain the extension.
Cleveland City Council is expected to vote on a $1.5 million Core City loan for the planned $6.7 million renovation of the Capitol Theater at West 65th Street and Detroit Avenue.
The master planning process for John Carroll University is taking longer than expected. Sasaki Associates is preparing the plan and is currently gathering information. Representatives from the University and Sasaki are scheduled to meet with community leaders next month and plan to hold a community meeting in late November or early December.
The Cleveland Heights Landmarks Commission designated the 1896 Elizabeth Keyes Churchill House on Chestnut Hills Drive as a Cleveland Heights Landmark.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections unanimously upheld a protest by the Westlake school board and removed an advisory zoning issue from the November ballot. City officials have not decided if they will appeal the decision.
27 September 2007
Leaders of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District continue to promote the idea of regionalizing stormwater management in Greater Cleveland. Municipalities are currently responsible for stormwater issues, and NEORSD asserts that a regional approach could help communities meet federal EPA requirements.
At a meeting with state officials, Northeast Ohio economic development experts shared their dissatisfaction with the funding formulas for the Ohio Job Ready Sites program, which they say encourage urban sprawl.
The unstable slopes of Irishtown Bend in Cleveland forced the closure of Riverbed Street in 2005 and threaten to collapse an aging 60 inch sewer pipe. Rick Switalski, manager of sewer design for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, says that "Failure is imminent, and we have to do something right away."
A group of local foundations hired the Center for Governmental Research Inc. of Rochester to conduct a study on the costs of government fragmentation in Northeast Ohio.
26 September 2007
The Cleveland Section of the Ohio Planning Conference continues its sponsorship of American Planning Association web conferences with a program on LEED for neighborhoods on October 3 at NOACA. It is free for OPC members and guests. Information about additional web conferences can be found on the OPC events calendar.
The Plain Dealer depicts the Rocky River Harbor neighborhood in Lakewood and Rocky River as a quirky and colorful place.
The City of Solon and the Cleveland Metroparks are working to add 14 acres to the 72 acre North Branch Preserve. The preserve is adjacent to the Metroparks' South Chagrin Reservation.
Cleveland will host a satellite Bioneers conference at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University on October 19-21. The event, which focuses on sustainability, will feature satellite feeds of speakers and several tours of local environmental highlights.
25 September 2007
The Cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland reached a deal on the water main maintenance and no poaching agreement proposed by Cleveland officials. The cities had been negotiating for over a year.
The Coral Co. wants to build a mixed-use lifestyle center in Solon on land east of SOM Center Road between Solon and Bainbridge Roads. Residents on Sharondale, West Sharondale, and Jaclyn Drives report that the company wants to buy their houses and raze them to make way for the development.
Despite the threat of a presidential veto, the US Senate approved the Water Resources Development Act, a bill authorizing $23 billion in water resource projects, by a vote of 81 to 12.
Some analysts say that Cedar Fair's decision to close Geauga Lake can be attributed to the company's dismantling of the marine park.
Crain's Cleveland Business examined the Medical Forum in Birmingham, Alabama, an unsuccessful attempt in the early 1990s to establish a medical showroom facility similar to the planned Medical Mart in Cleveland.
Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher will speak to the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance on October 1 at 1:30 p.m. at US Bank Center on Euclid Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.
The Plain Dealer suggested that Cleveland's decision to keep Burke Lakefront Airport open was influenced by the City's desire to please Continental Airlines. Cleveland Director of Port Control Ricky Smith appeared on Monday's Sound of Ideas on WCPN to discuss airport issues.
24 September 2007
The Plain Dealer looked at how retirement communities are being developed to meet the needs of aging baby boomers.
A NOACA air quality subcommittee issued its recommendations (PDF) for bringing the area into attainment with federal fine particle pollution standards, and AMATS is finalizing a similar set of recommendations. The recommendations include establishing a voluntary program for retrofitting diesel engines.
(Update: AMATS issued its recommendations.)
In an apparent effort get the delayed project started, the planned reconstruction and calming of the West Shoreway has been divided into two phases. Rising prices have created a $15 million funding shortfall for the first phase.
The Cleveland City Planning Commission approved a development plan for the Warehouse District on Friday. The plan establishes design concepts for streets, sidewalks, and nearby land. It calls for adding greenspace, enhancing the neighborhood's sense of place, and improving its pedestrian friendliness.
With the Euclid Corridor project scheduled for completion next year, reinvestment in Euclid Avenue buildings is underway. The Victory Building at East 71st Street will be converted to loft apartments with ground floor retail, and Cuyahoga County provided an $800,000 construction loan for University Lofts, 30 apartments on the upper floors of two buildings at 2010 and 2020 Euclid.
The Cleveland Foundation awarded $13.5 million in grants, including $1 million to Case Western Reserve University for the development of the University Arts and Retail District, $150,000 to Neighborhood Progress Inc. to support its foreclosure prevention and abandoned property redevelopment initiative, and $70,000 to Baldwin-Wallace College for the southwest Cuyahoga County fire service regionalization project.
Growing Cooler, a new report published by the Urban Land Institute, concludes that "urban development is both a key contributor to climate change and an essential factor in combating it."
The Hanna Theatre at Playhouse Square will undergo a $20 million renovation. Work could begin as soon as December and be completed by next fall.
Developers revealed a shortlist of six architecture firms as candidates to design the Arts and Retail District in University Circle. It includes several highly respected national firms, and the developers may select more than one. They expect to make a decision in a week to ten days.
On Friday, Cedar Fair announced that Geauga Lake will be permanently closed and its rides moved to other parks or sold. The nearby Wildwater Kingdom water park will remain open.
21 September 2007
A Plain Dealer editorial says that since Burke Lakefront Airport will remain open, "it is essential that it be turned into an honest-to-goodness airport that serves the city's needs".
On Monday, several Cleveland Heights councilmembers spoke out against the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon.
The City of Brunswick continues to see rapid commercial, industrial, and residential development.
TransCon Builders reintroduced its proposal to build a senior housing subdivision next to Hawthorne Valley Country Club in Solon. The development was rejected by voters in May. They expanded the proposal to cover as many as 184 new homes on 61.6 acres, but also pledged that the country club would be preserved as a golf course or a park.
An earlier agreement with a consulting firm collapsed, so Walton Hills Village Council reopened its search for economic development assistance.
Several Edgerton Road residents in North Royalton want the City to buy their homes because of potential flash flooding dangers identified in a recent report (PDF).
The Cleveland Cultural Garden Committee approved the creation of an Albanian garden in the Cultural Gardens at Cleveland's Rockefeller Park. The area's Albanian-American community has begun raising funds for its design.
20 September 2007
Frank Jackson announced yesterday that Burke Lakefront Airport will remain open indefinitely. A master plan for the airport should be completed next month. Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer says that keeping the airport open will channel residential development into downtown Cleveland.
Mayor Jackson also wants to develop the area around Cleveland Hopkins Airport as an "aerotropolis" of aviation-related businesses. Channel 3's Tom Beres interviewed Ricky Smith, Director of the Cleveland Department of Port Control.
Channel 3 reports that one of the sites being considered for the Cleveland Medical Mart is the Cleveland Trust Tower in downtown Cleveland. It could replace the plans to demolish the tower for a new Cuyahoga County administration building.
A Morning Journal editorial says that fighting the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon is "the worst thing Elyria City Council could do for their town's future."
19 September 2007
After skipping a year, the Texas Transportation Institute published its Urban Mobility Report for 2007. As in previous years, Cleveland fared very well in the report. Traffic congestion worsened nationwide, and Cleveland's annual delay per traveler rose from 10 hours to 13 hours, well below the national average of 38 hours.
As Ohio remains among the states with the highest foreclosure rates, Britain's The Guardian examined the impacts of the foreclosure crisis on Cleveland. The Free Times also continued its foreclosure coverage with a look at the work of the East Side Organizing Project. In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Cleveland State professor Kathleen Engel says that "Cleveland cannot afford to wait for federal solutions to the subprime problems that are dogging the city."
The Cleveland Cavaliers unveiled the Cleveland Clinic Courts, their new practice facility in Independence.
Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka fined a real estate speculator in absentia for failing to maintain an abandoned house.
Geauga County's Amish residents object to a proposed road widening in Middlefield Township because they want to preserve the area's rural character. A Plain Dealer editorial says, "It's not going to be a simple task for Geauga County to balance its efforts to promote industry and its obligation to protect the rights of Amish people to live as they wish."
The Chagrin River Watershed Partners received a $15,000 grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to conduct a bioswale demonstration project in Orange.
Continental Airlines announced on Friday that it will embark on a $50 million expansion of its Cleveland Hopkins hub. Ohio offered $16 million in incentives to support the expansion. It's expected to provide 700 new jobs, a 40% increase in capacity, and 20 new nonstop destinations. A Plain Dealer editorial called it "unambiguously fantastic news".
18 September 2007
At the request of the City of Avon, the NOACA Governing Board postponed a vote on the proposed new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road until October 12. On Friday, Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove spoke in support of the interchange, while Elyria Mayor Bill Grace stated his opposition. The City of Cleveland submitted a written response (MS Word) to the final economic assessment (PDF, 14 MB) prepared by consultants. Elyria City Council, meanwhile, will consider a resolution opposing the interchange at its October 1 meeting.
A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at ten cities in eastern and southern half of the U.S. and says that global warming will increase their number of days with high ozone levels. Cleveland "would see 11 more days per summer that exceed the EPA's standard."
Wade Trim completed the Stream Assessment for Chippewa Creek (PDF) it prepared for the City of Brecksville. City officials say that it will take three years to implement the first phase of the report's recommendations, and six to seven years to complete them all.
Now that Broadview Heights enacted fees to fund stormwater projects, City officials will begin to prioritize the projects.
Traffic consultants suggested rebuilding the I-480 interchange at Tiedeman Road in Brooklyn as a diverging diamond design. The only diverging diamond interchange in the world is in Versialles, France, though one is under construction in Kansas City. A stakeholders meeting will be held next month.
Cleveland City Council is expected to renew a purchase agreement with Marous Development for the former Fifth Church of Christ Scientist building on West 117th Street. The property may become more attractive for redevelopment if the adjacent Giant Eagle store were to close when a nearby new store opens.
Developers of the proposed Woodland Preserve development in Orange were informed that they "don't have a chance" of putting a rezoning issue on the March ballot. Stelex Equities is expected to present their plans to Village Council on October 3.
Mayor Welo assured South Euclid residents that the Hillcrest Heights Area Recreation Council will not build a proposed recreation center if they are unable to align grant funding.
A U.S. District Court judge stayed the lawsuit by St. Maron's Church against the City of Independence until December 12. City officials have until then to decide if they will authorize the construction of a new church at the Marycrest site on Brookside Road. If the City refuses, then the case will proceed in December.
McGill Property Group representatives say they are in final negotiations with an unidentified retailer to fill an 80,000 square foot space at their Shops at Marketplace development in Bainbridge.
An analysis of American Community Survey data by NODIS at Cleveland State University found that between 2000 and 2006, Greater Cleveland experienced an employment shift from manufacturing to the service sectors and a decline in the area's household income levels. A Plain Dealer editorial describes it as a "deepening of a distressing trend in Northeast Ohio".
17 September 2007
Michael Gill of the Free Times examined the construction boom in arts and culture facilities across Northeast Ohio, a "wave of construction projects that has washed over the cultural landscape in the last few years."
A coalition of local leaders have proposed designating the entire Connecticut Western Reserve as a National Historic Area. The designation could bring an annual $1 million in federal funds for ten years to the the area that covers all or part of 13 Northeast Ohio counties.
(via Advance Northeast Ohio)
11 September 2007
The Ohio Foreclosure Task Force has published its recommendations for addressing the statewide foreclosure crisis as a final report (PDF) that includes tasking the State with spending $2 million for immediate efforts, among other proposals. The report also views the possible aftermath of the mortgage meltdown, including the possibility of assessing whether some neighborhoods should remain residential.
Meanwhile, a recent study by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that current foreclosure rates are the highest on record, with Ohio, exacerbated by subprime lending and increased job losses, posting the highest levels seen in their surveys. These rates may be levelling off, but predominately-black neighborhoods, with homebuyers who are systematically-charged higher interest rates than white borrowers, may endure an even rougher future.
Four new developments in the Greater Cleveland area will become pilot projects for the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development program to build sustainable neighborhoods. These projects are:
- The Flats East Bank Project, which recently received a $1 million brownfield cleanup loan from Cuyahoga County,
- Upper Chester near the Cleveland Clinic,
- Saint Luke's Pointe, and
- The East College Street project in Oberlin.
Several municipalities in Cuyahoga County are attempting to address stormwater issues in different ways:
- North Royalton organized a citizen's committee that recommended several strategies, including infrastructure improvements and floodplain expansions.
- Parma Heights is focusing on sewer maintenance.
- Broadview Heights City Council approved a funding mechanism for stormwater infrastructure maintenance and repair.
10 September 2007
University Circle and Little Italy can be transformed by RTA's new E. 120th Street rapid station, according to Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer.
A $36 million building for the College of Education and Human Services is being designed to fulfill part of the Cleveland State University campus master plan. The facility will open by Spring 2010.
Environmental advocates assert that the state needs to install more monitors for urban neighborhoods near industrial areas that experience high levels of air pollution.
07 September 2007
Although a councilman is questioning the plans, developers of the proposed lakefront Harbor Town project in Euclid are optimistic about its future. They hope to begin clearing the property in the next 60 days so that they can start construction next spring.
Solon officials say that several developers are interested in building a lifestyle center somewhere in Solon.
Shaker Heights City Council hired The Planning Partnership of Toronto to conduct traffic study along with a land use and implementation plan for the intersection of Van Aken Boulevard and Warrensville Road. A public meeting is tentatively scheduled for next month.
The City of Shaker Heights is entering the second phase of its infill housing program with the construction of a single-family house on Lidholm Road.
Some Orange leaders are not pleased with how information about the proposed Woodland Preserve development was released, and that Mayor Mulcahy met with the developer for months prior to last month's presentation.
The Westlake Board of Education filed a formal protest of the advisory rezoning issue that City Council wants to put on the November ballot. The Board claims that the submission violated the city charter and that the advisory issue would be "inaccurate and grossly misleading to the electorate." The Board of Elections is scheduled to review the objection at its September 17 meeting.
Mayor Welo of South Euclid offered to personally pay the startup fees for the South Euclid-Lyndhurst School District's entry into the Hillcrest Heights Area Recreation Council. This fall, the mayors of Richmond Heights, South Euclid, and University Heights will meet with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones to discuss funding sources. They hope to build a new recreation center without the use of local tax dollars.
The groundbreaking for Judson's South Franklin Circle active retirement community in Bainbridge is scheduled for September 20. Phase one construction of the 88 acre development is expected to end in September 2009, with the second phase to be completed by September 2010.
05 September 2007
The Brookings Institution marked the start of the annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Chicago by releasing a cost-benefit analysis of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy. It concludes that a $26 billion investment in Great Lakes restoration would yield a $50 billion long-term economic benefit and between $30 and $50 billion in short term multiplier benefits.
(Update: The Detroit News offers additional details.)
The New York Times took a close look at how the foreclosure crisis is harming Maple Heights, describing it as the epicenter of subprime mortgage meltdown.
RTA revealed its plans for a new rapid station at East 120th Street in Little Italy. In addition to a new station, the plans prepared by Studio Techne feature transit-oriented development elements including a parking garage, a transit transfer station, retail space, and apartments. The plans also offer a first glimpse of massings for the Arts and Retail District in University Circle, including tentative footprints of new buildings for MOCA and and the Cleveland Institute of Art.
04 September 2007
The Plain Dealer examined the history and the myths surrounding several streets across Greater Cleveland with unusual names.
Adam Wasserman of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority appeared on Sunday's Between the Lines on Channel 3 to talk about the Port's new strategic plan.
Several Greater Cleveland counties continue to report ozone levels that exceed federal standards. An average of readings from 2007 through 2009 will be used to determine compliance with federal ozone limits.
Researchers are trying to identify the sources of high bacteria counts at Greater Cleveland beaches. Some suspect that droppings from Canada geese may be part of the problem.