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October 2012 Archives

Local residential projects in the news:

Update: Solon City Council approved the preliminary plat for the Neptune Oval Estates subdivision.

Mayor Jackson of Cleveland proposed selecting a single development team to implement the City's lakefront development plan. He intends to work with a seven-member advisory committee to draft a request for proposals and review the responses. A Plain Dealer editorial said it "could mark a turning point in Cleveland's relationship with its greatest natural treasure, Lake Erie." Meanwhile, Cleveland City Council authorized Geis Companies to begin planning a 20-acre waterfront office park.

Cuyahoga County released a list of the 31 bidders who responded to the County's property consolidation RFP, but did not share any details. County officials hope to reach deals with bidders by the end of the year.

A Cleveland Botanical Garden program was one of eight projects recently certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative, a national rating system for sustainable built landscapes. It's the first project in Ohio to receive the designation. Eleven projects have achieved certification in the initiative's two-year pilot program.

The Clean Ohio Council is considering changes to its brownfield funding policies. They are designed to create (PDF) a "streamlined process for funding brownfield projects." Joe Koncelik summarized the proposed changes (PDF) and called them "a seismic shift in how funding decisions will be made." Public comments will be accepted until October 17.

Update: Crain's Cleveland Business has more information.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald marked the one-year anniversary of the County's anti-poaching pledge by reporting that 45 of the County's 59 communities have signed on. Recent adopters include Bay Village, Beachwood, North Royalton, Rocky River, and Strongsville. Mayfield Heights rejected the agreement.

The U.S. EPA awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants for two Greater Cleveland projects, giving $996,902 to the Ohio EPA and $770,250 to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners. The Ohio EPA will use its award to implement green stormwater control practices in Cuyahoga County, and the Chagrin River Watershed Partners will use its for green infrastructure projects in Lake County. Meanwhile, the Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition issued a report that highlights successful environmental restoration projects in Greater Cleveland.

Scene explored the state of Cleveland Lakefront State Park, looking at current conditions as well as proposals for improvements and the impediments to change. Mark Naymik of the Plain Dealer also continued to draw attention to the park's needs.

A survey conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council gauged public opinion about transportation options. The national telephone survey was supplemented by focus groups in four cities, including Cleveland. Cuyahoga County residents (PDF) said they favored greater investments in public transportation rather than building new roads.

Bicyclists in Cleveland say the the City must do more to prioritize bicycle infrastructure and safety. Cleveland appeared in Bicycling magazine's list of the U.S.'s Top 50 bike-friendly cities in 2011, but failed to make the list this year because other cities are making more rapid progress. Rust Wire's Angie Schmitt attributed the slow pace to a lack of civic ambition, while a Plain Dealer editorial concluded that "great strides have been made, but more could be done to make the cycling experience safer for all."

Shareholders at Acacia Country Club in Lyndhurst approved a sale of the property to the Conservation Fund for $14.75 million. The 160-acre property had been considered a prime development site. Mayor Cicero opposed the sale, saying that development on the site would increase the City's tax base. The nonprofit Conservation Fund pledged to preserve the property as greenspace, and may donate it to the Cleveland Metroparks. Acacia members described the process as "emotional and stressful", but a Sun News editorial said they made the correct decision.

Update: Mayor Cicero said he's "glad the Metroparks are involved."

A Plain Dealer editorial addressed the unequal levels of reinvestment in Cleveland's neighborhoods, saying that "it's not right and it's not wise" and that "the persistent, intertwined problems of crime, poverty and unemployment, jeopardize the city's overall renaissance and could irreparably harm the effort to create effective schools."

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