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The Cuyahoga Valley National Park completed its trail management plan. Its preferred alternative calls for 37 miles of new trails, including 11 new hiking trails, 12 short interpretive trails, two cross-country ski trails, five connector trails, and three links into neighboring residential areas.

Aurora City Council approved a JEDD agreement for the Marketplace at Four Corners development in Bainbridge Township. The Bainbridge Township Trustees approved the agreement in May.

Bainbridge Township and the City of Aurora have resumed talks about a proposed JEDD for the Marketplace shopping center. For the first several years, 80% of the proceeds would go to the developer. Talks about the proposal were revived last year.

Update: the Aurora Advocate has more information.

The Bainbridge Township Trustees continue to discuss producing a plan for the 600-acre former Geauga Lake property. The Township Zoning Commission is preparing to draft an RFQ for a planning consultant.

The purchasers of the landmark Big Dipper roller coaster indicated in December that there were issues with the sale, and now say that problems with the transfer of ownership have led them to walk away from the transaction.

Update: the Aurora Advocate has more information.

The Bainbridge Township trustees say that they would like to cooperate with Aurora leaders to develop a plan for the redevelopment of the 500-acre Geauga Lake site.

A woman from southwest Ohio and a man from New Zealand purchased the Big Dipper roller coaster, sparing the Geauga Lake ride from threatened demolition. They intend to dismantle and store the coaster, and to reassemble it at an undetermined location.

Update: the Aurora Advocate and the Chagrin Valley Times published additional details.

The Geauga County General Plan Survey (PDF) found that Geauga County voters enjoy the area's small town atmosphere, greenspace, and access to urban amenities, but dislike rapid uncontrolled growth and high taxes.

After an unsuccessful attempt to sell the landmark roller coaster on eBay, the anonymous owner of the Big Dipper at Geauga Lake says the ride will be demolished if a buyer is not found by the end of Wednesday.

Members of the Bainbridge Township Trustees assert the need to be proactive and develop a plan for the former Geauga Lake property. The amusement park closed in 2007.

Update: Bainbridge leaders hope to coordinate their planning efforts with those of Aurora.

Work on the Chagrin Falls Region Alternate Transportation Study is nearing completion. A final public meeting took place on July 6, and a final stakeholders meeting will be held on August 4.

Mark Salling and Ellen Cyran of the Levin College of Urban Affairs expect that the 2010 Census will report that the City of Cleveland's population remains over 400,000. Lake and Geauga county officials anticipate modest population increases.

The Bainbridge Township Trustees raised several questions about the Chagrin Falls Region Alternate Transportation Study.

Update: the Chagrin Valley Times has more information.

Consultants have prepared a preliminary concept plan for the Chagrin Falls Region Alternate Transportation Study. The study should be completed by August or September. Two public meetings have been held, and the final one take place on July 6.

The Ohio EPA awarded grants for restoration of stretches of the Chagrin River and Little Cuyahoga River (PDFs). The Geauga Park District received $400,000 and the Lake Metroparks received $349,584 for projects along the Chagrin River, and the City of Akron received $400,000 for work along the Little Cuyahoga River.

Update: the Akron Beacon Journal published more information about the project in Summit County and WKSU has more details about the Geauga County work. The Ohio EPA also awarded a $394,000 grant (PDF) to the West Creek Preservation Committee.

Chagrin Falls officials and consultants with Behnke Associates have begun work on the alternative transportation study for a group of Chagrin Valley communities. The first public meeting will be held on Tuesday evening.

Chagrin Falls Village Council voted to accept a $68,000 TLCI grant for the Chagrin Falls Region Alternative Transportation Study. The $85,000 study will be conducted by Behnke Associates.

The Chagrin Falls Region Alternative Transportation Study was one of the 13 projects awarded a TLCI planning grant earlier this month. The study will begin in January, and will develop a plan for a trail network in eastern Cuyahoga County and western Geauga County.

Over 500 acres of the Geauga Lake property are still for sale, although Cedar Fair officials say that the company has not recently received offers for the land. A Bainbridge Township trustee wants to develop a plan for the area.

A Bainbridge Township Trustee said that the Township would be willing to reconsider the proposed JEDD for the Marketplace at Four Corners area, if the City of Aurora will pay the entire $1.2 million sought by the McGill Property Group.

Update: Aurora leaders remain interested in the JEDD.

A town hall meeting about the Big Dipper will be held on April 25 at the VFW hall in Aurora. Organizers say that the event will celebrate the history of the roller coaster and explore options for preserving it.

Aurora City Council voted to begin a "meaningful dialogue" about the proposed Aurora-Bainbridge JEDD, but the Bainbridge Township Trustees rejected the proposal by a vote of 2-1.

As part of their proposal to create an Aurora-Bainbridge Township JEDD, officials with shopping center developers McGill Property Group are seeking $600,000 from Bainbridge Township and $600,000 from the City of Aurora.

The Geauga Park District agreed to purchase the Pine Brook property, a 718-acre wetland in Montville Township. The District will pay $1.75 million over the next four years, and will be reimbursed by selling wetland mitigation credits at the newly-established wetland mitigation bank.

Leaders of emergency and safety departments in Lake and Geauga counties have mixed reactions to regionalism initiatives.

Microsoft's Live Search Maps has been updated to include oblique aerial photography of Geauga County.

(via The Map Room)

The McGill Property Group wants the Bainbridge-Solon JEDD to be expanded to include the company's Shops at Marketplace development in Bainbridge. The JEDD currently encompasses McGill's Marketplace North center.

Update: McGill also proposed establishing a new Aurora-Bainbridge JEDD.

The Chagrin River Watershed Partners is looking for municipal participation in a balanced growth initiative for the Chagrin River Watershed. Chardon City Council was briefed on the program on Monday.

The Jacobs Group dropped its plans to build retail on a 30-acre portion of the former Geauga Lake site in Bainbridge Township after the development's would-be anchor store pulled out of the project.

Update: Crain's Cleveland Business has more details.

The Bainbridge Township Trustees are preparing for a legal challenge of the Township's large-lot residential zoning. In North Ridgeville, City Council is evaluating planned community development legislation. A Council committee recommended extending a moratorium on planned community developments.

Population growth in North Ridgeville is straining the resources of the school district's bus fleet. Meanwhile, police departments in Geauga and Lake counties are struggling to deal with a crime rate that has increased along with their populations.

The Jacobs Group is under contract to purchase 30 acres of the 540-acre Geauga Lake site from Cedar Fair. The property is in Bainbridge Township, and the company intends develop it as big box retail.

Update: the Aurora Advocate has more information.

A June audit of Chester's town center found that the area lacks infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. Similar workshops were held in Brooklyn Centre, Lakewood, and Strongsville.

Cedar Fair may postpone the sale of large portions of the former Geauga Lake site because the company feels that the offers for the land are too low. The delay could provide more time for the roller coaster enthusiasts seeking to preserve the Big Dipper.

The Geauga County Historical Society is working to save some of the historic structures at Geauga Lake by relocating them to its Century Village in Burton.

Cedar Fair is in negotiations with three companies for the sale of the former Geauga Lake site. They reached an agreement with an unidentified buyer for Geauga Lake Hotel and the 11 acres that surround it. Another company is interested in building retail on 100 acres on the west end of the property, and a third wants to build housing on 440 acres between the other two areas. Meanwhile, roller coaster enthusiasts are pessimistic about the future of the historic Big Dipper.

The landmark Big Dipper roller coaster was tentatively sold to an undisclosed buyer at the Geauga Lake auction today. The purchaser intends to move it to an as-yet unannounced location and reassemble it "not as a ride, but as a nostalgia piece."

Four local developers submitted bids for the purchase of the former Geauga Lake site in Geauga and Portage Counties. The companies are interested in developing the 500 acre property as a mixed-use development.

State Rep. Matt Dolan and State Sen. Tim Grendell will discuss the merits of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact in Newbury Township tomorrow. Grendell is also scheduled to discuss the compact at an event on Monday in Chesterland.

The Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Geauga County Planning Commission, and the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District are evaluating the soil, stormwater runoff, and wetlands at the former Geauga Lake site in Bainbridge and Aurora.

Chagrin Falls Village Council voted to change the Board of Zoning Appeals from a decision-making body to an advisory one. In Chester, the Township Trustees voted to create a five-member architectural review board.

The U.S. EPA weakened its new ozone standards after a last-minute intervention by President Bush. The agency also predicted that Geauga County will be one of only 28 counties in the nation that will fail to meet the new rules by 2020. Meanwhile, a Plain Dealer editorial says the limits will cause economic hardship in Ohio.

Update: local Republican politicians ridiculed the EPA report about Geauga County.

The Chester Master Plan Steering Committee will hold a series of public meetings beginning in mid-February. If there is sufficient public interest, consultants may be hired to lead workshops and update the zoning code.

The upcoming study of the Auburn Corners area will help formulate a balanced growth plan, highlighting opportunities for both development and conservation.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued new rules for oil and natural gas drilling in all of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Lake counties and parts of Medina, Lorain, and Summit counties. The changes are in response to an explosion in Bainbridge Township last month caused by methane leaking into the water table.

Update: residents are upset by the state's response to the issue, while area officials are hope the new permit conditions will prevent future problems.

Kent State University and the Chagrin River Watershed Partners will prepare a land use plan for Auburn Township in Geauga County. The plan will focus on the Auburn Corners area, and a public meeting will be held on January 17.

About 50 people attended a Master Plan Steering Committee meeting in Chester. The Committee hopes to make the town center area more pedestrian and bike-friendly.

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 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.

Chester residents met last week to discuss a proposal for creating a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use town center.

The Centerville Mills Committee in Bainbridge Township recommended that the 161 acre property should become a passive park. Township Trustees are not expected to immediately act on the suggestion.

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