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Lorain County News Archive

FirstEnergy announced plans to shut down its coal-fired Eastlake Power Plant in Lake County and Lake Shore Power Plant in Cleveland this September, nearly a year ahead of schedule. In Lorain County, NRG Energy revealed plans last year to convert its Avon Lake Generating Station from coal to natural gas.

The Avon Lake Municipal Utilities are preparing an agreement for supplying water to the City of Westlake. City leaders want to transfer away from the Cleveland Water Department.

Voters in Broadview Heights and Solon passed zoning issues in the May 7 primary election. Issue 1 in Broadview Heights established a a conversion corridor along Royalton Road, and Issue 2 in Broadview Heights created the Town Center Special Planning District. (The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt recently critiqued the town center plans.) In Solon, Issue 8 rezoned a 2.5-acre parcel from retail to office and Issue 9 rezoned a 5.7-acre property for an auto dealer expansion. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has complete election results.

Meanwhile, Lorain County voters rejected a countywide transit levy. The County will return more than $1.5 million in unused federal transportation funding because it has not fulfilled its 20% local match.

The new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon opened to the public on December 20. Local officials expect that it will make eastern Avon and Avon Lake more attractive for commercial and residential development. Mayor Smith of Avon called it the hardest thing he'd ever done, and a Sun News editorial called it an example of a successful public-private partnership.

The City of Westlake is seeking a declaratory judgment in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court about the City's contract with the Cleveland Division of Water. Westlake leaders remain interested in changing water suppliers.

New maps from the Ohio Geological Survey illustrate the portions of the state where Utica shale deposits are expected to yield the most oil and gas. Previous maps included Cuyahoga, Lake, and Lorain counties in this area, but they are mostly excluded in the revised maps.

A Plain Dealer editorial urges the Cleveland Division of Water and the cities of Macedonia and Westlake to resolve their differences without the cities changing water systems. The paper's Brent Larkin is highly critical of both Mayor Clough and the Division of Water.

Update: officials debated the issues on WCPN's Sound of Ideas.

The Plain Dealer summarized the debate about the future of Westlake's water supply. The City is contemplating a switch from the Cleveland Division of Water to the Avon Lake Municipal Utilities.

Update: Macedonia is also considering plans to change water suppliers.

Last week, the U.S. EPA issued the first national standards for mercury and other toxic air emissions from power plants. Under the new rules, which will become effective in 2014 and 2015, operators will have to install pollution controls or shut down older coal-fired power plants. The regulations could impact several local power plants, including FirstEnergy's Lake Shore Power Plant in Cleveland and Eastlake Power Plant in Lake County, and Genon's Avon Lake Generating Station in Lorain County.

While Westlake City Council continues to discuss a proposed switch in water suppliers from the Cleveland Division of Water to the Avon Lake Municipal Utilities, the City of Cleveland issued a study that challenged the conclusions of a recent report prepared for the City of Westlake. The Cleveland report (PDF) said that Westlake should remain (PDF) with Cleveland Water. Mayor Clough said that the response would not deter him from pursuing the switch.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial urges Mayors Jackson and Clough to meet and "take another pragmatic look at options."

Construction of the new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon is on schedule, and contractors say it should open in spring 2013. The City is still trying to finalize eminent domain agreements with several property owners. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic officially opened its new Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon and closed the Westlake Family Health Center.

Consultants for the City of Westlake recommend that the City should continue to pursue switching water suppliers from the Cleveland Division of Water to the Avon Lake Municipal Utilities.

Update: Avon Lake Patch offers more information.

Update 2: City Council authorized the mayor to begin negotiations with Avon Lake Municipal Utilities.

Election recap

Tuesday's election included the following issues:

Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for complete results.

In Lorain County, voters rejected a quarter-percent sales tax increase. The county will institute cuts that include reducing its contribution to Lorain County Transit from $100,000 to $50,000. Avon voters approved a charter amendment that establishes a minimum lot size for residential areas.

The lakefront Avon Lake Generating Station was one of the facilities on a recently-revealed U.S. EPA internal watch list. It said that operators failed to install modern pollution controls at the 41-year-old coal-fired power plant. Dennis Kucinich urged the Ohio EPA to require emissions reductions.

Update: the U.S. EPA filed an enforcement action against GenOn.

The West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force held a series of public meetings to present public transit options for the corridor between Cleveland and Sandusky. The lack of funding for public transit in Lorain County presents a challenge.

Update: the Morning Journal summarized the meeting in Lorain.

Consultants working on the West Shore Corridor project said that the potential commuter rail line would take 10 to 15 years to realize.

The November 8 ballot includes several planning and zoning issues in Cuyahoga County communities.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has a complete list of issues (PDF) and an absentee ballot application.

In Avon, voters will decide a charter amendment that would establish a minimum lot size.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for the I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. Mayor Smith expressed his frustrations with the long process that led to its approval. Construction is expected to take 18 months. A Morning Journal editorial says it is part of a series of projects "that have made Avon one of Lorain County's most desirable communities".

Four smaller local sewer systems are developing plans to reduce combined sewer overflows. Systems operated by the cities of Avon Lake, Elyria, Euclid, and Lakewood currently discharge 274 million gallons of untreated wastewater per year. The work is addition to the plans of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and the City of Akron.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that the improvements are worth the expense.

Construction of the I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon is scheduled to begin in September.

Avon City Council approved the issuance of $23.1 million in bonds for the construction of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The financing package does not include assessments against property owners. City Council also approved a funding agreement with the Richard E. Jacobs Group.

Update: Avon City Council passed the final pieces of legislation for the project.

The City of Avon intends to assess 105 property owners for up to a third of the price of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The assessments were not part of the original funding scheme for the interchange, but rising costs have led the City to pursue the assessments. Property owners say that the proposed assessments are unfair, while Mayor Smith counters that they are getting a good deal. Residents opposed to the assessments attended a City Council meeting on Monday and a recent City Council work session.

On Friday, NOACA awarded $845,000 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants to 13 transportation projects (PDF) in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Lorain counties. Eight of the selected planning studies are in the City of Cleveland, and the others are in Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Euclid, Eastlake, and Elyria. Eastlake City Council refused its grant.

Update: the Sun Press described the projects in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.

The Jacobs Group cleared the trees from a 90-acre site near the intersection of Chester and Center roads in Avon. The company says it is preparing the site for an undecided future development.

The Greater Cleveland RTA is seeking public input on Re: imagine RTA, its 2010-2020 strategic plan, and will hold a community meeting on January 13 at its offices on West 6th Street. The agency is also conducting a survey. Officials in Lorain County and the the Morning Journal encourage Lorain County residents to participate.

Avon City Council added two sites to the list of properties the City is seeking to acquire through eminent domain for the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road, bringing the total to 14 properties. Mayor Smith of Avon wants the City to manage construction of the interchange instead of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and a Morning Journal editorial says that state leaders should consider the proposal.

Update: the City reached an agreement to purchase the two properties.

The City of Avon has been unable to reach purchase agreements with the owners of 12 properties needed for the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. Avon City Council yesterday voted to begin the eminent domain process for acquiring the land.

Update: the Sun Sentinel and the Press of Avon Lake have more details.

While the City of Avon has reached purchase agreements with many of the 31 property owners at the site of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road, it is preparing to take 11 of them to court in an effort to determine a purchase price. Avon City Council also approved expanding the interchange TIF district to encompass 116 parcels.

Update: the Press of Avon Lake has more details.

A commuter rail study being conducted as part of the Westshore Corridor Transportation Project should be completed by the end of the year. Potential users of the proposed line between Cleveland and Sandusky can complete a survey.

The West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force named Jeanette Corlett McGovern of MAC Development Associates as an adviser for a study of the proposed passenger rail line between Cleveland and Sandusky.

The City of Avon will levy special assessments against more than 100 property owners near the planned new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The tax will cover $9 million of the $28 million project. Property owners object to the assessments.

Update: land acquisition for the interchange is underway.

ODOT District 3 has proposed installing rumble stripes along the edge lines of some state highways (PDF) in the eight-county district that includes Lorain and Medina counties. Bicyclists object to the rumble stripes, saying they would make the roads more dangerous for bicycles.

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese will sell more than 50 closed churches, and placed 17 of them on the market. The properties in Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Summit counties have a total asking price of $11.8 million.

Avon City Council may soon approve the proposed tax increment financing district for the area around the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road.

The recession has slowed the planned $500 million residential redevelopment of the Cleveland Quarries site in Lorain County. Industrial Realty Group leaders say that they remain committed to the Quarries at Beaver Creek.

The planned I-90 interchange (PDF) at Nagel Road in Avon was one of five Ohio highway projects placed on an accelerated timetable by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Construction is now scheduled to begin in 2011 and end in late 2012, about a year earlier than originally planned.

The New Republic looked at the public transit cuts in Lorain County and their impacts on the unemployed and underemployed.

The Lorain County Commissioners approved proposed changes to Lorain County Transit bus service. They cut the number of fixed routes from 12 to two, reduced their frequency to once every two hours, scaled back the hours of operation, and eliminated Saturday service. They also increased the base fare from $2.05 to $2.20. A Morning Journal editorial says that "it's better than no bus service at all."

Although it obtained federal dollars to preserve transit service, Lorain County Transit may reduce its number of routes from 12 to two. Officials in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties have begun to discuss the potential for a partnership between RTA and Lorain County Transit. Meanwhile, a coalition of organizations unveiled the Save Transit Now, Move Ohio Forward! campaign to advocate for public transportation.

Update: the Columbus Government Examiner has more details about the campaign's objectives. A Morning Journal editorial says that a Cuyahoga County-Lorain County public transit partnership is "worth talking about".

The Ohio Department of Transportation reallocated $293,153 in unused federal stimulus dollars to Lorain County Transit. The Lorain County Commissioners will use the funds to preserve some LCT bus routes.

Update: the commissioners may also contribute county dollars. A Morning Journal editorial says that a long-term solution must include more state support for public transit.

The Lorain County Commissioners announced on Tuesday that they will eliminate the county subsidy for Lorain County Transit. All of the system's routes will cease operations on December 31. Earlier budget cuts had reduced the system to only 12 routes. Riders are distressed by the news. The City of Avon Lake ended its relationship with RTA in October, so there will be no regularly-scheduled public transportation in Lorain County.

Update: eliminating service will cause about 300 people to lose their jobs. A Morning Journal editorial says county and state leaders are to blame.

The efforts of the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force to build offshore wind turbines expanded beyond Cuyahoga County, as Lorain County joined the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo).

The Cleveland Clinic broke ground today for its new Avon Family Health & Surgery Center near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The 186,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2011. Earlier this month, the Clinic began construction of a location in Twinsburg.

Update: the Morning Journal and Chronicle-Telegram have more details. A Morning Journal editorial says that its construction will be good for Avon.

The Lorain County Commissioners hired Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct a study of the proposed West Shore Corridor commuter rail line.

Members of the West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force intend to begin work on a study of the proposed line between Cleveland and Sandusky. They envision a multimodal transportation hub at Black River Landing in Lorain.

A 98-acre farm in Eaton Township is returning to nature as the new Margaret Peak Nature Preserve.

NOACA's Executive Committee recommended allocating $34,600 to Lorain County for a study of the proposed West Shore Corridor commuter rail line. It would match funds raised by the West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force. The Governing Board may approve the funding on Friday.

Update: the board approved the funds.

The six Cuyahoga County cities in the Westshore Council of Governments and the City of North Ridgeville hired Emergency Services Consulting International to study the proposed Westshore Regional Fire District. The proposal is one of nine finalists in the EfficientGovNow grant competition.

Backers of the Regional Prosperity Initiative continue to promote the concept to area officials, but two Lorain County mayors are concerned that it would not help their communities. Supporters will convene additional meetings in the coming weeks.

Update: WKSU shared more information about the initiative. A Morning Journal editorial calls for more details.

The Sun Sentinel summarized the recent public meeting at which the draft North Ridgeville Master Plan was presented. Video of the meeting is available at YouTube.

The City of North Ridgeville posted a draft of the City's new master plan. It will be presented to the public at a meeting on April 29 at the North Ridgeville Public Library.

While the Cleveland Catholic Diocese is closing churches in urban areas, ground was broken for a new Catholic church in exurban Grafton. Parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Peace have been raising funds for the construction of the new $3 million facility.

Leaders in North Olmsted and Westlake are ready to enter the second phase of a study on creating a water district. The cties are contemplating a switch in water providers, from Cleveland to Avon Lake. Mayor Clough says the cost to buy water would be 75% less.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that attempting to obtain "federal money to get out from under the Cleveland water system smacks of a political ploy."

Last week, NOACA approved allocating $43.6 million of federal stimulus funds for 21 infrastructure projects in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties. The largest awards were $14 million for the reconstruction of Bainbridge Road in Solon and $4.2 million to widen State Route 611 in Sheffield. An additional 32 improvements were named as reserve projects. NOACA also selected four projects to receive $9.8 million in federal CMAQ funding, including $6.25 million for replacement RTA buses.

Citing the need to be fiscally responsible, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it will delay the start of construction of planned new medical centers in Twinsburg and Avon. CEO Toby Cosgrove said that the Clinic remains committed to the facilities.

Update: the Twinsburg Bulletin has more details.

As anticipated, North Ridgeville City Council voted to ban future planned community developments. Council members said that the City's requirements had been too lenient.

North Ridgeville City Council is expected to stop considering proposals for planned community developments. The decision would make permanent the moratorium on their construction.

Two commuter rail advocacy groups merged to form the West Shore Commuter Rail Task Force, and together will promote a proposed line that would run from Vermilion to Cleveland. The group has raised half of the $68,000 needed as a local match for a $343,000 federal grant obtained by Representative Sutton in 2007. Meanwhile, ONN spoke with NOACA's Howard Maier about the prospects for high-speed rail in Ohio.

Update: GreenCityBlueLake has a roundup of intercity rail news, and Greater Ohio's Gene Krebs spoke at a Columbus Metropolitan Club event about the Real Reasons for Rail.

North Ridgeville City Council rejected a rezoning request for the proposed 218-acre Hampton Place subdivision. They also extended a moratorium on planned community developments for 90 days.

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.

Cleveland Clinic representatives presented plans for the first phase of a family health center to the Avon Planning Commission on Wednesday. The Clinic wants to build a 120,000-square-foot health facility and a 61,000-square-foot surgery center, plus a 900-space parking lot.

The Cleveland Clinic submitted plans for the first phase of a new heath center in Avon on 40 acres near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The plans show an 181,000-square foot facility with medical offices and an outpatient surgical center.

This week's Sun papers have more information about the recent ballot issues in Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Highland Heights, South Euclid, Avon, and Twinsburg.

Election recap

Ohio
Issue 2 (Clean Ohio renewal): passed
Issue 3 (water rights amendment): passed

Brecksville
Issue 14 (Pilgrim Inn zoning overlay): passed

Broadview Heights
Issues 15-16, 20-25 (rezonings): passed
Issues 17-19 (Zoning Board of Appeals changes): passed

Chagrin Falls
Issue 32 (Architectural Review Board changes): passed

Highland Heights
Issue 63 (development in parks): passed

Oakwood
Issue 83 (hazardous storage buffer): passed

Pepper Pike
Issue 86 (sign regulations): passed
Issue 87 (police station rezoning): passed

Solon
Issue 103 (O-2 district changes): passed
Issue 105 (retail rezoning): passed

South Euclid
Issue 106 (remove point-of-sale inspections): passed

Tri-City Joint Recreation District
Issue 136 (1 mill levy): failed

Avon
Issue 10 (retail rezoning): passed

Portage County
Issue 10 (Park District levy): failed

Twinsburg
Issues 32-35 (zoning code changes): passed

For more results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Openers, or the Sun News.

Tuesday's election will include the following issues in Cuyahoga County communities:

In neighboring counties, the issues include:

The North Ridgeville Planning Commission approved the preliminary plan for Hampton Place, a 218 acre planned unit development to be built north of Center Ridge Road. The plans call for the subdivision to include 540 to 550 single-family homes and cluster houses.

The Jacobs Group purchased almost 200 acres this summer near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon, but has not revealed its plans for the area. Mayor Smith thinks that the company is planning "something big."

The North Ridgeville Master Plan Committee is seeking public input as they begin the process of updating the City's 1997 master plan (PDF). The committee's next meeting will be on October 8.

Update: the Chronicle-Telegram has more details.

The Avon Planning Commission approved plans for the planned new YMCA and for Heritage Village, a 79,000 square foot shopping center proposed for Detroit Road.

Some residents and leaders in North Ridgeville object to a pair of proposals from developers who want to build around 900 units of housing on the City's south side.

Yesterday, the Avon Planning Commission approved two rezonings for properties owned by the Jacobs Group. Both are near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The panel recommended rezoning a five acre parcel and two-thirds of a 104 acre property from office to multi-use.

Backers of the proposed West Shore Corridor are raising funds for a feasibility study of the commuter rail line that would connect Cleveland and Lorain. They are also seeking a state grant to finance the study.

Update: an editorial in the Morning Journal backs the initiative.

RTA may cancel routes to Brunswick and Avon Lake because of budget shortfalls. Most of RTA's revenue comes from a Cuyahoga County sales tax, and surrounding counties do not contribute. RTA's Joe Calabrese and Gale Fisk discussed the agency's fiscal challenges on this morning's Sound of Ideas show.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Tuesday for the new baseball stadium in Avon. Last week, the City awarded a contract for its construction and agreed to a lease with the owners of a Frontier League expansion team. The ballpark was designed by RWL Architects and Osborn Engineering.

The Richard E. Jacobs Group purchased an 89 acre property near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. Earlier this year, the property was rezoned for commercial development. The company is also pursuing a purchase and rezoning of a neighboring 110 acre site.

The Plain Dealer briefly looked at the positives and challenges of reusing former school buildings, including the threatened Avon Center School.

Avon City Council recently approved two rezoning requests for land near the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. An 18 acre site at Jaycox and Chester Roads was rezoned to permit commercial development, and a 32 acre site at Nagel Road and I-90 was rezoned from residential to general business. City Council tabled two other rezoning requests for properties at Center and Detroit Roads that are involved in a legal battle.

Industrial Realty Group has begun demolishing buildings at the Cleveland Quarries site in South Amherst to make way for its planned $500 million residential community. The new development has been named the Quarries at Beaver Creek.

The City of Avon has seen a great deal of recent retail development, and more stores are planned or under construction. Additional requests for retail rezonings (PDF) have prompted some observers to ask if the area is at a saturation point.

Developer Greg Romes of Lake Pointe Construction plans to demolish the former Avon Center School on Detroit Road to make way for a shopping center. The one-room schoolhouse was built in 1910.

A funding shortage may force the Lorain Soil and Water Conservation District to close in May. The Lorain County Commissioners are scheduled to discuss funding for the district next week.

Cities such as Cleveland, Westlake, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, and Avon Lake are still dealing with the withdrawal of Tops Supermarkets from Northeast Ohio in 2006.

The planned construction of an I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon prompted rezoning requests from developers wanting to build on surrounding properties. The Avon Planning Commission heard requests to rezone 120 nearby acres for retail space and medical offices.

Designers are planning a 3,500 seat baseball stadium in Avon, part of a recreation complex funded by an income tax that voters approved last month. Mayor Smith says that negotiations with the Frontier League are nearly finished and a team should begin play in 2009.

Yesterday, Avon City Council approved a tax increment financing package for the area along Chester Road between Center and Nagel Roads. Revenues from the 30-year TIF will be used to pay for roughly ⅓ of the planned Nagel Road interchange. Another third will be funded by municipal bonds, and the final third by the Jacobs Group.

Tuesday's Plain Dealer pointed out air quality concerns about the I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon that was approved in October. Greater Cleveland must reduce air pollution to meet federal standards, and some are concerned that continued urban sprawl will create more problems.

Plans for the development of the 917 acre Cleveland Quarries site in South Amherst will be unveiled on December 18. The plans will focus more heavily on residential development than on commercial development, and are more modest than the dropped proposal from Trans European Securities.

Yesterday, WCPN reported on the proposed West Shore Corridor commuter rail project, and then dedicated its Sound of Ideas program to a discussion of the idea.

The Medina County Commissioners joined the Lorain County Commissioners in asking NOACA to consider eliminating weighted voting.

The Lorain County Commissioners today asked NOACA to eliminate the weighted voting provision from the bylaws regulating its Governing Board. Meanwhile, Chris Thompson responded to yesterday's Morning Journal editorial, saying, "We need to fix our system, not break up the region."

(Update: The Chronicle-Telegram presents more details.)

Avon City Council adopted a resolution approving the joint economic development zone that was stipulated in the Nagel Road I-90 interchange agreement. Membership in the zone is open to 15 other Cuyahoga and Lorain County communities.

(Update: The Morning Journal also published an article and an editorial.)

County commissioners from Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Medina Counties were guests on this morning's Sound of Ideas show on WCPN, where they discussed regionalism and the fallout over the Avon I-90 interchange agreement.

While reactions to the Avon I-90 interchange revenue sharing agreement differ, county commissioners in Lorain and Medina Counties are pressing for the elimination of the weighted vote at NOACA, and continue to investigate the possibility of withdrawing from the MPO. The Cuyahoga County Commissioners have indicated that they're willing to talk about reforms.

Brad Whitehead urges local leaders to "use this as a moment to spur the real conversation about how we want to involve and what steps we might take to focus on growing the resources of the region rather than moving them from one place to another."

The compromise agreement on the planned new I-90 interchange in Avon prompted Medina County leaders to talk about withdrawing from NOACA. Lorain County commissioners threatened to withdraw from the MPO last week.

The NOACA Governing Board passed a resolution (PDF) approving the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon, contingent upon the establishment of a revenue sharing plan. Prospective membership in the joint economic development zone was expanded to include eight Lorain County communities. Cleveland officials called the agreement "a giant step toward regional cooperation," but others feel that it may lead to NOACA's demise.

(Update: The Morning Journal and Plain Dealer have more details.)

Avon leaders offered a compromise agreement intended to end the controversy over the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. In exchange for approving the interchange, an 800 acre joint economic development zone in Avon would be created by Avon, Cleveland, and six western Cuyahoga County suburbs. Under the proposal, if a company with a payroll of more than $1 million were to move from one of the member cities to the Avon development zone, the two cities would evenly split its income tax revenue for five years. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the "region needs a coherent development strategy."

(Update: The Plain Dealer and Chronicle-Telegram report that officials are close to reaching a deal.)

The NOACA Governing Board is scheduled to vote on Friday on the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon, and Cleveland officials requested a weighted vote. Cleveland and Cuyahoga County leaders say they will vote to disapprove the interchange unless a revenue sharing plan "that addresses the negative economic impacts on surrounding communities" is implemented. Two Lorain County commissioners responded by threatening to withdraw from NOACA.

Frank Jackson said that he's "not trying to pick a fight" over the interchange, but Plain Dealer columnist Kevin O'Brien and a Morning Journal editorial disagree with the tactics of Cuyahoga County leaders. Critics of NOACA say that the agency has not done enough to promote regional planning efforts.

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove again asserted that the Clinic intends to build a facility in Avon, regardless of whether the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road is approved.

WCPN reported on the continuing controversy over the proposed new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon, and devoted yesterday's Sound of Ideas program to a discussion of the issue, asking, "Are we coming together as a region, or are we still tied to parochial interests?" Also yesterday, Elyria City Council declined to vote on a resolution opposing the interchange.

On Monday, several Cleveland Heights councilmembers spoke out against the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon.

The Jacobs Group has begun the construction of Avon Crossing, a 270,000 square foot shopping center at I-90 and State Route 83. It will be anchored by a 140,000 square foot Lowe's and a 100,000 square foot J.C. Penney store.

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."

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.

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:

(Via Tech Futures)

A new redevelopment plan could come to fruition for South Amherst's Cleveland Quarries site now that the property's owner, American Stone Industries, will be sold to Industrial Realty Group. Plans for a scaled-back mixed use redevelopment of the land are still forthcoming.

This week's West Shore Sun and West Life News summarize the vigorous debate over the proposed new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon.

While a U.S. House transportation bill includes $350,000 for a West Shore Corridor study, the Senate version did not include the funds. Local rail advocates are continuing to work on the proposal.

(Update: The Chronicle-Telegram summarizes a recent meeting.)

At a public forum in Elyria last night, consultants for NOACA presented preliminary results of their impact analysis of the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. They said that the interchange (PDF) would benefit Avon and have no material impacts on surrounding areas. Officials from Cuyahoga County communities disagreed, and said that it would hasten urban sprawl. A Morning Journal editorial again portrayed Cuyahoga County leaders as obstructionists.

NOACA's Transportation Advisory Committee approved the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon by a vote of 19-11. The economic impact assessment for the controversial proposal should be completed by September 7, and the agency's Governing Board is scheduled to vote on September 14.

On Friday, NOACA consultants presented a progress report (PDF) on the economic impact assessment for the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. The Cleveland Clinic announced their support of the controversial interchange, and unveiled plans for a nearby 170,000 square foot facility. NOACA will hold a public meeting about the interchange on August 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Spitzer Conference Center in Elyria, and approval of the proposal is on the August 17th agenda of the NOACA Transportation Advisory Committee.

The City of Avon and Lake Pointe Construction have been unable to resolve their differences about the proposed residential to retail rezoning of about 24 acres at the southeast corner of Detroit and Center Roads, and the lawsuit is growing more complicated.

John Cole, the editor of the Morning Journal, is unhappy that NOACA is conducting an analysis (PDF, 38 MB) of the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon, saying, "The deliberate sand-bagging of legitimate Lorain County projects in the name of urban sprawl or noise pollution or whatever fabricated nonsense by the assorted mayors and commissioners of Cuyahoga County is reprehensible."

All Aboard Ohio reports that U.S. Representative Betty Sutton secured $350,000 in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for the West Shore Corridor rail/bus transit alternatives analysis.

(Update: The Sun Herald offers more information.)

The Sun has additional reactions from public officials about the status report on the potential impacts of the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon.

Consultants presented preliminary results of the economic impact study for the proposed new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. If the interchange is built, they anticipate significant land use changes in the surrounding area, including up to 110 acres of new retail development. Avon officials disagree with the findings. The full study is scheduled to be completed in September.

(Update: Cuyahoga County officials are concerned that the interchange could exacerbate urban sprawl.)

Westlake officials continue to study options for switching water providers. Mayor Clough says they are "looking for more detailed information on the costs associated with switching providers."

Westlake officials are considering changing water suppliers from the Cleveland Division of Water to Avon Lake Municipal Utilities. Mayor Clough said no switch would occur within the next 18 months to two years.

Rocky River officials are waiting to hear if the proposed Cleveland to Lorain commuter rail project could affect their plans for a railroad quiet zone before they decide whether to support the commuter rail proposal.

Scene tells the story of the aborted Cleveland Quarries project in South Amherst.

In November, Avon residents will be asked to vote on a proposed 0.25% income tax on people who work in the City. Tax revenues would be used to pay for a proposed minor league baseball stadium and a sports and recreation complex at I-90 and State Route 611. Roughly 90% of Avon residents would not be affected by the tax.

(Update: the Plain Dealer provides more information.)

On Monday, Bay Village City Council passed a resolution of support for the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon.

(Update: the Sun Herald has more details.)

The City of Avon is expected to announce that a minor league baseball team will play at a stadium the City plans to build at I-90 and State Route 611. Plans call for the Frontier League team to join a YMCA, water park, ice rink, and soccer and baseball facilities on the 120 acre site. The project's funding package would include a 0.25% wage tax. Officials from the City of Lorain have also been trying to attract a Frontier League team to Campana Park.

On Friday, the NOACA Governing Board approved an RFP for an economic impact study of the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. The study will investigate the interchange's effects on employment and wages, tax base, and public services.

American Stone said that it has formally terminated an agreement with developer Trans European Securities for the proposed 989 acre Cleveland Quarries mixed-use development and resort in South Amherst. Despite claims that "heavy hitters" were behind the project, Trans European was unable to obtain funding to purchase the property, and the development agreement expired nearly a year ago. Lorain County officials remain optimistic that the site will be developed.

NOACA staff will present plans for their study of the I-90 interchange proposal to the NOACA Governing Board for approval or modification this month. Traffic engineering consultants for the City of Avon say that traffic projections predict levels of service of D, E, and F by 2030 if the Nagel Road interchange is not built, and a level of service C if it is constructed.

Plain Dealer columnist Kevin O'Brien asserts that NOACA should allow construction of the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon, because a refusal would impinge on the rights of individuals to choose where they will live. If the interchange is rejected, "sprawl will continue along whatever turns out to be the path of least resistance, because sprawl offers choices that make people happy."

North Ridgeville has become one of the fastest growing cities in Northeast Ohio. 2,741 houses were built in the City between 2000 and 2006, the most in the region. City officials say 400 homes could be built this year, with 4,000 more expected in the next 10 years.

The city councils of Westlake and Cleveland passed resolutions in support of federal funding for a West Shore corridor alternatives analysis. The study would examine the proposed commuter rail line between Cleveland and Lorain and other potential transportation improvements.

Some Lorain County politicians, including Avon Mayor Jim Smith, continue to strongly object to NOACA conducting a study of the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. Other Lorain County leaders want the study completed within 60 days, but NOACA indicated that the study would likely be finished in the second quarter of 2007. John Kahl, the CEO of Henkel Consumer Adhesives in Avon, supports the construction of the interchange, while others contend that it would be a step back for regionalism in Northeast Ohio.

In addition to the planned 40 acre Avon Crossings retail center on State Route 83, additional retail development is planned in Avon for a 12 acre site at Route 83 and Route 254 and for a property on Detroit Road near Avon Commons.

Mayor Smith of Avon is upset that the NOACA board elected to study the proposed I-90 interchange at Lear Road and that he was not invited to a meeting to discuss the parameters of the study. A Lorain Morning Journal editorial accuses NOACA leadership of being obstructionist.

On Friday, the NOACA Governing Board unanimously voted to study the proposed I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. NOACA staff will evaluate how the interchange could affect future development in the region before a vote is held on its approval. Some Lorain County leaders were unhappy with the decision.

A Plain Dealer editorial urges NOACA to carefully study the potential ramifications of the proposed new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon. Meanwhile, Westlake is considering a proposal to vacate a mile-long section of nearby Avon Road to create room for additional development.

The Avon Planning Commission approved a general development plan for the 36 acre Avon Crossing shopping center at State Route 83 and Chester Road. It's slated to be anchored by a Lowe's and an unnamed 100,000 square foot store.

(via Urban Ohio)

Cool Cleveland's George Nemeth interviewed the three founders of Sustainable Community Associates about their Oberlin development, their backgrounds, and their philosophies.

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