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The shared services/merger study for four east side Cuyahoga County communities may focus more on sharing services than a merger of the communities. Residents from Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere shared their thoughts with project consultants at four public meetings in February.

Cuyahoga County named the nonprofit Center for Governmental Research of Rochester as the lead consultant for the merger/shared services study for Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere. The study will be supported by a $100,000 state LGIF grant and a $34,130 NOACA grant. A Plain Dealer editorial said it "could turn out to be among the most important public dollars [the county] spends this year."

Election recap

This month's election included the following issues (PDF):

In Summit County, Green residents voted to ban casino gambling and horse racing.

Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for complete results.

Mayor Mulcahy said that voters in Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere probably won't see a ballot issue this November on a potential merger due to the complexity of the subject and the need for study.

On Thursday, the mayors of Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere discussed the potential merger of their communities (along with the Village of Moreland Hills) at a Corporate Club forum. They spoke about their motivations and the potential cost savings.

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun and Cleveland Jewish News reported on the event. Meanwhile, Jill Miller Zimon interviewed Gary Norton, the mayor of East Cleveland and Beryl Rothschild, the former mayor of University Heights.

NOACA's governing board approved a $34,100 grant to Cuyahoga County to support a study of the potential merger of Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere. The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission will conduct the study.

Mayor Spremulli of Bentleyville has concerns about the potential merger of Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere. A Chagrin Solon Sun editorial says that the "beauty of regionalism is that it can be adapted to fit a community's needs."

Mayors and residents discussed the proposed merger of Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere on the latest Civic Commons radio show.

The Plain Dealer took a closer look at the idea of merging Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere, and the Chagrin Valley Times and Cleveland Jewish News got reactions from municipal officials. The mayors of the four communities discussed the concept on Monday's Sound of Ideas program, and a Plain Dealer editorial said that the "communities are establishing a valuable template others can -- and should -- follow."

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun gathered additional reactions.

Update 2: a Chagrin Solon Sun editorial supports the process.

County Executive FitzGerald and the mayors of Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere announced that they will begin to study the possibility of merging their communities. The mayors are looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. If the communities decide to proceed with the merger, voter approval would be required to establish a study commission and later for a merger plan.

Planning consultant David Hartt of D.B. Hartt, Inc. has begun a major revision of the Village of Moreland Hills' zoning code.

Election recap

Bay Village
Issue 13 (attached housing): passed

Brecksville
Issue 30 (accessory structures): passed

Broadview Heights
Issue 37 (retail rezoning): passed

Fairview Park
Issues 54 & 55 (residential rezonings): passed

Mayfield Village
Issues 84 & 86 (referendum zoning changes): failed

Moreland Hills
Issue 88 (open space zoning): passed

Solon
Issue 129 (residential rezoning): failed

For complete results, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The first citizen members of Moreland Hills' new Green Commission were sworn in at a September Village Council meeting. The Commission's objective is to "improve the quality of life and protect the fragile ecosystem (PDF) of the Village of Moreland Hills."

The Chagrin Solon Sun urges Moreland Hills residents to approve Issue 88, which would establish an open space conservation zoning classification. It also asks Solon voters to reject Issue 129, a proposal to rezone a property from single-family to two-family residential. The Sun Post-Herald encourages Fairview Park voters to pass Issues 54 and 55, which it describes as "housekeeping items that will correct a zoning oversight".

Moreland Hills Village Council was expected to approve placing modifications of Village's open space conservation zoning classification on the November ballot.

Update: Village Council voted to place the issue on the ballot.

Moreland Hills voters may have the opportunity to vote on changes to the Village's open space conservation zoning classification, while Bay Village voters may vote on a commercial to residential rezoning issue for a set of proposed condominiums.

Citing a need to focus on budget issues, the Village of Pepper Pike withdrew from further study of regional cooperation with neighboring Moreland Hills and Orange. Mayor Renda of Moreland Hills and Mayor Mulcahy of Orange said that the decision puts collaboration plans on hold.

Update: the communities shelved the regionalism study.

A study that Baldwin-Wallace College prepared for Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, and Pepper Pike says that the communities could save money by by consolidating their police, dispatch services, and service departments. The mayors of Moreland Hills, Orange, and Pepper Pike are willing to consider municipal mergers, and hope to obtain an EfficientGovNow grant to study the possibility. A Chagrin Solon Sun editorial said that the idea is worth considering.

Local governments in the 16-county Northeast Ohio region submitted 50 projects in the second round of the EfficientGovNow grant program. Sixteen of the applications are from Cuyahoga County communities, including a proposal from Moreland Hills, Orange Village, and Pepper Pike that would fund implementation of a forthcoming municipal collaboration study.

Update: organizers encourage public input on the project ideas.

Baldwin-Wallace College is preparing a study on municipal collaboration for leaders in Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, and Pepper Pike. It should be completed by November.

Moreland Hills leaders officially opened the new Forest Ridge Preserve on Sunday. The 124-acre preserve is the Village's first park.

Update: EcoWatch Ohio has more details.

Moreland Hills City Council has begun discussing the water main maintenance and no poaching proposal offered by the City of Cleveland.

Updates on proposed residential developments:

On Monday, the Moreland Hills Planning and Zoning Commission will review plans for Moreland Town Center, a planned redevelopment of the northwest corner of the Chagrin Boulevard and SOM Center Road intersection.

(Update: demolition of the corner's existing structures is underway.)

A to Z Real Estate & Development may purchase an 18 acre property on Berkeley Avenue from developer Chuck Chudakoff with the intent of building 9 single-family homes on the site.

Several new residential subdivisions have been proposed for Cuyahoga County communities. Chagrin River Ridge, a 10 home development, was proposed for a 27.7 acre site off of Chagrin Road in Moreland Hills. Holbrook Estates is a proposed 14 home subdivision on 17 acres along Holbrook Road in Bentleyville. In Bedford Heights, the proposed Benedict Run subdivision would consist of 24 homes on six acres near Columbus Road.

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