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Local developer David Lewanski's proposed Pinecrest development in Orange would replace a 76-acre residential area with retail, offices, and housing. If Village officials and voters approve a rezoning, it would add 390,500 square feet of upscale retail, 30,000 square feet of office space and 266 residential units (PDF) to an area near the Chagrin Highlands. Lewanski said he has acquired has long-term purchase options on most of the area's existing houses and that he will not seek development incentives for the project.

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.

The Orange Planning Commission is considering a proposal for an 85-acre mixed-use development around the area where Pinecrest Drive and Walnut Hills Avenue meet. A rezoning would be required for the project, which would entail the demolition of about 80 houses.

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."

Participants in a recent City Club panel discussion talked about state budget cuts and ways that local governments can achieve efficiencies by sharing services. In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Mayor DeGeeter of Parma highlighted his city's participation in regional collaborations.

Update: the latest Civic Commons radio show also explored the subject.

Developer Randy Kertesz intends to begin construction of the 156-house Lakes of Orange development this year. He bills it as Ohio's first green certified residential community.

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.

Developer Randy Kertesz intends to request another extension for his stalled Lakes of Orange subdivision at Miles and Brainard roads. He plans to obtain green building certification for the project's 156 proposed units.

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.

Orange Village Council approved a set of sustainable building guidelines for new construction. The voluntary Orange Goes Green Certification Program provides standards tailored for Northeast Ohio's conditions.

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun has more details.

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.

Leaders in Orange are considering the installation of bicycle paths along seven roadways in the Village. Construction would cost an estimated $4 million.

Stelex Equities dropped its plans to build Woodland Preserve, a proposed mixed-use development at Harvard and Brainard roads in Orange.

Orange Village Council continues to consider a revised residential point-of-sale ordinance. Two residents expressed concerns about the proposed law at a recent meeting.

Orange Village Council tabled a vote on a proposed residential point-of-sale ordinance. They may vote on amended legislation on October 1.

Orange Village Council is considering legislation that would institute residential point-of-sale inspections.

Developers donated a seven acre parcel to Orange Village. In exchange, they were allowed to add 14 units to their planned Lakes of Orange housing development.

Orange residents may have the opportunity to vote on a rezoning issue for the proposed Woodland Preserve development in November 2008, instead of the March vote that the developers initially wanted.

(Update: this week's Chagrin Herald Sun has more details.)

The Chagrin River Watershed Partners received a $15,000 grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to conduct a bioswale demonstration project in Orange.

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.

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.

Plans for the Woodland Preserve, the proposed development on the Weintraub property in Orange, include 663 housing units, public space, a medical building, and a small retail center. The area is currently zoned for single-family residential development, and developers hope to get a rezoning issue on the March ballot.

This evening, the Orange Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss a mixed-use development proposed for the 85 acre Weintraub property on Harvard Road. The project would include senior housing, continuing care, and public spaces.

Two realtors are marketing 53 acres along Pine Crest Drive and Harvard Road in Orage to commercial and retail developers. The land is currently occupied by 27 homes, and most homeowners have signed a three year listing agreement. Voters would have to approve a rezoning issue for construction to occur.

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