Oakwood development plan draws large crowd to CH council meeting

The following was sent via e-mail at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 4 by the Severance Neighborhood Organizaiton – which has taken a leading interest in use of the the former Oakwood Country Club property. The developer of Legacy VIllage and other such developments has plans to use the property for a combination of "value-oriented" retail, high-density residential development and greenspace. This e-mail is provided in its entirety without editing.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to the Cleveland Heights City Council meeting to show their support for Oakwood. The meeting on 1/3/11 was so full of people that chairs were brought from other rooms to accommodate the crowd; even then the group of about 75 people spilled out into the hallway outside council chambers.
About 20 people spoke; all of their presentations were very articulate, fact-filled and passionate. The speakers included homeowners from both Cleveland Heights and South Euclid who lived near Oakwood and some who lived further out. Their concerns included issues such as:
having enough greenspace for children and young families
maintaining amenities that will draw new residents and maintain the character of the cities,
improve the aesthetics of that part of the community
concern about the direct impact on quality of life and property values of houses closest to Oakwood
 general lack of greenspace in the area and driving distance to a large park,
 regional impact of more retail in the area (a new project does not meet demand, but cannibalizes from other areas)
deleterious effect on local and small businesses, positive economic effects of greenspace
need to conserve land for watershed and other ecological reasons
concern for the long term viability of the community.
A recurrent theme was that we do not need more retail or housing in the area because of the large amount of vacant commercial and residential properties we already have in both cities, and the current close proximity of large amounts of retail. People said we need and developers to rebuild and reconfigure our older commercial areas.
Apologies for not including everything everyone said, if we left something out, it is not because it was not important; we can add more detail after we watch the televised version. For those with Time Warner, the meeting will be rebroadcast on channel 20 at 9a.m., 9p.m. and 2a.m. for the next two weeks. For those who do not have this provider, we will be posting the meeting in parts on YouTube in the next few days and will let you know when that is ready.
Thanks to all of you we are off to a great start!

The Severance Neighborhood Organization is a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen the greater Severance area of Cleveland Heights, Ohio through efforts driven by citizen-volunteers to build community, beautify, and enhance the neighborhood's residential and commercial areas. Visit www.heightsSNO.org.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 7:48 AM, 01.05.2011