TOH project uses doublespeak

Doublespeak, according to Wikipedia, is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.

Here in Cleveland Heights we're told that Top of the Hill (TOH) will provide luxury apartments. Examples of luxury are difficult to pick out, because the architectural drawings that have been provided to citizens are missing critical pages, and the pages that have been provided frequently lack detail. The developer says the lane between the tower building and the garage will be “stamped asphalt.” Stamped asphalt seems cheap. How can cheap be luxury?

One construction method—that for the 500-plus car garage—definitely does not fit into the luxury category. It is cast-in-place (similar to the notorious University Square Target garage), rather than poured-in-place, which the city has at Cedar Lee and Coventry.

Green space is another doublespeak item. As it stands now, the TOH project has one publicly accessible green space, on the slope with a retaining wall, west of Nighttown.

The other “green space” is the gated (for TOH tenants only) AstroTurf dog park that is replacing a grove of trees at the front door of the Buckingham Condominiums. Well, I do admit that AstroTurf is usually green.

Another example of doublespeak involves two of the four TOH ordinances that CH City Council passed on Dec. 2. Labeling two of them as “housekeeping” issues is deceitful, because most people do not relate “housekeeping” to financing. At the same meeting, a second amendment to the TOH Development Agreement was passed on "emergency" basis—“necessary for the preservation of public peace, health, and safety." (A fourth ordinance seemed presented in a straightforward manner, though it involved a surprising $30-million bond issue.)

Refer to George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English language," which discusses the distortion of language for political purposes.

Joyce Rajki

Joyce Rajki, a 49-year resident of Cleveland Heights, is advocating for quality design and construction that will stand the test of time. 

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.03.2020