Time for an update on Telling Mansion.
Despite strong community protest, Telling Mansion, the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) was sold in December 2013. The CCPL Board and Director were asked to poll citizens and let them decide whether or not to sell Telling. The Board and Director refused to include the citizens in the decision about whether or not to sell Telling.
There was never any justification for the sale of Telling Mansion.
According to CCPL’s own consultants, it would have cost $5 million to upgrade Telling Mansion; that included installing an elevator and other ADA features, which seemed to be an important issue to patrons.
Instead of spending $5 million, CCPL is spending $12.6 million to build a BIGGER library- in an era of fewer print books. Does a community and county with shrinking population and declining income need a bigger library that costs two and a half times what it would cost to renovate the current library?
Mark my words, there is nothing that will be done in the new library that could not have been done in Telling Mansion’s buildings.
Please go visit one of the new CCPL buildings you can’t miss them, they are the generic looking buildings with the huge letters “LIBRARY” placed on top of them. Then ask yourself, “Is it worth $7.6 million to put all the DVDs and books on one floor?
Some citizens tell themselves that “at least Telling Mansion has been preserved”.
This is not true.
The purchaser, Dick Barone, has been asked repeatedly to sign documents agreeing to preserve Telling Mansion, but he has refused. Because no federal funds were spent on the building, its historic designation as an Ohio Landmark and listing on the National Register of Historic Places provides no protection. Dick Barone can do whatever he wants to Telling Mansion, include tear it down.
There is no public building that you can move about and use with the freedom that you can in a public library. When the library moves out in October, Dick Barone plans to close Telling Mansion. When it reopens in 2017 as a “museum”, you will have to pay to get in.
The public paid for Telling Mansion for the past 63 years; our public wealth has been transferred to one very wealthy person, Dick Barone. The terms of the lease that Dick Barone negotiated with CCPL required that he pay no property taxes while he rents Telling Mansion to them. He will no doubt attempt to use the non-profit status of the “museum” to avoid paying property taxes, unlike the rest of us, and to decrease his personal tax liability.
It seems only fair for Dick Barone to establish a fund to pay for his fair share of the infrastructure costs that his “museum” will incur. His “museum” customers will use public roads to get to his “museum”; the fire and police departments will protect his property. He will contribute nothing to pay for the public schools. Haven't we given him enough? Shouldn't he agree to pay his fair share of public services by making a voluntary payment to the school district and the city every year?
By the way, CCPL claimed it had to sell Telling because it could not afford to pay for its upkeep. Why is it that Dick Barone was not concerned about this? Probably because the argument has no basis in fact. (Even if this were true, the $12.6 million CCPL is spending on the new library buys a lot of "upkeep".)
Somehow the Cleveland Public Library manages to operate 21st century libraries in 100 year old historic buildings and the Library of Congress manages to operate a 21st century library in an historic building that is 118 years old. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library operates branches in buildings built in the 1920s-1930s. But, CCPL is unable to operate a 21st century library in an historic building that was built in 1930. Some of you reading this live a home built before Telling was.
A long list of local elected officials were asked to bring CCPL to the table to talk with citizens; all of these elected officials sided with and supported and many helped CCPL ram the sale of Telling Mansion down our throats. Only Lyndhurst City Council stood up for citizens and I thank them for acting as ethical public officials.
We citizens were deceived and manipulated. We were pushed out of the conversation—but our tax dollars were not. Another misconception out there is that if you do not have a CCPL library in your community, then you do not support CCPL with your taxes, so what CCPL does is none of your business. It’s important for taxpayers to know that about 25% of CCPL’s tax revenue, all public libraries’ tax revenue, come from the state—so everyone who pays Ohio state taxes helps to support CCPL and all libraries. (Libraries also get some federal monies.)
But, it's true that those who own property in South Euclid and Lyndhurst bear a greater share of the debt incurred by CCPL for the new CCPL branch being built across the street from Notre Dame College. Telling Mansion library was walking distance from the public high school and junior high school; the new library is not walking distance for junior and senior high school students, but is across the street from a private college.
Many, many of the comments people made on the 3500 petitions to save Telling were about children and childhood. People wrote about loving to visit Telling as a child, or the pleasure it brought to their children and grandchildren. Telling was called the "castle library" by many generations; its architecture and design excited a lot of imaginations. What could be better than reading a fairy tale in a real castle?
Why this update? To encourage you to go look at Telling Mansion for one last time. It is a sight to behold. It was one of the most interesting, unique and beautiful public libraries in the country. By selling Telling Mansion the CCPL Board and Director dispossessed us of wealth, history, culture and pleasure.
Our lives are now a little coarser and cheaper because of this loss.
Don't you owe it to yourself to go and say goodbye?
Update on Taylor Rd Rehab project. Plans are for Taylor Rd to be narrowed by 2 lanes in the section between Mayfield and Euclid Heights Blvd. But, plans are for the greenspace to be added on the commercial side--NOT on the side where people live. Neighbors want the greenspace and a bike lane to be added to their side, primarily for safety and quality of life issues.
The following Update is sent on behalf of Doug Whipple and other concerned residents:
You can contact Doug Whipple at 216-538-3212 or email@example.com
PS Doug's group is looking for engineers and other knowledgeable people to help evaluate and comment on the ODOT proposal.
The public hearing about the Taylor Rd rehab will be held next Wednesday, August 10, at 6 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center (Recreation Center) located at the corner of Mayfield and Monticello Rd.
This discussion includes consideration of narrowing Taylor Rd from 7 lanes to 5 lanes between Mayfield and Euclid Heights Blvd.
The plan currently calls for the greenspace to be added to the commercial side of the street, not the side where the houses are located.
Please attend and help us get the greenspace to move to the other side!
Greenspace added to the residential side of the street will make our community safer and more accessible to walkers, bikers, wheelchairs and strollers.
More details about the meeting to follow.
See you there!
Council plans to narrow Taylor Rd between Mayfield and Euclid Heights Blvd, but they plan to add the greenspace to the Severance Town Center side, NOT on the side where the people live.
Please read this post and the accompanying documents by Doug Whipple and then write to City Council and attend the City Council meeting on Monday, July 18th at 7:30pm. See you there!
Please contact Doug if you would like more information and/or want to help with this issue.
COUNCIL INVITES MORE COSTLY TAYLOR ROAD DELAYS
By Douglas Whipple
After a decade of City mismanagement, the rehabilitation of Taylor Road is in jeopardy of being stalled indefinitely by expensive litigation.
The project had called for narrowing of the seven-lane South Taylor Road and allocating some of that new space for wider tree lawns and pedestrian access on the residential west side of the road.1 But the City secretly altered the plan to add all the land to the already oversized setbacks on the commercial side to the east.2 The City intentionally rejected the public input it had received but never notified its citizens of this ill-conceived decision.
Concerned residents discovered and publicized the deception in March of this year.3 4 5 The City responded by promising to hold a public hearing, but no hearing has yet been scheduled. Meanwhile, Council hurriedly authorized the final contract in a Resolution6 that never appeared on its Agenda.7 When asked, the City Manager could not explain how this blatant irregularity could have happened.
Instead of addressing the issue, City officials have simply “circled the wagons.” By running roughshod over important legal procedures—not to mention the public concerns that have been voiced—Council is exposing the project to costly lawsuits. The solution is for the Council to return to the sensible, community-friendly Concept that the City and the public had endorsed originally, before the furtive modifications were made.
Now is the time for Council members who espouse pedestrian safety, sustainability and astute neighborhood designs to stand up and be counted. The same may be said for those who support municipal competence and transparency and are opposed to avoidable litigation. Council still has a few days left to correct the mistakes that the City has made but only if it addresses the situation promptly and proactively.
Interested persons should attend the Council meeting at 7:30 PM, Mon., July 18, or contact their preferred Council member at once. Doug Whipple may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Douglas Whipple is a sixteen-year resident of Cleveland Heights. He is solely responsible for any opinions expressed herein.)
IMAGES & PHOTOGRAPHS:
1. Concept C, approved at a public meeting in 2002.
2. City’s non-public modification of Concept C, allocating all the green space to the east side.
3. March 2011 Future Heights article, bringing the City’s secret modification to light.
4. Photograph of three lanes of snow plowed onto the sidewalks of South Taylor Road.
5. Photograph of a South Taylor sidewalk in winter.
6. Minutes of June 20, 2011 Council meeting, passing Resolution 78-2011(MS).
7. Agenda of June 20 Council meeting, on which Resolution 78-2011(MS) does not appear.
Other articles on Taylor Rd, from the bicycle enthusiast's perspective.
Green City Blue Lake blog weighs in with this article by Mark Lefkowitz
From Cleveland Heights Patch .
Please join us for our annual meeting this Thursday, June 30th at 6:15-6:45pm.
Followed by OUR PROGRAM at 7p.m.
Program to be held at the Noble Road Presbyterian Church - Fellowship Hall - 2780 Noble Road, Cleveland Heights, located on the corner of Noble and Kirkwood.
You can park on the street or in the church parking lot, on the other side of Noble Rd.
West Creek succeeded in perserving land surrounding the 9-mile tributary of the Cuyahoga in the city of Parma. An open discussion with WCPC Executive Director,David Linchek, about what they did and how we can learn from them to help save and preserve Oakwood Golf Club.
West Creek has been so successful that they have gone on to establish the Greater Cleveland Urban Land Conservancy program.
Bring all your questions for Dave and join us for a lively and informative discussion.
See you there!
← Older posts
We asked Shakespeare if he thought First Interstate donating their 7 acre stormwater management system was a tax abatement.
He said “Yes!” and went on to explain why:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Updated version: No matter what you call it…a tax abatement is a tax abatement!
I would check his math, though. He is much better at writing plays.
Check Shakespeare’s calculations below:
First Interstate says their 40 acre development will be valued at $45,000,000.00.
First Interstate’s stormwater management system takes up 7acres next to the 40 acre development.
These 7 acres will be donated to the city of South Euclid. So,no taxes will be paid on these 7 acres, even though they will be used every day as part of First Interstate’s development.
First Interstate will not pay taxes on its 7acre stormwater management system, so it WILL SAVE $312,637.50 IN TAXES PER YEAR.
What if First Interstate decided to put its 7 acre stormwater management system somewhere else on its property?
Oops! There’s no place else to put it.
See for yourself by looking at the site plan .
This chart was taken from document at this link at the City of South Euclid website. Document was provided by First Interstate.
Here is a plan for the 21 Acre Park that shows the 7 acres used for stormwater management from the proposed development.
PS. If you haven’t signed our petition yet, you can join 574 others and sign it by clicking here!
South Euclid City Council.
South Euclid City Council will probably vote on the Oakwood rezoning at Monday's meeting, June 27th at 8pm in South Euclid City Hall.
The Oakwood proposal states:
Instead, based on the discussion that took place last night in the city council committee meeting, South Euclid city officials may settle for:
To read the complete application for rezoning, click here
Please ask yourself if it is worth ripping up the largest remaining greenspace in the inner ring suburbs for this proposed commercial development.
Please write or call (381-0400) the South Euclid city officials for one last time before they vote on the rezoning of Oakwood:
PS. If you haven't signed our petition yet, you can join 503 others and sign it by clicking here!
We do not oppose development. We want the right kind in the right place. Develop Cedar Center NOT Oakwood
1. Download one of our signs. You can cut them in half and post them inside your car window, or on your front door or on the back of your raincoat! Please use them to help spread the word…You can download them by clicking here: Stop Big Box on Oakwood or Not A Done Deal
2. 25 ft buffer zone from Nine Mile Creek.The developer’s agreement only provides for a 25 ft buffer between construction and the banks of Nine Mile Creek.
Binxie the dog is positioned 25 ft from the banks of a section of Nine Mile Creek.
3. Deer.When we arrived on the scene for the photoshoot, there were 3 deer there, resting in a wooded area about the size of a median strip.
The wooded area is at the edge of a large parking lot.
The old Center Mayfield theater parking lot at the corner of Mayfield and Warrensville-Center Rd.
The deer got up when we approached and ran back into Oakwood.
Next Wednesday is the MUST ATTEND public hearing for the rezoning of Oakwood; 6pm in the South Euclid City Hall.
Oakwood needs your support!
Please arrive early so that you have time to park and sign the clipboard before the meeting starts.
Oakwood:It's not just us--the Cleveland Heights Planning Director does not think 50 ft. buffer is sufficient.
The post "Would you want Big Box built 50 ft from your property line?" drew an angry response from First Interstate.
Actually, part of the plan only calls for a 25 ft. buffer!
Please read the attached document from the Cleveland Height Planning Director to get more details about the 25ft and 50ft proposed buffers.
The two attached images illustrate dramatically what the spatial relationship will be between the buildings and the existing homes along Oakwood.
Click on images to enlarge.
All 3 documents were submitted by the Cleveland Heights Planning Director as part of the public hearing on March 10th.
No one, neither the developer nor any member of the South Euclid Planning Commission has offered to increase the buffer zone between the proposed buildings and the existing homes. Residents of both cities will be affected.
Our community is a means to an end for the developer and his global investment firm. They do not live here and do not care about the community.
If we let them...they will make a little bit of money for a few years and then move on, having destroyed the largest remaining greenspace in the inner ring suburbs.
Oppose the rezoning of Oakwood.
THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY.
Please mark your calendars for the South Euclid City Council Public Hearing on May 25th at 6pm in the South Euclid City Hall. See you there!
1. Would you like to donate your front yard to your city?
Would you want to have this "wetland" on your property?