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Oakwood Park can still be a reality

posted Dec 30, 2010, 5:54 PM by Fran Mentch   [ updated Dec 31, 2010, 4:08 PM ]
Despite what you may have read, a developer has not purchased all of Oakwood.
He only has an option to buy the Cleveland Heights section. It expires in late April.
Trust for Public Land made it that far on our behalf; they also had a 90 day option to buy all of the property, but ran out of time.
In order to develop the property,both South Euclid and Cleveland Heights must change their zoning.
If there is no zoning change, there is no development.
So, it is not a "done deal".
The rezoning can be defeated,
  • if residents who want a park will write and call their city government officials in South Euclid and Cleveland Heights,
  • if residents will write and call the Cleveland Heights and South Euclid  planning commissions
  • if residents show up at all the public hearings., and city council meetings and planning commission meetings.
Citizens for Oakwood is continuing with the same plan we have always had. We are runnng our capital campaign to raise $1 million to leverage the rest of the money needed to purchase the entire property and transfer it to Metroparks for their management.
Don't be fooled. The "greenspace" that the developer has said he will donate to the cities, is his way of generating a tax abatement for himself. If he donates these 2 disconnected pieces of open space to the cities, the cities will have to pay to maintain them, he will get a tax write-off for the donation, and then he does not have to pay the taxes on them ever again.
If residents do not stop the rezoning, the developer will have hacked apart 144 acres and kept the most select pieces for himself, with taxpayers having subsidized his plan.
Much of the greenspace he is "donating" would be very costly to build on due to EPA and city regulations regarding watershed and riparian setbacks.
We do not oppose development.
We want it in the right places, offering good quality jobs.
We do not want to sacrifice the quality of our community.