On August 7, 2015, the Cleveland Planning Commission will meet in City Hall, Room 514, at 9:00 AM to consider Knez Builder’s proposal. I urge my fellow residents to attend this meeting and have their voices heard.
by Dawn Lorring
As Cleveland’s revitalization gains momentum, wonderful things are happening. More residents live in downtown and new retail shops and world class restaurants abound. Long past are the days when Cleveland was known simply as the mistake on the lake.
One of the reasons that my husband and I love Cleveland is that every neighborhood is unique. Who can’t fall in love with the artsy vibes of Waterloo and the Detroit-shore way and the bustling night life in Ohio City? That neighborhood feel is exactly why we chose to move to the distinct pocket of Tremont known as Duck Island. We have a beautiful mix of neighbors who are committed to our “little neck of the woods.” With mainly older homes, with nice yards, Duck Island is a neighborhood where everyone looks out for each other, says hello and asks how you are doing. In the busy world of today, that is difficult to find.
But now our neighborhood is at risk. Duck Island is an older part of the City, designed with dead ends and narrow roads. As developers seek to take advantage of Cleveland’s resurgence, they are asking the City’s permission to build high-density development town homes in areas where such development simply cannot be supported. Duck Island’s neighborhood plan, developed in 2013, confirms this fact. The plan sets out Duck Island’s sensible and logical development, given its infrastructure and accounting for the safety and planning challenges of Duck Island. The plan concluded that “higher density development [in Duck Island] should be targeted to the part of the neighborhood north of Lorain Avenue” and that “on the smaller residential streets in the neighborhood, infill development should be limited to one and two family residential development.” But Knez Builders now proposes to build 23 townhomes on W. 19th, south of Abbey Avenue, which is a narrow dead-end street. But Knez Builders must seek permission from the City to rezone the property before building.
Residents are rightly concerned about how this high-density development, located on a narrow, dead-end street will impact: (1) traffic patterns; (2) safety; and (3) the character and integrity of the neighborhood. Duck Island residents have not seen any traffic, safety or impact studies and do not support such a high-density development on W. 19th. On August 4, 2015,the Duck Island Block Club formally voted to oppose Knez Builder’s proposal.
My husband and I welcome new neighbors and smart development. But development that destroys the character of the neighborhood and ignores traffic and safety concerns, just is not smart. On August 7, 2015, the Cleveland Planning Commission will meet in City Hall, Room 514, at 9:00 AM to consider Knez Builder’s proposal. I urge my fellow residents to attend this meeting and have their voices heard. Tell the City that Duck Island needs smart development, not development that packs residents in no matter the cost.