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Clark-Fulton planning committee presents neighborhood plans to residents

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 8:36 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - After over a year of planning, the Clark-Fulton Together team shared its Community Master Plan Thursday at the Family Ministry Center.

Ricardo León, executive director of Metro West Community Development, says he wants the members of the neighborhood to be a part of the process: “To envision a plan for the neighborhood that allowed residents to be in the driver’s seat.”

The Clark-Fulton Together Community is an all-encompassing project meant as an upgrade for the neighborhood. It includes plans for affordable housing, green spaces, transportation, walkability, and living-wage jobs.

“So really just all of these quality of life elements that really create great neighborhoods,” León said.

Along with León and the Metro West Community Development, the plan is spearheaded by Ward 14 Councilman Jasmin Santana; Cleveland Planning Department Director Freddy Collier; MetroHealth Director of Economic and Community Transformation Greg Zucca; and The Cleveland Foundation Program Officer for Community Revitalization and Engagement Keisha Gonzalez.

Just as crucial to the neighborhood is Clark-Fulton’s large Latino population.

Ramonita Vargas, chief executive officer at the Spanish American Committee, says her biggest concern for any development project is still housing.

“We’re being gentrified in our community,” she said, “They can’t afford their rent, people are raising their rent so high.”

León agreed, and said the committee will make sure current residents are protected: “We’re in a neighborhood that’s over 50 percent Latino, and we want to ensure that remains.”

If the project is eventually approved by the City of Cleveland, it can begin as soon as this fall, though it still faces a financial hurdle in order to be fully implemented. León says it will be worth the investment.

“It is an expensive process, but we believe it’s money well spent,” he said.

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