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Cleveland Heights residents debate development vs. green space

Issue 9 decides future of Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 12:05 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Heights residents have debated what to do with a little more than an acre at the northeast corner of Lee and Meadowbrook.

It’s a classic argument: green space versus development?

“I guess I could see a development there if there was a public park,” said Ralph Solonitz, a supporter of Issue 9, which would put a park on the land and stop a $52 million planned development for the space, a four-story, 200 unit mixed use residential and retail development.

The plan for the development includes a third-of-an-acre used for green space.

“If Issue 9 does pass, we get exactly what we have right now and that’s not sustainable,” said Issue 9 opponent Catherine Osborn. “If Issue 9 does not pass, we get a development, we get neighbors, we get retail, and we get a park.”

“There’s certainly nothing wrong with green space and a place for the rain to percolate into the ground,” said Garry Kanter, an Issue 9 supporter. “Do we need more asphalt in this world? I don’t think so.”

“It is an issue of progress in the sense that it allows us to maintain our competitive nature against similar communities that are vying for these types of individual projects,” said Osborn. “It allows us to keep moving forward and offer newer housing.”

Supporters worry the issue is confusing since a “no” vote on Issue 9 means “yes” to the development. To others, it’s more simple.

“The key word is, it’s public,” said Kanter. “It’s taxpayer-owned land.”

The issue appears on the May 3 ballot in Cleveland Heights.

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