Sign the petition to put Cedar Lee park on the ballot
I am circulating a petition to put the Lee Meadowbrook park on the ballot.
As most residents know, a big development project is planned for Cedar Lee. Many of us would like to reduce this project by about 25% in order to preserve the vacant lot on Lee Road, between Tullamore and Meadowbrook. We want a park there. Over 900 people signed a petition appealing to the city to preserve this green space. Nonetheless, city council is moving forward quickly and, we believe, without sufficient consideration.
Putting the park initiative on the ballot gives us a voice. Even if you are not sure how you feel about the park, you may feel as I do: The citizens should have a say in this.
Some arguments that have been made against the park are:
- The shopping on Lee Road should be continuous; interrupting foot traffic with a park is bad for business.
- The neighborhood needs more businesses, and the city needs tax revenue from the property taxes.
- Lee Road businesses would benefit from increased foot traffic, and condo owners living in the upstairs units will be customers.
- The neighborhood already has parks within walking distance—Cain and Cumberland parks.
- The current development plan includes green space.
Some thoughts on these arguments:
Interrupting foot traffic for one short block seems unlikely to crush business and is presented without evidence. Everyone walks that block now! And it will be even more appealing to walk across a park instead of an empty lot. Many shopping areas across the world include a beautiful park as an anchor, a place to rest, and a place for kids to play.
There is no doubt that the city can benefit from property taxes, and there will be tax revenue from the development even without building on the existing green space. However, our neighborhood need not carry an undue burden of tax generation while the potential at Severance mall and other locations remains untapped.
A park can bring people to the local businesses, and not all Lee Road business owners are against the park! I have spoken to several who are in favor of one.
Meadowbrook neighbors want a voice, and are not just making “political noise.” We are seriously thinking about the long-term implications of an irrevocable decision that impacts our quality of life.
Ask your Meadowbrook neighbors, do you walk to Cain Park and Cumberland Park? No indeed. These are not neighborhood parks for us.
The allotted area for green space in the current plan is too small to be considered a park. It looks like it belongs to the condos, not as a public space.
Cain Park is a beautiful example of what Cleveland Heights can do when the community wants to create a beautiful park and gathering space. We can do this at Lee and Meadowbrook. A park might host a weekly farmer’s market, a weekly food truck evening and holiday festivals, and provide a playground, picnic area, reading garden. It can be a sanctuary for all of us.
Business-driven construction is all the rage now; we see generic condo/storefront buildings everywhere. What would be truly unique, and in tune with our values as a community, would be to also invest in business beauty, nature and sanctuary. The needs of our local businesses need not conflict with the park.
If you agree that there are good reasons to put the park on the ballot, please sign the petition. If you would like someone to bring by a petition, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maia White is a retired nurse and social worker. She lives on Meadowbrook Boulevard, close to the proposed development.