Ensure better design in developments like Lee and Meadowbrook
To the Editor:
Lost at the center of the debate about whether a 1.07-acre parcel of land at Lee Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard should be developed or retained as a public park is how the city can ensure a bit of both happens as a matter of due course.
The city can add to its arsenal on development with design standards. Design standards can ensure the provision of public space and functional green space.
In my research on best practices on sustainability for Cuyahoga County, Lakewood stood out as a city that has design standards for development that does just this: The city requires the provision of “green infrastructure” such as trees and rain gardens. It recognizes that the private sector can be partners in achieving its sustainability goal of reducing its impact on Lake Erie by retaining more stormwater onsite.
Green building and sustainable design standards for development—in tandem with tax incentives—have ensured the inclusion of public space and green infrastructure in cities from Cleveland to Portland, Ore. In fact, Cleveland Heights adopted zoning updates in 2012 that improved traditional, walkable characteristics of our commercial districts.
It can finish the job by writing design guidelines that clearly indicate how it expects developers to be partners in the pursuit of public space and green space that meets the needs of all.