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The View from Ward 2: Issue #50

Housing, Planning, & Development Committee

At the October 4th Housing, Planning and Development Committee meeting, we discussed the sale of 1451 St. Charles Ave. to Jim Miketo of Neighborhood Drummer. As you may remember, Lakewood has owned nine single-family residential properties adjacent to the former Lakewood Hospital site since the 1980s. Those properties were held for potential expansion of Lakewood Hospital. When a tenant decides not to renew their lease, the Planning and Development Department requests the authority from Council to dispose of the property.

This particular property became distressed several years ago and the home was slated for demolition, until the Planning Department decided to seek alternatives to try and save the home. After several rounds of Request for Proposals (RFPs) seeking a developer who would commit to preserving the exterior of the home the City selected Neighborhood Drummer.

The City requested that the Committee recommend for approval a purchase agreement that would sell the property to Neighborhood Drummer for $1 with the understanding that the developer will preserve the historic features of the home and sell the home at market rate. There is a profit-sharing clause with the agreement that any profit margin over 25% will be split with the City 50/50.

After hearing the developer express his interest in preserving the home over earning a significant profit on the project and after the City indicated that selling the property “as is” would yield a negligible amount of money for Lakewood and significantly decrease the influence the City has over the look of any future renovation, the Committee recommended the agreement for approval.

HAWK Crosswalk on Madison

For the second consecutive year, I submitted as my Budget Priority the installation of a HAWK crosswalk on Madison Avenue between Westwood/Morrison and Victoria/Revelry, a stretch of approximately 2,440 ft (.46 miles) without an intervening crosswalk. A HAWK crosswalk works as a traffic light for pedestrians and only lights up when a pedestrian presses the button to cross. This area experiences frequent foot traffic due to the popular bars and restaurants and many have observed people crossing the north side of the street from the public parking lot to the restaurants located directly across on the south side of the street. I am fairly confident that the necessary traffic studies will occur in 2022, but if not, I will continue to advocate for the installation of a crosswalk.
 

Affordable Housing

Promoting diversity in housing choices and affordability in Lakewood has been a priority for me since joining Council. Councilmember Tristan Rader and I authored a communication informing our colleagues and the public that the Housing, Planning, and Development Committee will be conducting a series of hearings that will provide you an opportunity to learn about the numerous programs that the City has implemented to address affordable housing, receive your input on how we can best address your housing needs, and to discuss potential policies that improve access to affordable housing.

I also coauthored a communication with Mayor George informing my colleagues that the Department of Planning and Development has made substantial progress in investigating barriers to aging in place and that we are ready to begin discussing potential policy solutions, including changes to our Zoning and Building Codes. This discussion will include changes in our code to make it easier to build additions to homes and allow for first-floor master bedrooms and how accessory dwelling units (ADUs) may be part of the solution to provide additional housing options for families and seniors. You can read more about our communication by visiting https://www.cleveland.com/community/2021/10/lakewood-exploring-aging-in-place-options-for-seniors-priced-out-of-homes.html.

If you are interested in being notified about when these items will be discussed, then please visit https://www.lakewoodoh.gov/lakewood-city-council/ and click on the link for Public Notice Email Sign-Up.

Baseball Field Design Contract

The Board of Control met and approved a contract for $11,000 with OSPORTS/Osborn Engineering for the design of Fox and Usher Fields. Three bids were received and all bids were reviewed with Lakewood City Schools. The design work is expected to take about two weeks and will rely on the Recreation Department providing field dimensions and other specifics. Once design work is completed, the School District will put out the bid for labor. The City and the District will then review the bids together. The estimated cost of the field renovation, for both fields, is $125,000.

 Radar Speed Signs

 A $17,000 contract was awarded to Traffic Logix Corporation to purchase 6 digital radar speed signs for use in support of the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. This acquisition brings the City’s radar speed sign total to 16. Digital signs can be easily moved and are supported by batteries that last for several weeks at a time. The Signs Department has plenty of batteries that they rotate on a needed basis. 6 of the 16 are solar signs, which can be cumbersome and require a bucket truck to move locations. All signs collect data on speed and frequency of travel on a street. After the first year of ownership, the City pays $400/year per unit for cloud services that integrate with our existing network. The cloud provides real time data to the Department of Planning and Development , which can be analyzed for the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program.

New Parking Payment System

Starting November 1st, Downtown Parking Lots A, B, and C will have a new parking payment system. These are the lots on the North side of Detroit between St. Charles Avenue and Gladys Avenue. The parking kiosks currently in place have reached the end of their useful life and have been plagued by equipment failures and slow service response from the manufacture. The lots will have a combination of contactless payments, coin operated meters, and permit parking. The contactless payment can be made through the ParkMobile App, by visiting the ParkMobile website, by texting “Park” to 77223, or by calling 877-727-5009. Long-term parking permits can be purchased from the Police Department. Parking will still only be enforced Monday through Friday, 8am through 6pm.
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City Council Member Jason Shachner · 15703 Lake Ave · Lakewood, OH 44107-2567 · USA

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