The View from Ward 2: Issue #37

Happy New Year! After a challenging 2020, I am looking forward to the year ahead and my second year serving on Council. I remain committed to working hard for you, and to working with the administration and my colleagues on City Council to make 2021 a successful year for our City. As always, I welcome any questions or concerns that you may have and encourage you to virtually watch and participate in our meetings.

Housing, Planning, and Development Committee

On Monday, January 4th, the Housing, Planning, and Development Committee discussed two ordinances that would authorize the City to enter into a development agreement with the developer of the former Barry Buick and Spitzer properties JDSI as part of a 15-year tax increment financing program.

A tax increment financing program (TIF) is a financing tool available to cities that can be used to support public or private infrastructure improvements. The TIF works by allowing the increase in the assessed value of the property after the improvements are made to be exempt from real property taxes. For example, if a property is assessed at $100,000 prior to any improvements and is then assessed at $300,000 after the improvements, then the property owner only pays property taxes on the original $100,000 assessment. The TIF that we are considering is a non-school TIF. This means that Lakewood’s schools would receive the full amount of property taxes that would have been payable as if no TIF existed. The TIFs would be in addition to the 15-year Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) exemptions that work like TIFs, but require the developer to make 20% of its units to be affordable. 

The authorization to enter into a development agreement is the first step in implementing the TIF. City Council will have to pass the Development Agreement Ordinance, the City then must enter and exit the chain of title for the properties, and then City Council must pass the TIF Incentive Ordinances.

The City estimates that during the proposed 30-year period the City will collect $116,779,445 in income taxes. Enacting the TIF will convert two former commercial sites into two newly constructed mixed-use properties that will collectively add 280 residential units, 3,000 square feet of commercial space, and 56 affordable housing units. The developer told the Committee that the affordable housing units will be indistinguishable from the market-rate units.  In an effort to support diversity and inclusion, the developer has also agreed to use its best efforts to require 10% participation of minority business enterprises, woman business enterprises, disadvantaged business enterprises, and small business enterprises in the commercial space. The developer will also execute a Project Labor Agreement with the Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council and its affiliates, which means that union labor will be used in this project, Lakewood residents will be employed during construction, and prevailing wages will be required.

The construction of these two complexes, which will be known as The View West and The View East, will be the first newly constructed apartments in decades. This will hopefully relieve some of the pressure in the rental market and make more affordable units available for rent. The Committee referred the ordinances out of committee and unanimously recommended adoption by City Council.

New Tenant at former Campbell’s Popcorn Shop Site

Lou and Al’s Pies, Slices, and Ices recently signed a 10-year lease with two 5-year options at the former Ward 2 site of Campbell’s Popcorn Shop. This new restaurant will be a “60’s inspired, counter-service New York pizzeria” that will offer a menu of pizza, slices, salads, sides, sandwiches, and Italian ices with vegan and gluten-free options. The owners, Lout Tomczak and Alison Cargilio, plan to keep it local not only for their ingredients, but also by using local talent for their branding, uniforms, and menus. Please join me in welcoming Lou and Alison to our community!

Beekeeping Ordinance Passage

Earlier this year, a resident approached me about becoming a beekeeper. I learned that, although there were many beehives in Lakewood, our zoning code did not include language permitting urban beekeeping. Since that initial conversation, I have worked to develop a beekeeping ordinance in to officially allow beekeeping in Lakewood and to ensure that it is practiced in a safe manner. We have received input from local beekeepers, the County apiary inspector and the Ohio State Beekeepers Association, and at our City Council meeting on December 7th, we passed the ordinance.
Paid for by Friends of Jason Shachner

Email me at:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.