Parma And Cuyahoga County Still Seeking Input On Town Center Master Plan
The city and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission are still seeking public input through online surveys to help them craft a master plan for the town center concept. In August, officials wrapped up the last of three public meetings over the past nine months to solicit feedback from residents on their ideas surrounding what the city has branded as the town center – the area around the Ridge Road and West Ridgewood Drive intersection and the Day Drive corridor. While the public meetings seeking input for crafting the master plan are over, the county planning commission through mid-September is looking for additional residential input via web surveys, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParmaPM3 and www.countyplanning.us/projects/parma-master-plan/ Throughout the public input process, residents have been invited to complete the online surveys. “We truly want the public’s input as we try to harness this vital part of our city where tens of millions of dollars have been invested in The Shoppes at Parma, the UH Parma Medical Center and the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Powers Boulevard branch,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “All of the pieces are in place to make this a real focal point.” Of the surveys filled out at public meetings or online, residents have submitted nearly 400 surveys and about an equal number of comments.
A majority of those surveyed said they favor creating a unique identity to the town center area by rebranding it, using signage marking entrances and creating attractive visuals, according to Michael Mears, senior planner for the county planning commission. Beyond creating an identity, residents said they support developing pedestrian and bicycle paths to increase connectivity with the area and to surrounding neighborhoods, Mears said. “Those are two major themes that have emerged,” he said. “I’ve been pleased with the community’s response. Not only has it been positive, but it also has been constructive.” Once the public comment period is over, the county planning commission and city staff will draft a master plan based on residential input, as well as economic, demographic and other data relevant to the area.
In crafting the master plan, the county and city also will rely on recommendations from a 10-member steering committee comprised of individuals from, among other entities, The Shoppes at Parma, the Chamber of Commerce, West Creek Conservancy, UH Parma Medical Center, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Committee. Also on the committee is Councilman Dennis Kish. The master plan likely will be presented this winter to the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and Parma City Council. If adopted, the proposal will become a planning guide for developing the town center. “It’s important we grasp the full potential of this vital area,” DeGeeter said. “I’m looking forward to reading the master plan’s recommendations for making the town center a reality.”
Creating a master plan for the area was one of the recommendations of the Parma Mayor’s Town Center Task Force, formed by DeGeeter to help shape a vision for the development already occurring there. The area includes The Shoppes at Parma, the UH Parma Medical Center, the CCPL branch, Parma City Hall, Byers Field, Ridgewood Golf Course, Stearns Farm and Homestead, and the Day Drive corridor. To begin the master plan process, the city applied for a county grant and ultimately received it in the form of assistance from the county planning commission. Many of the concepts under consideration echo those put forward by the Mayor’s Town Center Task Force, DeGeeter said.
Communications Director, City of Parma, Mayor's Office