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City Eyes Land Along the Rocky River for Park

It’s only a small piece of land, but there are still a couple of roadblocks.

The city is eyeing a small section of land along the Rocky River to set up a park.

It’s not much land — enough for a couple of picnic tables and a bench or two — but the city is looking to open it up to the public.

The space, about 50 feet along the Rocky River next to the , is currently fenced off and growing weeds.

According to the deed agreement with Cuyahoga County, the city is supposed to open the land up to residents.

“We intend to make it public,” said Kevin Butler, the city’s law director. “We want to turn that area just north of the bridge into public land.”

First, the city must first repair an aging wooden bulkhead along the river, and replace it with steel. While small, the adjacent Port of Lakewood is active, as boaters use the area to dock their vessels.

“We’ve got some work to do,” said Butler, who said there’s no timetable for the proposal. 

The cost of the project — as well as how it would be paid for — hasn’t been determined.

The city has right-of-access (an easement) to get to the Port of Lakewood as well as the proposed park, Butler said.

“We’re going to have to have a conversation with the Metro Parks to make sure that people have unfettered access to that area,” he added. 

ian king August 02, 2012 at 11:40 PM
To Steve: In your spare time, check out RICHARD FLORIDA's well respected book on the future of healthy cities in USA: THE RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS. Well researched and documented, Florida correctly has identified what will be the engines that drive healthy cities in the 21st century. I wish everyone here in Ohio would read this and understand the economic factors that are now real for us in 2012. Unfortunately, most of Ohio's leaders are short term focused, could care less about the future environmental lives of their children/grandchildren (even though they espouse family "Christian values"), and are creating public policy on a daily basis that is the exact opposite of what is needed to attract new businesses and smart brains to Ohio. (like the crazy abortion bills passed in Ohio recently) Again, look at Portland, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver, Austin, etc. etc. - and compare to Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Youngstown, Akron. Only Columbus is comparable and that is about it in Ohio. We do have a window to turn it around - maybe 10 years at most - but under retro thinking Gov. Kasich, the future is looking very limited for Ohio.
Peggy August 03, 2012 at 09:52 PM
It would be nice to see Metroparks acquire this small parcel and preserve the green space. Who comes up with these ideas? Lakewood doesn't need to create a public park at this location when Cleveland Metroparks Scenic Park is only 1,500 feet away (give or take) and already offers the public much more. Why would Lakewood spend money to create a small park area that offers no more than what is available just down the road. It makes no sence. If anything, Metroparks should assume all the property (including that of the developer that owns most of it) and consider expanding the marina to include additional seasonal dockage, as well as a couple more visitor docks in this area.
Peggy August 03, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Kudos to you Beth. By the way, I understand that this fence is a rent-a-fence and was put up by the developer (the Foran Group). County survey records show that this fence actually sits on what appears to be Metroparks property, of which runs approximatley another 75 feet north of where this fence sits. From that point and moving north, the next parcel appears to be that of the old Detroit Avenue bridge easement (parceled to Cuyahoga County). After the easement, and what appears to run all the way to the new condos being built at the railroad bridge (Sloane Ave), belongs the developer. Also, the bulkhead wall that runs the 75 feet or so north of the current Detroit Avenue bridge, appears to be in very good condition and is all steel. It's the bulkhead wall that belongs to the developer that is bad and falling apart, property that doesn't even belong to the City of Lakewood.
Peggy August 03, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Your almost right Ian king. One of Lakewood's greatest asset is the "lakefront" but not the "riverfront."
ian king August 03, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Hi Peggy, but could Lakewood also develop its riverfront? think Chicago has a great lake and a great river walk area; Columbus and Pittsburgh both have great river walk and park areas, wouldn't it be better to envision this area 5-10 years from now? it could be fantastic with some visionary thinking. and remember, people WANT to enjoy the lake and river parks. almost all cities that have developed these areas have been extremely successful. even in winter snow minneapolis and st. paul they have great lake and river areas that are now accessible to walkers, bikers, dog lovers, and of course, urban condo/townhouse/ and home owners. THINK what a future could be, not just what are short term needs or immediate gratifications. the rocky river area by lakewood/rocky river could be a fantastic park. just IMAGINE!

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