By Julie D’Aloiso
Yesterday, we announced on this website that a Seven Hills council meeting at 7:00pm was to be held. For some reason the City of Seven Hills chose not to post it on their website or put it out on their social media. Word got out anyway and people showed up to voice their opinion.
The ordinance that many people were interested in was Ordinance Number 90-2017.
In the caucus before the council meeting, several members of council made comments on how they were surprised at how many calls they got from people asking about the meeting. They indicated that they knew people were interested in this topic and had planned on attending. If that was true then why didn’t they have this caucus discussion in a larger room? There were 18 seats in the caucus room for visitors – all of these seats were full. 14 more people were standing in the room and 13 people were standing out in the hallway straining to hear what was happening in the small room. Many more people left.
In my opinion this was disrespectful to the residents. Council knew this topic was a hot topic and they saw the crowd. When asked if they were going to move to a larger room the answer was “no”. Why do they have a problem with people wanting to know about the meeting?
Now getting to the ordinance in question. Everyone knows about the Rockside Crossing project at Rockside Road and Crossview Rd.
The Rockside/Crossview project got the green light in the fall according to Multi Housing News: www.multihousingnews.com/post/clevelands-132m-rockside-road-project-gets-green-light/
They even have a website for the project: RocksideCrossings.com.
So what changed? According to the LSB representative Alan Ritchie, once more research (geo technical, market study etc) was conducted, it was determined that 250-270 apartment units (free standing multi-unit) would be more advisable than the 150 apartments to be built above the retail space as originally proposed.
Residents in attendance, were upset to hear they they are proposing 5 free standing rental buildings. The developer had indicated that the apartments would be “luxury apartments” and there would be a resort style pool and fitness center. These options would not be available if they had apartments above the retail stores. Residents were saying that they would prefer to have condos-owners than renters (as stated at an earlier presentation). They also said that Midtown Towers in Parma were originally deemed luxury apartments.
Later that evening, during the regular council meeting, the majority of council decided to refer the ordinance to the planning commission. If the planning commission approves of this amendment to the Planned United Development District (PUD), more public meetings about the proposal will be held.
Many members of council stated that they care about the residents. If that is true, they should have the decency to let the residents know about meetings ahead of time – otherwise it looks like council is hiding something. Let us hope that the dates and times of future pubic discussions are publicized and more room is made available for people to voice their option.