Chagrin Highlands

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 09:53.

In the late 1990s, then Mayor Michael White butted heads with developer Richard Jacobs, when it was discovered that Jacobs was the shadow player in the Figgie International development team.

Taxpayers footed the bill for the Harvard Ave. interchange that serves the Chagrin Highlands development, just as the taxpayers also funded the Avon interchange that also benefited Jacob Group. 

Now, Eaton group will be relocating, despite an economic downturn, to the Chagrin Highlands location.  How did the City of Cleveland finally lose control of this land? 

I submitted a letter to the Free Times in 2001:


``I am writing in response to Councilman Bill Patmon's comments on the Chagrin Highlands project ("Battle for the Highlands," March 7 [2001]).

There are enormous environmental, social and economic costs attached to the Chagrin Highlands project.

Chagrin Highlands is really a misnomer for the 630 acres leased by the City of Cleveland to the Jacobs Group. The area should be truthfully called "Mill Creek Headwaters." Visualize wildlife, wetlands and land area the size of a Metroparks reservation and you get an idea of the possible impact.

This project affects thousands of homeowners and local retailers. The traffic issues have been studied by NOACA [Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency] for over 10 years.

In 1996, Chris Warren from the city's economic development department met with local representatives from the Sierra Club to listen to concerns over the proposed I-271 interchange.

Ironically, the main objective was to protect Camp Forbes, the only outdoor recreational camp experience available to many city kids. Camp Forbes is adjacent to the project.

The taxpayers of Ohio footed half of the bill to construct the I-271 interchange at Harvard and Richmond roads under the condition that "big box" retail and its subsequent parking and traffic impact would be prohibited.

Now Jacobs is making yet another questionable deal with some members of Cleveland City Council. To Councilman Bill Patmon -- who claims this isn't about issues, but about "friends and enemies" -- I say, take a good look at Jacobs' South Park mall.''

Laura McShane, Cleveland

This letter along with other protests chronicling the Jacobs Group wholesale destruction of the environment using tax payers dollars is chronicled at the site

At some point, you just give up...who am I to fight this insanity, this greed, this crime against humanity?

Eaton gets $90 million incentive offer to move to suburbs

Sunday, March 01, 2009
Michelle Jarboe
Plain Dealer Reporter

But, I can at least know what the land looked like, before it was destroyed.  I walked through the Chagrin Highlands before it became the grounds for speculators.  It is the site of a once-sprawling farm and it is dotted with vernal ponds and wetlands.  I found the old orchards and remnants of the farm ponds.  I found the foundation to the farm house and outhouses.  And, this land is not meant to be the footprint for the Eaton Corporation headquarters.  It is meant to be left UNDEVELOPED as the headwater wetlands for Mill Creek and Tinker's Creek--feeder streams to the Cuyahoga River.  We will all pay the significant environment cost as these wetlands are plowed under to make a few more dollars for Richard Jacobs.



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