Please join the Citizens for Oakwood in our effort to keep the last large tract of undeveloped land in our community from becoming a big box shopping mall. The property, consisting of 150 acres in the adjoining cities of South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has been a country club and golf course since 1905.
We understand that municipalities need revenue and that the developer has promised tax revenue from sales receipts, retail payrolls and property taxes.
However, extensive research has shown that big box retail developments often COST local communities more in the long run than they ever deliver in taxes.
Negative financial impacts of big box development include increased traffic and crime, causing a need for more police. Noise and light pollution degrade quality of life in the immediate area, and housing values fall.
Most area residents say they neither need nor want more retail. There are no less than six malls or shopping centers within three to four miles of Oakwood; several are struggling with vacancies. Our main streets are lined with empty storefronts.
In contrast, consider the positive effects of green space in the form of a public park: access to nature, the protection of magnificent trees and wildlife habitat, cleaner air, and natural storm water management. We know that parks increase housing values, improve quality of life and are a powerful magnet for new residents.
To fund the protection and maintenance of precious green space, perhaps communities in our region could cooperate to impose plastic bag fees or increase collaboration on community services. But first, we must demonstrate to the developer that his purchase of Oakwood does not entitle him to a zoning change that will suit his purpose.
Please sign our petition to send the message to our elected officials that paving over scarce never-developed land is NOT sustainable. And when other alternatives exist, it is inexcusable.