Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/03/2007 - 01:54.
Whiskey Island Land Uses - Resolved After Nine Years!
Prepared by Ed Hauser
March 2, 2007
March 1, 2007 is the day Cleveland's waterfront renaissance began. After nine years, the debate regarding the future land uses of Whiskey Island was finalized. On March 1, the Honorable Tim Hagan, Cuyahoga County Commissioner, said "that issue is over with." The county owns Whiskey Island Marina, a 500 recreational boat public access marina, and Wendy Park, a 20-acre parkland with the only natural beach in downtown Cleveland. Finally, the county can continue its Great Lakes restoration success story without the constant threat of the Port Authority trying to build a gravel dock on the marina, which would have destroyed this wonderful public waterfront.
The debate started nine years ago with the release of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Maritime Master Plan, in March 1998. The Port Authority's master plan depicted the 10-acre Whiskey Island Marina basin and the adjacent 20-acre parkland as shipping docks. Since that time the Whiskey Island land uses have changed nine times in various planning initiatives. The most recent plan for the county's Whiskey Island property was the Port Authority publicly stating that it wants to acquire Whiskey Island Marina to expand its adjacent bulk storage operation at the Cleveland Bulk Terminal.
Commissioner Hagan put the Port Authority's plan to build a gravel dock on Whiskey Island Marina to rest, during the public comment period at their board meeting yesterday. The following public comments and the commissioner's responses are transcribed from an audio tape of the meeting.
Ed Hauser's closing public comments: In closing, you have all my documentation, review it and take action on it. The other thing too is Mayor Jackson, the first mayor in the nine years I've been participating, has finally had the backbone to recognize Whiskey Island and is doing the right thing. Keeping the marina, the greenspace, addressing the Coast Guard Station and bringing the Towpath Trail.
So far the mayor is on board; hopefully the commissioners will stay on board. I know Commissioner Dimora is firm on this, and the Metroparks. The only holdout is the Port Authority, to build a $30 million gravel dock on the marina, which will destroy this public space.
Honorable Commissioner Tim Hagan's response: Ed, it's not going to happen, everybody is opposed to it. All three commissioners are opposed to it. So you can leave here comforted by the fact the marina is not going to be buried in. The mayor has already signed off on it. We're all done with that. The issue is over with. So, please don't give us a lecture about it again. We're done with it.
Ed Hauser's response: Well, this is the first time I've heard that.
Honorable Commissioner Tim Hagan's response: Well good, go home happy.
Ed Hauser's response: I am happy, thank you. You see a big smile on my face!
So there you have it. After nine years of debate, Whiskey Island Marina and Wendy Park will remain a beautiful urban oasis in the heart of Cleveland- where our American Heritage River greets our Great Lake! It's time to celebrate Cleveland's waterfront renaissance!