Possible Crematory in Ohio City

Submitted by jenita on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 00:08.

This is a re-post from my blog: Ohio City's Bodnar Funeral Home applied for a zoning variance on December 22nd to build a crematory at 3929 Lorain Avenue. Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago is in support of the building addition and expansion of the funeral home’s on-site services.

An Ohio City resident told me representatives spoke with only one block club prior to the zoning appeal which occurred three days before Christmas. I live 9 blocks east and 2 blocks south of this facility, but that's not close enough that I had to legally be notified about the zoning appeal. The crematory would be located within feet of homes and within blocks of many schools: St. Ignatius, Urban Community School, Orchard Elementary and Paul L. Dunbar Elementary.

In addition to homes and schools, the Gather ‘Round Farm is right next door. According to several reports, crematoria release toxic chemicals into the neighborhoods in which they are located and several health professionals oppose locating them in residential areas. I can’t imagine they would recommend growing vegetables and eating eggs from within feet of those toxic emissions. See below for links to reports.

According to the Board of Zoning Appeal’s applicant guide, the board will take into account “whether the essential character of the neighborhood would be substantially altered or adjoining properties would suffer a substantial detriment as a result of the variance”. I think a crematory operating on a main street in one of Cleveland’s few thriving neighborhoods, could be detrimental to the essential character of the neighborhood.

I am not sure if the appeal was approved, but if it was, I believe the community has 30 days to protest an approved zoning variance. I will check into this and post an update.

According to the All Ohio Cremation and Burial Society which curiously shares the same Lorain Avenue address as the Bodnar Funeral Home:

. . . we do not currently own the crematory facility, we are in the process of planning and obtaining the necessary permits and authorizations for a brand new state of the art facility.


So, it seems as if they are sure enough of zoning approval that they have already started advertising their crematory.

As far as I can tell, most urban funeral homes outsource their cremations. Cremation Service Inc. is a crematory that operates in the Flats at 1612 Leonard Street in a mostly industrial area. Does anyone in the blogosphere know if this facility produces any odors?


Crematory Links

Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.'s chief medical health officer, says the provincial government should consider regulating emissions from crematoriums because of possible health risks. Vancouver Sun

Crematoria may put babies at risk

Mercury Emissions from Crematoria

By coincidence, a positive application of crematoria emissions found its way into my news aggregator.

( categories: )

Santiago's BOZA trickery should be watched closely

The BOZA Hearing for the Crematorium was continued with partial testimony taken. The Actual filing for the variance was on 11-21-08. The Planning web site states only 21 official notices were sent. It is my understanding that this hearing is going to be rescheduled for January 26th. 2009.


It is my understanding that on Monday December 22nd., the BOZA members seen the community did not understand both sides to the issue so that why ONCW and local residents and business owners lobbied for the postponement. I would contact both Robert Shores at OCNW, and Councilman Joe Cimperman. BOZA instructed OCNW to have a community wide meeting regarding this variance, it can effect with the emissions the block clubs in Cimperman's ward. As you can see on your OC1 you have a neighborhood pretty divided. What I can tell you personally that Councilman Joe Santiago is a snake. He personally supports having our Tremont Fire Station closed, I cannot wait for the TWDC annual meeting we are going to boo him during his entire speech. I have witnessed his strong-armed approach with trying to force through Zoning Variances. It will be interesting to see if the Funeral Home has given any campaign donations? Santiago's campaign donations for year end 2008 are due on 01-31-09. I have read over 4000 of his public record emails, I can tell you his word does not carry the weight of a Joe Cimperman. I knew someone that was in attendance for the hearing. You also have to watch out for OCNW's own snake doctor Abe Bruckman who is solidly in support of this variance without the community speaking first. He is indebted to Santiago to provide the over-inflated funding to pay for his existence. I want to also remind you how Santiago accepted the money from the Rialto Corp. (Moda owners) and the new tenants that were going to move in there. Santiago claimed he was going to pull favors to get the South of Lorain block club to support Bodnar, why not his taxpayer paid executive assistant and his office volunteer both live in this block club and can make things happen for Santiago.

Santiago destroyed the Clark-Metro community over his tactics of support for La Copa Sports bar at BOZA. Be prepared Ohio City. I am not saying support or not support. Get informed, my understanding OCNW is supposed to get in touch with the Cleveland Health Department and the State EPA. I would also think it would be a great idea to contact Ohio Citizens Action. I really think the only thing that smells so far is Santiago/Bruckman trying to slide this through without a Community meeting. If you ever need community activism it is now Ohio City.

BTW, when you say you have 30 days to protest, no that is not the law. You have 30 days after the final resolution to file an administrative appeal law suit asking the Court of Common pleas to review the case.


Thanks Henry

Thank you Henry for clarifying the events at BOZA as well as the rights of the community to file an administrative appeal.I will be contacting OCNW to ask when the community meeting will occur. I will also talk to my neighbors and the Gather 'Round farmers to make certain they too know about the plans.

I do not know much about Crematories and their ability to filter what is emitted from their facilities. I'd love to support a local businesses expansion, but not at the expense of the health of a neighborhood. I plan to become better informed on this issue.


I trolled around for regulation on crematoria in the U.S. via the EPA site and could find no mention of EPA tracking crematoria emissions in the Great Lakes via the TRI Toxic Release Inventory, although mercury has been cited as a concern.  My research was cursory (five minutes) --Great Britain has some common sense restrictions in place (i.e. pacemakers are removed).  Why teeth with fillings are not removed is a mystery to me.  It's all pretty gruesome and, of course, should be a restricted/regulated industry, but we live helplessly oblivious to lots of other toxic emissions, so what's a little more poison in our atmosphere, right?

EPA on crematoriums

The EPA has decided that human and pet bodies are not solid waste and therefore will not be regulated by the EPA. THe EPA is not saying that it is safe in regards to toxin releases; they are saying that they can only do so much and they are focused on solid waste incinerators.

what are our regulations?

"On Tuesday, city commissioners voted not only to limit crematories to industrial areas and lot sizes of at least 20,000 square feet, but also to require them to be at least 500 feet from residences. Commissioners agreed there was a need for a distance requirement so a crematory could not be built on an industrial lot right across the street from residential parcels."


The lead from fillings?!?!

I never thought about what burning human bodies does to the environment... the most interesting thing I've read about this is the lead from people's dental fillings go up in smoke and into the environment.

It would be interesting to see a listing of all addresses in the region where they burn human bodies, legally.

I wonder if folks living in Stonebridge Apartments ever smell the emissions from the body burning just down the hill from them, in the flats. What does that smell like?

Disrupt IT

Swedish Town Recycles Heat from Cremations

 by Christine Lepisto, Berlin on 12.31.08

Cremation furnace 

Arts and Literature have given us Soylent Green and The Matrix, suggesting human bodies as raw material. Usually this makes people grimace and shiver. But in the Swedish town of Halmstad, it will soon make people warm and cozy. Halmstad officials required improvements at the local crematorium after environmental monitoring indicated too much smoke was going out the chimneys. After planning for the improvements started, well...one thing just lead to another.

It was when we were discussing all these environmental issues that we started thinking about the energy that is used in the cremations and realised that instead of all that heat just going up into the air, we could make use of it somehow. It was just rising into the skies for nothing," said Lennart Andersson, the director of the cemetery in the town of Halmstad.

Because cremation of human remains can release toxins, like mercury from dental fillings, the filtration of the off-gases is extremely important. In order to effectively clean the emitted gases, they must be cooled from around 1000°C to under 150°C. Recovery of this heat for warming first the crematorium buildings and later to feed the public heating system will save costs and use less water as well.

Thanks to tipster Thiess!

From: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/green-funeral-heat-recycling-from-crematorium.php

crematory at Bodnar's at W. 41 & Lorain

Pat Mahoney owns All Ohio Cremation & has owned that website for 6 years. He states ownership in the body of the text. He has not been honest with us neighbors. Since he states in the website that he is at the end stage of planning his state of the art crematory, I now believe that his attempt to obtain this variance scheduled 12/22/08 was done under the radar in hopes that we would be too busy with the holidays to notice or care. It is clear now that he plans to build on his crematory business through "all ohio cremation" as well as Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home. He told the block club members that he met with at the last minute before the Board of Zoning Appeals that he need this before the end of 2008 for tax purposes which is why "the rush" and that he would only be providing cremations for their own funeral home, never mentioning that he has this other business. Of course it is not ok to vaporize mercury from dental fillings and let it drop on the near by day cares and the organic farm. It is clear that the crematorium would be much busier than he told the block club. It is also not ok to lie through to your neighbors. I am very disappointed in him.

is this owned by the same owner as the crematorium in the Flats?

because it thats the case, he might want to consider dropping a dime on his first business. I can tell you first hand it is painful and insulting to attend the cremation of your loved one at that place. Its basically a garage with a cremation oven stuck in the middle of it. Its has absolutely no accomodations or considerations for family members - NONE - nothing - zippo.

Its painful to say, but it feels like burning your garbage and offers nothing but horrible memories. how hard could it be to throw in a few chairs and a set of drapes? maybe a throw rug.... some paint on the walls...?

I think that Pat Mahoney

I think that Pat Mahoney does not own a crematorium at this point. He says that he uses one at 4701 Hinckley Industrial Parkway. That site has 2 human crematorium chambers and 1 for animals. He wants to build his own at W. 41st & Lorain. It is just not a good idea to have emissions that will fall down in the daycare playground (50 feet) and on the organic garden next door. There is a reason why this operation needs a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals as it is considered "general industry". I know that he wants to grow his business but should not do it at the expense of kids, and others. I do wonder what his neighbors in Rocky River would say if he tried to plop one down near their homes.

so why the new crematorium?

I guess I dont understand. If he owns one out on Hinckley, why does he need one here? Customers can surely understand the need to travel to a non-residential area for cremation services.

I also have not seen it mentioned on this blog, but minimal legal requirements call for formadehyde processing of the body, unless you are an orthodox jew and the preparation is done at the home on Taylor Rd. I would imagine this would add to the toxicity of the emissions? I dont know. 

It does seem odd that they can not provide neighbors with adequate information on this issue...

Mahoney does not own the one

Mahoney does not own the one on Hinckley; he sends his bodies there. He wants to own an on site crematory as part of the Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home. Also, just a fyi, embalming is not required for those being cremated; most are though as families have a viewing and a service prior to the cremation. The formadelhyde concern is a big one, as well as the mercury.

Ohio City Crematory

Just a reminder that those who can attend the Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday 1/26/09, please do and oppose Pat Mahoney's request to rezone the Bodnar-Mahoney space at 3929 Lorain. This crematory is a direct health hazard for Gather 'Round Farm and also for the kids playing 50 feet away from the stack. Pat Mahoney tried his best to close down the great farm during the summer. Can't help but think that this is his revenge. There is also a community meeting coming up on Wednesday 1/21/09, time & place TBA.

Foundation folks

  The Foundation Folks need to step up to the plate to protect their poster child use of "vacant" land for farming in the city...do I hear crickets?

Sun News Top Story today on Crematory

Please note the actual public meeting location was changed from the Church. Hopefully I or someone can post the correct meeting location. I hope any resident concerned about the local environment will attend and let Councilman Santiago hear it loud and clear. Councilman Santiago already testified at the December 22nd. BOZA hearing in support before a continuence was granted. Watch for Santiago and the business owner to bus in shills that do not even live anywhere close to this site. This really should be up to the local residents, business owners, churches, and schools within a 1/2 mile from the site.

I am rallying support from the Tremont and Clark-Metro communities that have been burned by bad decisions supporting BOZA variances by Santiago.  We will hope to support the the wishes of our Ohio City neighbors at the Community meeting. Also watch Santiago brings a police presence with him do not let him intimidate you from speaking your mind. Go up to the police and ask them why they are not patroling the streets instead of babysitting Joe Santiago? Bring tape recorders and take pictures of the people that want to push this.


 Re-posted compliments of Cleveland.com and the Westside Sun News.

Ohio City crematory makes some residents uneasy

Thursday, January 15, 2009
By Ken Prendergast kprendergast [at] sunnews [dot] com
West Side Sun News

Increasingly, more people are asking to be cremated after they die. To handle this growing business, the Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home & Cremation Service is seeking to build their own crematory on-site.

But some in the neighborhood are so opposed to the proposal that they want the 81-year-old business to close its doors and leave Ohio City.

Of concern to some neighbors is the level of mercury in people's teeth that would be vaporized during cremation and sent airborne into the neighborhood. But funeral home representatives said the amount of mercury is so small that government inspectors don't even regulate it.

A community meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Community Hall, 3602 Bridge Ave., and will have a moderator to keep the discussion civil and focused. The topic is the funeral home's request for a zoning variance to build the crematory that could be decided by the Board of Zoning Appeals Jan. 26.

The variance is required because the city's zoning code stipulates that a crematory should be considered first for a general industry district. If it's within 300 feet of a residential district, the city allows a crematory to be built by special permit. Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home & Cremation Service is located at 3929 Lorain Ave.

The crematory would be located within feet of homes and within blocks of several schools plus an urban community garden.

"There are some unsubstantiated claims about pollution from a crematory," said Patrick Mahoney Sr., funeral director at Bodnar-Mahoney. "But mostly it's the ick factor.' This is a low-margin business. It's not highly profitable. We need to take it (cremations) in-house and lower our cost of doing business."

Mahoney said the funeral home has been using an outside cremation service. But cremations have become such a large part of their business (60 percent and rising), and it's going to get even bigger, he said.

"We can gauge our future business by the pre-arrangements people are making," Mahoney added.

The crematory is part of a $300,000 expansion the business hopes to make in the neighborhood, including new exterior and lighted walkways. The owners want to modernize the funeral home's exterior but a design-review board for the city asked them to take their siding off to show more exposed brick.

"We want to stay here and we're committed to this neighborhood," Mahoney said.

At the community meeting will be a representative of Matthew Cremation Division of Florida that seeks to build the crematory for the funeral home.

"I'm afraid I'm going to be lynched," Mahoney said of the community meeting.

"It (the funeral home) is upwind from my home," said David Ellison, one of the most vocal opponents of the crematory. "They're not as green or as environmentally friendly as people would like to think, just from a standpoint of carbon emissions."

Ellison also questioned the ethics of some funeral home operators.

"They have the reputation of keeping things they find on people," he said. "But I don't want to sound prejudiced against funeral homes."

He said crematories should be regulated as solid waste incinerators where government inspectors check for heavy metals like vaporized mercury from silver amalgam tooth fillings. Mercury is a neurotoxin -- a poison to nerve systems, especially in children, according to the Neurotoxin Institute.

The Cleveland Health Department issues and renews permits annually for crematories within city boundaries, including Malloy Memorial & Crematory, which Mahoney noted is next to a residential area on West 117th Street near Madison Avenue.

But Nolan Moser, staff attorney and director of energy and clean air programs at the Ohio Environmental Council, a watchdog organization, said there isn't enough information on crematory emissions to say if they are a health threat.

"They're small operations and I think that is the issue of why they (crematory emissions) are not tested," Moser said. "They do release mercury, that's a definite. But it's hard to say if these operations are large sources of emissions. No testing has been done in the United States."

"It's gotten to the point that we'll have to move if we can't do cremations in-house," Mahoney said.

"Good -- they shouldn't be there," Ellison said. "It's not a good location for a crematorium."


Why don't  they just move

Why don't  they just move the darn funeral home.   I wouldn't want to live that close to a crematorium either.  I mean there are schools, day care centers, homes, restaurants, among other things - I 100% agree with the residents of this area.  If Mahoney has that much money - let him move the funeral home and  fix everybody's problem. 

"I'm afraid I'm going to be lynched"

Great article - I used to live near there and it is generally a very poor neighborhood... and you know what happens in poor neighborhoods

I love the line: ""There are some unsubstantiated claims about pollution from a crematory," said Patrick Mahoney Sr., funeral director at Bodnar-Mahoney. "But mostly it's the ick factor.'"

Why don't they build a huge crematorium in University Circle, by the UH power plant, and they can use the heat to help warm the hospital... 

Disrupt IT

"preserving" the body

Its also an issue that even if you plan to cremate your loved one, state law requires a minimal amount of preservation of the corpse. I believe they use some form of formaldehyde, but I'm not sure. What happens to this toxic chemical when the body is cremated - anyone know?


  See this link--- when I lived in Tremont, I danced around with the City's Air Pollution Control office to no avail.  I constantly called on the sickly sweet smell emanating from the poisoned, buried Walworth Run tributary to the Cuyahoga River that runs along Train Ave.  From your description, Dbra, I now know what I was smelling then.

I knew that number by heart...

... and calling it never made any difference. I would wake in the morning nauseated by that smell - it was horrifying. One day I finally decided to track it down (it wasnt hard) and I was led to those ugly blue silos down in the gulley.

Whatever happened to that place?

meeting re: Ohio City Crematory

This will be in the basement room in the green building at 3500 Lorain this Wednesday, 1/21/09 at 7:30 PM.

Community Meeting

Was anyone able to attend the community meeting last night? I had to work. I'd love an update.

What Community meeting was

What Community meeting was last night?

crematory at Bodnar's at W. 41 & Lorain

I am not sure about one that has past, just the one coming up on Wednesday, then the one at BZA on 1/26/09.

ohio city Crematory public meeting Wednesday 1/21/09 at 7:30 PM

This will be held in the Green Building at 3500 Lorain (corner of Lorain and Fulton) in the basement meeting room. Please come and voice your opposition to placing a mercury emitting and other toxins into our neighborhood.

The next step is the Board of Zoning appeals at City Hall, Monday 1/26/09 at 10:30 AM. 

other sources of mercury in the city



This seems to be an old post since some of these hospitals are no longer in business. Does anyone know if the CCF is still burning medical waste at 9500 Euclid Avenue?

Maybe the students at CSU's Environmental Law Clinic could be of assistance

"4. Dioxin Emissions from Medical Waste Incineration

Many hospitals incinerate their waste in on-site or off-site incinerators. Because many of the incinerated products are plastic, dioxins are emitted, although usually in fairly small quantities. An environmental group was concerned about this topic because a local hospital operates two such incinerators on-site and there have been significant health problems in the nearby community.

Students on this project were asked to summarize and evaluate U.S. EPA's recently released dioxin reassessment report and the report of EPA's Science Advisory Board and to determine what standards were set at federal, state and local levels regarding dioxin emissions from medical waste incinerators. In addition, the students read numerous international studies on the health effects of dioxin exposure and did research."

Ask their professor for more help.

The US EPA does not consider

The US EPA does not consider human crematories to be incinerators. They also qualify pet crematories to not be incinerators IF the pet in being returned to their owners. If the crematory provides mass animal cremations (such as from a shelter) then it is an incinerator and will fall within EPA regulatory mandates. Otherwise, the human and pet crematories are not regulated by the EPA as solid waste incinerators. This is one of the reasons that there are not good current studies being done ...because crematories are not under the gun to be accountable to the communities that they are in. We hope to change that in Ohio City.


Funeral home director makes direct threat to 'Gather Round Farm

Pat Mahoney posted a direct threat to 'Gather Round and Appleseed Daycare if he does not get his variance at BZA Monday (10:30 AM). I am copying and pasting this entry from the Ohio City Yahoo Group below. We need to respond to this type of bullying and blackmail. You can fax a letter to BZA over the weekend. Their fax # is 216-664-2631. 

--- In ohiocity [at] yahoogroups [dot] com, Patrick Mahoney <urnseller@> wrote:
> >
> Oh yeah what about all of those beautiful organic veggies that are being sold? next door to the tire guy. This was never to be a commercial operation. If it is why are they allowed to have their crappy chain link fence and get away with piles of woodchips and chickens that are still on that property. This is your beautiful historic Ohio City.Funny but
 this was never to be a commercial operation. I can tell you one thing. If BOZA does not grant this variance I can make it incredibly tough on the community garden and day care center for zoning issues, licensing issues,  overcapacity 

Abe Bruckman sighting in Bay Village

This is interesting? Can you say conflict of interest?



Why Does Abe Bruckman Support Pat Mahoney over the wishes of the community?

can you post the link

that goes to the actual thread, orbit? check what you set out - it only takes you to an email address...

I used to belong to this group but the mean spirit of the group turned me way off...however, this is my hood.

what a piece of worthlessness to society threatens an organic garden and a day care?

Hey, I swore off that group

Hey, I swore off that group too.  But to threaten a day care not to mention a garden -  that's all I want to  hear about the _____ety_____ ______, if you get my drift.  That takes a low life - I don't care how much cash he's got in his pocket - And the garden where people grow food - I wouldn't want the dam crematorium there either - you all get enough people together - teach the SOB a lesson - why don't you all put a crappy chain link fence around his funeral home - and lock him out?  I know I'm being radical - but today I feel radical -

the link to threat to chicken and kids

here it is <ohiocity [at] yahoogroups [dot] com" <ohiocity [at] yahoogroups [dot] com>

Anyone who can send by fax a letter to the Board of Zoning Appeals please do and feel free to reference the threat. The sad part is Meagan from Gather 'Round has been under attack from this guy who tried to shut her down over the last year and recently won at BZA!

the real link is /groups.yahoo.com/group/ohiocity/


Mahoney's message is here:

Mahoney's message is here: Re: Mercury, the EPA and the process. The thread is worth reading.

You need a Yahoo Account to verify your age, and possibly be signed up for the group. There's a Web-Only choice on the signup form to avoid receiving the list mailings.

I hate Yahoo

I hate anything yahoo... especially closed locked groups... can someone post this stuff in plain light here 

Disrupt IT

thats one nasty man

over there on that yahoo group - Mr. Patrick E. Mahoney - holy crap!

I cant believe he's in the profession he is in - he hasnt an iota of grace... 

Mr. David Ellison's letter to BOZA

 The following letter is posted with the author's permission.  The letter addresses the various legal basis  for obtaining/being denied a variance.  


December 19, 2008


Board of Zoning Appeals

c/o Ms. Jan Huber

601 Lakeside Ave.

Cleveland, OH  44114


Dear Sirs and Madames:


In regards to Calendar No. 08-211, 3929 Lorain Ave., Ward 14:

I live nearby the property in question at 3118 Carroll Ave. at W. 32nd St. and I own property directly across the street from the property in question at 4109-11 Lorain Ave., aka 2002 W. 41st St.

During the past two years, I have purchased, maintained and improved my property on Lorain Ave. It has been my intention to continue my investment in my property and to rehabilitate it into a live-work studio for my architectural practice with a possible retail, business or charitable organization on the first floor.  I am just now concluding an arrangement with RTA for the construction of an enhanced "transit waiting environment" at the corner.  Current economic conditions have slowed my progress but not diminished my enthusiasm for my project.  However, the construction of an incinerator for human remains upwind from my house and outside my future office windows would significantly alter my plans.

I am opposed to the granting of the variance for several reasons:

A. The property in question has been in use by the applicant for 80 years without this new use, thereby proving that it has been viable up to this point. 

According to the owner, "We were recently offered a substantial amount of money for our corner… their offer was for much more than I need to relocate my business…” 

Apparently, this property does "yield a reasonable return" and there can be "beneficial use without the variance".

B.  The variance is substantial.  Morticians are specifically excluded from the Local Retail District - and while the Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral and Cremation Service has been allowed to operate within the district, the zoning district has not been changed to a General Industry District.  The expansion of the mortician services to include on-site cremation is not insubstantial.  The proximity to residential occupancies is much too near, and a 300' limit does not take into consideration the emissions and fall-out that cannot be contained on site and which will effect the adjacent retail district, the larger residential district and the schoolyards immediately downwind. This would be specifically in violation of 345.03(b).  It is likely that noise from exhaust fans will be audible from neighboring properties, also specifically in violation of 345.03(b). 



C.  The essential character of the neighborhood will be substantially altered.  Potential odors, fall-out in the form of ash and particulates and the noise generated by the incinerator and its exhaust fans may affect the entire neighborhood.  Sidewalk dining at the area’s many restaurants may become unappealing.  Outdoor activities may need to be curtailed, and in the event of an accident, heavy metal or radioactive contamination of the area downwind from the incinerator could occur.  The granting of the variance will have the immediate effect of having an adjacent neighborhood improvement project cancelled.  My plans for constructing an RTA-sponsored TWE (transit waiting environment or bus-stop) will be terminated, and I will immediately list my property for sale.

D.  The spirit and intent of the zoning requirements are not met by varying from those requirements upon request.  There is no injustice in enforcing the provisions of the zoning code of the city of Cleveland in this case.  The funeral business has operated at this location without an on-site cremation facility for 80 years.

E.  An accessory use of "Cremation within 300' of a Residence District" is only allowed in a General Industry District by special permit granted in accordance with the standards of division C of section 345.04   that require the BOZA to "act to ensure that the proposed use or development does not adversely impact other properties and the uses located on those properties."  The permitting of an accessory use outside of the General Industry District and in a Semi Industry District under the provisions of Section 345.03 (c) (43) must meet the same requirements - that it not adversely impact other properties and the uses located on those properties.

Furthermore, Section 345.03 (c) (43) allows the BOZA to "permit the location of a use authorized in a General Industry District on any lot in a Semi Industry District but only if it adjoins a railroad right-of-way, or adjoins a nonconforming use which is regularly permitted only in an industrial district". The part of the lot where the pre-existing (non-conforming) use by a mortician exists is in an LRD2 district, not in a Semi Industry District.  The use of this northern half of the property by a mortician, while it is a non-conforming use, does not create the preconditions necessary for approval by special permit of a crematory in a Semi Industry District.  No permission or variance has been given or grandfathered which allows a mortician, and thereby a crematory, on the part of the property in question that is in the Semi Industry District.  Section 345.03 (b) states that "no building or premises shall hereafter be erected, altered, used, arranged or designed to be used, in whole or in part for other than one or more of the following specified uses…" among which use by a mortician is not listed.  The spirit and intent of the Zoning Code would not be upheld by applying the provisions of Sections 345.03 and 345.04 to allow a crematory to be built as an accessory use to the non-conforming mortician use that pre-exists in the Local Retail District.

Please do not grant a variance or a special permit that would allow a crematory to be constructed on the property in question.

Yours truly,


David Ellison




David Ellison has come under fire for taking this position. We who live around Bodnar-Mahoney owe him our thanks as we had no idea what the real "renovations" were until we read about it on the oc yahoo group.

Mahoney Bruckman conflict

  Henry,please elaborate on the Bruckman (employee Ohio City Near West Development Corporation) and Mahoney (Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home) connection?  You touched upon it here--Tremonter.

Those of us, living in Ward 13, 14, 15, certainly wonder how a shameless planner and his shameless wife,  are so instrumental to development schemes on the near west side? And, why did the PD run a story on the CMHA housing scam and NOT include their names??  Who are we protecting here?

I have been working with

I have been working with some residents in the Block Clubs where the proposed Crematory is located. My goal was that they were properly informed of their rights when it comes to BOZA.

It is pretty clear that Mr. Bruckman only interest is making sure the business owner gets what he wants, and to please his pay-master Councilman Joe Santiago.

From day one Mr. Bruckman claimed the Funeral Home was just expanding, never mentioning Zoning variances may be needed.

Mr. Bruckman has deceived the community when he was helping Raed Sadik, one of Joe Santiago’s good friends and convicted Heroin trafficker open La Copa Sports Bar become a nightclub that decimated the Clark Metro neighborhood and the local development corporation that was speaking on behalf of the community.

I encourage all Ohio City residents to contact every Board member of OCNW and request that they review Mr. Bruckman’s interests in assisting non-conforming businesses against the will of the neighboring community..

It is also interesting, someone should file a Freedom of Information Act to find out how much compensation Mr. Bruckman is being paid in Bay Village.

 Would you bet good money Mr. Bruckman is spending time on these projects on the OCNW clock, just has he did working on OBCDC business as Vice-president on Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp.?

Is there any oversight at OCNW to make sure our Tax Dollars are being spent for the projects in Mr. Bruckman's job description?

It is my opinion that we stop having people like this suckling the tit  of a quasi-government agency funded with our tax dollars, but hide under the shroud of a private non-profit.

This is art of the play to pay political patronage that Mr. Black in Tremont is referring to. I just wonder what favors Abe pulled with his friends in the local politically corrupt Democratic Party to get appointed to the Planning Board in Bay Village?


Tax dollars NOT at work

  Thank you Henry for articulating the situation.  Day in and day out, I watch tax dollars squandered.  As residents, I don't think Clevelanders demand any more for their dollar than a suburban resident.  Garbage pick up, street repairs, safety forces, well-managed schools/libraries, recreational/community centers, park maintenance, and transportation options.

Lately, I have been comparing Cleveland to Lakewood.  We have many of the same aging infrastructure issues.  I know Lakewood is not perfect and their taxes are much higher, but there is something else.  Their administration works with developers, but not to the detriment of residents.  There is a balancing act.  In Cleveland, our representatives and the CDCs are out of control.  Many, like Abe Bruckmann/Sheryl Hoffman, appear to exclusively work for outside developers, not residents.  Somewhere along the way, these people sold out on their neighbors--and they know that it is not going to be easy to nail them for their behavior, unless we can provide audio tape or provide receipts to prove a crime.  

The worse part of the situation is living with a crime committed in broad daylight, knowing the victims are families with kids, and having no recourse, except to scream on line.  

Follow the money of CDC investments

What is the situation with tax abatements for all these new CDC developments? Are any of the new property owners paying property taxes or are all these projects... the ugly new shit in Tremint and Battery Park, for example... all tax abated?

I don't see any real payback from anything I've ever seen a CDC do here, ever, that I recall, and I've seen lots of harm and lots of money wasted on, as my real friends on St. Clair say, a bunch of fucking yuppies.

Disrupt IT

What's the deal?

 ... with tax abatement anyway?  I pay $1600/year...I have a rec center (used to be great), I have garbage pick-up, I even get street cleaning every so often and snow plows...(it would help to hit the major sidewalks) I have GREAT libraries, and we pay teachers at our public schools (unfortunately, under criminal administration).  Suburbanites pay upwards 4-6,000 for the same services.  Sure, they will say that living in the CITY is like living in a war zone.  Right, come into the library and see my scary neighbors...older men and women...stroller moms...and teens that actually say "thank you."  SCARY!

We pay over $2,000 a year

I think people who seek out tax abatements suck... and the politicians that used them to enrich their political supporters suck even more! And all the stuff built with the tax abatements suck.

Disrupt IT

Corner lots in the city

  Just how many drug stores on corners do we need?  I am going to take a photo of the corner of Fulton/Clark, where a Rite Aid and Walgreen's now compete against each other (Santiago's ward 14).  This means that the Walgreens further down the street will be vacated.  The same machinations are being formulated over in Brooklyn Centre.  The CVS in the Brooklyn Centre plaza is in jeopardy as negotiations are underway to create a drugstore closer to Metro Hospital (Santiago's ward 14).  Meanwhile, we pay for these demolitions.

crematorium zoning variance postponed

it is scheduled for 2/23, i believe.

the room was packed with opponents to the variance 

Santiago had what appeared to be a very important discussion with the chairwoman of the panel immediately prior to the variance request being heard. She was overheard assuring Santiago "We're on the same page." Mahoney slipped when he told the board "I was told on Wednesday night we would get a continuance". (he then corrected himself with "a continuance would be asked for).

whatever - judging from the level of animosity mr. mahoney has generated, neighbors would oppose his operating an ice cream stand. 


Was there a VALID reason for Crematory hearing continuance?

A continuance to a petitioner's zoning variance hearing can not be had just for strategy reasons.  What was the reason given by the petitioner/Board for the continuance?   No quorum present?  Petitioner’s counsel sick?    Was the hearing opened and then continued?  Or was the hearing for the crematory not even opened?  


If the petitioner asked for the continuance, they must give good cause – otherwise they are vulnerable to the claim that they are just toying with the public and wasting the public’s time.   Public Pounding the Pillow is the name of the game. But there are hearing time frames and  procedural rules which must be followed.   


Often when a big negative crowd shows up, a petitioner wants to “continue” the hearing to a re-scheduled later date in order to shuck off a few of the crowd.  


Is that what happened?  


oh right

sorry -

the head of cleveland air quality control requested time to create a projected analysis of the site. it was pointed out that the licensing that comes from the state is a separate issue from the zoning decision but he was able to convince them that despite a bevy of studies already in existence, his was going to somehow enlighten them in their decision regarding land use and that he could render this study within 4 weeks.

read into that what you will... 

Henry can give you the names and titles of those involved, I didnt take notes and i dont know who who is. 

Ohio City Crematory

The next BZA meeting is Monday 2/23/09 at City Hall. Folks on the yahoo group are now trying to make this about Gather 'round farm and the day cares. It s unclear to me if this is an attempt to divert from the real issue or if they are just bumbling around.

We have to keep up the fight. Mahoney has brought in Matthews Cremation, an international group that has fought in communities just like this one. They don't want to lose  & they certainly don't want validation of health concerns.

count me in.  I will be

count me in.  I will be happy to attend the BZA meeting at city hall as well as assist Gather 'round and the day care any way I possibly can. 

I plan on stopping over by the farm one day next week to see if I can help.

Ohio City its time to wake up and get organized to fight

Orbit, go and purchase a West Side Sun News in the morning. I think it will clear up some issues people had questions about.

 It should be online sometime in the morning too.

This article will make it clear. My Understanding Councilman Rattlesnake changed his position to nuetral to make it look good for the neighbors. Well he has changed it again.

I have seen how he works, his rattle will fall off but he did this before. He again states his zoning expertise.

The only good thing if Mahoney moves, that is if the fix is not in, and you get McDonalds to come. Santiago can get a job their.

FYI: A member for People for Democracy in Ward 14 has requested a public records request with the Election Board for Santiago's campaign contributions from July 1st. to December 31st. 2008,  this document id due on the 31st.

Lets see if this is a pay to play "Lets make a BOZA deal" ?

At least you guys don't have to deal with Rosemary Vinci.

If the farm gets new arrivals. Lets give them some names that the Block Club over their will remember at election time in November.

you can pick from several names. ABE, JOEY, Patrick, Mahoney, Rosemary, and Mattie.


I am sorry to say that I can not find it on line. I will buy a paper to find out what it said.  Thanks.

Decision on crematory held for further review

i'm working on it...

i'm working on it... i'll be there.

could you please post a link from time to time so we can pop over there and see what they're doing? I hate that OC Yahoo blog - its impossble to read and there's some of the most arrogant, nasty people over there...

And I'll be stopping over

And I'll be stopping over the visit Gather 'round next week myself.  I want to see if there is anything I can do to assist either the farm or the day care center.  Maybe a Plain Press article would be nice.  Also, I will be attending the next BZA meeting. 

Ohio City yahoo group link

who is in this anti-crematory coalition?

It has occured to me that if David Ellison's house is downwind of the crematory, then so is St. Ignatius.

"It (the funeral home) is upwind from my home," said David Ellison, one of the most vocal opponents of the crematory. "They're not as green or as environmentally friendly as people would like to think, just from a standpoint of carbon emissions." 

I'm sure he meant downwind - the wind blows from the crematory toward his home. Since the prevailing winds in our region come from the south southwest, I would think that the students at St. Ignatius would be in that windy path as well. But I cannot find anywhere that St. Ignatius has weighed in on this discussion. Is it that they just don't care what their students breathe? If neurotixins are going to float past the kids who are en route to school or on the playing fields, you'd think that concerned parents from all around the county who send their children to this prestigious school might be up in arms or at least attending meetings to learn more. No? Maybe someone who has been attending these meetings can report here and let us know.  ( I tried to go to the Yahoo group, but found it unintelligible and the porn ads were the final blow for me - no thank you.)

What about the restaurants that have sidewalk cafes, the Westside Market, the evergreen Great Lakes Brewery, everybody's favorite Daves grocery store? What about the tenants of the Cleveland Environmental Center like Environmental Heath Watch? What about Ohio Citizen Action with their door to door democracy? Who is in this anti-crematory coalition? And who is conspicuously absent? Someone reported that there was a large gathering at the last meeting. Who was there and who do they rep? Are our green city blue lake folks on board? I searched crematory at their site and found nothing. 

the heavy hitters behind this are

the heavy hitters behind this are "More Bars in More Places" Councilman Santiago, the honest Abe Bruckman, and of course Mr. Mahoney, the owner. Theres also a few minor players in the background like Jimmy D'Amico.

It runs directly counter to Ohio City's efforts to establish itself as a "green" neighborhood.......

heavy hitters?

Heavy hitters? I love it. Insiders, perhaps. Sneaks and manipulators, perhaps. Conflicted human beings, perhaps. But heavy hitters? Let's try not to invest these characters with any more weight than they're due. This gives them a certain power and legitimacy that they probably don't deserve and haven't earned.

you just made me laugh tim ferris...

i missed your above post earlier...!

perhaps you misunderstood

Who is in the ANTI-crematory coalition?


We are a varied group of residents living the closest to the proposed crematory. When we collected petitions, we focused on the 2 blocks radius north and south of Lorain. Even though Lorain divides Wards 14 and 13, we felt that the people living & working closest should have some say in this. We will expand the petitioning area in the near future. We also distributed an information sheet that explained out position. 


Orbit would be best to answer that, I know they have 140 signatures in a two block or so radius in opposition and over 20 stakeholders went the BOZA hearing to oppose.

Granted perhaps some of the 140 live accross Lorain in Ward 13, but can you imagine how many votes Santiago has just flushed. Today's West Side Sun exposed his hidden agenda. It is not on-line yet.


ooops... its a loose co-alition. We do need to get together and organize - in fact I had in mind to solicit Orbit to email me (and anyone else interested)  through the "contact" option on RealNEO...

Studies show impact from crematoria

Thank you Susan for bringing this to my attention. I do think having a scientific basis for opposing the variance will help. I asked our librarian here to research the studies of human health effects of crematoria and she found a number of studies (mostly in other countries). Here's an interesting summary statement from a study done in Switzerland:

Crematoria represent a significant source of mercury emissions to the environment. While estimates of the quantities vary significantly, it appear that each cremation releases between 2 and 3 grams, with the maximum seen by this reviewer at 8.6 grams in an individual cremation in Switzerland.

There has been an increase in the number of cremations annually and forecasts include both a further increase in the number of cremations over time and an increase in the amount of mercury released in the next few decades due to an increase in the number of the deceased having a larger number of their own teeth with amalgam restorations. This increase is expected to be followed by a decrease in mercury emissions from industrialized countries as the next generation of people has both few cavities and an increased substitution of amalgam restorations with restorations that do not use mercury.

Another study in England found "there was an increased risk of lethal congenital anomaly, in particular spina bifida" in expecting mothers.

Here are some more links:



what's recyclable and reusable?

Are there any positive aspects at all to this new proposal? Can anything be recovered, reclaimed, or recycled? What about heat, water, minerals, precious metals, prosthetics, vitamins? What did we learn from Auschwitz and Dachau that can be applied here?

Perhaps if the community encouraged stimulating  mass production, ratcheting up the cremation business to become a regional or statewide leader, bringing in work from other communities, everyone would benefit from the spinoffs and side effects. Look at the crematory as half full, not half empty. Consider what similar efforts to revive poor and pathetic and needy communities like Cleveland done in the coal business, the nuclear energy business, the waste business, and anything else that raises NIMBY hackles.

I guess if our "heavy hitters" are going to sell out our natural heritage along with our built heritage, they ought to do it with a grander effort.


I think that there are some positives that could come out of this but unfortunately the way that some folks deal with things is through attacks, diversion, etc so that the real issues get covered over.  If we could work together on this and agree that mercury and other toxins are bad for us in any amount, we could then work on solutions for that (filters, scrubbers, etc). While that will not work for Mahoney as he is in denial, large trade crematoriums will be going that route as regulations will require it at some point. Small crematories will become obsolete. Vermont is considering a fee for each silver filling (mercury) that dentist use and using that money to help crematories offset the cost of mercury reducing filters. Of course, we in Cleveland have to admit that there is a problem with mercury in cremation before we can start to work on the solution.



ummmm..... no-

ummmm..... no-

i think the reasonable answer is that we insist the crematorium within a one mile radius is enough and there is no reason for the board of zoning appeals to issue a variance to allow  another one....


Thanks, I was leaving out a major point of location which should be much further than 1 mile as more people are living in or closer to the flats.

new resale shoppe: Prosthetics for the Poor

If this crematorium drew in business from all over this state and a couple of others, by being the low-cost, burn-em-up leader in incineration of your loved ones, and an occasional dog or cat to boost revenues, there would probably be a lot of prosthetics (leashes, too) gathered in sorted piles in the back yard, which could then be recycled in a new resale shoppe on Lorain. My initial proposal is "Prosthetics for the Poor" or, taking the cue from an old outdoor liberal mural over on Broadway, "It's All We Can Ask For."

Remember that once this crematorium gets a foothold in a city like Cleveland that has real problems enforcing code--except in the Frank Giglio case and a few other up-close-and-personal targeted-abuse cases--it will be off to the races. Soon plumes of smoke billowing from the chimneys of our own "Little Dachau," our Auschwitz on the Cuyahoga, will replace the sooty emissions of the Industrial Valley as an emblem of our entrepreneurial city, where anything goes and individual rights take a back seat to just about everybody with an exploitative ploy.

Do the crematoriums need scrubbers, like the smokestacks at the mills?

How high does the code say the chimneys have to be, to keep the residues of grandma and grandpa out of the lungs of the general [living] population?

Do you think we could get business all the way from China by becoming the cut-rate cremation world leader, a dubious distinction but a necessary one, in a city with self-esteem problems and civic leadership to match?

Would this place be a repository of new and exotic diseases if we brought in corpses from around the globe, or would the fire burn all of it up? Would any new plagues get out of the chimneys, or would we just have to wait and see? What would the sanitation measures be for pre-ignition holding areas? Would we truck them in, or use boxcars, like in the old days?

possable crematorium in Ohio City

DBRA Please do not associate me with Councilman Santiago I don't appreciate it. You do not know my position on this.

again, I'm just posting

what I read in your posts, Jimmy.

letter to BOZA

Ms. Carol A. Johnson, ChairmanCleveland Board of Zoning AppealsRoom 516, City Hall, 601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 

January 29, 2009  Dear Ms. Johnson; 

I write concerning the request by the Louis Bodnar Funeral Home to obtain a zoning variance necessary for the construction of an addition and expanded use to include cremation services. I own property south of Lorain Ave. that contains not a blade of grass - only organic gardens and fruits - apples, cherries, grapes, blueberries and raspberries. As you might imagine I am opposed to the variance request. Issues I believe need to be considered: 

  There are no conclusive studies demonstrating the safety of a crematorium. Permitting the requested zoning variance would be contradictory to efforts to rebrand Ohio City as a Green Neighborhood and a contravention of the Cleveland 2020 Plan. Additionally, the owner of the proposed site, Patrick E. Mahoney has shown disregard, if not outright hostility to his neighbors, threatening to use our complaint driven code and licensing enforcement system against them if his variance is not granted.**** Mr. Mahoney does not demonstrate the responsibility and professional maturity of someone entrusted to correctly operate such a potentially hazardous industry. I think it is of utmost importance to remember the needs of the neighborhood, as well as the city in this matter. Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely, Debra S.          

*  an area of "high value strong appreciation, and excellent condition." 

** an area with "moderate housing values and signs of physical distress or market distress with significant foreclosure" 

*** Some of these locations are considered Detroit Shoreway, but then their CDC is in partnership with EcoCity Cleveland, unlike OCNW. 

**** “…Oh yeah what about all of those beautiful organic veggies that are being sold? next door to the tire guy.  This was never to be a commercial operation.  If it is why are they allowed to have their crappy chain link fence and get away with piles of woodchips and chickens that are still on that property. This is your beautiful historic Ohio City.Funny but this was never to be a commercial operation.  I can tell you one thing.  If BOZA does not grant this variance I can make it incredibly tough on the community garden and day care center for zoning issues, licensing issues, overcapacity issues... Patrick E. Mahoney, Licensed Funeral Director, Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc., All Ohio Cremation & Burial Society, Inc., urnseller.com, Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:18 pm” excerpt from Ohio City Yahoo Group online posting.


Thanks Marc. I did read the study you noted as from Switzerland - it is actually from Wisconsin (Prepared by John Reindl, P.E., Dane County Department of Public Works, Madison, Wisconsin) More searching makes it seem that he may have retired.

Loved this quote from our very own EPA: “... that the human body should not be labeled or considered ‘solid waste.’ Therefore, human crematories are not solid waste combustion units and are not a subcategory of OSWI for regulations. If EPA or States determine, in the future, that human crematories should be considered for regulation, they would be addressed under other authorities.”  Uh... it's not my job man. Someone named "orbit" had pointed that out earlier in this thread.

From the UK study: "Conclusions: The authors cannot infer a causal effect from the statistical associations reported in this study. However, as there are few published studies with which to compare our results, the risk of spina bifida, heart defects, stillbirth, and anencephalus in relation to proximity to incinerators and crematoriums should be investigated further, in particular because of the increased use of incineration as a method of waste disposal."

The last study you linked says Cleveland should wait and that NOACA should have a heads up. Are they aware of this?
Conclusion and recommendations:

  • Crematoria have the potential to have a negative impact on public health.
  • There is a lack of emission data of existing facilities in Canada and North America. The few emission studies that have been done are on new facilities.
  • Internationally there is clearly a concern around the polluting capacity of crematoria. Crematoria emissions are strictly regulated in most European countries, Japan, and Hongkong. In Canada and the USA, emissions of crematoria are ‘assumed’ to have only a small impact on public health.
  • Crematoria should use the best available technology economically achievable to reduce air pollutant emissions and should operate at an optimal level with strict temperature control to obtain complete combustion.
  • Minimum operating temperatures, minimum oxygen levels, maximum carbon monoxide levels, maximum opacity measures, maximum PM levels should be established based on work in other jurisdictions.
  • A crematorium should not be cited [sic] close to a neighborhood.
  • Stack emissions and ambient air quality should be monitored before and after a crematorium starts functioning.

It seems unlikely that 4 weeks is enough time to decide that this crematory in a Cleveland neighborhood can be deemed safe.

Ohio city crematory

Check out the ohio city group if you can to keep up to date. A lot of it is people spouting their opinions and discounting studies from the more advanced countries. Pat Mahoney rants at times as his motto seems to be "do not confuse them with the facts" when someone posted UK studies. groups.yahoo.com/group/ohiocity

i'm so fact confused...

very fUNNy orbit!

ya - thats a real pack of clowns over there. i threw out some suggestions that might possibly create some bridges and they fell flat. they even have gone so far as to say - we have lead in our water pipes, radon seeping up from the ground - why worry about mercury in the air? 

BOZA Monday 2/23/09 at 10:30 AM

Just a reminder to any and all that can attend the next  hearing scheduled for this Monday. Santiago will be there to support the variance, Mahoney and like minded Ohio City folks have been trying to drum up supporters, and who knows what will happen. The Director of Health is to give his report; all we can do is hope, that unlike some people, he knows that the US is way behind the UK in trying to clean up mercury.


Ohio City crematorium variance denied

 it was a unanimous decision by BOZA today (and what a long day its been). They denied a variance to construct the crematorium. It reasoned it was not shown the funeral home would be "no more harmful" than without the crematorium and the testimony as to the adverse impact (they were particular to include the "ich" factor) was substantial.

Big pat on the back to the city Department of Health and Air Quality Control (Matt Carroll and George Baker) for putting together a respectable report in 30 days (I have to admit I was overly dubious). After reporting that the mercury would be emitted as a vapor, regardless of state-of-the-art equipment and it could be reasonably expected that various levels would exceed acceptable, they stated they "can not support this use as currently anitcipated" and cited the unique location (residential) and neighbors (urban farm and two day cares).

Kudos to the Cleveland Planning Commission for recognizing the variance allowing an industrial use would be a complete contradiction to the planned character of the neighborhood and stating they could not support it.

A sincere Thank You to councilman Joe Cimperman, who though he could not be there, wrote that he appreciated the funeral home's commitment to the neighborhood (we all do) but he could not support it because "the risk is too great to allow".

Ohio City Near West development Corporation remained neutral, though Bob Shores was there to express their commitment to the will of the residents.

Councilman Santiago (not present) what the hell can we say. Once again you have taken the opportunity to show your colors. Despite 50+ letters in opposition from members of your ward, despite 200+ signatures to a petition (a few contested, albeit), despite 20+ residents in attendance at 3 different BOZA meetings held during working hours - Santiago wrote to express his support. How's that for representation? When is that redistricting meeting?

as for Mr. Mahoney's written threats to the Urban Farm and Day Care:

"I can tell you one thing. If BOZA does not grant this variance I can make it incredibly tough on the community garden and day care center for zoning issues, licensing issues, overcapacity issues..." Patrick E. Mahoney, Licensed Funeral Director, Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc., All Ohio Cremation & Burial Society, Inc., urnseller.com, Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:18 pm” excerpt from Ohio City Yahoo Group online posting.

Lets hope he knows better.

Congratulations Ohio City citizens... Mr. Mahoney, we're waiting

Nice to see sanity win out for a change, through the great effort and will of great citizens, and open communication of opposition in many forums the corrupt leadership cannot control. Congratulations!!!

Glad to see Cleveland Department of Health and Matt Carroll step up - GOOD PEOPLE!

Mr. Mahoney owes his community - all of us - an appology for his written threats to the Urban Farm and Day Care, and so against food security for the living of our region, if he expects to stay in business serving our dead and their unforgiving families.

On to the next issues...?!?!

Disrupt IT

Good news

Good news for a gloomy Monday...congratulations to the Ohio City neighborhood residents. 

rare win for the good guys

It is amazing that the board of zoning appeals voted 5 to 0 against allowing a crematory at the Bodnar-Mahoney Funeral Home. Pat Mahoney is his own worst enemy. The health director did talk  about the health threat of mercury and the fall out at about 130' from the stack, the residents cite health and zoning. Mahoney brings up only the  "ick" factor and dismisses the health issues all together. Perhaps he is so far out of touch that BOZA could not help but vote against him. It is really scary that this person runs a funeral home. Congrats to all who helped in all the different ways to bring us to this victory. Of course, Mahoney can always challenge the ruling, but BOZA was  very careful in how they laid it out from the start of the hearing to the end. We will know if he plans a challenge in a few weeks, but we will be ready.

Thanks to all that participated!! Great team accomplishment.

This was a great victory for the Near West Community. Today was a sight to see, our City Government working with and for the people. I was proud to witness this in person. Everyone was well prepared. A true team effort.

Santiago is toast. I cannot believe he continues to work against the voters in his Ward, after over three years he has not learned. Great Job team.


How is it that OCNW was able to be neutral on this?

I thought they had an advocacy function stated in their mission, or is it only implicit and therefore optional?

Should we reexamine how much we really need development corporations like OCNW, and whether they do things for us, or to us, at this point?

Also, should we examine how the ldc's/cdc's receive their funding, washed through the city? There are inherent conflicts in the way we are set up--in Cleveland--that subvert our entire advocacy process, systemically.


Residency and DEMOLITION

  CDCs are a complete joke and a total waste of our local dollars sent to Washington D.C. and then sent back to us.  They are so transparently useless to communities, but are a rinse cycle for dollars used to payback contractors and developers, so we can expect them to stay around forever, especially, as these organizations also rinse cycle the suburban progeny of our local leadership.

I wish these money pits would just go away. Unfortunately, HUD, entitlements and CDCs aren't going anywhere in the Obama administration.  They are proliferating, so can we at least get some residency requirements?

From the City of Cleveland's Draft Neighborhood Stabilization Plan:




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The State of Ohio has allocated a portion of its award by formula.  The City of Cleveland allocation is $9,424,689.  The funds may be used for the following activities:

*       establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed upon homes and residential properties

*       purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon, in order to sell, rent, or redevelop such homes and properties;

*       establish land banks for homes that have been foreclosed upon

*       demolish blighted structures

*       redevelop demolished or vacant properties

*       Program activities must be targeted to areas of greatest need

*       Rehabilitation target areas may be selected based upon both need and the potential for generating market recovery.


All Activities must benefit to families or communities with incomes under 120% of Area wide Median Income (AMI).  Up to $375,000 of the allocation may be used for the costs of administering the program.


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The City of Cleveland’s proposed use of its Neighborhood Stabilization Program allocation is as follows:




NSP Allocation

Nuisance Abatement – Demolition


Nuisance Abatement - Public Improvements to Vacant Land Acquired Through Foreclosure



Housing Renovation Program – Acquire, Rehab, Sell





Building &Housing

 Operation Prevent

(from Administration)







we can take the money for ourselves

Laura, despair not.

We can recapture the funds for our communities.

There's nothing that says we have to pay salaries.

And, you forgot to mention banks and the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act). We have been bled long enough.

Residency ceases to be an issue in the absence of paid employees. Let's face it, we do most things on a volunteer basis now anyway. Most of the good stuff has been accomplished by volunteers, advocates, and pushback. Why do we need employees, to minister to us poor misguided, deluded residents? We are about to have the boomers retire, with pensions and free time to do good things.

All we need to run a CDC are D&O insurance for the board and enough money to pay for contract help in accounting--which our OBCDC is jobbing out now anyway.


contractors and developerscontractors and developerscontractors

contractors and developerscontractors and developerscontractors and developers

it makes me want to puke. Bob Shores is one of the very few employees of a CDC that I have met (and I've probably met too many) who really gives a flying fuck about a resident. Look at the backgrounds of anyone in position of power at a CDC - its all contractors and developerscontractors and developerscontractors and developerscontractors and developers. So, Bob was at the meeting, but OCNW's "official" position was "neutral".

MY BIG QUESTION though - is where the hell were all these "grEEn" pretenders? They go on and on about how important "grEEn" is to them and they collect their dollars working for the "grEEn" non-profits and foundations  - NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS AT these hearings. Its their neutrality that worries me more - not only do many of them lIVe around the proposed crematory but its their supposed issue.

I'm about ready to drop an "n"


 You are so right. People

 You are so right. People were aware of the issue but not so aware of the mercury problem. People are way too accepting and I wish that they were there when Director Carroll talked about the vaporized mercury fallout at about 131' from the stack. Wake up and smell the coffee!

Are we blighted enough Tim?

Section 1.08 of The Ohio Revised Code defines “blighted parcel” as follows:

 “Blighted parcel” means either of the following:
(1) A parcel that has one or more of the following conditions:
(a) A structure that is dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, or vermin infested and that because of its condition has been designated by an agency that is responsible for the enforcement of housing, building, or fire codes as unfit for human habitation or use;
(b) The property poses a direct threat to public health or safety in its present condition by reason of environmentally hazardous conditions, solid waste pollution, or contamination;
(c) Tax or special assessment delinquencies exceeding the fair value of the land that remain unpaid thirty-five days after notice to pay has been mailed.
(2) A parcel that has two or more of the following conditions that, collectively considered, adversely affect surrounding or community property values or entail land use relationships that cannot reasonably be corrected through existing zoning codes or other land use regulations:
(a) Dilapidation and deterioration;
(b) Age and obsolescence;
(c) Inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces;
(d) Unsafe and unsanitary conditions;
(e) Hazards that endanger lives or properties by fire or other causes;
(f) Noncompliance with building, housing, or other codes;
(g) Nonworking or disconnected utilities;
(h) Is vacant or contains an abandoned structure;
(i) Excessive dwelling unit density;
(j) Is located in an area of defective or inadequate street layout;
(k) Overcrowding of buildings on the land;
(l) Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness;
(m) Vermin infestation;
(n) Extensive damage or destruction caused by a major disaster when the damage has not been remediated within a reasonable time;
(o) Identified hazards to health and safety that are conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, juvenile delinquency, or crime;
(p) Ownership or multiple ownership of a single parcel when the owner, or a majority of the owners of a parcel in the case of multiple ownership, cannot be located.

Six million dollar question?

  Who are the demolition contractors for the City of Cleveland?

heartfelt thanks

Before the burning issue gets too cold, I want to thank everyone who helped out on the Bodnar-Mahoney crematory issue. It was a tough one because the Bodnar's have been in the neighborhood for a long time before Mahoney bought it and tried to over ride the community with an industrial business. Like in any successful community victory, there are a lot of people behind the  scenes. I saw this again in this issue. While we had a couple of people "up front" there were many others gathering signatures on the petitions, encouraging neighbors to write letters, blogging the new info, and just talking and educating their neighbors. Those folks are the ones responsible for this win. It is too bad that we live in a culture that brings threats from inspectors and the councilman if we work against his desires.  This is why so many neighbors worked behind the scenes and I want to make sure that those people know that their efforts in the coldest of weather as they went door to door know that they won, they did good, and we all won on this because of them. And thanks to Henry for his always great technical assistance.