Sign the Petition - STOP Brian Cummins from another park give-away - STORER Park to manufacturer Fanta

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 10/25/2015 - 08:32.
10/25/2015 - 06:28
01/01/2016 - 06:28
Etc/GMT-4

 

REALNEO has chronicled the give-away of public parkland WC Reed Field to developer NRP Foster Pointe by then council rep Brian Cummins.  He is engineering a similar give-away in the Stockyards neighborhood.

Please SIGN and put a stop to this madness - residents need their parks.

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-frank-jackson-cleveland-oh-michael-cox-director-of-public-works-city-of-cleveland-brian-cummins-councilman-ward-14-city-of-cleveland-save-storer-park

THANKS to Diane Morgan for bringing this story to light.  See this moving news coverage by Joe Pagonakis :  http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-cuyahoga/cleveland-residents-concerned-storer-park-could-be-sold-to-industrial-development

(NOTE: Diane plans to run for the Ward 14 seat - I expect Brian to be appointed to some bogus position to save his ass)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Denison Senior Housing project
Submitted by briancummins on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 14:29.
This information is being provided from the City's Community Development Department.
There will also be an update provided on the project at the next regularly scheduled Southwest Citizens Advisory Council meeting at 7:00 pm at Gino's Tavern (basement meeting room), 1314 Denison Avenue.
Regards,
Brian Cummins
Cleveland City Councilman Ward 15
216-459-8400
brianjcummins [at] earthlink [dot] net
------------------------------------------------------------------
Denison Elderly Update/Questions:
 
I wanted to advise you that the attached publication will be in the Cleveland Plain Dealer starting tomorrow; public comment at the city level is accepted for 15 days when all written comments will be forwarded to HUD who will then offer their own 15 day comment period.
 
As you will note, the funds involved are not CDBG but HOME funds; a 2008 allocation of $500k was made and there is a subsequent request for 2009 funds in the amount of $250k which is under review.
 
The Housing Trust Fund is a competitive proposal process offered annually and anyone can apply; the point person at the CD Department for this program is Bill Resseger, Executive Assistant to Director Rush (664-2351).
 
As with all projects, our Compliance Section working with the Project Manager and our Environmental Attorney review for environmental and historic preservation compliance.  The review of site conditions at this location also included Parks, Recreation and Properties, Engineering and Construction and Water Pollution Control.  There has also been discussion with the Ohio EPA as well.
 
The project was presented at our Infrastructure Committee wherein all utilities are advised collectively of the project and related details; each department still has its’ own review of the proposal and detailed plans as they are developed and as part of the building permit review. In addition, Cuyahoga County Soil and Water participated in the review, comments and recommendations.
 
This project was also presented to and approved by the Cleveland City Planning Commission in relation to the sale of a city parcel, rezoning and the expenditure of city funds; all are public hearing processes open to the public (as you are already aware).
 
The proposers did initially express interest in both the Memphis School site and the Denison site; however, different funding sources came with different requirements and each neighborhood has had its’ own vision for the two sites which led to Denison being selected.
 
The Market Study which is required for each HTF proposal supports the need for elderly apartments and with the different funding sources there are restrictive agreements which ensure the ongoing provision of affordable elderly housing units.  It is often the case that as people age they wish to have an option to stay within their community but either no longer have the physical ability nor the financial means to maintain their home; this type of housing presents that option.
 
Regarding Citizen Participation/Administration of both HOME and CDBG Funds;
 
A  Public Hearing was held on March 10, 2009 at 10 a.m. at the Cleveland Convention Center; the meeting was publicized in the Plain Dealer on February 20, 2009.
 
A Public Hearing was held on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 10 a.m. at the Cleveland Convention Center; the meeting was advertised in the Plain Dealer on January 31, 2008.
 
Citizen Participation Surveys (CDBG) were also distributed to citizens attending various community/neighborhood meetings and events throughout the two year period. (Joe Skrabec, Public Information Officer 664-4597)
 
Legislation required for application and expenditure of funds is undertaken through an open process with Cleveland City Council through a several committee review process; these meetings are open to the public.
 
Review of proposal application is possible as described in the public notice; copies of any materials may be requested through a formal letter of request to Robert Triozzi, Director of Law, under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
The Department of Community Development and Councilman Cummins will continue to communicate both with the overall community and individual residents particularly, those along Fern Court with specific details. 
 
Regarding Utility Concerns;
 
The site will be serviced by 2 sanitary connections (6” each) and 1 storm connection (15”).
 
These connections will tie to the main sewer on Denison Avenue.  There will be no sewer connections to the sewer on Fern Court.
 
There is an existing large combined sewer on Denison Avenue which is egg shaped and equivalent to 60”.  It is 20 feet deep and can handle the flow generated by the proposed development.
 
A large underground storm detention is proposed inside the property.  This means that during a storm event the storm water will be flowing slowly in the City sewer on Denison Avenue. 
 
There is no CSO issue caused by this development; the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District reviewed the plans and found them consistent with Ohio Rainwater and Land Development standard guidelines.
 
I hope this information is of assistance to you and addresses your questions and concerns.  Please feel free to contact me at the Department of Community Development should you require additional assistance.
 
 
Nora McNamara
Community Development Department
City of Cleveland
(216) 664-4032
Nmcnamara [at] city [dot] cleveland [dot] oh [dot] us
 
------------------------------------------------------------------
 
NOTICE OF FINDING OF NO SIGNICIFICANT IMPACT AND
NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS
 
To All Interested Persons, Agencies, and Groups:
These notices shall satisfy procedural requirements for federally assisted activities to be undertaken by The NRP Group and CHR Partners Inc.

REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS
On or about June 15, 2009 the City of Cleveland, Department of Community Development will submit a request to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the release of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and/or Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds under the Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act as amended, to undertake a project known as:
 
Denison Elderly
The Denison Elderly project is located at land bounded by Denison Avenue on the south, Fern Court on the north, and extension of W. 19th Street on the east and an extension of W. 22nd on the west in the City of Cleveland, 1914-2020 Denison Avenue. The project will involve the construction of 61 newly constructed units.  The elderly housing units will be comprised of 12 one bedroom units and 49 two bedroom units with 67 parking spaces.The total project cost is approximately $10,556,380 million which includes Housing Trust Fund dollars from the City of Cleveland in the amount of $500,000 in 2008 and up to $250,000 in 2009; and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in the amount of $544,000. 
 
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
The Denison Elderly project consist of more then a twenty percent change of use in addition to the site having some soil conditions that are contaminated. An environmental Phase I and II Assessments have been completed. There will be a deed restriction and Operations & Management plan that must be followed regarding the concerned environment conditions on the site. The city will require that the Voluntary Action Plan (VAP) Program will be followed regarding remediation of the site or equivalent. Based on these commitments to remediate the contamination to known standards, the issuance of this FONSI is being made.
 
The legal staff representing the City of Cleveland will incorporate language regarding the necessary commitments that will be incorporated in the legal documents for all projects.   Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) which is on file for this project at:
 
Department of Community Development
ClevelandCity Hall, Room 320
601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH                                    
Attn: Kellie Glenn, Project Director
(216) 664-4070
 
The ERR for this project may be examined upon request during regular business hours at the City from Monday through Friday from 8: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
 
 
PUBLIC COMMENTS
Any individual, group, or agency disagreeing with this determination or wishing to comment on the project may submit written comments to the Department of Community Development All comments received by June 15, 2009 will be considered by the City of Cleveland prior to authorizing a submission for a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing.
 
 
RELEASE OF FUNDS
The City of Cleveland certifies to HUD that the certifying officer, Daryl P. Rush in his official capacity as Director of the Department of Community Development consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities, and allows the City of Cleveland the use of Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds pursuant to the following stipulations. 
 
OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS
HUD will accept objections to its release of funds and the City of Cleveland’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submittal date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer or the City of Cleveland; (b) the City of Cleveland has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR Part 58; (c) the grant recipient has committed funds or incurred costs not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58) and shall be addressed to:
 
Department of Housing and Urban Development
OhioState Office
200 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio43215-2499
Attn: Ms. Jorgelle Lawson, CPD Director
 
Potential objectors should contact Ms. Lawson at the noted HUD office to verify the actual last day of the objection period.
 
Frank G. Jackson, Mayor
 
Daryl P. Rush, Director
Dept. of Community Development
 
( categories: 

)

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 11:17.
Brian, I will submit my comments although the objections I raised at the Planning Commission in May 2008 went no where.  
 
Residents have no assurances that NRP will assume environmental liability in the event of sanitary sewer line back-ups.  I have been to the site recently and I see no evidence of soil testing or borings to evaluate the nature of the landfill materials at the site. 
Furthermore, several residents in the area have been pressured to sell their homes.  These residents speak English as a second language.  They have been told that this is a phase one and phase two process.  These families own their homes and carry no mortgage, although they are concerned that the City of Cleveland will cite their homes for violations or worse, condemn their homes.
Please see this FONSI.  I am also concerned about the possible misuse of HUD/CDBG funds that ocurred in the demolition of 2000 Denison.  Who will assume the cost of the additional demolitions at the site?  The historic rowhouses have been boarded up, along with the historic commercial storefront and two additional residences purchased by several Denison Elderly LLC listings.

DENISON ELDERLY E-GROUP LLC 1811728 Domestic Limited Liability Company Oct 09 2008 Active
 
Click for Details Click for Details Click for DetailsClick for Details Click for Details Click for DetailsClick for Details Click for Details Click for Details
 
 
DENISON ELDERLY LLC 1811729 Domestic Limited Liability Company Oct 09 2008 Active
 
DENISON ELDERLY CORP. 1852253 Corporation For Profit Apr 21 2009 Active Cleveland
Cuyahoga
NRP DENISON ELDERLY LLC 1811727 Domestic Limited Liability Company Oct 09 2008 Active
Click for Details Click for Details Click for Details
Submitted by briancummins on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 14:22.
The demo costs were recently confirmed to be paid for by NRP.  The developer will also cover demo of remaining structures for this project.
phase I and II environmental study has been done for the site.  I do not know the total number of core samples taken, but the developer is following the EPA’sVoluntary Action Program and has done the necessary borings in the required locations to meet the standards of the program.  Please e-mail Nora McNamara directly and she can provide additional details.
In terms of assurances...there are deed restrictions and responsibilities laid out to account for issues that can arise.  Again, Nora can provide more details.
Regarding people being pressured to sell their property, I am not aware of this.  And, the mention of the phase I and II could be related to the environmental work.  Again, I've not received any complaints or comments such as this and I have spoken to people on Fern Court and on Denison.  Not everyone, but those who have been home over the past year plus when I've gone to the park and site.
In terms of condemnations and code enforcement, yes we have an aggressive code enforcement program.  We've been pursuing what's been called a Denison Initiative with both local civic associations.  The members of which help us identify properties of priority concern.  Normally an uncaring absentee landlord is to blame, other cases it may be part of that and a tenant or a homeowner that is causing problems or is of limited means.  In all cases we try reaching out to the people and if they work with the code enforcement manager they can avoid violations as long as they make progress towards compliance.  we also provide small grant assistance and promote the paint program as a way to try leverage owners to make incremental investments to improve properties.
In no case in the last three years has a home been condemned where there was someone living in the house, with the possible exception of a property on W. 23rd where the landlord was taking advantage or some semi-homeless people and the cases ended in them being re-located out of the house and the landlord was forced to a live in the property until it was brought up to code.
Again, we can post information on this and other blogs, but please also email Nora McNamara directly for specific questions and she'll be able to respond.
Sincerely,
Brian.
216-459-8400 office
brianjcummins [at] earthlink [dot] net
PS:  Can jeff or someone explain how to format the email address so it turns into a link properly? Thanks!
Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 17:00.
I will inquire - I take it you want your email to be a live link - it may be that code has been added to prevent live email links. 
Brian, you are way ahead of the Council pack with your willingness and ability to put your thoughts right out here for public consumption and criticism.  My hat's off to you. 
best,
jeffb
Submitted by Jeff Schuler on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 01:38.
That's correct -- all posted email addresses are disguised a bit so they can't easily be picked up by address harvesters (for spamming.)
Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 08/30/2009 - 09:27.
  1.  Please post evidence that NRP paid off the demolition costs on 2000 Denison.Will it show up on the auditors site? 
  2. Please post the Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental review.  
     
  3. Please post deed restrictions including an assurance that this property will not transfer to CMHA after depreciation.
RE: Denison Initiative--this sounds like the treatment residents in Tremont recently endured.  How many houses will need to eventually all come down to accomodate all 61 units?  Will the Santos house at 2024 need be demolished to accommodate the existing plan.  This family does not want to sell and neither do their neighbors to the immediate west.  These folks own their homes outright. 
Brian, this so-called public process does not change the fact that residents were not asked if they wanted this project in the first place.  They were only asked to react after the plan was set in motion.  This will devalue our property throughout Brooklyn Centre, destroy the architectural scale of the streetscape, and further compromise environmental conditions in our neighborhood.  It will also rob us of public access to green space sorely needed in our neighborhood. 
Let's face it.  The ultimate agenda--besides making a boatload of money for NRP-- is to unload the whole park for a CMHA campus.  The City of Cleveland Citywide Plan does not recognize the success of Horizon Denison Academy and the plan shows eventual housing on the location of the old East Denison school, which is now SUCCESSFULLY managed by a charter school.
Updated 8/30/2009--Looking over an old CDC annual report from 2004--shows that Councilman Cummins is well aware of the structural and environmental limitations at this site--while at the helm of the CDC, then CDC director Cummins and Councilperson Merle Gordon "broke ground" on Fern Court for a similarly planned townhouse project.
The project was halted--AFTER all approvals were in place, when the City of Cleveland (after their usual due-diligence) found the existing sewer infrastructure could NOT support the construction.
Submitted by briancummins on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 17:42.
Laura,
I’ve said multiple times that we will need to respectfully agree to disagree with our opinions on this project.
The process - worked in a way that the developer sought out support for a concept.  The concept - was explained through the local civic groups.  It received majority of support from the local community, with people believing that 1) the area could utilize modern senior housing that will provide a community for residents and some ancillary services; 2) the $11 million investment could improve that part of the Brooklyn Centre neighborhood and Denison Avenue.  The developer then pursued on their own the acquisition of properties for site assembly.  They competitively applied for funding at the State and local level.  And, they are now in the process of completing their design and engineering plans, of which the City is currently completing a review of those plans.
Design, neighborhood fabric & enviro conditions - I disagree with you that the project will destroy the architectural scale of the streetscape.  Or, that it will further compromise the area’s environmental conditions.  Actually, due to the EPA regulations and VAP process, the planned installation of a storm water management plan will actually improve the overall existing environmental conditions as will the compaction and other site preparations they will be required to do.
Also, when you say “rob us of public access to green space”; it will actually place 61-people, who we anticipate many will be staying in the neighborhood and transitioning to this new housing – in closer proximity to the park where they will be able to enjoy the abundant but underutilized green space that is there. 
Additionally, the developer will be making improvements and enhancements to the pedestrian entrance of the park off of Denison Avenue, increasing the visibility and access.  The portion of parkland on Fern Court has not been utilized for anything and is in a poor location relative to the other space within the park, for parkland redevelopment. 
Your comment about the “ultimate agenda” to “unload the whole park” is hyperbole and plain false.  It is also insulting in the way it questions my own character and credibility I’ve established in the community for the past 8-years.  What of the work with the trail systems and Friends of Big Creek etc.?
Anyone who lives in our neighborhood that has paid attention and is in tune with the activities of those most engaged in moving this community forward through coordination with neighbors and utilizing the local civic associations understands what an important asset WC Reed Park is.
This is why the developer has selected this site in the first place.  To locate senior residents in close proximity to amenities such as the park, transportation, shopping etc…
I’m not aware of any plans that you mention to replace the current Horizon Science Academy with housing.  The school as you say, is doing very well.  If this is part of someone’s “agenda” I am not aware of it.  We’ve recently worked with the school to help ensure better security arrangements and we’re looking at improving the baseball parking at the east end of the park to lessen the impacts of park users on the school.
The process I would agree has not been the MOST transparent and open, but it has been better than many developments pursued around the city – we’ve had multiple meetings with the public and have tried to provide information from inquiries. 
The overwhelming majority of members and participants of the Southwest Citizen’s Area Council meetings are supportive of the project and believe the development will be positive for the community.  Again, using terms such as “underhanded” and “unscrupulous” is insulting, not only to me but also to the community members that have had an opportunity to learn about the project and others like it around the City.  They’ve taken a tour of the senior housing project that NRP did on Franklin Avenue, spoken with the residents and community group active in that area.  They’ve lived for years close to the underutilized and under-maintained properties that are being replaced.  None of these people would agree with you characterization of the project or process.
I will not distance myself from the project.  In fact our office is worked hard to attract the project and we’ll continue to work hard at ensuring that it is successfully completed to provide the benefits to the community I believe it can, without causing the problems you are claiming it will cause.  I am working closely with City staff to ensure the regulations are met and safeguards are in place.  I trust much of the staff working on these issues and also take time to review information when completed.
Respectfully,
Brian
brianjcummins [at] earthlink [dot] net
216-459-8400 office
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 08:30.
  Thank you for articulating your postion well and for justifying your involvement.  Believe me, it's better than total silence or insults, which is why I continue to support you, Brian (although I didn't appreciate having to give up a day I had especially scheduled off from work to attended the Treadway Creek opening to INSTEAD attend the NRP planning commission meeting scheduled on the same day --a bit ironic, if not underhanded, to me). 
Also, you still haven't explained the intentions towards long-term residents such as the Santos.  Are these folks expendable in the NRP agenda?  Because, I still don't see the justification for this so-called subsidized senior housing, especially when most of our SENIOR residents would prefer to stay in their completely paid-off housing.
And, please, Brian--encourage Southwest Citizens to actually air their opinions here.  If they do--then I will back off.   This project doesn't directly impact me, but if they take a minute to think about it, they will be damn well pissed if it does end up flooding their basements and ultimately devalues property values.  
I see that their meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 4th at Gino's on Denison--7:00 p.m.  I will make every effort to be there.
Submitted by orbit on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 20:29.
Code enforcement is a tactic used before a "redevelopment" project is announced to prime an area. It is part of a financial and psychological laying of groundwork that sounds good (i.e. going after absentee landlords and giving grants, etc) but puts pressure on financial disadvantaged owners to fix up or move out. Then comes the rumors of a development. That turns out to be true. This fires up more rumors that people are being forced out of their homes. While this isn't always true, many times it is. 
This is not any different that the gentrification process laid out over the years in other neighborhoods and other cities. 
The apartments that NRP did on Franklin came out very nice, but also way above the original target costs. I doubt that the new senior apartments will be anywhere as nice as the ones on Franklin due to the costs.
 
Delores
 
 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 02:54.
  Thank you Delores--I see completely unorganized infrastructure insanity in this whole NRP project.  Why does the City of Cleveland allow more tie-ins to a sewer system that needs to be completely overhauled and replaced?  Aside from the significant human cost, the physical staging and infrastructure costs for the NRP project are an outrageous waste of money.  It's called disjointed incrementalism.
Down the line--Denison will need to be completely torn up and the Northeast Ohio Sewer District will be mandated to eliminate the combined sewer running down the street.  The gas lines are also corroded and need replacement.  Meanwhile, with the NRP project, we use good money to chase after bad money put into a developers pocket, instead of addressing our crumbling SEWERS , roads, streets, sidewalks, curbing, street lighting and gas line replacement. 
Recently, the Village of Brooklyn Heights got a completely new sidewalk and curb cuts along Schaaf Rd. as Dominion replaced their ancient gas lines.  Are there any similar plans in for this type of coordination in the City of Cleveland? I know that I will be that last to know.
Submitted by briancummins on Sun, 05/31/2009 - 08:44.
I disagree with the definition that Delores gave for Code Enforcement.  It’s not to say this does not happen, but this is not the case in Ward 15.  We bend over backwards in assisting people to comply with the City codes.  But, if there is no cooperation or efforts when given sufficient time (we’re talking 3 to 6 -months or more) and offers of assistance (there are grants for eligible low-income persons), then yes, we pursue remedy – again compliance – through the City’s Housing Court, a compliance court, meaning everyone wants to see compliance and not fines levied.
Also, the code enforcement is carried out in multiple ways; 1) complaint driven2) focused enforcement in an effort to make a more significant impact/improvement in an area where either re-habs and development interests have begun through market forces – in these cases more resources are devoted for home repair grants and assistance; and, 3) enforcement based on health and safety issues where properties are identified by staff or through community efforts as being particularly concerning due to the condition and risks they pose.
Note that Mayor Jackson has also made it a policy to NOT aggressively require compliance from low-income seniors and instead has set up a cross-inter-departmental process between Building and Housing and the Department of Aging to assist seniors with repairs and social services to ensure they can remain in their homes when ever possible, come into compliance and avoid prosecution.
The high cost of the NRP project $170k or so on average for 61-units, is first of all reflected in the cost of building on and improving the exiting old infrastructure, i.e., demo, site preparation etc…  The costs are associated with trying to provide modern, efficient and affordable housing within an urban neighborhood.
Unfortunately, the Federal and State housing and infrastructure policies are responsible for what we see here.  The City and the developer are taking advantage of Federal and State programs to write down the cost of the project that some think will be a windfall for the developer.  They’ll be making a profit for sure, but the margin will not be a windfall.
The funding being used on this project could not be used to replace the old sewer lines, roads and city infrastructure.  Those require different sources of funding.
The City’s Departments of Water, Water Pollution Control, and Dominion and the NEORSewerDistrict all are faced with replacing aging infrastructure, but the funding sources are not directly related to housing projects such as these.
 
Also, the 60” sewer on Denison to my understanding is functioning and will not be placed in higher danger because of this project. 
And, in previous posts about the decade old problems of sewer outflows on Spring Road and W. 11th – In the past three years my office has been able to effect over $1.2 million in work to finally greatly reduce this problem.  There is currently a $750,000 project being conducted in that area, which followed $500,000 of work in studies and improvements.  This is in addition to two or three other locations in the neighborhoods that we pushed for and received assistance and repairs for sewer problems that people have been complaining about for years.
What I dislike the most about some of these types of posts, is the completely negative tone.  The accusatory, and assumptive statements that everything involved in this or that project has been done for an unscrupulous motive or agenda.  There is rarely a nod to the potential of the good will and effort that goes into the work of trying to improve conditions in the neighborhoods.  A mention or comment about the woefully inadequate if not damaging policies from the Federal and State governments that have encouraged dis-investment in core urban areas and sprawl.
I understand that amidst the reported corruption and FBI investigations etc… that people are weary and suspicious, but hope for more balance and thoughtfulness in posts, particularly if people are not directly involved in ongoing face-to-face discussions, meetings and tours as has been the case for this project.
Trust but verify is the term that comes to mind.  There is very little trust these days.  I hope that I can work to establish more public trust and I’ll help anyone that wants to, verify.
Sincerely,
Brian Cummins
Ward 15 Councilman
Cleveland City Council
216-459-8400
brianjcummins [at] earthlink [dot] net
 
Submitted by jerleen1 on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 09:13.
lmcshane,
After the election will the New Ward 3 take up some of Denison Avenue?  If so, how far up (down) Denison would that new ward line cross.  I have a nephew that owns a home on Denison and a sister that lives there as well and I know that they have some concerns about all the changes that are taking place. 
 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 08/08/2009 - 05:21.
  You can call it negativity, if that's how you see it, Brian.  I am merely asking for accountability for the use of taxpayer's dollars.  I will never agree with you that this is a sound and wise use of taxpayers dollars. 
You may feel that the intention of the project is worthy and we MIGHT agree that some seniors may find this type of housing attractive, but you will not get me to agree to shoehorning a possibly appropriate housing project onto a completely inappropriate site. 
You refer back to the mess left by your predecessors--(folks who served political office in Ward 15, but no longer live here).
And, in previous posts about the decade old problems of sewer outflows on Spring Road and W. 11th – In the past three years my office has been able to effect over $1.2 million in work to finally greatly reduce this problem.  There is currently a $750,000 project being conducted in that area, which followed $500,000 of work in studies and improvements.  This is in addition to two or three other locations in the neighborhoods that we pushed for and received assistance and repairs for sewer problems that people have been complaining about for years.
Your response and effectiveness in repairing the longstanding Spring Rd. sewer issue is very commendible--but can we agree that it would have been much better to save everyone involved the enormous expense, the headaches and the waste of your time caused by dropping a tax-abated housing project onto a compromised watershed and infrastructure system?   Tell me how does the current NRP proposal differ from this historical experience?  Did real environmental foresight and planning and consideration go into siting this project?  From my vantage point--I can tell you--no.
This is my main concern--out of many concerns-- for the NRP project.  If anything, the vigilance that Tim, Gloria, myself and others have devoted to fact-finding this project, helps you to do your job better--and that job is to represent the best interests of your constituents.
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 08/08/2009 - 05:22.
  I can see with my own eyes Brian--I give you credit where credit is due--but I also see very little physical improvements made in my community. Roads, streets, curbs, city services, park maintenance etc.
As you yourself noted above---the public is very weary of misuse of power, fraud, and goverment waste.  The FBI investigations confirm that these suspicions are not unfounded.  I can SEE and everyone else can SEE that there is very little oversight and accountability where B&H and HUD monies are concerned.  The highly suspicious straw buyer schemes that were uncovered and reported on the east side of Cleveland, somehow don't merit attention when the same scheme is applied on the west side of Cleveland.  You and I know that these flippers operated here, too--so, tell me, with what ultimate intention--other than to drive down property values? 
I know that you are not Superman.  I immensely respect that you respond to questions and that you do your best to answer questions in a timely and thorough manner.  I also immensely respect the tireless efforts of Darren and Johanna Hamm, Maria Dimengo, Jeff Sugalski, and so many other good neighbors, who are just that--good neighbors.
 
Submitted by orbit on Sun, 05/31/2009 - 13:47.
I regret that Brian sees the raising of questions, the requests for accountability by posters and the pointing out of the process (by me) as a negative. There have been columns written again and again all over this country about the strategy to prime an area for redevelopment. 
While we don't like when others disagree or point out issues that are in conflict with the goals, it is not conducive to to label them as negative.
 
 
 
 
Submitted by kerena01 on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 03:16.
Hi, We have just added your latest post "Denison Senior Housing project" to our Directory of Environment . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory for getting a huge base of visitors to your website and gaining a valuable backlink to your site. Warm Regards greenatmos.com Team http://www.greenatmos.com
Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 07:58.
  Thanks--this is unfortunately, not necessarily the news, I would like to see reported about my neighborhood.  And, it hardly qualifies as green, unless you consider public monies spent. I would like to see actual reduction in water and atmospheric pollution.  But, every eyeball watching helps to stop the madness.  Stay tuned to this site.
PS-I just joined your site--it may take me awhile to figure out the features, but please add these tags: stormwater, CSOs, sanitary waste, environmental justice, landfill, daylighting, HUD, Housing Trust Fund, demolition.
Submitted by runwiththewolves on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:21.
You're spending $10.555 million dollars on 61 units?  Why not buy everyone a home, give them assisted living, and save the rest of it?  I'm not so sure this is the wisest use of such a large amount of money.
But Brian, what's really ironic is that since you decided to run for office in Ward 14 you've done everything you can to revive the rumor-mongering and try to arouse suspicion and "drama" over some of those FBI investigations (cleveland.com, Scene, etc.).  How cagey you are! Spread the negative, create the drama and then step back and accuse everyone else of having defects in their personalities when they buy into it!
How do you do that? Speak out of both sides of your mouth, that is?
Submitted by ANGELnWard14 on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 03:14.
How much of that $10 million dollar project will...
1) Be spent on creating jobs for Ward 14 residents? 
2) Be spent on creating jobs for Ward 15 residents? 
3) How many individuals will be employed from these areas through the sub-contractors? 
Will any of the contractors be from within the City Limits of Cleveland? 
Who are they? 
Who are their sub contractors? 
Just trying to figure out where I can refer some of our residents with records for viable work.... construction seems to be many of their resolves.....
Submitted by None on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 15:56.
It is an outrageously large amount of money, per unit and the NRP site shows what they build.
What does it cost to build a slab attached ranch houses? There is no list of people seeking assisted living if there is then it is the same list as the list of developers. It’s the list of all the people with their hands out.
They drain the seniors accounts and then say it is not enough so we have to add to it, subsidized and then inflated in prices to meet falsely inflated costs.
What’s the price to live in one of these plywood ranch homes?
This is access to social security, pensions, Medicare, Medicaid State funds, federal funds…they are not sincere to offer housing to seniors its access to the money they are after, it theocratic, they are convinced they are doing good and not, help your neighbor? People do that still don’t they? Oh thats right we are now in a society that sees the senior as an easy mark, break in and rob them or slip them into a developers scam and clean them out.  Basically the same thing. 
Each month that facility will collect fees, per unit, per person, show the amounts!   Your correct Laura it would make people sick to see the amounts.
Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 18:29.
Thank you all for responding to this post.  It is good to ask questions and good to get some answers that prove our local representatives are actually doing what they get paid to do--represent us.  
Keep up the dialogue.
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 03:52.
  The comment above on costs might raise a few eyebrows--the figure comes from the attached Finding of No Significant Impact reprinted below:
The Denison Elderly project is located at land bounded by Denison Avenue on the south, Fern Court on the north, and extension of W. 19th Street on the east and an extension of W. 22nd on the west in the City of Cleveland, 1914-2020 Denison Avenue. The project will involve the construction of 61 newly constructed units.  The elderly housing units will be comprised of 12 one bedroom units and 49 two bedroom units with 67 parking spaces. The total project cost is approximately $10,556,380 million which includes Housing Trust Fund dollars from the City of Cleveland in the amount of $500,000 in 2008 and up to $250,000 in 2009; and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in the amount of $544,000. 
 
Is this a typo in the FONSI?
 
Submitted by None on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 07:55.
What is being demolished within that block?   
Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 10:31.
  Jerleen, the entire Denison NRP project will be in Joe Cimperman's redistricted ward, assuming he continues his council position.  This includes the W.C.Reed Park/Playfields. 
 
Oengus--eight boarded row houses, a commercial building from 1921, and two boarded single houses are slated for demolition.  My guess would be that demolition of these structures will most likely occur before the full HTF application review.  Please, if there are restrictions against the demolitions taking place before the full HTF review, please let me know.  One house has already been demolished by B&H at 2000 Denison.  It is still not clear who actually footed the cost for this demolition, although Councilman Cummins offers assurances, but no real evidence that NRP picked up the tab.
Submitted by jerleen1 on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 20:51.
lmcshane
I'm familiar with that entire area of Denison.  I once shopped at Johnny's Market a lot.  My nephew owns a house in the 2100 block of Denison and as I said before, my sister lives there also.  There's a lot of old houses in that area.   This sounds just like another one of those "good for the community"  deals that's good for who?  the developers and those in the profit making business.  Has anybody ask the people who live there if they want to give up their houses? 
We've just formed a new group the "Old South Side Community Coalition."  This organization has no affiliation with TWDC and will be catering to the low income, long time and minority residents and renters in the Tremont  area.
Our first official meeting will take place on Monday, June 15, 2009, 6:30pm, at the Jefferson Branch Library, 850 Jefferson Avenue.  We are encouraging anyone with complaints, neighborhood issues and/or concerns to attend this meeting.  We will be meeting on the 3rd Monday every month thereafter.  We are also putting into place a Community Outreach program to provide community support and assistance to those unable to get out and attend the meetings. 
 
 
Submitted by None on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 12:21.
 
I’m familiar with those buildings, the store front is a loss, it has a good frontage and would have made a good place for a café. The row houses are sad to see go, they have been neglected for a long time, but rare architecturally. The high costs of the this project are in part do to the acquisition and demolishing?
I agree with what was posted earlier by Tim Ferris, that it is not an ideal location for assisted living. Why not build senior housing near healthcare rather then have on-site, and what ever little that would be. Being next to a healthcare facility and wired with a life alert would be far more cost effective.
I can not get passed the $170,000.00 per unit costs, nobody should.
So what the charge to acquire and demolish? $2M ? LOL
Seriously slab ranches that are either one or two bedrooms? Without foundations the cost per square foot is less than $100.00 more like $80.00 a sq ft.
Allowing $2M for aquisition and demolition then with the remaining $8M, that’s over $130.00 a square foot and could build 61 freestanding ranch homes with basements. Each being 1000 sq ft.
The national builders association claims that $100.00 per square foot is the cost of single family construction in NEO. That includes all cost less the land, that is with a full basement.
The costs have to be separated, the cost of the land and the construction all separated.
Submitted by Gloria Ferris on Sun, 08/02/2009 - 14:50.
Oengus-
There can be no basements because they will be built on a sandy ridge on the edge of a ravine filled with landfill.  In fact, both engineers' reports done for the environmental study "the ones used for the "no environmental impact" FONSI report the enegineers" specifically stated that there would need to be additional measures taken considering footers, etc. for the project.  They both offered their services to be the overseer.
Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 08/02/2009 - 15:32.
Hello Gloria, Good to see you back at the keyboard.
Is this a situation similar to the City View mall - built on a landfill - disaster?  
The slab on grade construction at City View was supposedly designed - with air venting "underdrains" and other convolutions - to prevent trash and chemical gases from entering the stores through the slab.  But the "design" was a failure and gases leaked through the slab.   Wal-Mart closed it's 3 acre store (didn't want to be subjected to employee lawsuits for cancer down the road)  
I can't see why residential construction - with slab on grade - would be any more successful in preventing the building's occupants from being poisoned.  It is meaningless that the State, County or City health department may/have issued permits.  They issued permits for City View.
best,
jeffb
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 00:44.
  Jerleen and Oengus--any input is helpful.  Jerleen, I have set up the Old Southside Community Coalition meeting as an event.  I will most likely work late that evening, because of staff coverage, but if not, I will be there.
 
Please encourage your relatives to comment against the proposed development.  Submit comments to Kellie Glenn.  And, just to be safe, also to HUD in Columbus. 
The whole project will be rubberstamped in 30 days unless there is a large outpouring of objections.  See objections to the release of funds--I think residents can find grounds to stall or stop the release based on several of the criteria listed. 
 Here is the contact information bolded:
The legal staff representing the City of Cleveland will incorporate language regarding the necessary commitments that will be incorporated in the legal documents for all projects.   Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) which is on file for this project at:
 
Department of Community Development
ClevelandCity Hall, Room 320
601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH                                    
Attn: Kellie Glenn, Project Director
(216) 664-4070
 
The ERR for this project may be examined upon request during regular business hours at the City from Monday through Friday from 8: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
 
 
PUBLIC COMMENTS
Any individual, group, or agency disagreeing with this determination or wishing to comment on the project may submit written comments to the Department of Community Development All comments received by June 15, 2009 will be considered by the City of Cleveland prior to authorizing a submission for a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing.
 
 
RELEASE OF FUNDS
The City of Cleveland certifies to HUD that the certifying officer, Daryl P. Rush in his official capacity as Director of the Department of Community Development consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities, and allows the City of Cleveland the use of Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds pursuant to the following stipulations. 
 
OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS
HUD will accept objections to its release of funds and the City of Cleveland’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submittal date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer or the City of Cleveland; (b) the City of Cleveland has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR Part 58; (c) the grant recipient has committed funds or incurred costs not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58) and shall be addressed to:
 
Department of Housing and Urban Development
OhioState Office
200 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio43215-2499
Attn: Ms. Jorgelle Lawson, CPD Director
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 00:43.
  [Code of Federal Regulations] [Title 24, Volume 1, Parts 0 to 199] [Revised as of April 1, 2000] From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 24CFR58.76] [Page 383] TITLE 24--HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT PART 58--ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCEDURES FOR ENTITIES ASSUMING HUD ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES--Table of Contents Subpart H--Release of Funds for Particular Projects Sec. 58.76 Procedure for objections.
A person or agency objecting to a responsible entity's RROF and certification shall submit objections in writing to HUD (or the State). The objections shall: (a) Include the name, address and telephone number of the person or agency submitting the objection, and be signed by the person or authorized official of an agency. (b) Be dated when signed. (c) Describe the basis for objection and the facts or legal authority supporting the objection. (d) State when a copy of the objection was mailed or delivered to the responsible entity's Certifying Officer.
Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 00:49.
 

Sec. 58.75 Permissible bases for objections. HUD (or the State), will consider objections claiming a responsible entity's noncompliance with this part based only on any of the following grounds: [[Page 383]] (a) The certification was not in fact executed by the responsible entity's Certifying Officer. (b) The responsible entity has failed to make one of the two findings pursuant to Sec. 58.40 or to make the written determination required by Secs. 58.35, 58.47 or 58.53 for the project, as applicable. (c) The responsible entity has omitted one or more of the steps set forth at subpart E of this part for the preparation, publication and completion of an EA. (d) The responsible entity has omitted one or more of the steps set forth at subparts F and G of this part for the conduct, preparation, publication and completion of an EIS. (e) The recipient has committed funds or incurred costs not authorized by this part before release of funds and approval of the environmental certification by HUD or the State. (f) Another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality.

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 00:53.
 
There will be a meeting of Southwest Citizens at Gino's this Thursday, June 4th at 7:00 p.m.
GINO'S CENTO ANNO, 1314 DENISON AVE. CLEVELAND, OH, 216 351-9608
Submitted by jerleen1 on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 09:55.
lmcshane,
I will be attending the meeting at Gino's on Thursday. My sister will most probably be coming along.  I do believe that it is time for all concerned citizens and residents to start working together and forming their own groups in their respective neighborhoods and perhaps forming a chain to begin taking back our communities and standing up for our rights.  If we don't start fighting back, we're just going to keep getting pushed aside. 
I say it's time for a long-time resident home-owners up-rising and take the CDC's by the seat of their hoity-toity pants and send them back where they came from. 
Most of these long-time home-owners have paid their dues for the right to fly their flag on their little piece of the rock and after having put blood, sweat and everything else they have into the all American dream, believe they should have the right to live out their last days in peace in their little corner of the world without having to go to battle with developers and the like all in the name of "good for the community."
Just because people are poor and because their house doesn't look so hot, doesn't mean there's no home inside.  There are stories to be passed down when families with children, grandchildren and greatchildren have slept in the same house.  
 
 
 
Submitted by ward14resident on Sun, 08/23/2009 - 15:14.
I was reading the posts in this thread and I came to this one and it brought me to tears.  I agree that older people would like to keep their homes.  But, many in the younger generation think it is a good thing to herd the elderly into senior housing, much like they have a tendency to herd their young into daycare centers.  It is sad. 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 08/23/2009 - 18:07.
  Thanks Jackie in Ward 14 for recognizing the inhumane treatment of elderly and the young in America.  What does it take for Americans to realize that we are warehousing our community based on what?  Some ideal we will never completely define or understand?
The Plain Dealer has a beautiful editorial today--
The Wheelchair Lady of Heathrow Airport by Neal Q. Herrick and it is interesting to compare this article with Councilman's Zack Reed's experience with the youth in his community.  I think Norm will relate to his experience:
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Michael Sangiacomo
Plain Dealer Reporter
 
Are we too far gone?
 
Submitted by noner on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 07:25.
 there is an important missing element to your analysis, Ward14:
it used to be that families could afford to live with only one adult working (usually the male). Corporate America today no longer permits that - their CEOs are making way too much money to be able to afford to do that.
Having one parent, or one adult child at home enabled families to care for their children and elderly. So - maybe it isn't ALWAYS an issue of not caring, rather an issue of not being able to afford to care. As a working mother, with children in daycare, I'll try not to take offense.
Perhaps if our general society could stop red-baiting and spewing socialist phobic rhetoric, we could see the reality - our "working class" can no longer afford to live, while the riche have hit obscene levels in this corporate run country.
Its time to kick corporations out of our government.
 
Submitted by briancummins on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 13:12.
Jerleen1 and any other interested parties,
If you'd like, please call our office and we can provide you the name and contact number for the President of the South West Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC). 
This is an active civic group of concerned residents that holds regular meeting the first Thursday of the month - the meeting tomorrow is a regularly scheduled meeting.
This organization was started over 60-years ago and have fought hard over the years to represent themselves on a host of issues.  They flyer the community and provide notices in the Old Brooklyn News for their meetings, they conduct saftey walks, sponsor social events and collaborate with another local civic association called the Brooklyn Centre Community Association.
The SWCAC has received multiple presentation for the NRP Denison Senior Housing project.  Members have also taken the opportunity to learn about the project by visiting a similar project on Franklyn Blvd, where they met with residents of the facility as well as residents of a block watch group that is active in that neighborhood.  SWCAC members have participated in many discussions and have provided insight and suggestions regarding the project.  Overall, the vast majority of SWCAC support the project.
The organization welcomes everyone from the Brooklyn Centre community to help them in their activities and projects.
Brian Cummins
Councilman, Ward 15
Cleveland City Council
216-459-8400
brianjcummins [at] earthlink [dot] net
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 15:33.
  Thanks Jerleen--I look forward to meeting you in person. You are REALNEO.
 
Submitted by jerleen1 on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 17:05.
Have been planning on visiting you for some time but things have been kind of crazy so am looking forward to meeting you as well.  See you tomorrow night.
Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 06/04/2009 - 16:05.
  Gloria Ferris compiled a list of questions for tonight's meeting--the questions are posted here:
 
Because of a prior commitment, she will not be available tonight, but I plan to submit the questions to the City of Cleveland.
Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 06/05/2009 - 06:34.
  I gave it my best shot last night.  Will we allow the City of Cleveland and NRP to make the same mistake, others have made before--by building where no one should build anything?
I was not alone last night. A special thanks to Jerleen and her sister and Mr. Santos.  There are more residents, who are not happy about this project, and they can't all make meetings to prove to someone that they care.
There was some attempt to discredit me (I expected worse), but overall, the Southwest Citizens Area Council, a strong neighborhood coalition were respectful and friendly.  They care.  I care.  Yes--the existing dilapidated structures are unsightly (dare I say the word "blight?"), but replacing these structures just to BUILD is wrong.
Another long-standing resident complained--why are we building something NEW, when we haven't fixed anything OLD?  I agree.
 
Submitted by jerleen1 on Fri, 06/05/2009 - 10:09.
Laure,
I am so happy that we finally met in person. 
Having had the unfortunate experience in dealing with the "promise of good things to come" and then having to live through the years of our quality of life being disrupted and totally taken for granted along with  the big dollar "good for the community" crap shoved down our throats, I can only say that I feel sorry for what the people on Denison are in for. 
Most of those people at that meeting want to believe in hope and, to sit and look at the pretty pictures and listen to the confident well spoken individuals that are trained, paid and whose careers are often boosted by selling these projects to the residents, cannot help but see what has been designed for them to see. 
With all due respect, Mr. Cummins is impressive and a darn lot better than most but he's a politician and all politicians I truly believe get a special training in how to spit spew.  They talk faster than a run away train, puts me in mind of an auctioneer, going, going gone.   Trying to sell all the development projects to the residents puts me in mind of a little kid that doesn't want to take his medicine, no matter how many times they say they don't want it, they're going to get it any way because somebody is going to hold they're nose and down the hatch it goes.
It's not you that they're mad at, they don't want to believe that a multi-million dollar dream can go wrong.  That somebody will stand up there and say "I'm no push over."  Once the money is released and once this project is started, there is no turning back and the hell that is to follow no amount of big promises and pretty words can fix.  The surrounding residents are in for  a long and miserable, life altering ordeal and I can say that with without a shadow of a doubt.  We have lived in that mess for years from the development and rehab of the Old Gospel Press Building and we still have years to go - with absolutly no recourse. 
City Planning was right in the middle of the mix and none of us were told a lot of details that were omitted and that we should have been told about - no we were out right lied to. 
 
 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 06/05/2009 - 21:10.
  You are a great and articulate voice for the unseen and unrepresented in the world.  I really credit you for what you have been able to express here.  You heard Mr. Santos yesterday.  He worked so hard his whole life to just have a home.  He has paid the price in terms that have left him physically scarred.  He is worried that his "castle," viewed by the rest of the world as an obstacle, will be taken away from him.  It's all so wrong.  The folks last night get it.  And, why should anyone hassle the guy who has lived in a trailer on W. 23rd., when we have vacant and deteriorating housing that should be attended to first?  Why don't we concentrate on fixing the broken things?  Let's leave these good folks alone.  These people are not hurting anyone.  They are our neighbors.
 
Submitted by jerleen1 on Fri, 06/05/2009 - 22:58.
Laura,
Why don't they help the guy in the trailer put some nice under penning around the botton of his trailer, plant some shrubs, flowers, and if it looks nice why worry about it?  In today's world, they don't get NO MONEY MEANS NO MONEY.  And among the less fortunate, any roof is better than no roof. 
Today's mentality in the midst of our economic decline confuses the daylights out of me.  They would rather  take a family out of their beat up old home and toss 'em in a homeless shelter or throw 'em under a bridge rather than back off and leave them alone because they can't afford to or are unable to meet the standards that somebody else thinks they should step up to.
Go figure. 
Submitted by None on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 06:59.
“Another long-standing resident complained--why are we building something NEW, when we haven't fixed anything OLD?”
It ’s true, and ten million could easily restore the whole block. But his is about the ‘needy’ there are seniors that need this. They need clean an new, with no stairs.
At $170,000.00 a unit, then what or how is it paid for? What will a senior pay? Restricted incomes…under a certain incomes? Because that really is silly isn’t it, sends the message, make less and get brand new assisted living homes. For those that did not plan ahead is the same as saying no need to plan ahead.
Did you get any financials, what is the cash flow on these? What is affordable, never mind. For the individual or the whole society?
 
What is collected monthly over time; it has to cover the costs of operation; it should also recover the costs of building as well. It is publicly funded, free market and unfunded is not my business but if it is subsidized it is.
It’s a fallacy, the affordable label….
Submitted by Susan Miller on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 07:27.
Modern environmentally friendly, energy efficient, portable homes. Would NEO housing codes allow these? Imagine the footprint of this on a city lot. Plenty of room for green surrounding one of them. Room for a garden, a shade tree... And when Grandma doesn't need it anymore, it can go wherever the kids are. This is another way to look at prefab.
Submitted by jerleen1 on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 08:33.
SUSAN,
Not only that it would be easy on the up-keep, cheaper to heat, no stairs for those with handicaps, but there's just one problem - it makes too much darn sense! 
The big time developers couldn't make out and they couldn't railroad poor folks out of their homes  - they could just take 'em when they go - wouldn't that be a barrel of laughs?  Convoy of environmentally friendly, energy efficient, portable homes going down the freeway - outflanking the carpetbeggars.  Shucks, that's a cartoon in the making.
 
 
Submitted by None on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 22:14.
I know you get it Susan, if I am on social security, then what is that today? I do not want something funded I want something affordable in reality. It is patronizing, the way our society approaches it.
I really would like to see a school of architecture here in town, one focused on affordable designs. I read about a study done on seniors within architectural engineering programs. A survey; and less than 1% said they had any interest in affordable designs.
I try so hard…
I sent an email out asking for a college of architecture at CSU, to build over the interstate with decking. To link the ODOT project with the University.
The college set to focus on affordable designs and linked into TriC and an actual factory for production, then linked into the colleges programs in production management and mechanical engineering.
Each of us has a qualifying measure; as our income less our financial obligations. That’s is a definable mathematical function and one component of that function is housing. If we had one data set with every households functions within it; then we would have the demand part of the supply and demand curve. The intersection of that curve is the breakeven point.
Then meeting demand would be based on meeting real price affordability in propensity. Subsidization should not happen as it is inflationary. It artificially pushes the costs up and the prices as well.
Lets not fool ourselves, getting only what you can afford scares the hell out of many people. The problem is or maybe that of perceptions of value? Bigger and garish?
Submitted by noner on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 16:48.
 than some of the "new build" as well...
My daughter just bought an old trailer and has it on her friend's property. She is completing an apprentice program with the electricians union out in Oregon (she has  BFA in Fine Art - not necessarily marketable). She goes through occasional lay-offs and the low overhead allows her to not sweat a perior of unemployment. Plus, when she decides to buy land it can come with her while she builds (or not).
Its nice to see our children grow smarter than us.
Submitted by None on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 22:24.
Look at the prices though $139,000.00? Look at what guy posted it has the prices of mobile homes...I am sure these could be replicated in NEO for much much less. 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 14:25.
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
The Denison Elderly project consist(s) of more then (than) a twenty percent change of use in addition to the site having some soil conditions that are contaminated. An environmental Phase I and II Assessments have been completed. There will be a deed restriction and Operations & Management plan that must be followed regarding the concerned environment conditions on the site. The city will require that the Voluntary Action Plan (VAP) Program will be followed regarding remediation of the site or equivalent. Based on these commitments to remediate the contamination to known standards, the issuance of this FONSI is being made.
I find it odd that our City of Cleveland employees--in the NRP on Denison project--Planner Nora McNamara and Councilman Cummins are actively pitching these projects for the NRP developer in Brooklyn Centre.  Pitching projects for developers is not part of their job description--they are supposed to provide impartial review and evaluation to protect the public health, safety and welfare.  Building on the hydric (and contaminated soils) of headwaters of a buried creek also goes against the lofty ideals spewed in the recently released feel-good tripRe-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland.
Interesting that in Midtown, one unelected public official/CDC administrator has loyalty to NRP and not to the other vultures in town.  This is really not what the residents of Cleveland need in their neighborhoods.  I am preparing my objection to the release of Housing Trust Funds for NRP project in Denison and I will post the entirety here.
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 06/13/2009 - 14:02.
  The City of Cleveland Department of Community Development and Law Department should be working to protect the best interests of residents.  Instead, they are working on behalf of developers like NRP. 
(BTW-for the most part, everyone AT the City of Cleveland has been most cooperative and sincere in their efforts to provide information--including Ms. Glenn and Ms. Roberson.  These folks don't come up with these ideas.  They are just forced to go along with them)
The public process is a joke and I have NO doubt my letter of objection and any others will be denied on some technicality.  The burden is on the resident and not the developer.  In any case--Here is the text of my letter:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Attn: Kellie Glenn, Project Director RE: Objection to Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for Denison Senior Housing Project proposed on Denison Ave.
I am a resident of the impacted watershed, who formally objects to the release of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and/or Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds under the Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act as amended, to undertake a project known as the NRP Group/CHR Partners Inc. Denison Elderly Project, located at land bounded by Denison Avenue on the south, Fern Court on the north, and extension of W. 19th Street on the east and an extension of W. 22nd on the west in the City of Cleveland, 1914-2020 Denison Avenue
I formally object based on several criteria and because I can not ascertain that the following basis was followed:
(a) The certification was not in fact executed by the responsible entity's Certifying Officer. (b) The responsible entity has failed to make one of the two findings pursuant to Sec. 58.40 or to make the written determination required by Secs. 58.35, 58.47 or 58.53 for the project, as applicable. (c) The responsible entity has omitted one or more of the steps set forth at subpart E of this part for the preparation, publication and completion of an EA. (d) The responsible entity has omitted one or more of the steps set forth at subparts F and G of this part for the conduct, preparation, publication and completion of an EIS. (e) The recipient has committed funds or incurred costs not authorized by this part before release of funds and approval of the environmental certification by HUD or the State. (f) Another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality.
I am concerned that the City of Cleveland reached a Finding of No Significant Impact, yet acknowledges contaminated soils and a more than 20 percent change of use.
There are major environmental and environmental justice concerns about this project.  The project has been sited on the headwater, hydric soils of a buried creek, and is slated to tie into an antiquated combined sewer system.  The residents of the area, many who speak English as a second language, have not all been notified and were not given an opportunity to weigh in on the project until the project was well under way.  Overall, residents were not informed about the project until rezoning, transfer of properties and donation of City of Cleveland lands had already transpired.
Also of significant concern, the City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing demolished 2000 Denison sometime in 2007, before the property transferred to NRP. The prior owner in default, did not pay off the lien, and, if NRP paid off this lien, as alleged by the Councilman Brian Cummins, then federal monies were released before the approval of environmental certification by HUD and the State.  
I strongly oppose the Denison Senior Elderly Project and request that the City of Cleveland and HUD denies release of funds for this project.
[dated with address/phone/etc]
 
 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 17:58.
  I will commend Brian Cummins for using drupal  to launch his campaign site, but he will have to unload the baggage of the Denison NRP project.
 
 Content is everything... And, Rick Nagin did get off the ground first--
Submitted by bj on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 08:45.
 well of the links lmcshane provided i can get to nagin's site - cummins was "ACCESS DENIED."  an opening page for his site and denial. 
do not think that i like cintron using this site for such promotion - when i logged in there was CINTRON CINTRON.
would seem (imho) accessibility is necessary, but using other people's sites to do more than offer a link saying "find me here" is somewhat foul.
no this is not MY site, but i simply offer that I come here for the ideas, not to have some candidate that may or may not involve me shove his agenda in my face.  
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 13:25.
  Hi bj--I asked Nelson to log on here.  He has every right to use this site for the forum it provides.  If the content is not of interest, just ignore it.  But, I happen to think residents are looking for information and they need a way to find it fast. 
REALNEO provides the option for ANYONE (barring spammers/porn folks) to put up content fast.  Brian is trying to set up a website using Drupal, which will have the same flexibility, but it shouldn't be such a big hassle. 
Honestly, like most residents, I just want answers and results.  Brian Cummins has been forthright, answering here at REALNEO and at BFD, Cleveland.com, and Urbanohio.com, but physical results are sometimes hard to come by.   I confess it's hard to follow all the threads and questions out there on the Internet, so most folks will tend to avoid this media.  I do give Brian Cummins credit where credit is due.  For instance, I just came back from the Coates House on Archwood, which Brian and his aide Johanna valiantly rescued from foreclosure and vandalism.  This is where Brian shines. Cummins also has had to undo the mess left by his predecessors and he deserves credit for resolving issues.  But, in my opinion,  he made a MAJOR misstep with the NRP investment scheme on Denison and this will haunt his campaign and his reputation.
 
Every candidate should not have to necessarily set up a website.  They can probably get by on line with a blog and interaction via Facebook and Twitter.  Regardless, we need civic dialogue here.  Our lives and futures in the City of Cleveland depend on REAL reform.  
Submitted by mikeincleveland on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 10:35.
that somehow Nelson Cintron has all of a sudden had a brain and some real leadership skill put into his head since the last time he destroyed the ward...then you need to check which flavor of crack you've been smoking lately
 
his "10 point plan" is the most basic bullet-point piece of laughter that only a real dumb politician would ever throw in front of possible voters.
 
why didn't he just throw on there "restore Cleveland to the #1 city in the country" while he was at it?
 
just about realistic and just about pathetic as his "plan" per se.
 
Cintron, you didn't care about any of those items before, you obviously only care about getting your butt into a paid city position again now.
 
and you'll say anything to get it. 
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 13:18.
  Mike, if you live in Cleveland, as your moniker implies, then you know we have had our share of promises.  Nelson Cintron Jr. does have an uphill battle, because he held the seat and then lost it.  Having met Nelson Cintron Jr. personally (he has visited my street twice, so far), I think I will give him the benefit of letting him try again, especially, unlike Jeff Johnson--he did not disgrace himself in office (only in terms of public opinion regarding his personal life).
 
The three main candidates here--Cummins, Cintron and Nagin--all have their strengths and weaknesses.  This campaign definitely bears watching.
Submitted by mikeincleveland on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 15:27.
lmcshane- i do live in cleveland and lived through mr. cintron's last attempt at being a councilman- when he could care less what the voters thought and was too concerned in striking favors for his friends and family through city deals. oh, and don't get me started on the bar problems he brought upon the ward. that was the reason why we voted for Santiago- he was going to clean up the problem bars. only, he ended up being just as in bed with them as Cintron was when he was in office. throw on top of it the continual jealous high school battle between he and Santiago and it just made the majority of us in the ward throw our hands up in the air. Cintron, as does Santiago, talks a great game but in the end both are quite incompetent of being able to govern, have a vision and not allow their own greed to get in the way of the voters of the ward and of the city. i would suggest you go back and read all of the press in town during Cintron's time in office before you pull that lever for him in the primary. i talk from experience and, unfortunately, even though Mr. Cintron will claim over and over about his experience (and this lame "I'll cut my pay in half" gimmick to get people to vote for him), the ward's "experience" with him in the past was nothing to be gloating about on a campaign brochure, believe me (and us). 
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 13:38.
  Last night's storm filled my fifty gallon rain barrel in less than five minutes.  Consider the surface run-off from the proposed parking lot and roofs for the 61-unit Denison Senior Housing Project. 
I would like to see the calculations on maximum storm water run-off for this project and to know the total capacity of the underground storage tank.  Note Nora McNamara's exact wording:
A large underground storm detention is proposed inside the property.  This means that during a storm event the storm water will be flowing slowly in the City sewer on Denison Avenue. 
Submitted by Nelson Cintron Jr on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 13:52.
To Everyone in Ward 14,
First and foremost, I want to thank REALNEO for allowing me this opportunity to engage the residents of Ward 14 through this technology. I applaud their civic efforts to provide this forum.
I respect your opinions. I am readily available to meet with you and work towards a common goal.  I look forward to working with everyone and to make sure that Ward 14 gets great representation.  Thank you for your concerns.
Yet, please do not use the concept of a "job" as a scapegoat to addressing my life long dedication to our community. I am willing to take half the pay to do the same work if all the other candidates who are running would do the same. This election, the needs of our people, and the work that needs addressed are not about a paycheck to me. 
I could take this one step further and tell you that I believe that there should be term limits to this job. If you are really so concerned about the issues, then unite forces with me.
I can help to change the city charter to allow term limits and to reduce council member pay in half.  When you are ready to take action give me a call. I am willing to assist our community in making this happen. I cannot do this alone. It takes a community to collectively make changes. If this is a consensus of our community, than we will take the appropriate steps to collaborate, effectuate, and implement the changes the residents want. I am the leader who will fight to support our community's wishes even when it means going against the grain of City Hall. However, we all need to work together to make these changes possible.
Despite our differences, I will still represent everyone equally and fairly. I am not about holding grudges, but about gettings results. If there are any specific issues that you want to discuss- then I am available to answer your questions. Let's unite towards achieving common goals. If you want to know something, then call me and ask me.
I have eight years of solid track records of development . I will be posting them soon. There were milliions of dollars in development that were implemented and are still being implemented in our area due to my work. Good examples are the Green Space with the Roberto Clemente Project that just opened this year, the NEW CMSD public school projects such as Thomas Jefferson Middle School which broke ground this year and Buhrer Elementary School, one of our proud multicultural schools where children can speak two languages. These are only a few examples, but I am willing to share the records and newsletters that prove my record.
These projects took years of planning, collaboration, and execution. Some positive changes and development take years to finally become reality. Some can happen rather quickly. My track record will be posted for your review.
The NEW sections of Ward 14 (the old Ward 15) are a solid neighborhood. I will continue to build that section, leaving no one behind. We will all work on common goals to stabilize these areas.  
The residents of Ward 14 who know me and have worked with me know that I will roll up my sleeves at City Hall and get the job done, regardless of politics. Let's set our differences aside and get past the negative blogging and let's all work together for the NEW WARD 14's best interests.
 
SINCERELY,
NELSON CINTRON JR.
CANDIDATE FOR CITY COUNCIL WARD 14
3032 VEGA AVENUE
CLEVELAND, OHIO 44113 CALL:
(216) 939-8101
EMAIL:FRIENDSOFNELSON [at] YAHOO [dot] COM
WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BETTER CLEVELAND
VOLUNTEER TO HELP ELECT NELSON CINTRON JR  Call today!
Submitted by mikeincleveland on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 15:07.
1) I find it laughable that Nelson Cintron, Jr. is hiding being someone else writing his blog postings here to make him "sound" like he really has his act together this time.
2) Just like what Santiago tried to do when he hired the ex-Scene Magazine staffer to write his community update brochures.
3) i would really like to know how Mr. Cintron, Jr. has grown and changed (so much, btw) since the last time he was councilman for Ward 14 and screwed up everything that he's so sure of himself (this time) that he's going to do everything the right way.
 4) Putting Mr. Cintron, Jr. back in charge of Ward 14 after his previous track record is like going back to the Bush administration and having them come back in to run the economy again.
5) All the well-written PR isn't going to hide the fact that it's still the same old Nelson Cintron, Jr. with his same old bitter on-going-forever fight with Joe Santiago. 
6) Cintron & Santiago= More of the Same.
 
Submitted by noner on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 16:37.
 they said it wasn't but I don't know why else they would have made the changes they made.
I'm sO guilty to say I will no longer live in ward 14... we were swung over to Cimperman (Marons bought our corner).
Aren't you in my hood, Mike? did you know they switched us? I'm lost as to who I'd go for, were I still there. And I like reading the dialogue here. Ward 14 has suffered from neglect, including publicity towards its issues.
Its bad of me, because I should still care - I just have so many other things on my plate... maybe thats the way things are everywhere in cleveburg now... 
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 16:50.
  Please let us know who you would like to endorse and why.  Thanks!
 
Submitted by mikeincleveland on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 20:43.
hey lmcshane--- as of right now, i know who i would be against more than for- mainly because outside of Cintron, Santiago and Cummins, the rest are rather void of content online at this point as to pinpoint their specific positions on anything besides being against Santiago. I've met two of the others (D'Amico & Nagin) and though nice enough gentleman don't have much besides the standard "clean up the neighborhood, return it to the ward i remember growing up in.." etc etc stuff.
 
ultimately, the ward has been stuck in this horrible battle between Cintron and Santiago for way too long for anyone to seriously consider re-voting for either of those two again. I don't care how much they try and improve their image and claim they're more "regular guy" sticking up for the "regular guy" than their "other guy" opponent. 
 
It just reeks way too much of a Bush then Clinton then Bush then Clinton political merry-go-round of office-holding more than anything else.
 
Interestingly enough to see Santiago skip the Plain Dealer's Ward 14 candidate forum altogether, though, huh?
Quote from the piece:" Cintron returned to a tactic he used during the recall drive. He played up his image as a regular guy who chews the fat with neighbors at McDonald's (the implication being that Santiago is too good to be bothered over a Quarter Pounder with Cheese).
"It makes me cry when I see my hard work of eight years ruined," Cintron said."
 
Hard work??? 
It was during Cintron's tenure that the ward went into the toilet and he was just as much of a jerk to his constituents towards the end as Santiago has been from day one. Just amazing the revisionist history that guy has going on in his head (much less his fervent supporters.)
It's just time for new blood in the ward. Someone that isn't tied up into the petty fights that Santiago and Cintron have been embroiled in since Santiago won election in the first place (and then made worse when Cintron, bitter, forced us thru the recall.) 
At this point, I'd go with Cummins just because when I met him he was informed, knew what he was talking about and got work done.
Plus, the fact that he rubbed Sweeney and the rest of the been-there-too-long crowd at City Hall the wrong way by holding their feet to the fire when they messed up, showed me he was doing the right thing and has the right attitude about how to turn the city and, hopefully, ward 14 around.
Dbra: Yeah, i know we're going to be in Cimperman's ward now (thank god) but I still have many friends south of 90 that...well...I feel their pain (that they're about to go through.)
lmcshane- as i find out more info about all of the candidates (the minor ones specifically) i'll pop back on with further thoughts about them as well.  :-)
 
 
 
 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 01:27.
 Mike, thank you for the background and for "feeling our pain." 
I would have arrived at the same conclusion, were it not for the NRP investment scheme Brian Cummins allowed the city to drop on an environmentally unsuitable site in my neighborhood.   Brian will claim that it was not "dropped," and he denies that Kevin Kelley's Ward rejected the project for the Memphis School site (a more environmentally sound location),  but this doesn't jive with a statement made by Nora McNamara, the city planner assigned to the project:
The proposers did initially express interest in both the Memphis School site and the Denison site; however, different funding sources came with different requirements and each neighborhood has had its’ own vision for the two sites which led to Denison being selected.
In your part of the city, Santiago has played the demo for developers game, too, with his International Village scheme.  It will be interesting to see how the FBI Cuyahoga County administration, HUD and B&H investigation plays out. 
I can only still hope that it takes down the whole machine, including the entire Sweeney crew. BTW, the NRP subsidized senior project?...it now falls in Cimperman's ward...with the highway interchange and all...which, I am fairly sure, was the design all along...Take care.
Submitted by ANGELnWard14 on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 02:46.
Laura...I totally agree with you. These type of long term plans are in the works for years before we the public have the opportunity to see what's happening-unless we live at City Hall...
Reminding me of the gerrymandering that cut out the most impressive investments Ward 14 had years ago...OHIO CITY getting cut out... Once a few years of good investment go into one ward, they cut it up.
Overall-what they all fail to share with the public is that those CDBG funds are for the Low-moderate income neighborhoods...not the high income areas... cannot wait to see the 2010 Census.
 
 
Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 12/24/2009 - 10:14.
Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 18:10.
Brian/Johanna--you also know that one of the adjoining owners has paid off his house, but is in arrears on his taxes and you know that NRP wants his property for this whole ill-concieved investment scheme.
The adjoining owner is a disabled senior and speaks English as a second language.  What are you going to do to help his family keep their house?  Has anyone helped him to apply for the Homestead Exemption.  Or is his family expendable in the scheme of things?  
Do you care? Or, is that the PLAN? Are you going to walk away from the situation and defer it to Cimperman?  This is the legacy we live with in Brooklyn Centre...conveniently walk away...Rokakis, Gordon, Lipovan....
Cummins...Cimperman...
BTW, everyone, the whole east of West 25th/Pearl section of Brooklyn Centre...now Joe Cimperman's ward, with "GREEN" vacant land bank lots...
AttachmentSize
bnextetc_001.jpg457.93 KB
bnextetc_002.jpg455.33 KB
bnextetc_003.jpg445.48 KB