Cuyahoga Valley Model Ordinance - Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
The purpose of the project is the preparation of a comprehensive ordinance to stimulate development and redevelopment of the lower Cuyahoga Valley corridor in a sustainable and ecologically sensitive manner. The ordinance is intended to be used as a model by Valley communities to adopt in whole or in part to replace or augment existing regulations.
The lower Cuyahoga Valley played a vital role in the early industrial development of the northeast Ohio region. Unfortunately, the lack of appropriate zoning and associated environmental performance regulations during the past 150 years led to the severe degradation of land, air, and water quality throughout the Valley and its surrounding area.
Ultimately, the publicity generated by river fires and negative industrial impacts resulted in federal legislative actions in the 1970's which required industries to comply with stricter environmental standards over time. While many businesses invested in the appropriate improvements, others closed down or relocated. In recent years, efforts to attract new businesses to many parts of the Valley have often been hampered by the need for extensive and expensive environmental remediation.
However, the need to transform the image of the Valley from an utdated heavy manufacturing center with increasing unemployment concerns to a diverse mix of commercial and industrial uses featuring advanced technology, ecological design principles, and sustainable business practices has become increasingly important. It is also critical that this business development include complementary uses such as housing, recreation and entertainment.
In the past decade, the Valley has received national recognition through a number of programs which focus on its unique history and location, such as its inclusion into the Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, the designation of the Cuyahoga as an American Heritage River, and the establishment of a National Scenic Byway. Also, the expansion of important alternative transportation modes such as the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail are viewed as additional opportunities to celebrate its industrial and cultural heritage while recognizing its redevelopment potential.
For more information contact:
Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
323 Lakeside Avenue West - Suite 400
Email: [email protected]