Brooklyn Sun Journal - Dec. 29, 2005

City will not use eminent domain to create bike trail

Staff Writer

BROOKLYN — As an independent group moves forward trying to develop plans for a trail in the city, Mayor Ken Patton wants to assure residents that eminent domain will not be used to get privately owned land for the project.

"The city will not be using eminent domain to accomplish this," Patton said.

Right now, the group Friends of the Big Creek is working to establish a preliminary plan for a trail that would connect the existing greenways and public amenities, such as the Canalway Towpath Trail, to the Metroparks Zoo/Brookside Park, to the Big Creek Reservation at Memphis Avenue, along the Tiedeman Road area, on to the Big Creek Reservation at Brookpark Road.

They are zeroing in on the Cascade Crossing area in Brooklyn as a "vital" part of their plan, FBC Chair Bob Gardin said.

The group, who has an advisory committee that includes City Council members Kathleen Pucci and Thomas Coyne, recently met with Cascade's management board to discuss granting a land easement for the trail.

"We are open-minded to the idea," Jerry Johnson said.

Johnson is with the Forest City Land Group, the owners of Cascade Crossing.

Johnson said all the business owners in the Cascade area would have to agree to an easement before one would be granted if the group seeks land in one of the "common" areas of the development.

He said that is a likely scenario, and said they are in the process of contacting owners who are located out of state.

"We are sending letters to notify them," he said.

Once this is accomplished, he said they can gain a consensus on whether or not they want to grant an easement. He said the response may be negative, but added "it looks positive."

Gardin's group has to also first identify issues of potential ownership, security and maintenance issues before an agreement can be made with Cascade's Management Association.

Meanwhile, Patton wants to assure residents who live along Tiedeman Road that may be impacted by the proposal that the city will not be looking to take land from them for it.

He said currently the city has no plans to step into the process. Patton said once the group works out an agreement with private land owners council may give the group its "blessing" to go ahead with the project.

In the future, Patton said, the group may want to discuss connecting the trail on city property. He said at that time they would need to get involved in the process.

Map Caption:

The conceptual map for a proposed trail in Brooklyn shows how it would run along Tiedeman Road. The map has already been reviewed and refined by key players, including Cleveland City Planning and Cuyahoga County Planning Commission representatives.

© 2005 Sun Newspapers
Reprinted with permission.