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Akron City Council Votes on Merriman Valley Development Tonight

Riverwoods Golf Course
Google Earth
Akron is moving forward with a housing development of 197 townhomes on this 76-acre plot of land located at 1870 Akron Peninsula Rd., formerly the Riverwoods golf course.

Two plots of land in the Merriman Valley are being considered for re-development projects. One is being considered for preservation by the city. Plans for the other have generated controversy. Akron City Council will vote on the proposal tonight.

The group “Preserve the Valley” has been critical of plans to build about 200 homes on the site of the former Riverwoods Golf Course on Akron-Peninsula Road. They want time for Akron and Cuyahoga Falls to complete a master plan for the 76-acre site, which they refer to as the “Southern Gateway to Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

The development was approved 3-2 by the Planning Commission last month, after a rule change voided one vote against the plan. At that meeting, Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy said that after 15 years of a depressed market, housing prices are finally up again.

“A lot of prospective home buyers and renters are encouraged by what they see with development happening that want to live in the city of Akron. Similarly, downtown, we’ve seen good lease rates at the Bowery and the 159 and at the East End in Middlebury.”

In a meeting that will be streamed on YouTube at this link, City Council will decide tonight whether to grant a zoning variance for the project to proceed.

At the same time, Mayor Dan Horrigan has asked for proposals to preserve a nearby 43-acre wooded area, which the Western Reserve Land Conservancy has called the “last major greenfield in the city.”

Last month’s Planning Commission meeting is available here, and a video on the Riverwoods site from Preserve the Valley is here and a document prepared by the group is below.