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Environment & Energy

Community members get first look at Merriman Valley Schumacher Area Master Plan

Merriman Valley
Preserve the Valley Citizen Action Group
The triangle of land lies between Theiss and Hardy Roads, is adjacent to Hampton Hills Mountain Bike Area in Summit Metro Parks, and sits above the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Community members got their first look at the Merriman Valley Schumacher Area Master Plan last night. The plan guides future development of the areas in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls.

Residents viewed a presentation by Farr Associates, the urban planning consultant the cities are working with. Earlier stages of the plan drew criticism from environmental group Preserve the Valley, but Cuyahoga Falls Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio says their concerns and the public’s concerns helped shape the master plan.

“Everyone’s ideas have been listened to, thought of, and we’re not done listening. We still have several steps here to go where we’ll taking comments and questions and listening to concerns.”

The master plan includes best practices for sustainability and promotes increased access to green spaces, trails, the Cuyahoga River and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Colavecchio says she is looking forward to hearing what members of Preserve the Valley think of the plan.

Diana Colavecchio
She says Preserve the Valley was right to be concerned about the environment and sustainability.

“Those groups of folks who came together to voice their opposition to the way development had been proceeding were not wrong. They were absolutely right that new development needs to occur that is sustainable and has ecotourism in mind.”

Next steps include another comment period and survey before the final draft is rolled out by the end of January. Colavecchio says any development is contingent on landowners agreeing to the project, which won’t happen until changes are made to existing zoning codes.