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Government & Politics

Akron Delays Decision on Residential Development of Largest Unsold Green Space

green space in Merriman Valley
Preserve the Valley Citizen Action Group
The city of Akron put out a request for a proposal in August surrounding the residential development of 43 acres of land in the Merriman Valley. Slated for development is the entire triangle in the middle as far back as the top edge of the shadow.

The city of Akron delayed making a decision on plans for the residential development of 43 acres of wooded area and wetlands near Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) in order to consider an alternative.

The city now will solicit plans for conserving the property. The original plan called for the construction of 65 to 110 homes on the area recognized as the largest unsold green space in Akron.

In August, Akron issued a call for proposals from developers of single family homes, setting a discounted purchase price for the land and offering a 15-year residential tax abatement to developers.

The city received six offers, five of which surrounded plans for residential development. The sixth offer was submitted by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, with the intention of conserving the 43-acre property located at the corner of Theiss and Hardy roads.

View of the wooded areas located near Hardy Road

Drew Holland with Preserve the Valley says the citizen action group wants the land sold to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Akron Puts Out Second Request for Proposals Aimed at Conservation
Preserve the Valley

“I think they were intrigued by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy proposal, and they’d like see [if] there anyone out there that has a different idea for conservation,” Holland said.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy says it intends to submit a plan as part of the new request for proposals. The nonprofit is known to buy land that has value for public education, public recreation or for habitat protection near existing parklands, according to Preserve the Valley.

Preserve the Valley is a citizen action group that was launched to advocate for a moratorium on more homes and apartments near the CVNP. It is pushing for the city to create a thoughtful, long-term plan for development of the land.

As of Thursday evening, the group's online petition has garnered 7,097 signatures and calls for a master plan to be put in place that takes into consideration the region's residential, environmental, business, and recreation needs.