Cuyahoga Falls Residents Push to Protect Mud Brook at Sycamore Village Development

Jul 17, 2019

A residential development on the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course in Cuyahoga Falls is moving forward, but residents want a Cuyahoga River tributary to be protected.

Mud Brook cuts through the Sycamore Village Development on Akron Peninsula Road and joins the Cuyahoga River at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Development, runoff and combined sewer overflows have eroded the brook and damaged water quality, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 

Developer Danny Karam and city officials say the development will have flooding and erosion controls and won’t use as many chemicals as the old golf course.

But property owners like Gina Burk worry the new Homeowners Association won’t protect the tributary from further damage.

“An HOA can not do what they signed up for. They also can look at all that really tall grass and go ‘rodents and animals are living in that, and we want it mowed down.’” Burk said. “The HOA can mow them down, and they can use fertilizers.”

The city said it plans to work with the association.

“The key is to get the homeowners association executive board involved with the city and in communications with us on a regular basis as part of what we’re doing,” said Cuyahoga Falls Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio. “And not just in that area, but also up the hill on Portage Trail with respect to water runoff issues because we have a master plan in place.”

The city has worked with the developer to initiate design modifications that are intended to help alleviate further erosion.