Now here comes clarification from Brian Cummins, the current Ward 15 Councilman
I'm in receipt of your communications with the City. Please feel free to contact me directly regarding the NRP project. I am the "go-to" councilman for this project through the end of this year.
I've tried to respond to some of your questions but am also asking Nora McNamara – the City Administration's point-person overseeing this project to also assist in responding – see comments below your questions.
1. --is there a recent study showing how this expenditure benefits the economics of the neighborhood—it seems to me that inserting 60+ subsidized units into an area with a large number of existing properties for sale and for rent is counterproductive—we don't need to absorb more housing units at this point—such a "development" beggars existing property owners
The closest thing to a study relative to the economic benefits would be the City of Cleveland 2020 Plan and OBCDC's master plan which generally identifies the strategy/goals of providing for a diverse housing stock for the neighborhoods. Brooklyn Centre is absent this type of affordable housing, with many of our single-housing structures absent of bathrooms on the first floor, need for maintenance of property etc… Although there are many apartment buildings in the area, they generally do not provide the type of integrated services (for seniors) this property will provide. It is argued I believe by NRP that although there may be a degree of competition with other rental products that often they will see single-occupied home owners selling and moving into this product for the convenience, less maintenance requirements etc… and that they can do this within their community as opposed to having move out due to lack of this type of housing product.
2. --was there a section 106 review performed? (was "Near West" involved in this, or is that a typo?)
The "Near West" Design Review Committee is the newly re-formed/re-configured Design Review Committee that has replaced our Brooklyn Centre Design Review Committee. Their scope has been enlarged (Nora or George can affirm this better clarity) to have oversight on new construction projects such as this. A Section 106 review was not required on this project as it is not located in a Local Landmarks District.
3. --what about the water and sewer issues—basic infrastructure problems-- that we found to be a deterrent in the late '70s and early '80s? NRP already has a track record of ignoring such infrastructure issues, and feigning surprise on the back end
The City with oversight from Community Development as well as other departments, i.e., Water Pollution Control, Water, Engineering and Construction and Building & Housing coordinate reviews of the projects through several phases. I'll have Nora reply with a status report as to that review process. Our office has also asked for a summary document from NRP and the Administration that can provide details regarding the infrastructure and planned construction. Generally, it has been reported that there is a large sewer main (Nora can confirm the diameter) that the project storm water will connect to. NRP plans include a storm water retention and release feature that I can get more details on from Nora and NRP staff. It is my understanding that water and electric utility issue are being worked out with no anticipated problems in terms of capacity and that the City is in the process of confirming utility infrastructure improvement that may be needed on Fern Court, to include a review of the sewers and catch basins as well as the street which has sunk towards the eastern end of the street.
4. --is Cummins or Cimperman the "go-to" councilman on this one? We're in transition, I hear
As mentioned above I am representing the current Ward 15 through the end of my term this year.
We'll follow-up with more details as indicated in a few of the points above. Please let me know if there are other questions or clarifications needed.
Brian J. Cummins
Cleveland City Council - Ward 15
4483 Broadview Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Johanna V. Hamm
Cleveland City Council -Ward 15