Cuyahoga County Holding Public Meeting On Lakefront Plans

photo of lakefront map
The plan from Cuyahoga County is to create lakefront access stretching from one end of the county to the other. [Cuyahoga County]
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Cuyahoga County will hold a public meeting July 13 about plans for increasing public access to Lake Erie.

According to county officials, the key concern so far is from lakefront property owners worried about more people using their private land to get to the lake.

“We want to make sure that we’re doing the plan in the way the public wants us,” Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said. “The tradeoff for the homeowners is that we would talk about providing protection against erosion. I don’t think there’s a single person that’s not facing an erosion issue.”

The county first unveiled its plan in 2019, which includes biking and walking paths along the lake and 17 to 34 new public access points where north-south roads dead end at the lake.

“We want to make sure we don’t neglect, and focus on, those areas too so people who don’t live on the lake have a clear access point, multi-modal access point, to the lake,” said Michael Dever, director of the county’s public works department.

The county already began talking with landowners and is moving ahead with projects where there is landowner support. And the county is seeking grants and other funding for parts of the project, with hopes of eventually creating access points, trails and walkways from one end of the Cuyahoga County’s lakefront to the other.

“It’s not a simple project that’s going to be completed in a short timeframe,” Dever said. “But those low-hanging fruit items, we’d like to advance those as quickly as possible.”

The public can weigh in on which of the north-south roads that end at the lake should be a priority for waterfront access projects, Dever said.

“Some people are going to say, ‘These are the preference routes,’” Dever said. “Is it West 117th Street? Is it East 152nd Street?”

The county is modeling its plan after what’s already been done by the city of Euclid. Concerns about erosion along the waterfront led the city to make a similar offer to the one Cuyahoga County is making. The city was able to transform its stretch lakefront with a series of trails, parks and new access points in exchange for helping with erosion control projects.

The county will hold its virtual public meeting from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on July 13.

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