Home Builders' Smart Growth Education Foundation honors smart builders
Six regional residential builders received 2002 Smart Growth Community Excellence Awards at a luncheon on October 23 at Windows on the River in Cleveland.
The awards program was established by the Northeast Ohio Home Builders' Smart Growth Education Foundation through its coalition committee. The awards recognize builders, developers and community organizations that follow smart growth principles in building housing in both urban and suburban locations. EcoCity Cleveland staff helped develop the award criteria and served on the panel of judges to select the winners.
The winners were chosen from entries representing an 11-county area of Northeast Ohio on the basis of the development's land conservation, environmental sensitivity, use of infrastructure, housing choices, community character, transportation accessibility, economic viability and overall design. The entries were grouped in categories, including urban, mixed-use, single family or multiple-family developments and development proposals.
Also, the honorary designation of Precedent Setter for long-time smart growth development work was presented to the Neighborhood Progress, Inc. and Zaremba, Inc.
NPI is a non-profit community development organization committed to revitalization of Cleveland's neighborhoods, and Zaremba, Inc. is a developer that has built housing in Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina Counties. Both are well-known for their work in urban settings.
Since 1990, NPI has helped in the construction of more than 3,400 housing units through partnerships or investments, including such developments as North Park Place in the Glenville neighborhood, Bicentennial Village in Fairfax, the Central Commons neighborhood development, and Orchard Park homes and the Fries & Schuele Block Apartments, both in Ohio City.
Zaremba, Inc., a family business with four generations going back to 1920, has built smart growth developments in both suburban and urban areas. Their developments include Charleston Square and Harbor Walk in Lorain, Chapman Grove in Medina, MacIntosh Farms in Broadview Heights, Greyton Court in Cleveland Heights, and numerous Cleveland neighborhoods, including MillCreek in the Warner-Turney neighborhood, Herron Row in the Kingsbury neighborhood, Lincoln Park Baths in Tremont, and Woodhaven and Beacon Place at Church Square in the historic Fairfax neighborhood.
"Smart growth means land use planning that involves such issues as availability of land for housing, building to higher densities, reviewing and revising outdated zoning laws, preserving open space and environmentally-sensitive areas, and re-developing cities and older suburbs," said R. J. "Buz" Buzogany, executive director of the Smart Growth Education Foundation.
Sponsors for the awards program include: Grand Sponsor - Graves Lumber Company; Platinum SponsorsFirstMerit Bank, Third Federal Savings & Loan, Tri Mor Corp., and West End Land Development; Gold SponsorFifth Third Bank; and Bronze SponsorsDavy Resource Group, KS Associates, Lenders Diversified, Lorain County Title Co., and R. Kashmiry & Associates.
"It is important that we recognize organizations that are making the best use of our land and our natural resources by using today's smart growth building techniques to develop our residential areas. There is only so much land, and it has to be used wisely for housing, farming, retail/commercial, business, recreation, and natural preservation purposes," stated Chris Majzun, Jr., Chairman of the Smart Growth Education Foundation.