Ohio House studies growth and land use issues

The Ohio House Subcommittee on Growth and Land Use convened a hearing in Cleveland on September 25 to hear testimony on how the state can be more supportive of urban redevelopment.

EcoCitys David Beach called for the state to adopt a Smart Growth Agenda that would redirect state investment to priority growth areas. Other speakers included:

  • Madeline Cain, Mayor of Lakewood
  • Joshua Hall, Buckeye Institute
  • Jonathan Sandvick and Tom Yablonsky, Heritage Ohio
  • Gordon Priemer, Northeast Ohio Home Builders Assoc. and Heritage Development
  • Tim Mueller, City of Cleveland
  • Tracey Kirksey, Glenville Development Corp.
  • Tom Bier, CSU College of Urban Affairs
  • David Goss, Greater Cleveland Growth Association
  • Steve Hambley, Medina County Commissioner
  • Jerome Walcott, Commission on Catholic Community Action, Cleveland Diocese

The subcommittee, which is chaired by Rep. Larry Wolpert of Hilliard, will continue to hold monthly hearings on growth and land use issues during the coming year. Then it will make recommendations for legislative action.

The October meeting of the subcommittee will be on Thursday, October 16 at 1 p.m. at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro, Ohio. The focus of this meeting is farmland preservation.

Background on the subcommittee

The following comes from a press release issued by Ohio Rep. Larry Wolpert's office on May 27, 2003.

Rep. Larry Wolpert, chairman of the House County and Township Government Committee, and Speaker Larry Householder recently formed a new subcommittee to examine organized growth and land use in Ohio.

"The goal of this subcommittee is to gain as much information as possible about Ohio's land use patterns. By the end of the 125th General Assembly, we should have an idea on how the legislature can address these issues. I have heard from many individuals and organizations from around the state that are very excited that the legislature will be looking into this issue."

The committee will hear testimony from national and local experts on topics such as urban sprawl, central cities, fast-growing suburbs and inner-ring first suburbs, transportation, farmland preservation, land use policies, and increased development.

To gain first-hand knowledge of the topic from citizens from across the state, the subcommittee will hold meetings in various cities throughout Ohio. The first meeting will most likely take place in early July.

The subcommittee is made up of members of the House County and Township Government Committee including: Representatives Larry Wolpert (R-Hilliard), David Daniels (R-Greenfield), Kathy Walcher (R-Norwalk), Thom Collier (R-Mount Vernon), Kathleen Chandler (D-Kent), Larry Price (D-Columbus), and Peter Ujvagi (D-Toledo).

"The subcommittee members we've chosen can each bring a unique perspective on these issues," Wolpert said. "Some have experience in urban areas, some in rural areas, and all are dedicated to examining these issues in depth."

For more information about the subcommittee, call Rep. Larry Wolpert's legislative aide, Nathan Burd at 614-466-9690.

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Calling for greater state support for the redevelopment of older communities, Lakewood Mayor Madeline Cain addressed the Ohio House Subcommittee on Growth and Land Use at Cleveland State University on September 25, 2003.

Testimony by EcoCity's David Beach
Testimony by the Greater Cleveland Growth Association's David Goss


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