By Kevin Kelley
A date has been set for the EPA-funded workshop in Fairvew Park at which consultants will meet with municipal leaders and community stakeholders to work toward development goals.
The two-day workshop will focus on “infill development,” or redevelopment of areas with existing infrastructure. The work starts April 18, when city leaders will meet with officials from Renaissance Planning, an urban planning firm headquartered in Orlando, Fla. Mike Callahan, who works in the firm’s Charlottesville, Va., office, is in charge of the workshop.
According to its website (www.citiesthatwork.com), Renaissance Planning works with communities to reach holistic solutions in planning for the future.
“We are outcome oriented – we listen, we study and we help people imagine how their cities might look, feel, function and change in the future,” the website states.
After touring the suburb, Callahan will lead a public meeting to gather community input on Fairview Park’s development needs, specifically improving the vitality of the Lorain Road business corridor. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. April 18 in the Oak Room of the Gemini Recreation Center, 21225 Lorain Road.
Callahan told West Life he encourages Fairview Park residents to attend the meeting.
“It’s really ground-up, not top-down,” Callhan said of the federal EPA program, called Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities. “We’d really like to hear what people want to see for the future in their communities.”
After introducing the project, Callahan will discuss current infill trends before calling for public comments.
On April 19, city leaders, Renaissance Planning consultants and invited stakeholders will participate in a two-part workshop, according to Shawn Leininger, the city’s director of public service and development.
“Generally, the morning [session] will cover strengths, challenges and opportunities of the Lorain corridor, followed by an afternoon of formulating an action plan,” Leininger told West Life.
Fairview Park was awarded the grant in early December. Doubts as to whether the workshop would take place arose in late January after news reports indicated the incoming Trump administration had ordered the EPA to temporarily freeze all contract and grant awards.
Leininger said the workshop dates were confirmed in the past few weeks.