The residents of Smith Drive in South Cleveland visited Monday’s Cleveland City Council work session in a strong show of opposition to tentative plans for a $3.5 million residential housing …
The residents of Smith Drive in South Cleveland visited Monday’s Cleveland City Council work session in a strong show of opposition to tentative plans for a $3.5 million residential housing project in their neighborhood.
Summit LLC, a private partnership in Knoxville and owner of the old Cherokee Hotel (now Summit Apartments), has a plan to build a housing complex on Smith Drive. Most, if not all, residents of the Summit would moved to the planned complex.
The partnership’s plan for construction of the complex depends greatly on whether or not the city follows through on negotiations to purchase the old hotel as part of the downtown revitalization/redevelopment plan.
Summit representatives have said that if an agreement is not reached with the city, they could look for another purchaser, consider renovations to the Summit Apartment complex, or do nothing.
The Smith Drive residents were adamant they do not want the housing development, its residents, and increased traffic congestion in their community.
They were informed by Mayor Tom Rowland and others that the location is zoned for the housing complex and it can be built there if other pieces to the puzzle are worked out. But, this may only happen if the city was to purchase the old hotel.
June Snyder and David Ware spoke up for the visiting residents. “These people are not productive, and we don’t want them in our neighborhood,” said Snyder of the Summit tenants. She added that the location of the proposed housing complex is “swamp land.”
She and Ware said the housing development would devalue the residents’ property. Ware said they have collected over 100 names on a petition opposing the housing complex, adding that they were not through yet.
“Most of us have lived in this area most of our lives, but we have little in the way of parks, sidewalks and other things,” Ware said. He emphasized it is not a place for an influx of additional residents. “There are other locations for this housing complex, closer to downtown,” he said.
Rowland asked City Manager Joe Fivas about the status of negotiations on the Summit.
“We’ve talked with the owner, but nothing is imminent right now,” said Fivas.
The city manager said his staff would keep the Smith Drive residents informed of any developments.
It was also discussed that Summit LLC, as far as is known, has not yet purchased the property on Smith Drive. It is believed the company has an option to purchase it.
The residents said they have “worked like crazy” to make the neighborhood beautiful, and they want to keep it that way.
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