April  4,  2011   Lloyd  Bell,  President   FutureHeights   2163  Lee  Road,  Suite  103   Cleveland  Heights,  Ohio  44118     Dear  Mr.  Bell,     I  write  to  express  my  objection  to  the  FutureHeights  Community  Forum,  “Land  Use  and  Oakwood,”  scheduled  for   Thursday,  April  7  at  7:00  p.m.    I  hope  you  will  consider  postponing  that  forum  for  these  reasons:   1. If  you  truly  want  an  open  discussion  about  the  proposed  Oakwood  development,  all  sides  should  be   represented.  I  would  have  been  most  happy  to  sit  on  the  panel,  present  my  plan  for  the  former  Oakwood   Country  Club  and  take  questions  from  the  audience.    However,  you  did  not  invite  me.    In  fact,  I  only  found   out  about  this  yesterday,  by  chance.   Your  forum  is  to  take  place  at  the  same  time  as  a  work  session  of  the  South  Euclid  Planning  Commission,   effectively  precluding  me  from  participating.    In  an  email  exchange  with  Bob  Rosenbaum  from   FutureHeights,  Mr.  Rosenbaum  told  me  that  the  South  Euclid  Planning  Commission  Schedule  had  been   checked.    However,  when  I  went  to  that  website,  I  immediately  saw  the  conflict.    I  must  note  the  South   Euclid  Planning  Commission  meeting  was  added  by  the  Commission  during  its  meeting  on  March  24,   before  plans  for  the  FutureHeights  forum  were  posted  on  the  Observer  web  site.    I  would  additionally   note  that  several  parties  active  with  the  Heights  Observer  and  FutureHeights  were  present  at  the  March   24  meeting  of  the  South  Euclid  Planning  Commission.   Your  meeting  announcement  says,  “Forum  speakers  will  address  the  following  topics:  Retail  needs  and   opportunities  in  Cleveland's  eastern  suburbs;  housing  trends,  needs,  and  opportunities  in  older  suburbs;   and  long-­‐term  and  regional  perspectives  in  balancing  the  needs  for  green  space,  maintaining  high  quality   of  life,  and  sustainable  revenue  streams  for  local  governments.”    However,  after  I  called  Bob  Rosenbaum   to  share  my  concerns,  you  left  me  a  voicemail  message  back  explicitly  stating    that  the  Forum  wasn’t   related  to  the  actual  development,  and/or  whether  the  Oakwood  Club  should  be  developed  as  a  retail   facility,  but  that  the  focus  was  “How  can  we  get  the  citizens  of  Cleveland  Heights,  University  Heights  and   South  Euclid  to  be  involved  in  the  decision-­‐making  process  and  how  can  we  get  the  cities  to  be  more   responsive  to  what  the  community  needs  may  be.”    Mr.  Bell,  it  remains  unclear  to  me  whether  your   forum  is  intended  to  consider  what  you  have  listed  on  the  FutureHeights  website,  or  are  your  goals  the   ones  you  articulated  on  my  voicemail,  which  I  interpret  as  clearly  excluding  my  participation?    It  would   also  seem  that  your  organization  is  excluding  the  residents  of  South  Euclid  who  have  been  neither  notified   nor  invited  to  attend  your  forum.  (Your  website  explicitly  states  that  your  organization  serves  Cleveland   Heights  and  University  Heights.)      

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It  appears  clear  to  me  that  your  forum  is  not  intended  to  take  the  needs  of  South  Euclid  residents  into   consideration.    As  stated  many  times  by  members  of  the  South  Euclid  city  administration  and   commissions,  South  Euclid  intends  to  increase  its  commercial  tax  base  and  provide  additional  green  space   in  its  efforts  to  become  a  sustainable  community.    Furthermore,  South  Euclid  officials  have  stated  that   First  Interstate’s  plans  for  the  proposed  commercial  and  dedicated  parkland  development  in  South  Euclid   achieve  both  of  these  objectives.    In  fact,  the  primary  opposition  to  the  South  Euclid  project,  at  both  the   Planning  Commission  meetings  and  the  South  Euclid  ward  meetings,  comes  almost  exclusively  from   Cleveland  Heights  residents.    

5. The  City  of  South  Euclid  has  provided  many  open  community  meetings  for  its  residents  to  have  input  into  
the  process.    There  have  been  at  least  six  open  Planning  Commission  meetings,  as  well  as  a  formal  Public   Hearing  in  South  Euclid,  as  well  as  a  City  Council  meeting  with  the  public  comment  portion  open  to  the   public  on  this  proposal.         Mr.  Bell,  you  have  selected  a  distinguished  panel  of  experts  to  serve  on  the  April  7  panel.    How  they  can  offer   constructive  comment  on  the  proposed  Oakwood  Commons  project  is  a  puzzle,  since,  to  my  knowledge,  none  of   them  have  been  provided  with  full  and  correct  information  about  the  project.    As  mentioned,  I  am  more  than   happy  to  meet  with  members  of  your  organization  and  members  of  the  public  who  are  interested  in  hearing  both   sides  of  the  issue  and  participating  in  a  civil  discussion.  I  just  ask  that  you  hold  that  meeting  at  a  time  when  we  do   not  have  a  clear  and  public  scheduling  conflict.   Of  course,  you  and  your  organization  are  certainly  entitled  to  your  own  opinions,  but  you  are  not  entitled  to  your   own  facts.    I  welcome  an  opportunity  to  share  those  facts  with  you  and  your  organization.   Sincerely,   Mitchell  Schneider,  President   First  Interstate  Properties,  LTD                        

  The  Offices  at  Legacy  Village  –  25333  Cedar  Road,  Suite  300  –  Lyndhurst,  OH  44124   216.381.2900  –  www.first-­‐interstate.com  
 

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