Tom Bier, a professor at Cleveland State University, is my hero. He’s the region’s leading expert on sprawl.
He gave a speech recently at the Northeast Ohio City Council Association. This is a long video, (I recommend starting at 5 minutes or later) but I took the time to summarize some of the more important points below.
-80 percent of people who sell homes in Cuyahoga County move outward. 50 percent move to an outlying county.
-“Schools are not the issue. Only about 30 percent of all the households in NE Ohio have school-aged children.”
-Cuyahoga County lost 50,000 households in five years. “Equivalent to a Westlake. We’re losing a Westlake every five years.”
-“Movement goes toward where the new (housing) is.”
-“We’re losing 7,000 people a year, even though we’ve had this recession.”
-90 percent of the growth over the last 10 years in Northeast Ohio is in unincorporated townships.
-80 percent of the seven counties surrounding Cuyahoga County is made up of townships. Townships can’t levy and income tax.
-“The financial influences that will stimulate people to leave the country are pretty potent.”
-“The deck is stacked against the cities in this region.”
-“If nothing changes, in 25 years 75,000 additional homes will be vacant in Cleveland.”
-“The region is on the road to more disunity.”
-“It’s the intensifying of disparity.”
-“The only way to renew the future of this county is to renew and rebuild the core. It has to be a central priority and we ain’t there yet.”