Update on project proposed for W. 14th and Kenilworth

Update on project proposed for W. 14th and Kenilworth

by Bruce Checefsky

(Plain Press, November 2020)           At the October 5 meeting of the Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals, Kenilworth LLC requested to postpone a decision on their Tremont Park Flats project until the full five-member board is present. A previous vote ended in a 2-2 tie when council member Tim Donovan slipped out of the meeting minutes before a decision was rendered. Kenilworth LLC proposes to construct a five-story apartment building at 1415 Kenilworth Avenue in a D2 Multi-Family Residential District and an Urban Form Overlay District. The owner appeals for relief from the strict application from Section348.04(4)(A) section of the Cleveland Codified Ordinances that states 30 parking spaces are required. No parking spaces are proposed.

   Maison Architect + Design and Rust Belt Development, aka, Kenilworth LLC, led by David Maison, Sam Messina, and Brent Zimmerman, stated publicly that they have several LOI (Letters of Intent) with third party entities that could provide additional parking. Cleveland Code of Ordinance requires automobile parking spaces be provided on the same lot, or on adjacent or nearby property, provided a major portion lies within 400 feet of the main entrance to the building. None of the proposed parking sites come close to the 400 feet requirement.

   Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack opposes the project. Tremont West Development Corporation Executive Director Cory Riordan believes the developers haven’t worked with the community to build reassurances or given the community ample opportunity to weigh in on the process. Kate O’Neil, co-chair of the Auburn-Lincoln Block Club, is concerned that a decision to support the project without parking would set a precedent for future projects in the neighborhood.

   “This is not a good match,” O’Neil told the Landmarks Commission prior to a favorable decision by the Commission to support the controversial project in July.

   More than a dozen letters by Tremont residents in opposition have been sent to the Board of Zoning Appeals along with phone calls and emails asking the committee to consider the interests of the neighborhood over development opportunities.

   The low-end apartment market, which Lincoln Park Flats is designed for, caters to young people without cars. Parking spaces are expensive to add as an amenity, according to the developers. Eliminating parking all together can lower construction costs. Brent Zimmerman insists parking is not a problem, creating living options for young people without cars is more important than finding a solution for parking they may never need.

   “By 2030 over 95% of all car traffic would be autonomous,” he said. “People won’t need cars.”

   The Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals has scheduled the next round of hearings for November 16 when the full five members are expected to be present.

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