by Ken Lahmers

Editor

Aurora -- Master plan review commission members heard a presentation from a Chagrin River Watershed Partners official at its May 8 meeting.

It also continued a visioning session which began at the April 24 meeting, this time focusing on the northeast and northwest quadrants of the city.

Amy Holtshouse, assistant director of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, provided a slide presentation on the group's balanced growth initiative, which focuses on priority development and conservation areas.

She said the group has worked closely with the state to develop the project. She outlined the benefits and incentives associated with the initiative.

In conjunction with the program, the group has conducted an analysis of all of Aurora, and Holtshouse said the group is available to assist the city with its master plan.

In discussions about the northeast quadrant of the city, members listed some of the strengths as being low density, new housing stock, open space, the Train Station historic district and Centerville Mills camp.

Weaknesses included lack of water lines and dry hydrants, lack of active recreation, Route 82's high-speed commercial area and monitoring septic systems to control illicit discharges.

THE PANEL said opportunities for the area include active recreation at the Hartman property, wetlands and stream mitigation on city-owned properties, additional river conservation and a regional bikeway along the railroad tracks.

Among strengths listed in the northwest quadrant were Barrington Golf Club, Aurora Lake, Barrington Town Square and the Bertram Inn.

Weaknesses listed were high density in the Geauga Lake area, upkeep of some existing houses, licensing requirements for rental homes, Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom, lack of recreational opportunities, interconnections for bicyclists and walkers and safety connections on Surfside Circle, Nautilus Trail and Hawthorn of Aurora.

Panelists cited opportunities as being expansion of the amusement/water park at Geauga Lake, commercial availability, recreation along Hawthorn's Aurora Lake frontage properties and potential for residential development.

Adviser Charles Frederick requested the commission to look at focus areas of the city such as Twon Center and the constraints and weaknesses which apply to them.

He noted primary development and conservation areas should be the focus of the next meeting, which was to take place May 22.

The commission is tentatively scheduled to meet June 12 and 26 at 1 p.m. in Town Hall.

E-mail: klahmers@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3155