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Beginning in November 2020, Preserve the Valley sought to raise awareness about the importance of this

76-acre property on the Cuyahoga River purchased by Petros Developers.  The developer requested that the former golf course property be rezoned in order to construct a large development of single-family and rental townhomes.  Despite opposition by the public and Preserve the Valley, rezoning was approved by Akron City Council on February 1, 2021. 


During the deliberation process, Preserve the Valley testified at multiple city hearings, held two public rallies, and devoted thousands of hours to advocating for changes in the Riverwood development plan. Although we were not successful in stopping the rezoning or the unnecessary tax abatements to the developer, our efforts produced the following positive outcomes:


  1. Increased the development's setback from the Cuyahoga River (100’ vs. 30’) and increased public awareness of the need to update Akron's development code to include Riparian setback regulations to protect the Cuyahoga River.

  2. Pushed for the potential development of public safety and community connectivity amenities associated with the Riverwood project such as sidewalks, hiking trails, and bridge access.  Raised awareness of the need for those projects to be funded through a TIF funding instrument or grants.

  3. Increased community awareness of the effects of Akron's current Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) abatement program's flaws including: 

  • Regressive nature of the abatement

  • Public awareness that all markets in Akron do not require an abatement for developers to invest

  • Negative effects of the lost tax revenue on the Woodridge Local Schools system

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Read our background research and analysis of the Riverwood site.


We remember and honor the life and work of Akron's Ward 1 Councilman Rich Swirsky who passed away on May 26, 2021. He was a passionate advocate for conserving Riverwood and protecting the Cuyahoga River.

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