A photo of Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin discusses a proposal to raise parking fees at the June 5, 2023 Cleveland City Council Committee of the Whole meeting. The committee did not move the proposal forward.
Council President Blaine Griffin discusses a proposal to raise parking fees. The committee did not move the proposal forward. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Kellie MorrisStésià SwainCarolyn Cooper, and Regina Samuels

Final flurry: The full Cleveland City Council met as a committee for nearly 10 hours to discuss a 38-item agenda. Here are some pieces of legislation the committee reviewed in the morning session and passed later that night at council’s regular meeting:

  • Lead inspections: The committee approved legislation allowing the Cleveland Department of Public Health to perform lead investigations in the city. The state would reimburse the city for each investigation from its Medicaid money. The legislation also allows the city to contract with local companies or agencies (such as Environmental Health Watch) to do investigations.
  • In transit: Council members allowed a zoning change for a new housing development along Stokes Blvd. The development includes 255 apartments and eight townhomes, but only 89 parking spots. The transit-oriented development will have multiple transportation options for residents. They include electric car charging stations and space for bicycles. Some residents will be given tickets to local transportation services. Because residents have access to various modes of transportation, the development will be exempt from city parking codes.

Theme parking: Conversation about parking carried over into the afternoon session. The committee – and later council – drove forward a $5 million plan for buying and implementing smart parking meters. The new meters will accept payment with coins, cards and phone apps. Meanwhile, the committee put the brakes on plans to raise parking fees. Council President Blaine Griffin said council had not had the chance to vet the legislation. Council Member Richard Starr said situations like this frustrate him. “What’s the point of having committees if we don’t have things brought to us in a timely manner to vet?” he asked.

Bedrock and benefits: The committee approved several more pieces of legislation, which council also passed that night, including:

  • Riverfront development: The city will spend $3 million on infrastructure improvements along the downtown riverfront. The work spans streets, utilities, sewer facilities and more. Bedrock Management Services LLC, a company of Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert, is set to contribute about $4.2 million.
  • ‘The people’s legislation’: The committee closed the marathon meeting with legislation regarding Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs). The new law sets the legal framework for community benefits tied to construction projects. Council Member Jasmin Santana called it “the people’s legislation.” Officials started this initiative so that “development in our city will benefit our residents,” she said. Documenter Keith Yurgionas captured more details in a May 9 conversation

Watch the full public comments or read transcripts edited by Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell on the Public Comment CLE website created by Ohio City resident Angelo Trivisonno.

Read the Twitter thread on the morning session of this meeting by Documenter Stésià Swain:

Read the Twitter thread on the afternoon session of this meeting by Documenter Regina Samuels:

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.

Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.

Documenters Community Coordinator (she/her)
Through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections, Anastazia works with Signal Cleveland to support Cleveland Documenters and our community building.