The purpose of this document is to frame a recommended approach to a comprehensive parking plan for Chagrin Falls. This concept is not being offered as a finished product. It is intended as a framework for public discussion and modification by the members of the Parking Commission to develop a final proposal to Village Council. It is expected that multiple changes to this concept may be recommended for very good reasons by the public and/or members of the Commission.
Plan Objectives and Background
The subject of parking is complex with many considerations that argue for a comprehensive approach. However, there is no perfect solution that can please all parties. No sub-issues within the Village parking challenge can be solved perfectly, because many interrelate and there are real constraints. The geography of the Village and its residential “ring” around a commercially dense Village Center limits the practical solutions available to attack this complex problem. Therefore, the objective of a comprehensive parking program should be to structure a plan that is optimized as much as possible across the range of considerations within practical physical and financial constraints. Compromises are unavoidable and it is likely that there will be no one in the Village who will like all elements of any program implemented.
Managing the parking process in the Village has been an identified problem for over 100 years. Newspaper articles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries lamented that the shortage of hitching posts that discouraged people from the countryside from patronizing Village stores.
It is also important to recognize that no program can be viewed as permanent or static. Once implemented, circumstances will change over time, and the actual effects of the changes will be learned and adjustments will be required. It is not possible to predict all of the consequences of a complete program. The core of a comprehensive parking program is managing and changing the parking behaviors of people. We can try to predict the effects of actions taken, but it is highly probable that there will be unpredicted results. It is an expected natural part of the plan that subsequent requirements will be identified and adjustments will have to be implemented. Parking is a dynamic issue that will require dynamic adjustment over time.
The primary objective is to relieve parking congestion during peak periods of routine activity. No practical plan can solve the parking congestion that occurs during major events such as Blossom Festival, Art in the Park and other such events. The reality is that the Village has a concentrated business district that is surrounded by essentially fully developed and occupied real estate. There are no obvious, easy and low cost ways to increase materially the overall public and private parking capacity in close proximity to the central business and historic residential district. Therefore, the intent of this concept is to optimize the use of available parking capacity (public and private) and “incentivize” parking behaviors that can relieve congestion. Longer term options – such as building a sizable parking structure – are discussed and need to remain under consideration as potential future actions. However, such a facility would take years to complete from a practical perspective. This parking concept retains the potential benefits of longer term options, but focuses on actions that can be implemented in the near term and have material impact on the situation within 9-12 months of approval in a final form by Village Council.
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It is with a deep sense of sincere appreciation and sadness that I announce Chief Brosius has submitted to me his notice of retirement. Chief Brosius, just Jim or Chief to most of the village, has served our community with distinction for 23 years, having assumed the duties of the Village’s police chief in April of 1994. Not only did Chief Brosius turn our police department into a police force that we can all be proud of, he was a leader in regionalization efforts. He was also one of the organizers of the Valley Enforcement Group which provides shared enforcement and investigative resources to member communities. Chief Brosius was instrumental in forming the Council of Governments which provides dispatch services to member communities and has saved our village several hundred thousand dollars already.
Chief Brosius’s last day as chief will be August 19. Jim and his wife Joan will continue to live in our community and I am sure you will wish to join me in wishing Jim and his wife a long and happy retirement.
To continue to provide the excellent leadership our community has come to expect of its police department, I am appointing Lieutenant Amber M. Dacek as the Village’s Chief of Police effective August 20, 2016. Lieutenant Dacek has been with the Village police department 14 years having started in 2002. Lt. Dacek, just Amber to those that know and have worked with her, has served in a variety of roles since joining our department. She started her career with the Village as a School Resource Officer at the Chagrin Schools. She was appointed Sergeant in 2008 and Lieutenant in 2013.
Lt. Dacek holds a B.S. degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University where she was graduated Summa Cum Laude and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key National Honor Societies. She is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College and has completed Law Enforcement Executive Training. She has been certified a Law Enforcement Executive by the Ohio Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Foundation. Lt. Dacek is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Police Executive Leadership College.
I am sure you will wish to join me in wishing Lt. Dacek every success in her new position as Chief of Police for the Village of Chagrin Falls.
Mayor Bill Tomko