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Green Nweighborhoods Initiative


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The South Euclid Green Neighborhoods Initiative is an innovative neighborhood revitalization strategy funded by two competitive grants obtained by the city. The initiative has two main components: the purchase, rehab and resale of vacant and abandoned homes and the creation of community gardens and community green space. The first objective is buying vacant, foreclosed and abandoned homes. The homes purchased by the city will be rehabbed in an innovative way using green building techniques and universal design to accommodate first floor living and all life phases. Once completed, these revitalized homes will be resold to qualified owner-occupants.


The Green Neighborhoods Initiative takes a common concept, rehab and resell, and pushes the limits in a new and creative direction. Grant funding allows us to demonstrate tangibly the benefits of using sustainable techniques to show the potential in what some consider to be outdated housing stock. Foreclosed and vacant houses are now available in our city and neighboring cities for 1940s prices. There is no better time to create a paradigm shift in community thinking. Creating multiple demonstration projects will allow developers, rehabbers, and existing homeowners to see the success of this process firsthand without making the investment themselves. Once proven to be an attractive and financially lucrative proposition, we anticipate that this type of rehab will become the new industry standard. This model will be further supported by legislation that simplifies the process for private industry to follow our example.


This initiative is the ultimate way to “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. Our housing stock and that of other inner-ring suburbs has the potential to become the “sensible first choice” for those seeking right-sized, affordable, conveniently located, pedestrian friendly, accessible living with the added privacy of living in a detached single family home. Our in-fill lots provide existing infrastructure that makes building a new home even more affordable. By providing and encouraging creative green building options through preferential zoning and permitting, we encourage those who wish to build new, to make South Euclid their first choice.

Community gardens and community green space will be created in multiple locations in the city. Currently two are planned under the Green Neighborhoods Initiative: one on Warrendale Road north of Warrensville Center Road and one on Colony Road south of Warrensville Center Road. The purpose of the gardens is to create opportunities for neighbor interaction and to provide a venue for residents to grow their own food. It is our belief that community gardens build and strengthen a neighborhood while increasing the health of residents. The gardens will be placed on vacant residential lots that have been obtained by the city.

The vision of the Green Neighborhoods Initiative can be summed up from this excerpt from the city's FSDC Vacant and Abandoned Property Fund grant application:



You’re a young medical professional…Long shifts at work and very little free time make you feel so grateful to have a home that is a true sanctuary. Your “green” South Euclid bungalow has all the amenities that you were looking for in a home: a spacious master suite, lots of closet space, a gourmet kitchen, a private guest suite upstairs and best of all, your very own secluded outdoor living room. Unlike the condo you sold to buy your new home, you now have your own private space indoors and out—no shared walls and noisy neighbors! It’s therapeutic to come home and clip flowers from your cutting garden. Best of all, your beautiful landscaping is virtually maintenance
free. Gorgeous native plants and a rain garden create a serene environment and help with storm water management. What little supplemental water your plants need is taken care of by your rain barrel system. Your only worries are whether to take in an outdoor community concert at Cedar Center, or walk to Whole Foods for a Friday night wine tasting. Your move to South Euclid has even eliminated your stressful commute to work. Now, you can walk a block to the bus stop and decompress while listening to your I-Pod on the quick bus ride to the Clinic.


You’re a young family…You are always on the run trying to keep up with the children’s busy schedule of activities. Weekends are for soccer or basketball. You are so glad that you decided to leave “exurbia” for a more sensible lifestyle in South Euclid. You didn’t realize how much time you were spending every week taking care of a “too big” house and lawn. All of that busy work and the high cost of trying to maintain that lifestyle had really taken a toll on the family. Your newly renovated “green” house in South Euclid is the perfect size for the family. You love the mud room and first floor laundry. South Euclid’s “close to everything” location has you spending so much less time in the car. The diversity of South Euclid is also a huge benefit. It’s important to you that your children learn to appreciate all different cultures and get to know all kinds of people in a friendly, caring, community. Your new home is so affordable, that you are confident that you could live on one salary if you needed to, or find extra money in the budget to take that dream summer vacation to Disney World.

You’re a retiree…Seventy is the new fifty after all. You’re not ready to move into a condo or a retirement community. Why would you, when your new South Euclid bungalow fits your lifestyle so perfectly. You can live comfortably on the first floor with a private second floor perfect for visiting grandchildren, guests, or a spacious office. You love to walk, and your new neighborhood is in walking distance of everything you need. Shopping, restaurants, health care, and a library are just a short walk a way. You love having a college in town where you are able to drop in and survey interesting courses. The community garden down the street provides a fun way to grow your own food or buy fresh local produce and chat with your friends and neighbors at the weekly farm stand. You can jump on the RTA for the short ride down to University Circle to see the newest exhibits at the museums. This is exactly the retirement lifestyle you had always pictured.


“When the place where we live—both our house and our life—is right sized for the way we really live and for the things that really matter to us, we ourselves are in balance. We feel it daily, and we reflect that equilibrium in everything we do.” Susanka and Obolensky, 2008; The Not So Big House; A blueprint for the way we really live

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Affiliated Links

Green Neighborhoods Initiative District Dialogue (Video)

New Home Photos:

3924 Warrendale Rd. - South Euclid

4111 Lambert Rd. - South Euclid

3759 Colony Rd. - South Euclid

Community Gardens Information Page

IDEAL HOMES OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY - Growing our Neighborhoods through Quality Homes

Fresh Water - Neighborhood Initiative Gives South Euclid Bungalows a Green Makeover

Fall/Winter Sustainability Newsletter features South Euclid's Green Neighborhoods Initiative

South Euclid, Lyndhurst Offer Myriad Attractions: A Cleveland Jewish News Community Profile

Colony & Warrendale Rds. Community Gardens Photos

Photos of 4182 Wilmington Rd. - NEW

Green Neighborhoods Initiative Public Open House Sunday 12/5 from 12-3 p.m.

Green Neighborhood Homes For Sale

Green Neighborhoods Initiative Media Release 

Visit our Facebook Fan Page.


  4182 Wilmington Rd. -

A wonderful rendering from City Architecture of the final elevations for the Wilmington house.


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