LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Jim Rambasek owns so much lakefront property in Lakewood, he put up a fence to keep people out. He used to run a riding lawn mower, but then, the erosion became just too much.
"I have a video where it was washing the whole thing out," he tells us.
In our present-day footage, you can see Jim's house from Lakewood Park, and the erosion is massive. However, help could be on the way.
On Wednesday, Cuyahoga County released a two-year study Lake Erie. It's a comprehensive plan to to better utilize the aquatic landmark, and covers three general areas:
- Improved public access to Lake Erie
- Erosion control and ecological enhancement
- Enhanced transportation networks along the shoreline
This is a plan Lakewood resident Diane Kolman has been waiting for.
"Access," she emphasized. "It's wonderful to get all the way downtown and walking, but if it were the other way, it would be wonderful."
Rambasek knew something was stirring in the community, and has been talking with city leaders.
"I've talked to the mayor," he said, "but we are supposed to meet with the county because the county is running this thing."
Still, Cuyahoga officials are including many of the cities on the water in discussions, along with the Cleveland Metroparks. Included in the plan for lakefront access are
- Lake-Clifton Bridge
- Lakewood Gold Coast
- East 9th-East 55th Connector
- Beulah Park-Euclid Beach Connector
The thought is to get people in the area to be able to appreciate the waterfront property. This is good news for Jim, who hopes the winds of change are finally coming to Cliff Road right in the middle of the Gold Coast
"When I bought [my property], I thought it would be nice to put a little dock down there," he recalled. "But when you see how angry that lake gets, there is nothing I can do."