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Akron, Cuyahoga Falls propose extensive renovation of Merriman Valley

The plan lays out a vision of what the area could be and how it should be improved for both residents and visitors.

AKRON, Ohio — *EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from last summer.

On Thursday, the cities of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls jointly announced that the draft Merriman Valley – Schumacher Area Master Plan Report has been released.

The plan lays out a vision of what the area could be and how it should be improved for both residents and visitors. The plan proposes building upon the area to enhance its story and assets already in place.

"I am incredibly pleased with the community engagement and participation that was displayed throughout the creation of the master plan," Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters said. "The plan maps a path forward for the Valley that balances economic and community development opportunities with the preservation of much of the natural resources that define and distinguish the area."

The proposal recommends there be improved transportation systems – including streets, trails, sidewalks, and access to the river – conservation neighborhoods, habitat corridors, and riparian setbacks.

"As our communities look toward the future of the Valley, we now have a plan which provides a thoughtful, strategic vision for future development," Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan stated. "This vision was crafted with input from all stakeholders and accounts for the many unique opportunities for residential and retail development in an area that is truly blessed with many natural assets."

The report was put together by the urban planning firm Farr Associates and was done by studying the area and taking in feedback from stakeholders on their priorities and hopes of what the area could be. Those interested in more details can view the report in its entirety below: