Westlake Planning Director Robert Parry was honored with retirement ceremonies at Westlake City Hall April 26.
After 26 years as the head of city planning, Bob Parry helped navigate Westlake through its most ambitious stages of growth. Through careful planning and development, Westlake has grown from a semi-rural community in 1986 to the regional hub that it is today.
The retirement event filled City Hall council chambers with associates, colleagues and friends who recognized Parry for his work – work that ensures a top quality of life in Westlake for generations to come.
In all, Parry has devoted 44 years to public service, having served as deputy director of the Cuyahoga County Regional Planning Commission before joining the Cough administration.
Parry, always ready with a smile and positive approach to life, reviewed his career with a good-natured ‘Top Ten’ list of things accomplished in the Westlake community through his time there.
Thank you to Robert Parry, whose career of public service has created a community of excellence!
Bob Parry’s Top 10 List
10 – Westlake Bicentennial: 2011 was a hallmark year as Westlake celebrated its 200th anniversary with events drawing the community closer to its roots through a series of year-long commemorations.
9 – Westlake in Bloom: Started in 2002, Westlake was an immediate first-place America in Bloom winner. The event has been a Westlake civic standby ever since, promoting beautification of the community and celebrating the involvement of residents and businesses alike.
8 – Design Guidelines were added to the city’s Zoning Code in 2001 as Crocker Park began its emergence as a civic centerpiece. The Design Guideline Manual helped steer the planning and building of Crocker Park, ensuring the highest quality in buildings, storefronts, materials and design. The Manual was updated in 2002 to include all of Westlake.
7 – Tree Preservation Ordinance. Mayor Clough requested a Tree Preservation Plan in 1989 after city-wide construction cleared woodlots. The plan prohibits clear-cutting of lots without an approved strategy for new trees, preservation of old trees and the planting of new trees to basic standards. Over 187,000 trees have been planted or saved.
6 – Zoning Code Updates including Planned Unit Development and Cluster Homes. These updates allowed controlled growth, identifying the appropriate allocation of commercial, retail and residential development areas.
5 – Planning and Development Plan Process: Westlake’s first Guide Plan for Land Development in 1963 was replaced in 1984 and updated in 1991. 1995 brought a commercial market analysis leading to guidelines for Crocker Park in 2001. The Guide Plan and Map were updated in 2003 and 2004 as Crocker Park opened. Housing Design guidelines for Crocker Park were added in 2005. A Commercial and Industrial Market Study was completed in 2011. Plans for a City Wide Bike Path were unveiled in 2012.
4 – City Buildings: Westlake used available civic funds gained during the boom years of the late-90’s to update, replace and build new city buildings without new taxpayer burden. A new City Hall, Police Station, Service Garage and the Westlake Recreation Center all brought needed upgrades to facilities.
3 – Business Incentives: Tax incentives including a 1994 Enterprise Zone, a 1996 Community Reinvestment Area, and Job Creation Grant in 2008 opened the door to growth for Hyland Software, Q Labs, LaCentre and more, resulting in more than 1400 new jobs, $97 million in new and expanded buildings and payroll amounting to $400 million since the inception of the incentives.
2 – Crocker Road Extension: Proposed in the 1970’s, the vital north-south connecting link from I-90 to I-480 was opened in 2009. The completion of this connecting road is a vital link in the West Shore link to the airport and more.
1 – Crocker Park and Westlake are uniquely entwined, a community within a community. The impact of Crocker Park is a defining component of life on Cleveland’s west side. Now in Phase 3, Crocker Park continues to grow and expand, a destination location in the leading community of Cleveland’s West Shore, Westlake.