Inman Street renewal efforts under study in Cleveland, TN

Inman Street renewal efforts under study in Cleveland, TN

February 25th, 2014 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Water pumping operations are underway at the excavation site of for new pool at Mosby Park. The renovation project, which is 20 percent complete and replaces the park's 40-year-old pool, is expect to be complete by late April, said Patti Petitt, director of Cleveland, Tenn.'s parks and recreation department.

Photo by Paul Leach/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Renewal efforts are underway in the eastern Inman Street area, including the replacement of Mosby Park's 40-year-old pool and possible zoning changes intended to promote development.

On Monday, Assistant City Manager Melinda Carroll said that the Mosby Park Pool project is 20 percent complete.

Demolition work is nearly finished and basic excavation work has begun for the new pool, she said.

Work on the site is temporarily on hold until standing water is pumped out of the excavation, said Stan Lanier, project manager for PMI. Work is expected to resume later this week, he said.

"The pool needed replacing," said Patti Pettit, director of Parks and Recreation. "Tiles were coming loose, presenting a hazard to children."

The pool was also losing six to eight inches a water a day during the summer, park officials said. Carroll said the pool's restroom facilities are included in the renovation project.

The rejuvenated Mosby Park Pool is expected to be ready by late April, Pettit said.

In other business, the City Planning Commission will consider creating a new Inman Street East Zoning District at its March 18 meeting.

The body recently voted to table a decision on the matter to give members more time to review the proposed changes.

The proposed zoning district would apply to the eastern portion of Inman Street, making changes to setback and other requirements that now restrict development along the city's historic eastern gateway, planners said.

The size and shape of lots, under current zoning requirements, limit what a developer can do, they said.

However, the proposed changes would grandfather in current businesses, planning officials said.

Discussions on the revitalization of Inman Street east of the Norfolk Southern railway tracks began early in 2013 with meetings between city officials and local stakeholders.

"Cities are now seeing what a positive impact an appealing gateway can have on a downtown," Jonathan Jobe, director of Cleveland's Development and Engineering Services, said during those meetings.

Optimal zoning, infrastructural upgrades and beautification efforts can spark redevelopment and increase property values in the area, he said. Allowing structures to be closer to the street is a key objective, he said.

The addition of sidewalks and streetlamps and the replacement of the center lane with a landscaped divider would give the area a "downtown type of feel," Jobe said. Such efforts also could contribute to slowing traffic.

"The benefits could be enormous," City Councilman Bill Estes said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.