Over-developing Jackson Township’s Kirk Schuring Park

This is the multi-million dollar project planned for our park at Kirk Schuring (Jackson Township’s 40 acres), a “tourist attraction” tournament soccer complex. The residents didn’t want this project, the Trustees (and our Fiscal Officer) just pulled it out of their hat. In this post I’m going to share a couple observations. 1) This is over-developed, not at all good for the planet and not in the best interests of the residents 2) Storm water from the Residences at the Greens is passing through the township’s property, approved by them, for them – as they are co-creators in that development here’s my blog post on that and 3) How can we, as residents, get honesty and transparency from our township leaders? Here is the video that goes with the blog post:

The proposed “park” now renamed after Senator Kirk Schuring:

The footprint of the township park is actually this (blue dot is storm water easement):



If this is a park, where are the amenities for residents? This has been proposed as a tourist attraction from our Township administration in this article from the Canton Repository. My feeling is that the funding they are using for the gobs of soccer fields is only money to use for tourism, so there we go… a  “tourist attraction.” 

Why am I saying it’s over-developed? Just because it’s green, doesn’t mean it’s nature.

Grass barely absorbs water, the roots aren’t deep, and definitely not able to deal with the torrential rain we’ve been having due to increase in intensity of storms (caused by heat island effect i.e. too much pavement, roofs of buildings/homes, and hardscape). Soccer fields are also treated chemically, which is a lot of chemicals seeping into the multiple wetlands in the Stark Parks property.

Want a better solution? I wrote a blog post about Green Infrastructure here. Bio-swales or rain water harvesting would do wonders here or on the Residences of the Greens property. Or we could have some walking paths (dog-friendly) and a dog park. Many residents responded well when I suggested that during my campaign. I still want a dog park, and so does Buckeye. My teenagers love gaga ball, and my son wants a skate park, so maybe we can think a little more creatively and provide some amenities our residents (and my children, lol) want.

Storm Water Easement 

The Residences at the Greens property is packed in (over-developed). There are 124 apartments and I have no idea how they got a storm water design approved. I’m going to research that, it seems like this easement was always part of the plan. I just happened to attend the Feb. 23rd meeting of this year and heard them quickly approve a storm water easement, and I made a mental note to look into it. It seemed fishy, and it was. Here’s the language from the meeting:

Excerpt from Feb. 23, 2021 meeting (easement was effective date Feb. 23, 2021). 

Hawke moved and Thomas seconded a motion whereas, ABC Gardens LLC (“Gardens”), an
affiliate of ABC TGAB LLC, the master developer of the Greens at Belden (the “Project”), has
requested that the Township grant it an easement for storm water flow and related improvements
(the “Easement”) over real property owned by the Township for the benefit of real property under
development by Gardens;

Whereas, In furtherance of the Township’s prior agreements with respect to storm water design
for the Project, the Trustees believe that the Easement is in the best interests of the Township and
the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.

Be it resolved that we hereby adopt, approve, and authorize the placement of our signatures upon,
the attached Storm Water Easement Agreement.

Voted 3-0 yes

In the Best interests of the Township

How is this possibly in the best interests of the Township???? It isn’t. It also isn’t in the best interest of Nature. The amount of storm water coming off of that over developed apartment complex is going to be excessive! This is the ABC Gardens LLC development, Residences at the Greens. Do you see any retention basin or any room for rainwater to drain?

I don’t know why they would approve this, but I do know that Randy Gonzalez sits on the board for the Energy Special Improvement District (Residences at the Greens) so it is basically like they were just asking themselves if they can approve it, and the answer was yet. If that’s not shady I don’t know what is.

How can we get honesty and transparency?

Why are our Township Administrators (Vaccaro, Gozalez, Pizzino, Hawks and Thomas) not being honest with us? This is alarming. And this isn’t the first thing I’ve discovered about their dishonesty and lack of transparency.  Decisions like these, that are not in the best interests of the residents, not good for the planet, and clearly only happening to pat each other on the back. Or maybe it has something to do with the sports complex at the Hall of Fame. Why do we need both? There is more to the story and I’m going to find out what it is. Until then, we need to speak up, we need to show up to the meetings and keep them accountable for their actions.

Thank you.