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Beachwood – an innovative, dynamic, progressive city

Welcome to Beachwood. In the past year, Beachwood has been named to America’s 50 best cities to live in by 24/7 Wall Street, was named eighth most livable city in Ohio by the national chamber of commerce and just received its third top-three finish in four years from Cleveland Magazine’s “Rating the Suburbs.” Editors and businesses nationwide have taken notice of our outstanding municipal services, strong economic base, low tax rates and award-winning schools.

Even before the onset of COVID-19, Beachwood’s safety, fire and rescue services have been our highest priority. Our police and fire and rescue departments have remained fully staffed throughout the pandemic. The Beachwood Police Department is continually increasing patrols in high-traffic areas, and our two K-9 units have seamlessly integrated with the department.

Our fire and rescue department has diversified its personnel through recent hires and will welcome a new fire engine into its bay later this summer. In the interest of continuing to keep Beachwood healthy, the city purchased 10,000 fabric masks. These masks were distributed in a drive-through at our city hall parking lot and more than half were given away in three days. It’s great to see people wearing these masks while running errands or walking around Beachwood.

Our public works department continues to provide unmatched programs for street maintenance, snow plowing, rubbish pickup, including bringing rubbish bins to and from the tree lawn for seniors or residents with disabilities who have nobody at home to help with this task– and city beautification. Our community services department provides the broadest range of in-person, virtual and wellness programs available to residents of all ages, including thousands of wellness-check phone calls to our senior residents and hundreds of summer fun boxes filled with activities for children and youth.

Beachwood’s city properties have expanded their use over the past year. Barkwood Dog Park, a new addition to Beachwood City Park East, has welcomed hundreds of residents and their dogs to Ohio’s only all-synthetic-turf dog park. Residents have especially enjoyed the sense of camaraderie among Barkwood members and also that their dogs’ paws remain sparkling clean: no mud, even on the rainiest days.

A new initiative for summer 2020 is our resident community garden. Forty raised garden beds were constructed on an out-of-use basketball court and all of the plots were reserved within one week. We look forward to discussing a more permanent location once this year’s growing season is over.

Beachwood is progressive in its management. We are evaluating plans to replace older street lights with energy-efficient and brighter LEDs. We are reviewing proposals to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs in our city buildings – everything from improved heating systems to the use of solar panels. We are exploring the creation of a Geographic Information System to help every department make more informed decisions. Looking to the future, we are developing a fleet-management plan to include hybrid and electric vehicles.

Economic development is the lifeblood of our city. Our economic development department continues to aggressively market Beachwood, develop new incentives to attract businesses and look at big-picture projects to redefine our commercial development, all with the goal of keeping our taxes low and our service level high. To make our city even more attractive to developers, we are comprehensively amending our zoning code for the first time in 20 years.

Beachwood Place is home to Northeast Ohio’s only Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom department stores. We recently welcomed Civista Bank, Chemical Bank, Rose Senior Living, The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, plus major renovations at the Beachwood Apartments by Albion, Cleveland Clinic Family Health & Surgical Center, Menorah Park and The Orlean Company.

New restaurants added to our dining scene include Rosso Italia and Blu, the Restaurant. We are especially proud to have representation in our city from all four major health care systems, including the Lake Health Beachwood Medical Center, and look forward to the expansion of University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.

Beachwood is innovative, dynamic and progressive. We are building on successes, expanding our commercial base and continuously improving the quality of life for our community. We welcome you to Beachwood.

Martin S. Horwitz is mayor of the city of Beachwood.