Citizens for Yellow Creek

 

CITIZENS FOR YELLOW CREEK

 Is a group of concerned citizens who acknowledge the need to preserve and protect and even enhance the Yellow Creek, recognized for its high-water quality and its natural beauty; and all 31 square miles of its watershed. However, we object to and oppose the formation of a watershed conservancy district – essentially an unelected, autonomous layer of bureaucracy that could be created with a petition from just 500 residents – as the best way to do that. Our Mission is to: Educate residents and business owners within the Yellow Creek Watershed about how establishment of a conservancy district would negatively affect them; Explain/secure alternatives to the creation of a conservancy district; Defeat the establishment of a watershed conservancy district especially through education. Reasons we believe the formation of Conservancy District,is not a good option: • The establishment of a conservancy district would add an unaccountable, unelected bureaucracy that would burden all property owners within the watershed; • A conservancy district would serve the interest of a few property owners at the expense of every other property owner within the watershed; • The Conservancy would have unlimited authority to assess all costs to operate the Conservancy on all property owners within the District, regardless of whether the property is affected by Yellow Creek flooding. • Once the judges approve the creation of the conservancy district, they can levy a permanent assessment on parcel owners,from the initial millage, to pay for the analysis of the plan. •  It has the power of eminent domain (it can take private property). • It creates a government bureaucracy that is unaccountable to the voters or even to the judges that establish the district’s board. • The formation of a Conservancy District is based on a 100 year old Ohio Revised Code law that is outdated and not appropriate for this century. • Finally, the watershed conservancy district is only one of many possible solutions available to address the issue of flooding.
Our Strategy is to: Obtain signatures of at least 500 registered voters within the watershed on a petition in opposition to the establishment of a watershed conservancy district; this petition, once vetted, would be presented in court to provide a counterweight to any petition presented proposing such establishment; Write letters to property owners within the watershed explaining our position, and educating property owners about what the negative effects would be if a watershed conservancy district were to be established; Write letters to government officials (especially Bath Township Trustees) in opposition to the formation of a Conservancy District Obtain the names and addresses of signers of a petition in favor of a conservancy district and contact them to make sure they understand the possible negative consequences of establishing a watershed conservancy district, so that they may withdraw their names from that petition if they choose; Advertise in publications within the watershed to explain the negative consequences of a watershed conservancy district, and alternatives that may be available.

A WATERSHED IS A PLACE

 

It is an area of land in which all the water or snowmelt drains to a single stream, river, or lake.

 

A WATERSHED IS ALSO A SYSTEM

It is a complex system of interactions between the land, water, plants, animals, and man-made elements that exist within its boundaries. Those interactions clean the water and support the habitat that, in turn, supports life.

 

The Watershed Book A citizen's guide to healthy streams and clean water, written by the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization

 

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

THE YELLOW CREEK WATERSHED IS LOCATED NORTHWEST OF AKRON AND SOUTH OF CLEVELAND, OHIO.

 

Yellow Creek and its North Fork are about 17 miles long.  The watershed covers 31 square miles. Yellow Creek drains east into the Cuyahoga River and is one of 26 watersheds in the Cuyahoga basin.

 

The southern edge of the Yellow Creek Watershed designates the continental divide. The water in the adjacent Wolf Creek Watershed flows south to the Ohio River and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.

The boundaries of municipalities are often straight and follow roadways. Watersheds follow the contours of the land and drain from higher to lower areas. Much of the head waters of Yellow Creek are located in Richfield, Granger, Sharon, Copley, and Fairlawn. Land usage in one municipality can have a great effect on the adjacent township, city, or village. This makes the control of the health of the watershed difficult.

 

 

Streets in Bath in Watershed

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WATERSHED HEALTH IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE:

 

Watersheds are delicate environments which can be damaged easily by careless development. However, use of our land is inevitable. Poorly designed land use is expensive!  It can lead to:

 Increased risk of erosion to and flooding in downstream communities as well as up-stream areas;

 Increased public health risks from poor water quality;

 Increased costs for dredging and sediment disposal in the navigation channel;

 Poor water quality impacting aquatic life.

 

IMPERVIOUS SURFACES: Impervious surfaces are inevitable given development. Roof tops, paved drives, roadways and parking lots cannot be avoided. How we handle the runoff from these impervious surfaces becomes the problem. Large expanses of lawns are also considered impervious. The root system in these lawns is so shallow that most rain water runs off instead of soaking deeply into the ground.

 

NON-POINT SOURCE POLLUTION:  Non-point Source Pollution happens when rain runs off farmland, city streets, construction sites, and suburban lawns, roofs and driveways and enters waterways. Runoff during a storm collects pollutants such as lawn chemicals, pet waste, automotive fluids, household solvents, dirt and debris. If not filtered through treatment plants or naturally through the ground, these pollutants end up in our local streams and lakes. Polluted runoff is the nation's greatest threat to clean water as was experienced in recent years with the algae bloom in western Lake Erie.

 

RAIN EVENTS: Heavy rain events such as the ones experienced locally in 2011 and 2014 are becoming more common,demonstrates the need for all watershed residents to help slow storm water by keeping as much as possible on their properties to filter through the ground not funnel off quickly.  [ IF NOT, CHANGE THIS SECTION TO READ:  The flooding and damage from such rain events necessitates the need for all watershed residents to help slow storm water by keeping as much of it as possible on their properties, allowing it to filter through the ground not funnel off quickly.

 

FAILING SEPTIC SYSTEMS: Many areas in the Yellow Creek Watershed are not sewered, so homes and businesses in those communities depend on septic systems; however, failing septic systems may cause serious pollution and health problems not to mention, great expense to the home owner. The solution can be as simple as regular maintenance of those systems.

 

LOSS OF WOODED AREAS AND NATURAL UNDERGROWTH: Development often results in the conversion of wooded areas to impervious surfaces, buildings, and lawns, all of which are poor at detaining storm water. Where practical, preservation or restoration of wooded areas will help control runoff.

 

 

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