Our Road to Conservation

From Jeff and Christine Smith

My wife and I were looking for some wooded property to build our home. We found the perfect site and were able to make a deal with a seller, who was Pinnacle Sports of Medina. Everything looked good but the township had other plans. They wanted to see the road extended through this beautiful property. We solicited community support for our effort, but were unable to sway the township.

The original plan was to implement a conservation easement on the property after the house was complete; to protect it and prevent it from being subdivided in the future. We changed our timeline and looked into a conservation easement option immediately in hopes of persuading the township to permit our home and preservation ideals. Although the property is relatively small at just over 10 acres, West Creek Conservancy saw the value in this property and was on-board right away.

We met with various environmental and government agencies and found this property was even more special than we thought. We soon discovered that it contained head-water tributaries of the west branch of the Yellow Creek, which flows into the Cuyahoga River, as well as multiple springs and wetlands (with plentiful skunk cabbage). What we found proved that this property has significant conservation value and the road should not be extended.

It took over two years with many meetings, a motivated buyer and seller, the assistance of an attorney and ultimately the Medina County Planning Commission to prevent the road from going through. The Conservation Easement was recorded at the end of June and the property is now protected! Many thanks to Derek and West Creek Conservancy for their foresight and willingness – we couldn’t have done this without you! And please let us also extend a sincere thank you to Pinnacle Sports for all their help and patience through the process.