"Special improvement district to support property owners experiencing erosion"
A one-lane road and a narrow patch of grass lie between Greg Lawrence’s home and Lake Erie.
“It’s prime (real estate). Once you get in — and you usually get in because you know somebody,” he said. “So once you get in, you stay.”
Lawrence grew up in Euclid, graduated from Euclid High School and operates several businesses in the city like Lakeshore Coffee House and HRI Realty Group. He settled into his lakeshore home with his family in 1988.
One of the deciding factors for purchasing the home was that it had adequate erosion control, which he didn’t have to finance himself. Before he moved in, a break wall was installed to protect against erosion.
“It’s about $1,000 a foot to put in breakwall material, so it’s pretty expensive. I was able to avoid a $60,000 to $75,000 breakwall at that time,” he said.
Today, if Lawrence didn’t have the breakwall or couldn’t afford to pay for one, he’d be eligible to petition the city of Euclid to form a special improvement district (SID).
Euclid and 12 municipalities in Lake County have incorporated a SID to help homeowners on the lakefront pay for erosion control.
This particular SID was created after SB 51 passed in 2018. The bill added shoreline improvement projects to the list of public projects that can be financed by a special improvement district. The SID was incorporated as a nonprofit in March.
“It [SID] gives them access to favorable financing through the issuance of tax exempt bonds, and it also allows them to spread the payments out and get them collected through special assessments on their taxes,” said Amanda Gordon, an attorney at McDonald Hopkins LLC, who organized and oversees the SID.