History of Planning

The City of Westlake has benefited significantly from the contributions of two previous Directors of Planning, Ken Crandall and Bob Parry enjoyed both the support of the community and political leaders to lay the foundation the City we know today.

The Roots of City Planning

The roots of the planning tradition in Westlake were inspired in part by the "City Beautiful" movement, a reform philosophy of architecture and urban planning that first flourished during the 1890s and 1900s. It's intent of introducing beautification and monumental grandeur in cities to the City Planning discipline being recognized as a profession.

Although beautification efforts have  been successfully fought and won for years in Westlake with strict sign and tree ordinances and design guidelines (prepared by Bob Parry), the monumental grandeur portion of the philosophy has only recently been fulfilled in Westlake with the construction of the current City Hall near the intersection of Hilliard Boulevard and Dover Center Road and portions of Crocker Park, a mix use zone of the City near Detroit Road and Crocker Roads.

Reign S. Hadsell, a high school civics and history teacher when the City was known as Dover Village and coauthor of the book. “A History and Civics of Dover Village” was the first to link the "City Beautiful" movement to the developments in Westlake. He used draft portions of the book in the civics classes here in the 1920s and 1930s. In that book, Mr. Hadsell calls for both the removal of unsightly roadside signage and the planting of trees.

He stated that: “…a city, to be beautiful, must have attractive homes. However, to get full value from attractive homes, we must have a planned community.”  

Dover’s Planning Commission was created by an ordinance of the Village Council in the 1920s. The first zoning ordinance was passed in 1940.

Ken Crandell

Westlake became a city in 1957 as it was experiencing its first wave of transformation from agricultural community to a suburban city.  Ken Crandall, a graduate Cornell University in planning and holding his certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners, was hired in the same year as an employee of the Regional Planning Commission.

He was assigned as a planner to Westlake and involved in the creation of the first Guide Plan for Westlake in 1963. Completed copies were available at the community barber shop! He also laid out the alignment of I-90 through Westlake and the location of the Westlake City Schools. He continued to serve until 1981.

Robert Parry

Robert Parry oversaw the department during the years that Westlake was the fastest growing community in Cuyahoga County. He earned his degree in planning at The Ohio State University and his certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Bob Parry supervised the editing of the update to Guide Plan in 1984 as Deputy Director of the Cuyahoga County Regional Planning Commission. He was hired by Mayor Dennis Clough during a critical time in Westlake’s development when the physical character of the community could have been compromised.

Among his accomplishments while Planning Director was  working with the administration, City Council, and the private sector during the creation of Crocker Park. His accomplishments included the extension of Crocker Road, business incentives, Recreation Center and other public facilities, zoning code updates to allow Cluster Housing and Planned Unit Developments, and directing a great Westlake Bicentennial Year of events in 2011.

Source: Will Krause, AICP, Assistant Director of Planning and Economic Development.

Special Event: Fifty Years of Planning in Westlake

The Westlake Historical Society’s “Fifty Years of Planning in Westlake” with special guest speakers, Ken Crandall and Bob Parry was held as a free event open to the public at Thursday, September 15 at Westlake Recreation Center. 

These men led planning for the City of Westlake in 1957-1981 and 1987-2013, respectively and significantly contributed to making Westlake the community we enjoy today. 

Map of the City of Westlake