FAQ: Brookstone Blvd & Shamrock Blvd Property Dispute with the City of Mentor

Brookstone Blvd & Shamrock Blvd Property Dispute
February 2024

Mentor City Council is proposing Ordinance No.26-O-014 which seeks to put 215 acres of land in conservation that the City of Mentor acquired in 2020 within Painesville City limits. Placing the land into conservation would stop future economic development and potentially derail the future SR 44/Jackson Street Interchange proposed in the Painesville area off Shamrock Blvd. and Jackson St.



Q: Is the land in Painesville or Mentor? Why does this make a difference?

A: The 215 acres of land is in Painesville City. It is Painesville City’s jurisdiction, Painesville City zoning code, Painesville City utilities and Painesville City tax revenue. The City of Mentor became the property owners of the 215 acres of land as the result of a settlement agreement with the previous property owner, Shamrock Business Center Ltd. The property was part of an agreement after Shamrock Business Center, Ltd. was required to put in a turn lane on Diamond Centre Drive and failed to do so. The City of Mentor put in the lane at a cost of approximately $800,000. The 215 acres was provided by Shamrock Business Center Ltd. in exchange for not having to pay back the City of Mentor for the turn lane. The City of Painesville had no control of, or obligation to, the City of Mentor regarding Mentor’s roadway on Diamond Centre Drive.


The 215 acres remains in Painesville City limits. It is not annexed land to the City of Mentor.


Q: Why would Mentor want land outside of their city limits? Is it legal?

A: Neighboring cities can acquire property outside their city limits for the purpose of a public use. An example would be Painesville’s Water Plant, which is located outside of city limits. Generally, the acquisition of land in another community is for a very specific public purpose.


The City of Mentor is proposing to retain the 215 acres of land as vacant land, not open to the public. This action not only interferes with the planned future economic development and job growth within Painesville, it also adversely impacts the Riverside School District.


Q: What is land conservation and how is it used?

A: Land conservation is the long-term protection and management of unused land resources.


However, this 215-acre property has been delineated and determined to be not a good candidate for conservation based on discussions by various conservation groups and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is an area sandwiched between industrial and retail properties, bordering two busy highways. One merely needs to drive by this area to see that is of low environmental quality and unfit for conservation purposes.


Q: How much is this costing tax payers?

A: For Painesville residents, the Riverside School District will lose roughly $50,000 a year in tax revenue for the property as it stands now. The bigger implication is the land potential, which if developed, would generate significant additional income tax for the city and significant property tax to the school district. All this equates to the loss of tax revenue which pays for roads, infrastructure, and services to Painesville residents and students.


When the City of Mentor acquired the property, they requested that it become tax-exempt and the exemption was granted to the City of Mentor by the State of Ohio. However, the Riverside School District has filed an appeal in this case to prevent Mentor from financially injuring the school district. This hearing is scheduled to be heard in May 2024.  


For Mentor residents, Mentor City Council’s attempt to hold onto the 215 acres of land is giving up millions in potential revenue. The City of Painesville has proposed a 50/50 Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) with the City of Mentor for this property which has the potential to conservatively generate $4.7 million in income tax for the City of Mentor over the next 20 years. This is in addition to the profit Mentor will gain from selling the land. Painesville would be responsible for all infrastructure and services, costing the City of Mentor nothing in this agreement and returning at least $7 million to Mentor’s tax payers. This number would continue to rise as the property is developed.


Q: What has Painesville City proposed? What has Mentor proposed?

A: The City of Painesville has continued to sit at the table with the proposed 50/50 JEDD agreement. The proposed JEDD would also eliminate Mentor’s traffic concerns as it would finance any necessary road improvements. The City of Painesville is also seeking additional regional grant funding to improve the interchanges in that area, including the off ramp at Heisley Road and SR 2, creating a better traffic flow in all directions at the Diamond Centre Drive / Heisley Road intersection.


The City of Mentor has proposed to place the land in conservation in order to avoid paying property tax to the local school system and block economic development plans in Painesville City to the detriment of the entire region, primarily in the loss of hundreds of potential jobs.


Q: What is the history of this site?

A: It’s a long history.

  • In 1996, Painesville City annexed 480 acres of land from Painesville Township that includes the property in question, for public infrastructure (roads, storm water improvements and utilities) to be extended for economic development purposes and new residential development. The City of Mentor physically blocked the roadway at Diamond Centre Drive along the city boundary in order to prevent traffic from entering the newly acquired Painesville City territory.
  • In 2002 a lawsuit was filed by the City of Painesville and the developer Shamrock Business Center, Ltd. against the City of Mentor for the wrongful closure of a public roadway.
  • In June of 2003, the case was settled with a legal agreement for the road to remain open and for all parties to cooperate in future roadway development, including the proposed SR 44 interchange improvement at Jackson Street.
  • In 2008, all parties further agreed that Shamrock Business Center, Ltd. would construct a dual left turn lane in Mentor at the appropriate time, to deal with traffic concerns.
  • By 2019, Shamrock Business Center Ltd. had failed to construct the dual left turn lanes in a timely fashion and failed to reimburse the City of Mentor for the dual left turn lane which Mentor added on their own. At no time was the City of Painesville required to construct, or pay for, road improvements in the City of Mentor. Mentor subsequently placed Painesville City on notice that they intended to once again close Diamond Centre Drive at the boundary line due to the failure of the developer to construct or pay for the dual left turn lanes. Painesville City successfully pursued legal action to prevent the proposed closure.
  • In 2020, as a result of the developer’s failure to act as required by the court agreement, the City of Mentor ultimately acquired the 215 acres of land that remained undeveloped in Painesville City limits in exchange for the lack of payment for the dual left turn lane in Mentor.
  • Mentor filed for a public use tax exemption from the State of Ohio, which was granted in 2023 thereby depriving the school district of all property tax dollars due on the acreage. The decision for tax exemption is now on appeal.


Q: What can I do to voice my opinion as a Painesville or Mentor resident?

A:  Talk to your state representatives to express your concerns regarding one community owning property in another community in order to prevent economic development.


In addition, contact Mentor City Council President Sean Blake to share your feedback.