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John DesForges Leaves Planning Commission

DesForges helped guide Crocker Park project from the beginning

John DesForges Leaves Planning Commission

John DesForges, a fixture in the planning of development in Westlake for 13 years, has stepped down from the Planning Commission.

DesForges joined the commission in 1999, and had served as vice-chair since 2004. From 2001-09, he was also the commission's representative to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

"In Westlake, we're blessed to have many people willing to serve," said mayor Dennis Clough when DesForges was honored with a resolution at last week's City Council meeting thanking him for his service. "John gave up many nights for meetings and preparation over the years, and it was all volunteer."

DesForges helped oversee one of the biggest projects in Westlake history, Crocker Park, as well as preliminary work on the American Greetings world headquarters project that is currently on hold.

"I think (Crocker Park) was the biggest accomplishment of my time here," DesForges said. "It was a very complicated project, and we had to weigh the concerns of the residents as well as the Crocker Park developers. I feel proud of how we were able to do that and how it came out."

Crocker Park opened in 2004 after four years of planning and construction.

"It's a tough job some days," said council president Michael Killeen to DesForges. "It's people like you that are the reason Westlake is where it's at today."

"I was a little embarrassed," DesForges said of the praise. "I'm going to miss Monday nights here. It was fun for the most part."

DesForges will be replaced on the commission by Brad Lamb, whose appointment to the commission was approved at Thursday's meeting.

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