WALTON HILLS, incorporated as a village in 1951, is 13 mi. southeast of Cleveland and is bounded on the north by MAPLE HTS., on the east by BEDFORD and OAKWOOD, on the west by VALLEY VIEW, and on the south by Summit County. It occupies 6.8 sq. mi. Walton Hills was created from the southwestern part of Bedford Twp. In 1922, real-estate developer R. B. Hartwig platted a subdivision called Robinhurst Heights, which Hartwig envisioned as housing for low-income workers in industries he hoped to attract along Northfield Rd. Had the Great Depression not stalled plans, Robinhurst Hts. might have formed the nucleus of the future village. Instead, however, in 1937 real-estate developer Ludwig S. Conelly bought the J. C. Walton farm and laid roads following the natural contours of the land. The isolated location of the homesites on the new Walton Rd. led to the growth of a community zoned primarily for spacious country homes. Conelly also set aside about 10% of the Walton Hills tract for INDUSTRY.
In 1954, the FORD MOTOR CO. Stamping Plant opened on part of the latter allotment. Efforts to create an exclusive country village were not completely successful. Since ZONING required residential lots to have a minimum of 40,000 sq. ft. (neighboring Maple Hts. only required 6,000 sq. ft.), some residents and developers sought the annexation of all or part of Walton Hills to Maple Hts. This issue was a continuing legal battle. Walton Hills schools, also a subject of litigation, have been part of the Bedford City School District. In 2004, more than 75% of property owners petitioned to leave the district to join the wealthier Cuyahoga Heights Schools, a move that was ultimately denied when it reached the Ohio Supreme Court on appeal in 2010. The city has also been home to a parochial and a vocational school. Like a number of other area SUBURBS, Walton Hills has suffered the loss of major businesses, including the closing of the Ford plant in 2014 and the move of the Arhaus Furniture headquarters to Boston Hts. in neighboring Summit County in 2015. Recreational facilities have included 2 golf courses. Portions of the MGM Northfield Park racetrack and casino, CLEVELAND METROPARKS Bedford Reservation, and CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK lie within the village’s borders. Walton Hills has operated under a mayor-council form of government. The population in 1990 was 2,371 and in 2010 was 2,281. According to estimates, the population has remained largely stable since that time. AFRICAN AMERICANS, who accounted for only 2% of the Walton Hills population in 2000, now comprise nearly 10% of the village.
Updated by Mark Souther
Last updated: 10/6/2019