2008 Rating the Suburbs - #2 Richfield Village

A wide, grassy meadow sits beside a lonely stretch of state Route 303, cradled by Interstate 271. There’s not a trace of the coliseum left. It’s as if Nick Mileti’s grandiose dream was just that: a dream. And that is just fine with Richfield. “The struggle in our zoning and land-use plan has been not to encourage rapid growth, but to preserve this sense of community that people really appreciate,” says Mayor Michael Lyons. Case in point, the village recently acquired surrounding land to use as a park for preservation and recreation. The 3,500 residents have also witnessed an average of 10 housing starts a year for the past 30 years, he says. It’s a lot like that meadow: expansive, quiet, not in any hurry to get anywhere. Instead of building a new town hall, it renovated and added to the old one. One fast-food restaurant and one gas station are relegated to the outskirts of town. And in the center of the village, well, they knocked down a couple shabby buildings to create a tiny grassy meadow, where on a recent evening the locals set up the village’s first farmers market.
population: 3,578
square miles: 10
school district: Revere Local Schools
percentage parkland: 35%
The first ever WWF (now WWE) Survivor Series was held at the Richfield Coliseum in 1987.

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