BOA - March 18th 2014


Mayfield Village
March 18, 2014

The Board of Appeals met in regular session on Tues, March 18, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Civic Hall. Chairman Prcela presided.

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Present: Mr. Joseph Prcela (Chairman), Mr. Paul Fikaris (Chairman Pro Tem), Mrs. Shirley Shatten, Mr. Pat Caticchio, and Mr. William Russ

Absent: Ms. Diane Calta (Law Department)

Also Present: Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner) and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)


Mr. Russ, seconded by Mr. Fikaris made a motion to approve the Minutes of Oct 15, 2013.  


Ayes: Mr. Prcela, Mr. Fikaris, Mrs. Shatten, Mr. Caticchio, and Mr. Russ

Nays: None                                       

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved as Written.   


  • Election of Chairman
  • Election of Chairman Pro-Tem
  • Planning & Zoning Representative
  • Election of Secretary



Chairman Prcela opened the floor to a motion for the Board of Appeals 2014 nominations. 

Mr. Fikaris, seconded by Mr. Russ made a motion to maintain the existing 2013 slate.  

Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There was none.

The nominations were closed.

Chairman asked for a Roll Call on the nominations, the group as a whole.  


Ayes: Mr. Prcela, Mr. Fikaris, Mrs. Shatten, Mr. Caticchio, and Mr. Russ  

Nays: None                           

Motion Carried.

Joseph Prcela to serve as 2014 Chairman

Paul Fikaris to serve as 2014 Chairman Pro Tem

Paul Fikaris to serve as 2014 P & Z Representative to the Board of Appeals

Deborah Garbo to serve as 2014 Secretary



Mayfield City School District
Temporary Signage
6080 Wilson Mills Rd. (Former Library Bldg)
Inflatable Images

  1. A request for a variance from Section 1185.12 (a,b,c,d,e,); Residential One and Two Family Districts to allow for temporary building signage.


Abutting Property Owners:

Wilson Mills Road: 6140, 6072, 6050, 6040, 6030

Mayfield Board of Education:

1101 S.O.M. Center Rd.
Mayfield Hts, Ohio 44124


Chairman Prcela called the meeting to order. This is our first meeting of the year. For the record I’d like to state with us tonight we have a student from Mayfield High School, my Son John Prcela who has some interest in what’s going on with the STEM building, asked if he could come, I said by all means.

We have one item on the agenda, Case #2014-01, applicant being Mayfield City School District. The applicant is looking for temporary signage on the proposed STEM building, the former Library building. We have all reviewed the code and seen the packet of materials presented.


Chairman Prcela stated that anyone wishing to speak must be sworn in, administering the oath to the Board Members, Applicants, & Appellants and asked anyone wishing to speak to state their name and address for the record.


Introduction to STEM2M

John Folkman, Director of Business Services, Mayfield City School District introduced himself. I’d like to thank all of you for meeting just for us tonight. Mr. Folkman passed out a brochure explaining what STEM is. STEM is an acronym of course, everybody has acronyms. Our program is a little different than traditional STEM. It’s called STEM2M. That stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine. It’s a different paradigm for delivering education. It specializes in something known as project based learning.

STEM is not as much a place as it is a method of teaching. STEM can occur in a School District in numerous places. At the library, we’re going to concentrate a number of STEM activities, such as, we’ll have a presentation space. Part of the STEM philosophy is to have students develop a project, they’re coached by their Teachers, they’ll develop a solution and then they’ll present it to whoever is there to see it. Be it a company that has asked them to develop a solution for them or be it the public.

Also available will be something called the fabrication laboratory also known as a FAB Lab. It’s an area where students can go and work on different machinery to make their project. Example, it might be as intricate as having a computer numerical control (CNC) lathe. The kids will have to learn how to program that and turn out a real special widget in the CNC lathe.

Chairman Prcela asked if this is more geared towards the trades or Engineering and Medicine.

John Folkman replied, the nice thing is that it’s geared not only towards the trades, but geared in general as an educational strand the kids can take. Kids can pursue it if they have an interest in mathematics, an interest in engineering, science in general, technology. In addition to STEM, they’ll of course get their usual reading, writing & arithmetic. This will not replace the traditional education, but it is going to augment it. We’re very excited about the program.


Mr. Folkman said the reason we want the banner is of course the coming of one of the locations, which will be at the old Library. It’s on a small portion of the building. We had an earlier version that had it on a giant portion of the building. We abandoned that as not reasonable and instead we show a smaller portion. If you stand on the sidewalk by the driveway entrance on Wilson Mills, it’s very difficult to see until you turn into the driveway. You can see it, but it’s difficult to see until you’re driving in, then you see it in all its glory. It’s a temporary sign. It heralds the coming of the STEM2M Program. We figure it’ll be up anywhere between 1 ½ to 2 years. It’s not illuminated. It’s made out of a durable vinyl, attached to the building by traditional means; masonry and concrete fasteners. I believe it’s an 8 gauge vinyl. It’ll be thick enough to withstand winds. If it becomes tattered, we would take it down and repair it. We would not leave it up in a tattered state. It’s 132” high x 177” wide. The vendor who is creating and installing the sign is Hector Marinaro with Inflatable Images.

Mrs. Shatten said the design of the sign says “It’s Just the Beginning”, then in very small letters it says “Mayfield”, then it says “STEM2M”. I was driving down the street showing someone where this was going to be. They read it, didn’t see “Mayfield” and thought it was a corporation coming into that building. I would personally like to see “Mayfield” larger.

John Folkman thinks that’s a legitimate comment. We haven’t ordered it yet. We’ll definitely make adjustments.

Mr. Caticchio suggested “Mayfield Schools”. Is STEM taking over the entire Library?

John Folkman replied it’ll take over a portion of the Library. We’re still in the development stages of how much of the Library it’ll take over. We’re working also with our EXCEL TECC Program, our vocational program. They may share some of the space. We haven’t reached a final decision about who is going to go where. There’ll be a high concentration of STEM in that building.

Mr. Marrelli asked, this is temporary until the program is up and running and then you’re going to put up something permanent?

John Folkman replied, we have not made that determination yet. When we do, we’ll come back and reapply.

Mr. Marrelli said at some point you might just want to put the word STEM on the building because right now you’re identified as 7/8 and 9/10 on other parts of the School building.

John Folkman said we’ll do something. We haven’t reached that point yet in terms of design.

Mr. Marrelli asked, what’s your timeframe to get this up and running?

John Folkman replied it’s an ambitious timeframe. The initial launching of the STEM Program is to be in fall of 2015.

Mr. Marrelli asked, what kind of build-out do you have to do inside here to adapt it for what you need it for?

John Folkman replied, there will be renovations and we will of course follow the due process.

Mr. Fikaris said Shirley made a good point. You have a challenge of a lot of trees as well. To identify it from the street, that’s a challenge. I would almost swap that logo and make it bigger. I think your biggest challenge is going to be the tree right next to this sign. That’s getting pretty mature.

John Folkman agrees. Once the foliage is fully out, it could be obstructive.

Chairman Prcela said I think people pulling into the High School will be able to see it, and I think Shirley’s point is well taken. A lot of people are wondering what is exactly happening with the Library. Obviously those of us who read the newsletters from High School know that’s going to be the future home of STEM.

John Folkman said I field scores of calls daily wondering what’s going to happen to that building. It’ll be nice to put that to rest. Yes, part of the branding process will be to make sure we identify that with the Schools.

Mr. Marrelli suggested adding the web site.

John Folkman said right now they’d have to get web information through our Mayfield site.

Mr. Marrelli said if it’s going to be this big, you might as well put a web site on there.

Mr. Caticchio asked, who is managing this overall Program?

John Folkman replied, a core group of people consisting of the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent Joelle Magyar, Dr. Barnes, I’m part of the group, our Treasurer Scott Snyder and 4 or 5 other people that represent Administration and the custodial staff.

Mrs. Shatten asked if there are Teachers on it too.

John Folkman replied, we’ve recently completed a number of tours of different STEM Programs throughout Ohio. Our Assistant Superintendent took a number of Teachers for that very purpose, to get them interested and enthusiastic.

Mrs. Shatten asked Mayfield High School Student John Prcela, are they talking about the STEM Program in the School now?

John Prcela replied, not too much about STEM. Right now they’re wondering what is going to happen with the Library.

Chairman Prcela said I’m sure once this sign goes up and they get more geared towards what the program’s going to entail, I would assume it’ll be disseminated to the students.

John Folkman said absolutely. We’re early in the design process. We’re at the program development phase. We’re going to move from that to schematic design, them from schematic design we start refining it, then we get the BID documents, get approval from you folks and then we go out to BID. We’re early in the game.

Mr. Marrelli asked if they’ve been in contact with any of the manufacturing companies in Mayfield Village.

John Folkman replied, absolutely. We’re working with the Clinic, University Hospitals, Phillips, a whole bunch of folks.

Mr. Marrelli said good, because there’s a wealth of information here in the Village. 

John Folkman said this is a natural for Partnership with companies within these municipalities. Out of it comes students that may work for them. We’re hearing from companies that they don’t have a well-trained student body.

Mrs. Shatten asked if there are other School systems in our area doing this.

John Folkman replied, yes. Beachwood.

Dr. Barnes said Beachwood yes, but not as extensive as ours.

Chairman Prcela said Beaumont School is erecting a whole new facility for STEM.

John Folkman said there’s a whole bunch of STEM Programs in the Cleveland Municipal Schools. That’s where some of the early STEM development took place in Northeast Ohio.

Mrs. Shatten asked, Orange & Solon Schools?

Dr. Barnes replied, no. We’re definitely out in front of this and we’re proud of that.

Mr. Caticchio asked what school children, grade & ages will participate in this program.

Dr. Barnes replied, K – 12. The starting point for the initial launching of the initiative is in the Middle School. The Middle School will feed into the High School and then it will filter down. The intent is for it to be a K – 12 approach.


Mr. Caticchio asked, not that’s in any of our business, but how is this whole thing financed?

John Folkman replied, it’s absolutely your business. It’s not financed by additional tax dollars. It’s financed in the main by leveraging existing tax dollars that people have already passed. We will not be out to the voters saying we need more money for our STEM Program.

Dr. Barnes said and repurposing our current Science and Math Teachers to introduce to Students problem based learning.

John Folkman said we are absolutely excited about this program. It will put Mayfield on the vanguard. 

Chairman Prcela thinks it’s great for the School District and great for the Students. I know you guys will do a great job on it. That was a good presentation. I appreciate it. I do have a question for Mr. Marrelli on the variances.

Variances Requested

Mr. Marrelli said the School is in a residential district. Signage in residential districts is limited to addresses, names, things of that nature. Beyond that part, the temporary sign provision in 1185.03 only allows up to 30 days and they need 2 years. We have a banner in a residential district that’s not permitted and we have 23 months more than they would be allowed if they were granted a variance for a banner in a residential district. We’re seeking two variances; 1) Type of sign 2) Time Limit.

Chairman Prcela notes for the record that this notice mailing went out to residents in a 300 foot radius of the School and we have no residents here with argument against the signage.

John Folkman said we received no calls either on the notice.

Chairman Prcela said with regard to the 30 days, if we were to approve it, I think we’d have to put a time limit on, if they exceed it, they’d have to come back to renew it.

Mr. Marrelli said if you’re anticipating a two year time limit, you’d give a variance for 23 months.

Chairman Prcela said if we do grant a variance of that duration, we’d have to stipulate if it becomes tattered, worn or faded, it should be replaced. Do we have the ability to go longer than one year approval?

Mr. Marrelli replied, based on the code and the ability of the Board, if you look at the language in 1185.09 VARIANCE, it talks about “Where strict application would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships”. They’re making a request for two years because their Program and the build-out and all the preparation could go a full two years.

Chairman Prcela said the main purpose of the sign is for community awareness and to generate interest in the Program which I think is a noble effort. I’d like to open it up at this point for discussion amongst the Board.

Comments by the Board

Mrs. Shatten would like “Mayfield Schools” put on the sign.

Mr. Caticchio said let’s clarify that this isn’t really under the auspices of the Mayfield School System, is it?

John Folkman said yes it is. It will be our Program.

Mr. Caticchio asked who owns the building.

John Folkman replied, Mayfield City School District owns the building. We owned the building the entire time the Library was there. We leased it to them for $1.00 / yr.

Mr. Fikaris suggests they think about some of those design issues. You have a nice logo there, emphasize that. You’re going to be looking at “It’s Just The Beginning” for two years, you may want to rethink that, maybe put that on the bottom. If this was going up for 6 months, I could see that, not for 2 years. Maybe use your logo and web site, make it nice and simple and I think you’ll be pleased.

John Folkman agrees. 

Mr. Russ concurs with recommendations. Has no concerns.

Mr. Caticchio’s only concern was already brought up, that the sign will be well maintained.

Chairman Prcela said with regards to the design comments by Shirley & Paul, I assume the comments will be taken in good faith.

Mr. Marrelli would think they could take that back to the designer and move things around to make it more effective.

John Folkman said absolutely.


Mr. Caticchio, seconded by Mrs. Shatten made a motion to approve:

  1. A variance from Section 1185.12 to allow for temporary building signage for Mayfield City School District at 6080 Wilson Mills Rd.
  2. A 23 month variance from Section 1185.03 to allow for temporary building signage for Mayfield City School District at 6080 Wilson Mills Rd for a two year time period with conditions as noted:
  • Maintenance. Sign to be replaced should it become tattered, worn or faded.
  • Design Guidelines. Design to be modified based on Board comments.
  • Time Limit. Temporary Banner shall be permitted for a maximum of two years.



AYES: Mr. Prcela, Mr. Fikaris, Mrs. Shatten, Mr. Caticchio, and Mr. Russ            

NAYS: None                                            

Motion Carried.  Variances Approved with Conditions As Noted.

Right to Appeal

Chairman ProTem Fikaris stated written notice will be mailed by the Building Department confirming the decision and any interested party has the right to appeal within 10 days.

John Folkman asked Mr. Marrelli if this needs to go to the Council.

Mr. Marrelli replied it does not. I would expect to see a re-design and then I can issue a permit.

John Folkman and Dr. Barnes thanked the Board for their consideration.


Mr. Caticchio, seconded by Mr. Russ made a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Ayes: All

Nays: None                             

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.