BOA: November 21st 2017

Mayfield Village
Nov 21, 2017

The Board of Appeals met in regular session on Tues, Nov 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room. Chairman Prcela presided.


Present: Mr. Joseph Prcela (Chairman), Mrs. Alexandra Jeanblanc, and Mr. John Michalko

Also Present: Mr. Joseph Diemert (Law Director), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)

Absent: Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman Pro Tem) and Mr. Stivo DiFranco


Consideration of minutes postponed to next meeting date.



Artis Senior Living East Commons
285 NCB
PP # 831-05-015
Polaris Engineering & Surveying, Inc.

  1. A request for a 25’ building side setback variance from section 1173.05 to allow for construction of Artis Senior Living Facility.
  2. A request for a 25’ parking setback variance from section 1173.05 to allow for construction of Artis Senior Living Facility.
  3. A request for a 2’ fence height variance from Section 1157.08 (b) to allow for an 8’ high fence along the south side line.

Abutting Property Owners:

300 NCB                     Progressive Insurance Co.
280 NCB                     Governor’s Village
290 NCB                     Altercare Rehabilitation
6576 White Rd.           Mt. Sinai Cemetery
294 SOM Ctr Rd.         Charles Kinnaird


Chairman Prcela called the meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals to order. We have a revised agenda to include three items instead of two. Just as a note of order so everybody understands, we have a quorum with three members but our rules require the affirmative vote of all three of us for any official action.


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

Dustin Keeney, P.E., CPESC, with Polaris Engineering & Surveying introduced himself.

Thomas Jones, Real Estate Consultant with Artis Senior Living introduced himself.

Chairman Prcela turned the floor over to the applicant.

Dustin Keeney begins with proposed building and parking site plan. We submitted a month ago with virtually the same layout, same parking configuration and the same building but it was shifted further to the south. The way it was originally submitted, it did comply with the 10’ side parking setback and the 30’ building setback. A couple days after the submittal, we got a message from John who reviewed it from a staff perspective and thought this is one of those situations where moving things to the north would actually be a benefit possibly to save a cluster of trees along the south property line between the soccer fields and the proposed building and the proposed parking.

Mr. Cappello states, the soccer fields are to the south. The north is Village owned property that we bought from Mt. Sinai Cemetery years ago. We own both sides, north & south. Directly across the street is Altercare and Mr. Kinnaird is to the east. To the north used to be the Lazzaro property that the Village bought and consolidated it with that parcel.

Dustin Keeney said, shifting the building to the north is basically why we’re here. There was 100’ side building setback adjacent to the residential and we’re just a shade over 75’ and for the sake of the parking, it’s a 60’ parking setback and we’re right at 35’, so we need the 25’ variance to be able to shift things.

Mr. Marrelli said, if you go back into history, the plan before this was multiple buildings and they were within 10’ of that north property line with a variance. We looked at it and thought maybe the building could be better centered on that property and then framed with woods which I think this accomplishes. Initially I asked them to look at 50 feet, but that would have put the parking out of the picture. We settled on 25 feet and we’ll be able to keep a strand of trees on that south side which helps us with the soccer fields and helps Mr. Kinnaird with his view towards Progressive’s 5-story buildings.

Mr. Cappello said, the soccer fields are like two little plateaus. Going to the west to the east the proposed building is about 11’. The good news is it’s not like you’re looking at a flat piece of ground. The soccer fields are elevated about 11’ above the grade. When you’re on the soccer field you’re going to be looking into that roof pretty much.

Chairman Prcela asked, is that tree line existing?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes. 

Mrs. Jeanblanc asked, do we know that it’s roof height and not window height?

Mr. Marrelli replied, window height would be about 6’.

Mr. Cappello said, the building’s finished floor height is at 896’, the soccer field elevation at 907’, if the floor to ceiling height is 10 feet high, the ceiling elevation will be approximately the same as the soccer field grade of 906’. So, grade wise, from soccer fields, you’re looking in the rafters.

Chuck Kinnaird, 294 SOM Ctr. Rd introduced himself and was sworn in by Chairman Prcela. If anyone knows the property better than anybody, it’s me. I collected golf balls when it was a golf course. I took some pictures tonight on my phone that I could share, I was roughly about 50-75 yards on the soccer field. Your 8’ fence will be down here, you’re going to look right into the windows of the houses. That 25’ of trees, there’s not a lot there. I walked into the woods, there’s a lot of better foliage trees probably 35-40’ in there with full branches. Most of the woods that’s in there, is maples and there’s just telephone poles and a canopy. If you go 25 feet, it’s just going to be like an open window, your residents will be able to see people running around on the soccer field. There are prevailing winds that come off that soccer field pretty hard, the more trees you have, the better the wind break you have. So, if there’s any way you could put the fence further back headed north a little bit it’s a benefit for Mayfield Village for buffering of the soccer field and also for your privacy. 

Mrs. Jeanblanc asked, do you think they almost need a taller fence?

Chuck Kinnaird replied, they do, I can see well into the woods 50 – 75 yards in on the soccer field.

Mr. Cappello said, you have to remember, the residents will have window shades, curtains. Whatever they plan with landscaping, any trees will help.

Mr. Marrelli said, the landscape plan’s being developed. I’m sure your landscaper will figure out how to place your bushes, trees, ferns and evergreens.

Mr. Cappello said, the positive thing with people playing soccer, they’re playing north/south and not east/west.  

Mr. Michalko asked, with the previous variances granted, if you stayed back where it was, you’d be taking down more existing trees that are there now?

Dustin Keeney replied, at that point in time, basically the trees would be wiped off the property, there wouldn’t be any trees left.

Mr. Cappello said, for the record, Mr. Kinnaird is sharing photos on his cell that show the low bushes and scrub along the property line and then the trees.

Chairman Prcela asked Mr. Kinnaird, as an abutting neighbor of the property owner, you’re in support of the variance to move the building further north?

Chuck Kinnaird replied, yes.

Mr. Marrelli said, so I think you understand why we asked for those two 25’ variances.

Chairman Prcela replied, the 25’ parking setback I’m having a hard time understanding.

Mr. Cappello said, the way this is connected, the layout, this is a unit, it’s their model. Everything’s been shifted. Again, it wasn’t them who came to us. We asked, can you move it?

Chairman Prcela said, based on what I’m seeing, I don’t think there’s a way we can move it even further north.

Mr. Marrelli replied, I don’t think it makes any difference.

Chairman Prcela asked, was the buffering discussed in Planning & Zoning?

Mr. Marrelli replied, the landscaping plan hasn’t been developed yet. I’m sure they’re going to be sensitive to looking at how to fill in some of these open areas.

Chairman Prcela said, I’m not a huge fan of mounding.

Mr. Marrelli said, that’s another subject. For his property, there’s a mounding and plantings plan for screening.

Mr. Cappello brings attention to the two little kidney shapes on the site plan, those are areas of mounding on Kinnaird’s property. This is a construction site, there may be potential for using spoils on site in a way that would benefit Mr. Kinnaird. 

Mr. Marrelli said, there’s a preliminary agreement between your partner, Mr. Hicks and Mr. Kinnaird to work out some kind of scenario where everybody’s happy with the landscaping whether you guys pay for it or you guys do it.

Thomas Jones said, this sketch was based on Mr. Kinnaird and me walking his property. His concerns were not necessarily with our property because we’re going to shield him from existing lighting on North Commons, but he wanted to focus on the line of Progressive which is why this island in the bottom left corner. Similar situation with Altercare shielding lights, which is why the island in the top right corner. So hopefully with the 30 feet of woods, plus the 8’ fence, and plus our building being zero foot candle lighting, that all should help. 

Mr. Michalko asked, where the two properties meet, will it be graded away so that he does not get flooded?

Mr. Cappello replied yes, I’m sure he’s going to do that. It also tends to flow to the north naturally.

Dustin Keeney said, the intent would be any water that comes from the south from the soccer fields would be cut off and brought around the back.

Mr. Kinnaird said, there’s a slight grade from North Commons to my house, my house is lower, maybe 4 or 5 feet. Doug a few years back put in a French drain over here.

Mr. Marrelli said, that should take all of that water out of the woods and put it out of your yard.

Chairman Prcela asked John just to be clear, have we notified the abutting property residents within the certain radius?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes. It’s us, Chuck, Mt. Sinai Cemetery, Governor’s Village, Altercare and Progressive.

  • Fence

Mr. Kinnaird asked, is there any consideration as far as moving the fence in, closer into the building to get some more trees in there, on your side and my side.

Thomas Jones replied, we’ve already added more ground, we’ve already actually done that from the original proposal. 

Mrs. Jeanblanc asked, do I recall there was a safety reason for the residents to have an 8’ fence? It was something about them being able to jump the fence.

Mr. Marrelli replied, it was something about a resident that was a former football player.

Mr. Michalko asked, is that 8’ including the lattice?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes.

Chairman Prcela asked, do you have an elevation drawing to show us?

Dustin Keeney showed a solid fence with the lattice on top.

Thomas Jones said, from anecdotal comments, Mr. Berns was under the belief that an 8’ fence was allowed on all sides.

Mr. Marrelli clarifies. We’re zoned residential up here, there’s nobody using it. This is zoned Office/Lab, so literally the way this reads is, the fence can separate residential from nonresidential. So, what’s this use, it’s zoned commercial but it’s used as residential. Literally, this is residential and that’s residential, so you can’t put an 8’ high fence there. The whole deal is this is under a “Use” variance as you know. We put a residential use on a commercial property. So when you try to apply the code, it’s nearly impossible.

Mr. Diemert states, I understand what John’s saying, but I think where people are residing that is a commercial use.

Mr. Marrelli said, institutional we don’t really have.

Mr. Diemert said, let’s just go with the zoning at what it is.

Mr. Marrelli said, if you go with the zoning, this is commercial to residential, the 8’ fence is good there. This is not residential, it’s a soccer field, but zoned commercial, so you have commercial to commercial. We’re good here the way this is written, we’re good here the way this is written, we’re actually not good here because it’s commercial to commercial. It could be 6’ high, but not 8’ because it’s not separating residential. It’s not houses and I think that’s what this was written for. If there’s a business against a house, you could put the 8’ fence. I still say the south property line needs a 2’ height variance to surround the property properly.

Chairman Prcela asked Mr. Diemert, do you concur?

Mr. Diemert replied, yes. 

Chairman Prcela states, my personal opinion is, you’re running 8’ and 8’, why would you go with 6’ here especially when the abutting property owner is the Village?

Mr. Marrelli said, besides that, that 8’ fence is going to be in the hole when you’re stepping on the soccer field. You won’t even see it.

Chairman Prcela asked, what do our friends in Planning & Zoning say about the site plan?

Mr. Marrelli replied, they’re happy with it. Everybody was in agreement that shifting the building was a good idea, saving the trees around the edges was a good idea, they want some detail on landscaping. Tom needs detail on drainage calcs and the lighting plan and then we’re pretty much good to go.

Chairman Prcela asked Mr. Kinnaird, you’re fine with the variance request?

Mr. Kinnaird replied, like I said, I’d like to see it moved further north to route 6, but that’s out of the question.

Chairman Prcela asked, but you’re not fighting the variance request?

Mr. Kinnaird replied, no.

Chairman Prcela asked, any further discussion?

Mrs. Jeanblanc replied, it seems appropriate.

Mr. Michalko agreed.

Chairman Prcela said, I’d like to go on the record and state that regardless of what happens with this vote, I’m assuming that we’re going to continue working with Mr. Kinnaird to ensure he gets well buffered.

Mr. Marrelli said, yes. There’s been promises made.


Mrs. Jeanblanc, seconded by Mr. Michalko made a motion to approve the three variances requested as proposed to allow for construction of Artis Senior Living Memory Care Facility at 285 North Commons Blvd.


Ayes: Mr. Prcela, Mrs. Jeanblanc, Mr. Michalko     

Nays: None                                        

Motion Carried. Variances Approved. 

Right to Appeal

Chairman Prcela 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.


Mrs. Jeanblanc, seconded by Mr. Michalko made a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Ayes: All  

Nays: None                                      

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