PZ - April 18th 2013

Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Mayfield
Village
April 18, 2013
 

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, April 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Farmer presided.

(Click here for a print friendly/pdf copy)

ROLL CALL

Present:

Mr. Jim Farmer (Chairman), Mr. Garry Regan (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Bill Marquardt, Dr. Sue McGrath, Mr. Paul Fikaris, Mr. Vetus Syracuse

Also Present:

Ms. Diane Calta (Law Department), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. David Hartt (Planning Director), Mr. Ted Esborn (Economic Development Director), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)

Absent:

Mayor Rinker, Mr. Nick Delguyd (Council Alternate)

PROPOSALS:

  1. Riparian Setbacks
    New Ordinance Chapter 1127
  2. Presentation by Planning Department
    Beta Drive Business District
    Zoning Code Changes

 

OPEN PORTION

Chairman Farmer called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting. We won’t be taking an official vote tonight. We have two matters for discussion.   

Riparian Setbacks
New Ordinance Chapter 1127

Mr. Cappello states per the Ohio’s EPA requirement for our Phase II compliance, we need to pass this Riparian Setbacks Ordinance as we did with the Storm Water. The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the streams, the edges of the streams, a process of preventing erosion.

There’re three widths of riparian setbacks. The Village comes under the two smaller ones. Any drainage area under 300 acres, there’s a 25’ setback from the edge of the creek. Anything over 300 acres is a 75’ setback on each side of the stream.

This mainly affects people who are planning improvements or additions to their property. If it falls within that setback, they’ll need to apply for a variance. Out buildings would fall under that too, fences, patios, any hard surface. 

Mr. Syracuse asked about tree removal.

Mr. Cappello replied taking out a tree is not an issue. The idea is to create a buffer along the stream edges. Ms. Calta distributed a memo dated April 15, 2013 which talks about the Chagrin River Watershed Partners Ordinance. A revision was made changing the variance powers from Planning & Zoning and giving it to the Board of Appeals.

Ms. Calta states this is a model ordinance that Chagrin River Watershed’s been using throughout the area. I think it was originally modeled for Kirtland. My recommendation was to keep the variance requests consistent with all the variance requests in the Village. The thinking on the model ordinance was that P & Z was reviewing the riparian setback ordinance, P & Z will be enforcing it and when you are reviewing plans you’re going to be making sure the riparian setbacks are complied with. The thought process was to keep the variances here, but my recommendation is to keep it with the BZA. I’m open to any comments on that.

Mr. Marquardt commented most of the Village land is developed anyhow. 

Mr. Cappello re-created CRWP map on our Village map. It affects mostly the Worton Park area and areas behind Meadowood. We can work with the residents if they need to do something on these areas. 

Chairman Farmer asked if anyone has an issue with the change to the BZA.

Mr. Syracuse feels that’s where it belongs since they handle all variances anyway. 

Dr. McGrath thinks it seems silly to make somebody coming forward to have to present to two different committees.

Ms. Calta said CRWP did a presentation at Ordinance Review March 12th. Minutes are on line.

Mr. Marrelli asked Tom to explain how the measurements are taken.

Mr. Cappello replied it’s not taken from the centerline of the stream, it’s measured from what they call a Ordinary High Water Mark which is the edges of the stream where there’s vegetation, usually the district marked by erosion. Beecher’s Brook example, if stream is 20’ wide, you’re not going to measure from the center, you’re going to go over that 10’ to the edge or wherever it is, now you’re at 75’. On the rear areas it’s 75’ on either side, so it’s at least 150 plus whatever the stream width is to the Normal High Water.

Mr. Cappello lays out a parcel map identifying drainage areas that take more than 300 acres. Parking lots already exist. Anything that exists in the setback is grandfathered. This is really meant for undeveloped land. Remember, these stream edges are all estimated. We’d have to physically go out and take a field measurement. The houses by Worton Pk across from Hemingway, a lot of that area is already in the floodplain so they already have some restrictions as it is.

Chairman Farmer asked Tom to explain some of the terminology i.e. gabion baskets & riprap.

Mr. Cappello said gabion baskets are wired baskets filled with stones that protect slopes and streambanks from the erosive forces of moving water. Riprap is rock or other material used on any waterway or water containment where there’s potential for water erosion. Ted pulls up visual of gabion basket on AV screen.

Chairman Farmer asked about an In-Line Pond.

Mr. Cappello replied if you have a drainage course, Upper Forty used to have an In-Line Pond. Someone took the stream and they dammed it and built another big hole behind the dam. It’s a pond in line with the stream or on the stream.

Chairman Farmer said Planning Commission will still handle the Conditional Use Permit.

Ms. Calta asked Tom to add disclaimer language to his map in accordance with Section 1127.05

Mr. Regan states this ordinance is recommended by various agencies and spearheaded by the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc. With all due respect, it reads like a feel good thing. We have ordinances that contain setbacks and when people want to do things they have to go to P & Z, BZA, etc. This comes across to me as more regulation for the sake of regulation to feel good. I understand it affects virtually nobody. If it does, we have procedures in place to handle. I’ve dealt with not this group but various Watershed Partners and it’s not whether Council or BZA objects to something, it’s whether Council or BZA offers somebody some relief and then CRWP comes back and points to our authorities and says no, you can’t do that or you shouldn’t do that.

Mr. Cappello doesn’t know if CRWP would do that per say, but your statement is true. However, this is something we have to pass for our Phase II by Sept. We have to do this.

Mr. Marrelli states this has to be on the books to be compliant with the EPA.

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Zoning Code Changes - Beta Dr. Business District
Presentation by Planning Department

Mr. Hartt begins. We were asked to draft amendments to the zoning code. Before that, we need to know the better sense of the scope you folks think is appropriate. Ever since I’ve been on this retainer with the Village, I’ve seen a whole lot wrong with the zoning code, and a whole lot we can do to fix it. We’ve had this on the table for 4 or 5 years for various things that ought to be done. It was triggered more recently by the conditional uses & retail accessory in the industrial district.  

I’ve prepared an outline that I wouldn’t say goes from soup to nuts of everything that’s wrong with the code, but at least it starts to identify the things wrong and tries to put these in priority order. It reflects in my view what I think are the critical things wrong with the code.

I would love to see getting Priority I & Priority II included in this package. My best hope is to get Priority I included.

OUTLINE OF POSSIBLE ZONING AMENDMENTS

PRIORITY I

A. Use Regulations

  1. Permit medical offices in O-L.
  2. Permit Limited Retail in PD District per conditions for Sign-A-Rama.
  3. Add as permitted uses fitness centers, restaurants (including outdoor dining)with maximum floor area limitations. These are reasonably considered “supporting uses” those that benefit the workers and activities and the other permitted uses.
  4. Conditionally permit accessory retail that is “related to” the uses that are otherwise permitted. P & Z determines if the retail use is “related to” i.e. Forest City Tree Company.
  5. Conditionally permit Hotels in PD – specify only along 1-271?
  6. Specify in Table – existing and new – those uses that are conditionally permitted in the MS, OL, PD and small office.
  7. Consider Warehousing/Distribution be permitted in PD without the requirement of being produced on the premise. Many such uses exist or are former uses:

a. Sherwin Williams
b. Superior Beverage
c. J & D Music
d. Progressive (furniture storage 701)
e. Best Buy Pools & Spas
f. Marshall Carpet

OPEN DISCUSSION

Mr. Hartt said Item (7) you may be surprised to know that Warehousing/Distribution is not permitted as a stand alone use in the PD District. It’s only permitted in relationship to something that is produced on the premises or in the District. This isn’t the greatest money maker for the Village, but the history is there have been a lot of warehousing/distribution uses in the PD District that aren’t making products on the site. Maybe we draw a hard line and say, “no, you can’t do it”. 

Mr. Marrelli thinks the hard line was drawn when a storage company came in town and tried to take over I think 700 Beta, strictly storage for hire.

Mr. Esborn thinks J & D and Progressive may not be the best example but the others certainly. Superior Beverage is probably the best example of stand alone distribution.

Mr. Marrelli asked David if he’s going to go back in the code and pull out the antiquated uses.

Mr. Hartt said that depends upon how far we’re going to open the code up. That starts a chain reaction. The last item in the Priority I is the limitation of the two-year limitation on CUP:

B. Procedures

  1. Eliminate the two-year limitation for conditional uses (Section 1149.02 (c)(2).An approved Conditional Use is obligated to comply with the conditions regardless of the time period. Administration can revoke permit for “non-compliance” without P &Z Commission’s review/action.

 

Mr. Hartt feels you really can’t say somebody spending $2 million is in the public interest to do so now and two years later you say it’s not in the pubic interest to continue that use. There’s a distinction between operating in compliance with the code and the conditions and violating the code and conditions. You can stop them if they’re violating the code, but that doesn’t have to go to the Planning & Zoning Commission because the Administration can enforce the code. If there’s a violation, it doesn’t require the review of P & Z to determine that violation. That can happen any time. I think the two-year limitation is wrong.

Mr. Syracuse asked, if you’re removing the limitation so it’s basically indefinite, isn’t that the same as granting a variance because it’s going to run with the land, or is this only pertaining to the applicant?

Mr. Hartt replied it’s only for that particular use in that particular location. Ms. Calta said and that applicant too.

Chairman Farmer said we do these permits a lot along Beta. Some sound like they might fit it, but what if they don’t? That’s what I like about the two-year limitation. About spending a whole lot of money, they know that going into it. Maybe two years is too short.

Mr. Hartt said the dilemma is you’ve said it works and they’ve met your conditions, it’s a tough position for you to turn around and say you didn’t mean that.  

Mr. Marquardt said but you told him it was for 2 years. I think we’ve stretched this conditional use permit way beyond the original intent, to a point where it’s a variance.

Mr. Hartt introduces Priority II for consideration:

PRIORITY II

A. Use Related Considerations

  1. List each conditional use that’s “permitted” in each district.
  2. Add standards for each conditionally use which sets forth the reasons that the use is conditional that need to be satisfied and what distinguishes it from a permitted use. A “conditional use” should be reviewed as a use that is “acceptable” in the district if the conditions are satisfied; otherwise it should not be listed.
  3. Add the general review criteria (which are the criteria now used/currently applied but are outside the Zoning Code).
  4. Limit, with the above changes, authority of P & ZC to make Similar Use determinations to a permitted or conditional use; not determine if a new use is “independently” a conditional use or a special use.

 

B. Procedures – Clarify, spell out in more detail the Conditional Use procedures.

C. Standards – Add more definitive landscape standards – parking, screening.

Mr. Hartt said my view is the conditional use is something you’ve said has unique qualities and characteristics so therefore it has to be managed in a slightly different way than a permitted use, so we have additional conditions that have to be satisfied. If those conditions are satisfied, we think it’s appropriate in that district.

We can identify those uses and the conditions. We can put in the code a range of uses that are permitted and a range that are conditional. We can set forth the conditions that have to be satisfied to be acceptable to the Village. Then the broader discretionary judgment for the Planning Commission for a use that is not listed would be judging whether the not listed use is similar to a permitted use or a conditionally permitted use.

The zoning code now has the prohibition of the Board of Appeals granting use variances. But as Bill says, P &ZC in using this process is essentially gotten to a point where it’s been broadly interpreted and the Village is granting use variances. 

Mr. Marquardt questioned why we just don’t rezone Beta. It would make sense. We have not seen any kind of a study as to the benefits of the costs of doing this piece meal. The 20/20 Committee compiled data of what kind of revenue you could expect and the costs relative to traffic, fire & police protection. If you do this piece meal, this could expand anywhere. You could have traffic that you can’t get out at rush hour. Just rezone Beta. Get some sense in this thing and say; what’s the trade offs between what kind of tax revenue you’re going to get and what kind of costs are involved with this thing. What do we want to do and what’s the balance given the current conditions versus what the thing was originally zoned for.

Mr. Hartt said this is why this process is important, so we have an understanding what package you want to proceed with now. Remember, we had this discussion 4 years ago about Beta Dr. and the concern about opening and expanding the range of uses was whether that road and area could handle that. 

Mr. Regan thinks maybe it’s worth the work to find all that out.

Mr. Marquardt said if you don’t look at the whole package on this thing, this is just another piece meal attempt.

Ms. Calta jumps in. At one point we talked about or started down the path of rezoning Beta. To throw out a new zone classification, I don’t know that there was a real consensus on what you’d rezone it to. Something we talked about was taking the zone classification it’s in now and adding permitted uses.  

Mr. Hartt states that’s what the first part of this outline is, doing tinkering based on historically what we’ve been talking about.

Mr. Marquardt questions how you’re going to evaluate it. You have such a wide range of uses. If you allow a high traffic, high density, low revenue use and it populates the whole thing, you’ve lost your benefit. You’ve got to do some kind of a study to get to a point to what things are going to make sense for that particular location.

Mr. Hartt asked, so we should do nothing? 

Mr. Marquardt said no, that’s not what I’m saying. We’ve been sitting around 4 years doing nothing.

Ms. Calta doesn’t think we’ve been sitting around doing nothing. There was somewhat of a consensus to get a study to say these uses are going to be the uses you want in there. They’re not going to be intrusive to additional traffic and these are going to be the cost benefit analysis. We could come up with a web widget who does e-tail, he has very few employees, generates a bunch of revenue and has no traffic. That’s good, but how do you know that’s the guy who is going to come to the Village? The Village is well positioned now because we have a lot of conditional use permits coming in and you can see an actual trend, not a study.

Mr. Marquardt agrees now you have information on the demand. Now you look at it and do your planning, not haphazard or piece meal.

Ms. Calta isn’t saying anything against a study. I feel if you have real evidence, that you have real information and you have real people coming in, you could see a pattern. If you see those and you want those, then I think that would be your logical first step. But, that could be considered piece meal. On the other hand you don’t want to give up full control and open up the flood gates.

Mr. Regan likes what’s he’s hearing. On our conditional use and special use permits we’ve gone through, with all due respect anything from rinky-dink to help the landlord out to viable businesses that actually wanted to come here and we accommodated. I think if you got enough of those good quality businesses it would make a real difference on Beta without impacting traffic. I question how our two-year permit matches up to a lease. If I’m going to put any money into a building or office and the guy is offering me a five-year lease, I want to know I have a five-year permit. I wonder if the landlords have been unsuccessful attracting “more quality people” because of our two-year limitation on the conditional use permit and (this is just me speaking) the rinky-dink way we do it.

Ms. Calta advised you could get that information from the realtors or the brokers. I think you’re going to find some turned away because of that. But you also have the other extreme i.e. the Hilton Garden Inn. They don’t just have a lease, they have a multi million dollar mortgage that the bank loaned on a two-year conditional use permit.

Mr. Regan thinks the process Dave talks about here is a good one, if it leads us to rezoning, great.

Mr. Syracuse states if we do the study and decide to rezone now, depending on the economy and the market, who might look to rent those spaces 20 years from now might be different. We might be in the same situation as we sit in this room right now saying we have these outdated antiquated zoning measures and people are coming in asking for additional conditional uses. I like the idea that we might create certain provisions that would give us the ability to give these permits. As to the two-year limit, if we take away the two-year limit on the permits, we still have within our right if I’m not mistaken to limit it to whatever time we want. We could say for a certain business we want to put a two-year limit on it, it still wouldn’t prevent us from doing that. It just wouldn’t make them all two-year limits. Otherwise, you’re making it almost the same as a variance at least for that tenant. If their lease is for five years, we can do a five-year conditional use permit or we don’t have to place any limit on it if we don’t feel we need to.

Mr. Hartt takes a very conservative view about the conditional uses. I think if you’ve said it’s in the public interest to go ahead, it’s hard for you unless you have some compelling reasons to say two years from now it’s no longer in the publics interest. I would say if you want to call it in two years because it’s not working well, I think when you grant approval for it, you’ve got to identify what constitutes “not working well”.

Mr. Marrelli said this Board sits and listens to sales pitches by tenants that want a conditional use permit. They’re looking for cheap space. We’ve been through that recently with the sign guy & Forest City. They’ll tell you it’s a lot cheaper than retail space. This Board listens to their stories how they only need ‘x’ amount of parking spaces from 8-9, ‘x’ amount from 9–12, and this many from 12–3. We buy into it, we trust them and it’s a nightmare. If we didn’t have that conditional use permit hanging over their head telling them if they don’t straighten this out we’re yanking their permit. If we didn’t have that, the parking issue at the hotel wouldn’t have gotten straightened out. They tell us things and it becomes part of the record even if we don’t make it a condition. If they don’t follow through, what are we going to do, take them to court, and the Judge will fine them $100?

Mr. Syracuse likes the fact that we started to include maximum hours of operation. Without those restrictions, they can basically do whatever they want. Two years is maybe short, maybe it’s good. Maybe we do away with the limit and then use 2 years for new and different things on Beta. If it’s going somewhere else we don’t have to limit that. It’s going to be difficult doing away with it. That puts a lot on John. He has to say they aren’t complying with it, but what are they not complying with if there are no restrictions? If we don’t place that restriction, how can you tell them they’re wrong?

Mr. Marquardt said you don’t have any way to enforce it without having the hammer of saying we’ll revoke your CUP.

Mr. Syracuse said we can revoke it if they don’t do what they stated in their proposal, but who is going to do that? We’d have to show up at these places and see if they’re doing it or hear word of mouth. That’ll be difficult to control. I see the validity of having the 2-year period. At the same time I see why we don’t necessarily need it. I see both sides.

Mr. Marrelli said they know they’re on probation for 2 years and they behave. By the time 2 years is up, that behavior becomes permanent. It works.

Chairman Farmer likes the burden on the business coming in versus the Board. Some businesses, we have no idea how they work, so we don’t know all the questions to ask.

Dr. McGrath likes the standard of the 2-year period across the board and the Board having the leeway to say to somebody that we feel confident about giving them 5 years.

Mr. Regan goes back to his comments on the ability to match the 2 years with a lease. If people aren’t aware that you can get a longer one, are we limiting ourselves to the type of businesses that might come in here that want to put big money in and don’t want to live with a 2 year permit?

Mr. Syracuse thinks we should find that out from the landlords and address at the next workshop.

Chairman Farmer likes the good arguments from both sides.

Ms. Calta sees both sides. I think there are probably some principal uses that can spring out of what is now a conditional use permit and make it permitted, i.e. things that will bring in money for the Village and not burden the traffic.

Mr. Marquardt thinks you could identify those.

Ms. Calta said what’s there is what everybody was looking for when Beta was built in the early 60’s.

Mr. Syracuse said now they want restaurants with patios and retail stores. In twenty years these might all be fly-by-night businesses. If you rezone you create the same problem we have now. By doing it by conditional uses, I like that idea, but we need some structure to it. That’s why David, I like what you guys are doing.

Mr. Marrelli thinks we’d have less conditional use permits if we expanded the permitted uses.

Mr. Syracuse said if there’s an emerging trend in a few years that looks good, then talk about rezoning. One of the considerations we should consider is the traffic. If it’s going to create a problem we could deny the conditional use.

Mr. Marrelli said if you go back to the way the street’s constructed and the facilities on it, i.e. office/warehouse, condominium. The traffic impact was minor, a couple rush hours @ 3:00 & 7:00. If you could maintain that kind of traffic control, you’d have to look at a conditional use and ask “Is this going to impact this or not”? If the answer is no, it’s not going to change anything, they’re taking 20,000 sq. ft of office space and making it into something else that’s going to have an equal amount of people in there….. that’s what it was designed for. I think the problem is our permitted uses are 40 years old and nobody does this stuff anymore.

Mr. Marquardt said you’d have to have a method of trading off. John said you could.   

Mr. Hartt said you’re talking about evaluating conditional uses that affect traffic. Yet, one of the uses that probably affects peak hour traffic the most is an office building that’s a permitted use. That’s your worse case. If all of a sudden Beta Dr. became redeveloped with 60,000 sq. ft office buildings, that’s your best/worse case because from an economic standpoint everybody would love it and a traffic standpoint, it’s your worse.

Mr. Esborn makes a case on parking. They know we’d like to see ideally for some of this flex/warehouse space turned into office. They say they don’t have the parking for that.

Mr. Marrelli said that’s the market creating its own demand. That’s the free enterprise system last time I looked.

RECAP

Mr. Hartt said it sounds like you want to defer any consideration of amending the zoning code until an assessment is done on what is appropriate and what the impacts are going to be re traffic and financial to the Village.  

Chairman Farmer likes expanding the different businesses permitted.

Mr. Syracuse concurs.

Mr. Marrelli agrees that’s a good start.

Ms. Calta asked about a brewery use. There’s a popular distillery downtown.

Mr. Marquardt suggests a poll on demand with the landlords.   

Mr. Regan having dealt with a couple of landlords isn’t sure how truthful they’d be. I’d be worth whatever analogous situations you see to Beta and other parts of the city to see what types of things work in these places.  

Mr. Marrelli thinks you need to be careful you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. You don’t want to take 100,000 sq. ft and have 3 people working in there. You have to maximize the use of the square footage that we have.

Mr. Regan said but we haven’t come up with the answer whether the traffic & parking could support it. Maybe it’s the Brewery / Distillery, but it’s limited, you can’t have a 90-seat restaurant and bar with it.

Mr. Marrelli said that would only come under a conditional use permit where you could lay those parameters out.

Mr. Regan agrees it falls under that. But at least we’ve identified more clearly if there’s a bit of demand that we’ve missed or there’s an opportunity that we now can investigate. At least we could say that building would fit this type of use.

Mr. Marrelli asked, can’t we identify some of the needs that appear to be missing from that street, like a restaurant? At lunch time everybody leaves that street like it’s on fire to go eat somewhere.

Mr. Marquardt said our Planning Development Consultant has asked questions and we’ve given our input. I suggest he come up with a methodology we should use and present that at the next workshop.

Ms. Calta recalls landlords being consulted some time ago with a survey. Ted said and they’ve been consulted sporadically ever since.

Mr. Marquardt said now put it together.

Mr. Esborn questions what sort of methodology.

Mr. Marquardt replied; how you are going to get to a conclusion to resolve this. A proposed methodology of a path we should go down to consider these things and this kind of information and walk down that path and how this Committee should take those actions.

Mr. Hartt said the information you want is to be able to identify realistically the demand number one. Secondly, the impacts if that demand were to materialize. The flip of that is do we want to really try to assess demand or do we want to broaden the things that are possible to create opportunities regardless of whether you know exactly what the demand is going to be. That’s kind of where we were coming from in saying we know the whole world is changing and we have to be a little more flexible about what we allow in these districts because the competition is too great and the buildings are getting old. So we’re looking at more flexible opportunity rather than knowing the demand.

Mr. Regan said you’ll get limited viable information from the landlords. They’ll say whatever’s going to help them out. You have access to information on Beta of what could be. It’s a combination of demand and opportunity and the various ‘what ifs’ that could go in there. Hopefully we can develop a plan whether it be rezoning or restructure the way we do the conditional use permits.

Mr. Hartt states QED is a great economic benefit to the Village. We were looking at health tech industries. Is there a demand? Answer is yes. Is there likelihood that demand could be absorbed in Mayfield Village? Answer is we don’t know. We did look at those high tech health care businesses and looked at where they were and they’re all over the place. They’re not clustered. You could say the region has a high percentage of health tech industries but they’re not really concentrated in sectors of the region. It’s hard to say if there’s a demand for a sector that you’re going to be able to concentrate.  

Mr. Syracuse said landlords might not get inquiries from businesses because they drive up and down Beta and say “This doesn’t look like an area where we belong”. They may not even make an inquiry to the landlord. Asking the landlord may not give us an accurate representation unless we allow a few more of these things expand at first and see what starts filling in. Then we have a guide on what to go by. On the other side of the coin, we’re granting a ton of conditional use permits and we’re doing piece meal again. 

Mr. Regan suggests whether it’s conditional use or expanding the permitted use, we put it out there for the public, landlords & potential tenants to know. At least we’re out there promoting the fact that these are either permitted or will be considered for Beta. As long as we have our ducks in order in what those things are, it’s a good starting point.

Medical Office Use

Ms. Calta asked if medical offices are permitted in Office and/or Production/Distribution.

Mr. Esborn replied they’re permitted in one-story office not in PD.

Mr. Marrelli said we have 3 locations where we’ve allowed medical office; Mt. Vernon, U.H. Bldg & East Commons.

Ms. Calta asked if they’d consider adding medical office to PD.

Mr. Hartt & Ted have discussed. Question is what’s the downside of permitting medical offices in the PD district? They’re not really set up as medical office buildings number one. Secondly, would they start complaining because of all the stuff going on around them? 

Mr. Marquardt said it’s their choice.

Mr. Marrelli can’t see a Doctors office going into Chelm’s property next door to the guy making nuts & bolts.

Mr. Esborn said we don’t see who would want to but we also don’t necessarily see what would be problematic with it.

Ms. Calta asked, you don’t see a group of Doctors coming in, taking down a building and putting up a new? An example is Landerbrook, that’s almost all medical. 

Mr. Marrelli could see a mini Ahuja Medical Bldg going in 5-stories along the freeway. Do you think they’d want to mix in with the truck traffic? 

Ms. Calta thinks in doing this, you want to set the path of where you want it to go too.

Mr. Hartt hears two things:

  1. Hold off on developing the amendments until we assess what we think the demand is and implications of that demand versus……..
  2. Going ahead with the amendments and creating the opportunity based on some of the things we’ve been identifying here. If we do this part, I’m hearing we don’t want to eliminate the two-year limitation for conditional uses. But we could do what is on the top of page two which is being very specific about listing conditional uses, setting the standards for each conditional use. By doing so, you’ve changed the authority of P & ZC to make the similar use determination and not a conditional use determination.

 

Mr. Regan heard the elimination or expansion of the 2-year may come out of what you’re doing as far as the opportunities & the demand.

Mr. Marrelli thinks the 2-year hammer makes a difference.

Dr. McGrath said it’s one thing being able to specify what the conditions are and expect people to comply with those. The tough part is some of these things come in and are so new to us that we don’t know what questions to ask. For instance Koinonia Homes proposal, there were things we never even thought of and luckily Lt. Girbino was here and talked about the occupant load. That was something any of us had even thought about, and yet we put that on as a condition. How many other things do we not think of? Applicants asking for that conditional use permit aren’t going to talk about it. They’re not going to tell us they might have problems with such and such and this Board might want to restrict that. I think the 2-year limitation is a useful thing.

Mr. Marrelli said they make a presentation and lay everything out; what they do, this is how we do it, these are our hours. When they go beyond that, it might not be a problem, but if it does become a problem we could say that’s not what they told the Board. The Board voted on what you said you were doing and now you’re not doing it so now we go back to the drawing board.

Mr. Hartt differs. If they were not operating consistent with what was approved, they are in noncompliance with the approval and it doesn’t require waiting two years. Administration can tell them they are not in compliance with their permit.

Mr. Regan asked, what difference does it make if you say at the end of 2 years we’re not renewing it or in 6 months you’re not complying with it? 

Mr. Marrelli explains the difference. You say you’re in danger of losing your permit to operate. They ask “What do I do?” They come into the P & ZC, we sit down and talk about it and they explain why what they said they aren’t doing and explain what they’re going to do to fix it.

Mr. Marquardt said it lays the burden of proof on them is the difference.

Mr. Regan goes back to his earlier point. Are we missing the opportunity to get a different class of business because the 2-years is out there and people won’t look because of the 2-year limitation. If they are ready to sign a 4-year lease, we could grant them a 4-year CUP under ‘x’ conditions. That permit could be pulled at any time if they don’t follow those conditions. Whether it’s P & ZC or Administration, we could pull it at anytime.

Mr. Marrelli’s o.k. with all that but there’s a psychology to having a temporary permit that you could lose if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.

Mr. Syracuse asked if this is something that Ordinance Review should look at.

Answer is no.

Procedure to follow if 2-year permit renewal is declined

Mr. Esborn asked Ms. Calta’s opinion on the process if after two years the renewal of a permit is declined and the applicant challenges that action.

Mr. Marrelli thinks it would go to the Zoning Board for relief of the decision.

Ms. Calta said John has the authority to pull a permit for noncompliance. There’s some benefit from a legal standpoint to flush it out the way it’s set up. By having it come here things get flushed out. The psychology that John talks about is why people do take it so seriously. It’s worked when we’ve had problems. Are there other alternatives? Yes. I think we need to get those fringe uses that need to be regulated under that conditional temporary hammer permit in that area, and not have everything there. I call it three levels:

  1. More uses in your permitted uses.
  2. Permitted conditional uses. Those will still come here but it will just be a determination. A specific list that’ll be spelled out.
  3. Your Catch All.

 

We can probably debate the 2-year limitation till the cows come home and how it would play out in court. If somebody wants to challenge an action I think it’s always better to have a record.

Mr. Syracuse said complaints from other people that it’s affecting their business would be something we’d take into consideration when we grant the initial conditional use permit. But if it’s going to be going on for 10 years, there’s really no grounds for anyone to say “Hey, they’re creating a problem for us” because they’re still going to be in compliance with the permit we grant. Every two years it comes up, it gives those people, landlords and owners of the buildings opportunity to come in and voice those concerns. As much as I’m going back and forth on this, I do like the 2-year limit for that reason. It gives a forum for everyone to come in and add additional information to whether or not we want to renew it.

Dr. McGrath thinks there’s an implication for that 2-year period that we are watching.  

Ms. Calta thinks right now we get our feet wet to see what the demand is, see what’s coming in.

Guidelines

Mr. Marrelli thinks the ‘Guidelines” need to be tightened up.

Mr. Marquardt said the “Guidelines” shouldn’t be written to lay the burden of proof on us.

Mr. Marrelli said burden should be on them. What we get is; “Sure, we meet this, this & that”. We ask them to show us how they meet it. They say “Don’t worry, we meet them”.

Mr. Syracuse said they basically tell us about their business, but they’re not giving reasons why it should be granted. They come in and say they just want this. They need to address factors whether we call it “Guidelines”, “Requirements” or “Instruction Sheet”.

Mr. Marrelli addressed the “Guidelines” sheet all applicants receive when they come in for their application. Problem is we get generalized reasons why we should want them here; “We won’t overburden Police or Fire, we’re going to make it better in this district, etc”. What I see hitting the table now is they say they aren’t going to pay $15 sq ft in the retail areas on Mayfield Rd or SOM when they can pay $3.00 sq ft on Beta.

Mr. Hartt addresses Pg #2 Use Related Conditions number 3:

3. Add the general review criteria (which are the criteria now used/currently applied but are outside the Zoning Code).

Part of this is how you go about evaluating and processing a conditional use. There’s very little in the code about procedures for a lot of this stuff. If we’re doing it for conditional uses in terms of spelling out more detail, should we do the same thing for the variances? There are no criteria in the code for evaluating variances. On one hand the code says BOA can’t grant use variances, but down in the criteria there’s the terminology ‘unnecessary hardship’ which is kind of related to use variances vs ‘practical difficulties’. There’s nothing about the procedures for the Board of Appeals.

Mr. Syracuse said it’s done by Case Law. I was on the Board of Zoning Appeals in Mayfield Hts and the memorandums we used and what we looked at was based on memorandums the Law Department prepared for us which told us what the Case Law was on that and what the considerations were for ‘practical difficulties or ‘unnecessary hardship’.

Mr. Hartt asked, so you don’t think we need to put it in the code?

Mr. Syracuse said I don’t know that it’s necessary to be in the code.

Ms. Calta doesn’t think you want the code to reflect the Ohio Supreme Court precedent on the subject. I always go back to the letter Joe wrote in the late 90’s. Looking at that letter, would set out a better frame work. This code is a little lopsided, it doesn’t get the whole picture. I think it could be revised, not necessarily to reflect a legal opinion or a Supreme Court precedent. But to set out the procedure, which is the review, which is the standard. I think there’s a lot of confusion. It’s not only here, it’s everywhere. For the most part, you can’t grant a use variance, so why have that in there.

Chairman Farmer asked what we want to do at this point. We’ve heard a lot.

Mr. Marrelli suggests deleting number 7. I’m worried about making warehousing or distribution specifically. It should either be part of the business whereas the warehousing of the materials that are being made or assembled just like the code is written now.

7. Consider Warehousing/Distribution be permitted in PD without the requirement of being produced on the premise. Many such uses exist or are former uses:

a. Sherwin Williams
b. Superior Beverage
c. J & D Music
d. Progressive (furniture storage 701)
e. Best Buy Pools & Spas
f. Marshall Carpet

Mr. Regan said if Beta can’t support what you’d like to have then you better put it out there or you’re going to get those $3.00 sq ft businesses.

Mr. Marrelli said the market’s not that bad.

Mr. Regan explained to John that long before him there was nothing but “For Lease” signs. Now does that reflect changing conditions? John thinks it does. Garry asked what we’re going to change it to. If we don’t have the infrastructure or the demand or we don’t create the opportunity, what do we got?

Mr. Marrelli said you’re limited on traffic, limited on number of Police Officers available and Firemen available. You can’t go crazy allowing everything to jam pack the place. If you have an issue you could be overpowered by it.

Mr. Regan recommends going back to see what the opportunity and demand is and then we see if we can come up with a game plan that meets that. If there’s no demand, if there’s no opportunity then we’re stuck with $3.00 sq. ft. and 3 employees.

Mr. Marrelli said if you’re going to have a conditional use permit and you want to sign that away, that’s up to you.

Mr. Hartt said you say it’s conditionally permitted but then what is your objection and evaluation?

Mr. Marrelli gives an example. Somebody comes in with a paint ball gallery proposal. They say there’s a big demand in your area, there’s no indoor paint ball ranges and I got 500 people that are going to come out every Saturday. You ask, can we handle that many people at any given time? How is it going to operate? What good is it doing us if there are 2 people in there collecting tickets @ $10.00 /hr, and we’re tying up 100,000 sq ft of space. You have to look at is it good for the Village’s tax base? (NO)  Is it a waste of space that could otherwise be used by some other company for some other reason? (YES) There’s a whole checklist you could make that would make a whole lot of sense.

Mr. Hartt was thinking warehouse / distribution on its own.

Mr. Marrelli wouldn’t list warehouse on its own as a conditional use because somebody will come in and open a storage building. He’ll make $300 / month for a 5 x 5 cube and only be paying the landlord $2.00 sq. ft.

Mr. Hartt thinks we can make a distinction between mini storage areas and open floor plan commercial storage.

Mr. Marrelli said you’re still taking up thousands of square feet and putting nobody to work.

Mr. Esborn asked if folks are o.k. with permitting this type of retail that fits these criteria, i.e. Sign-R-Rama: 

  1. Without the retail component, Sign-R-Rama is a permitted use in the O-L district.
  2. Retail space no greater than 10% of the total occupied space or 400 ft., whichever is less.
  3. No changes to the exterior of the building.
  4. Floor plan that shows retail area.

 

Mr. Marrelli thinks that’s an easy one to grant.

Happy Birthday Ted from all!

NEXT STEP

Mr. Hartt & Mr. Esborn will work on modifying the outline presented, take out the stuff we’re not going to move forward with and have the revised outline ready for discussion at the May 16th workshop.

Chairman Farmer asked if this is something that will eventually need to go to the voters.

Mr. Marrelli said no. If you rezone the district, yes. We’re not changing the zone, we’re adding to the things you can do in the zone.

Mr. Marquardt has no fear of rezoning if you come up with a rezoning plan. If you put together a reasonable plan for Beta I don’t think it’s something the voters would baulk at. 

Ms. Calta comments rezoning is where it might ultimately go.

  • RIPARIAN SETBACKS

 

Chairman Farmer asked if we have to vote on the Riparian Setbacks.

Mr. Marquardt said no.

Ms. Calta said it goes into the zoning code. You could have Planning Commission recommend it to Council. Do we have to? No.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Deborah Garbo
Executive Assistant
Building Department