PZ - February 20th 2014

Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Feb 20, 2014

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Feb 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Main Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Farmer presided.

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Present: Mr. Jim Farmer (Chairman), Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman ProTem), Mr. Bill Marquardt, Mr. Garry Regan, Dr. Sue McGrath, and Mr. Paul Fikaris                                                           

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), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)

Absent:Mayor Rinker and Mr. Nick Delguyd (Council Alternate)


  1. Re-Subdivision
    Parkledge Corporation
    Sublots 22A, 23A & 24A
    SOM Court Development Corp.
  2. Site Development
    East Commons Condominiums Office Development
    East Commons, Ltd
    Land Design Consultants
  3. Zoning Code Amendments
    Ongoing Discussion
    Planning Dept Initial Outline 4/18/13



Chairman Farmer called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission. We won’t be taking an official vote tonight.  

Parkledge Corporation, SOM Court Development
Sublots 22A, 23A & 24A

 Mr. Marrelli said they’re spreading out the last three lots in SOM Court. There’s one double and one single. There’s enough room to re-subdivide.

Scott Miller of Miller Homes states those houses all back up to the ravine side. By spreading the units a little bit, they’ll have more distance between them. Not only will it make it better for the people in those units, but also the people that live in there. It won’t be so cramped.

Mr. Marquardt said you were originally going to build a bigger one on SOM.

Scott Miller replied we still are going to build a single at the very end. We got rid of a middle unit so this allows us to spread from the 40’ we gained.

Chairman Farmer asked if any questions. There were none.

Next Step

Scheduled for P & Z vote Meeting on Mon, March 3rd.


Site Development
East Commons Office Development
Land Design Consultants

Chairman Farmer said this has been an ongoing project.

Mr. Marrelli said the final plan submitted doesn’t reflect all the agreements that were made. They have to be memorialized somewhere.

Engineer’s Site Plan Review

Mr. Cappello said some of the things in my Feb 17th memo are minor issues. I’ll briefly take you through it.

Sheet No.1: Existing Conditions and Demolition Plan

  • There were wetlands shown on one of the original plans. They need to show on this plan. There’s a time limit, a certain period of time in which they need to be filled. I believe you only get approval, correct me if I’m wrong, for one of the fills, the one up front. The letter from the Army Corps said 2 but the Ohio EPA said one.


Sam Cannata of East Commons, Ltd thinks the issue there is they determined one of the two needed to be mitigated because the one is too small for Village requirements. It could be filled either way. The other one we mitigated already, we paid for the mitigation. They gave us permission to fill that larger one, the 0.09 acre. We’re going to fill both of them as part of this plan.

Mr. Cappello said it needs to show on the plan. What happened at the proposed PRG C-III project, they had everything mitigated and they built the two ponds on SOM, but never went back and filled the wetlands in. The EPA said it doesn’t count anymore. You don’t want that to happen. That would be an issue depending on who owns the property right now. Sam said Tracy does, the Niece of Sam Costanzo.

Michael Gatto, President Gatto Group, Inc said upon final approval, we own it.

Mr. Marrelli reminded they can’t do anything until they own it.

Michael Gatto states, I think going for final plan approval is probably a little too premature. There are some things that still need to get worked out. We’ll work to get that done. I just want to make that clear. In reading through this review, I agree there’re things that need to be clarified.

Mr. Marrelli agreed. There’s two years worth of discussions and agreements that got made that didn’t show on the plan.

Michael Gatto concurs. We’re using this more as a working session.

Tom continues:

  • There’re potential Indiana Bat issues per the Army Corps letter. Also something about the Audubon Society with Bird Habitat.
  • There’s the large tree in the southeast corner that Chuck Kinnaird wanted saved. We need to show on the plan that it’s being protected. Not just on one sheet, but every sheet so the contractor doesn’t miss it.
  • Show the existing natural gas meter and header located at the northeast corner on the plan.

Mr. Marrelli asked if there’s an easement for that, because it doesn’t belong to the property. It should show up on a Title search.
Rich Cantanzriti
, Engineer with Land Design doesn’t know if there’s an easement. However, we do show the meter on the sheet behind the trees.

Sheet No.2: Dimension Control and Utility Plan

  • Show all proposed future development on this sheet. This future development can be shown in a lighter pen weight and labeled future or by the approved phases.
  • Because we got so many variances, we should show what the variance and code setbacks are. Memorialize it on the plan.
  • There are other issues pertaining to the Fire Dept. They’re mostly site plan issues. Nothing out of the ordinary. There’s an issue how they’ll do the water line under North Commons.

 “Since this development is private, the Cleveland Water Department will need a 50 feet wide easement along the proposed path of this proposed 12” water line.”

Michael expands on the easement. With a 50 feet wide easement, that’s going to cut into the buildings.

Tom said that’s Cleveland’s standard, not ours. You have to provide them some sort of easement. It’s always been 50 feet. If you can get a variance, that’s fine.

Michael asked Tom’s thought on doing building 1 & 2 and tie the water and gas into East Commons. Then if we do the back buildings and tie the water and gas into ‘91’.

Tom doesn’t think that’s an issue, just that those other buildings in the middle, they’ll have to run separate lines for those. There’s going to be an economics on your part. It doesn’t matter to us. Cleveland may have an issue. You’ll have to see how they’re going to handle the different addresses. It’s more a paper issue. Cleveland wants to make sure they have access to that line. You end up owning it, but they are the maintainers of it.

Fire Sprinklers

Tom said these buildings need to be sprinklered.

Michael asked, why?

John said it’s the local ordinance, over 2500 sq ft they have to be suppressed.

Michael said that’s way more than OBC.

John said true.

Michael asked, anything over 2500 sq ft has to be suppressed?

John said yes. It’s local ordinance. It’s been in effect for 20 years.

Tom said you’re going to have to deal with the fire line size. If there’s a Fire Dept connection, we’ll have to work with the Fire Dept if they’re going to require hydrants. The buildings in the middle, you may have to run a separate line or a 6” line with hydrants and a separate domestic.

Michael asked how many heads you can run off a domestic line.

John thinks 10 or 12. You can use the plastic setup, the fire guard, flow guard, which is a lot cheaper than going with all steel.

Michael said but you still have to bring risers in.

John said if you’re going to bring in a 6” line into the property and come off with a 4, you can probably cover it.

Michael will look into and engineer that before a decision is made.

John said if you’re going to tap off an 8, you’re going to have to decide if you’re going to run a 6 into the building or a 4 to take care of the heads.

Tom said remember, if you start doing private lines, there’re back flow preventers and meters and things like that that you’re going to have to weigh in the balance as far as cost instead of doing it off a main line.

John said turn it over to your Mechanical Engineer and they’ll figure out what your best bang for the buck is.

  • Is the proposed 12” water line to be bored under NCB or is it to be installed by open cut?
  • No site lighting is shown on the plan. A photogrammetric plan is required and must meet section 1183.11 Illumination of Parking and Loading Areas per our code.

Michael asked, what do you want to see?

Tom replied, a standard photogrammetric plan to make sure you get your required lighting for safety.

John said you can’t go more than a ½ foot candle off the property.

Sam said the fixtures/light poles on NCB, are those CEI fixtures you rent?

Diane Calta said the Village bought those.

Michael said I’m thinking about just going right down the middle of the road, not doing each parking lot, just doing the center of the road and it’s going to spill over in the parking lot.

John said that depends on you property lines. You’re not supposed to spill off the property lines per our ordinance.

  • Any work you do in the Right-Of-Way, the Village has inspection requirements.
  • We want the outlet of the detention basin to be a minimum 12” in diameter for maintenance purposes.
  • Developer shall add a new storm manhole located at the intersection of the proposed detention basin outlet with the existing 30” storm sewer located under the grass median of SOM.
  • Note that the existing 16” water main running north and south along the west side of SOM may be in conflict.


Sheet No.3: Site Grading and SWP3 Plan

  • Show proposed trail as part of the Development Agreement.

John asked who decides what the proper configuration and the size of the trail will be.

Diane Calta said that’ll be part of the site plan.

Michael said we could lay that out but that could change.

John said you have to do your proposed buildings and then it’ll be ‘proposed trail’.

Michael asked if that’s an asphalt trail.

Tom said our permanent trails are asphalt.

Michael said there’s one that goes down NCB to White Rd and one from White down to 91 that’s paved.

Tom said right. That’s something we can discuss internally what we want to do, re gravel or asphalt.

Sam wants to do crushed gravel. We’re private property.

John asked, do you want people to come through your private property with their bikes?

Michael replied, not necessarily. It was more for people walking in the park, more for the employees.

John said if it’s not part of our trail system, I don’t think it matters.

  • How will proposed detention basin be accessed for maintenance? The Court Order stated that no access was to be provided to SOM Center Rd. If no access is permitted from SOM, the Developer must show the maintenance access drive to the proposed detention basin. We’ll have to have the Law Director give us an opinion on this.

Diane Calta doesn’t know if there was any type of thinking about access in the way of maintenance of a basin. The idea was access as in no ingress & egress through that property to the property that fronts on North Commons. You’re still talking about a curb cut though.

Sam gives scenario. If we need to get a rubber tire backhoe into clean out the basin, are we allowed to drop the flatbed in front, roll the rubber tire off and then roll it over the curb onto the property to do the maintenance?

Tom doesn’t have an issue with popping the curb.

Diane Calta doesn’t want a curb cut. It sends a signal there’s some access there.

John asked, during the construction when you’re digging that pond out, are you going to go in and out of SOM?

Michael said no.

John asked, how are you going to get from the pond all the way out to North Commons with equipment?

Sam replied we’re going to want to load trucks on SOM. We’ll want a construction access permit to do our work there during construction.

Tom advised them to show on the stormwater plan that they’ll put a temporary construction entrance there.

John advised they’ll also need traffic control.  

Mounding / Fence (East Property Line)

John said we all know that you’re not required to put that mound in until you’re going to develop within 100 ft of Mr. Kinnaird’s property, correct?  

Sam said yes. We’re in discussion.

John said the last thing I saw was a memo today stating a 10’ high vinyl fence. You can’t have a fence 10’ high and it can’t be solid because they turn into sails. You could do a 4’ mound and a 6’ board on board fence which would meet our requirements because it has the opening sideways so the wind could go through.

Michael said we’ll talk about that.

John said you can’t build anything high enough for you not to see anything.

Chuck Kinnaird, 294 SOM Ctr Rd said with the mounding, for me to landscape or cut the grass, we’re going to be coming out a good almost 30’.

John asked, can you keep the mound on the development side?

Michael said it’s shown high up 20’ there. So 4 – 1 ratio is probably 16 – 20 feet. How do you hold the one side at a 90 with a fence? That mound’s got to go on his side.

John’s thinking the fence goes on top of the mound. Build it up 4 feet, spread it out over the 16’ ….…..

Michael said so the fence isn’t on the property line, the fence’s going to be 4’ or 6’ in.  

John’s imagining a property line towards the east, then this mound, then a fence on top of the mound.

Michael said Chuck will still have ½ the mound to maintain.

John said it wouldn’t be on his property, it’d be on yours.

Michael said I’d have to have access to go all the way around the fence to get on his property.

John suggested to plant natural stuff on the mound that you don’t have to cut.

Sam said at this point, we’re working well together with Chuck.

John said you can’t have a 10’ high fence. That’s out.

Chuck Kinnaird said in our previous talks, you did say a variance is very feasible seeing that I’m the only one that has to look at it.

John said but you can accomplish the same thing with a legal fence on a hill. What’s the hardship? It’s not on your property anyways.

Michael states, I just want to make Chuck happy.

John said we do too, but a 10’ high fence back there is going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Chuck Kinnaird said I don’t want this thing to look like a Hoover Dam either.

John said it’s going to look like somebody opened a Drive-In back there.

Tom said whatever we decide to do, a mound or mound combination, we just have to make sure the drainage works.

Ted asked, if Chuck wanted to get a variance for the fence, what’s the process?

John said whoever owns the property would propose it to my office for a permit. I would deny it based on the height and openings. Then he’d go the Zoning Board and have to show the topographical hardship.

David Hartt said the Development Agreement does not require construction of the mound on any portion of East Commons until the development sequence gets reasonably close to that east property line. So if they agree on something, mound and landscaping combination or fencing that does encroach on the eastern end of the East Commons property, it would still have to come to Planning Commission. You would have to decide whether that should be built now, which wasn’t anticipated in the Development Agreement.

Tom thinks the reason now was they’re digging the detention basin, so it’s an opportunity to lose some of the dirt. But when you look at the plans when they develop the next building phases, there’ll be plenty of earth to lose too. 

Diane Calta said the idea with not having to build the mound now was, we talked about this site remaining as natural as possible for as long as possible. We didn’t want to have a site that was clear-cut and nothing happen for whatever amount of time. Then you’re looking at nothing there. The idea was when they got to the point where they were close enough to you that you would need that buffer, that’s when it would go in. The idea was to protect you for as long as possible.

Chuck Kinnaird said we’re good with that. We had also talked about when it was necessary. It didn’t have to go up immediately. I would say let these guys get in Phase 1 first and see what it looks like. At the point they’re close to being done with Phase 1, if a mound needs to go in there now, we can put it in. If not, we can wait. The other thing is the lighting issue. That’s a big thing for me. When you look out my kitchen & bedroom window, the lights from the Nursing Home with people pulling in, shine right into my kitchen.

John asked if anybody’s done a projection to see what the height is. We did that when PRG Campus III was proposed, what they were going to see from a three-story building. It was a projection on an angle that would reproduce the distance of the building in height. Then you could see where it could be blocked when you do that angle.

Chuck asked if an 8’ fence is out of the question. 

John replied it’s 6’ maximum for residential.

Michael said this is on commercial property.

John thinks 8’ max for commercial, if it’s on the development’s property.

Michael would rather do a 2’ mound than 4’. Mounds are hard to maintain. I’ve seen too many mounds go in all over town and they never get maintained. They get mulched over, weeds over, bushes get too big.   

John said supposedly if you plant the right materials, you don’t have to do anything.

Michael said I’ll show you mound after mound after mound all over that never work. Depending on the angles, they’re hard to maintain and get at. How about if we do a 2’ mound, an 8’ fence and throw some pine trees in front of it to soften it?

  • Pond

Tom said before we move on, one question. There was some confusion on the pond. Did you want this to be a wet or dry pond? Sam said dry. Tom said o.k. with a dry pond a forebay and a micropool is required for water quality that needs to be addressed.

Tom Cappello concludes his review letter. I don’t want to bore anyone here. The other items are more engineering and storm water details.

Sam Cannata asked Tom if he has an example of a Maintenance Agreement that he’s approved before.  

Tom Cappello said yes, I’ll get you one.  

Ms. Calta asked Tom if he has to send the Storm Water Plan to the Sewer District.

Tom isn’t sure. Right now they’re in limbo with the Storm Water. When we get the changes done, I’ll forward a PDF to the Sewer District.

Chairman Farmer asked if any comments on Engineers Review. There were none.

Building Commissioner’s Site Development Review

Open Discussion

Mr. Marrelli said everyone should have received a copy of the Landscape Architect’s review. It basically states there’s not enough information on the Landscape Plan for approval.

Phasing Mr. Marrelli said there’s one building on Phase 1, not two. They don’t have to do the 2nd building yet because of the Development Agreement.

Mr. Syracuse asked how long they have.

Ms. Calta replied 18 months.

David Hartt said the whole sequence of construction is based on 18 month increments. It says you have to perform the next building within 18 months, but if you can’t, you at least have to make an appearance before Council to explain why you’re not performing at the pace set forth. The reason the Development Agreement deviated a bit from the phasing in the approved preliminary development plan by the Planning Commission is we wanted to be very careful if we didn’t get something built that was forced on the developer that wasn’t going to be occupied and was going to make this look like a half built failed project.

Michael Gatto has couple questions about appearance. The apron turning in the main drive I think needs to be widened to get a moving truck in. It’s very narrow. I think the island is too small too at 6 feet.

Signage Michael asked, will you allow park signage in that island or in front of Building 2?

Mr. Marrelli said signage setback requirement is 30’ off of the right-of-way.

Michael Gatto comments that seems far. Would you like to see the sign in the island or in front of building 2?

Mr. Marrelli thinks in the island there’d be an issue with traffic visibility.

Rich Cantanzriti asked maximum width of a drive apron. Tom said it’s in the parking code.

Site Lighting Michael asked about site lighting. If we put an illuminated sign out front, tie the site lighting down the Blvd in that sign into one meter, then that becomes the Association and it’s not any particular building. It’s its own separate circuit and own separate meter, one guy having to maintain it.

Mr. Marrelli is fine with that. The good news is you have a cemetery on one side and a soccer field on the other side. Site lighting will be easy.

Michael Gatto said each building could have its own one or two poles off of their own power.

Architectural Feature Mr. Marrelli said Architectural similarity of the proposed building 1 of Phase 1 will need to be approved by the Architectural Review Board. I’m sure the elevations you’ve shown us is just a general overview on the architectural feature of the building. The ARB will check your features against Governors Village for similarity due to the Court Order.

Michael Gatto confirmed those drawings will change. This is just a work session today. The actual footprint of the building will change a little bit so it’s not so flat.

Tree Clearing Mr. Marrelli said the tree clearing plan showed trees in one place where there’s maybe a mound. That has to be figured out. Are you going to clear or not clear it? Landscape buffer isn’t required yet because you’re not working on that south end so far.

Mr. Marrelli said that concludes my report. You have my report, the Landscape Architect report & the Engineer’s report for you to answer all those questions and put on a plan.

Sam Cannata advised everything will be revised. Do we have to come back to the workshop again?

Mr. Marrelli replied yes. That’s a lot to address.

Michael Gatto asked, are we all still on the same page?

Mr. Marrelli said yes. You’re just premature. Now we’ve defined what it takes to be ready.

Sam Cannata asked how detailed the utilities have to be for the next workshop meeting.

Tom Cappello said we’ll need those sewer/water details for final approval.

Walking Trail Michael Gatto said the intent of that walking trail was more or less a trail for the employees to get out and do a little exercise. A 10’ wide asphalt public bike trail was not my intent.

Ms. Calta said we never specified anything as far as it being asphalt or the size. That whole parcel is supposed to maintain as green space. The idea was; what can you do with it? So it just kind of evolved from that. Because you can’t get any connection to SOM, it’s really just an amenity for your interest, not that it may not be used by others. I would just see if you have any ADA issues.

Sam Cannata said I know we put it on there, but are you requiring that of us now?

Mr. Marrelli said it’s written in the Development Agreement.

David Hartt states, I don’t think it has to be 10’ wide. My only concern going from paving to gravel, and I’m not going against the crushed gravel because I think that would work in this situation. The problem with that is it makes the long term maintenance much more difficult and it’s apt to look scruffier. It’s o.k. to look scruffy in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I think it’s probably a call of the Planning Commission. It certainly doesn’t have to meet ODOT standards. I could live with 5’ of asphalt.

Michael Gatto said the costs are getting out of control.

Tom Cappello asked if the trail has to go in with the first phase.

Ms. Calta thinks it’s just a matter of efficiency. If you’re putting in the basin, you might want to get that trail in now because you’re out there doing construction.  

Tom Cappello said it’s in the Development Agreement. If it doesn’t need to be put in as part of this phase, it should still be shown on the plan and noted as proposed.

Chuck Kinnaird asked if this trail is required.

Ms. Calta said it’s part of the Development Agreement.

Chuck Kinnaird said I’m just worried about more people traffic around my yard. 

Ms. Calta said I don’t think we ever got into where exactly it was going to fall on the property. 

Ted Esborn said but it does have to specifically connect to North Commons Blvd & Route 91 it states in the Development Agreement.  

Tom Cappello said you have to cross SOM to get to the bike path on the other side.

Mr. Marrelli said propose your path to stop in front of the last two buildings.

Michael Gatto said Rich just sketched it to show it coming in and looping around the cul-de-sac.

Tom Cappello asked, are you putting that cul-de-sac in?

Michael Gatto replied we’re pricing it.

Tom Cappello said right now you’re saying you’re putting it in as if we required a walkway?

Michael Gatto said right.

Michael Gatto is open to any other comments. There were none. Applicants thanked everyone for their time and left the meeting at 8:30 p.m. 

Next Step

Plans to be revised and re-submitted for next Planning Workshop.


Zoning Code Amendments
Ongoing Discussion

Chairman Farmer introduced Councilman Steve Jerome. Steve’s our new Councilman. Glad to have you here tonight. Let’s move on to our last agenda item and get updated on our amendments that Ted’s been working on.

Memorandum dated Feb 17, 2014 from Ted Esborn & David Hartt

Ted Esborn said we met a few times throughout last year and discussed things we wanted to do with the zoning code. Dave and I in the later part of last year sat down with the code and tried to figure out how to achieve that. The biggest point of discussion tonight is that we think that a bigger set of changes than we originally envisioned is really the only way to do those things that we want to do. The first couple pages of the memo is a handout that we did with the Community & Economic Development Committee last week. We think substantial change is necessary.

What I really want to point to because I think it’s the best illustration of where we’re at and what we want to convey tonight is Pg #3, a side by side comparison Current & Proposed table of contents that shows how much change we’re suggesting.

The biggest thing I want to say about all this change is that it doesn’t reflect a whole lot of change in what’s permitted. It’s more about the fact that the zoning code in its current state doesn’t very clearly say how we do things and what’s permitted. The substantial change is more about bringing the code to the point where it does clearly state.

David Hartt said frankly this whole process is ballooning. We had three meetings with you folks. We came out of the last meeting and Ted and I discussed how we go from here. I said let’s try to figure out how to reorganize the code with this body of changes we’re talking about. Even at that point when we changed the Use List, Use Structure and get rid of the Classes, we’re affecting a lot of Chapters. When we started to reorganize, two things jumped out:

  1. All of the environmental regulations are part of the subdivision regulations and yet they apply to everything. From an organizational standpoint they don’t really belong in the subdivisions regulations.
  2. There are two basic primary sets of definitions, but then there are definitions in other places of the code. In several places the same term is defined twice and doesn’t have the same definition.


We’re limiting the changes we talked about with you folks, but the organizational part of it and the cleaning up conflicts and inconsistencies are pervasive throughout.

We put on pg #2 the sections that we’re not changing.

When we left you in October and identified these two other areas of change; the definitions and the additional organizational changes, we decided we ought to touch base with some members of Council. We met with the Community & Economic Development Committee last week who has 3 Members of Council; Bill Marquardt, Tom Marrie & Nick Delguyd. Bill was not at the meeting. We said this is getting bigger than we anticipated, what do you think? If we come to Council with this big set of changes are you going to be with us or are you going to say that’s never what you expected. Based on that meeting, I think it’s fair to say we got enthusiastic support from those 2 Members of Council that said you found all these inconsistencies and flaws, let’s do it. We’re here to report that that’s the additional revelation where we are. Nothing that you’ve looked at is thrown out in all of this.

Mr. Marquardt said it seems to me one of the reasons for the redundancy of the common items was so that when it was to be administered, you could pull out something and hand it to somebody and say these are all the requirements for your uses in that zone. It might be redundant but it was more convenient for Administration purposes. Is this reorganization of it going to complicate that administrative part of it?

David Hartt thinks it’ll improve it. We’re agreeing that all the things related to the development standards for the residential uses ought to be in one place and all the things related to the development standards for all the commercial uses ought to be in one place. Right now they are not. We think we’re going to clean it up in terms of tables and charts. The redundancy with definitions isn’t redundancy, that’s just confusion. I’m very sensitive to what you’re saying about trying to find as much as you can in one place. We typically don’t do that with parking and signs. We don’t put parking regulations for residential in the Residential Districts because then you have too much repetition. One thing I try to avoid in codes is saying the same thing twice because you always run the risk of saying it slightly differently.

On one hand yes, you want clarity and you want to find everything in one place but at the same time you want to be careful about redundancy because that may cause some of the conflicts that have been built in over the years.  

Ted Esborn said the ongoing effort to clarify the distinction that exists now between Special & Conditional Uses and the effort to stay consistent with a process for either one of those, doing something with the zoning code that achieves that, requires making changes in multiple sections. I think that was one of the things last year that kicked this process off.

Mr. Regan said Ted, you stole my fire. I apologize but this whole ordeal has confused me. I get lost in all the subsections. I thought our challenge to you guys was because of the confusion as to the Special/Conditional Uses. Our goal was to have some flexibility and get something done in a clear specified manner. If I’m right on what our original conversations that led into this project were all about, are we going to get there?

Ms. Calta replied short answer is yes. You’re coming from the exact same standpoint I was. I told Ted I wanted to be on the Red Team. Did you ever watch the News Room? They have this idea where somebody collects all the facts and they put the story together, that’s one Team. They present it to the Red Team. The Red Team says no, no you have a hole there, you have to go back. I kind of stepped away. They came and said here’s where we are. I said wait, wait, let’s go back to where we started. For me the code is something that I’ve lived with for a long time and feel comfortable with even though it has its quirks. At the end of the day the goal is still the same. That goal started from what Planning saw in the way of all of these Conditional Use Permits coming in for review. It was a process to go through to say “does this fit”, doesn’t it fit”? If it does fit, why does it fit? If we say yes to this, what else are we saying yes to? This is so you don’t have a hotel that’s a multi-million dollar endeavor on a 2-year permit. Nowadays a bank’s not going to fund on a Conditional Use Permit. What’s happening is you can’t just touch a piece or part of this. It’s like that spider web, you touch one piece of it and you start seeing other quirks. Let’s clean it all up so we have a concise document that we can all understand and is user friendly. But it feels really awkward right now, I feel like I’m on a boat without any sails.  

Ted Esborn said I was in the camp at first that we could achieve something by making additions to Permitted Uses. In order to do that I pulled together what were the Permitted Uses in the districts and that’s when things get complicated because of the way the current code is written and structured. Those tables have so many uses that are permitted specially or conditionally. Even though I thought we could just add some new permitted uses, trying to find the list of permitted uses that we were adding to showed me it wasn’t going to be that simple.

David Hartt said on Pg #1 we barely characterize where we started with you and the additional things that were added to the discussion with you. By the time we got through the August sessions, you’ve agreed in principal to make some pretty wholesale changes to the code. When Ted and I tried to reorganize that, the two things that broke the camels back were this definition issue and the environmental regulations.  

Ms. Calta said the other discussion we had was if there was a way to do this in phases. At the end of the day that discussion ended with if you’re going to do it, it makes sense to do it. Doing it in phases sometimes causes more confusion if you’re implementing it over a course of time. If you’re going to do it, you want to have a comprehensive plan that you could put in place with all the changes. That doesn’t mean there still might not be some fine tuning that comes down the road. The idea is to eliminate those Conditional Use Permits and permit the things we want to permit and clean up inconsistencies.

Mr. Marquardt said it might be worth while to consider a process flow of how things transpire even if it has to go by cross reference to the various chapters or sections that you’re going to be creating. If somebody’s coming in for a Conditional Use Permit, what do you look at? How do you walk down that path?

David Hartt replied we actually have flow diagrams in the Willoughby Code. It guides people through the process.

Dr. McGrath said, it feels like you’re reinventing the wheel. Is there a template out there i.e. Willoughby, North Royalton, some other community who has done this, a template for you to plug our information into?

Ted Esborn said this is what it’s like working on the code. I’ll take a section of code from another city and drop it temporarily into our code. What that allows me to do is continue improving one section. That temporary fix is sound now, knowing that I’m going to go back later and either remove or re-write it.

David Hartt said there’re different templates depending upon who is doing it, i.e. the David Hartt template. There are some common elements about tables and getting everything in one place related to the same subject. I’ve given Ted two recent codes that I’ve done; Rocky River and Moreland Hills, one bigger and one smaller community. Those are basically structured the same way. Yes, we are using templates.

Mr. Regan said over the years there’s been concern that some of us have acted like cowboys when it came to Special Use Permits. I’d like to see it simplified. I hope we can give people the opportunity to create and do something different but within some set of guidelines.

Moving Forward

David Hartt said I think the next section for us would be ‘What are the standards and criteria of some of these Conditional Uses’. That’s a body of things we’ll bring back to you. Next I think we start to really flush out the procedures. A lot of the procedures will reflect your operating procedure that you’re using. As we go through this, we’ll bring different sections to you for you to give us a consensus on how you feel about it. The only vote is a recommendation to Council and the whole thing is ready for adoption. It’s about working together to go from the big picture to the detail of debugging. The Community & Economic Development Committee asked how long this will take. I said I thought it was reasonable for us to be at a point to start the adoption process by the end of the year. To be more efficient, the review sessions with you folks should be 1 ½ - 2 hrs.  We’ll lay out an intended schedule when we think various sections will come to you for review and we’ll keep our feet to the fire.

Mr. Marquardt asked, how will we know if we cross the line of referendum?

Ms. Calta replied the goal is not to do that. We have to be mindful as we go along.

Mr. Marrelli suggests as this develops, we use our graphics and go district by district and say here’s the small office district and here’s what you can do in that district. Look at the actual building, a street view and say here’s what we can put in there now. Looking at it makes it real.

David Hartt agrees with illustrations. The CEDC I think is fair to say were enthusiastic about doing the whole code or otherwise we’ll have conflicts. They also said as we move through the process, periodically along the way we should take the various elements on the road, to the Citizens Advisory Committee, have Public Meetings, etc and not wait until it’s ready for adoption.

Mr. Marrelli said the reason I bring up district by district is I’m trying to keep from having one of those moments when someone says “Oh, we can do that there now, that’s been in there before.”

Chairman Farmer suggested starting the meetings @ 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Regan suggested a separate workshop for these discussions.

Mr. Syracuse states, I was looking at your brief recap of how we got here and my April notes from last year. At that time they were separated into priorities. The question was; how are we going to address these? The first and second priority kind of got merged together into these changes that needed to be done. We went through quite a bit of changes and had a lot of discussion. At that point to me, I felt all along if you’re going to start to put a charting in this spot instead of what the language said, everything needed to be redone. I like the direction it’s heading. The timetable is not what we initially envisioned but I think it makes a lot of sense.

Ted Esborn agreed. We’d be working on phase 1 knowing that phase II wouldn’t mesh with it. It’s a 250 page code. I really like the idea of bringing this Commission sections at a time.   

Chairman Farmer said people certainly appreciate your efforts. It’s something that’s long overdue.

Dr. McGrath commented, with Ted & David I think we have a nice mixture of wisdom & experience and youth, energy & good eyesight. 

Next Step

  • Work in Progress.
  • Planning Dept to provide sample of flow diagram from Willoughby’s Zoning Code.
  • Planning Dept to advise Bldg Dept on future meeting dates.
  • Future Zoning Code review sessions to begin @ 7:00 p.m.



Mt. Vernon – Medical

Mr. Regan has an update. Four or 5 years ago we granted a permit for Mt. Vernon to allow medical. At the time they had a Dentist coming in. For 4 or 5 years the building has sat there with one medical person. About 3 weeks ago they started construction on the 1st floor for an incoming General Practice. They’re excited about it. There’s something between traffic and congestion at the Hospital that Doctors don’t want to deal with. The building Managers are hopeful there’ll be more coming.

Mr. Marrelli said they’ve had a Conditional Use Permit for medical use since 2004 and never marketed it.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted, 

Deborah Garbo
Executive Assistant
Building Department