CAC: February 18th 2019

Mayfield Village Citizens Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes
February 18, 2019

The Citizens Advisory Committee met on Monday, Feb 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Present: Bob Haycox (Chair), Kay Phillip, Marilyn LaRiche-Goldstein, Jim Thomas, Loretta Williams, and Rosemarie Fabrizio                            

Absent: Merv Singer, Mary Singer, Katie Parker, Joanna McNally, Mary Salomon, Sandy Batcheller, Lorry Nadeau, Sara Calo, and Mark Granakis

Also Present: Brenda Bodnar (Mayor), Patsy Mills (Council Representative), Steve Schutt (Council Alternate), George Williams (Council Alternate), Allen Meyers (Council Member), Diane Wolgamuth (Director of Administration), John Marquart (Economic Development Manager), and Ron DiNardo (Resident)

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Haycox opened the meeting and asked the Committee if there were any changes to the meeting minutes from Jan 28, 2019, previously provided for review.  There were none and the minutes were approved.

Ohio Community Reinvestment Area Program

Mr. Haycox introduced Economic Development Manager John Marquart.  Mr. Marquart thanked the Committee for the opportunity to bounce an idea off of them regarding an economic development program being considered by the Administration.  He stated that he has heard that the Citizens Advisory Committee is a good cross section of the community and the Administration would like feedback from the members.

Mr. Marquart began his presentation (a copy of which is attached) by describing the Ohio Community Reinvestment Area Program (CRA).  He explained that it is a State-run program whereby a community can define a geographic area, apply to the State, and once approved by the State and Village Council, can offer real estate tax abatement up to 100% of the increase in value derived through renovation or development.  Mr. Marquart stated that it is important to note that, through this program, tax collections will never go below their current level.  

Mr. Marquart continued and described that the tax abatement is available for commercial and residential property.  The program was used by the Village for the development of Progressive Campus I, remaining in place for five years before being disbanded.  During that time, one resident took advantage of the program.

Mr. Marquart stated that the Administration would like to apply to the State for permission to offer up to 100% real estate tax abatement.  Mr. Marquart added that it might not be in the Village’s best interests to offer a 100% abatement, but it would be good to have the flexibility to do so.  He explained that each project would be negotiated individually and abatements would be offered based on individual circumstances.

Because the School District relies on property taxes, Mr. Marquart stated that he would sit down with the School Board each time a deal is negotiated.  If more than 50% abatement is offered, School Board approval is required.  The CRA program provides for a 12-year residential maximum and a 15-year commercial maximum on tax abatement.  Mr. Marquart described that sometimes a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) is used to make the schools or a party whole. 

The program requires annual monitoring which will be done by the Mayfield Community Investment Committee (MCIC) as this is similar to the other work done by this Council committee.  Mr. Marquart, on behalf of the Administration, intends to make this presentation to Council in March.  It takes 4-6 weeks for the State to review the application, so if all goes well, the program may be in place by summer. 

Mr. Marquart presented a slide listing CRAs in surrounding communities, including all of Mayfield Heights, four zones in Highland Heights, and all of Richmond Heights.  Mr. Marquart stated that not offering this incentive leaves the Village at a disadvantage with its neighbors.  He believes that this program will help level the playing field and showed a graphic to illustrate the areas surrounding Mayfield Village that utilize CRAs.  Mr. Marquart presented another graphic showing the proposed Mayfield Village CRA which would include all areas except the Metroparks, since no development is anticipated or desired there.

Mr. Marquart reviewed with the Committee several examples of the tax savings that could be realized through residential and commercial development (see attachment). 

Mr. Haycox stated that he understands the benefit to the Village in commercial situations but questioned offering the program for residential construction and remodeling.  Mr. Marquart advised that the program does not allow the Village to deny the tax abatement to residential property owners.  He added that this program might help developments like the Highland Road proposed development happen which, if successful, should result in increased tax revenue.

Mr. DiNardo asked why the Administration is bypassing Planning & Zoning and stated that he believes the program should be brought to P&Z prior to presentation to Council.  Mr. Marquart responded that he is amenable to making the presentation to P&Z.  Mayor Bodnar stated that there is no intent to interfere with the role of P&Z and that P&Z’s scope would not be affected by this program.  Ms. Wolgamuth added that Council typically makes decisions regarding economic incentives and, as the CRA involves tax abatement, it is more appropriate for the program to be brought to Council. 

Mr. DiNardo asked if Mr. Marquart has looked at the success rate of the program in other communities.  Mr. Marquart responded that he knows that the program is used sparingly in Mayfield Heights and agreed that he would look into that question prior to presentation to Council.  Mr. DiNardo asked if the CAC members know how much land in the Village is vacant.  Mr. Marquart advised that the largest portion of undeveloped land is owned by Progressive, however, the CRA program is geared more toward utilization on Beta Drive.  Mayor Bodnar added that many businesses on Beta are growing and expanding and this program may help incentivize that process.

Dr. Thomas asked if the tax abatement is capped and Mr. Marquart advised that it is capped at 12 years for residential properties and 15 years for commercial.  Dr. Thomas asked if this program was being considered because of the proposed Highland Road development. Mayor Bodnar responded that Mr. Skoda has not requested any incentives or tax abatements.  Mr. Marquart explained that Mr. Skoda would not benefit from the program directly, but rather, the buyers who purchased parcels in the development, and built homes upon those parcels, would be able to take advantage of the tax abatement.

Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein apologized for being late and asked if other residential areas can take advantage of the program.  Mr. Marquart replied that improvements valued at $25,000 or more to current homes or new construction would be eligible. 

Mr. Schutt commented that this program might keep residents from moving out of the Village.  He stated that he believes that Village will benefit from increased tax revenue and this program is a “win” all the way around.  Mayor Bodnar agreed that it should help increase property values.  Mr. Schutt added that since surrounding communities are offering the program, it makes sense for the Village to do so as well.

Mr. Marquart stated that he went to a seminar describing this program when he first came to the Village and thought it made sense.  Within a month of that seminar, a Village business was approached by another community and offered this type of tax abatement.  Mr. Haycox commented that he thought the program could influence a company’s decision to stay here.

Mrs. Mills asked if a public meeting would be held on this matter.  Ms. Wolgamuth replied that a public meeting is not required, but one could be scheduled if we thought it would be helpful.  Mrs. Fabrizio commented that the examples provided by Mr. Marquart were helpful and make the program understandable.

There were no further questions and Mr. Haycox thanked Mr. Marquart for the presentation.

Council Report:

Mrs. Mills reported on the following items: 

  • There are several projects currently out to bid, including the pool pergola, signage for the recreational area, and the Fire Station roof and HVAC.
  • The Sign Ordinance is currently being updated.
  • Wilson Mills, east of SOM, will be worked on this summer and there will also be repair work done on Highland and White Roads.
  • The Recreation Dept. is offering good deals for tickets to Playhouse Square.  Mrs. Mills encouraged members to take advantage of the opportunity.

Any Other Matters

Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein asked about the repair to the Civic Center boiler.  Ms. Wolgamuth advised that several quotes for replacement were received and the cost came in lower than anticipated.  The replacement boiler will cost approximately $34,000.  It was expected to be installed today but was delayed due to illness.  The contractor has advised that it will be installed on Wednesday of this week.

Mrs. Fabrizio advised that Parkledge had a HO Assn meeting and everyone wanted to thank the Mayor for working with the Sewer District on the Beecher’s Brook project.  It is beautiful, even in the winter, and everyone is very grateful.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.