Ordinance Review - March 12th 2013

March 12, 2013

The Ordinance Review Committee met in regular session on Tues, March 12, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room. Chairman Bill Marquardt presided.

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Mr. Bill Marquardt (Chairman), Mr. Jerry Catalano

Mrs. Mary Ann Wervey, Mr. John Marrelli, Dr. Stephan Parker (Council Alternate), Ms. Diane Calta (Law Department)

Also Present:
Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)

CONSIDERATION OF MEETING MINUTES: Feb 12, 2013              

Mr. Catalano, seconded by Chairman Marquardt made a motion to approve the minutes of Feb 12, 2013.      


Ayes:    Mr. Marquardt, Mr. Catalano                                     
Nays:   None

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved As Written.


  1. Riparian Setback Ordinance
    Presentation by;
    Amy Brennan, Executive Director CRWP
    Christina Znidarsic, Watershed Coordinator CRWP
  2. Temporary Signs
    Section 1185.14 (e)
    Ordinance 2012-16 



Chairman Marquardt called the meeting to order. We have one active item tonight which is the riparian setback. We have Amy and Christina with us.

Amy Brennan, Executive Director Chagrin River Watershed Partners introduced herself and Christina Znidarsic, Watershed Coordinator. Thank you for having us. I gave you a copy of our most recent Annual Report, a little information on some of our projects.

**Power Point Presentation Highlights by Amy Brennan / enclosed**

About Us. For those of you not familiar with us, we’re a non profit organization. Mayfield Village is a member of the Watershed Partners. We also have 36 other members including other cities, villages, counties, townships and park districts within the Chagrin River Watershed.

What does CRWP Do? We started actually with just 16 members. I believe Mayfield Village was in year two. We do a lot of work with communities on local development codes. We break up our work load into two major categories; Member Services & Watershed Initiatives.

Services of Riparian Areas & Wetlands. Tonight we’re going to talk about riparian areas and riparian corridors. The area that’s the stream, that’s the riparian corridor. Why do we care about these areas? In the big scheme of things, when they’re in their natural state when they’re connected to the stream, they do a lot of work. Yes, they’re pretty, they’re great for the bugs and mice, and the deer love them, we know that. But they’re also really good for our communities.

They do a lot of work with slowing water down. When you have a floodplain available, the stream can get out on that floodplain, soak into the ground, maybe lose some of the sediment that it’s carrying into that floodplain area, it could really help water quality and also erosion control. The more you can lessen the power of a stream when it’s barreling through, it’s kind of like a fire hose, the difference between your garden hose and your fire hose. If you’re able to spread that flow out a little bit, you can lessen your erosion.

Setback Zoning. We look at setback zoning as a tool to maintain these areas. We have setbacks from other things. We have setbacks from our front, back and side property lines, so what about a setback from a feature that’s actually providing some work for us.

Impacts to Riparian Area. We hear from folks “It’s just a little creek, how much damage can it do?” Building in riparian areas and wetlands increases flooding and flood impacts. When we look at how we can manage some of these things and we do know we’re not going to manage big flood events. When a river decides to completely flood, we’re having a 500 year flood event, we don’t plan for that, we don’t size our infrastructure for that. When we talk smaller events, just staying out of the streams way a lot of times can help solve quite a bit.

Why Riparian Setback Zoning? With the riparian setback zoning, what we’re really looking at doing is maintaining those services. They’re doing the work right now, so let’s just let them continue doing it. It can be lower cost because you’re not having to build that infrastructure. A lot of times when we’re building new infrastructure we have to build-in the storm water management, put in all the bio retention cells, etc. These are features that are already there, so we can take advantage of the work they’re doing, it can help lower our cost.

Ohio EPA & Army Corps Regulations. A lot of people say doesn’t Ohio EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers regulate that, take care of this for us? Answer is they cannot do anything about impacting a stream or a wetland until you are literally in the stream or wetland. Local land use especially here in Ohio where we have Home Rule, it’s all at the local level where that control exists. With the Army Corps and the Ohio EPA concerns, it’s only when you get below that Ordinary High Water Mark (just the edge of the stream bank) or in the wetland.

Riparian Setbacks. So with the riparian setbacks we really look at this as a zoning tool just to establish the setback from streams, similar to your other setbacks that you have. It doesn’t make lots unbuildable. There’s a variance procedure if you have non-conforming lots at the time of adoption. It doesn’t mean that anybody has to rip down their house and move it. It’s making sure when people do build near the streams that they’re far enough away so when the stream moves a little bit, it doesn’t come to meet their back door.

Next couple slides are examples where you not only have the erosion going laterally, but you see how tall some of these banks get.

CRWP Model Riparian Setback Ordinance. Our basic model regulation that we put together is a zoning code, so it’s always based on public health and safety. We have a 98 page document that’s all the research that we did about saying what are appropriate widths. We really look at a minimum setback to control the location of development and soil disturbing activities. The setbacks vary based on how big the stream is, how much water flows to the stream. The reason for that is because you have different levels of risk. We also recommend extending those to include the 100 year floodplain and any adjacent wetlands.

If you have somebody who comes in, has a lot, wants to do an expansion on their house, they’re already in this setback area. We ask you to look at options for flexing other setbacks, other rear yard and side yard setbacks, but maintain the riparian setback.

NPDES Phase II Requirements. This links into your Phase II Storm Water Program. This is a program that Tom works to manage with Doug Metzung. It has all of these different components of things that Mayfield Village has been doing for the past 10 years.

Riparian Setbacks in Chagrin Watershed. We have a lot of different communities that have adopted these setbacks in the Chagrin River Watershed. The updated list is on our website. Of this list here, everybody has adopted the model code that you’re looking at, with two exceptions; Chagrin Falls only has a setback from the main channel of the Chagrin River as it runs through Chagrin Falls. Their setback also extends to include any forested areas and steep slopes. The other is Hunting Valley, their setback on the main stem of the Chagrin River is 300 feet on either side, whereas most communities using our model would only have 120 foot.

Mayfield Village Drainage Map. First we looked at where the water flows in Mayfield Village:

  • Areas in blue go to the Euclid Creek.
  • Areas in purple drain from Beecher’s Brook.
  • Areas in green are Upper 40/Foster’s Run.
  • Areas in yellow are small tributaries that drain through those. They don’t actually have a name. They flow through and eventually make their way to the Chagrin River.


CRWP Model Setback. Christina hands out maps to show what the model setback looks like when you look at applying these different drainage areas and different widths in Mayfield Village.

Mayfield Village Possible Riparian Setbacks. We came up with some statistics because people want to know how many residences this will actually have any impact on. There are 320 parcels that have a riparian setback that are not already owned by you or Cleveland Metroparks. We figured if you guys own the property, you’re managing those areas anyways. The 320 parcels are about 23% of residents here who would actually have a riparian setback on their property. Compare that to 100% of those residents have a front, rear and sideyard setback on the property. 

We also have 51 structures that are actually already in the proposed setback. Again, this doesn’t mean they have to pick up their house and move it. I think it just highlights there’re 51 structures that are already dealing with some of these problems. I know you guys get those phone calls from some of the folks in the Worton Park area who have flooding problems on their property.

The 51 structures is less than 4% of the total structures within the Village, which is a pretty low number. Other communities when we look at how many parcels are impacted by the riparian setback, Russell Township I think is 78% of the properties in the township.

Variances & Riparian Setbacks. You have 51 structures that are already in the setback that might want to do an addition on their home or build an out building. There also may be properties within that setback area that are currently vacant and want to build something. Obviously zoning can’t take your property so it can’t make the property unbuildable. There are procedures for going through a variance. You already have a normal procedure in your zoning code. We have a few recommendations in our model code, one of those is including a preference for the riparian setback over the front, rear or sideyard setback.

Amy concludes, last is highlighted what we mean when we say these streams provide a lot of services. This is downstream of Mayfield Village, it’s Fosters Run Upper Forty as it’s running down through the Cleveland Metro Parks. Let the stream do its work, let it flood, let it get out into that area and slow the water down and you’re never going to know except for during that flood.

Tom Cappello asked Amy to clarify where you measure the setback from the stream.

Amy Brennan said you start the measurement from the edge of the stream, basically where you see the vegetation line.

  • Fences


Tom Cappello asked about fences.

Amy Brennan said the problem with fences is if they act as a dam. That’s what you don’t want to see, leaves piled up on the fence, next thing you know they’ve flooded out their neighbor. Some folks have adopted language in the code to allow fences that have a certain amount of open spaces. We’ve had several communities that have had problems with fences because of the debris that gets carried along with our streams and it causes a dam.

  • Existing Structures


Tom Cappello asked Amy how the setback will affect existing homes & structures.

Amy Brennan replied just like your normal zoning code. Like your code, if somebody had a fire and their home was damaged over 50%, could they rebuild if they were 5’ off the road and you require a 20’ front yard setback? Yes, but they are going to require a variance.

Chairman Marquardt thanked Amy & Christina.

Amy Brennan said sure, and if you have questions as you’re looking through this, please let us know.

Chairman Marquardt said there’s no urgency. We’ll need to read through all this. It will probably get three Readings.

Amy Brennan said Bentleyville looked at our model code, when they first adopted, they left the 25’ setbacks but took the 75’ setbacks and made them 50’ setbacks, took the 120’ setbacks and made them 75’ setbacks. Then one year later they came back and changed them to what was in our model code.

Two other things to note; these setback widths are what over 50 communities in Northeast Ohio have already adopted, so developers are used to them. The other is and this is something we don’t know for sure, Ohio EPA has stated they’re going to develop a storm water permit that would be specific to the Chagrin and maybe the Chagrin and Grand River Watersheds. If they do adopt that, they’ve looked at adding the requirement for a Riparian Setback that would be required just to get a permit from Ohio EPA. With that, we’ve told them this is what ½ the Watershed has already adopted and they should use this standard. They’ve said they would honor that.

Tom Cappello’s not saying to change the setback widths. There’re a couple areas we need to check. The Sewer District says if it’s under cusped at 300’, this orange line becomes the responsibility of the Sewer District with their storm water program. Beechers Brook is eroded bad, a very vertical cliff. As part of the District’s program, they’ll take care of that, not us, they are. That’s nice they’re expending the money on culvert maintenance and things like that on this orange line. We’ve had issues on Norman and So. Woodlane with the creeks. Doug & I originally surveyed everything and before all this happened we looked at how we can lessen the impact, i.e. clearing some of the debris out and making a bigger flood plain but leaving the creek where it’s at but maybe notching out a little bit, problem is there’s no room to notch.

Amy Brennan said we have a variance procedure for reasonable review because you’re not going to have the one size fits every single lot zoning code. It’s almost impossible. There’s always going to be an exception to things.      

Chairman Marquardt said you want to find the highest level of potential impact, and the other areas that aren’t so great.


Mr. Cappello will review CRWP Model Regulations for Mayfield Village’s adoption.


Temporary Signs
Section 1185.14 (e)
Ordinance 2012-16


No update. Keep on agenda.



Mr. Catalano, seconded by Mr. Marquardt made a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Ayes:    All                                                        
Nays:   None                 

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m. 


Respectfully Submitted,
Deborah Garbo
Executive Assistant
Building Department