Ordinance Review July 14th 2015

July 14, 2015  

The Ordinance Review Committee met in regular session on Tues, July 14, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room. Chairman Bill Marquardt presided.      


Present: Mr. Bill Marquardt (Chairman), Mr. Jerry Catalano, Mr. Jim Farmer, and Mr. John Marrelli

Absent: Mrs. Mary Ann Wervey, Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), and Dr. Stephan Parker (Council Alternate)

Also Present: Mr. Mark Guidetti (Law Department) and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)


Mr. Farmer, seconded by Mr. Marrelli made a motion to approve the minutes of April 14, 2015.            


Ayes: All               
Nays: None                

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved As Written.


  1. Building Code; Chapter 1305 Architectural Review Board   
    Charter; Article V; Section 2. Architectural Review Board
    Authority for Building Commissioner to Vote

  2. Chapter 505; Animals and Fowl

    Section 505.15; Keeping Animals near Dwellings


Building Code; Chapter 1305 Architectural Review Board
Charter; Article V; Section 2. Architectural Review Board
Authority for Building Commissioner to Vote

Chairman Marquardt called the meeting to order beginning with proposal #1. What kind of comments do we have?

Mr. Marrelli states, the Architectural Review Board at times doesn’t have a quorum, i.e. a no show. Sometimes we don’t know that until we’re in session. The applicant at that point is here and ready to present his program. The thought came since I’m always there, if there’s not a quorum, if I could have the power to vote to make the quorum, or in the situation of a 2 to 2 tie where I could break the tie, only in those two instances. We thought this was a Charter issue, but the Law Director ruled that it’s not, it’s an Ordinance issue.

Mr. Guidetti said if we want to go forward, there would be two minor amendments with language such as;

“Except for the Building Commissioner, each member of the Architectural Review Board shall be paid fifty dollars ($50.00) per meeting”.

(e) “The Building Commissioner shall attend all meetings of the Board and shall be a non-voting member unless a quorum is lacking or there’s a tie vote, in which case the Building Commission could vote”.

Mr. Farmer said, it makes sense to me.

Chairman Marquardt said, I don’t have as much problem with the quorum as breaking the tie. If you only had one member there, it’s over. If 2 members are there and they agree and you throw in the 3rd vote and agree, that’s o.k. I don’t think the Building Commissioner should be in the position to break a tie. The intent is for Architects to review the stuff, nothing against your expertise. If you have 4 people there and they can’t agree then something’s wrong.

Mr. Guidetti asked, are you saying the quorum would be there, but his vote wouldn’t count?

Chairman Marquardt explained, if the two members agree and the Building Commissioner also agreed, that’s o.k. You have to have a unanimous vote in that situation in my opinion.

Mr. Marrelli said, let’s at least set this up so we can make a quorum out of it so we can have the meeting.


Mr. Guidetti to draft language for review & discussion for next meeting date; Aug 11th.


Chapter 505; Animals and Fowl
Section 505.15; Keeping Animals near Dwellings

Chairman Marquardt asked John to explain our chicken ordinance.

Mr. Marrelli states, we have under our General Offenses, Section 505.15 which talks about domestic animals.

Mr. Guidetti said, it actually prohibits the keeping of any animals other than domestic animals if you have under two acres of property.

Mr. Marrelli said, Diane Calta and I did some research on this a couple of years ago. She came back to me and said; “I wasn’t aware of this, but chickens are considered domesticated animals”. It’s because they stay by the house, they don’t wonder, etc.

Mr. Guidetti refers to 505.15; KEEPING ANIMALS NEAR DWELLINGS.
   (a) No person shall raise, harbor or keep any domestic animal within the Municipality so as to cause a nuisance condition as described in Section 505.l6.
   (b) No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any horses, mules, cattle or any animal other than a domestic animal on his property if such property is less than two acres. If the property is two acres or larger then, in order to maintain such animals, the owner shall construct on the premises, a corral or enclosure for such animals which shall be at least ten feet from any property line and at least 200 feet from the dwelling, other main building on the premises or any dwelling on any adjacent property.
   The owner shall furthermore construct a barn or shed to house such animals which barn or shed shall be totally within the corral or enclosure referred to herein above. The floor of such barn or shed shall include channeling to dispose of animal urine by underground piping to an approved sanitary sewer or other approved sanitary disposal facility approved by the Board of Health of Cuyahoga County. The owner shall furthermore be responsible for bagging and disposing of all manure on a daily basis.

Mr. Marrelli states, with that being said, we approved anybody that wanted to have chickens on their property. We tell them what the law is under Chapter 505; Animals and Fowl. We haven’t had any issues, it’s been about three years since we had a couple families pull permits for chicken coops.

Fast forward to last week when somebody brought up the fact that chickens carry salmonella and people that handle them get sick and are subjecting their neighbors to this possible illness. Most of this is health related. A lot of cities & towns have a Department of Health that manages this kind of thing.

Mr. Guidetti states, Cleveland’s ordinance is huge on this. I don’t know that we want something that extensive.

Chairman Marquardt asked, who would enforce it?

Mr. Marrelli replied, that’s the problem.

Chairman Marquardt asked where this is coming from.

Mr. Guidetti replied, Dr. Zatko on Worton Pk Dr. is concerned because his neighbor has a chicken coop in his back yard. He said the necessary permit was pulled. When he asked about follow up to routine coop inspections to ensure the health & safety of neighbors, he was informed there is no inspection policy in the Village.

I suppose we could incorporate language in Section 505.16; NUISANCE, but it would probably be better if we wanted to regulate them to do a separate ordinance. Dr. Zatko says in his e-mail:

“Live poultry present a number of well documented serious health concerns to handlers, children and those with immune disorders.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently released a warning that live poultry present a serious Salmonella risk for children, handlers and immunocompromised individuals” (http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellapoultry/)

            “As an individual at risk for poultry related diseases I am most concerned that this issue has not been thoroughly addressed by Village Council.  With the close proximity of properties in the Village the CDC warning places the health concerns of the residents at odds with the right to have a coop”.

Chairman Marquardt asked, who is going to make a judgement as to whether they are being kept properly or not? You’d almost have to get a contract service.

Mr. Marrelli replied, we have that, our Animal Warden.

Chairman Marquardt asked, does he qualify for chickens? Do we allow goats & pigs?

Debbie Garbo states, there was an inquiry into pigs in May. Johns response then was; “My interpretation is they are considered domesticated if they are kept indoors, except for occasional walks/exercise, and we have no issue with them”.

Mr. Guidetti said, I think you want to have clearly defined non-discretionary requirements, i.e. setbacks, size of coops.

Mr. Marrelli said, I have a better idea, why don’t we just keep it to cats & dogs.

Mr. Guidetti states, it will not apply retroactively.

Mr. Marrelli said they’ll be grandfathered in. The people that have them will keep them.

Mr. Farmer said, in reading sample ordinances from other communities, some you can’t have chickens or roosters. Chickens don’t make a lot of noise, but roosters do.

Mr. Guidetti said, Dr. Zatko has a concern with regard to poultry related diseases.

Mr. Marrelli said, two thoughts come to mind. First, we don’t know enough about the health risk. We need somebody from the Health Department to fill us in. Second, we should check with our Animal Warden to find out if they would add these inspections into their contract. If it’s a proximity issue, we could limit it two acres. You don’t have two acres, you don’t get chickens, horses, mules or cows. We already have the two acre limit in 505.15 (b). A lot of the sample ordinances I read said the coops had to be at least 100’ from any dwelling, either the owners or the neighbors. If you have concerns like Dr. Zatko, 100’ may not be enough.

Chairman Marquardt said, the current problem is we allow chickens on less than 2 acres. The complaint is that they spread disease. We need to find out if that’s valid.

Mr. Marrelli said, everything I’ve read, it spreads only if you physically pick them up, handle them. This is also a Police Dept issue, our Animal Warden works under them.

Mr. Farmer states, in talking at my Law office, this is currently a hot topic. It’s coming up in a lot of communities.

Mr. Marrelli said Lakewood has their own Health Department. They probably have experts on top of whatever these birds can spread.

Mr. Farmer said I don’t think Lakewood passed an ordinance per say, I think they have a pilot program right now. I know they can have hens. I’ll check with my office who recently worked on this issue.

Chairman Marquardt asked if there’s any urgency, is anyone requesting chickens right now?

Mr. Marrelli replied, no.

Mr. Farmer asked if communities have a limit on the number of chickens.

Mr. Marrelli replied, 4 seems to be the magic number. I think they lay one egg a day. Our Engineer lives on a farm and had chickens. He said it’s a losing proposition. It costs more to feed and take care of them than what it’s worth.

Chairman Marquardt said, burying, burning and bagging the waste has to be a potential environmental concern also.


Mr. Guidetti to draft language for review & discussion at next meeting date. Will take a look at what Cleveland has as far as safety concerns. Will speak to Chief Edelman to see if the Animal Warden is capable of inspections.


Mr. Marrelli, seconded by Mr. Farmer made a motion for adjournment.


Ayes: All  
Nays: None                          

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Deborah Garbo
Executive Assistant
Building Department