Ordinance Review: August 8th 2017

Mayfield Village

The Ordinance Review Committee met in regular session on Tues, Aug 8, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room. Chairman Parker presided.     


Present: Dr. Stephan Parker (Chairman), Mr. Joseph Diemert (Law Director), Mrs. Mary Ann Wervey, Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary), Mr. Paul Fikaris, Mr. David Hunter, and Mr. John Marrelli

Absent: Mayor Bodnar and Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer)

CONSIDERATION OF MEETING MINUTES: March 14, 2017 & June 13, 2017 Mr. Marrelli, seconded by Mr. Hunter made a motion to approve the minutes of March 14, 2017 & June 13, 2017.      


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved as Written.


  1. Section 1301.03; Position of Municipal Architect Created
    Section 1301.04; Review of Plans by Municipal Architect
    Section 1301.05 04; Landscape Architect; Creation and Duties
    Ordinance No. 2017-
    (Law Dept)
  2. Section 1309.04; Lump Sum Permit Fees; Exceptions
    Ordinance No. 2017-
    (Bldg Dept)
  3. Section 1333.01; Adoption; Enforcement
    National Electric Code 2017 Edition
    Ordinance No. 2017-
    (Bldg Dept)
  4. Section 1385.02; Permit Application and Issuance
    Ordinance No. 2017-
    (Bldg Dept)
  5. Section 1387.01; Inspections
    Ordinance No. 2017-
    (Bldg Dept)


Chairman Parker called the meeting to order.

  • Section 1301.03; Position of Municipal Architect Created
  • Section 1301.04; Review of Plans by Municipal Architect

Mr. Diemert begins. The Municipal Architect is being changed dramatically in the beginning of this Mayor’s term. The Mayor found that having one appointed at all the time for all these purposes that are set forth in 1301.04 really weren’t necessary and it’s easier to contract out as needed. That may change in the future but as of now we’re updating it to provide what we actually do and that is as the Mayor deems it necessary. On the advice of the Building Commissioner or anyone else, she’ll look to an Architect to help with what needs to be done. Everything else in 1301.04 is being taken out in this part.

Mr. Marrelli gives a little history; 1301.04 Review of Plans by Municipal Architect. At the time this was passed, the Building Commissioner was not certified. I don’t think they had a certified Building Department, so he couldn’t review plans. So they had to hire an Architect to be a Plan Examiner since 1985 or so. An Architect was put on contract with a back-up because the State requires a Plan Examiner and a back-up Examiner. So the Municipal Architect was no longer examining plans because he wasn’t the Plan Examiner. We never changed the law, we just ignored it. The position of Municipal Architect was not that of the Plan Examiner any longer, but more of a Consultant for municipal projects. We are now reflecting that. If there are capital improvement projects or construction projects, then the Mayor would bring in a municipal Architect and use him for that but not for plan examinations. That’s why we wiped out that whole 1301.04 section.

Mr. Diemert asked, who reviews the plans for example; a commercial building. 

Mr. Marrelli replied, I have two Plan Examiners, they are Architects. Initially Architectural Review Board looks at the exterior of the project then when the applicant applies for a permit, then they go into the plan review to check it against the Ohio Building Code. That’s when we shoot the plans out to the Plan Examiner and they do their examination in accordance with the Ohio Building Code and give us back their comments. Then we go back to the applicant and say here are the things that need to be addressed. They address them and then we issue the permit. My guess is unless we have a project that we need an Architect for, this 1301.03 Section Municipal Architect Position will probably remain open.

Chairman Parker asked, but the Mayor will pick that person?

Mr. Marrelli replied, that’s correct.

Chairman Parker asked, what are the criteria?

Mr. Marrelli replied, they have to be an Architect registered by the State of Ohio.

Chairman Parker asked, is there any mechanism in place to direct who she picks as opposed to whoever she wants?

Mr. Marrelli replied, she could put an advertisement in the paper for services.

Mrs. Wervey asked, why do we say a ‘Position of Municipal Architect Created’ like it’s a staff person when really all you’re doing is hiring a Consultant to do whatever project you need done.

Mr. Marrelli replied, in the future if we end up having multiple projects or the Village Administration decides we really should have somebody on staff like the position of Municipal Engineer or Municipal Law Director or Municipal Warden, then we could fill it if we need to. Right now we don’t have any capital improvement projects where we need an Architect on staff but we may in the future.

Chairman Parker asked, do you foresee any potential areas where this could be necessary?

Mr. Marrelli replied, I don’t right now. We have carry over at the Grove with a small project but that could be a design build, that’s tiny.

Chairman Parker said, it’s not like we’re doing another Progressive complex.

Mr. Marrelli replied, no. At some point, we might have to deal with rehabbing this building, maybe changing the inner workings of it, it’s kind of clumsy & awkward. Then we would need somebody for that.

Chairman Parker said, for a single building of this size I can’t imagine we’d have to hire an employee.

Mr. Marrelli said, you could do a request for proposals and have guys come and throw their hat in the ring.

Mrs. Wervey said, you’d have to rewrite it again because it says ‘consulting services’. If you were going to hire a staff person, you’d have to revise it.

Mr. Marrelli said, right now it’s basically a position on the books in case we need it. More importantly it was to take out the part that says the Municipal Architect is the Plan Examiner which they’re not.


Mrs. Wervey, seconded by Mr. Fikaris made a motion to approve;

  • Revisions to Section 1301.03; Position of Municipal Architect Created as written.
  • Removal of Section 1301.04; Review of Plans by Municipal Architect.


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


Section 1301.05 04; Landscape Architect; Creation and Duties

Mr. Marrelli said, this will come into play if/when the Assisted Living Facility comes into play. That’ll be a big project, there’ll be a lot of landscape design that somebody is going to have to look at.

Mrs. Wervey comments, I think that’ll be good. I agree.

Chairman Parker said, we should probably look at landscape design throughout the Village in terms of what we might want to do to enhance the image of our community from the interstate turnoffs to this main corridor and the median. Maybe we make a recommendation to Council. Now that we got a lot of major projects accomplished, maybe we look at beautification.

Mr. Marrelli said, at the Community Room across the street, a design was put on paper and then we used a Landscape Architect to review it and make changes which they did.

Chairman Parker said that’s great, but I’d like to see a global viewpoint of what we’re doing in terms of image for our community.

Mr. Diemert asked, have you seen the nice medians in Mayfield Hts by 271 with the fountains and flowers? It looks pretty nice.

Mr. Hunter said, the only comment I have on the description which to me is critical in design of the Landscape Architect, is that it’s something relatively easy to maintain. I don’t know if it fits into this at all. That’s a critical piece for the municipality. The other comment, when they did all the work on 1-90 they had a lot of trouble with trees staying alive and they have not replaced them. If you drive down 91, you see holes leftover. 

Chairman Parker agreed. We’ve had problems with the median in the wintertime.

Mr. Marrelli said, if you read the duties the way they’re written, they’re basically to review plans submitted for approval, which would be for projects coming into my office. Everything I’m hearing at this table is we need to do something Village wide.

Chairman Parker suggested, one of the duties could be when requested, provide landscape recommendations for the Village.

Mr. Marrelli replied, we’ll have to add that in the duties because it’s not in there. These duties are for submitted plans, not for Village wide consultation.

Mr. Fikaris asked, do you envision this originally as a consult on a project basis or a fulltime Landscape Architect?

Mr. Marrelli replied, what I’m hearing is when I get a building plan with a landscape design I should be able to take it to this person for review. That’s one duty. I think the other duty from what I’m hearing is to have somebody consult the Administration on landscape design throughout the Village which would be municipal properties, but that’s not in the duties.

Mr. Fikaris asked, is any of that under any umbrella of a 2020 or a Citizen’s Advisory to make those suggestions?

Mr. Marrelli replied, I think it would be simple to expand the duties. For instance, we haven’t done anything with the landscaping around this building since we owned it. It’s overgrown, looks bad. We go to the Service Dept and ask them if they can do something, and then they’re designing it. They shouldn’t be designing landscaping. We should have a professional doing that.

Mr. Fikaris clarifies, I meant is there another input mechanism within the Village.

Chairman Parker replied, normally someone goes to the Service Dept and they do the best they can, i.e. the stone bridges.

Mr. Marrelli said, but those were designed by Jim McKnight, a Landscape Architect. He was doing a lot of our design work.

Mr. Diemert suggested changing under (c) Duties (1) to say; provide advice and direction as requested for the incident of the landscape on or around public property locations. Then we’ll change the current (1) to (2) and (2) to (3) and (3) to (4).

Chairman Parker replied, that’s o.k. It would be nice if there was a concerted effort to maintain some type of consistency and theme throughout the Village.

Mr. Diemert said, like the entrances to the subdivisions. We try and coordinate those.

Chairman Parker said, it seems like there’s consensus that that would be a nice thing for us to do for the Village.

Mr. Hunter and Mrs. Wervey agreed, for consistency.

Mrs. Wervey asked, should the Landscape Architect be registered in the State of Ohio?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes.

Mrs. Wervey said, we don’t say that here, but we say it for the Municipal Architect.

Chairman Parker points to ‘shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor’, when does he serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council?

Mr. Diemert replied, that language was already there.

Chairman Parker asked, at what point do we put Council in there or not?

Mr. Diemert replied, it’s up to you.

Chairman Parker said, I know Council will be involved in the decision.

Mr. Marrelli said, once Council approves it, then the Mayor puts it into effect.

Chairman Parker said, you decide Joe.

Mr. Diemert replied, it’s not my decision. You have ‘shall be appointed by the Mayor’, so if you’re going to change it in one place, you should change it in the other.

Chairman Parker said, I think appointed by the Mayor gives her some leeway to go out and hire someone. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to say I serve at the pleasure of the Mayor, not you.

Mr. Diemert said, it does say Council establishes the compensation. Serving at the pleasure means at will they can be terminated any time. If the Architect doesn’t work out, the Mayor is given the discretion to terminate.

Chairman Parker asked, do we have a qualified list of Architects? I’m not saying that the Mayor would just go out and hire someone. I’d like there to be a mechanism by which the people she’s choosing from have provided us with appropriate credentialing and we’ve examined them. If we’re going to do this seriously, I think we reach out to people on our list.

Mr. Marrelli said, I would imagine that if the Mayor decided to find someone, she would put a request for proposals in the newspaper.

Chairman Parker said, that’s the way I would like to see it done as opposed to saying let’s hire this person because we’ve worked with them in the past. I’d like it to be a little more professional. I’m not saying this Mayor wouldn’t do that but if another Mayor came along and wanted to hire a buddy or someone they’ve worked with, I think there has to be a process like with everything else we do. It may only have to be done once every so many years so that we have a qualified list of people. We put an AD in, they’ve submitted their qualifications, we review them and we say these are our three go to Architects.

Mr. Marrelli said, I think that’s up to the Administration on how they choose.

Chairman Parker replied, that’s fine, I just want to make sure we get the highest quality of people doing work for us. Does that make sense?

Mr. Marrelli replied, you’ll have to pay for it.

Mr. Diemert said in jest, highest quality at the lowest and best fee.

Chairman Parker said, I just didn’t know the process and I want to make sure that we have safeguards built in.

Mr. Fikaris said, that language does exist in the Charter that says serve under the discretion of the Mayor. As important to me is that they could be terminated like that and there’s no reason, no vote, no nothing. The hiring process is very important.

Chairman Parker said, if we’re going to be using these Architects for these kind of projects, we need to make sure there’s a process to have a list of approved Architects.

Mr. Marrelli said, we need the language that they have to be registered in the State of Ohio. That has to be criteria one.


Mr. Hunter, seconded by Mr. Marrelli made a motion to approve;

  • Revisions to Section 1301.05-04; Landscape Architect; Creation and Duties as written and discussed as noted;
  1. Change under (c) Duties (1) to say; provide advice and direction as requested for the incident of the landscape on or around public property locations. Then change the current (1) to (2) and (2) to (3) and (3) to (4).
  2. Landscape Architect to be registered in the State of Ohio.


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


Section 1309.04; Lump Sum Permit Fees; Exceptions

Mr. Marrelli said, some time ago before I was hare, my predecessor decided that for a new house, instead of having a bunch of different permit fees for electrical, plumbing and mechanical, that he would do a lump sum per house. Might have been in the 80’s. The lump sum fee for a new house was $700.00. Some thirty years later, I’d like to at least double it.

Mr. Hunter asked, was there any consideration to do something based on the size of the house?

Mr. Marrelli replied, that’s another thing. I had one down on Wilson Mills that was 4,000 sq. ft. and they paid $700.00 for all their permits.

Mr. Hunter asked, how about the one on Village Trails at 20,000 sq. ft.

Mr. Marrelli replied, that’s not ours, that’s Gates Mills.

Chairman Parker asked, what do you think Gates Mills charged for that?

Mr. Marrelli replied, they probably do theirs separately. Separately means if you take out an electrical permit, every plug, every light and every switch. Blanket for a house makes sense, makes it easy for everybody. But this $700.00 fee is way too cheap.

Chairman Parker asked, do we charge for every time you have an inspection of that?

Mr. Marrelli replied, no. This $700.00 covers every inspection from the time they dig the foundation till they put the last shingle on. To inspect a 3,000 sq. ft. house it could be 50 or 60 trips. 

Chairman Parker said, maybe there does need to be a sliding scale, maybe this number isn’t really appropriate. When somebody’s building a $500,000 or $1 million house, what’s $2,500 as opposed to $1,400? We’re not looking to charge a lot but if we have people that are being sent out that often, maybe we need to make sure we’re covering our cost.

Mr. Marrelli replied, we’re not. This will be better, but it won’t cover all the trips.

Mr. Fikaris asked, how many houses have been built in your tenure?

Mr. Marrelli replied, 1 or 2 a year.

Chairman Parker said, there is some acreage that could potentially be attached, i.e. Stabile property, White Rd.

Mr. Marrelli said, I don’t think there’s anything on White Rd. There might be in the future another Planned Unit Development. If you’d like, I’d entertain a sliding scale of square footage, $1,400 for 2,000 sq. ft. and then over 2,000 sq. ft. at $1,800.

Chairman Parker asked, I don’t know the economics of it.

Mr. Marrelli said, for me to go look at a footer for a 2,000 sq. ft. house or a 4,000 sq. ft. house, that doesn’t make any difference, I make the same trip. I’m just there longer.

Chairman Parker recommended John research surrounding communities on what they charge per house.

Mr. Diemert said, Mr. Chairman you could have this one adopted to cover this building season and have John & Debbie get that information and then we amend it again with more detail.

Chairman Parker replied, I’m fine with that.

Mr. Marrelli said, let’s do this for now and I’ll do some studies over the winter when it slows down a little bit, I’ll get some figures to you.

Mrs. Wervey said, my thought would be that the permit fee should cover the inspection costs.

Mr. Marrelli replied, they never do. I brought this up to Administration, this is probably my third time trying to raise any fees. It was always said these people are going to move in and pay taxes and that offsets these low permit fees. The other thought I was getting is that if you make the permit fees too high, people are not going to get the permit to save a few bucks.

Mr. Diemert asked, Mr. Chairman I think I was only needed for the Architectural ordinance, can I be excused? I have to get to another meeting at 6:30.

Chairman Parker replied, that’s fine.

Mr. Diemert left the meeting at 6:05 p.m.


Mrs. Wervey, seconded by Mr. Fikaris made a motion to approve amendments for now as noted;

  • Revisions to Section 1309.04; Lump Sum Permit Fees; Exceptions as written.

NOTE: Mr. Marrelli to study further, research what surrounding communities are charging for permit fee for construction of new family dwellings and report figures back to Ordinance Review Committee for discussion and possible amendment to section 1309.04.


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


Section 1333.01; Adoption; Enforcement
National Electric Code 2017 Edition

Mr. Marrelli said, next is The National Electric Code which we’re required to keep up to date to stay in compliance with State Law, we haven’t done it for a while. This comes out every three years. We had 2011, I missed 2014, now we’re on 2017. If somebody would have challenged me, I would have had to back off because it wasn’t on our books. We got through that one.

Mr. Fikaris asked, would it be prudent to say the latest version of The National Electric Code?

Mr. Marrelli replied, we tried to do that before and I don’t think we were allowed to do that. That would make life easy, every time a new code came out it would be automatically adopted. I don’t think the legal people allow that.

Chairman Parker asked, we have to be in compliance with whatever the State has?

Mr. Marrelli replied, correct. But you have to officially adopt it and put it into your local code.

Chairman Parker asked, any questions? There were none.


Mr. Fikaris, seconded by Mr. Marrelli made a motion to approve;

  • Revisions to Section 1333.01; Adoption; Enforcement as written.


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


Section 1385.02; Permit Application and Issuance

Mr. Marrelli said, this is housecleaning. Section 1385.02 language still has The Building Commissioner/Service Director shall provide applications for permits for garage and public sales. I’m just taking the Service Director part out. Building Commissioner and Service Director have been not one in the same person for probably 35 years. When Gus was here, he did both.

Chairman Parker asked, any questions? There were none.


Mrs. Wervey, seconded by Mr. Hunter made a motion to approve;

  • Revisions to Section 1385.02; Permit Application and Issuance as written


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


Section 1387.01; Inspections

Mr. Marrelli said, last but not least, another housekeeping. State of Ohio requires us to use the International Property Maintenance Code. Our ordinance says The National Property Maintenance Code, there is no such book, it’s International. That’s another cleanup.

Chairman Parker asked, any questions? There were none.


Mr. Fikaris, seconded by Mrs. Wervey made a motion to approve;

  • Revisions to Section 1387.01; Inspections as written.


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


  • Updating State Codes

Mr. Hunter asked, could we check with our legal people to update these State Codes every three years when it’s mandated?

Mr. Marrelli replied, I think the State requires you to put it on your local books. I could tell you for a fact that some municipalities, if you go into their ordinances, you might find that they’re still using code editions that are 10 years old. They don’t want to update them.

Chairman Parker asked, why?

Mr. Marrelli replied, they might not be a Certified Building Department so they’re not required to update them. They may be comfortable with The 2011 National Electric Code which is probably not as safe but still could be effective if it’s on their books. I know for sure there’s ordinances out there in different municipalities that are years old and probably antiquated but they won’t let go of them. Their books could be 20 years old and they’re just not going to change them. Because we’re a State Certified Building Department, when the State Board of Building Standards comes out and says here’s the new editions and these are the ones we’re adopting statewide, then we don’t have a choice.

Mr. Hunter said, you would think being 20 years out of date they’d run the risk of not being insurable.

Mr. Marrelli said, the insurance companies really don’t care. Our last insurance study that was done here, I pounded on the table with this guy and I said our ordinances are stronger than State Law. We have fire alarms everywhere, we have sprinklers everywhere, all of our buildings are protected. Every public building in this town is protected, you guys should be giving people a break. He said we’re not going to be doing that.

Note: Following discussion, consensus is to change Ordinance Review meeting start time from 7:30 pm to 5:30 p.m.


Mrs. Wervey, seconded by Mr. Marrelli made a motion for adjournment.


Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.