BOA: June 20th 2017

Mayfield Village
June 20, 2017

The Board of Appeals met in regular session on Tues, June 20, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room. Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse presided.


Present: Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Stivo DiFranco, and Mr. John Michalko

Also Present: Mr. Joseph Diemert (Law Director), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary), Mayor Bodnar, and Mr. Gino Carcioppolo (Fire Chief)

Absent: Mr. Joseph Prcela (Chairman) and Mrs. Alexandra Jeanblanc


Mr. Michalko, seconded by Mr. DiFranco made a motion to approve the minutes of Jan 17th and Feb 21st, 2017 as written.          


Ayes: Mr. Syracuse, Mr. DiFranco, Mr. Michalko
Nays: None                                      

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved.



East Commons, Ltd.
Artis Senior Living, LLC
Sheldon Berns
Berns, Ockner & Greenberger, LLC

  1. A request for a USE Variance to permit Permanent Parcel No. 831-05-015, zoned in the Office-Laboratory District to be used as a Memory Care Assisted Living Facility.

Abutting Property Owners:

300 NCB (Progressive Insurance Co.)
280 NCB (Governor’s Village)
290 NCB (Altercare Rehabilitation)
6576 White Rd. (Mt. Sinai Cemetery)
294 SOM Ctr Rd. (Charles Kinnaird)


Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse called the meeting to order. Applicant tonight is requesting a USE Variance. The abutting property owners have been notified.

Introduction by Attorney Sheldon Berns

Sheldon Berns, 3733 Park East Dr, Beachwood OH, Attorney for Applicant introduced himself.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse said, you’re not going to be presenting testimony, so we don’t have to swear you in.

Mr. Berns states, we’re here tonight seeking a USE Variance. I understand if we’re successful, we’ll be the first ones since your Charter Amendment in 2015. Everyone should have received our application. I’m going to hand out a replacement page ADDENDUM TO BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS APPLICATION (attached to minutes) if you would please substitute this with the existing which had a typographical error referencing Exhibit “A” & “B”.

I’ve been practicing law for 55 years and involved with Real Estate for almost that entire period. What we have just gone through in the last several years is the most astounding dynamic change in land use that I’ve experienced. I sat as a member of the Beachwood City Council. In that city and other cities in North Eastern Ohio things were stable, not so any more. The Real Estate industry has basically turned upside down. Things that were true 10 or 15 years ago are no longer.

The property we’re talking about is the acreage of Mr. Cannata’s company who wanted to build some medical office buildings. He’s here and he’ll tell you what efforts were made in order to attract the tenants or buyers for medical office during the seven year period since he’s owned the property. It’s an unfortunate tale.

We also have with us Roger Ritley who many of you may know. He’s an Appraiser and Property Economist in North Eastern Ohio. I reserve the word brilliant for very few people. I use it here. Roger is going to explain to you why Mr. Cannata was not successful in developing that property for what he intended it to be, medical offices. He’ll explain to you further why the uses that are permitted under your zoning code for this property are not economically viable for medical, offices or laboratory research uses. He’ll explain to you that the prime need is for Memory Care Facilities, particularly at this location and why this property is particularly suited for it. It’s a unique situation because of the location and configuration of this property and what is around it. I hope you will agree we need a USE Variance and this use is an ideal use for this property.

Mr. Berns concludes, we also have with us Thomas Jones who is a Real Estate Consultant for ARTIS Senior Living. He’s going to explain what they intend to do on the property and what their operation is. It’s been expressed about a possible burden this might be on village services. He’s going to tell you why that isn’t true, due to the fact this is a Memory Care Facility and not a Skilled Nursing Care Facility, and he’ll explain what the difference is. There’s a million dollar payroll which will help to pay for any village services there are, so this is hopefully a win-win situation for everybody. If anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer.

Sam Cannata, Owner of Property - History of marketing the property

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse turned the floor over to Mr. Cannata at this point, administering the oath.


Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse stated that anyone wishing to speak must be sworn in, administering the oath to Mr. Cannata and asking Mr. Cannata to state his name and address for the record.

Sam Cannata, 30799 Pine Tree Rd. Unit #254, Cleveland, OH 44124, introduced himself. As many of you know I was before you a few years ago in getting our project approved. I’m the owner of the property. We all worked diligently and together to formulate the plan. We worked with David Hartt, the Building Dept, Law Dept and essentially everyone in the village to put together the plan that we have. The plan was for small office buildings ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 square feet, we positioned about 6 on the property with a cul-de-sac road.

The thinking at that time coming out of the last recession was that people were going to move out of the big office buildings, want to maybe have their own place that they could establish their office or practice and potentially they would own the structure.

After a lot of hard work with everyone here, we put together a plan and started to market the property. We worked very closely with Ted Esborn who was the village’s Economic Development Director at the time. Every time he had a lead, we would follow up. We had commercial marketers throughout North East Ohio present the property to different people. We had some people look at it, we gave out some proposals. At the end of the day, we couldn’t attract anyone to the property for office use / medical use. At one point we even drew up one of the smaller buildings up front and were going to consider building it on spec. It just wasn’t economically viable. We didn’t want to take that chance. We didn’t want to build a building and tear down all the trees and just leave a wasteland. That was a big topic at the time. We were apprehensive to do that until we had some solid businesses. Seven years later, we still haven’t started obviously.

Mr. Cannata concludes, we haven’t pulled the plug on it, but we have ARTIS Senior Living here that’s interested in bringing in a nice facility to the community.

Presentation by Roger Ritley, Appraiser and Property Economist

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse turned the floor over to Mr. Ritley, administering the oath.


Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse stated that anyone wishing to speak must be sworn in, administering the oath to Mr. Ritley and asking Mr. Ritley to state his name and address for the record.

Roger Ritley, MAI, CRE, ASA at 23875 Commerce Park Rd., Beachwood, OH, introduced himself and handed out material including Zone / Site Map & 2016 Drive Time Demographic sheet (attached to minutes).

I’ve been in this business over 50 years. One of the most exciting things about it is to see how things change with greater rapidity and larger in scale. The last time I talked to my Grandson he was working on a quantum computer as an Intern solving the principal question – are the analysis of massive amounts of data capable of producing superior results in seemingly impossibly short times. Looking into another dimension of accelerating change in Europe using the large Haldron Collider, it took seven trillion volts of electricity in this accelerator to crash a particle into a proton to reenact the first one trillionth of a second in the existence of this universe. It’s so far out there it’s insane. But what’s happening here is at a much slower pace obviously. We human beings thankfully will steer the boat, you folks have a great responsibility for what happens here.

Coming down to earth and talking more sensibly to you about the issues in front of you, I want to point out to you that this is what I did to the zoning map to print out a point. Over here, all this parkland is a wonderful thing to have with such proximity to the community. Then up here you have the Lake County Park System coming right down into this. The continuity, what you all did with some of these underpasses to get through, thread some more passageways back and forth into having a way to care for the people who are here in terms of quality of life for individuals & families.  

What you see developed here is the only large scale commercial development that’s occurred, just a wonderful thing that you grabbed the headquarters. You have this very strong National Company that should be able to carry on for some time, a contribution to the economic wealth of the community, to give all these folks a good place to live.

Here is our subject property shown in blue, striped yellow is the property I just talked about. Here you pick up some municipal property, the cemetery down here, over here some acquisition activity that for decades has taken place.

When I look at this kind of land massing and Governor’s facility right across the street from the subject property, I see how quiet everything gets here. You have open space over here, we show this upper corner area in green. You think about what happens when you’re caring for people. It shows that this population needs the services of this type of facility that’s being offered by ARTIS.

We talked about change a few minutes ago and the request for a USE Variance. The logic of that is if you can’t scramble or move from one direction or another for any little thing that happens over time, it does creep up on you. When you look at this, this is a minor adjustment, it’s a tiny tiny fraction of what’s going on with all of us. It’s a cleanup so to speak, an adjustment that’s been made because the commitment has been made for open space activities all through this area here and one very intense activity here. There’s no association with any critical mass that would support the zone category that’s there now. The reason I’m familiar with that is because I also own commercial property in several states. I’ve had the good fortune of taking my pennies and putting them in the right place over a long period of time. Over the years I’ve learned an awful lot of lessons about picking sites and knowing where you’re going.

There’s no critical mass that it takes for what we can put and link up with, with a lot of other small office buildings. When you look at those small office buildings, the ones that are real modest in scale, if you break it down, this rounded off four acres of usable area, there’s not much you can build on, you’re just a little lost corner over here. Who knows you’re there, what’s the purpose of being there in the face of the cost of producing that kind of space. The economics are just out the door. If you wanted to do medical office space here, you’re going to pay $30 a square foot plus, to be in the right place. How do you support with medical practice the way it is today whether you’re with an institution like the big hospitals or you’re in private practice, anything that gets near that support, you can’t carve out that kind of money. There’s other space available in the community.

Ahuja where they built their hospital facility, on their campus they have one office building that’s going to be going in the 50 some acres they own down there. It’s all packed in on that spot. They’re only on their first phase of offering three phases of development for their hospital. All that kind of specialized office space is going to be grouped in those locations and not in some spot like this one here, which is all by itself. It doesn’t have the functional aspect that’s going to be necessary to attract users. General office space as well is at minimum $21 a square foot. Who are you going to attract? There’s a massive movement into these core areas and they want space that’s relatively unstructured. That means you wind up getting all these buildings that have tremendous open space. There’s six million square feet less of office space in Downtown Cleveland over the past ten years. That’s a huge drop in the central business district. Anybody whose building anything is going to have to build an adventure for these millenniums. I own property in Chagrin Falls, the rents are the same as what they were in the 1980’s. It’s a 54,000 sq. ft. building, multi-level, inside garage and all the parts you can possibly imagine, and it’s tough to make a buck. So why would you do it here when you don’t have the conashaugh of being at the waterfall and all the cute shops? They’re very well off with a small community of 5,000 people.

Mr. Ritley concludes, this little orphan child needs to have a way to have some life plugged into it. When I first saw this and got into it, I asked, how could something that’s so well suited to this location come to be? I’m thinking about the workers up in and throughout this area, if their parents are in this facility here. Whether it’s at Governor’s or this spot with the relative modest number of beds that are going to be in that Memory Care Facility, how easy it would be to slip out for a lunch hour and go visit your parents or another relative. I have it a little different, I have to drive miles and miles in a car to get to that other person that I care about. I’ve experienced that twice in the past few years. I hope that you can see some of the wisdom and the ease of the existing, to reflect how the community holds itself out as a place that cares for its entirety of its population. It’s not a sales pitch, it’s the reality of bringing a facility like this to life in your community. Thank you.

Mr. Berns said, when I served on Beachwood City Council in the 70’s, we had a very forward thinking Mayor. Mr. Friedman decided that on Chagrin Blvd where there is now a Chinese restaurant on the corner, and a car agency along Enterprise Pkwy, all of that is called Science Park. His view was that it was going to be a science community with research and laboratories and that’s where they were going to go, off the freeway there. That was about 1973. This is 2017, there is not a single research or office laboratory facility located on an area that was dedicated for that purpose. When I started practicing law in 1960, Cleveland had 50 Fortune 500 companies headquartered here. That’s why you had a Jones Day office here. They had all these wonderful corporations. What happened to them? Last I heard, we had 5 Fortune 500 companies located in Northeastern Ohio.

The problem is that the office buildings needed for that kind of thing are no longer necessary. It’s something called the computer. People who used to be in office buildings with secretaries, guess what, they don’t need the office building or secretary anymore. They can operate out of their homes. The smaller Class B & C Office buildings are still there but not very well filled. None of them are making money. If you’re on the freeway, that helps. The idea of location, location for either retail or office, that’s what’s necessary. Unfortunately this site doesn’t fit any of those. Sam got into this at a time during this change with medical office. You’ve got the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and along with the Affordable Care Act, result being Doctors no longer want to have their small offices, they can’t afford the paper work. Our Health Care billing system is going through a dramatic change.

I came back from Canada’s Shakespeare Festival on Sunday being ill, stopped at the CVS pharmacy on Chagrin Blvd. They had a Nurse Practitioner who diagnosed me with pneumonia. She prescribed medication for it and so forth, told me to call my Doctor on Monday. Monday came, called my Doctor and he was too busy. So I went to the Express Care at the Clinic and guess who treated me, a Nurse Practitioner. That’s where medical treatment is going. You’re not going to have Doctors in small office buildings with their practices. Very few of them will succeed. I just wanted to add those comments because they’re germane to this particular situation.

Thomas Jones, Real Estate Consultant, Artis Senior Living, LLC

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse turned the floor over to Mr. Jones, administering the oath.


Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse stated that anyone wishing to speak must be sworn in, administering the oath to Mr. Jones and asking Mr. Jones to state his name and address for the record.

Thomas Jones, 5727 Kugler Mill Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45236 introduced himself. I tried to provide as many details related to the facility as I could for you to know exactly what kind of presence we’d be in the community. The goal is to provide residence for 72 individuals who are stricken with typically Alzheimer’s disease with close to 15 to 100 different forms of dementia, as well stroke and head trauma who have similar problems dealing with their day to day activities.

We feel like we’d be a very good neighbor not only to this gentleman in the back (Mr. Kinnaird) but we feel like this is a very good use since none of our residents drive. All of our employees come in at off commuting hours, shift changes are typically at 6, 2 & 10. We won’t be adding to traffic. We have a very low number of vehicles coming in and out which is a good use next to a park setting. We’ll be across from corporate headquarters. We hope to as many corporate entities like to do, to do outreach programs, hopefully have a lot of people decide they’d like to have their parents across from their place of business. We hope to get with the company and see if they would like to do some of their corporate volunteer hours to come in and spend time with our residents.

We plan on leaving about 30’ of trees in the back eastern portion of the property next to the residence as well as along the top northern part of the property and as much greenery as possible along the soccer field as well. I’m sure you have lighting regulations. At night we’ll have no light pollution on the surrounding properties.

There was mention at the beginning of this process that there were concerns that the proposed facility may burden EMS and the Fire Department services. We tracked data from our Memory Care Facility in Mason, Ohio. It’s averaged about 1 ½ non-siren runs a month. That’s a little high. You can see from our company’s bio, we go back to the 1980’s, we’re pioneers in this little business. The first company owned by the Bainum family is now ManorCare and typically historically we have about (1) one non-siren run per month.

Mr. Jones concludes, our payroll is around $1.8 million at full occupancy. We’d be paying property commercial real estate taxes. We feel like we actually are not using any city services at all based on the nature of the facility. I’d be glad to answer any questions.


Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked, is it true that all the residents of the facility will not be operating vehicles?

Mr. Jones replied, yes. Based on the symptoms of the diseases of Alzheimer’s and the other related dementia’s, they are there because they need someone to facilitate everything they do throughout the day. We help them get up, we help them get dressed, we provide activities for them all day. One of the differences in our community vs others is we put great emphases on providing outdoor space and facilitating free range of movement. A lot of other facilities basically keep them locked inside. We feel like that robs what dignity they have left. Another key element of all the different forms of dementia is, especially late in the afternoon, they call it sundown, a different level of anxiety. One of the self-soothing techniques that people with the disease use is walking or wondering. Our facility, they can walk through the hallways inside and during the appropriate times of the year we encourage them to walk outside on the walking path. We typically have a gazebo, yard will be nicely landscaped. It’s a nice area for them to walk and to get fresh air and sunshine. Everyone there is typically placed there by their adult children.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked, where do you anticipate most of the residents to come from?

Mr. Jones replied, typically 85% of our residents come from 3 – 5 miles. Only about 15% will come out of that area. That’s related to they’ve been recommended by someone who has their relative there. It’s a word of mouth thing or they’re from the more rural area and there’s no facilities there so they’ll move into the more metro area. These are people who have paid taxes to their local communities their entire life.

Mr. Michalko said, you talked about the outside walking area. What’s going to protect them from wondering off the property?

Mr. Jones replied, that’s a very good question. Around the entire perimeter we’ll have an 8’ fence that covers the sides and rear of the property. It’ll be 7’ of solid board and then 1’ of decorative lattice on top. If a person with dementia sees something familiar, they’ll walk to it. So it’s a solid privacy fence so that their attention is focused on the area where they’re allowed to walk freely.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked John if that type of fence is within code.

Mr. Marrelli replied, no. Six foot maximum height allowed and we don’t allow full privacy. A variance would be required.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked, 54 space service parking lot?

Mr. Jones replied, that’s correct. That’s below what the village requires, but even 54 is well above what we typically would build. We typically build between 34 and 40 spaces. That’s good enough to accommodate our employees shift changes and visitors.

Mr. Marrelli states, we don’t have a parking requirement for Assisted Living because we don’t have Assisted Living in our zoning code.

Mr. Jones said, I thought when we had our introduction meeting that we talked about the fence and I thought we checked the commercial zoning which allowed us to do an 8’ fence.

Mr. Marrelli said, that was for industrial, not office/lab.

Mr. Jones said, one of the reasons why it’s 8’ is based on the history of the company. Eight foot is literally impossible for somebody to get over it. In the previous company owned by the Bainum family ManorCare we had some former Special Forces people with brain trauma issues and at 6’ they’re able to get over it. That’s the rationale for the 8’.

Mr. Marrelli said, with the property surrounded by woods, and I believe the soccer field is the higher elevation, do you think they’ll see something going on beside the trees that they’d want to go to?

Mr. Jones replied, no but I’d rather ask for the variance to be certain for their safety. 

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse said, we’re not deciding that tonight.

Mr. Marrelli said, I just wanted to get that on the table. Also, let me mention I asked our Finance Director on the economic side what Governor’s Village numbers are as far as payroll and income tax. Their payroll is up to $1.75 million. That represents $35,000 to the Village. The property tax collections in 2016 were approximately $208,000 and the Village received 5% of that (approx. $10,000). You’re looking at about $45,000 between payroll and property tax for a 100 bed facility.

Mr. Jones said, going back to the EMS & Fire Safety issue. One thing we should distinguish between that property and this proposed property is, and I think it may be related to the number of EMS runs they generate. Skilled nursing, physical ailments are getting around the clock nursing care. The residents that would live in this facility are fairly in good shape, they can ambulate, virtually aging in place. They have a mental incapacity but they need supervision and guidance. These are people that just have mental incapacities that require help. They don’t have medical issues that would require immediate fire or ambulance service at moment’s notice. 

Mr. Marrelli asked, how do you handle a situation like the NFL player with the brain damage who goes crazy and starts beating people up?

Mr. Jones replied, people are screened. Before they’re allowed in they have to see a Doctor, reviewed by a Nurse. People with any violent tendencies would not be admitted to the community. I give you the example of the former NFL player as the history of why the 8’ fence. The vast majority of our residents will be 85 years old and older.

Mr. Marrelli asked, does anyone ever need assistance when they fall down and get hurt?

Mr. Jones replied, of course. Our staff is trained in how to deal with those situations and hopefully it’s not severe enough trauma incurred that would require an ambulance.

  • EMS & Fire Safety Concerns

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, you referred to non-siren runs, what exactly are those?

Mr. Jones replied, unfortunately an end of life situation.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, those are still calls that we’d be responding to. What’s your staffing like for a.m. & p.m.?

Mr. Jones replied, I can provide you with a schedule. Typically the peak shift has between 13 & 17 employees.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, and at night?

Mr. Jones replied, around 6 – 8.

Mr. Marrelli asked, how many does Governor’s Village have, 4 or 2?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, I don’t know what their staffing is at night. What are your employee’s skill level?

Mr. Jones replied, an R.N., Med Techs and Care Providers who are trained but typically don’t have a medical accreditation. 

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, what’s the terminology of your facility you refer to?

Mr. Jones replied, Memory Care, typically Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, you also said you were pioneers in something.

Mr. Jones replied, the Bainum family started in the 1980’s and created one of the first Assisted Living communities.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, are you trained in any medical?

Mr. Jones replied, no.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, is anyone else presenting here have any medical training?

Response is no.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo states, Alzheimer’s and dementia, traumatic brain injuries are all relatively important physical or mental ailments that cause other system problems, especially with a geriatric person. To say that it’s different, you do have allied health care professionals taking care of these people, to try and differentiate that from being different is not necessarily accurate. If you go to Governor’s Village, they also have a lock down unit because of the same reasons you were discussing. People wander, so if you have an elderly person walk outside at 3:00 in the morning in January, there’s a good chance that they might be confused and not find their way back in.

Mr. Jones said, that would be physically impossible on the structure of our facility.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, I brought that up because you said they have free range to walk around.

Mr. Jones replied, in secured areas with supervision obviously.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, your supervision at night?

Mr. Jones replied, obviously at night we’re not going to leave the doors wide open. If someone wants to go outside, they have to be supervised. There are checks and balances to provide security around the clock for all the residents. I would reiterate that there’s a vast difference between people who are medically incapacitated with issues and a 24 hr nursing care and Assisted Living with people who are getting assistance with daily living activities.

Mr. DiFranco asked, are you suggesting this facility would pose a threat to this community?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, from my experience working in private sector ambulance, working at multiple different Fire Departments and working here, we’re a small staff department and the numbers don’t lie. We went from a 50 bed facility at Governor’s Village to a 100 bed facility. We went from 57 calls a year to 113. We’re going to take on another potentially 72 bed facility which I would be surprised if we didn’t yield at least 72 to 90 calls. Those numbers are consistent with what my counterparts deal with and they do tax their services. Right now this year we’re at 103 multiple simultaneous calls. If we go to a non-siren call at your place, because we’re going to have to go there to pronounce someone dead or work someone in a full arrest, that’s going to completely empty our Fire Department of our on-staff personnel. We’re already at 103 this year so we’re on track to do over 250. The time it takes another mutual aid city to get here to a residents home or a business could be the difference between having a survivable patient or a neurologically intact patient based on what their medical ailment is. So yes, I am saying this could be a potential threat to the level of service we offer.

Mr. Jones said, I would be glad to put you in direct contact with the Fire Chief-

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, I’m waiting to hear back from the Fire Chief of Cincinnati. I’ll be in touch with them tomorrow.

Mr. Marrelli said, we talked to Beachwood and they gave you what their numbers are. The difference between Beachwood and us is that Beachwood charges for their runs and we don’t.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, do you believe that memory care Alzheimer’s and dementia might have an effect on someone’s balance?

Mr. Jones replied, at the end stages on their disease, of course. Typically that’s when they go into a wheelchair.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, so fall injuries are a possibility.

Mr. Jones states, all I’m saying is I understand where you’re coming from. I believe the Fire Department just hired an Assistant Fire Chief not too long ago, is that true?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied yes. That’s to do fire prevention to make sure that everyone in buildings such as this proposed building are adequately protected. 

Mr. Jones said, I will relay to you again this is a company whose management group has been decades in this business. We tried to directly address your concerns by providing real life data from an existing facility located here in Ohio. I encourage you to reach out to us.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, I’ll probably be doing that.

Mr. DiFranco asked, just to be clear, are you saying the revenue generated associated with this proposed facility would not cover the cost for the services that you provide?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, an example is Gates Mills paying for us to provide service, definitely not at that level, no.

Mr. DiFranco asked, is it a revenue sink for the Village?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, based on what was said, this facility will be putting out less money than Governor’s Village.

Mr. Marrelli said, their property taxes probably would be less or the same. The payroll about the same. You’re looking at about $45,000 a year between property and payroll.

Mr. Jones said, I would reiterate that these residents at this facility are not carpetbaggers. They’re people who have been paying taxes their entire life to this community as well as surrounding communities.  

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, that’s not that true that it’s this community. I’ll give you an example-

Mr. Jones interrupted, let me finish-

Fire Chief Carcioppolo rebutted, I was not finished, let me finish. Let’s say that Sue & Mike grew up here and went to Mayfield High School, they were born and raised here. They graduated High School, got jobs and purchased a home here and paid their taxes their entire life. Now they’re in their 50’s and have their own family here. They pay taxes and haven’t had a problem. We keep permitting more skilled nursing facilities to come into our community. One day we’re at one of these facilities taking care of someone that may not have lived here their whole life and so Mike has a heart attack and we’re at one of these facilities. Mike has his heart attack, we’re committed at one of these facilities taking care of someone that’s never been to Mayfield Village in their life except for when they turned 85 to live in this facility. We have to call mutual aid from one of the surrounding communities to come. So, we have a prolonged response time to get to Mike having a heart attack. Our response time from our department basically anywhere in Mayfield Village is around 3 to 4 minutes. Now if we call a mutual aid city from Mayfield Hts, Highland Hts or Willoughby Hills, you’re looking at 6 to 8 minutes. Brain tissue starts to die at 4 minutes with no oxygen. I’m trying to paint a picture that’s a real reality for someone.

Mr. Jones said, back to my point, if you single out any single family home in this entire community and do the math you can make the same argument. What’s the difference?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, that they’ve been living here paying taxes.

Mr. Jones said, these are people who have acquired enough money to be able to pay for these services in this community and the surrounding communities. I would reject your premise out of hand.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, that’s great but they’re paying to live in the facility to be cared for. They’re occupants of an institutional facility.

Mr. Jones states, they’re entitled to public services like anyone else.

Mr. Berns said, there are 3 Assisted Living facilities in Beachwood, these are non-profits. This one is not a non-profit. These people are all paying real estate taxes. Beachwood has had no qualms ever about providing those kinds of services and they’re not just for people in Beachwood. There is a difference. Beachwood does have an EMS charge. I went to the E.R. about three month ago. I got a very healthy bill from the City of Beachwood which was covered by Medicare. It didn’t cost me a dime because Medicare paid for it. If it’s a matter of paying for these kinds of services, if there’s a problem, then charge for it.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, would you guys go to the people and say because we would like to bring our business here we’d like the Fire Dept to start billing you all for our services?

Mr. Berns asked, who are you talking about?

Fire Chief Carcioppolo replied, the residents.

Mr. Berns said, if I know anything about the residents of Mayfield Village, almost all of them 65 and older, all have Medicare, all of them have medical insurance. It’s a bookkeeping process.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, we understand that. We bill non-residents.

Mr. Diemert asked, is ARTIS willing and have you in other communities entered into development agreements in communities such as this where we have those kinds of concerns where you would entertain an impact fee of some kind for that type of service or agree that they wouldn’t be declared residents for purposes of medical service billing and things like that. Has ARTIS ever done anything like that?

Mr. Jones replied, I would have to defer to our Corporate Attorney to answer that type of question. We always typically comply with whatever-

Mr. Diemert said, so it’s something to be negotiated.

Mr. Jones replied, yes.

Mr. Berns said, on a personal note, my Dad had Alzheimer’s for 11 years. He was fine physically. My Sister has had dementia for the last 10 years. May I humbly suggest, if it’s a question of whether or not these people have a place to take care of them, to say that we can’t afford to do it because it’s going to overburden us. This is not the kind of facility that’s going to have that many calls, their history shows it, 1 to 1 ½ calls a month.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, I’m just here posing the question. It’s my obligation.

Mr. Berns said, if it’s a matter of policy, I think Mayfield Village given its reputation and its very solid tax base is capable of handling some people who need this kind of care without overburdening your tax base. 

Mr. Jones said, this is not an issue that’s going away. As we progress over the years, the numbers of people over 85 and subsequently the number of people with all different types of dementia is going to grow exponentially. We as a private company are trying to prepare for that with you as civic leaders but also acknowledge that this is something that we have to help our elder population deal with. The need we’re trying to provide, to help not only them but caring for someone with these afflictions is extremely difficult not only physically but mentally. It consumes your time, reduces your ability to make money outside of the home and in many cases it shortens the life of the care provider. 

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked, before pursuing this location, what other locations did you look at that made you decide this was your location?

Mr. Jones replied, we typically look for transitional areas. We like an area that moves from commercial use to residential use. In this case we have Mr. Kinnaird in a residential home, we’re surrounded by parkland, the village owns residential property to the north, and obviously the cemetery is a very quiet use. This is our ideal location as far as the setting. We do think that being on North Commons Blvd where a large number of people are commuting, it helps people make a decision to place their loved ones close to their work so they could see them more often. As we included in the addendum to the application, Mayfield Village is one of the older communities in the area and projected to get older as the years go on.

Mr. Michalko said, I talked with Police Chief Edelman yesterday about his thoughts. He concurs with Chief Carcioppolo on runs. We’re talking about freeways, there’re a lot of businesses in this country that aren’t right next to a freeway. Right now your proposal is 2 miles from Interstate 90 & 2 ½ miles from 1-271. That’s not that far for other types of businesses in that area. Also, as a Village, we’re getting close to the maximum number of 5,000 where we would no longer be a Village. If we get another proposal for an apartment building, we’re up another 200 – 400.

Mr. Jones said, you have complete control of your growth. 

Mr. DiFranco asked, is that a landing zone on the site plan for a helicopter?

Mr. Jones corrected, that’s a “loading zone”, not “landing zone”. All our deliveries are done by box truck for food supplies.

Mr. Michalko said, we will not be able to control the noise that comes from the soccer field that could disturb your people. How are you going to handle that?

Mr. Jones replied, I was just out there a couple hours ago, I don’t perceive that as a problem whatsoever.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo asked, are there going to be trees between the structure and the soccer fields? That’s also our 4th of July fireworks launch site, the corner of that soccer field.

Mr. Jones said, I’m sure our residents would enjoy watching your fireworks.

Mr. Jones states in closing, our country is going in a dramatic demographic shift, the government has no plans nor probably the wherewithal to handle what’s happening. The Bainum family has been in this business for several decades, obviously well financed, very professional. It’s a for profit business, that’s one way to sustain the business and continue for the next several decades and expand in other communities similar to yours. In addition to that, we do feel like we’re providing civil civic service and helping our country undergo a dramatic transformation. Thank you for your time.

  • Private Pay

Mr. Marrelli asked, is this client pay or Medicare & Medicaid pay?

Mr. Jones replied, it’s all private pay. They don’t have physical ailments that would qualify them to go into a Nursing Home. You have to have a physical ailment that’s being treated by a nurse in order to be covered.

Mr. Marrelli asked, if somebody comes in there and runs out of money, because I’m sure these units will be in the neighborhood of $4,000 - $5,000 a unit, in Northeast Ohio I think that’s the average for a 300 sq. ft. unit. What happens when they run out of money in two or three years?

Mr. Jones replied, I should start off by saying when the family first comes in, we explain what the economic requirements are, there will be financial planning involved in that process. The typical lifespan once someone enters into this facility is around 3 years. The people who typically qualify to move in this facility will have that in their assets, certainly after they sell their home. If somebody were to run out of money, we would work with the family well in advance of that happening and try to transition them to a facility where they could receive care for Medicaid.

Mr. Marrelli asked, last but not least, the million dollar question is, what do you bring to the table for our Village? Why should we want that facility there? What positive impact does your facility have on that property?

  • Demographics

Mr. Jones replied, like I said earlier, these are people coming from your community. I think people should be able to stay within their community as they’re experiencing end of life. The adult children of these parents should also be able to have their family members close to their home. Although Chief Carcioppolo and I disagree on several issues, we feel like we take very limited city services.

Mr. Marrelli said, but there’s no way that you could say that it’ll be people that live here that are going to be in there. We went through that with Governor’s Village. It’s a very very low percentage, maybe 1% - 2% of people that have actually lived here.

Mr. Jones asked, even is Assisted Living?

Mr. Marrelli replied, they come from wherever; Willoughby, Eastlake, Mayfield Hts, Gates Mills. You can never say that it’s going to be just Mayfield Village residents that are going to be there. They’ll be a resident once they move in.

Mr. Jones said, we go back on placement at our facilities and track where they’re coming from. I don’t know if that’s a statistical anomaly or it’s based on-

Mr. Marrelli said, we had a business plan from Sam a little while ago that said medical was going to be the big thing. That’s why he asked for a variance to get a conditional use for medical buildings, because the market studies said that.

Mr. Jones said, I would put the US Census Bureau up against that market study.

Mr. Cannata said, I think his studies are a lot more vigorous than mine.

Mr. Marrelli asked, how many people in Mayfield Village right now could qualify for your building? I see 6,000 people within 20 minute radius.

Mr. Ritley brings attention to the “2016 Drive Time Demographics” sheet, 65+ population, noting minute radius variables with a rounded off total of 160,000 within a 0 – 30 minute radius. That number is going to be increasing at a very rapid rate in a couple more years. Today, every day that goes by, 10,000 people are hitting 65 and above. Very big numbers. Millions and millions of more people are in that Baby-Boomer population. This is not a judgement on my part, so I don’t want it to be taken that way. But what I see is this constant need we have to refresh our memories about the social covenant that we have to have. Orders are established for different reasons at different points in time. We all have to flow together as a society or we don’t have any strength. If we’re all going to kick the can down the road off to one side or the other, we don’t get anything done. All we do is create more bureaucracy and more difficulty for people to navigate within those kinds of societies.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, you talked about Alzheimer’s and dementia and that being the primary focus. If someone came to you with other ailments, they wouldn’t be eligible to stay there?

Mr. Jones replied, they would have to have a cognitive impairment issue. We specialize in Alzheimer’s and the various forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the largest segment of the whole dementia pie.

Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, it’s typical for the geriatric population to have multiple medical ailments, cardiac related issues, diabetes, all those different things, would those things preclude them from staying there?

Mr. Jones replied, no. An ordinary day to day issue of diabetes is something that be cared for obviously.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked Mr. Cannata, as far as the other uses you’ve looked at, what else have you looked at?

Mr. Cannata replied, we entertained at one point a Day Care, one of the franchise’s in Northeast Ohio. We entertained, gave a proposal out to a Vet Clinic that does surgeries. That was on the fence-

Mr. Marrelli interrupted, your conditional use permit for medical use wouldn’t have covered that.

Mr. Cannata continued, we’ve had some small business owners, a Financial Planner. New construction is a little more difficult. One indirect benefit too, there’s no impact on the schools. A lot of real estate dollars go to the schools. I don’t know how that impacts your personal payments from Mayfield Village. That is a direct or indirect positive that the Village is supplying the school system with. 

Mr. Berns states, if you look through your requirements for land use, the overriding reason to grant a USE Variance is there is no viable economic use for the property as zoned for uses permitted in the Office-Lab District. Mr. Cannata is entitled to a reasonable use of his property. The suggestion of an office building is absurd, no one will build an office building, the cost of construction as compared to what you can get by way of rent, isn’t going to happen. Mr. Ritley has addressed that, it’s not going to happen. You also have a neighbor here who has some concern. He might be happy if nothing was ever going to be here, but something will be there. I’m proud to say this because I raised my kids in Beachwood, the last I heard, Beachwood has 55% of its land area devoted to nonprofit uses. No one can accuse that city of not doing its part socially. How does it do it? It has a terrific business base. On the other hand, you’ve got Progressive. If Peter B. Lewis, my classmate from Cleveland Hts. High School were here, he would encourage you to do the right thing. Number one, he’s entitled to a reasonable use. This is a perfect use, it’s harmonious with everything that’s there. I’m acutely aware of problems discussed, they’re all curable problems. You can’t deprive this guy of a reasonable use of a property, which is something you could be proud of to have this facility here. That’ll be up to your Village Council, we’ll be glad to discuss it with them. We would appreciate a positive vote for all the reasons discussed. Thank you.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked if any further comments.

  • Journalization of Settlement Agreement '2006'

Mr. Difranco states, I has some questions for legal. Are there any Deed Restrictions that apply to this property?

Mr. Diemert replied, yes it’s in the packet. A Judgment Entry that was a Settlement Agreement back in 2006/2007 relating to the use of this property. It is zoned Office/Laboratory. The Settlement Agreement required the SOM Center side of the property to remain green and undeveloped. That was part of the entire Agreement. That was with the prior property owner. This property could be developed according to and has a restriction that it must be for Office/Laboratory subject to our codes. We’re allowed to through our codes, grant variances for whatever use suitable.

Mr. DiFranco reads aloud on page -2- of Judgment Entry;

3) “If construction occurs on the “Midvale” property, Costanzo will only construct a building that complies with the current zoning of the property which is “Office-Laboratory” and with compatible architecture to that of Governor’s Village, same to be approved by the Village according to its Codified Ordinances and administrative review procedures.”

Mr. DiFranco asked, those terms there, do you interpret that they can essentially go through the USE Variance process?

Mr. Diemert replied, correct. The conditional use permit granted to Sam before is another method under our code. That would have been another way to modify that language, or at least compliment it.

Mr. Marrelli said, he would have had an office building although it would have been medical office. Therefore, the conditional use permit would still have been an office building.

Mr. Diemert added, but not a permitted use under Office/Laboratory.

Mr. Marrelli replied, correct.

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked Joe, if this were to be granted by us, obviously it’ll go to Council and they refer it out to Planning Commission then they make the determination as to this. We don’t have the final say. If it gets approved under the variance request for Memory Care Assisted Living facility and makes it through every level of scrutiny, again, variances run with the land, so this becomes a permanent use as permitted. That would only be for Memory Care Assisted Living, correct?

Mr. Diemert replied, correct. You would grant that approval based on that only and it couldn’t be modified. But, along the way I would be recommending and the Administration would be recommending a Development Agreement to address the issues that the Administration has. This would be the first step then it has to go to Council. Then all those Development Agreement ideas, certain Safety Force, Building and so on would have to be addressed in that process. That’s a condition of the approval.

Mr. DiFranco asked, how does this not set a precedent considering the other property in Mayfield Village that we denied?

Mr. Diemert replied, good question. That’s something I scrutinized very carefully when I reviewed the application here. It’s pretty distinctive that this property is zoned Office/Laboratory already. The property that we’re in litigation with was zoned residential and they wanted to become Office/Laboratory. If was the denial of the variance to become Office/Laboratory and denial of the zoning to become Office/Laboratory which is the issue in that case. This is already Office/Laboratory, this property is way ahead of that comparison. I didn’t see anything within the application that would give us any bad precedent for the other case. It may only be a few miles down the road but it’s light years away as far as compatibility.

Mr. DiFranco said, we have a resident near this piece of property. I’d like to hear his thoughts.

Charles Kinnaird, Abutting Property Owner

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse turned the floor over to Mr. Kinnaird, administering the oath.


Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse stated that anyone wishing to speak must be sworn in, administering the oath to Mr. Kinnaird and asking Mr. Kinnaird to state his name and address for the record.

Chuck Kinnaird, 294 SOM Center Rd, Mayfield Village, introduced himself. Honestly, I would not like to see anything built there, just because of privacy. It’s not my property, I don’t have control over it. This is a better proposal than the previous ones. My biggest thing is my privacy. I would like as much buffering as I could possibly get. I’d love to have the 8’ fence. We talked about the lighting and that protects me also. There’s not much trees left in that area. With the addition of more foliage and I like mounding. I don’t want to see Progressive if I don’t have to in that south corner. I’d like that to be built up. Plus I still get a lot of drainage. I realize a lot of that drainage will be taken away once this goes in. Sam and I talked about maybe bringing more pine trees down the side of my property up until almost the house line. I’m just kind of worried when that retention basin goes in, is all that woods going to be gone, am I just going to have 30’ of buffer?

Mr. Marrelli replied, we haven’t gotten into the details yet.

Mr. DiFranco asked, you could be satisfied with some natural barriers?

Mr. Kinnaird replied, yes.

Mr. Cannata said, if we were to compare this plan to our original plan, this plan is a lot less intrusive. We had a parking variance all the way around the site. With this proposal, there’s just parking up front. I think we leave more trees up in this proposal and we could address his concerns a lot more.

Mr. DiFranco asked Mayor Brenda Bodnar, did you want to say anything?

Mayor Bodnar replied, a couple of weeks ago the Community Partnership on Aging had a symposium here on aging in place which is very much the trend right now. I was asked to give an introduction. I looked up some statistics on Mayfield Village population. This may or may not shed some light on it. Our median age here is age 48. Approximately 40% of our population is age 50 or older. Those are actual fairly recent statistics for the Village. I don’t know if that could shed light on the subject.

Roger Ritley said, one very interesting statistic, we look at the whole Chagrin Valley Corridor, starts down in Moreland Hills and comes all the way up through this area. You see that the median age of these communities has been getting older and older and older. When you think about what all these living areas were about when I was younger in the business, you were looking at people 35, 36 and 37 years, that was the median age, now we have this aging process going on right now.

Mayor Bodnar said, there are people moving in from a younger age too. We have a lot of larger houses where people want to downsize when they get older and younger families are moving in. It’s constantly in a state of flux. We’re not going to go from a 50 to 90. There’s younger people moving in as older people are moving out.

Roger Ritley said, I agree with you 100%, people who are younger are coming in to keep that balance going, but the drift has been remarkable over this period of time in all of these communities up and down through this area. There’s a lot of tomography to try and figure out some of these real estate problems. That’s a really striking statistic.

Mr. DiFranco asked Mayor Bodnar, do you have any concerns over this property?

Mayor Bodnar replied, I’d like to leave it up to the discretion of the Board.  

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse in conclusion states, what we’re voting on today is to grant a USE Variance. The first time actually this new zoning ordinance has been applicable to a case and has come to us as a proposal on this ordinance. What we’re supposed to decide is based on these factors in the application supplemental information. Looking at those factors in their totality, all of those factors combined;

(e) “The Board may not grant a variance or exception to the zoning regulations or building codes, unless the applicant has shown that the literal application of the provisions of the zoning code or building code would result in practical difficulties as a result of some peculiar or unique condition or circumstance pertaining to the zoning lot in question.”

I feel that they’ve set forth their position regarding these factors and it’s up to us now to decide if we feel that they’ve incurred any practical difficulties. 

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse asked if there are any further questions or comments.

There were none.


Mr. DiFranco, seconded by Mr. Michalko made a motion to approve the request for a USE Variance to permit Permanent Parcel No. 831-05-015, zoned in the Office-Laboratory District to be used as a Memory Care Assisted Living Facility as proposed contingent upon:

  1. Mr. Kinnaird at 294 SOM Ctr Rd. is provided the appropriate buffer.
  2. Development Agreement per Council’s input.


Ayes: Mr. Syracuse, Mr. DiFranco
Nays: Mr. Michalko

Motion Failed. No Official Action Taken per Charter Art V. Sec. 12 (D).

Mr. Diemert states, you have a quorum but you don’t have the majority of those appointed.

Right to Appeal

Chairman Pro Tem Syracuse stated written notice will be mailed by the Building Department confirming the decision and any interested party has the right to appeal within 10 days.


Mr. DiFranco, seconded by Mr. Michalko made a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Ayes: All 
Nays: None                                      

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.


  • Hand out by Mr. Berns; Addendum to Board of Zoning Appeals Application
  • Hand out by Roger Ritley, Address Zone Map, Site Map, 2016 Drive Time Demographics