PZ - August 15th 2013
Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
August 15, 2013
The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, August 15,
Present: Mr. Garry Regan (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Bill Marquardt, Dr. Sue McGrath, Mr. Paul Fikaris, and Mr. Vetus Syracuse
Also Present: Ms. Diane Calta (Law Department), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. David Hartt (Planning Director), Mr. Ted Esborn (Economic Development Director), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)
Absent: Mr. Jim Farmer (Chairman), Mayor Rinker, and Mr. Nick Delguyd (Council Alternate)
- Lot Consolidation Plat (Final Site Plan)
Governor’s Village Randall Residence
280 N. Commons Blvd.
Alban Surveying Company
- Lot Split & Consolidation Plat
Lois G. Wellman Estate
7129 Wilson Mills Rd.
Key Bank National Assoc.
Bauer Surveys Company
- Conditional Use Permit
Tony Adamic, President
600 Beta Dr. (Former Picker Bldg)
- Conditional Use Permit
Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
Jumps East, LLC
760 Beta Dr. (Chelm Properties)
- Zoning Code Amendments
Beta Drive Business District
Planning Dept Outline 4/18 Modifications
Chairman Pro Tem Regan called the meeting to order. This is a workshop of the Mayfield Village Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Farmer won’t be here tonight. I’ll be running the meeting. We won’t be taking any votes. We have a full agenda. The Commission would appreciate if we could get as much detail from John and the staff and if there’s going to be any presentations.
Governor’s Village - 280 NCB
Lot Consolidation Plat & Final Site Plan
Mr. Marrelli said item #1 is a carry over from last meeting. We had two items left from the project. Landscape Architect’s review which was done and the lot consolidation. Our Engineer looked at the lot consolidation plat and had some comments that he forwarded to the applicant. I believe we’re waiting for a response from that.
Mr. Cappello said there are some minor issues with the closures of the parcel. One other issue was, to do a consolidation, the person who is consolidating needs to own both parcels. Right now the plat shows Mayfield Village owning our section and Governor’s Village owning theirs. We’ll have to do the transfer.
Ms. Calta said I talked with the applicant about the timing of that, but we wanted to get the consolidation plat in front of Planning. That will be approved, the transfers will happen and then the plat will be recorded.
Mr. Regan asked if the Village has two separate parcels.
Joseph Latina with Greenland Engineering said at one point in time they were two. We did some recent research and it shows that one parcel number all as one, the area of just over 1 acre. It’s listed now in the County records as just one parcel.
Ms. Calta said
Mr. Marrelli said we’ll get the comments addressed, they’ll prepare a new drawing and we can vote Monday 9/3. We’re going to require a receipt of the recording.
Mr. Regan asked for any comments from Governor’s Village.
Ryan McNutt with C.C. Hodgson replied we’re proceeding with the documents and will return the comments back to you.
Schedule for vote meeting Tues., Sept. 3rd
Lois G. Wellman Estate
7129 Wilson Mills Rd.
Lot Split & Consolidation Plat
Mr. Marrelli introduces the proposal. We had a submittal to split what’s left of the Wellman property into two parcels. In as much as one of the property lines was going to come close to the buildings that are already on the site, I had to dig through some records to find out where that property line should be or would be normally to have the proper setback.
Low and behold I find records from 1988 that says that second house (Caretaker Cottage) had its own lot. From the records, the Wellman’s came to the Village and told Gus they were going to build a house for their Caretaker. Gus said you can’t have two houses on one lot, you need to split it.
They did the split, it was approved by the Planning Commission and the Cottage was built. We can’t find any recording of it. It doesn’t show up on any maps. Going back through the records, I raised the question what happened to this 100’ x 350’ lot. It never made the County records.
I alerted the bank and the potential buyer that we may have an issue with restoring this to what it was approved to be in 1988.
That’s really the only issue we have; having the two houses on one lot. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get into a lengthy discussion so I’ll turn it over to whomever out there wants to start the ball rolling.
Jim Liggett with Key Bank introduced himself. We’re working with the Wellman family in the Wellman Trust to help sell this property to the buyers who are here tonight.
Mrs. Wellman passed away in 2005. In
At that point in time when we came on board in 2010 all we knew about the property was that there was a 10 acre site remaining with the Principal Residence, Caretaker
In 2009 the family ended up through the estate, selling 10 of their acres to the Cleveland Metroparks, to the northeast. As it is, there was a lot split and consolidation in 2009 that changed the property boundary on that one side towards where the Metroparks was and when that lot split and consolidation was prepared it identified the remaining 10 acres as one (1) site. That was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and by Council and recorded at the County offices.
When we came on board all we knew is that there was the one property. As we’ve been going through the very difficult real estate market as most of you know in this area, it’s been very hard to turn the property over and find the right person to acquire this property. We’ve worked on it since 2010 through the trust to sell it. We finally came up with someone who is interested in taking on the challenge and improving the property. We decided we were going to split the property in two portions; 4.6 acres to go with the buyers and 5.4 acres to remain with the family to decide what they want to do in the future.
While we were going through this we thought it was just a simple ‘cut the property in half’. As we went though that we were trying to make sure the sidelines were correct, make sure the depth was o.k. where the septic would flow off into the ravine in the back and everything was o.k. Then this issue came up relative to 1988, the prior lot split that was set up that was never addressed.
Twenty five years later now we’re trying to figure out how do we work with this because there are a number of issues that come into play with that lot split going back to 1988. The lot split where they were going to put the Caretaker Cottage doesn’t match up with the new line that we have to retain the 5.4 acres and it could change the dimensions going other ways to cut off septics and everything else because the 350’ depth on the property in 1988 did not go back to the end of the septic because the drainage line goes back to the ravine which is further back from 350’. So that throws this out of quilter.
Looking at how everything goes with requirements in the community to meet today’s standards, it’s not 125’ frontage, it’s only 100’ frontage. We have a number of issues we’re trying to address.
The key thing is the Wellman trust needs to liquidate this asset because carrying it as long as we have, the expense has been a burden for the family and we have somebody who is interested in making things happen and improve the property.
Jim Liggett concludes. We’d like to move forward with the lot split as proposed as opposed to moving back and reinventing the wheel from 25 years ago.
Ms. Calta asked Jim Liggett to go back to what was put together in 1988. You’re saying the Carriage House is not located in the same place as was depicted on the plan from 1988? Or you’re saying that that line that was drawn for that separate lot back then wouldn’t work today?
Jim Liggett replied I can’t answer if the Carriage House is not where it was proposed on the map. Again, that was 25 yrs ago. It appears to be where it should have been. But because of the 100’ frontage, they actually had a sideline of 45’ on the one side towards the open lot. It actually goes further to that direction than we are currently with the new lot split because there’s about 19’ on the sideline of the Carriage House which is where the lot split is next to the building as opposed to the 45’ that you would have under the 100’ width of the Carriage House. If you go back the 350’ you’re going into the portion that’s the 5.4 acre parcel. I believe the Carriage House may be where it was supposed to have been but the sideline is in a different location than we’re proposing now.
Ms. Calta said the line that you have drawn on the map now to separate the two parcels is closer to the Carriage House than the line would have been back in 1988?
Jim Liggett said that’s correct.
Drainage, Ingress & Egress Easement
Ms. Calta asked if that line poses a problem for the septic. There’s a septic system, right?
Mr. Marrelli replied two of them.
Mr. Cappello said the septic system appears from the May 18, 1988 approved site plan that it’s an on site system for the Carriage House. It doesn’t appear there’s a discharge out the back. I could be wrong.
Jim Liggett said they both have aeration systems. It does discharge in the ravine in the back.
Mr. Cappello said so they modified it from the site plan.
Jim Liggett said that may have been a County requirement.
Mr. Cappello said as far as the discharge issue goes since there’s one owner currently, if that lot was to be re-platted, there could be a drainage easement set up. The system can all be contained. You just get a 10’ easement for that discharge line across the other part of that property.
Ms. Calta said the problem is this is single family and when you have two houses on one lot, that’s not single family any longer. The hope was that we could draw that line on this plat, record it and everybody’s on their way. As far as easements, that would only come into play if necessary. Easements for septic or drainage or for access because this lot if you drew it with frontage on Wilson Mills you have access, you have frontage but I understand the driveway would be on the other parcel. So long as they remain in the same ownership, you don’t have any issues with ingress and egress between the two of them. If they are ever sold separately then you would need to record an easement for ingress and egress. As far as the 125’ versus the 100’, I think if it was approved back in 1988 at 100’, if Tom and John are o.k. with it, that’s something for the Commission to consider. It’s just implementing the approval that was approved in 1988 so as not to make a larger lot than was intended back then.
Amanda Bowman & Marc Marlacher
Jim Liggett said the biggest challenge we face at this point in time is the buyer and their financing with this particular purchase. They’re acquiring one property with a Caretaker House on it and using comparables from Gates Mills and Hunting Valley where they have a lot of those types of properties and using it with the two residences on a single property to get financing. We split the parcel and it will put them in a position where the lender won’t approve it under the same standards because now they have a rental which has separate requirements from a mortgage side of things, then they have their principle residence and it changes the whole context of what they have to come up with and how they manage it. Again, with the issue of having the dual ownership of owning it together is one thing, but it could be separated and sold off and with the lender, it makes it difficult. I could let the buyers speak to that if you don’t mind them coming forward to make their statements.
Marc Marlacher introduced himself and his wife Mandy Bowman. We’re trying to make this purchase, we love the house, we love the property. Our intentions right from the get go was we’d love to have a Carriage House. Both of us have parents that are getting older and down the road should there be the need for them to be taken care of, we have a place where we can watch over them. When we got into this, we thought we were purchasing just one parcel, one piece of property. As far as the loan goes, if it’s shown as two parcels then we have to have a mortgage for the one and a different mortgage for the other which then would be considered an investment property. That’s not what we’re looking for. Down the road if we ever go to sell, any future buyer would have the same issue which would limit a potential buyer because they’re going to through the same issue we’re going through. We don’t know how it could be addressed. There’s currently one address recorded at the County, not two.
Mr. Cappello said that’s because it was never recorded for whatever reason. We even modified our address map because of the lot split. Then we went to the tax map and asked “Where’s the second lot”? I don’t know whatever happened to that plat.
Ms. Calta said it was the responsibility of the property owner back then to record it. Unfortunately that did not happen from what we can tell in the County records. The current property owner is on notice of this split. You’re on notice of this split. We’re not trying to cause any problems with your bank, with your lender. I can’t speak to the lending challenges that you have. We’re not trying to cause you any lending challenges but as of right now this lot still has to be split for you to purchase any piece or part of it.
Mandy Bowman said one of our biggest challenges is the loans. Our lender is saying that we’d have to have a second loan and treat the second parcel as an investment property which means higher interest rates on totally different level of equity that would need to be in the house in order to purchase it, higher down payment. It’s not something that is in our interest. I suspect it would probably be a challenge to future buyers as well. In addition to that it is a challenge just from how it’s laid out. Even if you have an easement, there is no access point to that house. It’s actually smaller than the garage that sits literally right beside it. That would even be a challenge from just drawing the lines because it’s butt up against the garage. It’s not something we want to invest in if we’re going to have the same challenge selling it later. Especially the amount of property that’s there, we don’t really want to have the responsibility of having other folks coming into that driveway if it’s split into a second parcel and treated as an investment property. That wasn’t our intention.
Marc Marlacher said our intention is not to cause any trouble or raise any issues. Our intention was we want to purchase this property, restore it, but we want it as a whole. We want the main house with a Carriage House/Guest House/Mother-N-Law Suite.
Definition of Single Family
Mandy Bowman said what we questioned when we heard all of this was what constitutes a residence. In our mind, there are not two families. If my Mother comes to live with us and she stays in the Caretaker House, that’s part of our family. I don’t know for sure what constitutes an additional residence.
Mr. Marrelli replied it’s about the amenities; if you could eat, sleep and cook there then it’s another dwelling unit.
Marc Marlacher asked, what if I decided to sublet the kitchen out to somebody in the house?
Mr. Marrelli asked, for which building, your house or the Carriage House?
Marc Marlacher replied the main house.
Mr. Marrelli said if you would put an addition on your house or if you would carve a piece out where there’d be a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom, you will have created a second dwelling unit within your first dwelling unit and that would be illegal.
Mandy Bowman said I copied from our appraisal 5 other homes that were used as comps that have cottages.
Mr. Marrelli said that’s Gates Mills, a different zoning code. That’s not to say that there’s not some out there that we’ll find sooner or later.
1988 Lot Split
Jim Liggett said back in 1988 I was not around at Key Bank. Mr. Wellman was alive at that point in time and the issue was being addressed. In 1988 there were minutes in the Planning and Zoning saying the split was approved. Drawings with signatures on them were never produced saying this was actually signed off by the Village nor was there any information provided saying that Council approved the split. We’re not certain whether Mr. Wellman dropped the ball or whether somewhere along the line something happened where it just got set aside. But 25 years later we’re dealing with a property that in 2009 was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission to have a lot split and consolidation for one 10 acre lot. Now we’re looking at trying to split that 10 acre lot that was approved and recorded at the County office. We’re not trying to be difficult. We’re just trying to work with what we have. Again, the situation with the family is we’ve carried the property for a long time and the money is dwindling. We’re in a position where we finally have somebody who is interested in buying the property. We’re trying for a simple lot split to make this work for them as well as for the Wellman family. The law says you’re not allowed to have two residences on a single parcel, but in reality for the last 25 years without the actual recording of it and without the actual approval from Council having signed off on it that we could come up with, it’s been like that for 25 years. What we’re asking for at this time, without asking for per say a variance because the variance doesn’t exist because it’s already in existence, we’re just asking for a lot split that allows for a 4.6 acre parcel of land and a 5.4 acre parcel of land that will accommodate both parties as well as not necessarily changing anything in the Village for the last 25 years except that you have two parcels now.
Mr. Regan said I think the gentleman just addressed what I was going to ask Diane. How do we accommodate these people? I have a Son who has special needs and I looked at that property six years ago. I met with the Son of the owner and made I’m willing to bet an offer substantially higher than what’s out there now. But that was during a building boom in this area. How do we accommodate these people where you’ve got what has been described here; for 25 years the family had lived in the house and either renters or family that lived in the Carriage House and nobody said boo about anything.
Mr. Marrelli said that’s not true. When the house was proposed, it was very specific; you can’t put a separate house on this lot. You have to split it.
Mr. Regan said apparently that was dealt with and somebody dropped the ball.
Ms. Calta said it was approved by the Planning Commission. The plat was approved by the Engineer. I haven’t looked at the Village Council meeting minutes from 1988. We know it wasn’t recorded. Protocol would have been that it went to Planning, Engineer signed off, sent it over, Council should have approved it and then it would have been recorded. That was when they built the Carriage House. This Carriage House isn’t one of those that date back to 1920. Some of those situations do exist. That’s something that would predate the code. This doesn’t predate the code. When it was built it was required to be on a separate lot. It is not now on a separate lot. I understand your argument. It’s been there, it’s not causing a problem and what’s the problem now. But the problem is this is single family zoning. You put two houses on one lot it’s not single family anymore. We’ve tried to look at different aspects and ways to resolve this. One way of looking at it is you’re coming in now to split the lot, so to draw another line would seem pretty easy to do. That presents problems for your financing. Again, I wish I could get involved in that.
Amanda Bowman said I think it presents more than just from a financing perspective. It does present problems from a resale perspective.
Ms. Calta said those are choices that you have to make personally when you purchase a property. That’s not for the Planning Commission to weigh in on. I can tell you there are a lot of times that people buy more than one parcel. In fact when this was transferred way back when and before the transfer to the Metroparks, it was two parcels, two permanent parcel numbers. The legal description says; parcel 1 and parcel 2. We see parcels all the time that have been split, consolidated, have been put back together. There are pieces and parts of permanent parcel numbers. I don’t see that as an avenue for the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission can’t make variances. That would be the Board of Zoning Appeals. To go to the Board of Zoning Appeals and ask them for a variance, they would essentially be rezoning which is outside of their authority. They can’t rezone property. They can grant variances based on hardship. We even looked at this from a standpoint of an accessory building. There are accessory structures that are permitted, and could we fit that within the accessory buildings. But because you have a garage that’s attached to the house, a separate garage and then you even have a shed, you’re way over the requirement.
Ms. Calta welcomes anyone else to speak at this time.
Discussion Ensued – Options to move Forward on Purchase of Property
Jim Liggett said there are realtors here tonight that are participating in the transaction that have concerns with this. The whole thing hinges upon how we can do this lot split. It’s not as simple as just moving the lot line. It’s easy enough to draw where the line would have been and then redirect the back line so that you can make a 4.6 acre, so now we cut the back in half. It does prevent the access easement because if they’re selling two parcels and buying two parcels the lender’s going to say you still don’t have access. There’s got to be a document prepared by somebody that allows that easement access and from an economic standpoint…….
Ms. Calta said it’s not that hard to do. Parties do them all the time. It’ll cost you $100 bucks. It’s not a difficult document. Let me ask you this. You’ve been marketing this property as two separate parcels, correct?
Jim Liggett replied we have one parcel and we have two signs up hoping that if we ever get to the point where we have somebody interested in acquiring the property, we can then split it. We have a 10 acre parcel of land that we’re trying to sell right now. We’re using two different numbers to try and attract a buyer. We have one parcel. We can’t sell what we don’t have but we can create a line that allows us to split that. That’s why we came forward on a simple lot split, because we have the buyer that can do it. We have the right frontage. We have the right sizes for septics. We have two septics functioning. We have everything up and running and from 2009 when the lot split and consolidation was prepared we were all under the impression that that’s how it existed.
Ms. Calta said so the parcel that has no structures on it right now, you’re saying you can put a septic in there?
Jim Liggett replied if it qualified for the conditions, sure. It’s got adequate frontage, adequate depth, if the soil conditions met with the County, I think you could.
Ms. Calta asked, so you don’t know that right now?
Jim Liggett said we’ve never tested it.
Ms. Calta said so you would be splitting this off to a separate buildable lot that you don’t know septic could go on.
Jim Liggett said we’re not trying to build on it. If somebody were, they could test it at that point in time. Based on the fact that there’s a house to the west of that that has septic, we have two septics on ours……
Ms. Calta said that’s not always the case, let me tell you.
Jim Liggett said we assume it could possibly happen.
Ms. Calta said I would never make an assumption on that.
Mr. Cappello intervenes. Back when those other houses were built, this one too, they allowed offsite discharging systems. The original approved site drawing shows an onsite discharge, a regular leech field. There’s no collection pipe that takes it out and discharges into a creek. Some years back the Board of Health stopped allowing offsite discharging systems. When you have 5 acres, I’m assuming enough of that acreage is still flat and they’d do soil tests and you could possibly get an onsite system there, but a lot of that’s ravine.
Ms. Calta added that they could be too close to it.
Jim Liggett said actually not a lot of it is ravine.
Mr. Cappello said that’s here nor there because they just want to sell off the part with the house.
Ms. Calta said I understand that but they’re going to potentially create a separate buildable lot that could not be sold as a buildable lot without doing the investigation as to whether or not a septic can go on that property. In my Practice I had a situation with a 3 acre property, house on the right septic, house on the left septic, house in the middle. Because of the new regulations because they were too close to the river, too close to the ravine, too closer to other things, they could not fit a septic on the property for anything that would be acceptable for a house on the property. What they needed to do was find extra land. When you do those soil samples, you could have good soil here, good soil here, but it might not be where you need it to be.
Jim Liggett said but the family could hold onto it as their own investment property. They don’t necessarily have to build on it. There’s no intent to build on it at this point.
Ms. Calta said I would presume you’re trying to split it so that you can maximize the monies from this property.
Jim Liggett said the expense of carrying this property is the real estate taxes with the improvements on it. The land itself doesn’t carry as much value when you split off the 5.4 acre parcel of land without any improvements on it for real estate tax purposes. We’re getting clocked significantly for improvements on a property from a real estate tax perspective. Insurance wise, we don’t have insurance issues relative to the undeveloped lot, we could have liability insurance for $100 a year as opposed to having $5,000 on a property that you have right now with multiple dwellings on it. You’re looking at significant savings in owning a piece of property that’s 5.4 acres. We don’t know whether it’s buildable. That’s not what the family’s looking at. What the family’s looking at right now is there are significant expenses that are bleeding the trust at this point in time without anybody living there. We found a buyer that wants to acquire part of this property that we know existed as one full 10 acre lot with all these structures on it. We’re just trying to split it so that we can sell off those structures and the 4.6 acres to them and move on and have the family hold onto the balance of it.
Amanda Bowman said the biggest reason why this was appealing to us, because we knew nothing about the total lot and all of this before we actually put in our purchase, like Garry said when he looked at this many years ago. I work at Progressive Insurance, I know a zillion people that have looked at this property. They knew the property when I talked about it. They suggested that it’s been sitting there a long long time and it’s deteriorating. The property is losing value as it’s sitting there. From a community perspective, we are willing to invest in this and make it part of what I think this community is about. I don’t think generally speaking it makes a lot of sense from a community perspective to leave a beautiful home like this and beautiful land remain sitting. This isn’t about the loan. I could get 20 loans. Marc could get 20 loans. It’s about the ability to sell this. If it’s a challenge for us, and we have lots of energy to buy this, but if it’s a challenge for us to do this and we have to walk away, I’m just hoping it doesn’t become a continual piece of property, there are already damages to this home, significant deterioration that nobody could walk in, it’s not livable. A few more winters, I suspect it will continue to be this way. It’s very close to Gates Mills. It’s a very beautiful home that represents a lot of class. That’s the other reason we wanted to attend tonight, to show that we’re passionate and that we want to be part of the community.
Mr. Regan said I know nothing about real estate. The issue is you have two parcels. Diane, is there something you can mandate that says that these must remain together, you cannot sell them separately, it cannot be “a rental property”.
Mr. Marrelli replied you’re asking us to mandate that the law be ignored.
Ms. Calta said there’s a couple ways to do this:
- Draw the line that it’s a separate parcel. Rectify what was supposed to have been done and not recorded.
- Take down the Carriage House.
Marc Marlacher asked what if we took the kitchen out.
Ms. Calta said when Mr. Amendola wrote his letter in 1987 one of the things he said was:
“A Carriage House detached from the main dwelling having sleeping rooms, bathroom facilities and a kitchen would make up a single dwelling unit. We would then have two single family dwellings on one parcel of land. Granted that Mr. Wellman’s property makes up some 20 acres. However, two dwellings on one parcel is not complying with our code”.
Marc Marlacher said you’re saying if we took the kitchen out it wouldn’t be considered a dwelling.
Ms. Calta continues with Mr. Amendola’s letter:
“Would it be possible to attach the 38’ x 26’ building to the main building with a breezeway? If this were done with the elimination of the kitchen it then would be an addition”
Mr. Cappello said his point back then was instead of building a separate house far away, can you build it attached to the main house?
Amanda Bowman said the contract we agreed to, for what we’re paying for, for what we all believed to be true until John informed us, none of us would be here. We have all intentions on purchasing something that has multiple buildings. If you took the garage down, that would be a problem for us. Where do we park? If you took the shed out in the back, where do we put our lawn stuff? My Insurance Agent said $120,000 for them to insure. If you took down a piece of a building that’s potentially $120,000 worth of the money we put in to purchase this, you’re taking away a large portion of value in that. If we took out the kitchen, it’s still valuable to us because it’s a structure, something we can use in some way. I can still feed my Mother. I can walk it from one house to the other if it doesn’t have a kitchen. I get it, you have to stay by the law. If that’s what makes it not illegal, we’ll do it.
Mr. Marquardt said rezoning is a possibility.
Ms. Calta replied that has to go to the ballot.
Jim Liggett said I have no idea what happened 25 years ago. I don’t know if any of you were on Planning & Zoning Commission or Council 25 years ago to say what and how it happened.
Ms. Calta asked, have you looked at the minutes?
Jim Liggett said we don’t have the drawing that was signed by the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Ms. Calta said yes we do.
Jim Liggett said you have the Engineers signature on it, not the Planning Commission’s. It has to be signed by the Planning & Zoning Commission, by Council, by the County and then recorded. None of those signatures show up on any of the drawings except for the Engineers signature on the one you’ve provided us. Planning & Zoning gave their approval on the lot split, but then somewhere along the line 25 years ago it stopped.
Mr. Marrelli said this whole argument is not about splitting the lot, it’s about the money, it’s about the financing.
Jim Liggett said it’s about retaining value in the community. It’s about helping out the family that was part of the community and trying to work with the new family that wants to come in and do it. And work within the 25 years that we’ve lost on this particular thing which was overwritten in 2009 by the Planning & Zoning Commission saying we’ve got one parcel here with all the structures on it. There was nothing brought up and I understand why, you were looking at the other line. But the P & Z Commission signed off on that one, the Council and County signed off on that one and it was recorded at the County office. What does the trust need to know?
Ms. Calta said this plat was approved by the Planning Commission. You’re on notice of it. I can enforce it against you whether it’s recorded or it’s not. We’re trying to come up with a resolution here. You have a parcel of land that you have marketed either as a 4.6 acre parcel or as a 10 acre parcel. You’re here to ask for the parcel that they’re interested in buying to be split off. Correct?
Jim Liggett concurred.
Ms. Calta continued, what we’re telling you is there’s two houses on it. It doesn’t comply with the zoning.
Amanda Bowman said I’m passionate about this, so no disrespect to anybody. If I take the kitchen out, why is that a problem?
Ms. Calta replied at that point you run afoul of the accessory building section. Then you go to the BZA and I can tell you what they’ve done with them before which you’re not going to want to hear.
Jim Liggett said it’s an ancillary building that’s been around for 25 years.
Mr. Marrelli said this all boils down to the bank and the financing.
Amanda Bowman disagrees. No, it’s not that. We wouldn’t buy this if we couldn’t afford it.
Marc Marlacher said we want one parcel, one property, one residence.
Mr. Regan said if they had bought all 10 acres we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Ms. Calta said I don’t know that I could disagree with you.
Mr. Cappello said if they buy all 10 acres, you still have a problem with two houses on one lot.
Ms. Calta said the other thing that Mr. Marquardt’s saying; we have referendum rezoning. You could place it on the ballot to be rezoned as multi-family.
Jim Liggett said we’re looking for the best option.
Ms. Calta said the best option is to draw a line, we’ll approve it, you’ll be out of here and you’ll be done within probably 30 days. You’ve already missed the deadline for the ballot in November.
Jim Liggett said so there’s no compromise. We have to go back to 1988.
Ms. Calta states the Planning Commission isn’t here to compromise. They’re here to review what’s before them. We’re trying to make sure that you’re in compliance with the code. Mr. Marrelli could have taken other steps as far as enforcing the code but he chose to look at this from a standpoint of; how do we get this resolved for the betterment of everyone here? That would seem that if we’re looking at the review of a lot split, let’s correct the error that we all know exists with this second dwelling. Is it possible to take the kitchen out? I say this is a workshop, let’s continue to work towards looking at taking out the kitchen. In that instance you’re going to have to go to the BZA, you’re going to have to ask for a variance from the accessory use. Given the circumstances, I don’t know what their decision would be. But that would be the mechanism, the process, the avenue to proceed. Now I’m thinking, talking out loud here. If you were to get a variance, I think there’s a legal question involved in that because I don’t know that they can grant a variance that rezones the property, but if they look at it strictly as a variance from the code on the size of the accessory structures. I’m telling you, if you draw the line it makes it a lot easier.
Veena Bhupali Realtor from Howard Hanna asked to speak. One of the things we see constantly is when homes are being built or resold, people are told they have to have a kitchen in the lower level. The final inspection is done. The Certificate of Occupancy is given. Right after that person leaves, the homeowner installs an entirely new kitchen and life goes on. Nobody is there again to look unless there was a disaster or an accident. In order to comply with your requirement of not having two residences, they’re willing to remove a bathroom or a kitchen. I know you’re talking accessory buildings, but we don’t know how many buildings you consider allowable on the 4.6 acres.
Mr. Marrelli replied there are too many accessory buildings. The maximum is 625 sq. ft
Veena Bhupali asked, the big garage is an accessory building?
Mr. Marrelli replied yes.
Marc Marlacher asked, if you have a 5 acre piece of property you can’t build a 30 x 40 garage?
Mr. Marrelli replied if you get a variance you could. It doesn’t go by how big your property is.
Marc Marlacher said the family room in the house is 600 sq. ft.
Mr. Marrelli said that’s not the point. It’s the same regulation if you have ¼ acre or 20 acres. Your particular situation being a big lot, you’ll probably have a lot of equipment and maybe you could make a case for that. That doesn’t solve the problem we’re trying to deal with now.
Amanda Bowman said I’m having a really hard time understanding what the community would value out of this property if it doesn’t sell. This property has been sitting there. I know other people that have put offers in and it hasn’t sold. What ends up happening to a home that is literally in a very central part, right before you enter Gates Mills which is very prominent relative to even Mayfield Village. You have a house sitting in a beautiful spot right by the Metroparks, which by the way this house is very accessible from the Metroparks. You’ve got people literally walking up where the property line is. You have a home deteriorating. Nobody is there, the people have passed. You’re going to have something sitting in your Village that’s a mess.
Mr. Marrelli said some developer probably would buy it and demolish the buildings and put up condos.
Amanda Bowman said I don’t know that I’ve heard of those types of offers.
Mr. Marrelli said you keep getting away from the issue. The issue is the financing.
Amanda Bowman asked John where he’s getting that from. I have not told you that. I promise you 100% we would not be purchasing this property if financing was a problem. It’s too high of a price tag.
Mr. Marrelli asked, what is the problem?
Amanda Bowman replied the problem is that we do not want to have this issue when we sell, selling two parcels and having two parcels which one does not even have a driveway to get to.
Ms. Calta said we want to get this resolved with you. We want to work out a resolution that would be appropriate for the Planning Commission and appropriate for you. What I’d like to do is continue the discussion and look at options. If you could go back in your corner and look at options as far as drawing the line, I think that the Planning Commission will be flexible as to how you do that, if you need to deviate from the code as far as the frontage, if you want to stick it at 100’ which was previously approved, if there are some other adjustments or easements, or things like that. If you could go back to your corner, revisit it and see if you could come up with any options. We’re going to go back in our corner and see if there’re any options to get this to the BZA and if there’s any options which you essentially said you’d be taking out a kitchen or a bathroom, which would require an approval from the BZA. We’ll look at that from a legal standpoint getting that to the BZA to see if that’s something they can review and is within their authority and it doesn’t side step any rezoning that would be by referendum.
Mr. Marrelli states I would paraphrase, we’re looking for a way to make it work so you don’t have an issue without breaking the law.
Jim Liggett said the only answer you’re saying that works is you’d reconfigure the line, but you still have to have the Carriage House on a separate lot.
Ms. Calta replied no. I’m saying there’s different ways for us to look at this and possible options. If it’s not a dwelling because it doesn’t have the kitchen or a bathroom, it’s an accessory structure. It exceeds the size for the accessory structures on the lot. So we would send you to the BZA and we’ll look at that to see if that’s an appropriate mechanism for them. They can’t rezone property but they can grant variances to the code. That’s potentially another option. Does that make sense to you? If you want this to go to a vote, we can certainly do that. But I’m going to tell you, the Planning Commission probably is not going to approve it.
Mr. Regan said there’s a third option. If I heard correctly, finance is not the issue, it’s on the resale. The third option is acquire two parcels, two residences and over the time you’re residing here and improving the properties, come up with a strategy that gets it on the ballot and rezone it.
Amanda Bowman said the only thing we do not want to do and this isn’t necessarily because of the ability to pay for the mortgages. My lender specifically said if you split this and you purchase two parcels, we will treat the second as an investment. You will incur higher interest rates which you already know are increasing significantly daily. We literally will have to have a larger down payment for that and there are a lot of upfront costs. It has to have a higher amount of equity already in it and it’s smaller than the garage sitting next to it. It’s not intended to be a spectacular second residence. It’s not something we’re willing to do because it isn’t intended to be an investment property. I appreciate you coming up with another recommendation Garry. If it doesn’t get approved, we have a loan sitting out there that we’re paying from an investment perspective that isn’t even an investment property. I don’t want to be a landlord.
Dr. McGrath said maybe you need to ask your lender to be a little bit more lenient. You’re asking us to break the law. That’s a big thing to ask of us to do.
Amanda Bowman replied I have done that and I appreciate that. I’m not asking you to break the laws. I’m asking to take the kitchen out to meet the code. I absolutely understand the legal ramifications to this. I’ve also talked to the lender extensively about how we could deal with this.
Marc Marlacher asked how the law gets changed to permit Carriage Houses on properties.
Mr. Marquardt replied it has to be rezoned.
Mr. Fikaris asked if there was a value put on the Carriage House when this property was marketed. Is that taxed as a second home?
Amanda Bowman states I contacted Cuyahoga County. They know nothing about the second Carriage House parcel. It never got that far. I have this letter from the lender which specifically says; “We approved your loan for one parcel because Cuyahoga County knows no differently than it’s one parcel. There’s one tax address”.
Ms. Calta asked, are you saying they approved your loan based upon the one parcel that’s there now that’s 10 acres?
Amanda Bowman said 4.6 acres.
Ms. Calta said the parcel that’s there now is one parcel that’s 10 acres.
Amanda Bowman said no, 4.6.
Ms. Calta said that’s not approved yet.
Amanda Bowman said you’re absolutely right. It’s a contract for sale.
Ms. Calta said o.k. so they’re not basing it upon the 10 acres.
Amanda Bowman concurs.
Mr. Regan said o.k., I think we have a direction to go. Just want the two of you to know, we tried to be accommodating. We want new Village residents. We’re willing to work with you if we can come up with a solution that’s legal and just. Keep working at it.
Tony Adamic, President
600 Beta Dr.
Conditional Use Permit
Chairman Pro Tem Regan said next item is a conditional use permit request for Playground World.
David Hartt suggested a presentation by the applicant first, then opening up to discussion.
Tony Adamic, President Playground World introduced himself. We’re looking to lease property at 600 Beta, approximately 30,000 sq. ft. We’re requesting a conditional use permit. We’re looking to merge our warehouse location along with our showroom facility to Mayfield Village for sale and distribution of our playground equipment.
Greg West, Vice President Ostendorf-Morris Company introduced himself. We have a tough act to follow after that first proposal. We appreciate your time tonight. The building’s been vacant for a little while, not due to Mayfield Village, but we’ve got a ready willing business owner who has an established business. He’s in Chesterland off 322, that’s his showroom. Then he has a warehouse facility in Bedford Hts that he leases and he wants to merge the two. The nice thing about 600 Beta is its freeway visibility. I think he’d like the exposure along 271. We’d very much appreciate your serious consideration. He’s not 3,000 or 4,000 sq ft. He’s 30,000 sq ft.
We understand the zone is more oriented towards production distribution manufacturing. But we feel Northeast Ohio is definitely changing. Manufacturing is no where near as strong as it used to be. It’s more of a hospital town now I think than anything. We feel this would be good for the building, for the Village. Tony can expand on this but he draws folks from all over Northeast Ohio that come in to buy a trampoline, basketball hoop or playground set. Who knows where they’ll go after, maybe Austin’s Steak House or Yours Truly to eat.
Mr. Regan said you mentioned the sale of playground & other equipment. Is that your primary business?
Tony Adamic replied first and foremost, yes. We sell premium residential playground equipment, play systems, basketball hoops, trampolines. Primarily this location would serve all of the eastern suburbs from the lake all the way down to Hudson.
Mr. Regan asked if he makes it.
Tony Adamic replied no, we distribute it.
Mr. Regan said for years I’ve seen the Chesterland facility. Is it for homes & commercial?
Tony Adamic said primarily residential.
Mr. Marrelli asked, is your Chesterland location retail, in a shopping center?
Tony Adamic replied yes.
Mr. Marrelli asked, in Bedford Hts you’re in one of Zavarella’s buildings?
Tony Adamic replied correct.
Mr. Marrelli asked, did you have to go to the Planning Commission or Zoning Board to do a showroom in that building?
Tony Adamic replied we did not. That building was split where we had a front showroom and warehouse and eventually 5 years ago merged that showroom with the Chesterland one. Bedford is all warehouse now.
Greg West said his showroom’s only 30% of the actual total sq footage he’s taking.
Mr. Marrelli asked, if the materials are being purchased from PA, WV or wherever, and you send the guy out to build it in somebody’s back yard, then what’s in the warehouse?
Tony Adamic replied all the equipment, the wood, lumber.
Mr. Marrelli asked, have you guys checked the sprinkler system to see if you can rack that lumber in there for the Fire Load?
Greg West replied we’ll make sure the sprinkler system’s in working order.
Mr. Regan asked about the space use, percentage wise.
Tony Adamic replied 50% warehouse, 30% showroom area, 20% offices & restrooms.
David Hartt asked Tony to explain the play area.
Tony Adamic explains. With our indoor locations, to attract foot traffic to view our equipment, we provide playtime, parties to our customers. Those last a couple hours in the 30% showroom area.
Mr. Fikaris asked, with the percentage of planned parties do you also propose to have open hours from say 12:00 – 5:00 that I could bring my kid by anytime? Or is it just planned events for the activities?
Tony Adamic replied at our Chesterland location now we offer ‘Free Play’ three mornings a week from 10:00 – 11:00 Mon through Fri where Parents can bring their children to try out the equipment for free. We offer a pay to play if we don’t have a party going on, then the planned events.
Mr. Regan asked, do you have staff that manages that?
Tony Adamic replied yes.
Mr. Marquardt asked, what is your payroll specific to Mayfield Village that you anticipate, tax revenue?
Tony Adamic replied roughly $750,000.
Mr. Marquardt asked how many employees.
Tony Adamic replied full time and seasonal part time 20 – 35. All our Field Techs operate out of that warehouse location.
Mr. Marrelli asked if they’re subcontractors.
Tony Adamic said no. They’re employees. We install all year round. We cover a wide area; North Ohio, PA, Michigan.
Ms. Calta said you have trucks. Are those kept outside of the building?
Tony Adamic replied yes, on the north side, about 10 trucks.
Mr. Marrelli states our code doesn’t permit you to keep your trucks outside. So there’d have to be a variance for that. You also mentioned the freeway visibility. The code doesn’t allow for signage out in the back of that building to the freeway. Later on maybe, we’re trying to revamp that. So you’d need a variance for a sign on the back of the building.
Bill West introduced himself as one of the Owners of the building and a Real Estate Broker. We were involved in Mayfield Village from the inception with Beta Park going in. We did the Progressive deals and almost all the deals on the strip; Preformed Line Products, Picker, etc. We’ve lived through the manufacturing times when there were a lot of jobs. Today basically the manufacturing business is kind of gone away. It’s very difficult to find that kind of tenant. This building has been vacant for about 5 years.
I think the concept of trying to drive the tax revenues based upon the number of people that are in the building are kind of gone. We’re not going to see that, even if you’ve got a manufacturing facility today, instead of having one person at every machine, you’ve got 10 machines and one guy running all the machines. It’s changed significantly. I think you have to look at that and determine the best way how to get these buildings filled up.
We’re talking about a fairly significant inventory here. We talking about a fairly significant number of dollars from the standpoint of salaries, etc and it’s putting the building to use which will help all of us I think going down the road.
It’s not an easy time in the real estate business. We’re all struggling with this thing. We want to do what’s right, just like the family before us tonight. We do think the use that he has is a good use. It’s not a use where you’re getting a lot of people coming in there all the time. It’s a regional sales office. He’s selling stuff out of this location through the various other States and various portions of the State of Ohio.
Bill West concludes. It’s not a recreational use per say. It’s 15,000 ft of warehouse, 5,000 ft of office and rest of the space is used for toilets. There is a display room where people come in and see the stuff. It’s not a retail store as we would characterize it.
Mr. Regan said personally the only issue I have is the party aspect of it and the open playtime. When you talk about Beta, we certainly appreciate what you said, it has changed. But it is not what you’re hitting at, a recreational party place. I don’t know how much of the business that is. It sounds to me like it’s minor.
Greg West said you have a number of fitness/ gymnastic centers with a number of kids going in there all different times of day, every day. My kids go there. I think Tony will have much less traffic than that.
Comments by David Hartt, Planning Director
David Hartt said I assume you’ve seen the report Ted and I drafted together on the support of this use in this location at this time. We say that being sensitive to several things that have been mentioned already. We know the building’s been vacant for a long period of time. We’re sensitive to this competitiveness we have to be constantly concerned about in industrial buildings in the region.
There are four components of this use that really don’t comply with the code:
- It’s a distribution facility. As you know the code requires distribution only when it’s the distribution of products that are made on the premises. That’s one of the principals of the Production/Distribution District.
- I think it does have a retail component. It’s not retail in the terms of a grocery or drug store.
- It has the recreational component.
- It has some outdoor displays.
From a zoning standpoint in addition to what I said about what the P-D District says which is requiring a production of something that you’re going to distribute to a warehouse and distribute. The zoning code also doesn’t list this type of facility by name, it recognizes that recreational activities of this sort are permitted by special permit in the Local/Business District.
This type of facility is not specifically mentioned in the P-D District, therefore they’re here before you on this umbrella provision in the code that basically says anything that is reasonably close as viewed by the applicant or the Village can be considered under the special use. So it’s not specifically listed, but it’s here under that broad umbrella.
I think also relevant to this discussion is the thinking that’s been going on by the Village for the last 4 or 5 years ever since I became involved in this role. That’s trying to think of ways to expand the uses that are permitted in the P-D District to make sure that we remain competitive. That thinking has solidified in the last several months as we’ve come closer and closer to developing some amendments to the zoning regulations particularly as it applies to Beta Drive.&l