PZ - Jan 17th 2013

Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Jan 17, 2013

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Main Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Farmer presided.

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Mr. Jim Farmer, Chairman
Mr. Garry Regan, Chairman Pro Tem
Mr. Bill Marquardt
Dr. Sue McGrath
Mr. Paul Fikaris
Mr. Vetus Syracuse
Mr. Tom Marrie, Council Alternate


Mayor Rinker

Also Present:

Ms. Diane Calta, Law Dept
Mr. Tom Cappello, Village Engineer
Mr. David Hartt, Planning Director
Mr. John Marrelli, Building Commissioner
Ms. Deborah Garbo, Secretary
Mr. Ted Esborn, Economic Development Director


  1. Governor’s Village, LLC
    Randall Residence
    C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group
    • Preliminary Site Plan – Building Additions & Renovations
    • Conditional Use Permit
  2. Sign-A-Rama
    731 Beta Dr. Unit C
    Panzica Realty Company
    • Conditional Use Permit



Chairman Farmer called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting. We won’t be taking an official vote tonight. I’d like to begin by welcoming Vetus Syracuse who is our new member. He’s been appointed by Mayor Rinker and will be sworn in next Tuesday. It’s great to have you Vetus. As you can see, we’re making a youth movement, trying to get some young blood here. Glad you accepted it and we’re looking forward to working with you.

Chairman Farmer starts with the first item on the agenda by asking Mr. Marrelli to give us a review.

Governor’s Village, LLC
Randall Residence
C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group
a) Preliminary Site Plan
b) Conditional Use Permit

Mr. Marrelli said back in 1999 when the original Governor’s Village went in, you can see the dotted line in the middle of the property, that’s the original footprint of the original building approved in 1999 when Midvale was vacated. There was a court settlement between the Village and other parties. There was a Special Use Permit granted which I think should have been a Conditional Use Permit, but we’ll talk about that later.

At that time, there was a proposed second phase. I think it was supposed to be 24 rooms initially. This one ends up being 2-stories of 42 rooms.

The new footprint extends into property we own, on the east end. For them to go forward with the addition, those properties need to be consolidated. There’s going to be two variances required at the front & on the north side because of the proximity to the residential property to the north.

There’ll be some detention put in and more parking. That’s it in a nutshell.

Chairman Farmer asked Governor’s Village representatives to introduce themselves.


Bill Briggs, Architectural Development with Randall Residence said on behalf of Randall Residence we really want to thank you for taking the time to listen to our project of what we have envisioned. I’d like to introduce the team at this time; Chuck Randall, Founder of Randall Residence, Chris Randall, CEO, Michelle Gorman, Executive Director at Governor’s Village, George Gatta, Architect with C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group, John Urbanick and Joseph Bettina, Civil Engineers with Greenland Engineering and Matt Matisko, Landscape Architect with The Pattie Group. I’d like Chuck to give an overview and his insights on the project at this time. 

Chuck Randall, Founder Randall Residence said thank you for setting the stage for us. We came about 13 years ago and you all were very hospitable to us. We started at a very difficult time in the Country’s history. We opened up our operation about 3 months before 9/11. We had a rather challenging beginning. We’ve done well. We feel like we’ve been good stewards with your friends and family members that we’ve taken care of. Actually, the State thinks we’ve been good stewards. We’ve scored significantly higher than the average Assisted Living Facility in this community and we have a very good track record with the Ohio Licensing Agency. 

As of today we have six people who are waiting to get in. One of the things that’s happened in the last ten years is that expectations have changed. We weren’t totally into the Memory Care business. Some people call it Alzheimer’s Care, we call it Memory Care. Half of our building now is in Memory Care. We’d like to convert more of that into Memory Care and create larger suites to meet the existing expectations of people and ones to come.

We need a critical mass to do this project, somewhere in the eighties. Eighty (80) to 100 is the optimum size for an operation like ours. We’re anxious to get to that point and we thank you for considering that.


Bill Briggs said I put together a quick overview to leave time open for discussion.

From the very conception of the project, we’d always envisioned an addition. Early on, before we understood what was going on with the wetlands area in the southeast corner, we actually had two wings of 24. We had an initial quote to stay 1-story. 

In our discussion about this early on, the Village’s Economic Development Committee asked us to get an appraisal on the front area to see what it would be to purchase. Because of the way the site’s located, it restricted us up front and made it very difficult to get the critical mass we needed in the addition and stay even at the property line. If we pull back, we lose 4 units which is a significant hit financially. In working together with the Village, we went out and got an appraisal for that front area. This area you have to understand is probably 80% – 90% easement & wetlands. There’s very little area that is usable for new building and just happens to be right here where we need it. The rest as I stated is utility circulation easement and wetlands.

Floor Plan. The new addition is a 2-story, 42 unit facility. It has studios, one bedroom & two bedroom units. These are Assisted Living units. This gives us the ability to take some of the existing floor plan and expand the Memory Care. This also helps us to expand our community areas, adding a few different dining venues, expanding the dining hall itself, more gathering space in the core area, multipurpose community room and theatre. We’re also taking one of the existing resident rooms and expanding the salon. We tried to create as much of a homelike atmosphere as possible by creating living spaces similar to i.e. a great room where you have the kitchen overlooking the family/sitting area, and a fireplace. On the lower level we have an outdoor patio. A balcony on the upper level, chapel and we’ll have a wellness area as well.

Security. Mr. Marrelli asked if they plan an enclosure for the patio.  

Bill Briggs replied they’ve discussed having almost like a sitting wall, masonry to enclose that.

Mr. Marrelli asked if they have to worry about keeping people on the property.

Bill Briggs replied not typically in Assisted Living. That’s where the Memory Care is more of the secure environment. The nurse call system can be set up in a number of ways where people have a pendant that can have a locator on it too. After hours these doors will be locked on the lower level. There will be egress doors, but in order for somebody to get out, they’d have to push a certain amount of time. Systems are set up now-a-days so you can know if Mrs. Smith or Mr. Jones is pushing on that door. There are all sorts of systems available for that type of thing.

Architectural Theme. The theme for the addition is to blend into the existing one. We desire a unified appealing design that both Randall residents and Mayfield Village will be proud of. We want to blend into our existing Architecture and accentuate certain areas that we feel are necessary and beneficial to do that. One of those is the east elevation which will be the closest to the road. We want to be very careful in how we address that architecture. We want it to be appealing for everybody, for visitors, people parking across the road, people working at Progressive, etc.  

Mr. Marrelli asked how close to the road the east elevation is.

George Gatta, Architect with CC Hodgson states northeast corner is 36’ to the right-of-way line, then the road kind of angles so at the south corner it’s greater.

Bill Briggs said the landscaping is very important. We should develop multiple viewpoints from both outside and inside. It’s very important for the residents, and anybody to have a good view of the landscape. The east elevation is crucial. It’s an introduction to the community and will be enhanced architecturally and garnished with appropriate and attractive landscaping.

Bill Briggs in conclusion said we’re grateful for the opportunity to present this. As I told you, this would be brief so we can open up to any questions. We’re excited about moving ahead with this and we’re looking forward to your input and approval.


Chairman Farmer asked what variances are needed.

  • Variances

George Gatta recites variances:

Code Req'd
Variance Requested
1. Front Yard Setback
60' from right-of-way
2. Side yard Setback
100' from residential
3. Parking
89 spaces
80 spaces
9 spaces

(30 of 80 spaces landbanked)

Mr. Marrelli said 30 of the 80 parking spaces are landbanked because we foresee that you’ll have a whole lot of parking lot out there doing nothing. 

Michelle Gorman, Executive Director at Governor’s Village said zero of the residents have cars. That seems to be the way it’ll be, especially with adding our dementia population, none of those folks drive. Employees at the very busiest time are probably 15 spaces. Maybe 100 visitors at Christmas dinner (worse case scenario). Other than that, on a regular day to day basis, at any given time there are maybe 4 – 5 cars unless we have an event. 

Mr. Marrelli said they say you’re not supposed to plan your parking lot for Easter & Christmas.

George Gatta asked about existing parking spaces.

John Urbanick with Greenland Engineering believes there are 50 currently and the 30 that were landbanked as part of the original project never built, which brings the total shown to 80 just on the east side.   

George Gatta said the 3 variances are identified on the drawing. There’s one other that may be required. That’s depending in how this group views this property. It’s a little unique in right now there are three separate properties. The intention is that we would hopefully own the Village property which would make two separate parcels. There’s a mathematical error that Dave Hartt pointed out to us. We didn’t do it on purpose to try to push one through. What we did to calculate the lot coverage, we took our existing property plus the Village property assuming we were going to hopefully own that. By taking that area and putting our building on it, we understood that we were right at the lot coverage aloud. In error the calculation was used with the area that’s slightly larger. So if it’s still viewed that way, we would ask for an additional variance now. We were hoping this group views this whole property as one piece. We’ve submitted, third sheet of the Civil drawings, there’s a number of easements identified when these two parcels were split, a number of easements still connecting the two. We would like to ask that the whole area be considered as one property then we’d be well under the coverage.


Three points by David Hartt:  

  1. Governor’s Village came to the Village about 1 yr & 1 month ago with this proposal. Their proposal came in after we were considering the East Commons proposal on the other side. It was coincidental that they were asking for a variance from the right-of-way, having the building setback from the right-of-way exactly in line with what was ultimately approved for East Commons. What they’re asking for in terms of distance from the formal portion of North Commons Blvd is equal to, in fact bigger than the setback approved for East Commons. It mirrors that project. It’s not asking for anything more than what was granted to the other project.

  2. When they wanted to start the formal process, the question was where do they go first? Do they go to the Planning Commission first or Council to get a sense of whether the Village would sell the land in the first place. We decided the best approach would be to go to the Committee of Economic Development. It’s still an informal process. Council has not approved the sale of the land. Based on the direction from the Committee, and the Committee discussed leasing and/or selling the land and the view was not to get encumbered with leasing arrangements and managing properties, so sell the property. That’s the Economic Development Committee’s view. Governor’s Village paid for the appraisal which now has to be brought back to the Committee and Council for presumably a formal concurrence with the transaction to sell the land. The layout, including the variances is based on including Village land in this development project.

  3. I think based on the arrangement of this site and the easements associated with it, the access, the utilities, the connection of the buildings, even though there’s a second ownership in the back, I think it’s compelling that this be treated as one zoning lot. It cannot be treated as two zoning lots because of all the interrelationships. If you treat it as two zoning lots, you have a landlocked parcel to the west. One of the things we asked for in their submission was to show us on the drawings the relationships which guarantee that these parcels are interrelated. They’ve done so. The original plot that was filed in 1991 has easements for access, building connections and utilities between these two parcels. There’s no question that even though it’s two ownerships, it’s a single parcel. I liken it to a shopping center where the whole shopping center is the zoning lot yet an individual user may own their own property within that zoning lot. I don’t think this is any different than that arrangement. If you agree with that, then this coverage issue is not a variance issue any longer because they’re within the 20% coverage requirement for the whole land.

Mr. Marrelli said at some point in the past the Planning Commission approved this lot split with the easements.

David Hartt agreed, but that doesn’t make it a separate zoning lot, it makes it a separate ownership. With all the easements, it’s really no different than a condominium ownership which is part of a larger lot which the larger lot is actually the zoning line.

Mr. Marrelli brings this up because normally you don’t split off property that has no frontage unless you’re looking at it as one piece.

David Hartt said the shopping center example, they do so. They buy the land under their building and the parking field may be still part of the shopping center ownership.

  • Employees

Mr. Regan asked how many additional employees.

Michelle Gorman replied we’ve got 42 now, some part time, mostly full time. I would say we’d need 10 – 15 more for sure.

Ted Esborn has the numbers and breakdown of positions, will share those with the Board at the next meeting.

  • SUP vs. CUP

Mr. Marrelli requests some housecleaning. I don’t know why the Special Use Permit terminology was used back in 1999. They’re the only facility in our town that has a Special Use Permit vs. Conditional Use Permit. When I look at the code, it really isn’t a Special Use Permit. I’d like to get that straightened out.

Ms. Calta thinks it might have been the terminology used in the Court Settlement. I’ll look back and we’ll get that cleaned up.

  • Fire Code Requirements

Mr. Regan assumes under the State of Ohio and all other licensing groups, that the 2-story, the elevator and everything else meets their requirements.

Bill Briggs confirmed they meet requirement.  

George Gatta demonstrates the separation of the buildings on floor plan drawing. Right along this line will be a fire wall, that this portion of the building can be added in square footage to the existing, within that footprint. Then from this point out will be a separate building by code. Since the Village is leaning toward selling the land, that works in our favor. An option of leasing it would really cause a problem with construction, then you have a code problem of building one building over two properties. 

Lt. Michael Girbino said existing facility has a standby emergency generator. Will that generator be able to handle the new addition?

Bill Briggs believes they’ll add another generator for the addition.

Lt. Michael Girbino asked if that generator will be configured to power the elevator.

Bill Briggs said that’s open for discussion.

George Gatta noted the equipment in its location is very well screened, pretty well hidden from the street and residents of the community.

  • Signage

Mr. Marrelli asked if there’ll be additional signage.

Michelle Gorman said we’ve talked about some things.

Mr. Marrelli suggests if a variance is needed, putting it as part of one whole package to eliminate going to BZA for the building and having to come back for the sign.

  • Marketing Addition

Mr. Marrie said you mentioned ½ your care is Memory Care now. Are you going to market this new addition to the same?

Michelle Gorman said we’re marketing it as we’re adding Assisted Living room so we can also accommodate more Dementia/Memory Care. We market it both ways.

George Gatta demonstrates. The existing two wings are broken up into halves. The new addition would be Assisted Living, across this new open area, this quadrant would also be Assisted Living allowing this quadrant, these two, to lean toward Memory Care. Going back to the question on security, this whole courtyard is secure. They would have access to that courtyard without going to the outside. The patio is off the Assisted Living wing.

Mr. Marrelli asked about cameras.

Michelle Gorman replied no cameras at this time.

  • North Drive

Mr. Fikaris said the plan says new asphalt drive. What exists now?

George Gatta replied it’s a fire lane, service drive. That’s not designed for traffic.

Mr. Marrelli asked about hydrants. 

Lt. Michael Girbino said there are hydrants now. They should be sufficient for the new addition. 

Mr. Fikaris asked if there’s a concern with the homeowners to the north, noting the lots are pretty deep.

Mr. Marrelli replied there hasn’t been any concern with the present facility. I don’t anticipate concerns with the addition. The 2 ½ stories might be more ominous in their backyard. There are a lot of trees along that back line. Ted Esborn shoes an aerial view.

Mr. Marquardt notes that the neighbors will be notified as part of the requirement for any BZA request.

Lt. Michael Girbino said this might be premature but, I’m curious if the fire alarm system will be capable of handling the additional building. Something to consider would be to maybe revamping the fire alarm system and upgrading it. The system might require an upgrade.


Chairman Farmer said we’ll vote on this Mon, Feb 4th.

Mr. Marrelli notes the vote on the 4th is for preliminary only, you’re agreeing for them to continue developing drawings, then to Board of Zoning Appeals for variances, back to Planning Commission for final providing their Engineer has all his ducks in a row, our Landscape Architect has weighed in, Architectural Review Board, we need to sell the property, do a consolidation, etc. There’s a lot of detail yet.

David Hartt assumes the easements stay in place, but the property line between the Village property and theirs gets consolidated, but that consolidation plat doesn’t happen at the preliminary stage. That’ll happen concurrently with the final approval for the building.

Mr. Marrelli concludes, this is the beginning, not the end.

Representatives thank the Commission and leave meeting at this time 8:10 p.m.


731 Beta Dr. Unit C
Panzica Realty Company

a) Conditional Use Permit

Mr. Marrelli introduces next proposal. Sign-A-Rama wants to locate on Beta Dr. in Panzica’s building. They’ll be next door neighbors to the Pool & Spa Co. The reason he’s here for a Conditional Use Permit is he wants to do some retail sales. I don’t know how much space will be devoted to retail. I don’t have a floor plan.

Sam Costiuc, Owner Sign-A-Rama introduces himself, states he’s looking at two next door units and will choose between the 4,000 sq ft or 2,400 sq. ft. We have a small showroom now and will probably continue to have a small showroom and the rest is manufacturing.

Mr. Marrelli said this mirrors Sherwin William’s Paint, next property to the south who is on a CUP. They have a city counter where you can buy a gallon of paint. 

Sam Costiuc states we’re a customs sign & graphics company. We don’t really have off the shelf products. A customer will come in, tell us what they need and we’ll make it for them, then they come pick it up. Or they’ll meet and sit down with our designer to go through the concepts. We don’t really stock inventory like a Sherwin William’s. In our showroom are examples of signs (mostly commercial) and materials. We don’t do many residential. Probably 90% if not more of our business is business to business. We generally don’t work with consumers that often, occasionally somebody who wants a sign in their yard. We don’t turn anyone away, but typically we market towards other businesses. 

Mr. Regan said we’re on Beta, holding up Stryker Energy LLC sign, we had 500 or 1,000 of these made. These are tank signs, stickers. We sent them a design, got back a sample, we approved it, and somebody picked them up. 

Sam Costiuc said that’s typical. Many of our customers never even come out and see us.

Mr. Regan said the retail might be; “Beware of Dog”, “For Sale by Owner”?

Sam Costiuc said correct. Again, we don’t stock. Occasionally we might have a “For Sale Sign”. Right now we don’t have anything that’s standard in our showroom, just examples of signs & materials. 

Mr. Fikaris asked if he would consider Fast Signs more a retail outlet.

Sam Costiuc thinks both Fast Signs and Sign-A-Rama corporately lean towards the retail aspect just because they get more exposure that way nationally. We’re on Mayfield Rd, a highly traveled street. It’s not worth paying the extra rental dollars to be on Mayfield because we don’t really get people stopping in because they see our sign. If they’re looking to buy, that’s when they call us or stop in the store. We don’t get walk in traffic like a restaurant would. Corporate requirements are that we need appropriate signage and soft retail, to be able to have customers come to a showroom and be able to show them around.

  • Discussion Ensued – Rezone for Retail on Beta?

Mr. Marquardt said I’m getting a little uncomfortable with the creeping retail on Beta, an area that’s not zoned for that. I don’t think retail is in the Village’s best interest there. If it is, then we need to re-plan Beta. Already we’re using the precedence of having Pools & Spa next door. We have to look at this and say, do we really want retail on Beta, because I think it’s going to escalate.

Mr. Regan said but it’s business to business.

Mr. Marquardt said I’m talking about the movement toward retail, nothing against this business. I’m talking about a concern that we’re sliding toward retail. If we really want that on Beta then it needs to go into a planning cycle to determine that retail is part of the zoning because it isn’t now.

Mr. Regan said we’re talking manufacturing here. Pools & Spa is mostly over the net and shipping out. The pool company that’s in my building deals directly with people. They send one of their salesmen out and he sells them a pool and the people there collect the money. They don’t have their trucks or shovels there, but they’re selling a product door to door. I don’t see that as retailing Beta.

Chairman Farmer said it doesn’t bother me that much either. I go nuts when I drive down that street and see all those vacancies.

Mr. Marrelli said it’s not as vacant as it used to be. You can’t tell because there’re no signs on the buildings.   

Ted Esborn said occupancy’s in the low 80’s. 

David Hartt said we had an Administrative meeting in December in response to this application and a couple of others that had this retail component. We were actually contemplating the possibility of amending the zoning. I understand what you’re saying Bill not wanting this all retail, but amending the zoning code to acknowledge there are businesses like this and to try and specify the standards that make sure the allowance for retail is possible without it becoming a retail establishment, so we don’t go through this guessing game each time, but have some parameters in which to govern this. I think we can do that. I can’t imagine that having a component with retail in these buildings means that they’re paying less for rent than a standard distribution, manufacturing & warehousing facility. I don’t think there’s any loss to the Village in allowing this. Another thing we’ve talked about for the last 3 or 4 years since I’ve been involved is perhaps loosening up the uses permitted in this district to allow more flexibility to make it more attractive.

Mr. Marquardt said I think we need those standards developed. Right now, if you use the last business that went in as precedence for the next, you are going to have a problem as far as somebody saying “You let this guy in, how come I can’t?”

Mr. Marrelli said keep in mind we spent significant dollars to put a fiber ring on that street in hopes of getting high tech, medical, experimental, manufacturing. It’s not happening at the rate we’d like to see it. I think QED is our poster child for using the fiber ring we have. Not to defend Bill, but I’m going to agree with him to an extent. If the landlords keep renting to users that are not high tech and not utilizing the infrastructure, I don’t know if we can get enough use out of it to make it worth having done it.  

Dr. McGrath said but some of the retail happening now is E-tail. That’s part of the reason these businesses are more tolerable. A lot of the work is done over the net.

Mr. Marrelli said not to defend the pool guy, but he’s invisible now, you don’t even know he’s there. That leads me to this issue. Sign-A-Rama has to have a sign on that building. He’ll be the first one with a sign on the building. People will drive by and ask when we started putting signs on the buildings.

Mr. Marquardt said you’ll start seeing more.

David Hartt said each one of these businesses can go in there if they declare they didn’t have any retail component. They’d be perfectly o.k. The question is, if they add a limited retail component, is that contrary to the public interest? If it’s something that can go in anyway and the retail component is small and managed.

Mr. Marquardt said then they start putting the signs up, then you start having the look. You put in your fiber optic to attract high tech. This is just the thinking that I think has to be put into it so we stop spot approving things instead of looking at all the ramifications and really vetting the plan.

Ted Esborn said this is part of the age old thinking. Parts of Beta, this northern group of Beta has a different look. You’ve got more single tenant manufacturers. You have Mt. Vernon up there which is more upscale dedicated office. We’re looking at a sub group of Beta, somewhere between 3 and 6 buildings in the middle of Beta, multi-tenant. A lot of them are similar to flex space where you have a little bit of office and warehouse. The owners of these buildings are finding they’re most conducive now to these companies that might have some retail component. If there’s going to be consideration of a broader change, I think the owners of these buildings would agree that they’re getting ever increasing interest from businesses that would like to have that retail component piece. It’s that type of space that I’m hearing is very conducive to those types of companies right now.

Mr. Marquardt said then you have to consider necessary restrictions because then you have parking, traffic and other things that have to be taken into effect, whether it’s going to attract crime and that type of thing. Like David said, maybe we have to come up with a definition that if retail is going to be in there, what are the restrictions on it. We can’t just keep stepping one step at a time in my opinion.

Chairman Farmer said we tried that in the past with the spot thing because we got so few people asking for it.

Mr. Marrelli agreed. We kept getting everything from one end of the spectrum to the other, i.e. the RUMI Foundation. How do you zone for that?

Mr. Marquardt said you have to determine what the market is and then what it’s going to support and then block it out.

Mr. Marrelli said up until now, all these multi tenant properties have used monument signs in the yard that listed all the tenants. When you looked at the building, it was clean and neat. You know what happens when signs go up, tenants change, they go up, they come down. It gets a little like Brookpark Rd. when you get too many signs on buildings.

Ted Esborn thinks the building owners would say if you want to fill these vacancies, here’s what you’re going to fill them with.  

Mr. Marquardt said from the Village’s standpoint, you’re not making any money on this. Yes, they would like to fill them up. You’re not making any money on the income tax.

Ted Esborn said you’re making some, not as much as the ideal, but if you compare it to nothing.  

Mr. Marquardt said nickel & dime stuff. That’s one faction as to what the owners want, you have to look at the rest of it, how will it affect the other properties, traffic and the other factors?

Mr. Regan said it’s specialty retail. They know what they’re going for, their chlorine or their signs.

Mr. Marquardt said now this guy’s putting up a sign opposed to a monument sign. That’s a step farther. You’re taking one step at a time, but you have no control over it.

Mr. Regan says I hear what you’re saying Bill, I don’t agree with it. With all due respect, his sign does not bring in retail business. It’s not a sign for retail, it’s a required sign. It’s not there to flag people in to come to his showroom. The pool guy is specialty retail, this is 90% business to business. 

Ted Esborn speaks on Applicants’ behalf. Sam’s application has raised concerns for future applications. Both here and ARB, Sam has followed the steps we’ve told him to follow. Here, he was instructed on the steps to apply for the Conditional Use Permit, in that he would need to respond to the 10 guidelines in how it relates to his business. The application is triggering thoughts and concerns about what this will mean for future applicants, future businesses on Beta. Sam as an individual applicant is following directions in taking the steps he’s been told to take, that should be given consideration.

Mr. Marrelli said this Board has dealt with being on the edge of the cliff on Beta Dr. for years. His application is going to push us one way or the other. The physical appearance will be a store front vs. what we’ve been used to, only because he has to have a sign on the building, company policy. Be aware this will change the complexion of the street for better or worse.

Mr. Marquardt said my point is we need to focus more on the planning.

Mr. Marrelli said he needs an answer now.

Mr. Marquardt agreed. He’s caught in the middle. Nothing against his application, I just see this as the tipping point. It’s time to take a look at this.

Mr. Regan asked if QED has a sign on Beta.

Ted Esborn replied they do.

Mr. Marquardt said but it’s not a retail establishment, they make coils.

Mr. Regan not sure that makes a difference.

Mr. Fikaris to Ted, if he were higher retail, would you have given him consideration and say this is something you can pursue. At what percentage of retail is there a drop off? With all due respect, we’re taking your word for your business. I know your business, but I’ve dealt with others that I’ve viewed as a retail business and I know they do a lot of business to business. It was more a retail setup with a fairly large nice showroom. It’s tricky, to him, he’s coming in good faith. What if the next guy that comes in is 20%? I’m unaware of Sherwin William’s, how many sq. ft of retail do they have?  

Mr. Marrelli replied maybe 10% of their whole space. It’s supposed to be for contractors but you can go in there and purchase 6 gallons of paint for your house. In my opinion, if Sam wasn’t putting a sign on that building, it’d be a no brainer.

  • Sign Program

Mr. Fikaris asked if the Commission should be discussing the sign.

Mr. Marrelli said if you want.

Mr. Fikaris asked what the idea was. Are the signs all going to be above each unit on Beta?

Mr. Marrelli said we’re trying to get the landlord to come in and address the situation. It’s a multi-tenant building some 200 feet wide. If he gets a sign then the guy next door of course will want one and the next tenant. We need a sign program. We don’t want; this guy wants red, that guy wants blue, mine is going to be bigger, mine longer. They need to come to us and say they’ve carved out ‘x’ amount of square feet in the middle of the façade and that’s where the signs have to go. We’re asking the landlord to come in with a plan if they’re going to start putting signs on the buildings.

Mr. Marquardt said you probably want to have something that defines what’s allowable. If you’re going to be looking at retail, define what retail that we consider to be acceptable, because it’s not part of the zoning.

Mr. Marrelli said right now we’re talking about the sign board. We’re trying to get the landlord in to say this is what they want to see on their building as an architectural feature.

Dr. McGrath said chances are if we have some kind of requirement with certain uniformity, I’m willing to bet there’re a lot of companies that won’t allow that.

Sam Costiuc said our corporate colors are red. But because of the restrictions where we are now in Mayfield Hts, they’re blue.

Mr. Marrelli said CVS wanted red letters across the street. They got black letters. Keeping it uniform is the idea to avoid a hodge-podge of pieces and parts, but that’s the Architectural Board’s issue. Unfortunately the sign to me in this instance tips the thing over from professional to retail by appearance.

David Hartt said for some reason the industrial uses here that are permitted by right haven’t used the sign allowance that they’ve been entitled to. To say they’re only putting up a sign because it’s retail isn’t necessarily the case.

Mr. Marrelli said if you go to Alpha Pk there’s not one sign on the building, except Phillips or SKF which are stand alone buildings. Everything’s on the ground. It keeps the buildings clean. This here will tip the scale and open the door for more of the same.

David Hartt said the sign is permitted now without a retail component. It just hasn’t been used. You can’t quite say that the retail is going to tip it.

Mr. Regan said the signage may tip it because it’ll alert the current tenants and others. It won’t alert that it’s retail.

Mr. Marrelli said it’ll start a trend. Mark my words.

David Hartt said I recognize we’ve got to do some planning, set some standards on this. Let’s keep clear a retail component for a business that could be there by right is a lot different than saying Dunkin Donuts is going there. They’re not going to go there because they could never be there by right.

Chairman Farmer suggests it’s time to get back into the broad picture again. We got away from it for a long time because a lot wasn’t happening there.

Ted Esborn said for what it’s worth because these guidelines seem to be some of the substance of our Conditional Use Permit, if there were going to be a reason this applicant does not get a Conditional Use Permit, I’d personally want to know which of those guidelines are not being met.

Mr. Marquardt said we don’t have to justify not giving somebody a Conditional Use Permit.

Ted Esborn said since these guidelines are given to applicants as the structure of granting or not granting.   

Mr. Marrelli clarifies the guidelines are to be used in consideration. They’re not the end all. I believe it’s in the Ordinance that there should be no specific right that if you meet those guidelines that you get a Conditional Use Permit. You’re basically asking for a variance and nobody has a right to a variance.


Chairman Farmer asked where that leaves us with Sam.

Mr. Marrelli said you’re charged with deciding if you want to allow him a Conditional Use Permit or not. You can decide what your conditions are going to be. You can say he can only use 10% of his area for retail.

Mr. Regan asked Ted to consider some conditions for the Commission to look at for the vote on Feb 4th.

David Hartt states I don’t think one of the conditions can be the prohibition of the sign when non retail uses are entitled to that sign. You can’t hold that club over this tenants head because it’s permitted by right. I would not suggest that unless Diane overrules me.

Ms. Calta concurs with David. You can put conditions but I think the distinction is if your code permits the sign, the condition limiting the code would be an area you wouldn’t want to venture into.

Mr. Marquardt said you’re granting a privilege based on a condition.

Ms. Calta said you are but I still would not grant a Conditional Use Permit that prohibits something that the code allows. That’s not a condition, that’s a prohibition.

Mr. Marquardt said if somebody is getting a privilege as opposed to a variance to the zoning, then why can’t you say; “for that privilege we are restricting this”. We don’t want this retail thing to look like a retail.

Ms. Calta said you can say that, that you don’t want it to be a retail establishment.

Mr. Marquardt said that’s why we don’t want the sign.

Ms. Calta’s recommendation is not to go in that direction. If you want it to go in that direction, I can certainly research it for you and give the Commission an opinion as to whether that would stand up in Court.

David Hartt said this building does not look like a retail building. Depending upon what he does or doesn’t do with the frontage could be a very strong condition. You can say not making this look like a retail frontage. To Sam, are you planning on opening up the façade and making it look more retail?

Sam Costiuc replied I don’t think they’d allow it. Right now they’re all uniform looking units, aside from maybe putting lettering or something on the window.

Mr. Regan said if the non-retail manufacturing decided 15 years ago to put MFG Manufacturing up there, there would be no issue. I’m at a loss.

Dr. McGrath states we need some limit that only 10% of his space could be for retail.

Mr. Regan said people don’t go in business to pay rent and make signs, they go in business to make money. This is not a retail center. If the pool guy stays, he may decide to put up a sign. Is he going to stay or leave because he doesn’t have a sign? If the sign would make his business, he better put up a sign.

Chairman Farmer concludes. Sam I hope we’ve made this clear as mud to you. You can see we’re in a state of flux on this thing. All I can tell you is that we’ll take a vote on this Mon, Feb 4th @ 7:30 p.m. I would suggest that you be here. In the meantime, Architectural Review Board will look at the sign proposal. We’ll get materials, ideas from Ted sent to us on what we might want to have as part of the motion and Ted will share those with you.

Applicant thanks the Commission and leaves meeting at this time 9:00 p.m.


  • Organizational Meeting

Chairman Farmer states the next meeting will be our Organizational, electing Chairman, Chairman Pro-Tem and Secretary. We all know who serves in those positions. I haven’t heard anybody say they want out. If somebody wants to move into one of these positions, I’d just appreciate you letting me know beforehand so we can talk about it. Also at that meeting we need to appoint somebody to Ordinance Review Committee. I sent something around for any interest but haven’t gotten any responses yet. If not, it could by default fall to Vetus if he’s willing to take that on.

I’d like Vetus to take a second to tell us a little bit about himself. We know he’s been in Mayfield Hts, has seen the light and has come over to Mayfield Village.

  • Vetus Syracuse, New Planning Member

Vetus Syracuse introduces himself. When I was 7 yrs old, my Parents built a house on Timberline Trail in Aintree North. I grew up in Mayfield Village and attending Mayfield High School, played sports there. Went to undergrad at Bowling Green, got a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy. Attended Law School at Cleveland Marshall. I’ve been an Attorney since 2004. I work with my Father who had been a sole practitioner for years before that. We started up Syracuse Law Office which is just the two of us. Our office is in Euclid where he grew up and I lived the first 7 years of my life.

In 2005 my wife and I bought a house in Mayfield Hts. I spent 5 years on the Board of Zoning Appeals in Mayfield Hts so all this stuff is not too unfamiliar to me, especially this stuff about the signs with Golden Gate & Eastgate and all the other signs, and all the variance requests we got for a lot of businesses. I’ve been married for 6 years. I have 2 young boys. My Son Mateo will be 4 in March. My Son Massimo is 1 ½.

I’m glad to be on this Commission and I look forward to working with all of you. Forgot to mention we moved back here to Mayfield Village in 2011. We bought my Grandfather’s old house on Bramblewood Ln that he had built the same time we moved to Aintree North.

  • Citizens Advisory Meeting

Chairman Farmer said last thing is the Citizen’s Advisory meeting coming up on Mon, Jan 28th @ 7:00 p.m. in Reserve Hall. Jack Schron, our Cuyahoga County Council Representative is going to be speaking. It should be interesting if people want to stop in.

Mr. Marrie said we plan on opening it up for Q&A. Mr. Schron addressed the Community & Economic Development Committee last year. He owns a Tool Company on Lakeshore. He ran against Fitzgerald. He’s on the Council representing in a broad sense everything from Chagrin Falls up to here. He’s a very interesting and intelligent man.  

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Deborah Garbo
Executive Assistant
Building Department