PZ - February 19th 2015

Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Mayfield Village
Feb 19, 2015

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Feb 19, 2015 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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ROLL CALL

Present: Mr. Jim Farmer (Chairman), Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman Pro-Tem), Mr. Bill Marquardt, Mr. Garry Regan, Dr. Sue McGrath, and Mr. Paul Fikaris                                                          

Also Present: Mr. Tom Hanculak (Law Department), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), Gino Carcioppolo        (Fire Chief), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)

Absent: Mayor Rinker, Mr. Joseph Saponaro (Council Alternate), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), and Mr. Ted Esborn (Economic Development Director)

PROPOSAL:

  1. Conditional Use Permit
    The Bouncy Place
    Weber Wood medinger
    760 Beta Dr.

 

OPEN PORTION:

Chairman Farmer called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission. We won’t be taking an official vote tonight.  

Mr. Marrelli invites applicant to explain proposal prior to opening up for questions.

Kimberly Bigelow introduced herself and thanked the Commission for having her tonight. The place is from ages 2 – 12, an area of inflatable big bouncy houses, slides and jumpables. A place where kids can go and have a safe & comfortable area to play & jump.  We have a Toddler section as well. Parents can be there. A good area for people to get rid of a little energy when the weather is bad or when people are just looking for something to do.

Chairman Farmer asked, do you have these inflatable items in each one of these rooms on the floor plan you presented?

Ms. Bigelow replied, no. We have 3 separate rooms in front for birthday parties or educational opportunities throughout the week.

Questions by Mr. Marrelli to Ms. Bigelow

Q & A

Q. Hours of Operation?

A. 9:00 am – 6:00 pm at the moment.

Q. Your proposal’s for snow days & days off school. What will you be doing in there on days school’s in session?

A. Something very similar. It’ll be a 7 day/week operation. During the week we’d offer Mommy & me class, toddler classes, other class activity and open it up to the community. If we did an activity class, it’d be on the floor. An art class in a room. We’d probably combine the two to get the energy out of the kids before we made them sit down for an art class or activity of that sort.

Q. During school times, you’d be getting the Preschoolers? 

A. Yes.

Q. How will you handle a snow day when Mom has to go to work, drops off 2 kids at 7:30 am and can’t pick them up until 6:00 p.m.   

A. That’s not this facility. We are not a Day Care. They have to be supervised. They must have an adult on the premise with them.

Q. How many people can you fit in here?

A. 125

Q. How did you calculate that?

A. Based on square footage.

Q. You have one toilet for each sex?

A. We do.

Q. And you’re going to have 125 people?

A. The 2 near the offices are one stall each, the other set are multiple stalls within the bathroom. It’s not just two toilets.

Q. John can’t tell from the drawing. They look like handicap. Usually when they’re handicap it’s only one.

Q. Will you serve food?

A. We’d order pizza and birthday cake for parties. We ourselves will not be cooking.

Q. How will you handle First Aid? 

A. It’ll depend on the type of injury. We’ll have multiple First Aid Kits around. I’d probably require our employees to have a certificate. If very severe, I’d call 911.

Q. So you’re going to handle it yourself and not have to call the Fire Dept. hopefully.

A. Unless it’s severe.

Q. Your ratio of staff to children?

A. During the week we expect it to be relatively slow during school times. We think 1-2 full-time & 3-4 part-time as needed. Weekends because of parties, we expect 10-12 employees on the premise during what we anticipate to be our high volume days.

Q. What’s your anticipated annual payroll?

A. I don’ have that information at this point.

Q. Are you looking at minimum wage or $12/hr?

A. Minimum wage. 

Q. Did you prepare a business plan?

A. Not at present. I will be in the next upcoming weeks.

Q. I’m curious how you figure this is a viable project without a business plan.

A. I think that it’s an idea. I think that as a Mom of 3 little boys that there are not a lot of places in the area that provide this type of activity. We’ve been to a lot of different places that do have these type of facilities for different age groups. Having been here for 13 months, we love the Village, we think it’s great. We think it’s a really fantastic idea.

OPEN DISCUSSION:

Mr. Marrelli asked, is there a business operating next door to this facility?  

Denise Hahn with Weber Wood Medinger replied, not directly next door. Right now there’s a vacant space next to it.

Mr. Marrelli asked, what are the separation walls, are they block or drywall?

Denise Hahn replied, one side is the end of the building of 760 Beta, an outside wall.

Mr. Marrelli asked, as the landlord, are you considering soundproofing that if somebody wants to move in next door?

Denise Hahn replied, of course.

Mr. Marrelli asked how tall the inflatable houses are.

Ms. Bigelow replied, tallest one is 19’.

Mr. Marrelli asked, how high are the ceilings?

Denise Hahn replied, up to 22’.

Chairman Farmer asked where this space is on Beta.

Denise Hahn replied, right next to the Holiday Inn. There’s 4 buildings, 3 that are parallel to Beta and one is perpendicular. The perpendicular one is the largest one and that’s this one.

Mr. Marrelli asked the term of the lease.

Denise Hahn said, I spoke with Ted, I’m sorry he can’t be here right now, I understand he’s very busy right now. We talked and e-mailed back and forth in Sept. about this use. His thoughts were he thought it would be a positive reception because of some of the other fitness uses and conditional use permits that were given to Lakeshore Dance & Gymnastics. It’s a 10-year lease. This is not a fly by night idea at all. We’ve had contractors in for the price of the tenant improvement allowance. The owner is getting ready to put a tremendous amount of money into this space.

Conditional Use Permit Process

Mr. Marrelli states, these permits are good for 2-yrs at a time.

Denise Hahn said and then it’s renewable. Is there a way to have a longer term permit?

Mr. Marrelli replied, the reason it’s 2 years at a time is because that’s the control point if it doesn’t turn out well, or if there are issues.

Ms. Bigelow asked for an explanation on the renewal process. 

Mr. Marrelli explains. This Board, if they approve your use would give you a list of conditions that you’re required to meet, i.e. lighting, signage, hours of operation, etc. Every two years I come around and make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. I check with Police & Fire if there’s been any complaints or any issues, then I report back to this Board. They renew or not based on if you’re following the rules. We just recently renewed 20 permits.  

Denise Hahn asked if anyone got shut down.

Mr. Marrelli said no.

Chairman Farmer said it’s unusual for somebody not to get renewed.

Mr. Regan states, by way of investment, the Hilton Garden Inn hotel is on a conditional use permit. They made a huge investment, but they live within their conditions.

Mr. Regan asked, are you bringing folks in as a class that sign up for 12 weeks or pay as you go?

Ms. Bigelow replied, we’ll start out with pay as you go. We’ll make adjustments as needed.

Regulations on Inflatables
Comments & Concerns by Fire Chief Carcioppolo

Mr. Regan asked, are there any regulations on these structures in any way shape or form?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, I was going to ask Ms. Bigelow for documentation on any regulatory agency that has approved the inflatable structures that you’ll be using. From my preliminary research, there’s no regulatory agency that has any control over who manufactures and what those requirements are.

Ms. Bigelow said I’ll be happy to forward that information to you.

Chief Carcioppolo asked, do you have intentions of changing out the structures/types every six months or every year?

Ms. Bigelow relied, no. These are pretty expensive pieces of equipment. Barring being overused and needing to replace it just from an aesthetic or hygiene standpoint, they’d be around for the duration of the life of the structure. 

Chief Carcioppolo states, I have certain concerns with egress. You’re now putting a structure in a structure as far as occupant notification plus the age group of the population it’ll be serving, getting an occupant notification inside of the bounce house. Part of what we’re talking about is changing the use of this occupancy to what would be classified as an “Assembly”.

Denise Hahn states, we could get some dimensions, put it on a floor plan and share with you guys so everyone’s comfortable with how they’re assembled and where they are.

Ms. Bigelow notes, we have multiple egress points.

Chief Carcioppolo asked, are you aware of the statistics for injuries?

Ms. Bigelow replied, I’ve read over them briefly. To me it didn’t seem anything more significant than a kid outside on a playground or as opposed to a Sky Zone where there’s flipping. It would be highly controlled within our building. Our staff would be trained to only have a certain number of people in the bounce depending on the square footage for the house.

Chief Carcioppolo said I got very preliminary research on this topic. I had a little bit more substantial research on the Trampoline Park that wanted to come here. From an impact standpoint from my department, we’d be the ones dealing with the fallout from injury. To me, there’s really no benefit for Mayfield Village, there’s more of a liability.

Denise Hahn said you can’t really compare Sky Zone to this. Sky Zone has hundreds & hundreds of kids coming through on a Saturday. They have 500 kids coming through and they’re teenagers and they’re doing dodgeball. I think it’s very different.

Chief Carcioppolo said I understand. I’ve also done preliminary research and it’s founded by the American Academy of Pediatrics. These are concerns that I have and I wanted to discuss them with you. Will you have the occupants sign a waiver? 

Ms. Bigelow replied, yes.

Chief Carcioppolo said I’m not going to get into the legal aspect of waivers, but that’s removing liability from the organization and then we’d be the ones absorbing it.

Denise Hahn understands. I know you guys are a small group and you don’t want to be spending your time running out.

Chief Carcioppolo said I’m not opposed to running out helping people, but from an economic standpoint for the Village, I don’t know that I can recommend it. It wouldn’t be financially in the best interest of the community if we had one bad injury that resulted in litigation.

Denise Hahn asked, if they sign a waiver though, doesn’t that exempt it? They just go right around it? They wouldn’t sue the company, they’d go straight to the Village? 

Chief Carcioppolo said everyone would be named. So, from a standpoint of talking about 2, 3 or maybe 4 full time employees, the income level Mayfield Village would see from tax revenue, one bad injury that would result in litigation would take years to make that up.

Denise Hahn asked, have you found a lot of problems with the Dance & Gymnastics group?

Chief Carcioppolo said that same question came up with Sky Zone. There are injuries there, we’ve gone there on calls. But that’s more a structured educational sports fitness type center.  

Ms. Bigelow said gymnastics would seem to me to be as risky as bouncing in a house.

Chief Carcioppolo said my Daughter was going to Lakeshore Gymnastics prior to me being the Chief. But the trampolines, I’m not a fan of trampolines & bounce houses. Research study they just did over a 20 year period has shown a 15-fold increase in the amount of injuries. According to a study published in a scientific journal, it shows a child is hurt every 46 minutes. It’s something to think about. I don’t go to those places all the time because I’m working. Those are concerns I have from a professional standpoint. Ultimately, my guys are the ones that are going to be dealing with the upset Parent, or the kid that’s injured and the hospital. There’s a lot that goes into it.

Denise Hahn said we can work on it and share some statistics.  

Chief Carcioppolo asked, is this the same Bouncy Place Co. out of California?

Ms. Bigelow replied, no. This is independently owned. It’s not a chain.

Standards & Procedures for Cleanliness and Detoxification

Mr. Marquardt asked about hygiene. Do you have any standards or procedures for keeping the place detoxified?

Ms. Bigelow replied, yes. We’ll have a fully trained staff. Everything will be wiped down. We’ll have hand sanitizers all over the place. The floors will be mopped clean. Bathrooms will be bleached multiple times a day. We’ll try to keep everything very airy. As we get into it, we’ll obviously hire professional cleaners.

Mr. Marquardt asked, how will you keep this stuff clean?

Ms. Bigelow said wiping it down with disinfectant sprays.

Mechanicals – Wiring of structures

Mr. Fikaris said these are powered continually by an air pump. Do you plan on hard wiring those, or will those be cords plugged into outlets? I don’t know if anybody’s ever had the experience of one of these accidentally deflating by activity. It begs the question, in a power failure, in a packed place, how do you get the kids out of there? It’s really difficult to get kids out of a bounce house. I had that experience, and it was outdoors. There’s nothing you can do. Some of those weigh a lot. It’s very difficult when those collapse. Think about this, it’s dark, you have no power, and the kids are in there while someone’s trying to get people out of there. I know there’s emergency lighting, but it’s difficult. It’s something to think about. I would think a requirement would be that you have to have a staff member at the entrance of the bounce. That’s their job. They wouldn’t deal with anything in that room except monitor that bounce. That would cut down on injuries. The injuries will happen, kids jump & bump into each other, it happens. We do an annual thing where we rent one of these. We have somebody that’s extremely stern & strict, you have to. That job shouldn’t fall to the parent. Somebody has to be a lifeguard. In my opinion, with a whistle. I’m surprised these things don’t have some sort of fail-safe that you could tear these open, an emergency exit, i.e. Velcro.   

Chief Carcioppolo asked, do you have to clean these while they’re inflated?

Ms. Bigelow said yes. Another thing you can do for staff is a Fire Drill.

Chief Carcioppolo states, Paul’s point is a good point, a back-up generator would almost be a necessity. Those larger bounces are very heavy. You’d have to call us. We’d come without a problem. We’d absolutely want to help the kids out of there. But it would be something that would be better off dealt with before anything like that would ever happen.

Denise Hahn asked if there’s been a lot of power outages in the Village.

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes.

Chief Carcioppolo said UL 507 is the regulation for the electrical fan that inflates these. That part is regulated, but that only encompasses the electrical fan and the electrical supply to that fan. ASDM has a standard but it’s not a regulation and it’s not mandated. It’s a voluntary thing for inflatable bounce houses. They’re also not listed for commercial use.

Mr. Fikaris is curious if these things are rated to run 12 hours a day. I don’t know if there’s a lot of power outage issues with these. I’m sure it doesn’t draw a lot, I just don’t know how big those motors are. That’s a concern and the supervision is a big deal.

Mr. Marrelli said you could put a generator on that suite so the stuff can’t power down. As far as the Fire Alarms go, if you have 100 kids in there screaming and yelling, you’re going to have to boost the power on the Fire Alarm so you could hear. The emergency lights are going to be outside the bounce house so the kids aren’t going to know they went on. If the power goes out, emergency lights are useless inside the inflatable house. I don’t know how you deal with that, unless you put more emergency packs lower that’ll shine inside so they could see. It’s a weird situation to have a structure inside a structure. We don’t know what kind of fire rating’s on this material and the flame spread on it.

Chief Carcioppolo said I’m not a manufacturer and with no regulatory agency that I can find that mandates this.

Mr. Marrelli asked Chief, then how do you calculate the fire load on the building?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, you’d have to have a sample of the material and do a test.

Ms. Bigelow said there’s a similar structure/business in Warrensville Hts called Pump-it-Up.

Chief Carcioppolo said the company that you’re purchasing these houses from should be able to provide you with literature on flame rating and cut sheets.

Mr. Marrelli asked how these are anchored inside.

Ms. Bigelow replied, they’re anchored to the ground.

Dr. McGrath said it seems that because it’s indoors, there should be a way that you could tether the roof of these things up to the ceiling, so if the power goes out, they won’t collapse on the kids.

Mr. Fikaris said I’m sure these questions have been asked before because these places do exist. I’d say the manufacturer would have the literature to address these fire concerns.  

Mr. Syracuse asked, have you decided who you’re purchasing these houses from?

Ms. Bigelow replied, Ninja Jump. Mr. Syracuse requests literature from the manufacturer.

Business Plan

Mr. Marquardt states, I think we’ve voiced some concerns here. I think it’s something you’ll have to come back and address. Come back with a plan to address them, rather than us doing the research. Part of the business plan is how you’re going to address these concerns brought up relative to fire, safety & occupancy issues.

Mr. Syracuse agreed. Do you have any intentions to sell merchandise?  

Ms. Bigelow replied, not at this time, maybe just juice & water bottles. If that should change, we’ll come back.

Chairman Farmer asked for some locations of other bounce house facilities.   

Ms. Bigelow replied, one in Solon they sometime refer to as Bedford Hts on Metro Court & Streetsboro.

Parking & Signage

Mr. Fikaris asked about parking.

Mr. Marrelli said I’m not sure how much parking’s available in front.

Denise Hahn said right now Deacon’s parking some cars there. This is the building closest to Wilson Mills, 760. The buildings are 730, 740, 750 & 760 Beta. The parking goes all the way around. It’s a rectangle building. The parking is all down the south left side and in the front.

Mr. Marrelli asked, what are you doing for signage?

Denise Hahn replied, what the Village will allow. There’s a monument sign there. In the beginning maybe some temporary lawn sign like the Dance Studio uses all the time.

Mr. Marquardt asked, have you calculated the parking requirement for your maximum load if you have 125 people in there?

Ms. Bigelow replied, we’re sure we have enough parking. Because of the age group, half of those aren’t driving.

Mr. Marquardt asked, have you put together a calculation as to what the load would be?

Ms. Bigelow replied, I don’t have a number for you at this time.

Mr. Marquardt said that’s another thing that’s necessary to put together for the Commission.

Ms. Bigelow states, I’ll address that maximum capacity.

NEXT STEP

Chairman Farmer said we’ll put this on our agenda for the March 19th workshop.

Denise Hahn asked, if the folks running the business are able to put together all the information prior to that, is there any benefit to sharing it with everybody?

Mr. Marrelli replied, the sooner the better, but don’t dribble it in.

Chief Carcioppolo asked for a floor plan & square footage. 

Mr. Marrelli notes that only a partial floor plan was submitted by applicant.

Denise Hahn said it’s 10,240 square feet.

Mr. Marquardt states, this is a structure within a structure. We’ll need to see a drawing where the equipment is going to be, entrance points to the equipment, a layout, exits, egress, parking, etc.

Chief Carcioppolo asked what was there before, Techtron? Denise said yes.

Mr. Marrelli shared, it’s an office / warehouse set up. Tonight we’re talking about an “Assembly Use” of one kind or another, whether it’s an A1 or A2. We have to keep in mind this is an office building/warehouse a B & S1.

Chief Carcioppolo said that’ll change the Occupancy Load. It’s going to require changing the Fire Alarm & Sprinkler System.

Denise Hahn asked, because the use of the Sprinkler System in place may not be adequate?

Chief Carcioppolo replied, right. The structures themselves at 19’ will change the type of sprinkler head and where they’re located potentially. Exit points may have to change.

Mr. Marrelli said you’ll need to get us a floor plan how you’re going to operate. We don’t have enough information. We don’t have the fire rating on the material.

Chief Carcioppolo said once we have that information, it might cost $40,000 to update the sprinkler system and maybe $20,000 for the fire alarm system, I don’t know, I’m just speculating.

Mr. Marrelli said just the fire separation wall to go between an assembly use and a storage use might be a 2 hr wall, that’s a long wall. That’s a big building. Do you have an improvement budget?

Ms. Bigelow said yes.

Denise Hahn said the Owner is looking to put in about $300,000.00 into this space.

Mr. Marrelli asked, can you tell me how?

Denise Hahn replied, demolition, HVAC, electrical, it’s been priced out pretty detailed.

Mr. Marrelli asked, based on warehouse use or assembly use?

Denise Hahn replied, that I don’t know.

Mr. Marrelli asked, who did the figures?

Denise Hahn replied Jeff Nygard. It’s Daryl Young’s guy.

Mr. Marrelli said I just want to make sure when they bring plans in, if they’re replacing 2 units, they’re going to do this many CFM. I’m going to go in the code and it’s going to say for an assembly use it has to be quadruple that. They’re going to say, I didn’t know. If they’re not planning this as an assembly use, then it’s not going to be right.

Ms. Bigelow said because this is my first time doing this, because we put the bouncy houses in this, even though it’s a huge warehouse storage space, it becomes something different with our cosmetic adjustments?

Mr. Marrelli replied no, it’s your use. You’re filling it with people in an assembly situation versus boxes on shelves. It changes the use group, how the air works, how the bathrooms have to be, how the exits work, how the emergency lights work. The rules are all different for public safety. That’s why I want to make sure whoever’s doing the figuring on your equipment, electrical & plumbing is thinking assembly and not warehouse.

Mr. Fikaris asked how many structures they’re planning on putting in.

Ms. Bigelow replied, I don’t have that number at this point. They’ll all be different sizes, different themes.  

Mr. Marquardt said we don’t have enough detail to make a determination. You have to go back and do your homework. Lay the thing out, give it considerations, something that can be looked at by Fire, Building & the Commission here. I think you’ve got enough input from what we’ve given you here to make those considerations. Plus, your Architect or whoever’s doing it, should be working with John to make sure he’s going in the right direction.

Denise Hahn states, we’ll work on this for everyone to see.

Mr. Fikaris said it’ll be helpful to include some economic information, i.e. charges, fees, passes. If you’re doing this for 10 years, I’d like to get an idea of what you’re thinking of. Is that a fair question?

Mr. Marrelli googled a place in Maryland. They charge $8.50 / hr.

Ms. Bigelow asked, if we put down a figure, we get in and charge $10 then change that figure to $15, do we have to come back?

Mr. Fikaris said no. I’m just curious how that works. Isn’t that a consideration of viability?

Mr. Marrelli said yes but it’s always a crapshoot. That’s why I asked how much money is being laid out to start, because to recoup that money, I’m having a little bit of a hard time getting wrapped around how you’re going to recoup that kind of money when you’re putting $300,000.00 into the building, paying rent, plus the cost of the equipment, plus the utilities. You better have the place filled 20 hours/day.

Mr. Marquardt said I think that’s their consideration. That’s their business plan.

Chairman Farmer asked, any further questions or comments?

Mr. Marrelli said we’ll go visit one of these places to learn more. We’ll talk to the proprietors and the city and see what the ins & outs are.

Next scheduled P & Z workshop meeting; Thurs March 19th @ 7:30 p.m. 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Deborah Garbo
Executive Assistant
Building Department