PZ: November 16th 2017

Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Mayfield Village
Nov 16, 2017

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Nov 16, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Main Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Syracuse presided.


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

Also Present: Mr. Joseph Diemert (Law Director), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. John Marrelli        (Building Commissioner), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Commission Secretary)

Absent: Mayor Bodnar


  1. Site Plan Approval
    ARTIS Senior Living East Commons
    Polaris Engineering & Surveying, Inc.

    East Commons, Ltd.
    Sam P. Cannata
    PP #831-05-015
    285 NCB


Chairman Syracuse called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission. We have one proposal before us tonight which is a site plan approval for Artis Senior Living. Whoever is here to make a presentation tonight, if you could please stand up and state your name and address for the record.

Dustin Keeney, P.E., CPESC, 34600 Chardon Rd. Willoughby Hills 44094, with Polaris Engineering introduced himself.

Jay Hicks, 1651 Old Meadow Rd. #100 McLean, VA 22102, Senior Vice President of Development at Arts Senior Living introduced himself.

Site Plan & Operational Presentation

Dustin Keeney begins. What we’d like to propose is an Assisted Living Facility on this site. We’ll be looking at renderings and elevations in a few minutes. The landscape plan has been updated since the submission. On the original submission, the building was further to the south. We set it up to meet the 30’ building setback line on the south and the 100’ building setback line on the north. John contacted me after the staff did an internal review and they thought it would be prudent to try and save a buffering of trees along this south property line to provide a buffer between our project and the existing soccer fields.

We redid the plans shifting the building 25’ to the north which would necessitate a variance. Next week we’ll be going for a variance because we would no longer meet the required setbacks. The rest of the plan essentially stayed the same. The initial submittal had basically been put right at the south building line. The soccer field property is owned by the Village. We actually moved it further from Village property on the south, but closer to Village property on the north. I do have an updated landscape plan. We’ll preserve some trees as much as we can and this grading can be tweaked a little bit as we go through finals. Right now we’re showing about a 20’ buffer of trees along the south property line. As we get into finals, we can massage that a little bit.

We’re trying to save a buffer of trees on the east side as well. It’s my understanding that there was an agreement to provide some landscaping at the corners of this property to help screen the existing residence to the east of us.

The detention would be in the portion of the property that protrudes out towards SOM. The drainage would ultimately after it goes through the detention and water quality feature, would be drained to SOM. Sanitary water would come in off of North Commons Blvd. The driveway has been set up for it, it would match an existing opening in the center island on North Commons Blvd.

We reviewed Tom Cappello’s engineering comments and we don’t have any issues with his initial comments. We understand we have some coordination with Cleveland Water and we’ll ultimately review our final calculations and some of those things.

Tom had a comment about the existing wetlands. I have some documentation I brought that I could leave tonight. The wetlands that were on site, the property owner had gotten permits from the Ohio EPA and the ARMY Corps for fills. There’s documentation from EPA. They have their permits, paid their fees and did the work on the wetlands for the mitigation. I have that documentation as well. Beyond that, I’d be happy to answer any site questions. If you have any specific operational type questions, Jay is here tonight.

Jay Hicks explains the operational portion. This is an Assisted Living Residence, dedicated 100% to seniors with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. We’d like to get 72 single occupancy rooms approved. We’d build 64 in the initial phase and then with time, add 4. You wouldn’t see that work going on after it’s in. We’re excited to be here. We’ve spent a good time looking at whose in the market place providing services and who is in what we call the development pipeline, meaning projects that are approved and under construction. We work with a group called Senior Housing Analytics in analyzing the feasibility of projects like this one. We have favorable recommendation. We’ve supplemented that report by visiting people who are providing these services to see how we fit in. We’ve done a fair amount of work to get here. It’s not a casual application we’re bringing before you. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about us or what we do.

Mr. Marquardt asked about future expansion plans. Why would you wait until later to add the other 4 rooms?

Jay Hicks replied, that’s a good question. The size of our residence grows with the staffing model. They move in tandem. That’s why 64 & 72. We think there’s a market for 72, but in discussing with our operations people, they feel comfortable at 64. Fill the 64 and then proceed with the addition for the additional space. It’s an internal decision. We wouldn’t ask for 72 unless we felt there was a market for 72. It’s a little internal nuance.

Mr. Marquardt said, you’ll have the thing all cleaned up, then you have to tear it up again.

Jay Hicks replied, it’s an internal decision. I’ve had that question before. Your point’s well taken. It’s not uncommon to add rooms to Nursing Homes & Assisted Living Residences. We think we can do it and not compromise the operation, I’m not the operations person.

Chairman Syracuse said, Mr. Keeney mentioned it briefly, but members should be aware there are two variance requests, they’ll be coming before the Board of Appeals next week, a setback variance as well as a parking variance. Are there any additional variances?

Dustin Keeney replied, they’re both setback variances, one is for the building itself and one for the parking. With the initial site plan submitted, we just picked everything up and moved it directly north 25’ 

Mr. Marrelli said, they were code compliant until we asked them to shift the building. 

Mr. Regan asked, when they come before the Board, will it be presented & clear that it’s a Village request?

Mr. Marrelli replied yes, it’s clear in the memo.

  • Fence Height Variance South Border & Buffering Kinnaird Resident

Mr. Marrelli said, I have a question on this east end. Would you consider sliding this fence up a little bit and getting more of a buffer here for Mr. Kinnaird who lives in this house? Why don’t you move the fence in another 15 or 20 feet and have more wooded area, you’d have less grass to cut.

Jay Hicks replied, I think we could do that. The outdoor area is important to us from a clinical standpoint. We try and make those outdoor areas as ample as we can for the residents, where they’re permitted free access to move through the building and outside the building. Having said that, sure we could pull that in. Let us work on the grades between now and then. 

Mr. Cappello asked, do most of the residents walk on the path, they don’t walk on the grass?

Jay Hicks replied, they generally stay on the path, we’ve put some putting greens in.

Mr. Cappello said, right now you have some lawn that’s flat between the end of the path to the ditch grade.

Jay Hicks said, we need that flat so we’d need to tinker with this anyway relative to the placement. Between us needing a flat lawn, placement of the fence and the desire to create more of a buffer, we’ll go back and give you something to reconcile.

Mr. Marrelli said, I don’t have a detail on your fence. I know it says 8’ high solid vinyl. We can allow a solid fence where commercial abuts residential, that’ll happen on your north boundary and your east boundary. It won’t happen on the south because it’s commercial to commercial. This would have to be an open style board on board on that south side. Is that going to make a big difference, 6’ high board on board? Or do you want to try and get a variance for that south side?

Jay Hicks asked, is it the height, the material or both?

Mr. Marrelli replied, it’s the zoning code. Between commercial and residential, you could go 8’, you could go solid, no problem, you have that on two borders. You don’t have it on the south border.

Jay Hicks asked, what would the material be?

Mr. Marrelli replied, you could use the same material, but it has to be staggered i.e. shadowbox, board on board. Here’s what happens, you’ll have 8’ on the north & east and then 6’ on the south.

Jay Hicks asked, could we go for a variance?

Mr. Marrelli replied, you could. That’s something you might want to consider. We haven’t proposed it, but we could throw it on the table next week.

Mr. Marquardt asked, will the fence be hidden by trees?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes.

Mr. Kinnaird, 294 SOM Ctr Rd asked, how much of a buffer will it be, how many trees?

Mr. Marrelli replied, there’s going to be 25’ of mature trees between this fence and the soccer field.

Mr. Cappello said, one thing to remember when you say 25’, you don’t know how many trees that is.

Mr. Kinnaird said, the majority of that is 6’ to 10’ of scrub.

Mr. Cappello said, I think Mr. Kinnaird will probably want the 8’ high fence.

Jay Hicks said, we like 8’, we ask for 8’ for a reason, for security of our residents. If we had to live with 6’, could we do it, yes. We’ll make it work but it just means we have to be doubly sure about internal planting, placement of lawn furniture. Is it a security risk, no. Does it give us added comfort if we go 8’ operationally from a security standpoint, yes it does.

Chairman Syracuse said, this is something that came up before the BOA initially, they said most of their fences at their facilities are at 10’ or 12’, and that if you make it 6 foot, that would make it easier for people who might be capable, of getting over the fence.

Mr. Marrelli said, we’ll push for the 8’.

  • Lighting

Mr. Marrelli asked, as far as lighting in the back here, what are you doing for lights in the yard?

Jay Hicks replied, we have a couple of wall mounted lights in the back and then ground mounted half way.

Mr. Marrelli said, you can’t have anything spill over the property.

Jay Hicks said, we’re zero foot candles. We’re residential, our residents generally stay up late, they have drapes that pull. We can control the lighting outside as we need to, but the fence provides added assurance that there’s no light spillage outside.

Mr. Marrelli said, I just wanted to find out if you had lamp posts around the pathway.

Jay Hicks replied, no not at all. It’s all ground mounted, then little areas of lighting on the walls here and here, but nothing that rises above the highest elevation. The parking lot is a little different, maybe 16’ poles in the parking lot. I know a lot of our staff complain it’s too dark. We’re not big in over illuminating, but yes, there will be parking lighting.

  • Water Main & Fire Line

Mr. Marrelli asked, the water main coming across the street will end up in a vault, for domestic and fire water?

Mr. Cappello replied, depends. We’ll have a backflow preventer on the fire line. The domestic might have all the backflow inside the building. Yes, the fire line will need to be in a vault.

Mr. Marrelli said, the post indicator valve, you have it in the middle of the yard, the Fire Department wants it on the vault where it comes in.

Jay Hicks replied, o.k.

  • Parking Spaces

Mr. Marrelli asked, how did you come up with your number of parking spaces, since we don’t know who drives as far as employees, visitors & clients.

Jay Hicks replied, I don’t know what your standard is. We have our own internal standards.

Mr. Marrelli said, we don’t have a standard for this ‘Use’.

Jay Hicks said, at 72, it varies based on where we are in the presence of metro transit & bus lines. Depending on those variables, 38 – 42 is our sweet spot. We like to provide as much as we conveniently can. That’s our internal requirement. We have more than enough to satisfy our requirements. We found that more and more people are driving which is kind of remarkable, so we cheated our internal standard up. We have a total of 38 full-time employees, not at the same time, they stagger, 23 is the highest number and that’s on 1st shift. We have 51 spaces. We have three shifts; 7-3, 3-11 & 11-7, even then, some of those positions vary, Chef comes in early, leaves early, our Executive Director comes in later, stays later. The ITE manuals I don’t think are that sophisticated yet. They’ve got a number for trip generation on Assisted Living but Memory Care Assisted Living gets less visitation for obvious reasons. It’s unfortunate, but a reality.

Mr. Marrelli asked, do you have Holiday events for families?

Jay Hicks replied, Mother’s Day is a big day and then around the holidays there’ll be an event. The day after Thanksgiving is a big day. We don’t size the parking lot based on one day a year. We’ll have two big events like that a year. We’ll work with Progressive, our neighbors on that.

Mr. Cappello states, there’s also parking on North Commons.

Dr. McGrath said, your biggest conflict will be Mother’s Day because of soccer games in May.

  • Landscaping Plan

Mr. Marrelli asked, you’ll submit a detailed landscaping plan at some point? I know Jodi was trying to tune this up.

Dustin Keeney replied, she’s adjusted it to match the shifted building, but as we move forward as long as we feel like we’re headed in the right direction, she’ll coordinate with windows and study more detail.

Mr. Marrelli said, I’m not sure how much woods is near the detention area. Is that pretty accurate?

Mr. Cappello replied, that used to be the Lazzaro house, it’s pretty much flat and open.

Mr. Fikaris asked if our Safety Services, Fire weighed in on this plan.

Mr. Marrelli replied, Fire just wanted to make sure where the post indicator valve was going.

  • Fencing

Mr. Marquardt asked, is that fencing white?

Jay Hicks replied, it’s an off white.

Mr. Marquardt said, that’s going to be a lot of white.

Mr. Marrelli said, when the High School did theirs, we had them do it in a beige. It came out really nice.

Ray Hicks said, ours isn’t a bright white. Let me take that one back too.

  • Room Sizes

Mr. Diemert said, some in the Administration are concerned about the room sizes. Do you have a variation of room sizes, or standard everywhere?

Jay Hicks replied, we have a standard that works, a number of rooms and size of rooms that work. There’s no kitchenettes or kitchen facilities in the rooms. It’s a full bathroom, it’s like an efficiency. We tend to replicate the room size in terms of furniture purchasing and expectations on part of the caregiving staff, it’s all pretty uniform. Don’t hold me to this, but they’re about 252 sq. ft. for single occupancy. Some people do shared duo occupancy, there’s a company called Silverado on the west coast that really stresses that. We found it just doesn’t work as well. Single occupancy is what the people want. The 16 x 16 room size includes the bathroom.

  • Development Agreement

Mr. Regan asked, Joe did you say you had to have a Development Plan?

Mr. Diemert replied yes, I was going to talk to Sheldon Berns about it. You guys had one and we required one for the prior development on this same property. There was a court case with a settlement agreement and we want to make sure that they will abide by it, the restrictions that are on the land. I’m sure they’re aware of them because they studied it before they went through with the purchase. I’ll work with John and Tom. We’ve gone through it preliminarily and started drafting it. So much that you had there before, I don’t know that it’s applicable.

Mr. Marrelli agreed. One of the things was putting some plantings on the south border between the soccer fields and the building. But if they’re going to leave 25 or 30 feet of trees, they might not need any evergreens up there.

Mr. Diemert said, the other was including a curb cut into SOM Ctr which we’re not proposing.

Jay Hicks asked, when you say Development Agreement, are those conditions of approval or more a Public Works agreement.

Mr. Diemert replied, before the final permit would be given, it would be a Development Agreement reflecting all the approvals you already had, incorporating them into a contract form to be signed between the owners of the land and the Village. This is a “Use” we have not adopted in our code. It’s been approved by a variance, it’s a very unique situation and the Village wants belts-and-suspenders to protect themselves.

Jay Hicks said, I know that Thomas Jones has been working with you on offsite improvements. Could these be made part of that Development Agreement?

Mr. Marrelli replied, they were last time, because there was a promise to protect Mr. Kinnaird from having his home impacted by the “Use”.

Jay Hicks said, and I’m all for that. I just wanted to make sure legislatively, you could include the offsite improvements. I want to be held to it. 

Mr. Marrelli said, you could plant on his property with his permission as much as you want. You’ll see that Mr. Kinnaird’s easy to work with.

Jay Hicks replied, that’s good because if that wasn’t the case, I’d want to figure out a way that we were bound to that. 

Mr. Kinnaird said, Thomas came out to my property and we talked. That woodland is mostly maple. The first 25’ or 30’ that you’re going to leave in my backyard, the trees are pretty sparse in there, so any extra footage by moving that fence back, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d like to leave it natural. Thomas said you’d bring in a landscape designer once things got going and strategically place some pine trees for privacy and to block the lighting on the back of the building so it’s not shining in my kitchen. When you do the retention, as far as the utility road when you need to get back in here, maybe leaving any mature trees. I’m looking for natural, I’m not looking for a botanical garden.

Jay Hicks states, when we hire, our landscape company comes out and does the work. Another approach is, I’ve done agreements where we agree on a plan, put a price to it, we enter into an agreement, you hire your own landscape company and do it as you see fit, give me the invoice and I pay. I’d be willing to do that if that’s more your liking, it gives you more control over it.

Mr. Cappello said, there’s going to be a decent amount of excavation. Mr. Kinnaird, if they put in mounding, would you be willing to plant something on higher ground in your backyard?

Mr. Kinnaird replied, we talked about that, I’m for the mounding.

Mr. Cappello said, they can do a fill where you go up 3-4 feet high and make it big enough where you could plant something on top of there. The dirt will be on site. They can move the dirt when they do that detention pond. The other thing is, would you like a mound along the pond side? That might be something you guys may consider aesthetically how it would work. You still have to be able to get in there to maintain around the pond. Your maintenance is going to be off of SOM.

Mr. Marrelli said, the construction vehicles could come in off of SOM until that’s done.

Mr. Cappello said, that might be an opportunity to save some money from hauling out dirt.

Jay Hicks asked, will we or you own that detention area?

Mr. Marrelli replied, you own it, and you’ll maintain it.

Mr. Cappello said, there’s an easement agreement that we’ll go through that gets filed, you’re required to maintain it, and get it inspected every year. 

Mr. Kinnaird said, we had the swale, Doug put in the French drain that’s in here because of the water that’s been flowing from the soccer fields. Pointing out on site plan, is this the center line of Midvale?

Mr. Cappello replied, that was the centerline of Midvale, that’s gone now. When that was vacated, you got 25’ and we got 25’.  This is an opportunity for you to do something with the soil. It also prevents Chuck from looking at the pond, seeing a hole in the ground. It’ll be a dry pond.

Jay Hicks asked Mr. Kinnaird if he’s available to talk tomorrow morning.

Mr. Kinnaird replied no, unfortunately I have to punch a time clock.

Jay Hicks said, we know where to find you, Thomas has your number. We’ll get this figured out.

Mr. Cappello asked, how high is your building?

Jay Hicks replied, a little less than 20 feet from finished floor.

Mr. Cappello said, the top of the building will be at ground level of the soccer field.

  • Construction Timeline

Mr. Fikaris asked, if everything goes as planned, when would you expect your first occupancy?

Jay Hicks replied, if we get approved now, we get building plans together for approval, figure on 4 months to do plans, I would say if we could break ground in June or July 2018, then give us 12 months from then, figure occupancy summer of 2019.

Mr. Marrelli asked, do you have a standard plan that you work off of? Is it a 72 room model?

Jay Hicks replied, it’s a standard design. I hate to say cookie cutter. We have something that works and the Geriatric Care Managers like. The faculty at John’s Hopkins worked with us on some of the design elements that other people have stolen. To get into some locations where we otherwise wouldn’t be, we’ve stacked the wings to 2-stories. Then we have a site that I’m working on in the north side of Chicago, that’s actually 5-stories. That’ll be general assisted living and memory care. We’ve branched out into other areas, but this is really our bread & butter. One in Illinois I’m working on has two floors, parking on the 1st floor. Even then, the rooms are the same size. The primary building blocks are the same, just kind of stacked differently.

Mr. Marrelli asked, if you went from one state to another, walked into the building, they’d look familiar?

Jay Hicks replied, yes. Except in New Jersey which is kind of interesting. New Jersey requires people that provide memory care to put a kitchenette and a stove top in the rooms. The nature of our residents, we don’t want them near that.

  • Architectural Design to blend in with Governor’s Village

Mr. Diemert said, another one of the Development requirements was to have the same architecture to blend in with Governor’s Village, does this? 

Mr. Marrelli replied, more or less. The Architectural Review Board will have to be the judge of that. I took some pictures of Governor’s Village across the street, handing Mr. Hicks a copy of the photos. There’s some features that the ARB might look for, like maybe not brick but stone, maybe some columns.

  • Snow Removal

Mr. Fikaris said, one of my concerns is snow load. I always look at, is the walkway right next to the driveway. The guy comes in at 4:00 am and plows and then the guy rolls in at 6:00 am to shovel. Is that an issue? You go to these facilities anywhere around the country, they’re designed the same way but they have no snow because it was designed in Houston.

Mr. Marrelli asked, so they don’t have anywhere to put the snow?

Jay Hicks said, I’m from Michigan originally. Boston, particularly after the massive snows they’ve had up there, they require site plans to show where you’re going to stock pile the snow. If you can’t, you need a plan for hauling it away. We look at that too. Given the fact that we’re providing more parking than we need, there’s more than enough room we think to put the snow, particularly with the features in front. No one is going to do a better job of snow removal given the nature of our residents and the 24 hr nature of people who can come anytime. We’re pretty particular about that, clearing snow and insuring good permanent around the clock accessibility.

Mr. Marrelli said, all of your exit ways will have to be cleared of snow and ice always for fire access.

Jay Hicks said, we have to do that. We require that. One way we’re a little different than a lot of companies. We buy the land, we build the building, we own the building and land and we operate it. It doesn’t sound like much but the way the world is going, even Senior Care, you get somebody who builds the building, leases it up and flips it, or immediately stem the real estate off to another who just owns all our real estate and then all I have is a management contract, a lot of companies do that. We don’t do that. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but the one thing with doing stuff the way we do it, is there’s continuity. Thomas, me, we’re all with it for the long haul. It’s not like we leave and somebody else steps in. This is a family owned business, we’ll be neighbors for a long time. We’re not going anywhere.

Chairman Syracuse asked, any further questions or comments?

There were none.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.