P&Z: August 16 2018
Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Aug 16, 2018
The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Aug 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Syracuse presided.
Present: Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman), Mr. Paul Fikaris (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Jim Farmer, and Mr. Jim Kless
Also Present: Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner) and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Commission Secretary)
Absent: Dr. Stephan Parker (Council Rep), Mr. Joseph Saponaro (Council Alternate), Mayor Bodnar, Mr. Anthony Coyne (Law Director), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), amd Dr. Sue McGrath (Leave of absence thru 2018)
- Conditional Use Permit
Outdoor Storage/Retail Sales/Signage Rear of Building
Tuff Shed, Inc.
600 Beta Dr.
Chairman Syracuse called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission with one proposal before us tonight, a conditional use application by Tuff Shed for outdoor storage, retail sales and signage rear of building. John, would you like to start us off please.
Mr. Marrelli replied, yes. We were approached by the owners of the building and the proposed occupant who is going to take up the east end of the building. Tuff Shed is in the shed business and they’d like to put some sheds out in the yard for visibility off of 1-271 and to also bring attention to their entrance which is on the south side of the building. One of the items on the agenda is signage towards 1-271, but that’s actually the rear of the building because 600 Beta Dr. actually fronts on Beta, not 1-271. The building sits sideways if you will on the lot. The front is really the side which is on the south. The north side is all truck docks and delivery areas. It’s a bit of a misnomer on where the front is, but the front is actually legally on Beta which is the east end. They’re here to try to garner approval for the outdoor storage, some retail sales and getting signage on the back of the building.
Chairman Syracuse invited the applicant to begin his presentation.
Introduction by Jeff Kennedy, 6643 Beechwood Dr., Independence Ohio,
Director of Transactions with Weston, Inc
Jeff Kennedy states, we’re the owners of the building. Nice to see, thank you for your time. We’re marketing the building for lease. I’d like to tell you a little bit about what we’ve done to the building and why we’re here today. 600 Beta as you know Mr. Beams is in the front. We have 34,000 square feet remaining in the building. The fine folks here this evening are interested in this space. I think we did a good job and found someone we think you’ll be very pleased with. We were lucky enough to find Tuff Shed who was in the market. We met about 4-5 months ago. It’s a pretty quick timeframe to deal with what I think speaks to how well the relationship worked with Weston, with Tuff Shed, with our existing tenant Mr. Beams and we’re hoping and expecting with you folks as well.
We’ve owned the property for a little less than 5 years. As you know, we’ve had vacancy here. We can’t jump to fill it with just anyone. It had to work for us and for you. We’ve had some tenants that just didn’t mesh properly with our vision. However, we think it’s different here. One of the things that we’re in the process of doing and that’s why we’re here today is building out some nice offices and showroom for Tuff Shed. We’re going to look at asking for signage on this building which is important to them because as you know this fronts right on 1-271, whether or not that’s the front or the back, it’s visible from 1-271. That was an immediate selling point which attracted this space to Tuff Shed. As part of their brand of high end storage buildings, they’re going to ask that we put some of their storage buildings outside.
I’d like to mention some of the things we’ve done to the building. We’ve invested a ton of money into the building. I think you guys know what the building was 5, 6 years ago. We invested a lot of capital. We did a brand new roof on the entire building, we sealed the entire parking lot throughout, landscaping, monument sign, we did new docks and better windows for Mr. Beams and we’re prepared to do additional capital for Tuff Shed as well. I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Mr. Marrelli asked, what’s the lease terms?
Jeff Kennedy replied, 7-year lease term with renewal. There’s a lot of trust in us, they love the building. Not only does the building make sense, they love the Village, the access near 1-271, it’s a great place to work and live. They’ll be hiring a lot of folks.
Mr. Marrelli asked, is there a provision for sub-lease?
Jeff Kennedy replied, I’ll have to check on that.
Mr. Marrelli said, I was just wondering in case things don’t go as well as you’d expect and they need to get somebody in there to make the payments.
Curt Panfil with Tuff Shed said, we plan on being in the building for a long time.
Jeff Kennedy said, we have a thorough vetting when it comes to tenants. We’ve had a number of tenants, some of which you may have seen and many which you did not. They’re a company that has over 100 locations, very well capitalized. In terms of their longevity, we’re investing $100,000.00 to make this work. It worked for our partners when we looked at the financials. To us it was a safe bet looking at the financials and all their other locations. The longevity in the business really put us at ease for investing a lot of money. Pointing out on the site plan, none of this office is here, we’re building that office out from scratch. We’re investing more because of our comfort level.
Mr. Marrelli asked, are you putting a ramp in on the east end? You may not know about that. There was a proposal a couple years ago to put a ramp in.
Rob Namy, Chief Operating Officer with Weston introduced himself. We were here before you guys 2 years ago to garner your approval to put in two docks at the east side of the property. We wanted that just in case we had someone come along that needed that. That’s not the case here.
Presentation by Curt Panfil, Regional Director with Tuff Shed
Curt Panfil from Chicago Illinois introduced himself. Curt hands out “Mayfield Village Temporary and Conditional Use Hearing Power Point” (presentation attached).
Curt begins with a brief history on Tuff Shed and explains Conditional Use Permit proposal request.
- Personnel / Payroll
Chairman Syracuse asked, how many actual employees would be there on a given day?
Curt Panfil replied, if we omitted the Area Sales Managers because they wouldn’t be reporting to the office every day, they’d be kind of in and out, I would say between 14 & 18. The Production Manager would probably be something that would be tacked on within six months to one year. The third Office Administrator would be probably within a year. We’d start with about 6 shop people and move up to about 12 once we started doing that volume.
Mr. Marrelli asked, what would your payroll be your first day hitting the ground? Let’s say your first year out.
Curt Panfil replied, probably in the $550,000 to $700,000 range for 14 – 16 people. You have your 3 Area Sales Managers that are about $38,000 - $47,000 based on performance, then the Shop Guys $35,000 - $50,000 based on their level of experience.
Mr. Marrelli asked, these Field Crews, what you’re going to be doing is creating jobs in the area for contractors?
Curt Panfil replied, correct. We’ll take some local builders. We’ve got plenty of tactics where we advertise, we work with big box stores and we have open houses to try and draw them into us. Our big pitch for them, Curt hands out “Grow Your Business” (flyer attached). The more we can obviously sell and get out the backdoor, if I were to tell you our Prefabricators Staff on average makes about 6% or 7% of our total revenue, the Subcontractors make between 15% & 17%. So it’s pretty lucrative for them because they don’t have to market for themselves, they don’t have to worry about getting paid every month. When the jobs are done, we pay them on a weekly basis. We’re pretty appealing for the local contractors. We like to tell people don’t judge by your first week. Usually after a month they start to get their rhythm of actually building our buildings. Between $10,000 & $12,000 a month they can count on with a 2-man team, of course bigger buildings pay out much higher. Just to start people running, $2,500 to $3,000 a week, that’s 1-2 sheds a day. We’d probably do a 10 x 12 for one shed a day. As they get a little better, they might do an 8 x 12 and an 8 x 10. They might grow and do an 8 x 12 in the morning and an 8 x 12 in the afternoon. That’s why we tell them not to judge it by the first three days. That’s kind of our makeup of how we operate.
Curt continues, moving on to;
- How buildings are constructed
Mr. Marrelli said, this is Mr. Beams front door, that’s the reason why they have a name on this end of the building, because that’s their entrance. It’s not Tuff Shed’s entrance, their entrance is around the corner.
Rob Namy said, we reserved the right with Mr. Beams to allow us with approval of course to put a sign on that side of the building, that side is Mr. Beams. We had a conversation with our existing tenant who is very important to us obviously along those lines. We thought and our existing tenant thought this was appropriate for the building. It’s about the same size of the existing sign on the other side. It’s on the common area of the building.
Curt Panfil said, we’re really thoughtful in the way that we’re going to place these outside. We want to make sure they’re out of Mr. Beams way. Access was approved for that rear part of the property, out of the way of their trucks. The sheds are lockable. These are significant investments. On the small end an 8 x 8 for us is about $1,800. Our average shed sold was about $3,600 last year. It’s an investment for people. They want to see, feel and touch. The nice part about having multiple displays, you can give people perception of what they’re actually buying.
Mr. Marrelli asked, are you going to have a salesman walking around?
Curt Panfil replied, no. We’ll have our Shed Design Consultant that not only helps a lot of our on-line customers. This is an exciting time for Tuff Shed, we’re about ready to roll out what we call a CPQ configurator. A lot of stuff’s going on-line. You can buy something as big as a shed on-line, but we need a place for them to obviously go out and look at it, and talk to that Design Consultant to make sure they’re not trying to put a 3 x 3 window in a ranch gable.
- Display Planogram
Curt Panfil points out the display planogram showing 6 sheds on the south side and 3 out by the highway. The 3 by the highway, we’ll probably show off something more like our dormer which is 1 ½ foot taller than our regular shed, obviously this is our pride. We want to make sure we put out nice displays with vibrant colors.
Mr. Marrelli asked, are you putting phone numbers on them?
Curt Panfil replied, no.
Mr. Farmer asked, is he allowed to have sheds out by the highway?
Mr. Marrelli replied, no. That’s why he’s here.
Curt Panfil makes clear, these displays are not used for storage, just for display purposes only, very similar to a car in a used car lot.
Mr. Marrelli said Jim, let me clarify something, because you weren’t here when we did the MARS project. MARS Electric has big conduits, 10 to 20 foot sticks of conduit that they needed to keep outside. Planning Commission was able to approve that. The Planning Commission is the only body that can approve it, to have materials outside.
Chairman Syracuse asked, will these sheds be locked overnight?
Curt Panfil replied, it’s something we can definitely do if that was a requirement you want. That’s a valid request.
Chairman Syracuse said, I’d be concerned if this were to be granted for this use that people would be able to go in there.
Mr. Marrelli asked, how about some building lighting onto the displays? Good for two reasons, one is that people would see them at night and two, you’d keep the riff raff away.
Curt Panfil replied, that would be fine with us.
Rob Namy asked, do you rotate them at all?
Curt Panfil replied, we do. Our buildings can only be outside for 1 ½ to 2 yrs before we like to flip them. We do rotate them.
Councilman Meyers asked, do you sell the displays?
Curt Panfil replied, yes. With a seasoned location like Concord California where we’ve been for 18 years, they’ve got 15 buildings on site, all of them are different ages. We’ll probably start a discount at about 9 months so we don’t get to the point where all of a sudden we’re at a year and a half and we’ve got to get rid of all of our buildings. At our Chicago facility, we’ve been there about 3 ½ years and we’re going through our second rotation of buildings.
- Hours of Operation
Chairman Syracuse asked about hours of operation.
Curt Panfil replied, start time 6:00 am for the factory workers. Normally that’s when our subcontractors will get notified by our Superintendent. The Superintendent has the subcontractors report as much as we need to report for the IRS. They’ll come in and start working on the pre-fab kits for the following day. The crews and Superintendent will begin loading usually around that time. Between 6:00 am and 7:30 am is usually when everybody’s loaded up and out. Our guys in the shop will be there from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm on an average every day, sometimes longer days will run till 5:30 pm or 6:00 pm. Those are usually few and far between just because we’re very engrained in our business. When we see our overtime spike, it’s usually because we have an inadequate amount of head count. The shed margin with the footprint of what it costs to do this, we are able to be a sustainable company based on quantity. That extra ½ point we might spend from one year to the next on labor could cost the Manager profitability for the year.
Chairman Syracuse asked if any crews will be coming in at night.
Curt Panfil replied, no.
Mr. Fikaris asked about weekend hours.
Curt Panfil replied, our Superintendent will most times come in for 2 or 3 hours on a Saturday to load up those contractors. We’ve got a Manager on Duty Program because customers are normally off on the weekends. So, we have a new Manager on Duty Policy for the weekends where there’ll be a person staffing the office.
Mr. Marrelli asked, how about if people want to come out and look at sheds after dinner?
Curt Panfil replied, our latest hours are 6:00 pm summertime and 5:00 pm winter hours.
Mr. Marrelli said, just so you know, that street pretty much vacates at 5:00 pm.
Curt Panfil said, if I didn’t work for Tuff Shed and I woke up in the morning, I wouldn’t wake up and say I’m going next door to Starbucks and somehow end up buying a shed. This is a destination people plan for. When people come in the office, it’s either 9:00 or 4:30. It’s very difficult for me to hit over a 1.25 walk in traffic for my entire region. It’s a tight timeline for us.
Mr. Fikaris asked, do you advertise Saturday retail hours?
Curt Panfil replied, we have private letter events. Anyone in this area goes on line and fills out a TSI. We’ll send those folks a letter in advance to say we’re going to have a private letter event on this Saturday. So on this Saturday we’re going to give you an additional $100 off of paint if you buy a building and we’ll give you either 3 free transom windows, a free vent package or a decorative door. We do that 5 times a year to inspire them to get in. If we were to get 7 people in a week, 2 would be on Saturday.
Mr. Fikaris clarifies, my question is more along the lines of, if I google Tuff Shed and I see your AD, will it say Sat & Sun?
Curt Panfil replied, just Sat for showroom hours.
- Viewing Construction of Sheds
Mr. Marrelli asked, would you let the public into the factory area to watch the guys build them?
Curt Panfil replied, we have some windows in some of our facilities where they can see. With Weston if we move forward with this, we won’t have windows in it.
Mr. Marrelli asked, do you do videos where a customer can watch how it’s constructed?
Curt Panfil replied, we have a couple different videos that we have nationally out on YouTube.
Mr. Marrelli said, Tuff Shed here doesn’t mean anything to anybody, so what’s the difference between yours and everybody else’s if you can’t see what materials and how it’s being constructed.
Curt Panfil said, I have your e-mail, I’ll send you some links on the construction.
- Conditional Use – 2 year permit subject to renewal
Chairman Syracuse said, I want to clarify that all three of these requests are conditional use permits for a period of 2 years subject to renewal for 2 years and it wouldn’t run with the land.
Mr. Marrelli confirmed. This isn’t a land use variance. It’s to this tenant for 2 years, renewable 2 years after.
Curt Panfil said, as stated in our letter, we’re good neighbors to quite a few people around the country. I have 10 General Managers that report to me. They’ll be the daily operators of this office. It’s almost like being as close to a franchise as it would be. We’ve got great profit sharing. That General Manager is really the life blood, we’ve got a good team in place to make sure we abide by these rules and we’re good neighbors.
- Waste - Dumpsters
Mr. Marrelli asked, what do you do with your waste?
Curt Panfil replied, in Chicago we work through Lakeshore Recycling, they sort everything. In Dallas and other places, they’re separated in bins, one being for boards, metals, wrapping, etc. We’re conscious of our waste base, every single cutoff if it’s not under 4 inches, we could probably use for something else. You’d be surprised how little goes into the waste. On average 15 – 18 buildings out of Chicago, we only get our 4 six yard dumpsters exhausted two to maybe three times a week. We’d probably have 4 six yarders or we would do maybe one 30-yard outside here.
Mr. Marrelli asked, do you keep any scraps inside?
Curt Panfil replied, depending on the facility. Most garbage trucks are going to need an exhaust outside.
Mr. Marrelli asked, have you talked about rubbish disposal, dumpster enclosures, outside waste?
Jeff Kennedy replied, we have as part of our standard lease very strict requirements in terms of how a building is supposed to be kept tidy.
Curt Panfil said, the dumpsters are outside. If they were to be dumping at a certain time, you might have maybe two of them outside if we had four total, might have two outside preparing for a truck to come. Once those were exhausted, they’d come back inside.
Mr. Marrelli asked, they would be screened behind that corner?
Jeff Kennedy replied, either way, I don’t think there’s anything on either side. You wouldn’t be able to see it from Beta or 1-271.
Curt Panfil said, if we did the 30 yards, we can’t send them out if they’re over the top. We’d get fined for overweight. In the event we did a 30 yard disposal, it would probably start off as a once a week type thing. If we had to do the 6 yards, it might be 2 or 3 times a week.
Mr. Marrelli asked, you recycle whatever you can, i.e. metal?
Curt Panfil replied, with Lakeshore Recycle, they sort everything for us. Nobody is actually paying us to recycle. We’re giving them things like 2 x 4’s that can be put into a sawdust.
- Safety – Fire Protection
Curt Panfil said, something we didn’t talk about, all the tools, the chop saws, the panel saws, those are all hooked up to a jet machine that pulls that dust out. We have a pretty intensive safety program. Customers are 100% not allowed in the back. We do our own training to make sure people stay safe.
Mr. Fikaris said, with all this material I think we should check with the Fire Dept.
Mr. Marrelli said, I think they did a sprinkler system in this building.
Rob Namy said, we did an entire brand new system, an ESFR.
Mr. Marrelli said, an ESFR is the best sprinkler system you could get.
- Retail Sales
Mr. Fikaris asked, how many square feet are you going to occupy? Is this 34,000 sq ft your space or the entire building?
Curt Panfil replied, that’s our space, that blue space.
Mr. Fikaris said, we haven’t spoken about your proposed retail.
Rob Namy said, this pink outlined area is the entire office area which I believe is 3500/3800 sq ft. The showroom area is this first initial square, 1519 sq ft.
Mr. Marrelli said, that meets the 10% max retail, they’re under.
Chairman Syracuse said, this is actually a permitted use but they also want retail which is not permitted, but it falls under that 10%.
Mr. Marrelli said, we kind of adopted that 10% as a threshold for retail sales.
Curt Panfil said, in Milwaukee we took over an old mechanic shop. They were a 10% maximum retail space. We’ve seen that before, 10% is kind of the standard.
- Outdoor Displays
Mr. Fikaris said, with Home Depot so close, how do they retail, do they have any displays?
Curt Panfil replied, they have a limited amount of displays. Depending on what they allow at each Home Depot, they’re all different, usually they allow up to 4 units max.
Mr. Fikaris said, we had somebody who wanted to do outdoor displays in the past, Playground World. I personally wouldn’t be as opposed to the sheds. Although, I do have an issue with the 1-271and people whizzing by, I think the sign is a great idea. Maybe if that side display would be approved as opposed to putting things out on 1-271. The reason why you want an oversized sign is the same reason why maybe looking at a shed going 70 mph isn’t going to work. If there’s going to be displays on the south side, if there could be a square footage stipulation, not every one of these things is going to fit in a parking spot.
Curt Panfil replied, orientation depends a lot on the side walls and end walls. We specified there’d be 9 units, of the 9 units they’d range between 8 x 8 up to 12 x 16. Our most common size is around 10 x 10 & 10 x 12. The biggest building we have is 12 x 16, that would most likely be a ranch because of the peak of the roof. Maybe the 16’ would be facing towards the parking lot and another one right next to it offset by 2 feet. We line them up nice and clean.
Mr. Marrelli asked, would it matter if they were 9 in a row instead of 6 on the side and 3 on the back?
Curt Panfil replied, if you go on line and look at Portland, they have a pyramid in the back of their shop that actually faces the highway. It’s a big part of us because it does truly brand our sheds. We have 30 design colors, very vibrant, usually laid out by an Interior Designer every 3 to 4 years. It’s an appealing part of this business. If 20 people this year see those sheds into next year, that could be the difference between us covering a $25,000 payroll.
Chairman Syracuse asked, how many sheds are in the showroom?
Curt Panfil replied, 2 or 3.
Mr. Fikaris said, I think that location is fairly benign and would be acceptable. Knowing full well you have a Home Depot across the way, if approved, I would definitely try to put some stipulation by either square footage or number of spaces.
- Vote Meeting Date
Chairman Syracuse states, to make sure you’re aware, we’re not taking a vote on this tonight. Our vote night will be Tues, Sept 4th at 6:30 p.m. I would recommend you be there in case there are additional questions. With our Council Representative and Alternate not being here, they may have additional questions.
Curt Panfil said, again 9 was kind of our footprint number. We can be flexible, but 9 is kind of the magic number. If we could get them by the highway, that would be optimal.
Rob Namy said, I wouldn’t tell Curt this but I’ll tell you guys this. You really aren’t going to be able to see the sheds very well from the highway. You are topographically lower where those will be set. You may see the tops of them driving by, it’s not going to be like Playground World. I don’t know if you guys heard about the accident, the car that flipped around and ended up right in our property, you could barely see that car on our property.
Curt Panfil said, I’ll take a ride by the site. This was one of the eight properties I saw in day seven of travels.
Chairman Syracuse said, whoever proposes a motion, I’d like it to specify the sheds be locked overnight at the close of business every day.
Rob Namy said, to your point, the sheds on the east side of the property, those are all woods. You’re not going to see them as you’re heading down Beta Dr. The only people that are going to see them are the people that are coming to the facility.
Mr. Fikaris said, I think there’s compromise there.
Mr. Marrelli said, it’s always a monkey see monkey do. Somebody’s going to see those, now the hotel’s going to want to put something out, then the next guy and so on.
Chairman Syracuse said, we also have 10 guidelines/factors in determining this. One of them was number 7; “Will have no undue financial burden to the Village for utility extensions, delivery of government services or other infrastructure expenses”. I’d like to make sure our Fire Chief look at it in terms of fire protection and also our Police Chief for any concerns or not.
Mr. Marrelli replied, we could forward the site plan to them.
Mr. Farmer said, I like everything except those 3 by the freeway. We typically don’t allow that. It’s a weird spot there, I don’t know how much bang you get for your buck putting them back there anyway.
Mr. Marrelli said, the other thing is it’s an on ramp so while you’re trying to figure out if you could merge to the left, you sure don’t want to be looking down the hill.
Chairman Syracuse said, when the motion is made at the regular meeting it could be based on the condition that:
- There could be a certain number of sheds and/or square footage in that location.
- The outdoor display sheds be locked overnight.
Rob Namy asked for clarification on the 2-year period for Conditional Use if granted.
Chairman Syracuse replied, our Conditional Use Permits run for every two years. That gives us a chance to monitor them before we renew them every two years. It would only apply to Tuff Shed to this specified time.
Rob Namy asked, is it for all three of the items that we’re here to discuss?
Chairman Syracuse replied, we could take these separately at the meeting or all together. I personally would prefer that we vote on these issues separately.
Rob Namy said, it would be challenging to invest the amount of money that we’re contemplating doing if these guys have the opportunity to leave because their sign is no longer allowed. Is there any way we can get it to run with the term of the lease?
Chairman Syracuse replied, no. That gives us control over this type of situation. I’m not saying that it’s rubber stamped, but I’ve been here 5 years and can’t remember one that we’ve denied their renewal.
Mr. Marrelli said, one we had to call in for misbehaving on their parking. Also, in the event the Police come to us and say we’re having a real tough time with these guys, they’ve got stuff all over the yard, the Fire Dept is yelling and everybody’s going crazy because you’re not a good neighbor, then that would prompt us to look at your renewal a little differently.
Curt Panfil concludes, given everything we touched upon tonight, I’ve learned quite a bit about Mayfield Village since John and I have spoken the last couple weeks, it is a great spot for us to do business. There’s a lot of pluses that come with this. We’re excited to potentially be getting into an agreement with Weston. These are long term investments that we need to make and hopefully run $10 million worth of revenue through this place, I can’t afford to go to a point where it would be unmanaged. I think you laid some pretty good ground rules. This is a privilege that we’re going to potentially get, as long as we abide by that ruling, you guys will have control over it and we’d be content.
Chairman Syracuse asked, any other questions or comments?
Chairman Syracuse thanked everyone for their comments. We’ll vote on this at our regular meeting on Tues, Sept 4 at 6:30 pm. I remind you it would be in your best interest to be in attendance for that meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.