P&Z: February 15th 2018

Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
Mayfield Village
Feb 15, 2018

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Feb 15, 2018 at 6:00 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), Dr. Sue McGrath (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Joseph Saponaro (Council Alternate), and Mr. Jim Farmer

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

Absent: Dr. Stephan Parker (Council Rep), Mr. Paul Fikaris, Mr. Jim Kless, and Mayor Bodnar


  1. Beecher’s Brook Streambank Stabilization Project
    708 SOM Center Road
    Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District


Chairman Syracuse called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission, Thurs Feb 15, 2018. We have one proposal on our agenda tonight. Pursuant to our local Mayfield Village Codified Ordinance Section 1127.07 (b) (2) Streambank Stabilization Projects;

“Streambank stabilization projects along designated watercourses may be allowed, provided that such measures are ecologically compatible and substantially utilize natural materials and native plant species to the maximum extent practicable. Such streambank stabilization measures shall only be undertaken upon approval of a Streambank Stabilization Plan by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Any costs associated with review of Streambank Stabilization Plans may be assessed to the applicant.”

Chairman Syracuse invited anyone who is here tonight to present on behalf of the applicant, to state their name and address for the record.

Rachel Webb, Senior Watershed Team Leader, NEORSD, 3900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115 introduced herself.

Kristen Buccier, Project Manager, NEORSD, 3900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115 introduced herself.

Ivan Valentic, RLA Project Manager/Landscape Architect with GPD Group, 1228 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115 introduced himself.

Rachel Webb states, I specifically work under a regional storm water management program. Briefly, that is the storm water fee that you see on your sanitary bill where you get directly from us. The funds that we collect for that fee based on pervious surface are used towards the storm water program. This is a project directly under that program and what those fees go towards. This is a streambank stabilization project that we’re undertaking to manage the erosion issues that are currently going on, on the stream on this property. We have with us Kristen Buccier who is the Project Manager from the District and Ivan Valentic the Project Manager from our Consultant Team. With that, I’ll turn it over to Ivan to give further details on the permit and the project that’s before you.

Presentation by Ivan Valentic, GPD Group

Ivan Valentic begins. In your packet you’ll see a site plan, landscape plans, letter from the NEORSD and a letter we obtained for this project from the Dept of The Army Corps of Engineers. The streambank stabilization project is a permitted use within the Riparian Setbacks ordinance for this board’s approval.

I’m going to walk you through the proposal. The pink/reddish area is the existing Beecher’s Brook stream corridor from bank to bank. The black dash line follows the ordinary high water mark of the stream, that’s the typical flows within the river. That line per the code is offset by 75’ from the ordinary water mark. We also show that line continuing down here on the adjacent property, as we also propose to do some work right in here. The blue area is our proposed stream corridor, that’s where we’re going to move Beecher’s Brook to. The green area is what we call the floodplain area. That area’s going to be frequently inundated during storm events.

Getting a little bit into the stream design. There’s a large diligence by our Engineers, Ecologists, Environmentalists, Geo Tech Engineers in developing this design. It’s art & science combined together. The pattern you see involved a lot of time in the field, a lot of models run on the computer to see what the flows are through that area. That’s what we developed as what we think is preferred alignment and location for the stream.

The black lines are the contours. We’re grading along this embankment, we’re cutting a new channel in through here, that’ll be about 1 ½’ deep. If you see the stream now, in some areas it’s as much as 8’ deep. It’ll be a much shallower steam. When it functions, it’s going to utilize that green area to get water out. When water spreads out, it’s going to slow down that flow in that stream. Right now, with the stream being cut so deep, the flows get pretty high and it’s just going to continue to get worse because that’s how the stream wants to function. Streams want to have overbank floodplain areas.

This area right in here, the property line goes like this, down and over. Right in here is that major slope failure. The slope failure is actually on the adjacent properties. So, one of the goals of this project is to improve water quality, improve habitat, reduce the erosion and stabilizing that bank. With the infrastructure being the homes, these assets are in danger with that slope failure. Our project comes in and it rebuilds that slope through there as part of the project in moving the stream further to the south. What that has done also, it also gives us a much better alignment. There’s a lot of things that need to be fixed here.

Mr. Saponaro asked, so these lines that go together above, that’s the work that would be done, that’s the slope area to build back up to stabilize it? 

Ivan Valentic replied, yes. You can see the start of it here, down here around elevation 920. We get as high as elevation 940 back here. That’s 20 some feet above grade change. That slope is an engineer fill, we’re scraping all the loose materials off, coming in with a specified engineer fill that the Geo Tech Engineer’s require, putting it down in layers and building it all the way back up. We’re also putting in under drains, that behind that slope, that if there’s any water that gets behind that slope, because that’s potential part of the reason why things went bad here. We could capture that water, get it out from the soil and get it back into it’s previous spot. It’s the belts and suspenders approach. All this work is necessary within this Riparian Corridor to do what we want to do to restore the stream.

Mr. Saponaro asked, the trail is extra, but not required to do any of the work you need to do?

Ivan Valentic replied, correct. The trail has not been approved by Council. That’ll go to a separate vote. We’re asking for approval to build everything that’s shown on here including the trail and this little bit shown on the adjacent Georgian property within the Riparian corridor. If Council doesn’t approve the trail, it just gets excluded from the project. We’d like to get the approval today. Also, the District is trying to negotiate a permanent easement here. If we don’t obtain that easement, obviously we won’t do the work on the Georgian property either.

Chairman Syracuse said, procedurally we will not be taking a vote tonight. The vote will take place on Mon, March 5th @ 6:30 pm. It looks like you already received the permit from the Department of The Army Corps of Engineers. I saw in here that you also need to obtain Water Quality Certification from the Ohio EPA. Is that in process right now?

Kristen Buccier replied, yes it is. We just got word that we’re 1 – 2 weeks away from receiving that.

  • Landscaping Plan

Ivan Valentic said, one of the requirements was to provide a landscape drawing. I don’t know if anyone wants to get into those details, but I can describe it quickly. This is a restoration project, we’re looking to bring vegetation back. The site has some trees, unfortunately some trees will have to be removed to do the work. There’s a lot of scrub in there that isn’t good, a lot of the understory stuff is junk. What we’re putting back is native plant material. The large circles are trees we’re putting back, smaller circles are shrubs we’re proposing to plant. These bubbles are called plugs, they’re essentially perennials. The next plan you see is the seeding plan, our plan is to put all native seed back in here as well to promote stabilization.

Mr. Saponaro pointed out the existing trees. 

Ivan Valentic said, to build this stream, we’re going to be clearing essentially everything that’s in the grading limits. This stuff on the fringe, we’ll try to save what we can. A lot of that will be field determined. The last thing we want to do is try to save a tree and then it dies five years later and the tree falls into the stream, causing damage to what we built and clogging the stream. With the equipment that’s coming in, the amount of volume of earth that we’re moving, and the size of this project, we have to clear through this area. The best trees out here are in this area right in here and we’re saving those trees and everything on that existing slope. Anywhere where you see these contour lines, we’re clearing. We’ve worked really hard to try to keep as much of this as we can. We played around with the elevations and alignments to minimize how much clearing we’re doing on the slope, it’s this section right in here. A lot of this through in here is already cleared. This resident right here, their yard, the longer they’re there, backyard is gone, so we’re actually coming back and putting soil and earth there.

Mr. Budzik asked, so all the removal has to do with the stream and nothing to do with the trail?

Ivan Valentic replied, correct, nothing to do with the trail. What we’re doing is as green as it’s going to get, but we take it one step further. The material we’re using, we’re trying to save those trees and we use it in brush along the stream bank and in other areas for habitat. Even though we cut down the trees and branches, we try to reuse it as part of the restoration project.

Kristen Buccier said, I’ll also mention that we’re working with a design build team. The contractor has been on board during the entire design process.

Mr. Saponaro asked, how did you determine the types and the numbers of trees? Was there some criteria that you used?

Ivan Valentic replied, the types of trees are native to Northeast Ohio, same with the shrubs and perennials. The quantity, there’s no exact science. I think what we put back is a pretty significant amount of trees. We want to try and bring that canopy back someday.

Mr. Saponaro notes there are well over 100 trees.

Ivan Valentic said, they’re all straight native species.

Mr. Farmer asked, no buckeye?

Ivan Valentic replied, funny you say that, we tried using those but they come really small here, it’s hard to find a good size buckeye to plant and their survivability rate isn’t great.

  • SOM Court Properties

Mr. Farmer asked, how many condos are in trouble right now with the erosion?

Rachel Webb said, we have three property owners that we’ve discussed temporary construction easements with. Those are the areas where we’ll be building back in the slope. There are a couple owners here tonight. The majority of this stream is coming back into these two or three properties.

Mr. Budzik states, the Law Dept is also working with the District on easements. Some of the language was not exactly consistent. We’re awaiting to have those easements revised. That’ll all be consistent before your vote on March 5th.

Chairman Syracuse thanked Mr. Budzik. Mr. Cappello, any questions or comments?

Mr. Cappello replied, this is something that obviously needs to be done. The Riparian Setback ordinance is basically to protect the stream areas from development so you have good stream quality.

Chairman Syracuse asked if there was any other questions or comments.

Rosemarie Fabrizio, 6588 SOM Ct introduced herself. On this proposal, the proposed trees that are to be taken out, are they going to be taken out because of the walkway? The ones that are there are cited as on site decisions for removal. Those are pretty large trees.

Ivan Valentic replied, we haven’t surveyed every tree. There could be trees that would potentially be removed to get to that area.

Rosemarie Fabrizio asked, that’s to the walkway, correct?

Ivan Valentic replied, part of it’s for the walkway but also it could be for access we need.

Rachel Webb said, what you see now is the project as it stands with the trail incorporated. If for reason that that trail does not move forward, we would relook at our construction extent and what is necessary at that time. We may not need to go as far to the west for the project. I can’t say for sure, that’ll be something that will get re-evaluated at that time.

Rosemarie Fabrizio asked, those trees might still be saved?

Rachel Webb replied, yes. Our intent is not to take down what we don’t need to.

Chairman Syracuse said, I would encourage you to appear at our meeting on Mon, March 5th @ 6:30 p.m. in case the Commission has any questions.