P&Z: July 18th 2019
Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
July 18, 2019
The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, July 18, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman ProTem Dr. McGrath presided.
Present: Dr. Sue McGrath (Chairman ProTem), Mr. Allen Meyers, Mr. Paul Fikaris, and Mr. Jim Kless
Also Present: Ms. Kathryn Weber (Law Department), Mr. John Marquart (Economic Development Manager), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Commission Secretary)
Absent: Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman), Mr. Jim Farmer, and Mayor Bodnar
- Lot Split & Consolidation
Mayfield City School District
Center Elementary School
6625 Wilson Mills Rd.
Then Design Architecture (tda)
McSteen Land Surveyors
- Preliminary Site Plan
Planned Residential Development District
PRDD - Highland Rd.
345 Miner Rd., LLC
Chairman ProTem McGrath called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission which means there will be no votes taken tonight.
I’m going to depend on the experts around the table to help me through the two proposals tonight. Let’s start with the lot split & consolidation from the Mayfield City School District.
Center Elementary School
6625 Wilson Mills Rd.
Lot Split & Consolidation
Vince Kuns from ThenDesign Architecture introduced himself. With me also is Scott Snyder, Treasurer CFO with the Mayfield School District. We’d like to consolidate the different lots that make up the Center School address as a whole and split out the Old School House, 784 SOM Ctr Rd as its own lot and then back where the new path is, split that up and consolidate that with Mayfield Village’s Service Department Annex. That’s kind of the gist of it.
Mr. Marrelli said, let’s take a step back. Let’s concentrate on the Administration building on the corner (Old School House). That property is in a residential district just like our Gazebo and Fire Station. It’s presently or has been used by the School as offices for the Administration building. Also, it’s on the same property as the elementary school. So if you could imagine, there’s two buildings on one lot today.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, they also probably pre-date any zoning, zoned after the fact.
Mr. Marrelli said, way way pre-dates. Imagine in the old days, everybody was in the school building and then they built a new school building and they used the other one for offices. At this point, and I’m not going to speak for the school, but if I’m correct, they’d like to get that off of their portfolio. Is that correct?
Scott Snyder replied, in exchange for a parcel that Skoda owns. This gives us the latitude to control who walks into that building.
Mr. Cappello said, and that parcel you’re referring to is next to the two parcels the Village owns across from Miner Rd.
Mr. Marrelli said, I don’t know if you’re catching all that, but there’s some moving parts here. That parcel exchange is not really part of this case. There are some other property swaps and sales that will follow suit down the road. There are moving parts that are in the future. Today what we have to do is try to figure out how to split off that parcel around the school building so that it could be sold/purchased by anybody as an office building. You could use it for a house, but I don’t think anybody would buy it to do that.
Mr. Marrelli continues. Here’s what happens, it’s in a residential district and to have a two-story office in a residential district, it’s going to need variances. To get to the “small office” category, that parcel has to be rezoned. Unless you rezone it, you can’t split it. Does that make sense?
Ms. Weber explains. The entire corner by the gazebo with Center School on it is all zoned currently as single family residential. However, we know that that entire corner is not being used currently as residential. Now, across the street on the corner it’s all commercial per say. The way the zoning code is set up, in single family residentially zoned area, commercial uses are not permitted. There also is not a mechanism in order to seek a USE Variance for a special use permit within a residentially zoned district. Currently, the zoning is fine as Dr. McGrath mentioned, it was grandfathered in because it’s been there for so long. When this parcel is split off, it won’t be in compliance with our current zoning code, so the zoning will need to be changed. By splitting it off, we would technically be creating a nonconforming use which would put on the new owner or the then still current owner, to then seek a zoning approval. In terms of the order in which that happens, is something that’s been discussed whether or not it would be beneficial to rezone it first or to split it off first.
Mr. Marrelli said, what you’re looking at is a proposed lot to be rezoned which has to go through referendum and the voters have to say, we want to keep this building, let’s rezone it. I think we decided that one-story office was the closest fit for this building. So the voters would say we want to keep this historic building, we were fine with it being offices, let’s rezone that area to “small office” and then that parcel could be created. Then the Planning Commission could do a lot split once that’s done. That’s a proposed lot at this point to be rezoned. Again, if it’s successful, then we could come back, then you could allow the split. Then of course we have to go to the Board of Appeals for some variances.
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked, so we have to make a decision and vote on this before there’s a change in the zoning?
Mr. Marrelli replied, you would refer it to Council. Then whenever they could get on the next election, most likely in the spring. Once the voters say they agree this would be a good use and they don’t want to see this building sit empty, then you could come back and do the split.
Ms. Weber notes, the Center School Old School House building is on the National Historic Register. It would be more difficult in order to demolish the building per say. When it comes to requirements and things like exterior work in order to preserve that building, we’ll deal with that. It was added to the Historic Register in 1973. The building was built in 1906 and notably the first graduating class was 1907 and the Village’s first Mayor was part of that graduating class.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, I imagine that everybody involved in this has thought about these issues, but there’s no place to park. It’s also known that it’s not ADA compliant. I don’t know what kind of offices you could have.
Mr. Kless said, when I was part of the class reunion group that used to be in there, they said you couldn’t go on the 2nd floor any longer.
Mr. Marrelli asked, because why?
Mr. Fikaris said, I thought that was why the School Board left, because of the structural integrity.
Scott Snyder said, the 2nd floor beam was warped and bowed.
Chris Skoda said, that’s a structural issue, the type of lumber they used back then wasn’t quite big enough to today’s engineering standards. We’ve actually done a little bit of jacking and leveling of the floors there and they’re pretty solid now.
Mr. Marrelli said in jest, they had a dance studio up there, maybe that was the problem.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, they were little tiny kids, 6 years old.
Mr. Fikaris said, my concern would be, and I think it’s along the lines of what Dr. McGrath was saying, is there anything we could do in conjunction with the National Historic Register where we could convey to the electorate that says this building essentially is going to be fairly the same in appearance. The first thing you’re going to hear from the voters is that you’re going to sell this building to just anybody and why isn’t the Village going to buy it.
Mr. Marrelli replied, it has to be the same in appearance, because it’s on the National Historic Register, you can’t just change it. The small office building category has only specific uses that are allowed.
Mr. Fikaris asked, would we have to make an adjustment when we say single-story?
Mr. Marrelli replied, you’ll need a variance for the 2nd story. They’ll need parking variances, lot area variances, sideyard setbacks, etc.
Mr. Fikaris asked, how many spots do you think they’ll require if it was a perfect day?
Mr. Marrelli replied, I don’t know how many square feet it is.
Vince Kuns replied, 4000 sq. ft. We have 20 spots.
Mr. Marrelli asked, how many do you think you could carve out of that?
Vince Kuns replied, in the area of easement that we have for parking egress, it’s 15.
Mr. Marrelli said, nobody is going to chase you off of our property or the elementary school property if you park there, because that’s all common parking back and forth anyways.
Ms. Weber said, to be clear, on the site plan, the dashed lines around that proposed parcel that we split off is where you have the easement in order to have additional parking, access and egress.
Mr. Marquart said, from an Administration’s perspective, staff, the applicant and their designers have put our heads together regarding this property for some time. On the surface it seems easy and seems logical, let’s preserve this building and let’s give it a productive use, the Schools would like to dispose of it. It makes sense on so many levels but it’s really a chicken & egg situation with respect to the code. That’s why we’re here tonight, to kind of hash out, put together a road map of how we get there. At the end of the day, if this is successful, I don’t think the residents would notice any change whatsoever. This is just how we legalize the situation that everybody wants to see happen. I think we’ve got the right players in the room, it’s just a lot of hand holding to make it happen.
Mr. Fikaris asked, is there presently a business going on in there?
Mr. Marrelli said, before we bought the building we’re in now, Debbie & I were in that building.
Chris Skoda said, we’re in there.
Mr. Marrelli said, they’re painting and polishing it up in there.
Mr. Fikaris said, my concern is security for the kids with the cars coming in and out.
Mr. Marrelli said, we changed that whole circulation pattern because of that over there.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, I had that same thought. I was thinking, who would want to be in that building, what kind of a business? It would be a good place for a therapist office. It’s in close proximity to the kids.
Mr. Marrelli said, it doesn’t matter, it’s always been close to the kids, for 100 years it’s been close to the kids and it hasn’t been a problem yet. The zoning code dictates what you could do in there. It’s mostly professional services, it could be a real estate office, an attorney’s office.
Ms. Weber said, in looking at the code and kind of figuring out what the best zoning class to rezone it to would be, that was part of the thought process in that. The small office building district has a limited amount of uses. There’s going to have to be variances that would need to be requested based on the size of this proposed lot, but it would most closely fit into that zoning classification.
Mr. Marrelli agreed, and with the easements, there wouldn’t be any problem with parking or being able to get in and out.
Mr. Cappello asked, is there a minimum lot size for small office?
Mr. Marrelli replied, when you look at Section 1169, it refers you back to 1165. I believe there’s area regulations called out, for sure there’s setbacks called out.
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked, the voters have to approve this first, correct?
Mr. Marrelli replied, correct.
Mr. Cappello said, the schools property stays the same, there’s no split. They’re just going to carve out a piece of the schools property in the residential district that will be a single story office. If it does pass, then we would create a lot split that encompasses that same legal.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, what I’m saying is that we’re jumping way ahead until the voters approve the zoning.
Mr. Fikaris said, as a voter tell me a little more, tell me why this is going to be fine and safe for the kids.
Mr. Marrelli asked, what would your fears be if you didn’t know anything and they said they’re going to sell the old school house? That it would turn into a nightclub, what would people be afraid of?
Mr. Fikaris replied, the idea of losing control of it.
Mr. Kless replied, the fear would be that it would be torn down.
Mr. Marrelli replied, it’s on the National Register, it’s not getting torn down. Our whole premise is to try and preserve this building, it’s part of our town center.
Mr. Marquart said, the zoning classification to which we’re proposing to change it is one of the more restrictive. It’s not going to permit a lot of obnoxious or high traffic uses.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, the second thing I think voters will be weary of is because it’s so close to the school and shares driveways and parking areas, are creepy people going to be there. People just get nervous about these things.
Mr. Marrelli said, it’s all in the promoting of it.
Mr. Cappello said, as far as traffic, it’s not like it’s going to be solid retail.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, actually I think the onus would be on the people that end up working there to try to avoid coming and going during the times the school buses are coming and going.
Mr. Marquart said, one other thing to bring up to that end is, there’s an angled parking on the northern end that’s actually being proposed to move closer to the building and egress would be further away from the building. We think that kind of segregates the uses a little better. We did take that into consideration when we started talking early on.
Mr. Marrelli said, that would come on the final site plan after.
- Ballot Process
Scott Snyder asked, who formulates the language and who presents it to the electorate? Would it simply say, changing the zoning from the old School building from residential to small office district? Basically, we’ve agreed to terms to sell, we talked through traffic patterns and distances between buildings. These are great questions, we’ve had all these conversations. We didn’t know the zoning was a problem until June. We just want to be certain, as a School district, we’re not in the business of selling property. When we looked at this, it was truly to take a look at some of our assets that weren’t necessarily advantages. Like Bishop Rd, we owned that property in Highland Hts, we sold that to a land conservancy to shed ourselves of that to then use those dollars to pay for the Miner Rd alignment, which then incorporates this parcel. What we’re concerned with, is the Mayfield Board of Education responsible to pay for this initiative, this change?
Mr. Marrelli said, this doesn’t cost anybody anything as far as that goes. You’re not going to the taxpayers to ask for money to do something.
Mr. Kless asked, who recommends putting it on the ballot?
Mr. Marrelli replied, Council. It goes on the ballot for rezoning, I don’t know who writes the actual language.
Ms. Weber replied, we would write it in conjunction with the Board of Elections.
Mr. Marrelli said, if Planning Commission says to Council we think this is a good idea and we think you should put it on the ballot, then Council looks at it and says we agree, we think this is a good idea, we want to preserve this building, let’s put it on the ballot. Then what happens, you’d go to work writing the language to go on the ballot?
Ms. Weber replied, yes. There are certain deadlines you have to meet in order to get in for certain elections. I’d have to do the math on the dates in order to make sure we have proper meetings in order to meet deadlines to send that to the Board of Elections in order to get on the ballot.
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked, can we do a Town Hall meeting?
Scott Snyder replied, we’ll work hand in hand with that to answer any questions.
Ms. Weber replied, a public meeting is part of the process.
Mr. Marrelli said, the way I see it, the Administration and the School Board are on the same page with this, so let’s get this thing through, let’s get people to understand and try to comfort them.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, we have control to a certain extent what can go in by the zoning. That’s an important point.
Mr. Marrelli asked, do you think it would make sense to the average resident if we told them it’s the same things that are in Jefferson Park, would that help? It’s the same zoning. There’s professional services there, doctor offices, a ticket agency.
Chairman ProTem McGrath replied, I compare it to what’s on the other side of the School building, the dentist building & attorney’s building. Those are very unthreatening, it’s the same idea.
Mr. Kless said, there’ll be no significant change than what’s been in the building.
Mr. Marrelli said correct, except the lights will be on now.
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked, any further questions or comments?
Mr. Marquart asked Katie, regarding the concern of the cost of the election, it’s my understanding that if there’s already an election in place, there is no additional cost, is that correct?
Ms. Weber replied, correct.
Chairman ProTem McGrath states, we will be voting on this at our regular meeting on Mon, Aug 5th at 6:30 p.m.
Ms. Weber states, we’ll be prepared at that meeting with a timeline of this process.
Mr. Fikaris asked, is it the intent to get this on the Nov ballot?
Scott Snyder replied, March ballot.
Chairman ProTem McGrath said, the vote is a recommendation to Council that we support a rezoning to go on the ballot.
Planned Residential Development District (PRDD)
Preliminary Site Plan
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked the applicant to introduce himself and explain his proposal.
Chris Skoda introduced himself. This is something we’ve been working on for a while. We’ve been in front of this Board to get the zoning changed from the voters. This is our first presentation on where we are today and what we want to do on this property and what we think is the best fit. We since changed our direction a little bit since we received the zoning change. We’re still going to have a pool, clubhouse and things like that, but we reduced the amount of units, we’re at 52 right now. We’ve had an overwhelmingly response from people that want to live here. We probably have enough people to sell this out if everybody who says they want to live here buys one and we haven’t even listed them for sell yet. All of them have said they want a single family. We made a decision that we’re going to try and make the majority of these single family rather than all the clusters. Right now we’re at 42 single family and 10 duplex units. Some of this layout may get moved around a little bit, we’re still working on drainage calculations. So, depending on where that takes us, we may have to shift a couple of things, but overall this is pretty much going to be it.
Mr. Marrelli said, this is a preliminary approval. What we look at is the setbacks off of Highland and off of SOM. We go through our code and identify all the preliminary steps that have to be met. I can tell you that this has met all of those markers. What you’re looking at is a concept. The pieces could move around inside that box for drainage, for circulation or whatever.
Ms. Weber said, to give you a little more context. We know that Mr. Skoda was here prior with a very preliminary plan in order to rezone the property to Planned Residential Development District. Part of our PRDD regulations, the first step in moving forward with the development is to present the preliminary plan. The job of the Planning & Zoning Commission is to evaluate the plan and determine whether or not it’s in keeping with the intent of the PRDD regulations. Once this is approved, he will have to come back with a final development plan. That’s when you get into the nitty gritty details. In terms of this, you can think of it as more conceptual to make sure this is in keeping with what the plan was and in conjunction with the development agreement.
Mr. Marrelli asked, will the Planning Commission be privy to the development agreement in the future as part of the final?
Ms. Weber replied, I believe so. The development agreement was part of the initial rezoning.
Chris Skoda said, if you look to pg #5, you’ll see the entrance road.
Mr. Marrelli said, on the bottom you could see that we talked about some kind of mounding along the freeway and Highland.
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked, that’s put in by the developer?
Mr. Marrelli replied, that’s correct.
Mr. Fikaris said, the idea initially was to try and make those units appear somewhat in conjunction with the rest of the look of the street.
Chris Skoda said, that’s right. We actually lost one or two because of the pond.
Councilman Meyers asked, did they do the traffic survey yet?
Mr. Cappello replied, I’ve driven it, it looks fine, but we’re going to go through the process to verify that the stopping site distances are met and that there’s not a blind spot when you’re going over the freeway. The driveway where the Monaco’s live, the second house east of the bridge, that property looked to be pretty clear.
Mr. Marrelli said, he takes big trucks out of the back, he can’t jump out of the way if somebody’s coming over the bridge. We don’t have any information that he’s ever had any close calls.
Mr. Cappello said, we’ll require that as part of the final details. On my way over here, I drove over the bridge doing 35 mph and I could definitely see in front of me and it took me a while to get to that point. Again, we’ll have proof.
Mr. Fikaris asked, John, are you saying that preliminarily it’s all good?
Mr. Marrelli replied, yes. It’s meeting all the markers in our requirements. Like Katie said, you would recommend to Council that you’re approving the preliminary plan. That gives the developer the green light to get into the nitty gritty, purchase the properties, get a consolidation plat before this Board and get the designs going.
Chairman ProTem McGrath asked, any further questions or comments? There were none.
Chairman ProTem McGrath states, we will be voting on this at our regular meeting on Mon, Aug 5th at 6:30 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Deborah Garbo, Executive Assistant, Building Department