P&Z: November 4th 2019

Mayfield Village
Nov 4, 2019

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in regular session on Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Conference Room. Chairman Syracuse presided. 

Roll Call

Present: Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman), Dr. Sue McGrath (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Allen Meyers (Council Rep), Mr. Jim Farmer, Mr. Paul Fikaris, and Mr. Jim Kless

Also Present: Mr. Anthony Coyne (Law Director), Mr. John Marquart (Economic Development Manager), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), Ms. Deborah Garbo (Commission Secretary), and Mr. Joseph Saponaro   (Council Alternate)

Absent: Mayor Bodnar and Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer)

Consideration of Meeting Minutes: Oct 7, 2019

Mr. Kless, seconded by Mr. Fikaris made a motion to approve the Minutes of Oct 7, 2019 as written.


Ayes: All                  
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved.


  1. Grading Plan
    Highland Rd. PRDD
    Skoda Construction
    345 Miner Road, LLC
    Polaris Engineering
  2. Rezoning
    Planned Residential Development District
    Robert Tirgan
    554 SOM Center Road
    John Waddell, Architect


Chairman Syracuse states, this is a regular meeting of the Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission, Mon, Nov 4th, 2019. We have two proposals before us tonight. We’ll begin with the first.

Highland Rd. PRDD
Skoda Construction - 345 Miner Rd., LLC
Grading Plan

Chairman Syracuse asked both Mr. Marrelli and Mr. Skoda if they had anything to add since the workshop meeting.

Mr. Marrelli replied, I do not.

Mr. Skoda replied, I do not.

Chairman Syracuse opened up to any questions or comments.

There were none.


Mr. Farmer, seconded by Mr. Kless made a motion to approve the Grading Plan for Highland Rd. Planned Residential Development District for applicant Skoda Construction, 345 Miner Rd., LLC as proposed.    


Ayes: Mr. Syracuse, Dr. McGrath, Mr. Meyers, Mr. Farmer, Mr. Fikaris, Mr. Kless
Nays: None 

Motion Carried. Recommendation to Council.


Robert Tirgan
554 SOM Ctr Rd.
Planned Residential Development District

Chairman Syracuse said, we discussed this proposal at our last workshop. Everyone should have read the memo we received tonight from the Law Department. The memo explains that the Village Charter and Codified Ordinances provide for two methods of changing the existing zoning of property with the Village, by petition or by legislative action. Tony provided us six factors to take into consideration when reviewing the rezoning request. P & Z will decide whether to recommend to Council that this item be placed on the March ballot, for the electorate to decide whether to approve the rezoning. Should the Commission not approve the rezoning request, the applicant can appeal to Council to approve the request and overturn P & Z Commission’s recommendation, as long as the applicant secures the required two-thirds vote from Council to rezone the property. Tony, would you like to take us through the memo?

Planning & Zoning Commission Considerations Regarding Re-Zoning
by; Tony Coyne, Law Director

Mr. Coyne highlights memorandum dated Nov 4, 2019. The first page is the preamble. The points as you referred to Mr. Chairman, provide some guidance that should be given consideration by the Commission in reviewing rezoning requests;

FIRST an adopted master plan provides a useful benchmark to record the rationale and process a community uses in arriving at a zoning district scheme. Courts will look to whether a municipality has a master plan and whether that master plan was followed in making a determination on the constitutionality of a zoning classification. Although Ohio law does not require a municipality to have a comprehensive zoning plan, “the existence of a comprehensive plan makes it more difficult to attack the constitutionality of a zoning ordinance”. The refusal of a local government to approve zone changes that would advance policies in its comprehensive plan may be a factor in determining the constitutionality of the zoning as applied. The P & Z Commission should look to the Village’s master plan to determine if the zoning change is consistent with the overall plan the Village has in place for land use. Currently, the Village has the 2020 Vision Plan that was adopted in November 2003. This past year the Village worked with Cuyahoga County to develop an updated Master Plan, however this has not yet been finalized and adopted.

SECOND, the rezoning of any single parcel, like the rezoning of numerous parcels at the same time, is only justified when it is done in furtherance of a general plan properly adopted and designed to serve the best interests of the community as a whole, not for the benefit of a particular individual or group.

THIRD, the P & Z Commission should consider whether the proposed rezoning will still require many variances after passage, if the variances would be significant, one could conclude that the rezoning proposal may not be appropriate.

FOURTH, the P & Z Commission should consider the surrounding land uses for purposes of compatibility and possible uniformity, if the Commission is inclined to support Euclidian Zoning. (Traditional Separation of Uses vs. Mixed Uses).

FIFTH, in considering a proposed ordinance to rezone property within the Village, the P & Z should focus on whether the proposed zoning is in the best interest of the public health, safety, morals or general welfare of the Village. (i.e. cost of delivery of Village services, safety, traffic etc.)

SIXTH, the P & Z Commission role while advisory is very important. The meetings are public and allowing for public participation is important to inform the Commission in making a decision. Remember, should the Commission not approve a rezoning request, an applicant can request Village Council, to approve the request and overturn the P & Z Commission’s recommendation as long as the applicant secures the required two-thirds vote from Council to rezone the property as required under Mayfield Village Charter Art 3 Section 11.

Mr. Saponaro asked, the Commission in making their decision, is it not about the aesthetics?

Mr. Coyne replied, you will get into the density, design and landscaping as part of the process moving forward. For example, Mr. Tirgan can come in with the best plan in the world, really awesome design and everybody falls in love with it. He gets the zoning changed, he has a Development Agreement, and he sells the property. Tony Coyne can come in and say o.k. I’m going to put in a standard whatever here. As long as it complies with the four corners of the zoning code, he could do that. So, those are things to give consideration to. The plans that come in are to help you give the context to the site, the density, and the side yard setbacks, what he shows for what he wants to do. I’m not saying he wouldn’t do that, but at the end of the day, and it happens with downturns in the economy. It’s not uncommon to see what they envisioned, i.e. the 30 story building in Downtown Cleveland is now 8 stories. Those are things to give consideration to.


Chairman Syracuse asked, any questions or comments?

Mr. Fikaris said, in going over these points from the Law Director, we’re to make a recommendation to Council. We saw a very brief presentation on this. Based on some of these points; did we consider a Master Plan? I for one have not reviewed that to see whether it fits. Another point; in the best interest of our community; that would mean our interpretation of obviously the best interest of the community. If I’m going to make a recommendation, who am I to stand in the way if the voters want to speak against and vote on this issue? As Mr. Saponaro said, how does Architectural Review impact this, because this is a different design, non-traditional, at least for Mayfield Village. The Village services, how it’s going to wind up even though these folks are going to be taxpayers. As we go along here, I’m always torn between making a recommendation and weighing this as, is this my personal view knowing what I know now because obviously there’s a bunch of different things, i.e. the Development Plan and the number of variances needed. I find this to be a little bit difficult. I don’t know if anybody else feels that same way, or is there some sort of discussion you could help to steer me along the way?

Chairman Syracuse replied, I agree with you Paul. Looking at the Master Plan, the updated one has not been finalized, that came up at the workshop. Looking at surrounding land uses being private vs. public, this is a unique thing, it may require additional variances. Really, it’s how you decide to vote on this using these factors that we’re to consider. Does anybody else have anything to add?

Mr. Farmer said, with the Commission’s vote tonight, we’re not saying this is great, we have to have this in Mayfield Village. We’re just turning it over so the voters can make that decision.

Chairman Syracuse said, we’re making a recommendation to Council for Council to make that determination, whether or not it should go to the voters. When it’s time for a motion to be made, I’d ask for a motion at that time to recommend to Council that this be rezoned for Planned Residential District as presented at the workshop. If you vote yes, you’re recommending to Council to then say yes we’ll put this on the ballot. If you vote no then you’re saying you’re not recommending it.

Mr. Coyne said, you could also table it for additional information if what’s in front of you, you’re not comfortable with it. So you give the applicant an opportunity to respond to whatever gives you some pause for concern. Certainly, you want to try to do the right thing. Also, you could make recommendations whether Council accepts them or not, with related to the Development Agreement. The last three re-zoning matters that have gone through, had Development Agreements attached to them. I think we could then give you the opportunity to look at some of those before the final decision is made by Council as well. There’s a whole process with a Public Hearing and everything else. 

Mr. Kless said, at the workshop we discussed if there’s sufficient room around those units for kids to play and that kind of thing. Or is this more of an adult kind of development. It strikes me from that point of view, there might not be sufficient information to really know if that’s in the best interest of that land use.

Chairman Syracuse replied, we’re not looking at the actual plan. This is not the final site plan at all. It’s not even a preliminary plan, it’s just a concept having to do with whether or not we’re recommending to Council that the use be changed for this as proposed subject to the Development Agreement.

Mr. Saponaro said, I understand Jim, it’s difficult because you go down the road because you want to see what it looks like. But it’s stepping back and looking at it from that standpoint where, does this meet the criteria? Then giving Council enough information because we do listen to your recommendation wholeheartedly. It’s very important when you tell us that you think there needs to be a Development Agreement attached. Members of Council sit up and listen, because that’s what you’re charged with, that’s what you do and we respect what you do. I think that’s all part of it, but it’s just the beginning. Paul, I understand your conundrum because you’re like, who am I to say this should or shouldn’t be there. But if you take a step back and look at the criteria that Tony provided, that’s really what you want to look at. But you can add the condition of a Development Agreement attached to it, and that certainly would be appropriate.

Chairman Syracuse asked, Mr. Tirgan and Mr. Waddell, is there anything else you’d like to add before we vote?

John Waddell replied, no, other than the fact that the Development Agreement that’s part of the approval and recommendation tonight, we’re in the process of getting that done. My client, Mr. Tirgan is interested in that as well.

Chairman Syracuse asked, any other comments or discussion?

There was none.


Ayes: Mr. Farmer
Nays: Mr. Syracuse, Dr. McGrath, Mr. Meyers, Mr. Fikaris, and Mr. Kless

Motion Failed.

Chairman Syracuse stated, this did not pass. But, Mr. Tirgan and Mr. Waddell, you will be able to appeal to Council as Mr. Coyne had mentioned. You need a two-thirds vote of the Council to be adopted. Otherwise, your other recourse would be by petition, you would need 10% of the registered voters to sign a petition to go on the ballot.

Mr. Waddell asked, what’s the objection for the no vote?

Mr. Coyne replied, it’s a vote by the Commission-

Mr. Waddell said, I know that, I didn’t hear why they voted no.

Mr. Coyne replied, other than they’ve given consideration of all the discussion-

Mr. Waddell said, when somebody tells you, I don’t like it, what don’t you like? It’s hard to provide a solution to someone when they don’t give you feedback on what it is that’s wrong.

Mr. Farmer said, I can tell you that I don’t have a problem with going to that next step. It’s not my taste, but not everybody has the same taste. I think it’s in an area of the Village where it’s not going to have a huge impact to the other properties around it. I grew up in Cleveland Hts which is pretty old school and we had a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the neighborhood, of course people freaked out over it, I thought it was pretty cool. I don’t have an issue with it, but I can’t speak for the rest of the Village.


Chairman Syracuse said, there aren’t any other items on our agenda for tonight. We will be having a workshop meeting this month, Nov 21st. John, do you want to mention what we’re going to be talking about?

  • Community Reinvestment Area

Mr. Marquart said thank you Mr. Chairman. Briefly, several months back, Village Council approved the formation of a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) which is essentially an economic development tool to provide real estate tax relief to new commercial and residential development. As part of that approval, the Village needs to form what’s called a Housing Council. That’s essentially a deal review committee, and a committee that reviews compliance yearly to make sure the developer is living up to his end of the bargain. Part of that committee, 1 seat on that committee is appointed by Planning & Zoning, 2 by Council, 2 by the Mayor. Starting next month, we’ll start to fill out those positions. On the workshop agenda would be the Chairman’s appointment for that seat.


Mr. Farmer, seconded by Mr. Kless made a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Ayes: All  
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.