P&Z: April 15th 2021

Workshop Meeting Minutes
Mayfield Village
April 15, 2021

The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, April 15, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. remotely, via electronic means. Chairman Syracuse presided.             

Roll Call

Present: Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman), Dr. Sue McGrath (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Paul Fikaris, Mr. Jim Kless, and Mr. Henry DeBaggis

Also Present: Ms. Kathryn Weber (Law Department), Mr. John Marquart (Economic Dev. Manager), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), Mr. Jeff Thomas (IT Systems Coordinator), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Commission Secretary)

Absent: Mayor Bodnar, Mr. Allen Meyers (Council Rep), and Ms. Jennifer Jurcisek (Council Alternate)

This meeting has been duly noticed and is being held in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22 specific to recent amendments made in light of the current COVID-19 declared emergency (House Bill 197-amended by House Bill 404). Under the orders of Governor DeWine, the Planning & Zoning Commission is meeting remotely, via electronic means. 

The public was invited to view the meeting live and can access the meeting through a link posted on the Mayfield Village website at www.mayfieldvillage.com.

The public was encouraged to view this meeting agenda and offer any comments or questions prior to the meeting to be read into the record and addressed at the meeting. Comments and questions were accepted until 4:00 pm on Thurs, April 15, 2021 by sending an e-mail to Deborah Garbo at dgarbo@mayfieldvillage.com.


  1. Expansion Outdoor Storage          
    Temporary Permit Approved by P & Z 3/7/16
    Mars Electric Co.
    6655 Beta Dr.
    Premier Development Corp
    Contractor: Seal Tech


Chairman Syracuse states, this is a workshop meeting of the Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission, Thurs April 15, 2021.  We have one proposal before us tonight. It’s an expansion for outdoor storage, a temporary permit which was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission on March 7, 2016. The applicant is MARS Electric Co. 6655 Beta Dr., the building owner Premier Development Corp and the contractor is Seal Tech.  

To preface this I just want to explain that on March 7, 2016 we approved a temporary permit for outdoor storage based on the following conditions;

  • The outdoor storage shall be limited in physical scope to 11,000 square feet.
  • A fence shall be constructed fully surrounding the outdoor storage area subject to approval by the Building Commissioner.  
  • The outdoor storage shall be limited to piping and box cars - no other items shall be stored outside.  
  • The outdoor storage permit shall expire and be subject to renewal and approval every two (2) years; and
  • Violation of any of these conditions shall result in withdrawal of the permit.

Chairman Syracuse said, my understanding is that when this was built, it actually contained more storage than was permissible. The applicant is also looking for additional storage as well. Mr. Marrelli is that correct?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes that’s correct.

Chairman Syracuse asked, whose here on behalf of the applicant?

Michael Doris, President of MARS Electric introduced himself. I’m joined by Alex Spinos who is our Director of Warehousing & Logistics and Mike Maroney who is with Seal Tech who would be the contractor doing the work. As we were looking to this project and we brought it to Mayfield Village, we were made aware that the actual yard that we have today is bigger than what was permitted, as you noted in the opening remarks.

We being MARS Electric weren’t part of the original permitting process, that was handled by Premier who is the owner of the building. I’m not sure what happened and where the disconnect was in how the yard ended up being bigger than what was permitted. But I will tell you that we’re here to explain why we need an expansion and also to try to make things right from what happened a few years ago and fix it with the city.

We’ve been fortunate that our business has grown significantly in the last 4 years since we moved into Mayfield Village with our new headquarters and also central distribution. Our business is up over 40% and our inventory levels are also up over 30% in that time frame. The primary inventory that we have outdoors is PVC pipe and lighting poles. That portion of our business has also grown significantly and we just don’t have enough room with the current reconstructed yard to be able to house all of that product.

What we’re proposing is to expand the yard out an additional 30’, it’ll still be the same width, so it’s a 30’ x 120’ expansion to the yard. I’ll ask Mike from Seal Tech if he wouldn’t mind to go over a few of the specifics of the project.

Mike Maroney with Seal Tech states, basically we’re just going to excavate 12”, put in 6” of pour, 6” of concrete with wire and then reinstall the exact same fence that’s there. It’s pretty cut & dry. Then everything will be removed from site, nothing stays on site and all the water will be headed toward the detention pond that already exists.

Alex Spinos with MARS Electric said, and once the project is complete, we do not expect any change in our operation, it’ll be exactly the same as we operate it currently.

Chairman Syracuse said, when this was originally granted, I know it was discussed whether or not there should be a variance rather than this temporary offer of storage. I don’t believe Mr. Marrelli was at that initial meeting, but he was at the meeting where this Commission ended up approving it in March of 2016. Looking at the memorandum we received from Mr. Marquart, it seems that it might make sense that this be converted to a conditional use permit or a variance through the BZA. I’d be open to discussion about that. Katie, do you have anything you’d like to add on that, whether or not this should be something we should consider as a conditional use permit or if it should be applied for as a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals or whether we have the authority to extend this temporary outdoor storage for the additional square feet they need.  

Ms. Weber replied, this is a little bit of an interesting type of permit. When I went back and looked at the code, technically under Section 1173.05 (b)(2) it does authorize this Board to grant a temporary permit in order to allow outdoor storage. The proper vehicle if you will is a temporary permit in order to provide this type of outdoor storage. Then if you look at, and I believe Mr. Marquart laid this out in his memo as well. If you look at Section 1149.02 (c)(4), that lays out the standard that you’re reviewing when you’re determining whether or not to grant a temporary permit. I would say that in this case, the Board can either extend and amend the original permit or just grant a new temporary permit with whatever conditions this Board seems appropriate for this outdoor storage with the correct dimensions.  

Chairman Syracuse asked Mr. Doris, what is going to be stored there, you mentioned the PVC pipes, you did not mention box cars, and you did mention lighting poles.

Alex Spinos replied, I think in the original notes it says box cars, those are actually box trucks. We park some of them outside to keep them secure back there. The site lighting poles are no different than you have in any parking lot in the city, we store them until our customers need them, most of them are special ordered.

Chairman Syracuse said, so the only thing that’s stored out there currently are the PVC pipes, the box trucks and the lighting poles, correct?

Alex Spinos replied, and we have a pallet dumpster also that we don’t want to have in the parking area.

Chairman Syracuse asked Mr. Marrelli, that conforms you believe to the temporary permit we gave them?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes. If you would, the parking of the vehicles and the dumpster enclosure usage that they’re actually using some of that area for, doesn’t fall under outdoor storage.

Chairman Syracuse said, it’s been 5 years that they already used this parcel for this purpose, with the outdoor storage granted it was more than what was originally permitted. We will not be taking a vote tonight, we’ll be voting on Mon, May 3rd at 6:00 pm. My feeling is that we should continue this, as Katie said, for a temporary permit for outdoor storage and continue with the same conditions, just with the extended amount. It looks like you’re looking for 19,920 square feet, is that accurate?

Alex Spinos replied, that is accurate.

Chairman Syracuse asked, what’s on the other side? 

Mr. Marrelli replied, that’s the new housing development that’s behind there.

Alex Spinos said, and to the west there’s about a 10’ swath of just grass and then there’s the woods from the other property.

Chairman Syracuse asked John, do you have any issue with the fence they’re going to put around it?

Mr. Marrelli replied no, that’s the same fence we approved previously and they’re just going to extend it out 30’.

Chairman Syracuse asked, do any of the other members have any questions or comments?

Dr. McGrath said, my only comment was to thank John Marquart for the detailed memo he sent out. That was really helpful to help understand everything that’s going on, what’s been requested and the impact that it has. It was very useful.

Chairman Syracuse agreed. Mr. Marquart, is there anything you want to add to the record?

John Marquart replied, just a couple items. Mr. Chairman, you had mentioned earlier that perhaps a variance might be the correct mechanism and I want to thank Debbie Garbo for helping pull together all the old case files. I believe a variance was granted simply for the height of this fence back in 2016. It’s my understanding that this body approved the temporary permit to allow outdoor storage to begin with and then the height of the fence was another issue that was tackled at the Board of Zoning Appeals. I believe that’s how things shook out 5 years ago. The other item I’d like to note with respect to the Montebello Subdivision, hopefully I wasn’t too long winded or confusing in my memo. The homes that are nearest this fence were kind of fortunate in that they enjoy a greenspace easement as well as their own rear setbacks. I think the impact to the two homes nearest this fence is pretty negligible. The only other thing that’s nearby would be the tennis court which again is kind of a nonresidential use. So I think we’re pretty fortunate that this fence isn’t going to really be bothersome to the two new neighbors moving in.

Alex Spinos said, and we do not plan any additional site lighting that would interfere with anybody in the neighborhood.

Mr. Fikaris said, I didn’t get a chance to look at it but I know there’s some elevation difference at Montebello, in my mind is at a higher elevation. Is there any risk of somebody in that parcel on the upper floors in what kind of view they’re going to have? I know there’s vegetation and things like that but that’s not problematic, is it? It’s not an elevation change that it’s high enough, the fence is all good, but if you’re looking over it. I suppose we won’t know that until a unit is placed there. That was one of my concerns. If I recall, MARS Electric replaced some lighting in the back there, the lighting originally, and maybe that was just the building lighting was pretty bright. They changed that to directional lighting and it’s made a difference. Originally when they cleared that Montebello site you could see those lights from Highland Rd and now you can’t, it’s more modern lighting. I think that’s commendable and I don’t know if that was by design or whatever. One of my concerns is just the vertical aspect, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. However, we don’t know this until a conditional use permit allows for renewal every two years, who knows when that gets filled. That seems to be the trend, people live next to airports and then they complain after they move in, just thinking out loud here.

Mr. Marquart said, if I could maybe address that. I’m looking at a plat of Montebello with grades on it. The two homes in question finish floor on those homes appears to be 938 ft above sea level. The land at MARS looks to be 7’ lower than that, so there is a little bit of a grade change there, but I don’t think it’s too terrible.

Mr. Fikaris said, thank you and very impressive on the stats, I appreciate it.  

Mr. Marquart replied, you’re welcome, thanks.

Chairman Syracuse asked, any further questions or comments? There were none.


Chairman Syracuse said, we’ll reconvene on May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. for our regular meeting at which time we’ll take a vote on this proposal. 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.