P&Z: August 19th 2021
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
Workshop Meeting Minutes
August 19, 2021
The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, Aug 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Main Conference Room. Chairman Syracuse presided.
Present:Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman), Dr. Sue McGrath (Chairman Pro Tem), Mr. Allen Meyers (Council Rep), Mr. Jim Kless, and Mr. Henry DeBaggis
Also Present: Ms. Kathryn Weber (Law Department), Mr. John Marquart (Economic Dev. Manager), Mr. Daniel Russell (Building Commissioner), Ms. Deborah Garbo (Commission Secretary), Eugene Carcioppolo (Fire Chief), and Michael Libens (Asst Chief /Fire Marshal)
Absent: Mr. Paul Fikaris, Mayor Bodnar, Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), and Ms. Jennifer Jurcisek (Council Alternate)
- Conditional Use Permit
Kidtown Eduplay Center Childcare
771 Beta Dr.
Beta Office Campus, Ltd.
Chairman Syracuse states, this is a workshop meeting of the Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission, Thurs Aug 19th, 2021. As such, we will not be taking a vote on anything tonight, that vote will be at our next regular scheduled meeting which is Tues, Sept 7th at 6:00 pm because of the Labor Day Holiday.
We have one proposal before us tonight, a conditional use permit application for Kidtown Eduplay Center Childcare located at 771 Beta Dr., Beta Office Campus Ltd, Panzica Realty. Whoever is here to make a presentation on behalf of the applicant, if you could each introduce yourselves and state your address for our records.
Angela Booker, the owner of Kidtown Eduplay Center, 22281 Chardon Rd, Euclid, Ohio 44117 introduced herself. I’ve been doing childcare for over 8 years. I’ve been a substitute Teacher for the City of South Euclid for one year. I enjoy everything that I do. I’m excited with this new plan that we have, thank you for giving us the time, we really appreciate it. I have an MBA degree in Business Administration with a concentration in HR. I’d like to introduce Aerica Meacham, she’s our Marketing Partner.
Aerica Meacham, Director of HR and Compliance introduced herself. My background is somewhat similar, education based. I have an MBA degree from Ohio State. I also was a Middle School Teacher. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio I’ll be locating up here, we’re originally from up here.
Keosha Russell, 1126 Winston Rd, South Euclid, Ohio 44121 introduced herself. I am the Center’s Director of Finance. I’m a Tax Practitioner and Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor. I’ve been working with them for several years now.
Angela Booker said, we are family oriented, that’s what we’re bringing to the table.
Chairman Syracuse said, we have the materials that we’ve looked through, but for our record, if you could go through those and then people I’m sure will have questions for you.
Power Point Presentation
by Aerica Meacham
Aerica Meacham states, Kidtown Eduplay Center is a very unique childcare center. We’re centered around discovery learning through imaginative educational play. It’s something we like to call Eduplay. What’s unique about our center is we have an indoor play space which is different than a lot of other childcare centers that have an outdoor play space. Our indoor play space is all centered around imaginative educational play.
Our 4 pillars focus on;
- Early Learning
Body Movement (Yoga)
- Real-World Connections
Kid Bucks Financial Education
Exposure to Real-life Careers
- Community Engagement
Diverse Center Activities
Aerica said, one of the great things we love about Mayfield Village is it’s quaint, it’s a collaborative close knit community. There are a lot of events and amenities that you all provide. We’re really excited to meet that real-world connections for our kiddos and to be able to work with the community. We really want our staff to participate in the community and offer volunteering opportunities as well. We want to create a community for our kiddos as well as our families. That leads us to our KCC Way.
The KCC Way stands for a couple of different things. Kidtown is driven by our commitment to our kiddos, Community and Crew. Crew is our staff. We provide a safety and meaningful experience for all of our families and our Kidtown kiddos. That’s one way you can look at KCC as it stands for those things, but it’s also our values.
K Kindness: Lead with compassion for all.
C Collaboration: Collectively work together.
C Creativity: Think uniquely with an innovative mindset.
Aerica said, we really want to create a really innovative environment for our Kidtown kiddos and we really want our staff to be innovative in their thinking and really create experience for our families.
Kidtown Eduplay Center’s mission is to provide a safe, quality, Eduplay childcare experience supporting the development of our Kidtown kiddos.
Kidtown Eduplay Center’s vision is to inspire young minds to dream big and become exceptional leaders in their community.
Aerica said, one of the great things about being here in Mayfield Village, there are so many opportunities for employers and businesses, there’s a lot that we can contribute.
Property Site Overview
Aerica said, we really fell in love with this space, especially because it’s ready to go. A lot of the qualities of this space we can already envision ourselves in, and we don’t have to do any work, we would just move right into the building. It’s a perfect location around retailers and businesses. It’s a huge opportunity for us especially since a lot of businesses are slowly going back to work. I think this will be the only childcare center in Mayfield Village, there are a few in Highland Heights. We’re really excited about that and to be able to continue to help the community and provide childcare, an essential service for employers.
Aerica said, this is our floor plan. According to the Ohio Dept of Jobs & Family Services, when you open up a childcare center there has to be a staff to child ratio. The area of Suite A is going to be divided up into our classrooms. The maximum capacity we could have at this space based on the square footage and going by the Ohio Dept of Jobs & Family Services, we could only have 60 children in Suite A divided up amongst all of those spaces.
60 Kidtown Kiddos
- 7 Sprouts (Infants)
- 23 Cruisers (Toddlers)
- 30 Explorers (Preschoolers)
The open spaces that you see will be divided both up using various gates, bookshelves and cubbies to serve as natural barriers in between all of the classrooms.
What is unique about us is the indoor play space. This is the area where based on their schedule we’ll have our different classrooms being able to utilize this space throughout the day to play using costumes and playsets and we’ll also have an opportunity for our kiddos to have Yoga.
As you all can see in the photos, you can take a peek inside of what we’re kind of envisioning. Our classrooms will be using bookshelves, tables and natural barriers. The picture at the bottom is our infant space. The next picture is our play space, this is Kidtown. Our kids could play in Kidtown Square every single day in the playhouses and we’ll also have various activities for them throughout the day.
Aerica said, 771 Beta is actually located furthest from Beta Dr. With parking and the flow of traffic, it is furthest away from the main roads. There will not be any obstruction of traffic or congestion or anything like that. Our families can go in towards the back of the building, drop off their kiddos and then leave out. That shows the flow of the traffic where drop off will happen at.
Benefits of Kidtown Eduplay Center
Aerica said, there are numerous benefits, we’re an essential service to Mayfield Village, the community, the employers and the businesses especially as some of them are getting back to work. It’s a very unique location. As part of the Mayfield Village 2020 Vision Plan, I think this clearly aligns to what we’re looking to do in Mayfield Village, to compliment all of the other services in the community.
Aerica concluded, with that we’d like to open up to any questions.
Q & A
Chairman Syracuse asked, is this the only location that you have? You don’t own any other childcare centers?
Angela Booker replied, this will be our first location.
Chairman Syracuse said, I think I understand that there’s just indoor play space only, there’s not going to be any outdoor playground or play area?
Angela Booker replied, correct.
Chairman Syracuse said, so the children will be indoors at all times, they’re not going to be around the parking lot at any time except when they’re being dropped off or picked up?
Angela Booker replied, correct.
Chairman Syracuse asked, what ages will these children be?
Angela Booker replied, they will start from infants all the way up to preschoolers which is 5 and then they’ll be ready to branch off into kindergarten.
Chairman Syracuse said, you mentioned a little bit about community engagement. Can you go into a little more detail about how you’re planning to engage with the community?
Aerica Meacham replied, there are various opportunities for us to be engaged in the community. One of the great things we do love about the summertime is The Grove and The Gazebo. We see that there are numerous planning and events happening. I think that’s a huge opportunity for us to be able to share with our families and to spend time outside of the normal day to day childcare, there’s also various arts in the area. We do have a van and we do plan on transporting our summer kiddos to the park and visit the various amenities. Another is to volunteer with them as well. There’s a lot that you all do in the community, that’s a huge opportunity not only for us to be able to volunteer but a place where our kiddos can go for a field trip. There are numerous opportunities for us to participate.
Chairman Syracuse asked, what would be the hours of operation?
Aerica Meacham replied, 6:30 am to 6:30 pm., Mon through Fri.
Angela Booker said, I forgot to mention, I’m also licensed for the State of Ohio. I’ve been licensed back in 2000 for 5 years and once I graduated with my MBA, that’s when I opened back up again. Altogether, it’s been 8 years for me working for the State of Ohio.
Mr. DeBaggis said, I have a question about the day to day operation. You have a child to staff number ratio. I think you said if you have 60 children, you need 11 staff. Say there’s a day where 60 children show up and 3 of your staff call off, so you don’t have the right ratio. Will you open that day or do you have to close?
Aerica Meacham replied, there’s an organization that we work with that provides temporary staff for Teachers. Whenever that happens, we definitely can call on those individuals who are licensed. We will also have some part time staff as well to fill in as floaters and Assistant Teachers. They’re not going to be there every single day, but we do have part time staff.
Chairman Syracuse said, there was something mentioned in our documents we received that there’s going to be meals by caterer. Do you know who you plan to use, are you going to use a local in Mayfield Village or is it going to be sourced out to other communities?
Angela Booker replied, we’re looking for a caterer, we do have one in mind. We can have at least two, one for breakfast and one for lunch, we won’t need them for a snack. We’re looking forward to like we said, working with the community, we’re looking around to hire within the community.
Chairman Syracuse said, as far as the parking Dan, is this going to require any kind of parking variance or are there enough spots there?
Mr. Russell replied, they’re showing 80+ parking spots, that should be plenty.
Chairman Syracuse asked, as far as a build-out, I know you’re moving into a space that’s already there. What’s going to be involved as far as a build-out goes?
Angela Booker replied, it’s perfect, we don’t need any build-out. As far as the restrooms, we’re going to have little potty chairs as well. We have two little step stools for the kiddos to step on and use the potty. Also, they’re going to have different schedules, all the kids won’t be going to the restroom at one time, we have a designated time when they’re going to take each classroom.
Chairman Syracuse said, on this floor plan there’s an adjacent tenant listed. Is there someone in that spot right now?
Nanci Ferrante with Panzica Realty replied, yes. There’s a Driving School there, that’s one of the main reasons why the indoor play area was important.
Mr. DeBaggis asked, what kind of training does the staff have?
Angela Booker replied, this is done through ODJFS. Actually I’ve been doing this for many years. There’s a certain program for training, they have to do OPR training which is in the system, they have to have so many hours for training. We’re making sure everybody is trained correctly and professionally.
Keosha Russell said, we’re partnering with Community College’s as well for people that are in the education field. You have to have a certain amount of hours, we’re partnering with them to incorporate that service, internships.
Angela Booker said, same with our volunteers, I used to volunteer myself. We’re looking into having elders at the front desk as well, things like that.
Mr. Kless asked, are you saying that you’re providing transportation as a service for the families that need it?
Angela Booker replied, yes. I do have a bus, it’s 12 seats, 2 for the driver and 1 for an extra person on the bus. They’re provided with seat belts and boosters.
Chairman Syracuse asked John, are there any other daycares in Mayfield Village that you’re aware of?
Mr. Marquart replied, there are not to my knowledge.
Chairman Syracuse asked, does Progressive have their own?
Mr. Marquart replied, at one time they did, that’s my understanding, it was before my time. I believe they did away with that service about 8 years ago, maybe 9.
Chairman Syracuse said, our Fire Chief is here, do you have any questions for the applicant or anything you’d like to add?
Comments by the Fire Dept
Fire Chief Carcioppolo said, Assistant Chief Libens will go over some fire code stuff that’s fairly relevant to the change in the use and some other things that you guys need to be aware of when you’re continuing down this path. I’d like to just commend you all on your dedication and your presentation because I thought you did it well. But there are some considerations for you guys to have with the space that are requirements for the fire code. Assistant Chief Libens will walk you through that so you could have some knowledge based on that before you proceed forward.
Assistant Chief Libens said, I always like to be preemptive, I like to get as much information out as possible prior to the project starting. I know there’s no vote this evening but I do have some concerns that I’d like to express before the conditional use permit is issued. This is going to be a higher risk occupancy than what the building was built for. I understand there’s probably going to have to be some upgrades from my reading about the code. Since this is our first daycare going in here, I had to read up on this stuff. Right now the three main questions I have and I don’t have to have the answer this evening, I’m hoping to get answered prior to the conditional use being issued.
- What is the occupancy classification for this business? There are two ways this could go. Depending which way it does go is going to impact on the fire code for what requirements are going to be needed by the building and the occupancy.
- Since this is a change of occupancy from one to a more higher risk occupancy, we do need to evaluate the sprinkler coverage for this new occupancy. It’s a simple process, the contractors come in, they evaluate the sprinklers to make sure that that occupancy is properly and adequately covered by them. It’s not very time consuming but it does need to be checked off.
- This one is going to be based on the first question. With the way I’m reading either occupancy path, you’re probably going to have to have some type of upgrade to the fire alarm system. Right now the building has a very very limited system, it was fine for the occupancy that was there now. But with this higher risk, there is going to be some need to upgrade that fire alarm system depending on which occupancy is going to be listed for you guys. I want to make you guys aware of that so down the road you could point to it and say this becomes cost prohibitive. It’s just one of the concerns that with that type of building as it was before, you’re putting something new in there that I would be concerned of higher risk. We have to make sure that those things are put in place as a protection.
You mentioned in your presentation that you weren’t altering the building at all, but there are still a couple of questions that still need to be answered before the conditional use permit is issued just basically from our aspect as the life safety and fire safety. I’ll give you my card afterwards so if you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to help you guys and walk you through that. I just wanted to make you guys aware of that so that there’s no surprises down the road.
Applicants thanked Assistant Chief Libens.
Chairman Syracuse said, so I recommend that you speak with Assistant Chief Libens and get all that information between now and our regular meeting when we take the vote on Sept 7th so that we can have all those questions answered.
Steve Varelmann asked, other than I-4, what was the other occupancy type?
Assistant Chief Libens replied, E. E is broken into a couple different parts, E daycare or I-4. The way I read it, and I don’t want to jinx anyone, but I’m thinking it’s going to be more towards an I-4. There are things that can make it an E that would be less restrictive than I-4 would be. We’ve got options for what they need to be most cost effective.
Steve Varelmann said, my name is Steve Varelmann, I’m with Panzica Construction Co., if there’s architectural work that needs to be done, I’ll be doing that. I’m working on another I-4 project currently, it’s an adult daycare and the sprinkler system was very lenient because it doesn’t require them, so I’ll be looking at what’s required here.
Assistant Chief Libens said, one of the crazy things about Mayfield Village that can be difficult for new occupancies is we have stricter codes here than the Ohio Fire Code. Our codes are very strong, very protective. Knock on wood we have very very limited fires here because of that. But it does mean a little bit more research that has to be put in to make sure they meet them. Like I said, the building was built up to code at the time for those occupancies that were there. This is a new occupancy and I’m pretty sure it’s going to have to upgrade some stuff because it is a higher risk. Again, I’m more than willing to walk through this with you for options as long as we make it safer.
Steve Varelmann and Applicants thanked Assistant Chief Libens.
Comments by John Marquart, Economic Development Manager
Chairman Syracuse said, Mr. Marquart you prepared a memo for us, do you want to speak briefly as to your thoughts on this matter.
Mr. Marquart said, I would, thank you Mr. Chairman. In short, I sought to analyze each of the 10 criteria that P & Z uses to evaluate CUP’s. It’s my opinion and Director of Administration Wolgamuth agrees that a daycare use is number one consistent with the objectives of the Master Plan. I don’t remember the page number off the top of my head, but they very explicitly indicated in that planning process that daycare is a desired use. Then in fact, the zoning code ought to be amended to permit it by right, I believe that’s how it was written in that plan. Secondly, and maybe more importantly from maybe a common sense perspective is that the use is we think a critical amenity for employers here in the Village, particularly as folks are trying to get back to work from COVID. Just speaking with one of the applicants, any impediment to returning to work or seeking to tear down that impediment if we can, we think this is one of them. For the last 18 months folks are working from home and in most cases keeping their kids right there at home with them. As they return to the office, we think this is a great amenity that they’ll be able to serve roughly the 10,000 employees that we have. In normal times, they come to work here in the Village every day. We’re pretty enthusiastic about it at the Administration level and we hope that the applicant can work with Assistant Chief Libens to take care of these items.
Chairman Syracuse thanked Mr. Marquart. I agree, I think that not only as you mentioned for the employees who work within the Village but also people who live within the Village, the residents may be able to make use of this. It would be nice to have if everything can go forward and meet the code. Any other questions or concerns?
Dr. McGrath said, I hope this is something you’ve talked about and have it all worked out. It’s been a long time since I’ve had little ones to take care of. I assume there’s some kind of requirement to how many restrooms you have available for the number of children at any one time.
Angela Booker replied, as long as we have a boy and a girl’s, two separate ones, and we also have another restroom on the other side of the play area.
Dr. McGrath said, I support this idea 100%, I think this is a wonderful thing to bring into the Village, I just want it to work. I don’t know how many classes of preschoolers you’ll have, if you’ve got 30 kids, is that two classrooms? I just know how long it takes to take 20 little kids to the bathroom at one time.
Angela Booker said yes, that’s why we do have that extra one on the other side as well.
Dr. McGrath said, I heard you say something about maybe having some portable potties. I could see that being a necessity. For toddler preschool, that’s a skill they’re working on.
Angela Booker said, I’ve been doing family home childcare for the last couple of years, I’ve been having 6 children every day, I do it today as we speak and I have one employee. I have a schedule, I know exactly what you’re saying and we’re ready, we are ready.
Chairman Syracuse asked about First Aid. You’re going to have 10 Teachers and one Administrative Assistant, what if there was any kind of emergency or any of the children were sick or injured in the play area, what do you do in those situations?
Angela Booker replied, we also have a room where the play area is, it’s a closed off room that has a door to it, we would have one of our floaters go there and sit until one of the parents come.
Aerica Meacham said, and all of our Teachers in order to be a childcare provider have to be certified in CPR for the State.
Chairman Syracuse asked, any other questions or comments?
There were none.
Chairman Syracuse said, thank you for the presentation. We’ll reconvene for our regular meeting on Tues, Sept 7th at 6:00 pm and we’ll take a vote at that time. So if you could work with Assistant Chief Libens in the meantime and get all that information we will need to be able to make a determination and take a vote that day.
The applicants thanked everyone.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.