Boston Heights Overlook
This is a publication of
Boston Heights Overlook.
Not an official public document by, of or for
the Village of Boston Heights OH.
Results of the 4 January 2006 7PM meeting of the
Boston Heights Zoning Code
Boston Heights Business & Location List
Board of Zoning Appeals
Deputy Solicitor Jason Dodson acted as legal counsel for the Planning Commission and BZA. Zoning Inspector David Himes and Engineer Steve Schreiber were also in attendance.
BZA #1: Kowit & Passov Real Estate Group / Omni Realty
Boston Mills Road at Route 8 - "Timber Falls at Boston Mills"
Application for variance of CO 1179.04(c)(4)(B) to allow a larger for-sale sign in a General Business district.
Kowit & Passov Real Estate Group is the broker for the Boston Crossings / Omni Realty commercial development planned for the northeast of Boston Mills Rd. and Route 8. This project now appears to be billed as "Timber Falls at Boston Mills". For further information on the plans for this area, see our summary elsewhere.
The Zoning Code states: "A temporary sign advertising the sale, lease, or rental of business property shall be permitted on that property, provided such sign does not exceed six square feet in area per side. ...". Last month, Ms. Carla Massara, representing K&P, appeared before the BZA to request a variance to allow two (2) signs of 4x8 sq.ft. per side. It was determined that there had already been at least two such signs posted on the property, one near the BP Station and one directly across from a resident's home at 340 E. Boston Mills Rd. After some discussion of the reason for the variance and possible placement of signs, the matter was tabled pending the resolution of some BZA members' concerns about nonconformant signage at the same owner's other property in the Village.
This month, Ms. Massara returned to further address the application. No further discussion of the other signage occurred. Ms. Massara suggested that K&P would prefer to have one sign further to the north, behind the BP Station, and the other could be placed along Boston Mills Road, to the west of all the residential properties across the road. She explained that, given the extent of the property and difficult visibility from through roads, conforming to a single 6sq.ft. sign constituted a hardship. She agreed that the existing signs would be removed. After further discussion, and upon a motion by Dr. Cheung, the BZA granted a variance to allow two 4x8ft. for-sale signs: one two-sided sign behind the BP station and a one-sided sign along Boston Mills Rd west of the residential properties as discussed, not to exceed 6 feet in height and subject to the normal setback requirements from the right-of-way. The BZA Chair also asked that the existing nonconformant signs be removed as soon as possible.Resolution:
BZA #2: Maximum Performance & Handling LLC, dba MPH
5865 Akron-Cleveland Road
Application for variance in a General Business District, for parking facilities at new construction.
Maximum Performance & Handling LLC (charter #1225786) is operated by Mr. Doug Duane. The company is considering construction of a new 9375sq.ft. facility across the street from their current location at the Boston Heights Commerce Center. Their motorcycle retail and service operation was explained at their presentation at the October PC/BZA meeting. At last month's meeting, a conditional zoning certificate was granted for this conditional use, at this location, under CO 1159.03(m): "Other compatible uses".
This new location is currently owned by First Street Properties LLC of Hudson. The property consists of two parcels, parcel #1300398 and parcel #1300400 totalling about 1.36A. It is in the GB General Business district, with the Budget Inn to the north and Spa Palace to the south. A derelict house on the property was recently demolished with a practice burn by the Boston Heights Fire Department.
The variance application cited CO 1159.06(b), which prohibits parking in the front yard as shown in the preliminary site plan. This month, Mr. Paul Kaczmarski appeared before the BZA as the project architect and submitted a revised site plan that moved the proposed building to the front of the lot and placed all parking behind and to the side. This was change was mandated by the Ohio EPA (although the applicant was still waiting for EPA approval of septic field size and placement).
After examining the new plan, the BZA determined that a variance was not required for parking placement or parking space count. Mr. Kazcmarski knew of no other nonconformant features of the new plan. Therefore, upon a motion by Dr. Cheung, the BZA found that no variance was required and referred the site plan to the Planning Commission.Resolution:
PC #1: A1 Motors Inc.
6395 Chittenden Road at Boston Commons
Request for approval of sign to be affixed to building in a Light Manufacturing District.
A1 Motors Inc. (charter #1539577) is a used car sales business previously based in Euclid; it was established in April 2005 by Vladimar and Ilya Litvak. The company is moving into the Boston Commons (aka Dun-Rite) facility on Chittenden Road, showing up to 20 vehicles onsite (according to their Planning Commission application). At last month's meeting, a conditional zoning certificate was granted for this conditional use, at this location, for up to 30 vehicles, under Zoning Code 1160.03(e) and 1161.03(c): "automobile sales". Subsequently, the Planning Commission approved the business' site plan.
This month, the Planning Commission examined Mr. Litvak's sketch of the proposed sign, which is an unlit 2x10 foot sign on the south wall of the main Dun-Rite building. After some discussion of its conformance with the size restrictions of the Sign Code, the PC approved the sign as depicted, noting however that it will actually have white lettering.Resolution:
PC #2: Maximum Performance & Handling LLC, dba MPH
5865 Akron-Cleveland Road
Request for approval of preliminary site plan per CO 1151, for "motorcycle retail service and sales" business in a General Business District, in a proposed new facility.
This project has been under review for several months, as the owner and architect have labored to fit the desired facility into the available space, and satisfy the Ohio EPA for septic facilities. the BZA has already granted the necessary conditional zoning certificate for this conditional use. This month, the Planning Commission reviewed the revised site plan mentioned above in the BZA hearing on this same matter. The architect, Mr. Kaczmarski, reviewed the features of the new plan, but reiterated that it was still preliminary as the Ohio EPA had not approved the septic plan, and the entire project was subject to a sales agreement conditioned on all approvals being met.
After some further discussion of the features of the plan, the Planning Commission voted to approve the preliminary site plan, without committing to a final approval pending further engineering details.Resolution:
PC #3: The Carr Law Office, LLC
5824 Akron-Cleveland Road, Suite A (at Boston Heights Commerce Center)
Request for approval of site plan, and sign to be affixed to building, in a Light Manufacturing District.
The Carr Law Office LLC , will be occupying the front unit, Suite A, of the Boston Heights Commerce Center. This multi-tenant facility, owned by Kallstrom-Taylor Partnership LLC, is a 13560sq.ft. office/warehouse building on a pair of lots: 4.26A (parcel #1300194) and 2.85A (parcel #1300465) in the LM Light Manufacturing district.
Mr. Adam E. Carr appeared before the Planning Commission to explain that this would be an attorney's office. The PC noted that, as such, this would be a permitted use in the LM Light Manufacturing District, as inherited from the OP Office/Professional District code (see CO 1161.02). In addition to a plan showing the occupancy, Mr. Carr also showed a sketch of a 2x10 foot sign, rear-illuminated, to be mounted on the front of the building. After a discussion of the sign's compliance with the Sign Code, the PC voted to approve the site plan per CO 1151 and CO 1161, and the sign as depicted.Resolution:
PC #4: Boston Hills Property Investment LLC (Continued from December)
Boston Hills Country Club at Hines Hill Rd. & State Rt. 8.
Proposal for new zoning code to provide for redevelopment of the golf course as a mixed-use PUD with 382, 450 or 639 housing units and, possibly, retail.
Boston Hills Property Investment LLC (charter #1569813), a consortium of developers formed 16 Sep 2005, has proposed redevelopment of the Boston Hills Country Club. This is the 167+ acre golf course at the heart of Boston Heights, at E. Hines Hill Road and State Route 8.
A rendering based on their December proposal drawing is shown here; the original version was
displayed at the PC's December 2005 meeting. This scheme reduces the number of proposed housing
units from the original November proposal, from 639 to 450 units. It called for:
The golf course is currently zoned RES Residential; the golf operation is grandfathered, although such use is also now a conditional use in that zoning district. The Boston Heights Zoning Code provides for a minimum residential lot size of 1.5 acres, which would allow for about 100 homes when streets and the other usual set-asides are considered. Of the features in this proposal, only the retail use is allowed for in the current Zoning Code (although not on this property, as currently zoned). There is no provision for development of residential subdivisions with lots under 1.5A, or cluster housing, or multi-family housing, e.g. apartments or townhouses. There were 407 homes in Boston Heights as of Census 2000); though some been built in the Village since then.
Such development would presumably require new provisions in the Zoning Code. The developers' application mentions a PUD: "Planned Unit Development". Note that a similar, but much smaller, cluster home PUD proposal from Omni Realty was reviewed with disfavor by the Planning Commission in 2004.
The development company made an initial presentation in November 2005, and a revised presentation at the PC's December 2005 meeting. At both presentations, the developers' spokesmen argued that that the current Village zoning for this property may be unconstitutional, and also answered various questions from the Planning Commission and citizenry. Also submitted for that meeting were watershed data from, and objections by, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, along with alternative suggestions. A subsequent article in the Hudson Hub-Times (14 Dec '05) stated that Sam Petros, one of the developers, "said he would 'absolutely' pursue the matter through the court system" (presumably, if the rezoning demands are not otherwise granted by the Village).
Sam Petros, one of the developers, appeared alone, without representatives of NRP Group or their lawyer, Mr. Slagter. Expressing his dissatisfaction with the direction previous discussions had taken, he offered a new proposal. A rendering based on his graphics is shown here. This new proposal contains no retail space, no club house, nor apartments; it has a a total of 382 residential units:
Mr. Petros and his associate explained that there would be some wetlands and stream restoration in the green space retained nearest to Route 8, where storm water detention ponds would be placed. Mr. Petros acknowledged the previously-discussed concerns regarding storm water and other National Park issues, school impacts, and aesthetic issues. He suggested mounding and 100-foot buffering around the development, with no new driveways accessing Olde Eight or Hines Hill Roads. He felt that this plan reflected a "bottom line economic analysis", and added that the main green space reservation was in the most "environmentally important" area.
Responding to various questions from the Planning Commission and from citizens, Mr. Petros explained that the attached townhouses would likely be four units per building; that the single family homes would range from 2500-3500 sq.ft.; that the green space and mounded areas would be owned by a homeowners' association; that build-out would likely be around 10 years. PC member Mike Bush felt that this plan would not likely cause major new traffic congestion on Olde Eight Road, based on his experience of Ashbrooke West. Ms. Mary Griffith objected to the retention of cluster housing in this plan, when the village had no allowance for it in its zoning plan.
Hudson City School District Superintendent Mary Ann Wolowiec rose to object to this plan, noting that the district's models suggested anywhere from 229-865 students could arise from it; this would represent at least one new elementary school, or more. She noted that school impact fees were becoming common for such higher-density developments, to alleviate these capital costs. From the audience, resident Laurie Stoddard suggested that the housing mix proposed here might not be the same as that usually found in Hudson itself. Mr. Petros stated that he would contact the school district and refine his projections of school impacts.
Mr. Michael Flanagan of W. Boston Mills Road told the PC that this is a very different kind of development for Boston Heights, and would be just the "tip of the iceberg" if permitted, in terms of further higher-density housing development. Mr. Paul Bodden, of 71 York Drive in Hudson, rose to give extensive prepared remarks objecting to any of these higher-density housing proposals. He spoke to the projected impacts on the Hudson Schools, noting that the so-called Tamsin Park development (in adjacent Boston Township) was already projected to impose a large and difficult load on the district. He added his observation that Boston Heights often voted against Hudson Schools funding issues, suggesting that imposing an additional load on the schools under those circumstances would be unfair to Hudson residents.
Responding to a question from PC Chair John Codrea, Mr. Petros predicted that the developers would submit a proposal for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning ordinance for the February 2006 PC meeting. The PC then voted to defer the matter until that meeting.Resolution:
PC Old Business
Consideration of long-term Village planning issues per Council Res. 31-2004.
With Resolution 31-2004, Village Council asked the Planning Commission to enter into discussions with adjacent communities and to consider planning and zoning coordination, including the possibility of residential growth limitation. Previously, PC member and Council representative Dr. H. Michael Cheung announced that he is compiling a narrative that would reflect the history and intent of the Village's land use and zoning plan.
Consideration of further changes to Zoning and Building Codes
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