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 1 February 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: Joel Chambers
80 E. Boston Mills Road
Application for variance of location of accessory building in a Residential District.
This 4.5A property consists of two lots (parcel #1300235 and parcel #1300236) within a RES Residential district, and is currently vacant. This is the wooded property between the Boston Heights Friends Church and the Mayor's home. The property is owned by Joel & Laurie Chambers, currently of Sagamore Hills, who intend to build a home there.
Mr. Chambers appeared before the BZA to explain his application for a variance to allow location of a separate garage in the side yard of the home he is planning to build on this property. Zoning Code CO 1171.05(a) requires accessory buildings to be in the rear yard, with specified setbacks. Mr. Chambers pointed out that the proposed house and garage were to be about 200 feet off of Boston Mills Road. His drawings showed that building site was hemmed in by existing drainage swales and septic fields (Evaporation Trenches) at locations mandated by the Summit County Health Department. Mr. Chambers agreed that an aerial photo overlay provided by the Board accurately showed these features with respect to the adjacent property owners -- the McFall residence to the west and Boston Heights Friends Church to the east; his is the first residential property west of Route 8.
On a motion by Dr. Cheung, and taking note of the special conditions created by the topography and the septic field requirements, and noting that the deep setback alleviated any impacts on the public welfare and the adjacent landowners, the Board voted to approve the variance so that the accessory building (garage) could be built in the western side yard as described and shown in the application's drawings.Resolution:
PC #1: Anthony Ulmina / Boston Commons
6395 Chittenden Road at Boston Commons
Request to address the Planning Commission.
Mr. Anthony Ulmina, representing Boston Commons Storage Ltd. (charter #1209743), had asked to address the Planning Commission on drainage issues at the company's property at 6381-6395 Chittenden Road. Noting that Mr. Ulmina had not appeared, Village Engineer Steve Schreiber relayed he wished to have this matter removed from the PC agenda. The Commission voted to amend the evening's agenda accordingly.Resolution:
PC #2: Riparian and Wetland Setback Ordinance
Consideration of a proposed ordinance to regulate setbacks from streams and wetlands.
Village Engineer Steve Schreiber and a Village Council subcommittee have been developing a proposal for a new addition to the Zoning Code which would regulate setbacks from streams and wetlands. This ordinance is intended to be similar to the Summit County Riparian Setback Ordinance, enacted by the County in 2002 and amended in 2004.
Among other factors driving this effort, the Village made a commitment to implement a Riparian Setback Ordinance, similar to Summit County's, as a Non-Structural Best Management Practice (BMP) necessary to meet Control Measure 5, "Permanent Post-Construction Site Runoff Controls" in the Summit County County-Wide Storm Water Management Program. The Village of Boston Heights is a co-permittee under this this program, in fulfillment of the requirements of Ohio EPA NPDES Phase II General Permits OHQ000001 and OHQ100000 (dated 12/27/2002). (NPDES = National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.) See the Summit County Engineer's SWMP document.
The proposed Riparian Setback Ordinance was distributed to the members of the Planning Commission. At the invitaton of PC Chairman John Codrea, Village Engineer Steve Schreiber explained that the development of the proposed ordinance was primarily driven by the Village's commitments under the SWMP (see above). On a motion by Dr. Cheung, the matter was deferred to the March 2006 meeting to allow the members to examine the proposal before deciding on its recommendation to Council. (Note: For a copy of the proposed ordinance, contact the Village Hall.)Resolution:
PC #3: Boston Hills Property Investment LLC
(Continued from January)
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 Planned Unit Development (PUD) with 382 housing units of various types.
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 168 acre golf course at the heart of Boston Heights, at E. Hines Hill Road and State Route 8.
The development group has offered several different proposals, at the November 2005, December 2005, and January 2006 meetings. The initial proposals ranged from 639 to 450 housing units, including apartments and cluster housing, plus retail areas. The January proposal, for 382 housing units and no retail, appears to be what is being formally presented this month.
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. 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.
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. There were 407 homes in Boston Heights as of Census 2000, though some been built in the Village since then. Also since 2000, the Annabelle Lakes and Meghan's Lane subdivisions have been platted, with 11 and 17 1.5A+ lots respectively. Both of these developments are in the Nordonia Hills City School District, and home building has only just begun in both.
The developers' spokesmen have argued that that the current Village zoning for this property may be unconstitutional, and also have addressed various questions from the Planning Commission and citizenry. Also submitted to the PC 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).
A rendering based on the current proposal is shown here. This plan
contains no retail space, no club house, nor apartments; it has a a total of 382 residential units:
The development company has submitted a new application to the Planning Commission, asking for a new code section defining a "Planned Development Area" (PDA), and proposing use of the property as a PUD with the above-mentioned housing units. Accompanying the application is the developers' proposed PDA addition to the Village's Zoning Code, which would allow the higher housing densities they have proposed for the golf course.
Deputy Solicitor Jason Dodson reviewed the legal steps and time constraints involved in handling this application. He noted that the application was submitted on 17 January, and that the Ohio Revised Code ORC 713.10 requires the Planning Commission to take at least 30 days to consider the matter and "receive reports". Therefore the PC could make no recommendation to Council before its March meeting, at the earliest. He stated, therefore, that the next meeting was the right time to suggest any amendments to the proposal and make a recommedation to Council.
Sam Petros and Neil Brennan, of Petros Homes, appeared to speak for the proposal, which would create this form of PDA in the Village's Zoning Code, and subsequently allow such a development on the Boston Hills Country Club site. Mr. Brennan recapped the building plan noted above, and reiterated some of the arguments made at previous meetings. It was noted that this current plan had no apartments or retail component. There was a discussion of the meaning of "overlay district" -- it seems that this means the land does not change zoning districts but is allowed to be developed with other density, setback and procedural rules.
Dr. Cheung voiced some concerns about the mandated approval time limits in the proposed ordinance; Mr. Brennan suggested that in practice it takes some time to complete the application plans before this approval clock starts running. Mr. Codrea asked where the applicants proposed to insert the proposed language in the current Zoning Code, and whether it had been rationalized with the existing Code. Mr. Dodson thought it would be incorporated into the current Residential District section; Mr. Brennan agreed. Mr. Bush had further questions about overlays districts, especially as the proposed language mentioned PDAs being permitted in commercial districts. Mr. Brennan replied that commercial PDAs were not of interest to the developers at this juncture and (eventually) suggested that that particular phrase could be struck from the final draft.
Mr. Brennan asked that the Planning Commission submit its comments to the developers in advance of the next meeting, so that responses could be developed. Mr. Codrea asked that the Planning Commission solicit reports on the impact of the PDA proposal. Mr. Dodson thought that it would be reasonable to obtain such reports from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Hudson City School District, the various Village safety and infrastructure departments, and adjacent landowners. Zoning Inspector David Himes asked that the proposed PDA language be emailed to Mrs. Bode at the Village Hall, for further distribution; Mr. Brennan agreed to do so.
Mr. George Nadvit, of Wooded View Drive, asked for further information on the proposed valuation of the various kinds of housing units in the proposed development. He was also interested in the drainage from that site insofar as it might affect his neighborhood. Mr. Brennan stated that most of the site's drainage would go east (under Route 8), not west toward the Cuyahoga Valley and Wooded View. He estimated valuations as: townhouses @ $200-230K, cluster homes @ $345-350K, single family homes at $400-650K. Ms. Mary Griffiths, of Olde Eight Road, noted that there was already signficant drainage from the golf course through and along her property, which lies across the street.
Mr. Codrea acknowledged the PC's receipt of a resident's email in opposition to this zoning change. Mr. Bush pointed out that, even though the proposed language required a minimum of 150 acres, this project was likely to be the first of many once this sort of development was allowed by the Village's zoning. Mr. William Hinkle, of Boston Mills Road, asked Mr. Brennan what the origin of the 150A requirement was, and specifically what the "public purpose" of that particular limit might be. Mr. Brennan replied that having such an acreage limit was standard language, and this particular value was somewhat arbitrary, relating to the size of the particular project being proposed. It was pointed out that Petros Homes had a hand in creating similar language elsewhere, with different acreage limits, e.g. 50A and 300A.
Dr. Cheung made a short presentation in which he pointed out that the current Village zoning scheme had been developed with considerable thought and discussion in recent years. He stated that the guiding principles reflected a desire to maintain the essential character of the Village as rural-residential with significant open spaces, acting as a gateway to the National Park. He reviewed the recent history of residential building in the Village, and noted that certain lower-impact business uses had been designed as buffer uses near residences. Dr. Cheung said he was "not sure" he could reconcile this proposal with those principles.
On a motion by Dr. Cheung, the Planning Commission voted to defer this application to its March 2006 meeting, and in accordance with ORC 713, to request reports from the National Park, Hudson Schools, and Village services, and to ensure that adjacent property owners receive notice of this proposal.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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