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 March 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: David Zielinski
7676 Olde Eight Road
Application for variance for lot split in a Residential District.
This 6.49A property (parcel #1400153) is within a RES Residential district, and has currently has a single-family home on it. The property is owned by Sophie Zielinski. This application for variance is by David Zielinski, who wished to divide out a new parcel along the north frontage of this parcel, with 100ft. frontage and 436ft. deep. The new lot would be just under 1A according to the applicant's drawing.
No one appeared before the Board in conjunction with this application. In the absence of further information, upon a motion by Dr. Cheung, the matter was deferred until next month's meeting.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. The company received a conditional use certificate at the December BZA meeting, and received approval of its preliminary site plan at the January PC meeting.
This new location is currently owned by DMG Development Ltd of Hudson (charter #1082046), purchased on 25 January 2006 from First Street Properties LLC of Hudson for $145,000. 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.
This month, Paul Kaczmarski once again appeared before the BZA as the project architect and submitted a revised site plan. He noted that the property was now owned by Mr. Duane, presumably as a principal of the above-mentioned DMG Development Ltd. Due to findings of the applicant's soil and environmental consultants, and mandates of the Ohio EPA, the site plan was changed to utilize a mounded septic system at the northeast corner of the property. The building was also to be increased in size. These factors required a completely new layout of the parking lot and driveways. Mr. Kazmarski demonstrated how the site would (just barely) accomodate 56 parking spaces, while the Zoning Code CO 1151.07 required 58, for this combination of uses.
The BZA discussed the new site plan with Mr. Kaczmarski and Mr. Duane with respect to parking requirements and vehicle access, and compared to the parking utilization at the company's current location. Zoning Inspector David Himes confirmed that the current location generally had low parking utilization. Therefore, upon a motion by Dr. Cheung, the BZA granted a variance to the parking space requirement, permitting a reduction to 56 spaces as shown in the application's drawings. In addition, the Board examined a proposed temporary sign and determined that it qualified as an on-the-job construction sign, conformant to the sign code.Resolution:
PC #1: Anthony Ulmina / Boston Commons Storage Ltd.
6395 Chittenden Road at Boston Commons
Request to address the Planning Commission.
Mr. Anthony Ulmina, representing Boston Commons Storage Ltd. (charter #1209743), has asked to address the Planning Commission on drainage issues at the company's property at 6381-6395 Chittenden Road. Mr. Ulmina had requested this discussion for last month's meeting, but the matter was removed from the agenda pending further engineer information.
As at last month's meeting, Mr. Ulmina did not appear. Solicitor Jason Dodson reported that Mr. Ulmina had asked to withdraw his application for "the Village to enforce the Zoning Code" because the Village had recently reinstated legal proceedings against his neighboring property owner. Mr. Dodson added that even if Mr. Ulmina had appeared, he would have advised against hearing the matter since there was pending legal action. Accordingly, on a motion by Dr. Cheung, the PC noted that the application had been withdrawn at the request of the applicant.Resolution:
PC #2: Carse Investments LLC
Meghan's Lane entrance at Olde Eight Road
Request for approval of revised landscaping plan for subdivision entrance in a Residential District.
This review revisited the approval for the gatehouse and entrance landscaping granted at the November 2004 PC meeting, but actions at the February 2005 PC meeting may also be relevant.
John Carse, the developer, appeared to discuss this application; he also had a court reporter transcribing this PC hearing. Mr. Carse offered a variety of drawings and photos showing the entrance landscaping he was actually in the midst of constructing. The members of the PC compared these with the drawings of what was approved at the earlier PC meetings and found a number of discrepencies, several of which they seemed to consider significant. Dr. Cheung in particular was interested in the changes to the rail fencing, and in marked increases in the height and visual impact of the stone-faced pillars along the entrance wall. At least two of these were in excess of six feet in height. In addition, the single subdivision sign was eliminated from the face of the gatehouse, and was to be replaced by two freestanding signs, one on each side of the entranceway. A temporary for-sale sign on the gatehouse was also eliminated.
The PC asked why Mr. Carse had once again proceeded to construct features of the Meghan's Lane development that were obviously different from the approved plan; he replied that he thought the changes were insignificant. He averred that the gatehouse was constructed just as approved, except for the signage. A number of neighbors along Olde Eight spoke in favor of the new landscaping features, or sent written statements to that effect.
There was further extensive discussion, a bit of browbeating, and a break to formulate a motion. It was determined that the request for two entrance signs would require a variance, and so would have to be heard by the BZA in April. Mr. Carse's proposal for fancy traffic control signs was rejected by the PC, partially upon Mr. Dodson's legal advice. Upon a motion by Mr. Campbell, the PC voted to allow the revised entrance landscaping as documented, including the changes to the wall and fencing, but excepting the revised signage. Dr. Cheung voted "no", all other members "yes". Mr. Carse was cautioned that any future changes to the approved plans must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission in advance of construction.Resolution:
PC #3: 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 review revisits the approval for the preliminary site plan granted at the January 2006 PC meeting, as further changes to the building and septic system necessitated a substantial change in that plan. Earlier in the evening, the BZA granted a variance to allow reduced parking within this revised site plan. Architect Paul Kaczmarski once again explained the new site plan, pointing out and justifying the various changes from the previously-approved plan. He noted that a final site plan would still have to be approved by the PC, when available. Upon a motion by Dr. Cheung, the PC approved the revised preliminary site plan.Resolution:
PC #4: Boston Hills Property Investment LLC
(Continued from February)
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 PDA: "Planned Development Area". 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:
Last month, the PC deferred consideration of the development company's new application,
which asks for a new code section defining
a "Planned Development Area" (PDA), and proposing use of the property as a PDA with the above-mentioned
housing units. Accompanying that
application was 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.
Here is a copy of the developers' cover letter and proposed PDA zoning code and requirements.
Neil Brennan, of Petros Homes, appeared before the Planning Commission in support of the proposed zoning change and development plan, and briefly recapped the history of this proposal. Solicitor Jason Dodson reviewed the legal considerations for the PC. The PC examined reports it had solicited on the matter: the Village Police Chief reported that he had insufficient information to make any statement; the Fire Chief verbally reported that the development would necessitate increased hydrant maintenance and a change in departmental operations due to the clustered buildings; a letter from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park reiterated its earlier objections and call for open space preservation and conservation zoning practices. No new report was received from the Hudson City Schools, but Dr. Cheung pointed out that (former) School Board President Andy Duff and Superintendent Maryann Wolowiec had both appeared at earlier meetings with generally negative comments on the proposal.
Lisa McCarthy, of 7695 Olde Eight Road, spoke in opposition of the proposed PDA zoning code, as she felt it would open the door to similar developments elsewhere in the Village (aside from the current proposal for development of the golf course). Ernest Tirpak, of 7340 Brandywine Road, stated his belief that developers should understand the Village's zoning code restrictions up front, and either stick to that code or look elsewhere (i.e., if they wish to develop at higher densities).
Dr. Cheung reiterated his statement of the fundamental rationale of the Village's zoning code, noting the rural residential character and efforts to buffer residential developments from intensive commercial uses. He pointed out the Village's unique role as a gateway to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is also the Village's largest landowner.
Upon a motion by Mayor Ray McFall, the Planning Commission unanimously voted NO -- that is voted to not recommend the proposed zoning code changes to the Village Council, who must make the final decision. There will probably be a public hearing before April's Council meeting to further consider the matter, as required by law.Resolution:
PC #5: Riparian and Wetland Setback Ordinance
(Continued from February)
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, a copy of
which can be found here:
Riparian Setback Ordinance, 1-27-06 Draft.
Noting comments on the draft were received from William Hinkle and from Summit Soil and Water Conservation District, the PC voted to defer this matter until next month's 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
Some documents are Public Domain Information
from the Village of Boston Heights OH or other public entities.
Other materials Copyright 2001-2006 W.J.Hinkle and Boston Heights Overlook
Boston Heights Overlook and BostonHeights.Org are not affiliated with the Village of Boston Heights OH.