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 2 August 2006 7PM meeting of the
Boston Heights Zoning Code
Boston Heights Business & Location List
Board of Zoning Appeals
Solicitor Russ Pry acted as legal counsel for the Planning Commission and BZA. Zoning Inspector David Himes and Engineer Steve Schreiber also attended.
The Solicitor's office (McCarty & Pry) had asked the PC/BZA to consider a change of day for their monthly meeting, due to a scheduling conflict with Jason Dodson, the lawyer who had been acting as their legal counsel. Unfortunately, there turned out to be other conflicts with alternative days; it was therefore decided to maintain the traditional schedule of meeting on the first Wednesday of each month for the time being. Mr. Pry stated that his office would work around the problem as needed.
BZA #1: Pro-Classic Real Estate Inc. / American Dream Productions LLC
Parcels 1400409, 1400403, vacant land east of Route 8
Application for variance to allow oversize real estate signs in a Retail Business District.
Pro-Classic Real Estate Inc. of Walton Hills appears to be the agent for the owner of the vacant land east of Route 8, north of UltraSpec, and west of the Ashbrooke West development and Brandywine Creek. The property owner appears to be American Dream Productions Inc., with a tax mailing address that is the same as that of other companies owned by Mr. Joe Mangione of San Antonio Texas. According to news sources, Mr. Magnione is a well-known commercial and retail developer in those parts.
The total property within Boston Heights consists of three parcels: parcel #1300899, parcel #1400409, parcel #1400403 totalling about 156.5 acres. This property is all in the RB Retail Business District; the County is considering whether to build a new access road through this land from Hines Hill to Twinsburg Road. The first two parcels were lately transferred from "Five J-CTMS Ltd", another company associated with Mr. Mangione. The latter was lately purchased from Brandywine Preserve, the developer of the townhouses along Twinsburg Road north of Ashbrooke West. American Dream also now owns an additional 49 acres in Northfield Center Township, contiguous to the Boston Heights property and extending all the way up to Twinsburg Road.
The present application relates specifically to parcels #1400409 and #1400403, where, back in April 2006, the agent erected large real estate sale signs along Route 8. 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. ...". As both of these signs are 4x8 feet (one sided), the Zoning Inspector seems to have advised the agent that a variance of CO 1179.04(c)(4)(B) is required to retain these sign in this zoning district. (cf. CO 1179.04(d)). A number of similar variance requests have been heard by the BZA.
The current oversize signs read, variously: "Coming Soon, Lifestyle Center"; "Now Taking Site Reservations";"Retail - Specialty Shops - Restaurants - Dining - Hotels - Offices"; "Mixed Use"; "Outlots - Restaurants - Retail - Hotels - Entertainment".
At last month's meeting, no one showed up to speak to this application for variance, so it was deferred. This month, Mr. Tony Olszko of Pro-Classic Real Estate appeared before the Board on this matter. He described the signs and their locations (as above) and stated that smaller signs would not be readable from the adjacent Route 8 highway, and in fact might pose a hazard if drivers slowed down to look at them. He also explained that he had not known about the limitation on size of such signs, and so had proceeded without the necessary variance (or temporary sign registration).
After reviewing variances granted in some similar situations along Chittenden Road, the BZA granted the variance for the two signs as currently erected: at the present locations, not to exceed 32 sq.ft., one side facing the roadway, maximum 8 ft. high, non-illuminated.Resolution:
PC #1: American Pools & Fountains Ltd.
6337 Chittenden Road
Application for permit to erect sign per CO 1179, for a business in a Light Manufacturing District.
American Pools & Fountains Ltd. (charter #1373861) is a business at 6337 Chittenden Road. This property is parcel #1300349, 4.71 acres in the Light Manufacturing District, owned by MDF Development Group LLC. Although the County has this property listed for tax purposes as residential with a single-family home, it appears to be a commercial enterprise; in fact, the business' website advertises its "store" for walk-in business at this address, noting a "grand opening" in June 2005. It is not clear whether a site plan was ever approved by the Planning Commission.
This company appears to be related to Color-Crete and Sunnywood Land Development, at the same address but with different state charters, phone and FAX numbers.
The company has applied to replace the existing free-standing Color-Crete sign with a new sign advertising this business' name and logo.
At last month's meeting, no one showed up to speak to this application, so it was deferred. This month, Mr. William Foster appeared to describe the sign and its proposed placement, as noted above. Zoning Inspector David Himes reviewed his earlier discussions with Mr. Foster on the subject of the swimming pool shells displayed, or stored, on the property near the roadway. He also seemed to make an allusion to a lack of site plan information and problems he had with documentation of a building addition. The Planning Commission decided that it would defer this matter until it had received a complete site plan for the business, beyond just the sign originally in question.Resolution:
PC #2: Comfort Inn of Boston Heights
6731 Industrial Parkway
Application for permit to erect (move) a freestanding sign per CO 1179, for a business in a Retail Business District.
Comfort Inn of Boston Heights is a hotel at 6731 Industrial Parkway, off of E. Hines Hill Road. The hotel, on a 2+A lot (on parcel #1300853) in the RB Retail Business district, was built in 1996, and is owned by SDA Hospitality Inc. (charter #897040).
A substantial slice of the property along Industrial Parkway was recently bought by the State of Ohio for use in the planned Route 8 upgrade project. This will constitute part of a northbound entrance ramp to Route 8. As this ramp will destroy virtually all of Industrial Parkway (a private road), the state plans to construct a new access road to the east of this and adjacent properties. The hotel will then have to re-orient itself to the east.
For the moment, the hotel wishes to move its existing freestanding sign out of the state's property. This sign was last reviewed by the Planning Commission at its April 2005 meeting. As this is a large pylon-mounted electrified sign, subject to the Village's Building Code CO 1385.09 which requires comformance to building codes (structure, foundation, wind load engineering) and electrical codes, and appropriate approvals.
A representative of the hotel's sign contractor appeared before the Planning Commission to explain that the existing freestanding sign needed to move out of the state's newly-acquired property, as noted above. He stated that the existing sign would simply be moved to a new location, and would replace three existing parking spaces. From the audience, William Hinkle asked whether the building and electrical inspections would be carried out; Solicitor Pry stated that the County Building Department would handle this. Dr. Cheung thought it would be a good idea to add a reminder of this requirement to any approval. The sign company rep noted that this should be no problem, as the project was fully engineered in compliance with the state codes.
Also from the audience, Ed Fetko asked whether the hotel would still have sufficient parking to satisfy the Zoning Code, once three spaces were replaced by this sign. After a brief exchange on this point, the PC dropped the matter without any specific answer. The PC granted approval to move the sign, with a reminder that building and electrical inspections must be obtained.Resolution:
PC #3: Ted Georger / dba e-Waste
7600 Olde Eight Road (former Lucerne building)
Request for site and plan and use review per CO 1151, for new tenant business of computer recycling, in a General Business District.
According to a letter to the Planning Commission, Mr. Ted Georger is a principal of the e-Waste company. This seems to be e-Waste Division LLC (charter #1611023), a business formed 23 March 2006.The company intends to operate in the former Lucerne industrial building on Olde Eight Road. This property is owned by Brandywine Development Corporation (charter #1033898) and is within a General Business (GB) district; refer to parcel #1400087, et al. Mr. Rob Robinson is head of Brandywine Development.
The Ohio EPA already shows the e-Waste company as a hazardous material recycling operation at the Lucerne building: see Facility Registry ID 110002111321. Contacts are shown as Ted Georger (330-650-0274) and Robert Riedel (216-653-6661). Mr. Riedel is a resident of Boston Heights.
At the PC's June 2003 meeting, on Sovereign Design & Millwork's use at this same facility, the question was raised as to what uses are grandfathered at this former industrial building. In that case, Sovereign was found to be a "building trade", a permitted use. (N.B., Mr. Theodore Georger II is a partner in Sovereign D.&M.).
Mr. Ted Georger appeared before the Planning Commission to address his application. He explained that the company would primarily be engaged in disassembling personal computers (PCs) and related hardware, and shipping the components elsewhere for recycling. Mr. Georger stated that he had previously worked for Metallic Resources Inc., an industrial recycling company based in Twinsburg Ohio, whose e-Waste division is (or was) associated with Mr. Georger. In fact, e-Waste would be recycling personal computers and like equipment much as described for the Metallic Resources PCR Division: Electronic Waste Recycling, "E-Waste".
In response to questions from Mr. Bush, and from Councilor Bill Goncy in the audience, Mr. Georger stated that all material storage would be indoors -- not in outside dumpsters, e.g. -- and that there would be 4-5 trucks per week, some as large as a semi-tractor/trailer rig. No CRTs would be broken down on-site. Zoning Inspector David Himes stated his finding that this disassembly operation is an approved use in the GB General Business district, as a "computer repair" business.
Mr. Georger also expected to have a precious metal (gold) reclamation operation, which proved to be a point of concern to the PC due to the chemical processes involved. He explained some of the chemistry and material handling involved; some potentially hazardous chemicals are used. He also stated that there would be no wastewater discharge from this operation; occasionally, contaminated sludge would have to be hauled away.
Mayor McFall felt that the Fire Chief should review the process and the installation; from the audience, Fire Chief Jim Robinson noted that the operation would require an occupancy permit from the Fire Department, which had to consider not only the materials used by this business, but those in adjacent businesses that might pose a hazard if combined in a fire or other emergency situation. Zoning Inspector Himes thought that a variance would be required for this kind of operation. Dr. Cheung, citing his credentials as a Professional Engineer (in chemical engineering), wanted to see much more information on the process and materials handling, and a spill recovery plan. Addressing the latter point, Mr. Georger stated that the operation would be carried out in a contained room with a spill recovery system underneath it. From the audience, landlord Rob Robinson suggested that this was all the business of the Ohio EPA, and should be left to those experts. The Planning Commission seemed to prefer to keep their hand it, however.
As Mr. Georger wished to begin his disassembly recycling operation, and had not yet obtained the equipment necessary to perform gold reclamation, he asked for a partial approval of the use. He stated that the would either stockpile the gold-bearing parts for future reclamation, or have that done by outside vendors. The PC agreed with this approach, granting approval for the disassembly functions of the computer recycling business as described, but not for any chemical metal reclamation. It was left up in the air as to whether a variance would be required for that, in the future.Resolution:
Steve Schreiber, ACLA - Village Engineer
Advisory letter to Planning Commission re: preliminary clearing plan for Wolcott Springs subdivision.
At the PC's June 2006 meeting, the developer of the upcoming Wolcott Springs subdivision reviewed those plans with the Planning Commission. This was purely advisory to the PC, as Village Engineer Steve Schreiber has the authority to authorize such a minor subdivision without Planning Commission approval. Mr. Schreiber reviewed the letter he sent to the PC explaining the preliminary clearing plan for the project, and noting that the developer was still trying to obtain permission to run construction traffic through off-road access from the north of the property.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
The Planning Commission received a revision of the Zoning Inspector's draft of a new application form for Zoning Certificates, for its future consideration.
Last month, Dr. Cheung recommended that the Planning Commission undertake another review of the Village's comprehensive zoning plan, and asked PC members to consider what issues are worth discussing and amending. Some of the issues Dr. Cheung mentioned were the upcoming Route 8 upgrade project, and the proposed soccer stadium complex in Northfield Center Township.
Dr. Cheung suggested that the Planning Commission instead entertain a presentation from Mr. Sam Petros. Mr Petros, a land developer, had attended with the purpose of addressing the Planning Commission. The PC agreed to set aside its agenda to hear Mr. Petros' new proposal for development of the Boston Hills Country Club.Resolution:
(Petros Homes, or Boston Hills Property Investment LLC)
Boston Hills Country Club at Hines Hill Rd. & State Rt. 8.
Preliminary roposal for redevelopment of the golf course with 100 houses and 60 acres of regional retail.
As noted above, the Planning Commission invited Mr. Sam Petros to make an off-agenda presentation of his new proposal for development of the Boston Hills Country Club. He was assisted by Mr. Neil Brennan. Both of these gentlemen are with Petros Homes, a real estate developer, but may in this case be representing Boston Hills Property Investment LLC. It was under the aegis of this latter group that Mr. Petros had presented an earlier series of development proposals for the golf course, which were ultimately rejected by the Village; see the PC's March 2006 meeting, and Council's April 2006 meeting.
Boston Hills Property Investment LLC (charter #1569813), is a consortium of developers formed 16 Sep 2005. The property under consideration is Boston Hills Country Club, a 168 acre golf course at the heart of Boston Heights, at E. Hines Hill Road and State Route 8. The property is zoning RES Residential, which requires single-family homes on minimum 1.5 acre lots.
First and foremost, Mr. Petros stated that he had an agreement to purchase the Boston Hills Country Club; the sale would close in early October 2006. Furthermore, Mr. Petros stated that the golf course would then be closed by the new owners -- he appeared to mean it would be permanently closed.
Mr. Petros stated that he would be presenting a development plan for the property at next month's Planning Commission meeting. He exhibited some drawings showing a schematic representation of what he had planned. In summary: of the 168 acres, the easternmost 60 acres, stretching along Route 8, would be converted to retail business use, with most of the balance used for 100 single-family homes. (Note that some of this acreage will be acquired by the State of Ohio for use in a Route 8 access ramp to Hines Hill Road.)
Mr. Petros initially concentrated on his projection of a high-quality streetscape along Hines Hill Road, proposing a traffic circle to provide a break between the Route 8 commercial area to the east, and the new and existing residential areas to the west. He also suggested that the developers might grant the Village a 5 acre parcel on a corner of this traffic circle. Just to the east of this circle, sketched about where the golf course clubhouse now stands, would be an entrance to the proposed commercial area -- not much smaller than Macedonia Commons -- and the intersection of Hines Hill with the planned Route 8 ramp and access road.
Speaking of the retail component, Mr. Petros did not anticipate developing this with small shops, as this approach had "problems elsewhere"; it is possible he was referring to developments like Legacy Village in Beachwood. He intends this area as a larger scale retail development with a regional draw -- in fact, he specifically mentioned the idea of bringing in a Wal-Mart Super Center, but also mentioned Costco and Dick's Sporting Goods. (Note: Macedonia recently rejected Walmart's proposal for expansion of the existing store at Macedonia Commons.) Note that no retail use is permitted under this property's current RES Residential zoning.
Additional Note, 22 Aug 2006:
An average Wal-Mart SuperCenter is about 187,000 sq.ft.; the average Costco is 140,000 sq.ft.; and Dick's Sporting Goods averages 57,800 sq.ft. per store. Maximum square footage in the Village's Retail Business zoning district is 50,000 sq.ft.
In the interest of conveying exactly what Mr. Petros said on this subject, here is a partial transcript. Minor omissions are indicated by [...]
Mr. Petros: "There are two or three players that are not in this market yet, that are reasonable size players. There is Dick's Sporting Goods ... and Costco isn't here yet. And there's a whole series of sit-down restaurants, mid-range restaurants: the Appleby's and the Friday's... I don't have any specific tenants in mind. ... It can't be ... small shops. ... I would have to have what I consider a fairly reasonable draw; the largest thing I'm talking about is a Costco's or Dick Sporting Goods; that's the kind of size I'm looking for. I'm not looking to do a Super Wal-Mart, even though they are in the market; I believe they want to expand from the one they have over there [in Macedonia Commons], or maybe they'll stay in that one, I don't know. But that's not what I'm looking to accomplish here. But on the other hand, again, it can't be small limited tenants; it won't work."
He anticipated giving the Village two choices on the housing component of his plan. One option would be to build 100 homes on 1 acre lots, more or less. The other option would be to reserve about 35 acres of greenspace -- Mr. Petros stated that this would be the highest-quality greenspace, currently wooded or with waterways (presumably with any wetlands, too). In this case, the same 100 homes would be built on 0.4 acre lots, more or less. This latter plan is somewhat akin to the Conservation Development Zoning scheme, endorsed by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park during previous proposals. However, the Zoning Code currently requires 1.5 acre lots at a minimum, and the Village's Riparian Setback ordinance would presumably have an impact on how much of this acreage could be built out.
Mr. Petros extolled the virtues of coordinating this commercial/residential scheme with the OP Office Professional district just to the south across Hines Hill Road, though he expressed some skepticism on the prospects for near-term development under that zoning. In response to a question from Mr. Bush, however, he stated that he did not have a purchase agreement or commercial interest in The Range, the driving range that now occupies much of that property. He also did not admit to any commercial interest in the 20+ acre USA government property along the Turnpike in that district, but did mention a contractual interest of some kind in the 10 acres on the southeast corner of Hines Hill and Olde Eight Roads. He added that he thought residential development would be more appropriate for the USA parcel (despite it being along the Turnpike, apparently).
Early in his presentation, Mr. Petros compared the plan to his project in Mentor, which includes a new headquarters for Avery-Dennison Co. This appears to be a reference to the Newell Creek development; see this article for some background information. It is reported that Mr. Petros took the City of Mentor to court after his initial proposal for a PUD was rejected, and subsequently "reached a settlement for the planned unit development". In this case, he projects additional tax revenues of over $2M for the (Hudson) school district, and over $400K for the Village.
He closed with the promise to formally bring his proposal to the Planning Commission at next month's meeting. Presumably he will either be proposing another PUD/PDA zoning overlay, or specific changes to the zoning map and zoning district requirements. No component of this plan, as proposed, is permitted under the current RES Residential zoning.Resolution:
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.