CEDC - February 11th 2014
Community & Economic Development Committee
Feb 11, 2014
The Community & Economic Development Committee met on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:00 a.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center. In attendance were:
Tom Marrie (Council Rep), Nick Delguyd (Council Rep), David Hartt (Planner), Ted Esborn (Economic Development Director), Diane Wolgamuth (Director of Administration), and Ronald Wynne (Director of Finance)
Zoning Code Amendments
Mr. Esborn reviewed with the Committee the history and scope of the proposed changes to the Zoning Code. He stated that, initially, only permitted uses in the Production/Distribution and Office/Lab Districts were being reviewed, but when he and Mr. Hartt delved further into the Code, it was clear that language in other sections needed clarification. It was only at that point that he and Mr. Hartt realized the number of changes necessary.
Mr. Hartt stated that he wanted to bring the changes to this Committee as Mr. Marquardt is the only Council member who has been tracking the discussion though Planning & Zoning. Mr. Delguyd stated that it appeared that the sections that residents care most about will remain the same. Essentially, the proposed changes will address changes on Beta Drive.
Mr. Marrie stated that, historically, we have always had issues with conditional use permits (“CUPs”). Mr. Esborn agreed and stated that CUPs were what prompted the review. “We wanted to add uses that the Village wants to see, so that a CUP is not needed.” Mr. Marrie and Mr. Delguyd agreed that they had no issues with making such a change.
Mr. Esborn presented a table of permitted uses to the Committee. He explained that the Village’s current code expresses the permitted uses in text form rather than a table and can be difficult to navigate. He and Mr. Hartt propose creating a table for the Village’s Code. Mr. Esborn stated that this concept has been well received by Planning & Zoning and creating the table will be discussed further at their next meeting.
Mr. Hartt added that the scope of the review changed because there are many duplications and inconsistencies in the Code. Mr. Delguyd asked when the Code was last revised. Mr. Hartt stated that it was in the 1970s and Mr. Delguyd noted that it was time it was updated. Mr. Delguyd stated that he liked the concept and suggested that the recommendation be completed and presented to Council with an explanation that the changes do not affect referendum zoning and are merely redefining permitted uses. He suggested that it be pointed out that there is no expansion of Beta Drive contemplated, nor any attempt to create another business district.
Mr. Esborn stated that the changes would be presented to Planning & Zoning next week and, if they were acceptable, a presentation to Council could be made very soon. Mr. Delguyd suggested that the changes also be taken to the Citizens Advisory Committee and discussed at any upcoming Town Hall meetings. Mr. Marrie agreed.
Mr. Delguyd asked about the timeline for implementation. Mr. Hartt responded that he thought it could be accomplished by the end of 2014 or early in 2015. The changes will need to be drafted and sent to Planning and Zoning for “debugging”, which could take some time. Mr. Hartt explained that Council will then have to pass an Ordinance with the recommendation of Planning & Zoning. Mr. Marrie asked if a vote of the residents was necessary and Mr. Hartt stated that it was not, if we are careful to not change the philosophy of the district.
Incentive Program Update
Mr. Esborn reviewed the Incentive Application he recently completed for Forest City Tree. Forest City Tree is seeking to move from South Euclid to 731 Beta Drive. Mr. Esborn continues to believe the application works well. “It worked well with Stride Tool last year, unfortunately they didn’t bite.” Mr. Esborn described that this company is at the other end of the spectrum and just makes the minimum $500,000 annual payroll to be eligible. Mr. Esborn stated that he tried to be generous with points, but the incentive amounts to only 10% of their withholding taxes for the first ten years of their tenancy.
Mr. Delguyd asked why they are moving from their current location. Mr. Wynne responded that they are moving because the South Euclid library is moving and taking their property. Mr. Marrie stated that Forest City Tree sold their property to the Library. Mr. Delguyd asked if they might be interested in purchasing property in the Village, but Mr. Esborn was unsure. Mr. Delguyd asked if there is any cost to the Village related to this program. Mr. Wynne responded that the only cost is to put the agreement together as the necessary financial information can be obtained from RITA. Mr. Wynne questioned whether a minimum number is needed for tax collection to make this program worthwhile.
Mr. Delguyd suggested that language be added to the letter and agreement that if payroll drops below $500,000 in any given year, the incentive will be forfeited for that year. Mr. Delguyd and Mr. Marrie agreed with Mr. Wynne that, at some point, it is not enough money to be worth going through
the process. Mr. Esborn suggested that after completing the process with Forest City, perhaps the minimum annual payroll be increased to $1 million. Mr. Delguyd agreed that after a first success, it would be an appropriate time to re-evaluate the process. Thereafter, the agreement should be pretty standard. Mr. Marrie agreed that while the amount is not high, a success would show that the program works. Mr. Esborn reviewed the letter of intent with the Committee. The Committee agreed that the letter was acceptable with the added language that if payroll drops below $500,000, Forest City will not be eligible for the 10% incentive.
Mr. Esborn reported that the Village’s account with One Community is currently at $17,416.83 which is sufficient to hook-up any property on Beta Drive. He suggested that the Village could use the money to partner with a property owner to building a lateral and provide internet connection. As Mr. Esborn has contacted property owners about the ability to provide this service, they consistently say that they will call when they have a tenant who is interested. They are not inclined to put in the investment up front.
After discussion, Mr. Marrie and Mr. Delguyd agreed that there was no reason for the Village to move forward with any laterals right now. They suggested that Mr. Esborn continue to advise property owners that the service is available. Mr. Wynne added that if the money is never used for a lateral, the Village could use the money to pay One Community for future service.
Zako Property Update
Ms. Wolgamuth reported that, thus far, there has been no success with finding a use for this property. Given the proximity to the trail, recent discussions have included the possibility of using the property as a trail head and perhaps installing restrooms there since the property already has water, sewer and electric service. Ms. Wolgamuth described that the benefit to using the property as a trail amenity is that the improvements are then eligible for grant funding. The downside is that in order to apply for funding, plans and cost estimates need to be prepared. The Committee discussed whether restrooms at this property would replace the need for restrooms at the softball fields and agreed that the idea was worth further exploration.
Community Room Update
Ms. Wolgamuth distributed a conceptual sketch, site plan and proposed floor plan for the Community Room. She explained that she and Building Commissioner John Marrelli have been working with an architect to determine if the current building can be rehabilitated to include the changes that are being considered. Mr. Marrelli’s suggestion is that the next step is to get a cost estimate that includes the mechanical work that needs to be done (new HVAC, etc.) as well as the aesthetic changes. Mr. Delguyd and Mr. Marrie stated that they liked the conceptual plans and agreed that this was a good next step. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that the drawings would be included in Council’s Friday packets.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 a.m.
Respectfully submitted by,
Director of Administration