University Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-15-2015

JUNE 15, 2015

  • Public comments
  • First Energy
  • University Square
  • City’s symphonic band
  • Zoning variance
  • Electronic signage
  • Compmanagement contract
  • Issuance and sale of bonds
  • Resident permit parking near Wiley
  • Street resurfacing

Councilman Phil Ertel was absent.

Public comments

Linda Johnson, a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, told council that she was available during the meeting for any questions regarding the board’s decision on (a) fence appeal and also the Dunkin’ Donuts sign. She noted that, in the interest of maintaining city safety and also aesthetics, four of the five members of the board voted to deny Dunkin’ Donuts’ appeal to allow illuminated moving text signs. They urged council to review the city’s code regarding commercial signage.

First Energy

First Energy is replacing light poles. Its process is to install the new pole and leave the old pole until the wires have been transferred over. Workers then return and remove the old pole.

University Square

The majority bondholders of University Square are in town, inspecting the property and looking for ways to enhance it.

City’s symphonic band

The director of the city’s symphonic band has retired, but a new director has been appointed and the concerts will continue as scheduled.

Zoning variance

Council approved Scott and Meredith Prince’s zoning board appeal to install a fence and gate forward of the rear setback (i.e., in front of the rear of the house) because of their large dog. The request had been denied because of the concern of the next-door neighbor that the fence would block a side window. The two homeowners reached a compromise to lower the fence to 4 feet high, with a 5-foot gate, angling the fence, and have the gate open toward the front. The neighbor, and also the building commissioner, found this compromise to be acceptable. This appeal before the council was considered a quasi-judicial hearing, so Law Director Luke McConville asked each of the homeowners to swear an oath to tell the truth. Council congratulated the homeowners for working out a compromise solution.

Electronic signage

The Board of Zoning Appeals asked council to review the city’s code regarding commercial signage. Dunkin’ Donuts had received permission to install a sign in the current size, shape and location, but had changed the sign to an electronic graphical sign at installation. The city has required the business to change the sign to only display time and temperature until the store’s appeal can be settled. Councilman Steven Sims will take the issue to the Building Committee of Council for a review of the code, which was written before the advent of electronic graphical image signs.

Compmanagement

Council heard on first reading a proposal to renew a contract with Compmanagement, which has been providing third-party administrator services with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation. The cost is $7,000 and the current contract expires in September.

Issuance and sale of bonds

Council heard on first reading an ordinance for the issuance and sale of bonds in the principal amount of $1.8 million for paying costs of improving the city’s park and recreational facilities. The ordinance, written by the bond attorney at Squire Patton Boggs, is “on emergency” in order to preclude a referendum to try to recall the resident’s vote. This is the final step in the process for issuing the bonds.

Resident permit parking near Wiley

Council heard, on first reading, legislation to amend the city code to establish a resident permit parking program on certain city streets in the neighborhood surrounding Wiley School, which is being converted to a temporary high school. The streets include Bushnell Road between Warrensville Center and Wrenford roads; Wrenford Road north of Silsby Road; Silsby Road between Warrensville Center Road and South Belvoir Boulevard; Traymore Road between Silsby Road and Washington Boulevard; and Glendon Road between Silsby Road and Washington Boulevard. Police Chief Hammett is requesting this change, which would provide four free permits to each household on those streets, and restrict parking to only those cars with the permits. This same process is in place for streets surrounding John Carroll University. Hammett would like to be proactive and put these rules in place before problems occur. Councilmen Steven Sims and Mark Wiseman questioned this, asking for evidence that a problem will occur. Councilwoman Pamela Cameron asked if all parking could be prohibited other than for service vehicles (e.g. lawn crews and snow plows). Vice Mayor Susan Pardee is in favor of taking proactive measures but is concerned that the proposal is not in line with the current ordinances as written. Since this was presented on first reading, the law director and council will review the current ordinances and look at options before the next meeting.

Street resurfacing

Allison Street, [on] which [work] was postponed from last year, is almost complete and other streets are progressing. Curb replacement is done primarily on primary and secondary streets, for the enhancement of the community. Curbs on other streets are replaced as funding allows.

LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to mbarnes9515@gmail.com or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

Read More on University Heights
Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 2:22 PM, 07.15.2015