Cleveland Heights City Council Meeting highlights
OCTOBER 19, 2015
Council Member Mary Dunbar was absent.
Home-based businesses: Jason Boarde of Yorkshire Road, owner of Burnt Toast Farms and Studio, asked council to consider revising the city code to reflect current values of the community regarding home-based businesses. He referred to “regressive” sections of the city code that prohibit business in a yard and that regulate hours, employees, parking, and other aspects. Resident Steve Warner, who would like to start a home schooling support and tutoring business in his home, also asked council to look at the current rules. He feels that respectful, unique home businesses could contribute to community pride and image. Tom Gibson of Wilton Road supported the previous two speakers, praising their creativity. Gibson, who noted his history with multiple civic organizations and boards and who currently runs the Oxford Permaculture gardening project, said that the main hope for the future lies with artisans.
Boulevard Neighbors: On behalf of Boulevard Neighbors, Paul Greenberg of Euclid Heights Boulevard commended the city for street improvements and clean-up of debris in that neighborhood. He also commended the fire department for swift containment of a house fire on Colonial Drive. However, he pointed out that 3344 Beachwood Avenue, long slated for demolition, still stands.
Liquor license opposed
Council passed a motion opposing an application to the Ohio Department of Liquor Control for a new permit for Art Petroleum, 2603 Noble Road. Councilman Jason Stein, who made the motion, noted that Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson objects because the neighborhood has been saturated with existing permits. Council Member Jeff Coryell also noted that residents of the neighborhood are sensitive to the number of alcohol businesses there.
Council authorized a second amendment to the Commercial Revolving Loan Agreement with NeuroWave Systems, Inc. The city had authorized an addendum to this agreement on April 3, 2013, which extended the term of the agreement from sixty months to eighty-four months in exchange for a personal guarantee on the loan of $30,000 by NeuroWave’s chief officer. The company now requests that the agreement be amended again so that payment for the balance due may extend over the term of ten years, rather than a single lump sum, in exchange for payment of principal and interest at an interest rate of one percent. The loan would no longer be a forgivable loan.
County public health services
Council renewed the agreement with the Cuyahoga County General Health District for public health services to the city and its residents at a fee of $180,794 for one year, commencing January 1, 2016. These services have been in place for many years. The cost will be the same as the previous three years.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.
NOVEMBER 2, 2015
All council members were present.
Noble neighborhood and litter: Resident Gail Larson spoke representing Noble Neighbors, an organization working to improve their neighborhood. Current issues include vacant and neglected homes and litter. Loose Plain Dealer advertisement packets especially concern her. Mayor Dennis Wilcox said that the city manager and law director have taken steps to try to solve this problem all over the city. The Plain Dealer has claimed a first amendment right to distribute this literature.
Nuisance code changes
Council amended the city code chapter for nuisance abatement to correct or eliminate issues in the current code. Mayor Dennis Wilcox thanked Law Director Jim Juliano and his staff for making the ordinance easier to understand and “giving it more teeth.”
Council declared six vacant properties to be nuisances and authorized abatement. Except for the last property listed below, funds for demolition will come from the county:
- 3812 Delmore Road, which has had violation citations since 2009.
- 2252 Oakdale Road, with numerous violations since 2012.
- 3554 Randolph Road, with numerous violations since 2009.
- 926 Helmsdale Road, with numerous violations since 2011. The owners are deceased.
- 14586 Superior Road, both vacant and uninhabitable, with no water usage since 2004.
- 1687 Colonial Drive, which is structurally unsound and hazardous due to severe damage from a fire on Sept. 30, 2015. Immediate demolition is requested with hope that the cost of demolition can be recovered from insurance proceeds due to the owner.
Council Member Mary Dunbar noted that about 50 demolitions are expected during 2015, the same as occurred in 2014.
Council authorized submission of the Community Development Block Grant funding application for the year beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Details may be found at www.clevelandheights.com concerning the plans to disperse $14 million in 2016.
Council authorized an agreement with the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), a non-profit corporation, for the use of HOME Funds to administer its down payment assistance loan program. Up to $10,000 will be made available to loan.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy
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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.