University Heights City Council meeting highlights 3-6-2017

MARCH 6, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Garbage truck purchase
  • Bids for 2017 road program
  • Small cell towers
  • Sanctuary cities
  • Cedar Road project

Present were Mayor Susan Infeld, vice mayor Susan Pardee, and council members Pamela Cameron, John Rach, Steven Sims and Mark Wiseman. Councilman Philip Ertel and Councilwoman Michele Weiss were absent. Also present were Law Director Luke McConnell and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas.

The meeting was held from 7:10 to 8:53 p.m.

Public comments  

Naming new park: A Shaker Heights resident, who grew up on Faversham Road and attended Northwood Elementary School, suggested that the new park be named Northwood Park. He has fond memories of the school, which was razed to make way for the park. He and his daughter, who also attended the meeting, are frequent visitors to the park.

A Claridge Oval resident asked that the park be named after John Jay Howard, the first mayor of University Heights. Howard served 1916–41, and was instrumental in attracting John Carroll University (JCU) to University Heights.

Mayor Infeld welcomed the comments and noted that there will be a film night at the park this summer, and that the summer music series—now held at JCU—will relocate to the park.

Mayor’s report

Cedar-Taylor public space: Mayor Infeld hopes to create a public square at the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads, making it a gateway to University Heights. She envisions installing a monument sign, and a gathering space with benches and planting. She has received positive input from University Heights residents, and welcomes more. The mayor reported that the empty KFC building at the intersection has been purchased, and that the owners of Cedar-Taylor Garage & Autobody have retired and closed shop.

Gas line replacement: The Dominion gas line replacement project has begun on Green Road, and will eventually move to Churchill Road, There will be periodic street closures. The good news is that Churchill Road’s infrastructure will be placed underground, and the street will be repaved.

EPA control measures: The County Planning Commission recently approved an expenditure of money that will be reimbursed by the Northeast Ohio Sewer District. The money will be used for EPA minimum control measures, and will be provided by the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District. The project will include a stream cleanup component, and will address the improper disposal of hazardous waste, restaurant waste and yard waste.

Garbage truck purchase

Council approved the purchase of a new cab and chassis with a rear-loader rubbish packer, via the ODOT Co-op Purchase Program and the National Joint Powers Alliance Purchasing Cooperative, for $156,835. A retired truck will put up for sale.

Bids for 2017 road program

Council approved a motion to advertise for bids for the 2017 road program, which includes resurfacing Silsby Road west of Warrensville Center Road, adding curbs on Silsby Road between Milton and Green roads, and a NOACA project on Warrensville CenterRoad. The bids are in addition to a $1.2 million road program, funded by the general fund, that will include 15 different projects.

Small cell towers

Council approved a motion, on emergency, to add Resolution 2017-09, which places a moratorium on small cell towers and related equipment in University Heights. Law Director McConnell reported that a measure that restricts a municipality’s ability to negotiate the installation of small cell towers on street lights, utility poles, and traffic lights was added to an Ohio General Assembly bill, SB 331, which regulates pet stores in Ohio. The legislation has passed and is set to become effective March 21. McConnell said the measure is damaging because cities have their own set of ordinances that require an applicant to locate small cell towers on existing poles or prove their technology won’t work on an existing structure. He expects that litigation will be filed prior to March 21 and municipalities across the state are hoping the legislation will be stayed. He and the mayor plan to study the city’s ordinances to enact measures that will help UH protect its right-of-way.

Cedar Road project

City Engineer Joe Ciuni reported that the City of Cleveland Heights will resurface Cedar Road this spring, starting at Taylor Road. He warned community members to expect delays.

Sanctuary cities

Councilman Sims reported that the committee of the whole met to discuss making University Heights a sanctuary city. The committee welcomed input from community members on the pros and cons of becoming a sanctuary city, but in the end officially took no action.

LWV Observer: Siobhan Leftwich.

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 email postings of full reports, send an email to 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.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:03 AM, 04.10.2017