Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-3-2017

APRIL 3, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Bid received
  • Liquor permit transfer requests
  • Energy services
  • Zoning variances
  • Certificate of occupancy change
  • City charter review
  • Proclamations
  • Issuance and sale of bonds

Present were Mayor Cheryl L. Stephens, Vice Mayor Jason Stein, and council members Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren, Michael N. Ungar and Melissa Yasinow. The meeting lasted from 7:56 to 8:49 p.m.

Public comments

Meeting with school superintendent: Representing the Cleveland Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Katherine Solender invited the community to a meeting with CH-UH School Superintendent Talisa Dixon on Sunday, April 23, from 2–4 p.m., in Meeting Room A of the Lee Road Library.

Gun safety: Laura Lewis, representing the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, spoke about Senate Bill 199, the “Guns Everywhere Bill” that just went into effect and expands where Ohio residents may carry concealed weapons, including into daycare facilities. Her group is hoping the city will help spread the word that daycares can still prohibit the carrying of weapons, provided they post signs stating that guns are off-limits. She also [spoke of] the group’s Be SMART program (a child gun-access prevention program) and announced that June 2, 2017 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, in observance of which she urged council members to use social media to post photos of themselves wearing orange (the “Don’t shoot” color) on that day.

Noble Road re-striping: Residents Vince Reddy and Mark Lefkowitz expressed disappointment that the city has decided not to reduce Noble Road from the current four lanes to three when the street is repaved. They stated that such a "road diet" would relate to the Eastside Greenway project by providing room for at least one bicycle lane and would be safer for cyclists and pedestrians, especially children. Another resident, Bruce Needham, spoke in opposition, saying he does not believe reducing the number of lanes would enhance safety.

Water bill: Resident Edgar Mitchell expressed concern about his water bill, which he believes has increased since the city’s water system was shifted to Cleveland. The mayor referred him to Public Works Director Alex Mannarino.

Bid received

Catts Construction Inc.’s bid of $65,831.20 for the 2017 city hall sidewalk replacement was noted for the record.

Liquor permit transfer requests

 The Ohio Department of Liquor Control has received the following applications:

  • Jerri Garrett, Cain Park W/S 10 Acres Amphitheaters, 14591 Superior Ave., Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, to transfer permits from the previous owner.
  • Grand Judaica Ltd. doing business as Grand Judaica, 1873 South Taylor Road, to transfer the permit from Jacobs, Judaic & Gift Center Inc. at the same address.

Energy services

Council heard a first reading of a resolution authorizing a professional energy services design-build agreement with Evans Energy for an energy conservation project aimed at increasing energy efficiency and equipment reliability, and reducing energy costs. The contract amount shall not exceed $5,445,562.

Zoning variances

Council considered five requests for zoning variances. The first of these—from Charles Zuchowski, doing business as May Lee Building, 2490 Lee Blvd., to permit a storage facility—was referred back to council’s Committee of the Whole for continued review. Variances were granted to the following:

  • John and Anya Rudd, 2178 Harcourt Drive, to permit a six-foot-tall fence in a portion of the front yard along the south side of the property and to permit a five-foot-tall fence in the front yard.
  • John and Anya Rudd, 2178 Harcourt Drive, to permit a parking pad in the front yard.
  • Barry Stern and Peggy Mendes-Stern, 2258 Coventry Road, to permit two garages on one parcel.
  • Nan and Hugh Sullivan,2939 Scarborough Road, to permit a portion of the front of the house to be set back 50.84 feet.

Certificate of occupancy

An ordinance was presented on first reading that would incentivize responsible rental property ownership by amending Chapter 1347 of the city ordinances with a new subsection, 1347.02(e). The new law would prohibit the building commissioner from issuing a certificate of occupancy for any structure used for residential occupancy on a parcel that has a delinquent property tax balance or an unpaid balance for nuisance abatement costs incurred by the city. This law exempts a property owner, agent, or person in charge of the dwelling structure who can provide documentation that they are on a delinquent property tax payment plan in good standing. The measure also includes a provision for notifying tenants when a certificate of occupancy has been rejected or will not be renewed.

Charter review

Legislation establishing a city charter review commission has been drafted, and citizen input is welcome.


Council proclaimed the following for the city of Cleveland Heights:

  • April as Fair Housing Month, joining with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other communities throughout the nation, and reaffirming the city’s commitment to open housing.
  • April 17–22 as National Community Development Week.
  • April as Autism Awareness Month.
  • April 9–15 as National Library Week.
  • April as National Poetry Month.

Issuance and sale of bonds

Council heard first readings of seven ordinances pertaining to the issuance and sale of bonds for the city’s 2017 capital improvement program in the following maximum principal amounts:

  • $115,000 for the costs of acquiring motor vehicles and related equipment for the police department.
  • $225,000 for the costs of improving streets and roads in the city by reconstructing, grading, draining, paving, and making other improvements as designated in the plans approved or to be approved by council.
  • $360,000 for the costs of acquiring motor vehicles and equipment for the public works department.
  • $150,000 for the costs of acquiring equipment for the police department.
  • $65,000 for the costs of installing and improving sidewalks at the city hall complex.
  • $75,000 for the costs of replacing fire hoses and nozzles at the city’s fire station facilities.
  • $355,000 for the costs of acquiring motor vehicles and related equipment for the fire department in providing emergency medical services.

LWV Observer: Katherine Solender.

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. 

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 1:15 PM, 05.01.2017