Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-16-2017
OCTOBER 16, 2017
- Public comments
- Playground equipment
- Washington Boulevard
- CDBG (First Reading)
- Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative
- Zoning variance
- Ambulance purchase
- County hazards mitigation plan
- Charter review commission
- Liquor permits
- Mayor’s comments
All council members were present: Mayor Cheryl Stephens, Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahil Seren, Michael Ungar and Melissa Yasinow. The meeting lasted from 7:41 to 8:23 p.m.
Political signs: Resident Sadie Stewart expressed concern about the placement of a sign for a judicial candidate. City Manager Tanisha Briley stated that the city has been enforcing the relevant ordinance and has been in communication with both the property owner and the candidate.
Police responsiveness: Stewart also commended Police Chief Mecklenburg for her time and patience in handling a neighborhood dispute.
New congregation: Jessica Shields and Betty Diggs came forward to introduce a new congregation, Peace Lutheran Church, at 3740 Mayfield Road. The new church is a consolidation of the former Bethlehem and Hope Lutheran churches. Peace Lutheran occupies the former Bethlehem Lutheran Church building. At 10 a.m. on Oct. 29 there will be a chartering and installation service. All are welcome.
Civil immigration enforcement: Resident Luke Gould voiced support for Ordinance 106-17, which would prevent the city from contacting federal immigration authorities regarding possible undocumented immigrants. The measure was presented on first reading at council’s Oct. 2 meeting. Council Member Seren noted that there will be a public hearing on this legislation on Oct. 17, 7 p.m.
Council authorized the city manager to issue a request for proposals to replace the playground equipment at Caledonia Park in 2018.
Council authorized the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to complete a project improving traffic signals and pedestrian-crossing facilities within Cleveland Heights. This will involve upgrading the intersection at Noble and Quilliams roads. The project is funded through the city’s Safe Routes to Schools infrastructure grant.
Council authorized application to the state of Ohio, through the Office of the District One Public Works Integrating Committee, for Ohio Public Works Commission funds to be used for the Washington Boulevard Rehabilitation Project.
CDBG (first reading)
Upon passage, this legislation will authorize application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for $1,587,209 through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. If the request is successful, this would mark the city's 44th year of participation.
Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative
Council authorized an application to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency for $50,000 through the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative Planning Grant program. Prepared by FutureHeights, the grant requests funding support for a study of the Coventry Village Business District and surrounding neighborhood, including the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park campus. The study would focus on improvements to pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit, and would also evaluate redevelopment opportunities on vacant or underutilized land. If the grant is awarded, the city will provide $4,000 as an 8 percent match, with the $4,000 being reimbursed to the city by FutureHeights.
Council approved a variance for Yeshiva Derech Hatorah, 1700 South Taylor Road, to permit a 6-foot-tall fence in the corner side yard next to 3436 Euclid Heights Blvd., and in the front yard next to 1732 South Taylor Road.
Council authorized an agreement with Horton Emergency Vehicles for the purchase of a new ambulance for the fire department through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services Cooperative Purchasing Program. The cost is not to exceed $256,000.
County hazards mitigation plan
Council adopted the 2017–22 update of the Countywide All Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for Cuyahoga County.
Charter review commission
Council appointed 15 members to a commission that will formally review the city’s charter for the first time in 34 years. Selected from a pool of 57 applicants, the commission members are: Patryca Ajdukiewicz, Jessica Cohen, Craig Cobb, Michael Gaynier, C. Randolph Keller, Howard Maier, John Newman Jr., David Perelman, Carla Rautenberg, Vince Reddy, Maia Rucker, Allosious Snodgrass, Katherine Solender, James Vail and Sarah West. The facilitator for the review process will be Lawrence Keller of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. All of the commission’s meetings will be public and recorded.
The Ohio Department of Liquor Control has notified council of two businesses requesting new and/or transferred liquor permits:
- Taco Heights LLC (2246 Fairmount Blvd., first floor mezzanine, basement and patio) has requested a new liquor permit as well as the transfer of permits from Russo Heights Holdings LLC (same address).
- Mayfield Coventry Inc. (2879 Mayfield Road, first floor) has requested the transfer of liquor permits from Dean Depiero Rcvr (same address). City Manager Briley reported that Police Chief Mecklenburg has written a letter objecting to this request due to high call volume and unresolved nuisance violations. Council approved a motion of support for the chief’s objections.
Mayor Stephens observed that early voting began on Oct. 11 and emphasized the importance of exercising the right to vote on ballot issues and candidates on or before Election Day, Nov. 7.
LWV Observer: Katherine Solender.
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