Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-21-13

OCTOBER 21, 2013

  • Bicycle Friendly Community award
  • Litigation against gas station
  • Transportation Advisory Committee
  • Nighttown benefit for hit and run victim
  • Contractual authority change
  • Vehicle and equipment purchases
  • Sewer overflow project
  • Leaf collection
  • Zoning variances
  • Vacant business structures
  • Nuisance properties
  • Halloween

All council members were present.

Bicycle Friendly Community award

Resident Joy Henderson, vice president of the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC), presented to the city the League of American Bicyclists’ Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award. The award recognizes the progress the city and HBC have made together toward making Cleveland Heights more bike and pedestrian friendly. She gave special thanks to Richard Wong, planning director; Mary Dunbar, council member; public school physical education teachers; and city staff. Henderson also spoke in praise of the ordinance establishing a Transportation Advisory Committee, to be introduced this evening.

Litigation against gas station

Attorney Richard Fenbert, who is representing a Cleveland Heights gas station currently in litigation with the city, said his client has made improvements to the station and its security problems. He admitted that his client has made mistakes but expressed the feeling that the case should not have been litigated. He stated that the case would hear more witnesses and closing arguments on the following day and that his client wants to work with zoning and planning officials. He offered to answer questions, but the mayor declined because the case is currently in Common Pleas Court.

Transportation Advisory Committee

Council approved an ordinance establishing a Transportation Advisory Committee and prescribing the composition and duties of the committee. Members will be recruited soon from various constituencies of Cleveland Heights residents and businesses, as well as city staff and the Regional Transit Authority. The committee will meet once a quarter and submit an annual report to council.

Nighttown benefit for hit and run victim

A benefit will be held at Nighttown on Sunday, Oct. 27 to help Mindy Manyo who was severely injured in a bicycle accident by a hit-and-run driver. Donations can also be made through Fifth-Third Bank.

Contractual authority change

Council amended city code language regarding contracts to authorize the city manager to enter into agreements involving expenditures of $50,000 or less without the need for council approval.

Vehicle and equipment purchases

Council authorized the purchase of equipment for the Department of Public Works, including a front loader refuse truck with an auto lube system for $265,771.60, plus $4,554 for the lube system, and a paint line striping trailer for $9,189.

Council also approved the purchase of a 2014 International tow truck for the police department at a price not to exceed $93,500 from Rush Truck Centers.

Sewer overflow project

Council authorized application to the Ohio Public Works Commission for funds for the Fairmount Boulevard Sanitary Sewer Overflow Relief Sewer Project. This project will correct five places where the sanitary sewers overflow into the storm sewers and thence into Lake Erie.

Leaf collection

Leaf collection begins next week and continues for a month, with each street having at least two pickups, one every other week.

Zoning variances

Council approved zoning variances to:

  • Daniel Levin, 2115 Lamberton Road, from fence height regulations in order to enclose a corner side lot.
  • Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, Lee Road Branch, from sign regulations in order to compensate for interruption of sight lines caused by the position of the bridge.
  • David Greenberger, 3709 Shannon Road, from regulations concerning parking spaces and garage area.
  • Susan Kutash, 3044 Somerton Road, from minimum yard requirements for accessory uses for the building of a new garage.
  • Cinda and Josh Coldwell, 2813 Edgehill Road, from fence height regulations to permit a higher retaining wall needed to reduce erosion in the corner side lot.

Vacant business structures

Council amended the city code to renumber and amend sections regarding standards for business occupancies and to enact a new section entitled “Maintenance of Vacant Business Structures.” This is a complex ordinance designed to impose additional standards for vacant business structures to reduce the burden and blight that can occur.

Council also amended an additional section of the same code to prohibit the boarding up of a structure for more than fourteen days without approval of the building commissioner.

Nuisance properties

Council declared two vacant properties to be nuisances and authorized abatement. These properties are:

  • 3300 East Overlook Road, owned by Phoenix Properties. Estimated cost for asbestos survey, razing, and cleanup is $20,500.
  • 891 Lecona Drive, owned by Frederick and Donna Rakes. Estimated cost for asbestos survey, razing, and cleanup is $15,500.


Halloween trick-or-treating in Cleveland Heights will take place on Thursday, Oct. 31 from 6–8 p.m. Because there have been a number of recent break-ins in Forest Hills, including on the mayor’s property, the mayor reminded residents to close garages, lock cars, keep porch lights on, and report anything that seems suspicious to police.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

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 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 Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:25 AM, 11.08.2013