Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-29-2021
NOVEMBER 29, 2021 – special meeting
- Public comments
- Cedar-Lee Meadowbrook resolution
- Committee of the whole
- Council vacancy
Present were Council Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Melody Joy Hart, Josie Moore, and Michael Ungar. President Jason Stein and Davida Russell were excused. Also present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting was 18 minutes.
Public comments were permitted only on the single agenda item: the Cedar/Lee/Meadowbrook project. Two residents urged council to delay action on the development project and save as much green space as possible. They objected to the process that has been used. Another resident spoke in support of the project, citing the value of greater diversity of housing options and enhancement of the Cedar-Lee district. She also commented that the parking garage is underutilized. Fran Mentch, on behalf of People for the Park, announced that almost 3,800 petition signatures have been submitted for a May ballot initiative to create a park on Lee Road at Tullamore. She thanked all who participated.
Council Member-Elect Tony Cuda asked if details related to the number of stories and landscaping can be determined before council votes and, if not, why not.
The resolution authorizing a development agreement with F&C Development, Inc. to construct a mixed-use residential and commercial project on city-owned land at Cedar Road, Lee Road, and Meadowbrook, received a second reading and no vote.
Committee of the whole
Council convened a committee of the whole meeting after the special meeting, where they heard a discussion on the Cedar/Lee/Meadowbrook development lead by Tim Boland, the city’s economic development director. Also present were Eric Zamft, planning director, and several other experts who answered council member’s questions. The most discussed point was the parking garage. Currently, the city pays $460,000 to retire debt on this garage. The facility is currently rated as “underutilized.” The developer agreement contains a clause that F&C Development will reimburse the city annually for 60 percent of the debt payment in exchange for the opportunity to lease 60 percent of the space to tenants. When the debt is paid off in 2033, the developer will then assume ownership as well as maintenance costs. Public parking will still be allowed and cost the user a market rate for the space. Contents of the development agreement with F&C Development Inc. can be found in the packet attached to the council committee of the whole meeting for Nov. 29, 2021. The recorded meeting can be found on YouTube.
Prior to the November 29, 2021 Special Meeting, Council Member Hart held a meeting of current and elected members to discuss council vacancy filling procedures in anticipation of a vacancy resulting from Kahlil Seren’s election as mayor. Present were: Anthony Mattox, Melody Joy Hart, Tony Cuda, Craig Cobb, Josie Moore, Law Director Hanna, City Manager O’Neil and Finance Director Himmelein. They discussed the application process and subsequent interviewing protocols. Another point of discussion was whether or not to have the League of Women Voters CHUH Chapter conduct recorded videos of applicants; time constraints could be an issue. The recorded meeting can be found on YouTube.
LWV Observers: Jill Tatem and Gail Larson.
Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found on the city website at: https://www.clevelandheights.com/1142/2021-Agendas-and-Minutes
Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of Cleveland Heights, OH” YouTube channel: https://www.yout