MINUTES OF THE CUYAHOGA COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
February 10, 2022
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission (County Planning) was called to order by Director Dever at 2:05 p.m. and the roll call showed a quorum was present.
Election of Officers
The floor was opened for nomination of Planning Commission Chair. Director Dever stated that he is open to continue as Chair.
On a motion by Councilperson Simon, seconded by Mayor Brennan with no other nominations for Chairperson from the floor, the nominations were closed. The vote was unanimous to re-elect Director Dever as Chair.
Director Dever continued chairing the meeting.
The floor was opened for nomination of Planning Commission Vice-Chair. Director Dever nominated Councilperson Simon, with a second by Mayor Bobst. Councilperson Simon accepted the nomination. With no other nominations for Vice Chairperson from the floor, the nominations were closed. The vote was unanimous to re-elect Councilperson Simon as Vice-Chair.
2022 MEETING SCHEDULE
The 2022 meeting schedule was reviewed and a Motion by Director Dever to accept the schedule, seconded by Mayor Bobst, the vote was unanimous.
COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
No requests for public comment.
On a motion by Councilperson Simon, seconded by Director Dever, the minutes for the December 9, 2021, meeting were duly adopted by unanimous vote.
Resolution No. 220210-A requesting the approval of a Professional Planning Services Agreement with the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium to prepare a Single-Family Zoning Analysis: Phase 2.
Mr. Patrick Hewitt described the primary goals for the project. While Phase 1 -previously completed – identified issues within zoning regulations that can make constructing desired infill housing difficult or cost ineffective, Phase 2 will address three major areas: outline best practices for improving zoning regulations to make infill more practicable; update codified ordinances language; and track infill housing construction over time.
Findings from Phase 1 showed several issues within the zoning regulations that limit the ability to construct new infill housing in the first suburbs communities. Inconsistencies in regulations such as maximum heights, garage setbacks, and front, back, and side setbacks can cause problems with building infill housing. The data in Phase 1 showed that 41% of parcels do not meet minimum lot size and 48% do not meet minimum lot width requirements making it problematic for infill housing an estimated 5,320 vacant lots just within single family zoned districts. Therefore, it became apparent that there is a need to describe best practices and supply resources to educate communities about infill housing.
Phase 2 will provide other deliverables to the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium as part of this study. The second deliverable is to provide code update options and best practices, supplying suggested text changes and model codes, working towards a pilot program. The third goal is to draft a design guidelines guidebook to help communities make new infill house look and feel appropriate to that community. The fourth deliverable is to outline types of available incentives to encourage and incorporate infill housing, and working with the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium, to track infill housing over time.
The financial impact of conducting this eleven-month project is estimated at a total cost of $40,000. County Planning expects to receive $35,000 in revenue from the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium, Cuyahoga County Land Bank, and additional partners, with County Planning contributing $5,000 of in-kind work. County Planning will continue its partnership with the First Suburbs Consortium and individual communities for code updates.
On a motion by Councilperson Simon, seconded by Mayor Bobst with Mayor Sellers abstaining, Resolution No. 220210-A requesting approval of a Professional Planning Services Agreement with the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium to prepare a Single-Family Zoning Analysis: Phase 2, was duly adopted by unanimous vote.
Resolution No. 220210-B requesting the approval of Phase 1 Final Plat and the extension of approval of the preliminary Master Subdivision Plan of The Sanctuary of Olmsted and The Preserve of Olmsted PRD Subdivision located in Olmsted Township.
Ms. Meghan Chaney recognized the attendance at the meeting of Mr. Jim O’Connor from Pulte Homes who is the applicant for this Final Plat, and Chris George and Laura Weber from Public Works. Pulte Homes of Ohio LLC is requesting approval of the Final Plat for Phase 1 of The Sanctuary of Olmsted and The Preserve of Olmsted (The Sanctuary & Preserve) Planned Residential Development (PRD) Subdivision in Olmsted Township, and the extension of approval of the Preliminary Master Subdivision Plan. The property is located on the south side of John Road, between Fitch and Columbia Roads in Olmsted Township and is identified by parcel numbers 262-05-001 and 262-05-006. Phase 1 of The Sanctuary & Preserve is in the northwest portion of the subdivision. The Overall Subdivision proposed 136 single family homes to be built in 5 phases, with Pulte Homes of Ohio developing Phases 1, 3, and 4 and Valore Builders developing Phases 2 and 5.
In February 2020, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission granted conditional approval for the Master Subdivision Plan and Preliminary Plans for Phases 1 and 2 of The Sanctuary & Preserve PRD Subdivision via Resolution No. 200213-A. In the following years, Phase 1 improvement plans were submitted to and approved by the Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works and improvements were constructed. On January 12, 2022, Pulte Homes of Ohio applied for Phase 1 Final Plat approval, which would create 38 single family residential sublots on 36.4 acres of land. This phase also includes the creation of Open Space Block B, consisting of 0.6 acres of qualifying open space, 2,179 lineal feet of roadway, and 3,691 lineal feet of sidewalk.
Pulte Homes of Ohio have submitted all requisite information and items according to Section 105.6 of the County Subdivision Regulations and have furthermore built Phase 1 according to the standards approved in improvement plans. The Final Plat is consistent with the Preliminary Plan approved by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and the PRD zoning granted by the Township. Conditions set forth for the approval of the Preliminary Plan have been largely addressed, with one item still needing finalization. Infrastructure improvements have been completed to the satisfaction of Public Works and the Township, and maintenance and performance guarantees are forthcoming. Olmsted Township has determined that the Final Plat is consistent with governing Township zoning requirements and conforms with pertinent local regulations.
The recommendation is to approve the Final Plat for Phase 1 of The Sanctuary & Preserve PRD Subdivision, and therefore an extension of the approval of the Master Subdivision Plan subject to nine (9) conditions. Several items must be addressed before the Final Plat can be signed. Noted by Ms. Chaney was that one of the conditions that was originally included in the resolution and staff report has been removed. The condition, which stated that clarification regarding yard drain connection to the storm sewer must be made at the time when sublots topographic plans are submitted, was included in error. While still an important consideration, topographic plans are submitted only after the Final Plat has been approved and filed. Therefore, it would be incorrect to include this as a stipulation to be performed before the signing of the Final Plat.
The conditions of approval are as follows:
- All language pertaining to title restrictions, easements, and dedication of lands, including sight distance easements, storm sewer easements, utility easements, and temporary turn-around easements, must be verified as correct and consistent on all final plat map sheets.
- Line and curve tables and other technical aspects must be verified as correct by the County Surveyor.
- The as-builts developed by Fechko Excavating must be signed, sealed, and dated by a professional surveyor registered in the State of Ohio.
- Sheet C-034 of the as-builts must be signed by Michael A. Ackerman, P.S.
- Pulte Homes must submit the required maintenance guarantees for completed improvements for review and approval to the County Law Department.
- Pulte Homes must submit the required performance guarantees for deferred improvements for review and approval to the County Law Department.
- Installation of the gas connection for the pump station generator must be completed and inspected by the Department of Public Works.
- The Cleveland Water meter installation has not been completed. Pulte has indicated they are awaiting a response from the Cleveland Division of Water on when the meter can be installed.
- A finalized legal instrument limiting any future expansion of the Renaissance to an additional 500 residents must be submitted to and approved by the County Law Department.
On a motion by Director Dever, seconded by Mayor DiCicco, Resolution No. 220210-B requesting approval of the Phase 1 Final Plat and the extension of approval of the preliminary Master Subdivision Plan of The Sanctuary of Olmsted and The Preserve of Olmsted PRD Subdivision located in Olmsted Township with the nine (9) listed conditions, was duly adopted by unanimous vote.
Resolution No. 220210-C requesting the approval of the provision of planning and administrative services to the Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability in support of the implementation of the Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Grant Program for PY2022.
Ms. Alison Ball explained that County Planning has been administrating the Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Grant Program on behalf of the Department of Sustainability along with the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, and Cuyahoga County Board of Health. The purpose of the grant program is to increase tree canopy and help lessen the impacts of climate change as a part of the 2019 Cuyahoga County Climate Change Initiative. The PY 2022 program goals are to:
- Add large scale planting
- Expand tree canopy in areas that are vulnerable
- Plant trees in open or vacant parcels
- Establish new tree canopy
- Protect existing tree canopy
- Establish plans and policies that promote tree canopy
Ms. Ball gave a summary of HUTC program since 2019 with a hiatus in 2020 with 51 projects awarded funds to 37 applicants from 22 municipalities, planting of over 2,700 trees, 17 plans for future planting work, over 14,500 potential planting sites identified, and funding for two tree nurseries in Cuyahoga County.
The HUTC program is a competitive program that is scored by a team that consists of Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability, and the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Grant evaluation criteria and points were explained with a maximum point that equal 100 possible points:
- Budget and Local Match, 5 points
- Readiness to Proceed, 10 points
- Urban Forest Initiative, 10 points
- Qualified Personnel, 10 points
- Project Planting Plan, 15 points
- Maintenance and Survivability Plans, 15 points
- Climate Vulnerability Assessment, 10 points
- Equity Zones, 5 points
- Existing Tree Canopy (% cover), 15 points
- Partnerships, Innovation, and other Factors, 5 points
Ms. Ball reported on the program schedule with materials becoming available on Thursday, January 27, 2022, an applicant webinar on Thursday, February 10, 2022, with the applications due on Monday, February 28, 2022. Evaluation and scoring to begin starting March 1, 2022, announcement of the awards by Monday, April 4, 2022, with agreements being entered into shortly thereafter and a mandatory workshop for awardees to review the reimbursement procedures. The grants must be completed by June 30, 2023, with a final report being submitted to County Planning.
Mayor Bobst spoke of the innovative project that this grant helped in Rocky River, planting trees on private property that had the largest amount of canopy loss. Ms. Ball also noted that this is not a tree lawn program that harms sidewalks and interfere with overhead wires. Mayor Brennan asked about the financial impact of County Planning administering the project in-kind when staff commitment could be used on planning projects. Director Cierebiej stated that the time used is substantial but as each program year advances it becomes less time consuming and is an important program in the County. Councilperson Simon reported that the Department of Sustainability only has three (3) employees at this time, and it is on the radar that more are needed to continue programs.
On a motion by Director Dever, seconded by Councilperson Simon, Resolution No. 220210-C requesting approval of the provision of planning and administration services to the Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability in support of the implementation of the Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Grant Program for PY 2022, was duly adopted by unanimous vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Director Mary Cierebiej gave an update on new Commission board seats. The South-Central Region Appointment nomination is Mayor Gallagher, City of Brooklyn. This appointment introduced to County Council on February 8th 2022 and will go before the HR Appointments & Equity Committee on February 15, 2022 with a final County Council vote on February 22nd, 2022. The City of Cleveland Appointment nomination is Planning Director, Joyce Huang (alternate Matthew Moss), and is pending County Council action/approval. The Southwest Region Appointment is to be determined and will follow the same process for County Council action/approval. County Planning has been working with the Law Department to align the Planning Commission bylaws with the County ordinances to rectify any disconnects so there are no questions or delays for future appointments.
In 2021 Elaine Price presented an update on the Greenways Plan and asked for assistance with outreach to the mayors in the region. Mayor Bobst hosted County Planning at the Westshore Council of Governments (COG) meeting in January 2022 to present to local Mayors and received great feedback. Lisa Barno from the Mayors and Managers Association attended that meeting and asked that County Planning present the Greenway Plans at a Cuyahoga County Mayor and Managers meeting. County Planning is scheduled to present at the February 24th meeting.
Director Cierebiej reported that the US Census Bureau reached out to County Planning about the Communities Databook which County Planning published. County Planning has been invited to present the Databook to the 2022 Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership Virtual Workshop Committee in April, 2022.
The Lakefront Public Access Plan team submitted a session concept for the Greater and Greener National Conference, and word was received that it has been selected. Jim Sonnhalter of County Planning, Allison Lucasy Love (formerly City of Euclid, now Greater Cleveland Partnership) and consultant Jason Stangland from SmithGroup will be presenting in Philadelphia this June. Director Dever announced that there will also be a presentation before County Council’s, Finance Committee for an overview of the progress with the project.
County Planning will be hosting a student from a local university for an internship- a Cleveland State University intern, Paul Triolo, will be starting on Tuesday, Feb 15th. There has been great success with University of Cincinnati interns and County Planning will continue to host those students in the future as well. County Planning was not selected for the summer fellowship from Cleveland Foundation but will try again for a Fall, 2022 placement.
Director Cierebiej presented a chart of all current projects, the percentage completed and the targeted end date. Projects ending are the Community Confluence TLCI, Solon Connects Plan, and Westlake’s Center Ridge Road Corridor Plan. In 2021, there was a pause on new Planning Grants because of the heavy workload, COVID delays and challenges to complete existing planning grant projects. County Planning will be evaluating capacity for 2022 Planning Grants with a narrow focus and limited in number. While still under review, applications would go out in the summer and be awarded in the fall.
Director Cierebiej also reported that an inaugural edition of an annual report is forthcoming to introduce the Planning Commission and showcase the planning work being done.
It is anticipated that a March, 2022 meeting may be necessary to review an upcoming contract and there may be another subdivision decision.
There was no old business.
There was no new business.
On a motion by Director Dever, seconded by Councilperson Simon, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
Next tentative meeting is scheduled for March 10, 2022.
CUYAHOGA COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
February 10, 2022
|Mayor Pamela Bobst||Yes|
|Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan||Yes|
|Councilperson Yvonne Conwell||Yes|
|Mayor Michael Byrne||Yes|
|Director Michael Dever||Yes|
|Mayor Anthony DiCicco||Yes|
|Mayor Michael Procuk||Yes|
|Mayor Brad Sellers||Yes|
|Councilperson Sunny Simon||Yes|