Board of Zoning Appeals & City Planning Commission, March 2017

May 2nd, 2017  |  Published in Observer Reports

Board of Zoning Appeals and City Planning Commission
April 4, 2017

Present: Jack Boyle, Kevin Dreyfuss-Wells, David Weiss, Rob Zimmerman, Mayor Leiken
Also present: Joyce Braverman, Dan Feinstein, Planning Department; William Gruber, Law Director

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Leiken at 7 p.m.



This was a continuation of a public hearing on the request of Rhonda DiOrio and Kyle Rose, Positive Education Program (PEP), 14201 Southington Road, to install a fence around a proposed garden along Keswick Road. The case was continued at the March meeting in order for the applicant to discuss the proposal with the neighbors. The applicant met with the neighbors and now proposes to install a 6-foot-tall wood-framed wire fence surrounding the garden in one of two locations: the originally proposed location adjacent to the playground and parking lot setback 52 feet from Keswick Road, or an alternate location in the Keswick yard adjacent to the school building 30 feet off Keswick Road. Code requires the fence only be 4 feet tall in the Keswick Road front yard. The fence is proposed to enclose a new therapeutic garden area, which will be utilized by the school’s students. The fence is proposed to be screened along Keswick Road with a mix of bayberry bushes, little bluestem grasses, and St. John’s Wort.

A Keswick resident commented at the public hearing that she appreciated the meetings with the applicant.

As moved by Mr. Boyle, second by Mr. Dreyfuss-Wells, a variation allowing a 6-foot fence and a setback variance of 25 feet was unanimously approved. Staff will approve the landscaping.


A public hearing was held on the request of Kenneth Fisher, on behalf of Lisa Heiser, 2685 Rochester Road, for a variance to the location and setback requirements for outdoor mechanical units. The applicant proposed to install new pool equipment in the side yard, located 10 feet from the side property line. The existing side yard is 16 feet wide. The pool equipment is no more than 4 feet tall. The code requires that pool equipment be located in the rear yard only and screened from view. The applicant proposes to screen the units with taxus evergreen bushes and a 4-foot-tall fence along the property line.

There was no comment at the public hearing.

As moved by Mr. Weiss, second by Mr. Boyle, the variance was granted unanimously.



Mr. Boyle recused himself from this portion of the meeting.

This was a continuation of a public hearing on the request of Amanda Graeter, Process Canine, for variances and a Conditional Use Permit in order to operate a dog daycare business. This case was continued from the March meeting in order for the applicant and staff to respond to questions from the Board and neighbors. The applicant met with the neighbors and revised the plans to add fencing and parking lot landscaping, and to relocate the dumpster. The proposed business will utilize indoor and outdoor space at the former Lee Road Nursery property for a dog daycare, training and boarding facility. A Conditional Use Permit is required for a use similar to an animal hospital/veterinarian office. A variance is required to locate this business closer than 100 lineal feet to a residential use. A variance is required to enclose the dumpster with a wood fence instead of the required brick wall and to locate it in the side yard instead of the rear yard. The dumpster has been moved closer to the building. A fence landscaping variance is required for an 8-foot-tall cedar fence facing Lee Road without required landscaping to soften a fence facing the street. Code requires a 20-foot landscape buffer and a 6-foot-tall brick wall adjacent to the residential district along the rear property line. A variance is required to provide an 8-foot-tall solid cedar fence, set back 5 feet from the rear property line, with the existing trees, grass and asphalt area adjacent to the rear property line. Landscaping is required at the south side property line and along the front edge of the parking lot. A 5-foot-wide landscape strip with 2- and 3-foot-tall landscaping has been added to soften the parking lot from the street. Only a wood fence is proposed along the south property line. A parking variance is required as 19 parking spaces are required and 14 are proposed. Council confirmation is required.

Nick Fedor, Executive Director of the Shaker Heights Development Corporation, which owns the property, said that this would be an important business for the Lee Road area. Ms. Graeter has met with the neighbors and businesses and has revised the site plan as recommended at the March meeting. Five businesses have signed a statement in favor of the applicant. The fencing plan and the landscaping plan have been modified. There would not be a need for the 19 required parking spaces, since the patrons would drop off their dogs and would not require long-term parking.

At the public hearing, two of Ms. Graeter’s current customers stated that her current business is always extremely clean, and the dogs are trained and very well behaved.

Several neighbors on Sudbury whose properties abut the rear of this property commented that they were extremely concerned about noise and odors. Others in the Moreland area supported the idea of a new sustainable business in the area. Ms. Graeter said that the building masonry is very thick, and that noise would be contained. Also, special dumpsters are designed to keep rodents out.

Mayor Leiken said that he believed the business will be well managed, and that there will be adequate parking. He moved approval of the variances. It was seconded by Mr. Dreyfuss-Wells, and approved unanimously. The Conditional Use Permit must still be approved by City Council. The business will have 18 months to complete the site plan; staff will approve landscaping.


A public hearing was held on the request of the City of Shaker Heights for a resubdivision of land in order to dedicate right-of-way. The city proposes to resubdivide city-owned property and dedicate right-of-way at the Farnsleigh Road parking lot. The city proposes to dedicate up to 7.2 feet of additional right-of-way to the north side of Farnsleigh Road to accommodate the future Van Aken District Path. The city-owned parcel 736-10-001 will be reconfigured to accommodate the proposed trail. A resubdivision of land requires City Planning Commission review. Council action is required to dedicate the right-of-way.

As moved by Mr. Weiss, second by Mr. Boyle, the request was unanimously granted.

The minutes of the meeting of March 7 were approved on the motion of Mr. Weiss, second by Mr. Dreyfuss-Wells.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.
Gail Gibson

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