Board of Zoning Appeals/City Planning Commission, March 2019

March 29th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Board of Zoning Appeals/City Planning Commission

March 5, 2019

Members Present: Mayor David Weiss; Councilman Rob Zimmerman; citizen members John Boyle, Kevin Dreyfuss-Wells, Joanna Ganning

Others Present: Dan Feinstein, senior planner; William Gruber, director of law

Absent: Joyce Braverman, director of planning

The agenda for this meeting may be found here: (

Mayor Weiss called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. The minutes of the February meeting were approved and are available here: (


Elizabeth Billings, Around the Table Yarns LLC, requested a variance to the sign regulation for the size of a primary wall sign. This is a new business on the Chagrin Boulevard side of Shaker Plaza. The sign consists of 10-inch-tall individually illuminated letters with a logo integrated into the design. The logo includes a knitting needle that extends a few inches above the sign, which increases its overall size. Staff suggested approval because the sign is in proportion to the storefront and meets code requirements without the needle. Further, the logo creates a nice design. The Architectural Board of Review approved the sign and supports the variance. There were no comments during the public hearing. The panel unanimously approved the variance.

Supporting documents are available here: (


Trevor Shaw requested a variance to the height and setback requirements for front-yard fences. The Shaw property extends from South Woodland Road through to Van Aken Boulevard. The applicant has installed a 6-foot-tall wood board-on-board fence that faces Van Aken, creating a front-yard fence. The applicant stated that a 3-foot-tall fence, the height limit according to code, would neither keep their dog in the yard nor deter deer. The fence also does not meet code in that the setback is less than the required 33 feet. The existing landscaping of bushes and trees is proposed to remain to soften the view of the fence from Van Aken. Staff recommended a continuance so the applicant can submit a detailed landscape plan and determine the minimum height to serve the purpose. Mr. Zimmerman commented that the board should not serve an advisory role and that continuances should be used more sparingly. Applicants should work with staff on variables for each case and provide enough information for rulings to be made. There were no comments during the public hearing. The panel unanimously approved the continuance.

Supporting documents are available here:



The request, an accommodation for a person with disability, had been withdrawn.

The mayor adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.

Barbara Bradley

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