Planning Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals, April 2, 2019

May 7th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Members Present: David Weiss, mayor and chair; John Boyle and Joanna Ganning, citizen members

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

The agenda for this meeting may be found here:


Mayor Weiss called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

The minutes of the March 5, 2019, meeting were approved without comment and are available here:


City Planning Commission

FERNWAY SCHOOL – 17420 Fernway Road:

Public hearing on the request of Chris Dewey, Van Auken Akins Architects, on behalf of the Shaker Heights City School District for subdivision of land in order to create, out of the current Fernway School parcel, a new parcel on the southern portion of the site. The new parcel extends between Dorchester and Ardmore roads, is 120 feet wide, totals 31,200 square feet, and is to encompass the proposed new playground and field. This meeting is just for the subdivision of land; another meeting will be held to approve the site plan for the playground and community park/playing field. Part of the city’s grant application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources requires purchasing the parcel from the school district. The city will then complete a long-term lease-back agreement with the school district for the operation and maintenance of the playground and park/field. If the grant is denied, the parcel will revert to Fernway School. The mayor commented that, while a terrible occurrence, the fire at Fernway School has provided an opportunity for the city to access funds otherwise unavailable to the school district in order to rebuild the school, making improvements, and also create a park/field that will benefit the entire community. Staff supports the subdivision of land.

During the public hearing one neighbor, whose lot abuts the proposed playground/park, relayed his concern about the level of activity at the site. The mayor noted the comment for the record and said the opportunity to discuss the noise/activity will be available during a future meeting to approve the plans for the playground and park.

The panel unanimously approved the new subdivision of land.

Supporting documents are available here:



Public hearing on the request of the City of Shaker Heights for amendments to the zoning ordinance text for the regulations for Child Day Care Homes, Types A and B. The current code language is dated and needed revision. The changes to Accessory Use sections require registration and inspection of all child daycare homes, and the new language matches current city department names and other changes. The changes to Conditional Use section include adding State of Ohio definitions: Type A allows seven to 12 children at one time and must have a state license; Type B allows one to six children at one time but no license is required. Both types must comply with the requirements listed in city ordinances.

Staff supports the zoning text amendment.

During the public hearing, four citizens asked the panel to consider the neighbors, in different ways. All were concerned with noise and decline of property values on streets with child day care homes. One neighbor said that a number of surrounding suburbs and Cleveland itself do not allow Type A daycare homes, and then asked if Shaker residents had a choice. Mrs. Braverman noted that the state determined that daycare is an important issue and preempted local zoning for Type B. She also stated that three hearings had occurred concerning Type A homes and, while the vote was not unanimous, City Council voted to keep them as long as they were appropriately regulated. Mr. Boyle stated that every Type A must have a conditional use permit provided by this panel, and further requirements may be instituted in the process of each approval.

It was also noted that updating the zoning texts and presenting the revisions to the board and public was the first step in the process. The new language makes it possible to know the locations and regulate Type B daycare homes, as it requires registration with the city. Citizens will have another opportunity to voice their opinions on issues other than code language at the three readings scheduled (April 22, May 28, and June 10 or 24), and further meetings, should they be necessary, as well as to speak to individual council members.

The panel unanimously approved the zoning text amendments.

Supporting documents are available here:


In an update about the Van Aken District, Mrs. Braverman noted some additions/changes to new establishments as the Architectural Board of Review required: the glass for Michael’s restaurant, which will all be the same, and finalization of the Jonathan Sawyer entrance and patio.

The mayor adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

The next meeting is May 7, 2019, 7 p.m.

Barbara Bradley, League observer

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