Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals, Feb. 4, 2020

February 11th, 2020  |  Published in Observer Reports, Uncategorized

Members Present: David Weiss, mayor and chair; Sean Malone, council member; Kevin Dreyfus-Wells, citizen member

Others Present: Joyce Braverman, director of planning; Dan Feinstein, senior planner; William M. Gruber, law director

The agenda and all supporting documents for this meeting may be found here:

The meeting was said to be recorded, but the audio was not available at the time of this writing; there is still no audio of the January 2020 meeting available.

Mayor Weiss called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. Mr. Feinstein had been waiting for Dr. Ganning to arrive, but she was delayed and did not get to the meeting. Before attending to the meeting’s business, Mayor Weiss welcomed Sean Malone as the council representative to the Board of Zoning Appeals/City Planning Commission.

The minutes of the Jan. 7, 2020, meeting were approved unanimously, with one correction.

Fernway School – 17420 Fernway Road

Public Hearing on the request of Chris Dewey, Van Auken Akins Architects, on behalf of the Shaker Heights School District, Fernway School, for site plan review, subdivision of land, and variances in order to expand the parking lot and consolidate the playground as part of the renovation of the school. Two building additions and a subdivision of land were approved last year as part of the renovation of the fire-damaged school building. The site work includes expansion of the parking lot on the Dorchester Road side of the building and consolidation and relocation of the outdoor play area to the southern rear yard. The applicant proposes to consolidate two parcels of land. The proposed parking lot adds 18 spaces in the Dorchester Road side yard, set back 12 feet from the property line and screened with shrubs, but code requires a 50-foot setback from the street and a 25-foot landscape area for a parking lot. The dumpsters are proposed to be enclosed with a masonry wall and remain located in the Ardmore Road side yard, but code allows dumpsters only in the rear yard (Fernway School has three front yards since it faces three streets).

During the public hearing, Brendan Daly, a resident of Ardmore Road whose property abuts the southern rear yard of the school, expressed concern about the proposed landscape screening for the playground and what he believed would be increased use of the site, perhaps even to 24/7/365, when finished. The architect stated there would be ample site lighting and the mayor indicated regular police patrols of the area would prevent problems.

Staff suggested approval of the site plan and variances to both dumpster location and parking ordinances, with the conditions that the final subdivision to combine two parcels into one under district ownership be submitted to the city and filed with the county, and that a taller shrub species be used in the landscape bed on the Dorchester Road side

The board voted unanimously to approve the site plan and variances.

The meeting was adjourned around 8:00 p.m. The next meeting is March 3 at 7 p.m.

Barbara Bradley, observer

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