Ordinance Committee Meeting Minutes from March 7, 2017


MARCH 7, 2017

Committee Chair Mr. Hoefle opened the meeting at approximately 6:49 ­­­p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Hoefle, Mr. Meyers and Mr. Spotton. Present from Council were Mr. Zuren, Mr. Kasunick and Mr. Evers.  Council President Ms. DePledge was absent and excused.

In attendance from the Administration were Mayor Morley, Chief Whittington, Chief Reik, CBO Menn, Service Director Rubertino and Finance Director Schindel. Law Director Klammer was absent and excused.

Also in attendance were members of the public.


  1. Medical Marijuana Ordinance

    Mr. Hoefle: We have proposed on here the medical marijuana ordinance and since we are receiving a lot of that this evening we are going to re-schedule it and it will be held at our next Ordinance Committee Meeting.


  1. Deer Control 

    Mr. Hoefle: We had a meeting that was three weeks Mr. Spotton?

    Mr. Spotton: Yeah.

    Mr. Hoefle: The ordinance has been sent out to everybody.  Were there any other changes or anything else that anybody had to address?  Because as it stands I think that it is cut and dry as to what we were looking at.  Everybody knows and I believe that Ms. DePledge stated her opinion of it in the last meeting that she is not in favor of it.  It was a hard one for me as well, because I am not in favor of it, but I was trying to get something put together and I have done a lot of research on it.  This is what our Law Director drafted up for us on this.  He put it to me and the rest of Council…if anybody has any questions on it we will address those right now at this time.  Is there anyone on the committee have anything?  Mr. Spotton?

    Mr. Spotton: Like I said at the previous meeting and I expressed to you without having those hard cut offs and rules makes it very difficult for anybody to fit into those perimeters.  I said before to put some language in that says “along the lines of…fits into those rules and/or deems safe by the Police Chief and/or his/her designee.”  Without that type of language introduced to that I don’t think that anybody can fit in the box that we have set in right now.

    Mr. Hoefle: Like I said I gave this to our Law Director and we looked at it and wanted to have it more cut and dry…specific and to the point with the actual feet and all of that.  A thousand feet from schools, playgrounds, daycares, and parks and three hundred feet from a residential property.  That is where we are at with it and I would not be in favor of leaving it up to designee’s to use…just having to many variables in regards to that and that is my opinion on it.  Does anybody else have any comments?  Mr. Zuren?

    Mr. Zuren: I just have a few comments and I believe that it is too restrictive and we should give more control over to the land owner.  The legislation I think is to the point where no one would be able to use it.  I just wanted to make those comments on it.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Meyers do you have anything?  When I looked at it I was also looking at…when you look at the facts we realized that we do not have a safety issue with the traffic in deer related accidents.  Chief Reik provided us with the stats on that.  All of the other neighboring communities around us they are not going to do anything and I actually contacted the Metro Parks.  Because with a few of the residential properties along Reeves Road where they could do it…I will be honest with you I think it was Mr. DeMilta’s property he backs up to the Metro Parks.  They were leaning that they liked the thousand feet, because you could have a trail that could wind right through there.  We could…my opinion I’m going to leave it the way that it is.  It is up to the committee what they want to do.  It is up to you guys you are on the committee so if you want to take this and make changes to it.  I will be honest with you I won’t be for it and if it does go to Council-As-A-Whole I will make it very clear that I will not be approving it as well.  Mr. Kasunick?

    Mr. Kasunick: My issue is having it go to the voters this should go to the voters.  I would personally be okay with a little flexibility with these distances of a thousand feet and three hundred feet.  As long as it is reasonable…maybe two hundred feet instead of three hundred feet and seven hundred instead of a thousand feet or something like that.  If you think that would make it so that more people could do it.  I think that there has to be something there.  Personally I would be flexible if we can…I would still vote for it if provided that number one it goes to the voters and those numbers are just something.  They are reasonable I think that they provide for safety and I am for it.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Zuren?

    Mr. Zuren: I think that because all land is different and we the lake and properties up against the lake and there are streets everything…there are so many variables it’s too hard to just be cut and dry on a thousand feet.  I think that it really has to be up to the decision of the Police Chief or his designee.  If it was changed to that where they can make the determination, which I am more comfortable with them saying a thousand feet is not enough, because of the situation.  Or a hundred feet is enough because it goes right into Lake Erie.  I am more comfortable with the Police Chief making that decision then just a car blonk as a thousand feet.  If it ended up going to the voters and I had the comfort of the Police Chief making the final decision I would be all for that.  I think that it comes down to somebody that I put my full faith and trust in to make this type of decision and that would solely be the Police Chief or who he deems as his designee.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?

    Mr. Kasunick: As far as the lake I don’t think that either one of these figures would pertain to the lake…three hundred feet from a residential and obviously the lake isn’t and that’s not going to affect that.  The same with a school or a playground or whatever this thousand feet distance covers and I think that the lake…but you do have to have some distance between the neighboring residences.  I think that as a matter of saying…you have children and stuff on some of these other designated things that we’ve discussed.  And of course roadways we don’t want a deer running out or stumbling out onto the road while it is hit.  So I think that there should be strict numbers there and not in just some bodies discursion.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?

    Mayor Morley: I think that when the Division of Wildlife was here and he said that there could be a workable solution and I am okay with however you guys want to go.  I just think that it’s to the point where you have to make a decision.  If we are going to continue to have meetings and just do this…you need to make a decision that you don’t want to do it.  I get the calls from the residents and I’ve talked to the residents, but if we are going to do it we can’t make it that if you’re going to do it that its okay we passed the ordinance but no one can do it.  If we are going to do that my personal opinion is to just table it and be done with it.  If you want to go to the residents then you bring back Jeffery from the Division of Wildlife.  I thought that the one meeting went very well and we sat with the Chief and with Mr. Vogler and we had a decent way to look at it.  We can’t put restrictions it if it’s not going to be used and to just say that we have an ordinance on deer, but no one is going to be able to do it.  That’s my opinion and I think that it is time for that decision.  If a majority of Council doesn’t want to do they just need to table it and I think that the people who come to our meetings and want to do it may not be happy, but I think that they will respect your decisions.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Zuren?

    Mr. Zuren: I do think that there are a large number of people and I don’t know the percentages that do want deer culling.  All properties have and there are multiple sides of each property and with the way that it was explained that there will be a stand and the arrow will be pointing down towards the ground…it could only be directed towards a certain angle.  So if that angle is towards the lake, or if that angle is towards a vacant property in the back…even though there is a school that maybe five hundred feet away.  If the arrow can only be shot towards Lake Erie, towards the ground from an eight or ten foot stands…it almost is irrelevant.  It’s not going to go anywhere near…five hundred feet away from a school building or a church.  It really needs to be sole the determination of the Police Chief, which we all have our full faith and trust in.  That is my comment on the restrictions.

    Mr. Hoefle: Is there anybody else?  Mr. Rubertino?

    Mr. Rubertino: Since November we have probably pick up a minimum of forty-five dead deer on the road.  So whether or not that they are all getting turned into the Police Department I’m not sure…I’m sure insurance wise they might be and they may not be.  There might not be some substantial damage to the vehicles themselves.  But the amount of deer on the roads is substantial.  This week alone we picked up four…I’m sorry within the last week, because today is Tuesday.  So Thursday we had two and we had one yesterday and one today.  This is an average for a week is four to six deer that we are getting in months of November…rut and they are just substantially amounts of them out there.  Whether or not if they are getting turned in or not I don’t know, but there is a lot of road kill out there.  You might not see it.  They are ending up in yards and we are getting calls and we don’t normally go onto private property to pick up deer, but we can’t leave a dead deer sitting at some bodies door step or in their bushes.  So we are forced to go up there and remove them and we have to take the time and energy to get that deer and get it covered with lime and dispose of it properly.  There is a great amount of wildlife being killed out there and road kill on the deer.  I just wanted to give you rough synopses of how many we are dealing with on a regular basis as far as the road kill.

    Chief Whittington:  Is that road kill?  I know that sometimes the police have to put them down so I’m not sure that all of them road kill.

    Mr. Rubertino: Very seldom do we have…we’ve had a few, but I don’t think that there are that many that have been shot that we’ve had to put down this year.  We have had in the past.

    Chief Reik: We shot the one yesterday I know.

    Mr. Rubertino: You did shot that one.  I don’t always get that information, but it was hit prior to being shot.

    Chief Whittington: It was an injured deer that had to be put down.

    Mr. Rubertino: That is where most of the time we would come out and dispose of them is because it has been hit by a car.  It is a substantial amount and for me personally as a resident I think that we need to do something with them.  I think that they’ve outgrown their welcome here.  They need to be curtailed somehow.  I don’t know what the answer is.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?

    Mr. Kasunick: Maybe we could just put a clause at the end of …something like to keep the distances but then just put unless the Chief of Police or his designee deems it safe or something like that.  Just put a little…

    Mr. Spotton: That’s what I said.

    Mr. Kasunick: Just put a little exception in there and then I would vote for it with that assuming that it goes to the voters.

    Mr. Hoefle: So you are pushing that it would have to go to the vote of the…

    Mr. Kasunick: That is my opinion.

    Mr. Hoefle: What are everyones thoughts on it going to the vote of the people?

    Mr. Spotton: So we put another nuisance problem to the voters?  You have a nuisance in your yard or in your neighborhood you take it to the voters.  Cats or raccoons….

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?

    Mr. Kasunick: I think that it is the kind of thing where if something were to happen people would day that they were unaware that deer hunting was going to be happening.  I think for one thing the election would be a good way to publish it.  Every bodies going to know about it if it’s on the ballot and other cities have put it on the ballot.  So I think that a president is set that when they implement this they put it on the ballot and it goes to the voters first.  For those reasons I think that it should be put to the voters.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?

    Mr. Spotton: Other cities are taking the matters into their own hands and doing this, where we would not be.  We are just allowing the property owner to take care of a nuisance.

    Mr. Evers: Correction on that.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Evers?

    Mr. Evers: If you put in there that the Chief is the designee he represents the city.

    Mr. Spotton: But we are not hunting.

    Mr. Evers: If you put that in there he represents the city.  Therefore the city is involved and we will have to check with Mr. Klammer on that.  I just have a couple of questions…would you allow deer hunting in your backyard?

    Mr. Spotton: If I had enough room I would have no problem with it.

    Mr. Evers: No, no, no…would you allow deer hunting in your backyard right now?

    Mr. Spotton: I don’t have a problem with it.

    Mr. Meyers: Sure.

    Mr. Evers: Sure?  Mr. Zuren?

    Mr. Zuren: Yes I would.

    Mr. Spotton: I’m not a hunter for the record.

    Mr. Evers: Okay.  I’m just asking for my curiosity.  Some of these houses…Eastlake was built as a cottage community.  We are not like Mentor or Avon and some of these houses are…if you blow your nose hard enough your neighbor is going to hear it.  There is not enough room throughout this whole city and some of the areas that have problems…such as in Ward 2 and in Surfside it’s not going to do anything for it.  Because you do not have the room and it is a safety issue guys.  That is just my opinion.  Mr. Zuren?

    Mr. Zuren: In my development and Mr. Hoefle you live in my development as well…when I walk my dogs every night I have to hold them, because when I turn a few corners there are deer that are just standing.  They take off and run and my dogs want to chase them.  The last thing that I want…if I walk my dog at ten o’clock at night it’s an issue.  If my dog…

    Mr. Evers: Is it a safety issue?

    Mr. Spotton: I could be.

    Mr. Zuren: Yes, because if it falls…if my dog…if I let go of the leash and it gets hit by a car or something, because it takes off…the deer run when they see a dog.  The dogs typically want to chase them and there is traffic.  There so many of them it’s a constant issue.  In Ward 1 there is an issue and I know in Ward 4 it’s pretty much out of control, because I’ve been down there.  It’s an issue throughout the whole city.  I think that it needs to be addressed in some manner.

    Mr. Evers: I’m kind of with Mr. Kasunick to put it to a vote.

    Mr. Spotton: Mr. Rubertino has there been an increase in the last couple of years?

    Mr. Rubertino: Absolutely.  You live on the same street. 

    Mr. Spotton: I know I go to work on third shift and they are everywhere running down the middle of the street.

    Mr. Rubertino: I get ten of them standing in my front yard.  I like the wildlife.

    Mr. Spotton: Do we continue this and have double the amount in twelve months.

    Mr. Rubertino: That’s what’s going to happen.  It maybe a cottage community and Mentor maybe larger, but we have the bigger issue here than them. Because we are getting as many as Mentor and Willoughby and we’re not being able to do anything with them to stop the growth.  Everybody has a pet that is outside, whether you have a fenced in yard or not.  Those ticks are invading your property.  They don’t know the fence line.  There is more to it than just…there is a lot of deer out there.  There is so much involved in trying to get it under control.  I think that honestly we need to figure out a way to move forward and get it under control or we are going to have a bigger problem.  It’s not going to go away and I can guarantee you that.  Again we live on Saint Lawrence and I have probably seen at least ten or twelve babies in the last month and a half.  The babies are coming out in another two months so the breeding season is over and they are going to be having babies again.  Then I’m going to have about forty in my neighborhood.  I’m sure that every neighborhood is the same way.  It doesn’t matter whether or not if you have houses on top of houses the deer do not know that.  They are going to travel through every community.  If you stop them in one area, obviously they are going to shrink in size when they are coming into a smaller area.  Eventually you’re going to have to cull them.  They do it with cats.  You just can’t get the deer and fix them all.  I would like to find a solution in finding a way so that we can get rid of them.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?

    Mr. Spotton:  The Chief’s input on that?

    Chief Reik: I see the…giving it to the voters obviously gives everyone some cover to say that this has been out there.  That is obviously the safe way.  Financing it…Mr. Vogler’s defiantly would be a help and I know that he has a lot of expertise with that.  But with an unpaid position it has a lot of its own draw backs too.  Because if he can’t do it who can?  I have to rely on him with his expertise in conjunction with ODNR, but to get that…my concern is the night time or the early morning calls that we get to do the follow-ups and the checks and stuff like that.  Whether we create another position we would probably have to fund it to some degree not to a large degree.  It’s a seasonal thing.  Mr. Vogler is the most qualified…that I know of would help with that.  But we don’t have the personnel, the expertise, or the time to train the people for what they would be looking for other than the overt.  We would probably document and pass onto whoever is doing the research to see if the law is broken.  Then take it too Mr. Hawkins and go from there.  Like the Fire Chief said everything’s an issue and I get it.  I get a ton of deer by my house.  Friends over on Cove Court they are getting their stuff eaten up and tore up, but at the same time we have people dropping everyday for heroin.  It is one of many things that fall into the problem category.  My biggest concern would be that…to make sure that I would have a guy on board that I could just give that too.  I first thought about making a part-time officer and putting that in there.  We are not budgeted for that and it is a contractual issues.  So we would actually have to create a deer culling officer or whatever it would be.   And not classify him as a specific part-time Eastlake Officer.  Just to avoid any issues with that.

    Mr. Hoefle: Are there any other comments or anybodies opinion in regards to going to the vote of the people if we were to re-look at this ordinance?  Or do we just get rid of it completely?  I mean it is up to the committee.  You guys are the committee now because you know how I feel about it. Again it would be up to you guys and then it would have to go to Council-As-A-Whole.

    Mr. Spotton: To see it get through Council level I think we would have to see it go to the voters.  I don’t think that it’s got a chance the other way.  But I also think that it needs to have that clause like Mr. Kasunick and I were talking about.  If it goes to the voters and they decide that yes and then they call and find out that they done have the right square inch property that they won’t be able to do it would make people upset too.

    Mr. Rubertino:  What if we don’t have resources?

    Mr. Hoefle: That would be the other thing.

    Mr. Rubertino: The Chief is going to be another issue.

    Mr. Hoefle: I know that you’re talking like your designee would be Mr. Vogler, but what would happen if Mr. Vogler couldn’t do it.  What if he moves or he decides that he doesn’t want to do it anymore and now we have an ordinance that…what do we do now?

    Chief Reik: If you put it to the voters put it with a tenth of a mill or whatever we decide it would cost?  Do you want to vote for this, this is what this type of stuff costs?  Mentor has…they are paying certain things and they have things in their community that is a byproduct of living there.  We talked about that on the one triple levy that we put on.  People go to the grocery store and buy what they want to buy and determine how they want to spend their money.  It does seem like a want in a needs only community.  If it’s beyond a want it should probably be put your money where your mouth is and tells us how we are going to pay for it.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Kasunick?

    Mr. Kasunick: I don’t see it in here…was there going to be a…at least partially paid for with a fee for licenses for getting a permit?

    Chief Reik: We did talk about permitting and licensing.  That would put and if Ms. Schindel created a fund that is where that money would go.  It would probably…depending on what the fee was could partially fund that.  I forgot about that part of it.

    Mr. Hoefle: Another thing too is when you look out over all cities I don’t think there are any areas in Ward 2 that you could do it. In Ward 4 there are only small pockets over there off of Reeves Road and back in that area.  In Ward 1 there are just a couple of small pockets…when we are looking at it we’re not talking a lot of this city, because as Mr. Evers stated it’s a bedroom community.  The Mayor of Willoughby made it clear that Willoughby isn’t going to do anything because they are a bedroom community.  There is not a lot of area in the city that we can actually do this.  There is Eastlake Gardens, which is large but that is city property.  Mr. Evers?

    Mr. Evers: I think the only reason I’m in favor of going to a vote of the people is and Chief Reik you will remember this more and Mr. Rubertino you may remember it.  A few years ago we had an incident where a raccoon was shot.  The outrage was unreal.

    Chief Reik: I don’t remember who shot that but it was…

    Mr. Ever: I don’t either.  People were lined up outside the doors.

    Chief Whittington: I do.

    Mr. Evers: I mean it’s a raccoon and people had an absolute fit about it and that is the only reason I’m saying go to a vote of the people.  Avoid this quagmire and say “yes” to it then it puts the responsibility strictly on them and off of us.

    Chief Reik: Just so it is on record the Fire Department called us because they didn’t know what to do with it.

    Mr. Meyers: I agree with what they were saying.  Obviously if you are going to put it to the voters the changes with the safe distances and also some type of fee structure, obviously needs to be in there.  Whether it’s per deer or whether it’s just some type of overall permit fee.  Something like that to help it at least partially funds it.

    Mr. Hoefle: Then if our designee for the Chief if we do not have one…and we still don’t have the funding what do we do just don’t have a program?  What would happen Chief Reik if all of a sudden you didn’t have anybody to support it with you?

    Chief Reik: There are enough people who hunt and stuff…if there was some money in there and we decided that this is what we are doing and we would have to fund it.  If we get complaints obviously we are going to look into it.  In worst case seas and assist on the person there and then look more into it if there is some concern about this property or that property.  But hopefully that would be in the outlays…that if your house or your property/properties are within this range your displaying whatever through your front window. Where we would be able to go there immediately and tell that this house…just like garbage complaints I could go to my phone and see what houses we have to concern ourselves with or anything else.

    Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Spotton?

    Mr. Spotton: If we start doing this and thinning out the herd in theory in a year or two hopefully there will be less.  Hopefully…so this might not be an ongoing forever project either.

    Mr. Hoefle: The other thought is that if you were to take some areas of the Eastlake Gardens and Willoughby’s not going to be doing a program, our neighboring community.  Once you clear that land…you cull the deer in that area they are just going to come walking over…I talked to the guy from the Metro Parks and he said that you are going to continue to keep seeing them come over from the other cities.  You cull fifty deer in Eastlake Gardens and that butts up to Willoughby…we are just going to keep seeing them.

    Mr. Spotton: In certain areas up by the lake and stuff I would think that once you get rid of them…it’s going to be a while before you see them start to populate back in if they are not up against another city.

    Chief Whittington: I would just like to go on record that the raccoon was in dumpster, missing an eye and had open sores, and it was limping.  That is why it had to be dispatched.

    Mr. Hoefle: So it sounds like the Committee wants to change some of the language but then put it to the vote of the people?

    Mr. Spotton: I think that’s the only way that we would see it get through Council.

    Mr. Meyers: I agree.

    Mr. Hoefle: We’ll take a look at it and I will get some of this language changed and get it back to you guys.


Mayor Morley: We have some miscellaneous.

Mr. Menn: I will try and explain it the best that I can and of course the Mayor is more proficient then I am.  We’ve been approached by a few people…the one particular guy about these gaming machines.  I keep getting questions if we are going to allow them in our city or not.  You guys had an ordinance before for a different style of machines a few years ago before I came here…and they are not allowed anymore.  This one lawyer that I am talking to says that they are all governed by the Ohio Gambling Commission now…do we want to re-look at the ordinance?  Change it around or do nothing?  Some of our nearby cities have them and from my understand Willowick and I believe Willoughby Hills.

Mr. Evers: The laws on them are changing so rapidly…I don’t want to say everyday but every month. 

Mayor Morley: We just need to know if you want us to get Willowick’s ordinance and take a look at it.  They keep calling us.

Mr. Evers: That would be up to you.

Mayor Morley: Again it will be like the “Internet Cafes” we passed it before and the state decided to shut them all down and this will be the same thing.  I think that Willowick has three and if we pass it again and the place is open and the stated decides again to shut them down…that is on them not on us.

Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Zuren?

Mr. Zuren: I would like to look at the ordinance on that.  I’m not sure if I’m in favor of it but we should look at it.

Mayor Morley: We have one…we’re at the point where they are going to sue us and we’re at that point.  We need to look at the ordinances…but again there are other cities that don’t have it.  Wickliffe still doesn’t allow it and Willoughby doesn’t allow it so we could say we don’t want to allow it.  I’m not really worried about the law suits.

Mr. Evers: We could restrict their location.

Mayor Morley: We could pull…from what I’m remembering what Willowick’s ordinance they changed the wording from “Internet Cafes” to “Game of Chance” they are called now.  They still have the same licensing fee of five thousand dollars.  It is fifty dollars per thing…the people who weren’t on Council before…before the state made them illegal we were pulling in $160,000.00 in revenue on the “Internet Cafes”.

Mr. Hoefle: Mr. Menn could you get us a copy of the ordinance.

Mr. Menn: Yeah I will get it as quickly as I can for the next committee meeting.


There was no one who wished to speak.


Mayor Morley had nothing to report.

There were no questions or comments.


Chief Whittington had nothing to report.

There were no questions or comments.


Chief Reik had nothing to report.

There were no questions or comments.


Mr. Menn had nothing to report.

There were no questions or comments.


Mr. Rubertino had nothing to report.

There were no questions or comments.


Ms. Schindel had nothing to report.

There were no questions or comments.


Mr. Klammer was absent and excused.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.



APPROVED: __________________________

DATE: ______________________________

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