MARCH 3, 2015



Committee Chair Mr. Hoefle opened the meeting at approximately 6:14 ­­­p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mr. Evers, Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins and Mr. Hoefle. Present from Council were Ms. Vaughn, Council President D’Ambrosio and Mr. Licht.  Ms. DePledge was absent and excused.


In attendance from the Administration were Mayor Morley, Law Director Klammer, Service Director Rubertino and CBO Menn.


Also in attendance were members of the public.   



Mr. Hoefle:  Mr. Menn? 


Mr. Menn:  I was asked to review Chapter 9 to suggest changes.  The first change is in regards to the cash deposit and permits the CBO or his representative to issue the permit.


There were no objections.



Mr. Menn: The Building Department issues all these permits.  Once that permit is issued I feel I am responsible.  In the past the Director of Public Service has been responsible and he has done a good job but I am issuing the permits and collecting the money but am not responsible for the work.  It is kind of backwards.  My recommendation would be to eliminate the Director of Public Service and change it to the CBO or the Building Department to do the inspections.


Mr. D’Ambrosio:  I have no problem with any of this.  I know your Department is also short staffed – will you be okay with these extra duties?


Mr. Menn: Yes.  I do not know if Mr. Rubertino agrees but I think in the long run it will help him.


Mayor Morley: Most of these are complaint driven.


Mr. Rubertino:  I have no issues with this.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: We do a sidewalk inspection when we do the point of sale?


Mr. Menn: Yes.  Right now the Service Department is still doing the point of sale.  When they would mark them we would inspect and issue the permit.  Now they always ask if we have any objections – we work hand in hand and would continue to do the same thing.


There were no objections.


Mr. Menn:  The Building Department has always issue the permit with the Service Department doing the inspection.  As I am issuing the permit I feel I should be the one inspecting the work and being responsible for it and not another Department. But, we would also still work with the Service Department if there were any issues by the road or the connections. 


There were no objections.



Mr. Menn:  These include the changes from the Service Department to the CBO.  Under 949.07 right now in Eastlake when they fill in sewers they backfill them with sand – it is not a code thing and is not right or wrong.  But, I do know it adds a big expense to the homeowner for the company doing the work.  I have received complaints about this.  This was new to me when I came here and I actually made a mistake by telling someone they could backfill with dirt – you have to go so far with stone and then use clean fill.   If the dirt taken out is clean it can be put back.  Some people don’t like it because it will leave a hump.  I reviewed Willowick’s ordinance.  They use clean fill with no more than a 3” mound.  I used 6”.  It will eventually compact and settle and in the spring they would redo it.  And, if it would be a problem we would cite them to repair their lawn.  I understand that there is no mounding with sand but it is my opinion that this can be quite expensive to the homeowner.  You will see mounds.  It is a tradeoff. 


Ms. Vaughn:  Has anyone found any problem with complaints from the homeowners about mounds?


Mr. Rubertino: We had one on Bayshore Drive that ended up in a lawsuit but it was resolved.


Ms. Vaughn:  I would think the residents of Eastlake would rather save the money.


Mr. Rubertino: Overall it is not a problem. The mounds will be there but they go away. If the contractor is good he will make sure it is level and will go back until it is right.


Mr. Menn:  I had a contractor recommend something like this.


Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins:  Maybe it would be wiser to make it the CBO or the Service Director – since we are short of people. Maybe omitting the Service Director would be a handicap. 


Mr. Klammer:  It is covered because it says “or his representative.”


Mr. Evers:  Under ORC who is authorized to inspect?  What are the qualifications?


Mr. Menn: It is the Ohio Building Code – sewer repairs are under the Ohio Plumbing Codes. I can’t answer why they started doing this many years ago.  It has just been a system that has always been in place.  I look at my responsibilities and my license.


Mr. D’Ambrosio:  The Service Director could not be your designee if this falls under the Plumbing Code.


Mr. Menn: I have Inspector Bonvenuto.


Mr. D’Ambrosio:  In not using sand or premium fill – you are okay with the mound?


Mr. Menn: That is up to you – that is why we made the changes. I personally have no issues.  I know the biggest complaint was…


Mr. D’Ambrosio: The cost – even if they use fill sand that has junk in it?


Mr. Menn:  You have to haul all the dirt away.  It is not so much bringing the material in but it is hauling it out.


Mr. Rubertino: Are you inspecting the dirt they haul out – it is clean fill going back in?


Mr. D’Ambrosio: It could be clay and it could take six months to settle.


Mr. Menn: Where I came from we always did this and had no problems. It the work is done in November it would be the spring.  Or make it lower.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: I am used to premium fill.  You can leave it an inch high and use topsoil and be done. You will be the one dealing with the issues – not me.


Mr. Menn: With premium fill you would not go to the top.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: Even fill sand will settle.  It does not matter to me.


Mr. Menn: I am telling you what I am hearing – we do not have to do this.  But I have received complaints from contractors and homeowners.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: I am willing to try it.  We said we wanted to become more resident and contractor friendly. 


Ms. Vaughn: When the City was originally founded we had no Building Department so many of the ordinances refer to the Service Department. 


Mr. Menn: Why not lower it from 6” to 3”.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: I am okay with that.


Mr. Rubertino:  With a contractor it will not be there that long – they will take care of it. I have no issues with it. As long as the homeowner knows and realizes and the contractor realizes it is his responsibility to make sure it is correct when it settles.


Mr. Licht: I think it will not hurt putting a tighter tolerance on it by lowering it to 3”.


There were no objections.


section 1301.18 “permits; fees; notices

Mr. Menn:  In our ordinances it says that we can give a grass notice today and a year and one half from now I can have a contractor mow your lawn – we have 2 years for one notice.  I was uncomfortable with this and would like to have to notify someone within a 12 month period.


Mayor Morley: I received a lot of calls on this – there were changes in addresses and people moving.  I waived some of the fees because I understood what people were saying.  I can work with 12 months.


Mr. Menn:  As the Mayor just said – even if I sent out a notice 3 months ago I better check again to be sure there has not been a change or a point of sale.  If they did it triggers me to make another notice because we have a new owner of the property.


Ms. Vaughn: Aren’t we having problems with rental property because a lot of owners don’t live here.  There is no way to track it.


Mr. Menn: That is another issue maybe we can tackle someday.


Mr. Klammer: Do we post?


Mr. Menn: We mail. If we wanted to go with posting I would go with door knockers and photograph the door with the address. That would be our record.  That is a lot of work to do right now. 


There were no objections.


SECTIONs 1387.19 (c) “removal of weeds and litter by owner or occupancy; assessment of cost by municipality and 1389.10 (c)


Mr. Menn:  I would like to remove “during the early spring” – we cut grass all year.  I do not want to be limited to early spring. The 12 month period will go with that.


There were no objections.


sections 1387.24 and 1389.15 “penalty does not preclude other            remedial action
Mr. Menn:  This is new.  I am suggesting that when we take people to Court – and this includes the Police Department or any Department – once it gets to Willoughby Court as a record they want something done with it. They will only give it so long and if they dismiss it we have to pay the costs.  Why not be able to do what we do with grass abatements and bill them by sending them a letter saying they have to pay the fee or it will be assessed to their taxes.  At least in the hopes that some day we would collect the money back. We are still out in front and have to pay it but this would give us some hope that we can get the money back. 


There were no objections.



Mr. Menn:  The Clerk and I saw this. We no longer provide water services. 


Mayor Morley: The storm water goes along with this.


There were no objections.




Mr. Menn: I have been receiving calls from companies and banks inquiring if we have a registration requirement.  Right now we do not.  This will allow for if we find vacant homes or bank owned homes we will send them a notice to register with us. In the beginning it is a little rough in getting it started but once the banks catch on they will just send it in because they know we are doing it.  They will send the application and check in and register with us.


Mayor Morley: Our fees are a lot lower than surrounding communities.  Some are $400 and Painesville is $2,000 – we went with $150 to cover our costs.  This will be so we can track these empty structures.  A lot of time people who receive notifications from us call and say they don’t live there – we don’t know that because that is what is on the Auditor’s page.


Ms. Vaughn: Will that help the Fire Department?


Mr. Menn: Yes.  But, this is not going to be a magic wand.  It will take time and even though they fill out the application it is still a lot of work to track them down.


Mr. Menn: Why is Eastlake being the good guy and only charging $150 compared to surrounding cities?


Mayor Morley: It is a reasonable fee. The Law Director was not comfortable with $150 let alone $400.


Mr. Klammer: These have to relate to the work we perform. If it is just a matter of registration there is always the chance that someone will come someday and ask what they are paying the $150 for.  That is my concern. But, if we are comfortable with $150 we will carry that risk and see what happens. 


Mr. Menn: I disagree a little with the Law Director on this – $150 is spent if you add up our hourly work and everything.  At least we can start here and see how it goes and if we need to make a change we can do so.


Mayor Morley: We can adjust the fee if we wish to.


There were no objections.




Mayor Morley:  I asked Mr. Menn to look into this.  It is such a long process for a business that wants to come to Eastlake. We have the initial Planning Commission then two weeks after that we have the public hearing. Then two weeks after that it may go to Council. The businesses want to get up and running and we are making them jump through so many hoops.  Mr. Klammer has commented that it could be an issue with these not going to Council. It has that you will be notified and if there is an issue from Council’s point of view that you bring it to our attention.  I know Mr. Klammer questioned what would happen if Council did not see the notification. My opinion is you should look at everything we send over.  If it gets by seven people it is an issue – from my perspective.


Mr. Menn:  A lot of this is the renewals.  I am sitting on 30 renewals with no changes – same owners, etc.  I do not believe they need to go through Council or anything else. If they are exactly the same – I cannot explain the paperwork we do.  Also, I want to cut down on what my staff is doing.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: I spoke with the Mayor about this. As far as the renewals go – I am okay if those do not come through Council.  I cannot think of a time when we refused a renewal.  As far as how long it takes these businesses and it can take up to 8-10 weeks one thing I am concerned about is taking it away from Council – as far as approving the businesses that come in.  I agree it does take a long time.  To speed it up what if a member from Council was put on the Planning Commission – say someone from the Ordinance or Planning Committee – to listen to hear what is going on. If you hear something crazy it goes to Council.  If one of those three cannot make it to a meeting I will attend the meeting.  One thing that came up was the strip club. No one wants a strip club but what if something else comes in and the Planning Commission thinks it is okay?


Ms. Vaughn: They did not want the internet cafes and we let them come in.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: There are some variables.  I agree that it takes a long time. We can either try something like that or once they come to Council we place them in Council-as-a-Whole Committee for review – we can vote on it that night or we can refer it to Committee.  I hate to take it away from us and have a group of residents – who we do appoint.  You may not read all the Planning Commission minutes – this way you will have to.  I would think the easiest way would be for one of us to attend Planning Commission meetings twice a month – one of the three in Planning Committee and if no one can make it I will try to. We will work this together.


Mr. Licht: Or bring it to Council-as-a-Whole Committee?


Mr. D’Ambrosio:  And discuss it there. But it will require you read the minutes from the Planning Commission meeting so we know what is going on and if anyone from Council has a question I will refer it to Committee. 


Mr. Licht:  I preference would be to go that route.  I should not trust someone to make a judgment for me.  The person from Council attending the Planning Commission meetings should be speaking for Council where at Council-as-a-Whole we all have the opportunity to make statement. It could be a difference of opinions.


Mayor Morley: In nine years of being on Council two things have gone down – the strip club and the adult mart. 


Mr. D’Ambrosio: There was also the guy who wanted to sell guns out of his house.


Mr. Klammer: I do not want to remove it from Council.  But, I think the benefit of fast tracking it through Council-as-a-Whole Committee is the Directors are present to answer questions.  With this 14 day notice you end up saving a week.  As far as the renewals no problem but as far as the initial permit I would not change the process – just fast track it through Committee.


Mayor Morley:  Mr. Menn and I spoke about instead of having a meeting and then a public hearing we should have both at the same time.


Mr. Klammer: There is not enough time to give notice of the public hearing.  Since I have been here if there was a complaint at the Planning Commission we just gave them temporary CUP’s.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: I agree on speeding this up. What if it goes to Planning Commission and then to Council-as-a-Whole for the public hearing and for a decision?


Mayor Morley: We used to do public hearings at Council.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: We will have the minutes prior to the public hearing – we should be able to stream line it that way. 


Mr. Klammer: But there will not be any minutes of substance. They will just include the meeting and sending it to Council. We were doing the public hearing twice – the first meeting should be where they don’t have to even show up – it comes in and we accept it on the agenda and schedule it for a public hearing. At the second meeting they would come. Somewhere it changed – now when show up we feel bad they are there and ask for an explanation and then they come back and give an explanation again. 


Mayor Morley:  If it has gone through the Building Department it is already basically approved by the City – it just goes to Planning Commission. He will not send something to Planning Commission that will not be right.  Once they fill out the permit he will say if it will work or not. 


Mr. D’Ambrosio: He may not have a choice. If it is a company that will abide by our laws he has to send it to Planning – just like the strip club and the gun place.  He is obligated to send it to Planning Commission.


Mr. Klammer: Even if they want an interpretation that they need a conditional use permit or similar use they must wind up there.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: Does Council agree that we should have some say in it?


The opinion was to the positive.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: If we agree maybe we have to hold this and figure out how we are going to fast track it. 


Mr. Klammer: There is one on the agenda for next Thursday – we will get it over to Council and place it on the agenda for next week and you can approve it.


Mr. Menn:  I never understood why it goes to Planning and then in two weeks to a public hearing.  I don’t understand the two weeks with Council either.  If it has to go to Planning Commission and the public hearing should be at the first meeting.


Ms. Vaughn: What happens if someone comes to planning and the moralistic people in the Planning Commission do not want it in the City and reject it?  How does Council find out?

Unless they read the minutes – most of us do but some don’t.


Mayor Morley: That is my point. You will be notified of what the Planning Commission did and if Council decides they are not going to review it then it is not my issue.  We are not taking anything away – we are just not having a meeting. This says you have fourteen days to say no. 


Mr. Klammer: The issue is two-fold. The Clerk would receive notification and forward that to Council. There is a delay no matter what. The only other place we have default decisions where inaction amounts to approval is with the Planning Commission. That is 45 days of inaction.  Cutting it to 14 days of inaction to constitute Council’s approval is pretty short. Government is supposed to work slowly for a reason.  It is diligence.  We can get it just as fast by putting it on Council-as-a-Whole Committee.  As far as renewals I would just renew them.  You can see how it works next week.


Mayor Morley:  I was in the private sector way to long. Government is the slowest entity in the world.  If you want something done and have to go through the government you might as well have a year to get things done.


Mr. Klammer: But your proposal will go slower than what will happen next week.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: We will hold this until we can get it done.


Mr. Klammer: I will have the Planning Commission secretary notify the Clerk on Thursday or Friday so she can get it to you for next Tuesday.

Mr. D’Ambrosio: It would have to be no later than Thursday.


Ms. Vaughn: But we won’t have the minutes to read.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: We would need the minutes Thursday because most people pick up their packets on Friday – they can review it over the weekend.


Mr. Klammer:  The minutes will not be available until the next meeting.


Ms. Vaughn:  How will we know what is going on?


Mr. Klammer: Everyone who was at the Planning Commission meeting will be at the Council-as-a-Whole Commission meeting.


The Committee agreed to hold this matter for further review.


Mr. Klammer:  There were no objections to the renewals. Can Mr. Menn go ahead with the renewals?


Mr. Hoefle: Is the Committee okay with renewals?


There were no objections.  The Committee approved the amendment as it relates to renewals.



Mr. Klammer:  This came from Chief Reik. There was a complaint about geese. There was no penalty section relating to geese so we made it a minor misdemeanor.  This is not an arrestable offense.


There were no objections.



AMENDMENT:  Section 939.26, “Sewer Service Charges,” of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Eastlake, (d)(3) “Surcharges”,

Mr. Hoefle:  This is a housekeeping matter and adjusts the rates for the WPCC.


Mr. D’Ambrosio:  Willoughby has already approved this.


There were no objections.



Mayor Morley: Mr. Rubertino and I met with Mr. Gwydir regarding the road repairs.  If you have any roads you think need some repair let me know but I would like to use all the road money on Willowick Drive.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: How much money is in the fund?


Mayor Morley:  $800,000 with a $300,000 carry-over.  We have a $500,000 slab replacement and $250,000 will be our portion.


Ms. Vaughn:  Are we doing concrete or asphalt?


Mayor Morley: Mr. Gwydir is looking into this.


Ms. Vaughn: I would like to see asphalt – it is easier to maintain.


Mayor Morley: Mr. Gwydir is looking at the concrete section that is $500,000. We will be looking at other areas.


Ms. Vaughn: Could you use concrete for the curbing and asphalt for the middle.


Mayor Morley: We are looking into it. We may have to use all the money if we go from the Willowick border all the way to Lakeshore Blvd.


Ms. Vaughn: Then Ward 2 will not ask for extra money for the next couple of years.


Mayor Morley: I don’t want to do patchwork and spend a couple hundred thousand dollars and then have it fall apart.


Mr. Hoefle: Are there any other streets that are worse than Willowick Drive?


Mr. Rubertino: No, Willowick and that one section of Stevens from Jakse to Willowick Drive are the worst.  We have issues on St. Lawrence but may be able to do patchwork.


Mayor Morley: We were looking at about $300,000 in asphalt.


Mr. Rubertino: We did part of Parkman last year. That is work we can do in-house.


Mayor Morley: We did nine streets last year at about $250,000.  We need to get it right.


Mr. Rubertino: In the past they have top coated it. It is a good looking fix but not a permanent fix.  Hillcrest is a prime example – it lasted a few years but you have to cut out the slabs, get the seams out and put in a good base to get it so when you do asphalt you do not have seams every 20 feet.  We are trying to do it the right way.


Mayor Morley:  We have to replace Luanna’s cul-de-sac at about $40,000 – that will be concrete.


Mr. Rubertino:  It is totally sunk.


Mr. Hoefle: There are major chuckholes on Stevens from S.R. 91 to Willoughby – that was just done two years ago.


Mr. D’Ambrosio: I am in favor of spending most of the money on Willowick Drive.  You are spending way too much time there and are not getting to the other streets with the cold patch.


Mayor Morley: Mr. Gwydir will get more information which I will forward.


There were no further questions or comments.



There was no one who wished to speak.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.





                                                                        APPROVED: __________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DATE: ________________________________

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