ORDINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MAY 5, 2015
Committee Chair Mr. Hoefle opened the meeting at approximately 7:00 p.m. Members of the Committee in attendance were Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins and Mr. Hoefle. Mr. Evers was absent and excused. Present from Council was Council President D’Ambrosio. Ms. DePledge, Ms. Vaughn and Mr. Licht were absent and excused.
In attendance from the Administration were Mayor Morley and Law Director Klammer.
Also in attendance were members of the public.
ARTICLE VIII. SECTION 3: MANDATORY REFERRAL
Mr. Hoefle: Mayor Morley?
Mayor Morley: I know we have discussed this in the past. It is a Charter change that we need to do because we are being handcuffed. When people call about the WalMart location or the NIKE site and find out they would have to go to a referendum for any zoning change they walk away. The Law Director is on board with this. If this passes a referendum will not be required but we will still have to go through the City’s Planning Commission and Council. So, if someone is against a proposal they will have more than an opportunity to come to meetings as it must be voted on three times and with 2/3rd vote of Council. We had a couple of places interested in the WalMart property – an assisted living, doctors’ offices and mechanical devices for the handicapped and as soon as we told them they had to go for a referendum they walked away. We had another business thinking about going in there but they were not retail – the same thing happened – when we told them they had to go for a referendum they walked away to find a new place. We have been going back and forth with the NIKE site – we were close on some of the things that wanted to go in there but the way our ordinances are they were not applicable and they walked away. I think this gives us some latitude to be able to go after some other businesses. I will give credit to Council and to the Planning Commission that we will not approve something our residents would not want.
Mr. Hoefle: This would also go for three readings with Council.
Mr. Klammer: As an emergency measure.
Mr. D’Ambrosio: Do any cities do it the way we do it?
Mayor Morley: I talked to our City Engineer today – he does not understand why a City would do this. Willoughby – none of them go to the ballot for rezoning.
Mr. Klammer: Mentor has similar ordinance and they are frustrated by it and it costs a lot of money to try to move things forward.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: And, a lot of time.
Mayor Morley: It is almost a year process for a business by the time they go to the Board of Elections, get petitions and forward it to Council. There was one we put on without them getting petitions. I think this will open that up.
Mr. Klammer: The emergency clause still allows them to file a referendum if they want to challenge it which is theoretically faster than the ballot. We have always had problems because our ordinances technically allow you to apply for a use variance but that is essentially in conflict with the Charter anyway. It is an awkward procedure. I am not in favor with the existing way – it is frustrating.
There were no further questions.
Mr. Hoefle: Is the Committee in favor of moving this forward?
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Yes.
Mr. Hoefle: Yes. This matter will be moved forward to the next regular Council meeting.
There was no Miscellaneous.
RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC
Sandra Liddington, 1066 East 348th Street, Eastlake
Mrs. Liddington had no comments on the proposed Charter amendment but addressed problems she and her husband were having with the work done by plumber and wanted to know what the City was going to do about it.
Mayor Morley advised that CBO Menn was aware of the problem and is working on it.
Mr. Klammer advised that Council had no authority to go to the contractor to get Mrs. Liddington’s money back. The Building Department could help a little but if the contractor did not pull a permit – the homeowner has the ultimate responsibility. Mr. Klammer offered suggestions as to what Mrs. Liddington could do and explained that he would provide her with names of those who may be able to help her.
There was no one else who wished to speak.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.