Planning & Zoning Commission

Regular Meetings

  • 7 p.m. 
  • 1st Monday of the month
  • Council Chambers
    28000 Shaker Blvd.
    Pepper Pike, OH 44124

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes 


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Yesterday we received from Axiom ( the developer’s  trade name for ADG Willey Creek LLC)  a revised proposal for its plans to develop the Beech Brook property.  Since this is a matter of great interest to the community, I am attaching to this email both the redline version and “clean ”version”  of their revised proposal to change the zoning of the Beech Brook property from U-2 Institutional to a mixed use zoning area. I also attach their submitted site plan. You will observe the developer has eliminated multifamily/apartments from the proposal, limited the nature and amount of commercial/retail and designated detached single family housing.  Rather than  try to further describe a long document, I refer you to the attached.

 We will continue to update you, our residents, as we learn more about these proposals.

 Sincerely,

Richard Bain

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As you were informed below, and to update you regarding the plans of Axiom ( the developer’s  trade name for ADG Willey Creek LLC)  and its  revised proposal to develop the Beech Brook property, please find attached a traffic study performed on behalf of Axiom, the lead applicant for rezoning of the Beech Brook property. This study relates to the zoning proposal sent to you in the below email, and represents the work product of traffic consultants retained by Axiom.  

 

Traffic at Lander Circle is certainly of interest and concern for all of us in the city, regardless of any re-zoning or development plans. The City Engineer has suggested changes to the configuration of the Lander traffic circle and discussed those with Council. Those plans have been delayed  by the proposed re-zoning being discussed as the city awaited to have better knowledge of that area’s future,  before investing in certain plans which might be impacted by development in that immediate area. Without adopting, rejecting or hereby opining about the attached conclusions or recommendations by these consultants, I simply point that out so that the attached study and recommendations are not misinterpreted as being that of the City of Pepper Pike.   

Sincerely,

Richard Bain

Beech Brook Mixed Use Rezoning Application: Public hearing notices                                                 Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As you know, the city has been studying  an application to rezone the property owned by Beech Brook ( and two smaller acreages) , located between Lander and south of Chagrin. The applicant/developer, has revised its proposed zoning language and submitted it to Council. Last evening the Council discussed the initiative, receiving a great deal of comment and discussion from the developer and audience members. In addition, a  hearing to receive further public comment has been scheduled for July  29th at 5:30 pm.  Council set the meeting to commence early as it could be a long session. The public notices are attached. Because of continuing restrictions, dictated by both health and legal  meeting size concerns, this public hearing will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.  Specific link in instructions will be provided as available as we approach the meeting, via the City Website, city social media  and email, as well as announced on Code Red and in-city signage.    

Hoping to clarify some issues surrounding this important subject,  following are remarks I made last night  to Council and the attending  public as this matter was returned to the Council agenda: 

“We return this evening to consideration of the application of Axiom for Council to consider the rezoning of approximately  66 acres in the southeastern quadrant of the city. 

The Charter of the City of Pepper Pike provides that no parcel of property in the City can be rezoned without the affirmative vote of the residents.  The Axiom proposal is to have the Beech Brook property, which is currently zoned in the U-2 - Public Buildings District, be placed into what would be called the “Willey Creek Mixed-use Overlay District.”   An “Overlay District,” in this case, means that the U-2 zoning would still be on the property, but that the owner

(whoever that might be, and it need not necessarily be Axiom) could  present a plan after the re-zoning had occurred, but that plan would need to be  approved by the Planning Commission and Council before  the property could be put to the mixed uses permitted by the new zoning. In other words, any measure which might appear on the ballot pertains only to the decision to re-zone the property, not to a final development plan. What might be built in the future must conform to what is permitted in the new zoning, if that zoning were to be adopted. 

To repeat myself but so that this point is absolutely clear, the zoning as it is currently proposed  is not a development plan.  The new zoning proposal provides what uses would be permitted;  how many residences per acre are permitted, how much commercial or retail is permitted, how much green space is required, what the setbacks are required to be and what would the process be to get a  development plan approved. Only the voters of Pepper Pike have the ability to vote whether the new zoning is adopted and the Beech Brook property placed in the “Willey Creek Mixed-use Overlay District” by adopting the re-zoning, or leaving it as U-2 for it to be developed as U-2 property. If it remains U-2  it is available to be sold and developed in compliance with that institutional use zoning provision.  All indications we have received are that the owner of the Beech Brook parcel intends to sell it for what secures the highest sales price it can garner for either zoning category, be it the new “multi-use” or the existing U-2. 

I agree that the voters’ authority to approve/disapprove the zoning request is a clear way for the community to participate in the process. That process is going to be followed. As Mayor, it is my job to see that the laws of the City are enforced. This means not interfering with the rights of a property owner (Beech Brook) through its representative (Axiom, which also has the contractual right to purchase the property) to seek to be on the ballot for a vote of the people. Getting on the ballot can occur in two ways. The first is that which Beech Brook/Axiom has been pursuing;  a review by City Council of its re-zoning application. That process was proceeding until Axiom requested that it be held up so that it could realign the specifics of its proposal to accommodate some of the suggestions and criticisms that had been received in many open meetings.  

Although much public comment has been received, there is still required by law a public hearing for further comment prior to Council being able to vote on the application and recommend it, or not,  to be placed on the ballot. Unfortunately, with the panmdemic, the process has been significantly slowed and the availability of large in-person public hearings stalled. There are limited calendar dates before an August deadline by which time the re-zoning proposal could be fully reviewed and acted upon by Council to be potentially placed on this upcoming November’s ballot for the residents to vote upon.                                                                                        Council now has before it the revised application for re-zoning. There is however no deadline or calendar for Council’s diligent consideration of this application, nor should there be, although I know Council will be diligent in its careful and thorough considerations as it fulfills its responsibilities. That said, it’s task will be fulfilled only when it’s considerations, include receiving  public comment at a, 30 day noticed, public hearing. 

Axiom has pursued an alternative method of placing their re-zoning proposal on the ballot. That still requires the residents of Pepper Pike to vote upon that ballot issue. That second method is by a petition initiative. ( I know of other zoning initiatives which have been handled in that manner)  If the laws are followed, and it obtains the necessary petition signatures, Axiom has  the right to get the issue on the ballot. That is not a subterfuge by Axiom as I have heard some try to describe it, but their legal right. Even if Council were to itself reject placing the matter on the ballot, Axiom could still have it put on the ballot by a successful petition initiative. The electorate though still has the sole authority to say “yes” or “no” to the proposed rezoning. It would be up to the proponents, Axiom, to make their case to the voters. Ordinarily, Council makes decisions regarding significant policy choices for the City. In the area of rezoning, however, the voters are  supreme and get to make that determination. 

Axiom has still not committed to either pursuing a Council review of its application to be placed on the ballot or to have a petition initiative to appear on the ballot. The application before Council remains pending as of now.  If a petition path is chosen, and, the petition is valid, the zoning issue will go on the ballot at this November’s general election. If that issue were to pass, the Planning Commission and Council would still have the authority to approve or deny a  specific development plan that would need to be proposed. Because this re-zoning is posed as an “overlay district”, the City would retain significant regulatory authority through the plan approval process, in addition to the authority the City possesses over the aesthetics (via the Architectural Board of Review)” 

 I have previously sent to you the most recent proposed zoning for the mixed use district. I hope the above explanation assists you in placing in context the status of this proposal. 

Sincerely,

Richard Bain

George Smerigan from Tactical Planning LLC Memo:  Axiom/Beech Brook Analysis of Proposed Text Amendment

Axiom Withdrawal of Application

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Please find attached a letter the City has received late yesterday from Axiom, (which represents the applicants for re-zoning of the Beech Brook property), withdrawing their current application to rezone Beech Brook and two smaller adjoining  properties.  Notably, the rezoning initiative remains nonetheless pending. The Board of Elections has today completed its review of the Initiative Petition signatures submitted to place the re-zoning initiative on the November ballot. There were sufficient signatures and that initiative will therefore place the petitioner’s  version  of the zoning amendment on the November ballot. 

As you review the withdrawal letter  you will see that the applicant intends, as is its right, to resubmit its application at some time for Council’s consideration. For your information, while the right to petition the government, or to newly apply for zoning changes exists and will not be refused;  as a practical matter as there is a pending ballot issue by the same applicant for the same matter appearing on the ballot,  to avoid confusion if an application is submitted, the City will defer consideration and not schedule that parallel matter when it already exists on the ballot. 

As I have previously written to you, the applicant had been pursuing a two track process, both the initial application before Council to have it vote and place the re-zoning initiative on the ballot, and the Initiative Petition, whereby the applicant had collected signatures to place the initiative on the ballot without Council action. Now that the application before Council has been withdrawn, we will be removing the Axiom consideration of the applicant’s proposed  ordinances from the Council Agenda as they are no longer a matter before Council resulting from  the application’s withdrawal.  

Although off of the Council agenda, the successful petition initiative places it on the November ballot and the re-zoning remains as a significant matter for the city. It deserves a community public discussion as a ballot initiative. Therefore, we  will change  the July 29 public meeting which was originally a public comment session concerning the, now, withdrawn application to Council, and instead proceed on July 29 with a “Zoomed” town hall meeting to address the current ballot item for the change to  the zoning. 

Sincerely,

Richard Bain

 Please note the letter "Axiom Withdrawal of Application" is above this memo.

Town Hall Meeting 7/29/2020 Audio