City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Executive Sessions
Agendas & Minutes
September 19, 2011: Executive Session
There will be a Special Meeting of Council to be held in the Council Chambers on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. to discuss a request-for-use variance by Amy Joy Donuts.
Lane A. Schlessel, Vice Mayor
Patrick A. Ward, Councilman
Joseph A. Marko, Councilman
September 19, 2011: Executive Session
The Council of the City of Lyndhurst met in Special Session on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 7:24 P.M., Vice Mayor Lane A. Schlessel presiding.
Council Representatives: D. J. Fisher, D. A. Frey, J. A. Gambatese, C. A. LoPresti, J. A. Marko, P. A. Ward.
Others Present: P. T. Murphy, Director of Law; T P. Kunz, Building Commissioner.
Absent: J. M. Cicero, Jr., Mayor.
All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Schlessel summarized the purpose of the meeting, as follows:
"This is a Special Council Meeting called pursuant to notice to consider the request of Eli Mahler on behalf of Amy Joy Donuts, hereinafter referred to as "Petitioner", for a use variance for the property known as Cuyahoga County Auditor's Permanent Parcel No. 711-23-047, 5211 Mayfield Road, as per the Application. At its regular meeting on August 8, 2011, the Lyndhurst Board of Zoning Appeals determined the Application for use variance was well taken, and therefore recommended that Council approve it. The Application is now before City Council, pursuant to Section 1154.07(b) of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Lyndhurst."
Mr. Schlessel then requested the names of those present on behalf of Petitioner, and they are as follows:
Eli Mahler, 3947 West Ash Lane, Orange, Ohio 44122
Brett Goldberg, 14409 Cedar Road, South Euclid, Ohio 44121
Tom Coste, 2818 Kingsbury Drive, Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Mr. Murphy informed the aforementioned gentlemen that they were still under oath from the previous meeting, and explained the procedure for the meeting, as follows:
"At the conclusion of this proceeding, the City Council will take the matter under advisement and will render a decision, with findings of fact, if appropriate. The documents which are before Council are the documents which were provided to the BZA, and which were available to and referred to by the BZA in rendering its decision. Council has had an opportunity to review those documents, and the evidence submitted this evening should not be duplicative.
"The Petitioner will be afforded the opportunity to present a short statement as to the reasons the recommendation of the BZA should be approved, and the use variance granted. The Petitioner will then be provided with the opportunity to present any exhibits or testamentary evidence to support its position which has not already been presented to the BZA. After each witness has provided testimony, Council will be afforded the opportunity to question the witness.
"Once the Petitioner has provided all of his evidence, the public will provide testamentary evidence which has not already been presented to the BZA. Upon conclusion of each witness's testimony, the Petitioner will then have an opportunity to address any evidence provided by the public. When all evidence has been presented, the Petitioner will be afforded an opportunity to present a short closing argument. After that time, City Council will take the matter under advisement."
Mr. Mahler presented an exhibit that displayed the expected traffic flow of individuals interested in using the pick-up window. He described plans for signage to indicate an "Exit Only" so traffic would not be coming from two directions, and additional signage for "Employee Parking Only" to better control the flow of vehicles through the parking lot. Mr. Mahler further described that there would be room for up to a dozen cars before any potential backup would be possible.
Mr. Coste expressed his sincere desire in keeping his business in Lyndhurst, and wanting to be able to fairly compete with other businesses. He explained that this would not be a traditional drive-through window with speakers, but a face-to-face window for obtaining coffee and small breakfast items. He elaborated further, saying that this would make it much easier for the elderly or mothers with children to obtain these products without getting out of their cars.
Mr. Frey questioned Mr. Coste on the length of time it would take to order a cup of coffee and a dozen donuts. Mr. Coste replied that it wouldn't take more than a couple of minutes, due to the fact that customers wouldn't have the visual assistance to ponder choices; most would already have their order in mind when approaching the window.
Mr. Frey then questioned whether or not Amy Joy, a 24/7 business, would intend to have their pick-up window open 24/7. Mr. Coste stated that provided it was okay by the City, he would like to do so. Mr. Ward stated that 6:00 a.m. would possibly be an appropriate time to begin the pick-up window service. Mr. Coste contended that earlier would potentially be better, given that many people, like snow-plowers, start working earlier than 6:00 a.m. and would like to get coffee earlier. Mr. Schlessel questioned Mr. Coste as to the hours of his main competitors, and Mr. Coste said that he believes they are open 24/7.
Mr. Marko proposed the question: If the drive-through were open 24/7, would the main doors to the building be closed earlier? Mr. Coste stated that he believed it would be safer for his employees to keep the business open 24/7 in all aspects, as there is usually someone in the store.
Mr. Frey remarked that he had spoken to a homeowner whose property abuts the Amy Joy site, and stated that said homeowner was not aware of the proposed drive-through window. He asked what would be done to appease said homeowner, as far as fencing was concerned. Mr. Kunz replied that a six-foot fence would most likely need to be erected, one similar to the solid fence at the Crossroads Shopping Center. Mr. Ward stated that this wouldn't have any bearing on the drive-through window, because since the business is 24/7 anyway, there wouldn't be any distinction between people driving through the parking lot for regular use, or people using the drive-through window.
Mr. Schlessel inquired as to deliveries and trucks, any vehicles that may be pulling behind the building. Mr. Coste replied that one truck comes once a week, usually on Fridays around 3:00 in the afternoon. He further stated that no deliveries are made early in the morning or in the middle of the night, and that supplies delivered to him are usually delivered during regular working hours.
Mr. Marko asked for confirmation of the traffic flow by indications on the diagram being shown. Mr. Mahler explained the traffic flow by outlining it on said diagram, and explained where the signage would be placed regarding the entrances and exits. He extrapolated by responding to Mr. Frey's question regarding the Donato's business, saying that the delivery drivers' cars and traffic patterns would not be affected by the drive-through window.
Mr. Gambatese questioned as to whether or not there would be enough parking spaces available to handle any amount of employees working at any given time. Mr. Coste replied that he only has one or two employees working at any given time, and he cannot foresee that their vehicles would interfere with drive-through traffic. He further stated that he doesn't recall ever having more than fifteen people in line at any given time, and he can't imagine that being different with a drive-through window.
Mr. Fisher inquired as to placement of snow during the potential and likely snowstorms in the wintertime. Mr. Goldberg stated that they utilize the company Reliable Snow Plow, which would be on hand to service the lot and make sure that driving was not impeded in any way.
Mr. Frey mentioned newspaper quotes in reference to future plans for a patio, and inquired as to any plans for that. Mr. Goldberg explained that he cannot imagine a patio would be able to be built without taking away parking, and to accomplish that, they would have to go back to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Schlessel suggested replacing the drive-through with the patio. Mr. Kunz stated that no matter what location was proposed for a patio, it would have to go through the BZA first.
In response to Mr. Frey's concerns about cars wrapping around the building, Mr. Kunz stated that thirteen cars could comfortably wrap around the building. Mr. Frey noted that in passing the Mayfield Heights Dunkin Donuts nearly every morning, he observes about nine or ten cars able to comfortably wrap around that building. He went on to say that he is still concerned about the abutting property owner and the new flow of traffic behind the building. He further stated that he doesn't believe the current four-foot border does not provide adequate screening from the adjacent businesses.
Mr. Marko stated that the hours of operation would be a concern to many people, and that possibly closing the drive-through from the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and having all customers come inside would be a good option. Mr. Coste said they would take anything into consideration, if it would grease the wheels, per se, for Council. Mr. Marko inquired to Mr. Frey if he would be comfortable coming to a decision regarding the time frames, and Mr. Schlessel noted that these were all recommendations that could be made before taking the vote at the upcoming meeting.
Mr. Murphy reiterated that the only use variance requested was for a drive-through window, not a patio or anything else. He asked if anyone in the audience would like to state a position on the matter, and no one came forward. He confirmed with the three Amy Joy representatives that they had had an adequate opportunity to provide evidence in this matter, to which they gave a positive response.
It was moved by Mr. Ward, seconded by Mr. Gambatese, that the meeting be adjourned.
The question was put to a voice vote and passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 7:51 P.M.