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March 19, 2012


Mayor Spremulli called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m.


Mayor Spremulli, Council members Comstock, Gillund, Hale, and Maurer, Amy Brenan representing  the Chagrin Watershed Partners, Assistant Law Director Ann Oakar, Engineer Jeff Filarski, and Fiscal Officer Bernice Schreiber. 


Council member Gillund stated that originally she was against this ordinance since this type of legislation usually favors developers, enabling development on land which would otherwise not be buildable.  After discussions with the engineer, the mayor and other council members, she is convinced that the purpose of this ordinance is indeed conservation, and she will support the legislation.  However, she is apprehensive that developers could find a loophole in this legislation despite the Planning and Zoning Committee’s meticulous crafting of this ordinance.

Council member Comstock said that she is skeptical of legislation that allows developers to place more houses on a piece of land or to locate houses closer together.

Mayor Spremulli added that this ordinance does not allow for a change in number of total homes allowed on a parcel, but does allow for those homes to be placed closer together on that parcel.

Amy Brenan stated that the Chagrin River Watershed Partners supports this ordinance.  The Partners have found that this type legislation not only provides no rewards for developers but protects the land’s natural features.  She said that the Bentleyville legislation is well crafted and well thought out.  Bentleyville’s will require 45% open space which is significant; some communities require as low as 30%.  This legislation provides a legal resource that the Village may use to ensure that any new development looks like what the Village wants it to look like.

Ms Brenan added that surrounding municipalities have enacted similar legislation; the result of these rules have been a significant buffer around all land development; the right open space being preserved and protection of natural land features.

Engineer Filarski said that this legislation encourages developers to preserve natural resources in locating homes away from impediments to construction, since features like wetlands and hillsides can be preserved, in contrast to current ordinances which require builders to modify natural land features to conform to Village rules. 

Assistant Law Director Oakar asked Ms Brenan to explain how other communities have used this open space for trails, etc.

Council member Gillund asked if the ordinance would allow for trails in the green space, which neighboring residents may not want.  Amy Brennan answered that the developer would present to council plans for any such trails in the parcel’s original development plan, thereby allowing council to decide whether or not to allow such trails.  No trails could be added to a parcel after the homes are built unless council revisits the issue and then grants its approval.

Engineer Filarski added that there is a 100 foot buffer strip around the perimeter of any property where no development, including trails could be placed.



Respectfully submitted,

Bernice Schreiber, Fiscal Officer    



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