Update 12/13/18 – Mayfield Heights Mayor Anthony DiCicco vetoed the city council’s decision to back the BZA resolution that would have allowed Fairchild Management Co. to develop its self-storage project in a U-4 district. On Monday, the council backed the reversal of the resolution, and will now require Molchan to seek a zoning variance, according to the source.
Though DiCicco supports the Fairchild project, his decision sided with previous arguments that allowing self-storage into U-4 districts without a variance would set a bad precedent. "I think it's a good use. I support it,” DiCicco said during the meeting. “I think there would be low traffic volume, and that it's a good use for the property."
The city council is expected to approve the variance.
10/26/18 – The Mayfield Heights, Ohio, City Council this week backed a resolution by the board of zoning appeals (BZA), paving the way for the community’s first self-storage facility. Some council and BZA members expressed concern that allowing the business type this time would lead to more storage development in the city, according to the source. Still, the BZA approved the zoning request with a 3-2 vote.
The proposal includes construction of 100,000 square feet of storage at 1413 Golden Gate Blvd., according to John Molchan, who represented developer Fairchild Management Co. LLC during the council meeting. The property contains an existing 28,000-square-foot building that “has issues,” such as parking-lot damage, faulty drainage pipes and other problems, Molchan said. Fairchild has yet to decide if it’ll incorporate the structure into its construction plan but hopes to open the new facility next year.
Prior to the vote, BZA chairman Fredric Kramer and councilmember Robert DeJohn spoke against the zoning request. Allowing storage in the U-4 zoning district, which is designated for retail and wholesale business, could set a precedent and invite other storage developers, they warned.
Councilmember Michael Ballistrea noted that the city’s planning commission would have final say on any future storage developments, to which DeJohn countered, “Once you set the precedent, it doesn't matter what the planning commission approves.” He also suggested the city could be sued by a future storage developer if denied permission to build in a U-4 district.
Councilmember Donald Manno said he initially had doubts about the project, however, after touring a self-storage facility Fairchild operates in Westlake, Ohio, he agreed to back it if a solid wall was erected between the facility and neighboring residents. He also encouraged the developer to tear down the existing building and build a new structure. The developer was open to these suggestions, Molchan said.
Paul Murphy, the city’s director of law, noted that if a variance was allowed for only this development, the city could avoid setting a precedent that would allow storage development in any U-4 district. The council voted 3-1 in favor, with DeJohn opposing and council president Donna Finney abstaining due to a personal relationship with the applicant.
Cleveland.com, Mayfield Heights Mayor Wants to Limit Self-Storage Zoning, Vetoes Council's Prior Vote
Cleveland.com, Mayfield Heights Council Approves Zoning for City's First Self-Storage Facility