The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Thomas Worthington High School, Worthington. The following Council members were present: Mayor Kirk M. McHugh, Michael D. Blanchard, Jeffery A. Colwell, Scott K. Gordon, Jenny D. Jones, and Eric A. MacGilvray, President Pro-Tem. Also present were Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer, L. Leah Reibel, Solicitor, William P. Charles, Street Commissioner, Michael Jones, Planning Commissioner, and Jody Croley Jones, Web Manager. Guests of Council were Pamela Colwell, Lois Yoakam, Andy Sears, Mike Aljancic, and Bradley Pulfer. At 7:01 pm the Mayor called the meeting to order.
The minutes of the regular Council meeting of June 16, 2014 were not read since each member had received a copy. MacGilvray moved and Jones seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Colwell moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for June and July 2014 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Mayor
There was no report from the Mayor.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor reported that she had drafted a resolution for the renewal of the village's contract with Sharon Township for snow and ice removal. The renewal of the contract would also add fallen tree & branch removal as a covered service.
Report of the Street Commissioner
The Commissioner reported that Decker Construction may be out the next week to perform the repairs on the curb and storm drain issues throughout the village.
The Commissioner reported that he had received more estimates on the repair of fire hydrants in the village. The potential costs would vary depending on the level of work that would be needed. A simple repair of the stems would run about $800 each, or $1,600 for the two hydrants. If either hydrant has to be excavated in this process, it would add an additional $2,500, for a total of $4,100. If the village needed two brand new hydrants, the cost would be about $8,200. Blanchard moved and Colwell seconded the motion to approve up to $4,500 in repairs to these hydrants. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Planning Commissioner
The Commission approved three Certificates of Appropriateness in August. These included a kitchen addition at 65 W Southington Dr, a screened porch at 190 W Riverglen Dr, and a new addition at 72 W Riverglen Dr.
Report of the Marshal
There was no report as the Marshal was not in attendance.
Report of the Web Manager
The Web Manager reported that the most popular hit on our site continued to be the meeting minutes archive.
Report of the Newsletter Editor
There was no report from the Newsletter Editor.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
Mike Aljancic addressed Council concerning his appeal of the Planning Commission decision on 5872 Olentangy Blvd. He explained that he felt that there were two major errors in protocol with the building of the addition on the house. The first was that Franklin County authorized the construction without receiving the COA from the village and the second was that he stated he was not told to stop construction after the Contractor contacted the Planning Commissioner about the work in progress. He felt that none of the materials involved in the construction of the addition violated any codes and that the decision to require a material change was based on the personal preference of the neighbors. He stated that he should have the ability to pursue the appeal, even though he sold the property in the middle of the appeal process, since he has $10,000 in escrow for the repairs, that will not be released until the certificate of appropriateness is issued.
Colwell apologized for the delays in the process, explaining that they were due to the inability to coordinate the schedules of all necessary parties during the summer months, as well as the legal research that was needed to determine his legal standing during the sale of the property. MacGilvray inquired as to whether any work had been done on the house in the interim and Mr. Aljancic explained that the work was partially done, with the HardiePlank siding being replaced by stucco because he stood to lose all $10,000 if it was not completed by 8/14. The windows need to be custom ordered and have not yet been installed. MacGilvray asked Mr. Aljancic whether the window was the only item being appealed at this point, due to the stucco work being completed as a result of a contract with the new homeowner. Bradley Pulfer, the legal counsel for Mr. Aljancic, explained that the stucco work was done to meet a timeline, but agreed that something that has already been brought to code cannot be appealed. MacGilvray inquired as to whether the appeal could be held immediately, and the Mayor replied that it could not be held, as there was no Court Reporter present and the neighbors had not been notified. Blanchard stated that the appeal was not held in the 60 day period required in the ordinances. The Mayor replied that the village had attempted to schedule the appeal in the necessary time, but circumstances, including the fact that the Council could not get into the High School, and the court reporter said she could not get a good reporting if the meeting was held on the steps, required the cancellation of the meeting. Additionally, the Mayor noted that the appeal could not be moved from the High School, because official Notice had been posted and neighbors had been notified of that location. Blanchard raised the possibility that the casement windows may be a safety risk if a patio were placed along the addition in the future and that a double hung window may be the proper window for the location. Blanchard asked the Planning Commissioner if the reason that the window was not approved is because it did not match the rest of the windows in the house. The Commissioner responded in the affirmative.
The Mayor mentioned that there had been precedent that if Council wanted to erase the need for the appeal and vote on the window immediately. The Planning Commissioner objected to this, stating that there were five residents who objected to the window as it was currently. The Mayor stated that this objection was heard, but Council had the ability to vote on the window. The Solicitor asked Andy Sears, the current homeowner, what his feeling on the issue were. Mr. Sears replied that his concern was that he wanted the proper protocols to be followed as far as notification of the neighbors. He also stated that he would like to see the windows changed because that was the wish of the neighbors. He stated that he purchased the house knowing that the window work needed to be performed, but not knowing that there was no COA approved and no Certificate of Occupancy issued. Mr. Aljancic pointed out the language on the contract from the sale of the property stating that the title company would withhold $10,000 until the COA had been issued. The Mayor stated that the process for the appeal is that any residents would not necessarily be able to speak at the meeting and that they would be in attendance only to answer any questions that may be raised by Council. Blanchard moved to approve the windows as they currently stood with no further action. There was no second to this motion, the motion failed. Council tried to find a date to hold the appeal that would meet the schedules of all necessary parties and before Mr. Aljancic's 8/31 deadline to have the work performed. The special meeting for purposes of the appeal was scheduled for Thursday, August 21, at 7:00 pm at Thomas Worthington High School. Holding the meeting on this date would require the waiving of the 10 day notification period to neighbors. Jones moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to waive this 10 day period. The motion passed unanimously (5-0). To expedite the process, the Clerk-Treasurer was to hand deliver the notification to the neighbors in question. Gordon expressed concerns that Council had passed the 60 day period for appeal stated in the ordinances. The Solicitor stated she would research this issue.
The Mayor mentioned that he had received the invoice from the person who had tire damage from an exposed sewer grate on Melbourne. The invoice was in the amount of $190.66. Jones moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to reimburse these expenses. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 3, Blanchard, Jones, and MacGilvray; No, 2, Colwell and Gordon. The motion passed (3-2).
Resolution 2014-11 Resolution 2014-11, A Resolution to Provide for the Removal of Ice, Snow, and Fallen Branches from the Streets of Riverlea was introduced by Jones. The contract between the village and Sharon Township for snow and ice removal was up for renewal. The language in the current renewal states that it will auto renew annually unless terminated. The Clerk-Treasurer will remind Council when the contract is up for renewal so that they may discuss it. The new contract also includes language stating that Sharon Township will handle the removal of fallen trees in the streets. The Street Commissioner questioned how the billing for this would be handled with the additional services. The Solicitor explained that the billing for the branch removal would be slightly different.
Blanchard questioned whose responsibility it was to remove tree branches that are blocking the right of way in the roads. Jones stated that it was in the ordinances that residents need to maintain these and not block the right of way. The Mayor asked the Web Manager to put a note on the website asking residents to comply with this.
Colwell questioned whether the rates listed for tree branch removal were comparable to market prices. The Street Commissioner responded that this branch removal would be under emergency situations and the rates are comparable to similar rates. Colwell moved and Jones seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (5-0). Jones moved and MacGilvray seconded the motion to approve this resolution. The motion passed unanimously (5-0).
Ordinance No. 02-2014
MacGilvray moved and Gordon seconded the motion to remove Ordinance No. 02-2014, An Ordinance to Amend the Building Regulations of Riverlea from the table. The motion passed unanimously (5-0). Colwell moved and MacGilvray seconded the motion to approve the ordinance. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Ordinance No. 03-2014
MacGilvray moved and Gordon seconded the motion to remove Ordinance No. 03-2014, An Ordinance to Amend the Zoning Regulations of the Village of Riverlea from the table. The motion passed unanimously (5-0). The Council discussed 151.070A, which it had held off on finalizing at the June meeting. Jones was under the impression that the previous Council had voted to strike this language, but Colwell stated that it had not. Jones stated that there had been a discussion to remove the end of this section as it was considered subjective. Colwell stated that he could find no discussion in either the Ordinance Committee or Council minutes stating that this language was to be removed. Colwell felt that if this language was removed, it would negate the language in the previous ordinances regarding the information that residents must submit for the certificate of appropriateness. Jones also felt that the seven items listed in this section did not cover all of the potential criteria for decisions by the committee. Colwell pointed out where the items in the list are required by other ordinances. Gordon stated that although the language could be considered subjective, there is an appeals process by which Council serves as the oversight for the Planning Commission. MacGilvray stated that it seemed like getting rid of the language would be going too far as a solution to people's problems with the Planning Commission decisions. Jones moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to remove the language in this section from the end of the first paragraph from “In conducting its review…” through the end of #7. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 2, Blanchard and Jones; No, 3, Colwell, Gordon, and MacGilvray. The motion failed to carry (2-3).
The Solicitor also made an amendment to section 151.099 to standardize the language for the Penalty section for ch. 151 so that it matches ch. 150 as per the discussion at the last meeting. MacGilvray moved and Colwell seconded this amendment. The motion passed unanimously (5-0). Colwell moved and MacGilvray seconded the motion to approve the ordinance with the amendment. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Committee on Infrastructure
The Chair of the committee reported that he had done some research into OPWC guidelines and had discovered that for water and sewer repair, the only option would be to receive a loan, not a grant. This would mean that under option #2 from the previous meeting, the village would need to ask for a loan of about 45% of the total, or $2.5M. The cost of servicing this loan on a 30 year time frame would be about $81K per year. As this represents about 40% of the village's operating budget, Riverlea would need to find a revenue source to fund such an expense. The three funding options would be an assessment on homeowners, a property tax increase, or an income tax. The committee is discussing pros and cons of these options.
Committee on Communications
The Chair of the committee reported that the Summer Quarterly would be coming out in about a week.
Committee on Ordinances
There was no report from the Chair of the committee.
Neighborhood Cleanup Day
The Mayor reported that some neighbors had concerns about grass growing in some of the gutters around the village and that they were interested in setting up a neighborhood cleanup day, for residents to pull these, as well as other maintenance around the village. The council appointed the Social Chair to put out a request on the “Friends of Riverlea” Facebook page as to which date would work best.
Colwell mentioned that the POD at the residence on Beverly had been there about four months, which is beyond the time limit listed in the ordinances. The Clerk will have the Marshal research this and issue a reminder of the time limit to the resident.
Jones moved and Colwell seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures:
Colwell moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22(G)(3) to conference with an attorney for the public body concerning disputes involving the public body that are the subject of pending or imminent court action. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5: Blanchard, Colwell, Gordon, Jones and MacGilvray; No, None. The motion was approved 5-0. Council adjourned into Executive Session at 8:35 pm.
Gordon moved and Jones seconded the motion to adjourn out of Executive Session and resume Open Session. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5: Blanchard, Colwell, Gordon, Jones and MacGilvray; No, None. The motion was approved 5-0.
Council resumed Open Session at 8:48 pm.
Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items
There were no comments on non-agenda items.
Next Meeting Announcement
The next regular meeting will be September 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Thomas Worthington High School.
Council will hold a special meeting on August 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Thomas Worthington High School.
There being no further business, Blanchard moved and Gordon seconded the motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0). The meeting was adjourned at 8:49 pm.