Public hearing scheduled for proposed Sagamore Hills zoning resolution changes

Jeff Saunders
Kent Weeklies

SAGAMORE HILLS — Residents will have an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the township’s zoning codes in late September.

The zoning commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on the matter at the Township Hall, 1551 Valley View Road, on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. The commission’s regularly scheduled meeting will follow.

Commission Chairman David Koncal said a public review such as this is the second step in a three-step process following a review and approval by the Summit County Planning Commission.

“If there are any changes [residents] want to make, we have to take that into account,” said Koncal. “And if everything goes according to plan, our next move would be to send it to the trustees because only the trustees can approve any changes, permanent changes to the zoning book.”

Koncal added, “[Residents] still have the option of presenting any objections or comments at the trustees meeting, too. There are multiple options here to get it right.”

Go to www.mysagamorehills.com/zoning-commission-public-hearing-9-28-2020 to view the proposed changes.

The proposed changes would be in four of the resolution’s sections. Under Section Two, definitions, changes would include the removal of a number of items, including definitions of various “adult entertainment establishments,” such as adult book and video stores, adult cabarets and adult movie theaters.

Also removed would be definitions of nude model studio, nudity or a state of nudity, sexually-oriented business, specified anatomical area, and specified sexual activity.

Other deletions would be definitions for boarding, lodging or tourist homes, commercial recreation parks, high-rise apartments, Internet sweepstakes cafés and Internet business centers, and municipal central sewer and water services.

Koncal said the main reason for the deletions are due to items no longer being needed. For example, the state has tightened up on regulations regarding sex- and the Internet-related businesses, which supersede township regulations anyway.

“”They were obsolete,” he said. “We didn’t want to leave them in there because things change all the time. And most of the time, it’s easier and more accurate to go with the state regulations.”

Similarly, apartments are only allowed in planned unit developments, such as Greenwood Village and Eaton Estates, and these fall under federal regulations, said Koncal.

And municipal central sewer and water services and commercial recreation parks no longer exist in the township, he said.

Other definitions would be added. These include bars, drive-in, drive-thru and fast food services, living areas within buildings, outdoor recycling collection bins, restaurants, development site plans, taverns, “use” as pertaining to land and buildings, rear yards, and the township’s zoning officer.

A number of other definitions would be altered or replaced and there are various housekeeping edits as well.

Section Three, residential districts, would see the addition of regulations concerning accessory structures, such as sheds. To Section 14, planned unit development, would be added regulations regarding accessory structures excluding sheds.

Koncal said residents in Eaton Estates, where such accessory buildings as sheds are not currently allowed, requested that the development of regulations be looked at.

“We put regulations in there to keep the neighborhoods nice,” he said.

To Section Seven, supplementary regulations, a prohibition barring residential rentals of less than 30 days would be added. Koncal said this is to be proactive and avoid situations that have developed elsewhere in Summit and Cuyahoga counties.

“Somebody would rent a house for a night or a weekend and throw these massive parties, call them what you want, that were just kind of a nuisance to the neighbors,” he said.

Koncal said the commission has been going through a mass review of the zoning resolution for approximately seven years, with proposed changes to each section being put forward in turn over that time. The definitions section is the last of approximately 16 sections to go through this.

But, added Koncal, reviewing zoning regulations is an ongoing process, with the commission looking at various parts as the need arises.

“Right now, we’re looking at commercial parking regulations, is what we require for commercial parking really correct,” said Koncal. “It appears that it is, but we have some questions and it’s time to review that again. That’s the job of the zoning commission, to continually look at our regulations and see if there’s something that can be done better.”

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at jsaunders@recordpub.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.