Northfield Center seeks to abate nuisances at residence

Ken Lahmers
Special to

NORTHFIELD CENTER – The township is enlisting the help of the Summit County prosecutor’s office to get zoning violations resolved at a residence at Pleasantview and Skylane drives.

A resolution was adopted at the trustees’ May 3 meeting to get the prosecutor’s office involved in an attempt to abate several nuisances since trustees say the property owner has not responded to repeated notices of violation.

The issue was first discussed in December 2020 after Trustee Paul Buescher reported tree branches on the property had fallen onto Skylane causing a safety hazard, and the property owner ignored requests to remove them.

“The situation has existed for three years,” Buescher said then. “A motorist or pedestrian is going to get hurt [by falling trees]. Does a tree have to fall on someone before we do something?”

The resolution adopted by trustees also cited violations regarding “rank vegetation and siding coming off the house.”

The resolution directs Zoning Inspector Don Saunders to send a file about the situation to Assistant Prosecutor Raymond Hartsough so he can begin proceedings pursuant to the township’s property maintenance code.

It also calls for the township to consult an arborist to determine the condition of the trees in question, with a blanket purchase order not to exceed $500 to be drawn on the general fund’s zoning account for “other expenses.”

Trustee Rich Reville said this case is one of several the township has pursued since passage of the property maintenance code a few months ago. He said the code is working, with some residents having corrected violations.


Officials from Infinity Construction and DS Architecture gave an update on design progress for the proposed safety/administrative offices building beside the service department garage at 8484 Olde Eight Road.

Eric Melkerson and Brady Oaks said the current schematic design estimates for the 10,300-square-foot building are set at $2.78 million in direct costs and $568,144 in indirect costs, or a total of about $3.35 million.

Oaks said two costs which have been rising significantly in recent months are for steel for the pre-engineered metal building and concrete, and they could continue to rise even higher.

The building has been scaled back from about 11,000 square feet. It would provide space for the fire department, township offices and a sheriff’s outpost, which now operate at Township Hall and the fire station at Route 82 and Brandywine Road.

Trustee Russ Mazzola pointed out despite design work on the new building moving forward, trustees are not ignoring Township Hall, where several upgrades are being discussed and implemented.

For example, at the meeting trustees OK’d applying for a Summit County Community Development Block Grant for roof and gutter repairs at the Hall. Total cost would be $45,000, with the grant to provide $33,750 (75 percent).

Also approved was using a Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council energized grant of $3,105 to replace or repair the Hall’s heating and air conditioning system. Trustees will seek quotes.

After Saunders’ and Trustee Rich Reville’s review, the board adopted the 2021 schedule of zoning fees and bonds, which Saunders said are consistent with fees charged by surrounding communities.

Trustees discussed publishing a new zoning resolution book with the schedule of fees and bonds included, but held off approving it until getting an official OK from the zoning commission.

The latter panel’s chairman, John Campbell, suggested the new zoning book because differing copies of the book are circulating and causing confusion. The new book would include all text amendments approved through December 2020.

Interim Service Director Frank Buehner reported the township used 286 tons of road salt during the winter, and Macedonia Fire Chief Brian Ripley reported crews responded to 39 rescue and two fire calls in April in the township.

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