residents spoke before the council on the the proposed chicken
legislation. All were supportive of at least a trial period. After
discussion the council voted to postpone a vote until August 3.
posted - May 18, 2009 Special Meeting.
City of Grandview Heights
Monday, May 4, 2009
President Reynolds called to order the City of Grandview Heights Council meeting of Monday, May 4, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Present: Council Members –S. Gladman, E. Hastie, S. Jagers, P. Koelker, A. Panzera, S. Von Jasinski, President S. Reynolds, Mayor DeGraw, Director of Administration/Economic Development Bowman, City Attorney Khouzam, and Director of Finance Dvoraczky.
Approval of Proceedings April 6, 2009 Regular Meeting April 20, 2009 Special Meeting
ladman moved and Koelker seconded to approve the minutes as submitted. Vote: All ayes. THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 6, 2009 REGULAR AND APRIL 20, 2009 SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETINGS WERE APPROVED AS SUBMITTED.
…Director of Finance Dvoraczky introduced the newest member of the Finance Department staff, Megan Miller. Miller accepted the position of Assistant Director of Finance and started the last week of April. She previously worked at the State Auditor’s office performing audits around Franklin, Madison, and Union counties.
…Fire Chief Kauffman presented five members of the Division of Fire with letters of commendation for their effort in assisting the evacuation of Summit Chase Condominiums after the September 14, 2008 windstorm. Those receiving the commendation were: Captain Dan Fancey, Fire/Medics Martin Hafey, Mike Smith, Josh Harris and Jason Kay.
…President Reynolds stated that Council has received quite a bit of feedback on the proposed chicken legislation. Some of the comments received were colorful. He asked the visitors to be considerate and respect all those who speak.
…Jeff Reynolds, 1417 W. Second Avenue, stated that chickens should be allowed on a test basis or implemented administratively somehow since most of the concerns could be dealt with through nuisance rules.
…Susannah Engdahl, 1165 Glenn Avenue, spoke in favor of permitting chickens. Raising urban chickens would be more humane to the foul than on a farm.
…Andy Smigelski, 1237 Broadview Avenue, stated he has tried to address any concerns relating to noise, smell and diseases of raising urban chickens. With these concerns no serious issues have been found. The Board of Health has had no issue with the keeping of chickens. He further stated that the people from Grandview have come to speak in favor of the keeping of chickens.Smigelski urged Council to consider a trial run allowing several permits to be issued. The proposed ordinance could then be revisited in six months.
…Blanche Luczyk, 1462 Wyandotte, stated that it is a responsible ownership problem. She has had more problems with barking dogs, roaming cats and owners not picking up after their pets. She does not believe those problems would exist with chickens.
…Bruce Mortland, 1364 Ida Avenue, commented that people have come so far removed from their food chain. He encouraged Council to do one test case and realize this is no problem.
…Judy Koob, 1251 Oakland Avenue, retired real estate broker, stated that buyers would not want to purchase a house next to chickens. It would affect real estate values. But after listening to Smigelski she believed he should be allowed to keep chickens on a test basis.
…Milton Lewis, 1201 Ashland Avenue, commented that he is a former Council member and has appeared to support Smigelski in getting the legislation changed to allow chickens. It is important to see him (Smigelski) engaged in the community in something that he believes in. Raising chickens in the City is a progressive ideal. It is something different. It is the kind of thing that Grandview is known for, being a more forward thinking than some of the other suburban districts. Lewis further stated that he knows what a difficult decision this is for Council, but it is the kind of thing that makes Grandview, Grandview. It is not the end of the world and he would like for Council to take a chance on it.
…Rick Wilson, 882 McClain Road, commented that for all the reasons stated during the meeting he supports the raising of chickens in the City.
There being no further comments, President Reynolds stated that he would like to change the agenda to have Old Business #4 read and discussed immediately after the Department Heads Status Reports if there were no oppositions from Council members. There were none.
Department Head Status Reports:
Economic Development – Koelker stated that there will be an Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. She further noted that she will provide a report on proposed legislation as it appears on the agenda.
In response to President Reynolds inquiry, Chief Kiser explained that the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is a voluntary accreditation for law enforcement agencies based on a body of standards and is internationally accepted by the law enforcement community. Before he was hired as Chief the Division of Police was pursuing CALEA recognition which had to be delayed. After he was hired he agreed that when they got to the point where they could get it done, they would. With the culmination of a great deal of hard work and dedication by all members of the Division, and especially Sergeant Balla and Detective Harper, the Division of Police will be CALEA recognized which is an honor that few police agencies experience.
Director of Administration/Economic Development Report – Director Bowman reported that as a result of the gas aggregation article in the Columbus Dispatch, several calls have come into City Hall inquiring about IGS rates of $1.12 being greatly above what Columbia Gas is currently charging. There is no penalty or fee for someone who chooses to opt out of the aggregation program with IGS.
***Chief Kiser, Chief Kauffman and Assistant Director of Finance Miller were excused.***
4. Ord. 2009-12: An Ordinance Amending Chapter 505 of the City of Grandview HeightsCodified Ordinances to allow Chickens to be kept within City Limits, with Certain Restrictions.
…President Reynolds commented that as eluded to previously there are quite a few things that Council is dealing with at this point. One that will be dealt with for quite some time in the City is the Grandview Yard Project and the roughly $100m TIF that goes with it. With that, he does not want to dismiss the importance of this proposed ordinance and what it could mean in the greater sense. Realistically it is going to be challenging for Council to either come up with a workable solution or come to consensus on the data that they have in front of them as it stands. With that in mind it would be his preference to either table the discussion to a date certain or indefinitely so that Council could maybe push it back to the end of summer if so inclined to try to perhaps come up with a trial version of it or one that is less bulking to the code and more administratively handled.
…Koelker commented that from what she has taken time to avail herself of the last few weeks is interesting. The fact of the matter is that Council has no idea what they are doing since most have never raised chickens. Beyond that, even people who raised chickens haven’t raised them in the City. That, all the letters, information from the Health Department and from OSU extension, and all the stuff that she has received just makes it to where she needs to look at it much further and at a much more comprehensive fashion. Frankly, she does not believe Council should be focusing on the proposed chicken legislation right now. She agreed that it should be tabled to such time Council can consider it more reasonably and thoughtfully. Koelker stated that right now the way it is written it precludes much of what it would permit.
…Von Jasinski commented that his personal instinct is to not postpone saying no or yes. Take a position. He dislikes permanent postponement. He believes in making a decision and move on.
…Koelker remarked that her position is generally yes but it needs a lot more regulation, discussion and research. She can’t say yes now and she’s not willing to say no now. Hence the table. It can be tabled for later in the year. Koelker stated that she does not know who is going to have time to research so that it is a good ordinance. She feels obliged to be that person since is the sponsor but she does not have time as the Chair of the Economic Development Committee to do that.
…Milton Lewis (visitor) asked if Council was offered the language of an ordinance from a different City to which Koelker responded she had reviewed at least twenty-five, which none of them actually apply to Grandview’s situation. They really vary based on lot size and density. There are some aspects of the proposed ordinance that would be burdensome to someone who actually wanted to do it in a responsible manner, in particular the moving of the coop, which is impractical.
…City Attorney Khouzam stated that some of the ordinances came out of cities where there are a lot more administrative personnel that are able to issue permits and regulate permitting.The City has a building department of two people who work full-time and who are going to be working full time on all the Grandview Yard issues on an on-going basis for the next many months.
…Lewis commented that he knows that Council and the Administration is really busy. He tends to agree with Von Jasinski that tabling indefinitely is not going to answer the question and asked what Smigelski can do to assist the City.
…Koelker agreed that tabling it indefinitely is not going to answer the question. She has spent enough time on the chicken issue that she now feels irresponsible because the City has the Yard before them which will have an impact on the City that it hasn’t seen in the past 80 years or the next 50 years. This is what Council needs to spend their time on.
…Koelker moved to table to a date certain August 3, 2009. Jagers seconded.
…Hastie commented that Council has received a lot of information and he has researched some of the links he received. He does not have a problem with the residents providing input of what goes into an ordinance but it is the responsibility of Council to write it. He feels he has enough information to make a vote on the ordinance as written. Tabling to a date certain of August 3, 2009 does not do anyone in the room any good.
…Jagers stated she was not comfortable voting on the proposed ordinance as written because there is too much information in it. She has looked over many of the other communities’ ordinances provided and they really don’t apply to what Grandview is. She has her thoughts and her ideas for language but has not had time to get them to City Attorney Khouzam or the Safety Committee. Jagers stated she seconded the motion to table because she would appreciate more time to consider doing this right and that it would work for the community.
…Panzera commented that this proposed legislation was assigned to the Safety Committee and there has not been a recommendation from that committee. That is the purpose of the Committee structure. If this were any other discussion, this would remain in committee until a recommendation of some type occurs.
…Jagers stated that her opinion at the end of the last Safety Committee meeting was that because of the amount of the community input into the proposed legislation it was certainly an issue that needed to be debated by Council as a whole.
…Von Jasinski, Chair of Safety Committee, reported that he had just signed off on the latest Committee minutes so they may be distributed to Council members.
...Gladman stated he is fine with tabling it until August 3, 2009 but pointed out that Council could take it off the table before that if there is a solution. He believes Koelker is being conservative because of the amount of work Council does so not to have to table it again. He stated that he is okay if the Safety Committee wants to have another hearing for the community and bring it back before August 3, 2009.
…President Reynolds stated that by Council as a whole tabling it to a date certain doesn’t precludes the Safety Committee from doing any work that they find time to do.
…Von Jasinski commented that a Safety Committee meeting can be scheduled. He has some difficulty on public announcements that a date to deal with the issue is on record and it is decided to be brought up at an earlier date.
…Koelker stated that right now the Mayor, as Director of Public Safety, has the ability to grant permission to keep chickens. The only other thing that makes sense to do to do it quickly is to strike most of the language in the proposed ordinance and allow the Director of Public Safety to issue one or two permits for a trial period of twelve months.
…Mayor DeGraw stated that for him to allow chickens, he would have to perform the same research and make a decision on what is out there. There is an ordinance currently in place and it is up to the Administration to enforce the code.
…In response to Smigelski’s agreeing with Koelker’s comment to issue permits for a trial period, President Reynolds stated that he would agree with him if he (Reynolds) could find the time to come up with the words to get something drafted. It is pretty clear that Council has to balance what seems to a genuine spirit of wanting to move forward in a progressive way with the proposed legislation but also some of the folks have concerns with about what this might be. He is not sure when all is said and done those health and/or nuisance concerns might pan out but it is important to make sure that Council is focusing on balancing those issues. It is really challenging for Council right now. He appreciated what Smigelski has done
and that he has been the most prepared person before Council on any issue. President Reynolds wants to look into it to see if it can be done and done right. He does not see Council having the time the next few months to focus on it.
Vote to table: Gladman – yes, Hastie – no, Jagers – yes, Koelker – yes, Panzera – no, Von Jasinski – no, President Reynolds – yes.
PROPOSED LEGISLATION TABLED TO A DATE CERTAIN BEING AUGUST 3, 2009.
...Panzera commented that he has not responded to any of the e-mails and that is not due to the lack of desire. It is mostly because he speaks better than he writes. He is indifferent to this specific issue. What he has heard from feedback causes him concern that this will trigger a referendum. Panzera stated that the way he has been processing this is – “will it withstand a public vote”.
COUNCIL CONTINUED WITH OLD BUSINESS AS IT APPEARED ON AGENDA:
1. Ord. 2009-09: An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor and director of Finance to enter into a lease agreement with the Grandview Community Association, the Grandview Bicycle Race company and J. Baumeister for the use of certain City Rights-of-Way and McKinley Field in the City of Grandview Heights, Ohio, and declaring it an emergency. RECORDED AS A SECOND READING.. 2009-10: An Ordinance to provide for rates of compensation and benefits for certain employees of the City of Grandview Heights, Ohio, and declaring it an emergency.
…Jagers, Chair of the Planning and Administration Committee, reported the Committee has some additional language changes in the proposed legislation and would like it to be recorded as a reading. RECORDED AS A THIRD READING.
3. Ord. 2009-11: An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor and Director of Finance to enter into a Development and Incentive Agreement with Book Dog Books, LLC, providing economic incentives to locate its operations to the property located at 1401 West Goodale Boulevard in the City of Grandview Heights, and declaring it an emergency.
…Koelker, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, reported the Committee reviewed the proposed legislation and recommended approval by Council.
…Discussion followed on future Development and Incentive Agreements to include a clause that the business would donate funds to the City’s Parks Foundation, similar to the payment of funds to the Education Foundation. Director Bowman asked why would the City give an incentive to have an incentive come back to the City. He would like to have time to think it through.
President Reynolds commented given that Council is not acting on that particular thought at the present time he would like for the Economic Development Committee to handle it.
…Panzera moved for approval. Koelker seconded. Vote on approval: All ayes.
LEGISLATION APPROVED – ORDINANCE NO. 2009-11.
1. Ord. 2009-13: An Ordinance establishing the Grandview Yard Community Entertainment District pursuant to the provisions of Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.80 in the City of Grandview Heights, Ohio; making certain finding related thereto; and declaring it an emergency. RECORDED AS A FIRST READING.
Assigned to Planning and Administration.
…Hastie abstained from any future vote on the proposed legislation due to his prior client relationships and what he feels would be a conflict for his business in the future. He further stated that as a member of the Planning and Administration Committee he would not participate in those discussions either.
2. Ord. 2009-14: An Ordinance to make a supplemental appropriation for current expenses of the City during the fiscal year ending December 31, 2009, and declaring it an emergency. RECORDED AS A FIRST READING. Assigned to the Finance Committee.
…A Finance Committee meeting has been scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on May 18, 2009.
…Gladman stated that Parks and Recreation Director Robey submitted for a Columbus Foundation Grant to remove the invasive species at Wyman Woods. The City was awarded an $8,000 grant from the Green Fund of the Columbus Foundation.
Pursuant to ORC § 121.22 (G) (4) for the purpose of preparing for, conducting, or reviewing collective bargaining strategy andto consider the purchase of property for public purposes subject to O.R.C. 121.22(G)(2).
…Gladman moved and Von Jasinski seconded to adourn into Executive Session. Vote: All ayes. COUNCIL ADJOURNED INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION 8:28 P.M.
Von Jasinski and Gladman left the meeting.
COUNCIL ADJOURNED FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION AND RECONVENED INTO THE REGULAR COUNCIL SESSION AT 10:21 P.M.
...Koelker moved and Jagers seconded to accept the Factfinders recommendations for the International Fire Fighters Local Union contract. Vote: All ayes. FACTFINDERS RECOMMENDATION ACCEPTED.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10:23 p.m.