City Council met for its first regular meeting of February on 2/7/2018. There were a number of items on the agenda with a heavy emphasis on zoning requests forwarded from Planning Committee. Items and discussions of note included:
- Zoning Request and Action for 11905 Kenn Rd (Calvary Pentecostal Church)
- Zoning Request (first reading) for 11345 Century Circle West (Vineyard Ministries)
- Zoning Request (first reading) for 242 W. Sharon Rd (The Housing Network of Hamilton County)
- Zoning Request (first reading) for PUD at Cassinelli Square (Small Hospital)
- Zoning Request (first reading) for 325 Pictoria Dr (Bahama Breeze)
- Updates to the Process to Elect City Council Officers (Emergency clause)
- Proposed Agreement with Montgomery for Prisoner Confinement (Emergency clause)
- Action on litigation, case A-1706177 (Emergency clause)
- Discussion on Emergency clause usage
- Discussion on Public Safety subcommittee action
Zoning Request and Action for 11905 Kenn Rd (Calvary Church)
The Calvary Church has been operating in Springdale since 1997 and operate a worship space as well as a k-12 school at this location. This new zoning request is for the property across the street (formally the Baptist College). There was some good discussion (and justified concern) that a zoning change (attached to the property) may not be in the best interest of the residents were the Church to sell or subdivide the land. The counter proposal would be a PUD or a conditional use agreement which would allow more control. The property is currently zoned Residential Low Density though the Springdale master plan also allows / envision a “PF” or public facilities zoned parcel at this location as well (something the representative from City Planning with the administration shared during the open hearing.) As a ‘buffer’ parcel between the interstate and the residential property I am comfortable with the PF designation for this location. This ordinance passed though there were dissenting votes.
Zoning Request (first readings) for:
11345 Century Circle West (Vineyard Ministries)
The Vineyard would like to expand the services offered at their location, including clinic services. This assortment of offerings is not permitted under their current zoning and would require a planned used agreement (PUD) to make the changes. There was no discussion on this at the first reading – more to come.
242 W. Sharon Rd (The Housing Network of Hamilton County)
One of the services of the Housing Network is to provide safe, affordable, and accessible housing to residents with developmental disabilities. The agency located property in Springdale citing its safety and affordability with good access to public transit. In order to accommodate a higher density (4 unit) build on a parcel that was original designated for a small medical office (or similar) a change to the plan is required. There was no discussion on this at the first reading – more to come.
PUD at Cassinelli Square (Small Hospital)
A developer presented at the past Planning Committee meeting proposing a small level 4 hospital facility. This is inside a planned development area so would require a change to accommodate. There was no discussion on this at the first reading – more to come.
325 Pictoria Dr (Bahama Breeze)
A hotel / development group approached Planning Committee with the intent to build a small extended stay hotel at the site of the former Bahama Breeze restaurant. Again, this would require a zoning change to accommodate. There was no discussion on this at the first reading – more to come.
Updates to the Process to Elect City Council Officers (Emergency clause)
As discussed at the prior meeting, this ordinance wold update the process City Council elects its officers (President and Vice President) from its own body. The current charter specifies in a contested election the decision should be made by secret ballot. This method predates current sunshine and open meeting requirements and (frankly in my opinion) does not reflect current best practices for public meetings. The proposed change removes the requirement that, it the situation occurred, would be in violation of Ohio law. As this does put Springdale laws at odds with state law is an issue of preserving the public peace. The changes removing the secret ballot language passed 7-0.
Proposed Agreement with Montgomery for Prisoner Confinement (Emergency clause)
There was lively discussion on this topic. Springdale currently has agreements with several other communities to house prisoners for short periods of time. Springdale has a 4 cell facility and typically has room available. This allows us to work with these other communities (often direct neighbors) to help maintain public safety. As I said several times during campaigning last year public safety should not just be about what happens directly inside out city, it must take into account what is going on across the yard or over the fence (literally in some cases) as well. The proposed contract has good controls to manage the risk of outside prisoner confinement (liability and similar) my question on this ordinance was what the justification for an Emergency Clause would be. In this case the author and administration did not have any additional cause to describe other than the contract is ready to sign. This set off significant debate as to if the Emergency Clause would be appropriate. If you are interested in my views and more of that part of the discussion see this previous post.
Through a motion the Emergency Clause was removed from the proposal and a second reading with occur at the next Council meeting.
Discussion on Emergency clause usage
See this previous post.
Action on litigation, case A-1706177 (Emergency clause)
City Council passed 7-0 an ordinance to granting authorization to enter an agreement to close litigation on case A-1706177 calling out maximum funds and action by Council Members that could be included in the agreement. Details on the case can currently be found through the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts.
Discussion on Public Safety Subcommittee action
During the new business section of the meeting Dan Shroyer provided an update on a past meeting. It may not be common knowledge that the police and fire department organizations are outlined through ordinance through City Council. The Public Welfare, Safety, and Education committee met to discuss these (and other) items:
- Discussion of ordinance 17-2007 regarding the compliment of the Police Department
- Discussion of ordinance 8-1996 regarding the organization of the Fire Department
Notice that these department charters have not been updated since 1996 and 2007 respectively. To ensure they match up with the changing demands and expectations of the community this subcommittee of City Council will be working with the administration to review and make needed ordinance recommendations as needed over the coming months.