Mayfield Heights Council Approves Preliminary Aquatic / Community Center Plan

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio – City Council on Monday approved preliminary plans for the new Aquatic and Community Center planned for Marsol Road, on the current site of the DeJohn Community Center. Getting the green light was a plan for a 30,733 square foot one-story building at 6306 Marsol Road.

In front of the building will be the new city pool and terrace, highlighted by a winding 40-foot-high slide. Chris Trotta, founder and chairman of architectural firm levelHEADS, delivered his monthly presentation updating the board on the progress of the plans ahead of Monday’s vote.

The building will be located between the pool and I-271 to the south. With a budget of $ 17 million, the project will include 160 on-site parking spaces (parking will also be available on Marsol Road in the City Park lot) and will include three community halls with natural light, a kitchen and a gymnasium. When converted, the gymnasium will accommodate within its boundaries one main basketball court, or two practice basketball courts, or two volleyball courts, or up to six pickleball courts. There will be bleachers for spectators.

Along the south end of the building will be a patio. At the east end of the property, where the DeJohn Center is now located, will be a future service yard area (no buildings will be constructed) for the storage of materials by the city service, while an area play area will be located at the west end, near Marsol Road. The landscaping, in the form of a buffer zone of trees, will be held between the playground and the swimming pool, and the neighboring houses.

The Pool Deck, as designed by Trotta, will feature a zero-depth pool, three-lane leisure pool, four-lane activity pool, diving boards, family / toddler slide, a climbing wall and an area for outdoor volleyball and basketball.

Trotta said a final site plan is expected to be submitted for council approval in February.

Councilor Nino Monaco voted on his own against approving the preliminary plan, saying the city’s planning commission had recommended a derogation of 130 parking spaces and that the council should take action to approve this derogation before proceeding. approve the preliminary site plan. On-site parking, combined with parking at the municipal park, totaled 293 spaces, as opposed to the 423 spaces that the city code would normally require for such a building and recreation attraction.

Mayor Anthony DiCicco disagreed with Monaco, as did legal director Paul Murphy. “The city can determine how much parking we need,” DiCicco said, noting that there is no code regarding the amount of parking needed in city buildings. “The Planning Commission, with levelHEADS and our group, we got together and (asked), ‘Do we have enough space? We have more (with the preliminary plan) than we currently have (on site). “Is the parking across the street sufficient to match the parking by the pool to suffice for what is needed?” “We came to the conclusion that” Yes “. We’re not going to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a waiver because we don’t need it. The city can determine how many parking spaces we need.

Murphy said that on Monday council was only voting on the preliminary plan and did not have to act on a recommendation from the planning commission.

Meanwhile, City Councilor Gayle Teresi suggested that, as a fundraiser, carved pavers could be sold at the project site. Speaking of social media posts, Teresi said: “Everyone loves the giant slide (in the preliminary plan) (and the old grocery store) Catalano’s and Mayland (the mall undergoing a total renovation) – people have lots of memories of what Mayfield Heights has always been. I would like to suggest, with my colleagues, if they like the idea, that we have a fundraiser where we sell carved bricks so people can put their names family and really have a legacy here.

“I think the families who love Mayfield Heights and who live here are second and third generation, I think it’s a great legacy that we can have a staging area where we can do that,” she said .

Trotta said such an area could be set up at the entrance to the aquatic area, or along a proposed walking path to encircle the site.

“I think it would be a success just to know the people who have loved Mayfield Heights for so many years,” Teresi said. “That they would like their legacy to continue. With a new project like this, I think this is a great place to do it. No action was taken on Monday at Teresi’s suggestion, but could be taken in the future.

Gates Mills Boulevard Road

Many residents attended Monday’s meeting, believing there would be a vote on whether city council would go ahead with hiring engineering firm GPD Group to provide services in the areas of design and construction of the proposed walking trail in the median of Gates Mills Boulevard, thereby accepting a state grant to help pay up to 75% of the $ 300,000 cost of the trail.

The subject has been discussed a lot in recent months. Some welcome a path that would allow residents to walk around the neighborhood safely and get to know each other better, as there are no sidewalks along the boulevard, while others believe the sidewalk would be “a way to nowhere ”, could bring unwanted people into the neighborhood and create a safety hazard and harm property values.

DiCicco announced early in the meeting that it was removing the GPD group’s item from the agenda so that the city could further assess the financial aspects of the project. The project would include a 10-foot-wide asphalt path, stormwater improvements, landscaping improvements and a crosswalk. After the meeting, DiCicco said the legislation will be on the agenda for the next board meeting on January 24.

DiCicco also encouraged those present Monday to speak out on the subject. In total, the council heard from 19 residents on Monday who spoke in person and eight others who sent letters expressing their views. Of these 27 residents, 22 voted in favor of the trail.

New businesses

In his comments at the start of the meeting, DiCicco said that a national flooring franchise company, Stage, will soon open at the Golden Gate Shopping Center. Floorz now has stores in Strongsville and Copley.

Additionally, Krispy Kreme has selected its general contractor and will soon begin construction at 6261 Mayfield Road, which was the last address, in 2020, of DiTo’s Bar & Grill and Gaetano’s Italian Restaurant. The Board approved Krispy Kreme’s preliminary plans in December 2020.

“In Eastgate (shopping center),” added DiCicco, “there is an electric vehicle charging station operated by EVgo under construction, and they should open soon. It’s nice to see that we can offer this option to residents.

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Jill E. Washington