JUNE 15, 2009

The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Worthington United Methodist Church, 600 High Street, Worthington. The following Council members were present: Mayor Mary Jo Cusack, Kirk McHugh, John A. Schaer, Renee Shannon, Rodney Tettenhorst and Paul J. Zenisek (arrived at 7:25 p.m.). John S. McAlearney was absent. Also present were Pamela M. Colwell, Clerk-Treasurer, Steven W. Mershon, Solicitor, William Charles, Street Commissioner, Lois Yoakam, Newsletter Editor, Jody Croley Jones, Web Manager, Michael Jones, Planning Commissioner, Don Campbell, Betty Campbell and Jean McMillan. At 7:06 p.m. the Mayor called the meeting to order.


  1. The minutes of the regular Council meeting of May 18, 2009 were not read since each member had received a copy. McHugh moved and Schaer seconded a motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 4; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, and Tettenhorst: Nay, None. The Motion carried 4-0.

Clerk-Treasurer Report

  1. The Clerk-Treasurer reported that the Village will receive $5,282 from estate taxes in the coming year.
  2. Schaer moved and Tettenhorst seconded a motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial report for May 2009, as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 4; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, and Tettenhorst: Nay, None. The Motion carried 4-0. See Board Referral File number 09-011.

Report of the Mayor

  1. The Mayor reported she met with Rep. John Patrick Carney to discuss the OSU airport problems. More money than ever is being spent on the south runway which is not what was proposed when they wanted the north runway built.
  2. The police reports are not as comprehensive as she would like. Shannon provided an example when she recently called the police. She stated she had a 20 minute conversation regarding a concern about kids in the park and only one sentence appeared on the report. There was also some problem about the police saying they are not sure if they had jurisdiction of Rush Creek Park. The park is owned by Columbus but is located in Worthington; therefore, the Worthington Police have jurisdiction.
  3. There has been a continuing problem with signs. The Mayor has sent letters to the offenders with a copy of the ordinance and asking them for compliance.
  4. The Mayor is delighted to see that there will be a historic walking tour of Riverlea October 3, 2009 by the Columbus Landmarks Foundation. They will contact us before the tour for information and the Mayor will find out if residents can have their gardens toured.
  5. The Ohio Supreme Court has decided that municipal employees are not required to live in the municipality. The Mayor pointed out this was another blow to home rule.
  6. The July 4 picnic will start at 2:30 this year. No one volunteered to handle the games for children.
  7. She received an email from Barb Hamor with some good suggestions to do in place of the Arts on the Circle since residents were not interested in it. Her suggestion of weekly “picnic night” on the circle sounded like a nice way to meet neighbors. Council should consider this.

Report of the Solicitor

  1. The Solicitor said that since his report covers the topics being discussed at this meeting, he will make his comments during those discussions.

Report of the Planning Commissioner

The Planning Commissioner reported there were two applications for Certificates of Appropriateness that were approved – the Surface’s addition and the new house for Erlanger. The Mayor will need to issue a street address for the new house.

  • The Blanchard residence has several violations of their Certificate of Appropriateness. There is an overhead garage door on the west side of the rear garage that was not approved and no windows were installed that were supposed to be per the approved plans. The rear garage looks like it may have been built bigger and also appears to be angled on the property. The existing house garage was to have the garage door changed to a 10 foot wide door and it has not been done. There is also no water runoff control for the long driveway slope, gutters, etc. Water has been running off onto neighbors’ property, which is against code. Tettenhorst asked if the rear garage was higher than approved. The Commissioner said it might be but he has not measured.

Report of the Marshal

There were 279 traffic checks and no tickets. There were also 10 complaints and no arrests. He would not go into any detail since Council had received a copy of the police report.

Report of the Street Commissioner

  1. The Commissioner reported that the driveway and curb at 5794 Westchester Court have been fixed. He was able to look at the sub base when they were working on the driveway and curb. The sub base condition is poor and the concrete gutter under the asphalt has crumbled. This was worse than expected and will have to be dealt with in the future.
  2. Burgess & Niple has started on the street survey work. He will hopefully have a report from them for the next Council meeting.
  3. The lift station is in good condition now. He is investigating flow monitors and hopes to find one that will notify him of a problem. It may be something he can install. He will get quotes but he figures it will cost between $7500 and $10,000.
  4. He spoke with Radico and they are willing to do monthly (or other period) inspections of the lift station. They would charge $200 for the inspection. Having the lift station pumped out would be done at additional cost.

Report of the Newsletter Editor

  1. Burgess & Niple had no report for this meeting. They are reviewing a draft and should have a report in two weeks.
  2. The Emergency Response Plan needs to be completed by August 11th.
  3. The flow meter alarms are expensive and he is looking into cheaper alternatives.

Report of the Web Manager

  1. The Web Manager reported there are about 3,000 unique visits to our Web site each month and some of those were from foreign countries.
  2. An invoice was submitted for the bi-annual ISP service fee

Report of Parks and Recreation

  1. The Mayor said there was a limb down in the ravine but the person she called to remove it has not returned her call. Schaer said he knew someone and will call him to get a price. There was concern that the limb could hurt someone. She will try to get it removed as soon as possible.

Comments from Residents on Agenda Items

  1. McMillan spoke about her opposition to the bike rack. People have always been using Rush Creek Park and the Village should not responsible for their bikes. She felt it was an unnecessary expense for the Village.

Old Business

  1. Duties of the Marshal – McHugh, Zenisek, the Solicitor and Shannon discussed what the duties should be and whether or not that person should be called the Marshal. It was noted that there may be constraints by code if the position is called Marshal. It was determined that the position will require a good communicator, be able to generate a positive relationship with the police, and it will be important to for that person to work with Council and not work on their own. The term for this position should be more than one year and maybe 4 years. There would be no gun. Council needs to decide which ordinances the police will enforce and which the Marshal will enforce as well as when to enforce an ordinance. A notice of violation needs to be designed so it can be issued for a violation by mail. The number of warnings needs to be decided upon and what fines to collect. Residents need to be educated about the Village ordinances using the Newsletter and Web site. It is hoped that the “marshal” will be able to work with the police and residents to help establish block watches and safe houses for kids. Council discussed these issues and generally agreed with them. They will continue these discussions in upcoming Council meetings.

    The Solicitor said we need to make clear that the position is not a sworn police officer and, therefore, a change is needed to the section of the code that this position is not performing the duties of the “Marshal” as defined by state statute. Mortine said he is glad that the job is being made more relevant and important. The Mayor said Kent Shimeall has agreed to the position and is familiar with the law. The next step will be to outline which ordinances the police need to enforce and which ordinances the Village will enforce..

  2. Masks for Residents – Shannon reported that it is still in the planning state /li>

New Business

  1. Enforcement of Sign Ordinance – The Mayor stated that there have been complaints about signs. Cam Taylor removed the signs as requested and she sent letters to residents who had sign violations. The Hi Neighbor is a Worthington event, not a Riverlea event, so those signs are illegal. Also, no sign can be placed within 10 feet of the curb. Council asked if covering the business name would make them legal. The Solicitor said the Village can take the position that the signs are commercial but we may end up in court debating it. Shannon pointed out that Realtors must use their logo by law to market or advertise. If the logo is on the signs then the signs are an advertisement. There was more discussion about enforcing our ordinances. Council decided that if the signs have no business name, business logo or and just say Hi Neighbor, then they would be allowed. Tettenhorst moved and Schaer seconded a motion to authorize the Mayor to remove illegal signs. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None.
  2. Action of Planning Commission violations – Blanchard (5803 Dover Court) – The Solicitor stated the code gives authority to the Planning Commissioner to go on site for inspections. Some of the violations are an overhead garage door and no windows on the west side of the rear garage, and the door opening on the garage attached to the house has not been down sized. These are violations of the Certificate of Appropriateness and code with no reasonable explanation. The Solicitor and Planning Commissioner will contact Blanchard for compliance and then go to court to seek compliance if needed. Zenisek moved and Schaer seconded a motion to have the Solicitor and Planning Commissioner talk to Blanchard and then seek court action. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None.
  3. Authorization to File in Court if Work Commences on Unauthorized Fence – The Mayor said she heard that a resident might install a fence without a Certificate of Appropriateness and she wants to be prepared to stop it. She also hoped it was not true. Tettenhorst moved and Zenisek seconded a motion to authorize the Mayor to file in court if work commences on an unauthorized fence. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None.
  4. Addendum to the Newsletter Editor Contract – The addendum is needed to compensate the Newsletter Editor for two more Newsletters if published. McHugh moved and Shannon seconded a motion to approve the 2009 Addendum to Newsletter Editor/Village Roster Custodian Service Agreement. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None.
  5. ISP Service Fee – Schaer moved and Shannon seconded a motion to authorize the payment of the bi-annual fee for ISP service for $166.83. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None.
  6. Ordinance No. 04-2009
    Ordinance No. 04-2009, An Ordinance to Revise Certain Timing and Other Requirements for the Consideration of Applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness was read by title for the second reading. Some Council members objected to the de novo review for an appeal. There was much discussion about the Surface’s appeal and some thought it should have been sent back to the Planning Commission when the Surfaces presented a new survey. It was discussed that all new evidence should go back to the Planning Commission for review. Tettenhorst moved and Schaer seconded the motion to amend Ordinance No. 04-2009 section 151.072 (B) by replacing “Council shall conduct the hearing on such appeal as a de novo review, but only the appellant and any person who appeared before the Planning Commission shall be entitled to participate.” with “Council should not consider or take into account any material or information presented by the aggrieved party that has not been previously considered by the Planning Commission.” The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None. The Solicitor was asked to help with the wording in the ordinance.
  7. Ordinance No. 05-2009
    Ordinance No. 05-2009, An Ordinance to Revise Certain Timing Requirements for the Consideration of Applications for a Variance was read by title for the second reading. Tettenhorst asked about the recording of meetings. There was discussion about recording but not transcribing until needed as most communities do. Council asked for the Planning Commissioner’s input to these ordinances. The Planning Commissioner explained that the Commission made decisions based on the zoning code and community aesthetics. They probably should record their meetings and maybe meet at the church instead of his house. He stated that the Commission needs to know what steps to take to protect the Village’s interests and these ordinances would help in that process. Council questioned some of the criteria for approval of a variance but was told that the Supreme Court set the standards and the Solicitor quoted from the Supreme Court in the ordinance. Hardship is not a standard unless there is a change in use. The Clerk-Treasurer will continue to research recording equipment for meetings.
  8. McHugh asked the Street Commissioner for more information on the status of the street repairs. He said going to Burgess & Niple seemed to be non productive from his point of view. The streets and curbs are still a mess. McHugh expressed concern that the residents may not want to pay extra to redo the streets and curbs and Council needed to know what could be done with the money on hand. The Street Commissioner said Burgess & Niple’s report will give alternatives to a complete overhaul of the streets and curbs

Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items

There were no comments from residents on non-agenda items.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be July 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm.


There being no further business, Tettenhorst moved and Schaer seconded a motion to adjourn. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 5; McHugh, Schaer, Shannon, Tettenhorst and Zenisek: Nay, None. The Motion carried 5-0. The meeting was adjourned at 9:12 pm.