Board of Zoning Appeals

Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals

Monday, Nov. 13, 2023
9:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. EST

View meeting details

Add to iCal

Add to Google Calendar

601 Lakeside Ave Cleveland, OH 44114 (Directions)

Cleveland City Hall, Room 514 (or watch on YouTube)

The Board of Zoning Appeals is a 5-member body responsible for hearing appeals from individuals who are requesting exceptions or variations for city ordinances in regard to land use and building requirements or from individuals who are questioning the appropriateness of orders made by city officials.

Board members

  • Nina Holzer
  • Alanna Faith, chair
  • Priscila Rocha
  • Arleesha Wilson
  • Terri Hamilton Brown

Find a livestream of the meetings here:

Find past Documenters coverage of this board here:

Check the source website for additional information


Edited and summarized by the Cleveland - OH Documenters Team

Note-taking by Marcy Clark

Board approves geriatric group home in Ward 10

Live reporting by Prerna Agarwal

Board OKs two group homes

Hi folks! I'll be live-tweeting today's Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting for #CLEdocumenters @CLEdocumenters & @signalcleveland

02:54 PM Nov 13, 2023 CST

prerna @_prernaagarwal 2/53
The Board of Zoning Appeals is responsible for hearing appeals from those who are requesting exceptions or variations for City laws, concerning land use and building requirements or from individuals who are questioning the appropriateness of orders made by City officials.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 3/53
This meeting started at 9:30 AM EST and the live stream is available here:
prerna @_prernaagarwal 4/53
In attendance are 4 of 5 members: Alanna Faith, Priscila Rocha, Arleesha Wilson, and Terri Hamilton Brown. Nina Holzer was not present, but with 4 members there is still a quorum.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 5/53
The first case is Calendar No. 23-149, 2969 Martin Luther King Blvd --Ward 4. This case has been postponed twice, from September 18th to allow for a community meeting, and on October 9th to allow time for appellants.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 6/53
The appellants, Emergent Evolutions LLC, are proposing to establish use as a residential facility for 5 occupants.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 7/53
They are seeking relief from the following sections of the Cleveland Codified Ordinances:
Section 325.571: a "residential facility" means a publicly/privately operated facility that provides accommodations, supervision, and personal care services to any of the following.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 8/53
Section 337.03(h): a residential facility, for 1 to 5 people, is not permitted if located less than one thousand (1,000) feet from another residential facility. This proposed site is within one thousand (1,000) feet of another facility at 11112 Forest Avenue.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 9/53
The appellants have done renovations, attended a community meeting at their councilwoman's recommendation, and received positive feedback for their center "Care in Commons," to provide senior veterans with services like an assisted living facility, in a home-like environment.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 10/53
The Ward 4 Councilwoman (Deborah Gray) said that there would be 3 group homes less than 1,000 ft from each other and that is why she is pushing back. The residents were not aware that all group homes would be in the same section of the facility.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 11/53
The constituent representing Emergent Evolutions LLC stated that they were not aware of a third residential facility.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 12/53
Councilwoman Gray said she needed to continue working with Kim Scott, who joined the meeting later at 9:56 AM. Gray also has a meeting at 10 AM and as a result recommended postponing this case.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 13/53
Scott said that she met with both the appellant and the council member on this issue. She has clarification on the staffing and parking arrangements. In this particular area, she named that there is a need for this service. City Planning will support the appellant's request.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 14/53
While it seems like the council member is concerned with "oversaturating" the neighborhood with facilities, the appellant named that one of the other homes only services 1 senior veteran. This facility is only looking to serve 5 senior veterans, operating 24/7 with full staffing
prerna @_prernaagarwal 15/53
The challenge the board is having is making decisions about residential facilities in the area without having complete knowledge of all the residential facilities in the area. There is only one officially on the map. They are seeking more information on what is currently there.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 16/53
Ms. Scott has more information. She met with Pastor Nevels and a large group of folks to introduce their project (the potential 2nd group home in the area). Originally, the intent was a women's group home.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 17/53
After Ms. Latham and Pastor Nevels conversed, the idea was for him to change use to veterans. Ms. Scott is unsure if those changes took place, but knows Ms. Latham was motivated to serve veterans.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 18/53
Since the facility would be located on a large blvd near public transportation, it was determined that the site would not be a hindrance. There is a need for more of this service.
The adjacent properties are not occupied.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 19/53
The board moved for the approval of this case and residential facility to serve a maximum of 5 veterans 50+, according to state codes. All 4 board members present, approved, and noted the case would be ratified next Monday.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 20/53
The second case is Calendar No. 23-182, 5606 Stone Ave.-Ward 15. Douglas Bennett & Julie Beers propose to construct a single-family dwelling in a B1 Two-Family Residential District.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 21/53
Joe Nasser is present, representing Councilwoman Jenny Spencer. The chair had to recuse themselves from this case.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 22/53
Bennett & Beers are seeking relief from Section 355.04(a), proposing a 36ft wide lot, instead of the 40 ft minimum with an area of 4,620 square feet, instead of the 4,800 square ft minimum.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 23/53
They are also seeking relief from Section 337.23(a)(6)(A)(2), proposing the attached garage in the front half of the lot, rather than the rear half of the lot. The spokesperson is the architect for the project, sitting in for the project manager.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 24/53
Bennett & Beers live in townhomes right by the proposed area. They want to continue living in the area, with better housing amenities, thus proposing construction on this irregularly shaped lot.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 25/53
Spencer expressed her support for this zoning relief through a letter Nasser read during the meeting. She noted that they are making a significant investment in the neighborhood. A front-facing lot would not significantly impact the aesthetics or function of the neighborhood.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 26/53
Wilson moved to approve this calendar item. All 3 members voted to approve and the case will be ratified next monday.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 27/53
The third case is Calendar No. 23-183, 775 East 185 St.-Ward 8. 775 East 185 St. LLC proposed to establish use as a bar/tavern as an expansion to an adjoining brewery/tavern in a C1 Local Retail Business District and Pedestrian Retail Overlay District.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 28/53
The owner is appealing relief from Section 349.04(f) which states accessory off-street parking is required at the rate of one space for every four seats, plus one space for each employee.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 29/53
Per Section 343.23(i) the total number of required spaces is reduced by one-third by property location in a Pedestrian Retail Overlay District. 15 spaces required per standard formula, reduced by one-third results in 10 required spaces and no parking is proposed.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 30/53
Section 341.02 which states review and approval of the City Planning Commission is required in Designated Design Review District.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 31/53
Two Friends Brewing is investing thousands of dollars just in the exterior of the property. They bought the building in January and have been restoring it.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 32/53
The main issue with this property is off-street parking availability. While it can potentially get crowded, they do not anticipate parking being an issue concerning the development of this property.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 33/53
City planning recommends approval of this project. To see an old brick building being brought back to life is incredible✨They did not read the councilman's letter, but he is in full support.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 34/53
The board approved this case, with all 4 members present approving. It will be ratified next Monday.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 35/53
The fourth case is Calendar No. 23-187, 1793 W. 54th St-Ward 15. Monique McGhee proposes the construction of a 24' x 24' two-story, wood frame garage with a second-floor recreational room in a B1 Two-Family Residential District.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 36/53
The owner seeks relief from Section 337.23(a)(6)(A) which states that the area of a private garage shall not exceed 800 square ft unless the lot area exceeds 4,800 square ft. The proposed construction is ~ 1152 square ft and the proposed height is approximately 19 ft 8 inches.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 37/53
McGhee's husband acts as the spokesperson. They are seeking more space to accommodate for more storage and increased family space. There already exists a slab of that size. All 4 members present approved this case. The couple has been together since 2006 <3
prerna @_prernaagarwal 38/53
The fifth case is Calendar No. 23-188, 4200 Bailey Ave-Ward 3. Orchard Stem School wants to install a wall sign with an electronic message center. Section 350.13(g) states that Board of Zoning Appeals approval is required for an electronic message center in a residential district
prerna @_prernaagarwal 39/53
They seek to display community information with this sign. The board must determine that this sign will meet a community need without adversely affecting the surrounding properties.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 40/53
School spokesperson Chris said that they are hoping to use the sign to display current events that the Orchard Stem School is having. Before dawn or after dusk, the sign will be off (at night). It would come on when school starts and go off at the end of the school day.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 41/53
The sign itself will not be noticeably bright during the day. Since the sign will be displayed right across from residential homes, the board wants to ensure residents do not face unnecessary light pollution.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 42/53
Marshall of City Planning had the same thought process as the board, primarily concerned about the light pollution for across-the-street neighbors. He asked about a different location of the sign near Bailey St but Chris named that it would cost $9,000 more.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 43/53
All 4 members present approved the calendar number on the condition that the sign will only be illuminated Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM, and will only be lit for 20 seconds at a time.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 44/53
The sixth case is Calendar No. 23-163, 966 East 146th St-Ward 10. Rachel Yokley, one of the four partners is here as the spokesperson. 955 and 966 Retirement Homes LLC, proposes to establish use as a Senior Care Adult Group Home in a D1 Two-Family Residential District.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 45/53
They seek relief from Section 337.02(g)(3)(F) which states that such a facility must be located not less than 30 ft from any adjoining premises in the Residence District. The board must use its judgment to make sure such buildings/uses are appropriately located and designed.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 46/53
They want to build a Class 2 group home, removing the daycare completely. They do not feel like geriatric and daycare move together and are hoping to establish a 16-bed senior home.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 47/53
This would be for folks 55+, specializing in Alzheimer's and mental health issues. They currently have 13 people. They have another facility in Cleveland behind this one. They have one on the Westside as well and one in Lisbon, Ohio. They have been doing this work for 25 years.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 48/53
They bought the two buildings at the same time. The first one has already been licensed and zoned through the State. The state recommended getting the second building rezoned (to exclude daycare) and then it would be licensed through the state. They have been running for 20 years
prerna @_prernaagarwal 49/53
Yokley said they have invested $150,000 in the buildings so far and plan to invest $250,000 more. Each room has new furniture and flooring. They are investing in amenities like community gardens and administrations that live close by as well. There are 2 staff in each shift.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 50/53
The councilman did postpone this case to allow time for further review. The appellants did not have a chance to meet with him but did talk to a few neighbors. The neighbors did not understand why they needed new zoning. Yokley explained it was to remove the daycare element.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 51/53
There is adequate fencing separating the group home from other properties.
All 4 members present approved this case. It will be ratified next Monday.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 52/53
With no other agenda items, this meeting adjourned at 11:45 AM. This concludes the Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for November 20, 2023, at 9:30 AM EST. For more meeting coverage, check out
prerna @_prernaagarwal 53/53
Have questions? Think we got something wrong? Send any inquiries on the meeting or these tweets to @cledocumenters. Or email us at!

Agency Information

Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals is a 5-member body responsible for hearing appeals from individuals who are requesting exceptions or variations for city ordinances in regard to land use and building requirements or from individuals who are questioning the appropriateness of orders made by city officials.

Find live streams of meetings here:


More from this agency

Board of Zoning Appeals

Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals

Monday, July 22, 2024

9:30 a.m. EDT

Board of Zoning Appeals

Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals

Monday, July 29, 2024

9:30 a.m. EDT