Mayfield is considering changes to Beta Drive that would encourage businesses to stay and expand in the village

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MAYFIELD, Ohio – Beta Drive is home to approximately 90 manufacturing, office, and retail businesses, making it the village’s primary trade corridor. Director of Economic Development John Marquart wants to ensure that Beta Drive businesses not only remain vital, but have room to grow.

As such, Marquart proposed to the village council a plan to recover the Beta Core business district that would allow businesses to grow while remaining in place. “In general,” Marquart told the board in an Oct. 13 memo, “the overlay would reasonably relax the standards of setback, yard, height, density and use; while preserving the requirements for parking and rainwater management.

If council accepts the proposed changes, the issue will eventually go to the voters, along with any village zoning changes. Marquart hopes voters will have a chance to decide the issue on May 3, 2022.

“The impetus for developing this new zoning language is to be able to give existing businesses along Beta the ability to grow in place,” said Marquart. “In other words, Beta Drive is about 100% built and businesses that grow don’t really have the opportunity to grow without looking elsewhere. So in order to keep that tax base here locally, we’re going to give them some flexibility to grow in and out. By that I mean allow a bit more building height and some smaller setbacks. “

Marquart said the overlay would encompass all Beta reader, with the exception of the houses at its east end and on the north side of Wilson Mills Road, east of Beta Drive.

While he doesn’t want to mention them by name, Marquart said he’s now discussing their growth plans with a few companies, hoping the overlay will convince those companies to stay in Mayfield.

Marquart said an overlay isn’t exactly a zoning change.

“An overlay allows more flexibility, but it doesn’t force any owner to make changes,” he said. “It’s a much more flexible tool than just rewriting existing code. It doesn’t create non-conforming uses. It gives people more flexibility, if they want it.

Currently, there are some plots on Wilson Mills Road where buildings cannot exceed one story, while most of those on Beta Drive cannot exceed 35 feet in height.

“What we are proposing is to increase it all up to four floors of living space,” said Marquart. Because a lot of change and time would be needed for the properties to evolve and allow for four story buildings, Marquart said, “We are not going to see a massive increase in density or height overnight, in In no case.”

Setbacks along the target area vary, but generally the village code states that buildings on Beta Drive must be 100 feet from the road. There are a few companies that now have legal setbacks of less than 100 feet that Marquart says are being used as benchmarks for future proposed changes.

If the front setbacks were changed, they would be reduced to 35 feet, with the side and rear setbacks also undergoing various changes.

“He’s flexible about where (a business) is and who’s next,” he said of the various setbacks. In some cases, setbacks involve residential neighbors, who Marquart says will be adequately protected from businesses.

“Where this (houses next to businesses) exists, we’ve tried to keep (the indents) a little bigger for the back yard and have encouraged (businesses) to use some sort of wall and landscape solution for themselves. protect themselves. “

As part of the overlay, the original plans were to allow drive-thru for retail businesses. Restrictions on locations, hours of operation and noise levels at the drive-thru were included. It was part of the plan, however, which did not suit some board members who were concerned about the traffic a drive-thru could create. There were also concerns that allowing a cafe that some beta companies have requested could open the door to fast food restaurants.

Mayor Brenda Bodnar, who supports the overlay, wrote a memo to council on Oct. 29 in which she said the drive-thru portion had been removed from the overlay plan in order to have a better chance of getting the overlay. approval of the board.

“I think it’s important to do whatever we can to support our local business base and keep them growing and expanding here,” Bodnar told the board. “This legislation is intended to do that and I hope that with this amendment you (the board) will all support it.”

After a review, the village planning and zoning committee approved the overlay on September 16.

The Council is expected to conduct its second reading of the overlay proposal on November 15. A required public meeting, a third reading and a council vote to send it to the ballot could then take place on December 20.

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