Residents weigh in on Highland property

by Kathleen Steele Gaivin
July 5, 2022 city council meeting
Brecksville City Council heard a third reading of an ordinance that would allow electors to have a say in the rezoning of the Highland School property once the school is permanently closed this fall.

The proposed change would amend the zoning classification of the 21-acre property from a community facilities classification to R-20 single family residential with conditional use of certain community facilities. 

Mayor Jerry Hruby previously said that the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District approached the city, asking the city to market the Highland and Chippewa schools properties, as the school district is required to auction the parcels, valued at $1.1 million and $1.4 million each, to the highest bidder.  What happens after the sale is anyone’s guess at this point.

Residents expressed opinions on what should happen on the Highland School property, and asked the city to consider all options and not rush to residential development. The mayor said that the Metroparks, as well as the National Parks, have express interest in the property, as well as others.

“The idea behind the zoning [change] was to make it more attractive, but at the same time, to ensure that of there was a community facility use, that it could still be granted based upon adding that to the zoning. Making it residential consistent with Chapel Hill … but then giving it the opportunity to continue to use the property as a community facility,” the mayor said.

City council authorized accepting the donation of various furniture and equipment from the former Highland and Chippewa schools that are no longer needed by the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District.

“The primary list of items [provided to council] were for the field house, so this couldn’t have come along at a better time, timewise, with the school needing to dispose of a lot of these items in both schools,” Purchasing Director Rebecca Riser said.

Recreation Director Rachele Fitz-Engle said items include, in part, a conference table, chairs, a desk and filing cabinets.

“All of these things were in amazingly good shape,” Riser said.

City council amended a section of the planning and zoning code to add non-commercial trailers, watercrafts and equipment and additional regulations to set limits on the length of  recreational vehicles and the like that residents can park in the front portion of their property. Violators will receive written notice after five days, and then they will have an additional five days to move the vehicle, Chief Building Inspector Scott Packard said. He said that allows ample time for routine maintenance or to prepare for a trip.

Law Director David Matty said that repeated and uncorrected violations have been changed from a minor misdemeanor to a fourth degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

“This would apply to a small number of residents,” Council member Beth Savage said. ∞