Basketball court at Richfield Woods is not approved

by Sue Serdinak

Nov. 15 village council meeting

Mayor Michael Wheeler’s plan to construct a full-size basketball court in Richfield Woods Park was reconsidered after the zoning commission voted not to approve the location, which was north of the Johnson Barn.

Following the denial, the zoning department located photos that showed a pond on the property at about the same location as the proposed court. Cattle and other farm animals once grazed on the surrounding land.

“There is no record of how the pond was filled in,” said Planning and Zoning Director Brian Frantz.

Wheeler said they would consider other locations for the court, possibly near Town Hall.

By a 5-1 vote, council approved the zoning commission’s one-year extension of the conditional zoning certificate for Milo Valenti to operate an indoor shooting range at 2636 Brecksville Rd. Councilperson Ralph Waszak voted against the approval, saying that he voted against the shooting range when it was first proposed in 2021.

Valenti never followed through with the project after receiving village approval in 2021.

Council also voted not to review the zoning commission’s approval of a permit for J. Rayl trucking to operate a truck and transfer facility with outdoor storage at 2636 Brecksville Rd. The permit gave approval for a truck driving academy and truck maintenance bays to operate from that location.

Frantz said that the property is immediately adjacent to a new residential development, Everett Point, where families have invested in nice homes. He said the trucking company has agreed to screen lighting from the trucking terminal and avoid trucks using back-up beepers in the evenings.

Steve Hoffman, who lives on adjacent property on Gianni Way, said he opposes artificial lighting but is satisfied with the restrictions the company agreed to. 

Fire Chief George Seifert reported that two of Richfield’s fire trucks remain out of service for repair as brakes for the large vehicles are out of stock. He said that Bath Township has loaned Richfield a truck.

Police Chief Michael Swanson reported that the department has started the recertification process with the Ohio Collaborative, Community Police Advisory Board. The agency requires compliance with the use of force, recruitment and hiring practices, community engagement and body worn cameras. The agency also regulates telecommunication training, bias-free policing and employee misconduct investigations.

Swanson also reported that a resident donated $1,000 in Giant Eagle gift cards to Richfield police officers. ∞