Council moves to override commission’s recommendation

by Sue Serdinak

Feb. 21 village council meeting

Richfield Village Council adopted a resolution to send a revised plan for a basketball court at Richfield Woods to the planning commission for review. The original location of the proposed courts was found to be at the site of a former pond and not stable.

This new plan calls for the court to be directly west of the Johnson Barn.

Charles Boester, councilperson and chair of the planning commission, said that he and the other members of the commission opposed a basketball court being built at Richfield Woods.

He said the village had drawn up a master plan in 2015 for all recreational facilities to be on village-owned property south of the library. He said the village should follow that plan.

Boester also said that basketball courts are not popular any more.

“From day one, I was not in favor of having a basketball court at Richfield Woods. The planning and zoning [commission] didn’t want it there,” he said.

Boester added that he also does not agree with Mayor Michael Wheeler’s proposed location for pickle ball and tennis courts on village property east of Town Hall on Route 303.

“This is about planning,” Boester said.

The legislation to refer the new location to the planning commission was added to the agenda at the meeting.

Councilperson Bobbie Beshara said she saw the proposed plan before the meeting and favored it. She said that the 2015 plan was going to be cost prohibitive because it would require building a road to access recreational facilities. 

Councilperson Jeff Stoppenhagen objected that some members of council were advised of the legislation prior to the meeting but others saw the legislation just before the meeting started.

Councilmember Rick Hudak also objected to legislation being added to the agenda and voted on at the same meeting.

Stoppenhagen and Boester voted against suspending the readings. The legislation passed with Boester voting against it.


Council also passed legislation to apply for two grants. One grant would help pay for a roadway to extend Kinross Lakes Parkway on the south side of Wheatley Road. The second grant would help pay to extend the west end of Highlander Parkway to connect to Congress Parkway, which would be extended to Brecksville Road by Seabreeze North, according to a plan approved in Dec. 2022.

Council approved renewing the VFIS insurance policy for fire employees, which also covers part-time staff, at a cost of $4,703 annually. They also approved a property and casualty insurance plan with Ohio Plan Risk Management at a cost of $74,679, an increase of $4,921 over the 2022 cost.

House lease

Council approved soliciting proposals to lease the village-owned home on Grant Street, adjacent to the library. Wheeler said he would like to lease the property for about a year, until the construction of the Richfield Brewery is complete, then landscape the area and sell the house.  ∞