Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 6, 2014

OH Supreme Court Holds Helipad was Permissible Accessory Use to Hospital

This administrative appeal arises from a decision by the Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Cleveland (“BZA”), which denied a permit to appellants, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (“the Clinic”) and Fairview Hospital (“the Hospital”), to build a helipad on the roof of a new two-story addition on the Hospital. The City denied the application in its entirety due to “non-conformance”, and cited C.C.O. 343.01(b)(8), which provides that “accessory uses” are allowed only to the extent necessary normally accessory to the limited types of neighborhood service use permitted under this division. The City therefore rejected the appellants’ assertions that a helipad was a permitted use for property within a Local Retail Business District.

The BZA asserted that because C.C.O. 343.01(b)(8) provides that accessory uses are allowed “only to the extent necessary normally accessory to the limited types of neighborhood service use permitted under this division,” a helipad was forbidden because helipads are not “normally required for the daily local retail business needs of the residents of the locality only.” The record before the court established that every other hospital in Cleveland had a helipad and that nearly 88 percent of hospitals in the Cleveland metropolitan area had helipads. Additionally, there was no rebuttal to the assertion at the hearing that most hospitals in Ohio and around the country have helipads. The court therefore held that under the zoning provisions at issue, the trial court properly found that the Hospital was entitled to construct the helipad and the appellate court erred in reversing that determination.

Cleveland Clinic Foundation v Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Cleveland, 2014 WL 5644149 (OH 11/5/2014)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2014/2014-ohio-4809.pdf


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