Best Buy Pools & Spas president Ted Dallas thought he could move to a building next store on Beta Drive in Mayfield Village and conduct business as usual.
But no one applied for an occupancy permit and no one told him that he couldn't operate a retail space. So when a fire alarm was triggered as the business was moving in, a village inspector noted the violations.
The result was the need to get a conditional use permit and some finger-pointing between Dallas and property owner Panzica Development and leasing agent Kowit & Passov.
"The reality is that I was going in there to retail and everyone knew it," Dallas said at a Mayfield Village Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. He added that his records show correspondence stating he was going to have a retail space an neon in the window.
But that's not how Alex Russo of Kowit & Passov saw things.
"The lease has specific clauses, including use," Russo said. He said the lease states that the space is to be used for a business office and warehouse and makes no mention of retail.
Although 70 percent of Best Buy Pools & Spas' business is retail, Dallas said he showed spas next door and planned on adding retail space as part of the expansion that prompted the move.
He added that he had to cancel a $11,000 advertising campaign planned to promote the retail part of the business.
Best Buy Pools & Spas was granted a conditional use permit with the following stipulations:
• All fire code violations must be corrected by June 14
• An occupancy permit needs to be issued
• The space must not be used for retail business
• No marked vehicles can be parked out front to advertise the location
Mayfield Village Development Director Ted Esborn said there are occasions where businesses are being operated in violation of zoning codes.
"It happens that businesses operate under the radar of the village," he said.
Esborn added that there might be a need to allow some retail uses on Beta Drive eventually, as businesses frequently mention a desire to have coffee shops and restaurants nearby.