Council was called to order on May 21, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. by President of Council Randy Danbury.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the governmental body and those in attendance. The Invocation was given by Mr. Knox.
Roll call was taken by Mr. Knox. Present were Council members Galster, Manis, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury. Mrs. McNear's father-in-law passed away and Mrs. Boice is recuperating from minor surgery.
The minutes of May 7, 1997 were approved with 5 affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS - Mr. Vanover said on the 1997 street program the pre-construction meetings have been held and the construction work will take place between June and September. Under the driveway apron program, the pre-construction meeting has been held and work is scheduled for June, July and August. The work is completed on the Rockcrest reconstruction and ready for the developer to put the final surface on the street.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - Mr. Wilson said the Community Center HVAC replacement project equipment is on order and the work will be performed in July and August. The Carmen Creek improvements at the Heritage Hill School design work is complete. However, the new permit process has delayed the project schedule. The revised schedule is as follows: advertise and open bids July 1997, award the work in August 1997, construction September and October. I talked with Mr. Shuler about this and there appears to be some new federal regulations that the EPA is involved in and a new permit process so that will delay the project until the September/October time frame. St. Rt. 747 CSX grade separation final environmental document has been submitted to ODOT for review. We anticipate this project will be approved by ODOT to begin the detail design work by mid 1997. The Community Center pool repair and improvement plans are complete and in final review. The bids will be open in June and construction will take place from the end of August through November. The Community Center field wiring replacement work is underway as weather and field conditions allow. For the traffic signals at McGillard and Lawnview, ODOT has sold the project and awarded the contract to Wagner Smith. Construction will take place this summer. The preliminary plans for the West Kemper storm sewer will be complete by the end of May. We will review with Sharonville and Forest Park. Final plans are to be completed by the end of August.
Mr. Danbury asked have we found out what we're going to do with the pool. There is some discussion about some of the buckets they are going to have for kids. Has that been finalized?
Mr. Osborn replied as far as I know it has not been. Mr. Burton met yesterday with the architect to go over details but I haven't seen anything come out of that meeting yet.
Ms. Manis said I don't think they are even sure if it's going to be buckets. It could be animals; something in the baby pool that will fit.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION - Mr. Galster reported they met May 13. Judith Muehlenhard of Pine Garden Landominiums requested approval of screened in patios and screened in decks for their development on Princewood Court. This was tabled originally in April. The applicant came in and there were other issues we needed to address such as mounding so we never even got to voting on the screened decks again. It was tabled until the June 9 meeting. They did request that we approve a plat on a couple of the units which was approved 5-1. The plat approval allows them to complete the sale of the units.
Concept discussion of the proposed Holiday Inn Express, 12037 Sheraton Lane (previously Pizza Hut). The applicant has been before Planning Commission probably three times and each time has addressed pretty much all the major concerns that Planning Commission has had from the PUD aspects such as the height of building, construction of the building, number of parking spaces, green space, and in every instance with the exception of one minor exception they have totally complied. That was approved 6-0. That will come as a recommendation from Planning Commission to Council because it will require a change in the PUD.
Wal-Mart requested approval of a garden center addition at 600 Kemper Commons Circle. This is just a fenced in area with a screen over the top that will allow them to display seasonal merchandise. That was approved 6-0.
Rebecca Crow and Jason W. Paul requested the transfer of a variance to allow partial conversion of a garage at 478 Maple Circle Drive. This was usually a BZA variance request but because it is in a PUD it came before Planning Commission. The old tenant had gotten approval from Planning to allow conversion of a two car garage into a one car garage plus living space with the idea that the conditional use would expire as soon as she sold the property. She has sold the property and the new owners wanted to continue to keep that. The problem was that this time the condominium board did not grant the request and did not make the recommendation to approve it. That was tabled 6-0. The prospects of it moving forward and being granted are a little slim.
Concept Discussion of a proposed Target Store to be located at Century Boulevard and East Kemper Road. It's a proposed 125,000 square foot facility that would be located just west of McClellan's Lane. There were residents from McClellan's Lane in attendance. Because it was concept no vote was taken but I can say the feeling given out by Planning Commission was that in addition to traffic and land use issues, this project has some major hurdles to overcome in order to gain approval from Planning Commission.
Calvary Pentecostal Church requested preliminary plan approval of their proposed church and school at 11970 Kenn Road. Their design showed a church with 18 classrooms. Access was provided off Kenn Road directly across from the existing church on the other side of the street. They have a storage building that will be erected that will allow them to store their materials for construction. Once the building is built, that storage building will be refaced to match the building materials that are on the church. That was approved 6-0.
Doug and Arlene Eades requested preliminary plan approval of Charing Crossing which is across from the Municipal Building on Springfield Pike. We originally approved a plan that had single level, multi-family units. That was approved last November or December. We have gone through three or four different submittals from the applicant. This one did gain approval from Planning Commission by a 5-1 vote with a recommendation to Council as it is considered a major change to the PUD.
BOARD OF HEALTH - Mr. Vanover said the approval has gone through for the purchase of the cholestech machine and Mr. Winfough has assured us that as soon as it comes in he will bring it before Council. I think this is a big plus for the City to have on hand to provide something for the residents. I think we will see a lot of positive use out of it.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - Mr. Coleman said the Civil Service Commission recognizes the following appointments as recommended by Mr. Osborn, City Administrator. Those appoints are: permanent appointment of Lisa Hogeback to the position of Account Clerk I; probationary appointment of Brian Douglas Reed to position of firefighter; and the permanent appointment of Roger Davis to the position of patrol officer.
O-K-I - no report
MAYOR'S REPORT - Mayor Webster said I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the City to express our sympathy to the McNear family, Kathy, our cohort here, along with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mrs. Ramirez and also Joe who is a member of our Parks and Recreation Commission. The McNear family happens to be one of the first families that I ran into when I moved to Springdale in 1964. That's how long I have known Duckey and his wife, Shirley. He will be sorely missed.
CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO
Office of the MAYOR
WHEREAS, public works services provided in our community are an integral part of our citizens' everyday lives; and
WHEREAS, the support of an understanding and informed citizenry is vital to the efficient operation of public works systems and programs such as water, sewers, streets and highways, public buildings, solid waste collection, and snow removal; and
WHEREAS, the health, safety, and comfort of this community greatly depends on these facilities and services; and
WHEREAS, the quality and effectiveness of these facilities, as well as their planning, design, and construction, is vitally dependent upon the efforts and skill of public works officials; and
WHEREAS, the efficiency of the qualified and dedicated personnel who staff public works departments is materially influenced by the people's attitude and understanding of the importance of the work they perform.
NOW THEREFORE, I, DOYLE H. WEBSTER, Mayor of the City of Springdale, do hereby proclaim the week of May 18 through May 24, 1997 as
"NATIONAL PUBLIC WORKS WEEK"
in the City of Springdale and call upon all citizens and civic organizations to acquaint themselves with the issues involved in providing our public works and to recognize the contributions which public works officials make every day to our health, safety, comfort, and quality of life.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand
and caused the Great Seal of the City of Springdale to be
affixed this ninth day of May in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Seven.
DOYLE H. WEBSTER, MAYOR
CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO
Mayor Webster said not to slight this thing. It is very noteworthy and they have done it for a number of years. I don't think any of us can say anything about the job that especially our guys do. I know the tone of this is more national. I'd like to take the opportunity to say thank you to our guys. We appreciate your contributions.
The nominations are open for the landscaping awards. If you know of a person's landscaping that you think needs to be on the list to be judged, please call City Hall at 346-5700. Those nominations will be accepted through June 14. The judging will take place June 23 through July 6. The awards will be presented at the Council meeting of July 16. Once again we'll have seven residential district awards and one business district. Each district will have first, second, third and whatever honorable mentions we feel appropriate.
At the last meeting Warner Cable gave a presentation to Council regarding the upgraded system and that lead to a lot of discussion about channels, who's responsible for what, etc. Mr. Osborn has been in touch with ICRC and they would like to get on Council's agenda June 4. Hopefully a lot of the questions that were left unanswered and where the responsibility belongs for changing channels, eliminating channels, etc. can be addressed by the ICRC representative. Maybe after that we need to put together a position paper so that all of us totally understand what our responsibilities are, what decisions we've made and what authority we have delegated to ICRC. Maybe if we can come up with a statement like that it would be an excellent piece of news to include in the next newsletter so people wouldn't feel that the City government has turned its back on the people.
There was a Park and Recreation Commission meeting on May 6. The total agenda that evening was a presentation on the expansion of the Community Center. With Council's concurrence I'd like to schedule Mr. Burton, his staff and the architect to make that presentation to Council as a whole on June 4 if we can get them in.
Regarding Mr. Galster's report on Maple Circle Drive, my understanding is that previously the homeowner's group had approved the conversion. Did they have the authority to do that?
Mr. Galster replied there was a question as to whether or not originally in 1984, if in fact, the homeowner had approval. We looked at minutes from BZA because it was heard before BZA for three years. Every year it was renewed and then it came to Planning. There were records in our minutes that Bill Syfert had read a letter from their Board of Directors granting the approval. Nobody could find this letter that originally granted the approval either here, in BZA or Planning, the board's own documentation or even the old homeowners, so there is a question as to whether or not it was officially approved by the board in 1982 or 1983 when it started.
Mayor Webster said assuming the homeowners' board did approve something like that, don't they still have to come before Planning or BZA to get concurrence from both bodies. This time they have been denied by the homeowners and now they are before Planning Commission.
Mr. Galster said they have been tabled because they were going to go back to the homeowners board and see if they can come back with a favorable response. Based on their opinion, that's still a sticky issue because we have it in their covenants that they are not allowed to do that. We asked for those covenants and they approved them. They are just trying to live by them. Who's to say that their board, if they don't approve it this time, may approve it in four years, etc. It's not a good situation for them either and I don't anticipate that this will go any farther. Then they will need to tear it out.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Mr. Knox said we concur that Lisa Hogeback has done a wonderful job in the last year. I think Mr. Osborn would agree to that and we are very happy to see her become a permanent employee. I would like to address Ordinance 8-1997 on county taxes when the ordinance comes up. I would also like to point out on the driveway apron situation, one of the local media said the driveways must be completed by June 16. As you well know, that is not correct. The driveway should be completed by July 7 giving the residents more time to get this done, particularly at a busy season for construction people. Council might be interested to know that at the present time we have three requests for meetings with the Equalization Board plus one more whom we have written a letter but haven't gotten a response from. Whenever the board is formed we will be ready to send out letters to the people to set up appointments.
I would like to mention that the taxes in this City are very fairly looked at for all the citizens. However, it occurs at this time that there are some people, generally known as tax protesters, who don't like any taxes anywhere, anytime, anyhow. We have about a dozen of those. It's the policy of the Tax Department and Finance Commissioner's Office to do the taxes fairly for everybody and fairness is that people who owe taxes should pay them. That's fair to the people who do pay taxes which by the way, is almost 99% of the citizens. We have very, very little problem with this but we do have some problems. The reason I am mentioning this is that for one of our tax protesters we got a final determination from the court. To keep our record spotless the City of Springdale came out in front again. For people who like to protest taxes I'd like to say that we would rather you didn't do it, but if you do we will enforce the ordinances. That is in fairness to all the citizens of this City. Let your conscience be your guide.
Ms. Manis said that June 16 date is the date they need apron permits by.
Mr. Knox stated the applications should be filed with the Public Works Department by June 16.
ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT - Mr. Osborn said Ordinance 42 is before you for a first reading. This is being proposed to you at the Administration's request. The purpose of the ordinance is to address a problem with sump pumps. Right now the building code is silent as it relates to how sump pumps are to discharge. We have a number of cases in the city where the pumps discharge through the curb into the public right of way. During the winter this creates a real icing problem for us and a real hazard. We are asking that Council consider an amendment that would prohibit the discharge of sump pumps through the curb into the public right of way and direct that the sump pumps be discharged into a recognized storm water system approved by the Building Official. In addition, there are probably 6-8 cases that we're aware of in the city that presently create what we consider to be a hazardous problem and we will be going back at City expense to try to correct those. There was nothing prohibiting that type of construction when those were installed but still, we want to mitigate the problem. But to curtail any future problems we want to ask Council to consider Ordinance 42-1997.
Also before you for a first reading is Ordinance 43-1997. Planning Commission has approved a recommendation from the Administration to make some minor changes to the RV regulations. We are asking Council to consider the elimination of the dimension of parking spaces that are required when an RV is parked on a driveway. Right now if you park an RV, boat, etc., in your driveway, you have to have two parking spaces remaining that are at least 9' by 20'. The problem with that is virtually every house in the City has a set back of 35 feet or less so no one is going to have 40 feet so it's a flaw in our code. I think everyone recognizes that the intent was that the person be able to park his/her RV in the driveway and still have two cars in the driveway. We're asking Council to amend the code so that that dimensional issue is no longer a factor and the Building Department can just determine that the RV is there and yes, they have two cars parked in their driveway. One minor item missing in this particular section of the code in the past is the prohibition of parking an RV in the side yard on a corner lot facing the side street. The code allows you to park an RV in the side yard. However, at a corner house the side yard is actually the front yard for those on the side street. We'd like to prohibit the parking of RVs in what would be the front yard of the houses on the side street for that corner lot. That ordinance is before you this evening for a first reading and a public hearing has been scheduled for June 18.
I would like to report to Council on the survey on gas main services that we discussed at our last Council meeting. The Public Works Department distributed questionnaires to 173 residents on all the streets in the City that currently lack gas service. We have received only 43 positive responses, representing about 25% of the people sent surveys. If you will recall, the construction deposit for installing gas service in all the locations we've identified in the City would be $162,610. That's an estimate from CG&E. At $1,400 a tap the 43 residents we have identified would only generate a recovery of $58,800 to the City if we were to go forward with this project at this time. That's essentially only about 36% of the money we need to recover. We'd have over $100,000 outstanding and we would only have six years to recover from additional taps during that period. Consequently, it's our recommendation that given the information we have before us right now that we not go forward with a blanket program for the entire city. However, there is probably one last thing we'd like to look at and that is whether any individual street has sufficient people expressing an interest that would justify that individual street being considered. The problem we have is that the cost estimate from CG&E is a blanket cost estimate and Mr. Shuler has requested that CG&E provide us a breakout for each individual street. We will then come back to you at the next meeting if we have any street that seems to be close. Unfortunately, if you have had an opportunity to look at the materials we handed out, the distribution of people interested seems to be pretty random and not concentrated on any single street. The heaviest concentration was three out of seven residents on Dimmick. We will look at the cost of per individual street and identify the numbers we have expressing an interest on those streets. I have a strong feeling we are not going to find any that will justify coming forward to you with a program at the next meeting.
Ms. Manis asked do you think because of the lack of no's that we just haven't received responses from everyone.
Mr. Osborn replied obviously we haven't received the responses. The one problem we face is if we are going to do it in time for the heating season this winter we have to start it immediately. It could be that with more publicity and more lead time we could generate more interest. Maybe we will do that again next year. But as for this spring and trying to make a decision right now, it's pretty clear that we don't have enough support to recommend a blanket program. Your observation is accurate. We had to do a very quick survey and we didn't do any advance publicity on it so possibly we could come back and look at it again next year with more lead time and better preparation.
Mayor Webster said with this legwork at least now we know exactly what has to be done so if any of you get a question from a resident asking what they can do to get gas service, have them come to Mr. Osborn or Mr. Sears and we can share with them exactly what they have to do. They need to get out and beat the street and get people signed up.
Mr. Osborn said the construction deposit will be a certain amount and the recovery will be $1,400 per tap. It's just a matter of how much the construction deposit is as to how many it takes to cover that.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Shuler would have that information for the gas company and we'd know how many houses are involved. All of us will be in a situation where we can respond a lot better to the citizens if we get those requests in the future.
Mr. Osborn said the next item I have is an issue relating to the Rockcrest sidewalk in the Glenview subdivision. I distributed a memo to Council dated May 20. Attached to that is a letter from the board of the Glenview Homeowners' Association requesting that the City consider the installation of sidewalk on the north side of Rockcrest as originally proposed in the 1992 subdivision plan. You may recall that this came before you last July. To date we have installed 2,630 feet of sidewalk in the subdivision. This summer, as part of the concrete repair program, we will install 1,050 feet of sidewalk on Sharon Road which will bring our total to 3,680 which will satisfy in our opinion, the commitment we made to the Zaring Corporation when we entered into a pre-annexation agreement. In addition to that, we have also installed an additional 1,140 feet of sidewalk on the south side of Sharon Road linking the subdivision to the sidewalk on Springfield Pike. Given the history of this issue over the past year, it's our recommendation in response to the board's request, that the City not install the Rockcrest sidewalk at City expense. You may recall, we had individuals in here on July 2 who live on Rockcrest, specifically requesting that we not install the sidewalk. We then requested the Homeowners' Association Board to give us a recommendation as to the preference of the community and they chose not to take a position on the matter. Finally when Mayor Webster walked the street he concluded all the folks on the north side of the street would prefer not to have the sidewalk. Council then authorized the installation of the sidewalk out on Sharon Road curving back into Rockcrest and we feel that was a reasonable resolution of the issue. Any other sidewalk built in the subdivision should be treated similarly to any request coming before the City for improvements, and that would be that the City consider an assessment back to the benefited properties.
Ms. Manis asked if the board has changed since that time.
Mr. Osborn replied not considerably. I think it is virtually the same board that discussed this issue last July.
Ms. Manis responded then I agree with your recommendations totally. Even if the board had changed, it's like a Planning Commission issue, depending on the whims of whichever board is in there.
Mayor Webster said I was going through the minutes of July 2 to see if I could point out the comments I very distinctly remember making. My concern was that we got the input from the board a year ago so that the City acted on the board's wishes and not the wishes of the residents. I thought we needed to act according to the wishes of the Homeowners' Association. As Mr. Osborn indicates, the word we got back is that they were totally neutral on it so the issue was back in our laps to make the decision. We made the decision we thought was best given the circumstances and we still stand by that decision today.
Mr. Osborn said on the Sharon Road improvements scheduled for 1998, I think you saw on the report of pending and future legislation that the 1998 element of the five year capital plan calls for repair and resurfacing of Sharon Road as well as the installation of storm sewers in the areas where we have a deep ditch situation right now and the construction of a bikeway on the south side of Sharon Road. As part of the budget we have the engineering for these improvements scheduled as part of the 1997 program. I would like to request Council's concurrence in considering legislation on June 4 for the work on this engineering so we can stay on schedule with that project.
I also wanted to mention to Council that we have had comments from a resident which we followed up with the Law Director and that related to unsolicited publications, unsolicited advertisements hung on the doorknob or on the mailbox. This individual pointed out that he was very conscientious about calling the newspaper, stopping his mail, doing everything he could to conceal the fact that he was on vacation but at the same time unsolicited publications, newspapers, door store type advertisements piled up at his house despite his best efforts to make it look like the house was occupied. He felt this was an area the City should try to address. I contacted the Law Director after discussing this with the Mayor and the Law Director concluded that we can regulate these types of documents in the same manner as we do solicitors going door to door. Presently if a resident chooses not to have a solicitor come door to door trying to selling a product, he/she can register with the City and we add that to a list that we then distribute to any vendors who want to come into the City and seek a permit to distribute or sell material door to door. They are advised that they cannot go to any of the premises on that list. We apparently can try to take that same step in regulating the same type of material I've just described. I have to point out it's going to be a little bit more difficult than the door to door vendor but I think it's still realistic to anticipate that we could regulate routine cyclical type publications or vendors such as the Door Store and I don't want to pick on them but that type of dissemination of material, advise them that we have adopted a law saying that they have to register with the City and that on registering with the City we would give them a list of residents who do not want the material left at their premises. We wanted to bring this issue before Council before we proceeded with it any further just to get your reaction and if you feel this is an area we ought to step into, then we'll work further with the Law Director.
Mr. Danbury said while we are addressing this issue, an issue I brought up two or three times is that we have one person who is dropping it on the ground. I don't mind people leaving material on my door, but leave it on the door. I'm telling you it's littering our neighborhoods. I made the comment to you, Mr. Osborn, and you said people have the right of freedom of advertising and I agree with that. But if I were a stock holder in McDonald's do I have a right to throw my McDonald's cup on your front yard? I could say it's not littering; it's advertising. They just put it on people's front yards. The wind comes through and your yard is just trashed. It's the same as littering. Maybe we can deal with where they put the advertising. Can we tie the two together?
Mr. Osborn said we can certainly look into it. We can issue a permit allowing people to disseminate material and say that it has to be secured and attached to the doorknob or whatever.
Ms. Manis said that issue has been brought up many times before. On the other, does that include campaign literature? I know from going door to door there have been times when there are piles of it at someone's house.
Mr. Osborn replied it would not include political literature. Part of the conclusion of the opinion is that we would not be able to regulate the right of an individual to disseminate political information.
Mr. Vanover said a word of caution because I know what you are saying about this stuff blowing around, but if we address that maybe we have to address the recycling bins with the newspapers, milk jugs, etc., because that same situation occurs even with empty garbage cans. Are we opening a can of worms in dealing with that?
Mr. Danbury said I feel that you bring up a very valid point and I think we need to address both issues separately. A lot of people brought that up to me and I never thought about trying to address it. Possibly we can have two separate issues dealt with in some manner.
Mr. Vanover said Mr. Osborn, I wholeheartedly concur that we ought to take that step you brought up.
Mr. Osborn responded if that is the conclusion of the rest of Council we'll explore the matter a little further.
Mr. Knox said I did have one complaint about the very thing Mr. Vanover was talking about, the plastic jugs being blown out of the recycling bins. I live on a curve and I become the repository for that and the gentleman across the street is the one who complains. It is a problem.
Mr. Osborn said but I think that is a separate issue and I'll defer that to Mr. Parham and he can start working on that one. The issue of regulating unsolicited materials delivered to the home is where our focus is right now.
Mr. Osborn continued the last item I have relates to our visioning exercise. Again, I want to compliment Council on quite a productive experience and work well done. I wanted to mention that we have disseminated an outline of the notes from Mike Kneale's presentation for your information and future use. Also, I did send out to you some revisions to the vision statement only to try to correct some grammatical issues and readability. It was not intended to change content. As you recall, when we were working on this we were thinking in global terms maybe and the things I'm trying to correct are more microscopic. I really don't need your feedback tonight. If you want to write something up or mark it up and send it back to me I'll see if I can bring it all together and reach some common ground. I think what we have produced is an excellent, excellent tool that will benefit the community. If we can all agree 100% on some changes, then we'll do that. If we can't, we'll just leave it the way it was. I think everybody has to buy into it.
Mr. Galster said just given the experience of working together as a group on this project, maybe if there are some concerns we could meet a couple of minutes before Council and work it out. I think the give and take works. If there are some minor changes let's do it that way.
Mr. Parham stated it's the time of year when we come to Council to request that the City participate in the Miami Valley Risk Management Association Group Rating Program For Workers' Compensation. This is for the 1998 program year. I would request that we bring forth legislation at the June 4 meeting. At that time I would be able to answer any questions you may have. Typically in the past when the agreement has been won, we simply have changed dates. This time we've changed things such as the eligibility requirements for being a part of this group so I'd like to outline that for you with adequate time for the next meeting.
Mr. Parham said on the yard waste sticker program, as of the last time we announced to the public about turning in unused yard waste stickers, we have collected a total of 3,821 stickers to date. That exceeds the balance of the amount we had on hand which was 3,295 stickers. We have received some stickers that did not have City of Springdale on them. If we use the 3,821 sticker total that comes out to roughly $2,800 in returns from Rumpke. The other 3,295 amounts to $2,471 for a total of $5,337. We ask the residents to continue to bring in any unused stickers you may have. We seem to be getting quite a few in and I think the residents are doing a great job of delivering those.
LAW DIRECTOR'S REPORT - no report
ENGINEER'S REPORT - Mr. Shuler said I would like to comment on two items that were brought up at the last Council meeting. First, there was a request to check the traffic signal at Kemper and Commons Drive. I believe someone reported a short left turn cycle for those turning off Kemper onto Commons Drive. We have checked that signal and it is functioning correctly as far as we've been able to determine. However, the comment could also be correct. Those signals now are operating actuated so that each phase is a percentage of the total time. Because that is such a low volume movement it just gets a very small percentage of the total time so that very well could be happening even though the signal is operating correctly. Truthfully, that situation is not going to improve greatly until we see the construction of Century Boulevard to the north and that signal can be eliminated. Those signals are just so close together there; remember that is a temporary situation and we're doing the best we can with it. Hopefully when we see Century Boulevard extended to the north and can redo those signals in that area, we'll have a better operating situation there.
The second item was a comment that there was observed standing water in the interstate island area of I-275 and Rt. 4. I talked to Mr. Sears about that and he was going to check to see if there might be a blockage of the storm sewer drain in that area and report his findings to ODOT so I believe both of those items have been taken care of.
"Dear City of Springdale: Thank you for planting beautiful trees in our Glenview Subdivision. They are lovely. Best regards. Your friends and neighbors in Glenview"
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 8-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, SECTION 94.19 CREDIT FOR TAX PAID TO ANOTHER MUNICIPALITY AND/OR COUNTY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
The ordinance was read without the emergency clause so there would be two readings as two Council members were absent.
Mr. Danbury said if Council came in earlier in the week and picked up their agendas they noticed that we had two ordinances requested for this evening for first readings. I made the determination last week that we would have the Charter Revision Review Panel considered first and then the ordinance dealing with the Charter Revision Committee not having any elected officials on it.
ORDINANCE NO. 40-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO ADD SECTION 30.13 CREATING A CHARTER AMENDMENT REVIEW PANEL AND ESTABLISHING ITS DUTIES AND RULES FOR FUNCTIONING"
Mr. Danbury said I did have a conversation with the Mayor and he did bring up a suggestion on this and I think it is a good one. The bottom line is this is an amendment to consider where it says "any one Council member so requests", expand that to "any three Council members can". If one person doesn't want something on the ballot he/she can bog it down through bureaucracy.
Mr. Galster said once you allow the time frame in here, in the future we need to start bringing forward the Charter changes a little earlier. So be it. I think we will get used to that the same as we are used to now that it takes a certain amount of time to get it to the Hamilton County Board of Elections to get it on the ballot. On just the one member requesting it as opposed to 2, 3, 4, 5, whatever that number changes to, I think whatever it changes to from one it's changed the ability of one Council person to have the voice again. It now requires a group to look at the amendment and I think one of the reasons for this is to make sure that every Council member has a voice.
Mayor Webster said I don't think there is any place in our government at any level where one person, one board member, one commission member, one Council member could bog things down for a minimum of forty days. It is forty days from the time they convene. One person says they want the panel convened, then it's up to the president of council to direct Mr. Schneider to start the process. Then it takes him two weeks to notify, interview and get five people to convene. Then it's forty days from that point. I think that's an inordinate amount of time. I think maybe if you reversed it and said it would not automatically be convened unless a supermajority says to convene it. If five Council people said they wanted it, it would happen. Otherwise it wouldn't. You could turn it around to where you would have to have at least three people to convene it.
Mr. Danbury said I don't think you would want a supermajority because that means they are in favor of that and then this board would not be necessary. This board is only necessary when the issue is threatened for not passing.
Mr. Galster said I have a fundamental belief that anything the Charter committee recommends goes to the ballot, 99.9999% of the time should go to the ballot. This is just a tool that allows someone on Council to allow that process of getting on the ballot to happen. I think one voice on Council should be able to make this recommendation. Just say we want to look at an amendment to the Charter to get it on the ballot. One person up here can say I want to look at a Charter amendment and let's get an ordinance together. It still needs a supermajority to pass. Just like this would still need a supermajority to get on the ballot. That one voice isn't getting any stronger or carrying any more weight but I believe it should be allowed to at least look at the issue to eliminate any problems that are perceived or may exist. I think one person should be allowed to call it.
Ms. Manis said as far as the time frame is concerned, I think if somebody has a Charter concern and they feel strongly enough that it should be a Charter change, then it shouldn't matter how long it takes to get it on. If it's that important, then you have a special election or you wait until the next election. Any changes to our Charter I don't think we need to rush through anyway. We're going to be governed by them. They are changing the way we do business and if they are that important we should take the time and do them right.
Mr. Wilson said I agree with Mr. Galster. I think with proper direction to the panel in terms of a time frame, we can eliminate the concern of taking so long. Secondly, it only took one person to bring this whole issue to the floor. Now we're saying it takes three to proceed. Hopefully all of us Council people are intelligent enough and astute enough to look at something and if we have enough concern to bring it before the body and proceed with the panel to make it right, then that's what we need to do. I don't think we need three people to do it. It took one person to bring this whole issue up.
Mr. Danbury said I do want to make sure that we are clear on one thing. If this passes, this panel is just a sounding board. It's just a sampling and doesn't actually have any validity. If there is another issue at the next meeting Council can still take a vote on it. If it passes that vote still stands. The board would just be a conscience of the citizens.
Ms. Manis said from the other side, if there is a Charter issue before Council and the board says no, we don't think this is a legitimate Charter issue, then maybe Council rethinks its position and says maybe it's not and we save so much money for a special election. It's also a sounding board as to whether they are legitimate or not.
Mr. Danbury said I just see this really bogging down the system. It is really opening it up. It's really complicated.
Ms. Manis responded it is only as complicated as you make it.
Mr. Danbury replied I don't think we should even be in this position.
ORDINANCE NO. 41-1997 "ORDINANCE SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AN AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER TO REVISE ARTICLE IX, SECTION A2"
ORDINANCE NO. 42-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, SECTION 152.15 GRADING REQUIREMENTS"
Mr. Vanover said we specifically mention sump pumps but what about surface water run off. I know where there are several curb cut drainage ports in the curbs in Heritage Hill that could very well create this same problem in the winter. Are we setting ourselves up for a headache there?
Mr. Osborn said I don't think so. I think there is a distinction between the condition you are pointing out and this one. In every subdivision there is lot grading that concentrates water and typically that is not a public easement of any type. It's all private property and at some point that water drains out onto the public right of way. In places where that has become a problem, we have gone in and put a field drain behind the sidewalk and tried to carry the water to a storm sewer system. There is nothing to regulate there. Everybody is doing exactly what they are allowed to do. If there are locations like you described that are icing up they should be brought to our attention and we'll evaluate whether or not we need to put in a field drain, work with the residents in that area, but generally, that is private drainage and the only time we get involved is if it begins to ice up. I can't tell you we will do it in every case wherever water runs out onto the sidewalk during the summer. We are looking at conditions where this is a problem in the wintertime. That's really our bigger concern. If we have a condition where we may have a spring that is feeding the subdivision drainage and causing water to run out in the wintertime and freeze, then we'll look at it for the purpose of a field drain. This ordinance is specific to sump pumps which do pump all winter and which do throw water out onto the street that freezes.
Mayor Webster stated it's not only winter and the freezing problem but a lot of these pumps run year round. In the summertime you get a pooling of water that doesn't come out strong enough to flush itself into a storm inlet so the water becomes stagnant and becomes a mosquito infested pool, etc. I think there are two problems; a health problem in the summer and a safety problem in the winter. That's somewhat different than when you have a storm and have a puddling effect.
ORDINANCE NO. 43-1997 "AMENDING THE ZONING CODE OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, SECTION 153.044(C) PARKING AND STORAGE OF VEHICLES AND BOATS REGULATED"
Public hearing on June 18, 1997.
Mayor Webster said I hope Council sees fit to adopt this change. This will greatly facilitate the enforcement of the RV ordinance. The way it reads now it is so ridiculous. We have a handicapped lady in District 1 who lives on a corner lot and has a big wide driveway. She can park her boat and two medium size cars and not hang over the sidewalk but that's illegal and she gets cited for that. She said what she can do is take the boat out of her driveway, park it on the side yard on an unimproved surface and she is perfectly within the law. She said, do you want me to do that to my neighbor? I think once we looked at that situation we talked to the inspectors. We have a number of situations in the City where there is adequate room to park two vehicles and not overhang the sidewalk, it's ridiculous for us not to do that in my opinion.
Mr. Vanover said you just clearly and eloquently stated that. My concern is that it has to be clear of the sidewalk. We have conditions right now where vehicles are obtruding out into the sidewalk and that is a nuisance. I don't have a problem with this if we stay clear of the sidewalk area.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Schneider, I'm just trying to be the devil's advocate because I heard on the radio that a gentleman advertised that the first person who brings in 10,000 bananas can buy a Cadillac. Somebody went out and got 10,000 bananas and bought a Cadillac. It cost the person a couple hundred dollars. If we eliminate this space requirement and it says vehicles or cars, then someone with a very short driveway could get a child's toy and supersede any restriction we place on this. Is there any way we can define cars as a roadworthy vehicle?
Mr. Schneider replied I believe the definition is already in the code. I don't have the other section.
Mr. Danbury said we may get somebody who has a very small driveway and they may go to K-Mart and get a small car and say you could fit two cars in here.
Mr. Schneider responded I would challenge that and we would enforce it. I believe vehicle is already defined in another section of the code.
Mayor Webster asked why would you want to do this?
Mr. Danbury said you could fill up your entire driveway with your RV. I can guarantee you somebody is going to try to do it.
Mr. Schneider said if somebody decides to do it he/she can tell it to the judge. He/she will be cited.
Mr. Danbury said we discussed a while back the equalization board. Mr. Knox stated we do have a need for that. I'd like to ask Council to nominate members at our next meeting. We need three members. Could the press put in a memo saying we're accepting applications for the equalization board to deal with driveway aprons.
Mr. Schneider said on Ordinance 8 it was okay that the emergency clause was removed for tonight but we have to have the emergency clause on there if we are going to retroactive the effective date to January 1, 1997. Otherwise it goes as stated. I don't think that is what Council wants. Next meeting read it to include the emergency clause. Otherwise the effective date is thirty days after adoption.
Mr. Danbury said we have two liquor license transfers to deal with. One is Paddy Shack for a D-1, beer only until 1 a.m., on premises consumption. Mr. Wilson said it is between here and I-275. There were no objections.
The other is from Peakload, Inc. of Texas to Petro Staff Services, Inc. at Princeton Pike and Kemper Road. There were no objections.
Mr. Knox said the Finance Director's Office would like to request a change to Section 93.03 of the ordinance that has to do with applications and cash deposits received from contractors. In the ordinance as it now reads it says bonds will be held in the Clerk's office which would mean we would be keeping cash when there are cash bonds. We do not desire to do that. We like to put them in the bank. There used to be a safe in the Finance Director's Office that money went into but we have no safe now. We would also like to add that performance or surety bonds can be used. With Council's permission I'd like to give this to Mr. Schneider so it will read cash or surety bonds and then bonds to be held by the Clerk's office. It's rather simple but I think necessary.
Ms. Manis asked if we looked at the flashing light at Kemper and Lawnview and made a decision.
Mr. Shuler replied we have looked at all the signals in town. We put a list together of signals we felt could be considered for converting to flash overnight. We submitted those to the Police Department and just this week I received a report from Chief Freland. He had a concern on three of those because of sight distance problems. He also wanted us to reconsider the time they would be on flash so we are dealing with that right now. As soon as I get a chance to talk to the Chief and understand his concerns we'll be making a final recommendation to the Administration.
Ms. Manis said I know I brought it up but I have been looking at it. A couple of weeks ago there was a bad wreck at that intersection. If there was a signal closer on the west side, it might make a difference but people are flying straight down there. If you are at the stop bar you can't see. If you pull up further you can. I withdraw my request.
Mr. Shuler said that is why we are taking this much time to look at each signal and why we wanted the Police Department's input because they see things. They observed a couple of them and apparently there is a lot of truck traffic at night crossing at some of these places that we certainly don't see every day. I think their input is very valid and I think we need to consider that before we put some of these on flash.
Mr. Danbury said I asked Mr. Osborn how Springdale stacks up with other communities around here for sidewalks and curbs, and driveway aprons. I'll give copies to everybody. Out of 23 local jurisdictions, 13 assess for sidewalk improvements whereas the City of Springdale doesn't. Out of 23 communities the City of Springdale is one of 7 that assess for driveway aprons. We do know that in Sharonville it is the responsibility of the residents and in Anderson Township they don't replace the driveway aprons. Where they say no we know the city doesn't assess it but they still may make the residents pay for it themselves. There may be some people upset that we are telling them to do that but we really do take care of the citizens in a lot of ways, especially with the sidewalk we put out a major expense.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mr. Vanover said a tip of the hat to a group of dedicated people at Heritage Hill School who pulled off their first carnival last weekend. It was a major success. I would like to thank everyone who was involved.
Ms. Manis said my husband and I were at the carnival and it lasted until 8:00 at night. He said there wouldn't be anybody there by 8:00. It was still packed and it was good to see everyone from the neighborhood.
Mayor Webster said the DARE program will be holding graduation ceremonies on Thursday, May 29 at 7:00 or 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Danbury said I would just like to compliment Council, elected officials, and Administration when we put together the vision statement. It is refreshing to finally get some people up here who are working together. I think it was very productive. We spent 5 hours Friday night and then got up early Saturday and got together. We haven't had too many Councils that would have had 100% participation.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Richard Derringer said I have property on McClellan's Lane. I'm in one of the four houses where the development was going on. Someone told me you had something going on two weeks ago.
Mr. Galster said there was a Planning Commission meeting on May 13.
Mr. Derringer said I would like a drawing of the layout of that development.
Mr. Galster said I don't have one of the color copies that were passed out but I do have a site map that shows what they propose to do. This shows the Target Store with the two retail outlets without utilizing the four residential lots. That's what they were conceptually discussing at that meeting.
Mr. Osborn said our City Planner is in the process of preparing a questionnaire to all property owners on McClellan's Lane regarding the proposed development by Target and the long term view of what should happen to those properties and to the site where Target is developing. This questionnaire should be reaching your home very shortly and we are inviting everybody who has property on McClellan's Lane to fill out that information and send it back to us. The City Planner can then consolidate that information and pass it on to City Council. This approach was the product of a discussion with Mr. Galster following the last Planning Commission meeting. We are actively soliciting input from you and your neighbors on this matter.
Mr. Schneider said I will not be present at the next meeting. I have an Ohio State Bar Association House of Delegates meeting in Columbus and I need to be there. Mr. Kenworthy will be here in my place.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT AND RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
Ordinance 8-1997 - second reading with emergency clause
Sump pumps - second reading
Item 3 - anticipated in late June
Residential driveways - public hearing second meeting in June
CSX grade separation - still open
Gas main installation - June 4
Engineering services for Sharon Road - June 4
Ordinance for Charing Cross Estates - first reading at next meeting
Group Rating Program with MVRMA - next meting
Ordinance for change to Section 93.03 - next meeting
Council adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council