President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on February 4, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of January 24, 2004 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
PRESENTATION Ė Good Citizen Award
Mayor Webster said some time ago at the request of Council we came up with an award to express our appreciation for people who go out of their way to make Springdale a better place to live. Three or four years ago I was in the Royal Oaks subdivision, and I kept seeing a woman picking up trash in the neighborhood. She said she and her husband do that throughout the neighborhood. Mayor Webster presented the award to Joan and Tom Rielage.
Mr. Rielage stated that he noticed that after the trash collector had been there the garbage can and recycle bin were placed up by the house. He said this person does this up and down the street for all the neighbors. My wife and I asked the Mayor if there was a way to honor this gentleman. Mayor Webster presented a good citizen award to Denny French. Mayor Webster said Denny also takes the papers off the driveway and puts them up next to the door.
PRESENTATION Ė Bruce Koehler, Senior Environmental Planner, OKI
Mr. Osborn said weíve had a project underway here in Springdale for the last eighteen months. It is the improvements to a portion of Beaver Run Creek as it passes through Chamberlain Park. Mr. Bruce Koehler has been our coordinator on this project and has been very valuable in making this project a success. Mrs. Nancy Elwood, Executive Director of the Mill Creek Watershed Council is also here tonight.
Mr. Koehler said we are doing the Beaver Run Riparian Corridor Restoration Project. It is a $320,000 project to make this stream more natural and to improve it in ways that increase its storage capacity for water, create wildlife habitat, and slow down the water velocity. That project is paid for by the Clean Ohio Fund. Itís a state bond issue that you voted on a few years ago. People vital to that project have been Cecil Osborn, Beth Stiles, Dave Butsch and some others like Tom Vanover and Ed Knox. Nancy Ellwood is also vital to the project. Cecil is treasurer of the Watershed Council. When a development has 75-100% impervious surface, the run-off is 55%. From that you get flooding. I feel anything we can do to prevent flooding is a public safety issue. Mr. Koehler showed before and after pictures of the creek.
Mr. Osborn said the pictures donít do justice. What you couldnít see in the before pictures because of the foliage were the sheer drop-offs on some of those eroded banks. We had a very severe cut occurring there and we flared out the sides of the creek in order to eliminate that undercutting. This will give us more channel capacity, help slow the water down. It wonít prevent flooding from ever happening again but it will reduce the potential for it. And it does make substantial improvements in water quality and for aesthetic purposes.
Mr. Vanover said when we had that heavy rain in December it worked like a charm.
Mr. Knox said Mr. Koehler is a joy to work with. He believes in what he is doing and works very hard at it. Clean water and flowing in its natural path will not only benefit us, but it will benefit our children and grandchildren.
Mr. Danbury said we have had problems when we have a 100 year rain and have had flooding by the apartments there. Is this going to correct that?
Mr. Koehler replied it will mitigate it but not cure it.
PRESENTATION Ė Mark Schutte, Executive Director, Northern Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau
Mr. Knox introduced Mr. Schutte. Mark assumed this position in December after many years with local hotels. He knows the hotel business. Mark was one of the leaders in attempting to reduce the hotel/motel tax.
Mr. Schutte said our CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) consists of seven municipalities including Springdale, Sharonville, Blue Ash, Sycamore Township, Symmes Township, Forest Park and Harrison.). We have 54 hotels and over 6,000 hotel rooms. Technically, we have more hotel rooms than the Greater CVB does in Hamilton County. We receive $250,000 from the 3% county tax on hotel rooms and Hamilton County has given us $250,000 out of their general fund annually. We want hoteliers to be in charge of the CVB. The board has decided to give money directly to the hotels so they can advertise. We have decided to give each hotel $3,000 apiece for 50/50 matching funds. We are also funding 50% of the dues so they can join the Ohio Hotel Association. We will be putting out visitorsí guides and doing the normal stuff that CVBs do.
PRESENTATION Ė Partnership for Greater Cincinnati Ė Beth Stiles and Christy Meyers
Ms. Stiles said the Partnership is program of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber that support economic development throughout the region. The City has participated for the past fifteen years. The partnership is structured at the macro area to market the area to business prospects outside the region and internationally, and also to retain and grow the businesses we already have here. The partnership provides us with very valuable tools to help us in our own economic development efforts. Our participation gives me an opportunity to network and collaborate with economic professionals in the area. It provides contacts I can call for technical help and ideas. The partnership keeps us abreast of legislative issues. We get an opportunity to respond to regional site information requests for new-to-the-region prospects. The Chamber brought four prospects to Springdale and one of those did locate in Springdale. The Chamber has a wonderful website that I have access to. We also have access to COSTAR, which is used to track office vacancies and also available sites. The Chamber has a business retention committee and we asked them to do a blitz for us in Springdale. The Chamber also has informational sessions and workshops tailored to economic development professionals.
Christy Meyers stated the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce covers three states and thirteen counties in our area. We offer benefits such as workers comp, health insurance rates, etc. to our members. The fun group does the parties such as Octoberfest, Taste of Cincinnati, etc. The third area is the Cincinnati/USA Partnership. We market Cincinnati on a global basis. We have about 200 investors in the partnership. Eighty percent are private companies, twenty percent are public entities. We are asking you to keep your investment in the Cincinnati/USA Partnership. The Sharonville, Springdale, Blue Ash, Forest Park area is very important to the success of Cincinnati/USA to the greater Cincinnati area. Without your investment we canít keep bringing companies here. We canít keep retaining companies. Your piece of the pie makes a big difference in what we can do.
Mr. Danbury said we are getting more interest. We have a lot of retail here. Are we getting more interest for office space or industries than we have in the past?
Ms. Meyers replied the foreign investment is what is really rising in this community. The Japanese like this location because of the car industry and the I-75 corridor. Also, our airport is very important in international investment. Weíre seeing office and industrial picking back up. We donít work with retail as much. Retail follows the market.
ORDINANCE NO. 4-2004 "APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF APPROXIMATELY 1.666 ACRES LOCATED AT 1313 EAST KEMPER ROAD AND APPROXIMATELY 0.967 ACRES LOCATED AT 1333 EAST KEMPER ROAD (TRIAD COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES)"
Llowell Easter said most of the projects we are involved in are out parcels of a center that are already ready. This is a little different. It involves a request for a PUD. Wardell Wilcox is our traffic engineer; Edward Kelsey and Andy Gionelli, local counsel; Melissa Williams with Colliers; Charlie Martin and Joe Dillon. The project is right at the convergence of Springdale and Sharonville. The project is bordered by Chuck E Cheeseís, a sleep clinic and an office complex. The property is zoned a combination of Office and Retail. The existing zoning needs to be changed in order to facilitate setbacks and for transportation issues. We are proposing a PUD in a manner that will work for both us and the City of Springdale. Chuck E Cheese has two access points that are right off of Chesterdale, which at one point, probably isnít any wider than ten feet. You are trying to squeeze in all of the office traffic coming out from behind this site. We have gone to some of the contiguous property owners. There are twenty-three easements involved in this property. I think what we have will be better than what is there right now and most any other thing that could be proposed for that site. We have worked with Chuck E Cheeseís real estate person and we believe they will shut the first access point. We are here for you to allow us to proceed with the conditional approval to try to deal with the staff comments and try to incorporate as much as conceivably possible, and then bring that back before Planning Commission for final approval.
Mr. Danbury asked are these going to be one or two story buildings?
Mr. Easter replied one story.
Mayor Webster asked how large are the buildings? Mr. Easter replied one would be 3500 to 4500 square feet and one would be 5,000 square feet.
Mayor Webster asked do you have tenants identified for this?
Mr. Easter responded International House of Pancakes is one tenant. The A- frame building currently on the lot would be taken down.
Mr. Galster said all the documentation is in Mr. Knoxís office. The A-frame comes down. The site to the west is where there was a fire. The building to the east is the IHOP and the building on the right would be fast food or a possible bank.
Mr. Easter said IHOP is the tenant that is driving this zoning request.
Mr. Danbury asked is the line between the buildings going to be a tree line? What if people want to go between the two buildings?
Mr. Easter stated even though they are two different sites they are integrated together. That line could be a property line. There could be parking on both sides, cross access, easements, etc. and you are treating the whole site in the scope of landscaping requirements, etc. as a whole instead of having to do a setback or landscaping buffer where it really doesnít make sense. With the twenty-three easements going through there, there is a major sewer line, gas line and all sorts of stuff that cut right through the center of that property. Whether the trees can be planted at that exact spot Iím not sure, but there are significant landscaping requirements tied in to cutting any trees that are there.
Mr. Osborn said to address Mr. Danburyís question, particularly if this is a drive-thru type arrangement with a restaurant or a bank, they are going to channel their traffic so your question about cross access really is addressed. The internal driveway at the top of the drawing does provide that but to directly cross from one parking lot to another, may be possible. It just depends on how the final outlook comes out.
Mayor Webster said you show solid trees and landscaping between the two properties with a cross easement to the rear. Why donít you show a cross easement to the north of the property?
Mr. Easter said the intent is that this property will be owned by us and there will be a walkway so the corporate people wonít have to get in their cars and drive down. There will be a step down into the property. The middle is more of a property line than a tree line so crossing it would be relatively easy.
Mayor Webster asked with a car?
Mr. Easter said you would park and walk across the property.
Mr. Galster said all the surrounding properties have the ability to get into this development without going back out onto Kemper Road. A lot of that is taken care of on the south drive. One of the concerns we have is the right turn in if you are going eastbound on Kemper Road. You take that first entrance and then you want to take a left and get into the first parcel. If there is any backup there it would come back out onto Kemper Road so there is a little concern as to that access. Itís almost as though we want to force them up to that southern access.
Mr. Squires do you have any inkling as to what the other building might be?
Ms. Williams stated at this time it looks like it could be a bank.
Mr. Vanover said there is not a set tenant yet. We see a hard drawing in front of us but not necessarily the way it could be. One of the feelings with Planning Commission was that we didnít want direct access off of Kemper Road to both of these up front. We wanted to build in some capacity. There is a lot of traffic there already and I made my point at Planning that I would lean more towards the bank for a lesser retail than fast food.
Mr. Galster said Chesterdale ends at Kemper. Letís just assume that even though itís not a public street, it continues to this site. That roadway is not anywhere near city standards as far as width, curbing, etc. Itís my understanding that this will be built out to the proper size lanes entering the site at that intersection.
Mr. Easter said the traffic impact study determined that a third lane would have to be added as a minimum to accommodate left turn traffic exiting opposite Chesterdale.
Mr. Galster said the actual construction of that street would comply with what would usually be standard for a public street. It will be a major improvement to what is there now. Planning Commission reviewed option A and B and had a complete evaluation of both plans. We did make our approval on option A. If there would be any significant change it could possibly come back to City Council again. Thatís why we tried to give them a little leeway.
Mr. Osborn stated the beauty of a Planned Unit Development is that we can work with a developer who is willing to take on a difficult site like this, and this is a difficult site. By giving them preliminary plan approval, we re-enforce for them that they are on the right track. They always have to come back in for final development plan and thatís where the details will be worked out. In this case, the real measure of pass or fail will be traffic management. As for land use, we already have office and retail zoning on the property. The critical issue is can we see this site redeveloped with new types of uses and still accommodate the traffic load. Thatís what these gentlemen are working on and I think they are on the right track. They seem to be willing to work towards finding the solutions. This is the right approach to take for this site.
Mr. Wilson said I assume the IHOP is the larger of the two buildings. What is the approximate seating?
Mr. Easter replied 150 seats. We have developed about 150 of them. Itís breakfast and lunch and not as heavily used in the evening. A lot of the uses are somewhat complimentary as relates to when the traffic is coming and going.
Mr. Danbury said this is a preliminary plan. Itís not the final plan. The next one is the zoning. I share Mr. Vanoverís view but the fact is we cannot say Iíd love to see a bank there, but you cannot vote for it because this man is making an investment. He is going to try to get the best tenant he can so he can get the best return on his dollar. I hope people donít say we will approve it now but if itís fast food weíll disapprove it. Heís investing his own time and money there. It will be an improvement for this property and I donít see a problem with it.
Mr. Easter stated what I understand is being approved tonight is a preliminary approval and that it reverts back to its existing zoning if it cannot be hammered out what staffís conditions are.
Mr. Galster answered no, it does not revert back. The first ordinance is the actual preliminary plan that you presented to Planning Commission. If that plan is approved, then that is the plan we will use to establish the PUD, which is ordinance number 5. Once that PUD is passed by Council, it becomes a Planned Unit Development and it will stay a PUD unless it would go back through another zoning request.
Mr. Easter said as the Mayor points out, this plan does not provide this access. We actually have done a lot of different plans. These were the first plans that weíve done. We have tried to deal with a lot of staff concerns. There are transportation issues. We havenít gotten a signed document with Chuck E Cheese that would enable us to do the kind of improvements. There are elevation issues and serious concerns. Weíre not sure we can accomplish some of them. I had asked our attorney to contact Lisa Rames to give us comments as relates to the CCRs. How do you deal with that if there is an impasse and the existing owner is in a situation where it canít be worked out.
Mr. Galster said I understand your concern but when you originally came to Planning you needed an ownerís affidavit that said you had their permission to pursue the change in zoning. The decision to change zoning isnít going to be based on whether itís an IHOP and a Wendyís, or IHOP and a bank, or whatever. Thatís a separate issue. If this is approved tonight for the preliminary plan, then you go to the actual zone change. If you canít get final plan approval or you decide youíre not interested in developing this project as you presented it, the PUD will stand with those two properties. If the owner doesnít make a deal with you, he has a PUD. If he wants something different he may have to come back through Planning, maybe through Council. If he doesnít want a PUD at all he would have to have it rezoned into some other zoning category.
Mr. Galster said based on this information Iím not sure the applicant wants us to vote tonight. Do you want us to wait and give you time to reconsider those legal options or questions?
Mr. Easter said we have a meeting February 9th to finalize the deal with our tenant. There are a couple of major, major issues that we think are going to be very difficult. It scares me to impose something on a property that I would not then be acquiring. If I canít make that work Iím not sure anybody else can make it work. What is the earliest we can come back if we delay this?
Mrs. McNear said we could continue it to the next meeting. Mr. Easter stated that he would like to continue it.
Mr. Galster made a motion to continue Ordinance 4-2004 until the next meeting. Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 5-2004 "AMENDING THE ZONING CODE AND ZONING MAP OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REZONING OF APPROXIMATELY 2.633 ACRES LOCATED AT 1313 AND 1333 EAST KEMPER ROAD FROM 1.666 ACRES OF OFFICE BUILDING (OB), AND 0.967 ACRES OF GENERAL BUSINESS (GB) TO PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT (PUD) (KEMPER POND)"
Mr. Galster made a motion to continue the public hearing until the next Council meeting. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 7-2004 "AUTHORIZING A FIVE-YEAR RENEWAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND THE GREATER CINCINNATI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PERTAINING TO THE PARTNERSHIP FOR GREATER CINCINNATI FOR YEARS 2004-2008"
RESOLUTION R8-2004 "RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ADOPTION OF AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF APPORTIONING THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUND"
Mr. Knox said that the resolutions are reworks to change the nomenclature to suit the template we use here at the City of Springdale. The exhibits are copied exactly from what was sent to us.
Mr. Galster made a motion to read by title only. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Resolution R8-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R9-2004 "RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ADOPTION OF AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF APPORTIONING THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE ASSISTANCE FUND"
Mr. Galster made a motion to read by title only. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Resolution R9-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn stated on January 27th the Director of the Ohio EPA did execute the covenant not to sue for the former Burns property. The clock has started tolling on the thirty-day appeal period. We are over the hurdle and we can get on with the development of that property.
Mr. Osborn said as part of the rehabilitation process of the Dunkin Donuts property the owner has agreed to donate to the City a small landscape easement of about .03 of an acre at the corner of Springfield Pike and Northland Boulevard. I would like to ask for legislation at the next meeting accepting that donation.
Mr. Knox said we have a request for a D-3 liquor license at Chipotle. There were no objections.
Mr. Schneider said I would like to suggest that Council consider the meeting of February 19th where we are going to discuss the tax issue matter and hear from the public a special Council meeting. I think we can reasonably expect four members of Council to be present, maybe all of you. If we fail to do it there would probably be no negative problem although someone could conceivably try to arrange an issue. There is no action to be taken that night so no action can be rescinded, but it is meeting what the law says.
Mr. Galster stated this meeting is being conducted by the Committee to Keep Springdale Great. Itís not being conducted by Springdale City Council.
Mr. Schneider said itís a matter of discussing public matters. It doesnít matter who conducts the meeting or where you sit.
Mayor Webster said I donít want to argue the point but I donít see what the difference is in what we are doing on February 19th and what was done in the district meetings. Thereís been a lot of them when weíve had more than four Council people present. We donít take minutes. We donít open and close the meetings and we donít pass legislation. The same thing is intended for February 19th. Itís just a general information meeting.
Mr. Knox said we are not conducting business. We are explaining things to people.
Mr. Galster made a motion that Council have a special meeting February 19, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. at the Springdale Community Center to discuss Issue 2. No other business will be discussed and no legislation enacted. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - February 10
Board of Health - February 12
BZA - February 17
Mayor Websterís meeting to inform public of Issue 2
Senior Citizens - February 10
MKV Senior Center - February 12
MKV Mardi Gras - February 24
Maple Knoll Town Hall - TBA
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 4-2004 - February 18
Ordinance 5-2004 - February 18
Ordinance 7-2004 - February 18
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Accepting landscape easement at SR 4 and Northland February 18
Council adjourned at 8:58 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council