9 JANUARY 2007
7:00 P.M.


The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Chairman William G. Syfert.


Members Present:    Steve Galster, William Syfert, David Okum,
            Tom Vanover and Lawrence Hawkins

Members Absent    Tony Butrum and Robert Coleman

Others Present:    Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director
            Bill McErlane, Building Official
        Don Shvegzda, City Engineer
Anne McBride, City Planner

Mr. Syfert reported that Mr. Coleman has resigned from Planning and is going to Civil Service Commission. Mr. Butrum is out of town on business, so any approvals will take five affirmative votes.


Mr. Galster moved to approve and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye and the Minutes were adopted with five affirmative votes.


A. Report on Council

Mr. Galster reported that Council will have a replacement for Mr. Coleman before the next meeting. Also there will be a public hearing on the additional four pieces of property on Sharon Road the first meeting in February.
B. Zoning Bulletin – December 10, 2006
C. Zoning Bulletin – December 24, 2006
D. Zoning Bulletin – Special Issue
E. Zoning Bulletin Index – January-December, 2006
F. Board of Zoning Appeals Meting Minutes – November 21, 2006
G. 12/13/06 Letter to President of City Council re T-District Zoning


A. Approval of Tree Removal and Landscape Plan – Jake Sweeney Dodge, 1280 East Kemper Road – tabled 12/12/06

Larry Schneider said we met with Ms. McBride and Mr. McErlane and came up with a plan on what we could do to reach an agreement. I think we worked it out well, and I hope it meets with everybody’s approval.

Mr. McErlane reported that we met with the applicant and the landscaper on December 14th and discussed alternatives. We suggested a better curb appeal from the site, and then gave them some relief from the tree planting on the back and sides of the site.

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Mr. McErlane added we looked at clustering of trees which they have done on the western front of the site near the pole sign and on the eastern side. They have reacted favorably to our recommendations and I think we are happy with the results.

Ms. McBride reported that there are minor corrections, but the revised plan really looks great and allows the visibility they needed and we would recommend approval.

Mr. Galster moved to approve the tree removal and landscape plan contingent on their meeting the requirements of the city staff. Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum commented I am very pleased with the presentation. Hopefully the planting beds can be put in place and will give you visibility.

Mr. Schneider said the east side is level, but the west side is in a hole, so planting anything there would not show up. We worked very well with your staff, and I think it all worked out well.

Mr. Syfert commented I will be supporting this; I think you did a nice job.

On the motion to approve, all present vote aye, and the approval was granted with five affirmative votes.


A. Approval of Rooster’s Restaurant, 12120 Springfield Pike (former Bob Evans)

Rich Richter and Mark Frazier of Rooster’s approached the commission. Mr. Richter said we are trying to get the colors approved, and I appreciate all the help from your staff.

We submitted brick that is to be painted, but it cannot be and we would rather not if that is possible. . We do not want to tear anything up on the outside. We would like to enclose the existing porch

Mr. McErlane reported that the sign package falls within the existing variance for pole sign and total signage granted in 1982. It is a reduction in square footage for the pole sign and a reduction in square footage for total signage as well.

The walk in box location would cause them to remove two trees in the back of the building, and they would have to do some replanting. They are not large trees.

Ms. McBride reported there is plenty of parking. It is striped for 94 and they need 68-70 spaces. They want to repaint the building and submitted an “Eaglet beige” color with green and copper color trim. These colors go with the requirements of the Corridor District.

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Ms. McBride added they also want to enclose the front porch, and staff talked with the architect and told him that the brick could not be painted. They had added that on because of the Route 4 Corridor requirements. I would not have any problem if they carried the wood rather than the brick. There are painted areas on the building which need repair, and we would like to see that taken care of.

Currently the lights on the building are not shielded and they need to be screened. Commission might want to have staff look at the screening.

There is a nice brick dumpster to the rear of the property, and we would like to see gates added.

We do not know the material or color for the walk-in cooler. The architect indicated that they would put an enclosure around it, and that probably should be a condition of any approval tonight.

The landscaping on the site is in very good shape. We have one sign on the front of the building and signs on both sides. Mr. Richter said we just want the sign on the south side. I have photographs from the Grove City Rooster’s (passed them out to the members).

Mr. Shvegzda reported that there are no modifications to the parking, access or drainage. If in the future there is any intent to resurface; it is something that will have to be submitted for review because there is detention on this lot.

Mr. Syfert said I am glad to see someone coming in and refurbishing that property. I personally like the fact that you would use wood instead of brick on the front. This would look better than trying to meet the requirements of the Corridor District. I will be supporting this.

Mr. Okum asked about the walk in cooler and Mr. Richter stated that it is a paintable cooler which could be painted to match the building. Mr. Okum asked if they could enclose it with the same wood and trim on the rest of the building. Mr. Richter answered that is our intention, to try to make it match.

Mr. Richter reported that they will do seven Rooster’s in Hamilton and Butler County, and this is the first location. There are 11 in Columbus, and Cleveland is starting to develop them.

Mr. Hawkins asked if they would have the sign with the message board on the pole sign. Mr. Richter answered we saw how that is not allowed, so we are not asking for that.

Mr. Okum moved to approve Rooster’s Restaurants, including all staff, city engineer and city planner recommendations.

1. Mechanical units shall be screened from view of the adjoining properties and public right of way.

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2. All lighting or relamping of existing fixtures shall conform to existing Zoning Code requirements.
3. Light fixture and pole color shall be reviewed and approved by staff.
4. Any changes to mechanical equipment shall be screened.
5. All four building elevations shall be of the same material as the existing fašade.
6. Paint shall be low luster and based on samples provided.
7. No electronic message center shall be allowed.
8. Signage shall be that which currently complies with the site.
9. Front enclosure and walk in cooler shall duplicate the existing building facades.

Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

Mr. Galster asked about signage on the north side which is shown on the drawing but is not included. Mr. McErlane wondered if Planning wanted to limit them to anything on the north side or to the total square footage. They are four square feet shy of the limit. Mr. Galster responded the total square footage is fine.

Ms. McBride asked about the existing building lights that are not screened. The architect indicated that they would like to keep that and are willing to add an enclosure to the fixture.

Mr. Okum said I will amend my motion to indicate that detail on the building lighting shall be provided to the staff.

All present voted aye on the motion, and approval was granted with five affirmative votes.

B. Approval of Proposed New Fašade for Springdale Station, 409 West Kemper Road (former Thriftway)

Chad Colbert of Phillips Edison,, owner of the property stated that the building has been vacant for several years. We have a tenant for a portion of it and we would like to have the fašade renovated.

Mr. McErlane reported that they are proposing to remove the existing mansard canopies and portion of the structure projecting out from the main building face and construct a new EIFS fašade on the front of the building.

High chromatic colors are allowed to be used as accent colors if they are not more than 10% of the area. A prior submittal showed the area above the west entrance painted red and it exceeded 10%. No new colored elevations were submitted for review, so we can not say which portions of the building will receive which colors as shown on the color samples provided.

Ms. McBride reported that 199 parking spaces would be required, and they have 316. Signage is not being considered. They will be reworking the existing pylon sign.

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Ms. McBride added there are three signs on the fašade for a total of 222 square feet, and they will be coming back to us with the total square footage. The site is entitled to a total 475 square feet.

The percentage of the fašade painted “Heartthrob Red” originally was 15% of the fašade, and they have agreed to reduce this to 8%. A revised color building elevation needs to be submitted showing the 8% “Heartthrob Red” accent.

The applicant has indicated that they do not plan on changing the existing landscaping. Staff feels that it is not in good condition and that plant material adjacent to the building would be damaged during renovation. The three landscape islands need to be replanted, and a landscape plan with existing and proposed materials needs to be submitted and approved by staff. There is no waste refuse area and the applicant needs to indicate where and how the waste will be handled.

The unscreened roof mounted HVAC equipment is clearly visible to adjacent single family homes to the rear of the center. We would appreciate some kind of screening and/or fencing if possible.

Mr. Shvegzda reported there are no modifications to the parking field regarding parking configuration, access points, drainage, etc. There are several areas in the parking field (particularly around the landscape islands) where the existing asphalt curb has deteriorated and will need to be repaired.

Mr. Colbert reported we submitted a revised color rendering (passed around copies).

Mr. Syfert asked how much of the building O’Reilly’s is taking over and Mr. Colbert answered 20,000 s.f. of 49,000 s.f.

Mr. Colbert stated we are open to revising the landscaping and repairing the islands. That property has not produced any income and now that we are getting a tenant in there, we will take care of all that.

Mr. Galster commented I feel that the site is way overparked. We do not know what will happen to the additional space, but I do not see that the additional tenant will require all the parking on the site.

I would like to see each of those three landscaped islands expanded into two additional parking spaces. I would not have a problem with eliminating all the parking spaces coming out to Kemper Road and having a nice green area in the front. It would be much more up to date and even just that front area (24 spaces) would improve your site and visibility. .

Mr. Galster asked if red was the corporate color of O’Reilly’s. Mr. Colbert said the red is completely O’Reilly’s. It doesn’t matter to the landlord one way or another. They asked all of that to be red and that is why I submitted that again. We can take all your recommendations back to them.

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Mr. Galster said it doesn’t seem to fit the building, but I think the whole fašade change is great; it’s a major improvement.

Mr. Okum asked if the entire red area a part of the O’Reilly sign. Mr. McErlane responded that is the background to the sign, an EIFS color. Mr. Okum commented that 8% is allowed for the accent color. Mr. McErlane reported that the 10% applies to any accent color to the building. Another future tenant would be limited to 2%.

Mr. Okum commented when we talk accent color, we talk about it on the entire elevation. The look of the building is really nice, and it looks like O’Reilly is messing it up.

Mr. Colbert commented generally their front is a standing metal seam. This is very upscale for what they typically would be.

Mr. Okum said I would like to see that red reduced down so it looks like some kind of accent. He asked about the mechanical units at the rear and screening, and Mr. Colbert reported that one of the large units will be removed over the O’Reilly space. Mr. Okum said that would need an enclosure that should be reviewed by staff, and the lighting on the building also should be shielded.

Mr. Galster said those accent colors are generally trims, and this seems much bigger than that, but I do not want to take away their identify.

Mr. Vanover commented if they want red, why not expand the block out on that signage and give them a red border? If red is their color I would like to see us enlarge the sign and pick up the red on it rather than this mass block. That would be more appealing and blend in better with another tenant. It almost looks like there was something else that they painted over. I think in the long run that would give them more of the identity they want.

Mr. Okum said I looked at their Web page and the O’Reilly Auto Parts sign is almost like the box sign with lettering much closer to the edge. The drawing is much wider and higher than their logo.

The good and bad of it is if it becomes part of the building it is background, and if it is part of the sign, it becomes part of the total signage. I would prefer to see individual channel lit letters reduced down to what they are showing in their logo. What has been submitted is bigger than the red is on their logo. I would like to see more accent color, especially on the building.

Mr. Colbert said this is what they wanted, and we tried to incorporate that in our design. We do not have any obligation to put a red fašade up, and if it is not approved because of that, it is easy to go back to the tenant to say so, but I wanted to represent them as best I could.

Mr. Okum said I would rather see accent colors across the elevation, not just in one spot.

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Ms. McBride stated we are not approving any on-building signage tonight because we do not have any details.

Mr. Vanover commented we are talking abut 222 s.f. for signage, and they are allowed 475 s.f. There is a little leeway there, but I would be more lenient on the sign size to make it look right. I definitely don’t like that red block out there.

Mr. Galster asked if the board agreed about the front parking spaces going into a green area. Mr. Colbert responded we are open to looking at that.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Galster said if we made a motion based on the elimination of parking spots, expansion of landscaped islands and buffering to the residential area, would you be okay with that? Is that sufficient for tonight? Mr. Colbert answered yes.

Mr. Galster said there are three banks of six stalls across Kemper Road. Each of the three landscaped islands would add another six parking places for a total of 24 parking spaces, and they still would be under parked.

Mr. Okum said accent colors are limited to no more than 8% to be spread across the entire elevation evenly. Is that what the commission wants? Mr. Galster suggested that it come back in as part of the sign package.

Mr. Colbert said so you do not want to see the red block, but we could have the accent somewhere else. Mr. Galster added we would like to see that again.

Mr. Colbert said there is an existing fence and we could create a buffer. Ms. McBride responded anything you could do would be an improvement and much appreciated.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the new fašade for Springdale Station at 409 West Kemper Road, including all staff, city engineer and city planner recommendations. Conditions include:

1. All mechanical units shall be screened from the view of adjoining properties and/or the public right of way.
2. All lighting and/or relamping of existing fixtures shall conform to existing Zoning Code requirements.
3. Landscaping is to be reviewed at a later date.
4. Special buffering conditions to the residential area in the rear of the property.
5. Relocation of 24 parking spaces nearest to the Kemper Road area, increasing the green space in front and doubling the three islands to a larger landscape area.
6. Accent color limited to no more than 8% to be spread across the entire elevation evenly.
7. No signage is to be approved at this time.

Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

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A. Electronic Signs (continued from December meeting)

Mr. Galster said I don’t know that this is perfect, but it is getting to where we want to be. One of the major concerns was the quality of the signs and keeping it with PUD areas with direct highway frontage. I think this document does a pretty good job of doing that. There are concerns about 50 feet high and 50 feet off the right of way, but all will be in PUD’s anyway and we could modify it.

The main thing is to have a high quality presentation, not only on the display board but for the sign stand to be an architectural feature.

Mr. Okum added I think we have done a fair job of impacting the residents on this. The 1500 nits are fair and a necessity specifically to protect the public.

When you talk about quality of pitch, it would eliminate the confusion of the motoring public. That along with the brightness of the sign is pretty important. The frequency of change also is important.

This is a fair representation and brings a balance. We think these are good numbers and give an opportunity for PUD businesses that would not have before. It is cutting edge.

They are 5,000 nits in daylight and 23 or 25 pitch. I do not know what the one in Sharonville is, but it is similar to what you will see under the display boards at Paul Brown Stadium, which are 20 pitches.

Mr. McErlane reported the electronic sign would be permitted for a Planned Unit Development property abutting an interstate highway right of way, and must be approved by Planning Commission.

The electronic sign must be not less than 35 feet or more than 100 feet from the interstate right of way, no closer than 100 feet to a residential property line or less than 25 feet to an adjacent non-residential property line outside of the PUD.

The total sign height shall not be more than 50 feet vertically above a point in the center line of the interstate driving lane closest to the sign.

The electronic video sign display panel shall hot be less than 150 s.f. or more than 800 s.f. Total sign area including all message areas shall not be more than 850 s.f.

The electronic video display shall be a full color LED technology with a maximum spacing of 46 mm. The video display will automatically dim to a corresponding reduction in ambient light.

The video display message may not display animated, scrolling, moving or flashing messages. Each message shall be on the screen for not less than 15 seconds.

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Mr. McErlane added that the sign structure must have an architectural style consistent with the primary structures in the PUD development.

Mr. Vanover wondered if we were doing anything with PUDs that are not on the interstate.

Mr. Galster commented Springdale Town Center is a PUD, but the traffic is much different and the sign would be much closer to the roadway in a stop and go situation and it might not be safe. This is like a test balloon. Mr. Syfert added we are trying to protect ourselves here.

Mr. Galster responded this is the beginning of the electronic sign ordinance. That does not mean we cannot expand it, but we are not comfortable with that yet. If it evolved to the next tier, there would be other regulations to govern them.

Mr. Vanover said I do not have a problem with this. My point is why not push the envelope to the next tier. Mr. Galster answered I don’t know that this committee is ready to push the envelope at this time. We have six PUDs on the interstate that would qualify for electronic signs.

Mr. Vanover said I would like to have seen more than just the interstate because I think the need and the technology are there.

Mr. Okum said I want to hear from Council. Mr. Vanover commented maybe we could do a workshop in Council and get that direction and input.

Mr. Syfert said do we want to wait until next month to give everybody time to think about this? Mr. Okum said Mr. Butrum said it looked good to him. We appreciate all Bill’s time on this.

Mr. Tulloch said the city is promoting the development of a large interstate sign as part of the Tri-County Mall redevelopment and the City would like to allow advertising on that sign for businesses that are not part of the PUD. This specifically eliminates that. Is the City exempt?

Mr. Okum responded I think the City represents all the people and all the businesses in the community so the City would be promoting all the businesses. Mr. Galster commented at the same time we do not want to see commercial Budweiser advertising.

Mr. Tulloch added even if we had this ordinance in place. Mr. Galster answered if the City owns it could be on the sign

Mr. Okum added off premise signage is a big issue, and the legal and staff needs to look at this. If we allowed non-PUD properties to advertise, we would b opening a Pandora’s Box. We are one of the few communities that do not allow off premise signs.

Mr. Vanover said you probably should let the legal people review this. There might be some precedents in the court that we could judge off of.

Mr. Hawkins added we can always list it in the statutes.

Mr. Okum aid there are challenges to the city from the billboard industry, and they are costly to defend. Whatever happens, this is a separate issue regarding economic development along the corridor and for PUD districts.

Mr. McErlane said on the sign that Mr. Tulloch was talking about the intent is to use TIF moneys to develop that sign which makes it a public use, but it also has to be city-owned and would be exempt from this ordinance.

Mr. Galster asked if Planning wanted legal counsel to look at this before it is sent on to Council.

Mr. Galster moved to refer Section 153.534 to Council with a positive recommendation and pending positive review by the law director.

All voted aye, and the motion was approved unanimously.


A. Tri-City Cleaners – 11588 Springfield Pike – Wall Sign
B. King Wireless – Springdale Town Center – Wall Sign


Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. All voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:43 p.m.

                    Respectfully submitted,

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                    William G. Syfert, Chairman

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                    Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary