PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
JANUARY 12, 2010
7:00 P.M.


I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Tony Butrum.


II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Don Darby, Steve Galster, and Tom Vanover

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


III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF DECEMBER 8, 2009 AND
MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF DECEMBER 22, 2009

Mr. Okum moved to adopt the December 8, 2009 and December 22, 2009 Planning Commission meeting minutes, Mr. Vanover seconded the motion; the minutes were adopted with seven affirmative votes.


IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster gave his report for Council summarizing that Council did pass an economic package for First Federal and that was approved.


V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Chairman Butrum: Wireless Communication Tower Conditional Use Permit –
11970 Kenn Road; we had a request for a continuance, until the February meeting.

Mr. Okum: I would like to move that the Conditional Use Hearing be continued in progress based upon the request from the applicant.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote from the Planning Commission Members the request for a continuance was approved.


VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Chairman Butrum: Kemper Pond Center – IHOP Variance Request from the Tree Preservation Ordinance at 1309 and 1333 East Kemper Road.

Mr. Tyler Fread came forward as the representative for the property at
1309 and 1333 East Kemper Road.

Chairman Butrum: Do you have anything that you would like to say to the Planning Commission before we move to Staff comments?

Mr. Fread: No.

(At this time Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride presented their Staff comments.)

Mr. Okum: There are a couple things that we haven’t resolved; we are still 21 inches short and I guess under our regulations the applicant is responsible for a cash contribution for that penalty for the difference.

Mr. McErlane: It is at the discretion of the Planning Commission.
Mr. Okum: Were there some trees taken down at the Boulevard entrance of
Kemper Pond?

Ms. McBride: There is landscape material that has either died or was not installed but that is a separate issue that the City is working through with enforcement, separate and different from what the Commission is considering this evening.

Mr. Okum: Are the Red Sunset Maples on this applicant’s site or are they on the public right of way?

Ms. McBride: It is a mixture of Red Sunset Maples and the Armstrong Maples and some are on the applicant’s property and some are in the right of way; there were two trees taken down that were in the City right of way.

Mr. Okum: Those were significant in size?

Mr. McErlane: They were 6 inches and 7 inches in 2005.

Mr. Okum: What is your plan for the 21 inch difference?

Mr. Fread: Planting cost on the caliper inch is about $100 per caliper inch; $300 for a 3 inch tree. We would like to plant these trees to obviously put some greenery and landscape back to the property and then donate $2,100 to the City of Springdale for the 21 caliper inches that we are short.

Mr. Okum: How much obstruction to the business property would occur with this type of planting?

Ms. McBride: When Mr. McErlane and I met with the applicant, we discussed different types of trees that might work for them and we suggested the Skyline Honey Locusts which are commonly known in the retail community as “see-through” trees. We also suggested these particular types of trees because they tend to grow up and in more of a column shape as opposed to out; they tend to block the visibility less than a lot of the other tree species. That is why we specifically suggested these two types of Maples.

Mr. Okum: Are there 6 inch and 7 inch trees available?

Ms. McBride: There are 6 and 7 inch trees available but the likelihood of survival of those trees, particularly in a location like this, is not good.

Mr. Galster: There are some pretty good size trees that we took down and these
3 inch trees will take a long time to get back to an 8 inch diameter tree again. I’m still in favor of trying to replant all of the caliper inches that are required for the site even though the 51 that were removed, even if you planted 51 at 3 inch caliper, it is still not going to have the same effect. It is going to take a long time to have the maturity that was there. To be short on the replanting, I am not real happy with.

Mr. Fread: Anne, Bill and I have been to the site, and I went to see Tammy. You guys felt that this was proper planting, so this is how we have come to this presentation.

Mr. Galster: Ms. McBride, is it your feeling that this site will only handle the 31 caliper inches?

Ms. McBride: No, we have done a plan that replants all 51 caliper inches on the site and we have made that available to the applicant and they indicated that they were not willing to replant 51 caliper inches. The site can accommodate the 51 caliper inches.

Mr. Fread: As far as in the future, we think it is more practical it still leaves plenty of greenery to the space, five years from now we will still be able to see the shopping center.

Mr. Galster: Ms. McBride, in the replanting of the 51 inches on the site, was your consideration taken into the fact of what these trees will look like five, ten years from now and the fact that the site can still handle that growth?

Ms. McBride: Yes, that is correct. One thing that we suggested to the applicant and he has chosen to take advantage of is the grouping of the trees, increasing the visibility of the center. The largest visibility concern for that center is the IHOP that sits out in front of the center. The bulk of the trees will not be planted on the frontage; we have located them throughout the site. I think the concern for the applicant was a financial concern as well as a visibility concern.

Mr. Okum: Mr. McErlane, if they are 21 inches short, what is the financial responsibility?

Mr. McErlane: The Code doesn’t specifically give a dollar-per caliper inch amount, except for the penalty that we discussed earlier.

Mr. Okum: How it looks for the first five years makes a big difference to me. I am going to lean to wanting to see if that can be beefed up. Merely the replacement of the $100 per caliper inch, bringing it up to $2,100 doesn’t make the canopy of this site the way it was.

Mr. Darby: In a former life I sat through weeks and weeks adopting the “Tree City” plan. I recall that the intent there was not to make money with penalties or those kinds of issues but it was to insure that this is truly a “Tree City”. As I sit here having reviewed the documents, my intent to vote for something that will observe the intent of the tree ordinance and try to maximize the trees that are going to be on that site, the penalty doesn’t do anything in support of that concept. I am leaning toward trying to maximize the amount of the number of trees planted on that site.

Mr. Fread: Instead of making a donation of $2,100, if you can locate seven trees that you would like us to plant, are we able to plant them for you because we can purchase them and have them planted for that cost. I am pretty confident we can plant them in the $250 to $300 range, and get a one year warranty with it.

Chairman Butrum: Mr. Darby, you would like to see those planted at that location?

Mr. Darby: I think that would be the appropriate thing to do; and I am hearing the Staff say that is doable.

Ms. McBride: When we did that plan we took into account the existing vegetation because we didn’t want to disturb that. There is no point in putting in a new tree to the detriment of an existing healthy tree, so the landscape architect and I looked for places on the site where they could be located without disturbing other vegetation, that their growth wouldn’t be hampered by either building or pavement area, curbing or whatever; we did try to keep them internal to the site to keep as much visibility from the street into the center.

Mr. Okum: I am supporting Mr. Darby’s position; I think based upon what Staff has submitted the trees can be planted on the site without obstructing the view from the public right of way. If this gentleman has the resources to get them planted, then that is great and we should do that at the lower rate instead of penalizing at a higher fee.
As far as the pots, they don’t really do much for me.

Mr. Fread: Our point of the pots was to add seasonal color and maybe some tall grass; give some color to the area and still allow our sign to be visible to the tenants.

Ms. McBride: I like the pots, I think it is a nice idea because they have put concrete in there, otherwise it looks a little goofy to have the concrete and the tree wells with nothing in it. I don’t want pots with dead plant material and I don’t think they do either.

Mr. Fread: We will do the seven additional trees in the Skyline Honey Locust?
Chairman Butrum: According to this we have two that are Maple, three that are Honey Locust and we have two Paper Bark Maples behind the building; that is what we are looking for, that mix.

Mr. Fread: As a suggestion, could we do the Skyline Honey Locust by the parking spots, just for the simple fact there is a very small grass area there?

Ms. McBride: That was the landscape architect’s recommendation for the tree mix and we could certainly talk about that if the Commission is comfortable with leaving the species type up to Staff, we can sit down and discuss that.

Chairman Butrum: We can put that in the motion.

Mr. Bauer: The drip irrigation for the planters, is there a method to getting to that location?

Ms. McBride: I believe that they have irrigation on the site; that was part of their initial approval. We can work with them to connect that into their existing irrigation system, or to provide it if it is not there. We do not want empty pots or pots with dead plants.

Mr. Fread: Are we in agreement to plant the trees in the beginning of March?

Chairman Butrum: That is fine. We have part of the issue resolved, as far as getting 51 caliper inches back on the site and there is still a question of what portion of the penalty are we talking about. Is there relief from that or is there not relief from that?

Mr. Galster: The penalty was originally designed to discourage taking a site and cutting down the big trees and planting little trees; there is a big difference between having 5-3” trees, as opposed to having one 15” diameter tree out there. Given the circumstances here, I do believe there was an extensive misunderstanding that happened. If the site gets replanted, I have no problem with eliminating the penalty in this case given these circumstances, but with the understanding that cutting down mature trees is not an answer to your visibility. I don’t think that we need to have a punishment for this particular application, because I don’t believe that there was intent; I think that there was truly a miscommunication.

Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion that we approve the Kemper Pond IHOP site tree replacement to include the tree replacement conditions that Staff shall review and approve, the replacement of the 51 caliper inches of trees as presented this evening. That the applicant shall also provide planters, pots as presented with drip irrigation for seasonal pots as presented. The penalty, as required by code shall be waived.
Mr. Darby seconded the motion.

With a unanimous vote from the Planning Commission Members, the variance request from the Tree Preservation Ordinance at 1309 and 1333 East Kemper Road was granted with conditions.

B. Chairman Butrum: Growth Spurts Learning Center (Day Care) – Conditional Use Permit request at 11490 Springfield Pike.

    Jenelle Holston: I am here today to request a Conditional Use Permit for the Center to be located at 11490 Springfield Pike.

    (At this time Mr. McErlane and Anne McBride presented their Staff comments.)

    (Chairman Butrum opened the floor to the audience for comment; no one came forward and this portion of the Public Hearing was closed for this application.)

    Mr. Galster: My main concern is the play area and having to go off-site for that and not having a transportation vehicle to accommodate that. I am curious as to what the requirements are for a play area inside and do you need to transport children to an outside recreation; is that the Department of Jobs and Family Services recommendation?

    Mrs. Holston: We have 1,440 of indoor recreation; daily the children do need to have outdoor activities that can include walking, that can include playing at the park. The park that we have chosen is behind Springdale Recreation Center, it is not located that far from the Center but we are proposing to have a school bus by the time we open that could transport the children to that location.

    Mr. Galster: So you are able to walk to it because it is close enough that you can stay off of Route 4?

    Mrs. Holston: We will walk and be visible to the community. It is a daily event we need to do, when weather permits.

    Mr. Galster: There is no other place behind there; the Recreation Center is the closest facility?

    Mrs. Holston: There is a park located on Rose Lane, but we have decided that the Recreation Center would be the better park; it has a lot more to offer.

    Mr. Galster: The only other concern that I have      is the temporary sign based on the previous location; I know we had a temporary sign out there for awhile. Your intent is to have a sign up before you open?

    Mrs. Holston: I would like to.

    Mr. Galster: It was not very attractive the way it was done the first time and it was up there for quite a number of months; there were a lot of questions as to what was going on. Are we going to do something on a temporary nature or are we just going to get your sign done early and leave it up there until you open?

    Mrs. Holston: I would like to have a permanent sign installed instead of “a coming soon sign”.

Mr. Galster: Any signage whether it be temporary in nature or a permanent sign, then we would have to see you again?

Mr. McErlane: They could use a banner temporarily; until April of this year, you can have a banner for a month and then renew it every month.

Mr. Galster: The other question I have is the time of operation, of your 55 children that you anticipate how many children will be there after 6:00 p.m.?

Mrs. Holston: After 6:00 p.m. I would anticipate half of that.

Mr. Galster: You do anticipate a pretty even split between first and second shift of your facility?

Mrs. Holston: Yes.

Mr. Galster: So you anticipate until 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. having 55 children and then up to a maximum of 30 from that point on until you close?

Mrs. Holston: Yes.

Mr. Galster: We have one resident that is close that we have to worry about and that is the Pastor’s home?

Mr. McErlane: Yes. The Pastor’s home would be the closest. There is a house on the other side of Walnut in line with the Pastor’s house. On the east side of the parking lot is the church, north of this is the Town Center.
Mr. Galster: We don’t have an outdoor play area, so I don’t know that the volume becomes an issue but there are residential areas there so we need to make sure that the volume is not an issue because it will be open until 12:00 – 12:30 a.m.

Mr. Darby: I know parents love your hours.
As I look at the drawing, do you have a plan for the size of bus you are going to get?

Mrs. Holston: My husband has his commercial driver’s license. We have been working with Paul’s Bus Service to purchase a bus from them; the one we did look at was a 22 passenger bus.

Mr. Darby: You would want to have a flow plan for this bus because you would not want to back up on this property. You are representing, that in no time will there be outside play on this site?

Mrs. Holston: No, there will not be. There is no room for it.

Mr. Darby: I am not familiar with the State’s requirements, but you are giving us your assurance that bad weather for weeks and weeks, they would be o.k. with the kids having their play sessions inside?

Mrs. Holston: Yes. There will be an indoor recreation area that would provide for motor gross.

Mr. Darby: How far is the Center from the area that you will allow the play?

Mrs. Holston: It is probably a fifteen minute walk.

Mr. Darby: Let them walk.

Mr. Vanover: I would second Mr. Darby’s comments about the bus. We talked about doing a dumpster wrap area. In this picture, are there four condenser units sitting out there?

Mrs. Holston: There is.

Mr. Vanover: Is there anyway we can shield those?

Mr. McErlane: Zoning Code requirements aren’t retroactive, they are grandfathered.

Mr. Bauer: Does the State requirements only require you to go once a day to the park, you won’t have to take the kids at night?

Mrs. Holston: No; never at night. They will not go outdoors at night; they will be in the indoor recreation area.

Mr. Okum: I like this facility better for your function. What would preclude you from taking the kids out to play in the City parking lot during the day?

Mrs. Holston: It is not my property.

Mr. Okum: In some ways I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but the other thing is that it is closer to the residents and that could be offensive to the residents. I think we need to word the condition “that the City parking lot not be used for a playground”.
The other question that I have is in regard to picking up children in the evening; you have that parking area that is along the front of the building and I think that is an appropriate place to have people picking up children, but if you need to add some additional lighting there, we need to be concerned how the lighting effects the neighbors and the public. It would be quick and easy to put some spotlights on the building and shine them out at those parking areas, but on the other hand that would be offensive to the drivers and people coming down the roadway. I think that any parking lot lighting should be reviewed by Staff and the Planning Commission in regard to lot lighting. I want it to be lit for the safety of the children getting into the cars.

Ms. McBride: If the Commission is comfortable, I don’t think it is the applicant’s intent to do free standing light fixtures, so if the Commission is comfortable then the applicant could come back to Staff with how they propose to light that parking area.

Mr. Okum: I am comfortable with Staff reviewing it, being consistent with what we have in the Corridor area.

Mr. Galster: Looking at the east side of the building, it looks like it is blacktopped to the entryway, with the exception of a small little curb, I am wondering if that would be a good place for the bus to safely load and unload? I also think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to erect a fence to enclose the condensing units and screen that dumpster, as well.

Mrs. Holston: I am not sure if all of the units are operable. I will be speaking to the owner to see if we could have those removed; I think maybe two do not work.

Mr. Okum: Are you going to prepare food at this facility?

Mrs. Holston: Yes. We are not going to have a commercial stove, we are just going to have a convection oven, but we would have a grease trap and do everything according to the Springdale Health Department and also MSD.

Chairman Butrum: You are no longer looking at the catering aspect?

Mrs. Holston: No sir, I am not.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a motion to approve Growth Spurts Learning Center, 11490 Springfield Pike to include all Staff / City Planner’s recommendations, in addition the existing and any new mechanical units shall be screened by the same type of enclosure area as the dumpster area. The dumpster area and screening shall be reviewed and approved by Staff and shall be permitted within the Elm Alley front yard setback area. At no time shall there be outdoor play on site. The outdoor lighting for the parking area shall be reviewed by Staff for consistency with our Corridor Review District and the public parking area shall not be utilized by the facility for playground purposes at any time.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

The Secretary polled the Planning Commission Members and with a unanimous vote the request for a Conditional Use Permit was granted with conditions.

VII. DISCUSSION

Chairman Butrum: Zoning Code Amendment for Electronic Signs

Mr. McErlane: The copy that you had previously, paragraph seven had a maximum daytime illumination level and we deleted that. Through discussions that Mr. Galster had with the sign manufacturer. You can make a sign as bright as you want and it is not offensive in the daytime; it is relative light coming off the sign to ambient light that is really offensive at night. We did delete the daytime maximum illumination, also due to some discussions that Mr. Galster had with the sign company, they have indicated that the .008 factor that we are using for maximum foot candle difference at nighttime is actually pretty bright and they had suggested a .003, which is another number that comes out of that study that I gave you a little bit of information about. We have also changed that to .003 for that multiplication factor. This is the draft of what we might give out to an applicant to look at the illumination levels.
There is another minor change we have in paragraph seven of the new draft that you received tonight; there was a statement that said that the owner was required to submit a certification that the sign has been set to the maximum levels, but we don’t necessarily want it set to the maximum levels, we don’t want it to exceed the maximum levels. Those are the only three changes from the draft that you received in your packets.

Mr. Galster: The .3 foot candle, based on 100 s.f. would get you .3 foot candle change at 100 feet. But in our specifications we only allow up to a 75 square foot sign, so that is going to be below .3 for the ambient change. We based this on 100 s.f. to do from .3 foot candle to go to .003 to get it down to square foot, but if we only allow a maximum 75 s.f. sign it is going to make it at 100 feet our candle light level below .3 and I don’t know that we need to do all those calculations. We have a sign that is 0 to 100 s.f. and you are allowed .3 foot candle ambient change at 100 foot; if in fact we grow the sign and we would for some reason allow something different from the specifications, such a 200 s.f. then the sign company has shown as a standard that they changed the difference that they measure it from, and still use the .3 foot candle. Based on the fact that we are allowing less than 100 s.f. sign face we are having less than .3 foot candle at 100 feet.

Mr. McErlane: Right.

Mr. Okum: The idea is that the effects of the light 100 feet away; doesn’t matter what size the sign is, it is the effect of the light at 100 feet away.

Mr. McErlane: It has been dependent on the size of the sign. The idea was that if you had 100 s.f. sign that was going to change the ambient light level by .3 foot candles that you didn’t want a 30 s.f. sign that was going to be bright enough to make the same difference in the ambient light levels.

Chairman Butrum: We took that into account, that is where the .003 X the square footage comes in, basically the algebra to make that the variable.

Mr. Okum: This has been a learning experience. The analysis was to take larger parcels, not ignoring the small businesses. There was one other item I picked up on from the sign company representative; we are using the term foot candle measurement and that it shall be taken after dusk, and it is very subjective when is dusk. The sign company’s representative suggested 30 minutes past sunset. My recommendation would be to take out “after dusk” and insert “30 minutes past sunset”.

Mr. McErlane: I don’t think you want to say “30 minutes after sunset” because that ties them down to “30 minutes after sunset”. It needs to say something like “later than 30 minutes after sunset but not prior to 1 hour before sunrise”.

Mr. Okum: It isn’t perfect but it is a good start, I think; it is fair. Staff has done a phenomenal job.

Ms. McBride: This is now model language; I do not know another community in Ohio that has that detail description for these types of signs.

Mr. McErlane: There are two other sections of our Code that deal with electronic signs that we are going to need to visit in the future.

Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion that Section 153.523 and Section 153.531 Design Standards for Digital and Electronic Signs be referred to City Council with changes as discussed this evening.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous “aye” vote from the Planning Commission Members the amendment to the Zoning Code was recommended to Council for consideration.

Chairman Butrum: I think Lawrence Hawkins was here earlier this evening because he met with some of the residents regarding the wireless tower and he said some of them didn’t realize the Public Hearing was still going on; he was wondering if we could send notice to the same addresses for the next meeting. We are required within 200 feet and there was nobody within 200 feet of the tower, so I said we should do 750 feet since the Code required the 750 feet setback.
Mr. McErlane: I think we sent letters to everyone on the south side of Cedarhill, maybe a few on the north side and we ended up with some of the properties in the cul-de-sacs north of Glensprings and that is 750 feet.

Chairman Butrum: A lot of people have expressed interest in participating in the pay cut knowing that Mr. Galster reported that it was deemed that the Commissions and Boards were the one area that did not have the 3.8% pay cut. We may have to do this individually and voluntarily, if anyone is interested in doing that.

Mr. Okum: So we can’t do that as a body? I support it up to 10%.

Chairman Butrum: I volunteered 10%.

Mr. Okum: It needs to be considered. We have a lot of really good people working in the City of Springdale and have had for many years and they are all taking a cut; it is very difficult for them and their families.
   
VIII. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn, Mrs. Ghantous seconded and with a unanimous “aye” vote from the Planning Commission, the meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________, 2010 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________, 2010 ___________________________________
                Richard Bauer, Secretary