PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
FEBRUARY 10, 2009
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, Lawrence Hawkins III, Steve Galster and Tom Vanover

Others Present: Don Shvegzda, City Engineer; Jonathon Wocher representing Anne McBride, City Planner; William McErlane, Building Official; Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director for the City of Springdale and Mayor Doyle Webster

III. MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF JANUARY 29, 2009

Mr. Galster moved to adopt the January 29, 2009 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote the minutes were approved.

IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster: At the last Council meeting I did update Council on our Special Meeting here, we had a representative from Duke Energy come back in to explain the source of the power outages that we have been having.

V. OLD BUSINESS

Chairman Butrum: We have Hooter’s Restaurant, 12185 Springfield Pike – Exterior Alterations; this was tabled from December 8, 2008. The applicant is not here this evening. Mr. Okum, Staff and I met with the applicant.

Mr. McErlane: We met with the applicant a couple weeks ago, one of the issues that we brought to their attention is if they truly have an exterior finish that is in poor condition it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to try to alter that in some manner without finding out if it is going to remain intact, so we suggested to them that they employ the services of a structural engineer to take a look at it and get an evaluation as to whether or not it will remain intact and what the condition of it is. I did have a conversation with an individual from Steven Schaefer’s Associates to give clarification on what we are looking for. The indication that we got from them is that they would be in for our March 10th meeting.

Mr. Okum moved to table the Exterior Alterations – Hooter’s Restaurant, 12185 Springfield Pike to the March 2009 meeting; Steve Galster seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote this item was tabled.

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Growth Spurts Child Care Conditional Use Permit request – 11510 & 11512 Springfield Pike

Jenell Holston: I am the owner and director of operations of Growth Spurts Learning Center and Growth Spurts Catering Service. At that site (11510 & 11512 Springfield Pike) we want to do a child care center that will be open from 6 AM to 12:30 AM, seven days a week. The different programs that we are going to have there are a before and after school program, we are going to have half day programs for preschoolers and head start children in the area. We are also going to do a second shift program for nontraditional working parents, as well as Saturday and Sunday; we are also doing a summer camp program. As far as the child care catering service, it will provide food for growth spurts learning center, at that site as well as other child care centers in the area that do not have a food license.

Mr. Hawkins: What are the hours that the catering service will be in operation?

Mrs. Holston: The catering service will be providing breakfast, lunch and evening meals, so it would be pretty much from about 6 AM in the morning until 7 PM at night. They will do a lot of prep work before and also we have other staff that will be employed by the child care center that can do some of the heating of the meals.

(At this time Mr. McErlane read his Staff report.)

Mr. McErlane: Could we clarify, would that evening meal also be catered to other facilities?

Mrs. Holston: The majority of other child care centers operate on a 6 AM to 6:30 PM schedule and they do not need the evening meals.
I have a little bit more detail regarding a sign today and I have four copies I will pass out.

Mr. McErlane: Also for clarification, the other sign that you had given us previously, is that really just a panel change in the existing sign?

Mrs. Holston: Yes.

(At this time Mr. Wocher reviewed the Staff report that Anne McBride prepared.)

Mr. Wocher: We would like to clarify whether landscape material will be removed or if that is going to be maintained?

Mrs. Holston: Landscaping material will remain and all I would do is maintain it and add mulch. I also have more details about the wood fence, the area that will be fenced with the privacy fence will be 30’ X 30’ and it is a spruce stockade and I am going to stain it in Sierra to match the upper fascia of the building.
Another issue I would like to bring up; I have looked around for the lights and it is not going to be feasible for me to do the type of lights that I want to do, so I am just going to utilize the lights that are already present, and they will primarily be used for safety.

Chairman Butrum: Given that a Conditional Use Permit is required, I do need to open the floor for public hearing; this is the first call to ask anyone from the public if they would like to speak in favor or against the conditional use permit; this item was advertised.
(After a second and third call for public comments, no one stepped forward and the public hearing was closed.)
We will open the floor for discussion among Planning Commission Members.

Mr. Galster: The trash dumpster location is where?

Mrs. Holston: It is going to be on the far end of the building and it is also going to be enclosed in a privacy fence.

Mr. Galster: So it is on the outside wall of the kitchen? What is the size of that enclosure?

Mrs. Holston: It is going to be the smallest that Rumpke has. Depending on the type of business that we receive from the catering service and if we have to go larger we will. We want the area to be really nice.

Mr. Galster: But off the back of that building I am not sure that a truck can make that turn into the trash receptacle area in order to empty a dumpster that is a pretty small alleyway.

Mrs. Holston: Looking at how everybody else in that in that back alley is doing it, they actually have theirs out a little bit farther it is not even with the building, so if I need to pull it out a little bit to make it even with theirs to accommodate the driver to be able to pick it up and go, then I could do that.

Mr. Galster: I am going to need to see where that is going to see how close it is to the roadway.
The vehicles that you are going to park in the City lot, other than being overnight, what kind of vehicles are we talking about?

Mrs. Holston: Commercial vehicles are going to be parked down and across the street at the Star Wig and Supply store.

Mr. Galster: Are these vehicles going to have signage on them?

Mrs. Holston: Yes.

Mr. Galster: I am a little concerned about that signage.

Mrs. Holston: That parking lot is pretty far back there, it is not on front street.

Mr. Galster: So, they will be parked where overnight?

Mrs. Holston: At the Star and Wig store across the street in the rear parking lot; the two catering vans and then we have the two small school buses.

Mr. Galster: There was a question in reference to a sign, a vinyl screen?

Mrs. Holston: It is actually an acrylic panel.

Mr. Okum: Mr. McErlane, are they required to have a main street dumpster enclosure with iron gates?

Mr. McErlane: They are; I think because of the limited space that they have they may need to look at something that is more of a roll out type dumpster because there really isn’t a good way to maneuver in and pick up a dumpster. It will depend on how much waste you have, particularly if you are doing a catering business.

Mr. Okum: But they would be required for three side walls and a reinforced enclosed gate; wood fence is not approved by our code so it would need to be masonry in nature for the dumpster area.

Mrs. Holston: O.K.

Mr. Okum: On the drop-off area, based upon the drawing that you submitted, is the lobby area on the side on Peach Street? Most day care facilities that I am familiar with the parents usually drop off and circle out; they rarely are backing in and out with children getting in and out of cars. I personally see some problems with 49 children from 49, or let’s say half of that, 25 vehicles will be coming into that site to drop off children and leave within a certain period of time. Is that right?

Mrs. Holston: I worked in child care centers, a lot of times parents don’t rush in at
6 o’clock and drop off their children. There will be children constantly picked up and constantly dropped off.

Mr. Okum: I don’t want to discourage but I think we have to deal with this process of getting children safely into your facility and safely out without any accidents occurring.

Mrs. Holston: They will have to bring their children in and sign in; they will not be dropping them off at the door. There is an issue if we have 10 parking spaces filled and 5 more cars lined up to bring their children in, are they able to park in the City lot? That is an issue I never raised.
Jonathon Wocher: It is one space per employee, one space per facility vehicle and then one space per 6 children.

Mr. Okum: So, the total of 26 spaces is combined.

Jonathon Wocher: That is right.

Mr. Okum: There are State statutes requiring the number of employees per the number of students.

Mrs. Holston: For school-agers, it is one staff person per 18 children and for younger children it is one staff person per 6 children. I am not doing infants and toddlers; I am doing preschoolers up to age 12.

Mr. Okum: How many preschoolers do you plan on having?

Mrs. Holston: Fourteen preschoolers in one class room and in a second classroom there are eighteen school-agers and a third classroom another eighteen school-agers to total out to be 49.

Mr. Okum: At this point I see 10 parking spaces that are backing out onto Peach Street, then I have some concerns. I am not going to design that for you but this really needs to be addressed. I would rather this conditional use hearing continue to another meeting if it means the safety of the kids getting in and out of that building;
we need a plan and a design to accommodate that.

Mrs. Holston: All the employees are going to be parking in the City lot.

Mayor Webster: I share Mr. Okum’s concern about cars backing out and children coming and going, but on the other hand we need to look at this development; we have plenty of parking there, the parking just happens to be in the rear instead of the front. Maybe we need to rethink our suggestion, maybe the drop off should be back in the City lot.

Mr. McErlane: The zoning code requires just over eight spaces to accommodate the children.

Mr. Wocher: The analysis was that the 13 employee parking spaces would be on the City lot, the 4 commercial parking spaces would be off site which left 9 spaces; so that was our rational on the number of parking spaces.

Mr. Vanover: When parents are in a hurry, with the backing out onto Peach, we are going to have double parking. That is what mostly concerns me.

Mr. Hawkins: What is your peak time range?

Mrs. Holston: Peak time is usually about 7- 9 AM. And then for the second shift drop offs you are looking at 2- 3 PM; the evening pick-up time is about 4- 5 PM.

Mr. Galster: I used to frequent that parking lot often when that chili restaurant was there. When the parking lot on that side of the building is full it is hard to back out onto a public street in order to get out of a parking spot.
My wife, backing out of one of the front two spots, has been hit twice. It is a very unique situation where a parking spot backs onto a public roadway as opposed to a regular parking lot where you are backing into an access aisle.
I happen to agree with the Mayor to use the City lot and create a nice access from that lot.

Mrs. Holston: What process do I need to go through to have the customers use the City lot?

Mr. Galster: I think the City lot is open to everyone.

Mr. Okum: I think there needs to be a sidewalk coming from the parking lot to a crosswalk.

Mayor Doyle Webster: We will take a look at that.

Mr. Shvegzda: These are all things that we need additional information to respond.

Mr. Galster: We will have 49 children at this facility, is that your full capacity?

Mrs. Holston: Yes.

Mr. Galster: What is the playground shift; how many children are we talking about putting in the playground at any particular time?

Mrs. Holston: With the playground you have to have 65 s.f. per child; there is only 750 s.f. there so I am looking at 10 to 11 children at one time. All children in a classroom of 18 can’t go all at once. The children have to be there more than four hours in order to get play time outside. We are going to have approximately 10 children out there at one time.

Mr. Galster: My concern is how many children are going to be out there and the volume of noise.

Mr. Okum: My question is for Mr. Wocher, Ms. McBride has made a recommendation that the Planning Commission reviews and approves subject to the Staff’s comments to the proposed exterior modifications pursuant to requirements of our CRD district, she references it under #4 but she says the applicant indicates they intend to make improvements to the exterior building which include a list that the applicant has indicated that they will do. That doesn’t necessarily completely comply with the CRD, I don’t believe. Is this 100% what the CRD is requiring on that site?

Mr. Wocher: I believe that she is requesting additional information for those items that aren’t provided and if the Commission is comfortable that Staff could review that; the alternative being that information could be brought back before you.

Mr. Okum: Until Staff reviews that, we need to all understand that we are not blessing this by what you said you are going to do; Staff needs to finalize that.
We are putting it back in Staff’s hands to review your final drawings, if a conditional use variance is approved, it is in their hands to finalize anything that the CRD requires.

Mrs. Holston: Yes. I understand.

Mr. McErlane: Just to clarify, CRD states that if you are making changes to the existing structure, any change to existing signage, parking requirements, site landscaping or building material or design regardless of change of occupancy, compliance to these standards shall be limited to those items being changed. She is required to comply with anything she is changing such as building colors or if she were changing anything on the site that would require her to do new landscaping.

Mr. Okum: Basically, everything she has answered conforms to the CRD?

Mr. McErlane: Assuming we are calling that color an earth tone. The existing finishes on the north end – west sides of the building are brick, so what we are talking about is just the fascia at the top of the building for new colors and the back of the building. There are things like the dumpster or can enclosure, which would be an issue.

Mr. Galster: Over the years we have had continual problems with the façade around that section of the building and I am not real clear as to what is being addressed there; I know that we are painting it and I know that we are putting some kind of sign up there but I don’t have a good feel for what that is going to look like. With as much history as we have had on that façade of that building to have a new tenant go in who I hope is there for the next thirty years; I don’t want to not have this façade addressed because it has been neglected.

Mrs. Holston: Without having a permit, without signing a three year lease I have already gone over there and cleaned the outside and I changed the sign from the broken sign out front, I had my carpenter go in there and replace that with plywood and paint it. I am doing as much as I can without a permit.

Mr. Galster: It is the landlord that I want to make sure is bringing that façade into compliance with what the City has asked them to do. Now is the time when the landlord has an opportunity to get a tenant, now is the time when he is most likely going to make the changes and the improvements that he needs to make. Any approval I think has to be tied to seeing the sign approval; right now you can replace the pole sign face but as far as signage on the building that would need to be held until we can see what that is going to look like.
I don’t know what we need to do to make sure that this façade has got a treatment on it that is o.k. for the corridor but I think that it is important that we do that; if the landlord was here we would be addressing it with him.

Mr. McErlane: Just to speak to Mrs. Holston and what she is planning on doing with the property, we had an outstanding order against the property owner to replace the panel on the sign after the wind damage as well as to clean up some issues behind the building; we were surprised to see that the landlord complied fairly quickly until we found out that Mrs. Holston actually did the work. I think she understands and is committed to do the improvements herself. From our department standpoint in property maintenance we have had numerous property maintenance issues on this property that the landlord wouldn’t fix until the last resort. We did caution her to have everything in order with regard to her lease and those types of things. The other issue relative to signage, typically unless signage is outside of the zoning code requirements it is handled administratively by the Chairman of the Planning Commission. I roughed out some numbers based on what she is showing here and she has about 85 s.f. of signage; 25 s.f. for each of the wall signs and 35 s.f. for the ground sign.

Mr. Okum: Mayor Webster, do you agree that Staff could work regarding the parking lot issue access for them to be able to get out of the parking lot over to the site?

Mayor Webster: We will make sure there is a sidewalk from that parking lot out to that alley as close to the building as possible.

Mr. Okum: I think what I am hearing is if the commercial and service vehicles are parked off site on other property, not on or within the property’s parking field then we could make five parking spaces on the property for employees and five parking spaces for quick drop off?

Mr. McErlane: I am not sure where the curb ramp is at the sidewalk but there is a requirement for handicap space. Primarily the spaces closest to Route 4 could be used for handicap space which is going to take up almost two spaces at that location.

Mr. Okum: So the five western most parking spaces shall be for employee and handicap parking and five spaces allotted on the east parking field for short term parking.

Mr. Bauer: Does that make for only three employee parking spaces?

Mr. Okum: Probably less, because when you do handicap parking spaces they are wider.

Mr. Bauer: I would make as many employee parking spaces along Peach Street as you can and keep the drop offs from that area.

Mrs. Holston: That could be a policy included in the parent handbook.

Mr. Galster: My idea is the seven westerly parking spots shall be employee and handicap parking and the final 3 ½ spots made into 2 drop off spots only.

Mr. Hawkins: Are you suggesting that the employee spaces be marked “employee only” with signage or is this something that the applicant could put in the handbook for parents?

Mr. Galster: I think that Mrs. Holston can make that work; I don’t think it needs to be signed.

Chairman Butrum: So we have parking which we just discussed; dumpster that we know there are some issues but we can throw that to Staff; the sign that would be on me; and we still have the façade.

Mr. Galster: I am o.k. with the façade going back to Staff.

Mr. Okum: I make a motion that:
1. The primary drop off area for children shall be in the City’s public parking lot.
2. There shall be 3 ½ spaces allotted on the east side of the parking field for short term parking and they shall be altered to 2 parking spots.
3. Commercial and service vehicles shall be parked off site on other property and not on or within the property’s parking field.
4. A cross walk and access to the City parking lot shall be worked out between the applicant and the City.
5. Façade shall be updated and is approved by Staff; the dumpster and trash container shall conform to code.
6. The seven western most parking spaces of the north parking field shall be for 6 employee and 1 handicap parking only, it is not a drop off area for children.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote from all of the Planning Commission members the Conditional Use Permit was granted.


B. Thompson Thrift Conditional Use Permit request for outdoor seating – 11580 Princeton Pike

Mr. Jeff Kanable: I am here representing Thompson Thrift Development. I am here tonight to request a Conditional Use permit for outdoor seating for Qdoba Mexican restaurant, which is a prospective tenant for this development at the corner of Princeton Pike and Kemper. The outdoor seating will basically have cast stone base monuments to match the building; it has pre-finished black railings. It is approximately 3’ tall and it is approximately 400 s.f. so it is not a large area.

(At this time Mr. McErlane deferred to Mr. Wocher who read Ms. McBride’s Staff report.)

Chairman Butrum: Again, this is a Conditional Use Permit which does require a public hearing so I will open the floor to any public comments, anyone who wants to speak in favor or in opposition to the Conditional Use Permit; second and third call (No one came forward). This closes the public hearing on the conditional use permit and I will open the floor for discussion.

Mr. Galster: I assume that this is a manufactured fence; do you have any problem submitting a catalogue cut to the City for final approval once you determine what that is?

Mr. Kanable: Once we determine, yes.

Mr. Galster: Assuming that we can get the catalogue cut, I would like to make a motion that we approve the conditional use for this outdoor seating.
Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum: Possibly when they get the cut I would suggest maybe looking at the aluminum extrusion material to match up to your window metals.

Mr. Kanable: Brass in color, rather than black?

Mr. Okum: Yes, so it carries the color through but I would discourage painting it which some people have tried doing, because it doesn’t stay very nice.

(At this time Mr. Hawkins polled the Planning Commission members and with a unanimous vote the request for the Conditional Use Permit was granted.)

C. Request for Window Graphics at Princeton Plaza Shopping Center – 11711 Princeton Pike

Rick Gilhart: I am Rick Gilhart from the Princeton Plaza Shopping Center; I am one of the five owners. With all of the retail that has gone out in Tri-County we are trying to keep a positive attitude. Old Navy has left and now we have brown paper in the windows; we have Skeffington’s who was going to renovate last year. These are our main entrances where we have our vacancies so the folks pull in and there is nothing to get the people excited about the shopping center. What we are looking to do is something that airports and malls do and that is kind of make it look like there is some activity going on even though you have a vacancy: possibly with a mural look. Another idea is for instance, TJ Maxx and next to TJ Maxx you have a row of windows where World of Dinettes used to be, and maybe put some kind of theme in there that kind of expands TJ Maxx; another one would be where First Watch and Sprint are on Kemper Road and next to that are two large sets of windows where Border’s used to be, possibly something with a mural look or with a Sprint extension.

Mr. Galster: Is Skeffington’s open for business now?

Mr. Gilhart: Yes, they have taken over the TCBY space, so they will be doing work behind those glass panels to expand; they are probably 80% done.

Mr. Galster: All the other spaces are vacant spaces except for Skeffington’s? When they have completed the renovation these panels would come off of the space?

Mr. Gilhart: On that particular site, yes.

Mr. Galster: When you mentioned the one over by Sprint and using the Border’s windows for the extension of Sprint, I am o.k. with that providing it is not a Sprint advertisement or additional signage for Sprint.

Mr. Okum: What if Skeffington’s takes out the door and leaves those signs on the windows?

Mr. Galster: I am o.k. with allowing the signage to happen until the space is not vacant. Once the space is rented then those signs – graphic panels should come down because you want to be able to see inside the business. If Skeffington’s never opens the expansion that they are paying rent on and they never expand it, I guess I am o.k. with the signs being there to keep them still in the center. Once they are not vacant any longer, then the signs – graphic panels should come down.

(At this time Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments.)

Mr. Galster: If they had “Now Expanding”, I am o.k. with that to show that there is some growth and some new business coming there.

Mr. Okum: So your intentions are that they will be lifestyle oriented.

Mr. Gilhart: Correct.

Mr. McErlane: I would ask Planning Commission if they have any other concerns about text that might show up on the graphics?
Mr. Okum: I think you are offsetting text that was on the Marquee and you are repositioning it into the window face I don’t have a problem with that.

Mr. Galster: Do you want to have a Sprint logo on the side of the Border’s window?

Mr. Okum: No, I don’t think so.

Mr. Galster: I don’t have a problem with the condition that the text and/or the logos are only in front of the stores that they are renovating; that actually have signed leases on. For instance if they sign a lease on the Borders place, I don’t have any problem once they have that signed lease, that some of the advertisement can be on those graphics to advertise the new tenant that is coming while they are building the site out. There are no logos or advertisement allowed unless there is a signed lease and once it has an occupancy permit then all the graphics come down.

Mr. Okum: I will make a motion that:
1. Temporary window covers depicting lifestyles be permitted.
2. Text and logos shall be permitted on space under construction during build-out period.
3. All temporary window covers shall be removed when the space is occupied.
Mr. Galster seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote from the Planning Commission the request was granted for window graphics at Princeton Plaza Shopping Center – 11711 Princeton Pike.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Galster: Yesterday we had a meeting in reference to special banners and the amount of time that we allow them to go up. Right now if you have a special event you are allowed to put a banner up for 14 days and it has to come down for 30 days and then it can go back up for another 14 days, for a maximum of four times over the course of a year. Given the economic climate as it exists out there today there is a lot of discussion about the fact that it costs a lot of money to make a decent banner that is going to last for a while; whatever it takes to make these businesses succeed. What has been proposed is that we would allow special event banners for a period of one year from the time that it is adopted, and then after that it would revert back to the old time frame, during that year you can put up a banner advertising a special event for a period of 30 days. After that 30 days they can apply to the Building Official for an extension for another 30 days, and they can do that for the whole 12 month period. Every time that they apply for that extension that gives us the opportunity to look at how the banner is up, is it properly attached and maintained and that the colors aren’t fading. If they are found to be in violation then we can order that it be taken down. The discussion went to strip centers and do we really want to see 20 banners hanging; not really. We are trying to craft it so that according to square footage they would be permitted a maximum of three in a strip center. Now the fourth applicant would go on a waiting list, then after the 30 days is up they can hang their banner; to avoid a landlord saying they have three banner spots to sell. We are taking it to legal to have them fine tune it and make sure we have addressed all legal issues and the intention would be that we would advertise that for a public hearing for a zoning code change at our next meeting in March and then forward it on to Council at the earliest time thereafter so that they can act on it.

Mr. Okum: The size of banners will follow the same standards that we currently have?

Mr. Galster: Correct. We do want this to expire and we don’t want to become the banner city, the intent is not to have banners replace regular on-building signage.

Mayor Webster: These banners will only be used to promote business and not for “now hiring” or “space available”.

Mr. Galster: There is a separate section of the code for “now hiring” and or “space available” kind of signage.
Also, we have all these blocked-out signs or blank panels out there at these centers; is anybody opposed to allowing additional signage for business that are still there to fill up those spots until the other vacant spots are leased?

Mr. Okum: Frankly, I would rather see the business names in them than blank or black signs.

Mr. Galster: Have we gotten any response from Cassinelli as far as the condition of their pole sign?

Mr. McErlane: They have talked to Randy Campion and also to Al Winkle.
Al Winkle sent them a notice to repair them. At one point and time they showed me a design they had for a new sign but obviously they are not moving forward on that so they are looking at what they can do to repair the finish or put a new finish on those because it is not the first time they have been damaged; I know they have a sign company working on it. At the same time that order includes putting white panels in to replace the old signs.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

No Chairman’s report was presented.

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Hawkins seconded the motion and the Planning Commission adjourned at 9:04 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary