PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

11 FEBRUARY 1997

7:00 P.M.

 

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Dick Huddleston, David Okum,

Robert Seaman, Councilman Robert Wilson, Jim Young

and Chairman William Syfert.

Others Present: Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

William McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Marty Kenworthy, Legal Advisor

Anne McBride, Plum, Klausmeier & Gehrum

III. MINUTES

The Minutes of the regular meeting of January 14 were considered. Mr. Wilson

moved to adopt and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present

voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with seven affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. 1/17/97 Letter from Bill McErlane to Marty Kenworthy

Mr. Syfert added we all thank you for your participation in the seminar.

B. Planning Commissioners Journal - Winter 1996-97

V. OLD BUSINESS - none

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Douglas and Arlene Eades Requests Preliminary Plan Approval of Charing Cross Phase 1 (Revised)

Mr. Eades said I donít know where you want me to begin. We had one of the buildings out of line that had to be redrawn. It is my understanding that was the only thing that was lacking. Mr. Syfert said I believe there has been a change in the way we originally saw this, and you are asking for preliminary plan approval tonight. I believe we have staff comments, but I thought you might want to speak first.

Mr. Eades responded I have done everything Mr. McErlane suggested, and I donít know what else to do. We had one set of plans that showed the building close to Bings turned at an angle, and we had to have it redrawn so all would be in a row as they should be. There was only a change in one building.

Mr. Syfert said I believe you have increased the number of units from what we originally looked at, didnít you? Mr. Eades answered there are 12 units; we are trying to get this passed tonight so we can go to Council, they can advertise it and we can go from there.

Mr. Syfert called on Mr. Shvegzda for his report. Mr. Shvegzda stated our comments are a rehash of the comments we had in May of last year, the concern of the encroachment of the proposed grading for the roadway off Cloverdale into the channel. There needs to be some additional analysis on that.

 

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Mr. Shvegzda continued in regard to the modification we need to see what will happen to Phase II and how that will affect the proposed detention basin. That brings us back to one of the previous comments, the fact that we never have had the full plans for the detention and storm sewer systems to see if both Phase 1 and Phase 2 would function.

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. Eades if he had done any work regarding the detention basin, and Mr. Eades indicated that it is drawn in the overall plan and will be part of the work when we get the okay. I thought the detention basin was settled. Mr. Syfert answered maybe where it is located, but I think there are a lot of other questions that have not been answered. Mr. Eades commented I thought there were drawings concerning that. Mr. Shvegzda reported that the drawings that have been submitted indicate the detention basin volume and layout of storm sewer for Phase 1. What we had asked was that the proposed grading and alignment of the storm sewers be completed for Phase 2, at least in concept so that we could see how the overall plan would work together.

Mr. Eades responded I talked to Mr. McErlane and I asked him everything I could think of and he seemed to think we had everything we needed.

Mr. McErlane reported the main change over the final plan that was approved last year is that there are now two-story four unit buildings apiece. On Phase 1 there are still three buildings but there are 12 units. The configuration is a little different; the southeast unit has been rearranged to be parallel with the south property line. Overall on the project if there are four unit two story buildings, there would be 24 units as opposed to the previous plan which showed 12 units. The density in the overall development is still less than the eight units per acre that RMF-1 allows you to have. It is somewhere in the neighborhood of six units per acre.

Mr. Huddleston asked if that were for the entire project, and Mr. McErlane confirmed that it was. Mr. Huddleston added the density on Phase 1 is significantly greater than that I would think. Mr. McErlane stated it is almost two acres, and we are looking at 12 units.

Mr. McErlane stated there were a few trees in the vicinity of the existing house that would have remained under the old plan; they are now gone to accommodate the additional parking that is necessary for the additional units which means there will be additional tree replanting required. Without a tree replanting plan, we are estimating that 360 caliper inches of new trees will need to be replanted, and we will need those details for the final plan approval. The trees shown are less than the 10 foot minimum height and the two inch caliper minimum. Also, there are some items in the covenants that are specific to schedule and the tree replanting plan that seem to be in a state of flux. Rather than spell them out specifically in the covenants, they probably should refer to the schedule and tree replanting plan that is approved by Planning Commission at the final plan approval. Also, the covenants donít have legal descriptions that are referred to as Exhibit A, so those will need to be attached.

Mr. Young said my question is there has been one approval, and this is not it. Is this a resubmission and are we starting at square one? Mr. McErlane responded Mr. Eades was told that he was starting with a new preliminary plan that will need to go through Councilís public hearing process again. The result of your vote this evening will be a referral to Council for approval of a revised preliminary plan.

 

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Mr. Young continued since we seem to have a lot of missing information that you need, Iím assuming weíve asked for that or given him the opportunity to bring it forward and it has not come forward? Mr. McErlane stated the things Mr. Shvegzda was asking for were details on detention basin that were asked under the old final plan that was approved previously. Those still havenít come forward, but in a preliminary plan approval in a PUD or transitional district, sometimes those items remain to be resolved. The main things of concern are can they accommodate the volume in a detention; the details are not usually there in a preliminary plan.

Ms. McBride reported the first question the Commission has to look at is that it is literally a doubling of the density. I donít know that this is necessarily inappropriate, but it is something that needs to be pointed out. One of the concerns that we had from the beginning of this project was a provision for parking for guests or for more than one or two cars per unit, because there are at least three bedroom, sometimes four bedroom units. Those concerns have been addressed; all of the units have two spaces and some have three spaces. In addition to that they have seven parallel spaces that are adjacent to the first phase of the development. The only thing that we would suggest is that in that area for the seven spaces they put curbing or bumper blocks around that area. There is nothing in our code that addresses the size of the parallel spaces, but Iíve checked a number of other codes and parking standard books, and they are in compliance with those standards, so that is fine.

Ms. McBride continued there was no specific reference on the site plan to decks or patios. That is covered in the covenants, but they will be at least 20 feet off the property line, so we feel comfortable with that.

Ms. McBride stated in terms of landscape plan, there was no label on the plant material surrounding the sign but there actually was a label on Cloverdale, so I think maybe the label was misconstructed and that should be cleared up. We would like to see the limits of the grading relative to any trees that are to remain delineated, and that construction fencing would be put around the drip line of those trees with the agreement that nothing would be stored or entered into that space to try to protect those trees as much as possible. There are some areas on the landscape plan that are labeled as planting beds and have a plant type on there. It doesnít indicate the quantity or the size of the plant material, so we would like to see that delineated. Also what had been a detention basin is now a retention pond indicated it will be wet at all times, and it should be made sure that proper maintenance is done on that facility. The plantings for each of the units are pretty much identical, and we would suggest mixing them up for a more attractive development..

Ms. McBride stated there was no lighting plan submitted, but the applicant has previously stated that there isnít going to be any lighting other than coach lights or gas lights by the driveways.

Ms. McBride reported there previously had not been a sign on the plan but now there is a sign and unfortunately there is no size, height, building materials, is it illuminated or non-illuminated, so we would need to see the details of the sign. Right now it is located six feet off the right of way of Cloverdale and that needs to be pulled back. The recommendations we have should the Commission choose to approve it is that curbing needs to be added for the parallel parking, the construction fencing should be around the existing trees, the landscape plan should be revised to include the quantity and size of the plant material and a variety should be around the individual units, and sign details should be forwarded.

 

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Mr. Eades asked what sign she was talking about and Ms. McBride answered it is the sign at Cloverdale; it is on the plan. Mr. Eades continued we had not put a sign up, and I thought it would be on Springfield Pike. Ms. McBride added there isnít anything to tell us what it will say or how big it is going to be.

Mr. Okum said regarding the building elevations, there was discussion last time regarding the topos and how the lot fell in rows and exposed foundations. Iím not quite sure how those topos will fall and how the grading will run next to the buildings. There was a discussion issue that no more than two feet of exposed foundation should be part of this plan. Has that been addressed? . McBride responded I donít know if it has been addressed on the plan, but I would suggest that the Commission add that as a condition if you choose to.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. Eades if there is any reason that he went to 12 instead of nine; originally you had six. Mr. Eades responded economics. The site work is estimated at $200,000. We originally had six landominiums and we are now doubling them up because if you go $200,000 on the site plan for six landominiums, it is economically impossible to do. Right now we are only approved for six, and it was my understanding that when you send it to Council, they have to advertise it and we have a lot of work to do on that. We are not asking for final approval. What I am asking you for tonight is to send it to Council to get us 12 landominiums.

Mr. Okum said you are correct; it does need preliminary plan approval from us to go to Council. But Council will need a little more than that from us with the recommendation. I really donít typically talk economics, but I am looking at a projection you sent on August 2, 1996 and your site work projection then was $300,000. Mr. Eades responded we were thinking Phase 2 was going to come in on it, but it did not. Mr. Okum continued so Phase 2 was in that original projection of $300,000 and you are looking at $200,000 for Phase 1. So the entire project originally was going to be $1.8 million for Phase 1 and 2? Mr. Eades responded there are 4.75 acres there; Mrs. Biddle has 2.75 and we have 1.90, so we have almost five acres. They are not coming in at this time, so I have to bear the burden of the site work and everything else. I donít know if you can do this or not; in talking with Bill it seemed like this was the first step for what we want to do.

Mr. Syfert commented please remember that unless we give preliminary approval Council wonít even see it, so please bear with us.

Mr. Okum said I am a little confused at Mr. Eadesí reference. that Mr. McErlane agreed that this was what he should submit. I believe I heard him say that, and I donít think that is fair to Mr. McErlane to have that as part of the public record. Mr. Eades responded Iím not saying he agreed; I said Bill, what have I got to do; please tell me and Iíll do it. If youíll tell me everything that we need, so I can tell the engineer, so I can tell the architect, please tell me what we have to do. I look to him for guidance; he is not okaying this.

Mr. Wilson commented in reading these notes on the rear elevation you have a door. Do you plan to put a patio or deck as part of your construction, or will that be something that the owners might do? Mr. Eades responded itís not allowed; it doesnít fit in with the slope of the land and we canít do it. We are not going to do anything that you donít want us to do, and we will do everything that you want us to do.

 

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Mr. Wilson asked if he were stating that there would be no lighting at all back there. Mr. Eades said there will be lighting, street lights and all kinds of lights.

Mr. Wilson said you mentioned a sign on Springfield Pike and a sign on Cloverdale. Mr. Eades responded the sign on Springfield Pike would be to advertise. Mr. Wilson said so it is an advertising sign and temporary in nature and that will be a whole separate issue. Mr. Eades added you remember that there will be no entrances on Springfield Pike so this is a real estate sign which would be allowed at 50 square feet to market the landominium. Mr. Wilson continued asked if the sign on Cloverdale would be a permanent sign and Mr. Eades answered it would be an entrance sign which we hope to make lovely. Mr. Wilson said in terms of square footage and everything, you are going to go with what we recommend; Mr. Eades responded I will do whatever you say, and I wonít do what you donít say.

Mr. Galster said on the building materials, it is my understanding that the lower half will be brick. Mr. Eades responded we are going to go by the 40% rule and it may be more brick; some of them might be all brick. Mr. Galster wondered if the upper half were either vinyl or wood siding, and Mr. Eades responded it would be woodlike vinyl.

Mr. Galster commented the only other thing I would recommend, for future reference, is that there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed from an engineering standpoint, the water retention and the creek back there, etc., so it might be something you need to look at getting somebody who is familiar with water management and flood plans. Mr. Eades responded I thought we had all this; the engineer has given all kinds of drawings and all kinds of estimates. Mr. Galster responded when we originally had your person in who was giving the estimates, I think there was a grave difference of opinion as to what kind of water volume would be created and so on. So I think there still is some question as to how big this needs to be. Iím not asking you to provide it tonight, but if this gets a favorable vote by this board and Council, youíll need this at the next stage. I want to make sure that you understand that we need to make sure we have a quality engineer in here to discuss it.

Mr. Eades said let me say this. You see this beautiful building here? It is a great asset to the community and I want to do equally what youíve done here. I would not do a thing in Springdale, even if you gave me carte blanche, I would not do it. We want to have the finest development that has ever been put in the city, and I think itís going to be that. Mr. Wilson commented and in terms of the construction, the signage and the square footage, you are going to go with what we recommend. Mr. Eades responded I will do whatever you say, and I wonít do what you donít say.

Mr. Okum said one of the questions at the previous meeting was how our buildings set with that fallaway lot. It appears from looking at the drawing that you have a floor opening minimum opening elevation of 715 and your lot bottoms out under Building 3 which is the most west building at 710. That doesnít bother me so much; it appears that you would have a five or six foot foundation wall exposed on the rear section of the building. I donít know what you are going to do on the front, because garages are shown level with the street which is level with the first floor of your unit, so I am a little confused on how that would work.

 

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Mr. Okum continued by straightening your building on the most eastern portion of your lot, it actually nests into the hillside a lot according to Page 3 of the submission. Mr. Okum asked Mr. McErlane how those buildings would nest into the hillside and how that driveway would allow garage entrances on the first floor of the building when the building is basically elevated. Is he going to bring fill in to bring that up level in the front and have the back open? On the drawing it shows a garage at 729, or are the buildings going to be stepped?

Mr. McErlane reported that the floor level elevations are different for all three units. Mr. Okum said I see that; it is 715 on building west which is five feet above the grade. Mr. McErlane responded building west is actually 718; I think they are saying the minimum opening in the basement would be 715. Mr. Okum wondered where the drive would be, eight feet higher? Mr. McErlane said no, that is the minimum opening of the window in the basement. They are showing the finished first floor elevation of 718.5 on the lowest unit on the site. Mr. Okum said so that brings us real close to 720. The next building to the right goes up to 727 so these buildings will be stepped along the site and the roadway will go down and come up. If you are looking from east to west, the roof lines of the buildings are going to be dropping lower as you go further west. If you are viewing it from the north looking southwesterly, you would be looking down into the buildings. Mr. McErlane stated they step down from left to right.

Mr. Huddleston commented I wonder about the public safety aspects of this; the fire service, etc., can they get the vehicles in and out adequately? Mr. McErlane reported we sent a copy to the fire department and have not received any comments. If we do not hear from them we assume everything is okay. Mr. Huddleston continued I would be even more concerned about Phase 2 with the turning radiuses. Is there any requirement for street lighting? Mr. McErlane stated the only things that would apply would be our typical half foot candle. With the Pine Garden development, they indicated they might have yard lights and didnít indicate parking lot lighting type levels. I donít know that we would want half foot candle levels through a residential neighborhood like that.

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. Kenworthy if he wished to comment regarding the comments dealing with the covenants prepared by Mr. Harrison? Mr. Kenworthy responded I could answer some questions, but since Mr. Harrison prepared them, I was not directly involved with it. Mr. Syfert added if a motion is going to be in order, I think it is significant for the commission to to tie this letter into your motion, the items of the covenants that are affected, plus the landominium association documents which apparently have not received, along with the recommendations of staff.

Mr. Okum said I truly do not have any bad feelings to you Mr. Eades, but I feel very uncomfortable making a positive recommendation to Council when we are literally doubling the number of units on the site. Even though the Code allows for that density, itís tight and thereís not a lot of room there. I certainly would feel a lot more comfortable with a motion of nine units on that site similar to this plan. I also would feel a lot more comfortable with the foundation exposure issue protected. Mr. Eades, at this point, I cannot vote in favor of this plan with 12 units on that two acre site the way you have it laid out. I feel it is just too tight, especially for turning around and safety of the equipment getting into and out of that area.

 

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Mr. Okum continued I know you have handled additional visitors with additional parking, but I also see these are four unit basic apartment condos and four bedrooms which generates a lot of vehicles. At this point I will be voting against it. I am sorry you have gone to this much trouble, but you are definitely going in the right direction. I donít have a problem with the two story elevations at all; I think it is fine for this site, especially the way you have treated it.

Mr. Eades responded you understand that the size of the building has not changed; it is the same size, 50 x 120 feet. It is just that where you had two youíll have four. The size of the building has not changed. Mr. Okum responded you doubled the density in the same amount of space, which means you have twice as many people, twice as many cars, twice of everything. Mr. Eades answered havenít we made provision for them and Mr. Okum said moderately. You still have a one-car garage. Mr. Eades said I think that will be a two-car garage, and that will help some there.

Mr. Young said I concur with Mr. Okum, and part of the reason is what you just said. We have plans that show a one-car garage and now you are saying possibly two. Iím not sure in my mind that you are sure in your mind that you know what you are presenting to us. I understand what you are saying, but that is not what you are showing us, and I think that has been part of the problem in the whole process, weíve never had a firm grasp of what you were presenting to us and what you were planning to do, and that is part of the frustration of this board. In saying that, I would say I do not think I could vote in good conscience on this project.

Mr. Huddleston stated I likewise will vote against the proposition tonight. Because of the lack of clarity, the increased density which is severely constrained on the site, and you combine that with the topo and floodway considerations, without asking for a whole lot more detail to feel comfortable which is premature at this point in time, I cannot feel comfortable voting positively on this.

Mr. Eades said thatís four to three so I lost and we just have to come back next time. Mr. Syfert said you have heard a lot of the comments that have been stated. Would you like to have it tabled? Mr. Eades said I want to do the best. I tabled it one time and I got in a little problem with that. What is your recommendation that I do, table it or take a vote? Mr. Syfert responded I would suggest that you request we table it and you approach the items we have discussed again. Mr. Eades wondered if Mr. McErlane would have those items, and Mr. Syfert responded that he would; they would be part of the minutes. Mr. Eades said hopefully we can get back in at the March meeting. Mr. Syfert responded address the items and come back in March. I would entertain your request to table and Mr. Eades said yes, it would be the best thing for me to do.

Mr. Wilson said you indicated you would go with the two car garage; that will be a complete new set of drawings. Also, consider less than 24 units. I know you are dealing with an economic thing, but if you go with a two car garage, Iím not sure what your building will look like staying in the confines you have. You might want to consider three units per building; maybe instead of 24, 18 or 15. Mr. Eades responded if I have three units per building I would have to have four buildings. Mr. Wilson said in other words you take the space and redesign; whatever it takes. The two car garage would redesign your four units. Maybe you would like to look at fewer units as well as your two car garage. Iím just throwing out ideas; this is your project but I am suggesting that in order to get a two car garage, you might have to go with three units per building as opposed to four.

 

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Mr. Wilson continued obviously you canít put a two car garage in the space of a one-car garage; you have to redesign the whole unit. Your architects and designers can tell you, and you will make your money back, because a two car garage will sell a lot better than a one-car garage.

Mr. Okum said Mr. Huddleston and I looked at your floor plan for the first time tonight, and as a consumer I would suggest that you review the flow in your first floor pattern. Basically you have everyone entering from the front porch walking through the great room through your dining room and back to your kitchen. That would be a terrible traffic flow pattern and would age your units. Iím not an architect but I look at 500 to 1,000 homes a year, and that floor plan is unique, but it also has problems in terms of life expectancy and ownership appeal.

Mr. Syfert stated at the request of the applicant this item will be tabled until the March meeting pending clearing up some of these items.

B. Preliminary Plan Approval of Proposed Dave & Busterís, to be located in Tri-County Commons

Mr. Huddleston excused himself from the discussion.

Buster Corley stated at the last meeting, you gave us two missions. The first was to return the following night to present our concept to the City Council and generally seek their approval. We explained our concept and presented our plan and were generally well received and responded to their questions and concerns. The second mission was to meet and exchange information with the city staff and address concerns the commission and staff had; we have done that.

Mr. Corley reported in particular there was the a concern about our signage package, specifically a pole sign. One of the suggestions of the commission was that we negotiate with our neighbors and see what we could do with some cross usage of some approvals that already had been made. In an effort to do that, it is probably best to introduce our local counsel David Eyrich who has negotiated with our neighbors and has been our representative in trying to seek solutions to our sign package.

Mr. Eyrich said I am an attorney with Kepley Gilligan & Eyrich. I was primarily hired to address the outstanding issues that arose and concerns addressed by the city staff and city administration revolving around the additional pylon sign that is proposed in your packet. We met with the staff and city administration and they recommended that we seek negotiations with North American Properties, who owns 60% of the rights on the sign that is approved in the original PUD package on the project. The additional 40% is being held by the landlord which is Springdale Kemper Associates. After getting into intense negotiations with North American Properties to work this out, I am pleased to say that we have worked out the major details on that sign package arrangement.

Mr. Eyrich stated as a result, today we submitted additional revised sign package which each of you should have but may not have had time to review since this came up at a late hour. This revised sign package has two changes. The first change is the pylon sign that we had proposed in the last sign package is a 70 foot pylon sign with only Dave & Busterís. That would have been a third sign on the site.

 

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Mr. Eyrich reported this pylon sign proposed now is the northeast pylon sign which was already approved in conjunction with North American Properties. The concept of the sign is to have the logo of Dave & Busterís on the top. The respective sizes of the sides for North American Properties tenants has been calculated and approved by North American Properties. There are issues in terms of design; the exact design of the sign could change when we get down to final detail. The size of this sign is 60 foot as proposed in the original package. The square footage however is different.

Mr. Eyrich stated at the suggestion of the staff and administration, we have dropped the additional pylon sign in exchange for a request to increase the square footage on this pylon sign to accommodate the Dave & Busterís sign and the North American Properties sign and maintain the same 60-40 split that currently exists by agreement. That is done in this proposal and the concept has been approved by North American. This is the sign that we would ask approval of tonight and it would require a total square footage increase of just about 200 square feet. The Dave & Busterís sign would be 225 square feet and the Wal-Mart Samís Club would be the additional 342 square feet.

Mr. Eyrich continued the second change in the sign package is in regards to the monument sign at Kemper Road. The sign previously proposed was 15 1/2 or 16í9" high. This is actually a smaller sign, 13í-4" and it is also different in terms of the Roberds sign, which will be on the top with the Dave & Busterís below it. The square footage of the Dave & Busterís sign is 25 square feet and Roberds is 57.7 square feet which is identical to what they have now. The base is three feet, so it is a total height of 13í-4" versus the 15 1/2 to 16 1/2 foot sign previously proposed.

Mr. Eyrich reported we have reviewed the recommendations of the staff and to my knowledge, we have no arguments with them. There are some issues regarding landscaping that I am sure are not a problem. There is the roadway which is recommended by staff for free flow of traffic coming in from the west which will be developed through to the Dave & Busterís site. Mr. Eyrich showed the parking and landscaping areas. The recommendations on landscaping are acceptable to us. This provides for more parking in terms of 1339 square feet and is probably necessary. The idea would be to develop this now so that it looks like a developed property. Dave & Busterís will be the destination; it is a regional draw and they would like for you to look at it as a developed property.

Mr. Eyrich stated the issues of storm water detention are addressed, and we are here to answer any questions you might have.

Mr. Galster said the signage overall is almost 800 square feet, is that correct? Mr. Eyrich responded actually it goes down to 799 square feet because the ground sign is now 25 square feet instead of 36 square feet and the pole sign is 225 square feet instead of 324 square feet.

Mr. Galster continued the concern that I have on the pole sign is if there is additional development on that site there is no space for any future tenant based on even increasing the square footage to 567 total from the 361 that is approved; that will only cover Dave & Busterís and Wal-Mart and Samís, so I have a little concern there. As you can tell from our reaction to the possibility of a third pole sign, that will not be a likely alternative for any future tenant there. So I have a concern with not having space provided on this pole sign for any future development. I know Springdale Kemper Associates are allotted 40% but they will use all of that on the Dave & Busterís location.

 

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Mr. Galster stated I do like the idea of the monument sign changing to this. I had a little problem with the other one looking like one over another, and I didnít figure Roberds would have an easy time approving Dave & Busterís going to the top of that.

Mr. Galster added my other concern is the overall size of the signs. I understand the need to have the impact and I drive by this location all the time. Eighteen feet is a gigantic sign on the front wall of that building. I tried to lay it out in my basement to imagine the size; I donít know that it would fit in this room. Mr. Corriveau stated we presently have an 18 foot sign in an upscale area of Maryland and it looks great; the landlord is happy. That is a very big building.

Mr. Galster responded I understand that and I think the building sign will actually be a great draw to your establishment, but when I look at an 18 foot sign on the building and another 15 foot sign on the pole which is not very far from there, it is a lot of signage. Personally I think if we can make some allowances for possible future tenants on the pole sign, and if that 18 foot comes down to 15 and the rear 15 feet to 12, I still think they are very large signs, and I would like to see if there is any possibility of that.

Mr. Galster said my other questions and comments concern the parking. I understand the need to have a finished look to the whole front of that building in developing all the parking lots, but I donít want to see that happen. I think that encourages a lot of strong retail in the rest of that development, and I would not like additional retail there. I know that is not what you are bringing forward here, but with your parking you are forcing me to evaluate that part of the issue on your project.

Mr. Galster commented I see four fields, the three across the front and the one on the side. I think two in front would be adequate with the roadway going around. I donít think it will be a major disruption to the two fields if it is built to add the third or fourth at a later date. I donít have any problem with developing the ones directly in front of the building, but developing the parking and creating the asphalt and concrete all the way around when we donít know what those other tenants will be, I donít like. Mr. Corriveau responded from our point of view, our customers go over here and go by a dark field, a very dangerous dark field. We are very concerned about security. Also you mentioned incorporating future signage for future tenants; Iím getting two messages from you. Mr. Galster responded I donít know what is going there. Mr. Corriveau added we are not here to ask about the future; we are here asking about the present. We want to come to this city and we have to have our signage to come to this city and that is allow are requesting. We do not own this building; we are just the tenant and we are trying to present our case so we can move forward.

Mr. Galster responded I understand that, and from Council and our previous Planning meeting, I think we have given you the impression that we would love to have you in the city. But I donít like the idea of committing ourselves to making that all retail by committing this parking. I donít like that idea.

Mr. Corriveau stated that was discussed last time. Also, the 18 foot sign was discussed last time and nobody said a word about it. That is a new surprise to us. Mr. Corley added as far as future retail is concerned, that is totally at your discretion. We are not making any representation tonight for anything beyond what we present to you, nor would we make any requests tonight for anything beyond this.

 

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Mr. Galster said I understand and whether it is warehouse or retail or whatever, it is very possible that they might want some signage. That is the only reason I am bringing that up. Mr. Corriveau said then they would have to come back and speak to you; that would be your decision to make. Mr. Galster said the problem we get into is that we tried to cover that with the pole sign we approved for North American, to cover additional development of this piece of property. Based on this proposal tonight, it will not cover your needs alone. Mr. Corriveau added the 15 foot sign is the smallest logo sign we have and to be seen on the freeway, you canít get any smaller. Mr. Galster said I understand but it is still an issue in my mind; I donít want to build a pole sign any bigger than I have to, but I also want to make sure I have properly addressed the possibility of future tenants, and I donít want to address the possibility of a future pole sign.

Mr. Syfert commented I believe without any question this commission and staff directed them to work with North American Properties, and if this fits North American Properties, i.e. they have acquiesced to this sign, then I believe the applicants have done exactly what we asked them to do and that is North American Propertiesí problem, not ours. It is our concern maybe, but they have done what we asked them to do. Mr. Galster responded I understand, and it was my desire to have that worked out. The only thing is North American is allotted 60% and Springdale Kemper Associates is allotted 40%. Springdale Kemper is the developer of that whole project and they are giving that all up on that one. Mr. Syfert commented that is their decision. Mr. Galster added it is still a concern that we havenít allowed for the space of additional tenants if in fact that happens. Mr. Syfert said we had no obligation to do that. We didnít have any obligation to allow these people any signage. That is between North American Properties and their tenants or future tenants. Iím not sure where you are coming from.

Mr. Galster responded thatís fine, and I know what my concerns are and if you look at Roberds as an example on their monument sign, we have allowed future tenant space there. It has that potential to have future developments there. If we are going to address the signage issue, it needs to be encompassed in the whole project. I think we have to keep our minds and eyes open to the fact that there is a possibility of a future tenant signage requirement.

Mr. Okum commented you are making very good progress, and I am delighted to see that youíve been able to tie in with North American Properties. For clarification, the sign space for tenants in the Tri-County Commons based on this site and these comparisons, comes out 351 square feet of space for the tenants. There is 171 feet for Samís and 171 square feet for Wal-Mart plus 324 for you. Mr. Eyrich said that is 225 for Dave & Busterís down from the 324. Mr. Okum continued so we are at 567 versus the 361 that was approved. We basically have eliminated any point of destination by this type of sign.

Mr. Corley commented when you have two in destination facilities like Dave & Busterís next to what has to be one of the worldís largest furniture stores, Roberds Grand, the need for identification for the area is less.

Mr. Okum continued I do have a concern that we did lose some identity, but you have to deal with the marketing. We still are at 60 feet with the pole sign and I am much happier with that than 70 feet. Compared to what we allowed Roberds to put in, there is quite a difference, but that was a different situation and we are talking Roberds at 300,000+ square feet and you are at 60,000 square feet.

 

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Mr. Corriveau said I would like to point out that our investment in the building is more than Roberds is.

Mr. Okum stated your sign for Kemper Road has been moved from seven feet to 13í-4" off the ground. I donít have a whole lot of trouble with that, but I would like to see it brought down. We typically try to keep our monument signs under seven feet; I know you canít get it at seven, but I think you could get it closer to 10 feet than 13í-4". I do see some advantage to that sign for point of destination; I donít have a problem with that, but I would be resistant to a 13í-4" x 13í-4" billboard on Kemper Road, because that is basically what we have here. It is definitely more attractive, but I think it is still bold.

Mr. Okum said the next item is your parking fields. I indicated at the last meeting that I am not encouraged by parking fields all the way across the site. Dedicated green space, a park, trees, fountain in that area would certainly be fine, an outdoor activities area would not be bad for that field, but a parking field there would encourage retail development in the rest of that facility. We have to look at the PUD as a whole. We are considering your issue, but we have to look at the entire site, including North American Properties and your site in the PUD review, traffic impact and everything is all a part of the PUD. I get a little agitated when people want to come with little pieces, because I think we have to look at the overall picture and not look at it as just one item. So, at this point if that parking field is there, I will vote no. If that parking field to the left or the west is eliminated, then I would not consider the potential, but I would like to see a use evolved into that area that is soft and would tend to tie in with the development which would not encourage that development to go any more retail. Quite frankly, Kemper Road canít take any more retail there. For years Kemper Road was the only way our fire trucks could get to Heritage Hill area and it was an easy route. This past Christmas and over the holiday season, Kemper Road was a traffic jam, bad for us as a community. By putting that parking field there you are definitely saying I want to be a retail site.

Mr. Syfert said I would like to now hear from our staff.

Ms. McBride stated the parking is adequate to service the needs of Dave & Busterís. We obviously donít know what will go in to the balance of the site. Our guess would be that the parking proposed would be adequate, but without knowing the uses, we raised the issue about the phasing of the parking, and I think the Commission has made some comments about that already. The second comment goes to the fact that the loading dock the trash dumpster and the cart enclosure are shown on the rear of the building elevations, and they are not indicated on the site plan. Instead in that area there is a 24 foot drive aisle. So, if in fact the cart enclosure the dumpster and loading dock are going to be in that area, they still need to maintain the 24 feet, and that needs to be addressed on the final plan. In terms of landscaping, the Commission had asked them to provide a mixture of plant material that would either repeat or complement the material that Roberds had used. I believe they have done that; in fact some of it has been transplanted so it is exactly the same material. We asked for additional trees on the outside of the perimeter road there. There is nothing currently planted there. We also asked for additional trees on the east islands of the western parking field. Currently there are five islands that have no plantings, so we would like to see plantings on those islands as well.

 

 

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Ms. McBride continued on the southern portion of the main parking field, there are islands that do not contain trees and we would like to see some low growing evergreens there. The intent would be to keep pedestrian traffic from crossing through there, and if it is sodded it quickly turns to mud in this kind of weather.

Ms. McBride reported concerning the main parking field, there are three major areas of parking there, and if there is some way to break up the center of that through the inclusion of some landscape islands in the middle of that, we would like to see that on the final landscape plan. This would be to try to break up the mass of asphalt, and that may be accomplished as part of the phasing also. I think the applicant needs to take all of these comments together when they do the final plan. We didnít see a lighting plan; that will have to be submitted. We also didnít see any material samples. On the neon accent striping proposed for the north facade of the building, I know the Commission has had concerns before with regards to the maintenance of that, and you might want to think of something like that when the final plan comes in.

Ms. McBride said on signage, I just had the opportunity to look at the revised submittal this evening so these comments are not included in your staff report. The first question that I have is in the signage that we have seen previously approved for this location for North American Properties, it had included the Tri-County logo distinguishing feature which services not only the Wal-Mart, the Samís, the Dave & Busterís but all of the "B" shops in that area. I notice it is not included in the submittal before the Commission this evening. I donít know if that is to imply that it is not going to be included and if that is the implication, I wonder whose ability that is to give that up. Is it North American Properties to give up or is that these gentlemanís? I think that is a very important question because if it isnít North American Properties to give up and it is being given up here tonight, the Commission could find themselves in a very difficult position when North American is in next month saying how dare you change our sign without our consent. I do not have any problems with what they have done in following our instructions about going on the North American Properties sign and in terms of increasing the square footage of that sign; that is in the range of the number we had suggested to them. I think the ground mounted sign is an improvement, and I would caution that we see the final design of that as part of the final plan approval. Also, we need a consent from Roberds that that is in fact what they want to see on that sign as well. In terms of the building signage, they are large, but the building is large. The use is bigger than life, so I have not had a problem with the size of the on building signage.

Ms. McBride stated in terms of conditions or recommendations, I would say we would want to see that minimum 12 foot drive aisle preserved to the rear of the building, if it is through the elimination of a few spaces or the relocation of the cart and dumpster enclosures, and we will want to see the details of those enclosures as well. We will want to see a lighting plan, the final design of the ground mounted sign and a signoff from Roberds. Regarding the pylon sign, I would caution the Commission on whether or not the Tri-County sign is theirs to give up or whether it is being given up this evening.

Ms. McBride continued the other item is that we stress that this is all the signage for this project, so that the Minutes are crystal clear if in fact that is the Commissionís intent this evening. I think that needs to be very very specific in the motion. Also, that the additional landscape material be specified, and I understand that the applicant did not have any problem with that.

 

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Mr. Shvegzda reported that the existing detention basin north and west or Roberds is being filled in to accommodate the parking, and that area then will drain offsite. In order to compensate for this, the existing retention basin at the northwest corner will be expanded. The drainage from part of Tri-County Mall and part of Cassinelli Square is going to be diverted into the basin so this will compensate for the direct runoff. We have looked at the preliminary figures for this, and it all seems to work, and we have agreed with the concept of the situation.

Mr. Shvegzda continued regarding the traffic, we began our review on the final traffic study about noon today. There is a summary of the report conclusions. Basically from the traffic counts that were put together in January, the analysis for both the existing and proposed with Dave & Busterís as far as the two signals are concerned, was analyzed to be at a level of Service C which is acceptable. Again I state we really have not had the chance to complete our review.

Mr. Shvegzda stated we looked at a comparison of the current modified PUD for Roberds as far as the average daily traffic and peak hour traffic based on what is currently built and proposed under the modified PUD. With the Dave & Busterís site, there are approximately 3400 additional vehicles average daily traffic, and 60 vehicles more for the peak hour traffic. There are a number of questions that we have regarding the use of the January counts, which is a very low traffic generating time of the year. There was a question regarding some of the numbers used; we couldnít match them up with the previous studies so that is something we need to analyze. There was a question as to the different peaks and time peaks versus parking peaks that were extrapolated out of the chart that showed the parking demand for the Atlanta store. At this time we really havenít completed the review and we canít sign off on it.

Mr. Syfert responded so far you really havenít seen any major problems, is that correct? Mr. Shvegzda answered we havenít been able to get to the point of seeing any major problems; we rehashed the conclusions that were indicated in the report.

Mr. McErlane stated as part of the preliminary plan for PUD, there is a requirement that a construction schedule be submitted and one has not been submitted. However, I think we have been aware of the schedule they have been working from in terms of an April 1st start date. A lighting plan will be required with the final plan approval.

Mr. McErlane added there is a statement in the covenants that was modified when Roberds came in. The original statement under Paragraph 3 indicated that the existing candy plant building would only be used for GI uses. It was modified when Roberds was approved to specifically limit the floor areas for different types of retail sales. That same paragraph will need to be revised for this project, and Iím not sure how to massage that so we specifically tie in this particular use, but we can leave that up to the legal people.

Mr. McErlane continued the floor plan shows 840 seats and there is a lot of floor area which is an assembly area that you really canít account for. They had furnished us peak hour times for parking for their Atlanta location, which was 55,000 square feet and they showed a peak hour of 700 cars. If you extrapolate that out to 60,000 square feet it is 764 cars and they are showing 1339 new parking spaces on the plan.

 

 

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Mr. McErlane stated that there are 136 caliper inches of trees being removed from this site. It is hard to see those because they are scattered along the site. Most of them occur in a drainage swale that runs from the building out to the end of the detention basin in the northwest corner. They are cottonwood trees not of any sizable caliper inches. They are proposing 76 trees to be planted; however 43 of these are relocated from that slope on the Roberds site, which leaves 34 new trees that are being planted. There are 71 inches of new trees which accommodates the tree replanting requirements. The replacement trees need to be 10 foot minimum in height and two inch caliper.

Mr. McErlane reported the summary attached to your note on the signs does not address the sign package that came in today. The sign package totals up to 799 square feet for Dave & Busterís, 1141 total including the Samís and Wal-Mart panels on the pole signs. As Ms. McBride pointed out, it doesnít include anything for an identity portion of the sign for the center. What was approved previously was around 243 square feet just for the Tri-County Commons part of that sign. I donít know if that is still an issue to be resolved with North American Properties but it doesnít show up on this sign package.

To Mr. Eyrich, Mr. Syfert said we have commented that North American Properties had a sign approved. Have they blessed what you brought to us tonight? Mr.Eyrich responded in concept. They want some redesign of that, specifically there is a tube around Dave & Busterís that they are not crazy about, but basically they were satisfied. There is a letter to the Commission, and I do state that basically there are some design issues. Any approval that we would get would be subject to their approval, but with respect to sizes. The prior roadblock was Dave & Busterís being on top and them underneath, and we have gotten over that.

Mr. Syfert commented one of our primary concerns was the fact that the sign had been setting back there as the mystery sign that had been approved but never constructed. Unless I misread the Commission, it was unanimous that that sign would be the last pole sign, in other words a total of two, and if you get the right to use that from North American Properties, that is fine. So the general consensus was that there would be no more pole signs to be approved there. As such, we would have to have some evidence from them that they have blessed this

Mr. Young said on the sign on Kemper Road, what is existing there now is the Roberds sign and at the bottom are panels; in fact, one of them is occupied by Champion. Has any consideration been given to this new sign and the fact that Champion now occupies part of that sign?

Mr.Eyrich answered there are some small boxes down there under the Champion sign. Mr. Bergman added the final sign will have to have boxes of similar impact. Mr. Young commented it is a concern; they are the only one on that sign, but they are back there also and form part of that line along 275. Mr. Corriveau stated we probably will move the logo to the left and accommodate them over here; it will stay in the same structure.

Mr. Okum said regarding the monument sign, who has the rights on that sign? There is a termination of that driveway if and when Century Boulevard ever gets built. Do we know what happens with this sign?

 

 

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Mr. Eyrich responded in the covenants which involves both major property owner, North American Properties and Springdale Kemper Associates, and the City of Springdale is part of that agreement, there is provided in the agreement that the sign may be moved to a new site, but it is not a requirement. Mr. Bergman added at that time we would hope that the existing sign would stay and there would be good looking improved signage also at Century Boulevard. These are safety issues as much as anything else, to have people turning into the right place. Mr. Okum said Iím sensitive to that, but I just donít know what exactly happens. I was on the Commisison when that was approved originally, and I canít remember what happens to that signage.

Mr. McErlane stated I think there was a commitment on the Cityís part to work with North American Properties and Springdale Kemper Associates in terms of allowing them to locate a silgn at Century Bouelvard. Obviously the City canít give permission to locate a sign on somebody elseís property; it was just a commitment to work with them on allowing that. They would still need to negotiate with the property owner at that location. I donít know that it was a statement that it would move; it was a statement that we would work with them on a directional type sign at that location.

Mr. Okum asked if the applicant had considered reducing the monument sign down at that entrance. You have done an awful lot so far. Mr. Corriveau answered it is already at seven. Mr. Okum responded but you have a three foot base there, and I donít know that it necessarily needs three feet at the height that sets anyway. Mr. Corriveau said if we did a two foot base it would be 12 feet. Mr. Okukm said then if you dropped two off you would be at 10 feet. Mr. Corriveau said our logo is five feet in diameter. Weíll go to a four foot logo and bring down the base two feet and that will take it all the way down to 11 feet four inches. Mr. Okum commented thatís a lot better.

Mr. Okum asked if they had any problem with an all lit or not lit agreement in the covenants regarding your outdoor lighting, your signage lighting your building lights, your neon lights? If you have sections out or blinking, they donít stay on. Roberds agreed to it with their gold band. You will have a lot of neon lights on the building and on this sign, and Iím familiar with how this causes problems. Mr. Corley said you are saying if any portion of the neon goes out, they all would go out; we have no problem wilth that. Our intent would be that the sign would be perfectly lit and perfectly maintained all the time.

Mr. Okum said the other items I have is building light packs. When you make you make your final submission, I strongly resist light packs on the buildings that project outward. They tend to bother peopleís eyesight and distrct people. You can do it with a pole light and downlit just as easy and get just as much light and not shed off onto other properties.

Mr. Okum said on the parking fields, Mr. McErlane indicated our cityís counts show that your peak at your 55,000 square foot facility without any shared parking is 764 cars. This parking field adjoins Roberds and you have shared parking potential; even though it is not a written agreement it will happen, so I certainly see a 764 car breakdown necessity for your site with some expansion later on if necessary.

Mr. Corley said what we do not want to do is give up one-third of the parking, make the signs smaller, and then Iím not sure whatís next. If we could get some kind of summary of the concerns so we can give up this and give up that and know where we are.

 

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Mr. Okum responded this commissioner has stated that at the previous meeting. Mr. Corley answered I understand. The only thing I am saying is we are saying yes to smaller signs, we are now saying yes to one-third less parking and we need to know the pleasure of the whole commission with regard to the next major item that needs to be negotiated before we say yes to everything. Mr. Corriveau added I would like to point out that we have no agreement with Roberds on shared parking. Mr. Okum responded I said it was 764 cars peak hour for your Atlanta facility an established facility. I didnít say I expect you to get shared parking from Roberds. Quite frankly if Iím going to have to walk a quarter of a mile to get into your facility, Iím not going to do it. Levitz has a huge parking field; no cars park at the corner. It is a sea of asphalt that does absolutely nothing for the community, and people are not going to walk that kind of a distance to go into your facility. If they see both parking fields full, theyíll visit again. Mr. Corriveau stated that is why we have courtesy cars to bring people up to the facility, and the far reaches of the parking lot are for valet parking.

Mr. Okum said greenspace in that field would be real nice, and you are taking a cluster of trees out, cottonwoods that obstruct your building from view, is that correct Mr. McErlane? Mr. McErlane stated the cottonwoods I am talking about are in the drainage swale. The trees you are talking about are in the right of way.

Mr. Okum continued the only other item I have is Ms. McBrideís comments regarding landscaping plan, trees caliper inches and number of trees. I see you have put a row of trees across the warehouse portion of the building. I think you might want to increase that a little bit as McAlpinís did on the front of their building to obstruct the monument face of it, but I think you are going in the right direction.

Mr. Syfert said I think you heard the comment from a couple of members regarding the sea of asphalt, and that is why I asked where the required parking takes us. If it takes us through the first two and then you see you need more, I donít believe it will be a great deterrent to your business to develop that; it will be graded and then grassed. I understand that is one of your concerns; you donít want all that mess while you are operating, but it seems to me it might save you a little money right now and satisfy the concern of two or three of the members if it will work. I donít believe it is a great sacrifice but you are the one that knows your parking and turnover and flow. I do not.

Mr. Seaman commented Ms. McBride stated that she wanted to make it clear that there would be no additional sign. Are you talking about the pylon sign? Ms. McBride indicated that she was. Mr. Seaman continued so you would not have a big problem if a retail use came in for a building sign. Ms. McBride responded I think we have to look at the future retail uses in that development and take a close look at this for other reasons. But say a retail use came in that met all the other qualifications ..Mr. Seaman commented or some other use that needed building signage... Ms. McBride continued then on building signage would certainly be appropriate.

Mr. Seaman stated I think the concessions you made on the monument sign are great. I shrunk back from the sheer size of the thing, and your willingness to move it over for Champion is great and I donít have any problems with that. As far as I am concerned, the pole sign has been adequately addressed, just as long as the owner of the property realizes that this is it, without question.

 

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Mr. Seaman continued if a retail use or any other use hinges upon them having a pole sign, then that tenant may not get past this board. As long as that is clear and we need evidence with the final plan approval that the owner does agree to that, I donít have a problem with the pole sign. Given the size of the building, I also donít have a problem with the building signage. I think it is appropriate and well laid out given the look of the outside. As long as you heed to all of staffís comments in terms of detention and landscaping, I think this will be a great development. I donít have any other big issues.

Mr. Wilson commented I like the idea of two parking lots versus the third one with greenspace there and with the option of expanding as needed. This facility could well need that extra space, but for now I would feel if those two spaces would accommodate you for now and you have the option to get that other space done and the signage is in agreement with the other owners, I have no problem.

Mr. Corley stated we are happy to track the parking request down to the 764 spaces that you suggested earlier.

Mr. Galster moved to grant approval of the preliminary plan for Dave & Busterís to be located as shown per our discussions in reference to parking signage and additional staff comments. Mr. Young seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Young, Mr. Okum, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Syfert and Mr. Seaman. Mr. Huddleston abstained, and the preliminary plan approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

Planning Commission recessed at 9:00 p.m. and reconvened at 9:12 p.m.

C. GTE, 111 Tri-County Parkway Requests Final Plan Approval for New Office Building

Ken Schon Manager of Commercial Development at Al Neyer, Inc. owner of this building, reported we have been trying to attract GTE to this location. We recently acquired this property which is the last remaining vacant piece on Tri-County Parkway. As long as we can get through this part of the development and tax abatements and those sorts of issues, this will attract a fine Fortune 100 company to the City of Springdale. WE are planning a 42,000 square foot two-story building, approximately 21,000 square feet per floor to be located on the east side of the site.

Mr. Schon continued there is a small retention pond in front of the building, and the storm detention will be taken care of on the higher end of the site. The parking field has almost 200 parking spaces; there is a small loading area and dumpster area in the rear of the building. All of the development is within the required setbacks.

Mr. Schon showed the floor plan, stating that the building itself has 12,000 square feet of additional speculative office space; right now there are no tenants for that. The rest of the building (about three-quarters) would be used by GTE. All of the personnel will be on the second floor; the lower floor would have training facilities and computer training and a small distribution area for some staging, one thousand square feet of storage for telephones, about 2,000 square feet of lab support and some repair area.

 

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Mr. Schon stated that the building materials will be primarily brick veneer with rounded corner and above drivitt of a stone color and red brick for the remainder of the building.

Mr. Schon introduced Ken Patla who is the regional network director for GTE Mobilnet, which is a subsidiary of GTE Operations. GTE Corporation is a Fortune 100 Company. WE are the largest local exchange carrier in the country. GTE Mobilnet is its wireless communications arm. We have cellular systems all over the United States and are currently building three PCS (Personal Communication System) networks, which is the next generation digital wireless service. Those systems are being built in the Cincinnati Area, in Seattle Washington and Spokane. We will be launching our service on Monday of next week and begin selling commercial service in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

Mr. Pakla added we are looking for a headquarters building to support us in this region; our territory includes Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, and Springfield, so we are looking for something fairly well centralized and close to the traffic corridors. Northern Hamilton County and in particular Springdale fits that requirement very well. We are in a fast state of growth and are running out of space where we are presently located. We are antiicpating a warm reception in Springdale, and hope that we can have something we can move into before the end of this year. Mr. Syfert asked where they presently are located and Mr. Pakla answered the Crowne Point Business Park inSharonville.

Mr. Young wondered if their direct competition is in the cellular business. Mr. Patka responded generally speaking yes but specifically we consider ourselves the next generation and yes we will be competing with them and anticipate being able to compete very successfully. Mr. Young continued the reason I ask that is I wonder if you use towers for your cellular devices, and where you currently have them. Mr. Pakla said we have about 60 transreceiving facilities located around theGreater Cincinnati Area. Mr. Young asked the average height and Mr. Patka answered 125 to 135 feeet. Mr. Young asked if they would be proposing anything like that for the City of Springdale and Mr. Patka answered that they would not, adding that they have no plans to locate any in the City of Springale.

Mr. Wilson asked how many employees would be at the facility, and Mr. Patka answered we expect approixmately 75 at this facility when we move into the building which we anticipate to be the end of September.

Mr. Patka added we currently do have a retail location in the Tri-County Mall area across from Tri-County Mall, and we have four other retail locations in the Gerater Cincinnati Area as well.

Mr. McErlane reported there is one issue Anne McBride expounded on in her report relative to the warehouse use in the building; it needs to be clarified a little better. It constitutes about 12% of the total floor area in the building. Ms. McBride indicates that warehousing per se is not a permitted use in a GB or OB district, whether as a main use or an accsessory use. I think we need to address that either from the standpoint of a conditional use permit or an accessory use permit or possibly a use variance.

 

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Mr. McErlane continued along the southern line of the parking lot will be a retaining wall. Depending on how much of that is exposed, it may be a concern of the Planning Commission as to what kind of treatment that has so it doesnít look like a stark concrete wall. It looks as though it may be as much as five feet in a couple of locations; it probably reduces down to two or three feet in others.

Mr. McErlane stated that dumpster screening needs to be masonry or wood. Part of the retaining wall will enclose that, but there will need to be some extension beyond the top of the retaining wall, and whether that is an extension of the masonry or a masonry product on top of the wall, that needs to be done. The enclosure around the dumpster right now is built into the retaining wall, but the retaining wall in that location is probably only about three feet tall. Some means by which to screen the rest of the dumpster will need to happen there.

Mr. McErlane reported on the required parking Ms. McBride has different numbers than I do due to the way we figured the parking. I figured it based on a net of 75% of the gross floor area and came up with 188 spaces required with 197 shown. One of the handicapped spaces will need to be van accessible.

Mr. McErlane stated if you compare the grading plan with the tree plan and the landscaping plan, there are a number of trees that are shown to remain that will be impacted by grading. Some of them we probably wonít be able to save; one is in the retention basin and one is in the spillway. The majority of them are within a foot and a half to two feet of their natural grade and there probably are adjustments that can be done to the grading to save the majority of those. That may mean raising the retaining wall a little bit or adjusting grading by some other means.

Mr. Syfert commented Mr. Schon made a statement regarding how that warehouse would be used. Would you restate that? Mr. Patka responded this is a new way of looking at running this type of business which involves the technical side of the business, the network and the retail and wholesale side of the business. Our concept is to incorporate into our headquarters operation what we would call a staging area more than a warehouse itself. We intend to be able to support our retail operations with a depot type service for repair of the handsets, etc. It would be a kind of technical support center. The current plan has a 1,000 square foot screened secured area to store our product which is a fairly valuable product. Mr. Syfert commented that is truly warehouse. Mr. McErlane added the balance would be used for repairs and whatever.

Mr. Young commented since we were talking about cellular earlier, do you have units in cars that are car mounted like your competitors do? Mr. Patka stated the trend is to go away from that. Our whole design concept is to be able to provide in-car portable coverage which means you can talk on the phone without having it mounted in the car and attached to an external antenna. We will provide within the car a way to hold the unit so you can talk hands free. The whole industry is trended away from the in car mounted; about 90% of the cellular phones sold in the country today are the hand held units. Mr.Young responded the question I was getting at is from a service standpoint; would you be using this warehouse facility to service cars? Mr. Patka said the answer is no because that is a very small part of our business. Mr. McErlane commented I didnít have that much of a problem with it. When you get down to a small percentage of the building that is pretty much of an accessory use it is not a concern. I think legitimately you have to look at it as how it impacts the adjacent uses. If it is small enough in nature, it is not a detrimental impact to the adjacent uses.

 

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Ms. McBride said first of all I need to disclose to the Commission that one of my partners represents GTE in other communities in the location of their cellular towers. I havenít done any work directly with them in this vicinity, but I did want to make the Commission aware of that. We do not have involvement in this site, but we have had involvement with GTE.

Ms. McBride reported personally I donít think the use per se is bad, but the question is how can we fit it within the Code. The property is zoned GB, and the GB zone permits office; it says as permitted and regulated in the OB District. So when you refer back to OB, it specifically says, "prohibits the storage or display of commodities in the building or on the lot and the delivery or distribution of commodities from the building or the lot." That tells me it is not permitted as of right within the GB District because it is not permitted as of right within the OB District. To get into a situation where it is approved as a principal conditional use I donít believe is appropriate, given the fact it is specifically prohibited in the district. It is not itemized as a conditional use within the GB District or the OB District. In fact the Code isnít silent on it; it specifically prohibits it which greatly concerns me. Whether or not you chose to go with it as a conditional use as an accessory might be an avenue for the Commission. I am however concerned about the precedence issue. I had Jim Harrison on the phone and bounced this off him; he was a little bit concerned about the precedence that the Commission might be setting also. There is not a problem with the use, but how to fit it within the Code.

Ms. McBride reported in going back through the Code, you do have a similar use permit. That is something that requires review by Planning and Council, and where this might be more burdensome for GTE, that would be the way to go to the letter of the Code. What you might want to do is refer this to Council for their opinion. That is my interpretation; Bill and I have had some discussion back and forth about this. I donít want to give anybody a hard way to go, but I donít want the Commission to do something that six months from now somebody else comes in and says you bent the rules for GTE; how about bending them for us, thatís not fair? I donít want the Commission to be put in that position.

Ms. McBride said as Bill mentioned we calculated our parking a little bit differently. I took out the non human occupied areas, the lobby areas, the restroom areas the stairwells, the elevators etc. and I came up with 213 spaces. About 90 of the 197 spaces are located more than 250 feet from the main entrance. I donít think that is a problem, but you will want to recommend a variance for that. We havenít seen the details of the dumpster enclosure and we would want to see those. Setbacks are not a problem for the building or the parking.

Ms. McBride continued in terms of landscaping, we would like to see construction fencing around the drip line of any existing trees that are to remain. We would like to see additional planting material on the west side of the building; there is nothing shown right now. To make sure that the shrubs survive in the parking islands, they ought to be set back three feet from the curb to allow for any car overhang. Ms. McBride stated we didnít have any problem with the lighting plan. There is no mechanical equipment indicated as being visible.

Ms. McBride said in terms of the signage, there is no problem with the size or the height. The only small issue is in the location of the sign. Right now it is located seven feet off the right of way line and it needs to be pushed back to 10 feet. I donít think that is a big issue; there is room in the divide to do that. They havenít indicated any on building signage.

 

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Ms. McBride stated we are recommending (1) a little bit of additional maybe ballard type lighting at the main entrance because the foot candles were dropping down and that is the main entrance to the building; (2) an enclosure on the dumpster; (3) moving back the ground mounted sign (4) construction fencing and (5) additional landscaping.

Mr. McErlane stated if Planning Commission has concerns on the accessory use of the warehousing, I see that there are probably three methods by which they could obtain permission to do that. One would be a use variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals for the accessory use which is probably the quicker process; another is conditional use permit which is permitted for accessory uses under Section 153.083(B)(6) which says "other accessory uses which are incidental to the main use are conditionally permitted with a conditional use permit."; and the third is the similar use permit. The order of those that I have just given you is the same in terms of time process. If it includes going to Council, it probably includes an advertising period. A conditional use permit does require an advertising period, but it is a hearing at this board and not at Council.

Mr. Syfert said personally I donít have any problem with this; it is just we have run into a technical problem with the Code and have to figure out the best way to handle it. It might be that since some of the parking is beyond the 250 foot area, we could refer this to the Board of Zoning Appeals; it might be the best and quickest way for you to work. Does anyone else have any problem with this use?

Mr. Wilson asked about the types of vehicles that would be bringing these product for warehousing; are we talking tractor trailers or six wheelers? Mr. Patla answered you would see a tractor trailer once in a while, but for the most part our product is delivered by UPS or Federal Express, your standard type delivery operations; they come to our door every morning now. That is the standard delivery; however, on occasion we probably would have a common carrier deliver something to our location, but it would not be a daily occasion.

Mr. Huddleston said I think I heard 1,000 feet is the warehousing component of this; is that correct? Mr. Patka answered it is our intention to put as secured area in that space of 1,000 square feet to store our product. Mr. Huddleston asked if the balance would be used for configuration or repair, and if that is permitted. Ms. McBride stated that is something labeled on the floor plan as 5,000 square feet of warehouse space. I canít find that repair is specifically permitted or prohibited, so I assume there is some latitude on interpretation in terms of conditional use issue. Mr. Okum wondered if they labeled it service center instead of warehouse if that would fit in better, and Mr. McErlane stated I donít know that is even a permitted use. Mr. Huddleston commented my point would be that as long as we restrict without unreasonably restricting the operation, whether that is 2,000 square feet under the BZA warehousing, and the rest is accessory use to what they are doing.

Mr. Okum said if you would have a tractor/trailer delivering support materials to your site, would you foresee the situation that it may be left there for any period of time? Mr. Patla answered no, the delivery would be made and the vehicle would be gone.

Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Okum said in this corner where the cars were closer to Tri-County Parkway, is this where you were thinking of increased landscaping as well? Ms. McBride answered we hadnít specifically mentioned that; we were looking primarily at the west end of the building.

 

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Mr. Okum added that is the only area where the parking lot really gets fairly close to the right of way that we might consider some shrubbery or bushes. Mr. Schon stated the requirement is to be at least 10 feet back from the right of way. Mr. Okum answered I understand that, but I just thought maybe some shrubbery in that area would be helpful.

Mr. Okum continued regarding Ms. McBrideís item 3, would you restate that? Ms. McBride reported that is the variance from the 250 foot requirement from the main entrance. The parcel is an irregular shape, and in order to get the building on they put it at one end which pushes the parking all the way to the other end.

To Mr. Schon, Mr. Syfert said there was some question as to what the material of your retaining wall is and what the appearance would be. Mr.Schon answered we are planning a split precast concrete block that looks like blocks.

Mr. Syfert said on the issue of the retaining wall being part of the dumpster, we wondered about the height. Will you increase it at that point? Mr. Schon answered what we would have to do is put something on top of the retaining wall to get to whatever the required height is, whether it is six feet or eight feet. Mr. Syfert responded but you are prepared to address that issue without any problem.

Mr. Shvegzda reported on the storm water management, there are two detention facilities on this site. One is on the northwest basin, which is essentially a retention basin, a water feature, and the other on the northeast side is a dry detention basin.

Mr. Shvegzda continued regarding the retention basin, the concern that we have is that due to the triangular nature of the basin, the deepest end of it is a little over five feet deep. With the triangle, as you go towards the east, in this location the majority of the basin will be shallower than five feet and especially along the shore lines you would have problems with different types of noxious vegetation and that kind of thing. This problem occurred over by the Tri-View Office Towers off Boggs Lane.

Mr. Shvegzda added there is another problem with regards to the slope of the basin. It is currently shown at 2 to 1 and the steeper slope below the water line is better. However, above that where you have to maintain it and mow it is a problem. The suggestion that we have is to try and use the modular wall arrangement around the water line so that you could have it steeper there and maybe gain back some height so you could reduce the slope above that. Three to one would be most advantageous.

In addition to trying to maintain the aesthetics of the pond, some mechanical aeration might be advisable for this particular basin. Mr. Okum commented a fountain would be great.

Mr. Shvegzda stated the only problem we have with the northeast detention basin is right now that area of the parking lot is drained over land and through openings in the gutter and into the basin. The problem we have had is erosion that takes place at that bank. It is very hard to protect that in any kind of suitable manner so we would request that be intercepted at a catch basin and conveyed to the detention basin via a storm sewer conduit. Mr. Shvegzda stated we need additional information on the storm sewer calculations, inlet capacity calculations and various detailed items.

 

 

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VI C GTE OFFICE BUILDING 111 TRI-COUNTY PKWY FINAL PLAN APPROVAL

Mr. Shvegzda continued one item we want to clarify is that the site is called out to have extruded curb throughout the parking lot. We want to make sure that the extruded curb doesnít extend out into the right of way line. If curb is desired it should be of the standard type 18 inch deep curb with six inches above the surface. We noted the parking lot illumination. I didnít see any wall packs noted on the building.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if they have adequate grade to get that sheet flow water in the upper lot into the catch basin underground? Mr. Shvegzda responded it would be a catch basin that would be located to the west of that most northern perimeter of the parking lot. It is running in that direction and they could pick it up there.

Mr. Patka reported we are trying to adjust the grade and that will make it more difficult. Mr. Schon added we have sheet draining into there. We are also trying to adjust those grades and refine those grades and save some of those trees in the front. If we have to deepen that basin, that may make some of the grading a little more difficult. I donít know that for a fact, but I think it will make it a little tougher. Mr. Shvegzda commented the other solution to try to prevent erosion problems is similar to what used to be at the West Shell Building at Route 4 and Ray Norrish Drive. We had concrete coming down periodically off the parking lot. Mr. Schon said in this case we would just have one because this parking lot is designed to be contained by this detention basin. In fact aesthetically this detention area would not be seen from Tri-County Parkway; it would be above the level of the street. Mr. Shvegzda responded that is why we were concerned about that particular side of the basin as far as protecting the slope. Mr. Huddleston asked if that were an acceptable alternative to what you say has to be put in the catch basin. Mr. Shvegzda answered yes insofar as protecting the slope.

Mr. Schon said I have a question about the number of parking spaces required. There was a discussion of 213 parking spaces which would add about 16 parking spaces. As Mr. Patla has already mentioned, his requirement for the first year is 75, and in future years up to 85 or 90 parking spaces plus visitors, so 100 spaces are needed for three-quarters of the building. We really canít envision needing any more than three-quarters of the parking lot as it is right now. Now we are asked to provide more which is additional paving on an already pretty tight site. We would certainly do that, but that is the issue as we see it. We are developers, and it seems to us that five spaces per 1,000 square feet is pretty adequate parking. Frankly, I donít know what to do with the extra 16 parking spaces if we are required to do those.

Ms. McBride said it is up to the Commission as to how you interpret the parking requirements; Mr. McErlane reads the Code one way and I read it another. Mr. McErlane added Ms. McBride pointed out that she didnít find anywhere in the Code where it talks about 75% of the gross; it is a policy that we established years ago in establishing parking requirements for buildings. It sounds like a good thing to implement into the new Zoning Code. Mr. Syfert wondered if generally it worked, and Mr. McErlane responded it appears to. In a number of instances, we find the retailers want more than the offices. We havenít heard any complaints from the offices about working it that way.

 

 

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Mr. Wilson asked if there would be 75 people on one shift. Mr. Patla responded we are an 8 to 5 operation; we work one shift. Mr. Wilson continued so all your employees would be coming in at the same time every day. Mr. Patla answered generally speaking, yes.

Mr. Huddleston commented since we have a penchant for trying to retain green space, is there some disparity between the two interpretations? Does it make any sense to have them go ahead and design the detention and provide the grading but put in the future spaces if required in the future? Put that stipulation on the approval that if there is an overflow parking situation that these developer would come back . I think it makes sense to leave the green space there.

Mr. Schon said Mr. Patla mentioned that they would like to keep as many of the existing trees as possible. We would have no aversion to saying that we would do this later as required. That would be great and would work real well. Mr. Huddleston added as long as it is engineered and the detention is built for that in advance. Mr. Patla added if that is allowable, it would save six sugar maples in the area.

Mr. Young said I would agree with that; as much time as we spend looking for somebody that wants green space, we should do that. If we have to direct this to the BZA that is fine. I also would be in favor of taking those three spots they have in that little bend out too and making that green space. I donít see the point in that either, other than the fact they are trying to meet a requirement. It looks out of place to me. Mr. Okum commented if we donít determine it is a variation from the Code, it is not a BZA issue.

Mr. Okum commented I have not heard any negatives on this, so I would move to grant final approval with the conditions stipulated:

(1) Ms. McBrideís recommendations excluding the item regarding the requirement for parking; (2) a variance for the required warehousing be referred to BZA along with the parking beyond 250 feet; (3) the addition of extra landscaping is recommended; (4) the elimination of the parking spaces in that little curve; (5) preparation and planning for future expansion of the parking lot; and that (6) retention and detention facilities be adequate to handle the extra off flow of water. Mr. Young seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Young, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster and Mr. Syfert.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Okum asked about the commission on developing the new Zoning Code. Ms. McBride reported about 10 days ago we received a list, so we will be contacting people to find the best meeting time and put the steering committee together and issue an outline agenda. You will be hearing from us, probably this week.

Mr. Okum commented that we approved a Thoroughfare Plan a few

years ago; I donít think there were any changes since I was off the Commission. Mr. Shvegzda reported that the last change was in regards to Roberds and the extension of Century Boulevard. Mr. Okum continued the Commission might want to look at our Thoroughfare Plan. Things are really happening on Kemper Road, and Planning is supposed to look at future development and planning for the community. Obviously Kemper Road seems to be a hot spot.

 

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VII DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Okum said the other item I have is I would like to recommend that Ms. McBride, Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. McErlane and the representative from the administration in attendance be seated on the dais. We value your input and you definitely should be up here. It also is a way to make sure that their reports and comments are part of the official record. Mr. Syfert asked if any of them had any problem with sitting up front. Mr. Shvegzda commented the only thing is that we do get into discussions with the applicant. Mr. Syfert suggested trying this next month.

Mr. Syfert asked if everyone would be in attendance at the March 11th meeting. Everyone will be in attendance.

Mr. Galster said when Shell took over the Friends gas station, was their monument sign existing or is that a new sign? Mr. McErlane reported that was a pole sign and they reduced it down to a ground sign with a setback variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Galster continued that monument sign is literally on the sidewalk. Mr. McErlane stated that is about where the pole sign was. Mr. Galster stated my son went around that corner on his bicycle and on the pavement and hit that sign. It hugs the sidewalk.

VIII. CHAIRMANíS REPORT

A. Sweeney Saturn, 33 West Kemper Road - Wall Sign

B. LuLuís Restaurant, 135 West Kemper Road - Neon Window Signs

C. Levitz Furniture, 505 East Kemper Road - 36" Long Awning

D. KEMBA Credit Union, 211 Northland Blvd. - Wall & Directional Sign

E. Friends, 11444 Springfield Pike - Neon Window Signs

F. Tri-County Pontiac, 150 Northland Blvd. - Window Signs

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Wilson moved to adjourn and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the Planning Commission adjourned at 10:05 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________,1997 ________________________

William Syfert, Chairman

 

 

____________________,1997 __________________________

Robert Seaman, Secretary