PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

14 FEBRUARY 1995

7:00 P.M.

 

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Chairman William G. Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Wilton Blake, Steve Galster, Councilwoman Peggy Manis,

Tim Sullivan, Barry Tiffany, Councilman Robert Wilson

and Chairman William Syfert.

Others Present: Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator (arrived at 7:10 P.M.)

Derrick Parham, Assistant City Administrator

William K. McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, City Engineer

Anne McBride, Pflum, Klausmeier & Gehrum

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 10 JANUARY 1995

Mr. Blake moved for adoption and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice

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

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Planning Commissioners Journal No. 17 - Winter 1995

Mr. Syfert commented I think there were some interesting articles in it.

I would like to add Item C under New Business, which will be called Champion Enclosure.

V OLD BUSINESS

A. O’Charley’s Requests Conceptual Plan Approval for Proposed Restaurants (O’Charley’s and Tumbleweed) at Northwest Corner of Princeton Pike and Merchant Street (tabled 10 January 1995)

Mr. Syfert reported for the benefit of the Commission, we did have a special meeting involving this proposal that you will see tonight and for one reason or another, everything was not able to be rendered to the city in time, so I have instructed both the Building Inspector, the Engineer and the Planner that I will not call for formal reports tonight. We are going to let that proceed from a conceptual plan approval standpoint.

Tim Hershner of Hershner Associates reported since our work session meeting, we had some difficulties with our engineer and have switched, and that is why we have a little delay. We have been given assurances from O’Charley’s and Tumbleweed that signed contracts will come on line under this plan. They will submit their plans to us before the end of this month so we look forward to actually having everything submitted for next month’s agenda.

Mr. Hershner continued once we came up with a site plan we were happy with and felt the city would find acceptable, rather than work from the front to the rear of the site, we worked from the rear to the front so we could pull the development itself as far away from Princeton Pike as possible. Where my plan called for a 65 foot setback, it is now 75 feet back. We are proposing O’Charley’s on the most northern parcel, Tumbleweeds on the middle parcel and the most southern parcel is adjacent to the existing detention basin.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 February 1995

Page Two

VA O’CHARLEY’S CONCEPTUAL PLAN APPROVAL - continued

Mr. Hershner continued that pad is not contractually spoken for yet, and that is why it is designated as a future user. Once we find a user for that, we would come back and treat that separately. What we want to do is have approval based on this pad, recognizing that depending on the specific user, if it were to be upwards of 7,000 foot restaurant, I would argue we need additional parking. Conceptually we have talked about possibly decking a little bit over the top of the edge of the detention basin. Obviously that has to go through review, but with the worst case scenario for the parking we are providing, we might have to reduce the size of the restaurant down because of the limited parking space available. We are willing to commit to this plan that calls for saving the majority of the trees. Part of the solution includes our landscape plan and our tree preservation plan, where we tried to max out the benefit of saving as many trees as possible. There is a 30 inch oak tree at the corner of Princeton Pike and Merchant Street that is dead, and that will be coming out. There are three additional trees along the frontage of the parking that we have no choice but to take out. However, with our landscape plan we are calling for a number of trees to be planted in the parking islands in the rear. We have tried to create another row of trees behind the buildings so we not only have the existing row or green area to the front along Princeton Pike, but establish another greenbelt row of trees in the parking area to the rear or west of the buildings. We are open to any questions you may have on specifics for the plan for what we hope will be the preliminary approval on the site layout, recognizing that we have to come in and submit our plans to get all the engineering and tree preservation plan approved. As we understand it, tonight would be a preliminary approval on this layout configuration of parking and where the buildings go.

Mr. Syfert said does everyone understand that they have moved the parking back considerably from what we had seen previously? Everyone did.

Mr. Blake said I realize this is a conceptual proposal, but what are the specifics on shrubbery and where the plants will be?

Mr. Hershner reported we have submitted our landscape plan; we delivered it as it was available in the hopes that you might have the opportunity to look at it. We are approaching this in two phases. One looks at grading the site out and developing the site pads themselves, and then O’Charley’s and Tumbleweeds will come in individually with their applications for their specific pads and build their part of the development. What we are trying to do is provide a comprehensive approach to all three pads and lock them into a certain layout. The landscape plan we submitted is what we will commit to. In addition to that, O’Charley’s, Tumbleweeds and the third user will come in with their building plans and submit a landscape plan around their immediate pad. We are proposing landscaping to be in front of parking along Princeton Pike; that will be a graded hillside with landscaping along that. If you want to go over that plan, I would be more than happy to.

Mr. Hershner continued working from the eastern part along Princeton Pike along the access drive, we are creating a focal point with stone walls showing the detail carrying over the stone walls across the street at the cemetery entrance to have some balance to the site as you go down Princeton Pike. As part of the driveway area, there will be ground cover, 1,000 plants will be planted, 500 on each side. As part of the wall, there will be a ground mounted sign as part of the overall entry design.

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V A O’CHARLEY’S CONCEPTUAL PLAN APPROVAL - continued

Mr. Hershner continued we have not submitted for that yet; it is still up for review. As you come up this driveway area, on either side will be planted with burning bushes so the front of the cars in the parking lot will be somewhat shielded and as you drive down Princeton Pike you don’t see a lot of cars. From that point back, because of the concern that if the future pad user were to have a pick up window in it, we talked about this in the work session meeting and it seemed as though it might be palatable. It is not highly desirable in this area, but if we had to do it, it seemed to blend in with this particular development. What we are proposing is the long southern part of the property line between the building and the detention basin be planted with white pines so that would buffer the views from Princeton Pike and Merchant Street. That is still for further review when that user comes in, because we don’t know what kind of restaurant might come in there.

Mr. Hershner stated to the rear of these buildings, we are proposing six different islands to create some essence of a tree line back of the buildings so when people are looking from the Princeton Hill office, there is a tree line rather than the backs of the buildings. In that area we are planning on upright pear trees. Further back next to the islands we would plant those with larger honey locust trees that grow rather rapidly. Those six honey locust trees would provide the requirements called for under the Tree Preservation Plan (for the three live trees we would be taking out in front). We see this as a basic plan, the minimum that should go on the site.

Mr. Hershner reported wherever we have a dumpster pad, these three spaces, we are putting white pines around those to buffer the views, in particular coming up from Merchant Street with this one particular dumpster, we want to shield that corner as well as this one in here. There is some existing landscaping here that we propose to retain. It has a great quality to it and we would blend these in with that. That is our basic plan, and with each application they will have their own landscape plan for their own pad area. O’Charley’s and Tumbleweeds tend to dress their buildings up very well.

Mr. Blake stated I notice you are putting the sign in the wall, which I think is great, but right on that corner is a Princeton Hill sign; will that stay? Mr. Hershner reported it will stay; there is an easement that Princeton Hill will always be allowed to have that sign down there.

Mr. Wilson said you indicated under future user you had no one locked in. What happened to Boston Chicken? Mr. Hershner answered at this point of time, because they now have a store in Forest Park and one to the east, they are waiting to see how the market pans out.

Mr. Wilson continued cutting in and making the driveway here, will there be a traffic light there? Mr. Hershner answered we have retained a traffic engineer from Dayton, and he is going to do an analysis which what was recommended by the consultants. That will be performed this week.

Mr. Wilson stated you just indicated there were one or two trees that you would have to eliminate because they were decaying. Further on this property are there other trees that you will have to eliminate? Mr. Hershner answered no, what we will be doing is maintaining these four trees along Merchant and the Princeton Hill driveway (and this plan doesn’t call for it). Rick Soper the landscape architect said in regrading the detention basin to raise the level of it, these are small enough that they could be pulled out and put back in.

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V A O’CHARLEY’S CONCEPTUAL PLAN APPROVAL - continued

Ms. Manis commented on this lot, was it always considered to be lawn above the top parking? It seems like it was all concrete at one point. Mr. Hershner responded from what I can see it is grass. When we come through and regrade, the grading plan generally calls for a five percent slope from the here and here down. With the ADA requirements, five and one-half per cent is the maximum you can do anyway. So we are looking at five per cent until you get to the area of the buildings. Then it goes back to five percent and you have a dropping off of the front. There is a lot of cut where this comes out and drops off. Our intention is to contact the cemetery and see if they need any fill. While they are upgrading is the time to clean that up a little.

Ms. Manis continued for the O’Charley’s patio, are they doing it differently now? I liked the idea before with the pond, but I like this plan much better. Mr. Hershner answered their patios typically are wrought iron enclosures with light post with Gothic type bubbles and they tend to do landscaping around it. We were trying to sell them on the detention basin, and a lot of their corporate people expressed concerns that it might be a cesspool, so this eliminated all these concerns.

Mr. Galster asked if there would be an irrigation plan to the islands to take care of these trees? Mr. Hershner answered I haven’t heard anything from the landscape architect. I know we had some discussion at the first meeting. What we originally designed for five foot islands we opened up to eight foot islands, and Rick Soper told me that they clearly can live within those. The question is if there is ground planting around the trees, there is a maintenance item of how we keep those living. Right now we haven’t designed that far.

Mr. Galster continued then we are still looking for the third pad to be built at the same time, is that correct? Mr. Hershner said no, the way I understand the contract as it is written, right now they are anxious to have the grading work done and, weather permitting, they would start their construction possibly as early as some time in May. They will fasttrack it if all flows well. Mr. Galster said so you will grade this future site. Mr. Hershner added basically O’Charley’s will be buying a parcel that goes over to the end of their parking lot on the south side of their building, and Tumbleweeds will be buying a parcel that goes up to that line and all the way over to the other parking spaces that front on the southern line. Essentially O’Charley’s will be building all this part in terms of parking and light and Tumbleweeds will be building this part, and this third pad will be left until somebody contracts to purchase.

Mr. Galster said the last comment I had was on the dumpster sites. We had a discussion about having the word storage in there, and I noticed that again on Page L-1, and I think we want to eliminate that language. Big grease pit type stuff we consider as dumpster anyway; we just don’t want to end up with any other storage.

Mr. Hershner responded Tumbleweeds is the only one that I understand has what I would consider a double dumpster size area and it is clearly not a secondary freezer or something like that. It is consistent with the dumpster area and is all walled in.

Mr. Tiffany commented your landscape architect has gone into some deep detail on these plans, and I have some concern on who approved these plans. it is written in the description that the guarantee of plants shrubs and trees is for one year against death and unhealthy condition.

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14 February 1995

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V A O’CHARLEY’S CONCEPTUAL PLAN APPROVAL - continued

Mr. Tiffany continued I’d rather not see that on the plans that you submit to us to alleviate any open item. Mr. Hershner responded I think this might be a standard clause for work specification and the contractor has to guarantee it. Mr. Tiffany answered I’m sure it is; we usually don’t see it on the plans; it usually is something in the contract between you folks. Mr. Hershner stated we can take that out so that it doesn’t look as though you all are approving that if the plant dies in a year, we don’t have to put it back. Mr. Tiffany said I’m not questioning you; it could be the people you contract with. Mr. Hershner responded good suggestion.

Mr. Tiffany commented again Mr. Galster brought up and we discussed at length with him that night the irrigation. I don’t know if he would be the individual that would be doing that for you or not. Again, he has gone into great detail as to how he will support these trees in the ground. If he can give us some idea as to how he will irrigate and in what areas if he is the one that is going to irrigate.

Mr. Tiffany stated the one tree is showing a pear upright. Everything else is pretty specific in terms of types of tree. There are so many different pear trees; maybe next time we can get some idea as to the species. I understand the pear trees we are talking about in the areas where traffic is a concern.

Mr. Tiffany commented Mr. Galster asked my question about the third user in terms of the pad staying a green space. With that in mind, can you give me some idea as to how you are going to break that parking lot at that point? The parking lot will come across and we have the entrance to the top of the property, will it come straight down there in line from that point? Mr. Hershner confirmed this. Mr. Syfert added adjacent to Tumbleweed. Mr. Hershner said right, so they can come straight here and make a left. This will keep some jogging in there so it is not a quick way out.

Mr. Tiffany stated the other question I have is since we are going to keep that a green space at this time, will the detention basin be enlarged and become a retention basin at that side during this project, or will that be with the third use?

Mr. Hershner responded at this point we will bring that up to today’s standards, we will clean out the detention basin and put in concrete ditches and clean and cut the grass all the way down to those ditches. . In order to increase the capacity of it, the lower half of the detention basin would be raised approximately two to three feet. Mr. Tiffany asked if it were going to be a retention or detention basin at this time. Mr. Hershner answered it will be a detention basin, enlarged and improved

Mr. Tiffany stated when you come in with your final plan, please pay attention to screening the rooftop units from the big building up there. Mr. Hershner responded on of the comments were to paint those out into neutral color. Is that sufficient? Mr. Tiffany answered I guess it depends on how big the units are and how many there are. I would defer to our rooftop czar.

Mr. Hershner commented there is probably something that we need to look at once we get the plans and see the mechanicals on top of the roof. We have noted that, and I certainly will commit to at least painting them neutrally. Mr. Tiffany said anything you can do to make them blend in is appreciated.

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14 February 1995

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V A O’CHARLEY’S CONCEPTUAL PLAN APPROVAL - continued

Ms. Manis asked if this is the footprint that Tumbleweeds and O’Charley’s are going to use? Mr. Hershner answered we presume that is what it is; I understand they are going to take their standard plan and give it to us. If there are changes, they will be minor because this is their pad and they can’t fit much more on it. They are pretty much locked into this. Their whole marketing program is they want the people coming south on Princeton Pike to be able to see their front door.

Mr. Blake commented I am not sure if we asked you about accessibility to park bicycles. Mr. Hershner answered you did mention that, and we talked about it generally. My comments were if we were on a bicycle path, at that time we would put some facilities in for parking bikes. I do know that in front of Tumbleweeds and O’Charley’s there are corners that have some space where something like that could go in. I will take that back and see what we can work in to their specific pad design.

Mr. Shvegzda stated for clarification, they show a signal at the new driveway, and that will not be signalized. The gap analysis is to verify how that access point will act as a non signalized point. It is to determine how left ins and left outs will operate there.

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. McErlane if he had any comments. Mr. McErlane reported most are technical issues, but one thing I think would be worth looking into is if you look at the drive that comes in off Merchant Street and where it ends up before you have to turn, right now there is a sculpture there but it is proposed to have a dumpster enclosure right behind that. I think we need to be sensitive as to what that looks like behind that sculpture. Other than that, most of these are technical issues that can be worked out on the final plan.

Mr. Syfert called on Ms. McBride who stated that in the preliminary review, we also had some technical things, the most significant being the drive-through access. We would like some redesign of that because we don’t think there is enough stacking and we think there is potential conflict in terms of traffic trying to get into the drive-through and using those parking spaces. We have put a sketch together, and we will make it available to the applicant. Also, there are some concerns about the dumpster locations and so forth, those kind of technical things that we can work out.

Mr. Tiffany moved to table. Mr. Syfert stated we are looking for a conceptual approval with the idea that the finals come in next month. That’s what we are shooting for. Mr. Tiffany said my apologies; I withdraw that motion and move to grant concept approval. Mr. Blake seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Blake, Mr. Galster, Ms. Manis, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Syfert. Conceptual approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.’

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Site Plan Approval for Proposed Addition to Recker & Boerger,

169 Northland Boulevard

Larry Roberts of Roberts Construction reported Recker & Boerger has asked me to represent them in doing this addition. At one time, it was a car dealership, and everything was paved and now they want to expand their showroom and build warehousing.

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VI A PROPOSED ADDITION TO RECKER & BOERGER - continued

Mr. Roberts continued I have drawings that represent where they will make an L-shaped pre-engineered steel building around the building to add on warehouse space so they can increase their showroom on the inside. The big concern might have been that the existing site is all blacktop and there are two water courses, one runs to the rear of the building and one runs to the street. Normally I would think since we are not changing anything that you would not need retention, but it seems your code says you have to bring everything up to today’s standards. I talked with the engineer, and he felt we could possibly use the front ditch if we got it out of the right of way. There was enough area if I had my engineer submit to him drawings showing the proper type of detention, we could get enough detention to handle our new addition. I think they said 1100 cubic feet would be adequate for the 7000 feet that we are adding, if that is okay with you. The new addition is to the left and to the rear of the existing warehouse. It will make the warehouse bigger, and the new showroom will expand out into the center of what is now warehouse space.

Ms. Manis commented if the detention can be worked out, I do not have a problem with it.

Mr. Syfert called on Don Shvegzda. Mr. Shvegzda reported basically we looked at it from the standpoint of what detention would be required for the footprint of the expansion, and that was 1100 cubic feet. If you took into account the whole site being developed new, that would be about 12000 cubic feet. It looks like there is about 1200 cubic feet of volume available in the ditch area. It is a little hard to rough it out based on the contours, but it looks like it is workable; it is just a matter of getting that outside of the right of way and being able to provide some kind of a restrictor to detain the water.

Mr. Syfert commented we still don’t have any detailed plans on the water management, do we? Mr. Shvegzda responded we do not at this point. The plans just indicate an area where the detention would be provided.

Mr. Syfert called on Mr. McErlane, who reported on the setbacks and land coverage, they all are are within code. The lot coverage for the proposed building and the existing would be 20%, which is below the 25% required.

Ms. Manis moved to approve on the condition that the water detention be worked out to the engineer’s satisfaction. Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion.

Mr. Wilson commented it is unclear as to how the proposed and existing roof area storm water runoff is conveyed to the ditch along Northland Boulevard. What are you telling me?

Mr. Shvegzda responded I am assuming at this point that the roof runoff discharges onto the parking lot and then into either drainage course, and I assume that is the way it will be maintained. Mr. Roberts stated exactly the same way. All the water that runs off the building now, the entire blacktop is created like a swale that runs right down to where the detention area would be. We are not changing any of that; we are pushing the building out a little bit further and the water will run exactly the same way that it did before. Mr. Wilson asked if there has been any flooding in that area, and Mr. Roberts answered no, there is a huge ditch out there now.

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VI A PROPOSED ADDITION TO RECKER & BOERGER - continued

Mr. Wilson commented I was curious with that additional building if it would cause a faster flow. Mr. Roberts responded actually the existing space that we are going to be covering is already blacktop, so it is the same. We are just raising it up and filling it again.

On the motion, voting aye were Ms. Manis, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Blake, Mr. Galster, Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Syfert. Site plan approval was granted with the condition that the water management be worked out to the engineer’s satisfaction.

B. Approval of Project Sign, Pictoria Island, Northwest Business Center

Mr. Steven King, developer of the property stated we currently own eight acres and have under option five acres that are adjacent, and we have a verbal agreement to purchase the 10 acres adjacent to that. So, this site would be the 23 acres between Showcase Cinemas and Avon, fronting on I-275.

Mr. King continued my purpose tonight is to introduce you to the project and solicit your approval for a temporary sign that is different than your sign code allows. We are committed to build a quality project, and we want to set the tone for the project to be consistent with the type of development we want to do, and we want to attract the type of users that will allow us to do a quality site. I have engaged a conceptual architect, Mr. Dick Morris, and I would like to bring him up and let him talk a little bit about the concept of the site and we can talk specifically about the sign or any questions you might have about the project.

Mr. Dick Morris stated I am an architect, but as soon as I found out how simple that was, I turned into a conceptualist. I am from Hamilton Ohio and graduated from the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and have been in the conceptual design business since 1975. This is a long arduous process; this is not about a couple of building pads or architecture that happens every 150 feet.

Mr. Morris continued what I talk about is the visual environment. My clients have included Briggs Petroleum, Federal Express, Burger King, Saturn Car Company, the Iranian and Saudi governments.

Mr. Morris stated this is about a team effort. I read your Corridor Study which to me is your mission statement. You talk about your corridor plan and architectural harmonics. These are current aerials, so you can see what the piece of ground represents. Mr. King actually owns the first eight acres which starts at the corner from Showcase Cinemas and heads west. Fifth/Third Bank owns another section there, which Steve has an option on, and there is another group that has the piece that connects to Avon. I respect the land, and your Corridor Study said Route 4 was the beginning of the access to the Indians in the 1700’s. Corridors and passageways are worth talking about, especially if you want to talk about integrity.

Mr. Morris reported In order to make the project viable, we want to get the best in users, and this is where the sign comes into play. The best in users will be attracted by a developer who is serious about what the total outcome in. We are going to need your help in allowing us to participate in this whole outcome. It’s like a gigantic Planned Unit Development; we are not talking about pads, we’re actually talking about a visual architectural statement that becomes the city gate for Springdale.

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14 February 1995

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VI B PROJECT SIGN - PICTURE ISLAND - NORTHWEST BUSINESS CENTER-cont

Mr. Morris continued the issue is trying to couple the want to of your Corridor Plan and attach it to reality. In order to get from Point A to Point B, there is a methodical plan. There was to have been a Mexican restaurant on some pad out there, which would have been an enormous misuse of that piece of ground. I see it as an entire connected thing from one end to the other. I have invited Cecil and Bill to my studio, and I invite everyone through this entire process to come; I have the entire thing laid out in clay.

Mr. Morris stated you asked earlier about a bike trail; we are going to have a bike trail there. We are going to talk about an exercise trail and a walking trail and retention basins. There should never be a retention basin put in that doesn’t have water in it. We are talking about allowing that whole project to be a waterfront thing. Pictoria Island is an island as far as I am concerned, and as we begin to develop the concept and idea of putting it in, it is conceived to be integrated, holistic. Holistic means three dimensional. There are no fronts and backs. This whole project is about design. To begin with, we need to send signals to our potential customers that this is a special place, and it will cost them more to come there because we are going to do more there. So, I designed a sign which is kinetic. This project is about landscaping, and the concept of the sign itself sets the tone. There will be gardens here and a reflecting pool, so the project takes into account the city, the customer and the fundamental quality of doing a good job.

Mr. Morris continued this sign is very expensive; we would like to attract the kind of quality destination types of people. We want restaurants, retail, a hotel - we want a completely totally viable integrated mixed use plan from one end to the other. Architecturally we can set the tone with Steve’s first eight acres and the next five so hopefully if we can’t convince the others to go along with it there will be enough of a demonstration to set the tone. In your Corridor Study you are looking for model projects to help you set the tone.

Mr. Morris reported the idea behind the project is that each potential customer has to come through our architectural interplay. I’m going to

design every building on the whole site. At some point of time, there could be an architectural review board to insure that this process goes on. So, specifically it is about visualization, because buildings last hundreds of years, and we are trying to establish a model project, and hopefully it will become Springdale’s entrance and a catalytic event so that you can point to the process for other developers to help develop the city in a way that it has a homogenized effect; it looks like it is integrated. Mr. Morris stated there will be no flat roofs. Buildings are three dimensional animals, and every side should be designed all the way up until it meets the sky.

Mr. Morris reported on the sign itself, this is an earth berm. It is 50 feet square, and goes into a tier of landscaping, is supported by a center shaft, and these are like flower petals that are kinetic and fly in the wind. We have engaged a real estate firm who has a national base to attract national groups that want to do a good job. We know it will be hard to find good guys, because there are only a few good guys out there, but this is not a big project and that is another thing in our favor.

Mr. Morris stated the water treatment will be significantly put across the whole face of our project. There are all kinds of things we can do kinetically to create movement and visual pleasure. Water can either lay there or it can move, and it’s more fun to watch it move.

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VI B APPROVAL OF PROJECT SIGN - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Morris said you can see these different levels of detail that I am talking about, and you will see them start to surface. What will help them happen I don’t want to design buildings that have nobody in them yet. You can’t design a building right that isn’t occupied, so part of our process is to identify the users and they will conform to the architectural play we will set in motion. It is not about developing pads and them telling us what to put there and we will try to get them to put more landscaping. They are going to move into an integrated whole total project. That is our goal.

Mr. Morris continued the idea here is to create that first effort that says we are serious to the customer. As they start to come in and they start to buy into what we are trying to accomplish, we will bring those people to this meeting and it is completely up to your scrutiny. You won’t be asking me to cover up my air conditioning units or about water in the retention basin because it will be there or for more landscaping because it will be there and definitive. You won’t be talking about unsightly cars, because at the very beginning we are thinking about putting decks in so we contain the cars vertically and have more space for the land to be enjoyed. It’s not about buildings; it’s about land. Buildings make the land viable in terms of economics, but landscaping and trees is a lot more attractive than buildings.

Mr. Morris stated the sign is designed after a flower; that is why the petals move and it has soft shapes and curves and grows out of the ground. The sign is designed to be an event. I can’t get any more specific, because we don’t know what we are going to run into. We know our plan and general trust for the development, but we are looking for real people. We have it all set in motion and now we are looking to navigate through it. We are simply asking to be able to put the sign-up.

Ms. Manis asked exactly where the sign would go. Mr. Morris indicated on the plan where it will go, on the small mound. We will run electric to it underground, and a sprinkler system will be underground, because we want all the landscaping to be effective.

Mr. Galster asked if it is the idea for the sign to become a permanent fixture in the center of this development? Is it something you build around? Mr. Morris answered it is conceived as a marketing tool. There is a specific type of architecture that I would like to present to you, but the sign is a temporary structure.

Mr. Osborn commented we have worked together quite a long time, and we have one of those uncommon situations where something walks in your front door and you can’t really believe it is true. We have a developer with his own resources, his own funds willing to engage a creative architect who are more concerned about the aesthetics of a project than we are, putting the appearance and the visual impact of the project ahead of what goes in the building. It has taken some time, but I trust these individuals to be what they represent to be. I think they want to make a landmark development here and I would like to suggest that we remain as flexible as we can in dealing with them. We have created standards that are minimum standards, i.e. we have created these standards in order to deal with people who just want to come in and grade the pad and put up the box. We’ve created all these standards to tell them how far apart they have to put the boxes and how many parking spaces they have to make for the boxes and how much landscaping they have to put on, etc.

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VI B APPROVAL OF PROJECT SIGN - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Osborn continued I would like to suggest because of the investment and creativity that they are proposing here that we be prepared to give them more latitude in their development of this concept. I don’t know what that means in terms of what exceptions we’ll have to give in the future. I am just saying that this particular proposal and concept is not the typical one we have to deal with, where we have to we call it extract and some developers say strong arm concessions out of them to meet certain public objectives. I think these people are equally concerned about these public objectives.

Mr. Osborn commented this may never happen; this is a great concept and they may put up the sign and hold those standards and it may never come together. They may have to step back and take another look at this, but as long as they are prepared to proceed along this course, I would suggest we try to nurture this project as much as possible. Again, I don’t know what we might have to do in the future differently than what we are doing already. I am just saying this is a unique project and we ought to respect that.

Mr. Morris added you don’t have to give us anything that I can’t convince you or that you don’t already know in your heart that it is the way it ought to be anyway. We are here for permission, and you have to allow us to do what you think is right. Steve and I are committed to try to make it as clear as we possibly can. Your Corridor Study was written in the best interests of the city, and it says never build another White Castle, and if you’re talking about architectural harmony, they’re exactly right. The issue is I can get a White Castle to move into Pictoria Island and complement what we want to do for all of us, and if they don’t want to do that, they can’t be there; it’s that simple.

Mr. Tiffany asked Mr. King about his option on the adjoining properties. Are you going all the way down to Avon? Mr. King answered I am in my fourth or fifth contract draft with Renaissance. My attorney has been very easy to understand I thought, but the drafts come back with esses added to words. I don’t see the significance of the changes. I confirmed last week with the chief financial officer of Renaissance that we have a deal and he and I have agreed that if we can’t get the attorneys to agree, we are going to lock them in a room and not let them out until they agree. Mr. Tiffany responded so you are going all the way down to Avon. Mr. King answered yes, 23 acres.

Mr. Tiffany continued the presentation we have had is very convincing. As Mr. Osborn said, this is a dream as far as the city is concerned. I have no problems with this structure, and I’ll call it a structure because I see very little signage to it. It is very attractive, and as long as it is a marketing item and is not a permanent fixture as a sign, I don’t have a problem with it. If it becomes permanent signage for the center, that’s something we’ll have to look at in the future.

Mr. King stated we are only asking for temporary permission. If for any reason this would become permanent in any capacity in the site, we would come back to you. If we do thirteen acres and that is the totality of the development, we may want to move this 200 feet over and 100 feet down and it may be like a courtyard thing. Or, it may appear for six months and we get a couple of tenants. We don’t need to sign that many quality tenants. If I sign one it pays for itself.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 February 1995

Page Twelve

VI B APPROVAL OF PROJECT SIGN - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Tiffany stated I guess I’m looking for some definition of temporary, and I know that is hard to do because we want to allow you the time to make this thing happen. I see it being a very effective tool and going very quickly. I guess as long as we are of the understanding that it is a temporary fixture and that anything permanent would have to come back in for approval, I don’t have a problem with it. Space in Springdale is quickly dwindling as far as land that we can make use of for projects of this type and caliber, so personally I say go for it; I think it is great.

Mr. Wilson said I was trying to figure out how much wattage would you need to light that thing up, and how far in terms of distance will you see it? Mr. Morris said underneath we want to really light this up with the luminaires which are underneath a gas station canopy lights, so there will be this intense light, like a halo effect over the planting area.

Mr. Wilson commented maybe I’m misunderstanding; the print here states clear dome lit from below. Mr. Morris responded this is a clear dome on top of this, and these are the neon rings that go around this and they will be sequenced. There is a building in Chicago with a purple dome light on top which is stunning. As you come in through the trees and valleys, it opens up quite nicely so there is an opportunity for what I consider to be the city gate for Springdale, for the general population of Cincinnati to understand that this is the place that happens there. It is not Showcase Cinemas I II III IV V. What I wanted to do was something that was striking enough that would take the rest of the clutter there. Hooters can’t be your city gate, and right now it is. I wanted to be sophisticated enough for people to recognize that this is really done well. Mr. Wilson asked how much wattage; how bright is it going to be? Will it look like a light tower or what? Mr. Morris answered actually it will be very subtle; this will have purple neon rings that cascade up and a purple glow on top, just a glow. Then all the foliage will be lit up intensely, because this will be like a flower dynamic basin. It doesn’t glow out, because I want the vertical thing to be the attractive thing. And, we might run some spots to light up these rods to make it not gaudy but strikingly neat.

Mr. Wilson stated taking into consideration there is another developer that will be building as well, you will have two distinct type architectural designs, your stuff that is avant garde and the other the standard boxes. How will that look?

Mr. King responded imagine driving west past Avon on I-275. The hills are up and the 23 acres is 1100 feet from I-275 to the interior road, so we will have a development filled with buildings and trees. We may put in a seven story Embassy Suites hotel designed like Avon, where it tiers back. All you are going to see is our site. There will be space; you can look in and around it. I have been to Epcot no less than 30 times, and I like it because they have integrated the design to capture every one of your senses from the moment you walk on the property. I would like this 23 acres to do that so it is no problem that Showcase is there; you forget about it. You are captured by this site. We want to do such a nice job that it captures you.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 February 1995

Page Thirteen

VI B APPROVAL OF PROJECT SIGN - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Morris added you are welcome to come to my studio at 240 Donald Drive. We actually make the special effects, and some of the things you are trying to visualize three dimensionally, I have done. We are doing a completely monolithic integrated whole thing. We are intentionally putting the visual aspect of it at the curb; I wish we could have the development behind it to integrate it even further, but we have a pretty good run along the face of it.

Ms. Manis said I think it is great. I would love to see it come to be, but if it doesn’t, whatever happens, we’ll never look at signs the same again.

Mr. King responded just one point about it not coming into being. I own eight acres, and have a very significant investment in it so the project Pictoria Island is, and I would like to work with you all to do the very best job I can do. All I am trying to do with this is capture one national quality tenant; I’m not going to let Krystals Hamburgers come in, but Crate in the Barrel I would do backflips to try and design a spot for them. I only need one really quality user to be able to afford the next piece of ground or the next piece. Pictoria Island, if it is an eight acre island, so be it. We are going to do a good job on the eight acres, and I’m going to work with you all to do that.

Mr. Tiffany moved to approve as submitted, and Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Blake, Mr. Galster, Ms. Manis, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Syfert. Approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

C. Champion Enclosure 11750 Commons Drive

Mr. Syfert called on Mr. McErlane and Mr. McErlane reported I had a request from Champion to build a fenced enclosure in the rear of their building to store their treated lumber. They use treated lumber as part of their patio enclosures. It is a 10’ x 25’ fenced in area that butts up against a recycling scrap dumpster enclosure to the back of the building. Under the Zoning Code, you are not permitted to have outside storage of materials. Since this is a PUD, Planning Commission can decide whether or not that is an acceptable thing.

Mr. Tiffany commented I drove by Champion a couple of days ago, and I noticed they have moved the sign from the west side to the east side of the building. When they came in for their third sign, they had to have it for recognition coming down the lane. I asked them if they could put the sign on the west side of the building to the back and they said no, they had to have that because as you are heading eastbound, you have to be able to see that. I asked them if the building was parallel to the highway there, and I thought you could see the signage on the front as you were heading eastbound and they told me no because of the way the building was tilted on the site you would not be able to see the front of the building heading eastbound. That is not at all true, and now they have moved that sign from the west side of the building to the east side. I have a real problem with it. I think they were dishonest when they came in as to the orientation of the building, and I am real hesitant to do anything else for these folks at this point. I’m sorry; it’s very aggravating. We based the necessity for the sign on the west side of the building because of the people coming down the street there; that is the only tag they had on that side of the building to tell people where Champion was. Now they have moved that; they have used it on the east side of the building.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 February 1995

Page Fourteen

VI C. APPROVAL OF CHAMPION ENCLOSURE - continued

Mr. Tiffany continued don’t come in and tell me you need something for one reason and turn around and move it to make yourself look better at a later date. It goes back to the sign on the back of the building, and I think it was Mr. Wilson who made the statement, I don’ know who your sign guy was, but he screwed up. The sign guy was here and he is the one that said the way the building is situated we have to have the sign on the west side of the building.

Mr. Tiffany commented when Choice Lumber came in, there was an outside storage that was already there that was fenced in, and I don’t remember how we treated it. Mr. McErlane reported it was a recessed area.

Mr. Wilson said obviously it looks like this was done in haste, and they are not here to represent themselves. I have some concerns about the signage, and I think they need to be here to answer some of the concerns we have. I don’t feel comfortable with the way things have gone on in the last couple of weeks with the signage, and I can’t support this at this point. I would like us to table this to the next meeting so Champion can come in and explain our concerns, and I so move. Mr. Blake seconded the motion.

Ms. Manis stated we are not here to talk about the signs; we are here to talk about a fenced in storage area. I think we can base whatever we want to do on this. I think it is cheaply done and ugly, and if they want to have outside storage, they can bring something better in. Based on that alone, I would deny it right now.

Mr. Sullivan commented Champion has been in this location for a short period, but they have been in business for a long time. They know whether they need outside storage, and it seems to me they would have come to us in the initial planning stages or at some time prior to this. I think it reflects upon the company and is evidenced also by the signage and by the preparation for their presentation tonight.

On the motion to table, voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Blake, Mr. Galster, Ms. Manis, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Tiffany and Mr. Syfert. The item was tabled until 14 March 1995 by seven affirmative votes.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. Osborn if anyone is prepared to attend the Forest Park hearing on the walls? Ms. Manis commented we are working with them. Mr. Osborn added we are adopting a resolution tomorrow tonight that we worked out with Forest Park.

Mr. Tiffany said this is an item that came up with the Cassinelli Square people when they came in for the redesign of their project. There were signs that said no trucks allowed, city ordinance number so and so going into Springdale Plaza. The Cassinelli Square people were going to look into it for us because they were not sure where these signs came from. There are new ones in place, one on Tri-County Parkway, one on Kemper at the lane between the two plazas and one at the actual front entrance to that plaza on Tri-County Parkway also. I would say that plaza is the one that is putting those signs. They are probably 18" x two and one-half feet, and I would again ask that we take a look at those. If they want to make it their policy to say no trucks allowed, I could care less, but I don’t want them using a non-existent city ordinance for that.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 February 1995

Page Fifteen

VII. DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Tiffany continued the other item we had talked about in December was the signage in the windows. I have spent some time looking at this. I would yield to Mr. Galster who has spent an extensive amount of time on it, and has come up with some very good discussion on it.

Mr. Galster stated I did take a lot of time looking at trying to find a way of controlling temporary signs and I think it is an item that will take a lot of discussion. I wonder if we shouldn’t defer that until next month, which would give us an opportunity to research a little more individually and also be prepared for it, because it is one of those things we seem to keep pushing back and it is an important issue to the city. I think it will help to get a control on some of the signs that are out there.

Mr. Syfert commented I’ll make a note to put it on the agenda for next month. Could we get a synopsis in advance? Mr. Osborn stated if we have something written by hand, we can have it typed. Mr. Syfert continued that way we can review that before we come in. Mr. Galster said I should submit that to who and when? Mr. Syfert said to Mr. McErlane about a week before the meeting. Mr. Tiffany added for everyone to think about, the options are to regulate with the zoning we have now, to change the zoning to some different form to regulate the size of the signage, etc., or to do away with it altogether. Those are the three things we need to look at.

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone would not be here the 14th of March. Everyone plans to be present.

Ms. Manis commented I think Mr. Tiffany did very well with holding his comments.

Mr. Blake moved for adjournment and Ms. Manis seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:51 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

;

______________________1995 __________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

______________________1995 ___________________________

Steven Galster, Secretary