PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
FEBRUARY 23, 2010
I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Tony Butrum.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Don Darby, Steve Galster and Tom Vanover
Others Present: Anne McBride, City Planner; William McErlane, Building Official;
Don Shvegzda, City Engineer
III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JANUARY 12, 2010
Mr. Vanover moved to adopt the January 12, 2010 Planning Commission meeting minutes, Mr. Darby seconded the motion; the minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes (Carolyn Ghantous arriving after vote was taken).
IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL
Mr. Galster gave his report on Council, summarizing the previous meeting and stating
Mr. Jeff Forbes is now the Law Director for the City of Springdale with Mr. Kenneth Schneider as his back-up.
V. OLD BUSINESS
A. Chairman Butrum: Wireless Communication Tower Conditional Use Permit
11970 Kenn Road; we did receive a correspondence from the applicant.
Mr. Okum: Based upon a request from the applicant, Mr. Nathan Meyer; he is requesting on behalf of Cricket Communications and the American Tower Corporation that we continue the hearing in process to the April Planning Commission Meeting. Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote from the Planning Commission Members the request for a continuance was approved.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
A. Chairman Butrum: Springdale Family Medicine proposed ground sign at
212 West Sharon Road.
Chad Nahrup: I represent Mercy Health Partners who is now the owners of Springdale Family Medicine, which has now become Mercy Medical Associates of Springdale. There is an existing monument sign there now and basically what we are trying to do is increase visibility on the intersection by making it more of a V shaped sign to run parallel to the two roads sitting at the intersection now using the same structure and same location.
(At this time Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments.)
Mr. Galster: For the interest of full disclosure, Dr. Todd is my personal physician who is located in this project. If anyone thinks that I wont be able to be objective,
I will recluse myself.
Mr. Bauer: I would have to repeat the same thing, they are also my primary-care physician but I feel I can be objective in my view of this proposal.
Mr. Darby: I would like to add that he is my former student.
Chairman Butrum: I dont personally have any issues with anyones relationship and if anyone else does please speak up now.
(No one present presented any objections and the meeting continued.)
(Ms. McBride presented her Staff comments.)
Mr. Okum: The existing sign seems to be more residential and rural; the new sign seems to be a billboard, but it is within Code and along the Corridor Review District we have held a higher standard to the sign elements on most of the businesses; there is the pediatric facility that is there which was required to build a sign compartment container unit that was tied to the building element and use the same brick as the building. This is basically a sign sitting on top of stonewall. We have to take into consideration where else would they put a sign. We have two painted boards sitting on top of a wall from what was presented and frankly that doesnt hold the standard that the Corridor Review District has for signage and this sign happens to be directly on the right of way or almost into the right of way. Obviously, you have driven down Springfield Pike and you have seen the other signs that have been required on the other PUD developments in the Corridor Review Districts, have you given any thought? Temporarily, I think that this would be just fine for your transition period, but it certainly doesnt appear to be a permanent element.
Mr. Nahrup: This is actually what was requested by the physicians to match the look of the building and they are trying to it is a wooden painted building and it is not the prettiest building out there but what they were trying to do is keep that same consistent look basically. Originally we had a faux-stucco finish and what they were specifically requesting is something that matched the look of the building a little bit closer.
Mr. Okum: I think it is a fairly attractive building; it has stone and residential elements, slopped roofs. This sign clearly does not tie to that building element in anyway. Based upon what you submitted, it is two boards painted white with Mercy on it and they are sitting on top of a wall and I am not personally going to support it. Certainly the character with this proximity to the right of way, to the street being a gateway into Springdale, I am not going to be supporting this.
Mr. McErlane: To clarify, the drawing says that these are sandblasted signs and not just painted plywood. Unfortunately, the drawing doesnt do it justice and typically when you see a sandblasted sign there is a permanent border around it because it is typically raised which this doesnt show. I am not sure how it is going to look when it is done, but it wont be a painted plywood sign.
Mr. Okum: So you are saying it is etched into the wood?
Mr. McErlane: Basically the field behind the letters is sandblasted out and the letters are raised.
Mr. Okum: It doesnt look like that in any of the illustrations provided to us.
Chairman Butrum: The current sign is sandblasted?
Mr. McErlane: No the current sign is etched into a couple 2 X 14 wooden boards.
Mr. Okum: Two wood boards with some letters attached to it.
Mr. Nahrup: The new sign will have the raised letters; it is not going to be a flat painted plywood sign. I apologize if the drawings make it look that way but that is not the case.
Mr. Okum: The lettering on the sign will be cut into the wood?
Mr. Nahrup: It will be raised, it will be extruded and the wood will be cut away.
Mr. Galster: Basically what you do is you mask all the graphics on there and you sandblast everything else away behind it so that the background behind the letters ends up looking like it has got an actual wood feel; that will be deeper than the face of all the logos.
Mr. Okum: We have required finials on top of signs, we have required architectural features that tie to the building, but none of this is here. I think it is basically two boxes that are etched.
Mr. Nahrup: It is a V and we are trying to get the exposure from both sides, no different than a two-sided sign.
Mr. Okum: It conforms with our zoning code for size for the site but we are typically not setting it at a setback of 0.
Mr. Galster: Can you give me the angle of this V?
Mr. Nahrup: It is not quite 90° but it is a lot more than it has shown.
Mr. Galster: It has a pretty good angle?
Mr. Nahrup: The intention is that you would see it if you were standing on Sharon Road, you would see one side of the sign, and if you go across you would see the other side of the sign; and that was the point that we were trying to pick up both streets as they intersect there. The sign that is there now is just angled at the intersection so basically if you are not coming from that direction you wont see it.
Mr. Galster: I think at 90° that is going to change the look of what we have on this billboard on top of the wall; it is going to be hard to superimpose that on the site and have it look right. Maybe even separating the two and getting some distance between them and wrapping them around the corner. I know you have limited landscaping out there because that road has continued to expand and parking has been taken; the space is dwindling away, and I understand that. To add to the cost of extra posts and actually have two signs that dont meet and wrap them out and move them a little farther apart will soften that up.
Chairman Butrum: You are trying to make it perpendicular to the roadway?
Mr. Galster: I think some of the bulk look of it will go away once you can actually superimpose the proper angle onto this picture that we are looking at. I think that even separating the two boards and creating some landscaping in between them will soften that a little bit.
Chairman Butrum: How much room is there?
Mr. Nahrup: There is not a lot, but there is enough to do what he is saying. We didnt want to make two signs because we thought that would have been an issue.
Mr. Galster: If you look at the drawing that they supplied that shows the existing sign, you cant see real well the landscape that is out there because that is about the only landscaping that is at that corner. I think we will allow you to move it down a little this way and move it around a little bit that way, landscape in between the two and accomplish the same thing. I think that would be more attractive than putting up a bigger monument sign even though we would be allowing them two sign faces, I think spreading them out a little bit is going to look better than having a typical monument sign that doesnt have any residential feel.
Ms. Ghantous: The stone wall is rounded and the sign is going to be angular; isnt that going to be awkward? Are you going to fill that in because even on this drawing it looks like there is some space there you will have your rounded wall and your angular or V shaped sign. It is really not going to look as flush as it looks here
because you are going to have round and sharp; is there going to be landscaping to soften that?
Mr. Nahrup: There is not going to be much in front of it because it is a low lying sign to begin with and we didnt elevate it, to keep the height down. There cant be much when we angle that because the landscaping would be on the sides and in the back, not much in the front.
Ms. Ghantous: It seem awkward to me; from a visual feel. I think separating it could probably be done in a lot more attractive manner.
Mr. Nahrup: What that allows us to do is to landscape between the signs a lot more. It would allow us to do more in terms of appearance with landscaping there; we are certainly willing to consider that, as well.
Mr. Okum: I am looking at moving one of the signs to the left of the signal pole and then one farther down towards the front of the building facing Route 4.
Mr. Galster: That is what I envisioned, as well.
Mr. Okum: I agree with Ms. Ghantous because you are getting away from the radius and you are getting more to the straight line of the wall and you could treat it maybe better. It is going to be very stark.
Are we going to change the signage on the building, as well?
Mr. Nahrup: That will not change.
Mr. Okum: That is hard to read; if anything would have changed, I would have thought it would have changed.
Mr. Nahrup: We talked about that, but the doctors chose to not change that specifically.
Mr. Okum: Is there any lighting, so that these can be observed during the evening?
Mr. Nahrup: There is no current lighting; and that is a good point that was not brought up in the application. Obviously having that externally light would be ideal. I dont know if we need to make a separate request on that or how that would work?
Mr. Okum: I wouldnt have a problem with having that lit with low level lighting; I think that is necessary. I would have a problem with glare affecting any of the traffic. I think it needs some work. Before I could support it I would like to see something brought forward. You do have the advantage of Planning Commission just in a couple weeks, we do have a Board of Zoning Appeals and I think this requires a variance, and that follows so that would give you an opportunity to get sign layout done and get it in before the next meeting because BZA doesnt meet until the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
Mr. Nahrup: To be clear, what I am hearing is, if we could separate it do I need to do anything more in terms of the look of the sign?
Mr. Okum: My opinion, I am just saying it is fairly stark and it is sitting on the wall; maybe that can be broken up by shrubbery and landscaping.
Mr. Bauer: The English Fog color, the color representation that we have here, is that pretty accurate?
Mr. Nahrup: It will match the building and that is the intent that the color would match the wood of the building.
Mr. Bauer: So, right now that is not an accurate representation?
Mr. Nahrup: No, it is not.
Mr. Bauer: On the last page of the handout, are those two items down there a representation of the sign?
Mr. Nahrup: Currently, yes.
Mr. Vanover: The representation I would like to see is a truer color palate. It looks like a sign that I would see on a project. What we have in front of us is lost; I would agree separating them would better serve you for what you are trying to do. You are looking at roughly a 30° angle max on that property. Maybe the color palate, if we can get a truer picture of that.
Mr. Darby: The things that will improve the presentation would be showing what the separation would be and what the separation can do for it and also the color palate. As Dave said, this is the first thing you see coming in. If you can show a rendering to have it blend into the building that would be very, very advantageous.
Mr. Galster: My only additional comment would also be on the colors, keeping them in the earth tones as opposed to bright blues and yellows and that type of thing.
Chairman Butrum: So, given that you can certainly table it to the next meeting.
(The applicant indicated he would like to table the sign request until the March 9th Planning Commission meeting.)
Mr. Okum: Based upon the request of the applicant, I move to table until the next Planning Commission meeting.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. With a unanimous aye vote the request to table was granted.
B. Chairman Butrum: The next item is Thompson Thrift revised development plan at 11580 Princeton Pike.
Mr. Ashlee Boyd: I work with Thompson Thrift development. Other members of our project team that are here are Chris Haake and Adam Fischer. We are here to re-introduce, for a lack of a better word a project that we have previously secured approvals for and I just wanted to spend a little bit of time explaining the twist and turns of this project, how we got to the point we are at tonight. What we are seeking is approval of the redevelopment of the BP parcel at Princeton Pike and Kemper Road. When we first embarked on this project back in 2008 that was the original plan to enter in to an agreement with the property owners to redevelop the hard corner with the BP parcel for the purpose of constructing of a 6200 s.f. building. At that time we had talked about the future expansion and how that would look for the balance of the property with the Tiffany Glass Building and the Ponderosa and Skyline. About the time that we were going to come in and seek final approval for that 6200 s.f. building, we lost one of our tenants for that building which immediately triggered the need to expand the project for a lot of different reasons so we switched gears and went back in and secured all of the commitments from the many parties involved: CKE, Huntington, the Cassinelli Trust; the beneficiaries to move forward with the larger project. We sought approval and everybody was on board to do the larger project; the only challenge was at that time was the economy began to melt down, most specifically the lending environment. We had two anchor tenants to occupy about 60% of the 9700 s.f. building which left about 4500 s.f. in the middle of that building that is deemed speculative retail. We were prepared to go forward and invest but after many discussion with many lenders, some of which wouldnt consider loaning money, we did have two lenders to go through the process and at the end of that both unfortunately came back and said for a the following reasons, mostly the speculative retail, that they were not willing to lend money on the larger project. So understanding that we are facing very unusual times in our industry, we regrouped and met with the trust representatives, met with the retail clients that we are working with and we are able to restructure a phased development that would start with the 3500 s.f. Vitamin Shoppe on the hard corner and then expand over time as we lease space to the full 9700 s.f. building. We have secured financing commitment for this reduced phased project. We have received an appraisal that supports that loan commitment. We have a reworked partnership agreement with the landowners that not only addresses the BP parcel, but the future expansion has always been a plan. We reworked our deal structure with our anchor tenant which is Vitamin Shoppe who is still very committed to this location. With the many complexities of this deal we are at a point now where we are ready to put shovels in the ground. Adam is going to walk you through our site plan and our phasing structure and can address any specific construction related questions or technical questions.
Mr. Adam Fischer: As Ashlee said, it is basically just a phasing of what was already approved a year ago for various reasons. (Mr. Fischer described the three phases for the project to the Planning Commission using display boards.) Phase One would start out with the 3500 s.f. Vitamin Shoppe on the corner and all of the infrastructure and all of the parking that would allow the Phase II construction to be built on what is a prepared mat; the third Phase would be taking down the Tiffany Glass building as was shown to you last year. The one change on these elevations from what was in your packet on the east, instead of the windows on this side, to not have the windows there. I tried to put together the site specific information for Phase I and the area for
Phase II would be left as a prepared building pad.
(At this time, Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments.)
Chairman Butrum: If this would occur you could not burden the rest of the parcel with the ISR shortfall and the tree shortfall in this initial plan, right?
Mr. McErlane: Yes.
Ms. McBride: The applicant has given us a phasing work schedule but we dont have any time frame associated with that and that causes a little bit of problem. There are some typo errors with regards to their impervious surface area calculations that need to be corrected. We dont have lighting, landscaping and a lot of the details that we need to allow the Commission to move forward and actually act on Phase III. I would strongly suggest that the Commission not act on any part of Phase III, it would be limited to Phase I and Phase II; any action that the Commission might take. We have asked the applicant a number of times how they are going to build initially the
Vitamin Shoppe and then there is going to be a 2700 s.f. building pad to the east of that and how is that area going to be treated because again going back to the fact that we dont have dates associated with the phasing schedule we dont know how long that pad is going to sit; I am sure they would like to see it sit a very short period of time but if the economy lasts this way it could be a longer period.
(Ms. McBride read her Staff comments.)
Chairman Butrum: Any questions for Ms. McBride?
Mr. Bauer: The 59 parking spaces that was approved of that larger scale Phase III, did that tie into that door when we approved that, with the Vitamin Shoppe door being on the west side?
Ms. McBride: That was all part of one approval and if you recall the 59 spaces was actually a reduction over what was required by our code considering that a portion of that building was going to be used for the restaurant. That was all part of that one approval, the door to the west, the parking and also part of that action was the Conditional Use to allow for the outdoor dining area for Qdoba.
(Mr. Shvegzda followed with his Staff comments.)
Mr. Shvegzda: In regards to storm water management, currently no detention is provided. The previous submittal did have a combination of functions of the pervious pavement that was going to be placed there, obviously the pervious pavement was more of a post-construction for water quality but there was a depth of gravel that had accommodated about 1/3 of what would have been the required detention for that .94 acre development area, a separate parcel but that area. Nothing is being provided here now in regards to post-construction water quality or detention. For clarification this site is less than an acre, but it is noted in the Code that you cant get out of having detention by cutting up a parcel into a size smaller than an acre. This is a redevelopment so basically the institution of detention is at the call of the Planning Commission, whether or not this would be required.
Mr. Adam Fischer: The time frame is impossible for us to tell you right now. We would certainly hope that with our various leasing associates that they have people coming in as we have Phase I started; instead of being a complete full-blown project it will be an extension, one right after the other. The condition of the pad to be left next to it, we would bring the pad up to grade as we would need to; if you have any other recommendation we could consider that, but I think that we would just seed it and continue to mow that as we maintain the rest of the property. Things to do with the residual parcel versus a previous proposal that was considered as having a ground lease basically one master parcel versus now going in to get this lot split and actually take ownership of it, that is all a function of the financing. A majority of the banks that we have been talking to didnt feel comfortable underwriting the project only knowing that we had leasehold interest in the property. We worked with the Trust and they are going to come in as partners so they will be involved in the ownership but we will too, it will be a separate entity, the Trust still maintains ownership of the rest of the parcel and I would hope they would be willing to place those limitations/restrictions on the balance of the property. Whether or not Phase III is conceptual, Phase III is what was presented and approved a year ago; if there was something that I should have submitted to show that to you, if you needed to have that whole package again, I apologize I did not do that but that is what Phase III is. Whether or not we could do away with the east side driveway, around Phase I and Phase II and perhaps add some additional green space, Mr. McErlane sent a hand sketch to me a couple days ago and I would say that we would certainly be in favor of doing that. We would consider keeping the area for the parallel parking in the back, we have 31 spaces, 6200 s.f., that is the minimum that we would need for our retail uses. If we kept those extra four spaces that might help a little to get the staff to park in the back. That also takes care of the driveway issue with that flare of the driveway hanging out over into the other residual parcel. On the door on the west side of the building, that does not work with the Vitamin Shoppe floor plan; they have floor to ceiling casework that goes right in front of those windows and there would be no way to control anyone coming in grabbing something and walking out. The cash registers are on the other side of the casework. The only way Vitamin Shoppe would agree to putting those doors on that side of the building was if they could remain locked and just be an emergency exit only; I think this was explained to me and Planning Commission wanted those doors to be left unlocked and used as a secondary customer entrance. I dont know what all that discussion was at that time, but recently speaking with Vitamin Shoppe that doesnt work for them.
Ms. McBride: As I continue to look at these building elevations that we are again seeing just tonight, Phase III does not have the awnings on the Vitamin Shoppe, on the front elevation and on the west building elevation.
Mr. Fischer: Yes. That is a mistake, I just noticed that.
Ms. McBride: The pilaster on the rear elevation at the east end of Phase I, on the Phase III drawings somehow get shifted back to the west. There are a lot of discrepancies between these building elevations. I have concerns about us blanket approving these because these three boards do not match.
Mr. Fischer: I would say that these are not final architectural plans. They are just concept renderings right now to try to show you the three phases. This was the plan that was submitted, although I did not know that the awnings were not on there until you pointed that out. The other two were to show where the building would be broken up and if we made a couple mistakes in that then we would make it right when we actually put some building plans together, which these are not.
Ms. McBride: That Phase III board is not what was submitted to Staff; it is not the submission that was made to this Commission, the board that you have for Phase III, the awnings are missing the landscaping is missing; that board is different from anything we have seen for Phase III. Relative to the Phase III, at least this part of the Staff feels so strongly to the Commission not acting on that; the application that we got for Staff review, which this Commission did not see, significantly reduced the landscaping on the site, it significantly reduced the building locations, the back of the building was just a straight shot and there was a lot of changes to the site and to the building design. We came back with numerous comments and said here is what we approved previously, these are the discrepancies; without having a firm commitment from them, in terms of the landscaping, the lighting, etc. for Phase III, I dont think the Commission should act on it because what was submitted previously didnt match what we had approved in January.
Mr. Fischer: Did you not get a copy of this cover letter with this most recent submittal? There is a paragraph in there that says that we intend to comply with all previously agreed to contingencies for this project with one exception and that being the double doors on the west side. If I am missing something, if I havent presented enough information we can certainly pull that together. I was trying to indicate that we realize that everybody looked at this large building plan a year ago and really the only thing that we are doing is starting with the smaller building and perhaps going to a medium size building and ending up with the one we all looked at thirteen months ago. All of the rest of the landscaping and the lighting requirements and those types of things would still be in effect along the way.
Mr. Galster: When we started out and we were at Phase I, Phase II and then to
Phase III eventually and now we are backing from Phase III to maybe Phase II to maybe Phase I, when it goes back into the things that we were negotiating and the things that we were considering as far as trees and impervious surface ratios and all those things when we were looking at a one phase project that included all three phases there are considerations that wouldnt exist to come to those same conclusions; consolidations of sites, moving of driveway isles, moving of curb cuts, there is so much more that is different; we were able to look at this complete building and able to come up with a program that worked and was approved. Now what we are going to do is take all those same approvals that were granted based on all those things that the three buildings put together created and we are going to chop it off and keep everything that was there and just do building I; that doesnt meet the same intent as what I would have approved if we would have been looking at the three single Phase building in the first place. It made me believe that the only thing we consider right now is Phase I, not Phase II because there is nothing in this submittal on these drawings or anything else that locks us into a second Phase. If they come back and say they want to expand this building then we can look at Phase II. I dont want to speak for everyone on this Board as to what happened when we originally had the single building idea, but I think in general I would sum that up as we had the proverbial ten pounds of sugar trying to stuff it in a five pound bag. If we look at building I again; I dont know that we are not back in that same boat all over again. The issues and concessions that we were making toward the good plan when we were looking at the complete building are different from what we are looking at in this single building. I think this building needs to have four fronts, because it does have four fronts on that location. If we go back to just one building we have maybe two fronts and we have one front with an entrance, a second front that has no entrance and a blank third side and a blank fourth side. One of the biggest intersections in this City and to make it look like you are looking at the back of the building at one of the most prominent intersections in this City, I think is a mistake. The considerations that were made when it was the complete building, I dont think are the same when it is one building. I am going to need to look at this as one stand-alone building to start with.
Mr. Vanover: I would echo many of the sentiments. It seems that Mr. Galster and I agree completely the signals from the surrounding entities lessen the solidity in moving this to a total completion. There are more questions out there now. We are back to where we started and I am very disheartened and I understand that you have no control over the real estate market, but I also know that the commercial bubble hasnt begun to pop yet so that concerns me even more. That is one of the gateway corners in the City and to have that sitting there.
Mr. Cassinelli: It would look better than what it looks like now.
Mr. Vanover: I wont disagree with that.
Mr. Cassinelli: You have to use your imagination.
Mr. Vanover: Unfortunately, I cant pull imagination in. I have to go with what is presented to me and what is in front of me and make decisions off of that.
Mr. Boyd: Is there something about that building that gives you concern?
Mr. Vanover: The size of the building, the parking spaces that are going in there right now just fit the square footage that is going in. When we expand the building, where are we going to pull more parking spaces?
Mr. Fischer: Do you mean on the 2700 s.f.?
Mr. Vanover: Yes, sir. We have curb cuts that overflow boundary lines.
Mr. Boyd: The spaces that we show actually meet code for the 6200 s.f. There are no more required for just retail. If we want to do restaurant or medical we would have to get a variance. Tonight, if you want to just focus on the Vitamin Shoppe building and then come back if and when we develop the 2700 s.f. expansion to show you what that would look like, we would certainly be open to that. We were trying to show you as much as we could tonight to show you that we thought through not only Phase I, but Phase II and Phase III, we certainly would not be investing our time effort and money if it was only Vitamin Shoppe. Our focus and our commitment to the partnership with the Trust is to develop this entire site; that is what we intend to do as part of our deal with them. As Adam has indicated, we are willing to work with the buffering between the Tiffany Glass building and what we are calling Phase II, as well as the landscape area that Mr. McErlane has shown on the back and I think that gets us pretty close to the impervious surface ratio that is required and eliminates a vast majority of the variances. Shifting that drive isle is certainly something that we can do, as well.
Chairman Butrum: I think it would be tough without Staff looking at something that is going to change. I appreciate the fact that you did look at it in phases. I think everyone up here is aware of economic conditions and are sympathetic to that aspect of it. If we were to look at Phase I uniquely, I think we would need to be able to do our homework again and let Staff do their homework again. In my time on Planning Commission, I dont recall voting on or approving an application that had this many request for relief; and as Mr. Galster pointed out that was for a much grander plan that was much more appropriate for that location. Here we are being asked for similar levels of relief for something that doesnt feel like it merits it. Even though our hope would be that Phase III would happen and your hope would be that Phase III happens, we cant forecast when that would happen so we have to look at Phase I as if it would be the only thing that might occur. If you were going to propose something different for Phase I, that might ask for less relief, I would want to make sure that Staff had a chance to review that and make their comments on that and address that specifically.
Mr. Boyd: I guess in our minds Phase I is really a 6200 s.f. building of which 3500 is going to be constructed. I think that incorporating the suggestions that Anne and Bill had gets us down to just two or three variances.
Mr. Okum: That is only on your impervious surface ratio.
Mr. Boyd: No, for setbacks and certain things.
Mr. McErlane: It would eliminate the setback requirements from the rear property line for pavement and the east property line for pavement.
(According to Annes list, it potentially eliminates 8-(B), 8-(C), 8-(D).)
Based on what the applicant had mentioned tonight, they would still need 8-(D), in terms of putting the parallel parking spaces in there.
Mr. Okum: Does that calculate into his totals?
Mr. McErlane: No, that is not part of the 31. But if you eliminate the drive-thru it makes it very cumbersome to be able to use those as parallel parking spaces.
Mr. Boyd: We wouldnt need the parallel parking spaces.
Mr. McErlane: As far as 8-(B) in Annes list, we dont know for certain until we run the numbers, but it was fairly close. It looks like the variance for the setback 8-(F) for the dumpster enclosure, it can be pulled off the property line now and then there is enough room to do the landscaping around that, as well. So 8-(F) and 8-(G) could be eliminated.
Mr. Okum: I am just trying to understand what the variances would be if it does go to Board of Zoning Appeals and there were relief requirements.
Mr. Boyd: We know the impervious surface ratio is going to be close, we would certainly make a commitment that we would meet that.
Mr. Okum: Your approach to this is right; this is really part of getting it built right now. In order for you to get the financing, a deconsolidation and realignment of parcels is necessary. Where you typically want your parcels consolidated, we are doing the opposite in order for the financing. Ultimately, will they become one again?
Mr. Boyd: Yes. When we expand to Phase III, we would re-plat.
Mr. Okum: So that would be the condition of the restrictions on the property that they would be reconsolidated?
Mr. Boyd: Right.
Mr. Okum: Where is the storm water going to be?
Mr. Vanover: There is no storm water.
Mr. Okum: Why is there no storm water?
Mr. Shvegzda: In regard to any storm water detention; no, there is not a current submittal.
Mr. Okum: Did we give them relief on storm water?
Mr. Shvegzda: What we looked at last time was the providing of pervious pavement to deal with the post-construction water quality, which was also utilized to provide a portion of the detention, approximately 1/3 of what it would have been in that last developmental area.
Mr. Okum: If we are looking at Phase I and Phase II, does our Code currently say that they would require storm water management?
Mr. Shvegzda: Since it is a redevelopment, it allows Planning Commission to adjust that accordingly.
Mr. Okum: So we can require it or waive it?
Mr. Shvegzda: Yes.
Mr. Okum: Basically because it is a consolidation of properties that are going to be utilized as one big unit, they are going to use pervious materials versus tanks in the ground.
The monument sign keeps jumping out at me; is that monument sign based upon the size of Phase I, Phase II and Phase III or is that monument based upon Phase I?
Chairman Butrum: All of the phases.
Mr. Okum: Is it going to grow as the project grows?
Mr. Fischer: No, it is the same sign; it allows for multiple tenants.
Mr. Okum: Why should we give you that big of a sign for Phase I?
Mr. Fischer: This whole area would be multiple panel opportunities for area tenants.
Mr. Okum: Lets say Phase II doesnt get built and it is a separate parcel sitting on Kemper Road and 5/3 decides they want to sell that off; what keeps that person from wanting driveway access on Kemper Road and another sign on Kemper Road for that development, for Phase II?
Mr. Fischer: The land for Phase II is part of that same land.
Mr. Okum: Phase III could be sold off?
Mr. Boyd: As part of our partnership agreement with the Trust we are obligated to diligently pursue the development of the entire project. We have tried to maintain the spirit of what you had already approved and had we thought about the concern that you have brought up, I think we would have approached it a little differently. The vision of what was approved is consistent with what we are showing you tonight; I think it is something that the community can feel good about.
Mr. Okum: If we go back to the Tiffany Glass building; if that were removed we would have another pad sitting there for potential development. Would it not be favorable to make that inclusive to encourage that?
Mr. Boyd: The land that building sits on is subleased; CKE has the master lease to the balance of that property of what we call Phase III. Huntington Bank subleases the Tiffany Glass parcel and then there is a building loan for 5/3 for the improvements of that building that Huntington Bank is obligated to make payments on each year. At the end of eight years their lease goes away and they have no ability to extend any options to that building. We have active tenant negotiations of about 80% of the building for Phase III. I wish I could give you a guarantee but we certainly cant do that. It is something we are working on and there is real activity.
Mr. Okum: If the landowners that own basically all of this and are collecting money on it want the whole thing to go, eventually then it would be to their best interest to give some relief so that process can occur. If there is an eight year lease on that thing that means you are landlocked for eight years without doing Phase III.
Mr. Boyd: Phase III originally was going to be done; we had an agreement to assume CKE leasehold interest in the property so we would become the master leasers then we were going to release Huntington from their obligations and tear that building down and construct Phase III. Since we are not able to build Phase III, all at once, there are not enough economic incentives.
Mr. Okum: So it is the same owners and the same owners want it all to happen?
Mr. Boyd: Absolutely.
Chairman Butrum: Huntington Bank is actively looking to lease the Tiffany Glass building?
Mr. Boyd: Yes. They are paying rent on that building.
Chairman Butrum: They would love to have an eight year tenant?
Mr. Boyd: The only thing better would be to tear up their lease.
Chairman Butrum: It is in their best interest to hope somebody gets there, they probably dont care who it is, whether it is you or somebody else leasing that building, but if they get someone else there then that probably kicks into what
Mr. Okum was talking about the eight year delay before Phase III could possibly occur.
Mr. Boyd: The challenge that they have there is the condition that building is in; it needs significant improvement. It is very difficult to get a quality tenant to commit for that term without investing dollars. Tenants dont want to invest dollars in something they can only tie up for eight years. We consistently stay close with Huntington and they know what is going on and they certainly understand the situation; I think they still want to cooperate with us.
Chairman Butrum: It seems like their incentives are different from yours. They are paying money on something that has no value whatsoever to them right now and if I were them I would take the first person that came in and would take it.
Mr. McErlane: Relative to parcels and consolidation of parcels; currently the property is a 3.2 acre parcel, one parcel. When Planning Commission considered this application back in January of last year it was going to continue to be a 3.2 acre parcel and the developer was going to acquire a ground lease to construct a 9700 s.f. building. Todays application is carving out a .7 acre parcel from that 3.2. The concern for consolidation that Mr. Shvegzda brought up is if it expands to 9700 s.f., rather than create another parcel there, that now has a property line that runs through the building, those two parcels would have to be consolidated so we would still end up with two parcels; it would be different than .7 and 2.5 that is being proposed tonight but it would still be two parcels; it would be a larger development parcel and a smaller residual parcel. I dont think it is the applicants intention to reconsolidate everything back to 3.2.
Chairman Butrum: One of Mr. Galsters points that I agree with; I understand why the east elevation is finished the way it is, I understand that would be optimum from the construction and the impact of the future tenants. I know it is not the back of the building but it looks like it is the back of the building.
Mr. Boyd: We could put glass in there, that is not a problem. We were so focused on wanting to do the whole thing, but we could certainly put glass in.
Chairman Butrum: There are still issues; personally I still feel nervous about basically approving something that we are going to be seeing aesthetic changes, we are going to be seeing plan changes, we are going to be seeing landscape changes. To me, it feels like I am having to use my imagination a lot more than usual when we are trying to approve a plan.
Mr. Okum: I am really stretched to come up with a motion for this; normally it is pretty clear cut and it doesnt have as many unknowns that I can put into a phrase that would properly make a strong enough motion that it would hold validity and be clear to the applicant and be clear to the City to follow, because there are so many unknowns; how is the pad going to be handled, how is the landscaping going to be finished out and so forth. I dont necessarily agree with Mr. Galster that we have to consider Phase I and forget about Phase II, we have to look at it as Phase I and II being built in stages and I would rather see it that way because of the size of the parcel and how the building sits on the lot. Ideally, if we were only approving a 3500 s.f. building on that lot and forget the rest, would that building sit there on the other side of the grass? No, it would be shifted and more centered on that site giving more open turning radius. As long as they can get to that point we have to look at Phase I and Phase II. With the conditions that we are going to need to tie this down, I am going to ask Staff to be more regimented on their recommendations.
Ms. McBride, instead of considerations I would like it to be recommendations that we can isolate into a motion that ties this together. I am not ready to vote on this tonight; If I were asked to vote tonight I would vote No because there are just too many unknowns. We have another Planning Commission Meeting in just two weeks, if you can get the answers back to Staff, I think we can bring it to the floor for consideration; it still requires five votes. I didnt hear a lot of positive comments coming off of the Planning Commission so I dont think it will carry a majority vote.
Mr. Boyd: I wanted to clarify with Adam, when the Planning Commission was going through the variances you had isolated two variances that were still needed, that would be 8-(A), 8-(E) and 8-(H)?
Mr. McErlane: 8-(E) is one that Ms. McBride added relative to what happens to that area where you removed the pavement on the Tiffany Glass site. Her point is once you remove the pavement you have eliminated what might be considered a non-conforming situation and to put it back in, you have made it non-conforming again. 8-(E) is still there as long as it is still up in the air as to what you intend to do with that portion where we removed the pavement off of the Tiffany Art Glass site.
Mr. Okum: We as Planning Commission Members need to make a decision whether we are going to waive the requirement for our water regulations for storm water or are we going to allow it to go based upon the overall big parcel approach and include Phase III into that consideration. At this point, I am assuming that Phase III is a pipe-dream; I will stay with Phase I and Phase II. As long as that old bank building is sitting there I dont think Phase III is going to happen for a long time. Over all, are we going to require the water regulations for storm water? Because we are in this position, unless they come up with alternative water control methods to deal with it, I think that they should at least make some efforts to meet part of the requirements.
Mr. Vanover: I would echo Mr. Okums concern on the water retention. I think if we dont see something then when we get the final product we could have problems and that is a major thoroughfare that I would hate to see water get dumped on and then we have to deal with it after the fact. The other concern that the applicant stated that we are asked to make a final decision on conceptual drawings; I dont ever recall that being asked of this Board in the tenure that I have sit. If it was brought to a vote right now I could not support it.
Mr. Darby: As a person that has not had the advantage or disadvantage of working through the initial plan, I would say that my interest would be to see a product that is going to be part of the shovel-ready project. Something that is going to look good enough so that the last phase is never implemented it would work for the City.
Was the water retention issue not discussed when you talked about the total project, because it would appear to me that it would have been more of an issue for the total project than what we would be asked to approve the next time they come to us?
Mr. Shvegzda: Looking back through the previous information that we had on this site, there was information supplied that noted a Phase I, Phase II and Phase III detention volume and this was just arrived at for the Phase I and II part of the development that consisted of original submittal that was for that particular part and that was based on 1/3 of what would have been the required total for that piece. That is kind of how the remainder of the Phases was noted in a chart that was submittal from the engineers for the project.
Mr. McErlane: The January 2009 plan did include detention.
Mr. Shvegzda: Just for that initial piece.
Mr. Boyd: On a redevelopment in the ordinance it does state that anything under an acre does not require, but on a redevelopment, that kicks in a different part of the ordinance?
Mr. Shvegzda: It also notes that is the whole scenario of the undivided parcel; the whole parcel is greater than an acre and is now being subdivided into a parcel that is less than an acre. It is a redevelopment that triggers in the standpoint of Planning Commission having the option to require some sort of detention.
Mr. Boyd: Would the on-site detention be enhanced by the redevelopment of just the BP parcel versus what exist today? In other words, if this doesnt go forward then in its current state we are improving the situation by a redevelopment even if we dont put any underground storage, just by nature of having landscaping and more impervious surface area for the corner; would that be fair to say?
Mr. Shvegzda: If you could provide that documentation that would show that, we could take a look at that.
Mr. Boyd: With our budget and the project, we are not going to be able to absorb the cost of any sort of underground storage for just the corner. What we would be asking the Planning Commission to look at is whatever we do is going to be a marked improvement of what is there today. The storm water coming on site today is basically pavement and there is no landscaping. I can say with a fair degree of certainty we would not be able to accommodate any on-site detention. We can certainly take a look at it but I am concerned knowing our financing commitment.
Chairman Butrum: As it stands two members would vote negatively tonight; taking into account and the comments tonight would you reconsider something that is more indicative of what we have talked about and would you like to table for the next meeting?
Mr. Boyd: Yes.
Mr. Okum: Based upon the discussion and the applicants agreement to table. I move to table this to the next Planning Commission Meeting.
Mr. Darby seconded the motion and with a unanimous aye vote the request to table was granted.
C. Chairman Butrum: The final item of New Business is Major Modification to a Preliminary PUD Plan, Princeton Plaza Shopping Center redevelopment at
11711 Princeton Pike.
Mr. John Gilhart: I am representing Princeton Plaza. With me tonight is
Clark Gilhart and Rick Gilhart.
In June or July we came before you with an overall concept plan of what we would like to see ultimately happen to the shopping center over a period of time. We took into account ingress and egress, signs, parking and landscaping, lot islands and a lot of other things. Planning Commission said that they were generally acceptable to the direction that we were headed on that concept plan. We have more detailed plans and we are here tonight with foam boards and a PowerPoint presentation. The major items that we are here to discuss tonight are the parking lot reconfiguration, ingress and egress; the number of stalls, landscape islands within the parking lot, signs, light poles, fixtures and lampposts. Along with the signs we will have proposed some LED light-emitting diode message boards to replace our existing message boards, proposed tenant signs and entry signs, way-finding signs; the banners that you approved last time, we have partially implemented those on the light poles, outdoor dining entertainment area, trash receptacles, benches, planters and building elevation changes.
(At this time a PowerPoint presentation was shown by the applicant to the Planning Commission Members.)
Mr. John Gilhart: There are a few things I would like to go over later, this is going to be a bit of the same scenario with a little bit of phasing in this project but we do own the entire parcel and therefore there wont be an issue with that. Banks are not handing money out and this is a very ambitious project to say the least to get it to the concept plan initially. There are a few things we would like to take out of this meeting so that we can get going in the Spring.
(At this time Mr. John Gilhart used the foam board and PowerPoint to demonstrate proposed signage.)
The larger panels, like you would see with other shopping centers would have the major tenants on them and then we propose LED boards to advertise some of the smaller tenants that we have within the shopping center and some of the larger tenants, too. The number one request that we get from all of the tenants is more signs.
You will see a couple names; The Plaza at Tri-County, Tri-County Town Center, Princeton Plaza; we are not sure which way we want to go. We are trying to come up with something that works within the theme and is proportionate to the project and works well with our tenants.
(At this time Mr. McErlane, Ms. McBride and Mr. Shvegzda read their Staff comments.)
Mr. Okum: I understand the economic situation and the phasing is pretty critical, obviously the box out on 747 is the biggest eyesore; when was your plan of building elevation revisions to that building because I think that is the key building element to your development. If that is redone I think that will be a catalyst to the rest of the development.
Mr. John Gilhart: There are so many things involved in that particular building. The cost to do that, we wouldnt do one side, we would want to do all four sides. We have some lease agreements there that are a bit of a problem; Office Depot, I believe, has about three years left on that and we have to figure out if they are leaving or staying or if we will relocate them to another store. I would like to see Princeton Bowl relocated on 30,000 s.f., in a different type of center, a hybrid sports bar but that is not the immediate thing we can get started on because of the cost factor and the lease agreements. Our intention is to stabilize the Shopping Center immediately, that is our intention. We are trying to get something to where we can get started on a few things, as far as the signage.
Mr. Okum: I agree that signage drive visitors, I think we have an abundant sign package here that needs to be worked on quite a bit. I am not totally adverse to
considering two digital display boards for that site within certain standards, as far as the Code that we have recommended to Council and Council is considering. I was at the Plaza today and I was cheered up with the Happy Holidays on the banners; I was a little embarrassed. We are in here talking about a major sign package where signage is critical to a mall.
Mr. Rick Gilhart: They just arrived today.
Mr. Okum: Yes, but it is almost March 1st; I would have rather seen the signs off.
Mr. John Gilhart: I came in here and I addressed that immediately; and that is ridiculous.
Mr. Okum: I think the signage for First Watch and Sprint is a great idea; when I look at a sign I look at where I am viewing it from and your signs are based upon where they are mounted on the ground, I think that the 35 on the sign that is in front of Office Depot probably is going to be under the 25 from line of sight from 747, now you are going up a grade but a relative understanding of what that sign really means. So the signs need a lot of work. I agree with Staffs comments that you have gone to a lot of fixed panels but you have spent a lot of money on digital signs and the digital signs we know because the Committee of the Planning Commission worked on that legislation for months to try to come up with legislation that would provide that ability for businesses like yours to be able to have them. We also understand that there is a pain threshold to making that investment and fixed sign panels. We were hoping that the quality of the digital sign will be at a quality level that when put in place is not a red-dot light like you see on a Walgreens sign, but it is equally of a good quality as you saw in your presentation tonight but on the other hand it is equally as quality as a translucent panel that you see for LaRosas. Those are the two items that I am concerned with, the abundance of signage. I think we can work out the impervious surface ratio, the reduction of the parking; everybody knows the malls dont need the parking that we thought they did fifteen years ago. Your development is posed for the better benefit, because you have the right type of mall versus an enclosed mall. I am discouraged by the fact that we still have the Skeffingtons, TCBY building sticking out with the parking spaces that are backing out into the flow of traffic; it has been since March of last year that we met and there is still no progress on an interconnect or a concept plan for the interconnect for the parcels of Comp USA and your development.
Mr. John Gilhart: I gave you a concept plan.
Mr. Okum: But now it is not on here.
Mr. John Gilhart: I took that stuff off here because quite frankly I dont know how to approach this, I dont know if we have to have every little detail of the entire place, or the end game of what we want to get approval on, or if we can do it in phases.
Mr. Okum: the purpose of the PUD is to put it together into a cohesive package that has a flow to the process. Those are critical elements to the redevelopment of the site, accessibility and flow of traffic and connectivity between it and the other developments.
Mr. John Gilhart: We cant force Casto to open up a drive. We can go back and forth with this for the next five years or we can try to come to a consensus and work towards a goal and start implementing things that would get us to that. We have a lease agreement with Kentucky Fried Chicken and we have a lease agreement with Monroe; we would like to redevelop that, we cant tear those down; we would have to relocate them first and then tear the buildings down. Also in return for doing a connector we would have to gain ground up front from Casto; so these are things beyond our control. We would like to connect with Value City; if you tell us how to get there we will move in that direction.
Mr. Okum: How many years are on the Monroe lease?
Mr. John Gilhart: The year 2012, or 2014.
Mr. Okum: We would love to see this happen, but if you dont do the foundation for that connectivity between those sites then it will never happen.
Mr. John Gilhart: We did that on the concept plan.
Mr. Okum: It is not on this plan. This is what we are being asked to approve.
Chairman Butrum: Obviously you cant commit that there will be a connector because there is another party involved. I think what Dave is saying is can we get a commitment to the location on your end?
Mr. John Gilhart: We would put a connector there if the Northland connector doesnt interfere with the connection to the property to the north, if we can cooperate with Casto and if we can get property in trade to square up the lots so that we can put a building on there because now we have taken the drive-through in front of Skeffingtons.
Mr. Okum: What I am hearing, Mr. Gilhart, is that what you want to do right now is signs. Signs are not the only thing that will make that development work; accessibility, connectivity, those items are going to help that process.
Mr. John Gilhart: If I had five million bucks in my hand we could go in and do this whole thing, get all the agreements and everything else and be done. I dont have five million bucks, no one is going to lend me five million bucks. I didnt want to come in here and promise you stuff that I cant deliver, I wanted to come in here and say, this is what we can deliver, and this is what we can do. I have a whole list of items that I can address as far as the traffic studies, photometric plan, a lot of that stuff but we would like to come out of here tonight with some type of general agreement that we are moving in the right direction and that we can get started on a few things to start turning this thing around.
Mr. Okum: I have not found a Planning Commission Member that is not excited about your redevelopment. I have always felt that the foundation is the most important thing and part of that foundation is accessibility to your development. It is not always visibility and it is not always how good a sign looks. There are inherent problems with your development right now that are making that difficult; I know the intersection by Borders, you wanted to clip off the corner of the building to get it pushed back to open that up a little bit and you didnt hear any objections from any of us.
Mr. John Gilhart: We have taken some of that out because quite frankly we just cant do it at this time.
Mr. Okum: We are talking re-facing the building and everything
Mr. John Gilhart: We cannot guarantee that everything that we would like to do is going to happen because the financing is not there and with the economic climate, I dont know what is going to happen tomorrow. We can do the best we can to work together to get to that point.
Mr. Okum: What I am looking at there is the way it will ultimately be ten, fifteen years from now (referring to the foam board presentations).
Mr. John Gilhart: Actually it is not, it is missing the Northland Connector and it is missing a connector to the Casto property, the connection with Value City and it is missing the potential of tearing down Monroe and KFC and relocating, and widening of the parcel; that would be the ultimate goal.
Mr. Okum: Right. We all agree.
Mr. John Gilhart: The question is, how do we get there?
Mr. Okum: Getting those issues that I have mentioned and getting them into a comprehensive plan. We know it wont happen tomorrow; but if you do not take the Skeffington's building out of the plan now, that connection will never happen.
Mr. John Gilhart: That is not true. We can actually take out the parking stalls there and that would go right straight across through the KFC by Pet Smart; but that does not mean that those buildings cant come down.
Mr. Galster: Are you willing to make a commitment to work with the adjoining property owner to make a cross-access agreement that is not contingent upon gaining some other land in order to make it happen?
Mr. John Gilhart: We cant do that because we lose too much.
Mr. Galster: What you are really saying to us is that short of gaining some other financial gain you dont have the ability
Mr. John Gilhart: It is not the financial gain, it is the tradeoff of land.
Mr. Galster: So that is understandable that there needs to be a little bit of tweaking of that cross-access location in order to make it work for both parties. And I understand that there are lease commitments that are going to require it to happen in certain amount of phasings. What we are trying to find out is what is a realistic expectation as to how we make this happen, given the fact that you have leases that go into 2014?
Mr. John Gilhart: And we need the lease until 2014 in order to make it happen.
What we would like is to come out of here with is to get some signage squared away and get that all cleaned up and everybody agreed and on board; that will give an initial impact, get in here and apply the colors, get First Watch cleaned up and get that pole sign out of there, work with First Watch and Sprint to do this elevation.
Mr. Galster: The only part you want to commit to now is the sign phase?
Mr. John Gilhart: No; basically commit to the signs. The LED boards will not eliminate the need for the fixed anchor tenant signs and quite frankly, I believe we have been deficient throughout the years as far as the anchor signs.
(At this time Mr. Gilhart, with photos demonstrated other business development signs in the area.)
We are looking to do four large or eight small ones.
Mr. Galster: I dont think that LED boards replace the fixed signs of your major anchor tenants. When you are looking at 48 fixed-panel signs, that is a lot.
Mr. McErlane: What they are actually proposing is 32, if you dont count both sides.
Mr. John Gilhart: You are talking about two primary signs.
Mr. Galster: What you have here is really three primary signs and you will have the two LEDs. What about the Princeton Bowl sign on Kemper Road, can it be incorporated into the First Watch and Sprint pylon, and eliminate that?
Mr. John Gilhart: That is the only signage for Princeton Bowl.
Mr. Galster: Tell me again, what it is that you want?
Mr. John Gilhart: We would like to see the Princeton Bowl sign replaced on 747, we dont want to mess with the ingress / egress right now; we have a question we want resolved, we think we have an easement with the shopping center with the owner of the parcel to have a sign there. The other issue is going to be if Frischs gives him a hard time because they dont think we can put it there and it might block their sign.
We would propose to tear down the Princeton Bowl sign and that would be our whole new entry sign; it would not be a problem for a future connector for Northland Boulevard, for future development there.
Mr. Galster: Where is the Frischs sign in relationship to that sign, behind it as you are going southbound?
Mr. John Gilhart: You can actually still see it, if you are over in the far right lane you can see it.
Mr. Galster: Frischs would be in front of your sign?
Mr. John Gilhart: No, it is behind it.
Mr. Galster: Is your agreement with Frischs to have their own pole sign, or can they be the top board on the new center sign?
Mr. John Gilhart: Yes, until 2012; that might be a possibility of incorporating that.
Mr. Galster: Here is what I am willing to do, I am willing to propose to this Board that we look at the two LED signs and then rework the other one if we can replace the Princeton Bowl and put Frischs name on the top sign of the LED board. I have now lost two pole signs and replaced them with one very nice sign; go down to the corner and rework the one at the corner, given I dont like the exact layout of it but still it is a workable alternate.
Mr. John Gilhart: If you do that and put Frischs on there, now what you have done is taken a client spot for another anchor and Frischs is right there on the road. We are trying to leave Jareds, Frischs, and First Watch.
Mr. Galster: But Jareds is far enough away from this entrance.
Mr. John Gilhart: There is something that says we cant relocate this until 2012. We can move that back.
Mr. Galster: To me, Jareds is far enough away that they are not standing on top of each other. If you put this new pylon sign with the LED board and everything else where the Princeton Bowl is, right in front of the Frischs, we have them literally stacked on top of each other; there might be forty feet. We cant have pole upon pole upon pole; they dont even function.
Mr. John Gilhart: I would not give Frischs a spot on the new sign because it takes away from the very purpose of those fixed panels, which is to put the major anchors on there.
Mr. Galster: You are going to have to make a presentation of what it is that you want for us to approve tonight, because I am having a hard time with that sign being gone and the new sign in front of Frischs 40 away, then another 200 is a Jareds sign and then another 300 is this sign, they stack up and they remind me of Colerain Avenue if in fact we do not start incorporating some of these poles together then it gets too confusing.
Mr. John Gilhart: But Colerain Avenue has business; there is a balance.
Here is what we propose: we would like come out of here tonight and it doesnt have to be perfectly the dimensions and everything else, we would like to have the primary signs; which is one to replace the Princeton Bowl; the other primary sign would replace the Kemper Road and the First Watch / Sprint; renovate the existing pylon sign and we would like to eliminate the message board sign at Eyemart and not put one in its place.
Mr. Galster: You want the two LEDs, one at 747 and one on Kemper; rework the existing sign that is at the main intersection corner; one new First Watch / Sprint sign at the new location along Kemper Road, those are the four signs that you want to add. The ones that will be removed will be the Princeton Bowl sign on 747 and the existing message board at Eyemart on Princeton Pike and the existing First Watch sign comes down.
Mr. John Gilhart: That would clear this whole visibility up.
Mr. Galster: So that is all you are requesting tonight, signage?
Mr. John Gilhart: Also the out-building
Mr. Galster: My position is we have enough pylon space to put those signs on those pylons until the out-building is redone and when that is redone then additional storefront signs can be put on at that time or at the point that you need additional pylon space for new tenants that you may have. I am not in a position to give you all the signs that you want up there, until in fact there is a need for more sign space. Otherwise we will end up with just a bunch of blank panels or we will have six LaRosas signs on those panels.
Mr. John Gilhart: What we will do is put tenants up there but they will not be AT&T, Cricket and Ashe Dental.
Mr. Galster: So you are also asking for these additional on-building signs with the understanding that you would then take them off once that out-building is redone and then remount them according to the façade change that you have proposed here: and that is what you are asking here?
Mr. John Gilhart: And we would like to take our paint scheme and apply it to the entire shopping center.
Mr. Galster: We dont have the ability to see what that is going to look like; so we are going to have to see something. I am not opposed to giving fresh paint and a new look and all of that stuff but we would still have to see it.
Mr. John Gilhart: I would have to provide you with existing as-built elevations with those color changes on them.
Mr. Galster: And then we could consider that at that time.
Mr. John Gilhart: I would like to bring that back in a couple of weeks.
Mr. Galster: Now my personal opinion is, when it comes to the building signs for Eyemart, Ashe Dental, Cricket and AT&T, I think that they can be utilized on different panels plus they already have their storefront signage. I would not be in favor of allowing these because I think that they can be incorporated into the other panels even if there are only two pylon signs; until such time as rework of the façade is completed.
Mr. John Gilhart: The problem is we wont put the Cricket and the AT&T and the Ashe Dental on the sign because the other ones need it more than they do because they have the better visibility.
Mr. Galster: But there are 32 panels there and you dont have 32 tenants in the development.
Mr. John Gilhart: That sign has eight signs on two sides that is not sixteen, that is eight.
Mr. Vanover: If you are coming back in two weeks I think it would behoove everybody to get some dimensions, get some fine tuning done. You could do your visuals for the paint on the existing; there is not going to be any shovels turning in two weeks. I would agree with Mr. Galster on the back of that out-building, I am not convinced that is necessary and quite honestly those tenants may not be in that building. My comments on this is I am very disappointed in the loss of that center feature, I thought that really set the development off and added a fresh look to it. Essentially we have got a few planters and a few more trees but we still have that massive sea of asphalt in that parking lot. I think it would tie the two sides together and invite pedestrian movement rather than vehicular movement; I think that would add another fresh touch. I like the façade look and I will echo what Mr. Okum said, I was excited with the conceptual presentation and now I am a little less because I think the product has taken a step back in freshness.
Mr. John Gilhart: I made some notes on the island; we have been talking to some substantial tenants or rather large anchors and that is a problem for them where that is, as far as parking; they are telling us that is where they need to park and that would interfere. That is not to say that we couldnt come back and do some type of other island configuration maybe running across the other way or implement something out there. Anne used to argue for more parking and now they are arguing just the opposite.
Ms. Ghantous: I actually would prefer to see these signs on this out-building than just to see the back of this ugly building and if we are eventually talking about putting the signage up there, what does it matter if it is up there now? We are going in that direction for the sake of getting tenants in there, so it looks better than the back of this building. It may keep some tenants and we are going that way anyway. As far as the signage, I say the sooner the better; it is going to freshen that up and make it look like things are going on in Springdale, that there is building and there is activity in Springdale and possibly get some more tenants. I have spent 25 years in retail management and I hear what you are saying in what you have to do to get those tenants in there and keep the ones that you have; activity begets activity. If we are saying that Colerain Avenue looks better than 747, that is shameful. We need to make a move.
Mr. Bauer: The elimination of that center island was a disappointment to me, too. The financial aspects of that and the parking, I dont understand that but I will take your word for that. As far as the signage, I am concerned about the amount of signage down along 747; without seeing a layout of how that would work I have serious reservations about that. I have to agree with Steve, until that work on the façade on the out-building is done I would like to see them up there; given the number of panels on the signs I think there is ample space to make do. As far as painting, I think you need to come back and show us what you plan to do there.
Mr. Darby: I dont have any definite answers either but I would like to say a word about what I have observed with the two presentations tonight, it is not about what you intend to do or what you want to do, but it is about what you can do. As far as the signage is concerned, it is a PUD. We do have some leniency here and I would like you to come back with something that is a little bit more concrete in numbers as far as size. I would like to make two points: the signs on the out-building, I dont have any trouble with them. If they are going to be on the renovated building then they can be there now. What I would like to see is a little bit more specificity and a little more aggressiveness in terms of what you can do with this out-building; I think that should be a priority for the development of the entire PUD.
Mr. John Gilhart: Specifically the elevation facing the road?
Mr. Darby: No, not just one side, the entire building. If that could be a little bit more of a concrete plan as far as your timetable is concerned, then I would have no problem with those signs.
Mr. Okum: I agree with Mr. Darby, I think the out-building is a keystone to the entire development. As far as the signs that they want to place on it, my position on it according to the previous request to add additional signage to that elevation was that it is an ugly building to do anything to it. On the other hand those businesses that wanted to have the signage were not connected to that elevation; those businesses were facing Jareds and not 747, so the problem is that it is off-premise signage that you are allowing. As that building eventually fills up, what are you going to do with the AT&T and the Ashe Dental signs, because they dont have frontage? The business that leases that space front to rear is the guy that is entitled to that elevation and that connection to 747. To allow AT&T and the dental facility to have that frontage and have that signage there is going against the connection of that part of the building.
That elevation and the other elevations being painted out to the color palate that they are intending to do, my suggestion is that they get that elevation done, get the signage for that elevation based upon the tenants that are occupying that space and I dont think you can set a timeline for when you can do things but I think you can set a standard for when things happen. As sections of your development start to develop out those will be thresholds, percentage of leased space drive the area that has to be renovated.
Mr. John Gilhart: We have to tie the renovation to either a rental of an existing lease or leases.
Mr. Okum: The 747 out-building property is an eyesore to your development; why not do that elevation as a sampling of what the rest of the development is going to look like?
Mr. John Gilhart: We can certainly work in that direction. We are interested in doing that.
Mr. Okum: And then I would be more open to allowing the additional signage along 747.
Chairman Butrum: I think the out-building is priority one.
Mr. Okum: At this point I will be saying No to signage on that building until we get building elevations that we are working with.
Mr. Vanover: My recommendation is get some figures and get some finalized elevation plans, do some serious thinking about some renovation timelines. We have another meeting in two weeks and come back and wow us and do this thing.
Mr. John Gilhart: If we would put something beautiful in like Cincinnati Mills of Forest Park, it is not going to necessarily work. The tenants that are moving out are not coming back to Springdale. We are looking at totally different tenants than we would have considered ten years ago. What you are saying is bring us a tenant and change the façade; what we are saying is it is the cart before the horse.
Ms. Ghantous: If you were to prioritize that out-building and change the façade and go forward with that part of it, how do you think that would affect your ability to lease out those bigger spaces in the main building?
Mr. John Gilhart: Whenever we direct our resources to a certain area and spend more on a certain area it takes from the other areas. I would rather see us try to phase it in to where we get the most bang for the impact, and that is signage, it is paint and it is cleaning things up. We actually received the cost for the signs today.
Mr. Rick Gilhart: One sign is $167,000 (X 2; one at Kemper and one at Princeton), one is $32,500; painting the entire shopping center is about $50,000. You can spend ½ million dollars and get things moving in the right direction or you can spend
½ million dollars on the façade.
Ms. Ghantous: If you put your capital into that out-building and you have the potential to get a bigger draw into one of your bigger spaces, then are you going to have the money to do what they want?
Mr. John Gilhart: Sure, because we are going to have the lease agreement to go to the bank for a loan.
Ms. Ghantous: If you start on the out-building and do all the façade, that will not hurt your ability to lease your bigger spaces?
Mr. John Gilhart: Yes, it will hurt us because we would be funneling our resources into that one elevation.
Ms. Ghantous: That is what I thought; thank you.
Mr. John Gilhart: What we would like to do is come back with refined dimensions and superimpose the signs on the elevations. By the way the sign at the corner, there was a problem with the railing and the fall and someone had mentioned something about a possible easement for the City to do a landmark out there; we do not have a problem with that.
Is it possible to get an approval on the First Watch / Sprint sign tonight, replacing the old, ugly box sign?
Mr. Okum: I have a problem with that personally, we havent approved the sign concept part of it and square footage needs to be worked out.
Mr. John Gilhart: We could remove the screens on the First Watch / Sprint sign for square footage; basically it is 25 s.f. and 25 s.f.
Mr. Okum: We havent approved the sign package element, so I think that would be inappropriate.
Mr. John Gilhart: If this works out, does anyone have a problem with that sign in particular? What I want to do is get this finalized with Sprint and First Watch so that when we come back here I can say we have the money and we are ready to go. We will come back with a sign package.
Mr. Okum: Mr. Chairman, based on the discussion with the applicant I make a motion that we table this item to the next Planning Commission Meeting.
Mr. Darby seconded the motion and with a unanimous aye vote from the Planning Commission Members the request to table was granted.
A. Mr. McErlane: We received an invoice from Hamilton County Regional Planning for the Planning Partnership and as part of that they asked for our representative, I think Steve Galster has been our representative since its inception; it is just a case of whether or not Planning Commission wants to reappoint him or if he even wants to be there. The cost is $1,873; and Dave is automatically on it.
Mr. Galster: I have no problem continuing to be a representative.
Chairman Butrum: The motion was made and seconded.
(With a unanimous aye vote from the Planning Commission Members,
Mr. Steve Galster remained as the representative to the Planning Partnership of the Hamilton County Regional Planning.)
B. Mr. McErlane: Another item for discussion, when the legislation was adopted it
was adopted to allow the extended period and renewal of banners up through
April 17, 2010 and if Planning Commission thinks that is a good thing to continue that, then they would recommend it to Council for approval to change the date; I think we have two or three businesses that take advantage of it.
Mr. Okum: I move that we make a recommendation to Council that they extend the temporary sign and banner ordinance from April, 2010 until April 2011.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous aye vote from the Planning Commission the request to recommend the item to Council was granted.
C. Mr. Okum: For a number of years Annes recommendations have been considerations; and that is by direction of the Planning Commission. Certain things like Thompson Thrift tonight need recommendations from our City Planner for what we should be voting on so that when we motion we incorporate her considerations but in this particular case there should have been some very stiff Planners recommendations that we can reference.
Mr. Galster: So, you want stronger wording?
Mr. Okum: She has not been given that authority to do this.
Ms. McBride: In some Staff reports I will have a section of considerations, and if there are twenty-five then you know there is a problem and if there are three then that is a green light to go. In other Staff reports I say, Recommendations, and I would say the recommendation is to approve the final development plan pursuant to the following conditions, followed by a list. So there is a recommendation for approval or denial based upon specific conditions and findings. If you want that, that is fine; but originally when I started you didnt want that, you just wanted considerations. I can do whatever you want.
Mr. Darby: Professionally, would you want it to be within your discretion for recommendations?
Ms. McBride: It puts a little more burden on me to come up with that; I am comfortable doing that after all these years and the final decision is yours.
Mr. Okum: I think we should go in that direction; for recommendation with the following conditions.
Mr. Galster moved to adjourn; Mr. Bauer seconded and with a unanimous aye vote from the Planning Commission, the meeting adjourned at 11:52 p.m.
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Chairman Tony Butrum
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Richard Bauer, Secretary