PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
MARCH 9, 2010
I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Vice Chairman Dave Okum.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present: Richard Bauer, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Don Darby, Steve Galster and Tom Vanover
Members Absent: Tony Butrum
Others Present: Anne McBride, City Planner; William McErlane, Building Official;
Don Shvegzda, City Engineer; Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director
Vice Chairman Okum: For something to pass and carry forward five affirmative votes are necessary, six Planning Commission Members are here; for the applicants that are here you have the opportunity to ask to have it carried forward to the next meeting, you need to let us know at anytime during the presentation or during discussion if you wish to do that; that way we will be fair.
III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 23, 2010
Mr. Vanover moved to adopt the February 23, 2010 Planning Commission meeting minutes, Mr. Galster seconded the motion; the minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes (Mr. Tony Butrum being absent).
IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL
Mr. Galster gave his report on Council, summarizing the letter to Council for the recommended amendment to the Zoning Code Section 153.533 Special Event Signs: it has had the first reading and public hearing and the second reading will be at our regular Council Meeting on March 17th, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
V. OLD BUSINESS
A. Vice Chairman Okum: Our first item of Old Business is Springdale Family Medicine proposed ground sign at 212 West Sharon Road.
Chad Nahrup: We were here at the last Planning Commission Meeting to obtain a setback variance for a new ground-mounted sign for Springdale Family Physicians which is going to be called Mercy Medical Associates. There were some concerns at that meeting with the design. What we did is resubmit some information and we tried to dress up the design a little bit in response to your concerns and your questions. I also brought a sample of the actual sign material that will be used. The information that was resubmitted is a little bit different design and now shows the exterior lighting from underneath.
Mr. McErlane: The applicant has resubmitted illustrations that show different signs that better illustrate the sand-blasted type sign with a border around it. The one thing that we are not sure of is if the dimensions are the same as what was shown on the previous submission?
Mr. Nahrup: Exactly the same.
(At this time Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride read their Staff comments.)
Mr. Nahrup: With regard to the landscaping, we had planned on re-landscaping around the sign after it is finished, we can certainly provide a plan to show that if that is necessary.
Mr. Galster: I take it that they werent interested in separating the signs?
Mr. Nahrup: We looked at it and in order to get to a straight section of the stone wall to place them apart we were really starting to spread those signs apart and to me it looked disjointed. I thought by revising the angle shown on this drawing and making that angle more consistent with the angle of the streets, it still accomplished the same goal.
Mr. Galster: My goal was that you didnt have to separate them much, just enough to get a bush there to break it up.
Mr. Nahrup: And that is certainly something we are willing to do.
Mr. Galster: They dont have to be 20 apart. As far as the lighting goes, are you familiar with or do you know what the foot candle will be based on the Code which allows .5?
Mr. Nahrup: We will show that when we submit for a building permit for the sign; we will be within that.
Mr. Galster: Did the application before show that?
Mr. Nahrup: No, it did not include that.
Mr. Galster: Did you intend to light it before?
Mr. Nahrup: Yes; it just didnt show that.
Mr. Galster: The sample board is similar to what we have at Kemper and Route 4 at the dentist offices.
Mr. Vanover: The sign is 30 tall and 66 long?
Mr. Nahrup: Correct.
Mr. Bauer: I visited that site yesterday and it seemed like the sign that is there is in the best spot for visibility for any traffic coming, except for going south on Springfield Pike; is there any other reason we are going for two signs because it just seems like a single sign would still serve the purpose?
Mr. Nahrup: The physicians just felt that it wasnt as visible as they would like, coming from all directions.
Mr. Galster: I will ask the Board, I have expressed my desire to break up those signs by having a section that will allow landscaping; does anyone else feel like it doesnt need to happen?
Mrs. Ghantous: I would like to see it broken up for landscaping.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think that if you have some landscaping in the middle at least you have some break in that. I tend to agree with Mr. Bauer that you see the sign from both directions. I still think that they need to be on an angle for visibility.
I dont want to see any landscaping removed.
Mr. Darby: One of the selling points at the last meeting was the separation with landscaping, so I would support that.
Mr. Vanover: I think it is going to look nicer if you can swing the sign around more parallel to the roadway; what you are showing right now you are not far off from that. I would like to see the landscaping between the signs.
Mr. Galster: I make a motion that we accept the sign as submitted with the following modifications: an 8 separation between the two panels that will incorporate landscaping in the opening and a landscape plan submitted by the applicant that shows the finished product for landscaping once those signs are installed, and also acknowledgement that the light levels are not to exceed what is permitted in that area.
Mr. Darby seconded the motion.
Mr. Darby: Was the 8 separation agreed upon?
Mr. Galster: I dont know that if we get to less than 8 I dont know that there is adequate space for those plantings.
Vice Chairman Okum: What if we insert a minimum of 8 into the motion?
Mr. Galster: Is a minimum more desirable?
Mr. Darby: Yes, I would hate to see them tied to 8 if 8 doesnt quite work.
Mr. Galster: So the final spacing between the two signs to be determined on the final landscape plan to be submitted to Staff for final approval at a minimum of 8.
Mr. Darby: Second.
Mr. Bauer polled the Planning Commission Members and with 6 aye votes (one Planning Commission member being absent) the request for a ground sign at 212 West Sharon Road was approved with conditions.
B. Vice Chairman Okum: The next item of Old Business is the 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, Adam Fischer and Robert Wease who is our project architect. Robert is here to answer any specific questions about the elevations. A summary of where we are at this evening: as we all know we are talking about the redevelopment of 11580 Princeton Pike, the former BP station. We submitted a site plan on February 23rd for approval that required about eight variances that consisted of about 6200 s.f., with the ability to expand to another phase. According to some concerns expressed at the last meeting, we have gone back and tried to address some of those concerns and questions that you had. We are focusing on what is going to be built initially and that is a 3500 s.f. building and how that is going to look; as we expand that over time we will come back in and provide details at that time. The submittal this evening is for approval of a 3500 s.f. building; we have incorporated additional buffering on the east and south sides of the property to address Staffs comments which helps to eliminate some of the variances that we needed on the last submittal. We have provided some additional information to Staff concerning how the expansion area adjacent to the 3500 s.f. will be treated; we are proposing to seed that and maintain that along with the other landscaping. The north, east and west building elevations; we incorporated windows on the east side of that building to address that concern so it looks like a finished building, we widened the access point on Princeton Pike from 22 to 28 to provide a better vehicular ingress and egress at that location, we improved the landscaping plan to satisfy the replanting criteria as would be required for removing the trees and matching with that same caliper, what the ordinance would require. By adding the additional buffering on the east and south sides of the property, as recommended by Staff, we do now meet the impervious surface ratio that is required per your ordinance of 75%. Summary of the three variances that we are requesting that would be approved by the Springdale Board of Zoning Appeals would be: a paving setback for the south-drive isle behind the building, currently the ordinance requires that the edge of the pavement be 10 off of the property line. The edge of the pavement as we have designed it meets that criteria, but the curb actually encroaches 6 into that 10 requirement. Where you see the 9.52 that is to the back of the curb; the edge of the pavement satisfies that 10 requirement. Certainly we dont comply, but it depends on how you interpret that. We could reduce the width of that driveway by 6 or have a variance to approve how it is designed. The second variance request would be the paving along the west property line along Princeton Pike, it is at 1 and that is due to the angle easement, it creates a situation where it doesnt satisfy that 10 requirement which is consistent with a variance that we had on our plan from the last time. The third variance is from the result of the loading dock in the rear of the building, because we have increased the buffering of the south property line in an effort to meet the impervious surface ratio we have an unloading zone that is within an access drive; as per your ordinance we would need a variance to allow that condition to exist. At the last meeting there was a suggestion made to not have the full circulation of the building; while we certainly believe that can work, we believe it is important to provide full circulation around the building; it functions better. We actually reduced the size of that expansion area to accommodate that drive isle. Initially we want the drive to go in. There are a couple additional items: there are two non-conforming legal setbacks that exist if you should approve this plan. One would be on the south side, and basically the Ponderosa setback is 4.9 feet; and the same with Tiffany Glass, the west drive isle and Tiffany Glass building does not satisfy the ordinance of being 10 off the property line, it would actually be right on the property line. Those are situations that we think will be corrected over time and will satisfy the ordinance as we develop the future phases. The parking was pointed out by Staff, that we exceed the amount of parking that is allowed per code, we understand that is part of the ordinance. What we are asking is that the parking we show would be allowed to accommodate the future expansion. Those would be the four items in addition to the variances that would be needed, that Staff has pointed out. The final item that I think is important to talk about is storm water management; we talked somewhat in length at our last presentation about storm water management and as we looked at this the impervious surface ratio that we have now met, does satisfy a good portion for on-site detention. It satisfies the ten year, twenty-five year storm events. On the one hundred year storm events, we fall short of that as that would require 622 cubic feet of detention. As we looked at this with our Civil Engineer we believe we have a solution in place that would meet 80% of the storm water ordinance for the site by up-sizing our pipe that is going to carry the storm water off of the site. We believe that is a fix and we did run that by the City Engineer and we are not sure exactly what the Citys position is on that but he seemed to be favorable on an initial read. We are trying to get creative about how much we can satisfy. We also talked last time and I want to reiterate that we are developing this property in partnership with the landowner that owns not only this corner but also the 3.2 acre parcel that surrounds it; totaling 3.2 acres; it consist of Ponderosa, Skyline and Tiffany Glass. We have a partnership agreement in place that provides that we will diligently pursue the redevelopment of not only this corner but the whole parcel. We are motivated to continue this project over time; the 3500 s.f. building fits very well with this plan.
(At this point Mr. Robert Wease demonstrated by video animation an interpretation of how the proposed 3500 s.f. structure would look from various angles / viewpoints.)
Mr. Robert Wease: In addition to the animation we do have the 3-D file, if there is a particular view that you are interested in, we can interpolate it.
Mr. Boyd: I want to point out that on the monument sign we do intend to have the two panels. We intend to have on the bottom panel our 800 number for future leasing opportunities for the project, and the top panel would be used by the Vitamin Shoppe.
(At this time, Mr. McErlane and Mr. Shvegzda read their Staff reports.)
Mr. Shvegzda: The plans still show a sanitary sewer easement, I assume that is still necessary?
Mr. Adam Fischer: Yes. We will still have to do that because where we connect it, it does cut the corner of the Tiffany parcel.
Mr. Shvegzda: So that is the only impact on the adjacent property.
Mr. Fischer: Yes, and that is in their existing landscaped area and does not affect any pavement.
Mr. Shvegzda: There is an existing retaining wall to the south and that is to remain and be filled up against?
Mr. Fischer: Correct.
Mr. Shvegzda: The only question is, that it needs to be covered or buried?
Mr. Fischer: Correct.
Mr. Galster: Can you give me the number of square footage that can be accommodated strictly by resizing the storm sewers that are there now?
Mr. Fischer: We are going to accept the calculations that we presented; I have 622 cubic feet. I can actually, by tripling the size of about 100 of that storm pipe I can account for 100% of that; I can take care of all of that 600 feet.
Mr. Galster: So the 622 cubic feet, you can take care of?
Mr. Fischer: Yes, I can do that.
Mr. Galster: Mr. Shvegzda, is that satisfactory with you then?
Mr. Shvegzda: This particular site drains into that large detention area that is back by Dave and Busters and because of that, the drainage concerns are much reduced for this particular location. This 622 cubic feet of detention would represent some improvements so it would be of some benefit.
(At this time Ms. McBride read her Staff comments.)
Ms. McBride: The only additional item I have, are how the mechanical equipment screening would be treated and the applicant has indicated that they would discuss that with the Commission this evening.
Mr. Bauer: Has there been any thought or plan to keep any of the existing trees on this site?
Mr. McErlane: There is one tree that could potentially be saved on the site but there is also a sanitary sewer lateral that is being dug close to it. There are some ways of getting around that by boring and jacking the pipe under it; that may save one of the evergreen trees on site, the other tree on the site is dead.
Vice Chairman Okum: On the east side, we have a separation of land area of 11 and that is where the trees would end up being planted?
Mr. Fischer: Yes.
Vice Chairman Okum: Potentially, if a cross-access would be placed across the front, two of those trees would be lost and I dont want to lose the cross-access or the trees. We need to deal with that with the final landscape plan, I believe.
Mr. Boyd: As we expand the project through Phase III, we would show cross-access along the back and we would relocate the dumpster. There would be basically three areas of access at different stages of the plan; southwest corner, southeast corner and northeast corner.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think adding that into your considerations, Ms. McBride, would work. Would any of these items need to be removed from your considerations as a result of the variances?
Ms. McBride: The item 2(a) would not need to be included since the 9.52 dimension was to the back curb, so that would not need to be included. They have indicated on consideration number 8, how that sign panel would be treated with leasing information. Item C is up for discussion, a variance may be needed particularly if the cross-access easement provided for that rear drive; Mr. McErlane and I can discuss that further.
Mr. Wease: We have raised parapets on the backside of this building 3 ½; we have placed the mechanical units up there. They are screened from the corner because of the monument mass; they are of no consequence at all.
Vice Chairman Okum: If the motion would say that the mechanical units shall be screened from view of adjoining properties and / or the public right of way, that would be substantial enough that you could make that occur?
Mr. Wease: Correct.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think you have addressed it and I dont foresee any reason, or want you to put an enclosure or screen around it, when you have done elevation-wise for the building mass to screen the mechanical units. I didnt see scoops on the back of the building for drainage, so that clarified that.
Mr. Vanover: Has the Fire Department reviewed the radius on this drive on the backside to be sure they are clear?
Mr. McErlane: They have been given copies of the submissions as they have come in. I can only surmise the building is small and it is not necessary for an emergency vehicle to get behind the building to fight a fire.
Mr. Galster: Does the applicant have any questions or items that they would like to address that they wouldnt be able to comply with, given the fact that we have clarification of the storm water, is there any other issue with the Staff comments?
Mr. Fischer: One thing I would like to point out is on the parking; we are 56% more than what would be allowed. The building that we are presenting we are required to have 18 parking spaces, under Code we would be allowed up to an additional 30% that would get us up to 24 and we have 28. What we are talking about is an extra 4 parking spaces.
Mr. Galster: I think questions have been asked, if we were to make a motion that included all Staff comments with these clarifications, I want to make sure that you are o.k. with that.
Mr. Fischer: I guess I dont understand why the lighting plan does not comply, when last time it did and it should have been the same plan.
Ms. McBride: First of all, we only received it this afternoon and can only print it at 11 X 17 and it is kind of hard to read a photometric lighting plan that size. We require .5 foot candles within parking and access drives; you dont have .5 but .1 on the east side of the building. Come around to the front of the building and you have about .3 and it doesnt meet the City requirements.
Mr. Galster: If we were to address that by saying that you need to provide a photometric plan that meets the requirements, you would be o.k. with that?
Mr. Boyd: Yes.
Mr. Galster: I want to thank you for your efforts that you have put forth; it has been a process. The process has ended up with a result that I am happy with. Even though it is a prime corner I have to remind myself that it is the building block and we are hoping that it continues on and if in fact and when in fact it continues on that scale blends into that corner.
Mr. Bauer: I also thank you for your efforts; it has come a long way from two weeks ago. I noticed an inconsistency in the Vitamin Shoppe layout and the door in the rear of the building.
Mr. Fischer: We noticed that too, and certainly this layout is not our final plan; we can obviously move that.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think you took everything that we and Staff said and made adjustments to make the plan work. We appreciate that. The only concern I have about one item is the east elevation windows; the Vitamin Shoppes internal layouts show the backs of the display racks against that window wall and I think we need to make sure that is not what we are seeing through that glass, but I dont want to see what we ended up with over here at CVS with white panels on the walls either.
Mr. Boyd: We can work with the Vitamin Shoppe to come up with a treatment for that.
Mr. Wease: The glass in the demonstration has an opaque panel so you cant really see through.
Vice Chairman Okum: Is that what Planning Commission and Staff is envisioning for that wall?
Ms. McBride: No, Staff was under the impression that was going to be glass.
Mr. Wease: It is glass.
Ms. McBride: The elevations noted it being different; it didnt indicate the opaque finish to the glass.
Mr. Boyd: There will be displays placed on the inside of that glass and I think the idea was not to look through and see the displays directly.
Vice Chairman Okum: So that should be something that is added, these walls shall be treated, so as to not show the racks, inventory or solid wall. There is film that you can do on the glass. Does the Commission feel o.k. with Staff handling that?
Mr. Galster: Yes.
Vice Chairman Okum: We need a motion with considerations that would include the elimination of Ms. McBrides item 2(a); do you want to do the motion, Mr. Galster, off of the notes, or do you want me to do it and you so move it?
Mr. Galster: You can do it and I will so move.
Vice Chairman Okum: Based upon the request from Thompson Thrift I move to approve the following project including the specification and designs and contains exhibits provided to include Staff, City Engineers and City Planners recommendations and considerations with the following exception of Item 2(a) of Ms. McBrides considerations. The approval is conditional upon approval of Springdale Board of Zoning Appeals as identified variances: that the mechanical units shall be screened from view of adjoining properties or the public right of way; all lighting / end fixtures shall conform to existing zoning code requirements and shall be reviewed and approved by Staff; the landscaping conditions shall include Staffs final review and approval; all four building elevations shall be constructed as submitted with an exterior color palette as submitted in samples provided. The glass window wall on the east side shall be treated so as not to show racks, inventory or a solid wall, this shall be reviewed and approved by Staff; Ms. McBrides considerations shall be changed to state on item 9, to include three future cross-access easements; 622 cubic feet of detention to be handled on site to be handled by storm pipes.
Mr. Galster: So moved.
Mr. Vanover: I second.
Mr. Vanover: I just want to echo the compliments; you have done an excellent job and enables us to move on; we didnt have to use our imagination too much.
Mr. Bauer polled the Planning Commission Members and with six aye votes (one member absent) the request for the revised development plan at 11580 Princeton Pike was approved with conditions.
(At this time, the Planning Commission took a 10 minute break before continuing with Item C. The Planning Commission reconvened at 8:27 p.m.)
C. Vice Chairman Okum: The final item of Old Business is Major Modification to a Preliminary PUD Plan, Princeton Plaza Shopping Center redevelopment at
11711 Princeton Pike.
Mr. John Gilhart: I am John Gilhart and with me tonight is Clark Gilhart and Rick Gilhart and Lou Santoro. We do have Eddie Meiners IV with us (representing as a Princeton Plaza tenant.)
We were here back in July to present a Concept Plan that was generally favorable with everyone. We were here a couple weeks ago and we took a lot of feedback from the members. We went back and tried to organize to come up with something clearer that we can present to you so that we can get this project started.
(Mr. John Gilhart read a letter submitted that is available for review.)
(Mr. John Gilhart and Mr. Clark Gilhart, at this time, made a presentation by Power Point of the proposed redevelopment and provided identical handouts to each Planning Commission Member and Staff; handout is also available for review.)
Vice Chairman Okum: We will hear the Staff Comments.
Mr. McErlane: Just a note that our Staff Comments are based on what was submitted by March 1st because there is no indication that that applicant was requesting any approval from what was submitted beyond March 1st.
(Mr. McErlane continued to read his Staff comments.)
Mr. John Gilhart: We are actually requesting approval for nine signs; we would remove the panel by Jareds and the previously proposed replacement of that is not part of that; that is contingent upon approval.
Mr. McErlane: The total proposed signage is 1,231.7 s.f.
The applicant is also requesting signage on the east elevation the 40,000 s.f. outbuilding; the details of that have only been provided this evening and they dont comply with zoning code because they dont comply with lease lines of the spaces.
Vice Chairman Okum: Mr. Gilhart, would you like to refer to each of the Staff comments individually?
Mr. John Gilhart: Yes. That would be a good idea.
With regard to First Watch and Sprint, we are trying to work with them to incorporate the elevation. I dont want to present to you tonight anything that we cant get done, that is why the items that we have selected are what we want to do and can get done.
(At this time Vice Chairman Okum directed Mr. John Gilhart to refer to
Mr. McErlanes comments only and not Ms. McBrides until they are read.)
Mr. John Gilhart: Under Item #3 of Mr. McErlanes comment; the north elevations requires repairs to the existing brick façade. It is commented that we meet the 16mm dot pitch; and our comment is that will be considered if financially feasible. Item #8 states to remove the Princeton Bowl sign on West Kemper and replaced with a smaller identification sign; our comment is that the Princeton Bowl sign must remain and continue to be used for the exclusive use of Princeton Bowl and Princeton Bowl parking. In comment to the outbuilding signage, the proposed signs would not be installed within the current tenant space lease lines, however the signs would be installed on the same building that the tenants occupy; the tenant has the option of leasing additional space and therefore complying with the zoning code. Item #10 states that the First Watch / Sprint façade to be renovated by mid 2010; it is our comment that our intention is to renovate the south elevation, lease restrictions and cost-sharing agreements would be required for such modifications. The applicant is currently meeting with First Watch and Sprint and wishes to move forward with modification changes in 2010 but we cannot guarantee these changes will occur.
Mr. Galster: My questions are in reference to electronic signs as far as 16mm dot versus 19mm?
Mr. John Gilhart: We werent aware that there was a code.
Mr. Galster: There isnt. There is a recommendation that will have a second reading on March 17th, 2010. If not for that Code then those signs would not have been permitted. I am going to have more clear cut commitments and/or statements other than the fact that you would consider it if it is financially feasible.
Mr. John Gilhart: If you say 16mm is required, then it is required.
Mr. Rick Gilhart: How did you arrive at the 16mm requirement?
Mr. Galster: We evaluated the amount of change in ambient light and consulted with sign manufacturers on various issues and there was an exhaustive effort put forth to try to evaluate all of the technology that was there in order to come up with a code that met the intent of our sign ordinance.
Mr. Rick Gilhart: Klusty Signs said that there are only one or two in the State of Ohio.
Mr. Galster: Maybe that is all they have done. In fact, I talked to your sign manufacturing company today and they have a 16mm and a 19mm; and I propose that you be required to use the true 16mm and not the E-16mm that actually uses less LEDs. My main concern is getting something concrete; not if it is financially feasible.
Mr. John Gilhart: I understand and we are prepared to do that; it is a matter of cost increase. We have no problem with that.
Mr. Rick Gilhart: For example, Jungle Jims is 19mm.
Vice Chairman Okum: And in my opinion Jungle Jims is a terrible example. There are certainly better quality signs than 16mm, there are 12mm. The purpose of the code was to make as close to a translucent reverse lit panel as we could get; not to be the Walgreens red dots. This is something that we are in the process of adding to our code. I talked to Boone County and they are very interested in our draft legislation for incorporating into their code; so it is not just Springdale. Currently it is not in our code but you are in a PUD and we can adopt and approve that into your development provided it is approved by this Commission.
Mr. McErlane, I have a question for you; we have talked 9 versus 10 pole signs on the development and we are talking so many lineal foot of frontage. Other developments and signage in Springdale were shown by Mr. Gilhart and could you clarify the justification of 1,231 s.f. and 9 signs compared to other developments in Springdale that are PUD and some are not PUD? I can tell you, I did look at the Cassinelli development and they have three free standing signs on the development, including the two pole signs there is also a Fridays sign; the two pole signs total 504 s.f. total.
Mr. Galster: Do you have the total gross lease space?
Mr. Tulloch: The main building plus Steak n-Shake, exclusive of Fridays, 336,000 s.f.
Mr. McErlane: And Princeton Plaza development is 270,000 s.f.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think they are fairly close in street frontage. We are talking two similar developments. Mr. Gilhart, tell me why you need 1,231 s.f. signage and Cassinelli has 504 s.f.?
Mr. John Gilhart: The Princeton Bowl sign we would like to remain because our only visibility is Princeton Pike and Kemper Road; the future development that you are looking for us to do we would like to keep that sign there to keep that business operating and allow it to survive. The First Watch / Sprint sign we are looking to take First Watch out and put a comparable square footage pole sign and enhance the property, relocate it for better visibility and add a tenant to that which is on a so-called out lot. The message board at Borders at Kemper Road, our intention is to not ask for any more than what is existing within a couple inches; the intention is to replace the reader board with identical or as close as possible to the reader board. In addition to that we thought that this is our main entrance, this would be a focal point; we actually feel like this adds to the community as a landmark. This is to advertise our tenants and I mentioned a few weeks ago that I believe we have been deficient throughout the years. I think all of the tenants would come up here one at a time and tell you that is the most important thing to them. The next one going out to the corner; there were comments about the corner and we nixed the monument sign in the corner and we would be more than happy to work with you for an easement that you discussed with that. The pylon sign; we are basically taking the existing pylon sign, reducing the height and making it smaller. Going over to the message board sign and we are removing that altogether and that square footage of the message board we propose to go on the primary entry sign and we are moving the Princeton Bowl sign, so we would combine that message board with the Princeton Bowl sign and again have our primary landmark which would match the one on Kemper Road. That is our intention to start with that and then future discussions would be with the Northland connector and the cross-connection.
Vice Chairman Okum: We clearly understand, with Mr. McErlanes comments that the Monroe Auto Center is like an outside separate business; KFC has had its pole sign for probably 30 years.
Mr. John Gilhart: The Jareds and Frischs are stand alone. Certainly I would like to promise everything, but I would like to see the signs have some elements of this and we will do that with Monroe and KFC as soon as we can. Jareds, I think, is about as good as it gets. Frischs I wouldnt have problems working with that but that is three years away.
Mr. Bauer: The proposed electronic ordinance is just that, proposed?
Mr. McErlane: Currently our zoning code doesnt allow them at all.
Mr. Bauer: There is a small ground AT&T sign along Princeton Pike.
Mr. Galster: That is a directional sign. We usually consider them as directional signage and dont really consider them towards the total square footage for the development.
Ms. McBride: Mr. Galster and Mr. Vanover, you two are going to have to decide if this is a major or minor departure from the approved PUD and that would impact us as to whether or not Council would need to consider these modifications.
Mr. Galster: Based on the usage and the lack of real change to the usage, I dont consider this a major change to the PUD at this time, with what is proposed. I consider it a major change in the facelift, but I dont consider the usage or the intent of the PUD to be changed.
Mr. Vanover: I would echo that.
(At this time, Ms. McBride read her Staff comments.)
Vice Chairman Okum: Mr. Gilhart, you have an opportunity to go to this report from Ms. McBride and address these issues.
Mr. John Gilhart: There was a notation about 44 foot of sign, what we would be doing is changing the grade on Kemper Road and putting that same sign up; our intention is to change the grade to match up with Kemper Road. The grade would be identical with the other one, so what you would see would be the same thing from the road. The back of the First Watch / Sprint sign, the intention of the screening is that the back of the signs do not match up on each side; the screen would hide the back of the opposite sign. We can certainly make that solid, but our intention was to give it accent. The Princeton Bowl sign on Kemper Road; the bowling alley is about ready to die. If you take away our visibility of our signage, we might as well shut it down and call it a day. The intention would be to keep that signage there, because with my experience over the past 30, 40 years it is easier to trade off a sign and get one in return than it is to come back to you later and ask for one. Once we lose a sign, it is not coming back.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think the comment from Staff is that you have other digital displays on the PUD that are complimenting all of your businesses including that business.
Mr. Galster: And why not have them on the pylon in one of the faces?
Mr. John Gilhart: We are probably going to have Princeton Bowl on there.
Vice Chairman Okum: We understand; it is for you to work out and give us evidence why we should accept that.
Mr. John Gilhart: We will need some type of signage in the future current business and future development.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think I can say this for this entire Commission and Staff; we are talking the 800 s.f. of sign currently on your PUD and you are asking for 1,231 s.f., so when you say that once you take it away, you dont get it back you are already increased by 50% of the allowable signage.
Mr. John Gilhart: We havent gotten that.
Vice Chairman Okum: But, that is what you are asking for.
Mr. John Gilhart: I argue that we are deficient as it is and have been for years.
Vice Chairman Okum: We have a zoning code that states the amount of signage that you are permitted for any site; and we differ on perspective of that. I will tell you that based upon what I have seen it is a gross amount of signage based upon what I feel is reasonable for that site and I have a difficulty understanding any logic to the fact that Cricket, who has a very small business in this big pot is entitled to the same leverage as T.J.Maxx whose building and business is hidden by a self-imposed structure that your PUD developed.
Mr. John Gilhart: I agree with you, and we are not asking for Cricket.
Vice Chairman Okum: I shop that center and hate seeing it not successful, all the signage in the world doesnt change the fact that I cant see T.J.Maxx from 747; I cant see Hancock Fabrics from 747. I may be one of the whole Commission saying this but if you didnt have that building blocking the entire development
Mr. John Gilhart: We agree, but what do we do at this point?
Vice Chairman Okum: You look at where you can best generate revenue and that is from your anchors and your big part of your building. If you wanted to put a bigger sign on T.J.Maxx, I dont care; on the other hand, just because you put a sign on the street doesnt mean that T.J.Maxx is going to do any better.
Mr. Rick Gilhart: I have one point to make, Office Depot in the outbuilding (showing current Office Depot signage by Power Point demonstration) you would think that the signage there would be adequate, however people have come into Office Depot and asked when they moved in, partly because it is not adequate.
Mr. John Gilhart: I am here to try to fix what is wrong.
Mr. Galster: We are here to try to help you get there, too.
Vice Chairman Okum: I think Staff has identified a lot of items that you have given answers to, but in my opinion you have not given me the answers that would put me in a position to vote tonight.
Do you want to comment to Ms. McBrides comments?
Mr. John Gilhart: Ms. McBrides comments: it says that the additional signage to be phased in over a period of time and related to other site improvements. Answer: tenants strongly believe that a delay in the approval of proposed signage would be critically detrimental to the stabilization of the shopping center and the attraction of new tenants. We believe if what we implement tonight that will start it off. In regards to Annes Item #2, we have no problem with that being removed; however we would like to see something in its place, being the LED message board. #3: The Princeton Bowl sign on Kemper Road being modified to eliminate the message board and reduced in size; I have addressed that already. Princeton Bowl sign on Kemper is labeled to remain. Answer: It would be extremely detrimental to the current existing Princeton Bowl and or future development. Item #4 talks about the dumpster on Princeton Pike; relocating and screening dumpsters on Princeton Pike east of the outbuilding. Answer: We have no problem with that. Also the comment that all signs meet the 10 setback from the right of way unless modified by Commission. Answer: Applicant requests that the Planning Commission consider the location and view-ability when considering the applicants request. In other words, we dont have a problem trying to meet the 10 setback but if there are areas where the right of way is as it is on Kemper Road, extremely deep, we would ask that you consider that and the location of the sign on an individual basis. The comment that additional details be provided for proposed building elevations, modifications, transitions of the existing roofline. Answer: applicant believes that the east elevation of the outbuilding would transition more smoothly if Planning Commission would allow the applicant to apply the paint scheme initially until the elevation modifications can be changed on the entire building.
Vice Chairman Okum: Again for the Commissions benefit the request is for the building elevation change on 747; paint out of the buildings on the exposure and the sign package that was presented. Those are the items that have been amended by the applicant for us to consider. The items discussed for cross-access easements are not on the table, at all, or any of the building improvements are not here for consideration. The only building elevation improvement is the one on 747.
Mr. John Gilhart: This is all financially motivated. We are trying to implement these things so that we can draw more tenants so that we can pay for more renovation.
Vice Chairman Okum: Mr. McErlane sent you an email earlier in the week regarding phasing strategy for the project. One of the things that I see that is extremely costly is to redo the signs. If you were given all the signs tonight, there would be no security that the rest of the development would happen. If you leased out and you got your tenant space, there would be absolutely nothing that you have offered us to guarantee that this would happen. We have 1,231 foot of new signage, that is a significant expenditure. My suggestion, as Staffs was, is why dont you phase in some of your signage? Based upon comments, I dont think you will get a positive vote tonight on 1,231 s.f. of signage, building elevation on 747 and painting the faces of your building. I dont think you will get approval.
Mr. John Gilhart: Well, what do you propose as phasing in?
Vice Chairman Okum: I think if you tie the phasing into gross leasable space, the amount of percentage that you get occupied and tie that to building elevations improvements and signage and present to us something that we can tie together and make it understandable. The initial phase, in your opinion is all signage.
Mr. John Gilhart: That is correct. It is all signage and a whole new look on the road, the new elevation on the outbuilding, a repainting of the entire shopping center.
Vice Chairman Okum: You need to repaint the outside of your shopping center anyway?
Mr. John Gilhart: Why, we dont have to do anything.
Mr. Galster: I am trying to come up with ways to try to get you what you want, in reference to signage. The only way I can come up with a way to give you these nice brand new signs that you want is to look at the overall square footage and try to come up with ways to combine things that make it easier for me to swallow the 1,231 s.f. of signage. Without the elimination of other signage, it just adds on and on. When we look at the Princeton Bowl for example, why cant we take the Princeton Bowl sign down and use a little bit of that signage?
Mr. John Gilhart: I think you are going to have to take somewhat of a leap of faith. If I dont have the ability to stabilize and turn this thing around and attract new tenants, how am I going to get that?
Mr. Galster: Dont you think when attracting new tenants, that signs are one piece of the puzzle?
Mr. John Gilhart: Signs are number one with any anchor.
Mr. Galster: It is not like we havent tried in the past to accommodate your need for signage, because you have 10 pole signs out there. You are going to run into stumbling blocks in leasing new tenants if in fact the center doesnt have an updated look.
Mr. John Gilhart: That is why the entire paint scheme will do that.
Mr. Galster: Well, I dont know.
Mr. John Gilhart: There is no other alternative. All we are arguing is the implementation; the phasing in, what comes first.
Mr. Galster: If in fact Phase I is all signage, there is no guarantee that we will get Phase II or III.
Mr. John Gilhart: Dont you think the way we have proposed this it is actually an attraction and not detraction?
Mr. Galster: I believe that it is but I feel like it is an overabundance of signage.
Mr. John Gilhart: Personally, this is a lot of money to get this implemented and I dont feel comfortable that this is going to work; again, I dont know what the alternative is.
Mr. Galster: You are going to have to do some kind of façade change to give it an appearance so that you are not looking at the back of that outbuilding.
Mr. John Gilhart: That is what we are proposing.
Mr. Vanover: What makes it hard for me, is you are asking for a leap of faith to some degree; however we look at a center that has deteriorated and that center didnt get that way overnight, we have masonry work that needs to be done and downspouts that need to be done.
Mr. John Gilhart: Lets do it.
Mr. Vanover: Right now you are asking for signage and paint.
Mr. John Gilhart: That is not accurate, I do not agree. We have $100,000. in maintenance items; we can let this thing go the way it is, leave it in place and well put a Goodwill Superstore in there and maybe a Hobby Lobby or something like that, or we will fill it with Big Lots and Deals. We are trying to move forward and clean up and work within your revitalization plan. You are the ones that came up with that plan, not us.
Mr. Vanover: That leap of faith is a two-way street.
Mr. John Gilhart: My leap of faith is this, the fact that I am in here today and we spent $50,000. bucks on this. The primary signs, those are $200,000. bucks apiece, the First Watch/Sprint sign is $35,000. and the other one is $50,000.; the paint job is $35,000. bucks, that is my leap of faith.
Mr. Vanover: And what is the first word out of your mouth; the signs; that is my problem.
Mr. John Gilhart: This is what we can do, we can table it or we can withdraw it and we can go back to what we were doing. We will take whatever signs are there and if we cant do anything with them, well leave them; well clean them up and paint them. If there is a pole sign that we can replace within code we will do that. We will take a section and come back to you and submit drawings; but you havent asked us to do that. You asked us to come up with a comprehensive plan and we have done that.
Vice Chairman Okum: Yes, Mr. Gilhart you did that, but you yanked it all away except for a few things.
Mr. John Gilhart: We didnt yank it all away, what we did is tell you that we cannot commit financially to implementing our entire plan.
Vice Chairman Okum: My suggestion to you is that you make it based upon your leased space. It is the only way that the City can be given assurances that the redevelopment will continue as you proposed. Because when you fill up and you have your leases and your signage, there is nothing that the City can require that makes you finish.
Mr. John Gilhart: The spaces are not going to fill up unless we do this properly. I have no problem tying the landscape items, the ingress and egress, the cross-connections and that kind of stuff with the remainder of the phased implementation. There is no way to tie the implementation to the lease; it is putting the cart before the horse.
Mr. Darby: Maybe I can help you understand the frustration I am feeling right now; I want to see this be successful, last week I saw presentations and I had now seen the previous presentations for those, but this evening you saw how the Thompson Thrift got approval for something different. They came to us with something concrete versus what they had presented before and it didnt require our imagination and they werent asking for a leap of faith.
Mr. John Gilhart: They are asking for a leap of faith on the remaining balance of that property.
Mr. Darby: We didnt approve the remaining balance; we approved what was presented to us. What you are presenting is not concrete because you continue to mention the financial implications, which are there but there are problems with this massive signage with no assurance to the City.
Mr. John Gilhart: I am giving you something concrete; there is no assurance that anything will ever be done in the future at Cassinelli, there is no assurance. I am giving you concrete items here and asking for you to approve these.
Mr. Darby: What you have presented, you have said that there is no guarantee that you can follow through; plus you are not addressing the main issue of signage.
Mr. John Gilhart: We agreed to remove one sign.
Mr. Darby: If all the others were approved, as I recall.
Mr. John Gilhart: Well, we would like to see a sign package, yes. We have offered that one sign would be removed and not replaced.
Mr. Darby: Contingent upon the whole package being approved. What I would like to see is the diminishing of the signs being requested.
Mr. John Gilhart: Do you want me to remove one message board?
Mr. Darby: What are you prepared to do?
Mr. John Gilhart: Exactly what we said we were prepared to do.
Mr. Darby: With what you have presented this evening, I am joining others in saying I am not ready to give a positive vote for it.
Mr. John Gilhart: I have no problems with tying future items with lease agreements.
Mr. Darby: If it will be tied to lease agreements then that would have to be presented so we know what it would look like.
Vice Chairman Okum: You have heard my position that you should tie to the lease agreements. If that were worked out and the Princeton Bowl sign was worked out, I think that I would be in favor of supporting the redevelopment plan with the increased signage, as long as you provide this Commission a detailed phased guarantee based upon your lease agreements and commitments over the next three year period, or four years. And that doesnt mean that you get all the signs at first; in my opinion you would get signs on a progressive basis based upon your occupancy in your development. That way we dont have a bunch of white panels sitting out there on the signs.
Mr. John Gilhart: We are not going to have any white panels.
Mr. Galster: I think what he is saying is that he would have AT&T on six signs if he had to.
Mr. John Gilhart: Based upon our previous discussion and your direction, I came with this.
Vice Chairman Okum: It is a good thing you did, because I would have never even considered getting it to this point, Mr. Gilhart, if you had not tried to address that ugly box / outbuilding on the street; and that negatively impacts your development. The reason Cassinelli is unsuccessful, in my opinion, is that you cant see the buildings.
Mr. Bauer: My concern as far as signage, and I was on the Committee for the electronic signage with Mr. Galster and Mr. Okum for that proposed ordinance, I would like to see at a minimum why the Code cant be met and why it wont be met because we did spend quite a bit of time putting that together. I am talking about the 16mm, the size and the distance from the right of way. Our thinking behind the electronic signs is that we would eliminate the need for a lot of the panel signs and you are proposing a lot of signs. I dont like the amount of signs that you are proposing. I think signage clutters the view and as a resident here I dont like to see the clutter of signs.
Mr. John Gilhart: I would argue clutter of signage is better than vacant stores.
Mr. Bauer: I have a severe reservation about the number of signs that you are asking for.
Mr. Galster: Lets look at your sign package, by itself. In order to get me to go with all of the signage that you have here we would have to eliminate the Princeton Bowl and put them on the top level of the first entry sign on Kemper Road. I would also need to have a commitment to when the Frischs lease is up in three years that pole would be removed and if they stay in that location and / or move somewhere else in that center, it would be relocated on one of the panels on one of your main entry signs. Those are two pole signs that could be relocated on top of the reader board, in addition to what you have done today would help me grasp what you want.
Mr. John Gilhart: I would argue to not eliminate it, but make something more attractive like a monument sign.
Mr. Galster: I am trying to give you a suggestion. In reality to see your package approved, those are the kinds of things that I would like to see happen in order to get your main package moving forward. Those two things; the Kemper Road Bowl sign would need to be put on the main entry sign at Kemper.
Mr. John Gilhart: And is Jareds sign o.k.?
Mr. Galster: It is not located right next to an existing sign. So, for the Frischs sign there would need to be a commitment to remove it in three years when that lease obligation is up and they need to go on a panel somewhere; or if the only way to get that lease is to have a pole sign then bring that to us. When you talk about phasing in I could say as an example, lets do the Kemper and the rework of the other sign that is on the corner when this is done on the out lot. Then when that is done, then we can put the other entry sign on 747. That is the type of phasing that I am talking about and instead of putting $200,000 into the second LED kind of board, lets spend that money on façade changes.
Mr. John Gilhart: I think that the primary entry sign at Princeton is more critical than the Kemper entry sign. The Kemper sign is the one that I would want to implement first because the Princeton Bowl sign would come down.
Mr. Galster: And take some of the money and spend it on the façade, which I think is a bigger issue than you realize when you are trying to attract new tenants.
Mr. John Gilhart: It is huge, I agree with you.
Mr. Galster: We need to come up with a way of hiding the backside of that out building on 747. If that means that means to hide it properly we have to do all four sides before we do the second big sign, then maybe that is what we should do. Once that is done and you start seeing some increase in tenants then we can put the second big sign out there.
Mr. John Gilhart: You are going to have to give us the benefit of doubt and go with what we think on a couple of these things. The problem I have is it is hard for me to go back and guess what everybody wants, and every time I come in here I am getting direction and I am trying to modify it. Maybe tonight if we can come up with a list that would be generally acceptable to everyone, that would be great.
Mr. Vanover: We can look at the Vegas strip and what have they done, they have gotten rid of their signs and the buildings are their displays. When you ask for direction, what about putting First Watch and Sprint on your main signs, why do we need another sign for that?
Mr. John Gilhart: They are on the main sign.
Vice Chairman Okum: Just to let you know, the sign regulation for the digital signs is new; but your site only qualifies for one. I think Mr. Galster had some good valid advice for phasing. Another thing that is there is true traffic issue concerns for peoples safety that need to be addressed and we are not addressing at all the backing out issue.
Mr. John Gilhart: Would you agree that we are not arguing about the overall project, but we are arguing about the overall implementation?
Vice Chairman Okum: Yes.
Mr. John Gilhart: These are the type of things that you sit down in a conference room and you hammer out. Tonight is the first time I heard that we do not have to take this to Council. We didnt get approval on the Concept Plan, there is no such thing; you just said you like it and bring us details.
Is there a way for a group or a couple individuals to try to work together to try to hammer this out?
Vice Chairman Okum: As long as we dont breach Sunshine. You can do that with three members of the Planning Commission.
Ms. Anne McBride: My suggestion would be that if the Commission would want to have some of the members meet individually or as a group with the applicant that it would be Mr. Galster and Mr. Vanover and that you meet with them in your capacity as a Council Member and therefore you are not breaching any exparte contact.
Vice Chairman Okum: That means as a Council Member they are entitled to meet with you at any time? The difficulty is that if I were in a meeting with you, Mr. Darby would not be privy to information that I would be privy to; and that would be unfair on a basis of judgment.
I think that your request for this evening is for this to be continued?
Mr. John Gilhart: Yes, with the understanding that we will work with Mr. Galster and Mr. Vanover, if they agree to do that.
Mr. Galster: That is Ms. McBrides unofficial legal position but I dont know that we dont need to double check to make sure, just to make sure that we dont need Staff or other individuals involved as well. That is something we will have to investigate in a hope to keep moving at a little bit more productive pace.
Vice Chairman Okum: Some communities have what they call a Work Shop, this has been a work shop; it has been very constructive.
Ms. McBride: If you are going to meet with the applicant it would be helpful to have some of Staff there, as well.
Mr. Galster: We will need to review that and get an opinion on that and get back to the applicant.
Vice Chairman Okum: Based upon the request of the applicant, this request is being tabled.
Mr. John Gilhart: Who will be the contact for me?
Mr. Galster: Mr. McErlane will be. I make a motion to table this request until our next meeting in April.
Mr. Darby: I second.
All Planning Commission Members present signified by a unanimous aye vote to table the request until the April 13, 2010 Planning Commission Meeting.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
No items of New Business were presented at this Meeting.
A. Chairman Tony Butrum approved Lamberts Bridal Wall Sign at Wimbeldon Plaza.
Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn; Mr. Galster seconded and with a unanimous aye vote from the Planning Commission Members present, the meeting adjourned at 10:51 p.m.
________________________, 2010 ___________________________________
Chairman Tony Butrum
________________________, 2010 ___________________________________
Richard Bauer, Secretary