Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 March 1999

7:00 p.m.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

ROLL CALL

Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston, David

Okum, Robert Seaman, Councilman Tom Vanover, James

Young and Chairman Syfert.

Others Present: Bill McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, City Planner

CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Report on Council

Mr. Galster stated that Pictoria Island as before Council, but because of a snafu, the first reading was delayed, so the second reading will be at the next meeting and the public hearing will be opened and continued. Also, today we had the opening of the bids for the community center, and the bids came in over $1 million under budget.

B. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – January 19, 1999

C. Zoning Bulletin – February 10, 1999

D. 2/16/99 Letter to Bill Syfert from J. & R. Coordinating Services

E. 2/224/99 Letter from Jose Castrejon requesting Tri-County Golf Center be considered at April meeting

F. 3/2/99 Letter to Bill Syfert from Sheldon-Reder

G. 2/26/99 Memo from Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission re "A Plan for Planning"

  1. OLD BUSINESS
    1. Final Approval of Tri-County Golf Center, 455 East Tri-County Parkway (Oak Hills Cemetery property) – tabled 2/9/99

Mr. Syfert stated they are requesting that this be tabled to the April meeting. Mr. Okum moved that it be tabled and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and it was tabled to April 13th.

B. Conditional Use Permit, Alphabet Soup (Day Care Center) 11285 Springfield Pike – Public Hearing – continued 2/9/99

Mr. Syfert said this is a continuance of the public hearing of February 9, 1999. This is a public hearing, and all testimony given in cases pending before this commission are to be made part of the public record. As such, each citizen testifying before the commission is directed to sign in, take his place at the podium and say his name address and the nature of his concern. Be advised that all testimony and discussion relative to said issue is recorded. It is from the recording that our minutes are taken.

Tammy Barnett of Alphabet Soup, David Cawdrey representing the owners of the building, General Revenue Corporation and John Blanton of Toensmeyer Architects and Bryan Blade, of Frost & Jacobs also representing the owner of the building approached the commission.

Mr. Cawdrey stated we are bringing in a revised plan. The staff report asked for two things, that we provide and identify a safe drop off and pick up zone and relocate and redesign the playground area to exclude the trash dumpster and truck path, and eliminate the pedestrian-vehicular conflict. We felt that a very good suggestion and have relocated the play area to immediately behind the tenant’s premises.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Ms. McBride stated the revised plan now has a 1750 square foot lay area to the rear of the building. It is a 25’ x 75’ area with a four foot high chain link fence and landscaping around that. It is located a minimum of 55 feet from the west property line and the area is to have a wood fiber playground surface on it.

The nice feature about the location is that they were able to align the gate to the play area with the rear door for the child care center, and they further included fencing between the outdoor play area and the building. There are gates so the tenants can still use the walkway, but it is a nice safety feature for the children.

They have designated 30 parking spaces for 15 minute short term drop off and pick up. The plan doesn’t eliminate any of the parking spaces as was proposed last month so there is no reduction for the parking for the center which was already overparked by our code requirements.

They’re proposing to add the name of the child care center to the existing ground mounted sign, but they are not proposing any changes to the size of structure of that sign. They also are not proposing any changes to the exterior of the building or the lighting on the site. We believe they have met all of the concerns that planning staff had on this development.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that on the playground area, we need additional information verifying the grading and modification to the existing storm sewer to make sure it won’t aggravate any drainage concerns that are in that vicinity. We also need a cross section through the proposed wall area to make sure it will work in that area.

Mr. McErlane stated I do not have additional comments beyond what Ms. McBride and Mr. Shvegzda stated. I would like to emphasize that I think the 30 drop off spaces are probably overkill. Half a dozen would probably suffice for drop off and pick up.

Mr. Okum said I am much more favorable towards this design. On the evergreen shrubbery, what is the size and spacing? Mr. Blanton answered I don’t think we can get anything of a large stature there; we don’t have the space to do it, but I would like to see something to screen both the back of the building and the lower playground area. Perhaps everything could be a bush style that would get six to eight foot tall. I don’t think we could get a pine tree back there; it would get too big. Mr. Okum responded on the drawings, you indicate evergreen trees. Mr. Blanton answered that needs to be looked at carefully by the landscape designer. We were trying to provide a soft barrier both around the playground itself with a bush style but behind the building as well, because it is higher than the playground by a foot or two. I basically have a double row of shrubbery.

Mr. Okum said you would not have any objection to putting in 10 foot high evergreens. That is the standard screening evergreen size. Mr. Blanton answered that would be fine.

Mr. Okum asked if they were adding any lighting on the rear of the building to accommodate the children in the play area for days like today. Mr. Blanton answered they would not be outside on overcast days or cloudy days. Mr. Cawdrey added we asked Ms. Barnett whether there would be any play outside when the daylight would be diminished, and she said no.

Mr. Okum asked if the drop off spots would be identified, wondering if there would be a time limitation on the parking areas.

 

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9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued


Mr. Blanton answered we do have assigned areas and it can be done in signage or on the actual pavement. Mr. Cawdrey added on the site plan it says 15 minute drop off zone. They would be turnover spaces where parents would drop off and allow another parent to use that spot 15 or 20 minutes later. Mr. Okum commented typically signage on pavement wears off, is not maintained and is not seen by the person pulling onto the pavement.

Mr. Okum asked the hours for the drop off, and Ms. Barnett responded the center hours will be 7 until 6 and typically drop off and pick up are the first and last hour and one half.

Mr. Syfert opened the public hearing.

Michelle Gressel, Attorney for J & R Coordinating Services. With me is Rogie Vollmar, one of the two owners, and she will tell you about their business and what their issues are.

Mrs. Vollmar said our business is a market research company, and we do a variety of testing at a variety of times a day. Some of them are early in the day, and some go into the early evening, sometimes as late as 10 p.m.

One of our concerns about our business being located next to a day care facility with 92 students is the essential quiet that is necessary for us to operate our business. We video tape and audio tape a lot of our research so those who can’t attend can view this at another time, or in another state or country. We have spent a lot of money equipping two different rooms with audio visual equipment which is very sensitive and picks up all the noise in the background. One of our European type focus group rooms is located across the back of the building where we would be recording for Europe and it would be necessary for us to enjoy the quiet we have. In order to make sure we were right on how people felt about the facility, we did a scan of the people who use our facility, and they told us they would be deeply concerned if the quiet background was not enjoyed as it is today.

We also are concerned about pulling into and out of the GRC Corporate Center. There is not a traffic light at the entrance, and many times it is hard to make a left hand turn out of GRC into rush hour traffic. We are increasing by 50 to 70 cars during rush hour.

We enjoy being in the City of Springdale and the quiet and beauty of the area. Thank you for allowing us to voice our concerns.

Mr. Galster asked the length of their lease, and Mrs. Vollmar answered five years. Mr. Galster continued I assume you have had conversation with the landlord in terms of soundproofing equipment. My major concern is when we look at a conditional use permit, we can evaluate the effects that use would have on adjoining properties. I don’t know how that translates into adjoining tenants, when in fact the owner of the building is asking for the conditional use.

Mr. Syfert said you indicated that the attempt to soundproof which they promised to do hadn’t been done. Have you made any attempt to get it done? Mrs. Vollmar answered we have reinforced our facility with soundproofing ourselves. We have put up material on the walls and attempted to address the issues. Mr. Syfert said so you were promised that they will soundproof the wall between the two of you. Mrs. Vollmar answered yes, what they said was don’t worry we’ll take care of that.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Mr. Syfert continued if the Certificate of Occupancy for the day care center was tied to sufficient soundproofing of the wall between the two, it seems to me that might be a solution.

Mrs. Vollmar responded one of the concerns is the places we would need soundproofing would be across the back of the building where the windows are, and I don’t know how you can soundproof a window. We don’t use one of the windows and we would be happy if it were boarded up and soundproofed, but there are several windows across the back that would need to be done that we do use.

Mr. Chris Sheldon of Sheldon-Reder CPAs said I am standing in for one of my partners. I haven’t read the letter, but I think I know the essence. Aside from being very supportive of everything that Mrs. Vollmar has mentioned, my bigger concern is the exit and entry to and from that parking lot. It is right now very difficult. Just exiting to the right going south on Springfield Pike is difficult, and going north out of that lot is even more difficult, because you have the traffic coming from both directions.

In addition to that, entry into the lot is very difficult. Most of the activity from the day care center is going to occur very early in the morning, very concentrated in a narrow period of time. Without a light there, it presents serious dangers for the children and other people driving through that area. Aside from all the other issues we have as tenants, it creates dangerous conditions simply getting in and out of that lot, and unless you are considering a traffic light there and one that would have some extended time to allow people to get in and out in the morning and evening, you will create dangerous conditions. It also will be difficult for us as businesses to operate with clients coming in and out of there.

Mr. Mike Sharkey, 355 Naylor Court said I spoke to you at the last meeting about the GRC Center and the owner’s failure to respond to the water drainage problem on our property since the building was constructed about 11 years ago.

The fact that they have done work on their property to correct their drainage problem shows that there is a problem in the area of drainage. That is because the building was constructed on land that was often muddy but the natural little gullies would carry rainwater over to man made ditches on Springfield Pike. When GRC was first constructed, the inside of the building on the southwest corner flooded and carpeting and wallboard had to be replaced. GRC has done a lot of work to solve their problems but has ignored our problems. We believe the building’s slab foundation which is about 30 inches deep and the building’s width, approximately 250 feet is a huge dam, and guess whose property is on the water backup side – ours.

Tonight I will inform you about what is happening to our home. The house is 34 years old. In the past five months we have cracks in six places on the inside and outside walls. Some of our doors no longer close. It seems our slab foundation is shifting or collapsing. Occasionally we hear sounds of cracking within the house. A structural engineering company came out and suggested doing a test to monitor the ground water level; this test would cost me about $3,000. If we find out what is causing these problems, how much more will it cost for repairs, $15 - $25,000? I cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on repairs. I would like some opinions on what you think can be done about this problem.

Last month, I said that the whole issue is promises that were broken. Two years ago, they promised they would clean up the debris in the back yard. This has not been done by the GRC people.

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9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Mr. Sharkey added verbally I was promised they would cut a swale to the north to drain our property. This was never done. I would like comments from GRC regarding our problems and if they have any idea as to what can be done. Springdale approved these plans without checking any further, and I wonder if you aren’t also responsible for these conditions. When they built the building, there was a natural drain line that went through there. They severed the drain line which is causing part of their problems. They didn’t bother to ask a neighbor, me, if there was anything they should know before they came in and started digging. Now there are all these drainage problems, and they don’t bother to ask me.

I want to thank Mr. Cawdrey for bringing the blueprints over to the house so I could look at them. It looks like if they do their proposed drain around the back of the play area, they may catch this drain pipe and could possibly drain some of this stuff off. Any ideas – I am at a loss. I am very frustrated.

Mr. Syfert asked if any one else cared to address the commission. No one responded, and he closed the public hearing.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Galster said in reference to Mr. Sharkey’s concern about the water retention on the property, are you confident that what the applicant proposes to do and the additional information you requested will show or correct any problems that might exist?

Mr. Shvegzda answered first, there wasn’t anything brought to my attention regarding an unknown storm conduit running in that vicinity. In that regard, I don’t know if that will solve that problem. What they are indicating on there is strictly to solve any standing water problems that would be in the immediate area of the building.

Mr. Galster asked the amount of effort it would take for us to expand our survey to see what additional water problems there might be on that property or in the general surrounding area?

Mr. Shvegzda responded concerning the storm conduit, there would have to be some exploratory excavation on that site to determine where it was, what depth, and if it could be intercepted by this proposed storm sewer.

Mr. Cawdrey said I did take the time to meet with Mrs. Sharkey; unfortunately I missed Mr. Sharkey, and one of the things Mrs. Sharkey showed me was the existing conditions in their backyard. They do have a tremendous amount of water that apparently has been draining for years and years that comes from the other neighbors’ yards. We have added more drain tile than we thought we would need to do on the back side of the play area, with the hope that it could divert some of the water that is backing up into Mr. Sharkey’s yard. Certainly that is a legitimate concern.

The other thing we are proposing to do is relocate a catch basin further in that direction where the water is coming and backing up, and we hope that will divert some of this water from Mr. Sharkey’s yard and to our retention basin at the opposite end of the property. I wanted to meet with the Sharkey’s and ask them if they thought this would help. I have only been involved with this project for the last year, but I know that GRC has done a tremendous amount in terms of mounding, and I don’t know if this has exacerbated Mr. Sharkey’s problem, but GRC’s intent was to divert more water to the existing retention basin. That is what we are proposing to do with this play area; we hope that will give us another opportunity to take more water away.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 March 1999

Page Six

V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Mr. Huddleston said I want to compliment the applicant on trying to address the concerns of the commission. I find it difficult to get Planning involved in the middle of what I consider a civil matter between tenants and landlord. That is hard for me to understand, but there is a provision in a conditional use permit relative to how it may or may not affect adjacent uses or occupancies. I think it is a no win situation for us to attempt to address the concerns of the other tenants relative to this applicant.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Huddleston asked about the traffic count generated by this type use. Is that sufficient to justify an additional turn lane in and out of the property itself and would that be of any benefit without adding either acceleration, deceleration or run around lanes to Springfield Pike at that location?

Mr. Shvegzda wondered if the right turn lane in is the problem or is it the left turn into the site that is the concern. Mr. Huddleston responded my feeling is that the driveway is fairly narrow as it exists relative to turning in and out. It certainly is ample depending on the amount of movement through it, but my point is would it make any sense to add a turn lane to that, or is this volume sufficient to justify something like that. Mr. Shvegzda answered it probably isn’t, but we would have to take a look at that further. When it was fully occupied by the original tenant, I would imagine they had quite a bit of traffic. I know the parking lot was totally full, and it may be a similar situation to that. Concerning a possible traffic signal, it would not be an applicable situation due to the proximity of the signal at Maple Knoll.

Mr. Huddleston added this is basically a civil matter. I think the applicant has done a good job of addressing the concerns of the commission, and I think it is for the landlord to work out with his tenants who is in there.

Mr. Okum said to make it clear, the use being proposed here would not change the existing peak hour demand of access to that facility or leaving that facility. Mr. Shvegzda answered insofar as the peak hour demand entering it, it will be for people dropping their children off on their way to work. Probably it will be earlier than it would have been as it existed before. The total number of trips would be more because you would have somebody dropping off and leaving the facility. Mr. Okum wondered if that additional increase of traffic leaving the facility generate a need to evaluate that entrance in the Route 4 area? Could it justify a left turn suicide lane out? Mr. Shvegzda responded I guess that could be looked at assuming each student dropped off was by a separate vehicle. There could be assumptions made and numbers generated to see where it stood.

Mr. Okum continued considering that the flow of traffic would be different than the current use, would it be inappropriate for us to request that? Mr. Shvegzda answered since the concerns were discussed here, it probably would be an appropriate informational analysis to have.

Mr. Cawdrey said when the General Revenue Corporation fully occupied the building, which is a little over 21,000 square feet, they were required to have 4 spaces per 1,000 square feet and we are almost at 7 spaces per thousand. The applicant will be leasing 9,000 square feet, so they would be entitled to at least 63 parking spaces. We have a facility that has abundant parking. When we designated 30 drop off and pick up spots for 15 minute intervals, we anticipated parents coming in, dropping off their children, perhaps visiting with the teacher and coming back and exiting.

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9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Mr. Cawdrey continued when GRC fully occupied the bulding, there were over 200 employees. With Maple Knoll’s traffic light approximately 100 yards away, the traffic should slow up to allow safe ingress and egress. What concerns me is some of the tenants, J & R Coordinating specifically, have reported to us that they have had as many as 500 people coming in and out of the parking lot in one day. They are leasing 6500 square feet, and based on that, they are entitled to 45.5 parking spaces. We are fortunate to have excess parking; Sheldon-Reder does not utilize their full parking, and they are entitled to 42 parking spaces. We have a conflict here in that perhaps one tenant is overutilizing their parking and another tenant is underutilizing it, but I don’t feel this applicant would be causing an additional traffic problem with the kind of staggered drop off and pick up they are contemplating. I would agree with your staff saying that 30 parking spaces is probably more than we needed, but considering that they are entitled to 63 parking spaces to park full time, we thought 30 would not be unreasonable. We can reduce that; we can increase it at the pleasure of the commission.

Mr. Okum said my concern is ingress-egress at a peak period. We did not have the egress at 7-8 a.m. with the previous tenant. Mr. Cawdrey answered you would have a full work force exiting at 5:00 p.m. So, we are thinking this presents a better opportunity for safety in the building in that we are not going to have the entire work force leave at the exact same time. Mr. Okum said my only concern is the drop off period. Mr. Cawdrey responded it would be a one and one-half hour period.

Mr. Seaman said I would like to compliment the applicant for addressing the vast majority if not all of the staff comments and I would agree that since the owner of the building is requesting this, civil matters between the landlord and tenants should not be contemplated by us. I also feel that even when the day care is fully operational and at peak capacity, it probably will generate less overall burden on the entrance to the GRC center than if GRC were an 8 to 5 operation, and I would vote in favor of granting this conditional use permit.

Mr. Okum said we have continued this, and if I were to make the motion, I would have some part of the motion to include a traffic study provided by the applicant to show the trip generations for the facility to be analyzed and approved by our city engineer. Before making that type of motion, I would like to get the commission’s feelings on it.

Mr. Syfert commented it is not a requirement of a conditional use permit to provide that. The staff did not see fit to even request such a thing. It was looked at as a lesser use than what we had before overall, and would put less burden on the overall situation.

Ms. McBride said our biggest concern was the drop off and pick up, which the applicant has addressed. Obviously the traffic utilizing the child care center would be a.m. and p.m. peak. If it were an office user, you would have the p.m. peak trips coming out and the lunchtime traffic as well as the trips going in at the am peak.

Mr. Shvegzda added basically it will be different. There will be more trips because of the dropping off; whether that will be more total trips than the usage hasn’t been analyzed. The initial thought was that it was not a problem. Without looking at specific numbers, I can’t answer definitively if it will increase or decrease total traffic count.

Mr. Syfert commented we must face the fact that with any issue we address, there are traffic concerns.

 

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9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Mr. Okum said if the commission at this point feels that it is not an issue, then it shouldn’t be part of the motion. If the commission feels it is a concern, then it should be part of the motion and considered for analysis purposes so that we have some justification for our decision.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Vanover asked about the signal south of the applicant’s driveway; is that in the loop system, or by demand? Mr. Shvegzda answered it is strictly on demand; there is a interconnect there, but at this time it doesn’t justify that it be part of the closed loop system. Mr. Shvegzda added if there would be an agreement between the adjoining property owners to have access to their drive which leads to signalized point at Route 4, that might be something to investigate.

Mr. Vanover wondered if we have knowledge of prior storm water problems down there prior to the construction of the building? Mr. McErlane responded we are aware that GRC had some problems with flooding a few years after they constructed the building. Primarily they were trying to route water around the back of the building to the sides to try to pick up storm water. Other than the detention basin on the one end, there really wasn’t much in the way of storm sewer to pick it up and take it around, so it had to work its way around on the surface and it was working its way into the building instead of around it.

Mr. Huddleston said responding to Mr. Okum’s question, I think I have heard enough from the city engineer that says that in all probability this will be less of a traffic generator than the other, a little different, but less. I think we have a significant number of these type occupancies in office/office service type environments all over the city and if it is not ideal it is predominant and one that serves that kind of population, and I don’t see this as a real problem for a traffic study.

Mr. Young said I have a problem with the fact that there can be a traffic problem there. Until you put somebody in there, we won’t know what kind of a problem there might be. On a more personal basis, we have some folks here talking about GRC and things they have promised in the past which have not come true. If we go forward with the motion, we need to make sure that they do what they say they are going to do, because it appears that they haven’t in the past done things that they promised. Quite honestly that is bad business, and I think it is something that needs to be addressed.

Mr. Cawdrey said I do not think it is fair to suggest that we have made promises and broken them without knowledge of the entire situation. We have tried to consider the tenants. Both J & R and Sheldon Reder have said this is not our first choice. We have asked them what we can do to mitigate any potential issues and we have offered to build a separate wall between them and put in six inches of insulation. We don’t have a signed lease, so we haven’t had an opportunity to follow through with that, but that is a promise we have made and we will certainly keep that promise.

With respect to sound attenuation, J & R Coordinating Systems is very concerned and understandably so to have quiet, a very important aspect of their business, but next to the European focus group room, is a baby sitting room on an adjoining wall.

Mr. Cawdrey added I agree that these are landlord tenant issues that we feel obligated to address. That is our responsibility, but I hope those issues would not cloud the commission’s decision on whether or not this is a permitted use.

 

 

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9 March 1999

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V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – ALPHABET SOUP - continued

Mr. Cawdrey added we will address the issue of sound attenuation, and we have committed to building a separate wall with six inches of insulation so we can prevent any interior sound attenuation.

Mr. Young responded while I appreciate the fact that you want to work with your tenants, I am a little more concerned with our residents. You have heard from Mr. Sharkey probably numerous times, and according to Mr. Sharkey it has been quite a few years. You made the statement that you wanted to get together with him, and it’s been 30 days and you have been there once,. All I am saying is I hear a precedent being set, and I hear it by our residents who we have to look out for. All I have is your word that you are going to do what you promised, and that is great. But, if all these things were going to be done in the past, why weren’t they?

Mr. Cawdrey answered I would respectfully disagree with you. I met Mr. Sharkey for the first time at the last meeting, and I asked Mr. Sharkey to bring me up to date on his concerns and send me some information. He was not able to do it. We were trying to address the commission and staff’s two questions. I felt an obligation to personally meet with each of the tenants and Mr. and Mrs. Sharkey. I went at the end of the business day and missed Mr. Sharkey; I apologize for that but I left my card with phone numbers, home numbers and said if they had any questions to please call me. I think I have demonstrated the willingness to work with the tenants and Mr. and Mrs. Sharkey and anyone else, and will continue to do so.

Mr. Young responded I am not questioning your ability; I am questioning GRC.

Mr. Vanover said the lessors’ concerns are between them and the property owners, and that is not an arena that we have jurisdiction in. There are other remedies for that. My biggest concern is a solution and answers on the drainage problem. In terms of traffic, I would tend to agree that this would be a lighter use than what could be there.

Mr. Galster moved to approve the project with a minimum of 10 foot high evergreens as shown on the drawings, and in addition, that the applicant submit the storm water management information requested by our city engineer as well as the cross section through the proposed retaining wall so he can evaluate those. That would be the only condition of my motion. Mr. Seaman seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover and Mr. Syfert. Mr. Young voted no, and the conditional use permit was approved with six affirmative and one negative vote.

  1. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Conditional Use Permit, Car Wash – 1333 East Kemper Road
    2. Public Hearing

      Jeff Klump, of Architectural Design Construction Management, representing 5 Star Car Wash and Mark Wilson, Chief Financial Officer of 5 Star Car Wash approached the commission. Mr. Klump stated we are proposing an upscale full service car wash. Five Star will provide an interior wash bay, and drying area. A lot of work would be done inside; there would be some drying done in front of the facility. They also would include a coffee shop and shoeshine to provide full service to the customers. It is our intent to provide something that is not the typical run of the mill car wash.

       

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      9 March 1999

      Page Ten

      V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – CAR WASH – 1333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

      Mr. Syfert said for the benefit of the commission members and the applicant, since this was a conditional use permit, we had to advertise it as a public hearing. However, due to a vast lack of the information required for a conditional use permit, we will open the public hearing, but we will not be able to take any final action tonight. There are too many open items, and we will have to table it for 30 days.

      Mr. Syfert opened the Public Hearing, asking anyone who wished to speak for or against it.

      Sandy Wilkerson, representing Duke Realty Investments said we own the pieces of land directly behind and beside it. The driveway is a private drive with easements, but it is not Chesterdale Road, and you need to correct that on your plans.

      I have to commend Anne McBride for her report; almost every question that I had was asked. Initially we have an objection to the fact that someone wants to put a car wash directly in front of one of our professional office buildings, and of course we will hold our comments and reservations until we see a full set of plans.

      We believe the proposed development is too large for the site. We have questions about the landscaping and the visibility of our tenants. They will be looking into the back end of a car wash; it is not a professional environment. What kind of screening and landscaping will they provide, and what kind of traffic control will they have?

      The entrance is primarily off Kemper Road. If you are going eastbound, it may not be a problem because you would be going with the flow of traffic. However, it is nearly impossible to turn left into the site from there, which means some will be entering into the private drive. The location of the driveway on this will not be across from Chuck E Cheese. If anyone has been at that light, it is difficult to get in and out of there. The light is not long enough for more than three or four cars. We really do have some concerns about the use, but we will reserve our comments until we see the full set of what they are proposing.

      Mr. Larry Bergman of The Bergman Group said this conditional use was granted previously for the site. Tonight was the first night I got to see the plans to understand where they are coming from, and I also explained to them some things they need to be aware of. I think they have a pretty clear understanding of what they need to present to you.

      I do think it does leave a professional image for the facility, and will be far more appealing than that triangular building with the Blimpie sign on it. With the proper guidance of planning and the proper design and thought through traffic studies, this could be a very good use for it.

      I also have concerns about traffic on Kemper Road. We have a very large vested interest off Kemper Commons, and we would be sensitive about traffic. I also have experience in the car wash business, and you find many days where the business is shut down. It has periods of time when there is traffic, but typically you will see 50,000 cars a year, or 125 cars a day. I think you will find the use to not be so threatening on traffic, and the study will prove so. Please keep an open mind and give them the tools they need to properly present it next month. Mr. Syfert closed the Public Hearing.

      Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert asked if they had copies of the staff comments, and Mr. Klump indicated that they did not. Mr. McErlane reported that it was difficult to contact people relative to this project.

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      9 March 1999

      Page Eleven

      V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – CAR WASH – 1333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

      Mr. McErlane continued we asked for building elevations at the time it was submitted and they never were delivered until I had to ask for them last Thursday and received them Friday. This was promotional literature for franchisees. We gave them the staff reports tonight.

      Mr. Syfert added unless there are questions or comments from members of the commission, I believe we should table this until next month.

      Mr. Galster commented I’m not sure how the process works. Do you give a conditional use permit before you see the preliminary and final plan, or should it all happen at the same time? Mr. McErlane responded typically most applicants will not want to spend the money on an engineered plan without knowing that they can have the use. A conditional use is an approval of the use. Obviously it is conditioned on what is presented to Planning Commission, but it is not a detailed engineered site plan at that point.

      Mr. Galster said so if the conditional use would be granted at some point, we would start seeing the preliminary and final plan and at that point the use could be deemed too intense for the site?

      Mr. McErlane answered it would be worthwhile to see a concept plan and look at it in terms of intensity and its impact on adjacent properties relative to the use. Also, from the standpoint of architecture, it makes sense to look at it relative to adjacent properties. There are a lot of discrepancies on the conceptual plan that need to be addressed. Although the conceptual plan we received had a scale, it wasn’t the scale of the drawing, and we weren’t sure if it included all the property, and if it did include all the property, it didn’t include the 20 foot access easement that currently serves as a drive for the properties behind it. Those are some major things that need to be addressed.

      Also, the application was not signed by the property owner, and we didn’t receive a letter from the property owner either making the request or giving approval for the request.

      Mr. Syfert commented it is pretty specific in the code what is required for a conditional use permit, and this is one of the things that concerned staff; we didn’t have anything to work with.

      Mr. Galster continued my question is if we grant the conditional use, can we still not approve the plan and the conditional use would be void for the applicant? Mr. McErlane responded they have 180 days to act on the conditional use permit, and you would see the final plan. Mr. Galster said if this never gets final approval, what happens to the conditional use? Mr. McErlane responded it would lapse. Mr. Syfert added the last time we approved one it died there.

      Mr. Okum said for the benefit of everyone, we have made reference to the reports from the city engineer, planner and building official, and I think those staff reports should be incorporated into this portion of the public hearing. There is a lot of information that the applicant needs to build from. My biggest concern is traffic generations, impact on private driveway that you either have or don’t have access to. If it is a common access drive, there might be something in those use agreements, but I would like to see verified that the trip generation for that site wouldn’t overexceed the rights granted on the easement. You need to respond to the issues our staff has requested prior to the Friday before the meeting. They need ample time to evaluate your submission, and if it is not 14 days prior to our next meeting, I think it should be carried forward one more meeting. It’s not fair to them or us.

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      9 March 1999

      Page Twelve

      V B CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT – CAR WASH – 1333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

      Mr. Seaman said if Dave is saying we should go through all the staff reports now, I would respectfully disagree. Mr. Okum said they should be part of the record. Mr. Seaman answered absolutely, and we need to assure that they are very well communicated to the applicant and those folks who have a concern.

      Mr. Galster moved to continue the public hearing to April 13th and Mr. Seaman seconded the motion. By voices vote, all voted aye, and the public hearing was continued.

      B. Wall Sign – Sylvan Learning Center – 11810 Springfield Pike (Wimbledons Plaza – T District)

      Greg Bullock, representing Community Management Corporation which owns Wimbledons Plaza and Sylvan Learning Center. Sylvan Learning Center has taken another space within the center and has signed a seven year lease, with an additional five year option, so they are here for along stay. The existing sign says Sylvan and then Learning Center to the right of it. The space we have leased to them, even though it is larger, the frontage is smaller than the existing space. The building also has a 45 degree inside angle which does not permit a large enough sign for that frontage.

      The variance we are asking for would be overlapping the adjoining space (Norwest Financial). I have permission from them; they have no problem with it, and it also stays 3-3 ½ feet from their existing sign. I have some photographs which will show the 45 degree angle. He passed out the photographs.

      Mr. Galster stated I assume everybody has had an opportunity to look this over and is familiar with this location. I personally have no problem with it. We can go through staff comments, but I think it is pretty cut and dried, and I will make a motion to allow the variance for this Learning Center sign in Wimbledons Plaza, unless someone wants to make additional comments. Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

      Mr. Okum asked the percentage of Wimbledons Plaza that is now unleased, and Mr. Bullock answered I have one space available, the chiropractic office that will be leaving the end of April. Mr. Okum asked the square footage of that space, and Mr. Bullock answered 2,200 square feet. Mr. Okum asked the square footage in the entire site, and Mr. McErlane reported it is 50,000 square feet. Mr. Okum commented that is far below 10%; why is your billboard still out on Route 4? Frankly sir, the sign on the street must go. Mr. Bullock added we have had five rentals in the last 30 days. I have been in charge of that center six months, and I have had rentals that I have had to lease. Mr. Okum responded I understand that, but you understand the terms of the sign ordinance; it is occupied space. It doesn’t matter if you have a lease coming open for you to have the availability of signage. Mr. Okum added they have consistently avoided taking it down, and you have a beautiful center there; it seems a shame to ruin it with a billboard in front. . Mr. Bullock answered I’ll pass that information along.

      Mr. Huddleston asked what passing the information on means. Mr. Bullock responded I am the property manager of the center; I am not the owner and I will pass the information along tomorrow.

      Mr. McErlane commented probably the best illustration of the problem is on that section of the architectural plan, things narrow down pretty minutely in that corner and it leaves them with only 13 feet to maneuver that sign in. The sign is an existing one that they are moving from previous locations.

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      9 March 1999

      Page Thirteen

      VI B SYLVAN LEARNING CENTER WALL SIGN – 11810 PRINCETON PIKE

      On the motion to grant the variance, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Young, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Huddleston and Mr. Syfert voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

    3. Directional Sign Approval – Tri-County Commons – 850 East Kemper Road (PUD)
    4. Mr. McErlane reported that Nadine Liggett called me to the back and said they are withdrawing their request and will comply with code.

      Mr. Galster moved to remove the item from the agenda. All voted aye, and the item was removed.

    5. Building Addition, Recker & Boerger and Proposed Garage, Enterprise Rent A Car, 169 Northland Boulevard

Mr. McErlane stated I was contacted by Recker & Boerger today. Their architect couldn’t make it tonight, but they felt it was necessary tog et with the architect and address the issues that staff has and asked to be tabled to the next month. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the matter was tabled to April 13th.

VII DISCUSSION

    1. Review of Zoning Code Draft

Ms. McBride said in an ongoing effort to continue to move the situation forward, one of the items that we will be looking at is our fee schedule. Not the map amendments or plan reviews, but more specifically the issuance of variances, conditional uses and appeals of administrative decisions. Right now we do not charge for any of these items. Most communities do, even if it is just enough to cover the advertising and notification for the public hearings. We did a quick poll of the communities surrounding the City of Springdale, Blue Ash, Sharonville, Forest Park, Fairfield and Hamilton County. Blue Ash is the only one that does not charge for variances and appeals and their development director told me that she thought they would be changing that. I am not suggesting that the city necessarily go with a schedule like Hamilton County has which is based on an improvement dollar value. Typically most of the residentials have a deck in the rear yard, and it falls in the $100 to $200 range. That is a lot of money if you are a property owner putting on a deck. We don’t want to make it so hard for somebody to get a variance that they either don’t get it or make it difficult for them to do the development. I am not asking you for action tonight, but please start to think about it because we will be looking for this in the next couple of months and wrapping everything up.

If it is the commission’s preference to continue not to charge, that is your prerogative, but I would urge you to at least try to recoup some of your advertising and notification costs. My professional feeling is there could be a fee for residential and a fee for commercial like Sharonville. Some differentiation between the two types of development is appropriate. I don’t think it is unfair to ask people to at least cover the costs of notification and advertisement.

Mr. Syfert commented we had two public hearings here tonight, and we do have a cost involved.

Mr. Syfert asked how much longer for the zoning code, and Ms. McBride answered it probably will be two months before everything is finished. Before the April meeting, you will receive all the check lists.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 March 1999

Page Fourteen

VII – DISCUSSION – CONTINUED

Mr. Galster said my personal opinion is that we do not charge for building permits for and we shouldn’t charge for variances for our residents who come up here to put a shed a foot closer to his property line.

Mr. Okum commented when it comes to commercial $250 is not unreasonable and I would not have a problem with that. I agree with Mr. Galster on the residential. Also, there are two items that Mr. Osborn brought up at the first review of the code, the neon lighting issue and canopy lights; we have heard nothing about that. Ms. McBride responded there are a number of items like that – I would include parking; we will send out a memo to you and address all those items again. Mr. Okum asked if those items were substantial enough to have a pre meeting of the committee before the final? Ms. McBride answered that’s a fine idea if the committee is willing to do that. We’ll send out alternate dates for this.

Mr. Vanover said on the question of variances, I think the residents should not be charged, but commercial is a different matter.

VIII CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

A, Automotive Solutions – 11452 Springfield Pike – ground sign

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Syfert asked if everyone would be present at the April 13th meeting. Mr. Young indicated that he would not be here.

Mr. Huddleston said relative to the Recker & Boerger situation, I would like to see the Enterprise car wash come from the side rather than from the front.

Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Seaman seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_______________________,1999 _________________________

William Syfert, Chairman

 

 

________________________,1999 __________________________

Robert Seaman, Secretary