SPRINGDALE PLANNING COMMISSION

14 MARCH 2000

7:00 P.M.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Dick Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman Tom Vanover, David Whitaker and Chairman Syfert.

Members Absent: Donald Darby

Others Present: Mayor Doyle H. Webster

Asst. City Administrator Derrick Parham

Building Official William McErlane

Asst. City Engineer Don Shvegzda

City Planner Anne McBride

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 8 FEBRUARY 2000

Mr. Galster moved to approve and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.

CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Report on Council
    2. Mr. Galster stated that there was discussion on the proposed fees, and the law director is looking into whether or not we can legally eliminate single family fees. Mr. Okum asked if this referred to Board of Zoning Appeals, adding our agendas are mostly full of sometimes very trivial issues. Mr. Galster responded I tried to address this committee’s concerns to City Council. They still are uncomfortable with the $50 for the residents because we have gone to great lengths to eliminate fees for the residential areas. At this point, that seems to be Council’s desire, but legal ramifications may prevent us from not charging anything. Mr. Okum commented it seems difficult at the Board of Zoning Appeals when the majority consist of people already in violation because for example the shed already has been constructed. Mr. Galster answered I share your sentiments, but that is not the feeling of the majority of Council.

    3. Zoning Bulletin – February 10, 2000

C. Zoning Bulletin – February 25, 2000

D. 2/11/00 Letter from Dave Whitaker to Kathy McNear President of Council re recommended planning & zoning fee changes

    1. Planning Commissioners Journal
  1. OLD BUSINESS
    1. White Castle requests approval of proposed parking lot at corner of West Kemper Road and Springfield Pike 11587 Springfield Pike (former Precision Tune) - tabled 2/8/00

Mr. Mark Burgess of R. Z. Zande Associates said since we have been here last, we have made a couple of minor revisions. The handicapped parking spaces got moved over, and we added a walk path from the parking lot area to get into the building a little easier as requested by the Commission. One of the other issues was the signage, and they have taken the reader board out of the monument sign at the intersection and limited it to seven feet high from the sidewalk.

I would like to respond to some of the staff comments. On the landscaping and the cultivar of Maiden Grass, we can specify the dwarf type that doesn’t go above 3 feet.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Two

V A WHITE CASTLE PROPOSED PARKING LOT – 11587 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Burgess added on the light poles being bronze, it was White Castle’s understanding that they were blue, but they are bronze and we will match what is out there.

Jim Mundt, the staff and commission chairman met three weeks ago and talked about some of the other issues to get some of these things resolved tonight.

Mr. Syfert said for the benefit of the Commission, we did have a meeting, and I think Mr. Mundt came a little confused on some of the issues when he left the last meeting, and we tried to bring them all into perspective, and I feel he has come back with a real good plan.

Regarding the grass, I’m not sure she wants the short grass in there; we just want to know what it is. We are trying to obscure the walk-in cooler. Ms. McBride added there were several places where the landscape architect felt it would either interfere with other plant material or could cause a problem with site visibility. There were a few specific instances where they asked for a species that was less than three feet. Otherwise, taller is generally better. Mr. Burgess added at the cooler, we did put larger plants to screen that area.

Ms. McBride reported White Castle has revised their landscaping plan consistent with our requirements and requests. The two items we mentioned, the species of the Maiden Grass and heading up the Honey Locusts trees at a minimum of 5 feet because of visibility and clearance.

The directional signs they included on the revised set appear to be reduced in size, but there wasn’t a scale or any dimensions, so we couldn’t calculate the square footage or height, and we will need to have that information.

There seems to be some confusion regarding light poles and fixtures. One sheet indicated that they were bronze and the other indicated blue. The applicant this evening indicated they would be bronze which is staff’s preference.

There are two variances that would be necessary. One has to do with the fact that the loading space will now be visible from the frontage street. The second has to do with the proposed ground mounted sign. If that is to go forward, they will have a total of over 175 square feet of sign area and they are entitled to 137 square feet.

Mr. Shvegzda stated we need clarification on the directional signage and placements. The first would be the sign for enter only for the southbound traffic on State Route 4; it would be faced in that direction. The second is a clarification that the existing sign at what is now the north driveway would remain and that there is just one sign there that indicates enter only. The other issue was the placement of the drive through sign back in the site and the landscape area immediately opposite where the traffic would come in.

The second issue deals with the parking revision. The applicant has consolidated where the handicapped parking is alongside the building, and eliminated what was the handicapped spot and the adjacent van access area. This clears an approximately 20-foot area for additional landscaping. It also eliminates conflicting movement for each of those rows of parking backing up to exit the site. It doesn’t totally eliminate the backing up into traffic coming in. However, that is an existing condition today and from what we have been able to ascertain, it is not a problem. It seems to function fairly well.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Three

V A WHITE CASTLE PROPOSED PARKING LOT – 11587 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Shvegzda added there are some miscellaneous detail items, a dimension that needs to be corrected on the replacement for the sidewalk for the reconfigured apron on Route 4. The north drive is being narrowed to 15 feet for the enter only, and there is an existing trench drain that needs to be removed and replaced. Since there have been changes to the site, there are some keynotes and general notes that no longer apply and are confusing, and need to reflect what the plans show.

Mr. Okum said if they would do some lot striping at the second entrance to keep cars away from the handicapped are turning in, would that help in keeping them away from the cars that are pulling out? It would be towards the east side against the curb site away from the parking area. Mr. Shvegzda answered it would be one added issue to help. Mr. Mundt said we could do that.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Galster said when we originally were talking about the small concrete wall that comes up to the sidewalk at the corner, you mentioned that it was more like a retaining wall and used for drainage. Is it drainage into the same trench that we are talking about modifying and replacing at the driveway, or is there a different location?

Mr. Shvegzda answered basically the trench drain will intercept the drainage flow from the parking lot itself; it drains to that direction. The wall at the corner is an integral with the sidewalk and they incorporated it into the landscaping and mounding in the area. The wall doesn’t have that much effect on the drainage, other than it does allow them to have the parking lot up to drain back to the south and east to the trench drain.

Mr. Galster wondered if there was still a purpose to have that wall there. I’m trying to understand the functionality of the wall. Mr. Shvegzda stated it would be to allow that end of the parking lot to be higher so it can drain back in the proper slope to the trench drain. Mr. Burgess added and not only to the trench drain, it also goes to the catch basin that we are adding in the middle of the site.

Mr. Okum questioned the pedestrian walkway, stating that it crosses the drives through lane from the parking field and puts the pedestrians into the parking spaces there in front. Mr. Burgess added if there are two cars parked there, they can walk between the two cars. Mr. Okum commented that is reasonable considering there will not be traffic in that area except periodic trucks. That way you retain all your green space as well.

Mr. McErlane stated my report lists the variances required from the Board of Zoning Appeals. There are three variances; the first is for total sign area. The discrepancy between my numbers and Ms. McBride’s is the fact that you really don’t have a true height dimension on the sign panel itself. The dimension given appears to be from grade to the top of the sign. I roughed out a 3’5" high sign cabinet by 11 feet and came up with the proposed sign to be 37.6. Prior to going to BZA, we should get a more definitive number of the height of the cabinet. Mr. Mundt commented we have not yet constructed a sign of that type and size.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. McErlane said you have a 5’5" dimension on that sign which is to grade. Mr. Mundt reported that the overall height from the sidewalk is 7 feet. Mr. McErlane reported to determine the sign area, it is the cabinet and not the course of block underneath it that is involved. If we can get a more defined dimension on the actual height of the cabinet, we can determine what the variance would be. So, we are somewhere between 170.6 and 175, based on what the actual dimension is.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Four

V A WHITE CASTLE PROPOSED PARKING LOT – 11587 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. McErlane stated that an additional variance is required for the loading space being visible from the street, and a third variance is required for the two new directional signs that are closer than 10 feet to the right of way. The proposed monument sign is smaller than what we saw last month.

Mr. Syfert commented I believe we did not have the calculations on the new directional signs; Mr. Mundt reported they are 2 x 3. Mr. McErlane stated that meets the code in terms of the size.

Mr. Whitaker asked the total number of directional signs on the premises before the proposed expansion and the proposed number after. Mr. McErlane answered it looks like there may be one additional directional sign. There are two directional signs at the in drive right now, there is a drive through sign a little further into the site, so we have the same number at that particular driveway and at the new driveway, we have one directional sign.

Concerning the monument sign, Mr. Galster wondered if the cabinet is cut like the top of the castle. Mr. Mundt responded what we had proposed was a block wall with just White Castle letters. Mr. Galster commented that it would be a block wall painted blue with white letters. He asked if it would be lit, and Mr. Mundt answered that only the letters would be lit. Mr. Galster asked if it would it be possible to have that be a nice brick instead of a block painted blue. My concern is that is one of the main intersections in our city, and I would like to see it treated as nicely as we can. No disrespect to your blue and white colors; I just think it would be better if we could come up with an earthtone brick and then put your White Castle in white letters, I would be much more comfortable with that than a painted blue brick.

Mr. Mundt responded I should have been more specific. Typically we use a split face block, a white block with a marble granular material, and that is what we were proposing to build the structure out of. The sign cabinet would be the White Castle logo which look like cut out letters. You are saying that you would prefer that the block not be painted blue; it could be white. Mr. Galster continued instead of a split face looking like a miniature store, could that be a natural brick? Mr. Mundt answered we could do that, maybe a fieldstone. Mr. Galster answered that would be fine; in the Route 4 Corridor we are trying to get rid of all painted bricks.

Mr. Galster said another old issue is the blue neon on your building. Is it still your position that it needs to stay? Mr. Mundt answered we would like to keep it; it was in our original plan that we submitted. Apparently elevation plans were not submitted to Planning Commission. Mr. Galster continued I’m not going to deny this based on the blue neon light and a previous approval and whether it was there or not. I am looking at it as a corporate gesture from White Castle because we have tried to eliminate neon throughout the corridor. I understand that there are accents you gain from it, but at the same time, I hope that maybe out of respect for the community members we could eliminate that. I personally don’t want to see the project not go because of one strip of neon tube, but I would like to see it removed if possible.

Mr. Okum said my understanding is you are going to change out the base to support your sign to a fieldstone and I think that would be an improvement. Is the cabinet going to be rectangular? Mr. Mundt answered no, it will be the outline of the letters. There are two cabinets ; they incorporate all the letters and will be placed on a fieldstone wall.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Five

V A WHITE CASTLE PROPOSED PARKING LOT – 11587 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Galster wondered if the fieldstone wall would have to look like a castle. Mr. Mundt said if you object to the turreted top (Mr. Okum indicated that he didn’t), we could make the top rounded or pointed. We had to work very hard to get all of the changes incorporated. We don’t

have a drawing for this kind of sign and have not talked to the sign company yet.

Mr. Okum asked if the channel letters are single letters on a raceway, and Mr. Mundt said they weren’t. We have done individual letters and have moved to what we call cloud letters. It looks like a channel letter from a distance, but it actually is a single cabinet with letters sculpted in there.

Mr. Okum said you indicated the landscaped areas would be irrigated so the motion would include automatic irrigation of all landscaped fields. Would that be acceptable to you? Mr. Mundt indicated that it would.

Mr. Okum moved to grant approval with the following conditions:

    1. That the Board of Zoning Appeals approves the three variances necessary;
    2. That there should be automatic irrigation of all landscaped fields;
    3. That the items referenced in staff review by the city planner, city engineer, and building official be incorporated into the plans;
    4. That the light fixtures should be the same as existing fixtures;
    5. That the sign should be constructed of fieldstone instead of masonry and shall be fieldstone in color

Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Chairman Syfert. Approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

    1. Sofa Express requests final plan approval of alterations to 11750 Commons Drive (Champion Windows Building) – tabled 2/8/00

Mr. McErlane reported that they have been trying to work with SKA in getting a modification to the covenants. The current covenants say that you can only have up to 20% retail business activity on that lot, and they haven’t been successful in. getting them to sign off on that. I think they are still weighing their options as to whether or not they even want to develop that property. My suggestion would be for Planning to remove it from the agenda and let them resubmit when they are ready to do something. Mr. Syfert wondered if they were thinking about some of the Roberds location, and Mr. McErlane answered the Sears Great Indoors is considering that. Sofa Express held up because a large retailer was going out and they wanted to reevaluate whether or not it was a good idea to come into that location.

Mr. Galster moved to remove this from the agenda and Mr. Okum seconded it. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the item was removed from the agenda.

  1. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Approval of Plat of Subdivision – Pictoria Island
    2. Bill Woodward of Tipton Interests stated this is another step in the development of Pictoria Island. In the past there were several lots that we combined under a consolidation plat of 23 acres, the original Picture Island, plus another lot of about 18 acres, the acquisition of the IDI property. This concerns the 23 acres.

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      14 March 2000

      Page Six

      VI A APPROVAL OF PLAT OF SUBDIVISION – PICTORIA ISLAND

      Mr. Woodward reported we previously came before you and subdivided a 3-½ acre parcel for Bahama Breeze. That transaction has taken place, and they hope to start construction in the spring. We also subdivided a parcel of approximately 10 acres, which will be our office site in the front. There will be a six-story office and an eight-story office building on that site. We are working with a major pension fund that is hopefully going to close at the end of this month for the first office site. They have decided they want to build a bigger building first, the eight-story building, which is more in the center of the project. This submittal will take the 10-acre parcel, which was for both office buildings, and divide it f or two buildings.

      Mr. McErlane reported that on the lot sizes, the lot area actually meets the minimum requirements for the Zoning Code. When this was originally platted as the Northwest Business Center, Lot 7 only had 30 feet of frontage on accessible public right of way. It was approved with a condition that there be an access driveway easement which exists on the plat. Lot 7 is the same lot that was there previously.

      The previous plat approved for Pictoria Island had Lots 6 and 7 combined into one lot. What this proposal does is split it back again into two lots. The lot line that separates Lots 6 and 7 is actually the same line that was there when Northwest Business Center was platted. Lot 6 doesn’t look like the original Pictoria Island did, but Lot 7 does.

      We haven’t reviewed it with respect to any setbacks or densities, and we will do that when the development plans come in.

      Mr. Shvegzda reported that they looked at it in terms of subdivision regulations and it does substantially meet those regulations.

      Mr. Okum asked the status of the Bahama Breeze Restaurant. Mr. Woodward answered they were in for a permit and I believe there is an issue left with the covenants. We are trying to get General Advertising and the owners of the warehouse building to approve this.

      Mr. Galster asked if the TIF funding had been established, and Mr. Woodward answered that it had not been. That has to come back to Council and the School Board.

      Mr. Okum moved to approve the plat of subdivision and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert. Approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

    3. Approval of Route 4 Corridor District Map

Mr. McErlane reported that in the old Zoning Code, we had the Corridor District defined on a map, which was contained within the text of the code. It was barely legible and difficult to determine what the subareas were. When the new code was drafted, the draft directed you to the zoning map to determine where those subareas were delineated. Unfortunately the zoning map doesn’t include those, so for a period of time we will not have a map in place for the Route 4 Corridor District.

Rather than trying to clutter up the Zoning Code with delineation of the subareas, because they don’t follow zoning district lines and they don’t follow property lines, I am suggesting we actually adopt a separate map which we would attach to the zoning map. In that sense it makes it part of the code.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Seven

VI B APPROVAL OF ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR DISTRICT MAP

Mr. McErlane added there is a suggested change in the wording in the code to refer you to the Springdale Route 4 Corridor Review District Map, as well as a new map, which would be attached to the ordinance as well.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the Route 4 Corridor District Map and forward it to Council. Mr. Galster seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert. Approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Okum said I provided everyone with pages from Planners Web regarding planning suggestions for the communities. As I mentioned at the last meeting, one of the items was lighting. Now that the new

Zoning Code has been approved and is about to go into effect, I would like to request that we have our city planner come up with sample legislation to establish light buffer yards for zoning districts. That way it can be incorporated into the code. As a standard practice, I think it would be prudent for us not only to look at the amount of spill we are getting with minimum foot candles, and we need to look at the spillage onto adjacent properties in our check list. A good example is the White Castle plan we saw tonight; everything went to the edge of their property; nothing went further, and it is not required that they submit that.

Mr. Galster suggested looking this over before the next meeting. Mr. Okum responded this is just information; I am asking our planner to come up with sample legislation or recommendation to review. There are those types of buffer areas in other communities currently being used that we may be able to utilize.

Ms. McBride said communities are becoming more and more aware of light standards, and some have provided a minimum, as Springdale has. More are becoming sensitive to light spillage and how it appears on the site. They are creating buffer zones. We could put together a summary look at some other jurisdictions in the country, see what they are doing and pick and choose the best parts and put some draft language together for you to review.

Mr. Huddleston said I would agree with David and Anne in both matters and would extend that to maximum lighting and the bleeding onto adjacent properties.

Mr. Whitaker said I agree and the perfect example is Shell, not only the hone at 747 and Kemper but the one at Springfield Pike and Northland Boulevard. When you have a canopy with 16 metal halite lights, if they are an average of 500 watts, you have 8,000 watts coming down on you; what’s that lumen output? And what if it is a 1,000 watt metal halite; 500 is probably conservative. I counted 26 lights at the Shell at 747. It becomes a safety concern for drivers, especially elderly people.

Mr. Huddleston asked if there were recourse to the relamping down on the Shell Station at Kemper Road? I thought David asked the question in the review process, and they stated they were not going to relamp that.

Mr. McErlane reported we finally got in touch with the correct person to talk to at Shell, and they indicated that they did not change out the fixtures but they did a retrofit on it. We asked them to give us cut sheets on what that consisted of. It was new ballast, new bulbs and new lenses. Dick Lohbeck is handling it, and I asked him to ask them if they had changed out the lenses from a flat lens to a parabolic lens. We are supposed to be getting that information.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Eight

DISCUSSION – LIGHTING

Mr. Huddleston asked if there were enough meat in the discussion or the motion so that if they changed out lenses as well as increased wattage or lumens that we can go back at them?

Mr. McErlane responded if the concern is actual glare of the fixture itself, I don’t know if they can go back and change back to a flat lens or not. Mr. Huddleston commented Mr. Okum was pretty specific, and their answer was pretty specific and didn’t include any of that. Mr. McErlane responded my guess is that there were two different contracts with two different people involved and the person who represented Shell was somebody from the engineer’s office. Mr. Okum said he was still a representative of Shell or he shouldn’t have been before us. Mr. McErlane responded I agree. The unfortunate thing is there wasn’t an employee of Shell here to answer those questions.

Mr. Okum asked about Best Western’s lighting. Mr. McErlane reported their engineer indicated that the lights were installed incorrectly; they were supposed to be downward facing lights, not projecting out. Mr. Okum commented when the fixture has an angled slope to it, it is not a downlit fixture. They are truly in violation of what we approved.

Mr. McErlane said if you can go back and remember what was approved in 1979 when that was originally approved, but I don’t think you can do that. What we are going to them from is what is in the Zoning Code. There is something in the Zoning Code that says it can’t glare into motorists’ eyes and that is how we are approaching it, along with the spillage into the residential area behind it. It is not something I am going to bring them back to Planning Commission for. Mr. Okum said that is all we can ask. I am fine with that, as long as it gets corrected.

Ms. McBride said at the last meeting, we talked about doing a training session with BZA and Planning and Mr. Okum was going to check with the BZA and see what times would be preferable. Mr. Okum reported we didn’t have a BZA meeting but it definitely would need to be a Saturday as expressed by two or three of the new members. Ms. McBride responded then I will come back with some Saturdays and send that out with the packets and you can choose.

The second item is the proposal for a comprehensive plan for the city. Maybe Planning would like to take it home review it and discuss it at the next meeting. Usually a comprehensive plan focuses on areas that are to be annexed or large tracts of undeveloped land. We don’t have that in Springdale so we decided to go with focus areas, because there are areas in the City that are very different from one another. We want to treat it as almost seven mini comprehensive plans, bringing it all together in the beginning and in the end so each of the areas would have a future land use as well as one future land use plan for the entire City. There would be a series of recommendations and policies that would be presented for each focus area. For example Kemper Road has two distinct characteristics and probably should go in two separate focus areas for that reason. Part of it is seeing redevelopment, and the other part is included in the Target and Lowe’s projects with different sets of criteria and goals.

This will be a 12-month process. We are discussing doing it with a steering committee of about 19 people. You will really want that citizen involvement, because it is not my plan, it is not your plan, it is the plan that goes to the citizens, and they really have to buy into that to make this work.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 2000

Page Nine

  1. VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
    1. Ameritech, 670 Kemper Commons Circle – Wall Sign
    2. Added Dimensions – 459 East Kemper Road – Wall Sign
    3. Gamestop – 620 Kemper Commons Circle – Wall Sign

 

IX. ADJOURNMENT

All members present indicated that they would be in attendance at the April 11th meeting. Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_____________________,2000 ___________________________

William Syfert, Chairman

 

 

______________________,2000 ____________________________

David Whitaker, Secretary