PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

14 MARCH 1995

7:00 P.M.

 

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M. by Chairman William G. Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Wilton Blake, Steve Galster, Councilwoman Peggy

Manis, Tim Sullivan, Barry Tiffany, Councilman Robert

Wilson and Chairman William Syfert.

Others Present: Derrick Parham, Assistant City Administrator

William K. McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, City Engineer

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 14 FEBRUARY 1995

Mr. Tiffany moved to approve and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. All voted

aye, and the Minutes were approved with seven affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Statement on Temporary Signage - Steve Galster

Mr. Galster commented these were a couple of comments to give every-

body an opportunity to read over before the meeting tonight. There

might be some clarification which we will get to at the time of discussion.

B. Memo to Planning Commission from Bill McErlane on Temporary Signage

V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Champion Windows Enclosure - 11750 Commons Drive

(Tabled February 14, 1995)

Jim Marowitz said I run the retail enclosure division for Champion, and Iím not quite certain what was discussed in the previous meeting, but let me begin by passing out sketches of the enclosure so you can see what it is that we are requesting. We recently have moved into the facility. We had made a request to Bill McErlane that we be allowed an area at the outside rear of the building near our loading dock area (highlighted in yellow on the first page) which would allow us to store treated lumber.

He continued this might seem a minor issue, but it is extremely important for several reasons. First of all, treated lumber needs to be stored in an exterior facility. If it is stored inside, it will tend to dry and warp. As a result, we really need an outside area to store this. We asked to be allowed to construct this area, and Bill McErlane indicated we needed to bring this request in front of the commission.

Mr. Marowitz stated at the southeast corner of the building, inset six feet from the end of the building, there is an area 10 feet across and 25 feet long. This would be an area where we could store various treated lumber. We are talking about 4 x 6ís, 2 x 6ís, 2 x 10ís and 2 x 8ís.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Two

V A CHAMPION WINDOWS ENCLOSURE - 11750 COMMONS DRIVE-continued

Mr. Marowitz continued the reason it is so important we have this on site is every time we have to send our people to the lumber supply yard to pick up an $8 piece of lumber, and they have to stand around 45 minutes and wait and then get on the job site it becomes a very expensive piece of lumber. As a result, it is extremely important to our operation that we have an area outside where we can store this lumber. We load up our jobs between 7:00 and 7:15 in the morning, and it is really a logjam at various supply houses where we get our material.

Mr. Marowitz stated right next to the proposed area that is highlighted in yellow, we have an area the exact same size that is fenced in with chain link fence which is a 30 yard dumpster. The area we are proposing would go literally right next to it and would be treated the exact same way. When you see it from the outside, it will look like another 10 foot extension of what is already there, this 10 x 25 foot area that holds this dumpster. So, we are not asking to put something there that would stick out like a sore thumb.

Mr. Tiffany asked if the dumpster located next to it on a concrete slab? Mr. Marowitz answered yes. Mr. Tiffany said are you proposing a concrete slab under this area? Mr. Marowitz answered weíll do what you want us to do. Mr. Tiffany continued the reason I ask is it is not noted. Mr. Marowitz responded I did not ask him to prepare this with all the specifications, but it would have to have a concrete pad to it. Mr. Tiffany said it is not ready for a building permit, and I think weíll have to go through questions and answers to understand what we are dealing with.

Mr. Tiffany asked if there would be a walkway up to this? Mr. Marowitz answered there would be a concrete walkway to the front. Mr. Tiffany continued what I am asking is where they will park and how they will get in and out of that.

Mr. Marowitz answered if you look at the first page, you see that set of stairs; that is actually a loading dock that is approximately four feet tall. Pick up trucks back right up to it. Mr. Tiffany asked if that is below grade there; does the lot drop into that or is the building raised above it. Mr. Marowitz answered the pickup trucks pull right up to the loading dock and you can literally lower the tailgate. My guys will load from there right on to the trucks, so most definitely there will be a concrete walkway that will connect this area right out to the front.

Mr. Tiffany asked Mr. McErlane the required setback from the driveway on a fence in a commercial district rear lot? It is in the code under 153.090. We were looking at it and it says it has to meet the setbacks, and I donít see the setbacks listed. It says "Fences in commercial districts. Fences shall not be permitted in the front yard. Fences shall not be located in the required setback for the building from the side street line." Is the driveway considered a street; can he go right up to the driveway with this?

Mr. McErlane responded we are talking about the required building setbacks. The wording in this is similar to what it is in a residential district. It canít project into a front yard, and the front yard is facing Commons Drive. Mr. Tiffany said so on this he can go right up to the side drive where he is proposing? Mr. McErlane confirmed this.

Mr. Galster asked how much wood are you planning on storing - a weekís, a monthís, a yearís supply?

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Three

V A CHAMPION WINDOWS ENCLOSURE - 11750 COMMONS DRIVE - continued

Mr. Marowitz answered thatís a very good question. I would call it a couple of weeks. It is really designed to be a stop gap measure to keep me from sending my hourly guys to the lumber yard first thing in the morning. It is not intended to be the sole area from which we inventory and stock all of our decking lumber.

Mr. Galster commented if you only went there once a week and stored the stuff inside, how much warping and damage could happen to the treated lumber in a weekís time? Mr. Marowitz answered probably not a lot. However, even though we do have quite a large facility, it would be nice to be able to free up the area right now. Iím squeezed with respect to inventorying and storing my jobs in there. To have an area outside where we could put this lumber would make a big difference. I see your point; you are right; we are just talking a couple weeksí supply. Mr. Galster said why not move it inside and eliminate the outside storage; how much damage can happen in a week? Even two weeks; I had outside lumber when I was putting my fence up and it took me two months to build my fence. Mr. Marowitz responded my comment would be that if we had to, we could inventory it inside, but this would make my operation more efficient. I have storage areas that were designed for stocking and inventorying jobs which Iím having to put lumber in because I canít put it outside.

Mr. Wilson asked how often are these deliveries brought out from the lumber yard? How often do you expect the lumber yard trucks to back in? Mr. Marowitz answered I do not anticipate that sort of quantity. We regularly have trucks delivering product to the factory. If the intent of your question is will this cause considerable amount of additional truck traffic in addition to what is already there, it would be absolutely insignificant. I could see it on a weekly basis, where we could have the lumber yard bring us over a load of lumber to supplement what we have taken out that week. Mr. Wilson said so you are almost turning your lumber over weekly, say 50% or 70% of it? Mr. Marowitz responded if we were perfect in terms of ordering, this facility would not be necessary, because my guys would be ready to go with everything they needed. Every once in a while, somebody will make a bad cut or will get a board that is warped and as a result that day are forced to run to the lumber yard to get it. It would be a lot more efficient for my operation to either have somebody at the facility run it out to them or for them to pick it up the next morning without having to go stand in line.

Mr. Wilson said in terms of turnover of inventory, we are not sure if that is 50% per week or 10% per week. You just want to have a surplus on hand outside so you can fill in as needed. Mr. Marowitz responded that is correct, and I donít anticipate it being a huge amount. In terms of size, we are not married to a 10í x 25í facility. If the Commission wanted a scaled down version, Iím sure that is something we could live with. We donít have pieces of lumber that are 25 feet long.

Mr. Wilson commented that is what I am trying to figure out, the actual need for this. If you are replacing lumber weekly or monthly, and there is a 50% or 25% turnaround time, youíve got good amount of lumber already there, but you have it turning over. That would eliminate the concern about warping. In other words the lumber you start with on March 1st would all be gone by March 31.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

15 March 1995

Page Four

V A CHAMPION WINDOWS ENCLOSURE - 11750 COMMONS DRIVE - continued

Mr. Marowitz responded actually in the sense that this is a stopgap almost emergency reserve, I canít give you specific amounts. If everybody does their job right, and nobody makes a wrong cut etc. that inventory should set there untouched. The reality of it is we probably will have to do some replacement. Mr. Wilson said I am trying to determine if it is going to free up space inside for other types of inventory.

Mr. Marowitz commented that is really the heart of the matter, in all candor. If we were completely flush with space inside and had no space constraints whatsoever, certainly we could inventory this product inside and we could force ourselves to use the product. When we would inventory a certain job, instead of ordering the full amount from the lumber yard, we would need to get lumber that had been setting there three weeks out of here. What I am asking for is flexibility.

Mr. Tiffany said on the drawing submitted earlier, you have the existing dumpster storage area; what do you store there currently? Mr. Marowitz answered a 30 cubic yard dumpster, and you canít see it.

Mr. Tiffany commented when I was on the Board of Zoning Appeals, Waltek came in for outside storage, and they were turned down. It has been a little over a year, and they are back in to the Board again for an outside storage variance. Personally I am not comfortable setting a precedent to allow outside storage, even though it is a PUD.

Ms. Manis asked where this can be seen from. Mr. Syfert answered probably if you look real hard coming down Commons Drive. Mr. Marowitz added you are talking about an area 10 feet across by approximately five feet tall, so if you are looking for it, you may be able to. Since there is already one of those there and it is already next to a loading dock, I think youíd be hard pressed to see the difference between a 10 foot and a 20 foot extension of chain link fence. Ms. Manis asked where you can see the dumpster from. Mr. Marowitz answered you can see it from Commons Drive. Ms. Manis said you canít see it by I-275, and Mr. Marowitz said no. Ms. Manis added if it is screened and on concrete, I donít have a problem with it.

Mr. Sullivan commented we do not have final specs, so anything we approve will be based on speculation at this point right? Mr. Syfert added based on conversation that they will have a concrete pad and a sidewalk going to it and I would think before they would be allowed to start with that, they would have to bring something in to Bill. Mr. Marowitz added every single thing we have done on our facility we have cleared with Bill in excruciating detail; weíve asked his input all the way along the line to make sure weíve been in complete compliance with everything. You can rest assured we will continue to do that.

Mr. Tiffany said you have hit a sore spot. Were the signs approved by the Building Department to be moved to the other side of the building? Mr. McErlane confirmed that they were.

Ms. Manis moved to accept this plan and the conversation subject to approval by Mr. McErlane and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. Voting aye were Ms. Manis, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Blake, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Syfert. Mr. Galster and Mr. Tiffany voted no, and the matter was approved with five affirmative votes.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

21 March 1995

Page Five

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Conditional Use Permit Public Hearing for Day Care Facility at

110 Merchant Street

Dan Wheeler of Target Builders stated I represent Princeton Properties, the owner of the property at 110 Merchant Street. This is a parcel that is being parceled off 100 Merchant Street, the old Cincinnati Financial Building. We are here to request a conditional use permit for a day care center, because the City of Springdale apparently does not have specific guidelines for a day care center. We need a conditional use of the site for a day care center in an existing two-story facility.

Mr. Syfert commented we are talking about the boiler house behind the Cincinnati Financial Center (on the west side). I believe you can pick that out from the second drawing. Mr. Tiffany asked which side is the front of Cincinnati Financial and Mr. Syfert answered the east side.

Mr. Syfert called on Mr. McErlane. Mr. McErlane reported day care centers do not show up anywhere in the normal commercial districts or any other districts. In the Public Facilities District there is a section that talks about institutions for the children, but within Section 153.070 of the Public Facilities District it allows for training schools colleges and universities in any district other than a residential district with a conditional use permit. In the past we have approached it from this angle. One of the things that it helps Planning Commission do is review outside play areas as to where they are located on the lot. As far as meeting parking and setback requirements, it meets all those within the Public Facilities District that it would be located in if it were in a Public Facilities District.

Mr. Blake commented as I look at this plan, I would like to know if this playground will be fenced. Mr. Wheeler answered yes, with a four foot chain link fence similar to what all the other day care centers use. Mr. McErlane added that is determined by the state licensing board, but I believe most of them are four foot.

Ms. Manis asked how much of these regulations are governed by the state. Mr. Wheeler responded I understand to be licensed somebody from the state will have to make a site visit; they have already looked at the plans and approved them. Ms. Manis asked about the traffic and the location of the center. Mr. Wheeler commented this is a real good location; since weíve opened it up, there have been half a dozen day care centers that have contacted us and asked to be second or third in line. There are a limited number of day care facilities in Springdale.

Mr. Syfert commented it would seem to be somewhat of a natural with the number of office workers in the area. I know you are heavily controlled on what you can and canít do from a structure standpoint and the safety of the children etc. Our primary charge here is do we see this as something we want to use a conditional use permit for.

Mr. Tiffany said point of clarification, as a conditional use permit, it is in effect for only the time these people occupy the space and for this use, is that correct?

Mr. McErlane stated I think that question was asked of the law director some time back on a conditional use permit. I believe he indicated you can put certain conditions on it; I donít know you can specifically say for a particular owner.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Six

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - DAY CARE FACILITY - 110 MERCHANT - cont

Mr. Tiffany commented as I remember with Choice Lumber, it seemed like we put a time restraint of one or two years on his conditional use permit and he was supposed to come back in and see how it was working. I know we can use that type of time restraint. Now that Choice Lumber is out, can someone else come in under that permit and open up a lumber facility in that space as with this space? Is it a variance that goes with the land, or is it a one time deal for this occupation at this time only?

Mr. McErlane answered my experience with variances is as long as they continue to use it the way it was granted and donít deviate from that, it is not owner dependent. Mr. Tiffany commented this board does not grant variances; that is why it is a conditional use permit. I guess the way to govern it is to use the time restraint, issue it for a period of time, review it and reissue it.

Mr. Wheeler stated this building is under a 10-year lease, and it would be impractical to have the owner sign a lease that would be subject to being taken away after hundreds of thousands of dollars are put into playground equipment. The way I understand a conditional use is if this board sees that Springdale has a need for a day care center, as long as a day care center is used on this site, and is supporting the office and business needs in the community, that is what the conditional use is. We could not change it to a technical school or something like that; it would be granted specifically for a day care center. I could see that contingency put on the conditional use, as long as it is used as a day care facility - it could not deviate from that use.

Mr. Tiffany responded one of the reasons we went with the time restraint on Choice Lumber was because things change continuously. Ten years ago, Markets International was over there, and it is gone. That whole area has changed entirely, and who is to say that ten years from now that the total complexion will not change again. I guess the time restraint is to make sure that as a conditional use it continues to fit. In my opinion it fits very well right now. Who is to say in six years that it will not fit. I can appreciate your position.

Mr. Wheeler commented say one of the restaurant sites on Princeton Pike came in built the restaurant and put hundreds of thousands of dollars into it; then Springdale decides there are too many restaurants and they decide to change the zoning. Thatís the same kind of philosophy that I would be restricted to. It would not be financially feasible for me to make the investment we would have to make in a day care center that would suit Springdale now, and have the change in three or four years that Springdale would change their mind. I donít think that would be reasonable.

Mr. Tiffany said I guess the question is does it go with the land, because we donít grant variances here. That would be a question for our law director who is not here. I would feel a lot more comfortable if it did not go with the land.

Ms. Manis stated conditional use goes with the use, not necessarily the land, and the property is currently zoned OB. The use will not change unless we let it change. Mr. Blake commented Ms. Manis expressed my sentiments.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Seven

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT DAY CARE FACILITY-110 MERCHANT ST.-cont.

Mr. Wilson asked how many children will you have in the facility? Mr. Wheeler stated it is licensed for 100 total, and they currently are looking for other sites in Springdale. Mr. Wilson said from a parking standpoint for the staff and in and out traffic in the morning, that will not be a problem? Mr. Wheeler said no, we have probably twice as much parking on the site as what is required by Springdale. For the current use, we will need less than 12, because the kids are dropped off and picked up.

Mr. Syfert commented I think Mr. McErlane has left the meeting to look for backup on conditional use. He asked Mr. Parham if he had any input, and Mr. Parham responded he did not, but Mr. McErlane believes he has a legal opinion in his office.

Ms. Manis asked about the second floor, and Mr. Wheeler responded they are using one opened area for a play area on a rain day. They only need 6,000 square feet and the building is 9,000 square feet, so there will be about 3,000 square feet of the older style offices which will be shut off and not used. Ms. Manis commented so this is for the use, and not for the plans. Mr. Syfert confirmed this.

Mr. Syfert said since this is a public hearing, is there anyone in the audience that would like to speak on behalf of this project?

Mr. Eric Smith of Galbreath Company said I am here with Linda Buckvick, Property Manager of the Executive Centre Office Park on Merchant Street. I think child care is a great idea and a good amenity, but by the same token, Merchant Street is made up of Class A office buildings with high dollar value, and our biggest concern is with the aesthetics, having toyland right across the street. Also I donít know if you would want kids that close to the street. The population in those buildings is in the 2,000 to 3,000 range, and there is a lot of traffic going through there. On behalf of the owners, we wish to maintain the value of the property.

Mr. Syfert said are you saying that this would devalue the other properties? Mr. Smith answered Iím not saying it is going to devalue, because Iím not aware of what is going in there. What I am saying is we are concerned that you have Class A office buildings exclusively on that street. Thereís a lot of money there, and we are really concerned about the aesthetics. In other words, are you going to have a playground between the boilerhouse and Merchant Street? How will that affect the other buildings? By the same token, I think it is an amenity, and there probably would be a lot of people who would like to have their kids somewhat close to work. Our big concern is with the aesthetics.

Mr. Syfert asked if there is anyone else that would like to address this project? There was no one.

Mr. Wheeler commented for the past six years, that building has been a major detraction to the City of Springdale. I think the amenity of a day care center coming in is valid. I have had people from out of the city who are planning on moving in call me for information about day care moving in, looking for space in the area. I think it could do nothing but help the community by getting the windows fixed, getting the grass cut and getting the building into a well maintained state.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Eight

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT DAY CARE FACILITY 110 MERCHANT ST.-cont.

Mr. Tiffany commented I want to make sure that we are proposing this for Youthland. Mr. Wheeler answered that is the lease. Mr. Tiffany continued and if Youthland backs out, youíve stated you have number two three and four down the road. Mr. Wheeler responded they already have signed the lease on the space subject to approval. Mr. Tiffany said the reason I ask is I am familiar with Youthland and their reputation; it is very very good. Based on Youthlandís facilities typically it helps to put aside some of the concerns that Mr. Smith had, that we would have a junky looking day care facility there. Youthland takes very good care of their facilities; they have a very good reputation. In keeping with his concerns, if Youthland doesnít do it and Bobís Day Care comes in with a bunch of tire swings, then I can really appreciate his concern. Do we typically issue conditional use permits based on speculation as to who the client is? I understand we have a lease signed here, and if it is Youthland, I donít have a problem. If it is somebody else, I donít know

if I have a problem with it. I guess we can make that part of the motion at this point.

Mr. Syfert commented Iím not the law director, but it would seem to me that the conditional use permit would be to Youthland, is that correct?

Mr. McErlane responded my understanding is the conditional use permit would be to that address for that particular use with those parameters. We are talking about a use, not a user. Mr. Tiffany added unless it is specified in the motion. Mr. McErlane commented if thatís legal; I donít know that you can be user specific. In case law you lose a case trying to limit a use based on a user and not the use itself. If the use is compatible or an acceptable use, what is the difference if it is a different owner or different user? Mr. Tiffany answered the difference is the quality of the user in keeping with Mr. Smithís concerns. If we get Bobís Day Care in there, we do devalue the property. Even though he may keep with the state regulations, that doesnít mean he has to keep his grass cut. The city tries to govern that, but we have a heck of a time doing that at times. Itís a crap shoot at that point for us.

Mr. Wheeler stated I have come here to ask for a specific conditional use, and not for a specific person. I am asking the board if you would consider day care to be a needed amenity for the City of Springdale at this site.

Mr. Tiffany responded and I donít think any of us here are opposed to that, but it is not just day care. Thatís not the entire issue. The place is an eyesore now, and we donít want to end up with another eyesore down the road.

Mr. Wheeler said can you give me an example of a day care in the tri-state area that is an eyesore? Mr. Tiffany said yes, at the corner of Franklin and South Street in Centreville Ohio; they have been closed down three times because of their facility. Mr. Wheeler responded but there is a governing agent that closes them. Mr. Tiffany said what I am saying is they have been closed down by the city. Mr. Wheeler responded but there is still control over that, and thatís not what I am asking for. I am asking for the people who are responsible for that control to take that responsibility, and not this board.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Nine

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT DAY CARE FACILITY 110 MERCHANT ST.-cont

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. McErlane if he found any more data on the previous question. Mr. McErlane reported I thought I had a written legal opinion on conditional use permits the last time it came up, but I donít. All I can do is try to recall that the law director said you can put specific conditions that are not necessarily spelled out in the code on the use, but I donít recall him saying that you can limit it to a particular user.

Mr. Wilson stated I have to agree with the gentleman in terms of property value. I am not 100% familiar with your day care center, but the first concern is signage. If you have a sign outside saying $95 weekly per child, or if you have it in chalk on the windows, weekly rates, monthly rates, hourly rates, then we have a problem. Will the building look like a typical day care center with the signage and the kids in the windows with wax figures, an obvious day care center, or will it have that office building type motif where you really have to look for the sign and it doesnít distract from the other buildings?

Mr. Wheeler answered I can assure you that Larry Sheakley being the owner of the whole property and occupying 50% of that building is not going to want an eyesore right outside his business offices. He makes his living selling health benefit plans and has a lot of business people coming in. The criteria for this development has been to keep the building looking as similar in nature to the existing four-story building as possible. Any signage in the lease has been subject to the City of Springdaleís approval. We did not grant any signage other than that which the City of Springdale would approve. The signage package will have to be brought in here by Youthland Academy themselves to be approved.

Mr. Wilson responded I understand where you are coming from. My concern is if you are driving up a street and the signage is seven feet high and three feet wide and you comply with that, but the sign says weekly rates $95 per child. If it is an obvious day care center by the verbiage in the signage, the classroom windows having kidsí faces on them in chalk - that might distract. I donít know whether we can be that specific with signage; we are trying to get that now. I donít think we on the Commission have a problem with a day care center; I think we may have a problem with the appearance that it has in that it might distract from the Class A office and business area. They are driving through and see the sign child care, weekly $95 per child, hourly rates available, stop here, grand opening faces on the windows. I donít know whether we can restrict that type of signing. It is something we will discuss with the temporary signage, but will your signing be of that type?

Mr. Wheeler answered I do not run the day care; I am the property manager and the builder. I canít tell you, except for the fact that in the lease that we granted them, we specifically stated that we will not grant any signage other than that which the City of Springdale will allow.

Mr. Wilson responded so will we have control over the way these signs are printed up? I think that is the major concern that these people from the audience have. The kids playing outside might not necessarily be a problem; the overall appearance coupled with the signage. Is that your major concern (addressed to Mr. Smith and Ms. Buckvick)? They indicated that it was.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Ten

 

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT DAY CARE FACILITY 110 MERCHANT ST.-cont.

Mr. Syfert commented I have heard three or four times now that we donít have any problem with the use. I donít know why we are fighting all the other problems, to be quite frank. I believe he is in for a conditional use and if none of us have a problem with the use, letís not fight signs and all the other stuff.

Mr. Sullivan said both you and Mr. Wilson echo several of the points I have. Since we are talking about conditional use tonight, we understand your concern about the valuation of the property and so forth, and we will try to address that when they come before us with specific plans. It doesnít affect anything to be done tonight with the conditional use and

I say letís get on with it.

Mr. Syfert said are you making a motion Mr. Sullivan? Mr. Sullivan moved to grant the conditional use permit for the day care center, and Mr. Blake seconded the motion.

Mr. Tiffany commented I was going to make the motion myself, and preface it by asking that you go back to these people and let them know our concerns. Mr. Wheeler said I certainly will, and I can assure you that Mr. Sheakley is concerned about signage. Mr. Tiffany added I know his reputation in business, and Iím sure he will keep a close eye on it for us.

Ms. Manis added I think this can be a very good marketing tool for the tenants of your buildings. I donít see how it could detract at all; itís got to look better than a boarded up building.

On the motion to grant the conditional use permit, voting aye were Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Blake, Mr. Galster, Ms. Manis, Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Syfert. Conditional use permit was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Syfert thanked the members in the audience for speaking up. We appreciate it.

B. Final Approval - OíCharleyís & Tumbleweed Restaurants at Northwest

Corner of Princeton Pike and Merchant Street

Tim Herschner of Tim Herschner Associates reported we have gone through several modifications to the plans, and have been in contact with the staff, the city engineer and your consultant, and we would like to briefly go over some of these changes. We want to give it as much time as you want us to, and not drag it out. With us tonight is Rick Soper our landscape architect, and I will ask him to go over the landscape plans so it is very clear what we are doing and then go over some of the other details.

Rick Soper stated the plan before you is a revised landscape plan from the time we previously met and it has taken into consideration the grading and layout changes that the engineer has made, as well as the clientís wishes. The beige colors represent each of the three buildings, the gray shaded area represents the parking drive aisles, etc., the light areas, the boxes represent dumpster locations, and the balance of the site shown in green is predominately what is considered manicured lawn areas.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Eleven

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

Mr. Soper stated first I would like to point out about the existing vegetation. When we began the project, there was quite a bit of existing deciduous trees along Princeton Pike. When we first looked at it, Tim asked my opinion on it, and I felt it was important to keep this entire area, especially in conjunction with the cemetery because it was somewhat of a gateway to the city, and also gave some continuity to Princeton Pike. Tim attempted to push the site back, and it is approximately 75 to 80 feet back. In addition to these trees, which are all the lightly colored trees you see on the plan, there are street trees that are existing along Merchant Street, along the existing entrance drive and the balance are back here on the existing lawn area. There were three trees that were in islands on pavement for Cooker Restaurant, and we are looking at relocating those here, relocating the trees in the island in the existing parking lot into the new islands here, and moving one of the existing street trees that happens to be lined up with the access to the cemetery, back to a place here which would be safe and sound for the tree to thrive.

Mr. Soper reported out of the 40-odd trees that are on the site from two to 28 caliper inches, we lost approximately four, and we are moving three to six. That plan already has been submitted to Bill for review.

Mr. Soper continued the balance of the plant material that you see, the dark shaded areas on the two sides, are evergreen plant materials. The trees that are brightly colored green in the parking lots and at the islands are ornamental trees, flowering trees crabapples, things that grow upright that break up the roof lines of the buildings visually from the street, provide a little bit of screening and some shade in the parking areas. Then there are areas around the dumpsters, in conjunction with existing pines where we attempted to do screening for the potential drive through. We have a special area at the entranceway which is ground cover and we tie those areas designwise into the existing street trees, so there is continuity and the entranceway is well marked but low for safety.

and visibility.

Mr. Soper stated the green areas around the median area of the building structure are those areas that the individual owners will landscape themselves. They will have their own separate budget. The items shown here are only to show continuity and to provide an overall feeling of one as far as design is concerned.

Mr. Soper reported the type of mix we attempt to provide here is seasonal. We have a mix of evergreen and deciduous, we have high plants, medium size and ground cover, as well as a very high portion of maintained lawn areas. In new plant materials, we avoid exotic things that require special conditions. These are things that grow in this general region that will not require excessive maintenance.

Mr. Soper continued as far as maintenance is concerned, we wanted to mention one item that we submitted on the plans to Bill, and that was the question about maintaining the plants that were installed per this plan. The one year guarantee was for that contractor only. In subsequent years, the association which would be made up of these tree users, would go in together and maintain the entire area. The individual areas around each building would be maintained and installed and paid for by the individual user.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twelve

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

Mr. Soper stated the city had concerns about the heights and number of evergreens along the side of the building for the drive through. The building will set up slightly; the ground along this side slopes away from the building, so the plants in effect will be perched in the air and provide a little better screening. We have moved some of the plants formerly around the old dumpster location on the side to increase the screening effect, and we have added planting back here so that visually as you drive in the entrance, the screening will be a little bit heavier across the rear.

Mr. Soper continued a second comment that was requested was the walkway coming into the site from Princeton Pike. In addition to the existing sidewalk, we are proposing to turn that walk in parallel to the road, and bring it up to a point that is compatible with entering the existing proposed building pads for the restaurants.

Finally, Mr. Soper said, on the dumpster there were comments about the locations and the materials. Tim may be able to address some of the detail a little bit better being familiar with the individual users. OíCharleyís has a dumpster here that we are trying to surround with white pine and some mounding. That probably would be made of a masonry material such as brick. The Tumbleweed building has a dumpster location at this point. I spoke with the engineer and he indicated that the grades would be altered slightly where it would be pushed down and in conjunction with the existing white pines we were adding additional low plantings and trees to shade and buffer, especially since that is something that is seen as you drive in. The third location is the dumpster that has been moved behind the proposed building. On this third one, it is all in question because it is a future user, and more than one type of material is difficult to comment on.

Mr. Syfert called on Anne McBride for her comments. Ms. McBride reported I had not seen this until now. As you know, we have been reviewing a number of different sets of plans. Specifically with regards to landscaping, we had asked for additional landscaping and without seeing this plan until tonight itís difficult to comment on it, but you might want to look at additional trees in this area. Our concern was coming in on Merchant Street or being in this building in this location, you donít want to see that drive through window, so screen that as much as possible. There was no plant material shown in this parking island, and there still isnít anything shown there, so that is something we would want to see if in fact there is something proposed for that.

Ms. McBride continued we had some real concerns about the dumpsters. We feel very strongly that the types of enclosures should be brick with solid wood gates. In particular this one absolutely must be screened. You come in here and it will be the focal point; you have the sculpture in this area. Ms. McBride stated there are two existing pine trees in this location, and they are proposing to put in dwarf burning bushes here. The original plan we saw had some pine trees; we did not feel the pine trees were necessarily sufficient and we certainly donít feel the dwarf burning bushes are sufficient supplemented by the two pine trees.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Thirteen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

Ms. McBride stated what we would like to see is some additional pine trees and the burning bushes in front of that to create a staggered and mixture effect. This needs to complement the sculpture and this whole access issue, not detract from it. The dumpster might be somewhat lower in elevation, but you still are going to want to screen that as much as possible.

Ms. McBride continued in addition, we have a honey locust here and we donít feel these two honey locust trees are complementary with the existing landscaping in this parking area, so we would like to see those removed and replaced with other plant material, in this particular area, maybe some low evergreens. Again, trying to go for a built up effect.

Ms. McBride reported on the plans we got on Thursday afternoon was the first time that we had seen the relocation of these six inch maple trees. It is my understanding that they are not insurable when you move them like that, and it could take up to two years for them to die. So, I think the Commission wants to make sure that the association responsible for the upkeep of that landscaping includes the replacement of these trees when and if they die. Theyíll need about a five foot ball on them and a foot on either side, so they need about seven feet of hole space just to get them in there; we do have some concerns for those.

Mr. McErlane reported we did receive some plans on Thursday, and I did not have them placed in front of you because I did not know if our consultants would have time to review them but it looks as though Ms. McBride has reviewed them. You might want to look at those, since those are the comments she is giving you. Mr. Syfert asked Mr. Shvegzda if he had looked at them, and he stated that he had not.

Mr. Hershner added it is safer to say that from the comments that have been submitted on the plans you originally had tonight, not the ones that were just dropped on your desk, all the changes we have been making have been in an effort to try and keep on top of it, because we have a short time line. It wasnít an effort to confuse anything; whichever plans you look at are a response to the eight pages of comments from your consultants and staff. I think we are on the same page; Ron Hall has talked with Don at length about a lot of the engineering issues, and basically has resolved concerns over the comments. To the greater part, we are willing to accept all of the suggestions. We are trying to make sure that the dumpsters are screened and we have some thoughts on some of the tree modifications that Ms. McBride has brought up tonight. Any of these changes and suggestions they have we are open to meeting, and working with them to their satisfaction.

Mr. Blake said I would like to voice my appreciation for the gentlemanís comment regarding the cooperation in getting together with the staff and resolving it. I agree; I think we are on the same page, but I would like to know about one note on the page and that is with all of these trees and shrubberies that you are proposing, I have not heard anywhere who is responsible for the maintenance to make sure that this stays as beautiful as you are planning it.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Fourteen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

Mr. Hershner commented these site plans are approved based on what is there and if at any one time a tree goes, they can be cited on something like that. A lot of times it is a matter of policing. What we have done is draft a declaration of covenants easements and maintenance obligations, and we specifically pointed it towards obligations because what we want to do is pull these three property owners together and say there is going to be an association that each of them will be a member of that will obligate them to maintain all of the common areas, the parking area, landscaping, detention basin, trees and things like that. We met months ago on the site with the tree company and talked about the kind of maintenance we need to limb out some of the dead limbs and try to maintain the trees to stay there. I feel comfortable in saying that the declaration of obligations we are going to spell out in here will insure that all of the common areas will include an obligation on the part of everybody to maintain it. Mr. Blake responded Iím not quite clear. You used the term common area; I do not know what you mean. Mr. Hershner gave Mr. Blake a copy of the covenants, and passed out copies to the other members of the Commission. He added this is going through review by Tumbleweed and OíCharleys, but on the second page it defines detention basin, easement areas, improved areas and landscaped areas so all these different areas are spelled out so this association has a common approach in the maintenance of those areas. This document has to pass acceptance of your staff and your solicitor, and the only reason we have not given it to your solicitor yet is because we have a conference call tomorrow to go over this with OíCharleyís and Tumbleweed. You can be assured that what we say will be maintained will be. One of the issues from day one was if somebody has a problem with the detention basin because it is not on his property but on another property, who do we call? You could call any one of these, because they have an obligation and responsibility; nobodyís going to be off the hook on maintaining the entire property.

Mr. Blake said my understanding is the owners of the property will form the "association" and therefore the association will be responsible for maintaining, not only in their immediate area, but all those trees; Iím looking on Page 7, Article 8. They are saying the association will be responsible for the care and maintenance of the landscape area; Iím sure that means all of the area you are proposing here. Mr. Herschner said right. From our commitment to you on this plan, the landscape area is every single tree shown on here.

Mr. Tiffany asked Mr. Soper about the maples that Ms. McBride spoke about that will be planted in the islands. Those are being removed from the existing parking lot to the west of the location. How are you taking trees off another piece of property to yours? Do we have a tree preservation ordinance that we have to look at concerning this? Mr. Herschner responded those islands are on our property at this point. Mr. Soper added Ann commented that moving that size of plant can be a concern, and while it is true that certain times of the year they are not guaranteed, if this project goes into the summer, it may be better to not take the risk to put them in, but to take the tree ordinance calculation and taking three inch trees for each of the six inch trees, put something in and water it for the first year and get it over the hump for a better survival rate. We have probably have another four weeks when we could move it and then sometime in the fall after November 15th when those can be moved safely. It really is a risk that the owner has to take, and if it doesnít work out, weíll look at the tree preservation ordinance.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Fifteen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL - cont.

Mr. Tiffany asked the type of maple these trees are, and Mr. Soper answered I believe they are red maple or sugar maple. Mr. Tiffany asked how large the trees would get, and Mr. Soper answered under these circumstances (the roots are somewhat stressed because of the paved area) they probably would never be wider than 30 feet in diameter and 50 to 55 feet in height. Mr. Tiffany continued what is the size of the islands? I canít imagine that these islands are 20 feet wide. If we have 20 foot wide trees and a 10 foot island, the drip zone for the tree is well into the parking lot and out of the island. Iím wondering how this tree is going to survive after a year from now. Weíll water for a year, and after that the tree will die because its drip zone is gone.

Mr. Soper reported Tim asked me to take a look at that, and my opinion is because of the way the topography falls, there is such an amount of ground water through here, and if you look at the way the engineer is regarding this, there will be a depression so that the subsoil will cause this area to stay somewhat moist on the subgrade, and that ups the survival rate. The question you asked about the size of the island is a fair one, because of the urbanized area of the trees, it cuts down on it. Mr. Tiffany continued we had talked about irrigation; I donít see it on the plans at all. Is there any proposal for irrigation?

Mr. Soper responded the latest studies for five to 10 years about parking lot trees say the honey locust pears and crab apples for this region is the very best. The projects I have worked on for the last 15 years all of the trees are very much alive without irrigation. The only reason I feel the maples would do well is because of the topography. Once you move away from those varieties you are in a situation where you have very low life expectancy. Mr. Tiffany commented you are the professional, and if you tell us the trees are going to survive, we have to believe you.

Mr. Soper continued the thing about putting irrigation out in some of these small islands is they break over time; they get hit by cars and snow removal equipment. I have not had a lot of success with it, so I would rather put things in that will survive on its own.

Mr. Tiffany said last month we had talked about verbiage that was written on the plans about the guarantee of the trees and the plantings. On L2, I notice there was a line handwritten in there. It is a confusing verbiage, and I donít know that I am still comfortable with having it on the plans at all. I would rather not have it on a legal document coming into the city, because we want these plantings taken care of after one year. I understand that will be the responsibility of the tenants of the three buildings, but I donít want it written on the plans as guaranteed for one year.

Mr. Hershner responded we talked about that and went back and forth on it. My response was letís take it off. That whole list is for contractor specs. Weíll just take that whole paragraph off.

Mr. Syfert commented we have quite a few comments from our consultants, and called on Don Shvegzda, saying which plan are you going to talk about?

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Sixteen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL - cont.

Mr. Shvegzda answered the one previous to the Thursday submittal. You have detailed comments on the soil water management site plan. Under storm sewer, Item E, there was an area in the front of the building on 747, on that curved line at the eastern edge of the parking lot that there were breaks in the curve. The low point of that area was at that location so that a portion of the runoff from the parking lot was bypassing the detention basin.

Mr. Shvegzda continued comment H under storm sewer, at the north end of the parking lot for the development we have here tonight which is also the adjoining south end of Cookers, there is an existing 48 inch storm sewer which acts as a detention basin for a portion of the Cookers development. By the modification that was indicated on the plans, a great deal of that storm water runoff was going to bypass that detention basin.

Mr. Shvegzda reported under storm detention, we needed additional details on the outlet structure. The high water elevations being raised two and one half feet to accommodate the additional detention volume that is needed in the basin, and there wasnít any detail to show how that outlet structure would be modified to handle that additional elevation.

Mr. Shvegzda added another concern was there wasnít any verification of how the major storm, the 100 year storm, was going to get into the detention basin. It didnít appear it would be via the storm sewer, so that had to be clarified whether it was going to be through a combination of the storm sewer and overland flow or how it would be accomplished.

Mr. Shvegzda stated the parking has been kind of a concern all along as to how to best discourage the use of the proposed drive to this development for an access point to the office building to the west. We are asking that everything be investigated as to how to best discourage the traffic that wants to get to the office building from using this as a short cut. This is something that will have to be discussed with the developer as to how best to do that and still provide the desired accessways for the developments.

Mr. Shvegzda continued regarding the gap analysis for the proposed driveway onto S.R. 747, we received information that only gave us the number of gaps available on 747, but it really didnít analyze or determine whether that was an acceptable number for the traffic that would be developed from this site, so there is additional analysis that has to be done there.

Mr. Shvegzda reported the additional sidewalk connection was mentioned, and in regards to site lighting, it meets the minimum of 1/2 foot candle illumination.

Mr. Shvegzda added we did have a conversation Friday with Ron Hull the engineer for the development, and with the exception of the method of discouraging cut through traffic, all the items were pretty well discussed as to how they would accomplish the modifications to address these comments. Mr. Syfert commented so there was no real problem with any of the items, other than discouraging short cuts. Mr. Shvegzda said and the gap analysis.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Seventeen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL - cont.

Ms. Anne McBride stated our first and main comment has to do with the internal circulation on the site. These comments are reflective of the plan pre last Thursday, and the landscaping comments are on the plan submitted last Thursday, but do not reflect the site plan we saw this evening. In looking at this, it looks like our major concern has been addressed, and that is the internal circulation. In the prior plans we examined we did not feel provided enough queue length for what will be a drive through window. There was confusion with regards to the circulation of the parking field in that area, and there was the possibility of some of the parking spaces being boxed in when the line from the drive through window came around. We suggested that a separate point of access be provided for the drive through window, and that has been done on that plan. The one thing that I would say is that it is very very important that it be adequately signed internally, both on the access off Merchant Street and within the development itself, so people get a real good idea as to the flow of how that circulation pattern works. I do think that comment has been addressed.

Ms. McBride said concerning the dumpster locations, whereas this is the back of these buildings, this is the front of those office buildings basically, and particularly when you are talking about features such as that sculpture, those dumpsters have to be enclosed with brick on three sides and solid wood gates on the front. We feel very strongly about that, regardless of who the users are, regardless of what the typical standards are. Because of the sensitivity of this development in relation to the office development, that is very very important.

Ms. McBride continued in summary on our landscape comments, I think we would like to see a little bit more landscaping on the side with the drive through window, and also in the back of that user, we would like to see a reworking of the plant material that will be around the dumpster near the sculpture feature.

Ms. McBride stated the only other comment we had is in regard to the gap analysis. We are the ones that initially suggested that. The information we got was raw data; there was no trip generation analysis to relate that to. They were showing 75 gaps out of that access point during p.m. peak hour, when you look at some type of user that will have a drive through window and a OíCharleyís that is a frequent happy hour place, it is very important to be able to relate that gap analysis information to the trips that will come out of there during p.m. peak hour.

Mr. McErlane reported Mr. Hershner provided a draft of covenants and easements and maintenance obligations which addresses the first comment I had. We have not had an opportunity to review those, so we will review those relative to those concerns. We also do not have details for dumpster enclosures at this point. Specifically, we had some concern about the one at the end of the entrance drive. On parking it appears after the required spaces are allocated towards Tumbleweed and OíCharleyís, there are 29 spaces previously allocated to Cookers that are now on this site, and there still are 86 spaces remaining for the future restaurant. The building elevations which are in those packets indicate there are neon signs in little windows on Tumbleweedís building, basically right above the entrance. We do not have details to that. My recommendation is that we withhold approval of those until we get details on them.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Eighteen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL - cont.

Mr. McErlane reported there are three variances that will be required for this site. One is the ground sign exceeds seven feet; it is approximately 10 feet. Personally, I think that is a better situation than adding three individual ground signs out front, so I would recommend that this be referred to the BZA. For Tumbleweed, there are individual signs shown there, and they do not give a good indication of how they project over the roofline. The zoning code prohibits signs from projecting and that is another item for Planning Commission to consider, and Board of Zoning Appeals would have to grant a variance. The third is there is a dumpster on the north side of the site that appears to be three feet from the property line, instead of the five feet required by the code. In talking with Mr. Hershner, he indicated it may be possible to get five feet there.

Mr. Tiffany said you received copies of all the concerns of CDS, Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride, and it is a pretty lengthy list. We also just got to look at the new plans for the first time tonight, and we just got our copy of the covenants tonight and have not had a chance to look at those. I donít believe our legal department has had a chance to, have they? Mr. Hershner stated no, we were trying to get Tumbleweed and OíCharleyís blessings on it and then forward it.

Mr. Tiffany stated with all this in mind, personally I donít feel real comfortable making a decision on this tonight without all of these things cleaned up. How long would it take you to get some updated plans together and address the concerns that our staff has? I do not want to delay you to our next regular meeting; I was talking with the chairman and a couple of the other members about a possible special meeting to help expedite things for you, but we need to have some idea of what it will take to get you to the point where you are ready. Personally, I donít feel we are ready at this point.

Mr. Hershner responded my guess is 50% or so of the comments from CDS are dealing with details that were held off by Paineís group because he hadnít received much feedback yet on whether or not detention in general was sufficient. Details are rather simple, and we had hoped through providing revised plans as we went that we would be prepared and that is why we tried to move forward even with a revised plan that incorporates all the moves inlets, putting in curbing, etc. Our goal was that the final plans with all these revisions would be available to the city by this Friday. Certainly our predicament is that OíCharleyís and Tumbleweed are putting the heat on in terms of deadlines. I know the contractor for the site grading had even approached the Building Department as to when he could start, thinking he could start a week ago. That is certainly a concern, because as we get into the spring season, weíre going to start to lose weeks of times rather than just a day here or there. Given a lot of the requirements that we are dealing with here are what we feel are above and beyond what some developments incur, like this association we are creating; I donít mind trying to assure for the cityís benefit but the property ownerís benefit, but that is something that could be reviewed and as long as it meets with the solicitorís approval, we are set. As an example of the neon signs, I do have details tonight; they faxed them up today, and they tend to be more art type neon than signage, but clearly they do not want that to stop the process.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Nineteen

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-CONT.

Mr. Hershner stated the bottom line is I certainly am prepared to respond to all the comments, and we feel we are at a point that we can deal head on within days. Our bottom line comes down to from the grading point, trying to get in and get the site started, even if it is contingent upon some of these finer points on long term maintenance issues. If we can resolve those while we are working on the site, we are committed to this beyond belief. I think I tried to convey that, and I would hope rather than hold up the entire project, meaning the start of some site grading work, because there is considerable cut that has to occur on that site, we would like to try and move forward with some of those items. If it means coming back in two weeks and dealing with some of these finer issues, fine. We are going to hang ourselves out on the hook if our gap analysis doesnít show that it is appropriate. We have run some preliminary numbers and some general numbers, and it gave us the comfort level that it clearly will work, that we werenít overly concerned about it and we were hoping that we didnít have to do a full blown traffic study to ascertain that. On that item alone, we were taking from the International Traffic Engineers booklet the peak hour of the evening and comparing it to the peak hour of traffic there and showing that we have well in excess of the capability of making left turn lanes out of that driveway onto Princeton Pike, which is the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is we have 44 opportunities to turn left within an hourís time, and at the maximum worst case scenario, if we had three restaurants with 7,000 square feet, we are talking about 35 left turn lanes. That is something I would agree with the staff and consultants that they want to look at that and assure the city, but we looked at those numbers and felt very comfortable with them.

Mr. Hershner continued our biggest concern is if there is a way to make this work so that OíCharleyís and Tumbleweed Restaurants do not walk on us, because we have commitments to them that by May 1 they have to have a site that is prepared and ready to roll. Clearly they still have to come in and submit building plans and go through that process, so we have some time delay built into it. That is why we were prepared to seek your indulgence and ask for approval based upon us satisfying all these. Even if it means coming back in a two week period so that we are certain that we have some of these legal issues taken care of, we can deal with that at that point, but I would certainly beg for the property owners to have the ability to move forward and post our bonds on the trees and the grading so that we can start our cut and grading issues and work on the site.

Mr. Tiffany commented to be honest with you, typically on final approval, we have had final plans in house for some time, we do not have eight pages of cleanup items, and we typically have the signage in hand, things such as that. I can appreciate your position. As far as the covenants go, I donít have a problem with referring it to our solicitor and saying it has to meet his approval. We do that a lot. It is a lot of the other cleanup items that we need to address. You had made a comment earlier that you donít have a problem meeting almost all the concerns that have been put down; I guess I want to know which ones you are not.

Mr. Hershner reported Don has had conversations with Ron Hull and we met 99% of the concerns. The one I know we are waiting for is they are requesting two sidewalks coming off Princeton Pike up the main access drive and I believe we settled on one sidewalk coming up the north side. These are the kinds of things.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL - cont.

Mr. Hershner continued one other item is the detail on the Tumbleweed dumpster. Their standard upgrade from chain link and slats going in it is to have a wood sided that matches the wood siding on the building. Mr. Tiffany said we are talking about the dumpster nearest the sculpture, the multi-million dollar sculpture. I guess their issue is more that brick enclosures are expensive and typically they have done wood enclosure as a standard upgrade.

Mr. Tiffany asked if there was any way we can get that dumpster nearer to the building? Are they not willing to do that? Anne had mentioned in her statement that if it has to be there it should be enclosed with bricks. Can they put it to the back side of the building and enclose it there? To use the wood on their building works very well; to use the wood out next to the sculpture tends to countrify the sculpture. Her point is very very valid in my opinion.

Mr. Hershner called on Scott Katz of the Midland Group and asked him if there is any difficulty in having the dumpster to the rear of the building? Mr. Katz did not know, and Mr. Hershner said I would suggest we make that a condition, have the dumpster at the back of the building. Mr. Tiffany commented it simplifies it; it lowers their cost. Ms. Manis said the only problem is getting to it; you will lose parking there. Mr. Tiffany responded weíll gain it back where the dumpster is, right? Ms. Manis said not a lot. Mr. Hershner reported we do gain it here. Mr. Tiffany commented what they could do is use those spaces, put gates on both sides to the out of the lot and towards the building and access it from either side, one for the truck and one for the people coming out from the building so they wouldnít have to walk all the way around. I donít know where their back door is going to be, but that might work out. Mr. Hershner said if we put it there, could we have it a wooden enclosure? Mr. .Tiffany said yes, thatís the idea because then it lends itself to the building. Mr. Hershner commented itís almost an extension of the building. Mr. Tiffany added these are the little points that need to be worked out. If you want to sit here all night and work them out, I donít have a problem with it. Mr. Hershner commented I would be more than happy to. Mr. Tiffany added it is up to this Board.

Mr. Hershner stated the only other issue we were struggling with is this concern over cut through traffic, and that is a tough one. If you have a parking area that lays out well, people donít have to jog all around to get through it and clearly if there is a problem with the offices going through here to get out, they will come back to you quickly. Mr. Tiffany added I think you listened to an earlier concern we had with that and put the entrance in the middle of the center building, which will cut down the straight through shots. And as Mr. Galster just said, if the restaurants are busy, people arenít going to want to go through there. Ms. Manis added theyíd rather go out at the light.

Mr. McErlane said the only comment I have relative to covenants and easements and maintenance obligations is this is not a PUD, and the only reason we wanted to see that there were easements and covenants in place were with respect to who is going to maintain what. If there werenít common parking areas and there werenít utilities running across adjacent properties, we could care less if we ever got these. We just need to know they have them in place. Mr. Tiffany added and that we agree with the terms. We donít want to put the city at risk for something in these covenants. Mr. McErlane commented except we are not a party of these covenants anyway, not like we normally are in a PUD

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-One

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

. Mr. Hershner added the bottom line requirement is that the city wants to insure that there are cross easements for utilities and basic things; clearly we are not going to put them in unless we have those there.

Mr. Blake commented I am in agreement with Mr. Tiffany in that I feel very uncomfortable at this point in giving final approval with all of these many items outstanding. So we can expedite this, I would like to table this until at such time that we can have some of this resolved, and I can feel more comfortable in voting for final approval with more issues in fact rather than speculation; and I would agree to a special meeting.

Mr. Wilson said I am looking at the signs, and if Mr. McErlane doesnít have a problem with a 10 foot sign instead of three separate signs, I can handle that. I am looking at the final approval, which is what we ultimately will be voting on. On the Tumbleweed sign where it is above, I notice on A4 Page 7 you see the rear elevation back side of sign and parapet beyond; what will that look like to the office people? You have neon signs which are part of the signage, lighting on the Tumbleweeds, but I am also concerned about what the backside will look like.

Mr. Hershner responded that is a good question, and one that I felt we could work out on the signage, which was raised. They have been open to raising the parapet walls to screen those things out, as well as raise the parapet wall on the signage so it isnít extending above as is shown in the picture and in the site elevations. In that scenario, it is more a matter of technicality, whether or not you have a parapet wall that will crown up to meet the back of that sign. It is certainly not a sign that is double faced so there is some advantage to having it stick above the wall. They did give me verbal approval that if they needed to have a parapet wall come up, they can and have done that.

Mr. Wilson commented I think at this point that I have to agree that there are so many things here that we have to look at that I would feel very uncomfortable going with this as it is now. What I am looking at says final site plan, and there are sufficient questions and concerns that I would make a motion that we table this and give the Commission members a chance to review this and come up with questions and give you a chance to address the concerns already expressed. We can meet again and put this to bed for you.

Mr. Syfert said if all members could make a special meeting on March 28th, would you have plenty of time to take care of all these things, get them in for the Building Department and the consultants to look at? Mr. Hershner answered that would give us more than enough time. However, our bigger problem is that OíCharleyís and Tumbleweed are really holding us to the wall, and they have indicated they probably will walk. I hate to even say that, because it shouldnít be an issue for either of us to have to deal with. Given that scenario with as much effort as we all have invested in this project, that is why my hope was they wouldnít be allowed to walk in the sense that we certainly could have another meeting to go over and approve all the smaller items. We are in agreement with all these conditions; we donít have a problem with them. I know that is a lot of gray area to look at these number of pages, but from a standpoint of the project moving forward, I canít stress enough that if there is some way to make this work, we want to.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Two

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

Mr. Syfert commented some of the same issues we are talking about tonight weíve been talking about for quite a while. I know weíve addressed them in plan review, and Iím sure thatís gotten back to you. I know where the Planning Commission members are coming from; they are very uncomfortable giving the final site approval with so many contingencies connected. I personally agree with Mr. Tiffany and Mr. Blake and Mr. Wilson and I express this that I feel very uncomfortable with it. I do not believe that we are objecting to the overall site plan that we are seeing right now, but we have got to tie these things down before we give final approval. If I have said anything incorrectly, please say so. Perhaps you can convey that to the Tumbleweed & OíCharleyís people. I canít believe that they canít understand our position. This is a sizable project that we are dealing with and without the proper input and assurance from our consultants and our staff people. I donít believe we are doing our job to give site approval tonight. I believe we have all indicated a willingness for a special meeting within a two week period. If you can tie it down, I believe you are home free or a lot closer.

Mr. Blake stated the chairman has been very astute and kind in his comments. From my personal opinion is I feel I am being roped into something, and I feel that Tumbleweed and OíCharleyís have a responsibility to get their plans before the Planning Commission in a timely manner, which would give the Commission time to handle the

responsibilities we were appointed to do. I donít think this is unreasonable, inasmuch as you submitted your data late; we get it tonight and you want us to approve it; I donít think that is very fair. A lot of this should have been taken care of. I would hate to see the business walk, but by the same token we have our responsibility. As the Chairman said I would hope that they understand this. I feel you are trying to pressure me into doing something I am not comfortable with. Weíre trying to meet you halfway by saying give us an opportunity, bring it back and weíll try to work with you, but tonight if you asked me to vote for it, I would vote against it.

Mr. Tiffany commented if you will recall in my earlier comments, I was talking with Mr. Soper and I referred to him as the professional and having to take his opinion on the trees as factual. The most recent plans we received were received on Thursday. Ms. McBride reviewed those plans; her comments are based on those plans, but not tonightís plans. Mr. Shvegzda is probably in a similar situation; this is all pretty rushed. Mr. Shvegzda stated all comments are based on the plan prior to this one

Mr. Tiffany said I think to be fair first and foremost to the city we have to give these folks time to look these plans over and come up with some comments on them. Again, we have a list eight pages long based on the old plans. Now we have new plans that they havenít had a chance to look at; we may end up with 12 pages. Go and address these eight pages, get with these folks as quick as you can to get their latest concerns with the newest plans and letís get this worked out as quickly as we can. We want what you want, to get these people in here, but we have to have it tied down for us to do our job properly. Mr. Hershner commented I canít disagree with you, and I think that is our only solution. We were planning on having these documents in, all these different changes, and thatís why I pushed the engineers to get anything and everything back to conform with these comments. That is why the new plan; the only revisions to it are trying to address those concerns.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Three

VI B OíCHARLEYíS & TUMBLEWEED RESTAURANTS FINAL APPROVAL-cont.

Mr. Hershner continued if there is a way to have a meeting earlier than the 28th; Mr. Tiffany asked about the 20th, this coming Monday. Mr. Blake commented will they be ready? Mr. Hershner said yes. We were planning on having them by Friday. Mr. Tiffany continued will that give our staff sufficient time to look it over? If he has everything to you folks on Friday, when can you be ready? Ms. McBride asked Friday at 5 oíclock or Friday at eight oíclock? Mr. Hershner responded Friday at 8:00 in the morning; we will be done Thursday night.

Mr. Syfert commented it appears that during the week of the 20th the 20th is the only available day. Mr. Blake commented I donít think that is enough time; thatís rushing them. Mr. Syfert stated I still feel the 28th is the best day; that gives all of our consultants the proper time to work with it. Does anyone have a problem with the 28th? No one did.

Mr. Blake moved to table this to a special meeting concerning the final approval of this project to be held the 28th of March at 7:00 P.M. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Mr. Wilson stated on the signage for your information personally I do not like it the way it is. I know that is a part of the motif, but I would ask you to talk to your people and see if you can bring that down level. We have required other businesses to do that. I am not one for setting precedents, and I think you should consider lowering it down or raising the parapet, doing something so that doesnít show like a satellite dish . Mr. Syfert commented ins staff review we suggested moving it out on one of the higher parapets.

Mr. Hershner responded I donít have the elevations in front of me, but I remember talking about that, and I will go back to them and we will modify the plan to show there is a parapet wall behind it.

On the motion to table the matter to the March 28th special meeting by voice vote all voted aye and the matter was tabled.

Mr. McErlane asked for clarification on the submittal date of the materials for this meeting. Mr. Hershner stated it will be submitted Friday at 8:00 a.m. Ms. Manis added we would like as many things worked out as possible.

Mr. Tiffany commented concerning your position with OíCharleyís and Tumbleweed, please let them know that I donít think any of us here are opposed to this project. It looks very very promising, and all we need to do is work out the details. By no means should they feel that they are at risk on this project.

Mr. Hershner asked if there was anything a little more formalized that could come out of this that we could get to OíCharleyís and Tumbleweed to signify that we are definitely moving forward and there are just some issues that need to be clarified?

Mr. Syfert responded I think the fact that we are agreeable to special meeting tells you something, doesnít it? Mr. Tiffany added I donít know if we want to expose ourselves to any liability by putting it in writing, but it looks very good.

Commission recessed at 9:30 P.M.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Four

Mr. Syfert called the Commission back in session at 9:45 P.M., stating before we discuss temporary signage, Mr. Blake would like to make a statement.

Mr. Blake commented to my colleagues on the Commission, I was thinking on how to expedite agenda items that have not been properly prepared or presented to the staff or the chairman, particularly like tonight when there are numerous concerns. I wonder if the Commission could empower the chair that if a case like tonight comes up, he has the authority if he feels it is not complete or complete enough that he can keep that from the agenda. I think that would save a lot of time and resolve the details in the staff review. I wonder if the chairman could have that authority; I would like some feedback on this.

Mr. Syfert said probably I do have that discretion, and I believe we had a little concern about this being okayed, but by the same token I canít input for all of you, and I think we were close enough that we probably had to go through this tonight. I know where you are coming from, and I try my best to keep those items out of here if they are not complete. You have to remember that Bill and Don and Anne deal with these people a lot also. Hopefully we can bring it all together by the time it gets here, but this one just didnít come close to working. For that I apologize, but I appreciate your comment.

Mr. Wilson commented I thought a year ago we were talking about requiring these individuals to submit these plans a certain period of time ahead. Iím thinking with the consensus of the other members, perhaps any plans submitted less than five working days prior to our meeting should not be considered. In other words apply some pressure to them so they canít just come in here 24 hours before with some stuff that they expect us to vote on it. If we give them some parameters, because in almost two years here, I have seen stuff come in three oíclock in the afternoon of the meeting night. That will give you guys time to review it and if it is not up to specks, tell them it has been tabled to the next meeting. Maybe once we set some parameters this wonít happen any more.

Mr. Tiffany stated the parameters in place state that it has to be in the last day of the month previous to be on the agenda. Anything that would be an exception to that would be at the discretion of the chair.

Mr. McErlane reported when Mr. Hershner dropped off the plans on February 28th, he submitted one copy of the building elevations, and I had told him that we needed five additional copies of that. Previously he had submitted four copies of the landscaping plan, and I had indicated we needed two additional copies of that. His civil engineer previously had dropped off four copies of a site plan and I told him we needed two additional copies of that. I said since you have everything here and you just donít have the adequate number of copies, go ahead and start the process, but I need those copies as soon as possible. On the morning of the 9th, seeing that we had a plan review meeting that afternoon, I called him and said I still donít have those additional copies. On the afternoon of the 9th I got six revised copies. At that time, I gave our other consultants a copy of them and said you can look at them if you want, but personally Iím gong to put them aside because they came in this late.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Five

Mr. McErlane continued the problem we have run into is if we review them and give them comments, they want to respond to them by doing revisions and resubmit them without us ever having the opportunity to rereview them. In the past weíve just said that we are not going to review anything that comes in after that point. Maybe one of the problems we have is we send our comments back too early. If we faxed comments to them that day or the day prior, theyíd have the opportunity to respond to them in the meeting, but not send us revised plans to do it.

Mr. Wilson commented my concern is these guys are professionals; they know what they are doing. Thatís why I cut them no slack. If you set it that you are not going to accept these after a certain point, we can get this corrected and not have it come up.

Ms. McBride commented I work in a lot of different communities. In most of the communities you have to submit things six to eight weeks in advance, and there is a revision period where the staff gets you comments and you are able to respond to those with revised drawings by a certain date. What the Commission may want to consider is if you back up that initial submittal date to say the 15th of the month before and then revisions are due back the last working day of the month. That still gives us time to review. That would alleviate a lot of these two page reports. It is something you might want to consider.

Mr. Tiffany commented in defense of the chairís generosity and his discretion, this is an ideal thing; we have a quality couple of companies that wants to develop in our city. You do not want to do anything to jeopardize that, possibly lose two very good quality developments coming in. It is tough to get good developments, and if you can work with them as much as possible without undermining ourselves in the process. I think by going to this month in advance and giving ourselves that extra two weeks for these folks to review it, get back to them and review it again, I think that will help a lot.

Mr. Blake commented I agree wholeheartedly; I donít think we are trying to stop the businesses, but we have a systematic problem that we need to resolve so we can be more expeditious.

Mr. Syfert suggested we all think about this before we jump in and make a new rule. Mr. Tiffany asked if we can bring it up at our special meeting? Mr. Syfert stated we donít want to make it too difficult on the developers; we want to encourage development. Letís work with Bill Anne and Don and then bring it up on the floor in two weeks or a month. Mr. Tiffany commented if you look back at some of these larger developments that have come in during the last year, what may have been a month and a half process is turning into three and four months. I think in the long run it will speed things up. Again, the chairman would still have the option and discretion to add something at a later date.

Mr. Syfert commented weíve had quite a few of special meetings on this project havenít we? Mr. McErlane responded you mean in terms of staff meetings? Mr. Syfert said staff, and the special large meeting we had; we have really tried to move this thing along. I donít believe it has progressed the way we had hoped it would, primarily because of a number of problems that they had. But, before we jump in here and do something we really donít want to do, letís think about this. Mr. Blake said I agree, but I also think we will think about it if you put it on the agenda for next month. Ms. Manis suggested that the staff submit something for us to review. Mr. Syfert stated weíll get input from them also.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Six

Mr. Sullivan said when the fellow made the comment about Tumbleweedís walking, my guess is if either one of them walked it would be because the guy doing the work for them, which is him, is dragging his feet. I donít see how they could possibly blame it on us. He probably is thinking more about the flack he will get from Tumbleweed and OíCharleyís when they come back to him and say why didnít you get approval? He has to say because I didnít have all the stuff there. I donít think it was a threat; he was probably thinking out loud about the repercussions he will get.

Mr. Sullivan continued regarding the day care center and for the record, when the fellow from Galbreath spoke, after he finished and sat down and you said anyone have anything in favor to say, since this was probably against, it didnít seem to me that he was speaking against it. He was just expressing an opinion to make sure that we take their interests at heart; I donít think he was speaking against it.

Mr. Wilson stated Anne mentioned earlier that some municipalities require six to eight weeks. When we put this as a package, I want to get input from you guys. It appears if everybody else is six to eight weeks, weíre giving them a lot of latitude, more than anyplace else. The bottom line is weíre giving an inch; theyíre taking a mile. Maybe we need to tighten up.

Mr. Tiffany said I donít know if all the other communities do it the way we do, but we go through preliminary plan and final plan. Ms. McBride said they do. Mr. Syfert we will go on to temporary signage, bearing in mind that this will be on the agenda next month.

VII. DISCUSSION

A. Temporary Signage

Mr. Galster stated under possible solutions items B, 1 c & d were actually in reference to the total square footage if we were going to allow a window mounted sign. Mr. McErlane has brought up the fact that because they arenít readable from the street, they really are not a part of signage. Items c & d are more for figuring up the square footage of any particular window that those wouldnít be counted against it.

Mr. Galster continued I think we have a problem. We have a lot of fluorescent window signs in particular. I drive around the city and see it all over the place. Itís at the car dealerships, the fast food restaurants; it looks like we have a window sign war between the dry cleaning places. If we can eliminate or get a control on it, it will be a much more pleasant environment in the city. I donít think the signs are now within code; I think we have to decide how we want to enforce them, and what minor changes we need to make in order to make sure they are enforced the way we want to see it accomplished.

Mr. Tiffany commented one of the biggest offenders in my eyes is a type of sign, the "Open" neon sign. I canít tell you how many "Open" neon signs are in the city now. Everybodyís got one, like the world doesnít know that they are in business. When you get into the plazas, you go from store to store and they all have them. Obviously they can be seen from the street, so I think it has to be considered part of their signage. Are these people pulling permits on these signs typically? Mr. McErlane responded we have had a few, but I wouldnít bet that they all have them, no.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Seven

VII DISCUSSION - TEMPORARY SIGNAGE -continued

Mr. Tiffany commented one of the biggest problems with all of this is enforceability. Our building inspectors are extremely busy all the time, so I donít know what solution we should go to without adding some burden to our Building Department. I donít think you can put it on the Police Department to enforce it. I donít know if we need to add another person who does nothing but signs and other odd jobs. Signs can be a full time job, just going around looking for signs. I know in talking with Steve when we first started looking at things, he came up with a UDF in Montgomery that does not have window signs. UDF is probably one of our least offensive offenders. I donít know what the solution is; Iíd like to see them all gone. I donít know how much they do to generate business, especially these "Open" neon signs.

Mr. Syfert called on Mr. McErlane who reported at one point we thought it too cumbersome to try to enforce them under the current requirements. The problem is in more recent years we have a proliferation of sign painters out there who paint fluorescent colors over the entire surfaces of the windows. Even though there are fluorescent open signs, more than likely they will fit within their allowable square footage; they are pretty minimal signs and they probably could get a permit and still be there. The ones that are really tacky are the ones where they paint the entire windows out in fluorescent colors. I think we probably could handle those fairly quickly, but that doesnít mean that once you take care of those, somebody isnít going to come in and put some kind of banner behind the window, so we still need to address all window signs to some degree. The one thing I donít want to do is make it so cumbersome that it becomes impossible to try to enforce. The nice thing about the banners is it is obvious when they go up. Ones in the windows you may miss for a week or two. Anne McBride said she is accumulating information on signs.

Ms. McBride added knowing you were going to be looking at this issue, we did a little research on it. The American Planning Association puts out planning advisory service reports, and they did one called "Sign Regulations For Small and Midsize Communities", which is only a couple of years old. It is done by a couple of very well known attorneys and planners. The report recommends keeping the regulations simple. It also gave a good sample definition for window signs, and recommends limiting the window sign area to 25% of the total window area. Montgomery limits the window sign area to 25%, not to exceed 30 square feet. Cold Springs Kentucky limits from two to 12 square feet, Beavercreek Ohio is 50% of the total window area and Covington Kentucky has no square footage requirement. We put it on the Planning Network (a computer network) and there were three or four responses that wondered why we wanted to regulate window signs. Culver City California since March of last year has limited window signs to 20% of the window area of 200 square feet or one square foot for each lineal foot or whichever is less. I will give the information to Bill.

Mr. Tiffany asked Mr. McErlane if anything in the code addresses signage on automobiles at the dealerships, and Mr. McErlane reported there is nothing in the code on cars and signage.

Mr. McErlane commented it doesnít sound like they were limited by a time factor, and Ms. McBride stated that most did not. Mr. McErlane added that is more cumbersome than anything else.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 March 1995

Page Twenty-Eight

VII - DISCUSSION - TEMPORARY SIGNAGE - continued

Ms. Manis stated as one of the Council members, I would not be in favor of hiring another person to monitor window signs.

Mr. Blake commented I am very concerned, and am glad to see the Commission do something, but where do we go from here?

Mr. Syfert responded we know some of the issues and some of the concerns. Do we want more input from Anne as a guide?

Ms. Manis commented we could ask Mr. McErlane to draft some kind of legislation and then we could send it to Council. Mr. Syfert added we have to recommend this to Council. Ms. Manis added I think we should

have some kind of square footage on the windows.

Mr. Galster stated we also could say painted signs cannot be temporary signing. If somebody has to print something up, they would have to take more time, and hopefully it would be more tasteful. We need to decide - do we want to eliminate the painted sign? What about limiting it to 25% of the window area? If we are in agreement, we would have a direction of how to proceed. Mr. Syfert commented or do we want any? Mr. Galster responded I like to see a painted snowman on the window at Christmas as much as the next person. Ms. McBride commented you have to be very careful, because signage is a means of communication and is under the First Amendment. Mr. Galster stated I think we need to give direction on what we want.

Mr. Tiffany said I would like to form a subcomittee of which I would be happy to work with Mr. McErlane and maybe Mr. Galster, and take a look at what Anne has and bring something to Planning Commission. The Commission concurred.

Mr. Syfert stated we will have a special Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, March 28th. Our next regular meeting will be April 11th. Will everybody be able to attend? Everyone indicated they would.

Mr. Blake moved for adjournment and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the meeting was adjourned at 10:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_______________________,1995 _______________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

_______________________,1995 ______________________

Steve Galster, Secretary