PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

9 APRIL 1996

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: Councilmen Robert Wilson and Steve Galster,

Chairman Syfert, James Young and David Okum.

MEMBERS ABSENT: Richard Huddleston and Barry Tiffany (arrived at

7:10 P.M.)

OTHERS PRESENT: Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, Consultant

Amy Gasser, Wood & Lamping

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 12 MARCH 1996

Mr. Wilson moved for adoption and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. By voice

vote, all except Mr. Okum who abstained, voted aye and the Minutes were

adopted with four affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. March 15 1996 Letter from Bill McErlane to David Wilson, Wilson Sign Company re Signs and Awnings at Boston Market, 810 Kemper Commons Circle

B. March 19, 1996 Memo from Regional Planning Commission

C. April 1, 1996 Memo from Richard Huddleston

D. April 3, 1996 Memo from Bill McErlane to Members re Cellular 1

V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Reconsideration of Approval of Pylon Sign Along South Side of I-275 (Roberds Grand)

Mr. Syfert stated before we commence, I should state that this item will require five affirmative votes to grant the final approval.

Bob Wilson, Executive Vice President of Roberds stated the President of Roberds, Ken Fletcher is here as well as Jim Scott who is President of the Cincinnati operation. A month ago we were asked to relocate the pylon sign slightly to the west so it aligns with the front door, and we agreed to do that. We were asked to put a lower panel pack on the pylon sign to accommodate future tenants elsewhere in the facility and we have done that. Our suggestion is that the panel not be constructed at this point since there is no demand for it and it would be something of an oddity to have a blank panel there. The understanding would be that if a tenant comes forward and wanted that panel, they would have to go through the permitting process and give the staff the opportunity to review the specifics and the design going onto the panel before it went up.

Mr. Tiffany arrived at 7:10 p.m.

 

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9 April 1996

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VI A ROBERDS RECONSIDERATION OF PYLON SIGN ON I-275 - continued

Mr. Wilson continued the staff was asked to research whether there is pylon sign approved at the western end of the property for Springdale Kemper Associates. My understanding is that Mr. McErlane researched that point, talked to the law director and sent me a great deal of history as to what had happened. The conclusion was that a pylon sign has been approved for the western end of the property. The specifics and design have not been approved, but the concept of a pylon sign has been approved, probably dating back to the late 1980ís. With that conclusion, it brings us back, because you had requested that we return to this group if the conclusion was that it was approved. So we now know that there is an approval for a pylon sign at the western end of the Springdale Kemper property; there is an approval for a pylon sign at the eastern end close to Champion Window on Springdale Kemperís property, and we are requesting our own separate pylon sign approximately in line with the front door of the property. I donít want to reiterate the many points we made before, but the key thing here is that given the size and scope of this is project, a separate pylon sign designed and identified with our store makes sense from our standpoint and your standpoint. Also, as we stand here, neither of the other two pylon signs have been constructed and while we acknowledge that someone could be standing here at the next meeting requesting approval, there doesnít seem to be any interest or indication on anybodyís part that either of these signs is going up in the foreseeable future; the only sign would be ours, and we request your approval.

Mr. Okum commented I was not at the last meeting; I have read the Minutes but I havenít seen the submission for the pylon sign. Could you go over that for me? Mr. Wilson showed the location of the sign on the site plan. Mr. Okum asked the number of feet back the sign would be and Mr. Wilson responded that they would like it as close as possible, but it would be up to the Commissionís discretion. They determined that the sign was 70 feet back. Mr. Okum added I think we need it to be specific.

Mr. Okum asked if the future sign panel would be on the sign at this time and Mr. Wilson indicated that it would not, adding that they suggest that it not be constructed until a tenant from the Kroger building came forward for it.

Mr. Galster added I wonder if we shouldnít make a stipulation that if somebody would come forward, they would be open to entertaining adding the sign as opposed to tying down the square footage and even showing it on there. Have a commitment from them that an additional tenant would have their cooperation in adding their signage to the existing sign. Mr. Syfert commented the Minutes reflected the fact that if somebody wants to put it up there, they have to come before this board for approval, so I believe the Minutes take care of that. Mr. Wilson added I think you all wanted to get a maximum square footage pegged for that lower panel for your own purposes. Mr. Galster continued if we approved this and they decided that Roberds wants to add another little thing down here, I would like to not have that on there and have a stipulation that they would be open to that. Mr. Wilson said I would rather not have it at all.

 

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9 April 1996

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V A ROBERDS RECONSIDERATION OF PYLON SIGN ON I-275 - continued

Mr. Okum said then you are trying to be accommodating. Mr. Syfert added it was at Planning Commissionís request. Mr. Wilson continued we proposed it that way originally, and there was some concern about the number of panels, so we took it off and at the last meeting it was requested that we put it back on.

Mr. Okum wondered if we shouldnít discuss how many feet back this sign should be located. Mr. Syfert suggested marking it in on the plan; we were discussing the front of the boulevard, if somebody can scale it. Mr. Shvegzda used a scale to verify the right of way line.

Mr. Tiffany moved to approve the pylon sign as submitted with a100 foot setback, eliminating the extra signage on the drawing at this time with the understanding that should there be further development within the Kroger building or the property to the west, that they will have the option to come onto that sign as we discussed. Mr. Wilson said I want to make sure if it is approved subject to coming back here, or is it not approved and let them start the process. Mr. Tiffany responded the sign still will have to come in. Mr. Syfert added his motion is to approve your sign; the lower panel will have to come back. Mr. Tiffany continued jut eliminate the lower panel off the drawing at this time. Mr. Young seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Young, Mr. Galster, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Syfert and Mr. Okum. Approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Approval of Conditional Use Permit, 11733 Chesterdale Road (formerly Waltek)

Elizabeth Horwitz, representing BHE Environmental, the proposed user of one of the buildings on the Waltek property. I also have with me John Bruck, President and Lou Bruck, Vice President who are here to answer any questions about the operations. We are applying for a Conditional Use Permit because the primary use will be an office use in a General Industrial Zone. We are here with Dan Fousz representing Waltek, because Waltek is the owner of the entire property, and part of what we are proposing is to subdivide the property so that BHE can purchase the front portion and Waltek still will remain the owner of the back portion. We are planning to be on the agenda next week because we will need variances, but exactly what variances we will need may depend in some part on your determination tonight, as well as being dependent upon obtaining the Conditional Use Permit.

Ms. Horwitz continued the building in the front part of the property has approximately 32 to 33,000 square feet. The back building is a little bit larger, about 34,000 square feet. This is all an existing facility; we are not proposing to make any kinds of changes externally; the only changes will be internally, and there will be landscaping improvements, but not anything significant. The only other possible physical structural change in the works is there is a retaining wall along the southern property. This is an unusual situation, in that this property was originally developed as part of the Springdale Commerce Center and the property when it was pulled off, this property line cut through the Springdale Commerce parking lot, and there is an easement from this property to Springdale Commerce for trucking down here, and that is what the retaining wall is, the elevation change between the Springdale Commerce property and our property.

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Ms. Horwitz continued we are proposing the property into what would be a panhandle lot, a 30 foot width coming back about 300 feet and then the back portion. This property is about 2.1 acres, and this is about 2.4 acres for a total site of 4.5 acres.

Ms. Horwitz stated we are proposing to have cross easements between the two properties to make use of the facility the way it has been designed, and that is what this upper level drawing is showing. The colored areas are where we have easements. We have not finalized the drafted easement agreement because we are waiting for the input of the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, but the way it has been drafted and tentatively agreed between the parties would be that there would be total circulation access around the whole site and between the two buildings, generally restricted to automobiles and trucks under 10,000 pounds tonnage. The rest of the ground is for truck and automobile traffic. The purple are parking spaces, for which this property is going to have an easement right. The bluish green area is where we would like for the city to grant an easement to allow them to have their sign rather than trying to squeeze it in on this property. This shaded area is already the Springdale Commerce easement. The yellow shows how we propose to subdivide the two parcels.

Ms. Horwitz continued in terms of our use, I took the plans which were actually submitted in 1993 to try and show how we propose to use it. Right now this portion of the area is used by Bruce Design for office space and on the short term we do not propose to change that; they are under lease. This area here was the Waltek office space, which we are proposing to use, making only cosmetic changes to it. This office space, while connected relates to the operations of the warehouse space, which we are proposing to use for a lab for our field operations and for a conference room. This area was a storage area which would be converted to offices, and this warehouse space we would like to make a training or conference room. This warehouse space would be to store files, and the remainder of the warehouse space will stay as warehouse space, predominantly being used for storage of vehicles used by BHE.

Ms. Horwitz stated that BHE has a mobile lab for conducting environmental investigations on site, and there would be anywhere from five to 10 vehicles that would be stored here, both to protect them and to convert from lab work that has been done. The existing warehouse facility has a drive through access into the parking lot right now.

Ms. Horwitz continued the two purple areas here are storage areas, which will stay that way. The reason we would like to get into the storage area uses is because of the parking requirements. If you base it on the flat requirement of one space for every 200 square feet of office use, plus one for every 1,000 square feet of warehouse use, it would require a large number of parking spaces, between 110 and 160. The site does not have that kind of parking, and we do not have that kind of a need. Right now we have 41 or 42 employees, and the most we would have by the end of the year would be 46. We have some need for visitors occasionally somebody from out of town may be there, or some people from training, but if every employee drove, we would not have the need for 120 or 130 parking spaces.

 

 

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9 April 1996

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Ms. Horwitz continued the definition of floor area, which this is based on, excludes storage areas approved by Planning, so one approach to solving the parking situation would be to talk to you about what areas would be excluded from the definition of floor area. The other approach would be to get a variance next week from the Board of Zoning Appeals. We are asking for a dialog to determine the best way to go about that. There are some large areas that will be storage for files or vehicles, so there are potentials for large areas that could be translated into parking requirements. I would like to ask John Bruck to tell you a little bit about BHE.

John Bruck reported that BHE is a consulting company which started in 1988 and is headquartered in Sharonville. We started with a couple of people, and have grown to a total employment of about 60, 40 or 41 here in town. We have outgrown our space, and we need to find some more suitable to our needs and combines both our professional level consulting staff and our warehouse storage operations. The Waltek building suits our needs ideally.

Mr. Bruck continued in terms of professional services, we provide hydrogeologic underground investigation type services for environmental conditions of real estate property. We have an industrial hygiene practice; we conduct Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental site assessments. Our client base is principally industrial in nature. The City of Cincinnati is a major client of ours; Riverfront West redevelopment project and the new stadiums are an example. We also are an environmental consultant to federal agencies as well. We are an environmental consultant to the United States Postal Service. We are conducting building surveys, asbestos, lead paint, underground storage paint, for all types of clients. We are a growing company; we expect to continue to grow; we plan on growing from 40 to 46 or 47 by year end, and we hope to continue beyond that.

Mr. Okum asked how many office areas are within that remodeled area? Mr. Bruck answered there are actually 26 or 27 enclosed individual offices, and there is a library space that has eight or nine spaces and in this area there are another 10 or 12 spaces. Mr. Okum continued you had indicated that you were looking to grow; in this facility, where would you grow? Mr. Bruck responded there is the possibility that some of what is now warehouse space could be built out. Mr. Okum responded but then we end up with the parking situation. Mr. Bruck commented depending on how we count, and thatís what we are asking for guidance with. At its maximum, we could have the right number of parking spaces. Mr. Okum asked if it would impact on what Waltek has and needs for their office and operation, because currently it is a combined use and Waltekís parking is shared amongst that entire site. Weíve not talked any about this impact on Waltek and the number of parking spaces they are going to need for the combined site. Since there are cross easements we have shared usage to address. Thatís one question I have.

Mr. Okum also wondered if they intended to hold any biohazard type products in storage? Mr. Bruck responded we collect environmental samples. From a regulatory standpoint, none of the materials we collect is regulated as environmental samples. In terms of biohazards specifically, blood borne pathogens and materials like that, we donít get involved with that.

 

 

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9 April 1996

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Mr. Okum asked if they stored chemicals, and Mr. Bruck answered that they store small quantities of chemicals, one liter jar type chemicals. We also have one or two compressed gas cylinders. Mr. Okum asked if the entire building were sprinklered, and Mr. Bruck indicated that he believed it was, I would have to check, but I am almost positive. Mr. Okum said I would be very interested in seeing how the parking figures work out among both developments integrated into a common use. Obviously that is what ultimately happens there.

Ms. Horwitz stated that within the actual confines, there are 75 spaces. There are another 21 spaces that we have discussed with Waltek as far as giving us the easement to use them in the panhandle portion. There are 100 spaces here for the Waltek property, and that is not counting anything along here where it may be possible to have angle parking.

Mr. Okum asked if this were including the areas Waltek uses for outlot storage and Ms. Horwitz answered that there is some outside storage here; it is anticipated that will be removed and turned into parking. Mr. Okum commented that they have had outside storage on the back side as well. Ms. Horwitz stated there is no parking anticipated back there. Mr. Okum asked the representative from Waltek if they still had outside storage, and Mr. Fousz answered that he didnít know, but that Waltek was planning on marketing that property. Mr. Okum wondered if Waltek was using that facility. Mr. Bruck answered I think that they are using it but the operations are slow, and there is material, and there is material stored between the two buildings. Mr. Okum added and behind; the residents are sitting back there.

Mr. Wilson commented I want clarification on the storage of chemicals. If there is a fire in your building and fumes or gas are emitted, would any of that be poisonous or in any way detrimental to our residents? What is the composition of your gases and are they considered poisonous or hazardous to human beings if there were a fire?

Mr. Bruck answered the gas stored on site, no more than two cylinders, is hydrogen gas, and is used for combustion in an analytical instrumentation. I think the principal hazard would be explosion and the hazard would be to the firefighting personnel. The risk beyond that in terms of toxic materials affecting residents, I donít think would exist. We would plan on having the appropriate fire inspections done so the city personnel know what we have on site and they would know how to manage it if there were a fire. Mr. Wilson responded so if there were something there that would be hazardous to our residents, it could be removed. Mr. Bruck answered that is correct. Mr. Syfert added I would think from an occupancy permit standpoint, the city would have to know what is in the building.

Mr. Young said you mentioned the existing company there now is basically trying to market the back building. I am assuming their goal is to get out of owning both buildings. Currently they are storing stuff in that building, at least there was something stored in there yesterday when I went by.

 

 

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Ms. Horwitz commented it looks like some minor operation in there. Mr. Young asked about the representative for Waltek, and Mr. Fousz stated that he is the attorney for Waltek. Mr. Young responded so you really donít know about the operations of whatís going on there now or what they are actively marketing. I know in the past there have been some problems with that property, and Iím sure thatís why the residents are here tonight. You are proposing nothing at all to do with the back building; that has nothing to do with what you want to do. Ms. Horwitz responded our contract is to purchase the front portion contingent on getting the necessary approvals.

Mr. Syfert called on Don Shvegzda for his report. Mr. Shvegzda stated the only comments I have refer to providing access to the rear parking lot, and that would involve providing easements for ingress/egress. Basically both driveways at one point or another will be utilized by the building at the rear. Another thing that came up, depending on how the parking works out is to provide easements for parking, but we do not have those figures.

Mr. Okum said extending it out, if the back parcel redevelops with similar office use, 50% office and 50% warehouse, would the combined use have enough parking for both sides?

Mr. Shvegzda answered I do not know, because we did not have a breakdown as to how the proposed use for the building would be, and we have not looked at that. Mr. Okum asked what the code calls for now for that site. Mr. Syfert answered I believe if this building were built out 100% office, there would be 160 spaces required for the front, and thatís the only one that is being addressed. Mr. Okum continued so if it is 69% office, we could say both sites would be 130 spaces for each building or 260 spaces total to meet our code.

Mr. Okum continued I donít think we can look at this as a one unit development. I think we have to look at t his as a shared use development. I donít think you can throw the Waltek building off by itself and say they will do their thing and weíll do ours, because we are seeing shared use and shared parking. If 260 spaces is the benchmark that we would have if Waltek would redevelop with 69% office, there are 100 spaces in the rear, plus 75 and 21 so you have roughly 200 spaces. You are about 60 spaces short according to our code if we follow the code.

Mr. Tiffany commented what if they redeveloped with all offices? Mr. Okum responded it could, and then the numbers would be 160 and 130, or 290 total. Maybe Iím wrong in making the assumption that we have to look at it as a combined site, but I think we have to make our judgment based upon a few what ifs and bring this together so whoever is in the back building, we know what we are going into.

Ms. Horwitz responded it is hard for us to anticipate that we would need 130 spaces. Now with the concerns about stormwater problems and everything else, cities tend not to over require on parking. We didnít know whether you would determine this, or we would do it by way of variances. I think the office use is a very reasonable use, and one that the residents would appreciate for both of these buildings. Their office is a much less intensive office use, and I cannot imagine that 200 parking spaces would be needed,.

 

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Ms. Horwitz continued we are talking to the new owners of the Springdale Commerce Center. Informally over the years there has been an agreement to use these parking spaces, and there are actually steps to connect the parking lots. We are working with the new owners to see about using that as a backup. The times we have been out there, there are probably 100 spaces along there and ten or 12 cars parked; this was at 11:30 in the morning, so there seems to be an excess capacity.

Mr. Tiffany said Bill McErlane is not here tonight to go over his comments, and he came up with a lot of different numbers from what you cited. You showed 75 parking spaces for the site; Bill comes up with 63. Is this drawing what is actually there, or is this a proposed drawing with eight and one-half foot stalls? At eight and one-half feet, it would come out to about 75.

Ms. Horwitz reported we started this process before the engineering drawing could be done. The initial drawings were done by Mr. Bruck being out in the field on cellular phone pacing things off and I did a rough sketch and estimated the number of parking spaces that would fit in here. When Abercrombie actually did the survey and put in the nine-foot spaces, that is the later number. Mr. Tiffany said so you gave the numbers to Bill, and have updated them since. Ms. Horwitz stated we submitted seven copies of this, but he might have taken off on vacation before they came in.

Mr. Tiffany stated I also am concerned about the Waltek property. We are talking about proposing a cross easement with a lot of ifs for that property. I can tell you one actual, and that is you are showing spaces between the two buildings for parking, and those are included in your numbers. Those specs donít exist right now, because there is a fence across there that would prohibit traffic from going through. Ms. Horwitz responded it probably will come down. Mr. Tiffany said on your property it might. What if Waltek decides to keep it? Theyíve been using this for outside storage against the wishes of the city for a long time; that is why these folks are here Iím sure. I sat with them in BZA a few years ago and we talked about it. When we are talking about proposed cross easements to another property that is going to be affected by it, it is real easy to say yeah okay, but not knowing what is going on on the other property, I donít know how we can include those in our numbers. We have a gentleman here from Waltek that doesnít know.

Ms. Horwitz are you talking about in terms of being able to give the space? Mr. Tiffany responded we have the purple spaces for the cross easement, now we are talking about spaces on the adjoining property with an informal agreement; weíre talking a lot of iffy stuff here. How many spaces are we talking about between the buildings on your property? Ms. Horwitz reported that are 15 on this side and 18 on the Waltek side. Mr. Tiffany continued so we are talking about 15 on your property plus the 21 on the other property that you are including in your numbers. Ms. Horwitz stated the gentleman here for Waltek is their attorney and did draft the easement. Mr. Fousz added the easement would be a binding easement for access.

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9 April 1996

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Mr. Tiffany responded I understand, but I donít know what is going on with the Waltek property; what we are talking about is parking numbers for Waltek and their requirements at this point. If Waltek is going to lease this as an office building, the numbers donít work because we are giving a cross easement for parking spaces that the Waltek property needs. Mr. Fousz responded if Waltek leases this as an office building, Waltek would come to you at that time to discuss the parking. I donít know how we can address this as a future use. Mr. Tiffany asked the current use, and Mr. Bruck stated that the current use is warehouse, shell warehouse. Mr. Syfert said they have no office in that back building and Mr. Bruck confirmed that.

Mr. Galster said so we make another assumption that Waltek stays there; we have eliminated all their office from their front building, so we would assume that they would have to put offices back in the second building if they stay there. Mr. Fousz commented they are marketing it, and Mr. Galster responded that if weíre looking at best case scenario, we are looking at offices going into that building to some extent. Ms. Horwitz stated that has been factored in; I assumed 20% would be office and the rest would be warehouse manufacturing, and that made it 92 spaces. Mr. Galster said and according to your new numbers with the 15 out front, they have 100 spaces. But right now, they have 85 not counting the improvements between the two buildings, because there is storage out there. Ms. Horwitz answered there are no physical improvements needed. I walked it myself, and all they have to do is move the stuff out of the way. Mr. Galster continued so if they go 20%, which is what you are calculating, they need all their 100 spaces. Mr. Bruck stated the Waltek offices formerly occupied the space here, and they all have moved offsite.

Mr. Syfert reported that we are being asked to grant a Conditional Use Permit on this property. We know there are a number of variances required which Board of Zoning Appeals would have to address. This is not a public hearing as such, but there are a number of residents from McClellans Lane, the residential area to the rear of the combined properties. Is there one person that would like to address this Commission?

Robert Keith, 11724 McClellans Lane stated my concern is that these people are only interested in the front building. We residents live along here, and we went through all this a few years ago with Waltek to make them clean it up. As yet, this area back here isnít cleaned up. It is still a mess. Trees lean over, railroad ties fall over the place and trash all around, and weeds instead of grass on the bank adjacent to the building. The driveway is broken up and crumbled. The front building is attractive; I took pictures of the back building and presented them to Council, and the difference was like night and day. They had no concern for this back here, but they wanted to make the front of the building attractive. What is the back building going to be used for? It is just a storage area right now for Waltek. What product if any will be made by these people? I thought I heard something about gases. Are these the kind that will be toxic or can get out into the atmosphere? Are they going to be confined, so that none of this leaks out into the neighborhood? I donít know what kind of gases they are. Mr. Syfert stated we addressed that issue earlier. Mr. Keith continued I didnít hear you, but the other question I wanted to ask is what will be done to upgrade this area, to make it look attractive as Springdale would like the city to look, and kept cleaned up?

 

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT -11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Mr. Tiffany said on the lot width on the front page of Billís remarks, it shows required 150, and approximate front building 294 and rear building 25 feet of the lot width. Is that supposed to be 250 feet? Mr. Syfert answered he is referring to the panhandle they are putting together here. Ms. Horwitz reported we had 30 feet. Mr. Tiffany said you said 30 and he came up with 25; I guess we need some updated drawings. Are these updated and correct? What we received was very basic. Ms. Horwitz reported thatís the one I did over the phone. The final copies were delivered today. Mr. Tiffany continued we donít have it, and I think it is asking a lot for us to approve something without plans in front of us. It is a little tough.

Mr. Wilson addressing Mr. Fousz asked him if he were aware if Waltek were going to make any improvements on that building and its surrounding area? This is in response to concerns we have, and more importantly concerns that our residents have. Mr.Fousz responded I am not aware of anything Waltek is planning. They are actively marketing that property. Mr. Wilson commented their concern is the first building, which is in A-1 shape, and they will try to sell the second building, which is in pretty poor shape. Mr. Fousz reported they are selling both buildings, but I am not aware of any plans to improve anything.

Mr. Okum said comment came up about a sign in front and we have not seen any indication of size or what it is going to say. Mr. Bruck responded that Waltek has requested that as a means of marketing the back parcel. The sign would be on an easement subject to any required approvals from Planning or the City of Springdale. Mr. Okum said it is on this submission so it needs to be designated what it is. Ms. Horwitz stated the reason it is on there now is we would need a variance to allow this property to be on this parcel and that is all we are requesting at this time. Mr. Okum asked if this would be a Board of Zoning Appeals variance or a Planing Commission Conditional Use Permit Variance, and Mr. Syfert responded my interpretation would be BZA; Iím not quite sure.

Mr. Okum asked if the request for the conditional use shouldnít be a joint submission, because we are talking a subdivision of property here. Weíre taking one parcel and splitting it. At this one point, we are talking one owner. The way I interpret it, the applicant should be Waltek or the contractee who represents all the site. That is the submission before us; it is not just this front site; it is the whole site.

Ms. Horwitz responded Waltek has made the application for the variances, but because we are the user, we made it for the Conditional Use Permit. Mr. Okum said they are the party of record by requesting the Conditional Use Permit, and you have the contract purchaser making the presentation. Ms. Horwitz stated I think we can do it however you want it to be done.

Mr. Okum asked if we address panhandle commercial sites in our Zoning Code; I know we do residential. Mr. Tiffany responded I donít believe so. Ms. Horwitz stated Mr. McErlane told me it did not. Ms. McBride added I donít believe there is anything in that.

Mr. Okum stated I have the same concerns as Mr. Wilson and the residents regarding the rear site being abandoned. I know they want to sell, but I donít want a trucking company moving into the rear site. Mr. Syfert commented it is allowed.

 

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Mr. Okum said I understand that, but right now we are talking Conditional Use Permit for this site. Mr. Syfert answered thatís right, and I think we are losing sight of the fact that that is the application. Mr. Okum commented no, I think it is the whole site.

Mr. Syfert called on Anne McBride for her comments. Ms. McBride reported I was not asked to review this, but I was in attendance at the staff meeting when we looked at this, and having done similar sites myself representing the developers, I would like to offer some comments for the Commission. I understand your concern about the balance of the site, and I think it is something to take somewhat into consideration, particularly if we have parking spaces, although we havenít seen them. If we have parking spaces backing out onto access drives, potentially we could have some circulation conflict issues, particularly if as was suggested, a Ryder truck terminal would go in that rear area, you would have customer and employee vehicles backing out into that area. I also would be a little bit concerned about the growth of the company; I think it is a great user and one we would love to have in Springdale. I would hope they would grow in Springdale, but if they grow on this site, there could be some potential problems to that.

Ms. McBride continued what I would like to propose that the Commission consider requesting some additional information on this Conditional Use request. Specifically, I would like to see a site plan that counts out all the parking spaces and provides the stall size and that kind of information. I also would suggest that the Commission require a breakout of the square footage of parking, which would show the restrooms, mechanical rooms, office space, lab space, storage space, etc. It totals up to the total square footage of the building, and then we can do an appropriate parking breakout. I donít think the Commission can make a recommendation or decision without this information.

Mr. Tiffany commented Anne hit right on what I was going to say. We have had this happen before, where one plan is submitted, the staff reviews it and come with their comments and a day or two before Planning Commission we get another set of plans. It is unreasonable to ask this staff to look over these plans at that point and come up with new comments because these comments already have been distributed to the members and they are basing their concerns on them. I would like to move that this is be tabled to our next meeting, that we be provided with the necessary plans, with parking breakdowns, square footage of parking, breaking down as to the use inside the building and some idea as to the use on the back property. Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

Mr. Syfert asked the applicant if they understood what our concerns are and could you address this as Old Business next month? Ms. Horwitz stated I believe you do have the plan, but we donít have the square footage breakdown, and nobody knows the use on the back property.

Mr. Tiffany said Waltek is basically an applicant, because the property is not subdivided at this point. It is still one piece of property, and they have to be part of the consideration. I think we need some direction as to where this is with Waltek and where it is going to be able to consider this. As Ms. McBride said, if we put a trucking facility back in there, which is permitted, you have a problem with safety and traffic issue on the ingress and egress. There are a lot of things that have to be considered here. We have the plan, but it needs to be looked over by Mr. McErlane and Mr. Shvegzdaís office because it is a different plan.

 

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9 April 1996

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VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Mr. Tiffany continued as far as the square footage breakdown on your interior, it is to your advantage, because as you said, this Commission has the authority to take a look at that and consider it within this body.

Ms. Horwitz commented I really donít have a problem with the first two items, but my problem is with the last item, the use of the back property. Iím trying to understand ; are you saying that until they get a buyer for the back property, we arenít going to be able to split the property? Mr. Syfert said no. Mr. Fousz said do you want to know Waltekís current plans are prior to selling the property? Mr. Young said what if they donít sell it in a year, or two years; what will they do with it? Mr. Tiffany added we are talking about cross easements here. It is one thing to put a cross easement on an empty lot, but we are talking about an existing building that can go a lot of different uses. For us to consider a cross easement situation, we have to consider all the possible cross easements for a Conditional Use Permit. If this was the back building that you were talking about, it probably wouldnít be as difficult to consider, because it eliminates cross traffic. We know what you are bringing in and out of the site, but we donít know what the next guy in the back will be bringing in.

Ms. Horwitz commented to some extent we are controlling that because there is no truck traffic on the south access. Those are the terms of the easement. Mr. Tiffany responded but we still have parking, even in the yellow area; where is the easement coming from, the north side? According to the easement, the new traffic has to stop at that corner on the back side and back up? Ms. Horwitz responded the user of this property can our driveway and access for cars and vans. They cannot use it for trucks. Mr. Tiffany responded when the new user comes in on the north drive with a truck, and he makes his access to the rear of the building, how does he back up to get out of there? Heís not going to be able to back up and turn around there. Ms. Horwitz answered why would he go back there; there are docks along here. Mr. Syfert added I think the thing is eliminate that brown and put that yellow back there; you can turn a car around, but you canít turn around a truck. Barryís pint is a good one. Mr. Tiffany added you are talking about controlling traffic on somebody elseís property. and itís very tough to do until they are on their property. Ms. Horwitz responded we realize there is an enforcement issue, and in terms of our property, we have no problem in agreeing to restrict that; weíre the ones that asked for it to begin with.

Ms. McBride said in the parking summary, they would prepare for the front building, assuming they would break out the number of spaces they have and the number they are required, and they would do similar calculations for the rear building. The applicant already has done one that assumed 20% office and the balance warehouse but there could be several different scenarios that would give the Commission a feel for that like 100% office or 100% warehouse to give you some sense of the range of what you would be looking at on the circulation issues or to see how you could turn around on that north portion of the site. Mr. Tiffany commented itís not going to happen. Staff has some concerns about a potential conflict between vehicles and truck traffic.

Mr. Syfert commented in a GI District you donít get all that hung up about where cars are going and trucks are going because it is basically either, and mostly trucks. Normally we donít get involved with this to the extent that we have tonight.

 

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VI CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - 11733 CHESTERDALE ROAD - continued

Mr. Wilson said we need to review these plans well before our meeting so that we can vote intelligently. I would suggest that your final plans be in the city by the end of April so that we have time to look at it before our meeting. I also would suggest that you talk with Waltek and get some kind of definitive plan as to what they plan to do. Obviously when you have residents that are concerned about toxic waste and the overall condition of that building and the fact that it is vacant, among other things that presents a fire hazard. We are always concerned about the well being of our residents. I have a very deep concern about that building, and that is why I am referring this comment to you, sir. A vacant building is a potential fire hazard; a building of that size could do severe damage to our residentsí homes and properties. I want to get some kind of definition as to what Waltek is going to do while that building is on the market.

Ms. Horwitz said on the square footage breakdown, do you have any kinds of guidelines; if we identified the storage areas, is there a precedent so they can be excluded from the parking calculations?

Ms. McBride answered most codes provide exclusions for mechanical rooms and restrooms, and we would have to go back and look at our Code. Ms. Horwitz commented the Code has a provision, and it says it has to be approved. It is the interpretation of the provision. Mr. Tiffany said Bill would be the one to talk to, because he will be interpreting for us.

On the motion to table to May 14th, by voice vote all present voted aye, and the item was tabled with five affirmative votes.

VII. DISCUSSION

A. Route 4 Corridor Plan Overview - Regulating Automotive Service

Ms. McBride said I am working with Cecil on some of the different components of this study, particularly as they relate to your Zoning Code. I could take you through all of the work that went into this study. It was the cityís concern that we have some new members on Planning Commission and whether or not they were familiar with the Corridor Study, the work that went into it, how it was developed, the components goals and objectives that came out of that. I know that a lot of you are familiar with this document; what is the pleasure of the Commission? I can go through that for the newer members or not, and just get to the heart of the issue.

Mr. Tffany said letís go straight to the heart. Mr. Syfert asked if everybody felt comfortable with this and they indicated that they did. Mr. Young added I have the Study and used it on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Ms. McBride reported that the Corridor Study resulted in the creation of the Corridor Review District, and that district and the Corridor Study are broken down into four subareas, starting with Subarea A which is north of I-275, and then B, C and D going on down. In the past few months, we have seen a tremendous influx of automotive potential users looking to locate in the Route 4 Corridor. The Corridor Study is very specific in recommending neighborhood type uses, not regional type uses. In fact, the reason it was done was because of the fear of the creep from Tri-County Mall onto Route 4.

 

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VII A ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR PLAN OVERVIEW-AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES-cont.

Ms. McBride continued as a result of that, when the Corridor Review District was created, it took the base uses of the existing underlying zoning. Most of those along Route 4 allow general business type uses, and that provides for the Jiffy Lubes and Tuffy Mufflers and the BPs. We are not saying that those uses should not be permitted in Springdale; we are not suggesting those uses should not even be permitted on Route 4. What we would like for the Commission to start to think about is should they be limited to a certain portion of the corridor; more specifically, those areas that are related to Motor Services. We have a clustering of hotels and interstate kind of draw restaurants, the Chi Chiís and Applebees, etc.; a lot of Springdale residents go there on Friday and Saturday nights, and a lot of them also are driving on the 275 beltway, or they are staying at the motel. BP and Shell, Tire Discounters, those types of uses, are automotive related, but are not what we would consider "neighborhood" type uses, and certainly are not the types of uses that were identified in the Corridor Study, either by the residents or by the consultants.

Ms. McBride continued what we are looking at doing is creating new zoning districts for the City of Springdale. Potentially there would be at least two districts; one would apply to the area that would permit more intensive type uses such as the automotive services, and one would be strictly neighborhood oriented. Tonight we wanted to refresh your memory on the Corridor Study, bring you up to speed as to our thinking, and get your input on this before we proceeded very far in that direction.

Mr. Syfert asked where the potential for the automotive would be, and Ms. McBride answered at this point, Subarea A, I-275 and north would be the most appropriate area. I-275 provides a natural barrier for those types of services. We already have some of them that have crept part way into Subarea B. I donít know if you would want to look at zoning Subarea B part one district and part another district. It is certainly something we could look at. I donít think you want to see the whole corridor Tuffy Mufflers; I think it undermines everything we are trying to achieve here.

Mr. Okum asked what happens with the transitional district; do we throw that away, or integrate it. Ms. McBride responded we could integrate elements of that, and we certainly would be taking the basis off the Corridor Review District. We would take that and supplement it with uses and some additional restrictions, in terms of aesthetics.

Mr. Tiffany asked if in Subarea A she were talking about Sheraton Drive also? Whatís the potential impact on the residences? Ms. McBride answered I think that is established. I donít think that would have a significant impact. Mr. Tiffany continued going from some office and restaurant to automotive? Ms. McBride answered Iím not necessarily suggesting that we rezone the entire Subarea A. Literally we have to look at it on a parcel by parcel basis. Mr. Tiffany said for example, Pizza Hut is vacant. Ms. McBride responded Pizza Hut would probably be one that I would say would go into this new category. It is a more intensive kind of use than say a beauty salon or a doctorís office.

 

 

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9 April 1996

Page Fifteen

VII A ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR PLAN OVERVIEW-AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES-cont.

Mr. Okum commented Ray Norrish Drive could not handle that. Do we have to develop traffic roadway systems? If we do zoning, and are anticipating more intense use, then as planners, we have to plan for the subsequent traffic impact. Ms. McBride responded and all of the infrastructure, and thatís why I said it would have to be looked at on a parcel by parcel basis. What we are starting to formulate now is the tool by which you can look at doing that. You may develop the tool and say it only applies to five parcels in the entire city, but you would have the means to do that. Now, it is tough to keep some of these users out.

Mr. Okum asked if she were staying strictly with the Corridor Review District, adding I see the same situation on Kemper Road from McClellans Lane west. Ms. McBride responded the Corridor Study provides you with a very sound legal basis for making these decisions. Mr. Okum said the original concept of the Corridor Study was to build on that basis, and then you integrate these other sections of the community into that basic unity plan. Before they did the Corridor Study, they did an overall Springdale demographics, geographics and topographics to see how it all pieced together. Even though you have the benchmark point in the community, their intention was to spread it out. This came up tonight with the Conditional Use Permit on Chesterdale; that parcel should not have been zoned industrial next to those residential homes. We are planners in this community, and maybe we should be a little more proactive. One of the things recommended to us a few years ago was that we are going to have a lot of redevelopment in our community, and we would have to be prepared for that on a zoning and land use basis.

Ms. McBride responded I think the city needs to be very proactive; the city has very definite ideas, and in the past we have spent considerable time and money in being proactive in planning and zoning. These documents arenít documents to be forever on the shelf. This document was done in 1990. The State of Kentucky has a law that every community has to have a comprehensive plan, and they must be updated every five years. I do a lot of speaking on comprehensive planning and zoning codes, and I tell these groups that these are living documents. Your zoning code is a classic example of that; it really needs some work. It is hard for you as a Commission to implement this planning unless you have proper tools to do that. That is where we were coming from in trying to provide some of those tools.

Mr. Tiffany commented you are saying that the area from I-275 north is the ideal area for automotive service. Ms. McBride responded that is one area that we are looking at. Mr. Tiffany said I am trying to imagine where automotive service will fit in along there. Ms. McBride commented instead of trying to focus on where, I would like for the Commission to focus on whether or not they think it would be appropriate to try to contain these uses. Then when we go back, we can do a more in depth study as to where. Mr. Tiffany added I am thinking that the east side of Route 4 would be ideal, but the west side, not at all. Ms. McBride responded maybe not, and what we would need to do is provide you with some means of saying exactly that. Mr. Syfert commented there isnít much on the east side. Mr. Tiffany added thatís why I donít understand why we would put our emphasis for this to be the area if there is nothing that can happen there. Mr. Syfert said I think what Anne is saying is that you donít want motor service on Route 4.

 

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9 April 1996

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VII A ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR PLAN OVERVIEW-AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES-continued

Mr. Tiffany commented so this tool is basically for the other areas, not for that area. Ms. McBride stated we need to make some provision for those uses; if the area we provide for is already developed, bad luck, but we need to make those provisions. Mr. Okum said but ultimately we do have the Showcase property which could redevelop. Mr. Tiffany responded I donít think you want to include that entire Showcase property all the way back through there as motor service. Ms. McBride responded I am not suggesting a zoning change. Mr. Okum said I think you have to say that sometime something will happen with it. Ms. McBride commented and right now we donít have the ability to control that.

Mr. Wilson commented I would have to agree, especially with Subarea B, that parcel of land by Applebees that is motor service; we need to make some adjustments there.

Ms. McBride commented to some extent we have been lucky in how it has developed, but we are starting to see more and more; I guess it is because they fit on these smaller lots. Again I want to get some feel from the Commission and some direction from the Administration and want to see if you feel it is something we need to be pursuing. Mr. Wilson commented we need to pursue it. Mr. Okum added I agree with Mr. Wilson that the Glensprings Drive extension is a very important area, and you do have to plan for it; you canít sit back and let it happen.

Mr. Wilson suggested extending Subarea B all the way to Rose Lane on Glensprings. Ms. McBride responded we could look at doing that; we would want to look at the impact on the surrounding uses. Mr. Okum stated it does go to Rose Lane, but it is not specifically addressed in the Corridor Study. Mr. Wilson commented thatís my point; the big white building that they are trying to sell I suspect. The concern I have is someone could do something to that building and then we would have a big problem. Thatís why I want to make certain this incorporates up to Rose Lane, which is commercial. Ms. McBride added itís not completely out of the realm to think a building like that could be torn down for the value of the ground. Look at the Eastgate area. You have to be prepared for anything.

Mr. Galster commented I think we should expand the Corridor Study to a whole city study. If you are asking if we should proceed with the reevaluation, I think we should reevaluate as much of the city we can.

Mr. Wilson said we donít want to spend a whole lot of money. If they would tear down a residence, they would rebuild it with another house. My major concern is commercial right now. Mr. Galster said I like this Route 4 Corridor Study and I would like to have it on S.R. 747 and Kemper Road. Mr. Tiffany added I would like to include Kemper Road. Mr. Wilson continued my concern is not to get into Beacon Hills and Oxford Hills. Mr. Galster commented I am talking about the areas that are the thoroughfares.

Ms. McBride commented if we created these new districts, then zoning amendments could be initiated by the city to rezone properties that are on Sharon or Kemper or whatever roads, and as they came up for redevelopment, they would be bound by those new requirements.

 

 

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9 April 1996

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VII A ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR PLAN OVERVIEW-AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES-continued

Mr. Galster commented on SR 747 and Kemper Road, we should be looking at a way that when something changes down there, we could get rid of pole signs as an example. If we have a Route 4 Corridor Study covering all the way through these areas, then we would be able to do something. Mr. Okum added that was the intent of the Corridor Study, to be able to take that and expand that basis of analysis.

Mr. Tiffany said if I asked you to stand at the center of Downtown Springdale right now, where would you stand? Ms. McBride answered probably Kemper Road and SR 747. Mr. Tiffany responded that is not what we want to be the center of our city, and I donít think we are any closer five years later to having a downtown, other than this building. Personally, I donít know that putting condos across the street will make us any closer to a downtown. Ms. McBride commented if we hadnít done the Corridor Study, anybody want to guess what Route 4 would have looked like? Mr. Tiffany said exactly, and I would like to see more work done towards that, and maybe redefine the Corridor through this section to get to that point. Mr. Galster commented right now the Corridor Study is a recommendation; we need to add some of those things and put it into the Code.

Mr. Okum stated there was a lot of fear that this Corridor Review and Study would scare people about locating in Springdale, and make Springdale a very hard community to work with. That is why it was created as a study or a reference or a benchmark, a theory and it wasnít etched in stone. There were several members of Council at that time that said letís put this thing in the Code and go with it. Past Chairman of Planning Jeff Hermann didnít believe in supporting the Corridor Study because it had no bite.

Mr. Galster commented we ran into it with Tuffy as an example. We were trying to get them to build to the corridor standards because they are in the corridor, and they were negotiating everything. If it is part of the Code, not only do they have to get it approved here, but they also would have to come before BZA. So we would have to have two boards to allow that change from what we really want in the Corridor as opposed to no bite at all and give and take.

Mr. Okum said Ms. Horwitz said tonight give me the benchmark, the basis for me to build upon so I know what you need. The developer needs you to give them what you are expecting. Ms. McBride reported the Corridor Review District does provide out a lot of that information in terms of building design, lighting, landscaping, and parking, but it doesnít define uses, and the Code is very difficult to work with. As someone who works with five or six Zoning Codes a day, it is one of the more difficult ones to work with. It is not organized by districts with all the parking in one location, all the sign information in another location. You check on the zoning and you say thatís General Business, and there is no reference to take you back to that Corridor Review District. In all fairness to people coming in, I know when they submit that Bill advises them, but prior to that, they might not even know that they are subject to that, and I do think they take it as a negotiating exercise.

 

 

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VII A ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR PLAN OVERVIEW AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES-continued

Mr. Wilson said so what are you suggesting? Ms. McBride answered I am suggesting that we begin work on the preparation of several new districts to the Code that would implement the principles of the Corridor Study, using the basis of your Corridor Review District now, putting uses and so forth into it, and let the Commission look at those districts. You can modify them as you see fit and once you have the districts in place, we can look at the appropriate place to implement those districts. Mr. Wilson asked what she needed from the Commission, and Ms. McBride indicated that she didnít need anything from them, but I wanted to make you aware and get a consensus on this.

Mr. Tiffany asked about the Zoning Code. You are telling us it is very difficult. I have a feeling that at one point Springdale Zoning Code was way ahead of its time, and we just stayed there. I think we always have had a difficult code; it has been extensive. Ms. McBride stated it is not organized well and not up to current definitions or current parking standards. The example of one per 200 in the previous developerís discussion is excessively high for parking. You need to have one parking standard for medical and dental and those kinds of offices because they are high trip generators. But, an insurance office, do they need one per 200?

Mr. Tiffany asked if it would be an extensive thing to have Pflum look at the Zoning Code and redesign it? Ms. McBride indicated that it would be. Mr. Okum suggested getting a proposal. Mr. Tiffany wondered if it were something that we should do ourselves or have it done. Ms. McBride stated some communities undertake it themselves, but what you will find is Mr. McErlane is bogged down in a lot of the day to day tasks and he would spend a lot of time researching things that may or may not be current in our office. Mr. Okum commented that the Corridor Study is pretty simple and straightforward, and I think we could do that on time and expense under your contract. For the review of the Zoning Code, could we solicit a proposal from you for that? Once we get that, I would recommend that we have an advisory panel of two or three members of the Commission to work along with Mr. McErlane and yourself, if you are awarded the contract, to do that. Ms. McBride commented that is typically how we do that, and we do an awful lot of Zoning Code updates and rewrites. We look to form a steering committee and get the input because it canít be done in a vacuum. We can bring the current technology and verbiage and uses, but it is your City ultimately and you have to put ;the pieces together. Mr. Okum added and I think we have to look at the parcels in the community, like the one that was here tonight zoned industrial. We should have been ahead of Waltek and had a recommendation into Council. Can you imagine a trucking company in the back end of that site, and that is permitted under the Code. We need to be more proactive. Ms. McBride asked who the proposal should be directed to, and Mr. Okum said Planning Commission, so it should go to the chair. Mr. Galster asked if they should go out and get other proposals? Mr. Tiffany added donít you think it would behoove us to check out the competition? Ms. McBride said if you want to put out an RFP (Request for Proposal or RFQ (Request for Qualifications) there are a number of good planning and zoning firms. Mr. Okum said if we are talking about a $10,000 project versus a $50,000 project, we could make that determination whether we think we need to go elsewhere. It would come to us, we would make the recommendation to Council because they would commit to the expenditure for the contract.

 

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VII A ROUTE 4 CORRIDOR PLAN OVERVIEW-AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES-continued

Ms. McBride stated that for the Code only, not looking at potential map amendments, but bringing the Code up to speed, I would guess that you would be in the ballpark of $13,000 to $17,000. Mr. Tiffany commented I think that would be money well spent. Mr. Wilson asked Ms. Gasser of Wood Lamping if what we are doing is legal, and Ms. Gasser indicated that she had already talked to Ms. McBride about it, and they are going to come up with a plan and we will review it from a legislative standpoint, but you need changes in the Zoning Code, because right now, those uses are permitted. Ms. McBride added we are not attorneys and we donít want to replace them, but at the same time they may not be current on all the plans and terminology or technology or whatever. So, whatever we did would have to be reviewed by your law director.

Mr. Syfert stated we need a request for Anne for a proposal. Mr. Okum so moved. Mr. Tiffany asked if they should do an RFP or just get it from Anneís office. Mr. Okum commented it would cost $4,000 to draw up the documents to go out for bids. Ms. McBride reported $25,000 is the breakoff where you have to advertise for consulting purposes. Mr. Syfert stated we have the motion and it has been seconded. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the motion was adopted with six affirmative votes. Ms. McBride asked if the members wanted them to proceed with the Corridor Study overview, and the members indicated that they did.

Mr. Okum commented the one thing I think that needs to be taken into consideration is the transition zoning district. That is one of the monsters out there that ties in with the Corridor Study and also ties in with the Zoning Code and it all needs to be brought together.

VIII. CHAIRMANíS REPORT

A. Smyth Automotive, 11625 Springfield Pike - Panel in pole sign/wall sign

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Okum moved to adjourn and Mr. Tiffany seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at

9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

______________________,1996 ______________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

_______________________,1996 _______________________

David Okum, Acting Secretary