PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 APRIL 2001

7:00 P.M.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

  3. ROLL CALL
  4. Members Present: Donald Darby, Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman Tom Vanover, Dave Whitaker, Councilman Steve Galster (arrived at 7:05 p.m.) and Chairman Syfert

    Others Present: Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator

    Bill McErlane, Building Official

    Don Shvegzda, City Engineer

    Anne McBride, City Planner

  5. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 13 MARCH 2001
  6. Mr. Vanover moved to adopt and Mr. Darby seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and Minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes.

  7. CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Report on Council
    2. Mr. Galster said Mr. Sharkey, who lives behind the day care center, came before Council. They still have concerns about the noise and some items that have not been completed yet that this board has directed them to accomplish. Mr. McErlane reported that my letter gives them to the end of this month to discuss with Ms. McBride the alternatives that are available relative to the location of the fence and landscaping, and accomplish that requirement. Mr. Galster added that they had a tree fall on a fence and the fence was in disrepair for a while, so there still are some concerns over there.

    3. Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes – February 20, 2001
    4. 3/15/01 Letter from Bill Syfert to Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission submitting our vote for David L. Okum
    5. 3/16/01 Memo to Municipal Mayors & Councils from Richard Huddleston supporting David Okum’s candidacy to the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission
    6. Election Results – Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission
    7. Mr. Syfert stated that Dave lost by one vote, and I congratulate him for running a successful campaign. Mr. Okum said five years goes pretty rapidly, and if I have an opportunity in five years I might be able to give it more effort and sway some of the local communities that didn’t give me the support.

    8. 4/4/01 Memo from Ron Miller re Steering Committee for Community COMPASS
    9. Zoning Bulletin – March 10, 2001
    10. Zoning Bulletin – March 25, 2001

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Two

  1. OLD BUSINESS
  2. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Sam’s Club requests approval of additional signage on store at 800 Kemper Commons Circle
    2. No one was present from Sam’s Club and the item was moved to the end of the agenda.

    3. The Great Indoors requests approval of placement of a 6’ x 25’ "Now Hiring Banner" at 11925 Commons Drive
    4. Andrew Meyer, Manager of the store and his assistant Charisse showed a representation of the sign that they would like to hang facing I-275 West. It will be 6 feet high and 25 feet long. In our previous locations, we found that over 60% of our applicants have come from this type of hiring banner. With the advantageous traffic on I-275, it would definitely help us hire the over 300 associates that we need.

      Mr. McErlane reported that the Zoning Code only talks about banners with respect to special sales and events, which is the reason why they are limited to a two-week period. Since it is in a PUD district, it is before the Planning Commission.

      Mr. Okum asked when they planned opening the store, and Mr. Meyer answered August 23, 2001. Mr. Okum said I know you have a recruitment office on Kemper Road. It seems like an awfully long time, when your store isn’t open until August for somebody to wait to go for employment at The Great Indoors.

      Mr. Meyer answered we will hire them beginning May 15th because they need extensive training. It is a new concept coming to the area. With building the building, we will need that many people starting in May to help us with the fixturing, merchandising and stocking the stores.

      Mr. Huddleston said for clarification, they are referring to a 6’ x 25’ banner and a 4’ x 8’ banner. Mr. Meyer responded we would like to hang the 6’ x 25’ banner at the site of the store facing I-275, and a 4’ x 8’ banner at the recruiting site on East Kemper.

      Mr. Okum said the 4’ x 8’ banner is not for consideration is it? Mr. McErlane said it could be a matter for the Board of Zoning Appeals, but I would like to talk to Mr. Meyers about the possibility of finding some way of making it a permanent sign issue and issuing a permit. We issued a permit for panel changes in the ground sign, and they were looking at possibly putting one on the front of the building as well.

      Mr. Okum said so our consideration is for the 6’ x 25’ sign. August 23rd is the date of opening, and you plan to be fully staffed by then.

       

       

       

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      10 April 2001

      Page Three

      VI B THE GREAT INDOORS 11925 COMMONS DRIVE NOW HIRING BANNER

      Mr. Huddleston moved to approve the 6’ x 25’ Now Hiring Banner and Mr. Darby seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Darby, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Chairman Syfert. Approval was granted unanimously.

    5. Final Development Plan Approval of Springdale-Mason Pediatrics, 11350 Springfield Pike

Mr. Syfert said for the benefit of the commission, the applicant did go to the Board of Zoning Appeals to obtain a variance for the side yard setback, and now they are here for final plan approval.

Tom Toensmeyer, Architect said we received the comments from our submittal March 30th and I believe we submitted additional information answering all these issues. We also received comments after March 30th that we have answers to as well. With me is Stan Messerly the civil engineer for the project.

Ms. McBride reported that the applicant has addressed many of the staff’s original comments. We require a maximum impervious surface ratio in the Corridor District Subarea D of 70%, and the applicant is proposing 56.49%, so they are under what we allow.

One of the requirements of the Alterra development was that there be an access drive to connect with the Alterra development further north to connect into the existing drive that services the salt dome for the city. The applicant has provided that 24 foot access drive and has redesigned it as staff has suggested. They also have provided us with a letter from Alterra indicating their approval of the access changes.

The Corridor District requires a 50-foot parking setback from Springfield Pike, and a 100-foot building setback, and they comply with both of those. We do require a 35-foot rear yard setback, which they also comply with. They did obtain a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals to reduce the south side yard to 13.5 feet since the Alterra development is technically a residential use.

The current code requires a total of 45 parking spaces for the 8700 square foot medical office building and they are proposing a total of 73 parking spaces and meet the 9’ x 19’ size required and are served by 24 foot drive aisles as required.

In the Corridor Review District, one of the requirements indicates that parking should be in the side or rear yard unless a hardship is proven. The applicant has submitted a letter requesting relief from this. This is a pediatric group, and they are expecting a higher number of turnover cars than you might get in a normal professional office building or even a medical office building, so they wanted to provide additional parking.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Four

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Ms. McBride added that we have stringent setback requirements as a part of the Route 4 Corridor District that eats up a significant portion of the site. Further, there is the access easement going back to the salt dome. Totaling all those, they have 10 parking spaces in their front yard. We also permitted that with Alterra. They are proposing to landscape and buffer that parking area from Springfield Pike, and they meet our corridor requirements in terms of landscaping. We don’t have any problem with the parking as proposed, and would suggest that the commission approve the hardship request in terms of the parking in the front yard.

We had some minor concerns about the landscape plan. Overall they meet the intent of the Corridor Review District, which requires them to plant 10-3" deciduous trees and 8-6’ non-deciduous trees along the street frontage. They are showing a spruce, but they haven’t identified the species of spruce. We have asked that they include parking blocks anywhere they have parking spaces that abut a landscaped island or sidewalks and they need to be added.

They did add foundation plantings and provided us with a planting plan to surround the building as we requested. However, some of the size of the plant material wasn’t identified and that needs to be done. It needs to be indicated that all their landscape material will be mulched. They are showing some plantings extending beyond their south property line, and either we need to get those pulled back, or make sure that an easement exists so they can locate those.

We would like to see some inclusion of shade trees on the northern property line. That is as dictated by the detention basin so maybe the applicant could work with staff and the city engineer to come up with something appropriate in that area. Staff has suggested that a sidewalk be extended from the front door out into the parking area to take people, particularly with small children, out into the parking field.

They are proposing one ground-mounted sign as suggested by the Corridor Review District located 32 feet off the right of way of Springfield Pike and contains 36.3 s.f. and is 6’10 inches high, all of which meets the requirements of the Corridor District. They submitted a photometric lighting plan and cut sheets for both the fixtures and the poles. They are using 250-watt metal halite fixtures mounted at 15 feet and are providing a minimum of .5 foot-candles on the site with very little light spillage. Staff was particularly concerned about the Alterra Development to the south, and there is very little spillage in any direction.

The fixtures are coachlight design and are in black, consistent with the requirements of the Corridor District. They are proposing wall packs on the east and west ends of the building.

The waste enclosure will be brick on three sides, eight feet high and wood gates on the fourth side. There is a four-foot sidewalk that exists on Springfield Pike and we ask that they continue that on the north side of the access drive. It is a short distance but we would like to see it go there in case we can link that up in the future.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Five

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Ms. McBride added that building elevations and floor plans have been provided. It is brick on all four elevations with a pitched roof. They also gave us a color copy of the building materials but color copies are not always accurate when it comes to building colors, so we asked that the applicant bring the actual building materials and color samples and submit those to the commission and/or staff.

The landscape plan indicated there would be condensing units on the outside of the building, and a four-foot fence would screen them. They did provide us with a detail of that wood fences. The detail showed a four foot fences and the landscape plan shows a three foot fence so the landscape plan needs to be changed to show the four foot fence.

We believe the parking design as submitted is appropriate, that the small portion of the sidewalk be extended on Springfield Pike, and that they provide us with sample building materials and colors.

Mr. Toensmeyer said a lot of the things that Anne talked about were covered in our resubmittal on March 30. The plant material is called out on the revision, Serpian Spruce and Norway Spruce. On the revised site plan, we have a note that parking blocks shall be installed on all parking spaces that head into landscape planting beds and sidewalks that surround the building. We already took care of the foundation plantings. Ms. McBride said you don’t know the sizes of some of that plant material. Mr. Toensmeyer said it is all grasses and day lilies, which I think are on the revised landscape plan. There is a note on our plan that the landscape edge should be mulched with hardwood mulch. I added a note that no plant materials shall extend beyond the south property line. The sidewalk is on the drawing by the front entrance door between two parking spaces going out to the drive between the parking.

The shade tree issue along the north property line is confusing us. The north part of the property is actually north of the driveway going back to Springdale’s storage area. Is that what we are looking at? Ms. McBride said the north side of that. Mr. Toensmeyer said there are already trees there; I don’t know how many we can plant. Ms. McBride said the furthest west detention basin, on the south of the access drive going back to Springdale property. Mr. Toensmeyer said I don’t know if we can get any in there because of the detention basin. Ms. McBride said that is why I suggested that you take a look at that; if it can’t it can’t, but if it could that would be preferable.

Mr. Toensmeyer said on the four foot wide sidewalk along Springfield Pike, our survey shows that it already existed north of that driveway, and our revised drawing shows that, so I think we are okay on that one.

Mr. Toensmeyer added that the material samples are here for the brick and drivitt (he passed them around the board).

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Six

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Okum said Ms. McBride’s comments were from the March 12th submittal, and we received additional information that was not exhibited or referenced. Before a motion is made, we should make sure that staff has had an opportunity to review the latest information. Mr. McErlane reported that they were submitted in half size and full size form. Ms. McBride already had the booklet, and I removed all the old drawings that were replaced by those particular drawings. Ms. McBride’s copy still has the old copies in them. Mr. Okum said so what we would do is insert these exhibits into this exhibit and it would be part of it. Mr. McErlane added Ms. McBride had revised plans although some of the plans show some of these things, and others don’t. That is where the confusion lies. The landscaping plan doesn’t say how many of which; it just says spruce.

Ms. McBride added that the details are very minor and I feel very comfortable with what the applicant has presented and the material that we have. It is just a question of making sure that Sheet A matches Sheet B.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the topographic information has been supplied. We need additional spot elevations in certain areas to fully define what is occurring in some of the drive areas and breaks between different catch basins.

The easterly drive proposed is at approximately 12% grade, and we would prefer that at 8% if possible. The sanitary sewer that serves the Alterra development that runs from their property parallel to the existing right of way line and out to a manhole within State Route 4 needs to be shown.

Water and sanitary services are shown. All utilities need to be underground that serve the building. We need sewer and water availability letters. We need clarification on the work to take place abutting the driveways into the existing common drive. I spoke with the Public Works Superintendent earlier, and he indicated that he had no problems with this. The intent is to remove the curb from those points of the driveway intersecting the existing common drive, and the curves will wrap around and but up into the curbing in place.

The drive that serves the Alterra development will be relocated slightly to the south to better line up with the driveway configuration there. As far as the pavement area within the right of way, that will need to be in conformance with the pavement section of State Route 4, and that is noted.

Some new sidewalk needs to be replaced in the vicinity, so we need the sidewalk detail, and the limits as to how far to the north and south of the driveway that replacement will take place.

Some of the landscaping plan doesn’t show the relocated sidewalk that goes back to the building. It is shown on the engineering drawings that it would be along the south perimeter out to the existing sidewalk.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Seven

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Shvegzda stated there was a concern as to what would happen grading wise with the large area between the proposed driveway that will run between Alterra and the common drive. Basically there is a green area between that and State Route 4. We need additional spot elevations to define what is happening there.

The applicant is proposing 9, 963 cubic feet of detention volume, which is adequate. The way that is done, and the fact that they do not need the detention volume in the front yard area is much appreciated; it can be better used for landscaping.

There are relatively minor questions on how the tributary areas are delineated versus some areas going off site and those need to be clarified.

There is an overflow point from each basin and we asked that those be turned inward so one could hopefully flow to the next basin. The main storm sewer routing of those two basins is to the east of the outlet point for the eastern basin, so they could flow one into the other. It is a question of redirecting the overflow point.

We will need a cross access easement to insure the ability of the Alterra traffic to traverse this driveway. The City has prepared plans for State Route 4 improvements. Although there is no firm time frame as to when that will go to construction, there is a need for a small area of right of way at the very northwest corner of this property. A large amount of that is within the drive easement area. The additional right of way amount would be approximately .025 acres, and the city has agreed to put together the documents for that.

Mr. Okum said considering the applicant is going to be using a common drive with the city, as there is a cross easement arrangement with Alterra, shouldn’t there be an agreement with the city for access on the city’s drive? Mr. Shvegzda said that is their property; the city has an easement on it, and by default the city has accepted the maintenance responsibility for it. Mr. Okum asked if we needed some type of document.

Mr. Messerly stated that the record plat specifies that the owner of that lot is to maintain that driveway. He showed the document saying that the owner of Lot 1 had the responsibility for maintenance.

Mr. Messerly said I have addressed a majority of the comments made by Mr. Shvegzda on the revised drawings that we gave Mr. McErlane.

The surveyor’s seal is provided, and the grading of the proposed driveway has been reduced as requested by staff. The existing sewer that services the Sterling House property is shown on the drawing. We expect to provide letters from both Cincinnati Water Works and Metropolitan Sewer District on the availability.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Eight

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Messerly said I have a note on the drawing specifying the makeup of the asphalt in the area of the drive replacement on Springfield Pike.

I have shown the grading in the area between the Route 4 right of way and our curb and parking on the revised drawing. On the 100-year flow into the basin, I have modified the storm system slightly so that all the flow is contained within the system itself.

I have modified the basin to show the overflow consistent with staff’s comments and have some information on the overflow of this basin. We will work with staff to meet your approval.

On the granting of additional right of way, that is fine. Any additional right of way that would be granted along State Route 4, we could not be in a position where that would impact our existing setback. We are not in a position to move everything back 11 feet to meet that 100 foot setback requirement.

Mr. McErlane reported that on the right of way issue, one of the conditions we can make relative to the setback issue is that once the development is approved, the right of way can occur after the development is complete and then the setback issue is a non-issue. I’m not sure that the additional right of way would even impact the setback at this point.

The applicant has obtained a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals on February 13th for the south side yard setback.

The plan shows two trees being removed, but one is a 9 inch deciduous tree that is shown to remain and is actually involved in a substantial amount of grading and won’t survive that. So, we are looking at one 12-inch evergreen tree, and a nine inch and a 12-inch deciduous tree that are being removed. They have a substantial amount of plantings to cover replanting of those trees. Replanting for evergreens requires them to be a minimum of 10 feet in height, so at least two of those evergreens will need to be at least 10 feet high.

Mr. Syfert asked the applicant if he had any comment on the required size of the evergreens to be replaced, and Mr. Toensmeyer said that we’ll make sure that the landscaping meets requirements. Mr. McErlane said you brought in these color samples; did you bring shingle samples? In looking at your color copies, the brick doesn’t come close to matching. Mr. Toensmeyer said the client would like to have a relatively light colored shingle, something that would be compatible with the brick color and the trim. We can give you an actual sample.

Mr. Okum said on the wall packs, my drawings are in such small detail that I don’t know where they are. Mr. Toensmeyer said there is one on each end of the building, on the east and west elevations.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Nine

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Okum asked the purpose of the one on Route 4 and Mr. Toensmeyer said I would have to ask the engineer who did the lighting plan. Mr. Okum commented the pole light is out front. I think that would be very offensive to motoring traffic, and I don’t see the purpose of it. I have a problem with road glare coming off those light packs, and if I were to make a motion, I would move that the light packs be screened and shielded with down lit shields so they would project no further than that sidewalk anyway. Maybe a different choice of light or some bollards there. If we look at Sterling House, there may be some angular issues with those as well. Do you have any problem with non-glare downlit wall packs? Mr. Toensmeyer answered we can see if we can come up with a different type of wall pack that has no glare; that is no problem.

Mr. Galster asked Mr. Osborn about the Council presentation on the light fixtures for Route 4. Is it important to get any feel of the same look here? Mr. Osborn answered I was thinking of that, but we probably are two or three years from having that project that far south on the Route 4 Corridor. It is a good thought, and if they still have options, they may want to look at what we are doing and try to replicate that look. Mr. Galster said it is not that far off the street, and it will be relatively close to where that is ending. Maybe just the color and those type things. I don’t know that we have concluded anything yet, and maybe we will end up being guided by this color selection as much as anything.

Ms. McBride suggested that the staff take the two and make comparisons. They may be very close or maybe somebody is willing to make small changes. If the applicant is willing to work with us with that, we can sit down with them. Mr. Toensmeyer indicated that he had no problem with that.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the final development plan, including:

    1. Light packs on the building and on the site shall be downlit and of the non glare type so as not to affect the public right of way or adjacent property owners;
    2. All staff recommendations shall be included;
    3. Responses by the applicant this evening to be reviewed and approved by staff to be in compliance with their recommendations

Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion.

Dr. Rubin said Springdale Mason Pediatrics will be renting part of this building, but they are not putting up the building. I don’t know if it makes a differences in terms of the wording of your motion. Mr. Toensmeyer said this is the name we have been using all along. Mr. Okum said I can make the motion to say approval of the development plan as submitted by Toensmeyer Architectural Engineering dated March 12, 2001 with attachments.

Mr. Syfert asked who the owners of the building were, and Dr. Rubin said there are four of us who are the owners. It is a limited liability company, and three of us are physicians. Mr. Syfert said I don’t think it affects your motion.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Ten

VI C SPRINGDALE MASON PEDIATRICS – 11350 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Mr. Darby said you indicated that Springdale Mason Pediatrics would be leasing part of the building. Is it all physicians? Mr. Toensmeyer answered there are two tenants, pediatricians and pediatric dentists.

Mr. McErlane said in the form of the motion, I don’t know that it is necessary to name the applicant. The property is held in Coventry Corporation’s name. The applicant is applying for this in their behalf and I don’t think the property has changed hands yet. For the purpose of the motion, it is a medical office building. Mr. Okum said we will reference it as the medical office building at 11350 Springfield Pike, and I’ll amend my motion to say that.

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

    1. Concept Discussion – Proposed Redevelopment of Soul Winning Church of God, 540 West Kemper Road

Andrew Burbules of Wenco Incorporated said we want to take their existing structure (residence along Kemper Road) and transform it into a new sanctuary and classroom facility. Our primary objective tonight is to get an initial review and be approved to move on to the Board of Zoning Appeals next week for the variances we would need.

Mr. McErlane reported that the property at 540 West Kemper Road is zoned Residential Single Household Low Density. In any zoning district you are permitted to have religious places of worship. This use has been in operation for some time. Prior to our recent adoption of the totally revised Zoning Code, the building on the lot complied with some of the setbacks.

The new code requires a 2-acre lot 200 feet wide. Because this existed prior to that amendment, it currently is a legal non-conforming use in this district. However, when buildings are torn down, any new structures are required to meet the Zoning Code requirements in terms of setbacks and parking and those types of issues.

The current requirements for side yard setbacks are 50 feet. If you take into consideration that the lot is only 100 feet wide, it needs side yard setback variances. Because of our minimum dimensions for 98 degree parking, some side yard setbacks would be required to accommodate the parking.

The building as shown does meet the front and rear yard setbacks. The lot is more than 400 feet deep. The side yard setbacks to the building are 16 feet from the west side and 21 feet from a portecochere on the east side and 44 feet to the main building on the east side.

The site plans distributed to you showed the depth of the lot to be 435.6 feet from the right of way line on Kemper Road.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Eleven

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. McErlane said that actually the 435.6 feet is from the center line of Kemper Road and not the right of way line. That moves the rear lot line 25 feet closer to their parking lot. So if you were to take that site plan and move that rear line 25 feet south, that is the extent of the property. The drawing shows the impervious surface ratio to be 49% and that increases it to 52%.

There are some parking lot variances that would be required. The parking lot shows the 20 foot minimum required on the west side, but it shows 18 feet on the east, and it turns out to be 18 feet on the rear because of the 25 foot shift in the rear property line.

With this being tucked between a couple of residential uses, the impact of lighting on adjacent properties needs to be looked at fairly closely.

The plan shows a total of 36 parking spaces, and the Zoning Code requires 42, two of which must be handicapped and one has to be van accessible. There is an indication on the plan that additional parking will be provided offsite. The Zoning Code allows for commercial properties within the vicinity to provide up to 50% of the required parking, provided they are located within 200 feet of the entrance. There are no commercial properties within 250 feet of this property, so it will take some explanation by the applicant as to how they will accommodate the additional parking requirements.

Mr. Burbules said on the lot being represented incorrectly, we were working on a plat map that showed a dimension of 25 feet from the center line to the property line, and a dimension of 435.6 to the rear lot. After receiving theses comments, we realized that was a misconception on our part and we apologize. We addressed that, and that pulls the property line within 18 feet of the rear parking area.

We didn’t have time to resubmit plans for today, but we are showing a turn around that takes out a few parking spaces in the rear parking lot. So vehicles can pull in and if they find the lot is full, they can turn around and pull back out. That allowed us to remove the small backing area that we had developed at the end of the parking lot, which makes the parking lot require a variance for the rear lot. By putting in the turn around, we lost two parking spaces but it also allowed us not to need a variance for the parking lot in the rear because we are 23 feet from the rear lot of the next door neighbor in the rear, and we were at 18 feet.

In terms of side yard setbacks, that is cut and dried since the lot is 100 feet wide. We are looking for a variance for both sides, and we hope that by landscaping properly, we will be able to appease not only the board members and the adjacent property owners. That would include the parking lot variances also.

We are also looking for a variance on the impervious surface based on the fact that we are 52%, although that conflicts with a couple of other sheets. It may be around 60%, but we do know that it is over 50% impervious.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twelve

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Burbules added we did reduce our parking in the front from our first submittal to obtain that 50% impervious surfaces, but we are backed up against a request by the client to have a minimum seating capacity in their sanctuary, and that means we don’t meet the requirement for parking.

To address the parking problem, we have discussed it with the client, and informally discussed it with Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride, and they are n discussion with the Thriftway up the street and also the church adjacent to that to get approval that on Sundays when they have maximum capacity they can offer a bus service to bring people down to the site. The pastor and congregation agreed to comply with that and people would not park on the side streets or on Kemper Road. We are aware that it is greater than 250 feet from the entrance and we will need a variance for that as well.

Their existing congregation is only 50 people. They are hoping that with the improvement and the new building, the congregation will double and almost triple within 2 years.

Mr. Galster asked how far back the parking from the street is now. Mr. Burbules answered the parking is in the rear and approximately 100-150 feet from the street. Mr. Galster said so right now the parking doesn’t extend beyond the garages of the neighboring homes. The parking lot will have 32 spaces in it.

Mr. Galster commented my concern is how much additional parking we are trying to put on this. It is a large yard for a residential area but a very small lot for a church. We’re going to take parking almost all the way back to the end of this very long residential lot, and it will affect every one of those homes around there. I’m trying to figure how much that will affect them.

Mr. Burbules answered in essence it will affect them, but the stipulations on landscaping require that there be a six foot hedge or a six foot fence around the perimeter of this site because it is an institutional use in a residential neighborhood. It is my personal feeling that if I were a next door neighbor, any six foot hedge or fence pretty much deflects anything I could see on the other side.

Ms. McBride said they meet the building coverage, which is a maximum of 25%; they are proposing a maximum of 13%. They are requesting variance for at least the side yard setbacks for the parking area. Our code has specific screening requirements for offstreet parking for more than five vehicles whenever it is adjacent to a residential district, and they have not met the requirements of Article 60 in terms of the type of screening and fencing or landscaping details. The landscaping plan submitted hasn’t been properly labeled, so it isn’t possible to determine compliance with the specific sections of Article 60, but it doesn’t appear that the quantity of the plant material meets those requirements, so we will need more information.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Thirteen

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Ms. McBride added that on the parking, 167 occupants require 42 spaces, and they have 36 on their site plan. The City Engineer, Building Official and I had concerns regarding some of those spaces. The first three or four spaces immediately north of the building on the west side of the parking field are a concern about people backing out of those with people coming around the building. There was a safety concern about backing out around the curve the building, and we suggested they adjust that.

We do allow offsite parking within 250 feet. If they were not going to make that 250 feet, that would require a variance. There would have to be a parking agreement signed by both parties for this commission before the commission could consider that offsite parking.

The landscape plan contained a plant schedule, but some of the material was improperly labeled. They did not give the size of plantings and for some of the other material the existing plant material was not identified by species. They need to be installing bumper blocks on all of the parking spaces to preserve landscaping and screening as proposed.

One of the things that was most disturbing to staff was the lighting plan. This site is right up against two single-family residences and we had asked for a photometric lighting plan with cut sheets for the fixtures and the poles. What we got was a note on the landscape plan that says that lighting was going to be provided using three 400 watt metal halide fixtures mounted on 22 foot poles. That is not at all acceptable to staff, and the applicant will have to come up with something that provides adequate lighting for their site and at the same time goes to great measures to preserve the integrity of the adjacent residential properties.

We did not receive any information on signage, either on the building or free standing, so we assume they are not proposing any. It is likely if they are that will also have to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance.

There is no indication of a waste receptacle or screening. They may not be proposing one but if they are, they may want to put a note on there.

We got building elevations for the north and east elevations, and we had requested them for all four sides. You are looking at a building that on the east and west sides would be immediately adjacent to residential properties. So, we have a lot of concern about how those elevations are treated. We have two elevations on the resubmitted with no colors indicated. The building notes on there say that the building would be constructed of split face concrete block and regular CMU with brick trim. So staff has some concerns about the massiveness of the building, particularly as it appears to the single-family homes.

 

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Fourteen

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Ms. McBride reported that the east elevation doesn’t seem to match the floor plan provided, and we need clarification on that. There is no indication of any mechanical equipment, and we assume that it will all be screened 100% from view, but we need to see how that is screened.

Mr. Darby commented it appears that we have before us the proverbial 10 pounds of sugar in a five-pound bag. It is just such a small site to do all the things that are being proposed to be done. The fact that it is so closely abutted by the residential properties makes me wonder how it could be squeezed in.

Mr. Syfert asked the applicant if any attempt had been made to purchase property on either side of you, adding that he agreed with Mr. Darby. Mr. Burbules answered they are looking at purchasing the property to the east, and at this point, no one is selling the property. It is a large concern of my own, and to be honest with you I felt the same as you do. Pastor David Cunningham is so strong about this site, and heartily believes that this is where his church needs to be. That is why we are spending our time in front of you proposing to make this happen.

Unfortunately, Ms. McBride has had to put up with our lack of information only to the point that as a company, Wenco wants to see this project go forward. We are interested in doing quality work in the City of Springdale. We wanted to come before you first before providing too much more information, because we know we are up against the wall with so many variances. If this isn’t a project that is viable, this is where we wanted to find out so that we don’t continue to waste both your time and our time and the pastor’s time, and we can start to look at different areas.

The pastor is very strong about staying in the City of Springdale; he doesn’t want to leave and he can’t buy the adjacent property at this point. The building has been designed so that it can have additions built onto it when and if they acquire the adjacent lot, and that would help increase parking to make it an acceptable solution.

Mr. Darby added having sat on this board when Thriftway made their presentation for the renovation, I don’t know what their answer might be about some kind of partnership, but I do know that grocery stores cherish their parking and their parking is not substantial as it is. I think you are going to be up against the wall to try and get that kind of agreement with them.

Mr. Vanover said I am very concerned about putting something this intense on this property. With his projected growth, and without having access on those adjacent properties, that is a lot of money to put into this site for two years. The lighting concerns me. I like the diversity of worship within the city, but there are a lot of obstacles to be addressed with this site. The emergency ingress/egress concerns me also. I would love to see this, but I think the site is too restrictive for that.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Fifteen

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Galster said the comment is that if they get the adjacent property, the building is set to expand so they could add on, so it really isn’t spreading it out. It is making it bigger with the same type of intensity. This is close to a corner, so you increase the number of properties, which are close, and if I were a property owner, I would have a hard time with that intense of a use as my neighbor. My personal opinion is it is way overdone and I would have a hard time supporting it.

Addressing Mr. Vanover, Mr. Burbules said I appreciate your concern, but I don’t want us to be burdened by the fact of my bringing up the fact that they are planning an addition. What we are proposing right now will seat 167 occupants. Our major concern at this point is how we will address the parking. I know lighting is a huge issue, and if I were the next door neighbor I wouldn’t want that added lighting to my site either. However, given the fact that we are required to have a six-foot hedge or fence, I believe we cold work together to solve that by either having fence-mounted lighting or low lighting that spreads at a level. I believe that a low level lighting that can provide a .5 foot candle across the site could be fence mounted or pole mounted at a level that is six feet above grade that would provide a spread that would keep the lighting at a minimum over the fence and at a requirement on the site. I believe with the stringencies you have put into the landscape plan to solve these parking issues in residential communities, that is what we are here to address.

I have the same issues that Mr. Galster suggested, but we are really here to see if we can work with this site. We are working for a pastor who is heartily intent on this being the correct site. I do think with what you have put into the zoning and landscaping and buffering, we can provide adequate screening to keep from having the adjacent property owners offended by any lighting or the fact that it is turning into a parking lot.

On the drive intensity, their congregation is approximately 50. They are not looking at that increasing dramatically right now. If they do increase to 167, our site can only maintain 128, but that doesn’t seem to be as strong an issue as what we are talking about with the adjacent properties.

Mr. Galster said the plan shows classrooms; what are the hours of operation and the services that will happen? Mr. Burbules said those would be Sunday School classrooms occupied during Sunday service. Right now there are supposed to be Sunday and Wednesday services, although Wednesday services tend to be smaller. The Sunday services and times will stay the same.

Mr. Okum said since this might go to our next Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, I will not make a statement on my position.

Mr. Huddleston said I propose that we reject this concept because of public safety, fire police and traffic control, the detrimental impact to the adjacent residential properties, for lack of parking, lighting, buffering and sound.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Sixteen

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Darby said I wish Reverend Cunningham were here so he could hear this. This is a church and increases the diversity of our community. This is a tough call. The pastor has identified a very worthy goal in terms of his congregation growing, and I would love to see that happen in Springdale. Unfortunately, the physical dimensions of this piece of property don’t lend themselves toward that growth. When we look at public safety issues alone, we are stressing that one piece of property. I will vote for the motion to deny, but it is with great regret that I will do so. I hope this congregation will be able to find some alternative space in Springdale and continue to grow.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the lot dimensions are 410.6 feet, and the overall area is .943 acres and just under the one acre that would require detention. In addition the Kemper Road storm sewer project constructed in this vicinity essentially has diverted water which used to go to the rear lots. Now it takes it directly down to the main channel. Because of that, we wouldn’t recommend that any detention be required for this site.

There are a number of issues on storm water analysis that would have to be presented. In the rear lot area there is a culvert underneath the parking lot, which would have to be properly sized for the tributary area. Also the concern would be the fact that area is a wide swale and we would be concentrating flow and releasing it at the downstream side of the culvert. There needs to be some means to slow up the velocity, perhaps spread it out to get it back into the wide swale without causing any undue immediate erosion problems at the outlet end.

There is a swale proposed on the west side of the building, and we need additional detailing on that regarding the size of the swale area and the sizing for the conveyance of storm water flow. We would recommend that as much as physically possible the roof area should be taken to the front storm sewer. I realize that the whole site basically falls to the north, and getting all that roof area into the storm sewer along Kemper Road would be very difficult.

When the storm sewer was placed on Kemper Road, the roadside ditch was eliminated and the culverts underneath each of the driveways were eliminated. In their place, there was a small swale upstream of each driveway. The upstream side would be to the west. The driveway here is being switched to the east, so another roadside swale and catch basin would have to be added to replicate that same situation.

We also are concerned about the parking spaces where the turn takes place at the northeast corner of the building. There is a serious problem there with the blind turning movement and the parked vehicles that would have to back out into that. I hear that there has been some consideration to deal with that and provide some type of turnaround area for drivers. There would have to be some type of curbing or bumper blocks to delineate the edge of the parking.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Seventeen

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Shvegzda reported that they needed dimensions to further clarify how the drive apron would interact with Kemper Road.

We also need additional spot elevations to insure that storm flow was directed towards the proposed catch basins or swales or whatever was intended to convey it to a safe location. This is especially important because of the close proximity of the properties there. Because of this, we also would need very clear and definite sediment control measures.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert said at this point you are not receiving a lot of support.

Mr. Burbules responded you have provided for provisions in your zoning that say if we are going to build something non conforming within a residential neighborhood, that it be given very strict landscaping requirements so things like lighting and parking are not considered a hindrance to the adjacent property owners. We felt that we preliminarily designed the site so that the parking was at a maximum distance from the adjacent property owners (behind their existing garages).

Lighting is an issue we can address. On the landscaping, we are willing to provide all hat is required, so that this pastor can enhance your community. He is already in the community, and he would like to stay here until we are unable to stay. We are willing to work with this board and the variance board if given that opportunity.

Mr. Syfert said it seems to me that as long as the church has been there, maybe it should have grown a little bit more than it has.e is already

My own personal opinion is Reverend Cunningham could have a little smaller aspiration of a new church. That might lend itself a little better to this lot than what we are trying to put on there. I for one agree with Mr. Darby and many of the others. I think we are trying to over load it, and I would hate to impose this redevelopment on either of the adjacent property owners. Maybe there is a toned down solution that might work. If they have been there that long and have 50 members now, how long will it take them to find another location? If they could buy either of the properties next door, I would be a lot more amenable to the project than what I see right now. I am only one vote, but presently I probably would not be supporting your submission.

Mr. Huddleston moved to reject the proposed redevelopment of the Soul Winning Church of God at 540 West Kemper Road for the following and other reasons:

    1. Public safety concern for fire and traffic;
    2. Potential detrimental impact to the adjacent property owners for lack of parking, lighting considerations and sound buffering.

Mr. Huddleston added that there are other concerns, which are evident, based on the density of the proposed development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Eighteen

SOUL WINNING CHURCH OF GOD – 540 WEST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Galster commented I don’t know that we need a motion for a conceptual plan. The reasons were very well stated. I think the applicant knows where everybody is coming from, and if they want to make a submittal it is totally up to them.

Mr. Burbules said I would like the board’s recommendation so I can go back to the pastor. I would ask if it is possible to provide a new facility on this site, and what you would deem an appropriate quantity for occupancy, based on parking restrictions and an obvious site restriction. Is there something that you would deem acceptable?

Mr. Syfert responded we really don’t do the planning as such. l think you have heard enough of the comments that you can draw from that that you would have to scale it down somewhat or find a little more property.

Mr. Okum said typically you do have some type of direction; a straw vote. The applicant has heard comments from most of the Planning Commission members. On the other hand, it is my understanding that we have a number of variance issues. If this were going to the Board of Zoning Appeals, they would want to have something in hand from this commission. At this point I don’t know that a motion is necessary, but I think it carries a lot of strength for the reverend to understand that it is more than idle comments; there are a lot of concerns.

I think staff comments identify a lot of the issues. Can you overcome that and come up with a resolution to it? The chairman said quite accurately that we are not planners; we are reviewers. Your request is similar to the one we had last month to approve a single-family residence on a site 45 feet wide and the board denied that request. So you understand that sometimes you can’t fit too much on one site. I think there should be a straw vote whatever the outcome so the reverend understands that what has been presented is not acceptable to the commission.

Mr. Syfert commented I believe the motion to deny is in order. Mr. Darby seconded the motion.

On the motion to deny, voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Darby, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Chairman Syfert. Concept approval was denied by seven votes.

 

Mr. Syfert said we’ll move back to Item A, Sam’s Club requests approval of additional signage on their store at 800 Kemper Commons Circles. There still was no representation and Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye, and the item was tabled to May 8th.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Nineteen

 

SAM’S CLUB ADDITIONAL SIGNAGE – 800 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE

Mr. Okum asked if their mechanical units were going to be screened. Mr. McErlane answered that the original fence was slats, and we said that was unacceptable. They have a similar unit to what Costco did on theirs, which is a louvered unit that mounts to the rooftop units.

  1. DISCUSSION
    1. Participation in Regional Planning Commission – Planning Partnership

Mr. Osborn said Springdale has over the years participated at a regional level on many issues that are important to us locally and to the county as a whole. At the same time, we have all been a little concerned with the county’s Regional Planning Commission and what it does and doesn’t do. The fact is we withdrew from it a few years ago because it just wasn’t providing anything to the city. On occasions we would not receive notices of the nomination of potential officers until after the election was held.

A year and a half ago the county commissioners asked the Regional Planning Commission to develop a new purpose for itself and a greater scope of responsibilities in terms of being a true regional planning agency or just an agency that considers day to day zoning issues for unincorporated areas.

They began to work on the Hamilton County Planning Partnership as part of the redefinition of their Charter. This was intended to be a collection of jurisdictions that would work cooperatively on regional planning issues.

Our initial concern was that this could potentially reduce the autonomy of local jurisdictions in terms of their zoning and planning authority, and that still is a concern that we hold. However, a substantial number of jurisdictions became members. Several of us refrained from becoming members or promoting it with our Planning Commissions, but ultimately when it appeared that it was going to move forward, it seemed better to be on the inside influencing what it was doing than on the outside complaining about it.

Something transpired recently that gave us the additional incentive to reconsider our position. About the same time that we were talking about being on the inside rather than the outside, I was contacted by the Regional Planning Commission advising us that Dick Huddleston was being considered for the Executive Committee of the Planning Partnership. The Planning Partnership is an advisory body to the Regional Planning Commission, and the Regional Planning Commission has zoning authority over unincorporated areas of the county.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty

DISCUSSION – HAMILTON COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION

Mr. Osborn said that the Executive Committee would consist of a chairman, a chairman-elect and a vice-chairman, and those people would be representing a city, a township and the City of Cincinnati. They would rotate through offices, holding office for one year.

Mr. Osborn added that it was very encouraging to hear that Dick was being considered. I talked to him to see his interests and opinion of the process that was occurring and I found that while he had some reservations about making this major commitment, he also had the same thoughts we did about the potential for this organization and the fact that maybe we should be involved on the front end, trying to influence its formation, as opposed to being subject to what it becomes down the road.

At their last meeting, we recommended to City Council that we consider membership in the Regional Planning Commission. Mr. Ron Miller, the Director made a presentation and we invited you to attend. Council agrees that we should pursue this. We would prefer to do this based on a motion from Planning Commission recommending the City’s involvement.

In order to keep the pace of this process going, and to allow Mr. Huddleston to assume a position on the Executive Committee, we had our first reading at the council meeting before last, and we have been waiting for the second reading until after this Planning Commission meeting. I would have preferred to have your input prior to the first reading, but timing wise this is the way we had to do it.

Council will have this ordinance before them on May 2nd and we would ask that Planning Commission recommend the City participation in the Regional Planning Commission and the Planning Partnership. Our dues used to be $250 per year, but they now would be based on a formula that looks at valuation of land area and its population. We fall into Tier 4, which would be $3,000 per year. That is a lot of money, but if this effort is to be worthwhile, all the jurisdictions will have to commit to making it work and provide the resources. The county is facing serious issues of their own right now, and can’t be called upon to provide additional funding to the Regional Planning Commission for this Planning Partnership.

Mr. Huddleston and I attended the first formal meeting of the organization on March 22nd. I was very much impressed with quality of the work and the diversity of the representation on the various committees from the various townships, cities and villages. I thought their efforts very impressive. One of my concerns was that this thing might be controlled from the top, that it might be used as a rubber stamp or maneuvered to maintain some control over it. It was clear from the representation and reports from the committees that there is a lot of input from the local jurisdiction.,

 

 

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty-One

DISCUSSION – HAMILTON COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION

Mr. Osborn reported that there also was an election of officers for the Executive Committee and Mr. Huddleston was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee for the first year. Bob Scheuler representing Sycamore Township has been elected Chairman-Elect and will be Chairman following Dick, and Don Mooney from the Cincinnati Planning Commission was elected Vice-Chairman. These officers will move through the chairs in successive years.

I would add that the formative period of this organization will be very critical. It is important that we be active in it at this point because of the political ramifications. The dynamics of what is going on there right now is of such a nature that I think Springdale can have a significant influence in making this into a true regional planning organization for cooperative purposes where we share information as opposed to a tool of the county commissioners where they imposes plans on people.

I don’t think that is where this organization will head if people like Dick Huddleston are in its leadership and jurisdictions participate effectively to make sure that it is not taken over by default by the county.

My recommendation is that you offer a motion this evening recommending that the City join the Regional Planning Commission and participate in the Planning Partnership.

Mr. Huddleston stated my interest is to further the cause of Hamilton County as a vital and growing community, rather than something that has a shrinking base. That is something that is happening in Cincinnati and in the first ring of cities around Cincinnati and will someday happen in Springdale if we are not careful.

From that standpoint, it is an other level of planning. The difficult side of that is that it is another layer of planning without any authority, and that makes it difficult to be effective. Like Cecil I am impressed with what they have accomplished in terms of what their visioning process has been. They have brought all the diversity they could into that process and now the difficult challenge is to make something out of it on a collaborative basis. That’s where they need some kind of sales guys in the leadership role to go out and get the cooperation of the communities in this effort. I can tell you that Clermont County does things like this to be effective when they are going to the state for various funding mechanisms, and Butler County has similar kinds of activities. The three Northern Kentucky counties have been very effective at it in terms of regionalizing their planning. I think the effort is extremely worthwhile; the results are yet to be proven. I think the integrity of this process is very worthwhile and if we can make something out of it, it will take a couple of years, but we’ll see where it goes. I do think it is certainly in the best interests of Springdale to participate in it.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty-Two

DISCUSSION – HAMILTON COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION

Mr. Okum moved to recommend to Council that they join the Regional Planning Commission and adopt Ordinance 23-2001. Mr. Galster seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Galster, Mr. Darby, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Chairman Syfert. Motion was granted with seven affirmative votes.

B. Modification to the Tree Preservation Ordinance

Ms. McBride reported I wasn’t at the March meeting, but Bill and I discussed the changes the Commission wished made. I hope they are incorporated in the proposed revisions before you this evening.

With regards to tree removal without permission, we have taken out any reference to the word intentional. Whether it is intentional or non intentional, if you take it out without permission, you will abide by a separate set of guidelines in terms of replacement, both the quantity and the penalty that goes along with that.

We have made changes to new development sites with regards to the size of some of the trees that have to be replanted. We have reduced that from four to 3 inch calipers for Category 1 and Category 2, and we have eliminated Category 3 at that size, because it doesn’t apply.

Under the intentional tree removal without permission, intentional should be removed from the title of C and we have changed the word donation to contribution to be consistent with the rest of the ordinance.

Mr. Okum said in relationship to trees 24 inches in size, are we requiring it one to one?

Ms. McBride wondered what type of scenario – under new development or redevelopment or if they remove it without permission? Mr. Okum answered any scenario. We are trying to keep specimen trees 24 inches in diameter protected. Already a developer who is redeveloping a site, has the opportunity to place his building right in the middle of l cluster of 24-inch specimen trees. I think if we are going to talk tree preservation, these specimen trees, whether under the building, within the building or outside the building, need to be preserved.

The only way to do that is not allowing a building placement issue to separate them from their responsibility for replacement. That would encourage them to place the building somewhere else and preserve these specimen trees. If we are going to talk preservation, placement of the building and placement of the specimen trees is really critical. The rest of it I agree with; I think the numbers are right and the redevelopment issues are fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty-Three

DISCUSSION – MODIFICATION TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE

Ms. McBride said we could certainly break out specimen trees over 24 inches. The only word of caution I would add is you don’t want to render a site undevelopable because there are two specimen trees that are over 24 inches and they are so placed on the site that you can’t get a building on there. We do want to be sensitive to that.

Mr. Okum said I didn’t say they couldn’t take them out; I am saying if they are going to place their building where they are, they have to pay the penalty of that replacement, and it should be on a one to one basis and it could be placed anywhere on the site. We have two major parcels left in the City that are undeveloped, Glenmary Mission and GE Park and both are full of big trees. I don’t want to make them totally undevelopable, but I want some type of conditions that would encourage the developer to meander their developments around those trees.

Mr. Galster suggested doubling it; if you cut down a 24-inch tree, you have to replant a 48-inch tree. If you’re really trying to discourage, discourage.

Mr. Okum said on a 24-inch tree, you could plant twelve two-inch trees, and it would take a long time to get there.

Mr. Huddleston commented I agree with Mr. Okum and I think the cause is noble. I also agree with Anne’s statement that you have to be awfully careful you don’t make the site undevelopable. I also think that if you are going to talk about a penalty provision that would encourage the saving of a specimen tree, you will have to define a specimen tree and then be careful that you don’t limit that development to the extent that it is unrealistic. It is a whole lot easier to save specimen trees on a golf course than with a 150,000 s. f. building footprint,. The other thing that happens frequently when you are trying to do some of that mass excavation is that you end up killing them anyway if you get anywhere under the drift line of the tree or even close to it. The cause is fair, but I would be awfully careful on how to find the solution.

Mr. Vanover added I would love to see these big trees save, but if they make an effort and don’t save them. That needs to be dealt with. I would agree with Anne that we can’t be overbearing and make the site undevelopable because we put ourselves in a precarious legal situation.

Mr. Huddleston said rather than a penalty, maybe a reward should be considered, something positive rather than negative. Is there anything in a model ordinance that would give us direction there? Ms. McBride answered not that we found, but we can look at it. I was thinking along those same lines in terms of what we could offer as an incentive, building square footage, signage, or increase in impervious area. Maybe we should go back to the drafting table once more and see if there are models out there that offer incentives or something like that.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty- Four

DISCUSSION – MODIFICATION TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE

Mr. Darby commented I would hate to see us offer an incentive that would allow a developer to do something that another developer could not do just because they didn’t save a tree. Ms. McBride responded or because they didn’t have any specimen trees.

Mr. McErlane commented I think the most difficult part of this ordinance is getting the developers to think about it up front and not after they have laid out the site and building and the trees are a secondary issue. Then, you would have a tree replanting ordinance and not a tree preservation ordinance. I don’t know how you do that other than trying to get it in everybody’s mind up front. It is not the foremost thing in their minds when they are developing a site.

It makes more sense to give an incentive towards tree replanting or something of that nature, i.e. if you could save specimen trees, you wouldn’t have to replant this many of them or something of that nature. Mr. Vanover said like a credit.

Mr. Okum commented I have a real problem with money going to the tree replacement fund. On the other hand, I hate to say give us money and we’ll let you get by without planting trees on your site. I think maybe the reward concept might be something. Mr. Galster said at the same time, it does go into the fund and we buy and plant the street trees.

Mr. McErlane said at the same time, having to pay for the trees or replacing trees compared to what it would cost to reconfigure their site is probably a smaller developmental cost.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if this were something that could be limited to two or three or a half dozen sites. We only have two major undeveloped areas; is it something we could overlay to make them the exception rather than the rule? Is it a significant issue in the developed areas? Would it impose another restriction on another developer where there is no need? Could it simplify the problem by putting an overlay on those several areas? I agree with Bill that the more upfront you can be, that the developer is aware of and then would try to collaborate, the better off you would be.

Mr. Galster commented and if you put it as an overlay district, the developer would know that when he looked at the site. An TPA added for a Tree Preserved Area.

Ms. McBrjde said maybe one of the other things we could do is we have five or eight civil site guys that routinely appear before this commission and work on the city in a regular basis. Maybe we have a little meeting with them and explain the new revisions and ask them to incorporate them in their concept plans. Most times if developers know things up front and can build it in at the beginning, it is much more doable than to have it dropped on them later. That might be another avenue to look at, education. Maybe that’s sending it out to them with a memo from Bill outlining the thought process and what we are trying to accomplish.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty- Five

DISCUSSION – MODIFICATION TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE

Mr. Huddleston added that as an architect or engineer, you are doing iterations of planning. The developer isn’t going to pay you and won’t pay you. They’re going to say this is a 26-acre site; now give me the layout that maximizes my density.

Maybe the methodology would be to be proactive and the City should go to those two or three or five sites that we have in the City and identify those trees as specimen trees so you have the work done for them, and they have to work around it.

Mr. Osborn said the problem is that many of these sites will not be tabletops. Suppose Home Missioners property is to be redeveloped. The topography profile will influence the potential of saving the trees.

Mr. Huddleston commented you don’t want to limit quality development for the sake of a quality tree, and yet the City has been right on in what they have pursued. First we need to know what a specimen tree is. That can be a subjective term.

Mr. Okum suggested making it a landmark tree, i.e. a 36-inch tree. We had a 48-inch hickory tree at the Burger King at Crescesntville. They planted around it, but within five years cut it down because it shed too many leaves in their parking lot and made a picnic table out of it.

Mr. Okum said couldn’t we, with the permission of the sites, do a survey. There are two things developers will look at – topos and the trees. Mr. Huddleston said only if they know in advance; they are not going to do a tree survey with a preliminary site plan. Mr. Okum said that is the problem; maybe we could identify those trees. Mr. Vanover added that or do an overlay that these are the areas of highest potential.

Mr. Osborn said maybe we could identify the remaining greenbelt areas and identify what we consider landmark trees. . Right now we have a tree replacement policy and I don’t see how we can prevent that with the current standards we have and not cut off development. If you can’t take out trees for a building footprint, you will never see another development. We need to find a balance. If we find a landmark tree on the site, we let them know upfront that it has to be saved if at all possible. The caveat, if at all possible, has to remain there because it may be so located that you can’t save it.

Mr. Huddleston commented that is the benefit of some kind of overlay; you would still have some latitude. Mr. Okum said if you have a reward system on the replanting or replacement, if they preserved that tree it is a win-win situation.

Mr. Osborn said I think a lot of what you are doing tonight will make it into the tree preservation, but after they are already in place, they will be preserved. I think overlay districts or greenbelt districts, which we identify and look for critical trees. Maybe we can bring OD&R in to help us identify the trees worthy of preservation.

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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 April 2001

Page Twenty- Six

DISCUSSION – MODIFICATION TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE

Mr. Okum said we have moved the fees out of the ordinances, and here we have a set fee in this. We are setting $200 per caliper inch for all trees removed. Shouldn’t that refer to a tree replacement schedule so it can be adjusted as it needs to?

Mr. McErlane responded it is up to Council or somebody to set that fee, so we won’t be accused of being arbitrary. There are other ordinances that include fees, and typically that is not a problem.

Ms. McBride said let me make sure that I am clear with what you want. We are looking for definitions of areas of overlay where development has not occurred and in which there might be landmark trees. We want to include that in this. Mr. Okum commented I like the use of landmark tree in addition to the specimen trees.

  1. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
  2.  

  3. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Whitaker seconded the motion. All voted aye and Planning Commission adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

___________________,2001 ________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

___________________,2001 ________________________

David Whitaker, Secretary