SPRINGDALE PLANNING COMMISSION

11 APRIL 2000

7:00 P.M.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

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

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Donald Darby, Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman Tom Vanover, Dave Whitaker and Chairman Syfert.

Others Present: Asst. City Administrator Derrick Parham

Building Official William K. McErlane

Asst. City Engineer Don Shvegzda

City Planner Anne McBride

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 14 MARCH 2000

Mr. Galster moved to adopt and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote

All present voted aye, except Mr. Darby who abstained, and the Minutes were

adopted with six affirmative votes.

IIV. CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Report on Council Ė None
    2. Zoning Bulletin Ė March 10, 2000
    3. Zoning Bulletin Ė March 25, 2000
    4. "Planning Ė Will It Make A Difference?"
    5. 3/15 Letter to Kathy McNear, President of Council re Route 4 Corridor Review District Map
    6. 3/20 Memo from Bill McErlane re Recommended Zoning Code Amendment (Title for Restriction on Parking on Unimproved Surfaces)
  1. OLD BUSINESS
  2. NEW BUSINESS

    1. Approval of a 60í x 60í Display Center in Parking Lot at Loweís, 505 East Kemper Road
    2. T. C. Wahn of Loweís said we would like to have a 60í x 60í corner in the parking lot for a display center with bagged goods, fencing and some retaining wall blocks. It would be a drive through for vehicles to drive up and pick out material easier than what we have in the garden center.

      These pictures show a Dayton location with a tent, but there are no tents for this. It is like a landscape timber and a lined block corral area. Everything would have to be contained in that area and signed accordingly so people could drive in and out. We are looking for a three month period, April May and June, our busiest period.

      Mr. Okum said you were not involved in the Loweís application process and there was quite a bit of discussion regarding Loweís going in there. The motion stated that you could display under canopied areas only and there was extra effort put into the type of fencing that surrounded your landscaped area. There were even comments concerning how those items would be stored and what items would be stored in that area. This was discussed and was not part of the approval, and this commission has stood fast about prohibiting this kind of thing. Is this similar to what is at the Colerain Avenue store?

       

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      11 APRIL 2000

      PAGE TWO

      VI A DISPLAY CENTER ILNPARKING LOT Ė LOWEíS Ė 505 EAST KEMPER ROAD

      Mr. Wahn answered I was a manager at the Colerain store last year and that is considerably larger, but it would be the bagged goods and the block fence.

      Ms. McBride reported they propose to locate bagged goods, mulch soil rocks, etc. as well as patio block pavers and treated landscape materials in the parking lot. They indicate that the area will be corralled off using concrete blocks and landscape timbers. The property is zoned SS (Support Services) and the outside display of products is a conditional use within that district, so the applicant would need to make a formal request for a Conditional Use Permit which would have to be approved by this commission.

      As a part of the final site plan, the Commission approved limited outdoor storage display and sale of merchandise that was to be contained in the area in front of the building under the canopies. That amounted to 10,300 square feet. When I went by April 5th, there were a number of items of merchandise, the gas canisters for the gas grill, a pallet full of salt that were beng stored and displayed outside the area the commission had designated.

      Ms. McBride added that the Board of Zoning Appeals granted a variance on the number of parking spaces required at the time. The old code required 679 spaces and Loweís got a variance to reduce that number of 574. The current code only requires 370 parking spaces so the loss of the proposed 12 parking spaces wouldnít cause a problem.

      We have seen a number of requests from similar type vendors for outdoor display and storage and sale of merchandise and to approve this, in my opinion, would be considered a major departure from some of the other actions this commission has taken.

      Mr. McErlane said to explain why Loweís is here tonight relative to the conditional use permit requirement, in the midst of the changeover from one zoning code to the other, the old code did not require a conditional use permit for this use. It did permit it as an accessory to the use provided the outside display was within 100 feet of the building, that it was at least 50 feet from the right of way, and that it didnít occupy any required parking spaces. If the application had come in under the old code, Planning could have acted on it. Under the new code it requires a conditional use permit and an application, but rather than tell the applicant to come back in next month with the application, I thought it would be beneficial to him to get your opinion on it.

      Mr. Syfert commented I understand your position, but we really worked on this pretty hard in the initial planning stage, and it was definitely represented by the Loweís people that they wouldnít request such storage or store there. Iím a little disappointed at this request.

      Mr. Vanover added in the November 10, 1998 Minutes, it says "Mr. Hyndon stated I think we have agreed that we would not display mulch in the parking lot in bags or outside of the canopy area. The only display we would have would be under the canopy area for plant materials which would be adjacent to the garden center."

      Mr. Huddleston added I would like to echo the sentiments expressed, and to move to deny the request for the 60í x 60í Display Center. Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

       

       

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      11 APRIL 2000

      PAGE THREE

      VI A DISPLAY CENTER IN PARKING LOT Ė LOWEíS Ė 505 EAST KEMPER ROAD

      Mr. Syfert commented unfortunately you have an awfully nice building over there and a lovely open house. I think it will be an asset to Springdale; I hope this doesnít adversely affect our relationship. We thought it was all planned ahead of time.

      Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Darby, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert. The approval was denied with seven votes.

    3. Approval of Exterior Changes to Chi Chiís, 380 Glensprings Drive
    4. No one was present, and the item was moved to the end of the agenda.

    5. Final Approval of Sofa Express, 11750 Commons Drive (former Champion Window)
    6. Mr. Kevin Black of Cole & Russell stated the Sofa Express people will be here; they are running a bit late; they are having trouble getting out of Columbus. The item was moved to the end of the agenda.

    7. Minor Modification of Approved PUD Plan Ė Costco, 1100 East Kemper Road (Exterior Building Material Change)
    8. Sonny Vinberg with Mitchell C. Smith Architects stated he is representing Costco. Mr. Huddleston asked if he were authorized to act for Costco, and Mr. Vinberg stated that he was.

      Mr. Vinberg said last year we received approval of the project. We are proposing to change the exterior material from a concrete masonry. It will have the same appearance (he passed around samples of the material to commission members).

      We also are considering changing the base to a medium tan. This material has along lifetime warranty.

      Mr. McErlane reported that he brought this proposed material change to the chairmanís attention and he suggested it come before the commission for approval.

      Mr. Okum wondered about the manufacturers warranty, and Mr. Vinberg stated that it is for 20 years. Mr. Okum asked the life of the concrete masonry block and Mr. Vinberg answered that it is about the same period of time, in some cases longer depending on the block manufacturer. Mr. Okum asked the recommended maintenance and Mr. Vinberg answered to recoat every 5 to 10 years with masonry paint. Mr. Okum asked about it holding up for impact, and Mr. Vinberg reported that for reasons of impact, Costco would put a wall on the interior of the building.

      Mr. Galster asked if the color runs through the whole brick and Mr. Vinberg stated that it does

      Mr. Huddleston commented that this piece appears to be painted, and where there is a chip, it is regular masonry color.

      Mr. Syfert asked why they wanted to change the material, and Mr Vinberg answered that in other regions the company has encountered difficulty with the masons completing the project, and they want to maintain the 110-day schedule for this project.

       

       

       

       

       

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      11 APRIL 2000

      PAGE FOUR

      VI D MINOR MODIFICATION- COSTCO Ė 1100 EAST KEMPER ROAD

      Mr. Okum commented it looks great, but doesnít last as long as the original concrete block. I can understand the issue of a shortage of masons you would have been faced with coming in with a concrete building. I do not have a lot of confidence in it, and I have not seen it on anything. It is difficult to assess it five years from now. I remember the old brick building with synthetic bricks which all peeled off 15 years later.

      Mr. Okum commented I would like to have some assurance that the color is solid and all the way through. I am not ready to make a decision on this.

      Mr. McErlane said for the same reasons you are putting regular CMUs on the interior, I think the cart corral should be CMU. Mr. Vinberg stated the cart corral would stay CMU.

      Mr. Darby commented you indicated that the warranty was 20 years. In the material you gave us, it indicates that the warranty is one year.

      Mr. Vinberg stated that the panels are joined together; they are caulked and grouted to match the appearance of the panel. Aside from the vertical element you will see every eight feet, you wonít be able to tell it is a paneled joint. Mr. Darby commented the actual bolts are shown here. Mr. Vinberg said they conceal the fastening points and caulk them over.

      Mr. Huddleston said it certainly is not as durable a material as the

      masonry unit would be. With the investment taking place in that part of the City and the investment we have insisted others put into that, I view this as a cheaper alternative which probably would give us a cheaper result, and I would not be in favor of this change.

      Mr. Okum said I did some sketching, and there is no way possible that you would not be able to identify that they are 4 x 8 panels on that building, because every other row would have to have an 8 x 8 block in the pattern. I tend to agree with Mr. Huddleston that unless there is some assurance greater than what I have seen here tonight, I am not in favor of approving this change.

      Mr. Huddleston moved to deny the approval and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum, Mr. Darby, Mr. Galster, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert. Approval was denied by seven affirmative votes.

    9. Approval of Recommended Zoning Code Amendment to add Title for Restriction on Parking on Unimproved Surfaces

Mr. McErlane stated that the intent of this change is to put a title to that paragraph. It does not specifically apply to commercial vehicles. It applies to all instances of parking on unimproved surfaces, so it should be a paragraph of its own. This applies a title to that paragraph. J

I also would like to entertain two more changes to the Zoning Code. One is just a cleanup item because it has a bad reference. The reference to conditional use permit section is incorrect and should be 153.708.

For the other change, we have a restriction on window signs which requires painted and internally illuminated window signs to be allocated toward your sign allotment for the property and not treated like temporary window signs. We want to add a statement that says that the decals that are applied to the windows are treated like a painted window sign and allocated toward your permanent sign allotment.

 

 

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VI E RECOMMENDED ZONING CODE AMENDMENTS

Mr. Okum moved to approve and forward to Council and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Galster, Mr. Darby, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert. Approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Syfert stated we will go back to Item B, Approval of Exterior Change to Chi Chiís. There was still no one from Chi Chiís in attendance, and the members voted to table this to May 9th.

    1. Final Approval of Sofa Express, 11750 Commons Drive (former

Champion Window)

Ken Paul, President of Sofa Express said we have Jerry Quinn one of my partners here, Kevin Blakener and Greg Detzger of Cole & Russell Architects.

It was on November 9th when we last addressed you. At that time in our negotiations to buy the Champion Window building, we had a 90-day window to get all contingencies removed from the contract. We were unable to answer those contingencies within the 90 days and withdrew our offer. In the last couple of weeks, we have restarted those talks with the owners to purchase the building. They were a little hesitant to have too many contingencies on the contract this time, so we have a very short window of opportunity to buy the building at the right price and get our contingencies answered. It is our hope t his evening to leave Planning with as close to final approval of our plans as we can reach. We want to be comfortable that the use of the building, the signage on the building, the general plan is acceptable to the Planning Commission so we can finalize our contract and move forward quickly.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that on the issue of detention and storm sewer for the project, a different method was utilized than what is noted in the subdivision regulations. WE have allowed this, but we do need a summary indicating in a concise manner the pertinent data, the allowable release rate, the actual rate of the inflow, required volume and all those issues. The analysis indicates approximately 61,000 cubic feet. of detention volume is required, but there is no statement if in fact the outlet structure that is there now needs to be modified and if that will affect it. If it remains as it is based on the volume analysis that was supplied, approximately 76,000 cubic feet will be provided there. In short it looks like it will work; we just need more information to detail it out to let us know exactly what is being proposed for the modification to the detention basin.

The other issue is that we werenít clear as to what year any of the new storm sewers were designed for and how the major storm routing is to be provided, whether some is over land and a combination with what is going through the storm sewer. If that is the case, those areas of over land flow need to be shown on the plan so we can verify that they convey the remainder of the major storm.

On the site layout, the proposed slope around the detention basin is in excess of 3 to 1. There needs to be consideration for more of a low maintenance ground cover. Also there is some landscaping shown on the 3 to 1 slope that is within the detention basin, which may be an issue.

There is a guardrail proposed in that area on the 3 to 1 slope that is down into the basin. It would be preferable if approximately a two-foot berm would be created at the back of the curb to establish the guardrail.

 

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Shvegzda added that on the driveways, the existing driveway is to be removed and the new curb and gutter will need to be extended through that area. On the north driveway that is being moved slightly, there is a detail on the plan that calls for the top of the curb to be knocked off and created as a depressed curb. That is not permissible; we have to have that totally replaced with a depressed curb and gutter section.

The northernmost drive will have the standard concrete apron. The south driveway will have basically a normal intersection approach that could be asphalt. The pavement composition within the right of way needs to match the pavement composition in the public roadway.

There is an issue as to where the routing of the trucks will be. If it is via the southern driveway, it is a little unclear as to whether the tractor-trailer could make some of the movements in there without hopping the curb. That needs to be verified.

There is a detail titled pavement overlay south of the building that shows a variable depth of bituminous space that will make up an elevation difference to a final surface. However, based on the site drainage plan which shows proposed and existing contours, it appears that there is up to a two foot cut provided in that area, so there needs to be some determination of which way we are going on that.

There were traffic counts submitted for the Tuttle Crossing store in Dublin Ohio. I might ask how that store compares with this proposed store.

Mr. Paul answered the Tuttle Crossing Showroom is our best store, so that would be the highest maximum traffic counts taken. We were looking at an unusual day, the Sunday of the three days we counted was one that we had a high impact sale event planned that we do once every eight to 10 weeks. If you look at the Sunday counts, they are higher than the Saturday counts on that day. . So, we are convinced that is far and away the maximum amount of traffic you would see. Tuttle Crossing combines a leather store and a Sofa Express Store within one store, and we intend to do that in this showroom as well. We also counted traffic at the outlet in Columbus and the new building on Commons would incorporate all three of these.

Mr. Shvegzda commented you could see the effect that has compared to the Champion Windowís traffic for weekday and weekend. In the last modification of the PUD, the 2,687 figure is set as the maximum p.m. peak, which was set for the weekday. That was brought over from the original concept of the PUD, which had a different mix of uses, where the p.m. weekday peak was higher between weekday and weekend. We have extrapolated out some numbers to see what the weekend p.m. peak would be.

In October of last year, we actually did counts for the traffic that utuilized the entire PUD. That was a Saturday count and the counts were at 2,260. Assuming everything was developed including the warehouse and excluding the property north of Target, and addling that in, there would be a figure of 2,305. Referring back to our projected peak hour traffic, which was 2,687, which is what everything was essentially designed for, that leaves 382 in terms of trips available. Looking at the weekend peak for this, there are 89 additional trips created for the Saturday p.m. peak.

We need a little more information in terms of erosion control and a clarification. We are dealing with the McClellans vacation issue, and there is an eight-inch water main branch that is shown crossing it. It doesnít appear to be correct, and we can supply the necessary information that we got from Costco on this.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Galster asked about the traffic count on October 9, 1999. The last line said actual weekend peak hour traffic for PUD is 2305. Is that weekend or weekday? Mr. Shvegzda answered that is the weekend; it was taken on the weekend and we have added in the 45 trips originally calculated for the currently undeveloped property. Mr. Galster said so we are comparing it with the weekday count below that? Mr. Shvegzda confirmed that the 2,687 is what was projected based on the weekend and that is what all the roadway system was designed for. Mr. Galster said so according to this chart, the weekend p.m. peak of 3,283 is not seen now. Mr. Shvegzda confirmed that at this time it is not happening. All those were developed with each individual usage in mind, not taking into account the staggered peak times that each of those usages might have. That is why we wanted to do an actual count.

Mr. Darby asked if when these calculations were made, was there any consideration of space being allocated for each establishment? Mr. Shvegzda answered we had square footages supplied and the trips were based on the square footages and types of usage for the properties. Mr. Darby continued so at this point we have no knowledge of what will happen to the Roberds building, so if we remove those Roberds numbers, we seem to be in pretty good shape. Mr. Shvegzda confirmed this, adding that whenever anything else comes in, we will have to reevaluate that.

Mr. Galster added with the new tenants, traffic is a big issue and we have to look at some kind of numbers for those spaces that are presently vacant and the possible fillout of that complete building. We have to look at it as a whole package, so some numbers have to be plugged in for the redevelopment of the Roberds area because there will be traffic there.

Ms. McBride reported the applicant supplied a breakdown for the proposed building of the specific uses Ė retail versus office versus warehouse. There are 61,091 square feet of retail use to be distributed between the Express Outlet, the Express Gallery and the Express Leather Shop. The warehouse space would be 12,466 square feet and the office spaces would be 5,320 square feet. Based on those numbers, our new Zoning Code would require a total of 183 parking spaces and they are proposing 205.

There is a question about setback on some of the spaces at the southwestern end of the parking field that they are within the required 10-foot setback, so they would have to look at that.

The Code requires a minimum of 20% of the site to be maintained as open space and approximately 39.8% of the site will be open space. One of the other issues was the location of the dumpster, and they have relocated it. The compactor will be part of the loading dock and will not be visible from any public right of way or parking area.

The applicant is proposing one freestanding sign on I-275 36 feet in height and contain 238 square feet. It would be two sided and have Sofa Express Leather and Outlet on the sign. There was an interim submittal that provided details on a reduced size sign, but they have chosen to resubmit the 36-foot high freestanding sign.

There will be two signs for the building, one on the front and one on the rear elevation. Each would read Sofa Express and contain a total of 408 square feet. The total sign area proposed is 1,054 square feet, and permitted is 760 square feet. Also the two on building signs exceed our maximum of 150 square feet per sign permitted.

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Ms. McBride reported that they are providing the minimum .5 foot-candles in the parking fields, using 30-foot high poles with metal halide light fixtures. Prior submittals had indicated that they would be dark bronze; that information was omitted from this submittal, so we would need reconfirmation.

The landscaping plan has been revised to comply with staff comments in terms of increasing the size of the eastern white pines to 8 foot at the time of planting and adding additional dwarf burning bushes on the west side of the building to break up that elevation. There is a grouping of landscaping that is actually in the detention basin on the 3 to 1 slope that our landscape architect says isnít going to make it and weíll need to look at relocating that material. The building information remains unchanged in terms of the system that they will use for the refacing of a portion of the building.

Mr. McErlane reported when Tri-County Commons was developed as a PUD, the properties along the I-275 area were intended to be industrial users or office warehouse or showroom warehouse facilities, and Champion Windows fit the bill for that. As such the covenants indicated that the properties along the interstate as well as the property where Champion Windows was located would only have 20% retail on the property. So, the covenants need to be revised to accommodate a change in the amount of retail. We would suggest that the wording of the change for this particular lot be similar to what we did with the redevelopment of the old candy plant property and be specific as to the particular uses so we donít end up with a high volume retailer coming in at a later date to increase traffic counts over and above what we would have for this facility.

One of the building materials proposed for this building on the north face is Kalwall. Kalwall has been used at Roberds for the two large canopies.

Mr. Okum asked about the setback of 6 feet when a minimum 10 feet is required. Mr. McErlane added that is in the southwest corner of the lot adjacent to t heir southern driveway. There are two or three spaces there. Mr. Syfert suggested making it for compact cars only. Mr. McErlane added we originally talked to them about parking under the old code and realizing this was a PUD, we had set a benchmark of about 200 spaces. Since that time we have a new code which gets more specific as to the uses within the building and now the required parking spaces are 183. If their operation can handle two or three fewer spaces than the 205 they have, that is one way to resolve the issue.

Mr. Paul commented the fact is we are happy with 183 spaces if that is all that is required, and maybe that would solve some of the other issues on storm water runoff and detention basin size. If there is a way to drop those 22 spaces that makes sense and create a lot more green space we would love to go for that and come back and add spaces at a later date if it looked like it was necessary.

Mr. Okum said my only concern is people would be entering from both ends of the building. Mr. Paul stated most of the reconfiguring of the parking was on the southern side; it sounds like the setback issue is there so maybe the wisest thing would be to look for 22 spaces along the south side.

Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Okum asked if the applicant had treated the western side of the building with the landscaping to get some breaks along that long wall. Ms. McBride responded that they had added the landscaping necessary.

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Okum added I am concerned about the lights on the expressway side of the building affecting traffic, because it appears closer to I-275 . I want to make sure we donít hit the area with lights of high intensity and glare to light your parking fields. Mr. Detzger said I believe there are four lights there currently so there will not be an increase. Mr. Okum added without a fixture details, we donít know if you are going to non-glare fixture. Mr. Paul responded it is our intention to match the fixtures that are on the Roberds site.

Ms. McBride reported the level of lights at their north property line going toward I-275 are not of a level that would be of concern going on I-275; they are satisfactory.

Mr. Paul stated concerning the western exposure, in the last few days we have rethought it. Right now the western side is all-solid with a few windows across the top. In the interest of saving expense, our original submittal had all those walls dropped down and replaced with glass. We would like to retain as much of the existing structure as possible and only replace about three of those four walls with glass fixtures. It still gives a showroom look. Mr. Okum asked if the stripes were painted, and Mr. Paul indicated that this is meant to break up the large expanse of that wall, but it is a difference in texture that creates the shadowing Mr. Syfert commented that this is not on the plans we have. Mr. Paul responded that it is not. We have been trying to accomplish the site usage and reducing the expense and shortening the length of the project by using as much of the existing structure as possible. Mr. Okum commented as long as the landscaping plan stays similar to what has been submitted, I prefer that over the glass wall. I think it eliminates that retail outlet look. Mr. Paul said there would be a lot less light overspill that you are concerned with coming from the showroom. Mr. Okum said my only other concern is light packs on the building and that they be contained and non glare affecting adjacent public right of way and properties. The only other concern I would have is the amount of signage you are requesting.

Mr. McErlane stated I need a clarification on the building material. Obviously you have a change in the storefront glazing you are proposing on the west side, but the plans we have call for split face masonry units. You are saying you are going to utilize the concrete construction that is currently there? Mr. Paul answered we would like to utilize it on the west wall. Mr. Detzger added the split face masonry will be used on the northwest and northeast corners of those angled walls that face the serpentine wall in the front. Plus, there will be new construction that will use split face block. We intend to use the EIFS material on the west façade, to complement that.

Mr. McErlane said so it is only on the corners that you are using split face. Mr. Detzger confirmed this, adding that it would be the same color as the EIFS material. Mr. McErlane commented we did receive material samples; you might want to address where those will be utilized. Mr. Detzger said on the corners, we will have a rough face and smooth face to create an accent. I have a glass sample that will be a tinted window glass system on the west north and south of the façade. We have red for the canopy on the front and rear. Mr. Okum asked how wide the red band is and Mr. Detzger answered it is three feet in depth, one on the front and one on the rear. We have not chosen the color; we are trying to experiment with this so it will not interfere with signage in the front., but we probably will go with a lighter color. Mr. Okum asked if the EIFS would be applied directly to the concrete panels, and Mr. Detzger answered that it would be.

 

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Huddleston wondered if there would be accents or if it would cover the entire wall. Mr. Detzger answered on the west façade we will cover the entire wall. We will use two different textures, one color will be approximately two inches in depth to create the shadow effect. Mr. McErlane asked if the color would be the natural block color and then the EIFS would match that. Mr. Detzger confirmed that.

Mr. Huddleston commented I think the development is pretty much in context with what we looked at before, and I would be in favor of working this out. What I do see here, especially on the exterior, is they would have to come back next month with some further clarification and definition of what they have explained to us here tonight.

Mr. Detzer, Engineer with Cole & Russell said to explain how this all came about, we still have issues to resolve. One is to overlay the good pavement that is out there; to use the pavement again would save on site costs quite a bit. There are issues too about the curb that was placed with this project. It was simply placed on top of an asphaltic pavement and it has failed almost everywhere around the site. A recommendation will be made to remove most of it that has failed.

In terms of the detention basin, it is my understanding that Springdale would like to have the 1985 storm used. Reference is made to a 300 year storm, and the intent is to have all the storm sewers designed to that; they all will meet that in the final plan. The volume of the basin is available to take all the runoff from the site. All of the runoff comes to the existing concrete flume, which wasnít represented in the plans. There were three separate sets of plans for the construction of what got built, and we were struggling to find out what it was that was agreed to.

On the basin, all the flow around the site will come down that flume, which is in great shape; it is well built and designed. It will work very well for t his project. The intent is to use as much of that as possible, changing very little of it. On the outlet structure, I donít know that it actually is functioning the way the original calculations intended. We propose to modify it to bring a concrete flume down to it, put a slightly smaller orifice into that basin, raise the top of the basin and get full use of the whole volume. There is no hazard to any property from doing that. I know the plans currently donít reflect this, but I have been out investigating in detail all the storm sewer systems.

We will have every one of these issues met in the final plan, the next revision for construction,. There isnít any issue that was brought forward today that canít be fully met and resolved. It was my proposal to take off the curb of the curb and gutter. It is a very well built curb and gutter outlet street. Prior to this project, I found it was possible to do that. Certainly it can be removed fully and replaced with curb and gutter. With the removal of 22 parking spaces, it will be a little bit easier access for the trucks and reduce the guardrail encroachment into the top of the slope of the basin. My intent would be to have the truck go all the way around the site and come out the front. That seems most reasonable. There will need to be two more pavement overlay details added to the plan.

Mr. Paul said on the traffic issue, those traffic counts surprised us. We did probably twice as much sales volume on that Sunday than is typical for us on any day, so that study did unfairly show us as having an inflated traffic count. We sell living room and family room furniture; we donít sell smaller items that develops a high traffic flow. There tend to be larger purchases with a smaller number of customers. We had submitted our actual traffic counts for many of our stores on prior submittal. If Planning could go back and look at some of those numbers, you would see they are much reduced from that Sunday.

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Paul added I am still convinced that compared to what was there until 60 days ago, the amount of traffic that Sofa Express would generate is very little. Right now we are concerned about lack of traffic. If you go down in that area right now, it is lonely down there. We are confident with 183 parking spaces. We will have 40-45 people working in that building, and I donít think we could make a decision like that if we thought we would be getting 120 people per hour.

Mr. Paul said on the signs, I tried to make that as important as I could the last time we met. We have some additional sign detail that I will show you because I donít think the sign plan we submitted showed the actual size of the letters. I canít tell you how strongly I believe in signage. It is as a result of having done some market research in our stores over the years and asking customers what caused them to be in the store that day. We spend millions of dollars in advertising every year, but the number one reason why people say they are in any of our stores has been they saw the sign. One of the big things that attracted us to this area in the first place was the fact that Roberds, who was the market share leader in home furnishings in Cincinnati, was doing approximately $50 to $60 million dollars in volume of traffic they were drawing into that area. We were very confident that on a competitive area we would take a lot of their customers and convert them into sales numbers. One of the reasons that caused us to back off the project initially was the fact that we had to look at those proposed sales numbers that we were expecting to get out of that building and back them off considerably since we would no longer have that huge traffic generator of generating furniture specific traffic to that area. WE know how important signage is.

That is a very large scale building, and we donít believe the signage is out of hand and that it actually adds to the architecture; we think it enhances the look of the building itself. We are going to try to do three different retail concepts out of that building, an outlet, Sofa Express Leather Store and Sofa Express Gallery Store. Without putting a lot of different signs on the building that say we also carry leather, and outlet over here, we tried to keep a very clean appearance to the building. We tried to go to relatively small signs on the pylon to let customers know that we have a leather store there and that we have an outlet store there.

I understand there are pole signs on the SKA property that is part of this PUD. That means nothing to me. I am a seven-acre landowner along the freeway with freeway exposure. I would pretty much be the only landowner of any size on I-275 who would not have a pylon sign. We are adamant about the sign package being part of this deal to move forward with the transaction.

Mr. Darby said on the parking since you feel so strongly that the numbers submitted were inflated, are you in a position to submit revised numbers before you come back? Mr. Paul answered I would be happy to do that. We monitor traffic in our stores on an ongoing basis. We judge advertisingís efficiency and sales consultant performance based on traffic in any given store. So, we have those numbers for all our different locations. We did submit those as part of our original submittal in November, so the Commission does have some other numbers. This was a third party company that we had paid to do the traffic count. Thereís no question; those counts were there; I think we looked at an unusual snapshot in time for Sofa Express. If those numbers were there on a consistent basis, we would be doing about twice as much business as we are. I certainly would be happy to present some other numbers to back that case.

 

 

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Mr. Okum said on the sign proposal, you have north and south building signs, two 8í-2" x 50í signs with individually lit letters on a raceway. Mr. Paul added they are on just two sides of the building, front and rear. Currently there are signs on three sides of the building.

Mr. Okum commented I do not have a problem with the monument sign. I just have a problem with the 36-foot high monument sign. I canít disagree with you that signage and architectural features tie somewhat together when it comes to development. It is unfortunate that the drawings given to us said front elevation not to scale; it would have been a lot easier to quantitatively say proportionally it is accurate. I would like to see to scale elevation drawings to reflect the signage on the building. Iím not necessarily agreeing that 8í2" x 50í is an appropriate sign. I think that is bigger than the Roberds sign. He asked Mr. McErlane who responded that in terms of proportions it is not a whole lot bigger. It is obviously wider than it is high, but it is not 40 feet. Mr. Okum said so we are saying that the Roberds sign is not 8í x 50í and it is further back from 275 than this is. I think we have to hit a happy medium.

Concerning the monument sign, we have discussed some items on sight distances, observation points and who would be able to even see it from I-275. Iím not quite sure whose view you are trying to catch with it; is it the people going westbound or eastbound?

Mr. Paul answered both, and I believe it was your suggestion last time that we move our pylon sign. We were closer to the tree line last time, and there is a flagpole that exists on the property today and thatís where we see locating the pylon. We are hoping by getting it away from the tree line and out there it will be seen both westbound and eastbound. We have to make a big impression on people on I-275. We have to impress people who are not necessarily in the market for furniture to get them to exit and drive back around and find our store. The center sign that SKA has negotiated features Roberds prominently and Champion very small and at the bottom of the sign which is up on Kemper, will not get any customers to come down that street unless they are already looking for a Sofa Express store. I firmly believe the only way we will get traffic to exit come around get off Kemper and come down to our store is if we make a very strong impression on the freeway.

Mr. Okum responded am not having any difficulty with that except people see the Champion sign now with little effort. You will have a more unique building with a lot more definition to it; the building is a sign in itself in addition to the signs you attach to it. I donít disagree with what you are saying, but we have to look at the size of the signs and we canít tell by this; it must be scaled. On the other hand, I donít have a major problem with your having a monument sign, but I think you need to bring it down. I know it is a big site, 7.35 acres, but we had 336,000 square feet across from you that wasnít successful and they added signs; signs didnít make or break their business. Mr. Paul responded the comment already has been made that it sure wouldnít have hurt their business to have signs there. If you look at the signage afforded to Dave & Busterís and the square footage of their space, and the various signage already there, itís similar to your argument on the traffic. It looks to me that we are being penalized for being the last guy in there. There is a huge sign at Dave & Busterís that would dwarf in scale the size of the sign we are requesting. They are the only tenant on there; they donít own any property there; they are leasing space from a landlord who owns a large parcel. We are a landowner with a pretty good commitment to the community who is being denied any sort of pylon.

 

 

 

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Mr. Okum responded that is not the case; in the previous meeting I said I have no difficulty with a monument sign. I am speaking for myself; I canít speak for the rest of the members. I think the quantity of signage has to be balanced and I think it is a little heavy right now and there needs to be some flexibility. I certainly understand you are a seven-acre site, an island to itself and the only site that is adjacent to 275 that does not have a monument sign allocated. I think the sign we allowed below the D & B sign is too big.

Mr. Vanover said I would echo a lot of what Mr. Okum said, and I am by that area frequently. I wonder if you wouldnít be counterproductive with a monument sign at that height because you might be blocking your view. That location becomes visible right at the end of the Chesterdale overpass on I-275. You pick it up exiting from the 75-275 exchange.

I think we need some true to scale elevations with the signage intact. From prior presentations, the most sticking point was the signage.

Mr. Galster said to me, sofas arenít impulse buying that will be attracted by the sign. I do understand your general business philosophy and your need for a slgn. If these artistsí renditions are close to appropriate size, I personally like them on the building. I think they look fine. I have been trying to go through the drawings and scale them out. If you go to 4.02, I think that sign is pretty close to being adequately represented, but I could be wrong. I do have a problem with the monument sign or the pole sign out front. I have some questions about illumination. Sofa Express is the only one that has the background lit; the only part of Leather Express, which is lit, is Leather, is that correct? Mr. Paul confirmed this.

Mr. Galster wondered how high up the Roberds sign is. I want to say it is 25 feet. Mr. McErlane responded it is not excessively high. Dave & Busterís is 60 feet high and I am guessing that it is 25 to 30 feet high., Mr. Galster continued I would like to see that come down some. I can understand where you are coming from, but I am trying to picture this according to the drawing as far as the location of it is concerned. When I am going eastbound, all I am going to see is signs. Iíll see the corner sign on the building and the pole sign and they will look like they are side by side; it will seem like they almost run together. So, I have a problem with the pole sign height, and I would like to see it moved further east. Mr. Syfert commented that is where it originally was. Mr. Paul responded in the original submittal it wasnít centered on the property; it was more towards the east, and Mr. Okum made a good point that particularly for westbound traffic, moving it to where we positioned it makes it much more likely to be seen, and that is our main concern. Because of the way the building is sort of canted, westbound traffic doesnít get a look at the sign that is on the building until they are past it. The pylon is their only opportunity to see that.

Mr. Galster asked if there were any way to slide it around. Mr. Paul answered I am sure there is a way; I think it detracts from the look of the building the way the building is set up there. Obviously we elected not to do that to give that eastbound traffic a great look at the façade of the building.

Mr. Galster commented based on its location, if we are going to look at signage again as a separate issue, I would like for us to take a digital picture and put the signs out there and get an actual representation of what they will look like on the building. I think at the height and location right now, I would see side by side Sofa Expresses as I am traveling eastbound.

 

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Paul responded you hardly could tell on the site plan how many feet back the building is from that sign. It is a considerable distance. Mr. Galster commented probably 60 feet, and we have a 50-foot long sign. Iím going to see a lot of Sofa Express the way I usually travel on I-275.

Mr. Paul said to answer your question about why people shop for sofas, we spend a lot of money to try to determine that. What is important for us is that when you think about where you are going to buy your sofa, we are the first place that comes to mind. Whether you are in the market for a sofa today or not, we want you to be thinking about when you are ready, Sofa Express is where you will go to buy. The freeway exposure is one of the reasons we are interested in this site in the first place. We wouldnít be paying the money for the site if it were back in the cornfield. We want to make an impact on the large number of people driving by there every day.

What is important for me this evening is that we have a pretty clear indication of how this thing is going to come out. If you are saying youíll accept the monument sign at a reduced size, I would like to know what that reduced size is. I either want to go forward with this purchase, or not go forward with this purchase d depending on what we feel can be worked out here. I donít want to go through with the purchase and still have the sign issue up in the air.

Mr. Galster responded I think it would be reasonable to cut 10 to 12 feet off the 36 foot height in the space that is architectural features of the sign anyway. Mr. Paul commented the goal there was to get the signage itself up off the ground. Mr. Galster commented you already are up on a hill in a highly visible spot. Mr. Paul answered we just want to get the expensive part of the sign up off the ground to avoid vandalism, but I understand what you are saying.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert said it would seem to me that especially trying to attract the westbound traffic, if this were brought down 10 to 12 feet, as they come around there, you will be setting up here, and it would be more eye appealing to raise the eye a little bit to catch the sign. The same way going eastbound; it seems to me that it might be counterproductive to put it way up. I am not against the sign, but I am against it being this high. And, I think it is to your advantage.

Mr. Galster added I think you are missing a lot of the flow of the traffic because a lot of the traffic to this site will begin on 75 northbound or southbound. They will get off and come around the ramp and see your building. If you look at the building right now, based on its height, your sign will be quite a bit above where the existing Champion sign is. Right now, I see that fine coming around that corner, and I think you will get a lot more traffic from that location than from the westbound traffic. So if you would cut it down 12 feet and build something of fieldstone or something to accent the base with a little bit of landscaping it would accent the building as well.

Mr. Huddleston commented I would compliment you on the building. There are a lot of materials on the building and the architectural treatment is complementary and will give you a signature building I would struggle to give them any kind of final approval tonight which the applicant heeds to move forward. There are a lot of positives here; we can debate signage issues from now until next month and we probably wouldnít all agree. My point is I would be in a position to make a motion for a preliminary approval, subject to their coming back.

 

 

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Huddleston said they have made significant changes from the drawings submitted, everything from site engineering to architectural treatments. While I donít necessarily view any of it as unfavorable, I would need to see the details, and I think it would be very difficult to make any kind of a final motion tonight. Subject to the boardís discussions, I would be prepared to submit a motion for preliminary approval..

Mr. Okum commented we gave them preliminary approval at the previous meeting. Mr. McErlane reported at that meeting you indicated it was not necessary to go to Council and that they could proceed with their final plans. It was kind of a concept discussion.

Mr. Huddleston said I would recommend that the commission grant a preliminary approval based on the plans as submitted. That approval would be subject to all the comments of the staff reviews plus the changes that the applicant has submitted here tonight which arenít well defined by drawing or specification. Everything I have seen on a preliminary basis is adequate, but there are still a lot of issues to be resolved. My motion is for preliminary, not final approval.

Mr. Paul said I am not sure of your process on the preliminary and final approvals. What I would hope to come out of this meeting with is an approval pending, and knowing exactly what it is we need to do to meet that. The comments were on staff membersí comments and the engineering issues and things like that. We know we can address those and they arenít deal breakers. This signage issue is a deal breaker, and I would like to understand what type of sign you will in fact accept and have a pretty good feeling in my mind that when we come back and resubmit the actual signs of that type on a different plan, it will be approved. I understand that you canít give me final plan approval without seeing those final plans. I would like to understand exactly what we need to do to get that final plan approval, to know this week whether or not I think we can meet those demands.

On the sign issue, if what you are saying is you wonít accept a 36 foot sign but you will accept a 24 foot sign or a 26 foot sign or whatever that was, that is great, but I need to know that you in fact will accept the 24 foot sign when we come back and submit that. I need to know whether we are going to make this happen or not.

Mr. Syfert responded to put things in perspective, the plans we reviewed in staff are not what you have recommended that you will do tonight. You understand that and we understand that. So, to put a final approval on that cannot be done properly. Iím not saying that what you have said tonight presents any problem. I donít think it does, except with all the dealings that Don has, we have agreed to those basically, but we have to see them on a final drawing. The only issue I see is dealing with the sign.

Mr. Paul responded it sounds like some of the suggestions were excellent ones, and we are well on our way to meeting those. I would agree that signage is the stickler in my retailing mind. I would like to see us make an agreement. Two of the commission members have voiced the point that they are not against the monument sign and would consider a monument sign of 10 or 12 feet less. I would like to see as part of the record a 24 foot sign or a 26 foot sign, whatever that sign is, to be approved so we understand that will be the case when we come back and submit a sign of that size for final plan approval.

 

 

 

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Mr. Syfert added there is the other issue of the covenants which has not been taken care of at this point. Unless you get the covenants changed, it is an exercise in futility. We are betwixt and between, but IL have no problem with proceeding with Mr. Huddlestonís motion and Mr. Darbyís second, except we should tie into that what we are comfortable with sign wise.

Mr. Paul said on the covenants, we donít know exactly where we stand on that. The last time we met, November 9th, the two members of the commission who also are on Council felt this use was consistent wlth the prior use that had been approved, and that it wouldnít be necessary to go to Council. This whole SKA PUD has gotten involved in this, and beyond the Planning Commissionís approval to change those covenants regarding usage, is there some recordable document that would show that covenant has been changed? DO I need to get SKA to approve the change? What is the story?

Mr. McErlane responded any parties that have an interests in the covenants and I am assuming SKA does have control over signing a revision to those covenants. Provided the City Engineer is satisfied with traffic numbers, the City doesnít have a problem with the revision to the covenants. Your legal counsel needs to develop a revision to that and get the parties involved to sign off on it. The City is one of those parties, and my understanding is if Planning Commission feels your proposal is acceptable, the City doesnít have a problem with signing off on those covenants, but any parties who have control over those covenants also have to sign off on them. Mr. Paul asked if SKA were the only party that would have to sign off on them. Mr. McErlane responded I donít know for certain. I would think that your legal counsel needs to determine whether or not successors to SKA also have control over those covenants, which might be North American Properties as well.

Mr. Syfert asked if the covenants were site specific, and Mr. McErlane answered there are some that are site specific, but not every paragraph in there is site specific. Some of them pertain to the entire development, . This paragraph pertains to more than one lot in the development. Mr. Syfert commented the bottom line is that it is the applicantís responsibility to get the covenants amended.

Ms. McBride said in reviewing the landscaping plan relative to the signage, you do not show any landscaping around the base of that sign, and we will want to see something included when you return.

Mr. Okum said it is very difficult to consider the building signage because we donít know the scale. The monument sign is where it should be to get the view, but maybe the other sign needs to be shifted further east, but that is up to the applicant. I do feel if I am looking at the medallions on the building, the sign on top of those and the sign pushing itself to the top rim of the coping of the roof might be a little bit heavy on that north elevation. On the other hand, the rear elevation, the E drops down lower from the top coping, and I do have a problem with the medallions behind the lettering. In that area, I think the medallions would be wasted; a smooth surface would be better at that point. I like the medallions on the building; I think they are important.

Regarding the monument sign, I feel that 24 feet is a reasonable height. There is a lot of gingerbread on it that doesnít need to be there to get the point across. I think the panel that the leather is in is oversized for the lettering that the leather is. I also feel that if the sign is brought down to 24 feet, you could reduce the width down to 10 feet instead of 14.

 

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

I will support a monument sign on the site. I havenít supported many in this development area, but in this case, I think it is warranted. Iím not going to comment on the building signs, but at this point I canít say I am in total disagreement with what you have presented. That is a whole lot of signage and I donít want people coming in and saying look at what you allowed Sofa Express to do. The sign wonít get me to your business; the sign will let me know that you are in the market. From talking to sign experts, I know that the trend is to have signs at line of sight for exposure. That building is at 650 and the expressway is at 636. IL do not have major objections to the site; you have done a fair job with it, but with the open items, it will be very difficult to give a final approval, but I will support Mr. Huddlestonís motion with conditions that final signage approval will be based on what is submitted to this board and all the other issues are answered.

Mr. Galster said we have already granted them a preliminary plan approval, and now we are telling them that we are going to give them another preliminary plan approval. I think the applicant understands that he needs to meet the staff comments and seems to be in total agreement. WE have given him some guidelines for the sign, which is something that needs to come back. I think the proper motion would be to table the final plan until the next meeting with your understanding what the Commissionís feelings are on all the issues. I hate to put two preliminary plan approvals out there on this one site.

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. McErlane if the first meeting was a concept discussion or a preliminary approval. Mr. McErlane answered it was a concept at that time.

Mr. Galster continued my request is that we table the motion because that in essence is what we are doing. I believe the applicant knows the Commissionís feelings on the issues.

Mr. Paul said I agree; I definitely have a good feeling for those members of the commission who have voiced their opinions. We really havenít heard everyoneís opinions. I believe I know how Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum and you feel, but that is not the majority, and I donít know how the rest of the commission might stand. My main concern is paying my money and coming back in a month and hearing that pylons signs on the freeway are a bad idea just like we always said, and we canít possibly give you a pylon sign, and now Iím in trouble. Thatís why Iím looking for something on the record that says the commission will accept this kind of signage.

Mr. Galster responded the way this board in general operates, is if through the process of negotiation and conversation that there was somebody who objected to the flow of the conversation or the direction we were leading the applicant, they would have spoken up.

Mr. Darby said this is a beautiful building, and you have done a tremendous planning and I would love to see us get this deal done. I would encourage you very much, based on the comments you have heard, to rethink your position on the sign. We have given you some definite guidelines. Personally, I hope nobody comes back and approaches us about what this group allowed for the sign at Dave & Busterís.

Mr. Syfert said Mr. Okum mentioned 24 feet for the sign; I think Mr. Galster mentioned something like that and I could support that. I doní t know about bringing the width in as you bring it down; Iím not the expert on that, but I really do believe that eye level is what the sign companies are saying.

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VI C FINAL APPROVAL OF SOFA EXPRESS, 11750 COMMONS DRIVE

Mr. Huddleston added I would like to ask if in fact there is any significance to preliminary approval this evening based on what we have before us with the staff reports. Is that a preliminary approval in the sense we would normally know it since they have asked for final approval? And is there any legal significance to that for the applicant?

Mr. McErlane answered the only real significance to the applicant is that it gives him more of a direction as to what Planning Commission is looking for.

Mr. Syfert said a number of changes have been presented tonight. I have no problem with a second preliminary approval myself, and I donít think it jeopardizes anything. Mr. Huddleston added that is my feeling also. I am not refuting what Mr. Galster is saying, but it would be good to get a consensus from the Commission.

Mr. Okum suggested granting a revised preliminary plan approval. We approved a preliminary plan in November and t his is a revised preliminary plan that we would be approving with conditions.

Mr. Huddleston moved to revise the motion in accordance with Mr. Okumís comments and Mr. Darby seconded the revised motion.

Mr. Syfert said this does not include anything on the sign, and you know the feelings that have been expressed.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Darby, Mr., Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert. Revised preliminary plan approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Paul said we donít think we can start construction until the first or middle of June if we go forward. Is it possible for us to conduct a warehouse type event out of that building since Champion was retailing out of a certain percentage of that building already? Mr. McErlane stated it is up to Planning to determine whether or not he can do that because it is a change in the use in the PUD. As it stands right now, the approved use is a manufacturing with a showroom facility. You are doing that as a part of the final plan approval, but to do that prior to that would be up to Planning Commission. There are other issues relative to building code that would need to be satisfied as well. Mr. Okum commented you would need some signage to do that, so you probably would want a banner, and do you really want to use up one of the four banners each year on this sale?

Mr. Paul responded one of the things we are hoping to get out of this building is relief for our outlet in Columbus. Our outlet sales are true surplus type sales and we have a large amount of that merchandise accumulated in Columbus. We have never conducted an outlet sale of any sort in the Tri-State Area and we think it could be a pretty timely and spectacular event for us. One of the issues I tried to bring up the last time we meet was that we are not a big banner user. There wonít be a lot of signs plastered over that building different times of the year. My question is to understand if it is possible and the procedure to get that done. Then we would determine whether or not we would want to do it.

Mr. McErlane said from that standpoint we would have to assume that Planning had already done a final plan approval on this project, including the required covenant changes which limit how much retail activity you can have. It would be a case of utilizing the buliding prior to doing the modifications that you are proposing. Mr. Syfert added this could be requested at the time of final approval.

 

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PAGE NINETEEN

  1. DISCUSSION
  2. A. City of Springdale Comprehensive Plan

    Ms. McBride said we put together a proposal for a Comprehensive Plan for the City of Springdale. We gave that to you last month for your review.

    In the proposal, we went through the scope of services. One of the things we believe is that this plan will belong to the citizens of Springdale, and they need to be involved with this. Over and above some of the members of Council, Planning and Board of Zoning Appeals, some of the business owners, new residents, and older residents of the city also should be involved. One of the key elements is a steering committee to meet on a regular basis.

    We also would be conducting 20 key person interviews, which would be people who would be identified by the steering committee. We would spend roughly an hour with those individuals, taking them through a routine list of questions that we would put together and review with the committee. We also would have specific questions that might pertain to that individualís area of expertise or involvement. We would suggest conducting two public workshops. The timing of those is key as well as how they are advertised. We would be trying to get as much input into the plan as possible.

    A lot of the comprehensive plans are here is an analysis, here is how much vacant land you have, here is how much developed land you have and here is how your community is going to grow and you population projections.

    Springdale, like a lot of other older communities is different in that instead of looking at growth issues, we are looking at redevelopment issues. We still do have a few key parcels for development, but we really are looking at redevelopment and preservation of some of our existing areas.

    We see this plan focusing on a series of individual plans, somewhat similar to the corridor plan prepared for Route 4, but going more into land use type issues. We broke down some of the areas that we felt appropriate to look at as individual studies. We call them Focus Plans and we suggest the following to be reviewed by the Steering Committee. Springfield Pike Corridor would be one. We see Kemper Road as split at Northland in terms of land use and how you would want to see it treated in the future in terms of redevelopment potential. The Northland/Tri-County office area is a module in and unto itself. The Crescentville area is more industrial or light industrial oriented. What we call the Old Springdale Area (Walnut, Peach, Plum etc.) is faced with a whole different set of constraints. Obviously there is the Tri-County retail area and we would put the residential communities into one focus area. These are suggestions and we would look for confirmation from the Steering Committee.

    What we would be looking for in each one of these is an individual tabulation of existing land uses, where the redevelopment would occur, and suggestions as to how that redevelopment would occur.

    The final product for each of these focus areas would be existing land use, but more importantly a future land use map and one overall future land use map for the city. I think that is the direction Planning had given us.

     

     

    PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

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  3. DISCUSSION
  4. City of Springdale Comprehensive Plan Ė continued

    Ms. McBride added we would see it being a finished document, and we would hope it would be something that could be included in the Cityís web site. A lot of cities are doing that now and it is a real good promotional and reference tool for developers or property owners.

    We see this as a 12-month process. We are talking about existing land use maps, a future land use map and there will be a document that goes along with it that talks about seven strategic focus areas or however many the committee comes up with and an implementation strategy memorandum that would talk about how this could be implemented.

    I would be the overall coordinator of this based on my experiences with the City. Jonathan Wocher a project manager with our firm has worked on various projects for the City including the update of the Springfield Pike Corridor Plan and the Urban Renewal Plan as well as drafting the lighting district we will be talking about next. He will serve as the general project manager. Another of our staff planners, Nathan Meyer will be the one going out and actually doing those land use surveys. We are preparing similar plans for a variety of communities. We are currently doing one for the City of Las Vegas and Henderson County Nevada. We are doing one for Will County Illinois. We are finishing one for the city of Columbus Indiana and for Frankfort Kentucky. We also are doing plans locally; we finished a corridor plan for Woodlawn, we are doing work for Anderson Township, Montgomery and we have done work for Reading.

    I talked to Mr. Osborn today and there were two areas that he wanted me to address with the commission. One is how would the timing of the census data impact the comprehensive plan. That data will become available just about the time we are finishing this plan. My response was unless the City foresees that we have had a 50% population increase or decrease, which we do not anticipate, it will not impact this plan one way or the other significantly. We will be doing some population projection, but those types of analysis are generally done in communities that have a tremendous amount of vacant land and you are looking at where that growth is going.

    The other item that could have an impact on that is the north/south corridor that is being developed by OKI. That is the alternative form of mass transit that OKI is looking for to connect the north/south region. Our area is shown as a potential split area, a "Y" with part going to Hamilton and part going to Middletown. I see that as an opportunity for this plan to start to have some influence as to how that corridor plan is developed. For example, if they originally are looking at using Route 4 as this corridor that may or may not be appropriate. We may rather see it go to 747, which is a more central and regionally oriented corridor. Iím not going to say that preparation of this comprehensive plan will sway OKI; thatís not going to happen. But it can serve to start to impact some of those decisions that are made. We will want to incorporate that element into the comprehensive plan; it was not included as part of the proposal.

    Mr. Okum wondered if they would analyze the current thoroughfare plan and how it is impacted by land use. Ms. McBride reported we would be using that as one of the tools to review. We will not be modifying or updating it, but we will be taking all of that into account.

    Mr. Okum suggested utilizing the annual festival to have a booth and get comments from various people within the community. Ms. McBride responded Anderson did that last year at the Firemanís Festival, and they got a lot of responses. Mr. Okum added obviously the city newsletter could be utilized.

    PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

    11 APRIL 2000

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  5. DISCUSSION
  6. City of Springdale Comprehensive Plan Ė continued

    Mr. Darby suggested a mass mailing with follow up door to door. Ms. McBride responded we can do that, but mass mailings do not get very good responses. Mr. Darby said that is one method; other people go to festivals. Mr. Vanover commented that mailings donít always do too much, but maybe there could be town meetings as well as the festival.

    Ms. McBride reported that the kinds of questions would be as to the Cityís strengths and weaknesses, how you would like to see the City improve S.R. 747 and do you think the City has adequate retail facilities.

    Mr. Galster wondered how many people would be on the steering committee and Ms. McBride answered no more than 19.

    Mr. Huddleston wondered if the steering committee would be proactive in the development of the City. Ms. McBride stated that they would try to guide that redevelopment. There are a number of single family residences that may remain so or become some sort of office. They also could be demolished and have something else built there. Mr. Huddleston responded I was looking at something like a downtown redevelopment like happened in Blue Ash or Montgomery. Ms. McBride stated the first step is to identify the area, look at the characteristics and where we want them to go and how we will get them there. Mr. Vanover asked about the redevelopment of the residential areas and Ms. McBride answered that is what we need from the Steering Committee; what we want, how we want it and do we assist.

    Mr. Galster said I would like to recommend the comprehensive plan to Council for consideration. Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and this will be referred to Council.

    B. Buffer Lighting Zones

    Mr. Syfert said you probably got this material in the mail today. Do you want to take a look at it and discuss it next month, or do you want to deal with it tonight? Are there any specific questions that you want to bring up tonight?

    Ms. McBride reported we were charged with looking at what other communities had done with regards to containing lighting within the property so it didn't become a significant problem. We looked at a number of different communities, did a lot of research on the Internet and went to the Dark Sky Organization and got a lot of information from them. We took all this and compiled suggestions in terms of revisions to the code. We would suggest a new section on outdoor lighting, in which we would give a lot more criteria in terms of what people had to submit to us for review, and what the photometric lighting plan had to contain. We gave maximum pole heights depending whether you were using non-cutoff or cutoff light fixtures. We talk about a range of illumination by activity level, low level use, like a multi family residential complex versus a high use like Tri-County Mall. We include information we want like average illuminants, maximum and the uniformity of the illumination, because we donít want a lot of hot spots. We talk about light trespass and what information we need to properly evaluate that and what our minimum criteria will be in terms of lighting at the property lines. We include shielding of the fixtures and how it is that we will be evaluating that information.

     

     

    PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

    11 APRIL 2000

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  7. DISCUSSION

Buffer Lighting Ė continued

McBride said we also include exemptions for things like holiday lighting and the fact that Planning Commission can override that if in special circumstances a higher level of illumination is needed, and if people need to change their lighting fixture, Bill would have the opportunity to review and approve that at his discretion.

Ms. McBride added I have copies of other peopleís codes and information we have from Dark Sky if anyone would like to review it.

Mr. Okum commented on B. Height, it says, "Lighting height should not exceed the permitted building height." I thought that was a little extreme; in some areas we allow 50 feet. Ms. McBride responded what that is intended to say is if you had a building height of 20 feet, you couldnít do the 22 foot high poles. It doesnít mean that you can do the 50 foot high poles because that is the maximum building height. If you are using cutoff lights, the maximum is 22 feet.

Mr. Okum said 3 (D) Light trespass onto, why donít we say adjacent zoned property? Ms. McBride responded all property is zoned adjacent property, but the real concern has been and maybe it should be onto residentially zoned or used property. The big concern has been the impact on the residents. If you have some spillage from the muffler shop onto Walgreens, that is one issue, but if you start to encroach onto a multi family complex or a single family that is a significant problem. Mr. Okum responded if we are creating buffer yards where there are truly cutoff points, there will be a certain amount of spillage. We really have not set this as a reasonable buffer yard area in this code. Ms. McBride answered what we have said is at the property line you can have .5 foot-candles. You have to show the properties 50 feet out from your site, and you have to show the illumination levels either 20 or 30 feet our from the property line. Mr. Okum commented .5 seems a little extreme considering our minimum lighting level was .5 originally? Ms. McBride responded in the development community, moonlight is .3 and .5 is really not excessive, but we can look at that as part of next monthís review. Mr. Okum said I just want to know what .5 is. Ms. McBride said weíll send out a chart that they produce.

Mr. Syfert said weíll take a look at t his next month after you have had a chance to review it.

  1. CHAIRMANíS REPORT
    1. Golf Stix, 11772 Springfield Pike Ė Window Signs
    2. Sunoco, 12089 Princeton Pike Ė Pole & Canopy Signs

Mr. Syfert reported that this past week we had a staff meeting. The Bahama Breeze did not change the exterior but they rotated the building about 25%, looking out over the lake instead of towards the interchange. That changed the parking configuration around a little bit, but everything seemed to fit staffís approval, except Anne did not review the landscaping. The commitment by the applicant was that they would do anything that Anne said. Mr. Okum asked if they got the dormers on the back of the building as shown in the original presentation and Mr. Syfert answered I donít recall that. Mr. Galster commented the only changes they requested were location of the building and parking area. Mr. Okum commented the fear is that when they do something like this, sometimes the little items that came up during plan review are forgotten.

 

 

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  1. DISCUSSION

Mr. Syfert asked if everyone would be available for the May 9th meeting. Mr. Darby said I feel so bad and explained to the chairman why I wasnít here last month, but I have a family commitment next month.

Mr. McErlane said the zoning code amendment that we referred to Council last month got lost somewhere. Mr. Galster said it is on Cecilís report for the next Council meeting, and the public hearing will be set at that time.

  1. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Whitaker seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

______________________,2000 ________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

______________________,2000 __________________________

Dave Whitaker, Secretary