11 APRIL 2006

7:00 P.M.


I.                     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:             Tony Butrum, Robert Coleman, Steve Galster,

                                             Lawrence Hawkins, Dave Okum, Tom Vanover

                                             and Chairman William . Syfert.


Others Present:                  Doyle H. Webster, Mayor

                                             William K. McErlane, Building Official

                                             Don Shvegzda,  City Engineer

                                             Anne McBride, City Planner




Mr. Vanover moved to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded the motion.  All voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.


IV.               CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Report on Council


Mr. Galster said Zoning Code update was approved by Council.  At our last  meeting we had a conceptual discussion on the senior housing at Kemper, Route 4 and Rose Lane, and I probably got more comments and questions from Council than I did for Tri-County Mall or Pictoria Island.  So there is a lot of concern there and concern from the citizens as well.  We have notification that Walmart Corporation has given their final approval for the super store expansion to their facility here in Springdale. 


B.          Zoning Bulletin – March 10, 2006

C.          Zoning Bulletin – March 25, 2006

D.          3/15 Letter to HCRPC nominating David Okum for commissioner


V.                 OLD BUSINESS


A.          Approval of Landscaping and Building Materials for new Heritage Hill Elementary School, 11961 Chesterdale Road


Amanda Baker of Steed Hammond Paul, Fred Pensinger of the Princeton School District and Jennifer Vachon, Landscape Architect came forward. 


Ms. Baker stated we are here to address the landscaping revision, fence revision and exterior building material revision per your recommendations at the last meeting.   We have met with staff and discussed the items in question.


Mr. McErlane reported at last month’s meeting, Planning Commission approved a development plan for the Heritage Hill elementary School and withheld approval of the building elevation materials and the buffer landscape plan including the buffering adjacent to the residential properties on the north and west sides of the site.

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Mr. McErlane reported that on this plan the applicant is proposing to eliminate the fencing at the northeast corner of the site.  The fence has been changed to a shadowbox type fence, and they are moving it three feet inside the property line to allow maintenance on the opposing side.  The split face block color that they previously had shown has been revised to match the color range of the brick that is on the building.


We have reviewed the tree replacement requirements.  There are some modifications that need to be made to the plan but I have talked with the applicant and they are willing to make those changes. 


Ms. McBride reported that the landscape architect met with the applicant and they were able to work out a compromise with regards to landscaping materials.  Initially the submittal contained a base bid and an alternative bid which was going to be added if there was enough money.  The base bid has been increased to include a number of the plants that were proposed in the alternative bid, including things like landscaping around the ground-mounted sign.  There are still two different alternatives an A and a B, but we would suggest that the commission recommend to the applicant that if there are additional funds available, some of those could be spent implementing the balance of the plant material.


The Norway spruce were listed at nine feet in height, and they need to be 10 feet to count as our tree replacement.  The applicant has indicated that they will make that change.


Following our meeting last month, there was a lot of discussion about the type of fence that would go in adjacent to the residences.  The applicant has revised that fence to a shadowbox fence which is finished on both sides and staggered and better for sound attenuation.  We had a little bit of problem with the detail and I think they have revised detail here this evening.


They have revised the elevations to include some different color materials to add accents to the building. 


Mr. Shvegzda reported that the trees that are planted to the north and west of the school are in the vicinity of a swale that drains that area so the planting location is important to make sure it’s not mounded up.  The other concern was on the seeding spec called out for the detention basin area.  Part of that was going to be utilized for some native grass.


Jennifer Vachon said there was a comment about the number of trees that needed to be included; there is a typo and this will be revised. 


On the shadowbox fence, our detail shows posts on one side of the fence.    A comment was that the posts should be the same on both sides, and this will be revised to look the same on both sides.




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Ms. Vachon added that the commission felt that we did not need a fence for lots 339, 340 and 341 because of the grade change from these lots to the parking lot, so a six-foot tall fence would not do much in terms of screening.  Mr. Syfert asked about the fence location.  Ms. Vachon responded we propose that it be located three feet inside of the property line. 


Mr. Vanover said thank you for that fence.  There is a section of stockade fence on the middle lot which is less than desirable.  I am glad you went to the shadowbox and are addressing the maintenance issues.


Mr. Galster thanked them for addressing the building elevations.  It is a major improvement.  The color is much better, and the highlights help break up some of those big walls.


Mr. Okum asked about the color board for the brick, and Ms. Baker showed the color board to commission members, adding that the split face block colors have been changed to make the block and brick colors match as much as possible.  Mr. Okum commented it is pretty institutional looking; but I am much happier with this than what we had before.  Ms. Baker responded it is a balance of finances and aesthetics, and simpler is cheaper.


Mr. Vanover asked about the issues on the detention basin.  Mr. Shvegzda reported that there was a meeting with the representative of the adjoining property.  I don’t think there were any issues regarding where it would be.  It is a matter of detailing where the connection to the creek would be.  Mr. Pensinger said we met on site with the city engineer and the architect and our engineers.  Right now we are getting a legal description of that easement and the representative doesn’t think there will be any problem in creating that easement.


Mr. Coleman asked about the alternate bids on the landscaping.   I am wondering how critical this is to the project and how we would know about compliance.  Ms. McBride reported that the original base bid met the requirements of the Zoning Code.  They have incorporated a portion of that alternative bid material into their base bid, so this is beyond what is required by the Zoning Code.    The bottom line is that they meet and exceed our Zoning Code.  If they did none of the alternative bid, the site still will be attractive, well landscaped and will exceed our code requirements.  So I don’t think the commission should monitor that, since it does exceed the requirements.


Mr. Okum moved to approve the building elevations and landscaping plan for Heritage Hill School as presented which will also include staff, city engineer and city planner recommendations, and that all four building elevations shall include the colors and materials as presented based on the samples submitted this evening.  Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.  All voted aye and the approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Syfert thanked the applicants for doing a very nice job.


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VI.               NEW BUSINESS


A.          Approval of Rezoning of a 1.524-acre site at Kemper Road and Tri-County Parkway (Chick Fil-A) (Support Service to General Business)


Joe Tribble of Storm Water Consultants in Columbus and Kristin Clever of the Chick Fil-A headquarters in Atlanta approached the commission.  Mr. Tribble stated we are here to request rezoning of 1.524 acres at Tri-County Parkway and Kemper Road. 


We are at the northwest corner of the Lowe’s property and we want to construct a 4,200 s.f. restaurant with 134 seats and 72 parking places.  You would enter the site off this access road on the north edge of the Lowe’s parking, so there would be no direct accession Tri-County Parkway or Kemper Road.


This is the view from the intersection of Tri-County Parkway and Kemper Road.  Our building is 25 feet high with red and beige brick veneer and burgundy and tan awnings.  There will be landscaping around the front and sides of the building.  Also there will be landscaping around the perimeter of the parking lot and around the waste enclosure area.


I do know there have been some issues on whether we should go with GB or PUD Zoning.  At the time we started the application process and, with the exception of the drive through, we felt that the site met the conditions of General Business Zoning. 


Mr. McErlane reported they wish to rezone a 1.524 acre part of the Lowe’s property from Support Services to General Business.  He is proposing a 4,227 square foot restaurant building with75 parking spaces and a drive through that runs around the front of the building. 


If Planning agrees that this should be a GB zoning, at some point in time after the zoning takes effect the applicant would need a Conditional Use Permit from Planning for the drive through.


At the time Lowe’s came through, there was some consideration by Lowe’s to rezone the property to PUD but due to scheduling constraints, they decided to develop it under the Support Services zoning classification which does allow for their current use. 


Given the surrounding properties that are currently PUD (to the north and west of the property) staff recommends that instead of having a one and one-half acre parcel that will be zoned GB, we would recommend that the entire property be zoned PUD.  There is a little piece of property to the east of what is proposed to be rezoned that will remain Support Service, which has some limited uses, so that would allow some flexibility for that space as well. 


Some easements will be necessary for access from Lowe’s and there also is a pole sign for Lowe’s on this individual parcel and would make it an off-premise sign and a variance would be necessary for that after the zoning is in place.



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Mr. McErlane added there are some existing trees on the site which will have to be taken into consideration for replanting under the Tree Preservation Ordinance.  The plan itself shows about 52 ½ caliper inches so it probably would accommodate what might be removed to develop the site.


When the Lowe’s sign was designed, it was designed with a provision for an additional panel to be added.  It would take some modification because it currently is wrapped in block, but it has been designed to take an additional panel. 


The site plan itself shows an 8’ x 10’ addition on the back of the building that doesn’t show on the floor plans or the elevation drawings to indicate what it is.


Mr. Syfert asked what the 8’ x 10’ addition on the back of the building.  Ms. Clever answered it is a service yard that we use for our customers and employees so at night they can throw the trash out without leaving the premises.


Ms. McBride said we looked at the Comprehensive Plan for the city that was adopted in June of 2002 which designates this area for regional commercial and service uses, which includes restaurants and other high traffic volume generators.   So the comprehensive Plan does back up the request for some type of commercial zoning, not necessarily GB.


If the city moved forward with that GB zoning, we literally would be creating a spot zone of GB.  The property to the north (Tri-County Mall) is PUD, the shopping center to the west is zoned PUD, and the Lowe’s property is SS, Support Services.  It would be great if we could get the entire Lowe’s property in within the PUD, but at the very least it makes sense to bring this parcel in as a PUD.


From a timing standpoint, it would be quicker for them to go PUD because either way they have to go to Council, but with PUD they would be coming back here for final development plan approval and this commission could approve the drive through window and the Lowe’s sign as an off-premise sign and the sign variance.  If they went the GB route, they still would have to come back to this commission for a site plan approval and then would have to go the Board of Zoning Appeals for their signage and a variance for the Lowe’s off-premise sign and would have to come before this commission for a public hearing for a conditional use permit.  So actually the PUD route would be a lot quicker.


The building meets all of our setback requirements.  We analyzed this for GB and PUD would be a little different.  It also meets the setbacks for parking areas, the building height does not exceed the 48 feet permitted and the impervious surface area is below the .75 permitted.  The number of proposed parking spaces exceed the number required (75 and we require 51).  They have shown us five stacking spaces from the point of ordering on the site plan.




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Ms. McBride said the waste enclosure in the southeast corner of the property meets our requirements in terms of surround material, the gates, the setbacks and the landscaping around the enclosure.


We did not receive any lighting information.  The applicant indicated they would be submitting that on future applications.


Our landscape architect was very pleased with the landscape plan, and we had just some minor suggestions.  Probably the biggest item has to do with the fact that there are a number of zoning violations on the Lowe’s property in terms of landscaping.  Some are actually on the parcel that a Chick Fil-A is looking to acquire, and we have itemized those.


They are proposing signage on all four elevations of the building, which would total 183 s.f., and the total site is permitted 172.9 s.f.  In addition to that 183 s.f. on the building, they are proposing a 48 s.f. panel that would be added below the Lowe’s sign on West Kemper.  So if they went the GB Zoning, they will need a variance on their total sign area.  If they went PUD, the commission could handle this.


There is a brick veneer on the building and we suggested they provide us additional information on the awnings, materials, screening of mechanical equipment, etc. on future submittals.


The parent tract has had and continues to have numerous zoning violations, not just landscaping but outdoor storage and display which has been horribly abused.  I think this is an opportunity for the applicant to ask Lowe’s to cleanup some of those violations because we have had very little luck in getting that done.


As we discussed the Lowe’s sign would become an off-premise sign which would need Board of Zoning Appeals approval under GB, but not with the PUD zoning.


I should have disclosed to the commission earlier that Lowe’s is a client of my firm and I personally represent them, but from my comments, I don’t think it has tainted my review of the parcel.


Mr. Shvegzda stated that in the original approval of the Lowe’s site, the development in the northern end of that lot was specifically excluded.  Therefore, the traffic study that was done for Lowe’s did not include the development in the northern portion of the property.  We have requested this and I believe the applicant is working to put that together.   This particularly concerns the southbound traffic on Tri-County Parkway as it queues to turn left into that first driveway.


There are no new driveway curb cuts into the public right of way since they are accessing the existing drive onto the Lowe’s driveway.


The existing Lowe’s detention basin was sized specifically for the Lowe’s development, so this site will have to have its own detention system.


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Mr. Shvegzda reported that on the site plan, we are in the process of concluding the negotiations for the Kemper Road Phase III right of way.  The site plan notes the proposed right of way, and it doesn’t conflict with the development as it is indicated on the concept plans.


The Lowe’s pylon sign will have to be relocated as part of the roadway construction work, and Lowe’s will be in charge of that. 

It could be just from the perspective of what is needed solely to get it out of the construction area, which is what we are looking for.  We don’t know what their ultimate plans are.


They show the access easement on the concept drawing.  The other question in terms of the traffic study is would anything be included for the remaining ¾ of an acre undeveloped part of this area.   Is anything going to be considered for that particular use at this time?


Mr. Butrum said there is the entry onto Tri-County Parkway just before Kemper Road.  Where is that coming in at?  Mr. Galster said it lines up with the existing Lowe’s.  Mr. Butrum added it is already difficult to make a left and try to get to Kemper Road.  If you are three cars queued up, you are there for multiple minutes depending on the time of day.  I was concerned about how these things are lining up and where additional Chick Fil-A traffic would be adding to that.


Mr. Okum said when they do a traffic impact study; will the traffic out of Springdale Plaza be included in that?  I’d give that intersection an F right now.


Mr. Shvegzda responded it will solely deal with the applicant’s site and Tri-County Parkway.  Part of the problem that exists on the Springdale Plaza property is that there are basically two inbound lanes and one outbound.  


Tri-County Parkway will be widened in that area as part of the Kemper Road project.  The driveway on the Lowe’s side is going to be basically kinked out a little bit on the north side so that they will be able to have two outbound lanes again.  The alignment didn’t work out when the Springdale Plaza development was opened.


Mr. Okum said so it will be widened back further to the south.  Mr. Shvegzda responded it will be widened to the north, which will allow the two outbound lanes to be outbound again, one through and right, and the other a left.   That is part of the difficulty with turning left. 


Mr. Okum said I agree with Mr. Butrum.   With the Springdale Plaza traffic impacting that intersection along with a high volume business such as this, we really need to look at how that intersection is handled.  I’ll be very concerned about the increase in traffic at that point.  




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Mr. Okum added I know we are looking at this as a section on its own but let’s say that other ¾ of an acre did develop.  That is even more reason that I will be supporting staff’s recommendations for the PUD.  It really is tough getting out of the Plaza and Lowe’s at times.


Mr. Vanover said I want to see the traffic counts and I do heartily recommend the PUD route.  In the end, it will get you there quicker and with less trying times before various boards. 


Addressing the applicant, he asked if Chick Fil-A would pull out of Tri-County Mall.  Ms. Clever answered no.  It definitely will support a standing unit outside of the mall.  It just generates more business. 


Mr. Vanover said I think this is a nice entry into Springdale.  It fits, it will be a tough fit but I think you will do quite well and we’ll have to deal with the traffic you generate. Other than that, I like the proposal.


Ms. Clever reported we already had commissioned the traffic study when we got your comments and now we are working to combine his requests specifically about some of the patterns in the Lowe’s traffic into what we had already started.


Mr. Okum commented one of the biggest items for you is the Lowe’s sign.  I am the liaison of Planning to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and I know that the Board of Zoning Appeals would be very conservative on approving a massive off-premise sign for Lowe’s since it would set a pretty significant precedent.  For example, the Vineyard’s very small identification/location sign was turned down, so I wouldn’t expect you to get an approval.  I think you have a much better chance of dealing with this development time wise and making it happen by going with PUD.


 Mr. Okum commented we have tried to eliminate drive throughs on the public street side and here we have two main streets (Tri-County Parkway and Kemper Road) and that drive through will be a prominent feature on your building. 


I agree with Ms. McBride’s comment that we’d end up with a spot zoning situation.  I think in a PUD we could deal with the cross easements for a future development on the east parcel.  You have made a great effort on the east side of your property line but if that potentially will be a developed site, it might be treated a little differently, like fewer parking spaces or a crossover so you can share business.  I think the PUD can help with that.  I also think the issue we discussed on Tri-county Parkway needs to be tied together into one package so that we understand how it will work.


I am happy to see the development and I would like to see it be successful there.   If you can make it work, I would like to see it happen.





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Mr. Galster said I will be glad to see a Chick Fil-A in the City.  However the issue is when we look at rezoning, there is no guarantee that once we rezone this to General Business, that Chick Fil-A will be the ultimate user of that land so we could end up with whatever General Business will allow on that site. 


Does it make sense to rezone that property to General Business and have that zoning on its own regardless of what is built on that?  I am having a hard time with that.   Can you give me the permitted uses under General Business?


Mr. McErlane reported that principally permitted uses are retail sales within wholly enclosed buildings, hotels, motels, restaurants, fast food restaurants, automotive filling stations, taverns, dancing and live entertainment including teen clubs, shopping centers, offices, personal services, commercial recreation, financial institutions, theaters, sexually oriented businesses, veterinary and animal hospitals, assembly halls and meeting rooms, automotive motorcycle recreational vehicle and truck rental lease and sales, funeral homes and mortuaries, commercial recreation, religious places of worship, facilities for providing post secondary education in fields of study related to the principal uses.   Also, there are conditionally permitted uses which allow for extensions of the principally permitted uses, such as the drive through establishments, outside display of products, day care facilities and car washes.


Mr. Galster said that is my dilemma.  Once this is rezoned, it is rezoned until somebody requests it to be rezoned again.  Based on that description and the kind of uses that would be permitted there, I have a problem.  I think this is a key site in the City and this development would be awesome, but I am afraid of the zoning.


On the general site, I am a little concerned that it is overparked.  I think there is a lot of parking on there.  You are 23 or 24 parking spaces over code right now.  I understand that you want to be able to park your customers, but I would like to see it scaled back quite a bit.   If in the future you would need additional parking, I have no problem with readdressing that at a later date.


Mr. Syfert said I will not be supporting changing this to General Business.   I like the idea of Chick Fil-A, and you have done a nice job with this.  If this were a PUD, I probably would vote for it in a heartbeat.  It really bothers me that there is still ¾ of an acre there that is not being used, and this would be a classic case of spot zoning.


Mr. Tribble commented I have the distinct impression that you would prefer a PUD.  We researched and looked at GB and at that point we felt it was the most time constructive way for us to proceed.   


We would be glad to switch over to a PUD, and I would like to ask that we do that tonight and move forward conditioned upon submitting the necessary documents to staff.



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Mr. Syfert asked Ms. McBride if there was a problem with doing that without the Lowe’s?


Ms. McBride answered I would love to see Lowe’s come in, but my bet is that they will not be able to get them to come in.  Ms. Clever said I tried and was not very successful.  Ms. McBride continued that having been said, I would rather see this parcel come in as a PUD than try to create an island of GB which doesn’t match up with anything.  They have submitted everything that we would need to get them started on the preliminary development plan.   They’ll need to start working on lighting and traffic, particularly traffic, but the rest can come in with the final development plan.  I think you could amend their application at their request this evening.


Mr. Syfert commented this doesn’t meet the qualifications of PUD on its own though.  MS. McBride answered it does in that it is contiguous to two other PUDs.


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said I guess you have no control over the ¾ acre site.  Ms. Clever answered Lowe’s will be subdividing and make it a separate lot at some future time.  Mr. Okum commented it would be nice to have that as a part of the PUD, but I don’t see how we can do that. 


Mr. Okum moved to approve the preliminary plan and zone map amendment to PUD, including staff comments and referring the matter to City Council.  Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.


Mr. Galster suggested that the owner’s approval should be obtained prior to the Council meeting.  Ms. Clever stated we will be able to get their approval quickly.  Mr. Okum said I will include that in my motion.


On the amended motion, all voted aye, and approval was granted unanimously and will be recommended to City Council.


B.          Approval of Proposed Sales and Showroom Addition at 85 West Kemper Road – (Sweeney Automotive)


Terry Brennan of Brennan Builders and Jake Sweeney Jr. approached the commission.  Mr. Brennan said we plan a 4,900 s.f. addition to the rear of the existing Chrysler facility.  We have a fascia upgrade on the front to meet the new corporate requirements from the Chrysler Corporation. 


He showed the color board for the Chrysler facility, stating that all wall surfaces facing McGillard and on the ides will be EIFS material. The same is true on the front of the building.  It is designated on the drawing to be metal panels but they are aluminum composite panels.  The icon itself is a high arch with spandrel glass in the center and the bulk of the icon is in EIFS.  It occurs on the front and on the face of the addition on the rear.




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Mr. Brennan added we addressed the comments on the storm detention, and added 1200 s.f. of landscaping.  Apparently we did not meet the requirements for plant species and we are prepared to do that and submit it in 15 days if you can give us approval tonight.


Mr. McErlane said the property is zoned General Business and is used for the sale and repair of automobiles.  The applicant is requesting approval of the construction of a 4,953 s.f. Dodge showroom in the rear of the building and remodel the front of the existing building.  It also includes an area that is not roofed over at the entrance to the existing service bays in front of the building, and has a drop-off point for new car delivery. 


There was no lighting plan submitted.  The applicant has indicated that there is no change to the lighting.  If you look at the engineer’s plan where it shows the property lines, there apparently are a number of easements that must be in place for access and parking and storm water.


Ms. McBride reported that the proposed addition meets all of the setback requirements of the GB District.  For the impervious surface area ratio, 98% is indicated not to change. 


They are proposing 147 parking spaces on site.  Part of those will be removal of existing spaces and creation of new spaces.  We have suggested that the required customer parking for the whole facility needs to be signed customer parking so we make sure that there is adequate parking available, so every space isn’t used for a vehicle for sale.


The site is allowed a total of 334 s.f. of sign area, and the applicant is proposing a total of 440.94 s.f. on the building. They also are proposing to swap out the existing Plymouth panel on their free-standing sign with Dodge.  That existing free-standing sign contains 200 s.f.   It was previously granted a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.  The proposed signage as shown will require a variance from our Board of Zoning Appeals.


The landscape plan did not provide materials or sizes, but they have indicated that they will have to prepare a landscape plan and staff is comfortable with reviewing that if the commission is.   


In addition to landscaping around the new addition on the rear of the building, there are a number of landscape islands on the front of the building that are quite overgrown and haven’t been well maintained.  Those have to be relandscaped as well as a part of this overall development. 


We did not receive any details for any proposed on building lighting that might be added.  The applicant did indicate that they are not proposing any changes to the existing site lighting.






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The rooftop HVAC equipment on the addition looks like it is partially screened from the street.  However, I was having lunch across the street, and I know that the existing equipment on the front of the building is hot at all screened.  The question is will the new façade help in any way to screen that. 


Mr. Brennan responded that the existing HVAC on the front building would be partially covered, and Mr. Sweeney has agreed to screen whatever is necessary.  The architect does show a screen on the addition even though it would be hidden by the icon.  We are in full agreement with that comment.


Mr. Okum commented our new code requires that lights on buildings to be downlit and non glare.  Would that apply to the whole building or only to the addition?  Ms. McBride answered only the addition, unless he is going to change out the fixtures on the balance of the building.    Mr. Brennan said the lighting is not going to be changed. 


Mr. Shvegzda reported that on the storm water management, the last expansion for the service bay area provided detention that accounted for an additional 4,000 s.f. roof area or a building.  The proposed addition plus the additional roof area in the front exceeded that, but the applicant has added in the landscape area which compensates for that and makes additional detention unnecessary.


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Shvegzda said I assume this additional expansion will not interfere with any delivery truck access ways.  Mr. Brennan indicated that it would not.


Mr. Okum commented your facility is a maze; it is beyond complicated.  Mr. Sweeney responded there will be signage on Kemper Road that indicates that the facility now has Dodge.  We didn’t have the room in the front of this building to enlarge our current showroom and meet the Chrysler requirements to have all three brands in one store.  So we had to relocate the showroom to the back of the facility.   We are hoping to create enough traffic that they will use McGillard Street and the other curb cut in the back.


Mr. Okum said it is a navigation nightmare because of the way the cars are placed on your lot.   Could you reconfigure the Saturn parking area so the Dodge section could be more McGillard Street oriented?

Mr. Sweeney answered it will be like an independent store to the rear, and we are relocating a lot of the cars that we currently store there to another site, to eliminate the confusion and make it as simple a process as we possibly can.    Mr. Okum said the traffic flow situation bothers me the most.  Mr. Sweeney responded we are going to work on that.  We are improving what we have and set the Dodge dealer apart.


Mr. Galster commented I think your repeat customers will find their way.  I think it is an attractive look.  I wonder what will happen to the old Dodge site.

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Mr. Sweeney responded our intention is to be able to use it for the same purposes that we have in the past.  Obviously we plan on creating a different dealership there.


Mr. Galster added I am a little concerned about what you will see from McGillard Street and whether you are looking through Saturn cars to see the Dodge dealership.  When I look at the BMW addition you completed, it is attractive so I don’t have any problems with the way this is proposed.


Mr. Okum moved to approve the changes to the facility of Jake Sweeney at 85 West Kemper Road to include a 4,953 s.f. addition, including staff’s, city engineer’s and city planner’s recommendations.  Additionally mechanical units on the entire dealership shall be screened from view by adjoining properties or the public right way, and those units shall be in staff-approved enclosures.  All new lighting shall be non-glare so as not to adversely affect adjoining property owners or the public right of way.  This motion is contingent upon approval of the necessary variances by the Board of Zoning Appeals, and landscaping approval by staff.  Mr. Galster seconded the motion. 


All voted aye, and the approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.


VII.              DISCUSSION


Mr. McErlane said you received a copy of a letter from Glenmary Missioners.  This is really for next month, and the Mayor thought you should have a copy of it in advance.  I know the one issue they want to discuss is lighting.  They don’t want any lighting other than the light at the gate operator at the end of Ray Norrish. I have no idea what the other issue is; I will have to contact them.  


In terms of the construction requirements, I think somebody is misunderstanding something, so I will have to get a clarification on that. 


If you’ll recall last year, you approved a wireless antenna on top of the Howard Johnson sign.  That antenna was supposed to have a cylindrical cover on it.  Someone thought it looked better without it, and decided to leave it that way, and I only say that because with the crane it took to install that, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense not to install it and then take the chance that somebody would say put it on and have to get the crane out there again. 


We have been trying to get them out there and put the cover on it, and they called yesterday and wanted to know if they could get an exemption from doing that.  I can have them come back into Planning to discuss it with you, but I wondered if Planning wanted to drive by it and determine if they think it would be better with the cover on it or left off.





     Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

    11 April 2006

     Page Fourteen




Mr. Galster wondered if it would affect the coverage or signal strength.  I’m a Sprint customer, and that helped me out. I can actually get coverage in my house now.  I might have to excuse myself, but I don’t think it looks bad.  Mr. McErlane showed what the cover is supposed to look like, but in reality it is not a cover.  The antennas are three white pieces that surround the supporting pole in the middle.   This cover is a filler piece that goes between the antennas with a round cap on top, so it doesn’t impact the reception at all. 


Mr. Okum suggested that the members look at it and make a decision next month.  Council members agreed, and it will be on the May agenda.


Mr. Okum said a letter went out to all Planning Commissions recommending abolishment of the existing Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission and the creation of the Hamilton County Planning Commission.   Part of that is Planning Partnership, which currently falls under that and will become something else. 


The reason I am bringing it up is because the commission will become an 11-member commission.  Those 11 members include six people that live in Hamilton County, three commissioners or their alternates, a City of Cincinnati representative and a township representative.  No municipal representative will be required on the commission. 


I voted in favor of bringing it to all of the communities to make a decision on it, but I am not necessarily in total agreement to eliminate a municipal representative. 


The Hamilton County Commissioners can make appointments, and the appointees could be from the municipalities.  I asked if there was a requirement for them to have diversity of area in this commission and they responded that it should be part of their consideration, but it is not required.


Based on my experience on this commission and working on that commission, there are municipalities that are impacted by township zoning and changes where no municipal representation is required.  Based on that when the request comes through, I’m probably going to be making a recommendation that our commission not support it.  I also will recommend to the other municipalities that they not support it either because it eliminates that input and that input is a vital part of what Hamilton County is.   We are a municipality with townships attached to us that ultimately could cause developments right on the lines of our community without the input of a municipal representative.


Mr. Butrum asked the purpose of this and Mr. Okum answered I do not know, except they found that most of the municipalities and villages and townships do not contribute and support the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission’s budget.  Therefore the commissioners are handling it under their cost and they probably want more control.


     Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

    11 April 2006

     Page Fifteen




Mr. Galster asked how many commissioners are now seated on the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.  Mr. Okum answered one, and one commissioner never shows up.  Mr. Galster commented now they want to go to three.  Mr. Okum responded three or their alternates. 


Mr. Galster added I can also tell you that part of the reason that the Planning Partnership is having its struggles that it’s having right now is because it used to be that all the municipalities wanted to join together to see where they could work and find common ground that was separate from what Hamilton County Commissioners wanted.  Now it’s all what Hamilton County Commissioners want, and they are steering the partnership.  I can tell you that I don’t care to go where Hamilton County Commissioners are going.  The Hamilton County Commissioners are having a hard time getting the support because they are trying to create a body that reacts to their will.  I wouldn’t support it either; I have a hard time with a lot of the direction, and I was hoping that some of the commissioners might change in the next election.


Mr. Okum said if you have three commissioners and/or their alternates and six persons that they appoint, where is the diversity?  Mr. Galster responded that is the problem.  They don’t agree with the Planning Partnership’s vision for 2030.  They barely support it, only because the people supported it.  They don’t actually do any of the things that were recommended by the Planning Partnership.  They don’t think that the public should be involved in the process of governing.  




IX.               ADJOURNMENT


Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Butrum seconded the motion.  Planning Commission adjourned at 8:40 p.m.


                                                                     Respectfully submitted,




______________________, 2006        __________________________

                                                                     William G. Syfert, Chairman



____________________, 2006             __________________________

                                                                     Lawrence Hawkins III Secretary