SPECIAL PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
29 APRIL 2008
7:00 P.M.

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Tony Butrum.


II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum (Acting Secretary), Carolyn Ghantous, Steve Galster, and Tom Vanover

Members Absent: Lawrence Hawkins III

Others Present: Don Shvegzda, City Engineer, and Bill McErlane, Building Official


III. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There is Ordinance Number 16-2008 included in your package which was some housekeeping; incorporation of the new shed requirements and extended storage units.


IV. CORRESPONDENCE
a. Zoning Bulletin – April 10, 2008
b. Zoning Bulletin – April 25, 2008
c. Ordinance No. 16-2008
d. Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes 18 March 2008
e. Updated Planning Commission Members contact information sheet


V. OLD BUSINESS

(Chairman Butrum stated no old business to report.)


VI. NEW BUSINESS


A. Major Modification to PUD for Princeton Commons
12100 Princeton Pike

Ray Roll came forward representing Bear Creek Capital, the developer for the proposed Princeton Commons Development. The Development as stated is requesting a change to the current PUD. Right now the PUD for this area consists of residential, retail and commercial development. We want to expand some of the commercial development and make the commercial development more office, in lieu of retail. The office development is intended for a large tenant they are intending to take all of this space; it is the intent that this tenant will occupy all three of the buildings. The first phase of the development which is shown on the plans is 428,000 s.f.; they have a program that takes them up to the potential of 450,000 s.f. They’re programming their space to bring groups together so they will want the ability to take these buildings to 150,000 s.f. That is what is in the application it is to go to 150,000 s.f. per building, a total of 450,000 s.f. all together. The development is located at Princeton Pike and Crescentville; it is located right next to
G.E. Park. The ground that we will be purchasing we will be purchasing from G.E. Employees Activities Association. There is a residential development to the south. There are two access points which are actually in place right now – the first access point will be coming off of Princeton Pike and it will be in the same place as it is right now, it will be a signalized access point coming into the development – the second access point will be on Crescentville Road and it will be in the same location as G.E.’s access to their golf course right now. Both of these drives are intended to be shared with the uses in the overall PUD. The access point on Princeton Pike will bring you into a round about which then can be used to go south to the residential development. You could also use it to go to the recreation center for G.E. The access point off Crescentville will bring you into the golf course and will also connect you to the office development. You will be able to connect all the way through the development and traffic can flow through it. Parking requirements for the development; there is a specific parking requirement from the tenant, they want over 4.5 per thousand parking – they are asking for that specifically. This plan is designed for that. Along with that there are a couple other aspects; we are going to improve some parking lots for the G.E. recreation center to allow for some parking there; they currently have gravel lot. Part of our agreement is as we bring our development online; we will pave that and make it a better place for them to park. And also we said we would be willing to share parking if they were happening to have volleyball events or something like that, some tournaments where their parking would overflow into some of our lots. The remainder of their property down on this corner with the recreation center they are going to be putting in some shelters. We see their use as primarily weekend use and if they have picnics on the south piece where the recreation center is, I’m sure there will be parking in our lots – so there will be some working together and agreements to share some parking. But again, the parking requirement from the tenant is taking in and above 4.5 per thousand; it is approximately 4.85 per thousand.
The site itself, we were unable to get a grading plan together to show how the site will be graded out, along with the tension calculations; we will be providing that information. All of the material on the site is going to stay on the site; there is no drastic changes in elevations, it is pretty much going to be a balanced site. Again, detention calculations, we know we have some engineering involved; we have some work to do. We have had some conversations with the residential developer to the south in regards to his detention and his excess capacity that may potentially be there. The way it was originally designed, from my understanding from the notes and also conversations with that developer the overall area was designed to incorporate detention for this area, however given the amount of parking it wasn’t designed for that amount so there will be some capacity in some of the existing detention systems that we will need to accommodate for anything that is short. We will design retention pond or detention basins; there is some engineering that will be done there and all of that information will be submitted.
Tree survey, unfortunately we were unable to get that information together for the submittal, but that is something that we understand we need to submit and it will be submitted.
Landscaping plans are going to be provided with the final development plan. We will provide the necessary buffering and screening between the commercial and residential development. We will show it on the plans and make sure that is in place. Any photometric plans for site lighting, again we will provide that information in the final development plans and we will make sure that they meet City requirements.
For the office buildings themselves, the materials in this building are going to be pretty much consistent with any Class A office building. At the end of the day we will provide material and color board, along with elevations and plans noting the materials on it, materials consistent with Class A office; pre-cast concrete with inlaid brick patterns, curtain wall glass systems with punched in ribbon window openings, architectural entries, canopies. There will actually be some covered walkways that connect through the buildings. On this plan also, it doesn’t show it, we will screen any rooftop HVAC equipment; there is the possibility if you were coming along on 275, given the elevations you may be able to see it, so we will make sure to have all of that screened.
The interior of the building, simple straight forward office building, very efficient in structure. With the prospective tenant we need to determine how many atriums and how many buildings; they have three buildings, but they will probably have one primary entrance for all three. Very efficient floor plans and everything is consistent with a
Class A office building.
The signage package for the tenant, we will submit it with the final development plan. It is anticipated that the tenant will want it ground mounted and building signage we have only gotten preliminary information for that; but we will be able to work within the City’s requirements for their signage.
As far as timing of the development, we are anticipating coming to some type of agreement by the beginning of August. There is a possibility for it to come earlier, but to be conservative let’s assume that it will be the beginning of August when we come to an agreement; essentially, a signed lease with the prospective tenant. We are working tonight trying to get a PUD approval in place sometime in June with the anticipation of following up immediately with building permits. The reason for this is that if we hit our August signing we are going to need to get into construction quickly; that gets us into the permit process sooner with the intent of really trying to start construction by mid August.
With the size of these buildings, it is going to take us every bit of seventeen months and in fact the time frame that they’ve given us that it all needs to be completed by the end of 2009. The process we are going through, the timing that we are going through right now is to work towards a completion in 2009.
There is a second phase for the development, in the application it is listed out as
300,000 s.f., this is something that will be determined at a later date; there’s not as much clarity on it and I probably should have put some parameters on the buildings themselves, the building that will go there will be 300,000 s.f. maximum, right now what is shown is a building of 220,000 s.f. with the associated parking with that. If the building were to get the 300,000 we would probably have to have some more conversations with G.E. about using their golf course parking lot or try to find some other way, maybe structured parking. With the application, I put it in here at 300,000 just to get it in the application to let you know that this is something that I will need to have negotiated or talked about so that the perspective tenant can know that the possibility of putting that building in is there.

Chairman Butrum: We do have some staff comments, Ms. McBride is not here today, so
    Mr. McErlane, would you give your comments, and maybe highlight hers as well.

Mr. McErlane: Subject property is zoned Planned Unit Development, it is part of the Crossings
    In the Park PUD, the applicant is proposing to construct 228,500 s.f. of office in three
buildings on 23.34 acres. The plan deviates from the original PUD plan from the standpoint that the commercial use on the property is expanding from 10 acres to 23.34 acres; the use is going from retail to office. This particular plan leaves the entrance drives on both Crescentville and Princeton Pike at their present location. It leaves the entrance drive from Princeton Pike at its pre-development location instead of rebuilding it to the north as shown on the current PUD plan.
    The following items were not submitted:

a)    Draft of revised covenants to reflect the proposed change in use and acreage. The covenants themselves also reflect the 10 acres to be used for retail use, so that will have to be modified.
b)    Proposed grading plan was provided.
c)    Tree survey and tree removal plan was submitted.
d)    Color and material pallet and/or indication of materials to be used on the buildings
e)    Overall revised PUD plan. The first plan that you have is the original PUD plan and what we would need is a revised plan that show this development on that overall plan.

The parking plan does not reflect the required parking per the Zoning Code. A total of 1662 spaces are required. The plan provides for 2014 spaces or 121% of the required number. The plan does not reflect the percentage of impervious surface 74%. Because no tree survey or proposed topography was submitted, the potential for saving existing trees per the Tree Preservation Ordinance can be determined. The replacement requirement also cannot be determined. The applicant is encouraged to obtain sewer and water availability letters from MSD and CWW as soon as possible. We did receive, a few days back a copy of the conditional approval from MSD for sewer availability, which is the more important of the two, and because we know that there are a certain number of credits we are working from. The two Council members of Planning Commission need to make a determination that the application constitutes a major departure from the original PUD plan. The section in the code that refers to that indicates that for the purposes of the PUD a major departure from the substance of the preliminary plan may include, but is not limited to an increase in or relocation of areas planned for a particular use or the addition of area not included in the preliminary plan.
Ms. McBride’s Comments:
Ms. McBride’s Staff comments read by Mr. McErlane: A number of the comments that Ann has are the same and actually the last part of her comments really deal with what needs to be submitted with a final development plan which the applicant had indicated would be forthcoming. The first part where she talks about the comprehensive plan, when we drew up the comprehensive plan in 2002 we had no developments for the
G.E. Park property and it really just identified it as recreational use; however, it did recognize that there is potential for redevelopment there and because of that there is a focus area of planning area that is in our comprehensive plan and sets out some suggested guidelines for that: Number 1, wants to encourage a combination of land uses, destination type land uses, commercial retail uses, mixed uses for residential. And the comment about that is, at the time we didn’t foresee an office development here, however the office development is probably more compatible than the retail uses with the adjacent residential uses. Number 2, enforce strict design control. PUD allows us to do that, even the existing PUD allows us to do that. Protect the existing neighborhoods to the east of the property. We still have the golf course in between this development and the adjacent eastern residential property, so we are pretty well buffered there.
Protect the functionality of State Route 747 and Crescentville Road by evaluating the impact of transportation network. When we get to Don’s report we have a study by TEC engineering on the traffic issues. Establish strong design criteria that emphasizes the importance on this property of gateway in Springdale and her recommendation is that a gateway element be incorporated in the final development plan; required that development occur in a unified way, phase development and we are looking at phase development here. Encourage a creation of internal roadway network that links various land uses which they have done with the round-about they have linked the residential uses with it and there are still connections with the golf course. No new access point on 747 or Crescentville; they aren’t increasing the number of access points. Reserve the existing trees and significant vegetation on the site where possible; I guess we will find out about that when we get the trees surveyed. Align driveway access points on Crescentville. Maintain a set-back streetscape buffer similar to the development on the north side of Crescentville to reflect a park-like setting. Her comment about that is there is significant setbacks from 747 and Crescentville Road, in regard to landscaping we will see that in the final development plan. Restrict the signage for commercial uses to ground level free standing signs, limited wall signs. I think based on the size of the buildings; we are probably not talking about anything that exceeds our code allowances for the signs. Require strong buffering and screening between land uses and we will see that when we see the landscape plane. The rest of her comments reflect things that we need to see on the final development plan.
Don Shvegzda’s comments:
Mr. Shvegzda: The traffic impact study that was prepared by TEC in regards to 747 access point; a signal was reviewed and found to be warranted for that location. It functions at an acceptable level of service as do the adjacent signals on the corridor. The report further states that the particular access point should be aligned with basically a common access point between the gas station and the property to the north of the gas station on the west side of 747. The driveway is within 250 feet of that particular access point would have to be limited to right-in / right-out; therefore the properties to the north of the gas station would have to have some kind of common connectivity to that signalized access point. On Crescentville Road, the traffic impact study reviewed that and noted that for phase one, the access point is currently noted non-signalized is acceptable. However, for phase two there would have to be a signal placed there and with that signal, the requirement that’s in some way a combination of relocation of the G.E. Park Drive and/or the relocation of the access ways to the north be done so that they line up, they will be a common access point for either Transportation Way which is on the north side and the Princeton Commons driveway; but that would be for phase two. There are some other details in regards to the current plans for the ODOT project that is going to be under construction next year; basically takes an additional lane to where the previous preliminary plan had indicated for the driveway. With this now being about 175 feet further to the west of that point from the previous preliminary plan there is going to be a little gap in what ODOT is constructing so that will have to be taken care of in regards to bringing essentially that eastbound right turn lane to the proposed access point on Crescentville. There are some details that will need to be worked out in regards to some of the re-striping for the westbound left turn lane into the site. In regards to the site layout, although there is no specific grading plans there is like a symbol for a mounding area that would be kind of along the Crescentville frontage between the buildings on Crescentville Road. It is generally shown to be in the area of the southeast corner of the Crescentville/747 intersection. In that area there is an existing easement that was conveyed to the City for a gateway feature as part of the original PUD. When we get to the detail plans we just have to see how that grading works out in that corner. They are proposing two round-abouts that appeared to be from the site plan. The one in particular that would need a higher level of design analysis would be the one that is immediately to the east of 747, just to make sure that it is done in the normal criteria of round-about because the efficiency of that intersection will affect the efficiency of the signalized intersection at 747; so that is very important.
As far as the storm water management, obviously the detail analysis and design for the system will be worked out in the final plans. As the applicant noted, probably the biggest thing at this point is just an understanding that the applicant and the property owner to the south of Renaissance North development work together to plan on which development is utilizing which of the existing volumes of detention and where the new basins would be constructed to handle all that proposed development. The detention system is currently- as the preliminary plans show - the detention basin to be located about 500 feet to the west of the existing ditch that runs through the site. The proposed detention basin as it is shown now is in proximity to the 66” storm sewer that runs parallel to the railroad tracks; that is principally there to outlet the 747 sag area under the railroad grate separation, so we don’t want that tying into that, we want that going back into the ditches that exist at its location to the east.

Chairman Butrum: Before we open up to discussion from the Committee Members, we need to
ask our two Council Members if they believe this constitutes a major modification to the PUD. Mr. Galster and Mr. Vanover?

Mr. Galster: Yes.

Mr. Vanover: Yes.

Chairman Butrum: With that I will open the floor to discussion.

Mr. Okum: I too agree with our City Planner that when you look at the overall scheme of area, I
find that office is a little bit more dense on population during the daytime. The evening population of offices are less, so I would lean more towards that over retail use on that land anyway. So I am pleased with the Planner’s review. I think it falls right in line with the concepts of comprehensive plan and the items that were addressed in Ms. McBride’s comments. I did have a couple questions in regards to the site. It would be nice to see a walking trail concept built into that, because a lot of business office developments incorporate that into their plan and I didn’t see anything on the drawing. Possibly some green gathering area where employees can go out and picnic and have their lunches which obviously brings part of the park into the development; I think that would be nice to see. I think that if this is what that future expansion goes to and we have a preservation of the green space of the park, I think it’s a win for the City. I will be very favorable to moving forward on it and hopefully everything will fall into place for you.

Mr. Vanover: I too would echo my pleasure that this is an office versus retail. I question the
retail and all you have to do is look across the street and see that the one retail center there that happens to be in Union Township and the vacancy and the lack of success that it has. Buildings look nice; the parking I would like to see some more greenery in there. The picture that you have looks like what you would see at a large manufacturing operation. If we could reduce some of the parking I would be pleased. Storm water retention is definitely a big concern; actually I am in that neighborhood to the east of there and I know the Beaver Run Creek intimately, I have lived through several storms. But, overall the traffic with the existing Crescentville exit, I’ve got some hesitancy on that because right now we have some Crescentville Road improvements that are coming in but I have seen traffic in that area stack up almost to the peak of the hill. So how that gets treated, obviously the evening rush hour will affect that.

Mr. Galster: Couple issues: the first about the information in our packet, it does not address the
phase two or the fourth building, I guess so that it doesn’t become a major modification
in the future; if we could address it to where that building shouldn’t be any larger than five stories and not to exceed 300,000 s.f., so that we have that building size accounted for. It should be constructed similar to the other three buildings. I would be more comfortable with that instead of just future office space. The other thing that will need to be addressed at some point, when this was originally developed there was a tree replacement shortage that was moved onto the rest of the PUD; I guess my intention at that time was to preserve the golf course. I don’t think that this modification to the PUD is a whole lot different on the tree replacement, so that we are clear that this modification doesn’t absorb some of that burden of those tree replacement requirements that the overall tree replacement requirement be moved into the golf course. I guess I would like to view them separately based on the original requirement for trees so that we can evaluate just this site’s tree replacement requirements and not have it be burdened by the shortage that occurred prior to this.

Mr. McErlane: What happened is the shortfall from the independent residential living section use
was laid over onto the recreational use on the property. I don’t think it was given to the retail use on the property that this is part of, but this incorporates another ten acres and that would have that burden on it; so basically you are asking to relieve this whole site from the planning of that shortfall from the residential?

Mr. Galster: Correct. To make sure it moves on to what would now be the balance of the
recreational area. In this particular area of the PUD we can deal with its trees by itself as opposed to the requirement that would have been in place from the older covenants.

Mr. Okum: What I believe what Mr. McErlane is saying, Mr. Galster, the burden from the
    residential was placed on the recreational portion.

Mr. Galster: But, this particular plan is now larger than the retail.

Mr. Okum: So that made that recreational portion just a little bit smaller.

Mr. Galster: We just need to make sure it gets worked out before the final plan, so that we
    understand that there is not going to be an additional burden on this office portion.

Mr. Osborn: I had a few things I wanted to say and one of them does deal with the trees. First of
all I want to say that we are very fortunate to have Jeff Tulloch as our Economic Development Director, particularly on this project; as you know he developed two million square feet of office space just here in Springdale; this is something he knows inside and out. This project came to us - it is a great opportunity, it is also a great risk but, we are competitive and we are going to be competitive on it. Having Jeff in his position we can track the economics of this deal pretty closely and we recognize that we are going to have to make this project as efficient as possible for the developer. We are not trying to put more money in Bear Creek’s pocket, but what we are trying to do is get these office buildings built and filled. That means that we have to help hold down the cost per square foot for the tenant, because the tenant really doesn’t care about anything else; that is what they are interested in. So we are doing a few things, one of which is that we are going to recommend that the City waive the cost of the deficiency in the tree replacement for this project. That would be a cost that essentially the City is absorbing is not receiving a contribution to our Urban Forestry Program. We believe that this program, this office development is so critical to the City that we want to recommend that we take that hit.
Secondly, we know going in and we have committed to making public improvements, that is improvements in the public right-of-way that are probably going to exceed a half million dollars, that is those improvements to 747 at Crescentville that you heard Don talk about. There very well may be others that we eventually get involved in here. But, again this is sort of like an “all or nothing” game here that we are playing and we cannot afford to lose this to another jurisdiction, so we would rather spend money up front here to insure the long-term benefit or the revenue that we will be getting off this site which is going to be very critical to the future of the City.
I just wanted to share with you what our recommendation is going to be regarding that tree replacement program. And, while we still think that it is important that we have a tree survey and know what is being lost and so on, we will be coming back to you at the time of the development plan recommending that the City waive that requirement.

Mr. Galster: Mr. Osborn, so as far as the previous deal, that just moves over to the golf course?

Mr. Osborn: The ten acres that they are absorbing into their project will be exempt from that
    requirement.

Mr. Galster: I have one additional point and that was on the parking, I understand the applicant
saying that they are 120% of what our code says; and that you need all those in order to keep your perspective tenant happy. And I am not opposed to over parking if that is what needs to happen; I think that we just need to be careful of and be aware of the impervious surface and try to come up with some answers to try to address that. If that is the parking that is required for that particular facility then I am not opposed to that.

Mr. Okum: I guess the end result of that, Mr. Galster, the golf course has 10 acres less ground to
plant trees on. They still have the burden on the recreational portion. I think you did bring up the issue on the parking areas and I heard Mr. Vanover’s comments and it does look like a sea of asphalt. Utility wise, I think closer to the building – I don’t think I would be the one parking out there in the far east corner of the site, wanting to walk in on a rainy day. Especially since, if I am right, that slopes down hill; there are grade issues there; so that is going to be a pretty healthy walk. On the other hand, the developer should look at some of the porous surface area for portions of that and maybe that will help on their water issues, as well; that might be an option. There are some newer concepts for that and that might be something to be considered. Possibly the point that I brought up, Mr. Vanover, about the green space maybe that large transitional walkway area at the center could be widened out and a little bit more green and a sitting areas along that space might help that out a little bit. It is a big development and it is going to have a lot parking. It is either that or a multi-story parking garage and I don’t think that is in the plans. I think that this works out fine. I am glad that the parking is towards the back side away from 747 and away from Crescentville; I don’t think it is going to be observed that much – you will see it from 275 because of the elevation, but at that distance I don’t find it to be a burden on the look of the site.

Mr. Shvegzda: Just in regards to Mr. Vanover’s comments about the traffic on Crescentville
Road, it is part of the ODOT project which will be under way next year. There will be a double left turn to southbound 747, so that will relieve that current situation with the cars stacking in that direction.

Mr. McErlane: Just for the sake of trying to put a motion together, I don’t know that it is
necessary to address the trees right now; if the City is going to waive the shortfall, regardless of the way the covenants read the covenants still need to be amended so we can take a look at what those look like at that point and time, rather than try to manufacture something we are not sure what it should say.

Mr. Vanover: On the parking, I too recognize that as indicated from the applicant that we are
dealing with a single tenant and that changes my focus in that it is not retail, it is not a multi-tenant thing. I’ve got a little bit more flexibility but Mr. Okum’s idea of a walking path, I think there are ways to soften the sea of parking. At sometime down the road we may have to deal with the remarket on this; that is my point.

Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion regarding the modifications to the PUD preliminary
plan for the Princeton Commons at 12100 Princeton Pike; that this motion shall include specifications and designs contained in exhibits as submitted, it shall include Staff, City Engineer, City Planner’s recommendations and shall also include approval of the revised covenants as reviewed by Staff and the Law Director’s office. The applicant has indicated that mechanical units shall be screened from adjoining properties and that Council shall review and approve this approval; shall be referred to Council for approval of the modifications to the PUD for the Princeton Commons Development. The final plan shall be submitted for approval addressing items identified by staff as necessary for final consideration and approval. The comprehensive land use plan encourages concepts based upon the application this encourages concepts from the comprehensive land use plan. Future office expansion building in the future shall not exceed five stories in mass and not exceed 300,000 s.f. That concludes my motion.

Mr. Galster: Seconded.

Chairman Butrum: Any questions on the motion?

Mr. Vanover: The story limitation, because there was some indication by the applicant that a
parking garage facility of some sort could be negotiable on that second phase, are we cutting our throat on that. I don’t want to put a restriction that is going to be burdensome to us if there is a potential.

Mr. McErlane: Tom, I think you are referring to if it were a parking garage below the office
    building; I think the applicant was considering a separate structure.

Mr. Roll: We are considering a separate structure and ideally in this development what we would
want to do, we wouldn’t want to go too much higher than the first three buildings so we would look to try to keep them at least the same stories, so we would try to put that into structured parking.

Mr. Vanover: That is fine.

Mr. Galster: I just wanted to comment that if it was parking structure and it went to six stories
then at that point, I would think that that would be considered a minor modification and could be handled once we’ve done this as it is, with five stories and 300,000. At least we have the intent there so that we can deal with any change down the road.

Chairman Butrum: We have a motion and it has been seconded, will the Acting Secretary please
    poll the Board?

Mr. Okum polled the Planning Commission Members and with a unanimous vote with six
    Members present (Mr. Lawrence Hawkins III being absent) the motion was approved.

Chairman Butrum: So you are all set, I hope we will see you here in a couple months with a final
plan.

Mr. Roll: Thank you.





VII. DISCUSSION

There were no items of discussion.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

There was no Chairman’s report for this meeting.
So, with that, I’ll accept a motion for adjournment.

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and the Planning Commission adjourned at
8:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum



________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary