PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

9 MAY 1995

7:00 P.M.

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 P.M. by Chairman William G. Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Wilton Blake, Steve Galster, Councilwoman Peggy Manis

Tim Sullivan, Barry Tiffany & Chairman William G. Syfert.

Members Absent: Councilman Robert Wilson (ARRIVED AT 7:10 P.M.)

Others Present: Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator

Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

William K. McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, City Engineer

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 11 APRIL 1995

Mr. Tiffany moved for adoption and Mr. Blake seconded the motion. By voice

vote, all except Ms. Manis who abstained, voted aye, and the Minutes were

approved with five affirmative votes.

Mr. Blake commented I try to read everything and make sure I read the Minutes,

and I want to congratulate the secretary for doing such an outstanding job on

the Minutes. I sit on two boards; the Board of Zoning Appeals and this

Commission, and I want to say she does an outstanding job in making sure

the Minutes are accurate. I want to give her some thanks.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Planning Commissioners Journal #18 - Spring 1995

Mr. Syfert commented it was interesting to note that Cincinnati was among the first in the country to have a recognized Planning Commission, not first but second.

B. Temporary Signage Draft

V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Concept Discussion - Rick Joseph - Jo-Mar Properties

(Proposed Tuffy Auto Service, 370 Northland Boulevard)

Mr. Joseph stated I wanted to have further discussion. We wonít be asking for final approval until the next meeting, but we still wanted to get some feedback at this time before we proceeded with our plans.

Mr. Joseph handed out information sheets to the members, photographs and the site plan. He added we found out at the last meeting that we are in the Route 4 Corridor, and the City of Springdale asks that you put a truss roof on. What I have done is given you a picture of a Tuffy that is almost finished with a truss roof and a picture of a Tuffy without the truss roof. The other pictures show the surrounding area. The area we are proposing for this Tuffy is between the Unical Station, which has the canopy with the flat roof and the Magic Touch Cleaners, which has a flat roof. It is our feeling that if we do in fact put this truss roof on the Tuffy, and we are very willing to do that if that is what the City of Springdale wishes, but it is our opinion that it will stick out and it will not look in proper proportion with the rest of the area. Also the type of building that it is doesnít look quite as good with the truss roof.

 

Planning Commission

9 May 1995

Page Two

V A CONCEPT DISCUSSION- TUFFY AUTO SERVICE-370 NORTHLAND BLVD.

Mr. Joseph continued we have checked with several contractors, and the trussed roof would cost us less and take less time and normally that would be something that would interest us, but it is my opinion that the aesthetics of the overall project would not be as good as if we went without the trussed roof. We are looking for a decision from this board to tell us if we can proceed without the trussed roof; we would like to do that, and if not, we will in fact put this type of trussed roof on it.

Mr. Joseph added the other thing I would like to mention is even though we are within the lines of the Route 4 corridor, we are not setting directly on Route 4; we are behind the Unical Station and the elevation is lower. Even if all Route 4 ended up all trussed roofs, which I canít imagine happening, we would still be out of that area anyway. The building next door where the Magic Touch Dry Cleaners is has a flat roof and it was constructed in about 1970, so chances of that changing in the next 40 or 50 years are probably pretty slim

Mr. Osborn reported we had the same issue brought to us, this gentleman approached the mayor and asked him for some relief from this issue. I advised the mayor the same as I will say to you, and that is while this may be a building that has flat roofs on either side of it, weíll never accomplish the design goals of the corridor if we excuse everyone from the requirements. Fortunately it sounds like this applicant is very willing to do the trussed roof, so I am sure we can conclude this issue pretty quickly.

Mr. Syfert said that was going to be my comment also. Who knows, we may even see one on the building next door to you sometime; we have to start somewhere. To be quite frank, I think it looks much better; youíll be a rose among a couple of thorns.

Mr. Tiffany asked Mr. McErlane if this lot is the last part of the corridor or does the dry cleaners fit into the corridor also? Mr. McErlane answered that building (the liquor store and dry cleaners) does; the rest of the center does not. The lines arenít drawn to any particular property line.

Mr. Tiffany continued I would concur with my associates in terms of the pitched roof. I would like to see it on trussed roof. At some point there will be redevelopment along Route 4 and on those corners, so it would be nice to start it with this and see everything go in that direction. I too would go for the trussed roof.

Mr. Syfert asked if there were any other issue we have in question. Mr. Joseph answered yes, but at the same time I would like to introduce the landscape plan so you can look at it and give me your feedback at this time. Next month I want everything to be ready to be voted on so we can move forward with the project.

Mr. Tiffany asked about the extra lot; will it be graded and seeded at the time of the development? Mr. Joseph answered yes, we want to grade it and seed it. I have been talking to Lykins Oil Company which owns the gas station next door, and they have some interest in developing the rest of that and including it in with their station. They would like to see if possible a car wash added on where you could get gas and run through a free car wash which would be good for the residents of Springdale. Also, maybe a couple of coin operated washes with that. Again, that could be something that would tie in with the development and any type of roof structure that you see fit could go on that.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Three

V A CONCEPT DISCUSSION TUFFY AUTO SERVICE 370 NORTHLAND BLVD.-cont

Mr. Joseph added if we go that route, they would like to see the elevation of that lot raised so it would be more level with Lykins. As far as where we are at today, we just want to get the Tuffy approved next month, and at that time we would be grading and seeding it,.

Mr. Joseph said I have heard the comments and I realize somebody has to start with the truss roof design and I see that a few people have, but I also see that BP Oil Company just came in and they donít have a truss roof; they have a flat roof. I guess what I am asking is to take close consideration. I see what you are saying; you need to start this truss roof somewhere, but I think this truss roof is going to stand out like a sore thumb in that particular application. And the fact that it is not right on Route 4 should help me a little bit.

Mr. Tiffany asked if there are any other issues in terms of the corridor study? Mr. McErlane answered the only other issue is the exterior finishes. The corridor requires 50% stone or brick, and I think this is split face block which kind of gives a stone appearance. Mr. Tiffany responded but itís not a natural stone finish, right? Mr. McErlane confirmed this. Mr. Tiffany continued it would be painted? Mr. Joseph reported it would be split face block painted white. We wouldnít accomplish anything by doing it with brick and painting it white; it would be less of a stone look probably. Our proposal would be to go with the split face block painted. Mr. Tiffany commented which technically does not fit in the corridor study. Mr. McErlane responded no, it gives a stone appearance, but it is not a stone. Mr. Tiffany commented Champion Window would be the same look on the front of the building, correct? Mr. McErlane confirmed this.

Mr. Wilson said you mentioned elevating the land next to the gas station. From a water runoff standpoint, how will that affect your property? Mr. Joseph answered if we raised the level, we would have to use some type of retaining wall with catch basins to catch the storm water, and then we would be looking at some type of limited storm drainage just for that area so we could catch it and let it into the existing storm sewer. Mr. Wilson asked if he were prepared to do that, and Mr. Joseph answered we would have to do it to keep the rest of our development working properly, yes. Mr. Wilson repeated you will do it, and Mr. Joseph answered yes.

Mr. Syfert asked Mr. McErlane if he had seen the landscape plan and Mr. McErlane answered no, it was just submitted tonight. Mr. Joseph asked if it was all right to bring it in tonight. I said it was a conceptual discussion, and I didnít think anyone would approve it tonight but if Planning had decided to comment on it, they could. Mr. Syfert continued I wondered if the gold coast junipers had been surviving along the boulevard to this point. Are they stable Mr. Joseph? Mr. Joseph reported I do not know, but this was done by Delhi Landscape Service, and Iím sure they would take that into consideration. They came out, looked at the lot and I gave them the guidelines for the corridor. This is their suggestion of what they think would work best there. I brought it in tonight so that if there were any concerns I could address them before the next meeting when I will ask you to approve this.

Mr. Syfert reported we would want to know the caliper trees you are talking about; how big are these gold coast junipers and the burning bush.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Four

CONCEPT DISCUSSION TUFFY AUTO SERVICE 370 NORTHLAND BLVD.-cont.

Mr. Tiffany stated we talked briefly about the roof and we have given our comments on that. I think the exterior finish is just as important an item as the roof, and I think we need to have more discussion on it and give him some ideas as far as the direction in which this board wants to see it go. I think flat versus truss is just as different as painted split face versus natural stone or brick. I think it is another consideration to look at so he has an idea before he comes in next month; I donít want to surprise him with anything.

Mr. Blake stated I have listened intently with regards to the roof matter and have tried to reconcile this in my mind. I always say I have a problem when we allow one somebody to come in and do something, and then we want to stick it to someone else. I think each case needs to be looked at on its own merits, and when I look at this layout, and the service station and the dry cleaners and liquor store, I am in agreement that may look awkward to put a building in there with a pitched roof. I know we want to do it, but if everything else is surrounding it, it seems like it would stick out like a sore thumb. How do we reconcile that we allow one somebody to come in and allow them to do it, and somebody else comes in who is in an area where everything else is flat and we say no, you canít do it. I think we need to reconcile this; I really have some problems with the pitched roof if we are trying to stay aesthetically even in that area. I donít really see a problem with it, but that is my opinion, and I wanted to express that. To me the BP Station should have been required because it sets over by itself. To me a pitched roof in this arena with the buildings surrounding it would be out of place.

Mr. Sullivan commented on the finish, this is for appearance reasons and this split face basically has the appearance of stone. If it were a structural matter and were there for strength or something like that, I could see where that would be a concern. A pitched roof doesnít look anything like a flat roof, but a split face can look like stone. Itís going to be white no matter what, and as far as Iím concerned if it has the appearance of stone and meets the aesthetic requirements, I would be much more likely to favor a split face as opposed to the flat roof. I like the pitched roof concept because I would like to see that started. As Mr. McErlane and Mr. Osborn said, if weíre going to do this we have to start somewhere. As long as it has the appearance of stone, as far as I am concerned if it looks like stone it is okay with me.

Mr. Syfert commented those are well taken comments. I think we do have the benefit of Champion as far as what the split face painted appears like. I think it is a very good example of exactly what I would anticipate your building being.

Ms. Manis asked what the side of the building looks like that would be facing Northland Boulevard? Mr. Joseph answered if you look through your pictures, this is built the opposite direction of the way this lot lays, so this is what youíll see from Northland, is the front. Youíll see the split face block, the windows and the canopy, and below that would be where we would have the burning bush across the front to soften that.

Mr. Joseph continued the other thing we have done with the landscaping is we have built an island between the two parking lots. It is one of the things in this corridor study that you tie the parking lots in together, but you still divide them with landscaping, and we think that we have accomplished that.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Five

CONCEPT DISCUSSION TUFFY AUTO SERVICE 370 NORTHLAND BLVD.-cont.

Ms. Manis commented for my opinions, I kind of agree with Reverend Blake as far as the roof goes. However, I personally like the pitched one better; I think it looks nicer here, especially the way the building is turned. I agree with Mr. Sullivan on the facing; I donít have a problem with the split block painted.

Mr. Galster stated on your drawing you show an existing sign and I donít see that in any of these pictures. Mr. Joseph responded on our plan we show a ground sign, and this sign would never go in this corridor, but what we intend to do is follow the code for signage in that Route 4 Corridor. I believe it is a ground sign that canít be over seven feet high and 100 square feet; whatever the code is we will follow. Mr. Galster continued on the other corner we show an existing sign, just on the other side of your driveway. Mr. Joseph answered I believe it is a post going up that says something like Route 4 coming up; it is something to do with the traffic flow.

Mr. Galster said in the back of this building, to make sure we allow for truck access, are there any overhead doors in the back of the building? Mr. Joseph answered no. Mr. Galster continued what will happen in the back; what activity goes on in the back? Mr. Joseph answered it will be split face block, and there will be one exit door back there and the only activity is they have an enclosed dumpster and they go out land put their garbage in it. Mr. Galster responded so the only traffic would be for the dumpster pickup. Mr. Joseph answered and there is some proposed parking back there, I would assume for the employees.

Mr. Joseph continued also there was an area back there in limbo, it is not blacktop it is not grass; it has been let go. We have proposed with Mr. Comer that we would pave that and we would both have the right to use it as additional parking to clean up the whole project. It is actually behind the Magic Touch Dry Cleaners.

Mr. Galster asked if there were anything that needs to be done with the slope of the hill that comes down in to that back parking? Mr. Joseph answered no.

Mr. Galster commented I think the pitched roof will actually help the appearance of the area, only because I am looking at these pictures of the rooftop units. I think from Route 4 a pitched roof will actually block some of that out. I understand it has a flat roof on each side, but the Friends place has a little more of a character and not strictly flat, so I am in favor of the pitched roof.

Mr. Sullivan said I was looking at the minutes of the last meeting, and I am looking at the photos we have here. Did we determine, or did we even discuss whether this yellow is an earth tone? Do we consider that an earth tone, or is that even a concern because of the small amount of it?

Mr. McErlane reported the corridor standards do allow for accent colors as long as the main building colors are an earth tone, and I guess white is an earth tone. Mr. Tiffany commented is it? It is a lack of color.

Mr. Tiffany continued I am looking through the Corridor Study and am trying to find the language in terms of use of stone and colors. Mr. McErlane reported it is 55% of two facades have to be stone or brick.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Six

CONCEPT DISCUSSION TUFFY AUTO SERVICE 370 NORTHLAND BLVD.-cont.

Mr. McErlane continued the color requirements are on Page 184K of the Zoning Code. The general requirements are that "All buildings and structures to be constructed within the Corridor Review District shall have an equal level of finish on all sides and shall generally utilize no more than two primary materials with one or two accent materials. Building colors shall generally be earth tones and the use of bright, high chroma shades as dominant building colors shall be prohibited. Roofs, wherever used and/or required, shall be generally dark in color. The use of mansard roof forms shall be discouraged." For the requirements of brick and stone, (Page 184L), it says, "55% of at least two facades of the building hall contain brick and/or stone, which brick shall generally be earth tone in color except as may be modified by the Planning Commission."

Mr. Tiffany stated I personally donít consider white an earth tone. I consider browns and grays as earth tones. When I think of a stone or brick in an earthtone color, Iím thinking taupe, brown or beige; I donít consider white that. What I am saying in my opinion, split face block painted white does not give the appearance of natural stone or brick. It more than likely will be some type of enamel, which will have a decent sheen to it. I would hope it would be; otherwise it wouldnít last. I just donít think it is a natural looking structure.

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone else shares that opinion about white? No one responded.

Mr. Joseph said if I can comment, last month this same issue came up, and it was my impression that we interpreted this as fitting the color code, because it was a solid white background and had one or two accent colors. Tonight, I didnít even think color was an issue any longer. I thought that was resolved at the last meeting.

Mr. Tiffany added Iím not totally opposed to it. Iím just trying to say if we are trying to create a look through the corridor of earthtone, to me white is not an earthtone.

Mr. Joseph added when I left here last month, I was a little shocked with what had developed, and I drove down Route 4 to look at the rest of the area and see who was in compliance. I couldnít find hardly anyone, except for the Provident Bank. Then I looked at the new BP which is gray or silver, and I donít know how that was interpreted as earthtone either. If it in fact was, Iím standing here trying to get a fair decision on other developments happening around here with flat roofs, colors that are not earthtone, and also they are in a different subarea. I am in Subarea C or something and from the way I read that study, the closer you are to I-275 and if youíre right on Route 4, you are even more susceptible to this criteria than I should be. Yet, it looks to me like I am being held to this stone more so than a lot of people in the past. If you ride down Route 4, there is nothing that complies with this.

Mr. Syfert responded bear in mind that we are dealing with concept discussion, not final approval at this point. The other thing you have to look at is when the Corridor Study was adopted versus when some of the construction went on. You have made a couple of good points; there is no question about it, but I donít think we want to belabor it

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Seven

CONCEPT DISCUSSION TUFFY AUTO SERVICE 370 NORTHLAND BLVD.-cont.

Mr. Blake commented I donít like to beat a dead horse, but I agree wholeheartedly with the gentleman. We talked about this color last month. Somebody please correct me if Iím wrong, but I thought the gentleman told us that the reason they wanted to go was because it was a question of national recognition. It was my opinion that the white was not a problem and the yellow was not a problem; it was a question of national recognition. I left with the impression that it was a given. I canít understand why this has resurfaced again. I thought this was one thing we had discussed and settled out on. If there are other issues, I would like to know about them.

Mr. Sullivan said we did discuss it, but it was a conceptual discussion and we discussed the fact that the yellow color was an accent color. I think we also discussed the Jiffy Lube situation in Forest Park where they changed their colors to meet a code and were very unhappy with it because they felt it even affected the volume of their business. I think we discussed it, but as far as anything being a given, I donít think there were any indications by us particularly because it was conceptual discussion in the first place.

Mr. Syfert commented if I understand it correctly, we will have a public hearing for a conditional use permit on June 13th, and then the final approval.

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Concept Discussion - Richard E. Dooley, President, Red Construction

Proposed 2326 Square Foot Building Addition to Micro 1,

155 Northland Boulevard

Mr. Syfert read the letter of April 27, 1995 addressed to Mr. McErlane:

"We would like at this time to request a "Concept Approval" from the Planning Commission.

Included with this letter are five (5) copies of our Site Plan. This drawing shows the proposed 2326 square feet building addition. Please note the proximity to the property line as noted. These dimensions were provided by a registered Surveyor and Engineer, David Rayburn.

We are asking the Planning Commission to approve a variance on this proposal for these building line setbacks.

We understand the next Commission meeting is May 9th Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and we do plan to be there to answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Richard E. Dooley

President"

Mr. Dooley said that pretty well explains it, other than the fact that I brought an aerial photograph of the site that would help you visualize what we are proposing. He showed the aerial photograph to the members.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Eight

CONCEPT DISCUSSION MICRO 1 ADDITION 155 NORTHLAND BLVD.-cont.

Mr. Syfert asked if this is strictly for storage, and Mr. Dooley answered primarily. His problem right now is all his computer delivery is coming by truck to the front door, plus they are stacking them up in the office. You can hardly walk through the office.

Mr. Syfert asked if he is proposing a dock of some sort? Mr. Dooley answered no, he just has an overhead door to unload the truck in the back.

Ms. Manis asked if it would be on the existing concrete, and Mr. Dooley answered no, adjacent to it.

Mr. Wilson asked if this addition will entail more parking spaces; will we have to deal with that? Mr. Dooley responded no, we did a study on the parking, and he has sufficient parking. Mr. Wilson continued we are talking about truck deliveries. Will this increased space mean more traffic in terms of trucks? Will it also mean larger trucks? Mr. Dooley answered no, we are talking about the same size truck and the same amount of trucking. Only the truck will go around to the rear of the building instead of the front door. Mr. Wilson said and we are still talking about the same construction brick? Mr. Dooley responded identical. The roofline of the addition will be 16 foot at the top of the parapet where the existing building is 20 foot so the addition will drop down about four feet. The finish on the outside of the building will match what is there, color and everything.

Mr. Tiffany commented as you look at this picture, there is a lot of open space here, and as long as he doesnít exceed his land use, I donít see any problem with this at all.

Mr. Syfert asked if the setback were the only real issue we have? Mr. McErlane reported the setback issue will need to be addressed by the Board of Zoning Appeals. I did not want to send them to the BZA prior to coming to Planning Commission. The only other item, and we arenít sure how it applies yet until we get a legal description, is that this property is real close to an acre, and if it is over an acre, it means he needs to address water detention. Mr. Dooley reported it is over an acre. Mr. McErlane continued so that would be the other issue Planning would have to determine. Mr. Syfert asked Mr. Dooley if he has given some thought to this, and Mr. Dooley answered preliminarily we have. We have run calculations and know what the water retention requirements will be. Have we addressed them with the owner yet? No, he will not be a h appy camper. Mr. Syfert commented you understand we have to address them. I donít have a lot of problem with the proposed addition but if we have storm management, then we have to address that issue.

Mr. Wilson stated you addressed my point. I think before we go too much further, we need to address storm water retention. You may have to look at addition lighting in the rear for security reasons. The lighting and storm water detention should be addressed at the next meeting with us. That land is kind of flat and there is a concern about water retention and how that building and the water running off it will affect the parking lot and maybe even Fed-X, so I think we have to look at the total picture.

Mr. Dooley reported our concern has been the water retention off the parking lot in the rear coming over onto his property from the office building on Boggs Lane.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Nine

CONCEPT DISCUSSION BUILDING ADDITION MICRO 1 155 NORTHLAND- cont.

Mr. Wilson commented maybe you need to get with the owner there and work out something, because if the water is going to come back and impact on your building, they need to do something and you have to have an agreement with them before you start building in a flood area there.

Mr. Syfert said if we donít have any real problem with the proposed addition and the concept he is going with here, he knows he has to address the water retention. Could we not bless this tonight, and let him go on to the Board of Zoning Appeals, with the lighting and the water retention? Is there any reason to see it back?

Mr. McErlane reported we do not have any of the engineering for it yet. We havenít seen the building elevations yet. Mr. Syfert commented we have no problem with the concept then, is that safe to assume? Should we table it until next month? Iíll entertain that motion. Mr. Tiffany so moved and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the matter was tabled until the June 13th meeting.

VII. DISCUSSION

A. Temporary Signage

Mr. McErlane reported based on discussions we had last month, we modeled this after the Culver City ordinance primarily. The area is determined as 25% of the area of windows on a particular wall, or 1 square foot per 1 lineal foot of window on that wall, or 200 square feet, whichever is the least. I did make copies of some building elevations and determined what those would be. He showed the members the copies. In the majority of the cases, the 1 square foot per lineal foot of window space is the controlling factor. The only deviation in any of these was Walgreens. Because of the narrowness of the windows, 25% became the ruling factor in that. Even with Kemper Dodge, we didnít get anywhere near 200 square feet. Mr. McErlane continued the only other example I can give similar to Walgreens might be Thriftway, where they have narrow windows.

Mr. McErlane continued to go over a few of the other points involved other than square footage, the wording has been changed to require painted and internally illuminated signs to be considered permanent signs and be allocated towards their allowable square footage on their permanent signage. Essentially if they want to paint a window or if they want to put a neon sign in a window, they have to come in and get a permit for it and be allocated towards their allowable signage for the site. Any temporary signs that are attached to the outside of the buildings would be considered banner signs and would be limited to two weeks four times a year thirty days in between. To be consistent, we are modifying the temporary banner section to eliminate the window sign wording in there, and just referring to them as signs placed on the outside of the buildings. Culver City had a comment about window signs being attached to the outside of the building, and we will address those similar to banners. If they are attached to the outside, we will address them similar to the way we do now with banners. So the only window signs we would have that would fall under the 25% or the 1 square foot per lineal foot would be inside of windows. We also adopted the language that a window sign is any sign that is placed within 30 inches of a window pane on the inside, so if they have some that sets back a foot or two feet it still would be considered a window sign.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Ten

VII - DISCUSSION TEMPORARY SIGNAGE - continued

Mr. Syfert asked if he feels fairly comfortable with what you are proposing? Mr. McErlane answered I think the biggest problem with window signs in the past has been the time limitation. Mr. Syfert commented colors. Mr. McErlane responded we are not really limiting colors, but if we get into a situation where they are painted, they will require a permit and the Planning Commission chairmanís sign off on them and approval, similar to the way any permanent sign would be. So, we have some control on this; I donít know how much.

Ms. Manis commented that was my concern, say Showcase. They paint signs; are they going to come in for every movie and apply for a permit? They have to be close to over signage, so would they have to come before us every time they want to paint a sign? Mr. McErlane answered they would have to come before the Board of Zoning Appeals if they want to paint a sign if they are at their maximum limitation, which they probably are. By the time you get the reader board sign that faces Route 4 and the large pylon sign and I think they have signs on their building as well. Even though they are a large building, they probably are over. Ms. Manis asked what if they are in a PUD District; would they go to BZA? Mr. McErlane answered they would come here.

Mr. Syfert asked if there were any more questions or comments. He added I think there was pretty much unanimous agreement that we all kind of liked the way Culver City program was going, and I can see a lot of similarities here. I am of the opinion that if Mr. McErlane feels comfortable with it, and those of you that discussed it with him agree, perhaps we should recommend this to Council for adoption. Or do we need some more fine tuning on it?

Mr. McErlane stated typically when you recommend it to Council it will be referred to the President of Council and he usually passes it along to Rules and Laws to review first.

Mr. Syfert asked if he felt it was something we can work with, and Mr. McErlane indicated that he did.

Mr. Tiffany stated Bill spent a lot of time with this and Steve and I sat down with him and hashed it out for an hour or two and tried to hit every possible scenario. The 1 square foot for 1 lineal foot comes into play just about all the time. The two things we stayed away from were colors, because that would be at the discretion of the chair, and the signs on the automobiles as far as the painting on their windows. But that is a painted window sign in my opinion. Everything else, I think you did a great job coming up with this and getting it all figured out, and Iím real comfortable with it.

Ms. Manis said I have to express my opinion that the normal people I have talked to, asking them what they think about window signs, theyíve all said, huh, who cares? And basically that is how I feel also. I think when you are up here and are tuned to it, they seem to bother you more. I will take this from Rules and Laws and recommend it to Council, but I probably will vote no on it altogether. Mr. Tiffany commented in my opinion the reason most people are indifferent to it is because it has become such a gradual eyesore. All these signs and garbage out there did not go up overnight. It has come on very gradually, the same way Beechmont Avenue and Colerain Avenue did.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Eleven

VII DISCUSSION - TEMPORARY SIGNAGE - continued

Mr. Tiffany stated personally that is one of the things that the Commission should pride itself on, the fact that we have had the foresight and planning to not end up a Colerain Avenue or Beechmont Avenue. I think this is a good step in the right direction to insure against those things. I agree with you that most people probably would say, what? because it is such a gradual process; I could see that. I would like to make the motion that we recommend this to Council. Mr. Sullivan seconded the motion.

Mr. Wilson commented to an extent I agree with Peggy, because a lot of people could care less, but then most people could care less until it actually affects them personally. Then they want to make an issue out of it. I have to agree with Barry in that we have to set some parameters. I wish we had done this years ago with parking lots so we wouldnít have that problem with Drug Emporium. It appears thereís nothing we can do about it at this juncture, so I feel we need to set these parameters. We also have a degree of flexibility it seems, it is quite obvious that there is flexibility in everything we do, but we have guidelines, just like the Route 4 Corridor Study. I feel we need to move on with this, have it set in place. How we interpret it may have to be on an individual basis , but at least there are guidelines and I think that is important. So letís move on with this and pass it on to Council for hopefully an affirmative vote.

Mr. Galster added not only the aesthetics of it, but the safety and police issues should be mentioned. I believe we are trying to get it down to a manageable level. We looked at a lot of scenarios, and there are not a lot of people that will be affected a tremendous amount. The way I look at it, we will get rid of the big painted signs. You still will be able to have some window display, the UDF type things will be fine, and I think we are accomplishing both purposes. I like it; I think Bill did a good job with it.

On the motion to adopt, voting aye were Mr. Blake, Mr. Galster, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Tiffany, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Syfert. Ms. Manis voted no, and the motion was adopted by a vote of 6 to 1, and will be recommended to Council.

Mr. Blake stated I would like to get a follow up on the improvement of landscaping at Perkins. Cecil was going to talk to them about this. Mr. Osborn reported I contacted Bob Sears, and he made an appointment with Mr. Perkins and a representative of Ohio Department of Transportation. I do not know the outcome the meeting, but Mr. Sears understands what we want to accomplish there, and I wanted to get a report back from him today, but he is in a conference. I know he is working on it.

Ms. Manis said I noticed the other day driving by there that it is starting to look better, at least up by the building. There is an ugly dumpster out back; is that temporary from the remodeling, or is that always there? Mr. McErlane reported it always has been there.

Planning Commission adjourned the meeting to Ram FX at 8:07 p.m.

Planning Commission reconvened at Ram FX, 240 Donald Drive, Fairfield at 8:50 P.M.

Chairman Syfert stated the applicant is looking for concept approval this evening. With us tonight are Dick Morris and Steven King.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Twelve

IX. CONCEPT APPROVAL - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Morris stated you were very gracious to come out here and I appreciate it. Most of you have seen the original design, the clay model based on major city planning principles, respecting the ground, respecting the city and all these kind of things. From this conceptual model which was physical at the same time came the execution of it at the next level. This next level is larger in scale and looks more dedicated. The rationale behind it - to me it was always the land, the respect for the land. We got aerials, and you can see we didnít want to do more of whatever is up here (showed on aerial photo). This was about respecting this piece and responding to a lot of the details that didnít get into play with most of the developments I have seen. So it is about the land. It was about the city, respecting Springdale. This is a Springdale solution; it is not a cosmic solution that would fit in anywhere. I read your Corridor Study and respected what was put in place and I saw it as a city gate. So, this was to be a noble cause on the perimeter of Cincinnati. I happen to think that the Cincinnati center is where we are and not so much down where they think it is. If we actually believe that, awe would act out something noble enough to redefine that. So it wasnít just another box, another 250 feet in a cloud of dust. This was a whole idea.

Mr. Morris continued Steve was able to connect together the behind the scenes land premise, so we basically have all the other parcels connected up so it can be a whole project. We have had Avon in here, and they have responded well to the project. Last week we went to their cafeteria, and they wanted to know what it would look like if they were in their cafeteria looking out at the project. We are putting composites together so they can see that this is very nonthreatening in regards as to what will happen next to them.

Mr. Morris stated it was about a timeless plan. This is at least 100 years ahead of its time, but the buildings will last 300 years. Look at some of the oldest homes, and youíll find if they are maintained, buildings last 300 years. Whether they are viable in terms of what is in them is something else, but this was not driven by what was going on inside these buildings. The regular Springdale people donít understand what goes on inside buildings; they see what is going on on the outside and that is their environment, just like their neighborhood. So the concept was neighborhood and this is to be complementary to the entire city and not just one user who needs to build a big box and say he is going to do great things on the inside and all of a sudden his great things donít work out and youíre left over with a big box. Mr. Morris continued so this is about aesthetics, external aesthetics.

Mr. Morris stated It was to be a model plan and a model process, and this is about making your process tougher. This is about a model process to get better quality projects in Springdale, period. It had to have visual dynamics to it.

Mr. Morris continued on the softer side, it was pedestrian, because it is about people. There are bike trails and walking trails in here. The concept of the trail itself is one that should be sequenced. Once you have a project of this degree, there are neat things that come along with the details. The dynamics behind this thinking is called theoaesthetics, the theology of aesthetics. The theology of aesthetics is a subconscious motor in all of us that determines why we appreciate things.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Thirteen

CONCEPT APPROVAL OF PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Morris continued there are two reasons why we appreciate things, and the older we get the more we understand. One is based on sensual immediacy, sensuousness and the immediate recognition of it. So when you come up to this place you say this is a nice looking place; this is a well-conceived place, without knowing anything about it, you like it. Itís part of the designerís responsibility to put that in every project. The second tier to that is called abstract reflection. In other words we are smart enough to figure out why we like it after we first liked it. This should answer abstract questions just as much as it should answer immediate questions. Itís called theoaesthetics.

M. Morris reported the concept is based on in-user viability. We donít want anybody here that canít be in here. This is not about engineering in uses; this is about presenting a place worthy enough for people who want to come to Cincinnati and want to be here. This meeting tonight is about you allowing us to take that message, that the project is conceptually accepted to some in-users now. We are going to this Las Vegas show where a lot of basic deals are made with retailers, and we are going to take the model to Las Vegas so they can see that this is a worthy enough cause and they should be a part of it. So we are looking for quality people with quality signs and quality efforts that we are trying to put in, because that automatically has an attractiveness about it all by itself. If you do a good job, you might attract good people. Itís that simple. Quality attracts quality.

Mr. Morris stated we need your recognition; that is what this meeting is about. We need it because this is a team effort and a partnership. We are trying to bring our portion of the equation to the table, and now we are asking your permission to recognize what we have done, and if awe have done an noble enough job to let us go to the next stage. Itís really is a function of talking through this whole thing, because the bet is that you canít do this nice a job. It needs all the viable parts in order to do it, so itís not just about a dream. Itís about acting out the reality of that. Itís not about us not understanding how to manifest reality; itís taking all these components to put them together to make the whole thing move on something of this scale. So we are asking for a recognition of what we have done, and can we go to the next level? Does anybody have any direct answers on any category at any level? This balloon isnít a permanent thing; it takes off and is gone most of the time.

Mr. Tiffany commented Bill and I talked this week and the leaves on top of the building are shingle applications to get this look. It may seem to some people a little too extreme. Mr. Morris responded because I tried to mimic the residential cut to the homes in Springdale, this is a homelike thing; it is a composite. Weíre not talking about verticality here. What do you remember about Union Terminal? The mosaics on the walls, and they became cherished. The concept here is these roofs become an extension of the land, and I can help break down the massing of whatever kind of roof we would use. The incongruity between the metal and the shingles; the shingles and the leaves become mosaics, so it is on my shoulders to get all these shingles with all these shades, and it is an artisan based group. This is a thing that is in a big favor here; it is not developer driven or retail driven; it is artisan driven and I have had a lot of positive response from architects who are active in this community and others. Their clients donít let them do that, but since I am part of the ownership dynamic of this thing, I am the client. Very little has to be passed by anybody to be rejected from that particular end.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Fourteen

CONCEPT APPROVAL - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Morris continued my point was this whole thing is a contribution to the community, because itís going to be here after everybodyís gone. What is basically left over is what I am interested in, and it could be conceived and put in place in the very beginning if the right mix is right. We have to have the right tenants, the right use mix, and the right market dynamics. These big box things arenít bad ideas. Bookstores used to be 2500 square feet and now the consumer wants more when he arrives at a place; thatís the destination retailer.

Mr. Morris reported this is designed with all the current dynamics of what the marketing represents, but even if that all changed, the place stays the same. Itís like a wonderful house; the families can come and go, but the houses remain intact and have a life all their own. I am interested in buildings and the lives of the buildings and the continuation of their life, much like you did with the city building. You were concerned with the ongoingness of the city building.

Mr. Steven King added the main aspect we are asking for in the concept approval tonight is the visual nature of the project. We are not trying to focus in on exactly whether we have two decks of parking over here or four decks over here or this roof in the middle building could be 20 feet higher or 20 feet lower. We are not trying to pin down all of the details of the project as much as we are the visual aspect. We would like concept approval visually of this type of development. We have considered Avon in the design and weíve considered the lines of the property and what the people will see driving by and what the people will see living and working and shopping here. So, the visual aspect is the concept approval we are seeking tonight.

Mr. Osborn asked them to provide us with some photographs of this. They donít have to be in extreme detail, but we need to have some record of what Planning Commission looked at.

Mr. Morris responded we are doing that as we speak. Tomorrow this will be packed up and shipped to Las Vegas. We are taking a whole series of photographs tomorrow. We are taking photographs for Avon now to satisfy their perspective of what they will see. Mr. King added we can provide this for the record.

Mr. Osborn added with the stipulation that we are not giving approval to specific details of this plan, but more the overall architectural style and

the land use density.

Mr. Morris continued part of that is relevant because so many people say weíre going to do that and try to get somebody to come into that. With this thing, I am making all these promises to Springdale and the principle is that I am absolutely in control. In other words, I donít care who you are, Iím in control of the project. This is to the tenant, itís to anybody who even comes close to this thing. Since I made the promises, Iím going to deliver. Now the key is simultaneously letís talk about what your needs are. I told you guys the first time we met that I wasnít going to come back and bring anything that wasnít of noble cause. When I went from that to this, I think I demonstrated that there was very little deviation from quality. My point is one day Iíll go from this to that model that you see right there.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Fifteen

CONCEPT APPROVAL - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. Morris said to get it from Point A to Point B in the transfer I want to put in the dynamics of this current retailing. I went to L.A. a couple of weeks ago to a retail seminar on the next retailing. There were 1500 people in the room and they were trying to figure out what to do next, and none of them had a clue. This is visionary and real simultaneously. Our next connection is to tie up the retail people. Weíve had a stream of retail people through here already, and weíve not had any negative reaction to it. One of the things that is positive is we were able to say that the City of Springdale recognizes that this is a good project. So many times people say they are working with the city, or they donít know yet. They are coming from what is the least amount they can do to get past you guys, and Iím saying whatís the most I can do to allow you guys to make a conscious decision on a long term concept that will be good for the city. My interest has always been that. I think this whole town should be conceived under this same methodology. This is about what is being done, and there are so many terrible things visually that arenít complementary and they should be.

Mr. McErlane said I realize this is still a conceptual model, but in terms of scale, what would you say the approximate height of these buildings are? Mr. Morris answered we are dealing with two and three level buildings so you are talking 14 or 15 feet, maybe four decks. At the most you would be dealing with 45 feet plus the roofs. Mr. King added the higher you take the pitch on the roof the taller it will go, so it could be 80 feet and just three floors. Mr. McErlane commented I was guessing the scale to be 75 to 80 feet. Mr. Morris added my point is weíll bring the buildings back to you one at a time. They have to go through the planning process. Because of the model concept of the whole project and the process, Iím very interested in making sure that you guys are completely comfortable with the whole thing. The idea would be to get it as close to this as possible if this is not exactly it. Iím not deviating from this one ounce until guys start coming back to me the other way. Iím challenging them to go to their next level, where they really want to go.

Mr. King added we are not asking retailers to build another one of their chain stores. We are asking them to build where they are going to take their chain - what the next store is, the next concept. You have seen the bookstores go from 1200 square feet and now the guy weíre talking to is talking about a 35,000 sure foot bookstore. He wants to do the next bookstore, not the one he just did. Any retailer we deal with, we want to deal with the next thing that they do, not the last thing.

Mr. Tiffany commented the professionalism is great; we appreciate the process. It has been very enjoyable and with that in mind, I would like to make a motion to grant visual concept approval. Mr. Blake seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and visual concept approval was granted unanimously.

Mr. Osborn commented I canít help but notice the design of the neon over there. So we can clear up any issues, I have to confess that I perceived those neon rays to be lit all at the same time. The reason I raise this issue is because we have prohibited flashing signs, and I think we need to get an opinion from Planning Commission on this. Would it impede the appearance of the unit if it were not ringed?

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 May 1995

Page Sixteen

CONCEPT APPROVAL - PICTORIA ISLAND - continued

Mr. King said no, obviously there is so much going on with this sign that it canít hurt it, realistically. Mr. Morris added to me it was acting out a full idea. If you take 5% off itís still 95%. I did not think about what you werenít allowed to do when it came to that. Thatís why I made it purple, just a gentle thing that went up the shaft to reflect the shaft, thatís all. It wasnít to try to call any obnoxious type of thing to it. It was supposed to be sophisticated and to me it was not like a strobe light to say here I am. There are only four rings, and it was gently to go up, as a cool thing. Mr. Galster asked if the globe would light once it came to the top, or would the globe always be on? Mr. King answered it would be a purple glow on top; the purple light would be lit constantly. Mr. Morris added it would stay lit; this is just a building up process.

Mr. Osborn said again, this was my read on it. Ms. Manis commented I remembered that it went up. Mr. Tiffany commented Bill and I were talking as we walked in, and neither of us remembered it moving. Ms. Manis said it may have been the way they said it.

Mr. Morris added this whole thing comes up from the bottom. If you donít want it to go bing bing bing, itís okay with me. I would like to do it if I could, but if you think it is something that would start something, that is okay.

Mr. Osborn commented I think there is a lot of room for discretion here. I raised the issue so there is no misunderstanding later on. Mr. Morris added I donít want anybody surprised. I want your 100% consensus here. You just tell me what you want to do; thatíll be fine.

Mr. Osborn said flashing signs are not permitted under the code, are they? Mr. McErlane confirmed that they are not.

Ms. Manis said letís stay away from it for now. Mr. Syfert added I think we should. Letís keep them stationery. Mr. Morris said no problem.

Mr. Tiffany moved for adjournment and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

______________________, 1995 _________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

______________________, 1995 __________________________

Steve Galster, Secretary