PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
JUNE 10, 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, Carolyn Ghantous, Lawrence Hawkins III, and Tom Vanover

Members Absent: Steve Galster

Others Present: Don Shvegzda, City Engineer, Jonathon Wocher representing Anne McBride, City Planner and Bill McErlane, Building Official


III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF MAY 13, 2008

A motion was made to adopt the Planning Commission Minutes from May 13, 2008 by Dave Okum, Tom Vanover seconded the motion and the Minutes were adopted.

IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

(Mr. Vanover stated no business to report from the last Council Meeting.)

V. CORRESPONDENCE
a. Zoning Bulletin – May 10, 2008
b. Zoning Bulletin – May 25, 2008
c. Zoning Bulletin – June 10, 2008

VI. OLD BUSINESS

(Chairman Butrum stated no old business to report.)

VII. NEW BUSINESS

A. REVISED LANDSCAPE PLAN BALDWIN GROVE 11111 SPRINGFIELD PIKE

Richard Rust, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority; I have been in this position just since December, prior to that time I was CMHA’s Chief Legal Council. I have been involved in the Baldwin Grove project from the beginning. Originally planned the project was going to cost approximately $14,000,000., we are now at the point where we are exceeding those costs by, at least, $2,000,000. and are approaching $4,000,000. Part of our cost over-run on this project resulted because the acquisition cost to us was higher than originally anticipated because on the site was discovered some underground storage tanks that we didn’t know were there. After the City’s participation in the acquisition of the land, after the maximum exposure was reached, we picked up the excess which included a substantial portion of the cost of those underground storage tanks.
We have encountered additional construction costs due to soil conditions; the developer that was selected also resulted in significant cost over-run.
The building has been built according to the specifications as approved by the City of Springdale with one exception, and that is the site improvement – the landscaping. We did make some changes because of the appearance of the site. What is on the site is less than what was approved by the Planning Commission. We are asking for an amendment to the landscaping plan, to accept what is on site presently as to what was originally proposed. We have exhausted all of the other possibilities that we have to try to find funding to complete the landscape plan as originally proposed; and frankly put we are just out of money.
The building is quite impressive, it is 97% occupied and the residents are thrilled with it.
We are at the step where we have to reach permanent debt financing. The private debt component is about 1.6 million dollars and we have to achieve permanent financing of that amount to pay off the construction loan and to receive the low income housing tax credits that will pay off the balance of the construction loan. We have to achieve financing as close to June 30th of this year as possible.

Mike Koch, Design Manager for CMHA stepped forward at this time: The landscaping plan that was originally shown was very aggressive; it had a lot of plantings. We can’t do that much, the money is just not there. The site itself, we are digging into rock; a lot of the plantings that we did we had to jack hammer a hole into rock just to put the trees in place to begin with. We have a landscaper out there right now, Jeffrey Allen, replacing trees. We also have shifted one of our own staff up there and his sole task this summer was to keep things alive – water things on a regular basis, fertilize and to replace plants that die.

Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments: The following are comments on documents submitted May 28, 2008. The property is zoned Public Facilities – Medium Density (PF-M). The development Plan was approved by Planning Commission on September 9, 2003. The applicant has presented a revised landscape plan.

Tree replanting on the approved development plan is as follows:
CATEGORY I
Overstory HardwoodsCATEGORY II
EvergreensCATEGORY III
Ornamentals242.5”489”128”Total859.5”
    Required replanting is 850”

The revised plan shows tree replanting as follows:
CATEGORY I
Overstory HardwoodsCATEGORY II
EvergreensCATEGORY III
Ornamentals113.2”505.9”142”Total761.1”
    The revised plan shows 88.9’” less than the required replanting
1. Only a limited number of foundation plantings are shown on the revised plan.
2. No aquatic plants are shown to be planted at the pond’s edge.
3. Some of the trees are shown planted on the adjacent property (Springdale Church of the Nazarene).
4. The following is a summary of other landscape material:

DECIDUOUS SHRUBSApproved PlanNameRevised Plan211Allegheny Viburnum11030Burning Bush5054Green Velvet Boxwood5934Henry’s Garnet Itea058Redtwig Dogwood312Texas Scarlet Quince00Shrub Rose410Barberry120Rose of Sharon40Hawthorne20Cotoneaster11399Totals292EVERGREEN SHRUBSApproved PlanNameRevised Plan6Globe Blue Spruce020Japanese Garden Juniper03Taxus Capatata020Taxus Hicksi0304Taxus Runyan087Virginia Creeper00Golden Tip Juniper1070Chinese Juniper450Sea Green Juniper400Taxus1080Kasan Pyracantha40Arborvitaes30Sky Rocket Juniper21440Totals328PERENNIALSApproved PlanNameRevised Plan260Big Blue Liriope110130Blackeyed Susan0154Dwarf Fountain Grass1612Hosta Royal3734Maiden Grass80Daylily140Fern8590Totals193
AQUATIC PLANTSApproved PlanNameRevised Plan30Dwarf Cattail030Fabiola (Lily)030Graziella (Lily)030Iris0120Totals0
Mr. Hawkins: The site will not support any more caliper inches?

Mr. McErlane: There are some places where some additional trees could be planted, I’m not sure that you could get back up to the 88.9 inches that it is short.

Anne McBride’s Staff report was presented by Jonathon Wocher: The applicant had a Landscape Plan that was approved conceptually by the Planning Commission and approved by Staff on September 24, 2004. The approved plan provided for a total of 859.5 caliper inches of trees along with a mixture of shrubs (440), perennials (590), and aquatic plants (120). The approved Landscape Plan exceeded the requirements of the City in terms of site landscaping.
The applicant is requesting approval of a landscape plan that has a reduction in plant material with 761.1 caliper inches of trees, 620 shrubs, 193 perennials, and no aquatic plants. The most significant changes are in the elimination of the majority of building foundation plantings, plantings surrounding the retention basin, plantings adjacent to the entrance and parking areas.
Staff visited the site and made suggestions where additional plant material was absolutely needed to screen mechanical equipment and this material has been installed. Should the revised Landscape Plan be approved, it needs to be modified to reflect the average size and /or caliper inches at planting of the deciduous shrubs, evergreen shrubs and perennials. The planting sizes for those materials need to match the Landscape Plan approved on November 24, 2004.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Wocher, break that down, what exactly are you saying that you want in the motion to tie to this.

Mr. Wocher: Staff isn’t proposing any more plant material; we are requesting that the table be completed as necessary. The sizes that are indicated on the proposed plan should reflect the sizes that were approved for that quantity for that material. We want the table to indicate the size of the plant material that was installed; and those should be the same sizes.

Mr. Vanover: Just a clarification, under deciduous trees they are listing a Blue Spruce, and the last time I checked a Blue Spruce is a conifer as would equal the Norway Spruce, so while they are correcting that needs to be corrected, too.

Mr. Okum: I am disappointed that no one from this development came to the City or to the Planning Commission and said we want to redo the landscape plan. I am also very concerned that you had to bring a staffing person in from another development to maintain this. We are concerned that are we going to have dying trees, lack of maintenance and a poorly kept development.

Richard Rust: The person that we brought in from the other development temporarily will be at this location; he is completing his degree. He is quite accomplished in landscape maintenance. The maintenance person who is assigned to this development does not have that training. The temporary person who is there is to install the permanent watering systems to maintain the plantings and train the full time person who will be at this development, strictly at Baldwin Grove, to teach him how to do it. We do have a full time grounds crew that includes, I think it is about a dozen people. But as far as full time person there everyday to handle the general site clean up, getting the grass cut and maintaining the exterior of the property, it is one full time person.

Mr. Okum: And that one full time person is committed to this project and this project only?

Richard Rust: Correct.
Concerning the financing, if we didn’t have this building placed in service by December 31st, 2007 we would have lost the tax credits. The tax credits are awarded and your financing is put together before you start building. We didn’t receive authorization from HUD to use the HUD funds until March of 2007; how we were paying all the bills was with interim construction loan from 5/3 Bank and with interim construction loans through Fannie Mae. As the cost kept going up and the additional cost were rolling in we will continue to cover it. A good part of these increased costs occurred because the contractor could not finish the building on time. We had to move tenants in that building in the Fall of 2007. We had tenants moving into it on November 5th – the “A” and “B” wings. We did what it took to get it done. But in light of the difficulties that were handed to us by a very poor performing contractor, we did what needed to be done. All along I have got to say the City of Springdale did everything with us and for us that they said they would do.
I would like to say something about putting plantings on the Church property, which was in cooperation with the Church property. During the construction we needed to place some of the construction trailers and some of the debris on the corner of their property up by the street and they graciously allowed us to do that and they allowed the contractor to park in their parking lot during the week when they weren’t needing it for services. In return for that we did clean out some brush and planted plantings on their property.

Mr. Okum: Except for some starkness of a few things that face Springfield Pike, I think it is a little skimped, but I think it will grow in some. I think it has some opportunity for some growth, as long as it is maintained. There are a few things that I would like to see, a plan from you and your arborist that they might be able to do some vines over the wall surrounding the retention basin; let them drape over. The foundation exposures are pretty bold, but I think that we may have to do it a little bit at a time and maybe you could come up with some kind of five year plan for something on the development. Maybe you do have a planting budget for all of your development and you could say in 2009 we are going to commit so much to the Baldwin Development in new plantings. I think your courtyard is going to grow and be very lush, it is very nice. If we could just help the Route 4 area; I notice that you have some issues around your dumpster enclosure which is partially seen by your neighbor. There are some bags of mulch that have been dropped in against the evergreens and there is another tree behind it that looks like it got hit by a storm or something and probably just needs to be cleaned out. I noticed an evergreen that is about halfway down the wall on the back of the hill; the public doesn’t see this but the wall is pushing in and you need to look at that because something is going on. If you could put together something that could help over time and make a commitment to. You do have one tree, the large evergreen to the south side out on Route 4, it is going to need some nurturing because it doesn’t look good.
I don’t want Staff to have to go back to you every year and say your plantings are not growing or dying off you are going to have to replant and then you are going to say, “We don’t have the money for it.”
As far as the 88.9”, looking at the site I am very forgiving on that point, I think the lush green areas the openness is good too; I think when you put too many trees on a site sometimes it is too much, I’m fairly happy with how your trees are, if we could deal with the retaining pond issues, the wall and the Route 4 exposure and the other issues. I am fairly comfortable if you come up with a plan for maintaining something maybe over 5 years so that you are going to make a certain commitment.

Mr. Rusk: A mixed finance development has to stand on its own. We can’t take funding from other developments and put it in to Baldwin Grove, but at the same time we can’t take funding from Baldwin Grove and put it someplace else. Because of its high occupancy the rental income is very predictable because 58 of the units are project based vouchers; we know what the rental income is going to be before we even put a tenant in there. There are 40 units that are public housing the HUD subsidy level is known upfront, we know what that is going to be and for the two units that are at market rate, those are the only variables.
So providing for replacement reserve for landscaping should not be a problem with that development at all. We will have very predictable income and expenses.

Mr. Vanover: As far as the pond, the right plantings will help the water quality and you won’t get that scum and algae mat. It will also help protect the water quality as the geese show up and contribute to the water quality issues there.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Rusk, do you have any problem when you are doing your design for your plantings or going to do your plantings that those plantings be submitted to the Staff for consultation prior to that.

Mr. Rusk: Absolutely, yes.

Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion to approve the Baldwin subdivision revised landscaping plan with the following conditions:
1. It shall include City Planner’s recommendations with additional conditions that should include the table completed with the average sizes as originally submitted for the items listed.
2. The landscaping, in general, a good faith budget will be set on a yearly basis for new plantings of aquatics, evergreens and deciduous shrubs in the public right of way site line areas of the development. A budget will be set on a yearly basis for replacement of damaged and dying landscaping.
3. All new plantings will be submitted to Springdale Staff for review and consultation prior to planting.
4. Each year’s budget will be expensed to the areas designated.
5. Special attention will be set to the public right of way exposures including but not limited to foundation plantings, retaining wall surrounding the pond.
6. A commitment in writing from CMHA shall be required along with this motion.

    Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

Mr. Hawkins polled the Board and with a 6-0 vote the revised landscape plan for Baldwin Grove subdivision was approved.




B. EXTERIOR MATERIAL CHANGES AT CINCINNATI SPORTS MEDICINE – 12115 SHERATON LANE

Richard Hunter, Architect of Cincinnati Sports Medicine stepped forward –
The project is basically interior/exterior remodeling of Cincinnati Sports Medicine. The exterior was primarily a maintenance issue; the exterior siding is deteriorating and they are replacing the single pane windows with more energy efficient double-hung windows and they are raising some of the sills to be more functional to the interior.     We examined multiple alternatives for the exterior and decided on the cement-board, lap-board siding. When Staff reviewed it they had requested that the amount of stone be increased. The foundation on this building has a 45 degree cut right at the siding and will not support additional full thickness stone veneer. Any landscaping that is damaged will be removed and replaced with like-size. Someone mentioned the existence of some orange cones on the site that were disrupting the traffic; those were placed by someone else, one of the other owners in the PUD.

Mr. McErlane read the Staff report.
Mr. Jonathon Wocher read Anne McBride’s Staff report.

Mr. Okum: Replacing T-111 with Hardy siding, you are talking 110% improvement on the building fašade; and the builder’s commitment from the applicant to replace any shrubbery that is damaged. I will be supporting this request.

Mr. Bauer: The properties that are to the south, they have brick fašade with that stone?

Mr. McErlane: A majority are also a wood siding with a stone veneer.

Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion to approve the exterior changes to Cincinnati Sports Medicine at 12115 Sheraton Lane be approved based upon the submission of the drawings and comments from Staff.

Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

Mr. Hawkins polled the Planning Commission Members and with a 6-0 vote the request was approved.

VIII. DISCUSSION

There were no items of discussion.

IX. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Chairman Butrum reported that during his absence, Dave Okum, Planning Commission Vice-Chair signed approvals for signage at the Vineyard Church and The Vineyard Healing Center / Youth Ministry.

So, with that, I’ll accept a motion for adjournment.

X. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Dave Okum seconded the motion and the Planning Commission adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary