Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

7:00 P.M.

 

 

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Jim Young, Councilman Robert Wilson, David Okum,

Councilman Steve Galster, Robert Seaman, Richard

Huddleston, and Chairman Syfert.

Others Present: Doyle H. Webster, Mayor

Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator

Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

William K. McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, City Planner

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 13 MAY 1997

Mr. Syfert asked for additions and corrections; there were none and they were

approved as rendered.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. May 14, 1997 Letter to Randy Danbury from Bob Seaman re

Charing Cross Phase 1 Revised

B. May 14, 1997 Letter to Randy Danbury re Zoning Change

Concerning Parking of RVís

C. May l7, 1997 Letter from Regional Planning Commission re Policy

D. May 19, 1997 Memo to Anne McBride from Cecil W. Osborn with

Summary of Responses to McClellans Lane Property Owners Survey

E. board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes - 15 April 1997

V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Judith Muehlenhard of Pine Gardens Landominium requests approval of

screened in patios and screened in decks for their development on Princewood Court (tabled 4/8/97 and 5/13/97)

Ms. Muehlenhard stated we have submitted a new landscape plan that shows the additional screening suggested by Planning Commission last time. We have added extra trees and shrubbery on the easte rn side of the property line near the residential homes. We also have met all the requirements suggested for the screened porches as far as more than 50% screening, and the units will not be heated or air conditioned in any way. There will be no kind of window area other than full screens. The exterior of the units will be in siding as suggested and there would be a size limitation on Units 7 and 8 11 and 16 to no larger than 10íx 12í and the remainder of the homes on the commercial side could have a screened decks or patios up to 10í x 26í if the purchaser desires.

Mr. Shvegzda stated the mound behind Units 7 and 8 has been moved back to the original position and size. The mound at the sides of Units 11 and 16 has been extended by eight feet. In comparison to the originally approved plans, in terms of elevation difference between either the finished floor elevation or the roadway elevation, as far as the approved plan versus the actual as built condition, there is some deficiency in the height. Mr. Syfert wondered what the deficiency was and Mr. Shvegzda answered the most critical is at the end of the private drive where four foot height of the mound was to be established. The as built elevations indicate one side of that private drive is 2.8 feet and the other is 1.8 feet.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Two

V A PINE GARDENS LANDOMINIUMS SCREENED IN PATIOS & DECKS-continued

Ms. McBride reported that they have reduced the size of proposed enclosures on both Units 7 and 8. Number seven would be an 11í x 10í and number eight would be 9í x 10í. The rest of the units are proposed at 10í x 26í. On Unit 8, the proposed enclosure actually touches the toe of the proposed berm which might make maintenance difficult in that area if that is to occur.

Ms. McBride stated that the other item new to the report is at the previous meeting there had been some discussion that some cedar trees had been removed behind Units 14 15 and 16. The applicant had indicated that they would be installing new evergreens and those did not show up on any of the plans we received.

Ms. McBride added this goes back to our original discussion about whether or not the Commission wants to determine that it is acceptable to encroach this enclosure into the established setbacks as we approved on the original plan. Section 153.037(C) of the Code clearly states "an enclosed entry or porch shall not project into any required yard area." That is up to the Commission, but one potential compromise I suggested was that the enclosures on Units 9 10 and 11 are internally oriented and donít impact any of the yards setbacks we established so there would be no objection to moving forward with those three enclosures. The Commission should think carefully before we encroach into those established setbacks.

Mr. Young asked if Units 9 10 and 11 were the only three units you were recommending that we approve? Ms. McBride said yes, adding that those are the three internally oriented and an enclosure would not impact any of the setbacks. Mr. Galster said Unit 11 is sideways to the back property line, so it still will be visible from those rear properties. Ms. McBride answered it would be visible, but it wouldnít be encroaching, so I didnít have quite as much concern with that.

Mr. Okum said my understanding is these are all individually owned units; it is not a landominium with one development and one owner. Would that setback requirement apply to 9, 10 and 11 and all the other units if we are looking at that under Subdivision Regulations? Ms. McBride said no because when we approved this we approved the development plan and we established perimeter setback. Part of that was to protect the development itself from surrounding land uses and part was to protect existing single family residences from the proposed development, to create an adequate buffer zone for both the development and surrounding land uses.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said one item regarding the trees that were removed and their replacement; why was that not put on the plan? Ms. Muehlenhard responded it was; we moved them to the east side of the property; I think there were 10 pine trees added plus shrubbery on the mound for additional screening. It will be so thick that they probably will be cutting them back in five years. It is extremely thick back there now. Also the trees taken out originally were scrub trees. We were aware of the fact that more trees could be added and we were glad to do that. Mr. Okum asked the size of the trees that they are planting, and Chris Smith answered they are the same 2 inch caliper 10 feet in height as required throughout the development. Mr. McErlane added if you go with a 10 foot evergreen it typically would be bigger than a 2 inch tree. Mr. Okum said the 10 foot high is the critical issue but it doesnít say that on here.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Three

V A PINE GARDENS LANDOMINIUMS SCREENED IN PATIOS & DECKS-continued

Mr. Okum asked if they were wooden structures built on a deck or built on a foundation and Mr. Smith answered they are built on a foundation. We are going with all vinyl siding which was one of the requests of Planning.

Mr. Wilson commented Ms. McBride expressed a concern about maintenance which you are responsible for in term of cutting the grass, and the edge of two of the enclosures would be very close to the berm. Mr. Smith responded it is right where the toe starts. Those berms are on a 3 to 1 slope which is not steep at all, so maintenance will not be a problem. Ms. Muehlenhard added they can cut around that with no problem.

Mr. Huddleston commented relative to the Commissionís concern about adding "living space" versus a porch enclosure, is that enforceable as it is proposed under Anneís recommendation or should it be a deed covenant? Mr. McErlane responded I would recommend that the covenants be amended, because they currently say the only thing that can encroach into the required setbacks are decks and patios. The covenants need to be amended to some degree anyway. Ms. Muehlenhard added I think I said we would do that in the paper I submitted to you.

Mr. Okum said you indicated that youíve added an extensive number of trees but the drawing says seven. Mr. Smith responded seven trees and shrubbery on top of that mound all the way down the length of the mound. Mr. Okum asked the shrubbery and Mr. Smith answered an evergreen to thicken that fencing that we are trying to create so you donít have visibility there. Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Okum wondered if we need to be more specific about the foliage material on the berm. Ms. McBride answered we could specify that at a later date. I would want to check with one of our landscape architects if you want a specific recommendation on that. Mr. Okum commented if we were to make a motion I would encourage it be based on a landscape architectís consideration and approval through Ms. McBrideís offices.

Mr. Galster moved to accept the screened in enclosures for Units 9, 10 and 11 with the provision for proper landscaping in reference to the landscaping to the east side of the property and to change the covenants to reflect the fact that they will not be used as living space. Mr. Okum asked if that included the landscape architectís review and Mr. Galster indicated that it did. Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. Mr. Syfert added and you referenced only Units 9 10 and 11.

Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Young, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Seaman Mr. Okum and Mr. Syfert. Motion was granted with seven affirmative votes. Mr. Muehlenhard asked about addressing the other units.

Mr. Galster moved to allow screened in porches for all units based on the same landscape architectís review and the change in the covenants. Mr. Young seconded the motion. Mr. Okum asked if this were an overlay of the last motion and Mr. Galster responded this is a separate motion so that we can definitively define whether or not they would be considered for the other units.

Mr. Okum commented we have approved Units 9 10 and 11. My biggest concerns are the requests for Units 7 and 8. I donít have a whole lot of problem with the other units that abut the commercial area, but I do have a problem with Units 7 and 8. If the motion stands on the entire complex, Iíll hear the question and make my vote.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Four

V A PINE GARDENS LANDOMINIUM SCREENED IN PATIOS & DECKS-continued

On the motion, no one voted aye and Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Young, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Okum and Mr. Syfert voted no. Mr. Syfert addressing the applicant said you have approval for Units 9 10 and 11.

Mr. Syfert said I have a message that the National Amusementsí plane was to arrive at 6 p.m. and they requested if they are not present to move them to the end of the meeting.

B. Rebecca Crowe and Jason W. Paul request transfer of variance to allow partial conversion of garage at 478 Maple Circle Drive - tabled 5/13/97

Ms. Crowe reported that on June 9th the Condominium Association had a board meeting and I requested a permanent variance from them formally. This is the agreement we came to with the board. They denied my request for the permanent variance based on the fact that in the future they wouldnít know how the new resident would use this space, i.e. a bedroom or use it as it is now. Also they did not want to set an uncontrolled precedent so other unit owners would be able to do this.

Mr. McErlane provided me with a letter that had an informal statement on it from the president of the board in 1984, and he had written that the board had approved this. Based on that, the current board agreed to compromise with me and allow a temporary variance with the conditions that were set forth with Susan Young. In addition to those conditions, if I were to rent or lease the unit it would be converted back to a garage. I am willing to agree to this temporary variance even though I initially requested a permanent one. Mr. Syfert said to clarify, this is a temporary variance as long as you are a resident. Ms. Crowe indicated that is correct, adding that if we were to either sell it or lease it we would convert it back to a garage.

Mr. Okum said all the actions taken on this in 1984 and forward were by the Board of Zoning Appeals. This is a PUD and typically this would come to Planning Commission. Why now and why not then? Mr. McErlane reported that in 1988 it was realized that this needed to come before Planning Commission, which is the last time this board acted on it. Between 1984 and 1988 Board of Zoning Appeals acted on it annually.

Mr. Okum asked if according to the covenants on that site, does this body have the right to act on that variance? Mr. McErlane responded I would have to review the covenants but I do not think they specifically refer to garages in the actual recorded covenants. Mr. Okum wondered if we are a party to that document and Mr. McErlane answered we are a party to the document. There are certain parts that are enforceable by the City only. Mr. McErlane left the meeting to check the covenants. Mr. Galster said my question was going to be on legal precedent and ruling on their covenants. Mr. Okum said that is the reason I brought that up.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Galster continued the reason I bring that up is you did a great job of convincing them to change their minds and I am wondering if there could be 50 other people who could do the same thing. I understand the reason they are allowing you to do it is because they grandfathered it back then, but those boards change and I want to make sure we are not overstepping our bounds.

Mr. McErlane reported that the covenants refer to the exterior design in construction of residential structures conforming to concept models and drawings, and also 50% of the total exterior wall surface being brick, but that is the extent of how the covenants refer to the condominium buildings. There is nothing specific to two-car garages within the covenants.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Five

V B TRANSFER OF GARAGE VARIANCE AT 478 MAPLE CIRCLE DRIVE

Mr. Okum stated the plan was approved based upon two-car garages. Mr. McErlane it is within this bodyís jurisdiction to grant deviations from that. Obviously if the two councilmembers feel that is a major deviation, they can send it thorough Council, but the extent of this request is to make a deviation to the preliminary plan.

Mr. Syfert commented thatís a long time ago, but if memory serves me, there was some resistance on the part of the Board of Zoning Appeals to act or override the Condominium committee, and that is one of the reasons you see their approval on there in the 1980ís. I thought this board kind of took that same position last month as if we had the power to do this, and as far as I know we still do have that power. Mr. Okum commented it doesnít say that we donít, and we did approve a plan with two car garages so the deviation would be up to this board.

Mr. Galster said because of the fact that this addition is already built and already there, I make a motion to allow it to continue as a grandfathered clause with the same restrictions, that it needs to be while this homeowner owns and occupies the unit. If it should be rented or sold, it shall be torn down as originally requested. Also, if their board changes and they decide that their board doesnít approve it, I would think we would need to abide by their decision as well. Mr. Syfert commented in other words you are recommending a temporary granting of this. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. Mr. Syfert stated I think we should make the letter from their board a part of the record because that outlines what their board says.

Mr. Okum said I would like to add one more stipulation that in the event that this lady advertises or promotes the sale or rental of the unit, it is fully disclosed that the variance must be terminated prior to the transfer so there is no opening to come back to this board again.

Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Okum, Mr. Young and Chairman Syfert. The variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

VI NEW BUSINESS

B. Preliminary Plan approval of proposed hotel at 12037 Sheraton Lane (previous Pizza Hut)

John Kingston, Architect for the project showed shingle and brick samples. The row of trees down each side are about 2 feet high, are almost on the property and we feel we could keep both rows of trees. We also feel we can keep those trees in the back. Concerning the landscaping in the front of the building, there is a little clump next to the real estate sign that could be cleaned up and kept, but the rest is not usable and needs to be replaced. There are fairly nice trees across the back which we will manage to keep. Other than that we will add shrubs and bushes. Previously you asked us to put four new trees across the front which we will do as well as new landscaping around the building.

Mr. McErlane reported that the property is zoned PUD, and this is a change in use. I think we have determined that if Planning is satisfied with the presentation it will be referred to Council for a public hearing for modification of the preliminary plan. There are no nuances about this site that would require a change to the covenants for The Crossings.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Six

VI B PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL - PROPOSED HOTEL 12037 SHERATON LE.

Mr. McErlane said originally there were no estimated construction costs submitted; since then we have received a sheet that indicates the estimated cost at $1.2 million. The color pallet wasnít submitted but has been brought in tonight. The original concept plan had indicated the number of rooms, parking spaces and impervious surface. This plan doesnít show it, but they indicated on the same sheet that there would be 48 rooms, 53 parking spaces and 25% green space.

Mr. McErlane continued it looks like the only trees that may be impacted would be the ones immediately in front of the building. They are almost of the size that they would be difficult to relocate, so if we were to lose those, there would be some replacement required. However, there are four new trees along the right of way which more than likely will cover that. Those details would be on the final plan.

Mr. McErlane reported on the existing plan as it stands right now there is a fire hydrant located near the north entrance to Pizza Hut and it doesnít show up on the proposed plan. The Fire Department would want that to either remain or be relocated in the general vicinity of the existing one.

Ms. McBride stated when we did the staff report we did not have the letter dated yesterday so some of the comments have been addressed. They are now providing the number of units, 48 which is consistent with what they have been proposing for the last several months. Additionally they are providing 25% open space which exceeds our minimum 20% required. We previously had done a parking analysis and felt that the 53 parking spaces proposed would be sufficient for 48 units based on 6 employees. We had asked for details on the screening for the trash dumpster; we would need to see that information as well as signage information. There is a note on the plan that says it would be in conformance, but since this is within the Corridor District we would need to see that in terms of materials etc. In terms of landscaping the applicant has indicated they will save all the existing landscaping. We would want to know what that is, and I donít know that the foliage in front of the building can be saved. If it is not going to be saved, we would need to know what is going to be put in there as replacement. Also, there are some additional landscaped islands within the parking lot that have not been delineated with plant type material, quantity size, etc. so we would need that information.

Ms. McBride stated they did submit a photometric lighting plan; we would like to see details in terms of light fixtures and mounting poles. With the Corridor overlay district, we have requirements regarding color size and height.

Mr. Wilson wondered what they did differently to allow them 48 rooms when in the past we were talking about 47 or 46 rooms. Mr. Patel said you are right; when I counted right now I came up with 47 rooms. There is a storage room that was counted as a rentable room. Mr. Wilson continued we also talked about an elevator which we thought would eliminate one room as opposed to steps. Mr. Patel responded the steps will be at the end as well as the elevator in the middle.

Mr. Shvegzda stated under the subdivision regulations the site plan needs to be sealed by a registered engineer. There needs to be additional information on the analysis of the storm sewers being proposed and also regarding the inlet capacities. We need to have the details on parking curb and the extent of the curb and gutter on Sheraton Lane that is to be removed and replaced, the radius on the driveway aprons, and the driveway apron details.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Seven

VI B PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL PROPOSED HOTEL 12037 SHERATON LANE

Mr. Shvegzda continued as Bill mentioned, there was the omission of the fire hydrant that needs to be relocated on the proposed site plans. Additional information is needed on the existing conditions on the north and south properties in regards to the rear cross access areas. This is to insure that particular area conforms with the drive aisles of the other properties. There needs to be information showing what pavement is to be replaced and what pavement is to be removed on the site.

Addressing the applicant, Mr.Syfert asked if these concerns were understood. Mr. Patel indicated they did understand and it was not a problem.

Mr. Okum commented we have come a long way, and you and your architect have done a very fine job. I am happy to hear your intent to retain the trees on both the south and north portions of the property. It will enhance your propertyís looks and appearance. I will be voting in favor of this; I do understand it will go to Council and once the issues that Ms. McBride and Mr. Shvegzda raised have been addressed, you will have a fine plan and a good project.

Mr. Okum added the only item I would be concerned with is the location of your dumpster and its screening. The elevation of the residences behind your property is higher, and I would encourage that we look at it on height of the walls surrounding the dumpster. Typically we have six feet but we might consider something different considering the view of the condominiums behind your property. I donít have a problem with the location, but I am sympathetic on what they are looking down on.

Mr. Young moved to approve the preliminary plan and refer it to Council contingent on the final details being cleaned up. Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Young, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Syfert, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Okum. Approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Planning Commission recessed at 7:57 p.m. and reconvened at 8:07 p.m.

C. Preliminary Plan Approval of Proposed Target Store to be Located at Century Boulevard and East Kemper Road

The representative of Target said earlier this afternoon Woolpert Engineering and I ran into certain circumstances that have to do with the project which we are studying further. We are requesting to be moved to the next Planning Commission meeting that can be scheduled. We would rather postpone our presentation tonight if you can permit that. Mr. Okum moved to table to July 8th. The representative of Target stated we might want to come back and request a special meeting, but right now July 8th would be fine. Mr. Galster seconded the motion to table, and by voice vote, all voted aye. Mr. Syfert stated that the matter was tabled to July 8th unless we hear from you previous to that.

D. Final Plan Approval of Calvary Pentecostal Church and School at 11970 Kenn Road

Mr. Syfert stated I donít believe there are any representatives from the church. You have a copy of the letter that I had written which indicated that staff review revealed that things were not completely done. Basically I indicated that it would be a waste of time for them and us, so weíll have them on the agenda next month. Mr. Okum moved to table and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the project will be on the July 8th agenda.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Eight

VI NEW BUSINESS - continued

A. Concept Discussion of Proposed New Showcase Cinema at 12064 Springfield Pike

Mr. Syfert stated we had quite a bit of discussion in the staff review and there has been other correspondence and discussions. Iím going to ask Mr. Osborn to make a statement to focus this whole project.

Mr. Osborn reported we will be undertaking this project in a little bit of an unusual manner but in a way we think we can protect the interests of the city in terms of engineering architecture and other issues of that nature, and at the same time try to help a developer do a very very exciting project. They are going to expand off their current facility, and they are in a very limited time line in that they want to try to be open with the new facility for December. Given their time line and the way the project has to be phased, there is very limited flexibility in where the footprint of the building can be, and their ideas are pretty innovative in terms of how they will do this.

Mr. Osborn continued we would like to ask you to focus on the building location. Other issues related to access control and internal circulation we will deal with as aggressively as ever, but this evening we are asking you to focus on the footprint of the building and the location because they have requested and we have agreed to allow them to go forward with footers and foundation and site grading in the vicinity of the pad in order to get a jump on the construction. That is, should they receive concept approval from you this evening, we the administration will release them to do that at their own risk. Should you turn them down in the future when it comes to the final approval, that is their risk, but I think you will find this to be an exciting project. There are no zoning issues involved here. It is a major renovation and investment in an existing facility and I think you will be very pleased with what they are going to show you. We have had preliminary meetings with the firm and they already have made a number of concessions to us in terms or circulation and access control. I am absolutely confident that we will be able to work out the remaining details.

John Meyer of John Meyer Consulting said we are site planners, engineers, traffic engineers and consultants to National Amusements. Tonight we have a contingent of people here. some local and some from various areas of the country. From National Amusements, Mr. William Towey, Sr. Vice President of Operations and Mr. Peter Brady Vice President of Construction and locally Mr. Robert Horton who is the Regional Manager and Mr. Keith Burke the City Manager for National Amusements. From this area we also have our general contractor, Peter Cronis of Reece Campbell and the Architect Michael Cummings and Won Li from TK Architects in Kansas City, MO. They are designing the building. Also here are Mr. Mike Gray of Wallace Structural Engineering who is doing the structural engineering design and Anthony Guccione who is my associate and myself.

National Amusements has owned and operated this theater since 1973. In the Cincinnati area we have designed the Showcase Cinemas in Norwood, Kings Island and Erlanger and East Gate Mall. National Amusements owns this property and has operated a nine-screen theater with about 4,000 seats. In those 20 years technology has changed; the desires of the movie going public has changed and the number of films coming out has increased substantially. In order for this site to remain a viable and vibrant asset to Springdale, it is now time to move ahead.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Nine

VI A CONCEPT DISCUSSION PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. Meyer said in that regard, National Amusements proposes a 20-screen multiplex cinema using the latest stadium seating design which is tiered seating. I have given you a packet that tells you a little bit about National Amusements, and renderings of the concept of the lobby, the front of the building and some of the auditoriums. These are not the final plans but the architects are hard at work preparing those plans. Our firm has been responsible for laying out this site, and the site plan that we provide here indicates the location of the existing building.

Mr. Meyer stated the proposed building will be about double the size of the existing building, which is 53,000 square feet; the new building will be about 103,000 square feet. This provides more generous lobby areas, public space and concessions as well as an increased area for each individual auditorium because of the stadium seating and the desire for more distance from the screen. All these new design innovations have been proposed and are being developed as part of this site.

Mr. Meyer said in addition, we would be increasing the amount of parking. The parking area will be totally reconstructed. Twenty years ago parking areas were basically blacktop. We have learned a lot and this plan reflects the beginning of our design of the landscaping. We have your landscape ordinances and we will comply at least in that regard if not better. I believe our landscaping will be enhanced beyond your requirements.

Mr. Meyer reported that the storm water control will be in a detention basin to be constructed at the northeast corner of the property and we will meet or exceed your requirements.

Mr. Meyer said I have a traffic study which we prepared in the last few days and we have our projections from about 100 different locations we have worked on. We know how many vehicles to expect during the peak hours based on the number of seats that are being proposed. We have based our traffic study on the 4,000 existing seats plus 1,200 addition for a total of 5,200 seat theater. We have discussed with your city traffic engineer the improvements which are proposed for the traffic signals on West Crescentville Road which is our main exit point and is also our proposed ingress point as well as Route 4 and West Crescentville intersection which is a very busy and a high accident intersection.

Mr. Meyer reported our traffic basically involves an ingress only as it exists now from Route 4. Originally we had the concept of an entrance and exit at that point, but with the median there and traffic conditions being what they are, we took the advice of your staff and are making this one way in. We also have enhanced that design by providing a two-lane landscaped entrance with a median so that traffic can stack up as it comes in and then disperse into the parking lot. That doesnít exist now; you have a curb cut and then you go into the parking area. As proposed you would not go directly into the parking area but up this entrance lane. The one-way service road would be continued, and we are proposing that you close one of the entrances into the parking lot from the frontage of the service road and just have one at the southwest corner.

Mr. Meyer added we are proposing an additional access at the eastern corner of the site as far away as we can get from Route 4 to allow three points of ingress and egress. On the West Crescentville Road side, we will have an entrance and exit out onto Northwest Boulevard which comes to the signalized intersection on West Crescentville Road.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Ten

VI A CONCEPT DISCUSSION - PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. Meyer added we also will have an enhancement of the existing entrance and exit for the cinema onto West Crescentville Road. Right now there is a narrow one lane entrance driveway with what looks like tank barriers there. That is not necessary and it actually is very unsafe, so what we are proposing to do is make this a two-lane ingress, have an eight foot wide landscaped median decrease the number of entrance lanes to two and redefine the four exit lanes so that we have adequate stacking room for exiting traffic. There currently is a double left turn lane coming out onto West Crescentville Road, a through-right lane and a separate right turn lane that will be continued. All of this will be coordinated with the modifications to the traffic control at that location and with Northwest Boulevard.

Mr. Meyer reported the parking area will be laid out so we have internal circulation and landscaped islands to channel the traffic where it needs to be channelized.

Mr. Meyer stated your staff, Ms. McBride and Mr. Shvegzda have provided comments on the initial plans. We looked those comments over and appreciate that. We are basically here to cooperate and provide for a safe and efficient layout for this site, something that we and you can be proud of. We know we have a long way to go in terms of getting all the details finalized. We have developed this plan through about nine different drawings including details and sediment erosion control grading and utilities on which we will be meeting with staff tomorrow to further along our plans for this project.

Mr. Meyer said the problem we have involves construction. As you can see, part of the new building is actually in the path of the existing building. We donít want to shut down the theaters, so we wish to build one half of the building and the lobby first while we keep the nine screens in operation. The northerly half of the proposed building would be constructed together with the center lobby and concession stand and service areas and the southerly half of the building would not be worked on initially. The desire is to open this early next spring so that we can have the latest theater design in operation as soon as possible. After that time, the second and final phase of construction will start, and that will involve demolition of the existing theaters and construction of the last 10 auditoriums so there will be a total of 20 auditoriums and 5,200 seats.

Mr. Meyer stated at the same time we will be working on site work so that the utilities will be installed, the grading will be done and the repaving will be done in phases so we can maintain existing parking lot to the north and east of the existing building and have more than adequate parking for our needs for the existing nine screens. After we have completed all the new parking areas to the north and are ready to open the new theater, we will have our new parking lot all landscaped and prepared for customers. At that point the existing building would be razed and the remaining will be constructed.

Mr. Meyer reported that the west building and southerly parking areas would be built according to our plans with new landscaping and all new lighting will be installed throughout. The lighting would be designed so there wonít be any spillage of light beyond our property but there would be a substantial increase in the lighting levels in the parking for security purposes. To make people comfortable at night, we find a need for a substantial increase in the amount of light in the parking area.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

10 June 1997

Page Eleven

VI A CONCEPT DISCUSSION - PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. Meyer added the building has been designed and this is the latest in the industry. You might ask why you need to enlarge and the reason is to remain competitive. To be able to show the product available today in the United States, we need that number of screens. Obviously the seating capacity of each auditorium is smaller than they were years ago. One of the advantages of the multiple screens is in terms of the traffic involved. All of the show starting and ending times will be staggered so people will arrive and leave at different times. Based on the anticipated improvements in traffic and the redesign of the parking lot and circulation, our traffic study indicates there will be adequate capacity with this new construction.

Mr. Meyer said I would conclude at this point and say we are pleased to be in Springdale and we offer the services of all of our professionals to work with the city to finalize every last detail. We have done that many times before in other communities, and we would be most appreciative of your continuing cooperation, which we thank you for.

Mr. Syfert commented of those of us who have walked a long way to get into the front door of Showcase Cinemas, you can get in either side so I think with the parking out front and back it is a great enhancement for the movie goer.

Mr. Galster said I agree that this is a great improvement. My question is more of the timing of the phases. Phase 1 you said early spring of 1998 and Phase 2 would be completed when? Mr. Meyer answered probably in the summer. From the audience, one of the applicants said pre-Thanksgiving. Mr. Galster said so there is no stopping; we are getting Phase 1 done, making improvements to the parking lot, tearing down the old building and building the new pretty much throughout the 1998 construction season. Mr. Meyer added it is a continuous process. Mr. Galster commented thatís my only concern. Since Iím supposed to stay with the building footprint, I wonít bring up the building materials and the Route 4 Corridor. I think it is great and is a much needed update and headed in the right direction.

Mr. Okum said since weíve been asked to be brief and asked not to talk about traffic and those items you are working on with our staff, I agree with Mr. Galster 100%. Redoing this building was long overdue and I think it will be an enhancement. It is an exciting change and something that is a focal point in the community. I do not see any problem with the footprint at all.

Mr. Wilson said looking at your packet, there are only a few cinemas that have as many as 18; is this the first one that will have 20? Mr. Meyer responded we are planning a number of theaters with 20 auditoriums; this is the first one in this area. Mr. Wilson wondered if there would be another 20 theater cinema in the Greater Cincinnati Area, including Dayton?

Mr. Bill Towey, Senior Vice President of National Amusements said this is the first 20 screen cinema we are building in the midwest area, and the first 20 screen we are building throughout the circuit. We hope to have many more; in fact I think we have 300 screens under development over the next 18 to 20 months. What we have seen happen to us over the past almost 30 years is a tremendous increase in the production of film. It was driven by cable tv, pay for view and the video cassette market. Rather than a diminution of films playing the first run movie theaters, we have seen an increase. The increase is projected for this year going from 190 releases last year to 240 this year. The projection for 1998 is going well beyond that.

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VI A CONCEPT DISCUSSION - PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. Towey added there is no question in our mind as one of the leaders of the industry that there will be great proliferation of films. We need to play those films on the national release dates so we need the number of screens to be available. Also with the newer theater and larger numbers of screens and smaller seat counts overall, they are playing the same picture in multiple numbers of auditoriums for the first several weeks of the engagement. It is a competitive issue with us all. We have seen our competitors move into other market areas. We took a long hard look at the market in Cincinnati and specifically in Springdale. We have been one of the leaders in the industry, number eight in size and number one in attendance per auditorium. This speaks well for the theaters we are operating. What we have seen is the need to create a new environment for the patrons with stadium seating and seats staggered one behind the other for a phenomenal view of the screen. Add to that digital sound systems and it brings an excitement to this entertainment.

Mr. Wilson said of all the locations, why Springdale? Secondly, the concern is handicapped seating. You mentioned the tiered steps; have you made provisions for those individuals? Mr. Towey answered Springdale has been one of the most successful cinema operations in our company. We want to see that continue and grow, and we feel it is a growth area for us and the availability of the amount of property we have here can easily support the facility. We would look at the next 20-40 years with the new prototype as enhancing the success we already have enjoyed. It also brings Springdale the tax dollars and revenues and an enhanced building, something new in the community. On the handicap access, Mr. Brady the designer can address that better than I can.

Peter Brady, Vice President of Construction for National Amusements said in 1989 and 1990 I was instrumental working with the Department of Justice on the American Disabilities Act so I am very familiar with that. The auditorium is 70% stadium style seating and 30% conventional seating. We have created a mezzanine in the middle of the lobby and the physically challenged can actually take the elevator to the mezzanine and they can sit in the rear of the theater or in the back of the stadium seating area. The building is 100% barrier free.

Mr. Syfert said we do have comments from staff and I think it would be more prudent to ask questions of staff if you have concerns. Mr. McErlane said I think it would be worthwhile for staff to offer comments on issues that the board might need input or make decisions on so it would give the applicant some direction.

Mr. McErlane stated the Corridor Study indicates that brick and stone need to be used and that will impact on what they want to do as far as foundations go. It also indicates that 50% of the site has to have a pitched roof structure and I think the renderings do not indicate that type of roof. To a lesser degree that probably impacts their foundations as well. I probably would want to give them some kind of feel relative to the signs. We donít have details at this point, but at least if the applicant can give us some kind of idea what they think they might see in terms of signage it might help. On one of the renderings for the front of the building it looks like there might be an LED type reader board, and that is something Planning Commission has dealt with in the past, but it has been a while. There are other things on the drawing that we can address, the possible future building, which is shown for a reason but you probably donít want to discuss in detail. The zoning for that property is General Industrial so that limits you quite a bit as to what you could build without rezoning. The trees will take some work and come in with the final plans.

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VI A CONCEPT DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. McErlane stated that Planning Commission needs to give you some direction on building materials and signs to a lesser degree and Iím sure the City Engineer and Planner have some of those type issues that planning will want to discuss to a certain degree.

Mr. Brady said we are looking at a split faced rock but as we look at it, it appears cold and we donít want a warehouse look to the building. There is too much glass; we are keeping the front and back entrance and the footprint pretty much the same. All the footings and foundations are designed for load bearing CMU. For example, we are not going to have an LED out front; we think that may cause a problem with traffic. Anything you can do to help us with materials we would appreciate.

Mr. Brady stated I am working with the Paramount team; they are all coming into the office Friday. Iíve given everybody instructions by the 25th to come back with a complete view of the conceptual look of the building, so hopefully by the end of June we will make a decision. Earlier we were looking at having a Christmas opening, but we will not; we are taking it out to the spring. This is the first of all the prototypes so this one has to be close to perfect.

Mr. Brady added we understand about the pitched roof, and we take that into consideration because normally we do pitch the roof. We need to address that and tomorrow when we meet with you, we can handle that. Mr. McErlane commented the only reason I bring it up is because it would require a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals for those two items.

Ms. McBride said I believe they have adequate parking; they are proposing 2304 spaces for the 5200 seats. Our Code requires one space for each three fixed seats and one space for each 9 square feet of assembly area. We didnít get the calculations for the one space for each 9 square feet, so we would need to see those calculations. We want to take a little closer look at the access point from Springfield Pike and the internal circulation within that first 350 feet. We were working from a reduced plan in our office, and one thing no one wants is a backup out onto Springfield Pike and possible problems with the ramp from I-275. The impervious surface area is permitted at 80%; they are at 77 1/2%. Right now they have parking in the front yard which is discouraged by the Corridor District. They have 338 spaces in the front yard which is something the Commission would have to look at. They have several rows that go with either 58 or 54 parking spaces without a break or cut through and we would want to see some kind of cut through. We didnít get any details for signage so we are assuming they are not going to have any signage except the ground mounted allowed by the Corridor District, and that is great. We had some comments on the landscape plan. They submitted a photometric lighting plan and we would like to see some details on the fixtures; some of those comments go back to the Corridor Study, and we want to see building materials and colors.

Mr. Osborn said on the front yard parking, I am a proponent of the Corridor District and have really worked hard to develop those standards, but I think what we have here is a different type situation. If you think about the way the cinema functions now, it has exactly that type of layout. All the parking is to the rear, and that means everybody has to come from one direction. I think it makes a lot more sense to try to position a facility of this size more towards the center of the parking lot where you have parking surrounding it and you have entries from two different sides of the building instead of just one. That means you have access from multiple locations, and for that reason we have to temper the corridor standards given the type of facility we are dealing with. I think that has to be taken into our review of the site as well.

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VI A CONCEPT DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. Meyer said I certainly concur with what Mr. Osborn has said. We concur with what Anne has given us with one exception and that is the signs. We do need signs, and we certainly look forward to going over all these items in detail, and we take these comments very seriously

Mr. Shvegzda said on the entranceway from Route 4, we want to make sure that everything is done there to configure that so it is very evident that there is no exiting traffic out onto Route 4 which, even with all the signs that are there today, is still somewhat of a problem. The improvements out on the driveway to Crescentville Road with the widening for the median and the additional lane in may necessitate some relocation of some of the traffic control devices; it is a little unclear and is something that may have to be looked at.

Mr. Shvegzda said for the detention basin, we have roughed out some figures based on three foot depth, there shouldnít be any problem providing the volume of detention required for the overall site. in that area. It was indicated in one of our preliminary meetings that basically the storm water flow for the entire site will be taken to that detention basin.

Mr. McErlane said with respect to the parking in the front yard issue, the intent of the corridor standards along that line was to try to mass some landscaping in the front yard so that we werenít seeing just paving. Obviously this is a unique situation but I think the City would still like to see the landscaping beefed up in front of the building versus doing all your tree planting in the rear of the building.

Mr. Okum said I know this is long range planning, but something that would be an advantage to Showcase would be security cameras in the parking lot. I know it is something you have to incur an expense for, but there is a history of people breaking into cars in the parking lot when you have massed cars in a big area. I have a tendency to take an adverse position on rooftop exposed heating and air conditioning units, and lights that tend to bleed off onto the roadway. I also am adverse to light packs on buildings. I agree with Mr. Osbornís comments concerning the building location. I certainly understand the Corridor Review District and I feel your building setback gives you an opportunity to increase the landscaping on the front, but it also by being so far back from Route 4 changes the image of what the front lot parking area would be considered because you are moving it back beyond the service road and it is set way back from the roadway.

Mr. Huddleston commented Showcase certainly has been a successful and exciting project and something we will continue to do everything possible to encourage. Moving the facility back from the road frontage is excellent, and I am sure we will cooperate to the extent reasonable to get this project moving forward.

Mr. Wilson said on our blueprint I see possible future building. Do you want that to be part of our vote tonight? Mr. Meyer indicated that they did not. Mr. Osborn stated I asked them to leave that on. We talked about the fact that they have additional frontage on Crescentville and that it probably would be an ideal location for a restaurant. So even though it is not a topic this evening, we wanted everyone to be aware that they probably will be back to us for a use involving a zone change. Mr. Meyer added we want to stay focused on the theater.

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VI A CONCEPT APPROVAL OF PROPOSED NEW SHOWCASE CINEMA

Mr. Syfert said I do not think we need a motion other than giving them concept approval. Mr. Galster moved to grant concept approval and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye and concept approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

The applicants showed a film on National Amusements.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Young said I would like to thank Mr. McErlane for making sure that the people from Calvary Christian Church who were not prepared were informed. In all sincerity I appreciate it a lot. When people come in here I feel we are taking our time and it should be for some reason. Mr. Galster added to be fair to Calvary , they were under the impression that they had their final approval at the last meeting.

Mr. Galster said my other question concerns the item under Chairmanís Report, The Golden Tanning at 338 Northland Boulevard. Mr. McErlane stated that what was presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals was inaccurate in terms of frontage and the wall sign size. They did modify the sign which reduced the square footage and it came in within code.

Mr. McErlane stated in September of 1995 this board granted a variance for six months for a 8í x 50í banner which did not occur. IDI has asked to go forward with that using a smaller banner (5í x 30í). They do not indicate a time period, but wonder if Planning would consider allowing them to do this for a six month period. It would be on the southwest part of the building. Mr. Young wondered what it would say and Mr. McErlane stated "Now Leasing IDI" and their phone number. Mr. Syfert said shouldnít they have to come before this commission? Mr. McErlane answered the question was could they use their previous approval and Mr. Syfert answered I believe they should come before us.

Ms. McBride stated I am going to pass out an updated version of the McClellans Lane survey. The total number of responses is 16 out of 22. Our Zoning Review Committe is through the definitions for residential. Next Monday we will be on offices and commercial and industrial. We are moving along and exceeding the schedule we anticipated.

Mr. Galster stated there has been Homeownerís Association started up on McClellans Lane. They have come to the unified conclusion, buy us all or leave us all alone. Mr. Syfert said that is why Target asked to be tabled tonight.

VIII. CHAIRMANíS REPORT

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Planning Commission adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

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William Syfert, Chairman

 

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Robert Seaman, Secretary