PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

9 JULY 1996

7:00 P.M.

 

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present; Councilmen Steve Galster and Robert Wilson, James

Young, and Chairman William Syfert

Members Absent: Richard Huddleston, David Okum and Barry Tiffany

Others Present: Doyle Webster, Mayor

Derrick Parham - Assistant City Administrator

Bill McErlane - Building Official

Don Shvegzda - Assistant City Engineer

Anne McBride - Pflum, Klausmeier & Gehrum

Amy Callow - Wood & Lamping

Mr. Syfert stated for the benefit of the applicants, final approval takes five

affirmative votes, and we only have four members here. Mr. Tiffany is on

vacation. Mr. Huddleston is supposed to be landing at the airport at 7:00

and hopes to be here about 7:45 p.m. Mr. Okum was called at the last minute for an emergency; he hopes to be here by 8:00 p.m. With that in mind, I will rearrange the agenda and we will consider some of the things under Discussion rather than those items that are here for final approval. I apologize; we thought we would have only one absent, but this is what happens when we all work for a living. I also will defer consideration of the Minutes until the others are here.

VII. DISCUSSION

A. Exotic Animal Ordinance

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone had any problems with the ordinance. He called on Amy Callow of Wood & Lamping. Ms. Callow stated this was developed with help from Councilwoman Peggy Manis. We have drafted it, and it specifically sets out what exotic and dangerous animals you will not be allowed within the city. There is nothing in the Zoning Code that this specifically effects, except change the definition of household domesticated animals and to make the exception that exotic animals and wild animals are not household domesticated animals as allowed in the Zoning Code.

Mr. Galster reported that the Rules and Laws Committee spent quite a bit of time going through this with the people from the zoo and the snake club. Weíre trying to eliminate the exotic part and refer to them as wild animals to regulate. The only thing that Planning Commission needs to address is the fact that the household domesticated pet section of the Code changes, and therefore it is before this board for its recommendation.

Mr. Syfert stated we canít forward it on without a 5-0 vote. Do we need 5-0 vote or a simple majority? Mr. McErlane stated if it goes to Council with four affirmative votes, it needs five votes from Council to override Planning Commission. Mr. Galster added with four affirmative votes, it goes to Council without a recommendation and Council would have to have five affirmative votes. So, it can be voted on and go to Council without a recommendation.

 

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9 July 1996

Page Two

VII - DISCUSSION - EXOTIC ANIMAL ORDINANCE - continued

Mr. Galster moved to recommend the changes in the exotic animal ordinance to Council and Mr. Young seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Young, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Syfert. Motion was approved with four affirmative votes.

B. Composting Ordinance

Mr. Syfert called on Ms. Callow for her report. Ms. Callow stated the changes are to the various residential districts to allow for compost piles as set out in Section 155.067. It defines what composting is and sets out certain requirements for household composting, what items can be composted, where the compost piles are to be located and the manner in which they are to be constructed. It provides that they will not become a nuisance.

Mr. Galster added in general, the existing code says you canít have any accumulation of compost material in a residential area, and with the composting that is happening nationwide, it is more of a housekeeping change to allow the composting to happen according to code. Right now, it basically prohibits composting. Ms. Callow stated the code prohibits littering and trash accumulation, which is what composting would be. Mr. Galster said this clarifies, redefines and makes composting okay in appropriate locations.

Mr. Syfert asked if the items that say compost shall not contain pretty standard, or do we have anything unique to Springdale? Ms. Callow said this was based on a sample composting ordinance that we referred to. There was nothing specifically for Springdale.

Mr. Young moved to accept the information as it is and refer it to Council and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Young, Mr. Galster, Mr. Syfert and Mr. Wilson. Motion approved with four affirmative votes.

C. Ordinance No. 96-1996 concerning the operation of sexually oriented businesses

Mr. Syfert stated this was brought to me by the city attorney and asked that we look at it. Iíll ask Amy to explain what we are doing here.

Ms. Callow reported that Council is considering this ordinance that will designate certain licensing procedures and location requirements for what have been defined as sexually oriented businesses. This is in response to the growing trend for certain gentlemenís clubs and more upscale sexually oriented businesses that want to locate. Unless you have something in your ordinances regulating those, they would be treated like any other entertainment business, restaurant or bar. What we have tried to do is put in more stringent licensing and regulation requirements to attempt to control them more stringently. One of the features of the ordinance is a restriction that these types of operations cannot locate in residential districts or within 450 feet of any uses which have been determined as protected uses. That includes residential districts, schools, churches, certain government buildings.

 

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9 July 1996

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VI C DISCUSSION - ORDINANCE NO. 96-1996 - continued

Ms. Callow continued in order to make this work, we need to have sexually oriented businesses be classified as permitted uses in the areas where we have determined that there would be available property if such a use would want to come into the city. To that end, we have recommended that the General Business, Motor Service, Retail Service, Research Production and General Industrial District portions of the Zoning Code be amended in order to specifically permit sexually oriented businesses in those areas.

Mr. McErlane said I have one question on this. Motor Service and General Business and Retail Service Districts indicate the 450 feet from any other sexually oriented business, but the General Industrial and Research Production do not have that phrase. Should that be involved as well? Ms. Callow answered the reason is because they were new sections in General Business Motor Service and Retail Service, and in those two sections they already prohibited retail sales with certain exceptions. These sexually oriented businesses would only be allowed as permitted under Chapter 120, which says they have to be 450 feet from any other sexually oriented business.

Mr. Syfert stated if we feel comfortable with this, the solicitor is looking for our affirmative vote. I do not believe that it is mandatory that we act upon this tonight, but I believe it is fairly straightforward in what they are attempting to do.

Mr. Wilson moved to refer this to Council with our recommendation and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Galster, Mr. Young and Mr. Syfert. Motion was granted with four affirmative votes.

Mr. McErlane reported as a matter of information, the representative from Home Quarters Warehouse has asked that their item be tabled to August. Also,. Mr. Eades has asked that his request be tabled to August.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. 6/12 Letter from Dick Huddleston to Randy Danbury, President of Council re Zoning Changes concerning cellular communications sites and the regulation of automotive uses

Mr. Syfert stated since all of the other items do require approval and we need five affirmative votes, we will recess until we get at least one more member here.

Planning Commission recessed at 7:20 p.m. and reconvened at 8:07 p.m.

Mr. Syfert stated Mr.Huddleston has arrived; we appreciate your effort to get here as soon as possible.

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING - 11 JUNE 1996

Mr. Wilson reported I have three corrections in the form of typos which I have discussed with the corresponding secretary and will move to approve. Mr. Galster seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with five affirmative votes.

 

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9 July 1996

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V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Home Quarters Warehouse, 11360 Princeton Pike requests approval of outside storage of pallets (tabled 6/11/96)

Mr.Syfert reported at the applicantís request, we have tabled this.

B. Kiwanis Club and Hooters Restaurant request approval to hold an anniversary party 28 July 1996 (tabled 6/11/96)

No representatives were present. Mr. Syfert asked if there had been any correspondence from them and there had not been. Mr. Galster moved that this be dropped from the agenda and Mr. Young seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the motion was approved with five affirmative votes.

C. White Castle, 11575 Springfield Pike requests approval of proposed revised Drive-Through Window (tabled 6/11/96)

Mr. Nicholas Zuk, Corporate Counsel for White Castle, Columbus Ohio. I was not present at the last meeting but the reason I am here is because of the concerns over the plan we had. We have revised the plan (showed members). Right now our drive through window is located at the rear of the building. As part of our corporate remodeling plan, we are trying to update renovate and make our building more attractive to our customers, more customer friendly. This is part of that process. We have been in Springdale for 23 years and we recently have signed a lease extension for another 30 years so we plan on being here for a long time.

Mr. Zuk continued currently both the north and south drives off Springfield Pike are entrances and exits. We will make the northernmost drive entrance only. The customer coming in who wants to park and use the inside can park here. In order to use the drive through, they would have to loop around the building and come around the front of the building to the order station. What this provides is counter clockwise circular traffic which is pretty much the design of all the fast food restaurants. The southernmost drive will be marked exit only. This does two things, better traffic control and traffic flow, and it takes your exiting traffic further away from the intersection, which makes it a safer turn.

Mr. Zuk stated we will have to put a cut through on the landscaping in the front of the building, and will be removing one tree, but replacing that will be an abundance of landscaping. The net result is we will actually have more landscaping there when we are done than we do now. We have added two landscaped areas here and here and we will be adding four new trees. We are putting low shrubs along the front of the building, Japanese blood grass. Mr. Zuk reported our sign still would be located here and the trash dumpster will be a little more accessible in this area.

Mr. Zuk stated this remodeling will cause us to have to close for six weeks. When it is done, it will look pretty much like this (showed pictures of Covington store). I have pictures of interior and exterior. We will put awnings and over the drive through there will be blue and white stripes to break it up a little bit. I think that answers the concerns that I understood the Commission had at the last meting.

 

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW-cont

Mr. Syfert commented one of the primary concerns of a lot of us the last time dealt with the fact that you were taking away the aesthetics of the front of the building by putting a drive through there. I believe we gave a strong indication that we felt that perhaps the drive through pick up couldíve been on the south side of the building and not obliterate the front of the building. I thought that was pretty clear.

Mr. Zuk responded this is the only way we can do it on this plan, short of tearing down the building. Mr. Syfert wondered why they couldnít order on the back corner and pick up over here?

Mr. Zuk answered there are a few things that are wrong with that. One is your stacking is going to back up onto Springfield Pike. By circling the building, we have provided for a greater amount of stacking and keep the traffic off the highway. The traffic is all internal flow. The second reason is that the turning radius is such that you donít really have enough room to make that turn. Putting the driveway in front will not destroy the aesthetics; we really are adding to the aesthetics. When we remodeled similar buildings of this type, it ended up looking very nice. I donít think there are any in Cincinnati that we have had to do that with, but it is a much safer design, more secure design, and by adding the type of landscaping we plan to, it actually will improve the overall appearance and aesthetics of the front as you are coming along Springfield Pike. We will have more shrubbery, more trees; it will be nicer. We have to have the flow like this. Short of tearing down the building and starting from scratch, it is the only way we can redo that, and weíre not going to do that. This is the situation. Even if we were to tear down the building and start from scratch, we probably still would end up with something coming across the front of the building, if for nothing else to keep your circular flow and keep the traffic off Springfield Pike. Our idea is to keep Springfield Pike without any traffic issues and provide a counter clockwise circular flow for the convenience of the customers.

Mr. Syfert responded I have trouble with your comment that it doesnít ruin the aesthetics of the front of the building. If I see cars parked in front of that building waiting to order and then pick up, I canít believe that helps the aesthetics. I will not vote for this plan; Iíll tell you that right up front. I think there is a better way to build a mousetrap. I think you have a store in Reading that you order on that back corner and pick up where the handicapped is. I was there early in the morning when everyone wants their White Castle to go; I believe the size of that lot is very similar to this one, and I didnít see it as a problem then. Maybe it is different at lunchtime; I donít know, but Iím not in favor of this plan.

Mr. Young I tend to agree with Mr. Syfert on that issue. This picture that you have given us basically looks like what we are asking for. Where would the order board be? Mr. Zuk said in that picture it is in the center of the parking lot. Mr. Young responded because they have a bigger lot. If you would put the order board on the south end as we are asking, that wouldnít move from where it is now. If you put the pickup where we are asking, your order station would stay the same on the back corner. You are saying right now that you have so much business that it is creating a problem. He asked Mr. McErlane if the City has had complaints about the cars stacking out onto Route 4? Mr. McErlane answered he was not aware of it, but he did not know that he would be made aware of it.

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW-cont

Mr. Young continued I have been there several times, and I have never seen that as an issue, that you have so many cars stacked that you would need to stack them in the front. My concern is an issue with Route 4. The design you have now I feel is a horrible design as far as the traffic flow in and out of Route 4, and the fact that you are placing cars right in front of your building. I donít understand how you can say that is a better design than running it in a horseshoe fashion. Mr. Zuk said unless you are going to tear the building down and start from scratch, that is what we have to do. I would remind you that we had a lot more property on Route 4 at one time, but the state or county took it. I think we had 25 feet of frontage that was cut off. You donít have a turning radius here to make that effective turn to get the window right up against your building. It is not as safe a design as this one. I think you will like the aesthetics once you see it. I understand that there is a cut through there, but there actually will be more landscaping, more shrubbery, more trees and a more pleasing look to the motorist going by.

Mr. Jim Mundt added the restaurant immediately to our south, Leeís Famous Recipe has a driveway across the front and parking. Mr. Syfert responded they have one curb cut; that is why they have the drive in the front. Mr. Young added their pickup is on the south end; it is not on the north end, and they donítí seem to have a problem with stacking either.

Mr. Mundt continued what you will see from the street is the grass on the front of this.

Mr. Wilson said I assume you got this designed this way to increase traffic to get your customers in and out faster. Mr. Zuk responded it is to help customer service. Mr. Wilson said the bottom line is you hope to increase business by perhaps having more drive in than you have walk in. That being the end result, you have people coming out of that area who will either go on Van Arsdale or make the loop all the way around to come out Route 4. That will increase traffic on VanArsdale, which is not a primary street. I am not in favor of putting more traffic on Van Arsdale, and I have a problem with the stacking of vehicles in front. I would rather see them get their food, come around like it is now and get out. I am not comfortable with the way it looks now. You will still see more traffic coming in and out, stacking up there, and you will have more vehicles going on Van Arsdale. That is not a street that was intended to have heavy traffic.

Mr. Zuk commented Iím not sure I agree with the traffic on VanArsdale, and Iím not sure where it goes. It may have that effect; I think it will be minimal. Mr. Wilson said you are investing a lot of dollars to increase business, so you canít say it will be minimal; you are hoping there will be a lot of traffic. Mr. Zuk responded whether it goes on VanArsdale or not, hopefully the cars will come through faster and enter and exit from Springfield Pike. Mr. Wilson continued early mornings and late afternoons you will find fewer cars trying to come out on to Route 4 and more going on to VanArsdale, and that is a concern. We are getting a sidewalk on VanArsdale and we will have more pedestrian traffic. If you feel you need to for customer service, I would rather see you do something inside. I donít think what you are proposing there will help you, and it definitely wonít help the City in terms of traffic.

 

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW--cont

Mr. Galster said if you were pulling in this location, and you have the enter only, where will you park if you are going to eat in the restaurant? Mr. Zuk showed him the parking spot, and Mr. Galster wondered how the customer would get in the restaurant from there. He would have to cross the drive through lane. So we would send all eat in customers through the drive through lane. Mr. Zuk answered not necessarily, because some traffic comes in off VanArsdale. Mr. Galster continued I think pretty much everybody will park in the closest spot so that will be heavily used for your inside traffic, and all those people will have to go across the drive through. If you look where your menu board is right now, how many cars can you stack there before you are in the clear with the exit traffic, two? Mr. Zuk responded it is a 25 foot driveway so it will not interfere. Mr. Galster continued if it stacks around as much as you would say it does if it were on the other corner, then people would have a hard time backing out because there would be cars in the other lane as well. Mr. Zuk answered not with a 24 foot wide driveway. The turning radius is such that it is not a problem. Mr. Mundt added even if we were to put the drive here and window here which we canít, you would still have to have something in front to get your traffic away from the drive through window. Otherwise you would have one car here waiting to pull out into Springfield Pike and back up everything. Mr. Galster wondered why they couldnít merge into that 25 foot lane after pick up. Mr. Zuk answered that is what I am saying; if there is a car here and a car here, the car waiting at the window who has already gotten his food cannot pull away from the window and you canít serve anyone else. That is what we would be eliminating by bringing them around this way. Mr. Mundt added even if it were there, you still would have to have the cut through across. You wouldnít have the stacking there and if you would do that, the cars that park over here, with this walkway the cars are not going to be traveling very fast. If you have the window here, people leaving the building and trying to get out, the traffic will be going much more quickly and making it even more hazardous for the pedestrians. You have to have counter clockwise circular motion. We tried to put something in here when we added the drive through in 1984 and it just doesnít work. We put up with it for ten years, and now we are remodeling our restaurant and trying to get something that makes a lot of sense for the customers and everybody involved. We feel this plan meets those requirements.

Mr. Galster continued with the people parking off to the right, do you have any idea how many people you have eating in your restaurant in the day. I have seen plenty of drive throughs where you are having your people walk through a door that is close to the drive through but that entrance is always beyond the pickup window, never in the queue lane. Mr. Mundt responded it makes little difference whether it is in the queue lane or over here. If we move the drive through window to this is side, customers parking here have to walk across in front of those vehicles. Mr. Galster responded in front of them when they are stopped, as opposed to in the queue lane. I have seen that many times. Mr. Mundt said these cars are stopped also. Mr. Galster responded yes, but they are wanting to move forward. I have never seen a situation where the entrance to the building where the people have to walk through, is the queue lane.

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW-cont

Mr. Mundt responded I can tell you that we have several. Mr. Zuk added if you are going to have a drive through, unless you have an extremely large lot with a building that is very elongated, when you have traffic going around the building, at some point of time customers will have to walk through this. Mr. Galster commented maybe we shouldnít make them continue around the building.

Mr. Galster said you are saying you canít make the turning radius on the back if the drive through is back there. Why canít we have the same type configuration on the back? Granted it might take some figuring out of parking, but why canít we swing it around on the back side the same way you have on the front? Mr. Syfert commented it is a square bulidng; it ought to work. Mr. Galster continued why canít that be turned 180 degrees and have that same turning radius off that back corner?

Mr. Zuk answered there are two problems. One is the interior design which isnít set up for that. Secondly, I donít think there is enough space to work that out in here. We also would have to relocate the dumpster and to where, to the front of the building? Mr. Galster answered I donít agree that it has to go to the front of the building; right now we are moving all the cars to the front of the building; I think we could find a better place for the dumpster. I believe the turning radius problem can be worked out at that rear corner as well.

Mr. Huddleston stated I would agree with most of the comments that have been made and the chairmanís strong opinion. Recognizing that you werenít here last month to hear the feedback from the Commission, I think there are a number of situations. One is what you represent does not necessarily reflect the grade change you have in the front. All of your landscaping is very low level, and what you are creating is a parking lane which will stack up cars and obliterate the front of the building and overcome any low level type landscaping. The more important issue is the public safety. You mentioned you have had your business in Springdale for 23 years and there have been changes in Springdale and certainly changes in your business. I think if you need to reconfigure that store to accommodate that, weíd like to see you there and there successfully. I think the strong reflection of the Commission is there are some significant public safety concerns with pedestrian traffic patterns as well as the car traffic patterns. So, I think you need to go back and rethink that.

Mr. Zuk responded so there is no misunderstanding, the shrubbery closer to the building is 24 to 36 inches high. It is low level but more significant than the grass there. Mr. Huddleston responded that is very elevated to the roadway. The cars are going to be setting up high to the roadway anyway, four or five feet above the existing roadway out front. That is aesthetics, but I am as much or more concerned with the public safety issues involved here. Although the dynamics of your business have changed and we certainly respect that, and we want to work with you to accommodate that to the extent we reasonably can, I think as good public officials, we canít sit here and say we can permit that kind of thing.

Mr. Wilson said your drive through has not worked; is that a result of more walk in trade than drive through? If drive through is not profitable for you, perhaps you need to do something with the inside of your building which would generate either more sit down trade or more walk in walk out trade. Maybe drive through isnít White Castle any more.

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW-cont.

Mr. Mundt responded it is not that the drive through isnít working. The vast majority of our business is drive through. At this particular restaurant, about 52% of the volume is drive through. What isnít working for us is the band aid drive through that we added in 1984. It cannot accommodate the business as we would like it to. The equipment and all the operation in the store is in the back corner of the restaurant. Mr. Wilson asked how old the equipment was; Mr. Mundt answered it is 23 years old, and Mr. Wilson commented so it is time to redo something with it anyhow. Whatís the problem? Mr. Mundt reported this design will move the operation from this back corner to the front and face the street. Mr. Wilson said if you are going to redesign the building, why not redesign it the way the drive through is now? Why not leave the equipment where it is and leave the drive through where it is and do something inside the building? Mr. Mundt stated the delivery is still back here for nearly 60% of our volume. When customers who walk in come in the front doors, they have to walk clear to the back corner of the building because of where the drive through is located. So we are moving the drive through toward the front, and although the Commission doesnít agree with us from an operational point of view, the drive through coming around the front of the building is a very efficient operation for us. WE have built several of these around the country. We are certainly concerned about the aesthetics and the appearance of the exterior and interior of our building, but we also think we know something about how to set up a drive through to make it effective to operate.

Mr. Wilson commented we still are dealing with pedestrian safety. Mr.Mundt stated whether the drive through is on the south side of the building or on the north side of the building, you will have pedestrians walking across the drive through lane as we have in Sharonville and other towns. Mr. Zuk added and you have the same safety issues right now. Anytime you have a drive through you have cars moving, and moving parking places, and whenever you have moving parking places there will always be someone who will walk in front. Mr. Mundt added right now both these driveways are two directional. Traffic goes east and west from both lanes. We are making both the driveways one way and that will address some of the safety concerns about pedestrians crossing. Mr. Wilson said you can do that without putting that stackup lane there, because and still have one way traffic. We can have one way in and one way out and leave it like it is. Mr. Mundt added with the drive through as it is right now, there are times of the day when the stack is all the way back to Springfield Pike. Mr. Wilson responded if you have one way, then you have two lanes going in as opposed to one in and one out. Mr. Zuk commented that wouldnít affect the drive through stack, because the stack is still one lane. Mr. Wilson said if you have two lanes coming in and somewhere where they can cross over, because all coming in are not for drive through, some will park. So the stacking you are saying is solely drive through and not people wanting to come in and park and eat. Mr. Mundt said s some might be, but if there are three cars in the stack waiting to get up to the speaker, they are blocking all the traffic coming in, no matter their intended purposes. Mr. Wilson wondered if part of the stacking would be people coming in from VanArsdale to get to the drive through and Mr. Mundt responded occasionally, adding that this would not solve that.

Mr. Okum arrived at 8:40 p.m.

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW-cont.

Mr. Galster said if they are backing up out there right now and itís on the corner, why not move it forward an allow more queuing? Is there a reason it has to be in the back corner; is there a reason it canít be in the middle of the back wall and allow a little more stack? Can you move the menu board up so people can order closer to the drive through window?

Mr. Zuk stated to do that you would basically have to tear the building down and start from scratch, gut the interior and start over. Mr. Syfert said you are going to gut the interior anyway arenít you? Mr. Galster said I am saying in your existing location, if in fact people are backing up from your order point now, thatís at the back corner of the building. Iím saying move the order place down a little bit and allow a little more stacking. Iíve never seen stacking out onto Route 4. Mr. Mundt said come at lunchtime or on Saturdays and you will see that. The problem then is we currently have room for one car at the order station, one car waiting in line and one car at the delivery window, so to move the order window closer is not practical. This was a very difficult site to reconfigure. Mr. Zuk added there is no kitchen on this side of the building. What you are suggesting would mean that we would have to gut the whole interior and start from scratch. Mr. Young commented that is what you said you were going to do anyway. Mr. Mundt stated the design work for this has been completed. Mr. Young added I understand what you are saying, but we are not privy to that knowledge. If you have existing buildings and have this, wouldnít it have made sense to bring a picture of that to show us, to give us an idea of what it looked like? Mr. Mundt answered perhaps it would have; we thought you would be more interested in pictures of existing Cincinnati locations. Mr. Young said why if none of them look like this proposal? Mr. Mundt responded I guess we were anticipating what the opposition was. We had heard some concern about the landscaping and removal of trees and we tried to address that. Mr. Young responded you were at the meeting last month; werenít these same issues addressed that we are bringing up tonight? Mr. Mundt answered among others. We heard concerns about landscaping and removal of trees. Mr. Young stated quite honestly I do not like this design, and I cannot vote for it.

Mr. Okum said I drove through a fairly new White Castle the other day that is exactly as PlanningCommission gave you some direction at the last meeting, where the drive through window is on the opposite side of the building. I do not understand why we are back to continuing to push that drive through on the right hand side of the building or the north side, when you know this Commission was in objection to that at the last meeting. Could you explain that to me?

Mr.Mundt responded there were a number of objections voiced last time. In addition to the drive through window on the north side, there were concerns about cross traffic, traffic coming in this driveway, landscaping and removal of a tree.

Mr. Zuk wondered if it were possible to put the window as you suggest on this side, am I understanding that you would be opposed to a driveway across the front under any set of circumstances? Mr. Syfert indicated that he would be; Mr. Okum indicated he would be and Mr. Young stated that he would be. Mr. Zuk responded what you are telling us is that we cannot remodel the building.

 

 

 

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9 July 1996

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V C WHITE CASTLE 11575 SPRINGFIELD PIKE DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW-cont.

Mr. Zuk continued you are telling us that we have to tear down and start over. Mr. Okum responded the building I went to did not have a driveway across the front. It seemed very functional. Mr. Wilson added we are not saying that we are not allowing you to redesign the building. You already indicated that you will gut it out and put new equipment in it. It appears to me that your concern is that since you already have done the design work, you do not want to spend money for more design. That appears to be the smaller cost; the bigger cost would be to gut out the building, which you were going to do anyhow.

Mr. Zuk stated it isnít quite that simple. You have to work with what you have and meet the building code. It is one thing to relocate some equipment, but what you are suggesting means that we would have to redo the building, relocate the kitchen, redo all the hoods; everything would have to be done. That is considerably more expensive than what we are doing; that is a lot more construction work. In any event, what I am saying is we would be willing to look at that, but if under any circumstances you would not permit cutting across the front of the building, I am not sure there is a design that we could come up with even if we were to relocate everything inside so we could move our kitchen and put it the way you suggested. Mr. Wilson said I donít see why you would have to relocate your kitchen, because your building isnít that big that you canít have that person who will deliver food to the drive through walk to whatever staging area. Once the food is prepared it leaves the kitchen and goes somewhere, to some kind of staging area.

Mr. Zuk answered it is cooked to order. Mr. Mundt said the griddle is right next to the drive through window. To relocate this window we would have to turn the whole building design inside out. Mr. Wilson wondered if it wouldnít be a lot cheaper to move it 10 feet than to move it 40 feet. Mr. Zuk commented there is a lot more involved. We would have to figure out a place to move the dumpster and the freezer on the outside of the building. There are a lot of issues that have come up. I hear what you are saying and I guess we could go back to the drawing board, but I am not sure we could come up with a plan to meet our needs if you are going to say that we absolutely and under no circumstances can have a driveway in front of the building. I think that is unfair to White Castle patrons. We will go back and do our best to see what we can do, but to say you donít want to see something that has a driveway there, you are not allowing us to keep up with the times.

Mr. Wilson responded you are implying that the only way for you to make money is to have a driveway in front. There are not a lot of restaurants that have drive throughs in the front. Mr. Zuk answered what I am implying is what we are trying to do is avoid tearing down the entire building and starting from scratch. If we were to tear down the building and start from scratch, we still probably would want to have a driveway around the front of the building. I understand what you are saying, and we will go back and see what we can do, but what you are saying is really you canít develop this property. Mr. Wilson answered what we are saying is we want to give you an opportunity to look at another option as opposed to the way you want to do it now. Weíre not saying shut White Castle down. Mr. Syfert commented we donít want that. Mr. Wilson added I would like White Castle to stay. Iím just not comfortable with a drive through in the front like that. I would like to see some other options

 

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Mr. Mundt responded I guess I have a problem understanding why it is acceptable next door, but not on our premises. Mr. Syfert responded do you want to give up one of your driveways; maybe we can work something out. Iím going to suggest that you request that we table this. If you want us to bring this to a vote we will, but I think you know how we feel. We discussed the same issues two months in a row. If you want us to request us to table it, Iíll accept that. Mr. Mundt said I would ask that you table it. I donít know if you have a provision that you can table it more than one month, or if you have to bring it up, because I can assure you that we wouldnít be ready to come back in. Mr. Syfert suggested that it be brought back in as New Business so staff can review it and we can put everything back into the proper perspective. Rather than table it, weíll drop it for now until you bring your material back to staff. Would that be acceptable? Mr. Mundt wondered if he were asking them to withdraw their application, and Mr. Syfert responded this application. If you think you would be ready next month, that would be fine. Mr. Mundt answered I would be surprised. The engineering people would have to look at the interior of the building. Mr. Okum wondered if that would slow the process down, to go through the full submission. Mr. Syfert answered no, and Mr. Wilson added you can come in with preliminary and final all in the same evening. Mr. Syfert said they would get it in so we could have staff review prior to the next meeting. Mr. Okum responded I agree that it is critical to have staff comments prior to submission. Would two months be enough? Mr. Syfert said we can request to table it to the September meeting. Mr. Huddleston commented I think you are asking us to design the facility; it is not the charter of this Commission; we can give you input on what we see and what we know works. The City of Springdale is very user friendly to retail and we try to be. On the other hand, I take umbrage to your remarks that you have a 23 year old envelope setting there and you are not willing to adjust that, but we are supposed to adjust all our standards at the same time. I think that is where we are coming from at this point.

Mr. Syfert stated at the request of the applicant, this item will be tabled until the September meeting.

D. AT&T Wireless requests approval of proposed Telecommunications Tower at 815 Kemper Commons Circle (tabled 6/11/96)

Mr. Terry Shumate said we have seriously considered the concerns expressed last month and feel we have addressed those adequately at the very least, and in some instances gone beyond to answer these questions that the Commission presented.

Mr. Shumate continued to address those concerns specifically, I will refer to the comments made at the last meeting as well as the staff report dated June 11 by Anne McBride. Initially I would like to address Mr. Galsterís concerns about the possibility of multiple rooftop facilities and questions about the research of any existing structures. At that time I mentioned the phases of the project. Number one is investigation within the I-275 beltway of all existing structures of over 100 feet in the area. One hundred feet is actually lower than what we can use, but we wanted to identify everything from that height above. I told you then that we had done that. You mentioned some specific properties and businesses you thought or knew would be willing. We have researched these specific businesses, and I have spoken with the site acquisition specialist responsible for this area, Mark Cravens who is here.

 

 

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Mr. Shumate continued I can say that a couple of the businesses you mentioned, particularly McAlpinís and Lazarus were approached and the main problem with those types of businesses is simply the fact that they cannot provide us with the 24 hour access that we require. Mr. Shumate reported this is a multi million dollar system and if one facility has a problem, we need to be able to get up there as soon as possible to fix it. McAlpinís and Lazarus stated that because of their hours, they would only be able to provide us access from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with respect to McAlpinís and I assume Lazarus would be the same. You mentioned a church a mile south of here. That church is too far south relative to the sites we have already locked, and is very near one of our defined sites. It would mean redundant coverage and would be a waste of money.

Mr. Shumate stated I mentioned the Sheraton Springdale situation. Mark approached them because of your concern about rooftop units. Ultimately as the design shaped up around that proposed site it became insufficient because it was not high enough.

Mr. Galster commented when you say you need 24 hour access, is there any reason it cannot be mounted at ground level with wires up to the rooftop unit? Mr. Cravens reported that they donít have space on the ground. There is space in the loading dock area, but they need that area for their trucks. You still have antennas on top of the roof and you still have to have access to get to the antennas. They could only provide us access to our equipment during their operation hours. Mr. Galster said I would assume that 99% of your equipment problems will happen within your maintenance building. Mr.Cravens responded that 1% would still have to be fixed. Mr. Galster said you could get a cherry picker to get up there if you needed to.

Mr. Bernie Oldhausen, Radio Engineering Manager said the vast majority of the problems would occur in the electronics, but from a system quality perspective which is our overriding concern, the relationship between reliability and height is well known. Height impacts reliability in a nonlinear fashion. Decreasing height decreases the effective serving area of a cell by other than a one to one relationship. For example, if we lowered our 150 foot height to 75 feet, it would mean a power reduction to one-fourth. Because of this nonlinear relationship, the effective serving radius would be reduced to the square root of two. The bottom line is more than three times the number of sites would be required to obtain the same power levels in an area.

Mr. Oldhausen reported we have tested this site and propagation varies very dramatically depending on whether there is a significant amount of clutter. If you move the site away from the freeway, the critical coverage objective (retail areas around Tri-County Mall and the freeway between Route 4 and S.R. 747) is impacted. Our neighboring sites are not on the freeway. This site enjoys much closer line of site propagation on this stretch of freeway and the reliability advancement is profound. As the site moves away from the freeway, the result is it looks through clutter and this freeway between State Route 4 and State Route 747 goes into marginal reliability.

Mr. Galster said the Sheraton is the tallest building along that corridor, and you are saying that it is still not tall enough. What if we still had it on the Sheraton and had a satellite one somewhere else? Canít the two of them combined get you as much performance and quality?

 

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Mr. Oldhausen answered not necessarily. It could take four or two, but we also discussed the benefit of having height being able to penetrate into the buildings, and the relatively high density of sites that we are already building in this area to obtain these objectives. If we alter the height significantly, we would go to a density three or four times the number of cells to obtain the same amount. Also we are expending a $100 million dollars in capital equipment alone between Dayton and Cincinnati to meet these quality objectives. The ramifications are that the cost goes from $100 million to half a billion if you apply this same kind of reasoning through our service areas. Mr. Galster commented I donít know what any other city will require you to do. What I would like to know is if you put this on top of the Sheraton and that was "the main coverage area for the City of Springdale" if any additional sites would be required, where would they be?

Mr. Shumate answered I have a map here, which must be kept confidential, that I would be glad to share, showing the surrounding sites. What Bernie is trying to tell you is if we were to place the site facility on top of the Sheraton, and even if it only took one other facility to make up what we have lost by not having the 155 foot monopole, we would need to shift all six sites surrounding the Springdale area. The cost would affect a great many sites. Mr. Galster commented you also were in negotiations with the Sheraton; did that change, and then you changed every other site back down the line when the Sheraton didnít work out? Mr. Oldhausen responded the Sheraton covers one area very well, down the freeway. Thatís about all it would accomplish. Mr. Galster said if we have one on top of the Sheraton and one somewhere else, we really havenít changed anything other than where you were before, because you were looking at the Sheraton so that must have lined up with the number of cells that continue on down the freeway. Mr. Shumate responded remember I told you that the Sheraton was identified five months ago. We approached, negotiated forever, and the negotiations fell through. As the design filled out around it, it became more and more apparent that it wasnít going to work. Weíre getting all these approved or set in permitted zones in neighboring jurisdictions and we are fighting for this one. We canít come to terms with the owner; we have to move on. We are federally mandated to do this within a certain amount of time. We made a decision that we have to give that site up, considering all the surrounding sites, considering monetary concerns, we gave that up and moved on. Mr. Galster said I thought last month you told us that the Sheraton wasnít the problem as much as you didnít think it met your needs enough. My question at the time was if we put one at the Sheraton and put another one in another location, can we accomplish the same thing as a 165 foot tower in the middle of the city, and thatís what I still would like to know. Mr. Oldhausen responded you could potentially take many more sites, and I want to point out exactly why the performance at the Sheraton was not acceptable. We already have added a site to cover this stretch of road, and not in the best way, because the Sheraton cannot look through this hill behind the Sheraton. As a result, this site cannot cover this stretch of the road. We have already added this site to insure that we can cover it. Being down on the freeway, also provides assurance of this stretch of freeway. What the Sheraton does do well is look down this stretch. It could do this, but it cannot provide acceptable reliability here, and we are very concerned with providing reliability throughout this very high traffic area. Mr. Shumate added I appreciate your concerns and I need to remind you that the negotiations failed; you keep saying we can go on the Sheraton, and we canít. Negotiations failed.

 

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Mr. Shumate continued on concerns in the June 11 staff report, I want to make sure that the Commission is aware that we take your concerns seriously. Mr. Okum will attest to the fact that we did get a crane up to 150 feet on the site, and I hope that gave you the depiction you needed.

Mr. Syfert suggested we look at the slides Mr. McErlane took. Mr. McErlane stated this was behind Wal-Mart, one of the closest locations; this was from Don Pabloís parking lot; the crane is on an angle, so if you lose it in any of these slides, you can pick it up. This is going eastbound on I-275 from Route 4; you donít see it until you get to the ramp going off to S.R. 747. This is going westbound on I-275; one from the Shell Station at S.R. 747 and Kemper Road, you can barely see it over the top of the mall, from Swallenís parking lot looking over Lazarus Store, and from Rhodes Furniture.

Mr. Syfert commented my observation in going the same route Bill took as a driver, you really donít pick this up; you donít have time. As I went southbound on 747 and turned left on Kemper Road, I didnít observe it until I got down to about Sears, and I knew what I was looking for. It kind of blended in; I think it was a good demonstration to put it where you did and at the height you did. There is no question you see it off

I-275 if you are looking for it.

Mr. Shumate responded we know it will be visible, but we would like to minimize the visual impact of the entire facility. The pictures depict our efforts to find the appropriate zone with the least impact on the Springdale Community. You canít hide the top of a monopole, but you can place it to use existing structures, landscaping and trees as much as possible. I feel we have done that, and I hope the Commission agrees.

Mr. Shumate continued in the comments of the report, it says that we should demonstrate that the proposed location is necessary to satisfy the required function. I believe Bernie has spoken to this both last month and tonight to tell you how important this site is to the design in this area. The next item would be to make sure we contact the owners of all tall structures within a one-half mile radius. The problem there is we probably had different definitions of tall structures. Our definition would be over 100 feet, and we have done that, and I hope I have demonstrated that in answering your questions. The next item is the request that the tower be fitted with anti climbing devices, and Iíll address this with the statement that landscaping should be provided for the fenced area. It was my understanding from the last meeting that the Commission is concerned with the visual impact of the fence surrounding the facility. I expressed concern on behalf of our corporate counsel that a fence is absolutely necessary for liability purposes. We can lessen the impact as much as possible and make that fenced area as small as possible, but we have to deny access to anyone who would walk up to a monopole and decide to climb it. Inevitably it would be a neighborhood child and someone would fall. The fence is there for safety reasons. It is a three sided fence, and one side would effectively be a prefabricated shelter. I m not sure the Commission still believes it is necessary to have the anti climbing devices, considering that our legal counsel requires the fence. There are monopoles that have anti climbing devices that are rungs that can be pulled out. The base would not have rungs, and when the technician came to repair the facility, he would put rungs in to climb and take them out when the job is completed. I donít know if that would be necessary with the fence, but that would be for the Commission to decide.

 

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V D AT&T WIRELESS TOWER 815 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE - continued

Mr. Shumate added it was suggested to make this facility as proposed to accommodate multiple users, and we have done that. We need the 155 foot height and we will install triangular brackets and we will estimate that 20 feet is necessary for the separation of different equipment so they donít interfere with each other. Our monopole will be constructed to support an additional bracket; we will also place a third bracket in a lower level. I will tell you that the third bracket will be useless for any kind of telecommunications carrier but it will be there for the Cityís use for lesser equipment. This monopole will be constructed to accommodate three carriers. The foundation width was a concern, and this base will be wider than usual because it needs to be to accommodate the additional brackets and the foundation has to be stronger to accommodate the additional weight and wind load. I estimate the base will be five to six feet, and the foundation will be poured appropriately. I didnít have that answer definitely last month.

Mr. Shumate continued it also mentioned on the staff report that parking should be indicated for maintenance workers. We have not enclosed our compound with a fence and therefore we do not have parking. Our technicians would pull up to the gate and place the truck if in front of the gate unlock the gate and go in.

Mr. Shumate stated the last two items on page 2 are the most important. The tower has been requested to be painted silver with a galvanized finish. That is no problem and I would suggest that it be made a condition of our approval. That also applies to the last item, that documentation should be provided to demonstrate that if service to the facility would be discontinued for period of one year, the tower would be removed. I would ask that the Commission make that a condition of approval as well so that if it is obsolete for a period of twelve months or more, the Commission would have the right to exercise some kind of legal measure. I would tell the Commission that we will leave no facility obsolete. It will be taken down. We donít leave unnecessary equipment standing; weíll get it down as soon as possible. There are no new facts to convey to the Commission, and I would like to hear any questions or concerns.

Mr. Wilson said if we allow the monopole at that location, what distances would the next monopoles left and right be? Will this be the only site? Mr. Shumate showed a computer generated map, indicating the site in Springdale and showed the other sites in Forest Park, Woodlawn, Union Township and Sharonville. Mr. Wilson commented so it appears that this will be the only spot in Springdale. Mr. Shumate added I will tell you in all honesty that sometimes when the system goes up, our engineers donít design it 100% perfectly and they install what is called mini cell sites on small structures. Mr. Wilson responded so it is possible because of the volume that in the next couple of years you will be coming to us requesting additional sites in the Springdale area. Mr. Shumate answered it is possible that I might be back in six months or two years. Mr. Oldhausen added I am responsible for growth planning and subscriber projection numbers, and our intent is to design a system that will not need any additional visible infrastructure. There are limits of capacity to be obtained when towers at these heights become a certain distance from each other. When they become very close, the propagation becomes very close to line of sight, and there comes a point where we reuse the frequencies assigned to these sites. There becomes a point where the interference limits the ability to add additional channels.

 

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Mr. Oldhausen added we could reach the limits of capacity using these sites covering these areas with this infrastructure, and we would not be asking for any further pole structures. The way we can obtain additional capacity is by personal base stations, a wireless using the same technology and home base which will allow wireless communications within a much larger distance than now available with the same reliabilities and qualities. Beyond that in Manhattan they approach areas with microcells with virtually invisible antennas mounted on corners of buildings. The approach is to move coverage within buildings to get some shielding of the radio transmissions which prevents them from interfering with the sites using these same frequencies. So, no there would not be any reasonable scenario where any additional supports would provide any effective means of capacity.

Mr. Wilson wondered when all this would come about. At what point will you have to do something else, other than what is already existing? Mr. Oldhausen reported it is difficult to predict with high accuracy the subscriber growth figures, but using fairly aggressive growth figures, it would be at least five years before we would consider using microcells for additional capacity. The places we would consider for peripheral areas are higher traffic areas than this, like traffic hot spots in the city itself. Those would be the first places. We are using all digital technology, and there is a penalty for mixing the existing analog & digital. It is inherently inefficient. Since we are starting with all digital technology, we get three times the capacity from any given chunk of radial channels. Mr. Wilson responded so the bottom line is you think it will last five years before you will have to do anything, right? Mr. Oldhausen responded the next step would be microcells downtown, and there is no foreseeable scenario where we would need additional in suburban areas like this. Mr. Syfert commented no more poles for at least five years, and even at five you wouldnít anticipate another pole; itís not your answer.

Mr. Young said I am looking back at last monthís notes, and there was a concern if we allowed the pole to go up, how many competitors could be on it; the number was three to four, and tonight it is two. Mr. Shumate answered it could accommodate the third carrier. Mr. Young responded what you said was that the third would be so low, nobody would want to use it, so in effect it is two. Mr. Shumate stated I was answering it from a structural standpoint. Mr. Young said that statement was made by Mr. Cravens. The concern I have is if we allow this pole, we would like to take care of as many problems in one location as we can. Mr. Cravens added the three would be possible, but you would have to allow for a tower going up to 199 feet. It would require a much bigger structure than the 165 feet. Mr. Young said last month we were talking about 160 feet, so you knew that 160 feet would not handle three or four. Mr. Cravens said I was assuming that if that were going to happen, we would be able to build a higher tower. If that was the case, I made a mistake and I apologize.

Mr. Young continued what I want to hear somebody say tonight is are we talking just two businesses on a 160 foot pole, or once it gets constructed, will we hear that you are the only ones that can be on that pole because of the height and that Cellular I or whoever else would be prohibited? The other thing I want some reassurance about is that the fee the other company would have to pay will not be so astronomical that they would come in here saying we tried and the price was astronomical.

 

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Mr. Cravens answered at this point, GTE and AT&T are working together on sites. I am sure two sites can go on this tower. Three would have to be considered with more height. Mr. Shumate added if another carrier approached you in the early stages, you could direct them to our facility before they have defined the system, and they would be able to propagate from our site and define their site accordingly. If they come to you in the latter stages of their design, our facility might not accommodate them. We would most certainly honor our commitment to put them up there if they wanted to go, but I do want to make you aware that as much as possible we are committed, but it is not something that is in our control. We can put it up there and have the space available and if it would fit in some other carrierís design, they would jump on the chance, considering the reduced costs of doing that and the fact that itís covering Springdale. The only comment about this third or fourth carrier, is that as it goes lower, it probably would not be high enough for PCS facility but somebody might be able to make use of it, the city or whomever.

Mr. Young asked if the difference in technology allows for the 20 foot difference to be a usable spot? Mr. Shumate answered absolutely. Mr. Young continued you are saying if it drops another 20 to 120 feet, your technology or Cellular Iís technology wonít function. Mr. Shumate responded if they approach Springdale early enough before they define the area surrounding the facility, they might be able to use it with making accommodations in the surrounding facilities. Mr. Oldhausen added because there are buildings around this site, there is a certain height below which there will be a set drop in signal strength. It is a benefit to the community to locate even our competitors in the area of this site, minimizing impact and also provide excellent reliability. If they are a user, I think they would still enjoy good coverage of the mall if you would offer me 130 feet on that site or nothing, I would be very strongly inclined to accept your offer because that still provides good coverage, depending on the competitorís infrastructure around it.

Mr. Shumate added I have passed around a photo image of the site. It is a reasonably good depiction of what the site will look like. There is one other concern expressed last month that the equipment shelter should be brick, but this is not feasible. We are working with delicate equipment and the prefabricated shelters are used because they are climate controlled. I doubt that you could achieve this with a brick facility, but we have prefabricated equipment shelters that are made for our purposes, approved by the state and minimize the impact as much as possible. With these equipment shelters there are different veneer finished available. He passed the catalog around for the members to review.

Mr. Okum wondered what the space between each if the antennas. Mr. Oldhausen answered we try to maintain five feet between the ends of the antennas. Mr. Okum continued that the antennas are 4 feet in length. Mr. Shumate added we will have on the bracket face itself panel antennas placed three on a side. We also have other antennas, omni directionals that you probably are accustomed to, which are straight poles which will achieve a total height of 165 feet. Mr. Okum wondered if the monopole were assembled, or one piece. Mr. Cravens answered that most monopoles come in two three or four pieces, and are erected in one day on location.

 

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Mr. Okum said if we are not sure if the third user would be at a height that is adequate, and we are sure that the second tier down would be adequate for your type of purposes, is that right? Mr. Oldhausen responded I think all three are very desirable heights at that location. Mr. Okum continued wouldnít it be reasonable to consider putting a 130 foot pole up and putting your antenna at the top of that. Then if you get other users, add the pole at that time? Mr. Shumate responded we need to be at 150 feet to match the surrounding facilities. Mr. Okum continued if your system will work at 130 feet, and you have the availability of extending the pole longer at a later time for additional users, and you could move up higher at that time if you needed to and put them down at your platform level. Mr. Shumate repeated we need to be at 155 feet right now. The fact that we can build a pole at 130 feet, if in fact we can raise it later, our system will not function properly under 130 feet. To fully answer your question, we would not be able to construct it originally at 130 feet, put our antennas there and ultimately raising it later, because the 130 feet would be insufficient to match up with the five or six facilities in the surrounding area. Mr. Shumate responded 130 feet is better than nothing, but it doesnít meet our reliability objectives.

Mr. Okum said on lowering the tower in the future, technologies change and you have talked about discontinuing the antenna and removing it if it were not used for a year. What about lowering the antenna if it were not used for your purpose. Mr. Shumate responded if our use were obsolete on the facility as opposed to tearing the whole facility down and leaving it stand at a certain height for other uses that might be needed by the city, that is possible. Mr. Okum continued you commented about the color of the tower being silver. Thatís fine with me, but I think any attachments to that tower should also be the same colors.

Mr. Okum commented this site is in a PUD district, and there will be other developments in that area. You really have not done anything with landscaping around your unit. Naturally you have the huge utility box and fence around you, but in the future, we donít know that will be there. How are you going to handle the landscaping around the perimeter of your fencing? Mr. Shumate responded I am passing around right now the landscaping plan; I chose not to offer it, because I thought you might want some input into it. This is what we consider cost affordable and also would meet the objectives of the Commission as we anticipated.

Mr. Okum asked if they would be agreeable for any additional antennas to come through this Commission for approval, and Mr. Shumate indicated that he would.

Mr. Huddleston commented to reiterate what I stated last month, I feel even more strongly about after the drive by tour that we took, I think this does serve a functional useful purpose in society today. In my mind, this is the optimum location for this. If these gentlemen are agreeable to allow multiple service providers at this location, I would like to see only some good faith language in this agreement with the city that would state that they would do that at some market rate so it gives us some basis on which they would represent that to their possible competition and still make it available to them. They certainly have shown a good faith effort to do that. I think we have a great optimum location here, and if they can work out that language, I will support this kind of an effort.


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Mr. Young asked how tall the towers are in these sites and are they single structures. Mr. Cravens stated they are all monopoles and are 165 and 185 feet tall. We are making use of Forest Park land to cover Springdale area and also making use of districts where our use is permitted. This site in Springdale does not cover 100/% Springdale, but we are making use of permitted districts to try to get a great system going.

Mr. Syfert called on Ms. McBride for her report. Ms. McBride stated most of our concerns have been addressed and the items have been covered. We would want to see both the fencing and the anti climbing devices on the pole. I have not seen the landscaping plan, but we are suggesting 10 foot evergreens, eight foot on center to go around that fencing material. The one concern I have is that we get in some form, if it is conditions as part of the approval or covenants, we need some type of written assurance that in fact they will allow other users and it will not be a situation of holding potential users up for cash as the Sheraton did to AT&T. With regards to the take down issue, we need to get that specifically in writing.

Mr. Shumate responded Iím not sure what the best would be to provide the City the assurances. I think the simplest approach would be for the City to list it as a condition for approval, and have it on file and pull it out if ever it was violated and use it against it. About negotiating for the use on the other tiers of this proposed facility, instead of us negotiating with the proposed carrier, the City and we would agree to an arbitrator to negotiate. Iím not really sure how best to resolve this.

Mr. Syfert wondered if this were done in your business, where two of you may share the same facility; is it relatively common? Mr. Shumate answered it is beginning to be, and we are currently in negotiations for some sites as colocated facilities with GTE; we are approaching them together as opposed to trying to join forces one after the other so it is much easier in that respect. With this having the two tiers open for future use, the only thing I can suggest is that some third party might need to be involved.

Mr. Huddleston suggested that this be worded by our legal counsel so it will be a civil matter and not involve the City. Certainly the City wants to protect the interests and assure that the tower to the extent reasonable can have multiple users, but we do this that says AT&T shall make it available at the market rate, that it shall not be unreasonably withheld and shall be determined by arbitration between the parties if necessary. Then it becomes a civil matter.

Ms. Callow said that would be one way to handle it. It would take it out of the control of the City which you could do. This particular situation presents a unique answer since it is in a PUD. You could put it in the Covenant and you would still have control since it is in a PUD district. I am not saying that is the way to handle your two situations since you would lose some of your control but in this situation, a Covenant may be the best way to handle it. You could still put in a provision for reasonable market rate. Mr. Shumate asked what she suggested the language be in there. Ms. Callow answered that another user could locate on that pole, maybe tying it to an industry standard in terms of rate. Mr. Shumate commented the rate could be determined, but would the independent arbitrator determine it? I am trying to alleviate the Cityís concern about our negotiations with another carrier.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page Twenty-One

V D AT&T WIRELESS TOWER 815 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE - continued

Mr. Shumate continued I want to make sure I understand what you are proposing. Ms. Callow answered I think the Cityís concern is that if another user comes forward and says we want to locate on your pole, you will not say you can locate, but we are going to charge you 100 times the market rate. In other words, you wouldnít unreasonably withhold approval of the other user. Mr. Cravens suggested that the other carriers could spend the same amount that we are paying to lease the property.

Mr. Syfert said do we agree that this is something that can be worked out? Mr. Huddleston said I think those are civil matters that can be reasonably worked out in a civil situation. I think that can be incorporated in the provisions of our ordinance that says that is what they need to do. Ms. Callow commented I would also suggest that if the City perceives a desire to use that third spot, that be put in the Covenant at the same time also with the assurance that it be done at a lease free rate. Mr. Shumate commented that is typically done.

Mr. Okum said your landscaping plan shows tree height of six feet. Ms. McBride had recommended eight foot spacing and 10 foot height, and I think the Commission should recommend some type of building finish if that is the only type of building you can use for your system. Mr. Syfert commented I donít have any problem with what you are using other places. Mr. Shumate added it is a pebble finish. Mr. Okum responded I was thinking more like split face. Pebble finish looks like rocks. You had another one which is more consistent with the type of materials used in the development down there now.

Mr. Shumate reported if you need this for conditional language, I can give you the company name and various names of finishes. If there is something specific you want, we can put that in. Mr. Okum commented I hate to act on legislation that doesnít have the covenants attached. Typically on PUD changes we have a set of Covenants with those changes incorporated that have been reviewed and brought to the Commission. What is your time line? Do you need action now and can our legal counsel handle that? Typically Covenants come from your people to us.

Mr. Shumate answered if you are asking me to draw up Covenants, I can do that. I think what would be better is if I sat down with Council so there is no misunderstanding. We are on a time frame, but we can accommodate you in that respect.

Mr. Huddleston moved to accept the application for approval of the communications tower, subject to the building architecture to satisfy Mr. Okum, the landscape eight foot on center by 10 foot in height, to paint the tower silver or galvanized, to have the 12 month obsolete or out of service clause incorporated that staff has worked on relative to other towers, and to have the language in there relative to the multiple use of the tower not being unreasonably withheld from other market service providers to be determined by a civil arbitrator between the parties and the City. I would say that the City would still retain control with the zoning requirement approving multiple installations on that tower. Mr. Young seconded the motion.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page Twenty-Two

V D AT&T WIRELESS TOWER 815 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE-continued

Mr. Okum suggested amending the motion to include that the city approve all attachments and any attachments on the tower should be painted out as the tower is. Mr. Huddleston commented I would accept that as part of my motion.

Ms. Callow added the only other suggestion I would make is if you want to consider having the necessity of the location reviewed by an outside expert. Mr. Huddleston responded Iím not sure what you are trying to accomplish with that. Ms. Callow answered a suggestion was made in the cellular tower ordinance that a demonstration be made as to the height and location and the necessity for the location of the proposed tower. In this case, that has not been done. We have had testimony that it is required to be in this location at that height. My suggestion is that we have that proposal reviewed by an outside expert to render their opinion as to whether or not that is accurate. Iím not saying this is necessary from a legal standpoint. Mr. Shumate wondered who the outside expert would be, and Ms. Callow stated it would be someone retained by the city. Mr. Shumate stated I donít agree with that condition. We have been here in good faith to tell you the importance of this and define why it is important. I donít see the value of having an outside person employed by the City come in. I donít see how you can be assured that opinion would be any different from ours in terms of prejudice and exceptions. As you said, we have operated in good faith and if that is a condition of the ordinance, that it fine, but it is not a condition right now; it is not what we had anticipated. We have honored the Commissionís concerns, and we would like a decision without that condition attached to it. Maybe for future cases in which the ordinance is applicable, but it is not applicable here. Ms. Callow responded I understand that; I threw that our for consideration. I assume that an expert probably would concur with your opinion that there is nowhere else that it could be located, that it would have to be that tall. Mr. Shumate commented it would take a lot of time.

Mr. Huddleston said as the individual initiating the motion, I donít see that as a necessary condition to my motion. I donít know how Mr. Young feels about that relative to his second. Mr. Young stated I feel the same way. At this point, my second will stand.

Mr. Wilson commented to address what you said, you donít feel an outside person would have more credibility to us than you have because you have been to us in good faith. Obviously this being your project you will talk about all the positives; you are prejudiced because this is your project. Mr. Shumate added I am also prejudiced because this is wonderful technology. Mr. Wilson continued to say that an outsider would be prejudiced, or that we would necessarily agree with an outside person, I take offense to, because the outside person could very well agree with you. If your program is all that great and that location is the ultimate one, you still are dealing with a person in the same industry as the one you are in, with the same knowledge that you have. At best they would have to agree with you if they are as good as you are. If an outside person is going to substantiate what you are proposing, I would think you would want that as opposed to your comment about being opposed to it. Mr. Shumate responded I apologize if I have chosen the wrong word. What I was thinking as I was speaking is that we would have to reveal a great deal about our system to an outside party, somebody in the industry. That is what I meant to say.

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page Twenty-Three

V D AT&T WIRELESS TOWER 815 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE - continued

Mr. Oldhausen added much of what constitutes outstanding benefits to the customer is a subjective judgment on the part of AT&T. A lot of these subjective judgments represent a competitive advantage. It would be possible to obtain judgments about what the signal strength levels would be, but what remains subjective is the determination of what we feel is essential to provide reliability to the customer. There is a huge arguable subjective area as to what is essential.

Mr. Okum said we have not included the anti climb devices to be incorporated into this. Also, the mast shown on your drawing is different from what you show on the photograph. The mast in the photograph show all the antennae up with a 10 foot boom on it. This plan shows the antenna being 14 feet long above the 150 point. Mr. Shumate answered that is correct; this is the picture of the monopole taken elsewhere, where the antennas happen to be up; I apologize. Mr. Okum added this gentleman said they all would be up not down, so I am a little confused. Mr. Oldhausen stated I propose to make the most efficient use of the space and avoid putting antennas down. Mr. Okum said your plan submission shows them going up and down. Mr. Oldhausen responded I am hereby eliminating this. Mr. Okum said the height will be 10 feet and not 14 feet, is that correct? Mr. Oldhausen answered 14 feet is vastly preferable, but 10 feet could be made to work. Mr. Syfert commented we have been talking 10 feet all along; are we talking 10 feet now? Mr. Okum added that would put us at 160 to the tip instead of 164. Mr. Oldhausen stated we will remain consistent to what we had discussed. Mr. Okum wondered if a motion to amend the motion was needed. Mr. Syfert responded I believe it goes without saying that before a permit is issued, the proper drawings will be provided to the City. Mr. Okum added and it will be 160 feet, not 164 feet.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Young, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Okum, and Mr. Syfert. Mr. Galster voted no, and the approval was granted with five affirmative and one negative vote. Mr. Syfert stated it has been approved and we will have to work out the proper documents. After working that out, we will be able to issue the permit; please get proper drawings.

Planning Commission recessed at 10:28 and reconvened at 10:30 p.m.

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Final Plan Approval of Proposed Q Lube 605 Kemper Commons Circle

Gary Kirklin of Q Lube, Inc. stated there were three or four questions raised a month ago that I would like to respond to. One concern was that we had two entrances. We changed that and basically redesigned the whole spot. Our intention is to have the building at one elevation and employee parking at a lower elevation with a retaining wall dividing the two areas. Originally we talked about some type of interlocking block to form that retaining wall. By that wall being turned and going along Kemper Road, we are asking to change the retaining wall to an exposed aggregate or an architectural type finish.

Mr. Kirklin continued the second concern was that when you were on the bridge, you didnít want to look into our roof. There should be a drawing there that depicts the view from the bridge at the high point sitting in your car, there still will be about six feet of our building, plus the facade above that, so you shouldnít really see any of the roof structure .

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 April 1996

Page Twenty-Four

VI A FINAL APPROVAL PROPOSED Q LUBE 605 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE

Mr. Kirklin added we only have a two ton heating & air conditioning unit on the roof, and I really donít think there will be anything that you will see up there. The last concern was the material we had proposed to use for the building. We would like to change it to a drivitt material instead of steel panels.

Mr. Kirklin reported the first comment I received from staff is that they would like to have the entrance into our property at 100 feet away from the intersection We currently have it at 80 feet. The way the building and the property are laid out, we feel it is down far enough that it will not impact on the intersection. Our business would generate two or three additional cars per hour through that intersection, so I do not think there is a problem with the entrance being 80 feet from the intersection.

Mr. Kirklin added we did not show any details of the dumpster enclosure on the west side of the property. The staff asked for details and that is acceptable with us. Ms. McBride commented they already are on your landscaping plan.

Mr. Kirklin stated the monument sign is eight feet high, and your ordinance only allows seven feet; we would be willing to lower that; it is not a problem. The sign is illuminated along with the facade of our building. Our business hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and we have all the lights on the property on a timer so they would be shutting off by about 7 in the evening. There also are a couple of comments about the landscaping, and we are willing to make the changes asked for in that.

Mr. Kirklin reported we submitted a photometric drawing that shows the building only. We do not have any lighting in our parking because only the employees park away from the building. By the time we close in the evening with the lights from the building, there would be enough light that the customers can get to their cars.

Mr. Kirklin continued the setback from Kemper Commons Circle needs to be 10 feet; we only have it at eight feet, but we are willing to change it to 10 feet

Mr. Kirklin stated the only one we have a problem with is the sign, which is Page C-3. It is about six and one-half feet off the road, and needs a 25 foot setback. We really do not have any place else where it can be seen in both directions, so we would like to ask for a modification to that.

Mr. Kirklin stated they asked us to make sure that the handicapped parking space was van accessible, and we will do that. I was just given a detail on the driveway and how they would like to have it constructed, and we will add that to the project.

Mr. Syfert stated there has been a commitment to make a number of changes that have been recommended and are not reflected on the drawings. I would ask for staff review comments.

Mr. McErlane reported that the applicant addressed the majority of the comments. The first item was that the photometrics shown are only for the building and there are no lights indicated for the parking area. The applicant indicated that their operating hours are 8 to 6 and they felt it wasnít necessary to have lighting at their employee parking. The setbacks are actually outlined within the Covenants for Tri-County Commons

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page Twenty-Five

VI A PROPOSED Q LUBE 605 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE - continued

Mr. McErlane continued the setback requirements for drives and parking are 10 feet from Kemper Commons Circle. Their setback is shown at eight, and the applicant has indicated that he can obtain the 10 feet. The ground sign is shown at six and one-half feet from the east property line. The east property line is barely at the edge of the curb on the access drive. The Zoning Code requires 25 feet, but I think based on the alternative locations for it, that is probably the most logical place to put the ground sign. In order to place it 25 feet from an adjacent property line, it would probably end up being down in the lower part of the lot where it wouldnít be too visible. The ground sign is also shown at eight feet in height; the maximum height is seven feet, and the applicant has indicated that he can obtain the seven feet. The one handicapped parking space that is shown needs to be a van accessible space, which means that the access aisle will need to be a little larger than what is shown. Dumpster is located on a side yard, but considering the alternatives, that is probably the most logical location for that as well. We have no details for the enclosure. Mr. Kirklin responded it can be brick or a block, whatever is your preference.

Ms. McBride stated he has addressed most of our comments also. We had suggested that the driveway be shifted to 100 feet. That is typical good site design standards. I donít agree with the number of trips that the applicant is quoting as coming out of there (per the ITE manual), but it is a low trip generator, so we donít feel we would be compromising safety if it remains at 80 feet, but we wanted to point out to the Commission that under normal standards it would be 100 feet. They have agreed to the dumpster enclosure that we have suggested and the additional landscaping around that, so that is fine. We have talked about the signage. We had a little concern about the sight distance at the northeast corner of the site. It is a nice plant material, but it does get relatively tall, so you might want to look at that. They had two alternatives for the western portion of the site that will remain open. The one had the wildflower mix, and the other had a grass material. We suggest that they go with the wildflower mix, but they indicated that if they did that they werenít going to do the white pines. We would like to see the four white pines and the wildflower mix.

Mr. Shvegzda stated that the biggest change between this submittal and the previous one is coming up with one driveway entrance as opposed to the two. There is no detention required on site; it is all provided in the regional detention basin. Storm analysis for the slotted drain that is at the driveway needs to be submitted. There is a question as far as the illumination on the parking lot.

Mr. Wilson said in last monthís minutes, Mr. Okum said "You have a restaurant on the other side of that exit that is a drivitt stucco finish with a soft group of colors and you are looking to put something very stark directly adjacent to that property." It appears that what you have done is gone to a drivitt type finish, but it is still white. Is it possible to soften that up a bit; does it have to be stark white? Can we put some color in that?

Mr. Kirklin responded that is a tough question. We own 450 oil change businesses and have about 150 franchises and what you are looking at is the standard. Mr. Wilson commented if you can, add a little color to it, tone it down a bit. If we could get a color pallet or something that would indicate that it is toned down a little bit; there are egg shells and other colors than stark white.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page 26

VI A PROPOSED Q LUBE 605 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE - continued

Mr. Kirklin responded actually the drivitt does not come out quite as stark as some of the other material, but I would be glad to submit something.

Mr. Wilson continued there is a Quaker State Lube at Wal-Mart. Will that be a competitor? Mr. Kirklin answered we do not feel they are a competitor. The customers who use Wal-Mart are going in there to shop for an hour or hour and a half and can leave their car. The people we will cater to are people that want to have their oil changed in 15 minutes and go on their way. They are competitors, but we donít look at them as competitors.

Mr. Okum said you indicated that canopy and site lighting would be off at night; would it be agreeable if we made that as part of the conditions of approval and Mr. Kirklin indicated that would be fine. Mr. Okum continued would you have any objection to no pack lighting mounted on the building? Mr. Kirklin responded we probably would rewire part of our canopy so one side light might stay on. Mr. Okum asked the color of the facility in Forest Park and Mr. Kirklin answered itís a natural brick finish. Mr. Okum continued so you can change your color. Mr. Kirklin responded except that is not a Q Lube; that will be white before the end of summer; we already have the necessary approval.

Mr. Okum asked about the canopy lighting. Mr. Kirklin reported that it is downlit, and there is a green band. The facade is five feet, and the top two and one half feet is solid aluminum composite material, and then there is a two foot band of green glass; light comes out of that. It is illuminated during cloudy days and a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening. Mr. Okum continued but it will not be lit during the night. Mr. Kirklin confirmed this. Mr. Okum wondered if you would have any problem with the rule that if part of your lighting is out on your canopy, all of your lighting is out; an all lit or not lit policy? Mr. Kirklin agreed with that.

Mr. Okum stated you did do the elevations and I appreciate that, but with a lit canopy with your name on it, do you see the need for a ground sign along that access driveway, when down by your entrance would be a more appropriate location? I donít see any reason for that ground sign to be up there, when if you look straight ahead youíll see the canopy with Quaker State on it. Mr. Kirklin responded the ground sign will actually say Q Lube. Mr. Okum responded I typically locate entrances by where their signs are, I would think that would be a more appropriate location. He asked Ms. McBride if there would be a problem with that. Mr. Shvegzda stated there could be a sight distance problem. Ms. McBride added if there is not a sight distance problem, then it probably isnít a problem at that location. Mr. Okum asked Mr. Shvegzda to look at this. Mr. Kirklin added that is a good question, because that is a right turn exit only anyway. Mr. Okum added it may be a better place anyway.

Mr. Galster said my comments were on the ground sign as well, because that is a right turn exit only. You canít attract anybody coming from either way; they canít turn in there anyway so it wouldnít do any good. Plus the Quaker State in the line of sight of all the cars already. As a matter of fact, this would probably actually block the Quaker State banner on what is called the right elevation.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page Twenty-Seven

VI A PROPOSED Q LUBE 605 KEMPER COMMONS CIRCLE - continued

Mr. Syfert wondered if the[applicant agreed with what Commission members are saying, that it might be better to move it down there, provided it is not a line of sight problem? Mr. Kirklin indicated that he did, wondering if the setback would be the same. Mr. McErlane reported I am sure you still would be within the 25 feet of the east property line. You may have to look at the 10 foot requirement from Kemper Commons Circle. Mr. Galster stated I was thinking more to the west of the driveway. Mr. McErlane responded so it would be more than the 10 foot setback requirement from the right of way. The question is would Planning Commission be amenable to something less than 10 feet as long as the sight distance is acceptable? Mr. Syfert commented I canít see that as a line of sight problem on the curve like that. Mr. Galster added if this is to scale, there is no problem.

Mr. Okum moved to grant approval with the following conditions:

1. Final site plan approval;

2. All lit or not lit policy on the canopy;

3. No pack lighting on the building;

4. Dumpster surround as suggested with gate enclosures that

are kept closed;

5. Relocate the ground sign to the location as indicated;

6. Color of the building to be toned down from stark white;

7. Drivitt color pallet to be submitted for approval.

Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Galster, Mr. Young, Mr. Huddleston and Mr. Syfert. Final plan approval granted with six affirmative votes. Mr. Syfert added you need to get current drawings in showing all the things we discussed, and then youíll get your permit to get started.

Mr. Syfert stated prior to Mr. Okum and Mr. Huddleston arriving, we had gone over the exotic animal ordinance, composting ordinance and sexually oriented business ordinance and we came to a 4-0 vote. Since we have two more members, I would like to send it to Council with full membership voting. Have both of you reviewed the ordinance, and do you have any questions? Neither had any questions. Mr. Syfert continued if not, we had a motion by Mr. Galster and second by Mr. Young originally. Mr. Galster moved to bring back to the floor the wild animal ordinance. Mr. Young seconded. By voice vote, all present voted aye.

Mr. Galster moved to recommend to Council the wild animal ordinance. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the wild animal ordinance was recommended to Council with six affirmative votes.

Mr. Galster moved to reconsider the composting ordinance and Mr. Young seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye.

Mr. Galster moved to recommend to Council Ordinance 21-1996 Mr. Young seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the composting ordinance was referred to Council with six affirmative votes.

Mr. Galster moved to reconsider Ordinance 96 for discussion, and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. All present voted aye.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

9 July 1996

Page Twenty-Eight

VII - DISCUSSION - ORDINANCE NO. 96-1996 - continued

Mr. Galster moved to recommend to Council Ordinance No. 96-1996 and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the sexually oriented business ordinance was referred to Council with six affirmative votes.

VIII CHAIRMANíS REPORT

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone except him would not be here next month. (August 13th). Mr. Galster responded I will be on call to be here; that is my wifeís due date.

Mr. Galster moved for adjournment and Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Planning Commission was adjourned at 11:07 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_______________________,1996 _________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

_______________________,1996 __________________________

Richard Huddleston, Secretary