PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
11 JULY 2006
7:00 P.M.


I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present:    Tony Butrum, Robert Coleman, Lawrence Hawkins, Tom Vanover, David Okum and Chairman Syfert

Members Absent:    Steve Galster (arrived at 7:15 p.m.)

Others Present:    Doyle H. Webster, Mayor
    Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator
    Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director
    Bill McErlane, Building Official
    Don Shvegzda, City Engineer
    Anne McBride, City Planner

III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 13 JUNE 2006

Mr. Butrum moved to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye and the Minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Report on Council – no report
B. Zoning Bulletin – May 25, 2006
C. Zoning Bulletin – June 10, 2006
D. Zoning Bulletin – June 25, 2006
E. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – May 16, 2006


V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Consideration of Sign Proposal – Garden Ridge – 11925 Commons Drive (tabled 6/13/06)

Elliott Flaum of Garden Ridge approached the commission indicating that the total sign proposal and pylon sign submitted is equal to the prior tenants.

Ms. McBride reported that they have modified the sign for the building. It is the same sign on the north and west elevations for a total of 225 s.f. The big change is the panel letters which I am assuming will be internally illuminated. Staff feels that the signage is reasonable and that the applicant tried to address staff comments.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the sign package as presented, including the building signs and beltway sign but not including the I-275 sign. Mr. Butrum seconded the motion. All present voted aye and the approval was granted with six affirmative votes.



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PAGE TWO

B. Consideration of Sign Proposal – Jared Jewelers, 11681 Princeton Pike (former Wendy’s)

The applicant stated we are here for sign approval. Last months submission was larger, and this revised package is downsized using a smaller font . As calculated by the city, it totals 271.46 s.f. and a total of 148 s.f. would be permitted under the code. We removed the diamond and modified it because of the Zoning Code regulations but if you review the photos, we would appreciate your making an exception to allow us to include the diamond. We would rather move forward with that.

Ms. McBride said their revised sign package includes one 51.3 s.f. freestanding sign, which is to reuse the 25 foot pole in the southeast island adjacent to the building. The total building signage area is 220.16 s.f. and the signage total would be 271.46 s.f. A total of 148 square feet is permitted for the site.

Mr. Galster arrived at 7:15 p.m.

Mr. Okum asked if they had considered a ground-mounted sign, and the applicant said they had briefly, but when you look at the site, there is quite a bit of grade differential between Kemper Road and Princeton Pike. The sign sets five to six feet below the road grade, and a monument sign would be difficult to view from the roadway.

Mr. Butrum commented on the diamond, and the applicant reported that the back portion of the diamond is a metal flashing which holds it there and only the front portion of the diamond is illuminated.

Mr. Galster asked if the diamond was in the roof, and the applicant said this is what we submitted at the last meeting. We downscaled the size of the channel letters and dropped the diamond so it would not extend above the roof line. It is now four feet and if it goes up, it will go up to five feet.

Mr. Galster said I think the store looks great and the sign package looks really good. It is a terrific improvement. I personally like the look of the diamond in the roof line.

Mr. Okum wondered if the top of the diamond could be even with the ridge line and the applicant responded that they could look at that, but aesthetically this is much more pleasing. Mr. Okum asked if it could be even with the roof line and the applicant said they could work on that. Mr. Okum suggested doing something with the existing pole and the applicant said they could put a cover on it.

Mr. Butrum said I do not have a problem with the total square footage. If the diamond gets moved up, what does that do to the square footage? Mr. McErlane responded if we go back to the five-foot diamond, we are at 286 s.f. instead of 271 s.f.



PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
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JARED JEWELERS – 11681 PRINCETON PIKE – SIGN PROPOSAL

Mr. Galster moved to approve the sign package based on the submittal received June 30, 2006, with the exception that we allow the applicant to increase the size of the diamond on all building facades from four feet to five feet, and allow them to mount it in their roof line as per their standard installation. Mr. Butrum seconded the motion. All voted aye, except Mr. Syfert, and the approval was granted with six affirmative and one negative vote.

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Approval of Exterior Lighting, Drs. Onady and Miller, 311 and 315 West Kemper Road

Dr. Miller said we know we need these light poles. The fact that we are transitional zoning seems to be the deciding factor to go with box lights rather than residential looking lights.

Our issue is while we are residential, we are similar to a commercial establishment. We see these box lights at UDF, etc., and the cost difference is $21,000 more of a financial burden, given all the other financial obligations we have had. Is there some type of replacement light that would satisfy the requirement and be easier financially?

Ms. McBride said there are fixtures that could be less expensive and more effective for the site.

Mr. Okum said I have a real concern with the increased lighting levels on the site. I would like to allow you flexibility but I want to make sure about the light levels. There should be something you could do to complement your building character and not be as expensive.

Dr. Miller aid we were not going for the increased light. We were trying to satisfy the light requirement (19 poles).

Mark Mullen, contractor for the job said I will go back to the lighting designer and try to get something. I understand what you are looking for.

Ms. McBride added staff is not opposed to them swapping out the lighting fixture. We just don’t think that the shoebox commercial fixture they propose gives the same residential character as the approved light fixtures and poles. I don’t know if the commission would be comfortable with letting staff review and act on it, but I would hate to have them held up for another month.

Mr. Coleman commented I would be in favor of that; it would not be a problem.

Mr. Syfert commented your building and landscaping is beautiful, and I would hate to see you cheapen it with commercial fixtures. I have no problem with the staff reviewing and approving it.

Mr. Okum moved to defer the final light fixture plan for staff approval. Mr. Coleman seconded the motion, and all voted aye.

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B. Map Amendment and Preliminary Plan for PUD – GoldenLeaf Development – 414-460 West Kemper Road

Mr. McErlane reported that he received a phone call from the applicant on July 7th asking that this be tabled to the August meeting. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion., By voice vote, all voted aye, and the item will be considered at the August 8th meeting.

C. Approval of Conditional Use Permit to Allow Outside Display – Lowe’s – 505 East Kemper Road

Ms. McBride reported I will need to recuse myself because Lowe’s is one of my largest clients.

Tom Manley, Store Manager said I am looking for a conditional use permit to allow me for a period of time (March - June). During that time the store’s business doubles. We do 1/3 of our business during those months, and we need to keep up with the supply and demand (landscaping material).to keep it on site and get through the weekend.

What I am looking for is on the far right hand side of the store. Today we are approved for plants in the garden center and I am looking for approval of shed displays in the parking lot.

As small as my garden center is, in any weekend I can be out of product, so I would like to have an area to store it. I am looking for this between March and June.

Mr. Okum said I understand your situation, but it does get to be trashy, especially along Tri-County Parkway. I was more sensitive to the green seasonal material and not the bagged goods.

Mr. Syfert opened the public hearing. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Vanover said I am there every day and Monday there were containers in the middle of the parking lot.

Mr. Manley reported we are getting ready to go through a complete remerchandising. Those storage containers will be there for eight weeks.

Mr. Vanover said I am sympathetic, but I have been very disappointed with the landscaping. It has been that way since Day 1. Mr. Manley responded I want to be up to community standards. I completely understand and agree with you.

Mr. Syfert said I am not for granting any additional exterior storage to Lowe’s. This is not against you. I want it to look halfway decent and it does not. I want to see that cleaned up rather than getting worse. Mr. Manley answered you will see it cleaned up. Mr. Syfert added if I see progress I would hear this again, but I will be voting no on this tonight.



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CONDITIONAL USE – OUTSIDE DISPLAY – LOWE’S 505 E. KEMPER RD.

Mr. Galster said in the garden area I don’t have a problem, but all of the rest of the parking lot stuff I do. For clarity, he is proposing seasonal mulch and paver delivery and staging area for the Tri-County Parkway side. Across the front of the building as it exists today there would be no additional storage requested. He is not requesting the six green spots in the parking lot. The northernmost section along the railroad tracks is where he has the sheds located. He asked how many there were and Mr. Manley said seven.

Mr. Manley said I was not aware that she submitted a request for the parking lot space. The only thing I am interested in is where the storage sheds are out in the parking lot and the side where we load up the mulch. This year there are six sheds and there will be seven next year.

Mr. Okum said this request is narrowed down to the north parking spaces where the sheds are and the southwest side of the landscaped enclosed area where they have mulch and concrete pavers. The landscape plan needs to be revitalized and fixed. I still do not like all that material setting outside the fence. It was supposed to be inside the fence. I would question if you need that much concrete block and pavers. What do you do with the inventory during the winter? Mr. Manley answered I roll it inside.

Mr. Okum said if you can look at the landscaping plan and come back with a replanting plan if we are to approve this open storage on Tri-County Parkway side, I would encourage heavy forestation, and that could be part of the landscaping plan.

I understand the issue of the storage sheds and the need to display them because of the uniqueness of the site, I would be accepting of the north location, but I would not support the trailers encroachment. At this point we cannot vote in favor of this request.

Mr. Manley responded we want to be able to work with the City, and I do not have any issues with that. My major concern was the side and the storage sheds which would be where they are temporarily.

Mr. Okum said can we continue the public hearing and have you come back next month with landscaping plan? We could provide you with the original landscape plan and you can tell us what you really want.

Mr. Galster said I have seen locations where storage sheds are on display, and they are on a green space with shrubs. I don’t like the look of them setting out there in the middle of the parking spaces.

Mr. Manley asked if he were suggesting the parking lot space being taken out and relandscaped. Mr. Galster said that would be fine since there are plenty of parking spaces. Mr. Manley said I would agree with that.



PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
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CONDITIONAL USE – OUTSIDE DISPLAY – LOWE’S 505 E. KEMPER RD.

Mr. Galster moved to continue the public hearing to the August meeting, and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye and the item will be continued to the August 8th meeting.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Syfert called on Mr. Galster for his report on Council. Mr. Galster reported on the 4 foot tall planters. Twenty will be displayed through the Bicentennial and throughout the year, and the CDS planter will be donated to the Veterans Memorial.

Mr. McErlane stated that State Farm Insurance Agency is asking about the brick planter on the base around the sign that was approved. There was discussion on this, but it was not included in the motion. We need clarification to know if it is supposed to have a brick base.

Mr. Galster said I think the brick base adds more structure to the sign and is better in the residential district. Mr. Vanover said I remember we did relinquish the stone and brick for a more free form.

Ms. McBride added we did eliminate the brick base but we had landscaping beds around the bottom.

Mr. Syfert said the general opinion seems to be that there need not be brick, but landscaping is required and must be approved by staff.

Mr. McErlane showed the new color pallet that Westminster Cottages has submitted. Mr. Galster said that brick is much more attractive, and Mr. Okum and Mr. Vanover both agreed. Mr. Galster moved to accept the revised color pallet and Mr. Butrum seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum reported that the Regional Planning Commission received votes from about seven communities and needed 19 votes to even act, so there is not a lot of interest in what is going on down there. The ballot for the appointment until 2011 had three people on it, and I was reappointed.

Mr. Vanover reported that there are two new billboards on I-275 which are extremely attractive. The techniques have jumped ahead and I think we will miss the boat on some of this if we don’t consider allowing; it would be perfect for Dave & Buster’s.

If the board agrees we should take a look at that legislation. I would like to see us send this to committee to rethink it.

Mr. Galster commented I might agree with Dave & Buster’s for a solution, but we would have to be careful about what type electricity could be used and the location.

Mr. Vanover said I think this is a discussion that needs to be held. Mr. Galster added if there is a committee I would like to participate.


PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
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PAGE SEVEN

VII – DISCUSSION – REVIEW OF SIGN ORDINANCE

Mr. Okum commented we do need to look at our sign code ordinance in its entirety. Other communities are more restrictive than we are.

Mr. Butrum commented I believe the electrical signs work well for distances (i.e. the expressway), but when you get close, it is not as good.

Mr. Syfert suggested forming a committee to look at this and asked Mr. Galster to be on it. Mr. Okum and Mr. Butrum also volunteered to make a committee of three.

Mr. Coleman stated that he would be out of town for the next meeting (August 8th).

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Butrum moved to adjourn and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

                    Respectfully submitted,



______________________,2006    __________________________
                    William G. Syfert Chairman


______________________,2006 __________________________
                    Lawrence Hawkins III Secretary