PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
July 12, 2011
7:00 P.M.


I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Don Darby.


II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Carolyn Ghantous, Richard Bauer, Tom Vanover, Steve Galster, Marge Boice, Don Darby
   
Members Absent: David Okum

Others Present: Don Shvegzda, City Engineer; Anne McBride, City Planner;
William McErlane, Building Official; Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director

Chairman Darby: I need to mention that it will require a five vote majority to pass any action before this Board.
   

III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JUNE 14, 2011

Mr. Vanover moved to adopt the June 14, 2011 Planning Commission Meeting minutes, Mr. Galster seconded the motion; with four affirmative votes
(Mrs. Ghantous arriving at 7:08 p.m.) and one abstention from Mr. Bauer who was not present at the June 14, 2011 meeting, Mr. Vanover withdrew his motion to adopt the June 14, 2011 Planning Minutes and Mr. Galster recommended to table the minutes until the next meeting; with five “aye” votes the minutes were tabled.


IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster: No report on Council, Mr. Chairman.


V. CORRESPONDENCE

Chairman Darby: In your packet, you received two pieces of correspondence, matters considered by this Board previously.


VI. OLD BUSINESS

Chairman Darby: There is no Old Business to present at this meeting.

   
VII. NEW BUSINESS

A. Chairman Darby: Before us we have Exterior Building Modifications – Jake Sweeney Chevrolet – 33 West Kemper Road.

Mr. Terry Brennan: I am the President of Brennan Builders, the applicant; and I also have Josh Sweeney from Sweeney Chevrolet. What we proposed is an exterior building modification to the west elevation and slightly on the south elevation of Jake Sweeney Chevrolet. We have a new entry element which is basically attached to the existing building and we are taking the existing EIFS and covering the EIFS with aluminum composite panel in blue and silver. We are removing some signage, 398.3 s.f. and the sign area that is added is 168.6 s.f.; it is just the new Chevrolet bowtie logo and the Chevrolet sign and replacing Jake Sweeney from the north to south on the elevation. It is a relatively easy thing. We have one traffic island that we are adding with 450 s.f., roughly to ease the traffic going into the service department. We also will probably paint the existing metal siding on the rest of the building in the Chevrolet White.

Mr. Josh Sweeney: The actual exterior is done in accordance with General Motors guidelines; they have what is called “essential brand elements” (EBE), and if the dealer elects to do that there are certain monies that General Motors will allocate to the dealer if they meet the requirements. So, I would say it is almost a mandatory thing for us to do and it is happening to General Motors dealers across the country.

(At this time, Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride read their Staff comments.)

Mr. Galster: The pole signs, are they going to have face changes or are you changing the actual structure?

Mr. Sweeney: The only thing that is changing is the sign within the frame, the plastic; what would be replaced is a black Chevrolet sign verses a blue and white sign. It will have a black bottom that will say “Jake Sweeney” and it will be white and the bowtie is actually gold, currently I believe it is white with a blue
“Jake Sweeney” and the bowtie is blue.

Mr. Galster: So, it is just a panel change?

Mr. Sweeney: Yes.

Chairman Darby: Regarding Ms. McBride’s comments about the landscaping, you are able to do that?

Mr. Brennan: I agree with that, I think that is a very good suggestion.

Mr. Galster: Mr. Chairman, I make a motion that we accept the applicant’s proposed modifications to the fascia and also the reduction in signage with the inclusion of Staff’s comments, and in particular Ms. McBride’s comments regarding the landscape plantings; I am making a motion to approve as submitted with those contingencies.
Mrs. Boice seconded the motion and with six affirmative votes (one member absent) the request for exterior building modifications to Jake Sweeney Chevrolet at 33 West Kemper Road was granted.


III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JUNE 14, 2011 (continued)

Chairman Darby: At this time, if we could revisit what was tabled earlier, the approving of the June 14, 2011 Planning Commission Minutes.

Mr. Galster: I make a motion that we reconsider the tabling of the Minutes.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with six affirmative votes from the Planning Commission Members present, the June 14, 2011 Minutes were voted to be reconsidered.

Mr. Galster: Mr. Chairman, I make a motion for the adoption of the Minutes from our June 14, 2011 meeting.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with five affirmative votes and one abstention (one member absent), the Minutes were approved.


VII. NEW BUSINESS (continued)

B. Chairman Darby: We will move on to the second item under new business, Exterior Building Modifications for Kerry Buick GMC at 150 Northland Boulevard.

Mr. Stan Ladrick: I am with RSL Architecture, and I am representing Kerry Buick, GMC. I have with me Mr. Randy Reno with Wright Contracting Services who is the contractor on the project. This is just like what Jake Sweeney is doing as part of the program to revamp their dealerships, the ones that they kept to modernize things and make things look more consistent nationwide. What we are proposing is removing a good deal of existing signage from the front fascia that faces east of the Northland Boulevard and there is an existing metal fascia that wraps around the building showroom on three sides, the eastside, north and south of the showroom; we are going to reface that with aluminum composite panels. In our case the Buick GMC version is black on the bottom and white on the top so that existing metal panel will be completely covered. We are also going to enclose the back of that fascia because our fascia projects from the building and right now the back is open and birds nest in there and it is very maintenance intensive. We are going to close the back of that. We are also going to build an entry tower element at the east entrance to the showroom facing Northland Boulevard. Buick’s entry element has its own special piece, it is two pylons with an eyebrow and there is a picture in the package that was submitted of what that looks like. We will have two signs, “Buick” and “GMC” on that entry tower piece. The entry tower piece in terms of the height and width fits within the existing building form so it is not a significant addition in terms of the height for projection. It projects out a little bit from the building because we have to put it in front of the existing fascia. In addition to these changes we are going to paint the existing showroom portion of the building. We are also going to replace the glass. We are going to legitimize what they have been doing for a long time, and that is displaying vehicles in front of the showroom on either side of the entrance; right now that is referred to as a landscape area and there is an existing sidewalk that comes out maybe 5’ to 6’ and then there is 10’ of landscaped area which is beaten-down grass and some ugly shrubs. We are proposing to pave that area so that they can park vehicles on it. We are flexible in providing some landscaping but perhaps in some other location; possibilities could be around the base of the existing pylon sign, at the entrance points of the property particularly the main entrance of the Boulevard. If further discussions need to be had on that, we would ask that you go ahead and approve the exterior improvements under the condition that Staff works out the agreement on the landscaping. As Sweeney noted there is financial consideration involved in this and there is pressure on, to get this done in a timely manner.

(At this time Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments.)

Mr. Galster: My question is on the new sign feature; when I look at drawing A-3, I see one form of an entry feature, then when I look at A-5 the detail of it looks totally different?

Mr. Ladrick: A-5 is on the interior of the showroom and the other one is the exterior elevation.

Mr. Galster: Are you just going to pour concrete where you are going to make that new parking area, it is not a paver system?

Mr. Ladrick: It is not going to be a paver system.

Mr. Reno: Possibly stamped concrete.

Mr. Galster: We are always getting into these impervious surface ratios when we are talking about these car dealerships and I don’t think we are going to pick up much but is there a material that they can use to park on, that still allows some drainage?

Mr. Shvegzda: There certainly are the different pervious paver types, both in asphalt and in concrete that are available.

Mr. Galster: Do those typically have grass planted where the grass is growing between them?

Mr. Shvegzda: No, those would be, for all intents and purposes a normal looking parking lot surface. They are not the ones that have the spaces in for the grass to grow through.

Mr. Galster: As far as cost, is that a major consideration?

Mr. Shvegzda: It is somewhat more expensive just because of the material not being as readily available as normal paving.

Mr. Galster: Did you happen to look at something that would allow the rain water and the runoff?

Mr. Ladrick: We did not look at that because of cost sensitive reasons. There is some support from General Motors for some of the modifications that they require, but not all. We are not just limited to having to make changes on the exterior of the building, but also substantial changes on the interior of the building are also required. We are getting all new ceiling, lighting and some flooring upgrades and upgrades in customer areas and other areas of the interior which add to the budget.

Mr. Galster: Could you tell me about how many square feet we have of the grassy area?

Mr. Ladrick: It is 16’ out, and it is the width of front of the building; off of the top of my head I don’t know what that number is.

Mr. Galster: But you already have a walkway that takes up 5 feet?

Mr. Ladrick: There is already a walkway that is 5’ to 6’, for half of the building plus a 12’ X 16’ entryway. If we put landscaping on both ends and we do some landscaping at the entry tower our increase in impervious surface would not be dramatic.

Mr. Galster: How big would you anticipate those islands being, Ms. McBride?

Ms. McBride: I actually did not comment on this because Kerry is a long time client of mine and I did not comment on this. We would be happy to work with them to come up with an acceptable plan, but I did not review this.

Mr. Ladrick: They could be on the south side the full depth of the distance between the front of the building and the curb which is 16’ less; so it would be a 12’ width minimum on the corner. On the other end it could be somewhat larger because we don’t have to have a sidewalk coming around from that side. We have customer parking on the south side and we want people to be able to walk around to the vehicles in the front and then in the front door. On the other end it would be a
16’ X 16’ wedge. It could be pretty substantial.

Chairman Darby: The formula I see evolving here is more green and less need for any kind of special surface?

Mr. Ladrick: Correct.

Mr. Vanover: On this picture that we have, it appears that we have a rooftop unit visible from the public street; can we get that shielded or taken care of?

Mr. Ladrick: How far back do you have to be to see that? I have photos near the curb at Northland Boulevard and there is no unit visible.

Mr. Vanover: This looks like the main entryway.

Mr. Ladrick: The showroom is a metal building and it does have a metal roof, putting screening up is possible but it would not be the easiest can of worms to attack.

Chairman Darby: Mr. McErlane, what is the guiding principle on this?

Mr. McErlane: If it were a new building and incorporating new rooftop units, we would be looking for screening of that.

Mr. Reno: How about if we paint it to blend in?

Mr. Galster: That whole elevation is getting a new treatment; if we can take that same treatment on the front of that unit, granted it is still going to protrude above the roofline but if it is with the same treatment at least it may not be anywhere near as noticeable.

Mr. Ladrick: The unit requires ventilation / air flow, I can’t commit that we can put metal panels on the front of the unit. We could paint it.

Mr. Reno: If we put ACM panels on the front of that it won’t work; I won’t get a warranty on it and it is going to cause the dealer problems down the road.

Mr. Galster: To the extent of Mr. Vanover’s concern, I agree that in a best case scenario it would be good to screen it but given the fact that it is an existing building I think that my personal opinion is if we paint it out on all sides that are visible from the public right of way, then I would be o.k. with that.

Mrs. Ghantous: Me, too.

Mr. Vanover: I still think that we hold others to the standard; that is a stark building even with landscaping that is there now.

Mr. Bauer: As far as the landscaping, the area that you need for parking of cars is that determined somewhere; do you know what that is?

Mr. Ladrick: We would like to have approximately three vehicles on each side of the entrance; the vehicles have to be angled because it is only 16’, and we want to allow 5’ or 6’ between the vehicles so that customers can circulate around them and so that the vehicles are visible. We can easily do something nice on the corners and introduce some color. There is also an area on the north side that is pretty visible, so the landscaping could include that north side wrapping around.

Mr. Bauer: My concern is, that we would have enough room to do what you wanted to do with your vehicles to display them. The other question I had was for E-5, I am not picturing where that interior signage is, is that on the same elevation as the entry?

Mr. Ladrick: It is near the back wall opposite the entry. So, you come in the front door and there is going to be a reception desk with a backdrop and this is going to be on the back wall.

Mr. Vanover: On A-0 diagram it says HVAC systems and it says the HVAC contractor shall design and modify the existing HVAC system in compliance with all applicable codes and regulations; the HVAC contractor shall provide any and all drawings and calculations needed to obtain mechanical permits; what changes are we doing to the HVAC?

Mr. Ladrick: The unit location and works is remaining, and inside we are rearranging some of the office layout and we are adding a ceiling, so we have to change the ductwork distribution within the building and those changes have to comply with applicable codes and they have been submitted and approved by the Building Department.

Mr. Galster: I am going to make a motion if there are no other comments; I make a motion that we approve the entry feature and fašade change that the applicant has submitted, we would request that a landscape plan to meet Staff approval would be submitted, before we allow the area directly in front of the main elevation to be concreted in, for display purposes. Failure to meet that approval would require some type of pervious surface material to be used as opposed to just concrete slab; that the air conditioning unit be painted out on all sides visible from the public right of way to match the fašade change.
Mrs. Boice seconded the motion and with 5 “aye” votes and 1 “no” vote (one member absent) the request for exterior building modifications for Kerry Buick GMC at150 Northland Boulevard was approved.


C. Chairman Darby: The next item on the agenda is for Play It Again Sports, Minor Improvements to Front Elevation for Play It Again Sports at 11749 Princeton Road.

Mr. Michael Willis: I am with Core Resources representing the landlord and the owner of the project at 11749. We are proposing to, on the front elevation on the right side of the current Party City entrance, there is a pair of doors, increasing that entry to an 11’ X 10’ tall store front and adding a second store front to right of that roughly 16’ wide X 10’ and installing two awnings, an awning over each opening. The awning would be wheat in color to match the building. In the future there will be a tenant build out for Play It Again Sports and they will be submitting for signage on the building. There will not be any signage on the awnings.

(At this time Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride read their Staff comments.)

Mr. Willis: In response to the Staff comments; I can state that they are non-illuminated, there will not be any lighting and they are opaque awnings. There will not be lettering on the awnings.

Mr. Galster: I have no issues with the changing on the storefront, considering the fact that we are not looking at any signage at this time. The only concern that I have is that when I look at that building as a whole and when you put those awnings on the one side it just seems to throw the balance out on that building and I don’t know if we shouldn’t add awnings on the other side even though there is no additional storefront there but to just keep balance to that building.

Mr. Willis: I would not prefer that and it wasn’t included at this time with the owner. If that is the only stipulation then I think they would be agreeable to install them; it is not a major expense and it is a concrete paved area. With no glass there, I don’t know if that would look better or look odd if you walk up and you have to go around the pedestal to get into the Party City; we are putting it on Play It Again Sports just to get in out of the weather as you come into the building.

Mrs. Boice: Concerning the awnings, I can understand what Steve is talking about the balance but I think that the solution to that might be if we can get it on record to put up the awnings now and take a look at it to see if the balance has a peculiar look and if it does you would be agreeable to doing it on the other side. I think that we could kick this around for quite some time. Put up what you are speaking about now, with a clear understanding that if we feel or the City feels that it just doesn’t look right that you would comply and do the other.

Mr. Willis: I would agree to that.

Mr. Galster: I am o.k. with that.

Mr. Bauer: Who would make that decision; the Building Department?

Chairman Darby: I think that a workable way to do that is after the initial awning is installed, and Staff has had an opportunity to take a look at it and do those things that they do, and bring renderings to us.

Mr. Galster: I make a motion that we approve the exterior elevation changes that the applicant has submitted with the understanding that there is no sign package approved at this time; the applicant has agreed to have awnings put on both sides, however we would offer relief of the additional set of awnings should after the installation of the awnings over the modified area, as long as it doesn’t look unbalanced, that we would allow them to be relieved of the requirement to add the second set of awnings on the other side.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

Mr. Willis: I agree with that.

(At this time the request for minor improvements to the front elevation at 11749 Princeton Pike, Play It Again Sports was approved with 6 “aye” votes from the Planning Commission Members present.)


VIII. DISCUSSION

Chairman Darby: I need clarity as to who a Planning Commission Member should contact if they are not going to be at a meeting?

Mr. Galster: City Council recently modified their rules of Council so that if a member of the City Council isn’t going to be in attendance that there is a notification made to Administration only because if it is the Chairman, we don’t know what kind of job you have and how easy it is to get a hold you; it is my understanding that the new rules of Council require that some effort be made to notify Administration because they are going to be here 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Past Chairman’s have asked if everyone will be able to make the next meeting and not everybody knows a month in advance whether or not they will be at the meeting. If we don’t have five people here we need to know it so that we can make the changes. We can add an item number to the agenda that verifies whether or not anyone has conflicts with the next meeting; and at least people who have prior plans can let the whole Board know.

Mr. McErlane: I just wanted to add that typically the practice has been that we have been notified when someone wasn’t going to be able to make it. We can add the next meeting date, so that everyone will know.


IX. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

A. Chairman Darby: In the Chairman’s Report you can see that I worked with
Mr. McErlane to approve three signs for the City.

a. Wall Sign – Aspen Dental, 35 E. Kemper
b. Wall Sign – (3) Five Guys, 810 Kemper Commons Circle
c. Wall Sign – Sylvan, 11810 Springfield Pike

   
X. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn; Mr. Galster seconded and with six affirmative
votes from the Planning Commission Members present, the meeting adjourned at
7:51 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________, 2011 ___________________________________
            Don Darby, Chairman


________________________, 2011 ___________________________________
                Richard Bauer, Secretary