PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
SEPTEMBER 9, 2008
7:00 P.M.



I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Tony Butrum.


II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Lawrence Hawkins III, and Steve Galster

Members Absent: Tom Vanover

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

III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF AUGUST 19, 2008

Steve Galster moved to adopt the Minutes from the August 19, 2008 meeting, and Lawrence Hawkins seconded the motion; all present voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes.

IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster reported the Taste of Springdale will be September 13, 2:00 – 10:00 p.m.


V. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Zoning Bulletin – August 25, 2008


VI. OLD BUSINESS

(Chairman Butrum stated no old business to report.)


VII. NEW BUSINESS


A. Approval of sign package for Guitar Center, 640 Kemper Commons Circle

Rick Yagelski, Director of Construction with the Corporate Office of the Guitar Center Store: I have traveled here from our corporate office in California to get an audience with you today for our signage at our store in Springdale that we are relocating from our current location in Cincinnati. We really need your support on our signage design. We want to give you a copy of our revised submittal.

Dan Gibson, representative for the landlord of the Kimco property: We are the agent for the owner, it is a Kimco owned property. I am here on behalf of the ownership of the center to discuss our need. The Guitar Center is our first tenant in the center in seven years; we have struggled with leasing and we are very excited to have and look at it as a springboard to leasing the rest of the center. We are hoping to get Guitar Center in and open to give the “splash” that it needs, so that other tenants that see it don’t have the same objections. Primarily the objection to our center, when you talk to potential tenants initially is the visibility from Kemper. We are here to get a sign a little bit larger than your code allows; I think the scale works well. One thing about Guitar Center’s name is that if you didn’t know you wouldn’t know they carried all the other equipment; that is the reason they have all those tag lines underneath because they do carry the full supply of music equipment. We are excited to have them and I think they are a great addition to the City and to our center.

Chairman Butrum: We do have some Staff comments.

(At this time Mr. McErlane read his Staff report.
Anne McBride and Don Shvegzda did not have any additional comments to add to Mr. McErlane’s report.)

Mr. Okum: That center needs help and this business is going to be help to the center.
On the other hand, I have to think about the other merchants in the center that I have some concerns with because by doing this I frequent that center and go to HH Gregg and used to go to Jacks; HH Gregg sells washers and dryers and they sell TVs and stereos and they just have a name; and you think about Walmart and they have TVs and stereos – although I am happy you are moving to the center, you are marketing to the public through schools, through business and Yellow Pages, I am a little concerned about how that will impact on the other businesses in that center. The visibility for that center is terrible, it is set in the valley and we knew that when they built it. As far as their permitted usage per agreements on the Guitar Center sign on the expressway, personally I don’t have a problem; the Tri-County Common sign, I don’t have a problem with that. Personally in my opinion, I would not be supporting the additional signage explaining your business product lines at this point.

Mr. Hawkins: How many Guitar Center Stores are there?

Rick Yagelski: Two hundred and fifteen, nationally. Our standard trademark includes the entire store front design that you see in the submittal.

Mr. Hawkins: Does it typically sit on either side, like the first proposal or does it typically sit underneath like in the second proposal?

Rick Yagelski: Those tag lines, that is what we call them, that reads “drums”, “keyboards”, so forth, we typically customize the location and the layout of those to match the building and the façade that we inherit on any given property around the country. There are many cases in our preferences to line them up in a linear fashion like you see on their current design. Where the space doesn’t allow that, we will go with the stack design and go on either side, similar to the first proposal. So, we have done both throughout the country.

Mr. Hawkins: But it is just those two different designs?

Rick Yagelski: Yes.

Mr. Hawkins: And do any of those stores throughout the country not have those descriptive tag lines on them?

Rick Yagelski: You know I can’t vouch for every single store, I haven’t visited every one, but I believe probably 99% with both tag lines and our trade mark logo. It is something we have overwhelmingly been successful in getting approval for. It has become a standard part of our trademark.

Mr. Hawkins: Are the tag lines always these specific things?

Dan Gibson: They are.

Mr. Galster: When I see the sign on the building I don’t have a problem with the scale. In reference to the tag lines, I remember when we had Mars Music, same kind of thing. I look at Walgreens and they have a “one hour photo”, they have “pharmacy”. I think that the tag lines are something that we have done in the past and based on the scale and the scope of this project, I am not opposed to it.

Mr. Bauer: I just have one question for Ms. McBride, are there other variances for signs that we have allowed?

Anne McBride: Yes there are. There are significant number of modifications that the Commission has granted within that PUD and I would also remind the Commission although it has not been redeveloped or constructed as such yet, the Walmart façade that we approved also had a number of tag lines.

Mr. Okum: Are these individually lit channel letters?

Dan Gibson: They are individually lit letters. Yes. They are not raceway, they are mounted directly to the building, but they are all internally lit so each individual letter.

Chairman Butrum: If no one else has any questions, I will entertain a motion.

Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion to approve the revised submission by the applicant for the property at 640 Kemper Commons Circle, which includes the building package, the 275 package and the Commons sign package, revised 8/08/08.

Mr. Galster seconded the motion.
Mr. Lawrence polled the Planning Commission Members and with 6 “aye” votes (one member being absent) the motion was accepted.

B. Approval of Sign for “Alterations & Tailoring”, 11806 Springfield Pike

Mr. Meierdiercks: I am an employee of CMC properties; I am here on behalf of the tenant. Alterations & Tailoring has been in business in Springdale for ten years. The woman that runs the business recently had a brain aneurism and surgery. Her son was trying to maintain the business and we moved them down to a smaller space and gave them about $5000 free rent to help them get by. Unfortunately their sign doesn’t fit the criteria and they are in kind of a tight corner of the building. We are simply asking if it would be possible to move their existing sign to that space. It will be tight.

Chairman Butrum: We have some Staff comments.

At this time the Staff comments were read by Mr. McErlane; there were no comments presented by Anne McBride or Don Shvegzda.

Mr. McErlane: I didn’t have the opportunity to ask Mr. Meierdiercks how they intend to deal with the downspouts; since this is a raceway sign, how do you intend to deal with the downspout?

Mr. Meierdiercks: It is going to be relocated behind the sign, I already have a bid from a contractor, he is going to cut it top and bottom and mount the sign and route it behind – tuck against the raceway.

Mr. McErlane: The concern would be that I think that downspout drains the majority of the storefront on that end of the building.

Mr. Galster: Is this to scale, to the best of your ability?

Mr. Meierdiercks: It is pretty accurate. The sign, as it sits now takes up about seven and one-half panels.

Mr. Galster: There is no way that you are going to be able to make a left hand turn out of that downspout, go all the way to the end of the “A”, come down and make a right hand turn back to where the old downspout was, because those raceways run the full length. The only way I can see it working is if you physically move where the downspout comes out of that drain, and I don’t know if that is going to function properly. You will almost have to move where the downspout is attached to the gutter.
I do not have any problems trying to make this work. I appreciate the efforts that you, the landlord have gone to try to keep this tenant.

Mr. Okum: I am also a customer of this lady and I am sympathetic to this, but on the other hand we are really squeezing this site with signage; you have got to hold some distance between them and sort of balance it out.

Mr. McErlane: I think you could make the gutters work and the downspouts work a little better if the location where it comes out of the gutter was moved to the end of the “A”, and it would drop down and make two bends instead of four, as what was proposed.

Mr. Galster: You could split those raceways and make four signs up there almost, but that is not going to be cheap either. I am not sure about raising or lowering the sign, right now everything runs on the same plain. I would not move it up or down too far, because I think everything is pretty consistent all the way across.

Chairman Butrum: Does it matter where between, if we are going to move that downspout anyway.

Mr. Okum: If you move it two feet you are not going to get that much change in drainage. Ice damming occurs most commonly off of that valley into that downspout location anyway. That is probably their heaviest point of their ice damming occurrence, whether the downspouts are slopped.

Chairman Butrum: I think if we can make it not look like a mistake, but make the change look by intent.
If there are no further comments, I will entertain a motion.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a motion for approval of the sign for Alterations and Tailoring at 11806 Springfield Pike for the purposes of relocating the existing sign to the new location at 11806 B Springfield Pike with the conditions that the existing downspout thimble be terminated and removed and that a new downspout thimble be placed approximately 2’6” back from the corner to allow for the downspout to be re-routed in a normal way into the existing vertical element. All downspouting shall remain against the grey field of the building façade.

Mr. Bauer seconded the motion.

Mr. Hawkins polled the Planning Commission and with 6 “aye” votes (one member being absent) the motion was approved.

Mr. Galster: I wanted to thank CMC, their management group donated the property that allowed us to fit the Veteran’s Memorial in its existing site. They have been a good community citizen.

VIII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Okum: We have had some things come up regarding Board of Zoning Appeals recently with sheds and storage buildings which is a good piece of legislation and has been very helpful. Recently, at the last Board of Zoning Appeals meeting we had another request for a variance for very close to the property line setback. I think we need to look at that in our zoning code; because I really don’t know why we have a
5 foot setback on our sheds. In the small properties that we have like in Heritage Hill and Terrace, etc., those people are grasping for every inch of yard that they can get. That is a comment you get from a lot of the residents. It was probably Hamilton County code twenty-five years ago, and we have probably maintained that.

Mr. Galster: Five feet away allows them to maintain and cut the grass in back of it.

Mr. Okum: Frankly, most people put junk behind their sheds when they have five feet, because they don’t want to look at it; and who gets to look at it – the neighbor.
If you had less space then you would have less room for junk.
I personally feel that 2 ½ feet distance would be a more reasonable distance.

The other item I wanted to bring up, I think our zoning code needs to be looked at and gone through; it has been ten years and we need to redo it. Hamilton County just did text amendments to their zoning code; there are things regarding accessory structures and there were also things on energy and temporary sign variances. One of the other items they brought up is these wind-energy systems because obviously it is something that is on the horizon. We had the oil burning or the wood burning that Council acted on by eliminating. We need to look at those parts of our code so that we are up to date.

Mr. Galster: Is this a formal request?

Mr. Okum: It would take a motion from this body; I thought we would discuss it and if there is a motion from this body then we refer to Council for a request for payment for it, which is typical for that.

Mr. Galster: We are not sure if the City will fund it. I don’t know how much it costs last time we did a comprehensive zoning code update. I know it took us eight or nine months.

Anne McBride: One of the things that we typically do is, we do a diagnosis of the existing code. The City would also have to make a decision whether or not you would want to keep the base, the code in tact; a lot of communities are going to form-based zoning which an underlying district and then a overlay form district on top of that. The codes that are now coming out of our office are in excess of 400 pages and I don’t think that is really where the City wants to go. We would need some direction on what the City wants.

Mr. Okum: We could make a motion for a request for payment and refer to Council.

Mr. Galster: To keep it in its standard form as it is now and just modify it as your review sees fit, or to look at it with this change in structure.

Anne McBride: My recommendation would be not to go to a form-based system in Springdale. The communities that are looking at doing that, the City of Louisville has gone to that – it is very complicated. My recommendation is that we would look at taking our base-code and add some type of overlay district for our retail corridor to implement some of the things that we are seeing coming out of our plan to include the provision for another district or an overlay district, as well as an updating of the code, a diagnosis review of the code; what areas need to be made current.
Why don’t we look at putting together a proposal for those kind of things and then at least start the dialogue and if there are other things that folks think we need to be adding or taking out then we can look at that as well.

Mr. Galster: But I also think at the same time it would be a good idea to make sure that we include the fact that we would want to probably the overlay district for retail in our proposal, so that Council understands.
I believe that this body requests a proposal and then it gets submitted to City Council.

Anne McBride: I think the last time that we have done proposals it went to Mr. Osborn for review.

Mr. Galster: So this body is making recommendation to Mr. McErlane, as part of the Administration to formally start the process of requesting a proposal for a zoning code rewrite.

Mr. McErlane: I thought it would have been a request to Council and Council will end up deferring it back to Administration to get the request for payment.

Mr. Okum: There are a lot things happening elsewhere that can help us in our City and our businesses to deal with special unique situations.

Anne McBride: I guess the thing that I would ask of you Mr. Galster, being the Council representative that is here this evening, is that you could get some kind of feel from Council that that is something they would consider entertaining, not a commitment, before we put together a detailed proposal.

Mr. Galster: That will be a week and a day from now, and in the meantime I will try to have a conversation with Mr. Osborn and see if there are any other things that he wants to include in the presentation to Council.


IX. CHAIRMANS REPORT

Chairman Butrum: We had a couple of Halloween signs for approval.

X. ADJOURNMENT

Lawrence Hawkins moved to adjourn and Rich Bauer seconded the motion and the Planning Commission adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary