PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

7:00 P.M.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman Syfert.

  3. ROLL CALL
  4. Members Present: Robert Coleman, Councilman Steve Galster,

    Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman

    Tom Vanover Robert Sherry and Chairman

    Syfert

    Others Present Beth Stiles, Economic Development Director

    Bill McErlane, Building Official

    Don Shvegzda, City Engineer

    Anne McBride, City Planner

  5. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 13 AUGUST 2002
  6. Mr. Okum moved to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.

  7. CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Report on Council

Mr. Galster reported that the public hearing on the CVS/PUD change would be held on October 2nd.

B. Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes Ė July 16, 2002

Mr. Okum commented I would ask that the members note the fact that there were two oversized garage variances requested at one meeting. It seems to be a reoccurring issue, especially on the larger lots, and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

C. Planning Partnership Newsletter "Update" Ė September issue

Mr. Huddleston said we do have an elected and appointed officials meeting on the 25th. I will not be available, so I would ask that the city administrator attend if possible. One of the purposes is to attempt to get a majority blessing of our community compass directions. That is critical; there are four basic objectives: the economic prosperity of the county, embracing the diversity and equity of the county, and balancing development and the environment and to do that through a collaborative decision making process. There is no intent to have a metro government; we are trying to develop a collaborative partnership among the communities. I would ask that if you have comments, please get back to Mr. Osborn or myself, and we will try to respond to those on the 25th. Mr. Syfert commented that it is a pretty comprehensive report, Mr. Huddleston responded that there are a lot of issues to be covered. Springdale is healthy, as are many other communities, but we have a county that is somewhat in decline, and we need to do something to arrest that.

D. 9/4/02 Memo from Cecil Osborn

  1. OLD BUSINESS
  2. PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

    10 SEPTEMBER 2002

    PAGE TWO

  3. OLD BUSINESS
    1. Approval of Conditional Use Permit for Springdale Nazarene Church, 11177 Springfield Pike to allow a non-residential driveway in a residential district

Mr. Syfert opened the public hearing, which had been continued from last month, asking anyone who wished to speak to come forward.

Greg Neville, 314 West Sharon Road said I voiced an objection to this at the last meeting. I do not think our small neighborhood needs the amount of traffic that will come in and out, especially when the church has special events, primarily the Easter event. I think Route 4 is more equipped to handle it. I brought some photographs along to show the two beautiful tree lines there as a buffer from Sharon Road to the Nazarene property. I also have a tree line at the rear of my residence.

During the last Nazarene expansion, they took out woods, a section of woods with a small creek and orchards. I totally object to it, if it was needed, that would be one thing; they want it, and that is entirely different. Neither of the residents of the properties there will object because they are rental units, but I do not see where it would benefit any of the residents in that area and I do not think it is necessary.

Mr. Syfert closed the public hearing.

Mr. Okum said we have received some additional information on the traffic issues from Mr. Shvegzda, and I believe it would be important to bring those comments on the floor.

Mr. Shvegzda said in reviewing the sight distance conditions, we looked at the ODOT criteria, and there are two levels: (1) the intersection sight distance (if you were designing a new intersection) and (2) stopping sight distance when a driveway or new road is connected into an existing. We went out in the field and measured the available sight distance. The photograph indicates where we were looking, a point17 feet beyond the edge of pavement of Sharon Road, looking to the east and west.

To the west, there is a sight distance of 1,000 feet. The actual intersection sight distance requirement for 40 mph is 575 feet, so that more than exceeds that, and it is the most stringent criterion.

To the east, the verified distance is 455 feet. That does not meet the intersection sight distance, but it does meet the stopping sight distance, which is 325 feet. Therefore, based on that, the sight distance criteria is met for that driveway at that location.

Mr. McErlane reported we forwarded a copy of the churchís proposed plans to the Springdale Police Department, and the police chief indicated that he did not see any issues related to traffic safety and felt there was sufficient visibility both east and west.

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE THREE

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT Ė SPRINGDALE NAZARENE CHURCH

Ms. McBride reported that if the sign was to stay in, this request would need to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals to allow the sign to stay in and to allow a third one.

Ms. McBride added that we didnít feel that the buffer requirements were being met in terms of the number of shrubs, and last month staff had a lot of concerns about the lighting for the proposed driveway. Our office got some additional drawings on the landscaping and a letter saying that they were still working on the lighting. We would want the required number of shrubs. We previously talked about limiting them to a 10-foot high pole. Some additional conversation indicated bollard type lights might be sufficient, something lower key for the area.

We have put in our staff report things you should consider before you make any findings, yes or no.

Mr. Okum said Mr. Galster suggested a gate at both ends of that driveway, and I thought that was a good idea. Ms. McBride agreed.

Mr. Okum commented if we included conditions, one would be that the lights would be non-glare so as not to affect the residents in their side yards. Ms. McBride suggested allowing staff the latitude to work with the applicant, particularly with the bollard fixtures. Mr. Okum said I can be just as disturbed by a light three foot off the ground, and I donít want those residents looking at a row of lights there. There also was a comment that the lights should not be functional when the driveway was not in use.

Ms. McBride stated that right now our code requires a .5 foot-candle at the property line, but this is a Conditional Use request, so the commission can place additional conditions if they wish.

Mr. Okum said I would not like to see a 5-foot candle next to my house. I would be concerned about that driveway becoming a regular ingress/egress for the site, and the signage increases that possibility.

Mr. Galster said on the bollard lights, if they are 3 feet tall, and if we block the direction on one side, we could take care of half the lights and maybe plant some shrubs around it so it only goes out onto the driveway and doesnít come back at all toward that side. That would eliminate at least half the lights for each of the residents.

I am concerned about putting the sign out and making the driveway more of a use than it needs to be. I am looking at it as an overflow roadway, so I am not convinced that the sign requirement is a good idea. I think that double gating it and having the lights on a switch would be appropriate.

Mr. Coleman said I am concerned about lessening the light levels in the evening, particularly if the gates are in place and someone who has used the driveway and doesnít anticipate the gates are down with the low level lights could turn and run into the gate. That might be a safety issue.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE FOUR

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT Ė SPRINGDALE NAZARENE CHURCH

Mr. Syfert said the double gate would be where there is adequate lighting. Mr. Galster added that the first gate could be well lit by the parking lot lights on the church property. Maybe the first two lights off Sharon Road should stay lit all the time so people can see that the gate is closed.

Mr. Coleman commented at the church on the corner of West Sharon Southland, there were several times that individuals left the church and did not realize that the gate was closed because of insufficient lighting.

Mr. Sherry said I am concerned about how the driveway will be used. At the last hearing what was represented was that it would be used for egress from the property, but the testimony that we received last time made me think that it would be used more for going into the property. I do not want to create this as the principle means for ingress or egress for the property, and I think that is the applicantís intent. I do not think that is right or fair to the neighbors. We need to limit the usage to appropriate times with appropriate controls, including lighting.

Mr. Huddleston said my concerns would echo what has already been expressed to some degree. I am probably supportive of the application to the extent that it would relieve some points of congestion and get it onto another primary street. I find this very acceptable. I think it would relieve the intersection of Sharon and Route 4 to some degree and the lights going north. I think people w0uld use it reasonably judiciously. I would have a concern if the gates were open all the time that people would use that a cut through. I would suggest that the gates be required under the Conditional Use Permit to be gated and closed except for the events and services and that the use of the driveway would be limited to church sponsored events and not used for any commercial use not related to a church activity.

Mr. Todd Yoby of Environ Group representing the church said from the comments I heard I donít think I have any objection to anything I have heard. The churchís intent with the drive is for a limited use, Sunday only and special event use by the church. The concept behind the gate that we originally proposed was to prevent that becoming a cut through. The church does not have any desire for their parking lot to become public access.

On the lighting, we have talked to our electricians and lighting suppliers and they have no doubt that we can comply with the city plannerís original requests. From what I have heard, I donít think there would be an issue with getting 0 light at the property lines if that is a request.

Changing the lights to bollards was something we considered and would be willing to pursue with the city planner if the city wishes. We had similar concerns as Mr. Coleman had if bollards would give enough light to make that driveway a safe drive for traffic.

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE FIVE

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT Ė SPRINGDALE NAZARENE CHURCH

 

Mr. Yoby added that on a second gate, our original through was that wouldnít be necessary. This is a large church but it is a close knit group and the church could communicate internally how the drive works without having any issues of people going up there when the gates are closed. However, I wouldnít object to putting a second set of gates at the south end of the drive if you wish.

Mr. Coleman said perhaps my concerns on appropriate visibility could be addressed by adding some reflectors to the gates to cut down on the level of lighting for the residents.

Mr. Okum said I would agree. On the signage, I would encourage Planning Commission to give some strong direction to the Board of Zoning Appeals. I would not have a problem with a directional entry sign for some type of identification (6 s.f.). If it is a directional sign, lit would not need to go to Board of Zoning Appeals.

If a Conditional Use Permit were granted, I would like to see those specific events or dates identified. If they need to expand, it would be up to the church to bring it back to the commission for additional dates.

Mr. Yoby responded I donít have a list of events with me. Their ideal use would be Sundays, The Living Cross Program the two weeks before Easter, and beyond that Iím not sure. Mr. McErlane asked about a mid week service. Mr. Yoby answered Wednesday evenings they have choir and orchestra practice, a mid week service and a teen event. Unfortunately a representative from the church isnít here tonight to speak more specifically. I am sure they also would like the Wednesday service to be an option. I understand you are saying; the only concern the church would have with that is The Living Cross and Christmas Eve Service are recurring annual events, but they also have special events that may only happen once a year. It seems a shame if they were able to have that drive to not be able to use it.

Mr. Okum responded I am not saying not used; I am saying that would be an issue they would need to bring back to the commission. You could have weddings, funerals, and a concert with this new facility.

Mr. McErlane said based on what Mr. Okum is saying, Planning Commission needs to evaluate whether or not they want every special event to come before this board for approval. It would take some planning on their part to get the application in far enough in advance to be heard by this board.

Mr. Sherry said I donít want to review these every time they come in. I would rather come up with something that gives you the latitude to have those things and still gives the protection to the neighborhood that it needs.

 

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE SIX

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT Ė SPRINGDALE NAZARENE CHURCH

Mr. Vanover said I donít want to get overly restrictive. You are expanding the facility and I want you to be able to have some use of your property. Also we have sensitive issues with the neighborhood. I donít want to have to review your activity list, but some compromise or latitude would be worthy.

Mr. Huddleston said I would suggest that we limit the use of this driveway to major events that fully utilizes the capacity of the church and sanctuary. I would suggest that the church review a couple of calendar years, and come back to the Building Department with a list of major events.

Mr. Yoby responded as long as there were some latitude or some understanding that the number of events probably wouldnít change, but those specific events might.

Mr. Huddleston said I donít have a problem with that, but I am talking about major events that fully utilize the capacity of the facility. Mr. Yoby answered I believe that is the intent of the church. Also one consideration would be that if this drives becomes a double gated drive, there will only be a limited number of people at the church that will have the ability to open the drive.

Mr. Syfert commented that there is no one from the church here, which makes it difficult; we have sat here for 45 minutes working on this. In my opinion, if we granted the Conditional Use Permit for Sunday, Wednesday night services, The Living Cross and Christmas Eve, I could live with that. If they donít like it, they can come back to us. I donít think we should keep hammering at it.

Mr. Galster said I think Mr. McErlane has an understanding of what this board considers to be a major event. If we give him the authority to make the decision whether something is or isnít a major event, there would not be a need for it to come before this board. I hate to think of having them to plan it out for two or three months to put it on our agenda, when the intent is extremely clear.

Mr. Sherry said so you are saying that the church would have to request approval from Bill. Mr. Galster answered yes; we can say tonight Sunday night, Wednesday night, The Living Cross. Anything more than that would need to be run by the Building Department. If the applicant would want to dispute the decision of the Building Department, they would have to come before Planning. Mr. Sherry asked if it were enforceable and Mr. McErlane responded yes; we do that kind of thing all the time

Mr. Coleman commented I would agree with that 100%. I have seen some weddings where the attendance at the wedding was much greater than the attendance at the regular service. As a member of this commission, I certainly would not like to review each one of those events.

Mr. Okum said so we will leave it up to the Building Department to determine any special events other than The Living Cross, Wednesday Night Services, Sunday Services and Christmas Eve.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE SEVEN

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT Ė SPRINGDALE NAZARENE CHURCH

Mr. Galster moved to approve the Conditional Use Permit with the following conditions:

    1. That dual drive gates be installed;
    2. That lights be turned off except when the gates are in open position;
    3. That the gates have a reflector installed on them;
    4. That the gates are allowed to be opened during Sunday Services, Wednesday Evening Services, and Christmas Eve Services. Any deviation from that would need to be approved by the Building Department as a major event;
    5. The bollard type lighting shall be used and shielded to direct the lighting toward the drive with the buffering and landscaping to meet staff approval, as well as the tree replacement plan;
    6. Traffic control measures are to be provided by the church and at its own expense any time the gates are open;
    7. There shall be zero percent light spill at the property line;
    8. Directional signage per the Zoning Code is all that is approved.

Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

Mr. Yoby said for clarification, with approval of the directional signage only, do I understand that we will not have the opportunity to take the signage to the Board of Zoning Appeals? Mr. Galster answered you have the option to take anything you want to the Board of Zoning Appeals. This commission is only approving directional signage. BZA is basically hearing from our motion that this is the way Planning Commission would like to see it happen. If you can convince them some other way, that is your prerogative.

Mr. Sherry said I wonder if there should be a time frame put on the special event, that they need to request approval two weeks or a month prior to the event. Mr. Galster said if they donít give the Building Department enough time, they wonít get approval. Limiting the time would be harder to control than whether or not it is a major event.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that in looking to the east, there is a gravel parking area. There was one vehicle parked there that was not within the sight line. I guess there is a possibility that people could park in that area and if it becomes a problem, there would be the issue of erecting a sign indicating that people have to park so many feet off the edge of pavement. Did I hear that it was property owned by the church as it exists right now? Mr. Yoby responded that a member of the church owns it. Mr. Shvegzda continued that the issue would be either the removal of that gravel parking area along the edge of pavement of Sharon Road. It didnít appear to be a problem at the time it was observed. Mr. Galster said if we are telling them that they need to provide traffic control at their expense at that intersection, I donít know that we need to get into removing parking and putting signage up indicating that they canít park there whenever the gates are up. Based on what I consider to be the hours of use, I doubt that it will be a major concern.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE EIGHT

VI A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT Ė SPRINGDALE NAZARENE CHURCH

Mr. Okum said I want to make sure that the motion included traffic control at all times, in the form of manned officers. Mr. Galster responded because I donít think I specifically said it, Iíll add that to he motion, to be properly and adequately trained traffic control experts during the time that the gates are open.

All voted aye, and the Conditional Use Permit was granted unanimously.

B. Approval of Sharon Road Access for Springdale Nazarene Church, 11177 Springfield Pike

Mr. Okum moved to approve with the same conditions as Item A of the agenda and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. All voted aye, and approval was granted unanimously.

  1. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Approval of Elevation Changes to Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, Tri-County Mall, 11700 Princeton Pike

Dan Payton, Director of Development said we are doing a major remodel on the interior and taking over an additional space, increasing the seat capacity. Also we are upgrading the exterior of the outside of the mall and the exterior of the inside of the mall to meet our new company standards and image.

The Tri-County Mall also is spending a lot of money upgrading their facility to attempt to help stabilize and revitalize and mall. They are trying to get some higher Class tenants to come in, and we are trying to support the mall in their efforts. The mall already has reviewed our drawings and given their approval and we are ready to move forward with your blessing.

Mr. McErlane reported that the application is part of the Tri-County Mall PUD Project, which was approved in 1989. There was an approved color pallet; it was primarily beiges and greys and Ruby Tuesday does have a deviation to that currently with respect to the awning materials that they have. They are asking to change the fascia colors as well as some of the materials. J The proposed application is to raise the parapet above the entrance and apply a stone veneer to the face of it, change the drivitt color over the window area, and change the awning materials as well as some of the colors.

They are implementing a pier on one side of the windows, and piers on either side of the door. The ones on either side of the door will have stone material and it also continues along the bottom of the windows. Colors will incorporate some dark greens and a mustard colored kind of brownish yellow over the top of the awnings over the windows, which wail be a background for the Ruby Tuesday sign.

The fascia has a dark green coping that runs across the top with a thin red line and a strip of red neon which currently is located over the windows now.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE NINE

VI A ELEVATION CHANGE TO RUBY TUESDAY Ė TRI-COUNTY MALL

Mr. McErlane added that we had asked for a color rendering; I received one today and it may be being distributed now.

Ms. McBride reported I donít have much more to add to that. We didnít get what color the seven new proposed fixtures over the awning were going to be and this illustration indicates they will be a dark green to match the rest of the green on the building.

Mr. Okum asked if this contrast still ties in with the character originally presented, or is it somewhat of a departure?

Ms. McBride answered what is there today varies from the greys, etc. If it pops out today, will it continue to pop out; will it pop out more, probably a little bit more, but it is within keeping of the characters of the colors that they have today.

Mr. Okum said looking at the aged look of the awnings we do need an upgrade, and it appears that they are carrying the façade taller. Mr. Payton said we are trying to make the sign so it can be seen from the street and get some of that traffic into the mall.

Mr. Okum asked about the ornamental lights, and Mr. Payton answered that they are a small fixture to illuminate the awning. It is not bright by any means; it is a very light bulb to light up the awning and cast a glow on it.

Mr. Syfert asked about the expansion inside the mall, and Mr. Payton answered that there is a tuxedo shop on the inside, and we are leasing that and adding 42 additional seats.

Mr. Huddleston said I would be in favor of the request. In terms of maintaining the economic vitality of the mall, this is a positive ingredient. Much of their competition is in the open-air malls, and it is very important to let them do this to accomplish their image and maintain our standards, so I will move for approval. Mr. Okum seconded the motion. All voted aye and the approval was granted unanimously.

B. Approval of Proposed Christmas Tree Lot, Tri-County Mall, 11700 Princeton Pike

Yvette Crichton of Tri-County Mall and Diana Cantor, representing Swan approached the commission.

Ms. Crichton said it is a big concern for us to make sure that this operation is a clean and visually appealing Christmas tree stand. Itís intent is to generate sales, but it serves a dual purpose. In light of the industry and the forecast we are looking at for the holiday season, we are using the Christmas Tree Stand as a promotional tool. We want to offer free Christmas trees to shoppers this year if they spend $350. This is something that no other mall has done before. In the area there is only one other, Loweís, which sells Christmas trees. We are looking at just four weeks and we have scaled it down to 18 spaces which comes down to less than Ĺ of a percent of our total parking space ratio.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE TEN

VI B PROPOSED CHRISTMAS TREE LOT Ė TRI-COUNTY MALL

Ms. Crichton added that in reviewing the application, I know the concerns were the circulation spaces and the calculations in the overall parking lot. We are looking at 5.07 spaces for every 1,000 s.f. so we need 6,591 spaces. I have a survey from 1996 that shows that we did have 7,760 spaces.

Ms. Cantor said Steve Swan is a family business in Oakland Wisconsin. It is a third generation Christmas tree farm; they have 500 acres. Due to a family member who lives here, Cincinnati has become their second home. They come in November and the whole family lives here. We have Christmas tree lots in other areas of town as well.

I supplied pictures to Bill of some of the lots we have had in the past. They are very professionally put together. Most of the people who work the lots are from Wisconsin; they are trained personnel. It brings a festive feel to the area. We have a picket fence to encompass the lot, and the buildings are built for this purpose. (Information was passed around the members).

Ms. Crichton said in the former System 7 space, a tenant will have wreaths and garlands. We tried to put the Christmas tree lot by her, but there was a very limited space, and our only option was to put it at the Kemper-747 corner. I am familiar with the Value City tent sale, and there is a dichotomy there because they usually do that against Kemper Road as well.

Ms. McBride said they are talking about operating from 10 in the morning until 9 at night daily from November 29th to December 24th. They have provided documentation saying that everything would be removed by December 30th.

The property is zoned PUD and we have a series of requirements for seasonal sales facilities in the GB and MS business districts. The application appears to meet all of those conditions.

They are proposing to remove two rows of parking, about 18 parking spaces, but that does not include the number of spaces that might be lost in order to maintain circulation within the parking field.

We had not received calculations with regards to the number of spaces required versus provided for the mall and the 40 additional spaces that would be required for the 6,000 s.f. of outdoor sales area. The applicant has indicated that even during the peak day, Friday after Thanksgiving, that area is not used for parking.

They are proposing either a 4í x 8í banner or a 5í x 6í sandwich board for the proposed facility and the 7í x 12í decorated building.

We would want to make any approval to include the times and dates and particularly the tear down date. We would want to make sure that adequate circulation is maintained in the parking field surrounding the sales area. The applicant has indicated the calculations on parking and we would want to see those in a letter form from them.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE ELEVEN

VI B PROPOSED CHRISTMAS TREE LOT Ė TRI-COUNTY MALL

Ms. McBride stated that the signage for any sales lot should be limited to whatever is permitted by our Zoning Code. Staff should be supplied details for the structure prior to its construction. The Commission needs to consider that this is probably the prominent corner in the City. At the same time you have to consider the mallís viability and trying to attract new tenants.

Mr. Sherry asked the signage allowed under the Zoning Code. Mr. McErlane reported that if you base it on the 7í x 12í building, they are allowed 62.5 s.f. and it is a PUD and is up to the commission to determine what type of signage and square footage is acceptable.

Mr. Okum commented that it is nothing more than a trailer with wood siding on it. Ms. Cantor added it is actually built on a trailer. This picture is of the unit that we have in storage. Mr. McErlane added that based on the proposed location of the building, you wouldnít expect to have building signage unless it is facing the parking lot, because it is so remote from the corner. So you probably are looking at freestanding signage.

Ms. Cantor commented that it could be a freestanding sign or we could use the roof as a sandwich if that would meet zoning. Mr. McErlane responded that probably would be less acceptable. Ms. Cantor answered whatever you need us to do.

Mr. Okum asked about banners and Mr. McErlane responded that they are permitted temporary banners for 14 days; this is a little over a month. There are restrictions on the size of the banner, and I donít know that banners are unacceptable as long as they are attached to something substantial instead of being strung between poles.

Mr. Okum added I looked at the information; the top one looked a little more professional then the banner strung between poles with strings. Ms. Crichton said we would not do a banner; that is managementís decision. We want to do a fire rated vinyl PVC if we can. We want to abut it up to the curb.

Ms. Cantor added that they could put the sign on either side of the building. One side would need to face oncoming traffic. Ms. Crichton added if it is abutted against the corner, I envision it underneath this window. Mr. Okum said our information indicates that the building is placed further from the corner.

Mr. Galster said who is not going to know that it is a Christmas tree lot. Mr. Okum said so you want the sign on the portable shack. I like the picket fence painted rather than just wood. Ms. Cantor said they are not painted, but they could be painted white. Mr. Okum said so you are looking at moving the building from where you presented it to about midway in your field. The seven-foot side of the building would be midway along Kemper Road. So there will be trees to the left and right of the house.

Mr. Syfert said I believe the discussion concerned putting a sign on the building. Ms. Crichton asked if they could go with a sandwich sign, professionally printed.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE TWELVE

VI B PROPOSED CHRISTMAS TREE LOT Ė TRI-COUNTY MALL

Mr. Okum wondered where they would put it if the fence is against the parking lot curb. Ms. Cantor said it could be at the foot of the shed. It will be obvious that it is a Christmas tree lot; the signage is to give us the name. The Swans have quite a following in the Cincinnati market; we have previous customers that we mail to early in November every year telling them where we will be located.

Mr. Galster wondered if they were allowing cars to come into the sectioned off area to load their trees. Ms. Crichton answered that it would be outside the area. We are looking at 10 spaces tops. In terms of traffic flow, we as the management are not too concerned. We asked them their peak times and most of their pick up delivery times are between 7 and 8:30. The mall typically closes at 9 so there shouldnít be a heavy flow. The peak time for the mall is 1 to 6. It is not a concern for us.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that his comments are the same as Ms. McBride in terms of traffic circulation through the parking area and the overall effect on parking numbers as far as what is required and how this affects that total number.

Mr. Okum said since they are going to be going down that first row against Kemper Road, wouldnít they need to make a loop across the parking field to get into that other lane, and would that be a coned method of circulation? Something should designate that. Mr. Okum said those parking spaces would be parking spaces unless there is some designation.

Ms. Crichton added so you want to pinpoint the actual drive up parking area. Mr. Okum answered I think it needs to be laid out some way so when you come down that row, you know you can make the u turn across the parking field into the other lane, and people wouldnít park there. Mr. Syfert suggested cones.

Mr. Okum asked where the stockpile of trees is located, and Ms. Cantor answered we rent a space to store the trees and bring them in daily or every other day as needed.

Mr. McErlane reported that we look at outdoor seasonal sales as an extension to an existing retail user. At the time we first discussed this, I wasnít aware that they were going to have an in line store so we had looked at it as a variance request and not necessarily as an approval by Planning Commission of an extension of a PUD. Outdoor seasonal sales are typically located in the approximate location of the store; in this case it is 1200 feet away, which is quite a bit further away than the tent sales are at Value City.

Mr. Galster said if this is a modification to the PUD, can we make it a temporary modification so it doesnít encompass way too many things that we havenít thought of? Mr. McErlane responded that Planning Commission can make a condition of the approval that it is only for this particular season and this time period.

 

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE THIRTEEN

VI B PROPOSED CHRISTMAS TREE LOT Ė TRI-COUNTY MALL

Mr. Galster moved to allow a one-year temporary modification to the PUD for this applicant to allow seasonal sales of Christmas trees. The only condition would be that the sign be located on the building or a sandwich sign in front of the building, but not a sign on the rooftop. No banners may be used and the applicant must provide the proper calculations for parking to the city planner. Also, the picket fence is to be painted white.

Ms. McBride suggested adding something about maintaining adequate circulation because we do not have that site plan submitted.

Mr. Galster added that an additional site plan that shows the circulation of the existing traffic within the mall and a loading zone for the Christmas tree purchasers shall be provided and meet the city plannerís approval.

Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

Ms. Crichton said to be clear on the calculations, do you want the designated number of spaces for the actual structure, and the number of spaces for the parking? Mr. Galster answered basically what you have told us this evening; we just need to have that in writing. Mr. Okum added and some kind of traffic control methodology. Mr. Syfert said we need your parking space calculations also.

On the motion, all members except Mr. Syfert who voted no, voted aye, and the approval was granted with six affirmative and one negative votes.

C. Approval of Translucent Illuminated Awning, Dollar Tree, 90 West Kemper Road

Tom Meier, ABC Signs said we have a proposed sign package in, and one part includes the illuminated awning. Reviewing Ms. McBrideís report, everything is exactly as she stated. The 8í x 16í tenant panel on the pylon sign is being requested for Dollar Tree. The question was about any glare to the drivers from the light source behind the awning. There is one row of lighting behind the awning itself. A lot of awnings four feet high have two rows of lighting. There would be no way that you could see the lighting in the parking lot unless you went directly underneath the awning and could se the light bulbs. The lighting for the awning is adequate, but it is not too much. With the square footage that is proposed on the pylon, I believe we fit within the variance that was approved in 1986.

Mr. McErlane reported that they are proposing a 38í long by 4í high by 2í awning on the building, and the awning contains lettering that is 20 inches high by 19 feet long or 31.7 s.f. One of the sections in our Zoning Code provides that Planning Commission shall approve any backlit translucent awnings. That is why this is before you tonight.

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE FOURTEEN

VI C ILLUMINATED AWNING Ė DOLLAR TREE Ė 90 W. KEMPER

Mr. McErlane added that with respect to total sign area, in addition to the 31.7 s.f. shown on the awning, they also are proposing an individual lettered sign at 89.6 s.f. so the total building signage will be 121.3 s.f. The applicant also has verified that Dollar Tree will be using the panels in the old Franks sign on the pylon, which would bring them to a total sign area of 249.3 s.f., still less than what was permitted by a variance granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals in 1986.

Mr. Galster said the reason the awning is before us is because it is lit; is that correct? I look at the awning and the presentation and I wish your business great success but I have a problem. I donít like the looks of the dollar type things I see in other communities. I donít think it is necessary to light that up. They will have the lit sign at the street, and I donít see the need to make everything a dollar lit up. Of all the parts of the sign, that is the part I like the least and I would like to tone that awning down.

Mr. Coleman said with the amount of signage present, Iím not so sure everything is a dollar does anything special for me, other than congest the signage already in place.

Mr. Okum said as long as the awning stays illuminated, it is a sign and takes away from the facility and I will be voting in opposition to a translucent lit awning on this facility.

Ms. McBride said our only question was the source of the lighting, and I donít believe we have anything to add to Mr. McErlaneís comments.

Mr. Syfert asked if Dollar Tree insists upon this awning being lit. Mr. Meier answered I am sure they do; I am with the sign company. The whole intent was to improve the looks of the storefront and identify it nicer. If they are not allowed to light it, I believe they still have the option of coming back with another set of channel letters right under Dollar Tree that would say Everything Is a Dollar and illuminate it. The only reason that we are here is because of the illuminated awning.

Mr. Vanover said I think we are at a standstill. Maybe we should table this until he can go back to Dollar Tree and discuss alternative measures.

Mr. Galster said in reference to the plan attached to the application, I would like to have "Future Retail" eliminated from any part of any package that we are approving.

Mr. Okum said if they want to stay within their allowable signage, I have no problem with going to individual channel lit letters on the building saying Everything Is a Dollar.

 

 

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE FIFTEEN

VI C ILLUMINATED AWNING Ė DOLLAR TREE Ė 90 W. KEMPER

Mr. Galster asked Mr. McErlane if it is in the code that we only look at the lettering even though it is all lit? Mr. McErlane answered that we have used it similar to what we do with individual letters on a wall, where we box in the letters.

Mr. Galster said when we light up something and create the background, I donít view that any different than a plastic panel on a pylon sign, and I think that should be included in the measurements as well.

Mr. McErlane said if there were no message on it, would we consider it to be signage or not? We visited this when we did the Zoning Code draft, and decided to leave it alone because it was cumbersome to try to figure out how to do that.

Mr. Galster responded whether or not a backlit awning is permitted in certain areas is a separate issue than whether or not it is a sign. Once you write something on it, a logo or something more than an awning that is backlit, it becomes a sign. Then we are just debating whether or not it is appropriate to have a backlit awning in a particular location.

Mr. Syfert commented he is seeking approval of the translucent illuminated awning. Mr. Meier said if it doesnít go, chances are we will be back revising the existing building with a set of illuminated channel letters.

Mr. Huddleston said Mr. Okum commented that if the signage "Everything Is One Dollar" were nothing more than lit up channel letters, that would be acceptable. Would you like a motion to that effect? That doesnít answer what you are requesting.

Mr. Meier answered if I revise the building application asking for that, it wouldnít have to come before this board. I would have to check with my customer before I can actually say what I want. Right now the question is are we allowed to have an illuminated awning or not.

Mr. Huddleston said I like the awning signing; I donít like the wording, but I do think it breaks up the elevation of the building and it is a nice color addition to give some relief to the building. Having said that, I agree that it becomes a sign. If you would like a motion that permits a backlit awning without the sign and the signage would be separate channel letters, I could go along with that.

Mr. Meier said we probably would do Dollar Tree in one line and Everything Is A Dollar in one line. They would probably like that.

Thatís a nice option.

Mr. McErlane said to clarify the issue of whether or not this board approves signs, there is a provision that the Planning Commission approves all new signs that come into the City. Planning has delegated that authority to the chairman, providing he has no concerns about the sign application itself. In a case where he feels uncomfortable signing off on it or feels that the board needs to look at it as a whole, he can refer it to the board.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 SEPTEMBER 2002

PAGE SIXTEEN

VI C ILLUMINATED AWNING Ė DOLLAR TREE Ė 90 W. KEMPER

Mr. McErlane added that in this case, awnings specifically have to be approved by Planning Commission.

Mr. Meier said if we could go with the illuminated awning without any lettering, Dollar Tree and Everything Is a Dollar would be above it in illuminated channel letters. I will submit new drawings

Mr. Huddleston moved that the application be approved, subject to the deletion of the signage from the backlit awning, and that the applicant has the right if they so choose to use the channel lit letters of the same size and proportion (Everything One Dollar) as a separate sign on the building fascia. Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

Mr. Galster said again I want to request that anything that says "Future Retail Space" that isnít defined be removed from the drawling and not be considered as part of this application. I donít know what that is yet, and I hate to keep approving drawings that say future space when we havenít seen anything.

Mr. McErlane reported that on the site plan in the area where Frankís had their outside sales, it says "Future Retail" and we have never reviewed anything for future retail. He is asking that be removed. Mr. Okum said Iíll second your addling that in the motion.

Mr. Syfert commented I think the applicant understands what we are saying and trying to do.

On the motion to approve, all voted aye and the approval with conditions was granted with seven affirmative votes.

  1. DISCUSSION
  2. Mr. Syfert asked if everyone would be present October 8th and the members indicated that they would be.

  3. CHAIRMANíS REPORT
  4. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Coleman seconded the motion. All voted aye and the Planning Commission adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

__________________________,2002 __________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

 

__________________________,2002 __________________________

Robert Sherry, Secretary