PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
14 SEPTEMBER 2004
7:00 P.M.

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present:    Robert Coleman, Steve Galster, Lawrence Hawkins, David Okum, Tom Vanover and
    Chairman Syfert

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

Mr. Syfert said we are one member short, and I understand that
Council will have the opportunity to approve him tomorrow night, but
for the information of the applicants, it takes five affirmative votes for a
final approval this evening.

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 13 JULY 2004

Mr. Okum moved to approve and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Report on Council – no report
B. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – June 15, 2004
C. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – July 20, 2004
D. Planning Commissioners Journal – Summer 2004
E. Zoning Bulletin – July 10, 2004
F. Zoning Bulletin – July 25, 2004
G. Zoning Bulletin – August 10, 2004
H. Zoning Bulletin – August 25, 2004

V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Approval of Kemper Pond Sign Package, 1309-1339 East Kemper Road

Brian Ross of Triad Commercial Properties passed out some color drawings of the proposed sign package. You wanted to see our finalized signage plans for the monument signs in front of the property and the building signs on the IHOP and on the retail building.

The first handout was landscape area for the signage. It consists of hardwood mulch bed with perennials. The signs themselves are 7’ x 12’. They are the exact same sign, but the brick will match the IHOP brick and the retail building brick. One of the monument signs relates to the IHOP only and the other will be for the multi-tenant building in the rear.

On the IHOP signage plan, the IHOP building with two pictures on it is the old design plan which had four signs on it. The IHOP plans that have front and back (two separate sheets) is down to two IHOP Restaurant signs and one IHOP logo sign, which is a blue sign with IHOP Restaurants.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
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V A KEMPER POND SIGN PACKAGE 1309-1339 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Ross added that the total signage we have for the IHOP Restaurant signs, the logo sign and the monument sign is 152.22 square feet, and the allowable signage is 165.3 s.f.

For the retail building, it is 316 s.f. (340 s.f. allowed), with the same monument sign being 4’ x 9’ of actual signage area. We have 10 individual signs on the building. We don’t anticipate having 10 tenants; it is the worst case scenario.

The shop signs in the back will be internally illuminated Plexiglas face individual letters and raceways are to match the backgrounds. The signs should be two feet high and 14 feet long.

Mr. Syfert asked if these signs are the same a reviewed in the staff meeting, and Mr. McErlane indicated that they were, adding that the one drawing with the two pictures on it we hadn’t seen before. This one has four signs on it. The other two individual elevation drawings have three on them and according to the architect; they are proposing two, two that say IHOP Restaurant, and one logo sign. The individual renderings that you have of the front and the back; the one that shows the IHOP on the front according to the architect will not be there, only the logo sign. Mr. Ross added that the logo sign will take the place of the IHOP Restaurant sign.

Mr. McErlane reported that Planning Commission approved the final PUD plan on July 13th and the sign approval was withheld because we did not have the details to determine compliance. For the IHOP building, they are proposing a total of 152.4 and the allowable sign area is 165.3 s.f.

On the retail building, there is a proposed ground sign at 36 s.f. There are some details indicated for storefront signage, and some statements relative to ten signs at 2 feet high by 14 feet long and if a retail user takes three bays they get three times the 14 feet. I think that is tying it down petty tightly.

I would recommend that language be included in the covenants that would indicate that the signs would comply with the Zoning Code which would regulate overall size. As far as location on the building, and that they be internally lit and individual letter type signs with Plexiglas face. The applicant has proposed this, but I think the language needs to be in the covenants. The applicant also proposed a raceway to be painted to match the background color of the building, which should be in the covenants.

The letter indicates that the signs would be two feet high, and I think that may be a little restrictive. There is an elevation rendering of the retail building, and I believe the majority of the fascia on the top where the sign goes is about six feet in height, with the exception of the two notch-outs on the front. The two feet is probably appropriate on those notch-outs, but if you had a large tenant it would be overly restrictive. There probably should be some established height, but I am not sure that two feet is correct.


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14 September 2004
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V A KEMPER POND SIGN PACKAGE 1309-1339 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Syfert asked if he had a height that would be more appropriate. Mr. McErlane responded I would think if you had one foot of clearance from the cornice and one foot from the canopy you probably would have an appropriate dimension, 3 ½ feet or 42 inches isn’t a bad size for a sign.

Ms. McBride stated that it is my understanding that the north elevation of the building would have the IHOP logo only and the west and east sides would have the IHOP Restaurant, and that is all of the on-building signage. Mr. Ross responded if that was what the architect wrote in the letter, yes.

On the ground-mounted sign, we have a maximum height of seven feet. Their drawing on the front elevation shows to the top of that cap as seven feet but on the side elevation it shows to the bottom of the cap as seven feet so whatever it is, we need to put it at a maximum height of seven feet.

The architect had indicated and the drawings indicate brick to match building, but the brick that is shown for both the ground-mounted signs doesn’t match the buildings and we want to make that a part of our conditions so it does match the buildings.

On the signage for the retail center, we suggested that we establish a maximum square footage per tenant, 150 s.f. which is the maximum permitted by code. Then we should establish a total maximum for the retail center, which is 340 s.f. We also suggested that the signage be limited to one foot from the bottom and one foot from the top, which would account for the dip and still give them signage that is readable and consistent.

We had asked them for a plan indicating the location of the ground mounted signs; we wanted to make sure they were 10 feet off the right of way, and did not get that until tonight. We also had asked them for a landscape plan to surround the bed that the ground mounted signs are in, and we just received that. So, I would suggest that any approval you might give would be conditional to staff reviewing and approving that landscape plan.

Mr. Okum asked if staff would have a problem if they wanted to do stone on the sign bases. Ms. McBride answered no, there is stone incorporated into both the IHOP and the retail center. We would like either stone or brick, something that will match one of the elements of the buildings, and they both need to be consistent.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum asked if he had any problem with stone or brick to match the existing building. Mr. Ross answered that as long as it is an applicant’s option that is fine. Mr. Okum said we are giving you the option; personally I would prefer stone.

Mr. Okum asked if the applicant understood the conditions that Mr. McErlane has recommended about the modifications to the covenants. Do you have any problem with incorporating that into the covenants.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
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V A KEMPER POND SIGN PACKAGE 1309-1339 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Ross answered as long as it is the applicant’s option that is fine.

Mr. Galster said I notice on the drawings it says the address needs to be confirmed, but we continue to see Kemper Pond Road instead of Kemper Road.

Mr. Ross said the prior property owner is attempting to sell those buildings, and the reason we did Kemper Pond was because that is the name of the center to the rear. Mr. McErlane reported that the addresses of the office buildings are 1325, 1327, and 1329 East Kemper Road.

Mr. Ross asked if it would be okay if they put Kemper Pond on top and then the address on East Kemper Road somewhere on the sign. Mr. Galster said it just has to be the proper address; it doesn’t matter to me if you even put the address on the sign. Mr. McErlane reported that the address is only required on the building.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the sign package as presented with the following conditions:

1. It shall include staff’s recommendations.
2. It shall be limited to two IHOP Restaurant signs and one IHOP logo sign. The logo sign will be on the north side and the IHOP Restaurant wall signs will be on the east and west sides.
3. The shops shall have an allowance of up to one foot clearance from the canopy and the cornice.
4. The monument signs shall have a maximum height of seven feet.
5. Also the monument signs shall be of brick or stone to match the existing buildings, and shall be consistent with one another.
6. This shall be conditional on staff’s review of the landscape plan.

Mr. Galster seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

B. Approval of Proposed Ground Sign for TGI Friday’s, 11340 Princeton Pike

Jeff Ritson of The Bistro Group and Zoe Hardy of Architects Plus approached the commission.

Mr. Ritson stated that the proposed signage that you have in front of you needed a variance to setback. (Ms. Hardy passed out drawings of their new proposal). We read your concerns and have a new proposal here that will eliminate that variance to setback. It will be moved further down and away from the restaurant. It addresses your concerns as well as our concern that the sign put right in front of our restaurant would only serve the purpose for traffic heading north.


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14 September 2004
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IV B PROPOSED GROUND SIGN TGI FRIDAY’S 11340 PRINCETON PIKE

Ms. Hardy added that it moves the sign away from the building toward the entrance to the shopping center and is behind the 10 foot setback which is required.

Mr. Syfert said this is new to what staff reviewed. Ms. Hardy indicated that it was in response to staff’s comments.

Ms. McBride reported that at the July meeting, in order to preserve the 36” healthy tree in font of the building, we offered a ground mounted sign that had to be reviewed and approved by the commission.

They have proposed a 4’-9” x 7’ ground-mounted sign which would contain a little over 33 square feet and says TGI Friday’s. At the time Planning Commission was approving the ground-mounted sign, they limited it to 40 square feet. (The sign is actually 6’-11” tall and not 7’-11” tall, so it is within the 7-foot limit of our code). It is mounted on a brick base as required. It is to be internally illuminated.

The plans that we reviewed showed the sign setting on the right of way line for Princeton Pike. We did not feel that was acceptable, that the sign needed to be located 10 feet off the right of way of Princeton Pike. They also showed it in a landscape bed, but the plant materials shown on the plan and the plant materials in the plant schedule were different. They showed four on the plan and 28 on the plant schedule and we need clarification on that. Ms. Hardy reported that it is to be four.

Mr. Galster said on the 36 inch tree, are we leaving it as is and not cutting it back? Mr. Ritson answered if we decide to trim that tree we will seek the arborist’s advice. Mr. Galster added that there was some concern that if you cut it back too much, its health might be in jeopardy.

Mr. Ritson commented I think the health of that tree is in jeopardy down the road anyhow. It is getting old for that type of tree, but we have no plans to eliminate it or cut it back. We have had a lot of positive comments from our regular customers about that tree and it wouldn’t be in our best interest at this point to have that tree go away.

Mr. Galster said I wonder if we shouldn’t move some of the new plantings closer to that tree because it is very possible within x-number of years that tree will be gone, and it would be nice to still have that presence.

Ms. McBride reported that they have submitted a landscape plan which is being reviewed right now. We anticipate getting them some comments this week, and I certainly will discuss that with the landscape architect.





Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
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IV B PROPOSED GROUND SIGN TGI FRIDAY’S 11340 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Okum asked if they have control from the southern property line to that entrance. My concern is your rights to that frontage, because moving the sign down becomes like an off-premise sign. I do understand your wanting to move the sign down into a clearing, but my concern is that it might be moved too far and out of your control area.

Ms. Hardy said we could get confirmation from the landlord of the property. Mr. Okum responded I think you need some type of verification, and we would want to get some wording that in the event that another site would be developed there, this is the one monument sign for that frontage. I don’t have a problem with that being shared space for a potential frontage outlot user, but you are trying to upgrade your facilities and it will be good for everybody in the mall. Does staff any recommendations on that?

Mr. McErlane reported we have looked at a couple of revised preliminary plans for the Cassinelli PUD, and the last two we told them to remove the building off their plan. That doesn’t mean that they couldn’t come back in at a later date and ask for that based on their original preliminary plan but at this point it doesn’t exist on that plan. What still remains to be seen is whether or not Kimco agrees with your proposal for sign location. Mr. Syfert commented any approval would be contingent on that.

Mr. Okum asked if we need wording in the motion to state that in the event that a future outlot project were approved for this frontage that this is the monument sign for that space.

Ms. McBride responded I don’t think so, because if that ever happened, they would have to present a signage package for the commission’s review and approval.

Mr. Okum said I know it is a PUD, but if a development would want to go in there, they typically would be allowed a monument sign placed on their site. Ms. McBride responded Friday’s didn’t have one until the commission gave them one. Mr. Okum said so we would have the right to control it.

Mr. McErlane added it is not a given that there is a ground sign permitted for each building on a particular property. The Zoning Code only permits one pylon sign or two ground signs on a piece of property. Certainly, Planning Commission can entertain whatever new plan comes in at the time, but it is not a given.

Mr. Okum said the mechanical units can be seen from the roadway, and you will need to address that. Mr. Ross said I am aware of that.

Mr. Vanover said on the existing tree, I believe that the tree preservation ordinance be a part of that, so we have some protection there.




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14 September 2004
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IV B PROPOSED GROUND SIGN TGI FRIDAY’S 11340 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Galster said they will keep the trees they were going to replace to compensate for the 36 inch tree they were talking about cutting down. So we have gotten 100% replacement compensation, and it is staying on the landscape plan. Is that correct?

Ms. McBride answered my understanding is that was the landscaping that Planning was approving as part of that project. If that tree came down, then it comes back before Planning for some type of modification to offset the loss of that tree. The landscape material that we approved was not in lieu of that tree by any means.
Mr. Galster said I believe that the new landscape plan shows the 36 inches being distributed on that plan.

Ms. Hardy reported that was at the time when we were proposing for the tree to be removed. In July, part of the movement was that we would keep the tree and the proposed plantings and in exchange for that receive the monument sign.

Ms. McBride confirmed this, adding that if the 36 inch tree comes down in the future, that is an issue. Mr. Galster added right now we do have the 36 inches planted on the site. Ms. McBride responded but those 36 inches are not tied to the 36 inch tree. Mr. Galster commented they are more tied to the monument sign.

Mr. Galster said it seems like the new monument sign is kind of like the old design. Mr. Ross answered it is a change in the font, and matches the new font on the new sign. Ms. Hardy added it is consistent as required.

Mr. Okum asked Ms. McBride if the landscaping around the monument sign had been reviewed. Ms. McBride reported that the landscaping plan itself is being reviewed by the landscape architect. They submitted separately a landscape plan for the sign that showed four gold coast junipers on the plan and 28 gold coast junipers in the plant schedule. We will offer comments to the applicant later this week on the entire package, and you might want to leave the landscaping around the sign open ended.

Mr. Okum asked if the motion needed to include something about mall management and approval of the location of the sign. Mr. McErlane reported that the mall signed off on the owner’s affidavit initially, but this is a revised plan so we still need their approval.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the monument sign change for TGI Friday’s.
1. It shall include staff’s comments except our city planner’s comment number 1 regarding the setback of the sign and considering the new sign location.
2. The new sign location shall be as presented and also must be approved by mall management.
3. The applicant shall be responsible for all landscaping around the sign, and the landscaping around that sign shall be approved by staff.

Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the approval was granted with six affirmative votes.
Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
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IV OLD BUSINESS – continued

C. Approval of Extension of Placement of Storage Container until May 30, 2005 – Springdale Hotel, 11911 Sheraton Lane (former Best Western) – (Approved for one year by Planning Commission on November 11, 2003)

Homer Lum representing the Springdale Hotel reported that the trailer is necessary as we continue with the renovation of the property. We use it to receive and distribute merchandise as it comes in. We would like your approval to extend it to May 30, 2005.

Mr. McErlane reported that on November 11, 2003 Planning approved the use of the temporary storage container for one year. This was conditioned on the container being painted to match the building exterior and that the parking lot lighting is made to comply with the Zoning Code. The container has been painted to match the building, and there have been two parking lot light fixtures that were adjusted to make lens more horizontal, but none of the other lights have been adjusted.

I met with the applicant to discuss what needed to be done with the lights, and we agreed that three of the lights in the front that actually are directed toward the interstate ramp would be adjusted so that the lenses are in a horizontal position. Mr. Lum reported that they have been adjusted.

Mr. Galster asked the applicant if the container was in use now and had it been since November. Mr. Lum answered that it was. Mr. Galster asked if it was for storage or remodeling. Originally it was for storage. Mr. Lum responded that originally it was for storage, but we would like to continue using it during the renovation as materials arrive. Mr. Galster said once the renovation is completed, will there be a need for storage, and Mr. Lum responded it would be nice to have but no, the renovations will accommodate that.

Mr. Okum asked if the contract had been let on the renovations, and Mr. Lum answered that they are waiting for approval of the new franchise that we hope to have this week. We are hoping that it will be Crowne Plaza, and it would be a $3-4 million renovation. I would be a total renovation of the property.

Mr. Okum said you have indicated that the light issues have been resolved. Mr. Lum reported that the first two were done 5/14, and the others were changed 9/14. Those facing the highway are flat; those facing the building are still at an angle.

Mr. Okum said my concern was how the lights affected the adjacent properties and the right of way. If that has been corrected, I can understand your need for an extension on the trailer so I would be supporting your request.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the extension with the condition that the lighting as required has been accomplished by the applicant prior to the 30th of September. Mr. Coleman seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and approval was granted with six affirmative votes.
Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
Page Nine

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Approval of Temporary Banners until May 30, 2005 – Springdale Hotel, 11911 Sheraton Lane (former Best Western)

Homer Lum said when the word got out that we were looking to do a different franchise, Best Western told us to take the signs down. We had 15 days, and we got the banners up to cover the Best Western logo as best we could. There was a monument sign facing Route 4 and we cut out the face of the sign and put a whole new face in it. We put regular sign material to cover the Best Western on the double sided road sign coming in Sheraton Lane and also put up the Springdale Hotel sign. We had to make it the square shoulders because Best Western said we couldn’t use the curve in their sign because it is part of their signage.

On the building to cover the Best Western logo we had to make sure not to show the curve so we put a banner over that sign which is the same size of the original sign. We had to cover the Best Western letters, and we put a banner on top of that.

Until the hotel is inspected and the new franchisee approves, we would have to maintain those banners. We feel we need some type of identification up there.

Mr. Galster said I understand the need to hurriedly get the Best Western name covered, and therefore the need for the banner, but what you are asking of us is to allow you to continue to use those banners until May 30th, as they are installed today.

Mr. Lum said until completion of the renovation and we get the approval to use the new name of the company.

Mr. Galster said I have an idea of what these banners cost and it doesn’t seem to me that it would be very expensive to put something you could put the same kind of vinyl on that would look a lot more attractive than that up on the building temporarily even until you have the new franchise.

Do you know the size of the banner? Mr. Lum responded that the letter signs are the same size as we had for the Best Western letters. I believe it is about 6’ x 8’. Mr. Galster commented if we are talking about all the way to May 30th, I don’t have a problem with temporary identification up there, but not via a banner.

In other words, take the banner down; take the Best Western Sign down and take 6’ x 8’ sheets, put them up there and put Springdale Hotel on them. It’s not going to cost a whole lot of money, and it sure will look a whole lot better than the banner will look like come May 30th. Right now it doesn’t look right because it is wrapped around other letters and doesn’t have a clean finished look to it. You can put a temporary sign up there that is more permanent than a banner that will look a whole lot better for not a lot of money.

The same is true on the front side. The Best Western can come off; you can put a square piece of aluminum and put vinyl on it and temporarily anchor it to the wall, and it won’t cost a lot of money.

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14 September 2004
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VI TEMPORARY BANNERS–SPRINGDALE HOTEL, 11911 SHERATON LE.

Mr. Galster added this looks like “quick we had to change it”, and I don’t want to have a quick we had to change it look for six months.
I have no problem with what you did out front. At Sheraton Lane, it is bigger than what the existing sign faces were but it is a temporary fix that looks kind of okay. I think these banners are extremely unattractive. They are at a very high visibility off the interstate; they are going to catch the wind and won’t hold up very well.

Mr. McErlane said there is a banner that covers the Best Western sign on the penthouse and one on the logo sign on the side of the building. The applicant is requesting for those to stay for 180 days. The copy on the banners is approximately the same size as the permanent signs under them.

I noticed this morning that it looked as though that the banner on the penthouse is now externally illuminated. Mr. Lum said there is a spotlight. Mr. McErlane continued that if Planning does agree to allow it to stay up there until May 30th, we would request that an electrical inspection be made of the lighting for it.

Mr. Okum said you have a six-month period of reconstruction and renovation that you don’t know what affiliation you will have so you don’t know what renovation you will do. Are you hoping that these signs will bring people in off the interstate?

Mr. Lum answered it is identification mostly. Mr. Okum said you don’t have the national referral; who is going to know that you are there?

Mr. Lum responded we still have many directory advertisements where the Best Western name appears. We have incorporated a new reservation system into the property that covers many of your national reservation systems (Hotwire, Hotels.com etc.) and we hope those will continue to help us. Mr. Okum asked their numbers on the weekends and Mr. Lum said they are 80-85%. This weekend we are sold out.

Mr. Okum said I have to concur with Mr. Galster about permanency. I can certainly need the temporary need to cover them, but looking at the photo, it looks like the sign is about to go down already, and the photo was taken yesterday. I would rather see something more permanent at least on the penthouse. Do you have any suggestions Mr. Galster?

Mr. Galster said the applicant is also stating that he can’t follow the curves of the Best Western. On the logo sign, you can make it plastic and create a 15 x 15 mounted on there.

How long will it be between your having a deal and when it starts operating? Mr. Lum responded that we feel 180 days would give us plenty of time, but we would like to shorten it; it is to our benefit to shorten it. Even if the new sign was up, we would have to cover it until the renovation was complete. They would not let us show that new sign until they had come in and inspected the property and made sure it met their specifications.
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14 September 2004
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VI TEMPORARY BANNERS–SPRINGDALE HOTEL, 11911 SHERATON LE.

Mr. Lum added that the banners are expensive. Just the crane time alone is expensive.
       
Mr. Galster said I am concerned about how long the remodel will take. The wind already has blown this sign some. You can put plastic or aluminum up; just put vinyl graphics on it temporarily.

What are you going to do from the time they have granted approval until the new permanent signs come in? Mr. Lum responded that when they grant approval, you go into renovation right away, but we can’t show the new sign until everything has been inspected and approved by them. The sign would be ordered immediately.

Mr. Okum said I haven’t heard any solutions from the applicant. I don’t have a problem with the temporary sign being there, but I think it needs to be more resilient and rigid. That is most important. It still can be of a temporary nature, but it should be more durable.

Is it possible to take the existing sign cases off? They won’t be used anyway, and that may enable you to treat the drivitt surface behind those cases and put something there in the interim while you are doing the reconstruction. If you have this plastic bag on top of the signs, you will not be able to get behind them and treat that surface and the worst thing would be to have that building leaking up top into the cavities of the building.

Mr. McErlane said the applicant filled out an application for both of the items we are considering this evening. The one for the container was until May 30, 2005 and the one for the banners is 180 days, which would be the end of February. Is that your intent? If so, any motion should be based on a date, and not 180 days.
Mr. Syfert commented that the end of February sounds better than May 30, 2005.

Mr. Galster said if you take those down and put up a more permanent temporary sign you still would have the problem you haven’t been able to maintain behind it, and that will have to be tied in for when the temporary signs come down and the permanent new signs go up.

Mr. Galster asked how much it cost to have the banners hung and Mr. Lum answered $8,000, including the monument sign. They took more time than anticipated to make sure they were properly installed.

Mr. Coleman said if this were approved for 180 days and the wind tatters it, couldn’t you police that? Mr. McErlane reported that the Building Department could do that.
       
Mr. Syfert asked if March 1st would be an appropriate date for the banner and Mr. Lum answered we felt 180 days was the outside limit.




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14 September 2004
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VI TEMPORARY BANNERS–SPRINGDALE HOTEL, 11911 SHERATON LE.

Mr. Galster commented when you see the signs get covered like this, it is usually temporary in terms of a week or so. Even if this sign holds up exactly as it is today, that look as a billboard for Springdale is still not very attractive. When we say if it gets tattered and torn you would bring it back to this look, but it is not an attractive way to represent Springdale. I am sympathetic to the costs involved but I think that a more attractive temporary sign could be used for the kind of time frame you are requesting, not only for the hotel’s image but for the city as well.

Mr. Okum asked what they would do if the affiliation with the hotel chain doesn’t occur. Bob Kunvarji the owner said I can assure you that there is no problem. We have been there six to eight months and I know what is involved, the revenues and expenses. If this goes through, hopefully we will open by January or February. Will the slow period shut me down – no.

I agree that the sign is ugly. I wasn’t here when it was done and I was not happy with it, but it did cost us $8,000. I wish I had heard you before about the plywood; it would really look nice there.

Mr. Okum asked if the main Best Western sign could be taken off and check the condition behind it. Mr. Kunvarji commented I got educated listening to all this. The original sign behind that, the red letters come off anyway, and we could take this banner and put it right against the wall and make it look nicer.

Mr. Galster commented part of the problem is that you are going over a textured surface and that is why you are getting all the wind underneath. If there was no sign behind that and you mounted that flush it would look tremendously better than it does now.

Mr. Kunvarji said I would like to work on that – take the letters off and place it against the wall.

Mr. Galster said the only problem is if that doesn’t work and it continues to look bad, you would have to get a crane up there again to do what we are proposing to do. My concern is that by the time you take a crane up there to take the old one down and remount that sign, you might be talking about $300-$400 worth of materials to make that sign out of something that is not a banner.

Addressing Mr. Galster, Mr. Syfert said if they were to take the letters down and put that banner up there, would you be amenable to that? Mr. Galster responded I think then you would have the Pictoria Tower Now Leasing kind of look. My point is that if I am going to rent a crane to take that sign down, it’s not going to cost a whole lot to put up four little pieces of clear or white plastic that will be straight and durable and will last. I know people that would make that sign for him for under $1,000 in the material I am talking about. I don’t think that is a big amount of money and it definitely would improve the look. Even if everything goes well, you close tomorrow and rebuild in a month, you still are talking about a minimum of three months that would be up there. I think three months of that being the Springdale Ohio banner is not acceptable.


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14 September 2004
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VI TEMPORARY BANNERS–SPRINGDALE HOTEL, 11911 SHERATON LE.

Mr. Hawkins said I agree. Whether it is flush against the building or on top of the letters, the banners in and of themselves are not attractive. It is hard to have that acceptable for the time period they would like. Understanding that the crane is the major expense, Mr. Galster has indicated that it wouldn’t be that expensive to put a different type of temporary sign up there. I think it would be a good use of money in terms of the business itself and from a patron’s perspective, these banners look cheap. It is not a place I would want to stay. I would think it would be beneficial to you to spend that money and put up a better temporary sign than leave that up there for this time period.

Mr. Okum said with all this discussion, I would prefer that we move this to the next meeting and give the applicant an opportunity to come up with a plan. I would like to see something resolved for us to help them out and for them to be successful, but on the other hand, I don’t think we should design it for them. We are talking about a $3 million dollar renovation and $1-2,000 for a sign. Something has to be done. Number one, the Best Western sign behind it has to come off, so you have to plan for that right away.

Mr. Galster said you are saying leave this look for 30 days, and then 30 days from now have a better plan and wait the time it will take to make whatever change proposed. So we would be looking at probably 45 days the way it looks now.

Mr. Okum said I am not happy with the way it looks now period. I agree with what you are saying. I would say that we should push for a sign that has resilience and rigidity and let staff figure it out. It can’t be a banner, but I think we definitely need to require that the Best Western sign behind it be removed.

Mr. Syfert asked if he felt the other one was adequate on a temporary basis, and Mr. Okum responded if it comes loose, they should be responsible to reattach it. If we required that the Best Western individually lit sign on the penthouse be removed, there is no issue of it blowing off or coming loose.

So we should allow one banner, the one over the logo and the banners on the penthouse and the sign have to be removed. I have no problem with them leaving that up for 30 days until the new sign is constructed, but after that it should go.

Mr. Syfert asked the applicant what he thought about this, and Mr. Lum answered we will do whatever you feel we should do. Mr. Kunvarji added that we will come back with a new plan; it doesn’t look good. I know that.

Mr. Okum commented what we would like to do is bring to the floor a motion that forces the removal of the old Best Western sign, a temporary approval for you to be permitted to have the Springdale Hotel banner on the penthouse to remain for 30 days. In addition to that, staff should review a temporary sign that has resiliency and rigidity that will last and be permitted for 180 days. I think I just made that in the form of a motion.
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VI TEMPORARY BANNERS–SPRINGDALE HOTEL, 11911 SHERATON LE.

Mr. Okum asked if the staff had a problem with dealing with that. Mr. McErlane responded let me try to understand. You will allow the banners to stay in place for 30 days. After 30 days there should be a different kind of sign in place of the Best Western letters on the penthouse, a more rigid type sign.

Mr. Okum said it should have rigidity and resilience. In addition, the Best Western sign in this period should be removed. The banner on the logo shall be permitted for 180 days, or until March 1, 2005..

Mr. Syfert seconded the motion.

All voted aye, and approval with conditions was granted with seven affirmative votes.

B. Approval of Sale of Christmas Trees on Tri-County Mall Parking Lot, 11700 Princeton Pike

Dianna Canter said I think you all are familiar with this. This is the same that was in place for the last two years. The only thing different is the fact that we will not have an in-line space this year, because that space is not available.

Mr. McErlane reported that the zoning on the property is Planned Unit Development, and the applicant is requesting a similar activity that has occurred two previous years. The only difference is that they are not operating an in-line store in the mall this year.

The area proposed to be used is a 60’ x 140’ section of the parking lot, the same as last year.

Mr. Galster asked the specific dates for the sale, and Ms. Canter reported that it would be from 11/26/04 . Mr. Galster moved to allow the temporary use from 1/26/04 until 12/30/04 with all terms and conditions as previously agreed upon in prior years. Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

Mr. Coleman asked if the size was 60’ x 140’ or 50’ x 120’. Ms. Canter said I don’t have the drawing; whatever it is let me know. Mr. Galster amended his motion to say “with the size to be as represented on the vendor layout drawing attached to the packet we received (Exhibit A).

All voted aye, and the approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.    

Planning Commission recessed at 8:35 p.m. and reconvened at 8:45 p.m.

Mr. Galster reported that he had a conversation with the previous applicant with the idea that I would call him with some names of people that might be able to do the work for him.





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14 September 2004
Page Fifteen

C.    Approval of Proposed Exterior Changes, Staples, 12050 Princeton Pike

Dave Goodermont of Elder Jones and Bob Lambert of Staples approached the commission. Mr. Goodermont said we are proposing to keep the red façade in the front, and relocate this entrance to the north of the building. The bottom12 feet would be grey above white and the EIFS on the existing entrance would be this color of white (showed color sample).

Ms. McBride reported that the Staples sign is being reconfigured, in large part by ODOT as a part of our Princeton Pike/SR 747 project. Part of that involves the reconfiguration of the northern part of the parking lot, although it is my understanding that will not be completed for some time.

Included in those improvements are landscape islands, which is great except we have no idea what is going in there. Any action by the commission should include the future submittal of landscape plans for the new landscaped areas for review and approval by staff, unless the commission specifically wants them to come back.

I would assume in concert with this reorientation of the parking field Staples is proposing to reorient their customer access from what we know it today, the front elevation on 747 to the north elevation of the building.

Included in that is the construction of a 10-foot wide sidewalk across the north elevation which is handicap accessible and a number of building elevation changes.

What they are proposing to do is close up the existing customer access on the west side of the building and create a new access on the north side. They are using EIFS and when we reviewed it the color was not specified. Staff had some questions about the introduction of EIFS onto that façade, because EIFS isn’t really used anywhere else on the building. We felt it might be more appropriate to continue the brick across that area rather than introducing EIFS.

Although this won’t be their customer entrance any more, it is our street elevation, and to see that become a blank expanse of wall didn’t seem to be appropriate. We would like to see the introduction of faux windows or awnings or something to try to break that up.

They are entitled to 340 s.f. of sign area and are proposing to maintain the Staples signs on both the north and west elevations for a total of 103.2 s.f. The pylon sign is down, and this submission does not include approval of a free-standing sign for that center. That would have to come back to the commission, so the only signage you are considering this evening is the on building signage.

We requested that accurate and complete sample colors and building materials be provided and that additional alterations be done to that west building elevation.

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Mr. McErlane reported that the property is zoned General Business (GB) and the applicant is proposing to relocate the store entrance to the north side of the building.

The parking area in front of the proposed storefront is being reconfigured slightly. The landscaping that exists along the north wall is being removed and the sidewalk constructed in its place. It wasn’t until today that I realized that there were a few trees that will be removed, so the new landscaping plan needs to include the total caliper inches that are being removed.

I indicated that the sign proposed on the north side of the building was new; I think it is a relocation of the existing one. The sign on the west side of the building will remain for a total of 229.4 s.f. The allowable sign area is 340 s.f.

I think they had a sign on the existing pylon before it was taken down for the road improvements. That will have to be evaluated at the time it comes in.

Mr. Goodermont said since we are 110 s.f. under the allowable, could we consider signage on that west elevation? Mr. McErlane answered that would include free-standing signage, and I am not sure what is intended for the future. Mr. Goodermont answered I’m not sure either. Mr. Perin has some thoughts on that. Ms. McBride added if you used that additional square footage and put a bigger sign on the building, when Mr. Perin came in for the free-standing sign, you would be out of square footage.

Mr. Okum asked if there were dumpster and refuse enclosures. Mr. Lambert said the garbage is at the southeast corner. Mr. Okum said I am certain you could accommodate a dumpster enclosure that would conform to code. Mr. Goodermont said we can do that.

Mr. Okum commented this design is somewhat different from the other Staples. They do a wide and a narrow footprint according to Staples corporate page. I had heard that the reason you are relocating to the north side of the building is you want to go to the narrow footprint.

Mr. Lambert responded that the dimensions work for our interior layout better if we turn the building a quarter turn and move the entrance to the north.

Mr. Okum commented I know the road is going right across the front of your building, but that is only temporary. Mr. Lambert answered that the customers will be driving to the front of the building, because as you exit the main road you will loop around and come to the south facing the front of our building.

Mr. Okum said besides the drivitt you want to put in where the glass windows are, you have landscaping you are taking out and vertical elements on the north elevation. Couldn’t we put those vertical treatments and landscaping against the west elevation?


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Mr. Lambert said that is something that Dave and I looked at this afternoon. We probably have enough room that we could keep the sidewalk that runs along the west side there and come out from the sidewalk approximately three of four feet where there is an area that has been hashed and is not intended to be part of the drive. If we took that area and created planters or a landscape area, We probably could do that almost the entire length of the west side of the building. This would enhance it and help deal with the landscape issue, replacing some of what we are going to remove on the north end. That is something we saw this afternoon that would definitely be an option.

Mr. Okum said I went to your web page and looked at two elevations. One is 102 feet wide and the other is 125 feet wide. What is the width of the north elevation? Mr. Lambert said it is 102 feet. What you are presenting doesn’t look anything like the 102 foot wide elevation on the Staples web page.

Mr. Lambert said the reason for that is because when we build brand new, we are able to make it look prototype. We are dealing with an existing building, a metal building with the lower 12 feet a block, so we are really restricted on what we can do, especially on the north end.

Mr. Okum said you are adding some material to that façade. Mr. Lambert responded what exists there now is a white metal, and since this will be a front elevation, we will go over the top of the white metal with a red ribbed metal, our prototype look. We will picture frame it to make it jump out a little more and the canopy will be over the area.

Mr. Okum commented I don’t see a reason to carry the band all the way across when you want to focus on the center point, your entry point.

I am concerned about how you leave that west elevation, because of the proximity of your building to the roadway. That would be a very stark elevation if left as it is, especially if you take out the windows.

Mr. Lambert said we are wiling to dress it up a little bit with landscaping or planters across there. Mr. Okum said if you take out your entryway, you will need to do something vertical to break up that elevation, besides the big sign board. In your case, you will have two frontages the way it will turn out. Unfortunately the only purpose of the west side will be for signage.

Mr. Okum asked if it was possible to go to something more like this with the design (Staples web page). It has less red, it still has the awning but it does break it up. The two red stripes on the side gives it some accent, but it would be something different from the red band. He passed it around to the members.




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VI C EXTERIOR CHANGES – STAPLES – 12050 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Lambert responded a lot of our other locations have that narrow red band that goes completely around the building. If you take a look at our west elevation, we are keeping with that one section of red, rather than proposing that we have the red band over the entire length and also to wrap around to the south. We probably have the same amount of red as on the prototype building, maybe even less. We were trying to work with what we were given here, and so we tried to stay with the height as we came around the corner.

Mr. Lambert added that the entry is towards the northwest corner, so our thinking is that the parking lot to the west will be relatively close to the front door. Mr. Okum said it is fairly narrow there and that is still the access point for Rhodes.

Ms. McBride said I forgot to disclose to Planning Commission that last Wednesday night in Cold Springs KY I represented and got approved a Staples Office Supply Store. I don’t think it altered my comments, but I wanted you to be aware of that.

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone had a problem with that, and no one did.

Mr. Vanover said the problem with the center of that building is that they have cable braces in that next section where the center of that north would be.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the reconfiguration of the parking lot on the north side of the building is in the majority something that had been planned as a part of the State Route 747 grade separation project. The site plan altered it somewhat. There is the inclusion of a sidewalk away from the building and some variances in the dimensions to add handicap parking which changes some of the dimensions of the islands.

Part of the bigger question is on the sequence of construction of the grade separation project. Realistically and in accordance with their schedule right now the parking lot area wouldn’t be done until early in 2006. I don’t know your schedule for the construction of the modifications, but in the interim, what would you do to reconfigure the existing parking to work with your proposed modifications?

Mr. Goodermont said we have a temporary site layout from ODOT. They have the road configured right now by the by-pass, and this is the permanent. What they are trying to do is push all that truck traffic to be on the east side of the building.

Mr. Shvegzda said so this would remain in effect here with the reconfiguration of your building entrance. Mr. Goodermont answered all we will be doing is the first 10 feet and the 10 parking stalls on the north end of the building. ODOT will take care of the other configuration of the parking lot and the islands and the landscaping and whatever else you need.

Mr. Shvegzda commented that would be one thing that we would have to take a look at, because that would be in place for approximately a year or so.
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Mr. Goodermont responded he was telling me that his best guess would be August 2006.

Mr. Shvegzda added we need clarification on the plan as far as what is being done. There is a note that indicates a line from there to the north that everything is being done by ODOT. The question is that it starts in the area where the sidewalk is, and I don’t believe ODOT is promising to put that sidewalk in. Mr. Goodermont responded we are doing the sidewalk.

Mr. Shvegzda asked if the landscaping would be a part of the ODOT responsibility. Mr. Lambert answered the landscaping up next to the building which would be reworking the north end and potentially adding landscaping to the west side of the building would be ours. Anything out in the parking field is the landlord or ODOT.

Mr. Shvegzda commented that the ODOT plans all promise at least through this stage, unless there is anything made through right of way negotiations which is essentially to grass it.

Mr. Goodermont responded I did not ask Jason of ODOT that specific question. Staples has been put to the test with what has been going on with this bypass and a lot of traffic parked in that north end of the parking lot. They have suffered monetarily over this thing.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the question is whether landscaping is something that would be required and placed after ODOT is done with their work, or not dealt with at all at this point.

Mr. Okum said I think we are approving a change to the configuration of the existing parking field for the benefit of the applicant. Therefore I believe that whatever happens in that parking field that is germane to their improvement and their changes is their responsibility. In my opinion what that means is if ODOT comes in and doesn’t’ put in landscaping that would be typical of any development, because we are allowing the change to the configuration of the parking field for the applicant, it would be the applicant’s responsibility to take care of it. They can negotiate with ODOT on their business interruption for recovery, but because the parking lot is being reconfigured for their benefit, I feel those islands would be germane to the applicant. Addressing the applicant, he said

I don’t care whether ODOT does it or you do it, but I’m not going to leave it go that it will be basically open. I think we can do that with our motion to tie future review by Planning Commission, including the west building elevation, all landscaping on the area that is germane to your business. That would be the west and north elevations. I think that is fair, because we are allowing the reconfiguration and you are altering the parking fields and changing that around. I know ODOT is really designing it, but you are involved in some of that I would think.


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VI C EXTERIOR CHANGES – STAPLES – 12050 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Goodermont responded no, we really aren’t. Mr. Okum asked about the parking field on the north side, and Mr. Lambert responded they pretty much dictated to us. Mr. Okum added it’s not bad with a big area for a landscape treatment in the island. I think we have to hold the redevelopment to that which makes you a party of it since it is your parking field. ODOT doesn’t know that you are planning to relocate the entry to the north side do they? Mr. Goodermont said that they did. Mr. Okum responded so there was some thought that went around that.

Mr. Shvegzda reported for clarification, this reconfiguration of the parking lot was driven by the fact that the Progress Place intersection will be lowered by about five feet. So we had a grading change that had to take place in this area.

As far as the reconfiguration of the building and entrance, ODOT knows about that as of about three weeks ago, but this layout had nothing to do with that.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. Shvegzda if that is the configuration you would want to see for a business that has an entrance on the north elevation. Mr. Shvegzda answered it works very well that way.

Mr. Galster said when you say that it works very well, I was going to disagree. Once you enter the development, I have no problem with what they have done up front. Why do you need to make the pedestrians cross over the incoming traffic that is continuing down to the other store when there is no entrance there? Why not shift all that parking back over toward the building and have the access drive to the rear building come down more toward the property line? Why make all these people run through traffic now that the entrance isn’t there? Not only that, I think you would have a hard time getting landscaping up against that building when you have a sidewalk there.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that when this was done, it was solely limited to what had to be done, and not to reconfigure the whole parking lot.

Mr. Galster asked if there was any reason why that access road couldn’t continue more along the property line and move the parking more toward the building now that there is no entrance there. Why make all your customers who do park over here walk in front of all the vehicle traffic?

Mr. Goodermont responded with the temporary road and the way it has a drop in it right now, I don’t know how you could make that configuration and that turn. Mr. Shvegzda responded you couldn’t now; it would be a final configuration.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Galster said if the road continued more along the west property line rather than making all the customers who are going to park on that side of the building walk through the street, couldn’t the parking come off the building side?


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VI C EXTERIOR CHANGES – STAPLES – 12050 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Shvegzda answered it is certainly something that could be considered. I don’ t know what the net result in parking gain or loss would be due to that. Mr. Galster commented the site is plenty parked right now, wouldn’t you agree? There are a lot of open spaces in that parking field, more toward the back. Mr. Goodermont said the problem is that is part of Rhodes parking

Mr. Galster said with the few parking spots you have out front right now, you probably have 10or 15 cars right now and people are trying to figure out how to get through the little parking lot.

M. Goodermont responded it doesn’t seem to be that congested. The biggest problem we have is a lot of construction vehicles parking in the north end of the lot and plugging things up.

Mr. Galster said even if we are doing a shift in the roadway, we are not using any more parking slots; it is just putting them in a different spot.

Mr. Lambert commented I understand your concern. You are wondering why people should park and to get to the building have to walk across the main drive. It makes sense, but it really is no different from almost any retail location where there is a parking field, and up across the front of the building there is a main drive that people have to walk across.

Mr. Galster responded but that main drive is more for loading and unloading. Mr. Lambert said not really; it is the main drive that goes across the whole area. I see what you are saying, and I don’t have a problem with it, but to do a parking layout, you will have to have some sort of a drive probably along that area. You can try to direct the traffic out and around, but in reality the cars will take the path of least resistance, and that probably will be the most direct route to go to Rhodes. Mr. Galster said I understand, but you probably can limit that too with islands, just reconfigure the way your islands are laid out.

First of all, I think it is safer. Secondly, how are you going to get landscaping in front of that west elevation right now? You have a sidewalk that runs the whole length of the building, and you are talking about putting planters in the middle of the concrete or grass with mulch beds.

Mr. Lambert answered if you go along that west elevation now, you have approximately a four-foot sidewalk. You could take that out and put it right next to the building. What I am proposing is to leave that sidewalk there so that the person coming along there could walk very close to the building underneath the canopy or a portion of it, which would be a safer area for them to walk. .The landscaping would be a buffer between the sidewalk and the building. You would have approximately a four-foot strip that you could do that doesn’t infringe on the drive that is there now. So you would be taking an area that is paved in asphalt now and is hashed and would create a plant or landscape area.


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Mr. Galster responded my point was if in fact the parking was over there and you were redoing that, you could add some planting islands closer to the building that would break up that building easier than the islands that are 25 feet away from the building.

Mr. Okum said personally I think Mr. Galster is going in a good direction. You are saying to move the access drive to the west, create a parking field between the access drive and the building, and the landscape area up against the building. That way people wouldn’t walk across the access drive to Rhodes. That sounds like a great idea. All you have out there is some twigs for trees. It is only an asphalt surface anyway.

Thee are always people parked in these areas marked turn around on your drawing, and that gap between the building and the roadway is very narrow. I think what Mr. Galster has suggested might help your flow.

The six spaces in the corner that ODOT has designed is in a dangerous location. Is that ODOT’s property? Mr. Goodermont said I think it probably is. I’m not sure, but they seem to have precedence on what is going on there.

Mr. Okum said I think you could work with staff and get some more space next to that building to create some landscape separations. Mr. Lambert responded I think we can do that. You have a good idea, routing it more toward the west property line.

Mr. Okum added I have to agree with Mr. Galster. When you make that loop, you are swinging around anyway. He asked Mr. Shvegzda if that type of layout for the parking configuration would work.

Mr. Shvegzda answered it seems reasonable. However, it obviously needs to be drawn up so we can see the pros and cons.

Mr. Okum said I basically have understood your philosophy for the building elevations, but I think this parking and site layout needs to be worked and certainly the dumpster enclosure needs to be addressed. Mr. Goodermont answered that is not a big issue at all.

Mr. Okum asked the applicant if he thought he could work with staff and come up with a parking field layout. We do have an edge because the engineer for the City also happens to be the engineer of the project, and they deal with the design impact. Mr. Lambert said I definitely think we can do that.

Mr. Okum added I think staff made comment about the material that goes in where the old infill was. Drivitt is going to cost you as much as split face block. Mr. Lambert responded we are not opposed to trying to putting the block to try to match it, and it’s going to be painted. Mr. Okum added if you could have windows there, I would prefer that and not have a door. Mr. Goodermont commented the inside layout of the store is a problem.


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Mr. Galster said there is nothing up against the wall according to the layout here. I don’t know if they come all the way down to the ground right now or not or if we need to bring them up a little higher. I don’t have a problem with the lower block and shortening the height of the window to make it look it more of a standard window height.

Mr. Lambert reported that directly inside the window there is racking, so you would see the back of that. Mr. Galster said you could shade them so they wouldn’t be seen. Mr. Lambert said we could tint the windows dark and that would break up the elevation.

Mr. Lambert said it sounds like we are going to go back to staff and work with them on the finalized issues. I believe the interior work on the building has been approved and the permit is ready to be issued pending this hearing tonight. It is important for us to get started on our schedule so we can get this work done prior to the holiday shopping season. Do you see a problem with our being able to get going with the building permit as we work on finalizing these issues?

Mr. Galster said interior wise you can do whatever you want. I’m not opposed to changing the entrance once I think the parking is squared away. I think the general location of the entrance is fine. I might agree that instead of that solid red band across a smaller red band would be better, it could even tie in on this side. I’m not opposed to having Pack and Ship and Copy and Print Center printed in there and use it for signage as opposed to just a solid red band. There are still other issues, but I assume that he can do the inside work, but I’ll defer to the expert for the answer..

Mr. McErlane reported that in terms of permitting him to go ahead with the exterior work, we’re okay. I am at the point now that I could release the permit tomorrow, but it wasn’t released based on review by Planning Commission for the exterior changes. I don’t know their timing on making the switchover to the new location for entrance.

Mr. Lambert said we have the entire remodel for the interior only and we were gong to tie the exterior in with that. It will be an eight or nine week project, so getting started this weekend gets us done in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mr. McErlane added I am sure that the exterior changes will need to go pretty much hand in hand with your interior changes because you basically have to build your new checkout lanes over in that area before you can move them.

Mr. Lambert said if we are in agreement that moving the entrance is okay, we can get something submitted in the next few days that addresses the changes in the elevation, landscaping and things like that.




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Mr. McErlane reported I don’t have a problem with it. I guess I didn’t get a feel as to whether or not Planning Commission was okay with them proceeding with the exterior changes to the building immediately.

Mr. Syfert commented I think that other than possibly some manipulation on the north end, we are fairly well agreed on it.

Mr. Galster added I think there are some issues like the red color band and those type things. When I look at the north elevation, I wonder why the windows that are not the entrance can’t be more full length; small issues like that. You can only put your entrance where you can put your entrance based on your cross bracing.

Mr. Goodermont said prototypically they have more glass on the front but we were confined because of the wind bracing in that north end of the building.

Mr. Galster asked why one window wasn’t full height, and Mr. Lambert answered that it is because the shopping carts are there.

Mr. Okum asked if they could go horizontally wider over to the entryway. Mr. Goodermont answered there might be a steel column there; I would have to verify that. Mr. Lambert added there were restrictions on the glass.

Mr. Okum added we would like to see more glass. Mr. Lambert said we would too. We’re going to leave the glass on the west side.

Mr. Galster said I am okay with the entrance being there; I think there is some fine tuning that needs to be done.

Mr. Lambert asked if they needed to come back to Planning or put it in the hands of staff. Mr. Galster answered I think we are asking for quite a bit to turn it over to staff. I would like to see it back at Planning Commission again. I have no problem with granting a preliminary approval but in terms of final approval and turning it over to staff, I am not comfortable doing that yet. Maybe I would be if we left parking and landscaping and building elevations off that approval. Then we are just talking about where you can cut your holes.

Mr. Goodermont responded we have to relocate that vestibule. Mr. Galster said I don’t have a problem with saying that we have approval without parking, without landscaping, or exterior finishes.

Mr. Lambert asked what was in question on the exterior. I have agreed that we will leave the glass on the west side, and we’ll put a tinted glass or whatever the recommendation is. On the north side, the glass is pretty well fixed. On the exterior elevations two people talked about shrinking down the amount of red so that the band would be similar to the prototypical.




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Mr. Galster added that it seems to me that the Staples should be more centered over the door, but that is up to you. It seems like we could cut some of that red banding down; instead of being full height like it is now, have a stripe to break it up like your prototypical does.

Mr. Lambert reported that the sign is centered on the canopy, and the canopy covers the entire glass entry area. If we need to take that red band on the north elevation and have it go to a limit to the right and the same to the left, and shrink down, that is something we can do.

Mr. Galster said those are the kinds of things you can play around with and if they are not approved tonight, you can still cut your holes where they need to be.

Rather than being an open expanse, I’m not opposed to having a little red go around on the north and west sides. It might pull it together.

Mr. Okum said I think the right way to do this is to give them the latitude so they can deal with their improvements. We could tell them that the north entry would be an okay entry location. We understand there are building color changes that need to be finalized. This is all preliminary, but I have no problem with the north entry if there is some configuration to the parking field that is tied to that so it all works together.

I think your company does a much better job with the red in the middle and everything centered to that point, so it is not red all the way across. They do that very well in their prototype. I also don’t have a problem with carrying that red accent striping to give it some continuity and bring the building together.

I think our engineer needs to work with you on the parking configuration and traffic flow. It probably would ultimately be better for everybody.

Mr. Okum said so I would move to preliminarily approve the requested change to the building allowing a north entry with exterior elevations, landscaping, parking and access roadway not finalized at this time. Mr. Galster said it should be with the understanding that the glass would stay out front, and seconded the motion.

Mr. McErlane said my only concern is the statement that we preliminarily approve, which really isn’t an approval to do anything.

Mr. Okum responded so I will back off the word preliminarily and say we are approving with conditions. Mr. Galster seconded the change.

Mr. Syfert asked the applicants if they were clear on what they can and can’t do.



Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
Page Twenty- Six

VI C EXTERIOR CHANGES – STAPLES – 12050 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Goodermont asked if this would be documented in the form of a letter so we all are on the same page. I have a pretty good idea of what we can do.

All voted aye, and the approval with conditions was granted with seven affirmative votes.

D. Approval of 30’ x 6’ banner, Party City, 333 East Kemper Road

Michael Dryer General Manager of Party City said I did get the final approval from the landlord, KIMCO. We are proposing to have this banner up for six weeks to promote customers and the traffic on S.R. 747 since I have no advertising at all on the west side of the building. We want to have customers realize that we do have a great assortment of Halloween items, which is our biggest season of the year and is integral to our success. There are a lot of competitors in a very close radius to us and this is very important to us.

It is a great looking banner with kids and costumes and it says Halloween on it. It definitely would do well on that side of the building and would be professionally installed as well.

Mr. Galster said you have a Halloween banner up now on the front of the building; is that permitted?

Mr. McErlane reported that the last comment in my staff report was that there are probably problems with the rest of the package that was shown on this drawing, which I just found out today is already up.

From the standpoint that there is a banner on the building with no permit and that more than 25% of the windows are covered with other posters, Planning Commission needs to evaluate what is permitted to be up of this whole package.

The only thing that was applied for initially was the banner. Mr. Dryer said the one on the outside I can remove; it is more redundant than anything else there. .I didn’t realize I had to apply for it, so I apologize for that.

The other banners are in the interior windows and are just decorative posters. We have a façade behind them and they are more decorative than anything else. They don’t have any relevance in terms of advertising. They send out signs to promote whatever season we are in the middle of.

Mr. McErlane said so the applicant is saying that he will comply with what is required on the front of the building. Mr. Dryer said that he would, no problem.

Ms. McBride said for clarification, you are going to remove the banner that says Halloween on the front of the building, but you want to leave all those posters up in the windows.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
Page Twenty-Seven

VI D APPROVAL OF BANNER – PARTY CITY – 333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Dryer said if I may. Ms. McBride commented that exceeds the 25% allowed, so that would be up to Planning Commission to allow you to exceed the 25%.

Mr. Galster asked if the banner was gone, would the posters in the windows be more than 25% and Ms. McBride answered yes. That 25% only applies to window area. Mr. Galster said what percentage is there now; Mr. McErlane said with the Halloween banner up, it is 75% to 80%, probably 80%. I am sure it’s not going to go down to 25% without the Halloween banner.

Mr. Galster asked about his competitor’s banner, if it was allowed. Mr. McErlane answered that it is their identification sign and it is within code. They proposed something larger, and we told them they couldn’t do it. They have no other signs, and Party City has two other signs on the building. Mr. Galster asked about the size of the competitor’s signs, and Mr. McErlane reported that the back sign is 96 s.f. and the front sign is 24 s.f.

Mr. Galster asked the size of Party City’s sign, and Mr. McErlane answered that it is 180 s.f. Mr. Galster commented I saw this sign on the Kenwood store, and it is gigantic. It is a big sign; there is no mistake about that.

Mr. McErlane reported that the property is zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD) and is a part of the Cassinelli Square PUD. The applicant is requesting an oversize temporary sign to be up until October 31, 2004. The Zoning Code permits special event signs to be displayed for not more than two consecutive weeks four times a year with a month between the end of one and the beginning of the next. Assuming that the applicant would place the sign tomorrow, he is requesting approximately six and one-half weeks for it to be up.

The Zoning Code allows temporary banners to be 20% of the permitted signs for the establishment. The maximum permitted signage for this location is 175 s.f. so 20% of that would be 35 s.f. Understandably, 35 s.f. would be a pretty small sign.

At the time the application was submitted, we didn’t have an owner’s affidavit; we received it tonight. Even though the application was for the large Halloween banner, the sketch showed a number of other signs and they may have some problems complying with code based on that.

In addition to the oversize banner being up 6 ½ weeks, the applicant is now asking to cover more than 25% of the window area with signs.

To clarify, Mr. Galster asked the applicant if he was requesting the signs in the windows and Mr. Dryer answered that if I need to move that, it is no problem. Mr. Galster asked how big the Halloween sign is and Mr. Dryer answered it is 10 feet by 2 ½ feet, but I don’t think it would be visible from very far away from that side of the building.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
14 September 2004
Page Twenty- Eight

VI D APPROVAL OF BANNER – PARTY CITY – 333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Okum said you could reduce this big banner down by about 30% by taking it to that (Indicated on drawing). Mr. Vanover said that would be roughly about a 15 foot reduction. Mr. Dryer answered I would have absolutely no problem doing that. Mr. Okum said the only way I would ever even consider this is if the window signage (posters in the windows) were brought within code, and that the banner on the front of the building would be removed.

Mr. Galster moved to allow a reduced sized vinyl banner that will incorporate all of Halloween verbiage, all the characters underneath plus not cut Dracula in half. That sign is to be resewn so that it doesn’t become tattered and torn. It will be allowed to be mounted on the west side of the building until October 31, 2004, provided that the rest of the store comes in total compliance with the sign regulations.


Mr. Coleman seconded the motion.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said that the window poster regulation of 25% does not end on October 31, 2004. It should be maintained at 25% all of the time. All voted aye and approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Galster thanked Ms. McBride and her firm for the well-presented planning and zoning workshop on August 30th. As always, it was productive and helps everybody get back and refocused. Mr. Okum said we also should thank the building official and the two representatives of our law director’s office.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

A. Baxter’s, 11305 Princeton Pike – Wall Sign
B. Frame N Save, 11711 Princeton Pike – Wall Sign
C. Wine Course, 11802 Springfield Pike – Wall Sign
D. Halloween Express, 11711 Princeton Pike – Wall Sign
E. Vineyard Community Church, 11355 Century Circle – Wall Sign

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye, and the Planning Commission adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

                    Respectfully submitted,



____________________,2004    __________________________
                    William G. Syfert, Chairman


____________________,2004    __________________________
                    Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary