PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
September 14, 2010
7:00 P.M.



I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

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


II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Richard Bauer, Don Darby,
Tom Vanover, Steve Galster, Chairman Tony Butrum

Others Present: Anne McBride, City Planner; William McErlane, Building Official; Don Shvegzda, City Engineer


III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF AUGUST 10, 2010

Mr. Darby moved to adopt the August 10, 2010 Planning Commission Meeting minutes, Mr. Galster seconded the motion and the minutes were adopted with six “aye” votes, with one abstention from Mr. Vanover who was absent from the
August 10, 2010 meeting.


IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster: No report.


V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Chairman Butrum: Entenmann’s Bakery Outlet, three logo signs at 11774 Springfield Pike.

Mr. Roy Meierdiercks: I am a property manager for CMC Property, the agent for the owner of Wimbledon’s Plaza. I handle most daily operations and leasing. Entenmann’s Bakery, the tenant, is Orograin Bakery Sales; it is a conglomerate and they have a bunch of the brand names underneath their umbrella. They signed a six year lease and they are doing business as Entenmann’s and they are trying to promote the other brands and have requested to be able to put the logo signs mounted on a raceway on the side of the building.

(Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments; no additional comments from
Ms. McBride or Mr. Shvegzda.)

Mr. Darby: Refresh my memory, how does this compare with the request that we had from Hoxworth?

Mr. McErlane: The general commitment that was made by the developer that it would be individual letter signs; the Hoxworth sign was only brought before this Commission because it looked more like a box sign and it was rectangular in shape and was of a significant size relevant to the rest of the logos that were there and that is the reason why Hoxworth was brought in. Subsequent to that Hoxworth had revised their sign with a smaller, more capsule type sign underneath their sign and the Chairman signed off on that; that is why it shows up on the agenda under his Chairman’s report.

Mr. Galster: Do we have a picture as to what this is supposed to look like in relationship to the sign that is on the building?

Mr. McErlane: They were distributed last month to you.

(At this time, Mr. Meierdiercks distributed copies to the Planning Commission members.)

Chairman Butrum: As Mr. McErlane said, the reason I brought this before the Commission is for the same reason that I brought Hoxworth; I wasn’t seeing channel cut letters, but what I was seeing was nothing but really solid logo. I wanted everyone to consider it and discuss it.

Mr. Galster: The thing about this particular location is that it is Transitional Zoning to Residential; the channel cut letters are more uniform and have less of an intrusive nature just by the type of sign that it is. With the Transitional Zoning, I am still in favor of sticking to the channel type letters and the channel type signs and allowing bubbles or capsules for additional information and that type of thing. I don’t know if you can accomplish what you want to accomplish in a channel letter but I am not opposed to additional signage on that elevation. I think this looks really out of place for the whole center.

Mr. Okum: I am sort of in between on this, I understand the purpose of what they are trying to accomplish. This certainly doesn’t identify the name of the business; it is a branding opportunity; it is just like a “Coca cola” sign or a “Budweiser” sign.
I have to agree with Mr. Galster; I don’t have a problem with Entenmann’s having their name on that side of the building but as far as the signs on the back of the pegboard on the inside of the window, that looks a little tacky but I thought the pegboard on that side of the building looks tacky. I would rather see merchandise on that side of the building because when I am coming north on Route 4, I look in there and I see a pegboard wall. This is definitely branding and it is not individual lit letters and it definitely doesn’t conform to Code; I will probably be voting against it.

Chairman Butrum: My comments are somewhat similar, I didn’t think it was in keeping with the other signs at your development and I like the consistency there; I think it is appropriate and I think maintaining that is important. And for the same reason that Mr. Okum gave, no one is going to a Brownberry Store or a Thomas Store, they are going to the Entenmann’s Bakery and then buying those branded goods. At this point I can’t support it either, but I did want to bring it before the Commission and get everyone’s take on it.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Chairman, for purposes of bringing it to the floor, I would like to move to approve the request for logo signs for Entenmann’s Bakery Outlet at
11774 Springfield Pike; the Brownberry, Thomas and Arnold box signs as requested by the applicant.
Mr. Darby seconded the motion.
(With a unanimous “no” vote from the Planning Commission Members, the request was denied.)


VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Chairman Butrum: The next item is for New Business, Tri-County Towne Center signs on the outbuilding, and landscaping; Minor Modification to PUD at
        11711 Princeton Pike.
Just one comment before you get started: it appears that in the Power Point deck that we have in front of us, that a lot more details are present for the landscape plan.

Mr. John Gilhart: It was forthcoming, but unfortunately with the Holiday it didn’t get there until the day of their meeting and I think they were actually in the meeting or finished the meeting when we submitted. What we want to talk about tonight is still the concept and we are looking for approval on the concepts.

Chairman Butrum: For any kind of final move we would definitely need to wait because Staff obviously has not had a chance to review or get comments.

Mr. John Gilhart: It would be something similar to the waste container enclosure; here is what it is and here is what it would look like, and then we would go in and give them the construction drawings. Whatever you want to do is o.k. with me.

Chairman Butrum: My hunch and I will certainly entertain thoughts from others, is that we probably then separate the signage, which they have had an opportunity to review and make comments, and then we can still look at what you are asking.

Mr. John Gilhart: If we have to table it or if we have to refer to Staff. It is unfortunate that happened.

Chairman Butrum: My hunch is it would be two separate motions and that we would have to consider the signs as one motion and under one motion we would have to consider the landscape plan.

Mr. John Gilhart: The intention for them being together, quite frankly, we are looking for support as in the past and we are trying to prove to you that we are going through with our plans and we are looking for assistance. At the same time we understand that there are certain things that you would like to see in a manner of time, sooner than we would financially be able to do. So it is, we would like to do this and in return we will speed up the process on this. And that is why they are together.

Chairman Butrum: O.K., well then why don’t you go through your presentation.

Mr. John Gilhart: Good evening. As you may know my name is John Gilhart and with me is my nephew, Clark Gilhart. With us representing the Shopping center is Lou Santoro. Robert Gilhart couldn’t make it tonight. We also have in attendance tenant representatives: from Cricket Communications we have Louis Ferguson; and from Asch Dental we have Dr. Herbert Asch; and also representing AT&T wireless is Rosie Martinez.
(At this time Mr. Clark Gilhart and Mr. John Gilhart presented a Power Point demonstration; also distributed (as a hard copy) to each Planning Commission Member.)

Mr. John Gilhart: We have had comments, Dr. Asch who has been at the shopping center thirty-nine years, and there hasn’t been a year that he hasn’t enquired about better signage; he has made a comment to me and the gentleman from Cricket that when people call they are looking for landmarks and they have difficulty finding it. We are trying to promote the small businesses and with the economic downturn, the more we can do is helpful and I think would improve the aesthetics of the building.
I had a formal written request from Cricket back in 2008 for a sign on the outbuilding that we had to turn down for two reasons; it was not an individual letter sign and it was technically an off-site sign, so we couldn’t even present it.

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

Mr. Bauer: I have one question, the Camelot Music space, if a future tenant rents that space, does that line up with any of these signs that they are proposing?

Mr. McErlane: There is probably a good chance of that. The rest of the signs would be behind someone else’s tenant space.

(Ms. McBride and Mr. Shvegzda read their Staff comments.)

Ms. McBride: Obviously, the plant material and the species, the type and the quantity and how the landscape areas are going to be treated in terms of irrigation and water supply, we had asked a number of those questions and unfortunately we did not get that information back in time to provide the review of that. Any action that the Commission might take with regards to, if you were thinking of approving those, we suggest that they would be with the contingency that Staff review and approve the landscape plans that were submitted. The biggest concern I have is with respect to the off-premise signage and the precedence that this sets for the City; the problem with it is there is nothing to keep Eyemart from wanting signage on the back of the main building, or LaRosa’s from wanting signage on the back of the First Watch space or tenants wanting signage on other buildings. The only other comment I want to make is that Mr. Galster and Mr. Vanover, as the two members of Council, will need to determine if in fact that this is not a major deviation from the original PUD.

Mr. Bauer: Mr. Shvegzda, the painted island, will that actually work; I don’t see that functioning as an island as it is laid out there?

Mr. Shvegzda: You are referring to what is adjacent to the parking, what would be on the other side?

Mr. Bauer: Yes.

Mr. Galster: He is talking about the main entrance in front of the old “Borders”.

Mr. Shvegzda: That is just to delineate the traffic pattern; pedestrians won’t be in that area.

Mr. Bauer: So there is no functional use to that island?

Mr. Shvegzda: Just directing the traffic. It is typical to what we have in the roadways, as far as a painted island.

Mr. Okum: That area, is there no parking field to the south side of the parking lot?
We have all of these parking spaces there and if someone would park in any of those they would have to walk sideways and then go to the crosswalk of the new entrance.
I think we need to look at that in regards to a safety issue. Making something different, like raising it or putting pavers in that area, or something to give it a variation from the parking / driveway might be better for that spot. I think you are going to have to deal with a crosswalk situation.

Mr. John Gilhart: There is access on the end.

    Mr. Okum: I would park here and go through that intersection?

    Mr. John Gilhart: Yes.

Mr. Okum: That to me is a little bit of a safety issue. I think we need to look at that.
I don’t want people walking through the intersection.
The other item I had is Mr. Shvegzda indicated that the alignment is off; are you saying that the curb on the entrance at Kemper, the opening needs to be widened a little bit and brought towards the east side?

Mr. Shvegzda: What I am saying is the angle of that island that is in there, that transition needs to be adjusted a little to make that a better transition.

Mr. Okum: The problem is when I go in there to turn left to go over to Sprint, I stop. If I stop there is there plenty of clearance for the next car to go past me down that driveway, without hitting me in the rear?

Mr. John Gilhart: Yes.

Mr. Okum: If he moves that island out and everything shifts that seven foot is there still that stacking area to turn left over to Sprint and First Watch?

Mr. Shvegzda: There should be, because that really only effects primarily the outgoing traffic.

Mr. Galster: You can’t raise that island because you would stop the flow of traffic that comes out of the isle. I think painted just gets the cars where they need to be so that they can properly pass each other. I think it would be a good idea to have at that stop sign as you are traveling south “In-coming traffic does not stop”.

Mr. John Gilhart: I think it says “In-coming traffic does not stop”.

Mr. Galster: I don’t know if I agree with creating a crosswalk there and encouraging more people to cross there. I think if there is no crosswalk there, people like me may run across the intersection. I don’t think we should direct people to cross at that location.

Chairman Butrum: I don’t think that is what Mr. Okum is saying, to stripe it across the building there. Dave, you were not adding a new crosswalk to the building?

Mr. Okum: No. I was not.

Mr. John Gilhart: Were you just talking about adding something here that connects north to south?

Mr. Okum: Yes, that is exactly right.

Mr. Galster: It is a tough intersection, it can be congested at times; I think that this painted bar will help ease that a little bit.
I like the planters out there; I think they are great. If you are telling me if we give you the signs and you will put the planters in, I am not sure that equation makes sense to me. I still have an issue with the off-premise signs on the outbuilding. I don’t know if you want approval of them separately or if you are saying that if this happens then we will do this.

Mr. John Gilhart: What we would do then is we would still want to do that, but we might do something else. It is not a matter of holding it over your head, don’t look at it that way, we have talked about this before.
I understand that you don’t want to set precedence, you don’t want to do something for somebody that you can’t do for somebody else, however you need the flexibility to when it does make sense, that is why you are here to make decisions like this. I would argue if LaRosa’s comes to you and wants a sign out here, you would tell them “No”. Obviously, I want the signs and I want the tenants to have the signs. I would say, if someone comes to you and wants an off-premise sign, I wouldn’t encourage that and we wouldn’t allow that, especially with this 267 feet. I have big plans on that building, I would like to see that whole building redone. I think in the interim, I think it would look better and help the tenants; I don’t think you would set a precedent.

Mr. Galster: Going back to a number of months ago when we had the meetings originally on the overall concept plan and everything else, we had a work session meeting and there was some possible flexibility, at least on my part, for those same building tenants on that same building if in fact that building had its fašade redone and we weren’t looking at the roof and all of that. It is not like I am not flexible to that; I don’t want to say that I encourage the off-site signage but I do understand the distinction between having signage on that building for tenants that are in that building, as opposed to being in a different building and so on. That flexibility was more for getting rid of the roof look that carries from Kemper and 747 and maybe it was putting the caveat out there to try to get that to happen by offering that. I also think that the digital display board has created another great opportunity for these tenants to get additional signage out onto 747 and I don’t know who has been doing the program, I assume that you have played with it a little bit and have gotten a little bit more creative; it looks great and I think that was the intent of that display board to allow these types of tenants that don’t have the greatest exposures to get more exposure at that main intersection. If you tell people who get off at 747, head south and look for the video display board that is a pretty good landmark. It is being utilized as an effective tool. I am much more encouraged by that than just having off-premise signage at this point.

Mr. John Gilhart: That is basically why I am in here because I believe you were generally receptive to that and the problem we had is financial, it all comes down to money for us to do that whole fašade; we couldn’t do it.

Mr. Galster: I still have issues with the off-premise signs, I do agree with you that if it is within the building it might make it better and I do agree that an overall look of the building, if in fact that fašade is done, then I am more encouraged about allowing same building tenants on that sign.

Mr. John Gilhart: I have said that we need to work together if we are going to be successful. I am trying to demonstrate that if we say we are going to do something that we do it; I think we have either done it or it is in the process.

Mr. Galster: No complaints.

(At this time, Mr. John Gilhart and Mr. Clark Gilhart demonstrate with Power Point, the out-building without signs on the rear of the building and a projection with signage on the rear of the building.)

Mr. Galster: I don’t think that looks better.

Mr. Vanover: No.

Ms. Ghantous: I do.

Mr. John Gilhart: If they had frontage there, that sign would go up.

Mr. Galster: If everyone had narrow spaces all the way up, then there would be the possibility for signage on the back of that building.

Mr. John Gilhart: We are prepared to go that route, because there is ways of carving that up and leasing the space. I don’t think that is appropriate and I didn’t want to approach it that way; certainly that is an option. I am not saying that if you don’t do this then we will do this. We are looking out for the best interests of our tenants and what we feel we need to do for the shopping center.

Mr. Galster: Once again, I am trying to look at your total sign package and look at everything that has been done and I think that this use of signage is what the message display center was supposed to try to help eliminate or alleviate, to give those tenants the opportunity to get that exposure that they are looking for. The same motorists that you are going to attract with this signage you are going to attract with the LED board.

Mr. John Gilhart: I disagree.

Mr. Galster: As far as the planters go and the intersection, realigning it, I think all that is good and I think that is a nice improvement to the Center. I am not sold on the off-premise signage.

Mr. John Gilhart: But you would be fine if it was allowable within the Code and the frontage was appropriate, as was Camelot Music or Coconuts, correct?

Mr. Galster: Yeah. I wouldn’t have a choice because they would have the frontage.
It wouldn’t be my desire to have a bunch of narrow buildings coming out there in order to make that happen.

Mr. John Gilhart: We wouldn’t be setting precedence.
My thought is it looks better with signage now than the back of a building.

Mr. Okum: I have to compliment you on the landscape concept and what you are thinking of doing. It is a shame that you didn’t get it in to Staff early enough.
The only option I would have is to be based upon consideration and review by Staff and their approval. I think that this Commission should see the planters, the final version on the planters. Not that I don’t think that Staff would do a great job on that, but I think we need to have that comment back to us on their review of the plans for the landscaping. I think that Mr. Shvegzda can clearly deal with traffic issue and the alignment, the sidewalks and so forth. I have to agree with you, Mr. Galster, it is still signs on the back of a building and it still looks like the back end of the building. I also have a problem with not only the precedent; you are literally putting signs on the back of tenant space that is not belonging to those tenants. I would not be supporting the signage and I would want to separate these out into two motions so that
Mr. Gilhart can get moving forward with the rest of the development and the improvements that he wishes to make.

Mr. Gilhart: I am looking for a possible consideration to the Code, maybe there is an area there that could be modified a little bit.

Mr. Okum: But you do understand the legal complication of putting signage on somebody else’s building elevation; I have a feeling that is not right. Even if I were to go to Code revision and look at it, I would hate to be imposing those rights against someone else’s rights.

Mr. Gilhart: Keep in mind there are no rights of any other tenant, we own the building and we have the rights; we write the rules and the regulations, we say what they can and cannot do. It is not up to them what goes on the building.

Mr. Okum: I did want to comment that I think your digital display sign has improved immensely on the development; I’d like to see that other sign get moved so that it doesn’t block the view.
I am sorry to say I will not be supporting the signage on the back of the building, but I am glad that we were able to get legislation through and get Code change to allow that digital display to help your businesses; I think that it was this Commission and Council and Staff that brought that about.

Mr. Vanover: I don’t like the signs on the back of the buildings. I agree with
Mr. Okum that some pedestrian direction needs to be looked at across that corner. I just made a suggestion to Mr. Shvegzda that one possible solution that would alleviate some of that congestion in that intersection is to make that first drive isle one way into the center and then route them back over to the north and then get into the traffic flow that way; I have seen that curb area, that type of small curb area that can be driven over that is a visual and physical barrier that could be employed there.
I am very impressed with the landscaping.

Mr. Bauer: As I review these things, I struggle. This is the third time you have been here and I know we are trying to look at this in phases, but I have lost total view of the big picture and what the overall plan is. The plan you presented many months ago, I don’t know if that is where you are headed. I see the little bits and pieces of a plan and they may or may not work. Mr. Vanover hit on the drive isle and the island and I have always had a concern about this first lane of traffic and tying into this lane and I didn’t see the painted curb doing anything for keeping folks from crossing that way. I am not in favor of signage on the back and I am having a tough time looking at this because I don’t have the whole package.

Mr. John Gilhart: I know we have had this problem and you have brought this up before. As you know we came up with a concept plan that was generally acceptable to everyone. We tried to go in the direction of addressing all of these issues on the entire plan. Commission wanted a timeline for implementation, and I said financially we cannot give a timeline. We tried to do it that way and that is the way we would like to do it. The Planning Commission wasn’t interested in doing an overall plan without a time-line implementation. All I can do is try to come back with bits and pieces.

Mr. Bauer: You can’t present a vision of what these piecemeal things are going to end up?

Mr. John Gilhart: Are you talking about the planters?

Mr. Bauer: I am talking about your whole site, as the signs and the planters fit into that.

Mr. John Gilhart: If you look at the original concept plan, we have planters all the way across there; we want to do irrigation, lighting, way-finding, we want to do the outdoor entertainment type area. We want to do islands at the end and clean up some of the issues with the Kemper Road and that is where we are going with that.

Mr. Lou Santoro: I think the concept plan is the same; the only difference with the concept plan is the planters are just on the other side. That was the general concept but we are trying to improve the parking field with more plants and more greenery and the benches.

Mr. John Gilhart: I keep hearing about the approved concept plan. There is no approved concept plan. Everyone agreed that they generally liked it, but there is no overall approved plan.

Mr. Darby: I would like to make an editorial comment and then state two points in framing my position. The editorial comment is the point of beauty of Planning Commission is that we sit here across from people in the same community, and I sit here and there is my dentist and I have to make a decision and he is the guy who has a drill in my mouth from time to time. A couple of points, I totally agree with your position and your presentation of how precedence should be viewed and I think it was two meetings ago when I voted against a precedence on the corner along Springfield Pike. The first time I saw your presentation, my first meeting back on Planning Commission I looked at the signs and I expressed favor for it at that time. Since that time, since I have learned more about reviewing the Code and also through hearing my colleges, I have a stronger feeling about off-premise signage issue. On the notion of precedence, this is not the one that I want to vote against. Because of those things I am not going to be supportive of this tonight, but I do want to add that I have to echo my colleges’ comments about the other things that you brought to us, they are great. One last thing, when I say I am not going to be supportive of the off-premise signage tonight that is not to say, as Mr. Galster said, in terms of a total package for that building that may come forward later, that could change.

    Mr. John Gilhart: You might find that there won’t be the tenants or some of the tenants in that building, by the time we get to that point.

    Mr. Darby: That would be unfortunate, but that won’t change my position.

Mr. John Gilhart: I understand that; that is why we are all in agreement where we are going with this, the only disagreement I think is the manner in which we do these things. In my opinion, it is imperative that we support the tenants that are there; there are two in the audience that may not be here this time next year.

Mr. Darby: One thing I failed to mention that also mediates this thing is, that since the first discussion I was privy to, we now have in place the electronic sign board which is a big asset.

Mr. Okum: I am going to rephrase something, I said earlier that the final landscaping plans should come before this Commission; I think what I have heard here is the concept of the landscape area is pretty good with the rest of this Commission; I haven’t heard anyone say “No”. I think on the final review of what goes into those landscape things, I think Staff probably wants to get that back to us. What we saw in the pictures tonight is palm trees growing up the outside of building.

Mr. John Gilhart: You are not going to see palm trees.

Mr. Okum: If everybody is comfortable with Staff doing that, I am pretty good with leaving it up to the landscape architect and Staff and making the motion and getting that on the floor. I do want to separate out, because I want to give Mr. Gilhart the opportunity to move forward and I am afraid from the comments I have heard that the signage would be turned down.

Mr. John Gilhart: I don’t have any objection, but I would like to not withdraw but push back the landscaping to the next Planning Commission Meeting. So we can separate them, I don’t have a problem with that.

Mr. Okum: Then we are not going to vote on the landscaping but we are only going to vote on the signage.

Chairman Butrum: I have one other comment, I think we already know where the vote is going because you are going to need five affirmative votes, but I did want to comment on the whole precedence thing and I am torn on it too, and I definitely want to help your tenants in whatever way we can that makes sense but it is an awkward building where the entrances are relative to the roadway and it is probably the closest building to the premium intersection in our retail district and here is the issue I have with that; there is no need for a Planning Commission if all we are going to do is say that everything needs to be based on Code. I think I could probably be persuaded if there were fašade changes and things like that so that it looked like it earned the distinction of perhaps having a sign. Independently, it looks like a sign on the back of a building, if we put it on there now.

(At this members of the audience / tenant representatives for Tri-County Towne Center came forward to comment.)

Rosie Martinez: This store is my first AT&T store ever, we are in an odd space and in an odd place to be at in that plaza; we have been hurt the most by that. We always claim that we need a sign and we had a small sign before the electronic sign, we want to know why we can’t have a bigger sign. Since the electronic sign has been up we have gotten more customers; it has made a change. I know that what I am saying now may not make a difference but the way it is going it would help a lot if at least we have a small sign.

Mr. John Gilhart: The LED has helped tremendously and we don’t argue that, I would argue that we need all the help we can get.

Mr. Louis Burks: I am the Assistant Manager of the Cricket store in the Plaza. Since we moved into the Plaza about four years ago we expressed concerns about the signage facing Princeton Pike, or the lack thereof. Obviously we didn’t get the digital LED sign until recently and like they were saying it makes a big difference for the visibility and what people are able to see. Mr. Okum alluded to the fact that he is able to see signage for AT&T; the problem is a lot of the folks who are coming to our stores are not traveling up and down 747 daily and as traffic is flowing they may be past the sign and people repeatedly say they have not been able to see our store front. We give them the landmarks and that helps but it doesn’t identify them to us and our business. We don’t argue with the fact that it isn’t going to look great, but on that back wall you have two signs currently existing and then you have a potential for a third if another company moves into the location that was previously occupied by Coconuts or Camelot Music; so now you have three signs and a wide empty space along the backside and I can’t see how that would look better, or good or decent.

Dr. Herb Asch: I want to thank everyone for listening to what we have said. I think a lot of the concepts have already been verbalized: where are we, what is the location, how do people find us. I want to relate that when I started a long time ago one of my first patients worked at Jake Sweeney and before I ever opened up my phone rang and a patient said “I saw your sign from Jake Sweeney”. I do hear when patients come in, “We never knew you were here”. I have always realized that if it was known that there was a professional office in this area, whether it is a dentist or whether it is a chiropractor, it is a growing and a still thriving community and if people would know that there are these facilities that are available I think they would utilize them, that is my impression. It is great that we have the digital sign, I think it is a tremendous move forward. I am pleased that people can drive by and say “I saw your sign”. Traffic goes on Princeton Pike and people really are driving and not looking at all the advertisements; if you get there at 3:00p.m. and somebody misses the turn off, it is awful hard to find a place to turn back around. I encourage dialogue, I encourage ongoing conversation but the goal is to make it the triple win and in my case it is to make it a win for the patient. These are just my thoughts but I would like to see this conversation continue, if at all possible.

Mr. John Gilhart: As we know, the LED sign is tremendous; every eight seconds we put something up there and that rotates. We are trying to get everybody up there but that is not the answer to a fixed panel sign. If I was a business out there and I had to choose one or the other, I would choose a fixed panel sign. Hancock Fabric’s manager told Clark that their calls had been down tremendously because when they tell people where they are they see the fixed panel sign and a lot of people didn’t know they are there. The answer is not to put a sign for everybody on everything, we understand that, but in our business the more identification and the more advertisement helps. I think that AT&T said there are less calls asking where they are. The only issue we have is the technicality of off-site signage; this would not even be an issue if they have storefront signage. I wanted you to keep that in mind.

Mr. Galster: Thank you for coming in and sharing your experiences and rest assured that the Planning Commission and City Council and Leaders of this City are very much aware of the fact that we need to do what we need to do to help all the tenants in the City, every business in the City. If you look at the total sign package that has been looked at for this particular site I think there are three decent size pylon signs, maybe two LED boards. We are aware of what you want and maybe I can’t give you the off-site building signage that you are looking for here but maybe the landlord would be interested in looking at a small monument entrance sign right by the Jared entrance that would at least get their logo out on 747. I have no problems with trying to create the ability for the motoring public to move around that center as easily as possible, but at the same time when we are looking at the total sign package I think that the City has been more than willing to be more than flexible, more than willing to go above and beyond what is considered the norm in trying to allow you to get as much exposure as you can. This is a PUD, a Planned Unit Development, which means that we have some latitude to make some changes and I think that if you look at the total sign package that they have put together I think that we have done that. Because if you would have told me that they were putting three pylon signs on this one corner I would have said that this is way overdone; but through the process that is what they have ended up with and I think that the Planning Commission has been flexible in that regard. I am open to something that gives more of a directional and identification in a monument kind of area, something that is low-level. The off-site signage, I can’t buy into that at this point.

Mr. John Gilhart: Pole sign, possibly?

Mr. Galster: Monument, not pole.

Mr. John Gilhart: Well then you would block your visibility, that is the only reason I mention that.

Mr. Galster: I don’t believe so.

Mr. John Gilhart: You are talking interior; just directional signs?

Mr. Galster: I don’t know, you would have to show me and I would have to look at it. I don’t want to design the size; a directional sign, something that gives the motoring public the opportunity to see where they need to come in, I think that would possibly work there. I will let you design the size and location and then bring it back.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Gilhart, based upon the comments that you have heard this evening and we have obviously heard from your tenants, as well; I appreciate you comments and just for your interest I don’t drive 747 everyday, it just happens that I try to do my shopping in Springdale because I live in Springdale so when I am out I do happen to go down 747 or Kemper Road and I am encouraged by what is going on there.
My wife and my neighbors have also seen the sign and I have heard very favorable comments as to what is going on at the Mall. I think Mr. Galster did hit on something, a monument sign that would identify those front businesses right there in that cluster area; a way-finding monument but on the other hand Mr. Gilhart you have that sign that message board which you have got a $250,000 message board on the corner, change that thing out to a monument sign and bring it down lower and give these businesses the identity closer to the roadway to help those businesses.
Based upon all the comments that you have heard this evening, is it necessary that I bring a motion to the floor and we vote it down?

Mr. John Gilhart: Is it necessary; yes.

Mr. Okum: Then I am prepared to do that because we have been here for two hours and we have given everybody an opportunity to speak and I don’t think we are going anywhere in any other direction on this.

Mr. John Gilhart: I want to make another comment on the monument. I would like to ask if the Planning Commission would be generally receptive to that?

(The Planning Commission Members signified that they would be in favor of a monument sign.)

Mr. Okum: But, Mr. Galster said not more signage, some adjustment.

Mr. John Gilhart: We don’t need any more signage, whole signage for the people that are out on the outbuilding. If we were to do signage, we would do it for the smaller tenants in the back.

Mr. Okum: These people are here tonight saying they need identity.

Mr. John Gilhart: Right. It is our priority, because of the lack of signage, to start from the back and put them out.

Mr. Okum: And my thought is that if you are going to put a monument sign give these tenants the opportunity, but that is for you to work out with your tenants.
Based upon the discussion this evening I would like to make a motion, Mr. Chairman, to approve the addition of three off-site / off-premise tenant signs on the east elevation of the out-building at 11711 Princeton Pike.
Mr. Galster seconded the motion and with 6 “No” votes and 1 “Yes” vote the request was denied.

Mr. John Gilhart: And you are pushing the landscaping back?

Chairman Butrum: Yes, so that Staff has an opportunity to look at it.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Chairman I move to table the request for additional landscape areas, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic control striping and the removal of four old existing landscape islands as requested by the applicant.
Seconded by Mr. Galster; and with a unanimous “aye” vote the request to table was accepted.


VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Okum: Mr. Chairman, I have one item, a memo I received from Todd Kinskey, Director of Regional Planning Commission for Hamilton County; my term expires November 3rd. They need a nomination for a Municipal appointee to the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission for the June election. The nominations have to be submitted by November 30th.

Mr. Galster: I make a motion to the Springdale Planning Commission to hereby submit Mr. Dave Okum to continue his great service to the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.
Mr. Darby seconded the motion and the Planning Commission members followed with a unanimous “aye” vote.

Chairman Butrum: We did mention that there are four signs going up; one of which I did not bring to the Planning Commission, the Hoxworth Blood Center, because basically what they ultimately proposed fell more into compliance.


VIII. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn; Mr. Bauer seconded and with a unanimous “aye”
vote from the Planning Commission Members, the meeting adjourned at
9:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________, 2010 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________, 2010 ___________________________________
                Richard Bauer, Secretary