PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

13 OCTOBER 1998

7:00 P.M.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.

ROLL CALL

Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston,

David Okum, Robert Seaman, Councilman Tom

Vanover, James Young and Chairman Syfert.

Others Present: Doyle H. Webster, Mayor

Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

William McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, City Planner

III. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 8 SEPTEMBER 1998

Mr. Okum moved for adoption and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Minutes wee adopted with seven affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Report on Council
    2. Mr. Galster said on the agenda under Discussion this evening is the preliminary plan for the community center expansion.

    3. Zoning Bulletin Ė September 25, 1998
    4. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes Ė August 18, 1998
  1. OLD BUSINESS
    1. Approval of Proposed Garage, Enterprise Rent A Car, 169 Northland Boulevard (tabled July 14, 1998)

John Grier Architect said we are requesting to remove a chain link fence and put in a 30í x 20í garage through which we can do our cleanup of the cars for rental. Right now it is going to be done outside, and we would rather do it in an enclosed facility. The photograph I brought shows where the fence is now; the garage would take the place of that fence.

Ms. McBride reported that they are still proposing a 609 square foot garage. It will go into an area that Planning had concerns about originally. It was used by Recker & Boerger to store old washing machines, refrigerators, etc. The fence is not in the greatest condition, so in terms of the location, we think that is very appropriate and we are pleased about the change in setback.

Since January, we have been asking for overall parking calculations on the site. This is a case of shared parking between Enterprise and Recker & Boerger, and we have recently seen plans for an expansion of Recker & Boerger. We have never gotten anything, so I am very discouraged about that. If the numbers donít work, they are headed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The aesthetics of the building have not changed. They are still showing that 1228 square foot office addition as proposed, and since it is constructed, you might want to take that off. Our comments remain the same in terms of no outdoor storage of cleaning or repair materials would be permitted.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

Page Two

V A PROPOSED GARAGE Ė ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR Ė 169 NORTHLAND

Mr. Grier responded we got permission through you and the Building Department to construct the office addition. Originally it was a very small building, and we increased the size and brought in Enterprise. At that time, parking was approved.

As you can see on the drawing, we had a fenced in area which was used for refrigerators and when you take that out, we actually have more parking than we had before. Since I was not privileged to have drawings of the Recker & Boerger building and since we were increasing the amount of parking, we didnít feel we should be required to show the additional parking we had over and above what we needed before. This new building is not increasing the number of employees. We feel we have done what was correct and what was necessary for this permit, and actually improved things by getting rid of the fence and increasing the number of parking spaces.

Mr. Syfert said you did understand that we asked for the number of parking spaces back in January. Mr. Grier responded we thought we had given that with the previous submission. We did do parking spaces as shown on the drawing we got for the permit for the previous submission, and thought that was really required. We couldnít imagine that there would be a new calculation required when we are adding more parking spaces.

Mr. Okum said the site plan shows the calculations of parking for Recker & Boerger, but I donít see parking calculations for Enterprise. I see numbers and counts. Ms. McBride said these numbers havenít changed all along, and Iíll read to you from a January staff report: "A summary table of provided parking should be provided relative to the requirements of the two uses which utilize the property." That has been on every staff report from February to July to October.

Basically the square footage for Recker & Boerger donít give us adequate information in terms of what to calculate on retail versus warehouse. If you calculate the numbers that they have given us with regards to retail, this site is grossly underparked. Iím not suggesting from a practical sense that it is, but if you take purely their numbers by our code today, it is underparked. That is why we wanted to have the numbers. We are trying to work with the applicant, and we canít get the numbers.

Mr. Grier stated those numbers are shown on the drawings, and we were given a building permit with those numbers. When we came back for this building permit, we felt that because we had more parking than we had the last time, we were within the requirements to request permission to construct this new addition.

Mr. Okum continued the fenced in area in the back was never taken out of anybodyís calculations originally. Was it calculated into Recker & Boergerís original submission? They are showing 175; I guess we could count, but I think itís a little silly for us to sit in the meeting doing that when Ms. McBride has asked for that since January.

Mr. Galster wondered if Planning approved the new addition without ever getting parking calculations. It seems like that addition was done after January. Ms. McBride reported I believe the addition was approved by this commission on the 14th of July. My staff report said that total parking tabulation should be provided to indicate the building square footage. At that time, Recker & Boerger also was in, and there was consideration being given about their proposed expansion and how all these numbers played out. The staff report said "Parking be provided for the development in accordance with Section 153.091.3 or a variance be obtained from the Board of Zoning Appeals."

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V A PROPOSED GARAGE Ė ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR Ė 169 NORTHLAND

Mr. Galster continued so either in our motion to approve either one of the two additions did not get the parking, or we made it part of our motion and it has never been provided. Ms. McBride said correction, that was the garage we were considering in July.

Based on my calculations for the February 10th meeting when we considered the 1228 square foot addition onto the building, my condition number 1 was "A variance be granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals to Recker & Boerger to permit a reduction in the number of parking spaces required, or the required parking be provided. Calculations were requested to indicate the parking designated for Recker & Boerger since the lot area is to be shared. The applicant indicates that the 24,255 square foot store requires 72 parking spaces, and 70 parking spaces are being provided. If this situation is accurate, the matter should be referred to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance if additional spaces on the plan are not for use by Recker & Boerger. Staff calculations for the parking required for a 24,255 square foot retail user indicate a requirement of 124 spaces, utilizing 18,191square feet of retail space. It is unclear from the submittal what portion of the Recker & Boerger building is used for retail versus storage. A variance may have to be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals for Recker & Boerger prior to the Enterprise expansion moving forward if adequate parking cannot be accommodated."

Mr. Galster said so our approval was contingent upon them either getting the variance or providing adequate parking which they have never documented to us. Is that correct?

Mr. Grier responded I believe we have been asked a number of times and have given the parking calculations. We showed those on the drawing and in written communication, and then were granted the building permit to do the original office building. I sent a communication to Bill McErlane on September 28th explaining the fact that we were actually increasing the number of parking spaces for this application. We had already done the work we needed for the other application and received our building permit. If there were something else needed, Iím sorry, but we had given other calculations earlier.

Mr. Galster said my point is we may have asked for it and it may not have been provided and itís now built and you are in wanting to do additional work on the site, and we are still asking for it, because it apparently still has not been provided. You can give us whatever numbers you want based on what you think the parking is, but until we have a chance to review it ourselves and verify space and percentage of retail and percentage of warehouse, we have no way of confirming that. We have made it clear that we have asked for it numerous times and because of the fact that you are in here again asking for additional building on the site, we are making that request again. I think one of two things have happened. Either you are not hearing the fact that we need to get it, or we didnít get it in the past and we should have.

Mr. Grier responded my feeling is that you did get it in the past when you asked for it and that is why we were given a permit. There is no condition on the permit regarding the need to have this before we could occupy the building.

Mr. Galster continued letís assume that is the case. Because you are doing construction here, it may be your opinion that you are increasing the size of the parking, but we still have the ability and right to ask for the parking calculations to be resubmitted with this submittal, forgetting about what happened the last time.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

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V A PROPOSED GARAGE Ė ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR Ė 169 NORTHLAND

Mr. Galster said at the last meeting there was concern raised about the building materials of the garage. There was a desire to make it look like a continuous part of the building. Was there any consideration to look at that option?

Mr. Grier responded from an economic standpoint, and for the use, it would be a luxury for us. We can clean the cars in the parking lot; we jut thought it would be nicer to have it indoors. Mr. Galster commented we also have to look at what is nicer for the other businesses that look upon your parking lot and what type structure they will be looking out for the next 50-100 years.

Mr. Galster continued I also have a question regarding outside storage. Was that ever approved by this board? I donít believe that is permitted so it would be in violation anyway.

Mr. Huddleston commented I would echo some of the comments concerning the type of structure, exclusive of the parking issues. I think this is strictly a shade and shelter operation, and it will suffer nuisance damage to the structure very quickly. You have no substance to the structure in addition to that and it will become an eyesore very quickly. The outside storage is a problem, and I would agree that while the applicant may or may not have provided it in the past, the request is reasonable. I think they have to recognize that we have the obligation to make sure that this is in accordance with code. We donít want to create problems for them or for the city in enforcing the parking ordinance, and if they arenít willing to rightfully assess the utilization of those various businesses on the site, I donít know that we have the option to arbitrarily make the decision to approve or not approve.

Allen Boerger of Recker & Boerger said we are not storing any materials we use. These are strictly appliances that are brought back from consumersí homes and they stay there for probably 12 hours. We run four truckloads a day, including Sundays. It is not a place that we store anything. It is strictly debris that will be fenced in, and it does get beat up with the fence, but we were waiting to see what would happen here. We already have a proposal from ABC Fence Co. to redo the fence.

Mr. Galster said so it is basically used as a staging area. If I look at other businesses, HQ for example, letís say they are bringing in wood to build somebodyís house. We donít allow them to bring it into their parking lot on Saturday morning for the customer to pick up later that day. The material they receive has to go back in their facility and be shipped back out. If you are telling me in your opinion it is okay to bring in dumpster material and leave it there for 12 hours, Iím still saying that needs to be inside your facility. It is outside display of materials that are unsightly.

Mr. Boerger said even HQ has a slotted fence outside where they bring that staging material in, and that is essentially the same thing we do. They have all their lumber outside. I will tell you that the fence is unsightly. Mr. Galster responded if you look at the HQ fence, you will notice that there is brick pilaster fence material and plantings outside that, and that was all approved by this board. What you are saying is you are doing the same thing, but you never got approval or screening.

Mr. Syfert commented I believe somewhere along the line their property was before Planning Commission and that issue was addressed and the fence was put up the way it was with slats.

Mr. Okum said I have one additional item to consider. If this were approved, what happens to this salvage area that you have?

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

Page Five

V A PROPOSED GARAGE Ė ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR Ė 169 NORTHLAND

Mr. Boerger said we plan to have trucks on site so that when we unload, it goes straight onto the truck to be hauled away instead of settling in the area as it does now. Mr. Okum said the drawings we have does not address that. This area is shown as parking, so I have difficulty in looking at a site plan that does not address what ultimately will happen.

The type structure was commented on at the last meeting, and before us tonight is exactly the same building moved six or seven feet away from the existing structure.

Mr. Boerger responded we basically are trying to eliminate that area because we know it is unsightly and it is visible from certain aspects. Mr. Okum said there still would need to be an exchange area, some traffic flow and patterns. I have some concerns about how the site plan is flowing, how it all works together. There have been requests for parking. Mr. Boerger wondered if it was asked of Recker & Boerger. Ms. McBride reported the comments were made to Enterprise, but when Recker & Boerger came in for the addition several months ago, w made the same comment to you. Mr. Boerger responded I was not here, but our current plans for an addition are non existent. My reason for being here is if they get approval for a one car garage, will that hamper us from expanding our building in the future? We are expecting a downturn in the economy and are putting that on hold.

Mr. Okum said it could indeed. Mr. Boerger responded we do have a lot of parking lot that we can make spaces and I can make that available for you; that is not a problem.

Mr. Okum said I counted the number of parking spaces, and I come up with 167. Based on what Ms. McBride indicated if you would go all retail, you would be in excess, but if you added to your building, it would be less. I have a problem with the finishes on this building, the lifespan of that type building for the use. It is hard to take a 21í x 29í one car garage.

Mr. Grier said you see these places for washing cars, and this is similar to that except they donít have the big washing machines. They do all this by hand. We used the vinyl siding so if Recker & Boerger would want to expand, they could do that. This could come down in a momentís notice.

Mr. Grier added on my plan I submitted to Bill McErlane, with the required parking of 72 which he had agreed with in the past. I thought we were done with that. I said there was parking provided of 125; there is at least that many. When he agreed we had submitted the proper information and drawings, I thought it was a done deal. I didnít know we were going to come back here and be browbeaten into some other thing.

Mr. Okum said you have indicated that you have 72 parking spaces? Mr. Grier answered that this was the required number, the number I submitted to Bill McErlane. At one time we had borrowed the drawings for Recker & Boerger and did calculations and used certain potions of retail and certain portions of warehouse. It is written on the drawing; maybe people havenít seen it. Mr. McErlane commented I believe that has been on the drawing since day 1, since we started questioning the parking.

Ms. McBride said I agree that the 72 parking spaces has been shown as required on the site plan from the get go, and from the get go I have said I donít come up with 72 spaces; I need some justification for that, and I have never gotten that.

Mr. Grier answered that is why I discussed it with Bill McErlane, and that is the number we came up with.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

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V A PROPOSED GARAGE Ė ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR Ė 169 NORTHLAND

Mr. McErlane said from the standpoint of the use and what they are doing with it, itís not a whole lot different from waste cardboard or recyclable as long as it is within a reasonable screened enclosure and it is turned over on a regular basis. We have the same situation with tire stores and waste tires; as long as they are turned over on a regular basis and are screened properly, it is appropriate to allow them to do that. I find it hard to believe that you need this much screened enclosure to turn them over if you do it every 12 hours.

Mr. Boerger answered this was the size chosen originally not knowing exactly what we needed. The fence was made to house possibly a couple of dumpsters for recyclable reasons so we could separate and then haul away. The area does not have to be that big for us.

Mr. McErlane salid on the parking spaces, I discussed the required parking numbers with Mr. Grier as far as calculations for them early on in the project before he submitted. I donít know if we ever got any resolution on it after that point. We went through the required parking ratios and how they were calculated, but I donít know that we resolved what the totals were and the total requirements. It should be based on sales floor in Recker & Boerger, and I donít know that we have those numbers to be able to figure them up.

Mr. Huddleston said we need resolution to this parking issue which I donít believe we will get this evening, and I do not think this board can make an arbitrary decision based on non sufficient information. I think the applicant needs to work with the Building Department and Ms. McBride to resolve that issue. I donít think the site plan reflects the activities going on in there. These are good businesses in Springdale and viable contributors to Springdale, and I donít want to slow down their process. On the other hand, w have the obligation to make sure this is correct. I could not vote for that building as it is today. It is totally unprotected and exposed to all vehicular traffic. It is strictly a shade and shelter building, and I could not support something that would become an eyesore to the neighborhood.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert said we certainly are not attempting to harass in any way as you indicated. If you want us to bring it to the vote we can, but I believe you have heard enough comments that you might wish to table it for another 30 days.

Mr. Grier said since the owner is here, I would like to ask if that parking lot is ever packed full. Mr. Syfert responded that has nothing to do with it.

Mr. Boerger stated I will get drawings together in terms of actual number of parking spots and meet with Mr. McErlane to find out what we do need. We just did have the lot completely repaved. If we need additional space, we certainly have room for it there, and we can put them in the proper spots. I will have plans drawn up for it this week and submit it to you.

Mr. Syfert said we can table the item until next month. Also the fact is that more than one person has indicated that they are not particularly fond of what Dick calls a shade and shelter building. I donít know how you wish to address that issue.

Mr. Grier said the owner is stating that he might want to expand in the future, and it might not be good to have a solid concrete block structure there that had to be torn down. A portion of the building is protected by the existing building, but we could put bollards at the doorways and guard rail along the walls which would be something easily removable in case the owner wished to expand.

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13 October 1998

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V A PROPOSED GARAGE Ė ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR Ė 169 NORTHLAND

Mr. Galster said I have no problem making a motion that would be contingent on working out the parking calculations. Rather than putting it off for a month when we have the parking calculations, I think we can vote today so we donít waste the applicantís time, if it is the true desire of the applicant to have the vinyl sided building and not look at the concrete block. Mr. Grier responded we would agree to protect it if that is the boardís desire.

Mr. Galster commented I think the boardís position has been that they would like to see it more in line with the existing structure. I can make the motion properly guarded with guard rails all the way around and let it fly.

Mr. Grier responded the ownerís representative would like to table the project.

Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all except Mr. Okum voted aye, and the item was tabled with six affirmative votes.

B. Approval of Proposed Tree Replacement Plan for Wendyís, 400 Northland Boulevard (tabled September 8, 1998)

Dan Carducci said what we have here addresses some of the concerns you expressed at the meeting last month. Mr. Waits and I talked about the comments made, and what we have here as a solution addresses some of your concerns.

We have proposed a little better spacing of the trees and some variety. Adam moved some trees up and down and we propose to comply with the Route 4 Corridor requirements by sealing the parking lot with 68 Gold Coast junipers. Weíll run those from Northland Boulevard all the way along Route 4. If the members approve this, we are prepared to move forward.

Ms. McBride stated they have revised the plan and our landscape architects have looked at it. They are proposing a mixture of 16 trees, the majority of which would be red sunset maple. They also are proposing honey locusts oak, ash and a sweet gum. They would be a four to 4 1/2 inch caliper tree which our architects feel is a nice size. They also like the mix of trees. The applicant is also proposing to fill the root holes and seed and put lawn in over those areas. The only point we are questioning is that they are proposing that the 68 gold coast junipers go in at 15 to 18 inches. Our architects feel that is too small and should be a minimum of 19 inches.

Mr. Carducci said it is my understanding that a 3 gallon container is a standard size and the junipers run from 15 to 18 inches. A lot of them in the 3 gallon container could be at the high side of 18 and above. We propose to plant these on 3.8 foot centers. Although the 19 inch ones would be higher, it may require us to spread them a little more. I would suggest that you take into consideration the fact that we are committing to this number of junipers and the spacing is such that it will fill in nicely and the height will come in a relatively quick period of time. If we look at the higher ones from a planning perspective we may want to space them a little more and you would not have as much shielding of the parking lot as you would have originally.

Ms. McBride responded I guess itís a little discrepancy from one landscape architect to another. Ours felt that those were really small for a 3 gallon size and that is why they suggested the 19 inch minimum.

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

Page Eight

V B TREE REPLACEMENT Ė WENDYíS 400 NORTHLAND BLVD.

Mr. Okum said they are doing replacement at 50% now plus the shrubs. Next time they decide to cut them down they get another 50% adjustment, etc. I donít know if we can make the motion to state very strongly that if any other trees are removed from the site, 100% replacement would be mandatory. I donít know how it could hold or carry forward to other planning commissions, but I think the motion needs to be strong enough so that future planning commissions would understand the intent of the motion.

Mr. Carducci responded I agree with your comment that probably there is no way that you could get an insurance that something in violation of your ordinance wonít take place at some time in the future. I think that the fact that there are penalties that may be levied and are already in your ordinances, as well as the economic penalty that my company is suffering at this point from having to replace these. If you would ask the financial people if it were a prudent thing to have done, the resounding answer would be - give us our trees back and save us the money we have spent trying to fix the problem we created. I believe your ordinances have sufficient teeth in them so that a prudent business person would give some consideration to not cutting down trees to reduce their caliper requirement.

Mr. Huddleston I think the applicantís problem was created out of a just concern and public safety sense and was strictly accidental. I think there are teeth in the ordinance. I donít disagree with Mr. Okumís comment that any approval should have a statement to the effect that this is not any carte blanche for any future problems, I think it is a minor problem and the applicant has made a good case toward addressing our concerns in the ordinance.

Mr. Galster said Iím not ready to give up that easy. I know when this project was done there were trees on the site and x number came down and you had to replace a certain number. I have a problem with cutting down trees that already have been counted for and cutting them again and still allowing the 51% replacement to come into play. I think we need to put an extremely stiff exorbitant penalty into our ordinance that if you donít replace all of them, you pay a maximum fine of $500 per caliper inch, something large. I think we need to make it a penalty so we donít have this occur. I understand this wasnít an intentional action, but the fact remains that we lost 50% of our trees.

Mr. McErlane added one of the things we need to do is look at the tree preservation ordinance. Right now it lacks any kind of incentive not to go ahead and cut the trees down without getting prior approval. It specifically dictates what needs to be done on development plans. If you have non development activity, you need to get prior approval and there has to be a legitimate reason for doing it. Other than the penalty section, it doesnít say what happens to people who cut them down without getting prior approval. It needs to specifically say something that has a little more teeth in it than saying even though you didnít get prior approval, weíll let you do what the people who did get prior approval do. If that means 100% replacement, maybe it should say that, and that can be one way of taking care of any future problems. It probably needs to be done in the ordinance.

Mr. Vanover said I would like to see us look at that, but I think it is unfair to extend into a sidebar conversation at this point. We all understand what the feeling is; the applicant does too and there wasnít a malicious intent on his part and I donít want to browbeat him on this. I donít have a problem with this and I think the semantics of the 3 gallon container is something we can live with.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

Page Nine

V B TREE REPLACEMENT Ė WENDYíS 400 NORTHLAND BLVD.

Mr. Vanover said unless there is further discussion, I would like to call for a vote and will move to grant approval of the plan as presented. Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum said if we are going to approve it, I do feel the 19 inches is a benchmark that our urban planner is recommending, and we should hold them to that requirement, so I would like to move to amend the motion to include a 19 inch height at time of planting for the shrubs as indicated. Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

Mr. Carducci said at the risk of seeming shrill, I think Ms. McBride and I could possibly agree and convince this commission that a commercially standard 3 gallon container would be sufficient, knowing that some of those would exceed 19 inches and others may be under 19, but the goal is to be close to 19 inches. That way we donít have to have a landscaper with a ruler putting our plants in, and I donít want to feel that I am at risk of being hauled before this commission again because I am at 18 Ĺ inches. This isnít an exact science, so if I could prevail upon you. Mr. Okum suggested an average of 19 inches, and amended his motion to state an average of 19 inches.

On the motion to have an average of 19 inches for the junipers, Mr. Okum, Mr. Galster, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Vanover and Mr. Young voted aye. Messrs. Huddleston and Syfert voted no, and the amendment was approved with 5 affirmative votes.

On the amended motion, voting aye were Mr. Vanover, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Young, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Okum and Mr. Syfert. Mr. Galster voted no, and the approval was granted with six affirmative votes.

VI NEW BUSINESS

A. Pro rata share of Hamilton County Regional Planning Commissionís operating expenses for 1998

Mr. Syfert asked Ms. McBride why the city should pay $250, and Ms. McBride responded I couldnít tell you last year. Last year we talked to the Executive Director Ron Miller and asked him the benefits the city might be seeing. We were told in the year 2020 we might have the opportunity of placing a resident of Springdale on the Regional Planning Commission, and that they had Planning Magazine and Zoning News which we also have.

At that time the Commission felt that the staff between the three of us had enough resources without spending $250 to this commission. I donít know of anything that has changed since last year. If the commission wants I can contact them again, but in working with them in other communities, there isnít any hot new service that they have to offer that you canít get as a resident and citizen of Hamilton County or that I canít get.

Mr. Galster said I would move to deny paying this invoice and use it for aerial photography or something of use to this board. Mr. Young seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Young, Mr. Syfert, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Okum and Mr. Huddleston.

Mr. McErlane will write the letter informing them of the denial.

 

 

 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

Page Ten

VII DISCUSSION

    1. Preliminary Plan Ė Springdale Community Center Renovation
    2. Jim Schaeper, Project Manager with CDS Associates said earlier in the year, we were commissioned by the city to put together a residents survey. We analyzed the results and presented Options 1 and 2, some of the highlights being a double gymnasium, indoor running track, larger equipped exercise area, game room, child care area, adult recreation rooms, additional meeting rooms and flexible space to allow future expansion as well as house the batting cage. Option 1ís price tag was $7.48 million and Option 2 was $7.8 million.

      Leaving that meeting, we looked at several more options and condensed that into Options 3 and 4. Option 3 was Option 1 with scaled down programming and reduced square footages and a price of $6.8 million. Option 4 was an oversized single gymnasium, reduced some more programming spaces and a cost of $5.7 million. After further discussion with Council, we came up with Option 1-A, which I am presenting tonight. This takes pretty much all the elements in Option 1, which was a three story building, and puts it into a one story building with a mezzanine area for a running track.

      Mr. Schaeper showed the existing community center and proposed expansion, along with the existing Parking Lot A. Parking Lots B and C would be in this area. The first phase is to prepare plans and specifications for the reconfigured Lots B and C as well as expansion of Parking Lot E, behind the existing police station. This expansion will eat into the existing parking lot, and we wanted to make sure we had enough parking in place for when the construction starts.

      We are looking at reconfiguring that entrance and coming into a drive that goes along the front of the building and then a turn around for people to load and unload. We have a plaza area around the building; we are studying widening this walk to create a pedestrian type boulevard. We also are looking into access around the rear of the building into the pool area and reconfiguring the pool entrance.

      This is the concept first floor plan. The existing meeting rooms would be renovated into adult rooms. The existing game room would be renovated into a limited child care area. The existing offices for the staff would be renovated into an adult recreation room. There currently is an area that has no construction, an alcove which we will renovate into pool and toilet locker rooms. Also where the existing equipped exercise room is will be renovated into additional storage and toilet and locker rooms for the pool. The existing menís and womenís locker room will be renovated as well.

      The lobby would have some seating and planting areas as well as an elevator and stair up to the mezzanine running track. This is the double gymnasium, two full sized basketball courts as well as two volleyball courts. There is some mechanical space and storage off that.

      This is the unfinished area, a flexible space. At the beginning of the project, it will house the existing batting cages. It also could be an area to expand into as the need arises.

      We have three additional meeting rooms which would have movable partitions to open it up to one large meeting room, a dance and aerobic studio and additional toilet facilities and enlarged game room.

      There will be a computer room for people to come in and use. It also could be a reference area, and there will be a conference room off the staff office area.

      Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

      13 October 1998

      Page Eleven

      PRELIMINARY PLAN Ė COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATION

      Mr. Schaeper continued we see this area as a connection between the new facility and the old, but we want something that will be wide and lively. We have a skylight planned over this corridor and some tables and chairs to create a bistro type effect, because we will have a vending and lounge area here. The existing art room, gym and racquetball courts will stay as they currently are.

      The mezzanine area will consist of an elevator and stairwell leading up to a running track and overlooks the lobby. We are planning a lot of glass around the running track to give vistas and views to the facility.

      Mr. Young wondered if there had been any consideration for handicap sports programs? Mr. Schaeper responded that is one of the reasons why we went to the one story concept. Mr. Young wondered if this plan meets the parking requirements of the city. Ms. McBride commented that was going to be my question. Because we review everyone equally, how about required parking? Mr. Young continued the reason I say that is when you add three times more space, it doesnít appear that we are adding a proportionate amount of parking to fit that need. Do we end up with cars parked all over the place so that becomes a problem and a reason why we donít use the facility? What is the requirement and how did we come up with 307 parking spaces?

      Mr. Parham said the fact of the matter is no matter how much parking we put down there, it will not address our needs for special events, especially the outdoor ones. We will have a parking problem even with the parking at the municipal building, the elementary school, and the additional parking we are adding below the parking at the elementary school. We donít believe we have the available space to add enough parking to handle the demands of the facility.

      I have to tell you as the administration sat down with the architects and engineers to go over this plan, it was very difficult for us to lose a number of spots. Mr. Syfert reported in A through C they have 192 existing and 145 proposed. Mr. Parham said in Lot A we have about 160 spaces. With the expansion of this project, this was reduced by 80-81. We tried desperately to find locations where we can create additional parking. The plan shows that currently just east of the police department there is parking where the staff at the police facility park their vehicles. The plan includes creating a separate parking place for those employees to be able to park, because we have to create the idea that whether you are parking by the police department or by the door, that you are in the same parking lot. We have tried to orient the new parking to give you that feeling, and we have combined formerly A B and C to make it Parking Lot A. The plan from the existing front door to the new front door is about 150 feet, taking us from the edge of the current parking lot out to where we have tried to combine them.

      Mr. Galster commented when we looked at A B and C, we came up with x number of parking spaces within a reasonable distance to the existing front door. Based on the reconfiguration of A B and C, the percentage of parking in that same radius is increased actually with this new plan.

      Mr. Young said I understand that, but my point is if this project came in from anybody else, would we allow it? I donít think we would. if you add 48,000 square feet to the 22,000 square feet presently, and you are only going to improve your parking by 45 spots, are we pushing people further and further away from the front door? The whole goal is to use the center. I have a hard time thinking anybody is going to park by the police station to go to the center unless there is some special activity, unless there are so many activities going on that they are forced to go there.

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      PRELIMINARY PLAN Ė COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATION

      Mr. Parham responded what drives the parking lot for that facility is not the interior. The events inside are not what occupy that parking field; it never has, and I donít know that it ever will. What occupies that parking field is all the exterior events, and we canít provide enough parking for those. We think we have adequate parking for what goes on inside the facility.

      Mr. Young wondered what that is based on, and Mr. Parham answered that is primarily based on our experience of the use that is there currently. I canít tell you that any point of time that an activity that we have had inside has taken up the entire parking space.

      Mr. Syfert commented Iím not sure you got an answer to your question. Mr. Young responded IĎm not sure there is an answer to that question, but logic tells me that we are creating some problems. If this is approved and goes forward, the staff will get bombed with people complaining about parking.

      Ms. McBride said Bill and I did quick calculations and we came up with 145 spaces required for the building alone. Any outside activities, softball fields, swimming pool etc. are at the discretion of Planning Commission. This brings me to the question: do we review this site plan?

      Mr. Okum said according to the Charter, Page 18-G, Planning Commission holds responsibility for "the adoption of parks and playground master plans". Mr. Syfert commented we didnít on the existing community center. Mr. Okum said so if this is considered a park and recreation master plan, it should come to Planning Commission.

      Mr. Seaman said I think a lot of thought has gone into this and it is a beautiful plan and will be great. I have the same concerns about parking, but do I have a positive alternative as to what would be better? No, I donít. Where do the police officers currently park? Mr. Okum said Lot D. Mr. Seaman commented that would be less of a walk for them, and you could use the future parking right now if you could open it up. What is the grade? Mr. Syfert said it is pretty steep. Mr. Seaman wondered if we had an easement to park at that portion of Springdale Elementary, and Mr. McErlane answered we own that portion of the lot. I think it is a wonderful plan; I just wish we had more parking.

      Mr. Okum said you are tripling the size of the facility. Hopefully it will be utilized and be a major success. We also are tripling the size of the exercise and workout area. By the time this project gets built, the existing tennis courts will need to be resurfaced and I suggested to a council person that the existing tennis court area be vacated and make it a parking area. The tennis courts could then be relocated to the field near Lot E where there is a memorial tree planting area that could be relocated. That way we could gain quite a bit of parking area closer to the facility.

      Mr. Okum said if we have three gymnasiums, why do we build a dance and aerobic studio; 2,700 square feet seems to be a lot. We havenít seen anything about how they are dealing with mechanical rooms or equipment areas.

      Mr. Schaeper said this addition will be handled as the existing facility is with rooftop package units, and we are very sensitive to the issue of screening. That would be part of the design. Conceptually we are looking at two rooftop units over the gymnasium. We will need a smoke evac system for the gymnasium as well, and there will be some type of screening on top of the gymnasium to screen the rtuís. We are looking at it from all views to make sure we address that concern.

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      PRELIMINARY PLAN Ė COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATION

      Mr. Okum asked about the building finishes and Mr. Schaeper answered we are studying that; we will need to do something with the existing façade to get it to look better and tie into the new expansion.

      Mr. Okum said I see the dance aerobics meeting rooms and storage rooms as an isolated area. Is that a critical element to the need of the plan?

      Mr. Parham said the meeting rooms are quite critical to the facility. We have a number of situations where individuals and groups would like to have meetings there. At this point we have relocated a number of meetings from the community center to this building. We have changed the schedule of our custodian to have him in to handle those meetings if none of us are already here. So, that space is critical.

      Now, we have aerobics class on Monday and Wedneaday nights, and w we have the batting cage in the facility. Some of the aerobic participants are on one side of the batting cage and some are on the other. It is a hassle for us to put the cage up and take it down. So, we would move the dance aerobics out of the gymnasium.

      We have heard over the years that the gymnasium space is critical. We moved our adult activities from the gymnasium and we would like to bring those things back into the gymnasium and allow our entire community to enjoy the facility.

      Mr. Okum said I understand that the aerobics is run by two companies. Mr. Parham said there is a group that comes in with aerobics. As I recall as part of the surveys, there are a number of individuals who want to do ballet and those type things. We want to be able to provide those services to the residents of the community. In a number of those things, we are hoping we do not have to add them as part of the operating budget, but apply a user fee. We can contract out as we do with the dance aerobics.

      Mr. Okum said do we justify the cost of 2700 square feet with the services they are providing? Mr. Parham responded I think right now the aerobics class takes up quite a bit of space in the gymnasium. I think 2700 square feet may fit it but I canít tell you whether it will accommodate what we have now or whether it will be too large.

      Mr. Okum said I have a concern about pool access. This plan makes it very difficult to get to the pool. I see a walkway against a two story building, down a pathway where the mechanical room and staircase is and then youíll go around to get to the pool? Are there ideas on how to get to the pool a little easier?

      Mr. Schaeper responded we are studying that. Unfortunately I think the route will stay pretty much as shown. We will have a major kiosk at the entrance with some signage on it. Weíll have a minor kiosk with directional signage to direct people on how to get to the pool.

      Mr. Okum wondered if they could enter through the community center. Mr. Parham responded no, right now we do not have a connection from the community center internally to the pool. Mr. Okum wondered if it couldnít be so designed, and Mr. Schaeper added I think it is deliberately not designed that way. Mr. Okum said that is ľ of a mile from the parking lot to the pool. Iím trying to make it user friendly. Mr. Schaeper added we are addressing the access to the pool area, but as far as how to get to it, thatís pretty much the way it is going to be.

       

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      PRELIMINARY PLAN - COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATION

      Mr. Okum said Iím not too excited about a two-story wall along that walkway, labeled a plaza. Mr. Schaeper said this is an overhang and we will extend the overhang to this area so when you drop somebody off they are under cove. Once you get under that canopy you wonít notice it. Mr. Okum commented when we have flat wall exposures, we want to break it up usually with foliage or shrubs.

      Mr. Okum said this is a discussion this evening and we probably will have another review and approve it after you get the issues worked out, is that correct?

      Mr. Parham said quite honestly, it is not our intention to come back before Planning for approval. We have received direction from City Council, who received their direction from the respondents of the surveys. Meaning no disrespect to this Commission, it is simply that we are trying to move forward and put the project together that we have been asked to put together in the time frame we have been asked to put it together. We thought it appropriate to bring this plan in this evening to present it to you to show you what direction it is going.

      Mr. Okum said according to the Charter, it is our charge to approve master plans for parks and recreation, so we should make a motion and vote on it, shouldnít we?

      Mr. Galster stated we actually have a master recreation plan that has been approved for this site. This may be a modification of the plan approved when the original rec center was built, and it was Planning Commissionís job to be involved in that discussion. My reasons for bringing this before Planning are two: (1) to keep everybody informed of what is going on in the City; and (2) even if it is not an official review process, to gain the comments and suggestions from this board. I think tonight we have come up with a couple of good ones. I donít know if Planning Commission is interested in seeing additional presentations as we go further into it, if they are not in fact going to approve it. At a discussion level, I think it helps to have an overall better plan for the community center.

      Mr. Okum said if the Commission agrees that it is not our Charter responsibility, then I donít care. However if we are following the Charter and it I our responsibility, whether the administration wants it or not, it is our charge to do it. That concerns me, not that I would vote against it. I am in favor of it, and I think the comments we have made are important to the development and hopefully the administration and council and CDS takes those comments and does something with them. I donít want to be short of our responsibilities according to the Charter. I agree with you that the original master plan for parks and recreation was done by the city, but that does not take away the responsibility of this Commission to continue their responsibility and their role.

      Mr. Galster responded that is correct, and if we are looking at the master plan, which is what we are charged to do, this is already park and recreation land that we had a plan to expand at some point down the road and that is the process we are running through now. It is kind of like the municipal building; does it need to come before Planning as a building in the city? I donít believe Planning saw anything on the municipal building, and I donít necessarily agree with that. I think it is good to let the board that usually reviews these things review them.

      Mr. Syfert commented we know for a fact that we donít necessarily agree with the architects that come in with their ideas, so why should the city take this architectís plan and go with it? Why arenít we seeing it?

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      PRELIMINARY PLAN Ė COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATION

      Mr. Galster said it is my understanding that the City does not have to comply with all the "standards" that they may have in place for the corridor. Yes, we hope the City does their job responsibly, but I donít believe they are bound by the same procedural guidelines.

      Mr. Okum said the rules are the Charter. If we are in conformance with what the Charter outlined, I have no problem at all. I appreciate your bringing it to us for discussion.

      Mr. Galster said on the parking, I park in the school parking lot, and those numbers are not figured into the overall parking calculations. Even though it seems far from the outdoor activities, it is not any closer or further than any other parking. If you look at where the existing school spot is, there is a vacant piece of land where the city used to have a house. That could be developed for a future parking field. I was going to say that behind the community center back toward the exiting volleyball court and behind the Harter homes we could add additional parking in the future. I believe Mr. Okumís recommendation for the tennis court area makes a lot of sense, and I would rather move the tennis court back there. I think those are viable options. I believe parking will be a problem on busy weekends, but I believe the functions of the inside of the community center will be handled pretty consistently with the parking that is provided.

      Derrick reported we open bids tomorrow for the parking lot work. We want to have the first phase of the parking lot completed by December and finish it by April and have this project out to bid in February.

      Addressing Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover said your argument is legit and it becomes a question of if we consider this a major addendum to the master plan. If it is, the Commission has the right to serve that charge. It might be a legal question that we should ask Mr. Schneider. Dance and aerobics is a sizeable area, but we wanted to build in capacity for growth, because we donít want to expand and in five or 10 years have it bursting at the seams again. I agree about the access to the pool. Mr. Schaeper added you could go through the building, but that is not recommended or the desire of the community center staff. Mr. Vanover added part of that has to do with security measures. I agree that moving the tennis courts is an excellent idea. The popularity of tennis has dwindled, and we might reduce them from four to two in order to have close up front parking.

      Mr. Huddleston commented as a citizen and Commission member, I agree about the parking. It is very unfair of the City to do something we would not allow anybody else to do. When you look at the parking conditions we are going to create, I think it is a mess. I like the expansion concepts, but the access, travel distances and very inefficient layouts created by existing conditions of parking areas are an abomination. You really need to look at the parking configuration. It is a disservice to the facility and the people who will be using it, and could create public safety problems, from people parking where they arenít supposed to. The fire access around this building is terrible; Iím not sure in terms of public safety that it should be permitted. It is a great expansion; the plan is well thought out and the parking is an abomination. If we opening bids tomorrow, I think we are kidding ourselves because if you are going to do anything with parking, you need to do it on a consolidated basis in terms of removal of tennis courts.

      Mr. Huddleston left the meeting at 9:10 p.m.

      Mr. Galster asked if Planning Commission wished to see additional submittals when they are available.

       

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      PRELIMINARY PLAN Ė COMMUNITY CENTER RENOVATION

      Mr. Okum responded I asked that question earlier, and it should be run by the law directorís office. If the law director says that it should be approved by this board, then it should come back here. Basically the city is going to do what the city wants to do, and quite frankly it makes it very difficult for us to dictate to developers that they must meet certain parking and safety standards setback requirements, etc. when we as a city donít live up to them. Parking is still a safety issue and that needs review and consideration and it certainly should meet our city standards. If we are going to set standards for people coming into our community, we should try to live up to those same standards.

      Mr. Seaman said from a practical standpoint, members of Council basically are acting as a Planning Commission. Several of the members have significant experience on the Planning Commission. I personally donít want to get into a war with Council and the administration on who gets to nit-pick the plan. I do appreciate Council running the matter by us as a courtesy, and I would like to be copied on additional high level updates of the plan. Maybe during Council updates, we could give some additional input. I too am concerned about the parking. Itís a tough issue. I think Dave has the right idea on taking a serious look at the tennis courts.

    3. Approval of Commons Dr./Tri-County. Commons Lot 6B & 3 B

Mr. McErlane reported that yesterday we received a plat of dedication for the piece of property that was the landscape buffer between Tri-County Commons and what was the Richards property. If you recall, when Target came in that was going to be dedicated to the City to satisfy some setback requirements that Target had. Planning Commission knows the context of this; we just never had the plat up until this point. I would like to request that we act on it tonight.

Mr. Syfert wondered if it is as it was supposed to be? Mr. Shvegzda responded the plat basically accomplishes what was indicated as pat of the PUD development. The primary purpose was to allow that type of building to be constructed on that lot.

Mr. McErlane added in order for the building to qualify as an unlimited area building, it has to have a certain perimeter of open space to it. In order to accomplish that, they needed this as right of way. This is because the leases on Tri-County Commons wonít allow them to sell it to a competitor, so we are taking it as right of way with a covenant in Targetís development that says they are responsible for maintenance.

Mr. Galster moved to approve and Mr. Vanover seconded. By voice vote, all present voted aye and the approval was given with six affirmative votes.

 

VIII CHAIRMANíS REPORT

    1. Everybodyís Uniform, 125 W. Kemper Rd. Ė wall sign
    2. Abbyís Hallmark, 11711 Princeton Pike Ė wall sign
    3. Dillardí (former McAlpinís) 11700 Princeton Pike Ė wall sign
    4. Automotive Solutions (former Goodyear) 11452 Springfield Pike Ė wall sign

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice, all present voted aye, and the Planning Commission adjourned at 9:16 p.m.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

13 October 1998

Page Seventeen

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_________________,1998 _____________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman

 

_________________,1998 ______________________________

Robert A. Seaman, Secretary