PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
OCTOBER 14, 2008
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: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Lawrence Hawkins III, Steve Galster and Tom Vanover

Others Present: Pat Madl, Assistant City Engineer; Anne McBride, City Planner and Bill McErlane, Building Official

III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 9, 2008

Steve Galster moved to adopt the Minutes from the September 9, 2008 meeting and Dave Okum seconded the motion; six members voted aye, with Tom Vanover abstaining; the Minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes.

IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

No report was presented for Council.

V. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Zoning Bulletin – September 10, 2008
B. Zoning Bulletin – September 25, 2008
C. 2008 S-9 Supplement

VI. OLD BUSINESS

(Chairman Butrum stated no old business to report.)

VII. NEW BUSINESS

A. Thompson Thrift request Concept Plan Review for 6200 s.f. Retail Building
11580 Princeton Pike

Jeff Kanable representing Thompson Thrift, based in Indianapolis: We presented last month to the Planning Commission a plan for redevelopment of the former British Petroleum site, the southeast corner of East Kemper and Princeton Pike. We discussed last meeting the corner only, but also how it is incorporated into what is our overall plan to redevelop our entire Cassinelli Square PUD or the Cassinelli Parcels which include Skyline Chili, Tiffany Arts Glass Building and the Ponderosa site.
So, we discussed the corner only site plan and some modifications that were required for that plan. I think the tone of that meeting was also to see a little bit better how we plan to redevelop the other parcels adjacent to the properties; what would that look like if we were to design that and have that site plan available. That is what I’ve done and I will go through both of those changes with you tonight. I would also like to review just the status of the land; we are under contract to acquire the leasehold interest in the former BP site; that is what we are considering Phase I of the overall redevelopment and since we last met we are also under contract to acquire the leasehold interest in the remaining parcels the Ponderosa, the Skyline, and the Tiffany Arts Glass. Having said that there are ten year leases in place on the Ponderosa and Skyline Chili, if we were to step in and close that transaction it would mean that we would have control, we would have to honor the leases in place; but it would be our intent to negotiate something at some point with the Ponderosa and Skyline and see what we could make happen on those parcels. It is also our understanding on the overall piece that the existing cross-access point that is currently in place would remain in place. It is our understanding that as we move forward that that existing access place would be enforced to remain; that is important to us. If I speak about the revisions we made to the plan, I’ll speak about the former BP corner site only and I’ll also speak about the remaining Cassinelli parcels. We made a lot of changes to that corner site, we took it out of the 50 feet building set back line, we had some angled parking back there and we did remove that, we increased the landscape buffer and we added a loading zone. What we are doing now, we are looking at the overall parcel and what the impervious surface ratio is and we have just outlined that for everyone’s information. This plan also incorporates the taking down of Ponderosa and showing the redevelopment for retail. What we tried to do is work with increased connectivity throughout the site; you could have this existing cross-access and we could design it get from one place to the other without much hassle. We also increased the landscaping from this site to the overall site – some sites are over 97%, we want to get to 75% impervious surface ratio; we will have nice big island areas.
I guess just to summarize from the last meeting, we took the feedback we received from the staff and from the Planning Commission and we did revise the corner only site, we also showed how it can be incorporated into the overall redevelopment. We are here tonight to discuss the corner only, the former BP site. Tonight we are asking for this site plan, we are asking for the impervious surface ratio on this corner site only instead of 75% to be 80%, we are also asking for the All Care Dental to be considered a retail user instead of a medical office user; that is important to meet our parking ratio and we did get a letter from the tenant stating that they were o.k. with the parking provided and finally we are asking that the underground detention be addressed as we consider the overall development and not just the corner development, so no underground storm water retention for this corner site only.

(At this time, Mr. William McErlane and Anne McBride read the staff comments.)

Chairman Butrum: I have one question for Anne McBride, if we were to consider the dental office/ tenant to be medical office versus retail, what is the difference in parking that they would be required to have?

Ms. McBride: They would be required to have 33, if you consider that as a medical office and I would urge the Commission not to set the precedence of taking what I think is a medical office, not to disagree with the applicant, and consider it as retail.
I would urge the Commission to send it forward for a variance or the Commission could modify the parking requirements also per our zoning code. But to look at it as a modification of number of spaces required as opposed to setting that precedence, when is it a retail use, what makes it a retail use? I am in agreement with staff; I think the 31 spaces are more than sufficient for that development.

Mr. Okum: Mr. McErlane, the back end of the building where the truck loading area is, is that a fire lane issue?

Mr. McErlane: We forward plans to the Fire Department as they come in, we have not received any comments from the Fire Department as indicated, I think last month they don’t necessarily consider access totally around the building as a necessity for structures and I gave the example of the Target Store which has no access to the back of it.

Mr. Okum: The reason I am saying that is that you would eliminate the need for a variance had you just added two parking spaces on the back of the building. Ultimately, on the build-out it makes a difference on the numbers I think and that would eliminate the need for those two spaces, so when they come back in for the redevelopment of the site they could possibly gain those two spaces when they combine the parcels.

Ms. McBride: I don’t know that we want to encourage parking there; you are going to have people coming in off of Princeton, there could be truck there loading or unloading or somebody accessing the dumpster and people moving cars – I just don’t think that is a good circulation plan.
I think the Commission knows that I am not a huge fan of variances, unless there is an extreme hardship. But, I think this is an instance where whether it is the Commission
that decides to modify the parking or they refer it on to the BZA, I think when you are looking at the redevelopment of just the .688 acre lot, then it is appropriate to start looking at those.

(Pat Madl read the staff comments.)

Mr. Bauer: What access would you recommend that they eliminate on
Princeton Pike?

Mr. Madl: Typically my first response would be the closest to the intersection because that is a right-in and right-out.

Mr. Okum: Is it a practical difficulty to have the cross-access between the Tiffany Glass and this site on day “one”?

Mr. Madl: I think the reason based on the drawing appears to be that if you put that cross-access in then a lot of the parking spaces adjacent to Kemper Road would likely be impacted at this point.

Ms. Mona Masse with Fifth-Third Bank (trustee of the Cassinelli Trust): When we first were looking at the selling of the BP, just the corner parcel and we realized that because of the street, the street size getting so big it starting encroaching upon the BP, so we realized it is only .6875 acres; so it really wasn’t going to be viable. We were working with Thompson Thrift to go ahead and take care of the whole parcel, so we are in agreement; we think it should all be redeveloped and we have been working with Huntington Bank to take care of one issue and I think that is solved, it is a loan out there that they have to pay off and that is all that we have to do.

Mr. Okum: So what you are saying is that you’re encouraging the consolidation of all of the parcels into one big master plan and we agree with that. Since the bank is controlling this property at this time would it not be, and we are only talking conceptually because we are not on a final plan review, but would it not be to everyone’s benefit to encourage the cross-access point early on and get it done so that we all know going into it?

Ms. Mona Masse: I would agree with you, but it seems to me when they go to the Phase II that it might be in the way. I don’t think it would really be useful at that stage because not too many people like to park by construction.

Mr. Okum: I would just like to have something in the motion to encourage that cross-access to be established when the final plan is submitted. We are only at a conceptual level right now anyways, so what we are voting on is a conceptual presentation and hopefully it moves forward and we get to a final plan. In my opinion if you can work out the details and we get wording into the motion to say that cross-access to the Tiffany property be established for the benefit of the development. Something like that wording to encourage that to happen, because it is part of the overall plan.

Mr. Ashlee Boyd: One additional thing I would like to address, there is actually one additional party that actually controls the leasehold interest in the Tiffany Glass and that would be Huntington Bank. We have been in extensive discussions with them about this very issue as well as reaching out to the Ponderosa folks, but specifically the Huntington Bank because as you have stated it is in our best interest to make that happen. What we are trying to do now is put together a plan that you can support for the corner understanding that we are diligently pursuing that as you mention because it benefits the whole site. We would love that access point but we need to reach agreement with Huntington that I am sure Fifth Third would support and they have been encouraging this whole process. I think what we would ideally like to see is that we have a plan that supported to go forward on the corner with the understanding that we will continue to work towards that but not make it a contingency of your approval other than the fact that we will commit to continue to work towards that.
Mr. Okum: So if I were to say cross-access to the Tiffany Glass property be established at the earliest possible time even prior to Phase II?

Mr. Ashlee Boyd: Sure, that would be something that we could reach and work towards.

Mr. Madl: In a perfect world I think that is great because you see in Phase II they actually close down that Kemper Road access and provide a new one over near where the existing Tiffany Art Glass access is, however part of the issue right now is they probably have some elevation difference out there and that the proposed drive isle doesn’t line up perfectly with the one at the Tiffany Art Glass. They would have to modify to some degree; I believe that is some green space out front, so there would be a little bit of work associated with it, certainly how they show it in Phase II where you get it down to one access point, is obviously preferred.

Mr. Vanover: I am fairly certain that there is a short concrete wall out there because that is the drive-thru side of the bank many, many years ago.

Mr. Galster: The Huntington interest in this site, is that only for the old bank site?

Mr. Ashlee Boyd: Yes; only for Tiffany’s.

Mr. Galster: I foresee there being a three phase project or a modification to Phase I to include the Tiffany Glass. You are not going to get rid of these ten year leases very quickly or you are not going to come up with accommodations to make that happen. With Tiffany’s being vacant that could be incorporated into Phase I. Is that your intention or are you going to wait until Phase II?

Mr. Ashlee Boyd: Our intent is to work on and get approval for Phase I and at the same time work on tenant interest and try and cultivate that so that we can incorporate the Tiffany Arts Glass into Phase I, but I am here to tell you that it may not be at the same exact time. We may build Phase I and then add onto Phase I to incorporate the Tiffany Glass building, if that makes sense.

Mr. Galster: So, you do foresee in most likelihood it being almost three phases; Phase I being the corner, Phase II including Tiffanys, Phase III then incorporating the other two.

Mr. Ashlee Boyd: Correct.

Chairman Butrum: The ten year lease; that is ten years from now? Has that been signed recently?

Mr. Jeff Kanable: Ten years remaining on what I believe was a twenty-year lease.

Mr. Okum: You are planning on creating all four elevations the same, is that correct sir?

Mr. Jeff Kanable: Yes. This is a preliminary elevation. It is being worked on and sort of revised and refined. Thompson Thrift just recently hired a pretty prominent architect named Robert Mees who will head our Midwest architecture.

Mr. Galster: We are not going to see another building there for fifty years and we have just got to do it right. It has got to be, at least in my vision, the beginning of the change of the corner; it is going to be the beginning of our future for that redevelopment.

Mr. Jeff Kanable: We are highly committed to what you are speaking to. Our goal is to work with the City.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Galster, are you saying that there should be something that should reflect that the building elevation should be treated in similar fashion as presented with a combination of similar type materials?

Mr. Galster: Only because we are conceptual, we are not preliminary. I want to see the attention to that building at the next level, right now if we were looking at this elevation and saying that is what it is going to look like we would have additional debate.

Mr. Vanover: I think it is very important to us, as a City. I think everybody can benefit from this; this is not just another project, this is a new beginning, a gateway.

Mr. Okum: I think this applicant is the right applicant for this. I think this is a cornerstone development. I have one other item that I was going to incorporate into the motion, because we are talking a phase development and I think it should be considered site Plan I, and we will label it a I, II, or III Phase project. And I thought the wording, the overall concept consideration to include phase development as illustrated in attached site plan for adjoining parcels with a common theme.

At this point I would like to make a motion for Thompson Thrift at 11580 Princeton Pike, concept plan to include the site plan 5.1.2 September 30, 2008 a I, II, and III phase project to include the Staff, the City Engineer and City Planner’s recommendation. This approval is conditional upon approval by Springdale Board of Zoning Appeals as identified variances as needed. All four building elevations to be designed, and that all four elevations are to be treated as the front elevation. All four elevations based upon site lines and existing grades shall be submitted with the final plan. The overall concept consideration shall include a phase development as illustrated in the attached site plan for adjoining parcels with a common theme for all parcels. The applicant shall work to a cross-easement to the Tiffany Glass property be established at the earliest possible time, even prior to Phase II of the development.

Ms. McBride: Planning Commission can choose to modify the parking requirements, you have that ability.

Mr. Okum: I so move to include that we shall modify the parking requirements that the 30 provided shall be adequate for Phase I.

Mr. Galster: I second the motion.

Mr. Hawkins polled the Planning Commission Members and with 7 “aye” votes the motion was accepted.

Mr. Ashlee Boyd: Just to clarify, we can proceed to the Board of Zoning for a variance for the impervious surface ratio?

Mr. Okum: Yes.

VIII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Jeff Tulloch discussed a meeting planned for October 30, 2008 (discussion and a presentation for the retail corridor): I met with KKG today; we are still finalizing executive summary, a few details but it is pretty well put together. One of the key things that I have been faced with is this issue of how to deal with retail district revitalization is the face of economic melt down and credit crisis, but the fact is it is fundamentally a good plan; it is where we ought to go with things. I have heard the term “cornerstone”, which was a neat way of describing this building. That intersection is really critical to what happens overall in the district. And we will be talking to issues, and one that is on David’s mind is what kind of things we need to do to implement policy.
Other issues pertaining to how are you going to finance some of the public improvements so we’re talking about the 300 acre TIF district such that things like this could be incorporated in terms of taxing, financing to give the City funds to be able to do infrastructure improvements, etc. Utility lines in the right of way, we are looking at solutions with Duke Energy to negate that negative effect of utility lines whether it is raising them, changing locations and in some cases burial. These are some of the things that can be done starting right now. When the credit crisis eases and people figure out what is going to drive our economy in the future, we are ready to go. The plan is still important, it is still relevant.

Chairman Butrum: Is there any detail to any of the sort of architectural branding because this site is obviously going to be the first one?

Mr. Jeff Tulloch: No. This is going to establish, this is going to define it because the plan that we are dealing with is pretty broad, it is dealing with 400 acres of a whole variety of different developments. It is not the intention of that plan to define architecture, or limit it; it is to suggest that quality architecture particularly at that intersection but overall is important to the future of the district.

Chairman Butrum: But where I think we would want tighter control is on the architectural element they are going to put out at the corner itself. How far along are we? Again, that is going to be the first one of those that appears in the City.

Mr. Jeff Tulloch: There are some suggestions made by KKG, but it is going to require some attention. Hard on the heels of the presentation to stakeholders, I think is meeting with Planning Commission, and I don’t want to overstep my bounds here in terms of Cecil’s responsibility but I think having some working sessions with Planning Commission to address some of the streetscape, what do we want that to look like. They have made suggestions, but I don’t know that everybody is necessarily going to concur on it. The principle is, it can look better without question what it ends up looking like we are not 100% sure yet.

Steve Galster: Maybe we need to just have the easement to get in there and do something.

Chairman Butrum: I don’t think we want to be in a hurry. That is something that we do want more consistency. We need to have some flexibility with the architecture and things like that. I see those as branding elements and you can’t have a branding element that is one way here and another way there.

Mr. Galster: And we need to be sure that it is in place before we put the first mark in. And we need to say that this is open for City development to create this gateway feature.

Ms. McBride: And in that case what I have interpreted on the plans that we just approved tonight is that the developer is willing to pay for that. Perhaps that money gets put into escrow or some type of an account until we can come up with that overall branding image or design or whatever it is.
If KKG came in one evening and did a working session with the Planning Commission, that could be very helpful for us in creating the district that is going to implement this plan, because these ideas we are going to take and put into formal written text that then is going to be implementable by this Commission and so forth. That could be a very helpful tool for us, as well.

Mr. Okum: Written text with illustrations helps a lot.

Ms. McBride: We can do that.

Mr. Vanover: This is going to be a long time commitment. I hope it unfolds in five years but the reality is it probably won’t happen that quick.

Chairman Butrum: That is what we struggled with in Staff meeting; is there anything we can put in given that this is going to be the first opportunity, but nothing is formally in place. We don’t have those tools in place yet.

Mr. Galster: At the same time when you see this applicant’s preliminary and final plan you need to feel that “wow” factor on how it is going to tie into that. If we don’t feel that “wow” factor it is not going to carry over out into that whole retail district.

Chairman Butrum: I think they have that vision.

Mr. Okum: That corner is truly, because of its elevation and the way it sits up, it is going to be that cornerstone.
Mr. McErlane: November 11, 2008 is the date for the next Planning meeting and the deadline for submittal of applications was yesterday and we have received none, so we will move the Training to that evening at 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Okum: I have two items, was there any administrative response to my suggestion at the last meeting in regard to the code issues and updates?
Do we as Planning Commission need to make a formal request to the administration that we need an RFP for code updates and general housekeeping of our existing code?

Mr. McErlane: I think you would adopt the plan.

Mr. Okum: Does it come to Planning Commission before that?

Ms. McBride: It should, in my opinion. Typically what would happen is we would make the presentation to the Planning Commission and Planning Commission would make the recommendation to Council and Council would act on the Planning Commission’s recommendation.

Mr. Galster: So what we are doing, instead of going to Council and getting a preliminary approval we are going to say it is o.k. because it has been presented to Council and it is moving to Planning and it is continuing on its path…

Mr. Okum: I just thought that there would be a concept approval from Council, and then it would go into the work.

Mr. Vanover: Well, I think the concept approval from Council was granted when we started the chain of events that have brought us to this point.

Mr. Okum: Well, Council has taken no other action except accepting a contract for planning services.

Mr. Galster: When Jeff is done then we need to create the corridor document and we are going to have to get somebody to do that for us and we are going to have to continue to have discussions about it. That would be the process.

Mr. Okum: So what we need to do is move forward with all those services and it is silly not to do it all at the same time.

Mr. Galster: Planning Commission can or did request, didn’t we from Ms McBride to actually submit a proposal to do the code or do we have…

Mr. McErlane: From what I remember it was going to be taken back by one of the Council members to Administration.

Ms. McBride: I would like to get some direction from the City as to what it is you would like to do, because that is going to effect what the proposal is. If you want to create a district to implement the KKG plan that is one proposal. If you want to get a proposal to overhaul and update that zoning code then it is a different proposal.

Mr. Okum: I want to tie it all together into one package.

Ms. McBride: I don’t think that is a good idea. I think the district is going to go a lot faster and you are going to have other people coming in here and I think you’ve got to get that instrument in play; I wanted to do that ten years ago.

Mr. Okum: Then I make a motion that Planning Commission requests proposal from McBride Dale Clarion for the retail revitalization plan…

Mr. Galster: …as well as a proposal for an update of the zoning code, we can have them separate issues.

Mr. Okum: O.K., two separate proposals, Ann. I have made the motion.

Mr. Galster: Second.

All Planning Commission members voted “aye”.

Mr. Galster: Then we will get some feed back from Council and hopefully Administration then will contact you to start that process, before you spend any money of getting the proposal together.

Mr. Jeff Tulloch: I think we need to give, in terms of the plan as it will be presented on October 30th, what I would like to see is an acceptance and an endorsement of Council of that plan.

Mr. Okum: See, that is what I thought you were looking to get.

Mr. Jeff Tulloch: This is what we want. There are some elements of the plan that relate to what Planning Commission does and there are some things that do not, finance elements and so on; and I don’t know that Ann’s firm would want to get into all elements that are in the plan.

Mr. Okum: According to the Charter, Jeff, it is very specific that the responsibilities of Planning for redevelopment and development within the community of Springdale falls under Planning Commission, not Council, if I’m going back to Charter stuff, and I think that is right.

Mr. Galster: Because I don’t know that we want Council to adopt the plan before Planning Commission. I believe that every time that we have had City Council presentation from this it has been whole heartily endorsed and pushed along.

Mr. Okum: I have one other item: I am very concerned about the hotel on Sheraton Lane, the exterior system on the building has apparently failed extensively, all the gaskets are basically falling out, which means that the gypsum board is turning black and nasty and they had a major, major problem there several years ago and I think it is definitely a property maintenance issue that needs to be brought about.

Mr. McErlane: We knew that they were having some issues.

IX. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Chairman Butrum: I have no report.

X. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Lawrence Hawkins seconded the motion and the Planning Commission adjourned at 8:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary