PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
8 NOVEMBER 2005
7:00 P.M.

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

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

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present:        Tony Butrum, Robert Coleman, Steve Galster,
                Lawrence Hawkins, Dave Okum, Tom Vanover
                and Chairman Syfert.

Others Present:        Doyle H. Webster, Mayor (arrived at 7:17)
                Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director
                Bill McErlane, Building Official
                Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer
                Jonathan Wolcher, Planner

III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 11 OCTOBER 2005

Mr. Butrum moved to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all except Mr. Syfert who abstained voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes.

IV. CORRESPONDENCE

A. Report on Council

Mr. Galster reported that there is a piece of property under the spot blight ordinance that is scheduled for a public hearing before Council later this year.
B. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – 16 August 2005
C. Zoning Bulletin – October 10, 2005
D. Zoning Bulletin – October 25, 2005
E. 1018/05 Letter to Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission nominating David L. Okum to the position of commissioner
F. Election Ballot – Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission
Mr. Syfert said we will take that up under Discussion.

V. OLD BUSINESS

VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Major Modification to PUD Plan for Tri-County Mall PUD, 11700 Princeton Pike

Mike Lynch, General Manager of Tri-County Mall introduced Bob Rich with DHDP Architects. We look forward to working with the city to make great improvements to our mall.

Mr. Rich said retail is a competitive environment, and the new owners want to make sure that the mall is positioned adequately to be able to compete, especially with the new properties being developed to the north.

To that end we have been working on plans that in some ways are a continuation of the plans we brought you about a year ago to begin to present a face back to the community, more of an open air retail look.
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Mr. Rich added because Penney’s left the mall, there was a need to replace that retail and to replace it with something much more dynamic than another department store. We saw an opportunity to replace the existing entrance with a new much more grand and transparent and highly illuminated entrance that would really be more the center point of the mall. We have spent a lot of time creating that imagery.

Identification is important to a property and your community, so we are proposing to add some signage, a pylon sign on 275, replacing the existing identification signs for Tri-County along Kemper Road and Princeton Pike, and adding a combination sign which would sign Springdale and Tri-County in a somewhat discreet way and yet something that makes it evident that you are in a landmark spot within the community.

Last time we brought you the two main restaurants flanking the main entrance, Carabbas and Cheeseburger in Paradise. We are proposing to flip those which we believe is a better and safer plan.

We are proposing to open the bottom of the building and make it transparent so you can see into those establishments. So this shows how it will be very open at the bottom with this large three story atrium space encased in glass at the corner.

We are working on developing a vertical element as an icon for the mall so we can place at the top of this column a large scale glass to give it some long range identity. We are trying to bring entrances back out to the street so you can see them.

We see the panels on the second floor as perforated metal panels that have a pattern in them. It is not signage, but we are trying to recreate and enliven this façade so it doesn’t appear blank and dark like it is now. These are referred to as atmospheric graphics.

We are also proposing to move the Dillard’s sign to the right of the main entrance to this section of the building next to the southernmost entrance facing Princeton Pike.

We also are proposing more of the atmospheric graphic panels between the columns on the exterior of the building. The intent is to bring life and light, especially at night when we illuminate these. The mall will appear to be a much more populated edifice than it currently is.

There would be some new tenant spaces developed that face back on the existing mall. The periphery spaces would be developed so that they open back out to the street way, Princeton Pike and Kemper Road. To do that we need to add service to the building.

In addition to that, we propose to treat the paving of the street with some texture and color, to slow down traffic, and to make a much grander kind of statement about the entrance to the mall.



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Mr. Rich added that at the existing main entrance where the two new restaurants will be, we would like to make it a more intimate type of experience. We think of this as a great opportunity to create a green space where you can sit on a bench under cover.

Mayor Webster arrived at 7:17 p.m.

In doing that we have reconfigured the lease spaces adjacent to the entry to make those larger to make them more attractive rentals. They have been high turnover spaces for the mall

With the addition of these restaurants we have reconfigured the service spaces. We have tried to preserve the ability of the service trucks to be able to circulate through that area, to head in and head out in one motion.

We also are proposing to create a higher scale pedestrian way along Princeton Pike and Kemper. We will upgrade the landscaping and add seating.

You can see the landscape buffer to create a plaza and the new glass closed entrance. We also are proposing an architectural feature to bring light to the exterior of the building. He shows photographs of the atmospheric graphics. We haven’t finalized the design, but I wanted to bring this in to show you that it is not our intent for these to be signage in the traditional sense. We want to bring large scale atmosphere to the mall, especially at night. It gives us the opportunity to light it and it would have much stronger eye appeal than what we have now.

We are attempting to configure the parking so that we have no fewer parking spaces than the last time we came before you. There are three entrances along Kemper Road. We are not going to touch the one by Sears but we are proposing to combine the two right in right outs on Kemper into one that aligns with the entrance at Cassinelli Square, and put a signal there. When we do that, even though we reconfigure the area around Penney’s for a better drop off and protection from traffic, we won’t lose any spaces.

We also want to move the prior out parcel at the corner of Princeton Pike and Kemper Road. We are developing this new entry in the corner and we think it would be a bad idea to put it behind an out parcel and obscure everything that is being done to create this new entrance. We are proposing to move the out parcel to this new entry we will create.

The signage we have submitted is very much in development. The same is true of the community id we are developing on Princeton Pike. Our intent is to make it a cornerstone element, with individual landscape letters saying Tri County.

Mr. McErlane said to go over some of the issues, on June 8 of last year Planning approved those two restaurants. They also have decreased in size one was a little over 7,000 s.f. and the other 6600 s.f. Both are now 6,400 s.f. on this plan.

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Mr. McErlane said where the new storefronts are being created on either side of that plaza at the west entrance; the entrance is being narrowed down a little bit on the inside, so there is a slight increase in GLA there.

There are indications that the proposed finishes are primarily EIFS and a composite metal for that pilaster tower element on the former Penney’s building location.

There are some building signs shown and Mr. Rich talked about the atmospheric graphic panels. By definition in our code they would be considered signs. Depending on how the presentation turns out in the final form, we are not saying they should be counted as signage, but Planning needs to be aware that they need to make that allowance.

There are some signs shown on the building. Most of them are not large. In addition to the atmospheric graphic panels, on the south side of the site near the glazing proposed for the former Penney’s site there is a 30’ x 40’ glass light box shown. That is a pretty sizeable treatment, whatever it ends up being. Most of the atmospheric graphic panels are 20’ x 21’ or 420 s.f.

There are some differences between the architectural drawings (1 through 10) and the renderings that were presented. On the architectural renderings, those graphic panels are extended all the way down the west face of the building, and the architectural drawings are not shown in that matter. There are changes shown on the renderings at the entrance to the mall next to Sears that don’t show up on those architectural drawings either. These should be tied down in the final plan stages.

The mall at the main entrance on the west side and on the south side entrance has turrets with lighted green glass tops. Those are being removed from the west side. On the rendering they are shown as removed from the south side, and they are still there on the architectural drawings.

Currently there is an entrance into the mall adjacent to the Penney’s store. That will turn into what appears to be more of an exit and a loading area as well, and will be somewhat visible from 747.

There are some trees that will be removed in the process of the construction of these improvements, some of them around the west entrance, around the Penney’s store, in the areas where the two entrances are being removed and also where the new entrance will be constructed. The applicant has indicated that they will relocate what they can and they will need to replace them inch for inch.

The parking spaces on the mall property are 8 ½ feet and not the nine feet currently required by the Zoning code. That was allowed by Planning Commission. The parking summary says that the current spaces are 8 ½ feet wide but any new spaces will be nine feet wide. I think that is probably going to be adjusted based on how it all lays out.
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Mr. Coleman asked about the new parking spots being nine feet wide. Mr. McErlane responded the applicant has indicated that, but in the instances where some of the parking bays are being extended or cut off, it probably wouldn’t make sense if you had the majority of the bay at 8 ½ feet and the last two sets of parking spaces at nine. I’m sure all the details will be worked out when the final plans are put together.

Mr. Syfert commented I believe Mr. Rich said that they had to do a little more work in that loading area to screen it better. Mr. Rich added we felt we were obligated because the code currently reads that the parking spaces are nine feet wide. Our preference would be to make all the spaces the same size. I know if we do them all the current size, we can actually add 13 spaces. Also, our car counts don’t take into consideration the modifications to the entries with the staff comments on Kemper Road. That would reduce our car counts somewhat.

Mr. Galster commented I don’t think the atmospheric graphic panels need to be counted in the signage total. Will they be changeable, for the season or shopping?

Mr. Rich answered we may consider the metal ones on Penney’s permanent. The hope is to use the logo of the mall. The one depicted as color would be more like those represented on the photographic examples that have people in motion or scenery. They are not advertisement for any of the stores.

Mr. Wolcher said that the total square footage of the existing mall as well as the addition and swapping of the restaurant locations needs to be provided.

The pedestrian and vehicular activities should be coordinated in the circulation area outside the existing Penney’s store. Initial plans call for the closing of some of those drive aisles, and we want to make sure that the pedestrian paths are laid out correctly to make sure that you can safely cross that area. It probably will be a pretty heavy drop off point and we want to make sure it is coordinated well.

We note that there have been no changes in overall PUD requirements in terms of open space, density and peripheral setbacks. The elevations would need to be provided with greater detail in terms of materials and color samples.

On the atmospheric graphics, we would recommend that at some point the size and material as well as illumination and frequency of change be provided so that the commission understands how that will work.

We discussed the different type of identity graphics. There is a plan for mall identity pylon sign near I-275. There are LED standards that we will have to review and we will need more detail on the sign, as well as for the height material of the entrance signs and the community id signs

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Mr. Wolcher reported we have outlined several of the landscape issues, which would include identifying any existing trees that would be removed and the replacement of those. We also talk about the landscaping for the relocated out parcel and around any of the signs, the identity features and landscaping at the newly created curb islands at the end of parking rows and streetscape trees along Kemper and Princeton Pike.

We have six recommendations:

1. The total proposed mall building area should be provided;
2. Clarification of which parking is new and which is existing;
(If that becomes an issue). If they will maintain the 8 ½ feet that may not be as big an issue as long as we have a total parking count.
3. We feel that there is acceptable parking for the facility;
4. Clarification on the third floor of the J.C. Penney’s and a potential adjustment of the covenants.
5. Circulation area at the southwest corner of the mall
6. Final details for building elevation modifications on building and atmospheric graphics, landscape plan, free-standing signage and lighting.

Mr. McErlane stated Mr. Rich talked a little bit about the free-standing signs. In a previous package submitted to staff, there were some details of free-standing signage, but in the resubmitted for distribution to Planning Commission they were pulled from the package. My belief is that they are going to work on those and refine the designs a little bit.

One of the things that Mr. Wolcher pointed out was that when you look at the square footages for the Penney’s building you lose some square footage. Some of that I am sure is common area because it is not GLA, but my understanding is that the third floor is not going to be used for retail space. Is that correct?

Mr. Rich responded in the plans we are submitting, the third floor is not being considered to be used. I know they are talking to one prospective tenant who has said they want the second and third floor and they didn’t tell them it wasn’t possible. But these plans do not include the third floor in the calculations.

Mr. McErlane commented so the parking ratios for the developed property did not include that square footage. If that building would become strictly retail space, I think we are still okay as far as parking numbers under the Zoning Code. If it turns out to be more assembly oriented type uses, it may bump those numbers quite a bit. That will be more refined when the final plan comes in.

Mr. Syfert said I think it would be very difficult to sit here and say the covenants had to say they couldn’t rent the third floor. Mr. McErlane responded the issue revolved around parking numbers, and at this point I don’t think they know the users or the use of that space well enough to consider that.


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Mr. Rich said our goal is to have as many parking spaces as is currently approved. What Mr. McErlane is alluding to is that the uses of those spaces are somewhat different. It isn’t just all classic retail, there may be more demand for parking than what was shown before. I know we wish we could tell specifically what is going to happen in that space. Right now there is no signed lease, and we are drawing plans as if the third floor is not going to be occupied.

Mr. Shvegzda said the traffic impact study was completed by TEC Engineering for a 2006 build and no-build condition in 2026. The analysis reflected the redevelopment of the mall in that vicinity.

The recommendations include the new intersection on Kemper Road with the signal and signal equipment that would be necessary for the closed loop system that is in the vicinity.

There would be a modification to the striping on Kemper Road in order to accommodate a double left eastbound into the proposed driveway, shortening the westbound left turn onto southbound 747.

As far as the new mall access itself, it would be a five-lane section with three outbound and two inbound lanes. The modification of the existing Cassinelli Drive would be a three-lane section with two outbound lanes and one inbound lane.

The two existing unsignalized mall drives would be eliminated. They are both restricted movements in terms of turning. As a part of that, Kemper Road in general would have to be restriped in order to accommodate the various left turn movements that would be placed there.

Concerning the impact on the level of service, the only degradation to the level of service occurs at the 747-Francis Drive intersection. Although the report indicates that both in 2006 and 2026 the level of service goes from C to D, in fact in some finalization of the analysis, in 2026 the build and non-build would both be at a level D, so there is really no degradation in the level of service in that scenario.

Because of the new driveway which will actually funnel some of the traffic to it and away from the Sears entrance (the Tri-County Parkway-Kemper Road intersection), the level of service there will actually increase, going from Level D to Level C.

Overall the traffic impact study basically has indicated that through the improvements to the roadway as outlined, the development will work with the traffic conditions in terms of the public roadway system. If there are any questions on the traffic study, Aaron Lipman from TEC is here to answer them.

On the site layout, with the elimination of the two current drives and reconstruction of the proposed drive, there is a significant modification to the parking field in that vicinity.



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Mr. Shvegzda added that in terms of the outparcel being relocated from the corner of 747 and Kemper back to the east of the proposed new driveway to Kemper Road, in terms of the ring road in the vicinity of the modified J. C. Penney’s portion of the mall, there will be a raised landscaped island that will be in the outer radius of that curve around the corner of the building. There will be a decorative pavement area in that vicinity, and when we get the final plans we will have to define exactly what that decorative pavement consists of.

In the parking field west of the reconfigured J. C. Penney’s, there is a single access point back out to the ring road which is good, because we expect that to be a real high access area because of the activities at that point in the mall. However, in order to get to that access point you would have to travel west to the furthest aisle way and then back up to the east-west aisle that would take you out to the ring road.

Our recommendation would be to provide some type of a better cut through internal to that parking field to make that an easier movement to the ring road.

As part of the Kemper Road Phase III project, there will be a modification to the signal locations in the vicinity of the Sears drive to Kemper Road. We will be moving one of the signal poles back. The only impact that may have would be on some of the existing landscaping in that area, and possible signage to the mall. In that vicinity you have a high level of pedestrian traffic, which crosses across Kemper Road and enters into the mall parking lot at that corner. Some provision needs to be made in that location to allow pedestrians to travel from the public sidewalk area back into the parking lot area of the mall and access the mall itself.

On the new access drive, one of the concerns is that in its current configuration it is relatively short length, about 240 feet. The traffic impact study indicates an internal traffic study for the circulation was not performed. The concern is that the intersection at Kemper Road will only function as well as an internal intersection if we can get the traffic in out and away from Kemper Road. We recommend there be a more detailed study of that internal circulation.

There are some basic possible considerations for remedying that situation which are attached in the report. At the northeast corner of 747 and Kemper where there is a new community identity feature proposed, we have a large utility pole in that vicinity. We have contacted Cinergy and are looking at possible options for dealing with that situation. As a clarification, there will be some type of pole in that corner regardless since it is one of the corners of the traffic signal.

On the modifications of the ring road at the entrance from 747 in the vicinity of the two restaurants that were approved last year, graphically it appears to comply more with the largeness of the radius that was indicated last year. However as we get to final plans, we will have to detail specifically what that radius is and confirm that it does meet the requirements.
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Mr. Shvegzda reported in terms of storm water management, there is no significant impact to the impervious area and we have over 168,000 cubic feet of underground detention so there would be no additional detention required for the development. However as a part of the modifications to the parking fields, the new configuration of the ring roads, the new driveway to Kemper Road, there will be a modification to the catch basin placement and also probably to some amounts of the storm sewer. Additional details and analysis would have to be submitted as part of the final plan development.

Mr. Vanover said you mentioned that the new entrance would be signalized. Will that be built into the closed loop system that we have? Mr. Shvegzda confirmed this, adding that the major path of that closed loop system now comes down 747 and on Kemper to the east of 747. Mr. Vanover wondered if there would be any problems in terms of melding that in. Mr. Shvegzda passed around a larger detail of the recommendations for Kemper Road. The traffic analysis was based on the model of how that roadway functions in terms of signal timing and the proposed traffic. It did not indicate that as a particular problem in that location. Obviously those intersections would have to be coordinated as part of the closed loop system to make sure it didn’t become a problem between the two intersections.

Aaron Littman of TEC Engineering added that at this point the intersections on Kemper Road are separate systems from the sections on 747, but as part of this improvement that would be tied together. Regardless if this intersection is built or not, it was a part of the plan to tie 747 and Kemper Road together.

Mr. Okum added I think what Mr. Vanover was saying is if I am heading south on 747 and turn left onto Kemper and am intending on going past Tri-County Mall, would those people once they get that left turn signal be able to have a green light function to continue eastbound with interconnect to the signals?

Mr. Littman answered yes, and currently they are not interconnected. Mr. Okum said the key would be so they can continue to flow.

Mr. Okum said there are some right of way issues involved with Cassinelli Square and their entrance, the improvements needed, traffic signals etc. Are these items that the developer would incur as part of their development costs?

Mr. Shvegzda answered that probably will be an element. I’ll let Jeff discuss it. There is a TIF in place.

Mr. Tulloch reported that when Thor acquired the mall, we did a tax increment financing ordinance. We anticipate the improvements at this intersection would be paid for through this tax increment financing bond issue. The specific things that were considered at the time the ordinance was passed were the traffic improvements on Kemper at this location and the monument sign that was addressed earlier toward I-275. Those were the two components and we anticipate both of these items will be supported for sure.
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Mr. Okum asked Mr. Shvegzda if there were adequate space on the Cassinelli property for the modification to their driveway entrance area.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that it works out very well, because if you consider there is a large not-so-landscaped median in the middle that would be eliminated, and we are only talking four lanes total, it works between the existing curbs on either ends.

Mr. Galster asked if we were losing a lane on the westbound Kemper Road traffic until we get up through that intersection, so that the people who are going south on 747 and turned left can flow into their left turn lane and the new mall entrance? Have we taken some of the westbound Kemper Road lane? I only see three lanes of traffic on westbound Kemper from Sears until you get all the way down through this intersection (other than a left turn lane into Cassinelli Square). I think right now it is five lanes.

Mr. Shvegzda responded that westbound we have two right turn lanes, two throughs and two lefts. What we are doing is taking up some of the length of the left turn lanes that are westbound to the southbound. We re taking some of that away and utilizing it for the eastbound left turn movement into the mall.

Mr. Galster commented if you go further east and are running in front of Tri-County Mall where the new outlot location would be, presently there are four lanes there. I guess we are losing a lane but we are also creating a left turn only lane.

Mr. Shvegzda reported the only real modification beyond the curb line will occur just to the east of the proposed intersection where we are having to transition out to align with the double left from eastbound. There will be some widening strictly for the transitioning of the roadway, and that will occur at the Tri-County Mall on the north side of Kemper Road.

Mr. Okum said I am trying to understand the recommendation from staff regarding the atmospheric graphic panels. Addressing the application, he asked what percentage of the building elevations on the west elevation and the south elevation are these panels going to encompass.

Mr. Rich responded we haven’t calculated that percentage. I think graphically the intent with the elevations was to represent as explicitly as we could how large these are. They are approximately 400 square feet each. On the west elevation for the main part of the mall we are proposing seven of them. We are proposing similar sized panels on J. C. Penney, three on the west elevation and four on the south elevation. It is our belief that the character of those panels is different from these. The panels on the Penney building are more translucent and architectural, where the others are more opaque. We can determine the percentage with the final approval submittal.



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Mr. Okum responded I think that may help, because I don’t see it being a significant percentage of the building elevation, maybe 10% or a little bit more.

I think the architectural panels, except for accenting it with colors of light is actually an architectural feature, no different than what we are seeing on Cheeseburger in Paradise with their tower.

I would like to see some percentage tied to those two elements. As far as an architectural accent, I don’t find that any different than the vertical columns that are dividing up the mall elevations with the caps on it. I would have a hard time tying that to signage. I would like to see the other items tied to a percentage of the elevation, being an accent color an accent treatment. It has a changeable feature to it and I am pro those. We just need to get the wording right.

In terms of lighting, are you talking low level or high level lighting? Mr. Rich answered we want to light them enough so that they are illuminated. There is a feature at the mall now at the top of the Dillard’s building that is somewhat low level lighting, but gives some distinction to the architecture. This would be at that level. The intent is to create more vanity about the mall. There is a level of sophistication in the urbaneness and appearance that would position it more attractively.

Mr. Okum added I think the architectural elements are architectural elements, and I think the graphics are architectural graphics that need to fall under a certain limit of percentage. In that way we can tie those two together.

Mr. Rich responded they are two elements, but it is something that is being used very commonly around the country, especially with properties that want to reposition themselves.

Mr. Syfert asked the commission if anyone had any real problems with either the ones on the west or the atmospheric graphic design. Personally I think they are very nice. No one had a problem. Mr. Syfert continued does anyone have a problem with whether they are signs or not. In other words, we would be willing to give that they are signs, but they are okay. Mr. Vanover answered in terms of including them in the sign package, I have no problem with adding a caveat or a new footnote to that. I am very impressed with them. Mr. Syfert said we are in agreement on that.

Mr. Butrum said I guess we could go percentage wise as Mr. Okum has indicated, but we have specific sizes and numbers. Isn’t that good enough for consideration so they don’t go from seven in that one area to 10. As long as we know that they are 20 x 21 and that there are seven of them that seems sufficient. I like what I am seeing too. I like the atmospheric graphic panels a lot. I think they are a big big upgrade.




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Mr. Butrum added the only question I have is about content. I wouldn’t want to micromanage the content, but I don’t consider them signs at all, and I agree that they shouldn’t be considered as part of the total sign package. Is there anything that restricts what they can’t be? Could we put in that they can’t be logos or words? Those are things that make them signs to me. From what I am hearing proposed, that will not be the case. If they are going to change, I am assuming that no one is proposing that you come here every time you want to change those out.

Mr. Rich said what the owner has agreed to and what we are proposing is that they are not signage. I don’t know that down the road at some point somebody might look at them as possible income. We have not had that discussion at all.

Mr. Butrum commented to me the main reason they are not signs is the fact that I am not seeing logos or words, the things that normally would be part of a sign. Personally I think we need to restrict words and logos as part of those graphics. If you want to have a fall version or a holiday version, I don’t want to micromanage it. However, I do feel if we are gong to maintain the integrity and continue to refer to them as atmospheric graphic panels, logos and words should be restricted.

Mr. Syfert asked the commission members if anyone else shared that thought.

Mr. Rich commented I certainly don’t disagree with that comment, but there might be some provision made that if you were going to disallow words, you would allow at least Tri-County or something that might have to do with a seasonal representation.

One of the things we are promoting to the mall owners is that rather than being called Tri-County Mall, we might change the name to Tri-County, because it is certainly the hub for a district now and might have a little more cachet. Mall currently is an unattractive word. I would suggest that you make some allowances for that kind of wording that might be an identification but only of the property. The image they present would be appropriate for what we are talking about without the label so to speak.

Mr. Butrum responded I am not opposed to using words as graphic elements, like holiday or spring or something like that. But if there were store names, it would become signage to me.

Mr. McErlane reported from the standpoint of staff’s concern about these graphic panels, we feel that Planning Commission needs to address them in concept. At this point the applicant does not know the materials or how they will be illuminated. Hopefully those will be more refined by the time the final plan comes through, including how many and what size they are. So, I don’t know that it is necessary to tie those things down as long as Planning Commission agrees with the concept of the idea.



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Mr. Galster said I don’t know the percentage of the panels, but visually I am okay with whatever this percentage is, even if it is 15 or 20%. As a matter of fact on the south elevation I wouldn’t mind two or three of them between the Dillard’s sign and your architectural feature.

Mr. Galster said if a logo suddenly appeared, that would make it a different animal but I think we can come up with a way of phrasing it for spring or holiday, words that are not descriptive of a tenant or their product.

Keeping in mind that the Macy’s building is continuing on, I don’t think that this is an overwhelming use of the panels.

Mr. Okum said one of my notes to make the motion is “and shall not be specific user oriented as signage”. Mr. Butrum had indicated excluding words and logos. I have to differ with you Mr. Rich. I think if you start putting Tri-County Tri-County Tri-County on seven of those signs, it becomes signage to me.

On the concept of graphics without words or logos, and not specific mall occupied user oriented, I find it to be an artistic application more than a sign. If the owners decide at a later time that they want to increase their signage on the building, then they would be changing from architectural accents to signs. At this point what you have presented is an architectural feature. I don’t find anything wrong with holiday and a wreath, because it is not specific to a user or an occupant of the mall. As soon as you go to Tri-County or Dillard’s to me it becomes a sign. At this point do you have a problem with that?

Mr. Rich said no my comment was related to prohibiting the use of words, because I do think that words can be used as art. I would just request that you be careful about prohibiting the use of words.

Mr. Okum said maybe we should use the term business names and logos. Mr. Butrum added I think it should be location, companies, products and brands are probably things that suddenly become signs. Mr. Okum said I don’t want Tri-County to be coming back to Planning every time they want to change one of those things. I want them to have the latitude to be creative with it.

Mr. Rich said I think we understand and agree completely in spirit. Maybe you could work on the wording, because we do have to come back.

Mr. Okum commented if we approve it on a concept basis and tie it to what has been presented, it is pretty much what it is, and staff’s comments are controlling some of that by their recommendations for limitations in terms of content.

Mr. Rich said if you were prohibiting using those for advertisement, that might be enough for us to know. If you want to wordsmith it because you are obviously setting a precedent in your retail district, and I understand that.

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Mr. Vanover said we have some things that will have to be fine tuned, like the lighting, because you will have three different elements. The architectural panels will have a different element from the atmospheric, and we also have this glass bubble box. So you potentially have three or four different levels of light that we will want to have a little better understanding of and fine tune. I think we are in agreement; I think they understand and I know that they are coming back and we can lock it down as far as we have to in the future. As long as both parties have an understanding of the concept and the intent, it is good and doable.

Mr. Okum said you know that mechanical units need to be concealed with the two restaurants being so close to the roadway. On the radius turn in front of the old Penney’s, what is the width? I have driven that a lot and that is a pretty narrow corner. Mr. Rich answered I don’t know specifically what it is, but we are sensitive to this, and we want to make that turn more generous. It is a fairly restricted area from the building to the curb and we know we have to eat into the parking somewhat. We have this goal to get back to the car count that we had when you last approved it and at the same time make improvements around that front area. It is a good observation, and we certainly are sensitive to it.

Mr. Syfert said the applicant has said that with their new parking they would go to a nine-foot space. Do we want them to do that, or keep it all at 8 ½?

Mr. Galster answered I would rather see them used as expectant mother parking as they have in the past rather than making them go to the nine-foot.

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone had a problem with leaving the parking spaces at 8 ½. No one did.

Mr. Okum commented if they can get nine-foot spaces in any of that mall, it would be appreciated. It is tight at 8 ½ feet, but I wouldn’t require it.

Mr. Vanover said if you could get the nine-foot spaces into a new field and it is clear cut, fine; otherwise I think it would be a bigger headache. If it’s doable fine, if not, I don’t have a big problem.

Mr. Rich reported we drew the plans with nine-foot spaces. My only comment about keeping it at 8 ½ is that the garages are under utilized and I wish there were a way to make them more attractive to people. We have to recognize that everyone wants to park by the front door. If I can put 13 more spaces by the front door and there are six inches less, I think that is a better solution than to not have those 13 spaces, but we can do it either way.

Mr. Syfert said Mr. McErlane referred to the light box on the south side. Tell us more about that. Mr. Rich answered we tried to provide a few images. The panels would be translucent and illuminated from within. This is an architectural device to try and hype the level of illumination without bright lights. We want to create a more interesting artistic effect.
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Mr. Rich added I would think that in the end, no one would think of those as signs; they really are architectural elements. When you see the final product, it probably will be less obvious and look more integrated with the architecture.

Mr. Okum said before I make the motion, I want to review this with the members. Under atmospheric graphic panels, it should say “shall not exceed the percentage as presented of the west and south elevations and shall not be specific user oriented or signage; not to exceed seven on the west elevation and submitted and shall exclude brands, locations companies and products from their content”. Is that what everybody was saying?

Mr. Galster responded pretty much, except I think we could still add a couple of more on the south elevation. Mr. Okum commented I didn’t put a limitation on the south elevation. Also, the wording regarding the light box “shall be reviewed in the final plan review.” Addressing the applicant, he asked if that wording was okay with him.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the minor modification to the PUD plan for Tri-County Mall which includes specifications and designs contained in Sheets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of 10 received November 3, 2005 and Thor Equities Brochure dated October 28, 2005. It shall include all staff, city engineer and city planner recommendations. Additional items in that motion are:

1. Signage will be considered when final submissions are made in the final plan review;
2. The atmospheric graphic panels shall not exceed the percentage as presented of that of the west and south elevations, and shall not be specific user oriented or signage. They shall not exceed the seven on the west elevation as submitted and shall exclude brands, locations, companies and products from their content.
3. The light box presentation on the south elevation shall be reviewed at the final plan review.

Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

Mr. McErlane said to clarify, if you include the Penney’s store there are 10 currently shown on the west elevation. I thought we weren’t going to tie those things down and let the applicant develop them more, but it’s up to Planning Commission.

Mr. Okum responded I considered the three on the west elevation and the four on the south elevation (the metal panels) to be architectural features, architectural elements, not the atmospheric graphic panels. I guess I should go back to the references and make that something different because I don’t find those to be the same.

Mr. Galster suggested that we say similar to what has been presented and if the applicant wishes to modify and work on it, fine. I don’t want to say no more because I think more might be okay on the south side.
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Mr. Galster added I would ask that any reference to actual numbers in the motion be deleted and we look at it as proportionately presented tonight

Mr. Okum said we could strike “not to exceed seven on the west elevation as submitted”. It would still leave the percentage. So I will remove that portion of my motion.

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

Planning Commission recessed at 8:35 p.m. and reconvened at 8:47 p.m.

B. Final Transition Overlay Plan, Howard Insurance Office, 309 West Kemper Road

Tim Kilgore, Architect introduced Gary Howard, his son Dennis Howard and John Duffy, civil engineer.

Mr. Kilgore reported we have deleted two parking spaces as you requested at the front area. I think that is an aesthetic improvement and it also solved some lighting problems and allowed us to reconfigure the storm drainage to delete the level spreader feature that was in the front yard. We are directing all storm drainage to the rear yard. As you’ll recall it had been directed to the sidewalk and that was the subject of some criticism. We have done an extensive revision of the landscaping and I think we have completely satisfied the request there.

The request for temporary occupancy is related three problems, the fact that Gary is being required to move after 30 years or so from his present location on Springfield Pike due to the city development. Secondly, the parking and other paving will be delayed until spring or summer due to the required coordination with a shared driveway with the dental development. That is a condition that the city requested. Finally Mr. Howard’s son will share the building, and he is at the end of his lease in his current office space.

On the question of temporary parking, there has been some question of all the parking we are providing. It is related to the request for temporary occupancy and includes four front yard spaces, two spaces along side the house which are wider than normal, two spaces between the house and garage, and three in the garage. On the permanent parking we have a total of 12, and 10 are required. There will be four on the side of the house. None go past the face of the house. Three will be at the existing garage and five will be in the rear behind the garage

Storm drainage is the biggest concern we have, and there are conditions that I think you should consider in deciding how to handle the storm drainage. As a residence, the current drainage is surface drainage, and there is very little net increase in impermeable surface. For our own purposes we did a very quick graphic for comparison (handed out to the members).

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Mr. Kilgore stated that the additional pavement required by our development is shaded. Shown in the second graphic in the bright orange is pavement we are taking away, and that explains why there is little if any net increase in impermeable surface.

        With the reduction of the parking (deletion of the two front spaces)    
and the removal of the existing driveway, (both required by the City),
and the reduction of impermeable surface in the front portion of the property was possible, and it means storm drainage can reasonably we believe be directed to the rear yard.

All the parking is to the rear of the face of the house, the high point of the property, and the water sheds forward and backward there, and all the paving occurs to the rear of that point.

A legitimate criticism was the direction of the storm drainage to the corner of the property where there is an existing low pond type area but it happens to occur close to an existing garage on the adjacent property. The termination of that drainage could very easily be directed further to the rear yard, take it at an angle off the last inlet shown on the plan and directed towards the rear yard , 50 feet away from the existing garage.

Another point on the storm drainage is in reference to the volume of detention that would be required. The number 2200 cubic feet has been mistakenly mentioned which referred to a previous submittal to this body by another applicant. According to the civil engineer, the actual volume would be 796 cubic feet.

Finally we believe that requiring detention or even connection to the proposed enlarged line at the street is not necessary because of the small amount of drainage we are talking about and the fact that it probably naturally should be directed towards the rear. Furthermore, it would create a financial hardship for my client who already has invested tens of thousands of dollars and is planning on spending more for improvement of the property.

The actual connection to that new storm sewer at the street could obligate my client to pay for half the cost of 380 feet of new line on Kemper Road, which is required for the dental development. Mr. Duffy, our civil engineer is here and he is happy to respond to any questions.

Regarding proposed signage for the adjacent dental office. It was mistakenly recalled as being one 16 s.f. sign. In fact, the approved signage for those two businesses consists of two signs, each 19 s.f. for a total of 38 s.f. Our request is for two businesses, the agency of Gary Howard and the agency of Dennis Howard which are both identified on the sign and we request a single sign of 21 s.f.

Regardless of the relative sizes of the adjacent developments, I would point out that there is a point at which the size of the sign makes it functionally useless, and I think we are at the threshold of that with that size.


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Mr. Kilgore said finally, there was a question about the material and the appearances of the sign. The material will have the appearance of painted wood; it is a painted metal. We have examples to show. Many if not most of the new signs in the area are that material with the appearance of painted wood with this type construction.

Mr. Syfert said everyone has received the staff comments. I’ll ask the staff to report on any key points.

Mr. McErlane reported that Council approved the preliminary plan on 10/19/05. The applicant has already talked about the parking numbers, 12 in its final form including the three in the garage. I think we are at 11 spaces for temporary.

There was some discussion about impervious surface ratio at the preliminary plan, and the covenants now say that the maximum will be .25. What is presented on this plan was .15, but the original covenants had proposed something considerably higher than that. Ms. McBride had recommended the .25, and that is what is in the covenants now.

The applicant has provided additional trees from his preliminary plan that provides for half of the caliper inches that are being removed. The total we could determine was removed in May was 74 caliper inches, and they are proposing 37 to replace that.

The modifications that we had suggested for the covenants have been taken care of.

For the temporary installation, it doesn’t appear that there is a handicap ramp to access the office. How will you accommodate the handicapped?

Mr. Gary Howard responded I have one handicapped individual who I am aware of, and my son has one. We are very mobile and can go to a client’s house in that case, so I do not anticipate that being a problem.

Mr. McErlane said I only raise that question because we anticipate that it is only temporary until some time next year, but the covenants allow for a two year period of time for this temporary situation to exist. We need to make sure that at some point we get that implemented. Mr. Howard said for the total appearance of it, I would much rather have the finished project. We would like to have this finished as soon as possible

Mr. Wolcher said the temporary sign detail should be submitted to staff for review and approval. It is proposed to be a 21 square foot sign five feet high, non illuminated and painted plywood. That is a similar size to the permanent sign which is 21 s.f., five feet in height with a brick base and 10 feet from the right of way. We would recommend that a sample of the permanent sign material be provided for review by staff.


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Mr. Wolcher said that staff recommended that landscape treatment be installed on the side of the proposed office visible from the adjacent residential structure. The applicant has added some trees to the plan in a different location and we will continue our recommendation for some screening on that side to protect the residence to the east.

There are schematics and cut sheets provided for the lighting plan, and we are requesting additional details about the shielding of the flood light proposed on the garage to make sure that doesn’t create any glare to the south.

Mr. Okum said I saw the cut sheet on the micro lighter. Was that for the sign or the garage. Mr. Wolcher answered my understanding is that was for the garage. Mr. Okum said if it is going to be mounted on the garage facing down, I would be concerned about glare on Kemper Road. Mr. Wolcher reported it would be mounted on the garage facing the parking spaces behind the garage.

Mr. Okum asked cut sheets for the lighting they want to put on the temporary or permanent signs. Mr. Wolcher responded I don’t believe that was provided. Mr. Okum continued I would be very concerned about glare issues along Kemper Road from lighting on the sign. It might require shielding to prevent glare issues, and I’m sure staff would want to know the wattage and what type of light it would be.

In Ms. McBride’s report she says “details of the temporary sign to be submitted for staff’s review and approval”. Do we have that? Mr. Wolcher responded as far as I understand, the dimensions were indicated in the written material. They indicate that it will be the same size and shape, but a different material, plywood.

Mr. Okum commented I am not too sure about the additional landscape material on the east side of the building. They are not changing the east side that much.

Mr. Kilgore reported there is low growth, but the landscape architect said it was too tight an area and suggested showing additional landscaping to screen the rear parking area rather than the house.

Mr. Wolcher reported the intent was to provide as much screening between the non residential and residential use. We were carrying forward the recommendation from the previous preliminary plan, so it is at your discretion.

Mr. Okum said I have some questions on the signage issue; how large are the signs next door. Mr. McErlane reported there are two signs at 19.6 square feet apiece. Mr. Okum asked the width of the site. Mr. Duffy answered it is approximately 262 feet across the front. Mr. Okum asked the width of Mr. Howard’s property, and Mr. Duffy reported it at 80.8 feet.



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Addressing the applicant, Mr. Vanover asked the hours of operation. Mr. Howard answered normally 9 to 6 p.m. Mr. Vanover added if they shut down about 6 p.m. I would agree that the screening they have on the parking will work fine. The building hasn’t changed, and we’re not adding excess movement with headlights at odd hours. I think we are adequate there.

Mr. Galster asked if the 21 s.f. sign would be illuminated all night. Mr. Howard answered as a rule we have done that on our existing office, but it is something we probably could work with. Our primary concern is to let people know where we are and that could be all times of the day. In the evening hours, a person might be looking for a perspective insurance agent. Our desire is to gather the new people moving into the community.

Mr. Galster said I understand, but it is pretty close to the public right of way and headlights would illuminate the sign anyway. Because of the residential area, if the lights went off at 7:30 p.m. or something like that, would you be opposed to that? Mr. Howard responded honestly, it would create a hardship on my business.

Mr. Galster added I am one of the stronger supporters of having the monument signs on nice stone or wood bases. Only because it makes it more of a structure, and given the residential nature of the area and the closeness to the street, I don’t know that it is necessarily a good thing in this situation. I don’t want it to be like a real estate sign with a post and a hangar, but something less structural might be better and look more residential. Maybe it would be as simple as having posts that would allow a little light to come between the posts and the sign so it doesn’t look like a mass.

Mr. Howard responded we are flexible on that. Mr. Galster continued it still would be landscaped, but I think it is important to tone down that stone and brick, the mass feeling that we usually like to see in monument signs along the corridor. Also maybe taking it back off the right of way a little more would help me; I’m not sure. I’m trying to come up with something that meets your needs and is still sensitive to the neighbors.

Mr. Syfert said are you suggesting that we look at the permanent sign a little more? Mr. Galster responded in my opinion when I look at the drawing, Sheet A-2, I think it is a nice looking sign, but it is a pretty big mass. To have the brick base and stone base takes away from the residential character. I don’t know if other people have the same opinion, but if they do, I would like to look at the design of the sign more closely.

Mr. Vanover said I do not have that big a problem, but in looking at L-1.0 and the layouts of the bed and landscaping, if they did away with the brick base and just had the vertical 4 x 4’s, the supports and left that open underneath, Mr. Galster said I think that looks better. Mr. Vanover added probably landscaping would do the same thing as the brick base. If you start putting space between the 4 x 4’s and the sign itself, it might weaken the structural integrity.


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Mr. Vanover added if you want to do away with the brick base, with essentially the same height and let the landscape soften it that should take care of it.

As far as the spacing back off the road, I don’t have a problem because you are coming at an angle and the building itself sets back. These are deep lots, and his structure is probably in the front third of the lot. As far as Dave’s point about the lighting, if they light fixtures heads illuminating the sign, you could mount the head of the light closer to the road and project it back to the sign and eliminate that glare potential. A 150 or 200 watt fixture would light that without giving you uncontrolled glare on that roadway.

I don’t have a problem with the size of the sign, and if you want to take the base out I don’t have a problem with that. That’s probably the best way to handle that.

Mr. Okum said I don’t know about taking the base out. Doesn’t that make it similar to the pole sign on Lawnview Avenue for the apartments that we heard a lot of negative comments about? I don’t want to design the sign, but it will look like a white painted board setting in front of that property whether you take the base out or not. It won’t have a residential look unless you go to a different type of sign. Whatever you do with the base doesn’t matter. I would be willing to change the base if they changed the type of sign to go to more of a residential character sign.

Mr. Vanover said what is a residential character sign? Mr. Okum answered the type they use in the park district is one, or the type we use in the entries into Springdale. There is a sign like a hanging shingle that is residential character. There are different types of signs from the white painted board. If 21 square feet makes it work, we held the property next door to two signs with stone bases, but we have a 200+ foot parcel there versus an 80 foot parcel here. It doesn’t balance out to hold the dentist office down to 19.6, when they are closer to more commercial property than this business. I know it is your livelihood but I also understand that it is next to a single family residential home. I see Nilles Road as a prime example of what happens as properties change along a main roadway. If we are going to 21 s.f., I think the sign definitely has to carry a more residential character than a white painted board with two posts on it.

Mr. Vanover said if you want to be fair, you would look at the back of the lot. This is an odd shaped lot and he has 165 feet across the back. Mr. Okum said I am talking frontage on Kemper Road, and you are including a residential house. Mr. Vanover answered this is a unique characteristic to this lot and if we are going to tie it to frontage limitation, I think that is unfair and you will burden a lot of similar situations.

Mr. Okum said not at all. If a property has an outlot in front of it, they don’t get the benefit of the frontage on the right of way, and relatively speaking I don’t think you should give the benefit of that single family residential house setting on Kemper Road as part of that lineal footage of frontage.
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Mr. Okum said based on the frontage of this house on Kemper Road, what is the allowable signage that would have been approved for that if it was in a GB District? Mr. McErlane reported it would be 85 square feet.

Mr. Okum continued as Mr. Galster indicated, if he says reduce it, change it out, give it a more residential look, take the brick around it out I am fine with that, but I think it has to be something more than a white board with two 4 x 4 posts.

Mr. Syfert commented we are trying to design a sign here. We either approve the sign or we don’t approve the sign. I think we are getting hung up on something that we shouldn’t be doing. If Mr. Howard is happy with this and that’s his submission, that is what we should vote on. If he wants to change it later and come back, that’s fine.

Mr. Howard stated we keep referring to a white board. The company I represent colors are red and white. I can’t change that; that’s a brand. The sign we tried to work with is a colonial look in nature because we are close to the neighborhood. In fact I talked to the neighbor next to us and expressed to him what we are trying to do. He had no problems with that. As a matter of fact, I think we have spurred him on. He has done some residential improvements to his property, with awnings and siding.

When we left the meeting last time, I had mixed feelings about what the commission wanted, so that is why we added the brick work. Now we are made to feel that the brick work is not needed; I am glad to accommodate, but by the same token I can’t have half brick on one side and an open area on the other either, so we are in a little bit of a dilemma there. But we are trying to keep with the branding of the company. I am a business; it is not a business in a house; it is still an office. I bought the property with the intention of making it an office.

Mr. Shvegzda said the applicant has indicated with the temporary parking it is a 27-foot maneuvering area and a nine-foot space backing out into a nine-foot aisle. The applicant has indicated that they have laid it out and it appears to work. The bottom line is the capability of the driver. It is a temporary situation and at the discretion of the Planning Commission, but it probably will be viable at this location.

The storm sewer calculations weren’t submitted yet and will need to be submitted for final review. The number we used on the detention bond was based on considering no development. If you consider the net change, detention in order to mitigate any potential increases in runoff is not an important part of this project.

However, we would request that in lieu of detention, some type of storm water quality measure be implemented on the site. Some of these are as simple as having water flow off the parking lot into a swale where there are plantings that clean the water before it goes down into the catch basin and into the storm sewer. That would be an option, some method similar to that.

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Mr. Shvegzda reported on the proposed storm sewer system, the applicant is proposing a level spreader. That application was used behind CVS. The problem we have had is that it sets with water and is a concern (mosquitoes). We are looking at ways to resolve that but haven’t been successful.

The whole configuration of each of these developments (the applicant and the dental office to the west) was to get together to utilize the proposed storm sewer system that will be installed along Kemper Road. Apparently the previous property owner entered into an agreement to assist in the payment of the construction, and it is a better situation tied into the proposed storm sewer.

We also need to know the sediment and erosion control methods that will be utilized.

Mr. Syfert asked if the spreader system would work if they would take it back further on the property. I think there was some concern because it was right next to the neighbor.

Mr. Shvegzda reported there are two issues to be clarified. We need to be sure that we are not bringing additional drainage back to that area. It is unclear as to what in this site would normally drain toward the front and what would drain toward the back.

The other issue that I can’t answer concerns the problem I mentioned before. Essentially what the level spreader is is a depression with rock in it that the concentrated flow comes out, hits, spreads out and becomes more sheet flow. That depression tends to fill with water.

Mr. Vanover said you mentioned plantings. What would happen if they put marginal plants in to help break the current and to hold the ground? Mr. Shvegzda responded something of that manner would help over a longer period of time. Depending on the frequency of rain events, you have a situation where you may not be able to keep up with that as far as any plant materials drawing the water out of that depression. I can’t clearly say yes or no if that would solve the problem.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Galster said on your drawing, you show the storm water discharge basically toward the existing garage of that residential property. Is that something new that they are proposing to add or is that what is existing? Mr. Shvegzda reported the outlet point is not there now. That is what is being proposed.

Mr. Galster said so we need to throw it back into your back lot more than we are showing here, so the water is not discharging toward that garage. Mr. Shvegzda responded that would take care of the issue with the proximity to the garage. The other issue is how do you get it from whatever is coming out of that 12-inch pipe to get it to spread out to where it is currently flowing now over a long area, just sheet flowing. That gets back to the problems with the level spreader method.
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Mr. Galster wondered if we could take a backhoe and dig a hole and make a swale that you could drain this into. The increase is small. Mr. Shvegzda responded it is not the increase. It is the fact that now we have something that sheet flowing over a wide area.

Mr. Vanover asked what would happen if they ran it back and used a perforated nozzle to spread it. You have a natural fall from west to east on the property. If you brought it back and ran it down, you would alleviate a depression that will hold water. Mr. Shvegzda responded typically that is on a four to six inch outlet, so I don’t know how practical something like that would be. Mr. Vanover added if they run that line out and the last 15 to 20 feet was perforated, the water would find its flow out. I know they make French drains that are perforated, to catch the water and redirect it away. You could do the reverse – bring it out and redirect the flow allowing it to escape at different points along that pipe instead of at the termination point.

Mr. Shvegzda responded there are certain locations in the city where there is a slotted drain. You have a 12 inch corrugated pipe that has a two inch slot six inches high that runs the entire length of the pipe. Potentially you could utilize something like that so it would essentially bubble out of the slot and flow over. There might be things to be investigated as to what that does insofar as backing up into whatever part of the storm sewer there is, to make sure that it doesn’t cause it to flow out of a catch basin further up in the system. Something like that would have to be detailed. Mr. Vanover added in reality, we haven’t added a whole lot to the site so we haven’t changed on a grandiose scale what is existing.

Mr. Okum said I think I heard the applicant ask for relief on the requirement for retention or disbursing of water on the site. You have asked for relief given the financial burden, but you also have given evidence that your impervious surface area has not really changed. Mr. Duffy said there is only a 2% increase in the impervious surface area. Mr. Okum said additionally we have a moratorium on any development on the rear portion of the site, which is all green space.

In my opinion that is a win for the city, and I don’t think we should put the burden of it on the applicant as long as they can deal with the water and don’t adversely affect the neighbor next door. Because the density of the site is very low, you have the green space in the back that is being preserved, if water went to the other side of the garage, eventually it would perk through that and what little water there is probably wouldn’t even get to the neighbor’s property. Mr. Duffy said it would be the same as it does today. Mr. Okum commented I would rather see it the way it is than how it is proposed.

Mr. Galster said Option A is to tie into the storm sewer. Option B is to discharge it into the back part of the property, and Option C is to let it continue to flow to the north, which is basically sheet flow out to Kemper Road. Mr. Duffy said half would flow to the front and half to the back.

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Mr. Galster said I am in favor of Option C, letting it go the way it is going now as opposed to putting a storm water outlet heading to this garage. It is not that much different from what previously was on the site.

Mr. Shvegzda said for clarification, which means you don’t think there should be any storm sewer on the site. Mr. Galster responded right now everything sheets off to Kemper Road. Mr. Shvegzda responded for clarification, midway it drains north and the rest drains towards the south and then turns and heads to the east.

Mr. Galster asked if there was any way to have a catch basin and still have the water continue to flow in the general area that it flows now rather than on the resident’s property.

Mr. Shvegzda responded in order to maintain the existing drainage patterns; you could eliminate one of the catch basins to take some of that flow away from flowing to the north. As we noted before, if you wanted to move that outlet point further to the south and arrange a better method of spreading it back out, that would be a possibility.

Mr. Galster commented all I know is that ultimately I don’t want to have storm water runoff heading over to this residential property. If that means that we have to continue to let it flow the way it does, I’m okay with that. If you have a better way of handling the water short of tying into the storm sewer. How many cubic feet are we adding over what is existing?

Mr. Shvegzda said basically it is a wash in terms of additional peak flow. Mr. Galster responded so there is no additional flow of storm water that this redevelopment is creating. Mr. Shvegzda confirmed this, adding it is just a matter of how, because of reconfiguring the parking lot, it will be picked up and conveyed. Mr. Galster commented so it is diverted differently so it doesn’t come into the residential area, kind of like the way it is now. If it’s running right now, what’s wrong with letting it run the way it is.

Mr. Howard added that front driveway that takes water out will be taken out. Mr. Galster responded so all the water will be absorbed into the grass. Mr. Howard said that the grass is behind the garage on the westernmost side of the property, and the garage we are concerned about is on the easternmost side of the property. This would give us even more area to let that water naturally flow across the whole half acre.

If you simply spilled off the proposed parking areas, I think Mr. Shvegzda suggested to interrupt it with swale and landscaping that would hold it there for a while and delay its passage. Would that solve the problem? Mr. Shvegzda answered typically, unless we have the type of soil conditions where you have a lot of sand and gravel, which we don’t have here, you need to have some type of outlet. It can be a small under drain to eventually drain that out but you would have to have something of that type

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.
Mr. Syfert commented we have two or three different scenarios. It seems to me that sheet flow is one of our biggest concerns right now.

Mr. Okum said my feeling is that the applicant’s responsibility is to handle the storm water so that it doesn’t negatively affect the residence at 299 West Kemper or the dentists’ office, plain and simple. Whatever way they come up with a solution for that, I am fine with it. Mr. Galster said it should be the properties at 599-042-116 and 599-042-186 according to this drawing.

Mr. Duffy said that would be as it exists today. Mr. Okum responded if you present that to Mr. Shvegzda and show how it works, fine. Mr. Duffy answered we can provide a grading plan.

Mr. Syfert commented we have kicked this in all different directions, abut with the applicant showing what he had suggested to start with tonight, it seems to me to be a reasonable compromise. Instead of leaving the spreader where it was, if he puts it on out in the back yard a little further, it would get us where we want to be.

Mr. Shvegzda responded Mr. Vanover had a suggestion about another method that wouldn’t have that ponding water setting there, the slotted drain scenario.

Mr. Syfert said can’t we get it worked out between the applicant and our civil engineer?

Mr. Okum said the only thing that I see is when you put it into a low basin area and hope it percs into the ground versus shedding it off at multiple points, you end up with a wet marshy area until it percs away. I don’t want to see that happen either.

Mr. Vanover commented that is the activity and function of the ground.

Mr. Howard said we’ll try to work with this body. Alleviating that drive out front will cause a natural flow of water to go into the ground because it won’t have to go on an impervious surface. We have moved that to the five parking spots behind the garage, and we can try to do something with the grading to naturally move that out of that acre. We are only talking some teaspoons of water here; we are not talking a lot of water, and if we can do some grading to work with you, we’ll do that. I don’t think it is that big of an issue.

Mr. Okum moved to approve to include specifications and designs contained in Exhibits A-1, A-2, A-3, L-1, L-2, C-1 received October 28, 2005. It shall include:

1. Staff, city engineer and city planner recommendations with the exclusion of item 3 of the city planner’s considerations shall not be required.
2. Additionally, the storm water shall be addressed later.
3. That the Tree Preservation replacement conditions shall include the 37 caliper inches as provided on the plan

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4. That the signage conditions shall be submitted with the addition that lighting fixtures to be reviewed by staff shall be non-glare and shielded to not negatively affect the public right of way and adjacent properties.
5. Storm water shall be handled so as not to negatively affect the adjoining property owners.

Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.

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

C. Aryan Rhea Inc. dba Super 8 Hotel requests variance/continuance of their tree planting obligations of 7/14/05

Keith Riehl, Attorney said you may recall that this was a matter involving a tree planting issue at the Super 8 Hotel. My client Mr. Patel entered into an agreement with the City to do three things:

1. To comply with the proposed landscape plan and have at least 50% planted by the end of the year providing the replanting stock was available in the area;;
2. All the plantings would be completed within 12 months of the agreement (July 14, 2005);
3. My client would pay $6500 over the next 12 months in equal installments beginning on the first month following execution of the agreement.

I got a letter from Jeff Forbes of Wood & Lamping in October, stating that my client had not done two things. Number one was that he had made one payment, and therefore was behind in his payments and secondly that he hadn’t started planting of the trees.

I responded to Mr. Forbes, and I have receipts here. One is dated August 3, 2005 which would have been the first month payment due. It is for $1,625, which is three months payment, so he paid August, September and October. I have another payment which he made yesterday for another three months, $1,625, which is for another three months, so he has now paid for November, December and January. So he is two months prepaid on that obligation.

We are here tonight to ask for a variance on the planting of the trees in the fall. One has to understand a little bit what Mr. Patel has been through to understand why we are making this request tonight.

Since he bought the motel a year ago, he has put approximately $200,000 into the motel. I think everybody would agree that it looks better than it did a year and one-half ago.

Secondly, he spent approximately $10,000 to clean out a drainage channel. That was finished in the late summer or early fall.



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Mr. Riehl added lastly, Mr. Patel expected that his business would pick up in the summer and fall months, and unfortunately lit has not picked up in the way he had hoped it would.

Therefore what we are asking tonight is simply that his obligation to have 50% of the tree planting done by the end of the calendar year 2005 be extended to permit him to comply with his agreement and have everything done within 12 months.

Mr. Syfert asked if the motel business is off all over the country. Are people not traveling as much because of gas prices? Mr. Patel answered because of gas prices, and we have lots of hotels opening with more competition. When I bought the property, he told me that he was making more than $600,000 and on paper it is only $480,000. It is around $530-550,000.

Mr. Galster moved to allow the applicant until July 14, 2006 to complete all the planting requirements per the agreement. However, he needs to continue to make his payments so that stays on track, which it seems to be. Mr. Butrum seconded the motion.

All members voted aye, and the variance was approved with seven affirmative votes.

VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Syfert said we have a ballot to vote for Dave Okum to be a member of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.
Does everyone agree with that? All voted for Dave, and Chairman Syfert signed the ballot.

Mr. Syfert said at last month’s meeting a lot of the staff reports were not read. Do you want to continue operating that way? Mr. Galster responded I think we need to get a consensus that everybody agrees with the reports to find out where there might be some differences or disagreements. But I think it makes for a much smoother less intimidating process for the applicant if we don’t have 20 or 30 minutes on each report, reading what everyone has already read. I don’t necessarily agree that we should submit them into the record and say every staff comment is right when we haven’t run it by this board to make sure there are no problems with it. I think once that happens, we can eliminate a lot of it and actually make it easier for the applicant to present their case and move us along in a more expedient fashion. Mr. Vanover said it sounds good to me.

Mr. Okum commented I think it is important to get highlights. Mr. Butrum added I like that too; I like what you did tonight.

Mr. Galster suggested finding out what the applicant doesn’t agree with in the staff comments and deal with that. I hate going through six, eight or 10 pages of staff comments, when we really only have three issues.



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DISCUSSION – CONTINUED

Mr. Coleman said we need to avoid the type of discussion that happened this evening over the Howard Insurance issue. That was way too prolonged.

Mr. Syfert commented there were a couple of issues that we talked about way too long. It is a tough line; we shouldn’t be designing things up here, but Steve had a problem with it and had to say it, and I want you to say it.

Mr. Galster commented I had a problem with the storm water running into the neighbor’s yard when the problem doesn’t exist now. On the sign, I was just trying to come up with something that might soften it a little bit, but Dave was right. You’re not going to soften a 21 s.f. white board with red lettering. I think the discussion needs to happen; however, tonight we kind of overdid it, not so much on the sign as on the water. We are depending on Don to tell us how to do it, and sometimes we should let him tell us how we need to do it instead of what we tried to do tonight.

Mr. McErlane said on the staff comments, Jonathan brought up one exception that might apply and that would be a conditional use permit hearing where you would have the public here, you might want to consider that.

Mr. Galster said Bill McErlane and Anne McBride’s comments review a lot of the same areas. Addressing Mr. McErlane he said why not send your comments to Anne and let her incorporate them into hers? Why spend all the time writing a report that is basically hitting on the exact same things? Let’s not generate more paper. If the applicant gets three pages from Bill, three pages from Anne and three pages from Don, and we can cut a third of that out by combining two of the reports, it seems to make sense.

Mr. Okum commented they would have to concur. Mr. Galster responded go ahead and list where they don’t. Mr. Coleman said when you make the motion, it includes the staff comments. Mr. Okum added unless there are exclusions.

Mr. Butrum said I wonder if we shouldn’t let them present, and also ask where they have a problem with staff comments, and start right there. That would cut to just the remaining issues. Mr. Syfert commented Mr. Howard did that with his presentation. Mr. Galster added maybe we need to make a suggestion to the applicant that once they review the comments, determine where they differ to speed up their process so they won’t be here all night.

Mr. Okum added we typically agree with staff, but not always, so we have to be vocal enough to express that.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

A. Christmas Liquidation – 750 Kemper Commons – Banner Signs




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IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. All voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 10:14 p.m.

                    Respectfully submitted,



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                    William Syfert, Chairman



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                    Lawrence Hawkins, Secretary