PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
NOVEMBER 10, 2009
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: Mr. Greg Dale, City Planner; William McErlane, Building Official;
Don Shvegzda, City Engineer


III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF OCTOBER 13, 2009

Mr. Tom Vanover moved to adopt the October 13, 2009 Planning Commission meeting minutes, Mr. Lawrence Hawkins seconded the motion; the minutes were adopted with a unanimous vote.


IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Steve Galster presented the report on Council summarizing Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions move to Springdale – Tri-County Parkway.


V. OLD BUSINESS

A. Chairman Butrum: Wireless Communication Tower Conditional Use Permit –
11970 Kenn Road; we did receive an email from the applicant requesting a continuance.
Mr. Okum: I would like to make a motion to continue the Public Hearing in process to the Planning Meeting of December 8, 2009. Mr. Tom Vanover seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote from the Planning Commission Members the request for a continuance was granted.


VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Chairman Butrum: Kemper Pond Center – IHOP Variance Request from the Tree Preservation Ordinance at 1309 and 1333 East Kemper Road.

Mr. Tyler Fread: I am speaking on behalf of R&B Investments. We had a small misunderstanding, I made some phone calls about removing two trees that were located right at the sign and I received permission from a City Works guy to remove those trees; R&B Investments went upon themselves and took three or four more trees in front of the IHOP. What I am proposing, on their mistake, to plant four more trees on Kemper Road and to make a donation to the Tree Preservation for Springdale. Ms. McBride, in the drawing shows eleven trees going down Kemper Road; we feel that is way too many, blocking the front of the building. I would be willing to stick some in the front corner. I have been authorized to make a donation of $3000.

(Staff comments from Mr. McErlane and Mr. Greg Dale were presented at this time; Mr. Shvegzda gave no Staff comments concerning the tree preservation request.)

Mr. Greg Dale: Starting with the assumption that the regulations would require 51 caliper inches to be replaced, Ms. McBride met on the side with the applicant’s representative and walked the site with a landscape architect and came up with a plan that includes a mix of Maple and Locust Trees.
(At this time, Mr. Greg Dale passed around a diagram of the proposed tree plan.)
What is being proposed is 2-3” Paper Bark Maples, 3-3” Honey Locusts and 12-3” Red Sunset Maples at various locations, not just along the frontage and along the side, even to the rear of the IHOP that would total the 51 caliper inches. In addition, at the time that the walk around the site occurred, Ms. McBride noticed that a number of other trees that were shown on the landscape plan are no longer on the site; the best that they could figure is those either died or perhaps weren’t even put in to begin with, as I understand that predated this owner’s involvement; I put that out there just as information because my understanding is that is a separate enforcement issue that is working its way through right now and is not before the Planning Commission.

Mr. McErlane: In the discussion that Ms. McBride and I had with the applicant there was discussion about the replacement of that and apparently those trees that are missing from the IHOP site will be IHOP’s responsibility and those missing from the Kemper Pond site will be Kemper Pond’s responsibility.

Mr. Dale: And my understanding, that is not before the Commission right now; I just put that out there for information purposes.

(Chairman Butrum opened the floor for discussion.)

Mr. Okum: I understand your position, Sir, but on the other hand the planting of four trees and the donation of $3000 – the requirement of the Code is $10,000; are they aware of that?

Mr. Fread: They are aware of that. The owner is actually in Europe and that is why I am here speaking for them.

Mr. Hawkins: Do we know what the estimated cost would be to do the replanting that Ms. McBride came up with?

Mr. Fread: No. I could put an assumption together and present it to you: I see
9 Maples, and 3 Honey Locusts to the forward part of Kemper; I would say a rough estimation is $250 a tree by the time you purchase the tree and plant it.

Mr. Galster: We have gone back and redone calculations of what it cost the City and the tree replacement program to replace a 3” tree in the City, and $250 to $300 was the actual cost for the City to buy the tree and to plant the tree.

Mr. Hawkins: Thank you.

Mr. Okum: Mr. Fread, if the owner gave you the authority to represent this, what if this Commission says that is not acceptable?

Mr. Fread: I am willing to take any advice this evening and go back to the owner.

Mr. Okum: He doesn’t own the IHOP property?

Mr. Fread: No, the IHOP property is a separate LLC purchased by the IHOP Corporation; they have been the owner roughly nine months.

Mr. Okum: I looked at Ms. McBride’s layout of tree plantings and the only two that I think that I would not be supporting would be the two behind the retail center; I don’t see the need just to put a tree on the site; it is the back of the building and I would rather have seen those trees trimmed up so that you could see the development.

Mr. Fread: Sherwin Williams would love to move in and we started with the two trees blocking the sign and that is how we got started; mistakenly they cut the other trees down and this is where we ended up.

Mr. Okum: It is a good location for that. We can make a decision but the owner is going to have to live with whatever that decision the Commission makes.

Mr. Fread: I understand.

Mr. Galster: I think this Board is flexible and understanding of the desire for tenants to make sure that their businesses have as much exposure as possible but my personal opinion is there is a big difference between an 18’ caliper tree and 6-3” trees; that is not going to replace that tree as far as the aesthetic value and the environmental value of the 18” tree.
I do have a question for Mr. Dale; if in fact the trees were planted according to this drawing that would meet the 51” requirement, is that correct?

Mr. Dale: Yes.

Mr. Galster: And what you are proposing to do, Mr. Fread, is to replant four?

Mr. Fread: We would like to plant four towards the corner to allow the front of the shopping center to be open for visibility.

Mr. Galster: Is there a possibility of getting those trees in a much more substantial size?

Mr. Fread: That is very hard to come by; but yes.

Mr. Galster: My concern is when we have had residents lose a tree that has been on their property and in the public right of way for 20 years and they loose a 15” diameter tree and we come back and plant a 3” tree, it takes a long time for them to grow to the height or size of the tree that was taken down. I am really concerned that the proposal from the applicant to replace the four trees, given the amount of trees missing on this site, as being short of what I envision the end result to be.
If the issue that you are having with your facility is signage I don’t have any problem addressing that as opposed to cutting trees down; not to say that I want a big pole sign to go up there or anything like that. I don’t know where to start because what I think needs to be replanted to make up for what has happened here is so far different from what you are proposing to put in there; I don’t know where to start to try to come up with some kind of remedy at this point. I need to see much more effort in trying to obtain the end result.

Mr. Okum: Mr. McErlane, the two public right of way trees are part of the 51”?

Mr. McErlane: Yes.

Mr. Okum: Without the owner being in the country, Staff has come up with a totally different concept from what the owner offered and what he offered is basically an insult to the replacement. Personally, instead of dictating to him what you have to do - what Staff has recommended, I would rather defer this to the next meeting and give him an opportunity to meet with our City Planner one more time and come in with a legitimate plan for replanting for this site including the public right of way area, and some research done on the maximum capacity size trees that you can purchase; I agree with Mr. Galster, to show the largest caliper inch trees that you can purchase and facilitate onto that site. We all know what a 3” inch tree looks like and we know what the canopy of a 3” inch tree is for the first ten years – it is hardly anything. Let’s do that before we meet again. I would prefer that, Mr. Chairman, versus us acting and that way they can come to us with a plan. I don’t mind clustering and giving visibility to the site but let’s get closer to where we need to be on trees.

Mr. Fread: I am fine with that. I can present this to him when he comes back into the Country.

Mr. Galster: In time to submit a revised plan after meeting with the City Planner?

Mr. Fread: He should be back in time. I can go through and help them put together a plan.

Mr. Galster: I hope you understand that we are trying to be reasonable and we do understand the plight and the economy; we will make an effort to help but at the same time we cannot cut down all the trees.

Mr. Fread: I understand and I apologize that that happened.

Mr. Okum: I make a motion that we continue this until the December Planning Commission meeting.
Mr. Vanover: I second the motion.

The Planning Commission Members signified by a unanimous “aye” to continue the request for the Kemper Pond Center until the December meeting.


VII. DISCUSSION

Mrs. Ghantous: What is going on with the Day Care sign on Route 4?

Mr. Galster: It came down; it was two days ago that I noticed that sign was gone.

Mr. McErlane: I can tell you that we have had contact with Mr. Shteiwi about putting blank panels in the sign so that we are not looking at the fluorescent tubes in it. He did indicate that he still has some pending lease. I haven’t had any contact from the Day Care operator since July and at that point she said she was going to start things up again.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

PNC Bank Sign Approval – 495 East Kemper Road: 4 wall & 1 pole sign

PNC Bank Sign Approval – 11525 Springfield Pike: 3 wall, 1 panel change & 5 directional signs

   
IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn, and with a unanimous “aye” vote from the Planning Commission, the meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________,2009 ___________________________________
                Richard Bauer, Secretary