PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 NOVEMBER 1998

7:00 P.M.

 

 

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

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

ROLL CALL

Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Robert Seaman, Councilman Tom Vanover, James Young and Chairman Syfert.

Others Present: Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

William McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, City Planner

II MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 13 OCTOBER 1998

Mr. Okum moved and Mr. Young seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye and the Minutes were adopted with seven affirmative votes.

III. CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Report on Council – none
    2. Zoning Bulletin – September 25, 1998
    3. Zoning Bulletin – October 25, 1998
    4. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – September 15, 1998
    5. Planning Commissioners Journal – Fall 1998

IV. OLD BUSINESS

    1. Approval of Proposed Garage, Enterprise Rent a Car, 169 Northland Boulevard (tabled October 13, 1998)

Mr. McErlane stated that the applicant has asked to be tabled for another month. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the item was tabled to November 17, 1998. Mr. Syfert added for your information we did get some parking information, but it was incomplete.

 

  1. NEW BUSINESS

A. Approval of 60 s.f. Wall Sign, 389 s.f. greater than maximum permitted by Section 153.092(D)(1)(b) at Party City, 333 East Kemper Road

Mr. Mark Caudill of Holthaus Signs and Earl Blanks owner of Party City approached the commission. Mr. Caudill stated we are asking for a sign on the east elevation of the building, which is the only elevation which gets good visibility. The front of the building is blocked by trees which are planted between the front and the street, and rather than ask to have the trees taken down, we thought putting a sign on the east elevation would make the most sense.

Mr. McErlane stated that the total square footage of permitted signage on a building is based on building frontage, and Party City is permitted 160 square feet. On the front is 138 square feet, and the reason it is 138 s.f. is because of all of the verbiage that is at the end of Party City. That leaves 22 square feet remaining, and they are proposing 60 square feet so we have an overage of 38 square feet.

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 NOVEMBER 1998

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VI 60 S.F. WALL SIGN – PARTY CITY – 333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Okum commented frankly I have never had a problem seeing Party City; the window signs alone make up a great part of their noticeability. I have never been in favor and will not support signage on sides of buildings, especially when it is based on frontage. I will not be supporting this.

Mr. Blanks responded we have been in the building for six years, and never a day passes that a customer doesn’t call and say I am in the area and I am looking for your building. Our frontage is very close to the street and we have a lot of trees there. We are in a building where four sides are exposed to the traffic, and we are proposing to put the Party City logo only on the side of the building. We think this will help our customers tremendously.

The previous tenant did have signage on both sides of the building, and Provident Bank building about a block down the street has signs on all four sides of its exposed building. There is a lot of traffic on Kemper Road going pretty fast, and one side is just not enough for us. Customers are confused, and we think we can alleviate some of that problem and help us with our business situation. We would appreciate your considering that.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if they could transfer the signage and stay under the allotted amount? Mr. Banks responded no not really; we need our brand name, Party City for recognition. After six years you would think some of this would have subsided, but we get people going back and forth from Michael’s to Service Merchandise looking for Party City. The reason they cannot see us is because of the three sides they are seeing, none of them have signage. It gets to be pretty hairy; around Christmas time and Halloween when people are frustrated looking for our building. We are not asking any more than what the other tenants have done or received, and what the other people in the area already have.

Mr. Galster wondered if there was any window signage there now and Mr. Banks answered we tried that once on the front window. We have window signage on the inside in the blinds. Mr. Galster asked if that were calculated in the totals, and Mr. McErlane answered no. Mr. Galster asked how much window signage there is, and Mr. McErlane responded at the time the photograph was taken, there was a large Halloween sign and a couple of smaller signs in the windows.

Normally the signs are within the 25% that we permit for window signs, and typically those are not calculated in the allowable. It is only painted signs and neon signs and if they go beyond that 25%. That Halloween sign might have taken them over the 25%, but normally there is not that much signage in the window.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Galster said if your front sign is ineffective, you are not interested in removing it and putting it on the side. Mr. Banks responded we have on the front sign Party City The Discount Party Super Store, and that is the standard sign throughout the country. What we are asking for is given that we are in a building with four exposed sides, can we put Party City so we have some building recognition to the heavy traffic on both sides of our building. They apparently cannot see what is on the front side. He showed a picture. We also have a photo of what it would look like with just Party City on the side.

 

 

 

 

 

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VI 60 S.F. WALLSIGN – PARTY CITY – 333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Galster commented as I look at this picture, I do not see major tree blockage. With people traveling east, I could understand it because that seems to be where the tree line is but when they are traveling west, on the east side of the building where you want to put the sign, I don’t think there is any tree blockage there. Plus there is really not an entrance there. Don’t you have to go past the building in order to turn into the lot? So regardless of which way they are going, people will go in front of the building before they turn into the lot.

Mr. Banks agreed, adding that you have to consider the fact that our building is less than 10 feet from the heavy traffic on the road. Many times you have passed it before you see it, and that is what happens to our customers. If you see the picture with the sign on the side, as you come off the hill of Kemper Road, it is very visible to you. That is similar to Provident Bank, and they also have a pylon sign which we do not have.

Mr. Seaman wandered why the east elevation rather than the west. Mr. Banks responded as a matter of fact, we would like to have it on both. We chose the east first because there has been a lot of development to the east with Wal-Mart Sam’s etc. and we figured as a small business, we would get a better return on our investment if we put it there first. We do need it on both sides to be honest with you.

Mr. Seaman continued on the drawing, I cannot make out the words on the band on the side of the building. Mr. Caudill answered that is just a drawing of the existing building. The only change would be Party City being added to the side of the building, 24’ wide and 30 inches tall.

Mr. Seaman stated I don’t have a problem with this. Given the area and proximity to the road and the fact that you want to preserve trees, I would support your application.

Mr. Okum commented the applicant indicates that the view of the building is obstructed by cars traveling eastbound on Kemper Road, but their request for signage is on the east side of the building which is noticeable to westbound traffic., It seems to me this is a request for signage, not a request for preserving trees. If you were to talk to anyone about how to get to Party City, the entrance would be the one that goes to Service Merchandise. The sign being on the east side does not justify the photographs taken from the grassy area. I believe this is truly an application for oversignage. Comparing it to the Provident Bank Building is not applicable because Provident Bank Building is on a corner lot and is permitted the corner lot signage regulations and allowances. Target had the same objective when they were making their application for signage.

Mr. Huddleston said I would tend to agree with Mr. Seaman’s perspective on this. I think you have a situation that is unique where we have tree ordinances and maybe sign ordinances that are somewhat in conflict. Just as we have the responsibility to uphold these ordinances within reason, I also think there are extenuating circumstances here. While the applicant did not develop this property, he has occupied it. At some point that was approved, and I think we also have the responsibility to cooperate within reason with our hopefully successful businesses in the community. I agree that when you are the interior of this development you might still have a difficult time finding this facility. I would support something that attempted to mitigate this with signage on the east or east and west. The question is how far over the line do you cross? I disagree with the Target example because that is something that is highly visible from either side on Kemper Road.

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

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VI 60 S.F. WALL SIGN – PARTY CITY – 333 EAST KEMPER ROAD

Mr. Huddleston said I would like to see something go forward where we could help the gentleman continue to operate his very successful business there and support that in a reasonable fashion. I am not sure what that is, whether that might require a reduction in the signage on the front of the building, but that might be an opportunity to mitigate the situation and still keep you within reasonable bounds. I don’t have any problem with the 38 feet over the required amount in terms of allowing a variance if that successfully mitigates the situation. On the other hand if he wants signage east and west, I think we have to do something that reduced the scale of all the signage and give him signage opportunity on the sides.

Mr. Huddleston moved to grant the variance for 38 square feet and Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Vanover, and Mr. Young. Voting no were Messrs. Okum and Syfert. Variance was granted with five affirmative votes.

    1. Development Plan Approval of Proposed AAA Travel Renovation, 11711 Princeton Pike

Helmut Kientz of Hixson Architects Engineers, Steve Burbank of AAA and Bob Gilhart, owner of Princeton Plaza approached the commission. Mr. Kientz said we are here to get approval on a façade change for the AAA occupant. We want to modify this to make Triple AAA frontage more presentable and visible from the street.

Mr. Kientz showed the site plan said the AAA sign is small and hard to read. We are proposing to cut the existing façade and put a small tower element 28 feet high (compared to the 22 foot high façade on Borders). Rather than having a10 foot high window as the other stores have, we want to make it up to 14 feet and slant it out so there is more visibility. We would put a neon atlas or globe in the window. The new sign will be way up here and about the same size as the original sign. The height gives it a little more presence, and the intent is to do something with the new storefront to enhance the center.

In this part of the center, you have EIFS material, metal and EIFS again. Our intent is to keep the colors the same as they are on the Borders store. The only thing different is the framing that supports the tower will be galvanized steel and the window material will be clear anodized aluminum.

The sign will be internally lit with red and blue, and on the vertical element will be neon tubing that puts a light blue glow on the vertical tower.

Ms. McBride said a lot of my comments have been covered by the applicant. They are talking about constructing a 28 foot high tower; the material is to be drivitt and off white color to match the surrounding facades. The signage is about 20 s.f. in area. If this were in a General Business District or Motor Service District they would be entitled to about 82 s.f. of sign area, so it is under what would be permitted in other business districts. It will be internally illuminated, and we think this is an improvement to the overall center.

Mr. McErlane stated this is in a PUD, which leaves it up to the council members to determine if this is a major departure to the preliminary plan and should be referred to Council. As a reminder, Old Navy was not considered a major departure. Council members on Planning do not consider this a major departure.

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

10 NOVEMBER 1998

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VI B PROPOSED AAA TRAVEL RENOVATION – 11711 PRINCETON PIKE

Mr. Galster wondered if the Red Squirrel and Hancocks were the only facades that have not been redone in the whole center. Mr. Gilhart stated there is a lot of drivitt material down toward the other end by the Soccer store and going around toward LaRosa’s. We asked for drawings from AAA and Hixson to see how it would look down the road if we moved away from the metal on that, and the next project we are presenting will be along the same lines, less metal. Mr. Galster added I have no problem with what AAA is doing there. I think it is a major improvement.

Mr. Huddleston said it is a nice way to renew the center on a tenant by tenant basis, and I think they have done a good job with what they have attempted to do there. I would support the motion.

Mr. Galster moved to approve and Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Young, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Okum and Mr. Syfert. Approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

C. Development Plan Approval of First Watch Restaurant, 11711 Princeton Pike

Bob Gilhart of Princeton Plaza said in April of 1997 we had a similar project with no particular retailers in mind. At that time it was more of a cosmetic project; now it is a combination of cosmetic and bringing more upscale retailers to the center.

These are two separate projects, but the timing is such that we have to do them at the same time. This is where we intend to build a 3,080 s.f. building. Strictly Golf has agreed to relocate and will close their doors completely on the 15th. They are making way for First Watch, who if approved tonight can go into this building, with a complete change in the exterior look.

We are proposing a change of use taking Strictly Golf, which has a fairly low demand on parking and traffic, and moving in a First Watch Restaurant. We have Sprint slated for this location; they are a very passive user on parking and traffic. It is a combination and a change in the density and use.

Mr. Syfert asked about First Watch and their operation. Mr. Gilhart showed a picture of the interior of First Watch. He introduced Chris Varley of Court Resources who is representing First Watch. Also here is Wes Noble, a contractor representing Sprint and Princeton Plaza. First Watch occupancy ranges from 120 to 140, and there usually is a fairly full waiting room. It is a popular restaurant, so we will have demands that we will address a couple of different ways. Mr. Syfert said basically they are only open for breakfast and lunch, is that correct? Mr. Gilhart answered yes, they close at 2:00 p.m. each day and their employees are gone by 4 or 4:30. We did want the combination of a passive user to go with the heavier user. In this case, breakfast and lunch couldn’t be better. Most of our activities start at noontime and go on into the evening hours, especially for the retail shoppers.

Mr. Young commented I frequent the one at Harper’s Point twice a week ; it is very busy and a very good restaurant, but parking fills up very quickly. The last time we talked about this site, you assured us that it would be strictly low traffic users going in there. That is not what we are hearing now, and quite honestly I have a great concern. Not only that, I see problems with the way the traffic will flow getting in and out of this facility. There are a lot of questions I have, but traffic is by far the biggest.

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10 NOVEMBER 1998

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Mr. Gilhart responded number one is the fact that they are breakfast brunch and lunch. We have plenty of parking for those periods of time. We have not had to enforce the employee parking areas, but we will with this development.

The first time I was here, the City suggested giving up the right turns out onto Kemper Road. Subsequently we met with Mr. Shuler and Mr. Osborn to address traffic flow situations that will improve this enormously. They have been working on the intersection by ProCare and Frisch’s and the traffic signaling, and this has improved already and it will be improved even more I understand. What we intend to do is follow Ms. McBride’s suggestion and make this one way, taking out the curb cut and put arrows and signage in. In terms of parking counts, it almost has been an offset. We lost some parking by the dumpster area, and picked up some parking by the curb cut closure. There are about six spaces along here which are now shown on the drawing that can be for employee parking. Between breakfast and noontime, Sprint will not be busy – from noontime on, absolutely. They are like a furniture store where you might have one or two or three at one time, with the exception of the holiday period.

I am not concerned about the parking with the Borders employees moving where they need to go, with the Old Navy employees going to park back here, and regional executive officers; there is plenty of room; it is something we never used. It is an intense user, the timing for their use is perfect.

Right now we have the Red Squirrel dumpster and grease container here as well as a AAA dumpster here. We would like a guard rail and we are proposing to locate the dumpsters in a 40 foot enclosure in the back. This would block the view from Kemper Road and Value City.

Mr. Young wondered how they would be serviced by food vendors, adding that the Harpers Point location has a back door. Mr. Varley responded typically during delivery and receiving of food service, it is very early in the morning, before 7 a.m. We would probably utilize this ear entry; there I plan to put a dock ramp. Mr. Gilhart added the same ramp that would be used to go back to the dumpster area, would be used for access if they needed it from down below. At that hour of the morning, I have no problem whatsoever allowing them to deliver their products through the front door. There will be a side door also.

Mr. Shvegzda stated that on access, the driveway in the middle of Francis Lane will be closed. Along with this, the apron, removal of the depressed curb and replacement with a full height curb and the restoration of the area needs to take place. There was a concern that adequate signage is placed where there is a one way traffic flow. In addition there should be do not enter signs at Francis Lane.

Because of the narrowness of the overall width, there is an area with no parking shown. That should be delineated to prevent illegal parking from taking place there. There should be a directional sign at Francis Lane exiting there indicating that a right turn would lead traffic to S.R. 747 and ultimately to I-275.

We are very concerned about that overall area in terms of cross access between the different developments and reducing the amount of traffic problems on the main roads. The city is working with Mr. Gilhart in some conceptual planning in dealing with this. This has just begun; nothing solid has come from that, but the dislocation is taking place.

 

 

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Mr. Shvegzda added because of the small size of the new building, only 360 cubic feet of detention would be required. This is insignificant and we would not recommend that it be required. The storm water from the proposed building needs to be taken directly from the downspout leaders into the storm sewer and not discharged over the parking lot.

There will be a property swap, and in order to complete that we will need legal descriptions and a plat for that to take place.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Young asked if he saw any problem with eastbound traffic making a left turn in from Kemper Road after noon? Mr. Shvegzda answered that always has been a concern, and not necessarily at any one point in the day but during rush hour and Saturday peak shopping times. It depends on the breaks in the traffic coming westbound. Mr. Young wondered about requiring a study to take a look at that. There is so much traffic at Tri-County now, and you will put safety hazards there with the left in and the car will stop to make another left to get into this corridor and come down. It won’t be much of a problem until noon during the week, but on Saturday and Sunday this place will be busy. I am wondering if we are causing a problem. Mr. Shvegzda responded that is a reversible left turn area through there where the traffic turning left does take refuge in that area.

Mr. Okum said I have similar concerns. Do you know the stacking capacity for the left turn in? Mr. Shvegzda answered no; we would have to take a look at that. Mr. Gilhart said my guess is eight to 10. I want to maximize the traffic flow safety also, and am talking to Borders about the possibility of a door in the back going directly to Borders which will allow all the customers in front of Borders to flow through and go into the restaurant. This has been approved locally, but has not gone to corporate headquarters yet. With all the other things we are doing, it is enormously safer and better than leaving it the way it is.

Mr. Okum commented I am very pleased that you have made that commitment to eliminate that curb cut and also the one way traffic. Does Francis Lane have speed bumps in it? Mr. Gilhart answered it has one down by the curve. I put a couple of stop signs there even though it is not required; I wanted people to slow down at the curve. Mr. Okum added we also will have the left turn out in the morning and we have a high volume of eastbound traffic in the morning on Kemper Road. I don’t know the counts, but it is a significant amount. Those cars will need to be making breaks out of this development and turning left. It might be simplified with signage to encourage a right turn out onto Francis, taking them through the back and bringing them out at the traffic signal. I think Mr. Shvegzda was indicating that. Have you agreed to that? Mr. Gilhart responded yes, we are all on the same wave length. There is a guardrail at the end and the Princeton Bowl sign is there, and I want to encourage people at that point. We could put a sign there that says I-275/ Princeton Pike, whatever works. It is not a heavy speed bump and the main thing is that the yellow stripe shows quite readily, and there are two stop signs. I don’t want to make it a mainstream thoroughfare.

Addressing Mr. Shvegzda Mr. Okum said based on what Mr. Gilhart has indicated regarding the stacking issue, does it sound correct that there would be a 10 to 12 left turn stacking to get into that Borders entrance? Mr. Gilhart interjected if it is empty, because it is for both ways. I think the other question is how much of the traffic at that hour of the morning goes westbound, because they would have access to that same lane, and I don’t know that.

 

 

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Addressing Mr. Gilhart, Mr. Okum said there is a recommendation from the city engineer about an agreement regarding establishing cross easement agreements between adjoining properties. Has that been resolved?

Mr. Gilhart answered no. It is in the very early stages, and it is in the City’s hands, because they have to address multiple properties. Mr. Okum commented the commitment was made as part of the recorded documents of Market Place. Mr. Gilhart commented I know it is in their documents, but I have never seen their documents and it never has been addressed to me, nor do I think it has been addressed to Value City and the Shottensteins. Forgetting about the simplicity of two properties having a cross easement, there is a bigger picture. I believe Mr. Osborn and Mr. Shuler are working on that as a feasibility of how to address the entire quadrant, and not just a specific cross easement. The cross easement I looked at between ourselves and Tri-County Marketplace way early on before the project got under construction was the obvious one at Kentucky Fried Chicken/TCBY intersection. Now there is substantial elevation, so until that whole area is redeveloped either by ourselves or someone else, I can’t see that particular spot. I understand there are other concepts and ideas that I have never seen.

Mr. Okum said what I would like to see as a commitment on your part to cross easements between the adjoining properties to be worked out so we don’t end up with a situation that Mr. Gilhart says I’ll do it but somebody has to pay me for it. Mr. Gilhart responded I can’t unilaterally say that. At the last meeting the question was asked by Mr. Osborn if I would be amicable to sit down and talk about the issue. I was amicable and had a meeting with him, and we are moving forward in that regard. To sit here tonight and say yes we will emphatically have cross easements with our two adjacent property owners, I can’t do that. I can’t in all good conscience agree to that without having a plan to review. It’s too generic.

Mr. Okum wondered why Market Place agreed to it, and Mr. Gilhart answered I have no idea. They didn’t talk to me. Mr. Okum continued I know they wanted to come into the city and build their development, but they wee willing to make that kind of commitment. Mr. Gilhart responded I agree with what you just said; I think that is the answer to the question. I think it is very matter of fact that the Duke property owners and ourselves have worked on lots of projects together. I have a great appreciation for them and I can understand why they would say yes they would sit down with the neighbor and try to work things out. I think it is a very good gesture on their part and one said in all good faith. Mr. Okum added it is part of their legal document. Mr. Gilhart continued I mean relative to us because again, I have never seen a plan. If there is one, I would love to review it. My office is right there and I would welcome taking a look at anything, but I can’t make a blanket statement like that.

Mr. Okum asked if he were in agreement with all the other issues in Items recommended by the City Engineer? Mr. Gilhart responded I think there was a comment about a couple of parking places right here. We are showing it as blank space and the city was recommending that if it isn’t for parking it should be cross hatched or marked no parking. Right now as long as thy are kept back here, I believe there is space for at last two vehicles parallel to here. I haven’t thought it out, so it will either be two parking spaces or cross hatched and say no parking or fire lane. Mr. Syfert commented in staff review, I recommended that be compact cars and Ms. McBride said she would rather see landscaping, so I don’t know which way we are going on that. I believe a little further consideration needs to be made. Mr. Gilhart responded I agree with you.

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Mr. Galster said understanding the left turn in and stack up area, I think there is plenty of room once that one entrance is closed. My concern is more the people trying to make a left turn out of the Borders lot onto Kemper Road and how many cars it would take there before w are blocking the one way access across the front of that building. To me that is only three or four cars, and once those cars stop, nobody can get in and we start backing up onto Kemper Road.

Ms. McBride reported we were pleased to see that the middle curb cut will be closed since it was one of our recommendations last April, and we wold request that they extend the sidewalk and seed that area.

In terms of the traffic pattern, we recommended it go one way and we were pleased to see that being done. We are requesting that it be properly signed to avoid any confusion in terms of entering or exiting.

We have not seen any enclosure for the dumpster that is to be relocated, and we think consolidating dumpster locations is a good thing. There is an island indicated on the site plan with nothing planted in it, and we would request that landscaping details be provided.

I go to First Watch and know they are very popular so I have a little concern about the parking. They are proposing a total of 42 parking spaces in that area, but we have no calculations for the overall PUD in terms of where they are parkingwise, nor did we have any seating capacity for the First Watch Restaurant, so we really don’t know if it meets our parking requirements. We would ask for that additional information.

In the area that is currently unstriped, the applicant was thinking of putting parallel spaces in. If it is going to have parking, we want to make sure you could safely and adequately park in that area, but if it is not going to be used for parking, we would recommend that it be curbed and landscaped and planted with a mixture of shade trees and shrubs and mulched.

We did not get any signage information so no signage is being approved. We did get preliminary building elevations that indicated that the building materials would be masonry painted to match existing units with green awnings.

The only landscape information we received was for along the frontage of the First Watch Restaurant. The only comment we had was concerning installation height on one of the planting materials.

We did not receive any lighting information, and want to make sure there is adequate lighting in the parking areas adjacent to the restaurant and the Sprint store.

Mr. Vanover asked if we know the standard trip generation is for this area? Mr. Shvegzda reported it has not been determined at this point, but it could be determined once we get some additional information. Mr. Vanover continued I am glad to see this curb cut gone, but in reality it was your easiest shot to get in because it was a further distance from the S.R. 747-Kemper Road intersection. We are now moving that traffic up; we have some stacking capacity but you are moving closer and have less of a break from that signalization control at that corner. You mentioned bringing suppliers into that side door, which means Francis Lane would be blocked by some sort of a vehicle. Mr. Gilhart commented from a practical standpoint, at 5:30or 6 a.m. it shouldn’t be a problem. From the landlord’s point, they can deliver wherever they want at that hour.

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Mr. Vanover said that’s a pretty good trek to the dumpster, and I can see the garbage scattered from the door to the dumpster, especially during the winter and inclement weather. That would create an unsightly problem. Mr. Gilhart responded they won’t be tenants for very long if they do that, I assure you. The Red Squirrel dumpster right now is a further distance than the First Watch will have to travel. It is closer to First Watch than the Red Squirrel. I have run it by First Watch and they absolutely have no problem with it. Their operation is first class; they are clean and when they tell me it will stay clean, I believe them. On the other hand, we don’t tolerate garbage; in the last 10 years our center has stayed clean, and it will stay clean.

Mr. McErlane said as with my earlier comment on AAA, this is a PUD, and it is up to the council members on Planning to determine if it is a departure from the preliminary plan. To clarify, the last time Mr. Gilhart was in with the addition of this space between Borders and Strictly Golf, it was April of 1997, so it’s been a while. At that time the two council members did not consider it to be a major departure.

Many of the other comments have been touched on by the engineer or planner. The only additional point is the west portion of the parking lot as it is proposed to be expanded will actually decrease the setback from the public right of way to a 4 foot setback.

Based on the 140 seats Mr. Gilhart had indicated tonight, it would require 47 parking spaces for First Watch alone. His presentation is based on the fact that they finish doing business at 2:00 p.m., and there is that allowance for center parking to accommodate any overage in parking. We have looked at those type situations in the past similar to the Outback Steakhouse and their parking situation.

Mr. Okum commented it appears that there are a number of items that need detail. He asked the applicant if he wished to have a vote or comments this evening. Mr. Gilhart answered to get a vote. We have addressed more than is being presented tonight. We have come up with the answers for virtually everything. The situation is that Strictly Golf has vacated the premises by mutual agreement. I need their space on behalf of Sprint who wants to use that building for temporary space while we construct the Sprint premises. First Watch wanted to open in the springtime and have agreed to accommodate Sprint and Strictly Golf, but I can’t put them off forever. I am turning the space over to them May 1st at the latest so they can do their finish, which requires 90 days. I am pushing them 30 days beyond their maximum, and I do need the approval tonight. I have no problems with stipulating various items relative to dumpsters and final landscaping plans, etc. but I don’t think there is a major issue. I think we have addressed 99.9% of the issues. We would want approval tonight subject to Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride’s comments as well as anything you might have.

We need to treat this as one big project, and it is important that we continue to look at it this way. It all has to happen at one time or it is not going to happen in involving certain parties. Sprint is only going to use 2,000 s.f. temporarily and will allow us to start working on the exterior, putting in all the glass. It is a very time is of the essence project.

Mr. Okum responded you are asking us to give you approval on a plan that has eight items from our building official that have no details, seven recommended items from our planner and seven items from the city engineer that have been addressed. We have no detail on signage or your canopies, or color pallet which is a PUD requirement.

 

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Mr. Okum added we want to help you as a business entrepreneurs in our city to be successful, but this is a bad situation with these comments that are not answered. You can’t give us the trip counts details on the dumpster location and number of seats for First Watch.

Mr. Gilhart responded I would like to explain why we have this problem. First Watch and Sprint came to me and said they wanted to do certain things and showed me the timetable. If I am going to do it, I am forced to do it this way, and I am shifting some of the burden over to you. I am familiar with all the questions, and there is nothing that is insurmountable in terms of normal procedures for signage approval. We are looking at standard signage for Sprint with raceway illuminated letters, and it is the same with First Watch. I already have talked to them, and they have no problems with the standard. They do want to put breakfast, brunch and lunch as they have in their other locations. With 80 foot frontages here and 60-odd here, their square footages are far below the standards for the city. If you say subject to approval of the signage drawings, and they don’t approve them, the signs don’t go up. I don’t have any problem living with that.

Mr. Okum said if we would give you a conditional approval and have you bring in the final answers at the next meting, Mr. Gilhart answered I am way too far behind, and it is unfortunate. I cetainly don’t mind doing that, but I don’t have the luxury of doing it. I just received all these questions yesterday and went through them with the architect, with Sprint and First Watch and we see no problems whatsoever. I think it is just a matter of qualifying what the specific issue is that needs to be addressed, and I will tell you exactly how it will be addressed. I don’t think anyone on Planning will have a problem.

Mr. Okum responded I have heard traffic, driving, numbers of cars. What you were talking about in April of 1997 was not a restaurant. The two council members have the right to refer this to Council, and that would absolutely hinder your operation. Mr. Gilhart responded I am completely prepared to walk out of here tonight without a project. I am trying to do what is right and present something that looks good for the City. I am trying my best to do it under circumstances I have. I don’t have any choices.

Concerning the traffic patterns, one of the things Mr. Osborn and Mr. Shuler are working on is the signaling at Frisch’s with two lanes turning out. I can send more and more traffic out here. All these things are coming together, but a lot of it is in the control of the City.

I am familiar with everything that is being requested relative to signage, and I have addressed all these as best I could. I have not found one item that is not handled. Take any one specific issue and I’ll give you the answer, because they are not tough. I just don’t have control over the retailers coming at this particular time just before the holidays. For Strictly Golf to vacate the premises and for Sprint to take a temporary space and allow us to work around, it takes a massive amount of effort to put this project together. I can’t help that; it can be done now, but I can’t do it later or the parties will leave. What I can do is come back to the City at some point and leave the site as is and try and work with this building, but I thought this a much better presentation to traffic on Kemper Road to the City of Springdale, to the residents and to myself. I am taking a passive user and coupling him with an intense user, but only until about 2:00 p.m. during the day. I have a lease agreement that says I will not allow them to conduct the restaurant business past 4:00 p.m. I want them out of there before the offices let out and all the traffic comes back to the intersection. We know that you don’t go out onto Kemper Road unless you have to.

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VI C DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL – FIRST WATCH RESTAURANT

Mr. Gilhart added the City has asked me to funnel traffic away from the intersection, and I am doing that. We are sending fewer people onto Kemper Road by making this one way. I think we are doing absolutely everything we can to make it a go situation for the City.

Ms. McBride said the City requires on 60 degree parking that there be a minimum 9 foot wide space, and these spaces are shown at 8 ½ feet in width. Additionally we require an 18 foot wide access aisle, and depending on where you hit it, it is 15-16 feet.

Mr. Galster said I agree; I think a lot of things we can make conditional, but the thing I can’t make parking conditional. I need to know how many parking spots are needed for that restaurant.

Mr. Gilhart responded the City would like one space for three seats. I have asked the owners of First Watch the exact number of seats. The initial answer was 120 to 140. Until they do the actual layout, I don’t know either. If I want to limit them to 140, I can do that, which works. There are about six spaces on Francis Lane and between employees and customers, there is no reason why not to park in those spaces. So there is enough parking in this immediate area. Sprint is a very passive user.

Based on square footage, Mr. Galster asked if we know the parking requirement. Ms. McBride responded if it were 140 seats, we would calculate 47 spaces to be required. We are at 42 spaces today, striped at 8 ½ feet in width and unless they get a variance, they will lose one or two spaces striping them at nine. These 42 spaces does not include any parking for Sprint and lit doesn’t include the existing parking on Francis, but it does include parking for employees. Mr. Galster asked the overall parking for the whole development, and Mr. Gilhart answered 1397 spaces. Mr. Galster asked how much is being used now based on square footage? That is my only concern. I think everything else can be worked out on a contingency basis.

Mr. Gilhart answered parking will be the easiest from the standpoint of the hours of operation of that business. That is what makes it so easy. This entire area by Kids R Us is available; there is nobody using it. If I move employee parking, we free up all kinds of parking for the consumer. It is very specific; we don’t have a problem.

Mr. Huddleston said I agree with Mr. Okum’s comments that we are being asked a lot of and I also am sympathetic to the developer’s comments concerning timing. I don’t think we are going to get a lot of answers tonight, and we need to get this off dead center. I would suggest a conditional approval should the developer wish to proceed under his own risk and subject to satisfying all the conditions in these three staff letters we might consider something like that. It is a stretch, but I think that is the only reasonable way we could do that tonight.

Mr. Okum said if we were to consider this tonight, I have concerns about employees walking around the building to go to a parking area in terms of security. Mr. Gilhart commented all the employees in the center have direct access to the parking; only Sprint and First Watch will not have it, and they have no problems with this at all. I have already told the electricians to install lights around behind for the safety of the employees. I am not going to work around there unless it is well lit. We have done this throughout the center and probably have one of the safest track records in Cincinnati.

 

 

 

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Mr. Okum said there are a lot of items outstanding. I am excited about these improvements on the site, and I rarely have been negative to a development on your site, but based on the open items and contingencies that would go into the motion, I would not like to vote in favor of it because I would be afraid of missing something. I have a lot of confidence in our planner, our building official and our engineer, but typically the decisions that are yet to be finalized are items in a PUD that Planning is responsible for.

Mr. Okum continued the only thing I can do is agree with Mr. Huddleston’s direction with the contingencies being an issue. I still think it would need to come back to this body for final approval; I don’t think it should be left in the hands of staff, because there are too many open items.

Addressing the Council members on Planning, Mr. Syfert asked if either of them felt this a significant change that needed to go back to Council, and neither Mr. Galster nor Mr. Vanover felt it was.

Mr. Gilhart said from all the questions I have heard, the only one that concerns me is if someone were to say that the cross easements and access to the adjacent property owners were a part of it. I would not agree to that, but other than that, there is nothing in there that is seriously complicated. The judgment call is looking at the center now, are we doing things right or are we doing things wrong. We are doing the same standard for this project as the rest of the center, only maybe a little better architecturally. Most of the items we already are addressing and will be ready to come up to the City. I can’t sign and execute my name on the lease agreements without some kind of approval from the City.

Mr. Huddleston said I would recommend this kind of conditional approval at the developer’s risk subject to satisfying the conditions of these letters from staff with the possible exception of the cross easement agreements for the adjacent developments. I think when the applicant would come back with this, we need an overall parking study, and that could indicate that this could be limited to 120 seats in the restaurant, I don’t know that today. I think the applicant could proceed at his own risk subject to those things and an overall parking.

In the PUD are there cross easement parking agreements existing between the existing two parcels? Mr. Gilhart responded it is all part of the same shopping center. All these easements are in place. The attorney already has the legal description and, regardless of what happens here, we are still going to shift that sliver over.

Mr. Huddleston continued I would be willing to make that motion subject to your compliance with all of these letters, with the possible exception of the adjacent property cross easements and subject to these Commission member comments.

Mr. Gilhart said regarding the parking, the 1397 spaces has been existing. My question is why is that now becoming an issue relative to this parcel? There hasn’t been that much change in the parking; is there a new calculation that needs to be made? Incrementally it is very easy to address. Mr. Huddleston responded I don’t know that there needs to be a new calculation. I think you just need to validate what is there. What you are proposing here is very intense at certain times and I think you are going to exceed the capability of that parking area to handle it, so it will overflow into other areas.

 

 

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Mr. Gilhart responded by putting this particular retailer in there, I am freeing up space for the prime shopping hours for the shopping center. There is no question about it. I am freeing up space rather than causing more of a problem. That is my professional opinion.

Ms. McBride said reading from our April 7, 1997 staff report:

"There are currently 30 parking spaces in the parking field that services this portion of the center. Although the overall ratio of parking for the PUD may not significantly be affected, problems could arise in this area of the development. Should the applicant lease space to a high turnover user, e.g. fast food restaurant, video store, etc., parking could be a problem in this potion of the center. Additional parking should be provided in the vicinity of the new space. The existing parking area needs to be restriped to define spaces."

We went on then to talk about the need to provide overall parking information for the whole center, so we have asked for that on prior occasions.

Mr. McErlane added from strictly a zoning code standpoint, this change does create an increase in required parking of 39 spaces. The net increase in square footage due to the increased addition as well as increased parking numbers because of a restaurant user versus a retail user.

Mr. Gilhart said if the Commission feels the 39 spaces over the 1397, or the 275,000 square feet of retail including the Princeton Bowl is an excessive increase, let’s find out now and that’s the end of that point. If it is, we won’t move further forward.

Mr. Syfert asked if anyone on the Commission has a problem with it. Mr. Huddleston responded I don’t think we know that answer until he gives us the information. Mr. Gilhart asked which information, and Mr. Huddleston answered the same information that Ms. McBride just pointed out in her report from April of 1997, the overall analysis of the square footage relative to your total parking available for the shopping center. Mr. Gilhart said and that is more than the site plan with the parking and building and square footage shown on those buildings? What in addition is needed? Ms. McBride responded we would like to see a parking calculation a total count for the center, a total square footage by user, the number of seats in the restaurants, etc. so we can do a parking calculation as to whether or not, with the new user and with the existing users you meet the requirements of the Springdale Zoning Code.

Mr. Gilhart stated we brought those numbers to not the April meeting, but that they were available, and the only thing that has been changed since is Amigo’s which was approved by the City. There are counts on the site plan; parking spaces are all shown here and the total is 1397. This center has not changed.

Mr. Huddleston said you are adding space to the center. That requires additional parking spaces by definition. Whether that fits in your overall plan or not, I don’t think you can answer tonight.

Mr. Gilhart continued the other thing is the fact that Linens Etc. used to be a full retail user and how we are only using about 80% of that for retail. Mr. Seaman said that is part of the calculation. Mr. Gilhart said unfortunately if it is a condition of moving forward and you are approving the project, I can do all kinds of things. If it is not an approval, then I don’t have to do all that work.

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Mr. McErlane reported the overall parking plan was not submitted with the application. The last time an overall parking count required versus what was provided was probably done when you built the 40,000 square foot building for Pier I Imports, and things have changed in that center. There was a large restaurant user where Borders Books is now as well as a theater. So, the required numbers versus what is provided has changed and we don’t have a good handle on it.

Mr. Gilhart stated one thing we do know is they have improved considerably taking out the major restaurant and cinema and going to a standard retail. Conceptually we all know that the situation has improved enormously. So how this project incrementally can be so detrimental relative to this big project is what I am having trouble understanding. When you see something visually and know that it is there, do we need to go back and take every last little report and supplement it, or do we talk incrementally at a minimum and say that incrementally we know that the situation has improved. You have to make your decision; I have no control over it; all I can do is put the retailers together.

Mr. Okum said for purposes of getting it on the floor, I will second the motion, but I would like to add an amendment to the motion. I would like the amendment to include that the final plan approval be approved by this Commission once reports are completed and a color pallet be submitted as required by our PUD zoning. Mr. Galster seconded the amendment.

Mr. Vanover said I would ask that these parking figures be recalculated according to the code. We are six inches short on each parking space in this area, so that reduces the total number. If that is not part of it, I would ask that it be included in the motion.

Mr. Okum said I would allow that to be part of my amendment and Mr. Galster agreed with his second, adding that this is included in Anne McBride’s comments so it is pretty much covered.

The recording secretary read the proposed amendment to the motion. Mr. Okum moved to amend the motion that the final plan approval be approved by this commission, and that a color pallet be submitted as required by the PUD. Mr. Galster seconded the amendment.

The motion to approve was as follows: Mr. Huddleston stated I would recommend conditional approval subject to the applicant’s compliance with the recommendations in the three staff letters with the exception of the cross easement and with the applicant proceeding at his own risk. When the applicant comes back, we would need an overall parking study.

Mr. Seaman asked if this means he is getting approval tonight, as long as he proceeds and complies with staff comments, and he also has to come back to present what staff and he mutually agreed upon? At that time, would we have the right to deny it? Mr. Syfert confirmed that we would have that right. Mr. Huddleston added if we don’t believe he satisfied those conditions, I think that is correct.

On the motion to amend, voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum, Mr. Galster, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Young and Mr. Syfert.

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

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Gilhart said I have another question. My first concern is First Watch. If I do not construct the building and ask Sprint to find another home, thereby not creating 3,080 new square feet, but following the same plan on everything else, does that change the issue significantly? I’m going to make some decisions, and I can’t accommodate everybody that I am talking with. I can only pick one and work with them. Does that significantly change the project? Mr. Syfert responded I believe that even if you only had First Watch in there, we would be addressing the same issues.

Planning Commission recessed at 9:00 p.m and reconvened at 9:12

D. Site Plan Approval, Proposed Lowe’s, 505 East Kemper Road, 11711 Princeton Pike

Doug Hynden and Charlie Townsend of Anchor Associates and Terry McLain of Lowe’s and Jack Gehrum of Pflum Klausmeier & Gehrum approached the Commission.

Mr. Hynden stated we last were here in June for a preliminary review of a PUD for this site. Since then we have made quite a few changes, and we decided to go for a site plan approval under the existing RS (Retail Service) zoning. This is because Lowe’s has made the decision not to pursue any outlot development at this time, so there is no need for the PUD zoning. Secondly, this is a purchase from Levitz who is under the protection of the bankruptcy act, and there are certain timing issues make it more expedient to go with this site plan approval. I apologize for that change, but I think we will end up with the same exact plan as we would have had had we proceeded under PUD. We tried to address most of the issues that were raised in the June meeting.

We revised the plan and submitted it in September hoping to be at the October meeting. Rather than have lengthy comments from the staff, our goal was to come back with a clean report.

In the interest of time, I would like to point out the changes we have made from the previous submittal. We are still dealing with Lowe’s single tenant user and a permitted use under the RS Zoning. We have no outlots shown. We have changed the access points from four to three. We have revised one access point close to Kemper Road and aligned it with the drive across from the shopping center adjacent. We have eliminated the center access point and relocated the secondary access across from the Burlington Coat Factory. Finally, we have a service access point. The Commission raised the point that there was no access or flow from this access point to the balance of the center. We have allowed an internal circulation so people don’t have to get back onto Tri-County Parkway to get to the main store area.

In addition the site plan has a smaller outlot and green area because we have increased the green area along Tri-County Parkway and the green areas here which forced the 574 parking spaces we have had forward. By keeping the size of the store essentially the same and increasing the green space, it decreased the size of the green area out front.

Issues of concern dealt with the garden center area and fencing for it. On the right side elevation, instead of having a chain link, as you suggested we have put pilasters with a wrought iron look. In addition we provided for screening for the dumpster area with a wall.

 

 

 

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Mr. Hynden added the signage is shown and one sign exceeds the 150 square foot maximum, but the total project is within the permitted signage for the RS Zoning.

We have added some traffic improvements based on our initial traffic studies. We have shown left turn lane into the second entrance, as well as the main entrance. We also have a new lane along Tri County Parkway to allow right turn movement onto Kemper Road. This allows two full right turn dedicated lanes onto Kemper to avoid a potential stacking problem across the entrance.

We have agreed to dedicate 20 feet of additional right of way along Tri-County Parkway and 25’ along East Kemper Road.

Our proposed parking lot is almost every instance 25 to 50 feet away from the current Tri-County Parkway right of way. There are a few spots where a variance will be needed.

Outdoor displays were a concern, and we have shown the concrete area adjacent to the store as a potential outdoor display area, and we have limited that to allow for five feet of walkway at all times so there could be no display out into the sidewalk area..

It seems that the biggest concern is the traffic issue. Jack Gehrum is here to address those issues independently.

Ms. McBride stated I need to remind the commission that I represent Anchor in a number of other projects, but judging by the multi-page staff report, I believe you will think I have treated this development as I do other developments in Springdale.

The use is permitted under the Retail Service District, and we do permit a maximum of 30% building coverage, and they are proposing 19.3%. They are proposing a total of 35% of the site to remain in open space. We would require a total of 679 parking spaces and they are proposing 574 spaces. Given the user we feel that is a sufficient number, but it would require a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The majority of the parking is located at least 25 feet from Tri-County Parkway, which is required. However, there is a small portion on the site where it is located within three feet of the right of way and that also would require a variance from BZA.

The fenced garden area is located 30 feet from Tri-County Parkway. In the Retail Service District we require that it be located the same as the building setback which would require a 50 foot setback, so that also would require a variance, as would the proposed height of that fenced in area. They are proposing it at 20’-6" and we only permit a six foot high enclosure which would require a variance.

They are proposing a total of five loading docks, three of which front on the west side on Tri-County Parkway. We also have a provision in our code that requires off street loading spaces to not be visible or to face a right of way. We would need a variance to allow the loading spaces to front Tri-County Parkway. The applicant has provided substantial screening along that area so I don’t think they’ll be visible but they face Tri-County Parkway so they would require a variance.

 

 

 

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The compactor is located on the west side of the building, and they are proposing to screen that with a wall. They have designated three outdoor display areas along the front of the store, 780 square feet, 1440square feet and 684 square feet, totaling a little over 2900 square feet of space along the front of the store. That was something that the Commission had talked about at the June 9th meeting, and there was concern about adequate provision for pedestrian circulation.

In terms of signage, they are proposing one pylon sign at the corner of Tri-County and Keeper that would be 30 feet in height and contain a total of 125 ½ square feet of sign area. Our code permits a maximum pole sign of 80 s.f. so they would need a variance for that.

They have three signs proposed for the front elevation of the building, a Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse which would contain 332 square feet an Indoor Lumber Yard which would contain 48 square feet and a Garden Center which would contain 43 square feet for a total of 423 square feet of sign area on the front elevation. We have a maximum provision for any wall sign of 150 square feet, so they would need a variance for the 332 square foot Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.

They are proposing one sign on the west elevation fronting Tri-County Parkway that would say Lowe’s and be 144 square feet. The total sign area proposed is within keeping with what is permitted at 692.5 square feet.

On landscaping our comments pertain to the spacing of the trees. The honey locust and select pear along Tri-County Parkway are shown being planted at 50-55 on center. Our landscape architect recommends 40 feet on center. The tree specimens proposed for Tri-County Parkway show it being planted at 60 feet on center and we are suggesting 40 feet on center. That is consistent with other recent developments.

We have asked for additional shrub plantings to the island along Tri-County Parkway between the service entrance and the curb cut to the front of the store.

Our first comment under landscaping deals with the need for parking blocks and as long as the applicant’s landscape plan can indicate that the plant material is planted at a spacing where it is not going to have any problem with a bumper, the parking blocks would not be required. Any area on the islands that is not to be covered with shrubs or ground cover needs to be seeded.

They submitted a photometric lighting plan which indicates the light levels throughout the site will exceed the ½ foot candle required. Lighting is to be provided on copper colored fixtures that will be mounted at 35 feet in height.

Building elevations were submitted with a color sample board. Building is to be constructed as split face and smooth face block and will be painted gray and blue. The roof accents are a prefinished metal in blue.

The highest point of the building is 46 feet, although the majority of the building is 28’-8" in height. It does exceed the 36 foot maximum so a variance would be needed for the portion that goes to 46 feet.

As the applicant discussed, the garden center is to be enclosed using block columns and black steel fence with a black vinyl chain link fence backing that.

 

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Ms. McBride added we met with the applicant on several occasions and reviewed a preliminary submittal which reduced the number of comments we had. Our recommendations largely concern the variances that are needed and the revisions to the landscape as we have requested.

Mr. Okum wondered if there was any consideration about field landscaping as well. My consideration would be for the lighting poles to get some break in the parking fields. Ms. McBride answered we saw the longer run of landscaping as being effective in breaking up the massing, particularly when viewing it from Tri-County Parkway. Because of the street plantings and plantings at the end of every aisle, we felt Kemper Road was taken care of.

Mr. Okum asked if there were any landscaping in front of the gardener fencing, and Mr. Hynden answered these are areas of hedges and one will be a landscaped area. Mr. Okum asked if they could ask plantings along the fence, and Mr. Hynden answered to the extent that we wouldn’t hurt the minimum 5 foot in the area. We could do that and the other recommendations are acceptable to us.

Mr. Galster commented I am trying to visualize this garden center fencing. Ms. McBride said it will have block columns that will come up and will have a black wrought iron appearance in the front and to the back would be a black vinyl coated chain link fence to keep material from coming through. Mr. Galster wondered how far apart the aluminum squares would be? M. Hynden said it is very similar to what has been done in Mason which looks like wrought iron with block columns to break it up.

Mr. Galster said if it is five to six inches apart with the wrought iron look and you have black fencing behind it, you would see a sea of black and I don’t know that it would get broken up enough.

Mr. Hynden said regarding screening landscape materials have been provided at the end of Tri-County Parkway. These are evergreen materials to screen both the docks and the dumpster area. This is a modification from the standard Lowe’s prototype in that the receiving area for the dumpsters is set back about 40 to 50 feet from their normal location.

We would agree to place those planting materials so as to not interfere with cars and in addition, the average height of that entry façade is about 30 feet. That one area of the entry is very important to the site. This building is actually set further south than the existing Burlington Coat Factory, so it is quite a ways off Kemper Road.

Mr. Shvegzda said regarding traffic based on our review of the northbound storage requirements for Tri-County Parkway and what would be required for the outbound storage requirements back into the site on the northernmost drive, our recommendation is that the north drive be relocated 135 feet to the south. The three primary reason are: (1) the difference in the cycle length utilized on Kemper Road; (2) the location of the stop bar that was utilized on the drawing; it actually exists quite a bit further south and (3) the assumption was that 40% of the southbound traffic would enter via the northerly most drive and 60% to the southern drive. We assumed 55% would utilize the first drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Shvegzda said on those improvements indicated on Tri-County Parkway at Kemper Road, we would utilize a 12 foot lane inbound because that is the only lane and is one of the reasons that makes the stop bar locations critical. The other lane should be 11 feet so it requires a 61 foot width from the existing back of curb to the proposed back of curb. That would require modifications to the traffic signal at that location.

The plans show a reversible left turn lane. The current width of the pavement is 30 feet, so if you have two through lanes at 11 foot widths, that only allows 8 foot for that other lane. In order to accommodate that, a two foot widening to the roadway would be required.

We concur with the addition of right of way at Kemper and Tri-County Parkway.

Regarding the future extension of Tri-County Parkway, an area reserved for possible future roadway should be indicated on the plans. Right now it is shown as a 25 foot wide strip along the southern property line. The most recent concept for Tri-County Parkway angles from west to east, starting at 50 feet at the west property line and going to as wide as 180 feet at the south property line. This is reserved for future right of way; it is not dedication, and we understand that whatever would be constructed there would somehow have to work with their ingress/egress and traffic movements for the truck area through the back.

Currently there is an existing storm sewer that runs across the site that is the outletting storm sewer for some catch basins at Tri-County Parkway. We would request a 15 foot storm sewer easement be granted to the City.

We understand that at this point of time any development of the outlot is not being requested. However in the future, it is a very good possibility that this will occur. At that time there needs to be an agreement that the one access point will be common to both the Lowe’s site and whatever goes in to the north.

The applicant is providing for 100% of the detention that is required. The major storm routing will be handled via the proposed storm sewer so there is no overflow routing of the major storm.

There was a culvert at the back of the site, on the east which is a culvert that ran under the old spur that serviced the Levitz site and the drawings indicate that it will be filled in. It does extend into the CSX right of way so depending on the outcome of what physically is being done with that, there will have to be some review with CSX on this.

On the detention basin, there will have to be 100 year storm capacity overflow provided.

On the retaining wall at portions of the eastern part of the development no detail is shown. A proposed sanitary lateral is indicated to the new building. However there are no other proposed underground utilities indicated at this time.

Mr. Okum asked if the right of way easement has the width needed? Mr. Shvegzda answered yes. That additional width at Tri-County Parkway was also to provide for future improvements to Kemper Road at the next phase. We are looking at widening from S.R. 747 to Tri-County Parkway in 2,000. The other width would accommodate the next phase of improvements. Mr. Okum said so they have indicated the width along Tri-County Parkway; have they also dedicated the area along Kemper? Mr. Shvegzda answered it is indicated on there; it will have to be dedicated but they are indicating that it will take place on their drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Vanover asked about Metropolitan Sewer District and the sewer tap. Mr. Shvegzda answered that has been clarified that there were enough credits that they have received the sewer availability letter.

Mr. Hynden said Mr. Shvegzda is indicating that he would like this drive to be moved further back 135 feet. That is partially due to assumptions as to who would use that driveway and at what time. We are talking about a peak hour type problem and one assumption is if this lane were to have cars stacked to turn left at the traffic light back up here. To my way of thinking, we are addressing left turn movement into this project that is not currently there, and there is a clear bypass lane so that if anybody sees that there is stacking, they could bypass that.

Mr. Hynden continued with regard to the need for the left turn lane into our second entrance, there is some question as to whether or not we would need to widen Tri-County Parkway. I understand it is 35 feet from back up curb to back up curb, which normally would be enough width currently to allow for the lanes required. I am a little unclear as to whether or not we are being asked to widen Tri-County Parkway the entire length or not and would like some clarification.

Mr. Shvegzda responded that distance from back of curb to back of curb includes curb and gutter. We have two and one-half foot wide curb and gutter sections. If that 35 foot is all that would be utilized, the through traffic would travel over the gutter points, and that is not permitted.

Mr. Hynden said if that is the situation, I would like some consideration given to widening Tri-County Parkway only as necessary to accommodate the necessary left turn lanes. The report indicates they would like to see widening of Tri-County Parkway the entire length of Tri-County Parkway.

On the right of way for the future extension of Tri-County Parkway over the railroad tracks, Lowe’s has submitted a letter to Mr. McErlane indicating that they’ll cooperate with the city in dealing with the future right of way with the future roadway with the condition that it not impact their operational ability of the store.

On the culvert issue, that was a mistake by our engineer. We are not going to be filling in the culvert. It will remain and there will be a small retaining wall which will allow that water to still function. We do not intend to block the water from travelling underneath the railroad bridge.

Mr. Hynden said the other utilities, electric telephone etc. will be coordinated in the final engineering stages. We have availability letters from all the major utilities and plan to serve it underground. I would like to have Mr. Gehrum address the traffic engineering issues because those are the most important to this site.

Mr. Gehrum stated there is about 280 feet available from Kemper Road intersection to the first drive, which aligns with the existing drive across the road, and then 480 feet to the second drive. When you look at the traffic exiting this item, we concluded that we needed a dual left turn lane to provide 225 feet of storage for the traffic. The problem is out of the remaining distance available to this first drive, depending on whatever assumption you made as to how many people are going to try to come in there. There are several ways of looking at it. Most people come in and look for a parking space, and they want to get close to the building. In general terms we think people very familiar who know where they are going might come in the back and work their way up.

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Gehrum stated we assumed that 40% would need storage for two spaces and two cars. CDS came up with 2.5 storage for three vehicles. However, when you apply the ODOT standards, they come up with 150 feet of storage required for those two vehicles. One reason for this is because ODOT standards are designed for public road intersections including dump trucks and semis traveling at higher rates of speed, so they tend to be longer. The condition we have here is cars going at a very slow speed, so we are looking at 40-45 feet being needed, which we think would work. The other problem is if we moved it at 135 feet, we will be coming into aisles of parking and that might become a conflict and a safety issue. That is why we are proposing to use this entrance as well as the main entrance.

Mr. Galster commented we are making these assumptions based on nothing happening in the "grassy area" right now, but if there are developments out there all those cars will want to come into that first entrance and not want to travel down to the entrance closest to the building. I believe it will eventually happen, and for that reason I would rather see the parking lot and entryway designed properly for it now as opposed to trying to make it work later on.

Mr. Hynden stated at this point of time, Lowe’s has indicated that they do not want to have any outlot at all. If Lowe’s decides they do want to do something with an outlot, it would require a major zone change. We are trying to address the standards that apply to this application and this user, and not try to deal with hypotheticals with those outlots. If we felt good about those outlots being developed in the near future, we would be proceeding under a PUD plan today.

Mr. Galster said when we talk about the tree replacement and the fact that there is not enough room on the site for trees, and at the same time we are leaving that space wide open green space, it looks like a potential for the near future. If not, I would like to see a lot of trees go back into that area and make it more of a permanent park type setting.

Mr. Vanover said I am not a traffic engineer, but knowing human habits, I will disagree, because until that site is learned, that first driveway will be the first stopping point. People’s habits will tend to put a heavier user on that entranceway than what is being allotted with your calculations.

Mr. Hynden said on moving the drive, one of the concerns was the existing drive across the way. Normally the desire is to align them. In this situation, if we move this to where they are saying, we would almost be down to the second entry which is in the middle of the existing Lowe’s. Given the fact that there are questions about the flexibility to move that stop bar slightly forward, whether there is the potential of having the property across the street adjust their entryway, There is a compromise that can be worked out between moving that drive 135 feet down which would be almost 250 feet further than the left turn at Macaroni Grill. I firmly believe this can be worked out, and I would like to move forward tonight on that commitment.

Mr. Okum said I understand your comments and spirit to resolve this. The only thing you indicated to me was there always would be a continuous through lane. Does that mean there will be three lanes there going southbound? Mr. Hynden answered there is a through lane. Mr. Okum continued so the person that always stops to turn right means that there is no flow through. That is very common. I do appreciate the ring road approach to bringing traffic around a parking field. Moving it down would change the configuration of your parking field.

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Okum continued the issue Mr. Shvegzda brought up was the width of lanes and your resistance to the widening concerns me because you are saying you don’t feel two feet is necessary along Tri-County Parkway, and he is encouraging the two foot width along Tri-County Parkway, am I correct? To get the three lanes along Tri-County Parkway, we need two more feet along the edge of their property line added to the roadway. Mr. Shvegzda answered that is correct.

Mr. Hynden said I wasn’t resisting the idea of having the proper lane widths. My engineer reported to me that the back of curb was 35 feet and tonight I am being made aware that there is a curb and gutter section there which would require additional widening. What I was saying was in the event we need to widen Tri-County Parkway, I would like to look at whether or not it could be widened just in the sections where it is necessary to accommodate the left turn lanes. Mr. Okum commented if your entrance moves back, it becomes less of an issue. This is a much large volume producer than what was previously there.

Mr. McErlane reported the only item that has not been touched on deals with trees. The tree survey shows 2199 caliper inches of trees are to be removed and of the total, 390 inches of it exists either in the building footprint or within 10 feet of it, which are exempt from replanting. This leaves a replacement requirement of 905 caliper inches. The landscaping plan shows 522.5 caliper inches to be planted. I know Ms. McBride had recommended some additional plantings or closer plantings in one location which may up the planting proposed. Based on the plan, it leaves a shortfall of 382 inches. The developer is proposing to donate $17,500 for these 382 inches or as an alternative, donate trees to the city for that 382 inches.

There are a couple of things that need to be refined in the plan. The tree survey plan indicates an area in the southeast corner of the site where trees are to remain, but I don’t think that has been taken into account with respect to the trees to be removed. I don’t know that the landscaping plan took into account that those trees were remaining there either. It shows new trees to be planted in that area, and I don’t know that they can physically be planted there.

Relative to an approval by this board, since we don’t have an actual total, it may change based on changes to the landscaping plan. It may be we should look at a per caliper inch dollar amount. Mr. Hynden answered that would be fine, or I have checked with Lowe’s and they would be willing to leave the donation the same even if we do have a fewer number of trees required. Mr. McErlane continued as it stands right now they are proposing $45 to $46 per caliper inch. Mr. Syfert wondered if that were standard, and Mr. McErlane reported that is about what Target proposed for theirs.

Mr. Okum asked if the lighting is non glare? Ms. McBride reported we reviewed their information and are satisfied with the fixtures they are proposing. Mr. Okum continued at the 35 foot height coming down Tri-County Parkway, those lights will be at eye level so if they have spill off from the bottom of the lens, that glare could be affecting the driver. Ms. McBride responded I believe it is a fixture similar to what was used on the Best Buy Center and at a similar height, and there is not a problem with that fixture and glare spillage. Mr. Hynden added it is a recessed fixture with a box cut off so there is little spillage. Mr. Okum asked where the light packs would be placed on the building. Mr. Hynden answered the only light packs shown are on the elevation facing the railroad right of way for safety purposes. Mr. Okum commented those are facing east, so westbound traffic see those and they would need to be shielded. Mr. Hynden responded we would be happy to do that. We will provide a similar type fixture.

 

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Mr. Okum asked about the mechanical units, and Mr. Hynden reported that they are concealed behind the parapet of the building. Mr. Okum continued we will need documentation on that.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. McErlane what the limited outdoor display area that is permitted. Mr. McErlane answered because this is a retail service district, they are allowed to have outdoor sales of materials. Basically we are talking about home improvement type materials. Mr. Okum wondered if the materials would be under canopies. Mr. Hynden answered we have shown them only on the concrete walkways. We have tried to limit the area of the outdoor display only to the concrete walk areas and provided a five foot walk as is permitted under this zoning district. Our intent is to have a potential outdoor display area across the front of the building.

Mr. Okum wondered if outdoor display areas are addressed in the new zoning code, adding I can’t see giving carte blanche. Mr. Hynden said I understood the primary issue was the stacking of items onto the parking area, and we will not be doing that in this location.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if Lowe’s wasn’t restricted on outdoor storage in their Mason location to concealed areas? Mr. McLain stated I am not familiar with that facility, but there have been cases where the outdoor storage was restricted.

Mr. Okum said I don’t have a problem in canopied areas but I do have a problem with it across the entire front of the site. That is not the intent of the allowance in that zoning district. Mr. Hynden responded I appreciate that and in fact I discussed with the Lowe’s people the potential of outdoor display area within the canopied areas only. The issue comes up on seasonal flowers, plants and those types of materials. If there could be an exception to that for plant material in font of the garden center, I’m sure we could live with that restriction.

Mr. Okum said we are going to need some type of landscaping treatment along the garden center. Mr. Hynden responded if it doesn’t cause an operational or safety problem, I don’t think that will be a problem, other than the egress areas required per code. Mr. Okum asked the type trees; are you talking 10 foot spacing on the trees? This could make up some of your tree shortage on the site. Mr. Hynden responded I think 10 feet apart for the types of trees we have shown would be inappropriate. Mr. Okum I was thinking some type of evergreen. Mr. Hynden commented I think it would have to be some type of tall columnar type evergreens due to the parking spaces and closeness to the building. Mr. Okum asked Ms. McBride the type of tree that would be good along this area. Ms. McBride said I can talk to our landscape architect and work with the applicant. You also want to see something that will grow and not be a maintenance headache for them. Mr. Hynden said you are thinking about two trees between every column as an example.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said you have agreed to work with the engineer on the turning lane issue and resolve that. Did you offer any landscaping around the base of the pylon sign? Mr. Hynden answered we don’t show any but we would be glad to add some shrubbery around there.

Mr. Huddleston asked Mr. McErlane about the letter from Lowe’s concerning their acceptance of the conceptual agreement with the City’s current plan to place a future roadway. My point is I think Lowe’s has made a reasonable attempt to satisfy the City’s concerns, but I want to make sure that is a reciprocal kind of understanding at this point. Mr. McErlane deferred to Mr. Shvegzda who reported at this point since we are not in a position to give any final geometrics that would dictate where that road would be across that property, I would consider this a reasonable effort on their part to work with the City in that regard.

 

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Mr. Shvegzda continued insofar as what is shown on the plans, if that could be more in compliance with the numbers that I have indicated in my report, between that and the letter I think that is what we can do at this time.

Mr. McErlane said from the staff’s standpoint, I don’t think we understood the extent of the outdoor display in front of the building, which works out to over 10,000 square feet across the front of the store. The Cross hatching didn’t show in their legend as such. We did see notations that said outdoor display, but we thought they were limited to the canopied areas and the areas they pointed to. It still is not totally addressed in the code relative to a limitation on that, but it does impact their setback requirements, about 28 feet instead of 30 feet to that outdoor sales area in front of the shade structure. So the variance would need to be 28 feet instead of 30 feet (from the 50 feet required).

Mr. Okum said I don’t know if you can speak for Lowe’s. This has to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals next week and it will be an issue. Are you willing to accept the restriction of outdoor sales under canopied area except for seasonal flowers and plant materials? Mr. Hynden said seasonal display of plants; we have agreed we would not display mulch. Mr. Okum asked if that would be clear enough for the Building Department to enforce it, and Mr. McErlane answered the only clarification I need is if we are talking about areas outside the canopies? Mr. Okum said yes, they’ve agreed that all outdoor display will be under the canopies except for seasonal flowers and plant materials. Is mulch a display item or bulk storage? Mr. McErlane wondered how you distinguished between inventory and display of flowers and plants.

Mr. Hynden stated I think we have agreed that we would not display mulch in the parking lot in bags or outside of the canopy areas. The only display we would have would be under the canopy area for plant materials which would be adjacent to the garden area.

Mr. Okum moved to grant site plan approval with the following conditions:

    1. That all items specified by city planner, engineer and building official be incorporated into the plan with the following additional items;
    2. That mechanical units will be concealed behind the canopies or parapets;
    3. That the outdoor display area will be limited to under canopy areas only with the exception of live seasonal plant material;
    4. That sprinklers will be installed to maintain the landscaped areas;
    5. That landscaping trees will be placed along the fencing area near the garden display center along Tri-County Parkway;
    6. That the road alignment will be adjusted to be in agreement with our city engineer including the additional width of two feet as necessary to keep proper alignment and width of lanes;
    7. That the turning lane will be adjusted according to the city engineer’s approval;
    8. That there will be landscaping along the base of the pylon sign;
    9. That the tree replacement will be adhered to according to the city engineer
    10. That it be conditional upon the Board of Zoning Appeal approval of all variations to the Code.

Mr. Hynden asked if the city engineer had any leeway from the Planning Commission in working with our engineer on the precise location of the access point? Mr. Okum answered the motion said that the engineer would work out the details. There was flexibility in that motion.

Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Young, Mr. Seaman and Mr. Syfert. Approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

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Mr. Syfert said you automatically will be on the agenda for the Board of Zoning Appeals next Tuesday at 7 p.m. Mr. Okum asked if Mr. McErlane, Ms. McBride and Mr. Shvegzda would be available for that meeting? I hate to impose upon you but Ms. McBride’s list of variances numbered ten. Ms. McBride said I cannot attend because I have some medical things I need to attend to that evening. Mr. McErlane added I don’t know that the city engineer has any input into these items anyway, and I already have a commitment that night as well. Mr. Okum commented with the number of issues that are here, it makes it tough on the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. McErlane said I can fill Mr. Lohbeck in on all these items; some of them are pretty straightforward. Mr. Okum commented the more information you can provide will make it easier on the BZA because they will not have the advantage of these individuals’ presence. Mr. Hynden suggested they get copies of the staff reports. Ms. McBride added we also could do a separate report to the BZA. Mr. McErlane said our department does that anyway, and Mr. Okum said that would really be helpful.

E. Approval of Proposed Tee Replanting, Tri-County Golf Center, 11200 Princeton Pike

Jose Castrejon said I am with McGill Smith Punshon and we represent the Scheben Company. With me this evening are Lee Scheben and Tom Smith of Oak Hills Cemetery and Heather Weilnau of my office. We came in several months ago to show you the concept plan of the proposed nine hole executive golf course and driving range to be developed on the back side of Oak Hills Cemetery adjacent to the railroad tracks. At that point you had favorable comments on the development, so we proceeded with the development of a tree survey to determine what kind of tree replacement we would have to take into consideration. With the recommendations of the city and because of the large number of trees, we did a sample area. The sample area is approximately 4.5 acres. The reason we had to do that is because there are just too many trees to physically count. When we took those numbers and averaged them out for the areas that we were going to replace, we felt for the Scheben Company this was a burden that needed some clarification with you due to the large amount of plant material. We are asking for an approval of a reduction of the number of trees to replace within this development. We feel this development satisfies the purpose of the ordinance in keeping the greenery and enhancement of natural features, minimizing flooding and all the other elements the ordinance states.

Utilizing the numbers we calculated, we feel 5,783 inches to replace seemed like a lot to replace with no place to put them. If you consider the caliper of trees we would put in there, we would end up with thousands of trees and no place to put them.

We are maintaining half the site as non developed, so, we are still maintaining a lot of the native vegetation that exists. In addition to that, when I first talked I showed you the routing plan of the golf course and driving range. We didn’t know where the bigger trees were located at that time. As part of our tree survey, we located approximately 50 trees over 24 caliper inches and have rerouted the golf course to save those trees. We will maintain some of those trees in islands within the driving range knowing that is one of your requirements but also that it is beneficial to us as part of the development.

We feel it is fair and we feel comfortable in that we do have to replace some trees as part of this development. We feel by having impervious areas such as the parking lot, driveway and the building, in those areas we would replace a certain number of trees to satisfy the tree ordinance. We plan to replace approximately 383 inches which at a 2 ½ inch caliper would be 153 trees within the cemetery and the leased area of the golf course.

 

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Mr. Castrejon added we feel we have made every effort to protect the natural vegetation by creating buffers for the adjacent property owners, and also to reroute the golf course. We are submitting this request because of the burden that would be on the Scheben Company in having to replace this enormous amount of trees. We are not completely devastating the property; we are working with the land and creating a natural feature that takes into consideration the purpose of the tree preservation ordinance.

Mr. McErlane reported the only designations on the plan are replacement of trees and it doesn’t indicate how many are being removed. Does that mean that you are actually proposing to remove 10,500 caliper inches? Mr. Castrejon answered there are so many trees that are more than six inches, this is our best guess in that area taking an average of the site. Mr. McErlane so the actual removal is in the neighborhood of 10,500 caliper inches. Mr. Castrejon confirmed this.

Mr. McErlane added one thing Mr. Castrejon has pointed out is they have identified all the trees over 24 inches and made a pretty good attempt to try to save those in their layout of the golf course.

Mr. McErlane reported this layout adds a little more buffer than the previous layout on the south side of the site. Mr. Castrejon added one of the residents here last time asked for a 40 foot buffer to be maintained, to leave the honeysuckle. We decided to move the holes over.

Mr. McErlane stated the applicant is looking for relief based on the fact that in a normal development plan, we see trees taken down and asphalt and buildings take its place. In this case trees are coming down and it is remaining green.

Mr. Okum said of the trees that are 24 caliper inches and larger, how many will be removed? Mr. Castrejon answered we plan to keep all of them. There are some in the 20 inch range within the driving range, but other than that we are saving them because we rerouted the golf course.

Mr. Okum asked the method of protection to prevent root damage on something this massive? Mr. Castrejon answered as part of our construction drawings, it will state that we will provide a fencing along the drip lines of all trees and that no materials will be stored on top of the root system within that fence line, no cut and fill will be performed within that drip line and the contractor is responsible for any damage to trees and must replace them for a certain dollar amount at their cost.

Mr. Okum asked if the area would be fully irrigated, and Mr. Castrejon confirmed this adding we will use these ponds which correlate with the cemetery’s master plan for future development. We intend to connect these ponds. They are primary ornamental features and will be used to store the water for the irrigation

Mr. Huddleston asked if the driving range was full length and Mr. Castrejon answered yes, and we have an area in the back for teaching.

Lee Schaben added the back tee area will be used for group lessons or c corporate events. The driving range will be about 360 yards long. Mr. Huddleston wondered if thy did anything to protect the sidelines of that area; is there fencing? Mr. Schaben answered in this case there is enough vegetation and tree size to police itself. In the Florence area we have no fencing.

Mr. Castrejon added in the driving range, the greener spots are trees we will maintain as part of the tee areas for shade.

Mr. McErlane asked about topography changes in the areas of larger trees? Mr. Castrejon answered in the development of the entire golf course with the exception of the parking lot, we intend to use the natural topography and create islands for the tees and the greens.

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Mr. Castrejon added the topography drops down naturally so we will be able to create landing areas that will be suitable for proper play. We are not really doing anything major. Lee Scheben added we are talking about a par three course, so the excavation is minimal.

Mr. Syfert asked if calculations were made using $45 per caliper inch. My point is I know it is a lot of money, but we are the only one giving anything. I believe if you want to develop this, there should be some area that we can meet on this. I feel I’m not doing my job if I let you completely off the hook. It is a beautiful area; it is a green area.

Mr. Scheben stated Tom Smith is here, and Oak Hills is willing to do some shows for the community. Mr. Smith said we are in the tree planting and preservation business, and we would also be happy to provide a seminar or seminars on tree planting, landscape design, and the importance thereof. That is my area of expertise and background and I would be happy to do that.

Mr. Castrejon added the cemetery also has been putting in tree identification to a lot of their specimen trees and providing maps for visitors to follow them. Mr. Schaben added we have labeled 115 individual species within the developed pat of Oak Hills. Mr. Castrejon added if we look at this development on a whole on average every year how many trees do you replace as normal maintenance? Mr. Smith responded with our new landscapes that we put in, probably 200 replantings.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if they are under any replacement requirement. What would the ultimate utilization of this be, and would they be required to be subject to that ordinance? Mr. McErlane responded this is PF-1 zoning, and they would be required to replace the trees.

Mr. Castrejon said we feel that ordinance was suited for a big box developer that clears the entire piece of property. We are not doing that; we are working around the trees that are 24" and greater and we are trying to keep buffers so we are not really damaging the purpose of the ordinance to "promote clean air quality, reduce noise heat and glare, improve surface drainage, minimize flooding, provide visual buffers, beautify and enhance both improved and undeveloped areas, advance the aesthetic quality of the community, maintain the proper value and quality of life in the city and promote public health safety and welfare." We are addressing that issue not by replacing the trees, but we are not increasing flooding, we are improving drainage to some extent by creating some water features, and we are enhancing and beautifying the area.

Mr. Galster said I agree with you. The last line of the tree preservation ordinance says "through the preservation and replacement of each tree". There are 10,800 inches not being replaced under this plan. As we looked at the church site, they had x amount of space that was not touched so we said we will cut back the requirement for tree replacement. I have no problem taking this 5,400 and saying you have not touched 63% of the site and we can cut that 5,400 by 63% and cut another percentage based on the fact that we do have some green space. Let’s not kid ourselves; we have 10,800 inches of trees going down here. I don’t know what Oak Hills’ ultimate position will be, but that is Tri-County Parkway and it very easily could be zoned at some later date. We already have eliminated a lot of trees; if something was rezoned we could be losing a lot more. I don’t think it is reasonable to look at over $200,000 dollars either, but I think there still needs to be some type of balance here.

I did quick numbers and came up with 63% credit because you didn’t touch 63% of the land, and that brought it down to the neighborhood of 1700 to 1800 caliper inches after crediting you for not disturbing the land.

 

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Mr. Galster continued without crediting for green space, it ended up being about $85,000. I still think there is a substantial amount of trees being lot here, and there needs to be something to compensate for that. Mr. Schaben said we have a 25 year lease on the property. In terms of a c crystal ball concerning the property, I couldn’t tell you.

Mr. Vanover said you stated you had a 25 year lease but in your October 30th letter it says after a 30 year period. Mr. Schaben said thee are two five year renewal periods in there. Mr. Vanover said so in effect it could be 35 years. I weigh this heavily because I would very much like to see this progress but precedence is a nasty thing. There are a lot of trees coming down, and I agree that there is a lot of green space and specimen trees salvaged, but the minute we let one walk away scot free, we are all done. I don’t think it is fair to anybody else who we’ve held their feet to the fire.

Mr. Huddleston asked if Oak Hills Cemetery has an arborist on staff and Mr. Smith answered not a certified arborist. Oak Hill is managed by Spring Grove, and Spring Grove does have certified degreed horticulturist. Mr. Huddleston said based on what I thought I heard as an offer, if we could somehow work with the cemetery people and incorporate that into the Princeton School District and do some things that might be beneficial for the school district, that would represent a significant offset to some of this loss. I’m not sure what that program might be, but there is an opportunity to teach future generations to respect and appreciate the value and purpose of the preservation of green space.

Mr. Castrejon added along with Tom being a horticulturist and my being a landscape architect we felt because of the advantages of having a learning experience, we as a company (McGill Smith Punshon) would also contribute to and join Spring Grove to create a yearly seminar on good tree planting practices and good design practices. We felt that would be beneficial to us as a company but also as a service to the city.

Mr. Okum commented I am not saying the obligation should be deferred or forgotten, but we have the opportunity to have a large green space that we know for 30 to 35 years that we will have green in the community. There is some value to that in itself. Mr. Huddleston’s suggestion concerning education of youth is a partial contribution. I am a resident that would love to know how to cut my trees right. We need to put a value to it; there needs to be something contributed back, a substantial indication. It is up to you as the applicant to come up with the resolution; you will have to make an offer to us.

Mr. Schaben said there are a lot of numbers flying around, and I have not been involved with this type situation before in any of our developments. You are dealing with so many trees on this site. What if we give $20,000 to the tree fund along with the seminars by these experts.

Mr. Huddleston commented if they could work something in the numerical value plus some ongoing educational purpose that the city would reap along with the school district. I think it is unfair to ask the applicant to come back with a figure; I think we need to give some number.

Mr. Syfert commented your comment regarding educational input is a very excellent one, and should be worked into the formula.

Mr. McErlane wondered if the 383 caliper inches is a feasible number in terms of what you can replant? It may be a case that you can replant more and cut down that difference between what you can replant and what you are required to replant.

Mr. Castrejon responded we intend to. That is taking into consideration the impervious areas, the buildings. We could increase that number and plant within the entire property a larger number of trees.

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VI E TREE REPLANTING – TRI COUNTY GOLF CENTER 11200 PRINCETON

Mr. McErlane reported the intent of the ordinance is to get the trees, not necessarily to have you give us some sum of money. Mr. Castrejon responded so if we could increase the number of 2 ½ inch caliper trees planted on site from 153 and there are places we can put trees to screen some of the areas and in locations where they are needed. Those numbers also could be increased with the standard yearly maintenance of tree replacement that the cemetery does anyway. They constantly are replacing trees that die.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert said are you hearing from us that we are amenable to the fact that we are not going to hold you to the fire for everything, but we would like to work out something? Is it critical that you have an answer tonight, or could we massage this a little bit and come back with a more formalized presentation as to how we go about adjusting the required to the desired?

Mr. Castrejon said it is critical. We already are behind to get this developed, because we didn’t expect the tree ordinance to take so long. We planned to start this fall in doing the seeding of this driving range. Now we are already into spring and in the winter months we expect to do our design, which includes the structures and parking. I would rather have an answer with conditions, or with some kind of an agreement that is acceptable to you. We agree that we are going to give some money and give some time for teaching, and maybe increase some plant material. If we can agree on those three items through staff And then through your okay. With the numbers thrown out here today of $20,000, a yearly seminar and possibly increasing the number of trees within the site, we hope we could get an approval on that.

Mr. Okum said if I took green grass as 50% of tree value, that bought it down to a dollar figure of $37,625. That can convert into trees, which would be 875 caliper inches at $43 an inch or you could do it in trees and dollars. I think that gets us close. We want to see as many trees go back in as possible. That gives you an opportunity to weigh the differences, and hopefully it will be more trees. Mr. Syfert added plus education.

Mr. Galster said I was going to make a compromise proposal based on what I have heard. Right now we have scheduled to plant 153 trees of 2 ½ inch caliper. I would suggest we bump that number to 250 trees. That extra 100 could be planted over the next five years.

I would suggest a $20,000 donation to the tree preservation fund and to provide a once a year seminar to the residents of Springdale or the school district, whichever you deem appropriate. I think that it is all workable and I appreciate the fact that you are willing to address the situation. You can plant those extra 100 trees wherever you want. I can’t cut down 11,000 caliper inches and not come up with something.

Mr. Huddleston said I support your coming up with a number, and whether the number is $20,000, if we can then have a commitment to work with the schools and city on the educational programs, I think that is a good faith effort.

Mr. Huddleston moved that a donation of $20,000 be made plus 250 trees planted and the applicant working with the city and school district to p provide an ongoing educational opportunity. Mr. Vanover seconded them motion.

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

 

 

 

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VII. DISCUSSION

Mr. Okum asked about the junk cars parked at Dave’s Marathon. Mr. McErlane said they are still evaluating environmental issues on the site. They say they can’t pave it, but they may have to. Mr. Okum said it looks terrible; there are more junk cars than there ever were. Mr. McErlane added they are in court next week for not planting the trees they were supposed to plant. They may be in court shortly for the junk cars.

Mr. McErlane said I have one item of business, a plat for right of way that we discussed when Century Office Building came in for additional right of way that the city was requiring. We don’t have the original plat, but if we could bring it up and vote on it and then when the plat comes in w could get it signed. I’ll defer to Mr. Shvegzda for any comments.

Mr. Shvegzda reported we have reviewed it and it does accommodate what we discussed at the plan review discussion. The only comments we had were detail items to get it recorded, and they have that information and will make the changes.

Mr. Galster moved to approve the plat and Mr. Young seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the plat was approved with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Syfert commented we required HQ to put the fence up and then put the slats, which look pretty bad.

Mr. Syfert said next month we hold elections, so come in prepared. Mr. Syfert asked if anyone would not be present at the December 8th meeting. Mr. Young indicated he would not be.

Ms. McBride said you need to mark your calendars for January 29th a zoning worksho9p at the Blue Ash Best Western.

Ms. McBride said although we have not confirmed the appearance of the law director, the Zoning Committee is going to meet on November 16th at 7:00. Mr. Galster said Mondays are bad. McBride suggested a week from Tuesday, the 24th. Members agreed.

Mr. Galster commented Wendy’s actually look pretty good with their new trees being planted. It is better than I thought it would be.

Mr. Okum said Pictoria Island has a new phone number and is cleaned up. Mr. Galster added we will have a new date on that land in the next couple of months hopefully.

IX. ADJOURNMENT

Having completed the business, Planning Commission adjourned at 11:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________,1998 ________________________

William Syfert, Chairman

 

 

____________________,1998 ________________________

Robert Seaman, Secretary