PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
DECEMBER 09, 2008
7:00 P.M.


I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Tony Butrum.


II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Lawrence Hawkins III, Steve Galster and Tom Vanover

Others Present: Don Shvegzda, City Engineer; Anne McBride, City Planner and Bill McErlane, Building Official


III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF OCTOBER 14, 2008

Steve Galster moved to adopt the Minutes from the October 14, 2008 meeting and Tom Vanover seconded the motion; the October Planning Commission Minutes were adopted with seven affirmative votes.


IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Galster: Council had their initial review of the 2009 City budget; every department was charged with trying to cut 5% out of their budget and overall we were able to achieve those numbers.
The other item was a Community Center fee adjustment. The City is looking at ways to not only cut but also increase the funds coming into the City.


V. CORRESPONDENCE

a. Zoning Bulletin – October 10, 2008
b. Zoning Bulletin – October 25, 2008
c. Zoning Bulletin – November 10, 2008
d. Zoning Bulletin – November 25, 2008
e. Planning Commissioners Journal
f. Letter to Council – proposal for updated Zoning Code
g. Letter to Council – proposal for revitalization plan for Tri-County Retail District


VI. NEW BUSINESS

A. Hooters Restaurant - request to allow color changes which have been made without prior approval to remain – 12185 Springfield Pike

Mr. Mike Gregory, Vice-President R.M.D. Corp., stepped forward to represent Hooters Restaurant.
Mr. Mike Gregory: Also with me is Mr. Rodney Kistner who is our repair and maintenance over-site manager.
First I need to apologize to everyone; the building that is occupied by Hooters was victimized by the hurricane and in the process of making the repairs to the building basically there was a brick veneer that was part of the building that is not actually brick it is thin pieces almost tile that are laid onto the building and the front side is T-1-11 which is a wood paneling. I guess that had been installed when Hooters first occupied the building. One of the things that we found was that the brick veneer, at least on one side had come mostly unattached so part of the process of repair was to reattach it to the building securely. There were a couple of places where the brick had blown out and what we found is we couldn’t actually match the brick anymore so that gave us a dilemma of what to do. The apology part of this is that in this whole process there are things that slipped by and one of them was not checking to see if you had an ordinance that dictated uniformity and building structure or landscaping beatification and those sorts of things. We made the repairs and we began to initiate a paint scheme which we think was necessary for at least the front of the building; the T-1-11 had become dilapidated. There was neon on the building that we actually removed because part of it wasn’t functional and it is very expensive to keep functional. It really wasn’t attractive anymore and we had the opportunity, with insurance money, to make improvements to the exterior we thought to make it more attractive and eye-catching, too, and to bring in more business. We are here to try to rectify that tonight and get some guidance from the Commission.

Chairman Butrum: We have Staff Comments.

Mr. McErlane: There were a couple of things missing off the application; the letter that was submitted by Mr. Kistner has explained what his request is and we were able to determine that the party who had signed the owner’s affidavit and the application is an agent for the owner MJMT, Mr. Terry Marty; the agent who is listed on the Secretary of State website.

(At this time Mr. McErlane and Ms. McBride read their Staff Comments.)

Mr. McErlane: I did have one question for the applicant, when we were up there I met with Mr. Kistner on the site and at that time I did not think the railings were painted; have the railings been painted since then?

Mr. Kistner: Yes, it was a red color and we painted it brown.

Mr. Gregory: I did have one question; the roof over the deck is that part of the front elevation? I thought of this more of a canopy and not part of the actual roof.

Mr. McErlane: Planning Commission may want to take a different interpretation of what I consider a roof.

Ms. McBride: I think Planning Commission needs to think about what the intent of the corridor review district is in terms of when we set up that sub-area A with the earth tones and the natural building materials. I don’t agree that it is anywhere close to what our requirements are today.

Mr. Okum: We have dual tenancy in this building and the second story in this building is a totally different tenant space and part of it that got painted grey, I think is tenant space #2 and not the Hooters space on the building; so we have expanded what Hooters space elevations are. I was on Council when we approved the Hooters project and part of that was how these tenant’s spaces would be divided up. I recall distinctively that the building elevation to the left of the entry door was more or less the other tenant’s space and as a matter of fact the signage for the other tenant was placed on that space; which has been painted grey.
I was there after the storm and saw the roof over the porch, and it is a roof, and I saw the brick finish off and laying on the ground and the photo that you submitted truly dictates what you lost. We currently do not have a brick elevation and that presents a real problem for me because there was a softness to the building and now it is stark. I don’t want to redesign this for you but frankly I don’t think it is our responsibility to do it for you. You are currently in violation to the corridor review district, you are in complete contradiction to what was approved on the original plans for this building when it was redeveloped into Hooters and at that time Remington Road House. In my opinion, I think it is up to you to bring to us what your resolution to this is; everything here is in contradiction to what was approved and to the corridor review district.
I am sensitive to the issue that you have lost some of the brick facing. Doesn’t mean that you can’t do brick splits and you can’t stain them, there is a staining process to deal with that; that wasn’t probably explored obviously. It was a very small area of the brick, approximately 32 s.f. that you lost. The amount of brick that was painted on this building is probably about 1400, almost 1800 s.f. of brick. I would recommend to give you time to resolve the problem and come back to the Commission and I am open to hear what everyone else has to say.

Mr. Galster: I think the intent of the district in that area, if you look at all the surrounding buildings, the Medical Arts Buildings and even the offices behind Hooters, is to retain a residential style, with the exception of the Hotel. Pretty much all of those buildings have got brick or stone, regular shingled roofs and the pitched roofs and so on and that is because it is a continuation of the residential area on the hill. My view is very similar to Dave’s and I guess my direction is, how can we turn this into more of a residential feel? When I look at the facility now, it is very stark, because it is such a big massive wall of the same color without anything breaking it up. I know orange is the color, but when you combine the massive blank wall plus the orange and the amount of the orange it doesn’t give me that same residential feel. What that brick allowed it to do is to break up those surfaces, even going up the side with a little bit of brick just added more dimension to the massive front wall there.

Mr. Hawkins: You were talking about wanting to get a more eye-catching appearance, and you definitely did that. I like what you did if it was on a strip; if it was in Newport or a strip of bars it would be fantastic. The problem, like you heard, trying to have some type of balance with the residential that is around there. Did you check out the cost of fixing the brick veneer?

Mr. Kistner: Yes. Mr. Marty’s son-in-law did the repair on the very bottom; when the storm came through and it blew off the section where you can see the yellow insulation. When the painters got up there that whole wall was shattered, the whole thing was loose. If you replace the area then you are going to have a brick wall with about three different colors. The reply from the general manager was, “what are you going to do about the whole wall being shattered?” One of the thoughts was to take it off because we thought it was going to come down and that is right where people enter the building. The intent was a prompt response to fix it.

Mr. Hawkins: So, what would the cost be to re-brick that wall, the whole wall?

Mr. Kistner: I did not price that.

Mr. Gregory: If you can’t take the paint off of it, we are at the point where we have to figure that out. I am sure we will get some guidance from the staff and at the same time what we can actually afford to do.

Mr. Hawkins: Is there an issue of any of this being cost prohibitive, or did insurance cover the damage or is there any anticipation that they will?

Mr. Gregory: We have two sets of insurance, Mr. Marty’s and ours; there is a question as to which insurance ought to cover it.

Mr. Kistner: Mr. Marty is a great landlord and we don’t have any issues working with him, so that is not a worry at all. Because the restaurant was closed down for a fairly significant time because of the electricity being down we have another pool of insurance money that we could draw from there and it should actually go back in the operation and distributed to the investors, but if we have to this, this is what we will do.

Mr. Hawkins: Cost would not prohibit you from being able to go back and put the brick veneer on there?

Mr. Kistner: We don’t know that yet. If it cost more than $8,000 to do then it is more than the amount of money we have on hand from insurance right now.

Ms. McBride: I thought I heard you say that you had removed the neon?

Mr. Kistner: There is neon around the top, it is still around the entrance. All of the neon on top was hanging and broken.

Mr. Okum: Yes, Mr. Marty is very aware of insurance and he works in the insurance field; he is a good gentleman and we have had a lot of experience with Mr. Marty over the years and he has been a good corporate citizen. In regards to insurance, typically if something can’t be matched or repaired the effect of that to the business is included in the consideration for insurance repairs. I can’t speak for your insurance adjustor, but clearly I would probably be willing to say that material can’t be matched up. There is dyeing. It is very, very difficult. If that entire face was loose, as indicated by your manager on the site, I would not want to take a chance of writing specifications for redoing that portion and since you have got all that as one facing I have seen the insurance companies replace all of the brick facing on an entire building before because they can’t match up the brick. That should be fully investigated because it is certainly something that if I were to estimate it I would probably write to replace it all and that way it would have eliminated all of this discussion.
The building didn’t look like that before it was a duel tenant; it was the Springdale Music Palace. There are a number of materials that could be used that would bring that residential look back into it, still giving it character.
How long has Hooters been at that location?

Mr. Gregory: Since 1992, I believe is when it opened.

Mr. Okum: Since 1992, I recall the discussion over those roofs being painted out and the color of those roofs being chosen as a grey; so that is how far back that goes. The porch wasn’t on originally; there was another Planning Commission meeting where we discussed adding the porch. You are talking a commercial enterprise right next to a residential environment; a lot of thought went into it. There are materials that can replace the brick that could be explored.
If the brick were loose on the upper area what was the method used to deal with that elevation to keep it from collapsing and falling on people?

Mr. Kistner: When I said loose, the description was I believe shattered, the painter told me he would attach and make it secure – he is comfortable that it is secure.

Mr. Gregory: If we present a scenario that calls for leaving it up we will make sure that we include how it was attached so that you can review that.

Mr. Okum: I would rather see you move to putting it back to more brick or stone like the corridor review district calls for.

Mr. Galster: I assume that is the only elevation that had any damage? Did you check the other elevations?

Mr. Kistner: Our painter has painted a dozen stores for us, and as far as painters go it is a very professional level. When you find a good contractor and they are reliable, he says it is secure.

Mr. Galster: I would like to know if there is any mold damage or anything like that that may have created a spongy problem; a lot of that Styrofoam or Efis doesn’t hold up to the weather as well as it should especially based on when this was applied originally; and are the other elevations the same?
Outside of the elevations that we see in the picture submitted, is there any more of that brick that continues around; I know the backside of the building has got some on it as well.

Mr. Kistner: I think the side where the former “Whiskey Willies” is has more wood, I believe the backside is concrete block and the upper part is the T-1-11. The north side is block.

Mr. Vanover: I will give you a compliment in that the Hardie Board looks so much nicer. My feelings are T-1-11 should never been out there to start with.

Mr. Gregory: I am more than happy for the guidance, I apologize again.

Mr. Okum: Would you be able to come up with a resolution by the next meeting? I am very sensitive to the weather conditions with this being winter. This is not going to be resolved by February. You really want a resolution, but you want a construction plan that gets it into spring so you can deal with it.

Mr. Gregory: Exactly, if we get a plan that you are happy with and you cooperate with us that is fine.

Mr. Okum: Would you prefer to come back in February or January?

Mr. Gregory: I think that you will be happier if we come back in February.

Mr. Okum: That gives them time to explore the insurance settlement.

Mr. McErlane: We would have to have something back in by the first of the year for the January meeting.

Mr. Okum: They have asked for February, is that o.k. if we table it to the February meeting, is that o.k. for staff?

Mr. McErlane: Sure.

Mr. Okum: Chairman Butrum, I would like to move that we table the request by Hooters and property owners based on the request of the applicant.
Mr. Galster seconded the motion and with a unanimous “aye” vote from the Planning Commission Members the request was tabled to February 2009.
   
VII. DISCUSSION

Chairman Butrum: I have one item, the Micro Center sign off of 275 it is unbelievable bright.

Mr. Galster: We do have that in our code for the large illuminated signs.

Chairman Butrum: I wanted to know where you guys are in terms of the retail revitalization for the Tri-County district.

Mr. Galster: There is no request for Ms. McBride to provide us with anything for Tri-County Mall. That plan is being adopted by City Council. There were some recommended courses of action that Mr. Tulloch was going to get together with KKG as far as specifically, that Planning Commission could look at. I haven’t heard from Mr. Tulloch as far as the initial things that could be enacted.
As far as the issue on the zoning code it is just a little bit behind that – try to get this thing done first with the Tri-County Mall before we look at the zoning code.
The problem that Administration and Council has is they don’t want to tie it down too much; they want this Board to look at this plan and see that it needs to be flexible.

Chairman Butrum: The streetscape is one of the things that we talked about with Thompson Thrift, depending on how quickly everything can be resolved there is probably not going to be anything that we have in place that we can hand to them and everyone else and say “build this”. So what we talked about today was setting aside the funds that they were planning on using for that and we can come back at a later date.

Mr. Galster: The Huff realty building, I call it that because it has a Huff sign on it even though Huff realty doesn’t occupy the building on Glensprings; is that a building that they own? They haven’t been there for about a year now. I understand that they have moved toWest Chester.

Mrs. Ghantous: They are representing the landlord in the lease process of those offices.

Mr. Galster: That, to me, has been an abuse of that location.

Mr. Okum: The building does look good.


VIII. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Chairman Butrum:

I did approve two signs Bolanos Sports, 11586 Springfield Pike and Beckfield College at 225 Pictoria Drive.


IX. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Lawrence Hawkins moved to adjourn and Mr. Tom Vanover seconded the motion and the Planning Commission adjourned at 7:51 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Chairman Tony Butrum


________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary