SPRINGDALE PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

12 DECEMBER 2000

7:00 P.M.

 

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman William G. Syfert.

    II ROLL CALL

    MEMBERS PRESENT: Donald Darby, Councilman Steve Galster,

    Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman

    Tom Vanover, David Whitaker and Chairman Syfert

    OTHERS PRESENT: Doyle H. Webster, Mayor

    Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator

    Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

    William McErlane, Building Official

    Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

    Anne McBride, City Planner

  3. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
  4. Chairman Mr. Okum nominated Mr. Syfert and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. There were no other nominations, and Mr. Syfert was elected by acclamation.

    Vice Chairman Ė Mr. Huddleston nominated Mr. Okum and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. There were no other nominations, and Mr. Okum was elected by acclamation.

    Secretary Ė Mr. Vanover nominated Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. There were no other nominations, and Mr. Whitaker was elected by acclamation.

  5. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 14 NOVEMBER 2000
  6. Mr. Galster moved for adoption and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, except Mr. Darby who abstained, and the Minutes were adopted with six affirmative votes.

  7. CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Report on Council
    2. Mr. Galster reported that there will be a public hearing on January 3, 2001 for the proposed renovation of Springdale Plaza and Mikeís Car Wash. Also we did have the residents from Naylor Court in chambers in reference to the day care facility on the agenda tonight. I was to pass along the sincere desire of members of Council to come to some kind of satisfactory resolution to the situation.

    3. Zoning Bulletin Ė November 10, 2000
    4. Zoning Bulletin Ė November 25, 2000

 

 

 

 

 

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

12 DECEMBER 2000

PAGE TWO

  1. CORRESPONDENCE Ė continued
    1. 11/15/00 Letter from Dave Whitaker to Kathy McNear, President of Council Ė Proposed Mikeís Car Wash & Quickstop Oillube recommended by Planning
    2. 11/15/00 Letter from Dave Whitaker to Kathy McNear, President of Council Ė Proposed Renovation to Springdale Plaza (recommended by Planning)
    3. 11/21/00 Letter from Dave Whitaker to Kathy McNear, President of Council Ė Proposed Zoning Code Changes recommended by Planning
    4. 11/24/00 Letter from William McErlane to Robert Hacker re Conditional Use Permit, Creative Kids World

  1. OLD BUSINESS
    1. Modification to and Compliance with Conditional Use Permit, Creative Kids World, Inc., 11285 Springfield Pike (Tabled 11/14/00)

Robert Hacker, owner of the property approached the Commission.

To recap, Mr. McErlane reported that Planning Commission issued a Conditional Use Permit for day care in an OB District on March 9, 1999 to General Revenue Corporation for the operation of a day care center by Ms. Tammy Barnett. As part of the approval process, there were some conditions, one of which was to plant a minimum of 10í high evergreens. The plan showed five of them, and it said a minimum of 10í high as per the plan.

There was also a condition that the water management concerns of the city engineer, including a cross section of the proposed retaining wall at that time be submitted to the city engineer for his approval.

After we received a complaint from adjacent property owners in October of this year, we took a look at the conditions on the property. The 10í trees are in the neighborhood of 6 to 7 feet. One of the five trees had died because it looked like it had been cut down. Some of the Planning Commission discussions concerned shrubbery to be planted around the fencing area to offer a soft screen. Actually the evergreen shrubs are about 18 inches high so they donít offer any kind of a screen.

The retaining wall was deleted in the process of review of the site plan by staff. The retaining wall was offered by the engineer for the applicant as a means to accommodate the drainage and grading out of the play area. When I brought this item before Planning in October, some members felt that that might have offered some type of buffer for noise.

Planning Commission didnít look at noise issues except from the concerns expressed by the adjacent tenants during the initial hearings, but it appears that noise is a concern to the adjacent property owners. What we are attempting to do tonight is possibly to look at alternative ways to mitigate the noise.

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Mr. Syfert commented one of the questions that came up last month dealt with the sound readings that were taken. It seemed we didnít have a representative that knew that much about them so I believe it would be good if we had Ms. McBride cover that issue.

Ms. McBride reported we became aware that there was a potential problem to the rear of the day care in terms of noise from the children that were playing outside. Panning Commission will remember that there was a lot of concern about the location of the outdoor play area. Originally it was proposed to surround the dumpster enclosure, and the staff and the Commission agreed that that was not the best location for the children to be and it was shifted to the rear of the building.

Once we learned there was a concern about that, we commissioned a noise study, which was taken on Wednesday, October 25th. We made sure that it was a sunny day, in the mid 70ís and conducive to a day where the children would be outside. We had heard through the city that it was felt that the noise was the loudest between 4 and 6 p.m., so we had somebody out there from 4:20 to 5:10 p.m. to get a range. The study covered two different playgroups. When the first readings were taken, there was one play group out and they waited until those children went in and a second group came out so we got two different groups to see if one group included someone that was particularly loud or not loud.

WE took a series of nine readings, some of them adjacent tot he building, some of them adjacent to the play area and three specifically on that west property line. Of the ones taken on the west property line, there were several that had louder levels of noise than others were.

HUD has acceptable noise level standards that they have put together, and I enclosed some of those excerpts in my November 1st letter to the city. What HUD has said is anything below 65 decibels is acceptable. Anything between 65 and 75 decibels is unacceptable, but it can be attenuated, which means that there are things that can be done to bring it down into an acceptable range. Anything over 75 decibels is unacceptable, and there really isnít too much that can be done to bring it down below 65 decibels.

With those standards in mind, they went to each of these locations and took a series of readings. The noise meter is similar to the light meter in that there are different settings so to get an accurate reading, you take a noise reading at 50, 60 and 70 (a knob on the meter). They took three readings at each location for each playgroup. I understand that the commission is mostly concerned about the noise at the property line. The maximum noise level found at the property line was with the second playgroup, and it was at reading location #2, which is in that northwest portion of the site. That reading was 71 decibels. Remember between 65 and 75 is unacceptable, but can be attenuated to bring it down into an acceptable range.

 

 

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Ms. McBride reported the highest reading we got, out of all the playgroups, locations and meter settings, was 71 decibels at the northwest corner. The other levels that were high, focusing on that west property line, were at location #3, which was 62 decibels, and location #4, which was 66 decibels. Both are within that range that can be attenuated.

We have suggested that something needs to be done to bring the noise levels within a range that are acceptable according to the HUD guidelines.( 65 and below). There are different things that can be done in terms of landscape features, fencing or a combination of both of those, which is what we are recommending at this location.

Mr. Galster said you had one meter, and you said that at location #2 it was 71 decibels. Based on the fact that it is farthest point from the playground, if it had been taken at Location #3 or Location #4 we would have had numbers well in excess of 71 decibels. If we had set up multiple reading mechanisms, we probably would have had 75 or above. Locations #3 and #4 are actually closest to the residential neighborhoods.

Mr. Okum asked if we know how many times the meter hit that 71 decibels; we just know that is the high point. Ms. McBride answered we are not dealing with a constant noise. There are fluctuations and it is not as 100% accurate as it would be if you were measuring the noise from an industrial fan. Mr. Okum responded so we canít quantify the number of times that it hit 71 decibels, or how long it stayed at 71 decibels in that period. Ms. McBride answered and that is the problem with not dealing with constant sources of noise.

Mr. Huddleston asked if the owner had seen this report and recommendations. Mr. Hacker indicated that he had, and I didnít understand it either. I would like to apologize for not being in attendance last month. We didnít do it for lack of interest, and what the proceedings are but we failed to be here and I take responsibility for that. Having looked at your report, I had a lot of the same questions that you folks just asked.

Mr. Huddleston asked the applicant if he found the recommendations acceptable. Mr. Hacker answered I have a couple of questions. As Mr. McErlane pointed out earlier, somewhere along the line General Revenue Corporation had agreed to put a number of evergreens in at a certain height. They donít meet that height; I have been over there and looked at it and we needed to meet the minimum height requirements.

Now we are dealing with some empirical data that was taken at different points in time. The question I have is if we take a look at doing a staggered row of trees or putting some noise barriers in, how do we get assurances where we get to a level that is acceptable. You have been dealing with this issue for quite a while, and I donít know what it is that we can agree to do or not do that would cause this to be a resolved situation.

 

 

 

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Mr. Huddleston responded you have to recognize that it wasnít installed as it was designed to be, so we arenít dealing with whether what was originally specified would be acceptable in terms of attenuation or not.

Mr. Hacker said I understand. Whatever we originally agreed to, we still have to make good on. Once we have made good on that, I donít see where that would necessarily solve these readings at this point.

Mr. Huddleston said for purposes of discussion, I would like to propose the following. I am not making a motion, but number one would be to enforce the approval provisions originally specified with regard to all of the plantings. I would further suggest that we restrict the hours and days of operation to Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and we would restrict the outside play areas from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. The third condition would be that the owner as a further remediation of the sound problem should install the conditions suggested by the city planner tonight. A fourth condition would say as a follow up of the installation of the proposed attenuation, on two occasions within 90 days of the remediation action, if at attenuation is not satisfactory at the property line with simultaneous precalibrated readings, the operator or owner shall be responsible to take further action as may be required by the cityís expert or city planner to ultimately reduce the noise level at the rear property line to an acceptable 65 decibel or below level.

Mr. Vanover said if we go through this list and the results are not there, what are our avenues logistically and legally on revoking a conditional use permit?

Mr. McErlane stated that there are no provisions within the zoning code that talk about revoking a conditional use permit. It really would be whether or not you feel that they have refused to comply with conditions of the conditional use permit. That probably would be the only grounds for revoking it at this point.

I do want to raise one question relative to the issue of the previous plan, and we need to resolve whether the retaining wall is an issue relative to the buffering, and whether or not that needs to be installed. We as a staff looked at that as a grading and drainage issue and we need clarification as to whether or not that would be a requirement for compliance tonight.

Mr. Syfert asked where the wall was and what the size of it was. Mr. McErlane responded it was indicated as a four-foot high retaining wall and it was specifically along the west side of the playground, and had a couple of small wing walls that came off either end of it on the north and south

Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Galster said in your recommendation #1, are those two rows of trees in addition to what is there presently? Ms. McBride confirmed that it would be in addition to what Planning Commission had required as a part of the Conditional Use Permit approval.

 

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Mr. Galster said rather than taking down seven foot trees and putting up 10 foot trees, and only because I lam not sure how much more that would buffer, I think Option #1 to put additional trees there would help mitigate some of those costs. As far as the wall goes, I did look at the retaining wall as a buffer myself; to me four feet seemed to be a height that would deflect some of that.

As opposed to the wall, I think the shadow box fencing would be a better idea, located closer to the property line. I believe last month the applicant indicated that she would be willing to look at the hours of operation, so I donít see any major issues there. Sunday might be a problem. When it comes to hours of operation, I donítí have a problem with having Sunday hours as long as they are indoor hours. When I was trying to reconstruct, I looked at it more like recess, maybes one half hour or 45 minutes and a couple of groups. I never envisioned that it would be from 9:30 until 4:30. What concerns me is that there seems to be a group of kids coming in and out all the time. How many children do you have in the facility? Ms. Barnett answered 110 and there are nine different classes, which comes out once a day. Mr. Galster asked her if the 9:30 to 4:30 outside times can that be shortened any more. Ms. Barnett answered considering that they nap between 12 and 2, it could be. Mr. Galster suggested that the outside time be 9:30 to 12 and 2 Ė 4:30 p.m. Ms. Barnett answered that would be okay. Mr. Galster said then I would recommend that as a change to the potential motion.

Mr. Galster asked the owner if he were willing to look at putting up the fences and the additional trees and give this a little time to see how it would help mitigate the problem. Understand that we almost have to wait until spring to get the kids back outside.

Mr. Hacker responded that it is one of the problems, because regardless of what we do right now about trees, Iím not sure we can get somebody to plant them at this time of the year. Mr. Galster said the City of Springdale with a tree arborist on staff is planting trees as we speak. So I know right now is a good planting time.

Mr. Hacker continued I agree that it probably doesnít make sense to spend a lot of time on the old shorter trees when we are talking about putting another natural border. What I would like to do is see what it will cost to put in the two rows of trees that are being recommended. I suspect that should be within what is reasonable. Then I will find out what it would cost us to do the shadow box fencing. Depending on the pricing, it will have to be somewhat economically driven, because there is a point where it gets to be unrealistic. Absolutely we will look at both, subject to what the economics is.

Mr. Galster responded understand that the relief you are getting is not pulling out the seven foot trees, replanting 10 foot trees and also building the retaining wall.

 

 

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Ms. McBride suggested that in any motion you might want to incorporate that staff be allowed to go out and meet at the site with the applicantís landscaper and determine the best exact location for any fencing and any plant material to give the very beset protection to the residents for the best dollar value for the applicant.

Mr. Okum said I still have a little concern about the continuation of noise at 65 decibels along the fence line. If I had a device that was generating 65 decibels at a fences lines consistently between 9:30 and 12:00 and 2:00 and 4:30 as has been suggested, that could be a problem. The motion that Mr. Huddleston is recommending is if that spike hits 65 decibels, they havenít remediated it. I donít think that is logistically possible. One child screaming or squealing one time could hit 65. On the other hand, I think we have to be concerned about that level on more than one hit during a certain period of time, to quantify that. Itís not fair to them to say if you go over 65 at the property line you havenít remediated the problem.

We have to be reasonable and determine what we are going to do and what is reasonable along that property line. I think we need to bring the line in further away from the property line. It is a fairly deep site; bring the reading in maybe 20 feet from the property line. Sound waves tend to dissipate a bit as they travel and they would peak off as they go away. We need to set a high and low. We donít want it to go over the 65, but we have to accept the fact that that if a child screams, itís going to go over 65. I want to be sure that whatever we do we end up resolving it.

I donít have any problem with the advice and consultation of our staff, but I donít want our staff to be held accountable and responsible for the resolve of the problem. The resolve of the problem is entirely the applicantís responsibility. To provide them with assistance in that matter is to the advantage of everyone in the community, but I donít want to hold our staff accountable, and if they want to bring in specialists in this field as is their responsibility, I donít have any problem with that. On the other hand, expensing a lot of our own staffís time to resolve the problem and meter readings, that is our residentsí money.

Mr. Darby said I want to express my feeling that this is an extremely important issue. We are talking about a quality of life issue for residents. Some of these people have been residents of the city for a long time, but we also are talking about a workable plan that will allow a young business to manage to be successful. We also are talking about a service that is being provided for the parents of 100+ children. By stating that, I want to indicate that I sincerely feel it is really important.

Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Darby said with your suggested retrofits, which I think are reasonable and it appears that the owner thinks they are also, is it anticipated that the noise would be attenuated per HUD standards?

Ms. McBride answered yes, adding that these recommendations are based on HUD recommendations.

 

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Mr. Darby continued on the unofficial "motion" that was made by Mr. Huddleston, you mentioned that you would recommend a starting at 7 a.m. lnstead of 6:30 a.m. Is there a problem between 6:30 and 7:00. Mr. Huddleston said no, if it is 6:30, I have no problem with that. Mr. Darby continued that most day cares start at 6:30 a.m.

Mr. Darby continued I read through the Minutes, and have a question for Ms. Barnett. This really concerned me,; that had to do with children outside the fences. You indicated that only happened on rare occasions. I would really like to see it managed to the point that it never happens. That is a disaster waiting to happen. The comments about the children visiting the site on Saturdays, perhaps neighborhood kids. Something needs to be done to address that also, because that collection pond there represents an attractive nuisance. Kids will be kids and they will get in there, so I think some kind of management plan needs to be generated to assure that during the operating hours kids are not outside the fence and some way we need to manage the situation on Saturdays, because sooner or later some kind of tragedy might come about.

On moving the site line for the readings, is there a standard established as to where the readings are to be taken? Ms. McBride answered no, the readings are taken wherever there is a concern. We wanted to get some readings immediately adjacent to the play area to find out what the noise level was on the play area. The obvious concern was for property owners to the west of the property. We couldnít go onto their property, so we took the readings at what we believed to be the western property line.

Addressing Mr. Okum, Mr. Darby said I do not understand what you are saying about different locations for the readings. Mr. Okum said I feel you ultimately are going to have spikes that will go over 65 decibels. It is almost impossible to say it will never do that because we know that it will. If the readings in the set is set inward on the property, at least when it hits those 65 highs, it will taper off some by the time it gets to the property line where there are some additional foliage and trees. I am trying to bring it in a little bit. Instead of reducing the number 65, which HUD sets as acceptable, my recommendation is to bring it in away from the fence line. So if it does hit those peaks, at least by bringing those readings in, we have a point of reference that is not right on the property line.

Mr. Vanover wondered what was around the play area right now. Mr. Hacker answered an open mesh fence. Mr. Vanover asked about evergreens, and Mr. Hacker answered there are no evergreens right next to the play area. They set back probably 25 or 30 feet. Mr. Vanover said that might be an area we want to look at. I have reservations about wrapping the playground with solid fence, because what we would do is create a sound wall syndrome. It would send it into the building, and with that reflection you have less control over where it is going, so it probably will go off at a higher level and create other problems..

 

 

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Mr. Vanover continued I think Daveís idea is right in trying to create a sound buffer like we do with light buffers. I understand economics, but I am leery about the hesitancy, because this maneuver may not solve it. If it is not solved, I think we owe it to the residents to look very hard at that Conditional Use Permit. We need to be realistic with ourselves in that situation.

Mr. Syfert said we are not talking about a solid fence; we are talking about a shadow box fence, which is to absorb some of the sound. Mr. Vanover responded the four foot concrete retaining wall would aggravate the situation,. The shadow box fences may, but we had state engineers tell us that those walls along the corridor would make it extremely livable, and I have yet to find anybody who has been happy with the results. I am just leery about some of that.

Ms. McBride said there are evergreens adjacent to the chain link fences. I can see where the applicant missed them ,because they are only 12 to 18 inches high. It wasnít staffís intent that the shadow box fence should replace the chain link fence. In effect we would want to see that set back toward the west to act exactly as an absorption device. It is not meant to contain the children because it wouldnít be effective and it would make them feel like they were in a prison yard. That is why I asked the commission to allow the staff to go out and work with somebody in the field to place the fence and the plant material in the most advantageous location possible.

Mr. Hacker stated my understanding of the shadow box fencing was that it would not go immediately adjacent to the chain link but that there be an offset so it would help with the noise. Ms. McBride confirmed this

Mr. Huddleston said on Mr. Okumís concern about how and where the readings are taken, I have some questions. First, can that be done unscheduled, or on a monitoring basis, and with multiple meters at the property line?

Ms. McBride responded it is obvious when you are out there with a meter. On the multiple meters, I have direct access to one and I can borrow two more so we could get multiple readings at the same time and different locations. We can certainly do it on an unscheduled basis, but it would have to be coordinated so there are three people and the meters are in place and they are all checked out at the same calibration.

Mr. Huddleston said my suggestion would be that rather than moving the decibel requirement back into the applicantís property, would it be acceptable to the commissioners to say that we get a 95% compliance rate at the property line from those multiple readings at multiple times.

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Huddleston added one thing I would make clear to the owner and operator is that you would on an ongoing basis be responsible to bring this into the compliance we are recommending tonight.

The other question is if there is adequate space between the play area the proposed sound fence ands the multiple rows of evergreens to put all of that in there? Ms. McBride responded I believe there is enough space to accomplish that, on a general basis. When a child falls off the top of something, he will scream bloody murder, so you will get those peaks. I donít want anyone, the commission or the residents to be fooled into thinking you never will hear a peep from these children again. Thatís not going to happen. What we can do is try to achieve some reasonable noise level that is acceptable to the residents and still allows the children to enjoy their outdoor time.

Mr. Huddleston said if we were take multiple readings on two occasions at multiple locations several times a day that would give you a potential 20 or 30 readings, and as long as you are 95% in compliance that would seem to be reasonable.

Ms. McBride responded I would suggest maybe two sets of readings in the morning and two sets of readings in the afternoon.

Addressing Ms. Barnett, Mr. Galster asked how many adults accompanied the children, and Ms. Barnett answered two or three. Mr. Galster said is that the same number as when they are inside? Ms. Barnett answered yes. Mr. Galster continued that last month the residents had said some of it was screeching that could be controlled possibly with additional supervision. It seems like two or three adults could handle it; maybe it would be more of a direction of your staff to try to help keep it down.

Mr. Galster said I want the applicant to know that what we are trying to do is get rid of some of this. We donít know that we have accomplished it; we will have to test it and see. Iíd like to have some assurance from the owner of the business and the owner of the building that if in fact we havenít mitigated it to the extent that it is acceptable to the residents, additional things such as a hedge around the chain link fence or something like that might be addressed at a future date. I want to make sure that we still have a good working relationship and understand that it might be required to comes back in and have additional steps taken.

Mr. Hacker responded I understand that, and what is being proposed by Ms. McBride in terms of how we might mitigate it, I understand that you folks donít want to be held accountable. I understand that it still is my problem but it becomes somewhat a question of economics. What she is suggesting does not seem like it is undoable economically. It seems reasonable, but when we start suggesting that we take multiple readings and hit a certain compliance level, unless we get enough readings.

 

 

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Mr. Hacker said correct me if I am wrong, but what I am hearing is that you are saying that it is not practical to take more than about four readings; even if we doubled that we are talking eight. If we are complying at a 90 or 95% level and we take four readings, that is 3.6; if we miss one, we are out of compliance.

Ms. McBride said what I was suggesting to the commission is that maybe we try to hit two playgroups in the morning and two in the afternoon and take a number of readings at each location. We need some direction from the commission as to what kind of compliance or how many readings you want taken at each location per each playgroup. We would be happy to do that, understanding that we will be hitting them at multiple locations, hopefully at the same time depending on how many noise meters I can get.

Mr. Galster said we could go through this metering and testing, but to me the best sound meters that we have are the people right out here. Those residents are going to be my sound meters and thatís what I think we are trying to accomplish. We are trying to come up with a way of measuring that, and itís going to be by how the residents respond. As long as we keep that in the equation, we should be able to come up with a solution.

Mr. Okum said I understand what you are saying. The only problem I have is if you have one person who is overly sensitive, or hyper sensitive to the issue, that one person may never be satisfied.

Mr. Galster responded Iím not trying to take your meters out of the equation. Mr. Okum said I agree that the meters need to be there, but what I am concerned with is making every resident on the west side of that property 100% happy may not be achieved, no matter how many trees, how many bushes or how much enclosure you do on the site. The only thing I am concerned with, and what Ms. McBride has recommended, is going to be ample and I certainly hope it is, but if it isnít the applicant needs to understand that they are subject to review. This is a conditional use of that site, and it is their responsibility to meet those conditional use requirements. Unfortunately, we donít know what the outcome will be, and we wonít know until next spring. If it doesnít meet those standards, it will have to be brought back before us for reconsideration on the conditional use permit or other forms of remediation. Mr. Hacker said I understand that.

Mr. Darby said looking at this report, I am hearing the figure of 95% compliance over a series of readings, and that sounds wonderful. Does HUD have any data indicating that 95% is good, or should it be 85% or whatever? Ms. McBride answered not that I am aware of, but if the commission were to give staff a little bit of latitude to look into that a little bit more to see if they do, if HUD has some percentage we can use that. Otherwise we can go with the 95%.

 

 

 

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Addressing Ms. Barnett, Mr. Huddleston said you mentioned that you have some Sunday hours, and those Sunday hours would be restricted to indoor use of the facility only. Is that legal in childcare? Ms Barnett answered yes. Sunday is under totally different rules. Sundays it would be 8:30-9 until 2:00 and inside only. Mr. Huddleston added and you said there are no Saturday hours. What about the open houses? Ms. Barnett indicated that they would be for inside tours only.

Mr. Huddleston commented we have recommended that the sound attenuation expert and/or Ms. McBride take these readings at the property line after this remediation effort. Is that typically done at the cityís cost or the applicantís cost, since we have talked about the applicant being responsible for cost; how will that be handled?

Mr. McErlane responded up to today it has been at the Cityís cost. Mr. Huddleston commented that would be acceptable to me as assistance to the residents to try to remediate this situation, as long as the commission members have no problem with that.

Mr. Huddleston moved that the commission enforce the previous approval provision by allowing the applicant to replace the dead planted evergreen, and permit the already planted evergreens to remain at the height that they are. The hours of operation for the facility shall be restricted to Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with outside play hours of 9:30 a.m. to Noon and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday hours shall be limited to 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. with inside use of the facility only being permitted. Saturday hours are not permitted. The sound attenuation shall be installed as recommended by our city planner. Prior to that attenuation effort, a site inspection and the locational recommendations shall be further enumerated by the city planner on site with the owner. WE shall have follow up readings on at least two occasions within 90 days after the remediation action. If the attenuation is not satisfactory, based on multiple and simultaneous precalibrated meter readings at the property line, and with 95% compliance at the 65 decibel level, the property owner or operator shall be responsible and required to take further action as may be recommended by the city planner to attenuate the noise at the rear property line to the acceptable 65 decibel level.

Mr. Galster asked if this were an official modification to the conditional use permit? Mr. Huddleston responded my motion is for the continuation of the Conditional Use Permit. Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

Mr. Syfert asked if the applicant understood the motion. Mr. Hacker responded that he did, adding he had a question. We discussed bringing in the rows of trees, and it was suggested by Mr. Galster that rather than revisit the dead trees, we go ahead with the two rows. Do we want to include the replacement of that dead tree? Mr. Syfert indicated that it did include that tree. Mr. Huddleston added I said that the sound attenuation should be made as recommended by the city planner

 

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Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Darby, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Chairman Syfert. Conditional Use Permit was continued with conditions by seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Huddleston left the meeting at 8:05 p.m.

  1. NEW BUSINESS

    1. Approval of Final PUD Development Plan, Cassinelli Square Redevelopment of Building "D" (former Cinema Building)

Mr. Syfert said since Mr. Huddleston had to leave and this is a final approval, it will take five affirmative votes, not a simple majority.

Michael Schuster, the architect for the project said the project is owned and managed by Kimco Realty. In 1993 a PUD plan was approved by this Planning Commission to renovate and modify part of Cassinelli Square. At the time it was a mall; it was modified and additional stores were put in and moved around. There was one new building built an out building (Just for Feet).

What was proposed was a Retail Building "D" which is what we are discussing tonight. Currently there is a cinema building, which is vacant. We would take that building down. We want to go back to the submission that was approved in 1993 and place retail building on that site. One of the reasons the building wasnít built was that there has been a tenant in that building and the negotiations were such that it couldnít happen until now.

I have copies of a plan, which I will pass around. There was a proposed Retail Building D that was on the property and he showed the current survey of the property. Because of the slopes in the area and the way the building was built, the whole area would have to be modified.

There is a slight modification to the building. The square footage that was permitted in 1993 was 23,600 s.f. retail. What is being proposed is a 23, 250 square feet, 350 square feet smaller. The other change is that the original building was long and narrow, with tenant spaces facing towards the other side. The building now would be more square, 155í x 150í and the frontages would be on three sides of the building. The orientation was modified so that the building would have fewer steps than the original proposed. We want a building with a lot of life and vitality and we are proposing two pads, one to the south side and one to the north side of the building.

Another difference from the original is the construction of a retaining wall to allow us to put a recessed parking area in, and we are proposing a retaining wall along the south edge of the property.

In the comments we got back, there is a landscaped island along the edge of the retaining wall. On the original drawing submitted, there needs to be clarification. There will be an eight-foot wide planting area along the south edge of that wall. That was a misrepresentation and I apologize for that.

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Mr. Shasta added this is an enlargement of the plan showing the tenant areas. There would be an elevation on the north side of the building (705) and an elevation at the south side (708). So there is a three-foot step in dimension. We have to be able to do that because of the sloping site. If we made it all level, we would be fighting the drainage on the site.

There is a masonry wall around the dumpster location with wooden doors on it similar to what has been approved, split face concrete block, 10 feet in height.

The building elevations are fairly similar in concept to what has been built on the site and it is also very similar to what was originally proposed on Building D. Now you would have a lot more glass on the retail space. We are suggesting more glazing there for more visibility so we are reducing the amount of solid wall.

On the east and west elevations, we have towers similar to what you see in these pictures (passed photographs around). The towers would be on the four corners and there would be glazing in the areas between for the retail spaces. On the south and north

elevations there would be a slight arching top sign with the Diamond C in the middle to represent Cassinelli. We have some samples of the materials for the building, split face block and the drivitt, which is the color, proposed and accepted for the Just for Feet building earlier. The brick is similar to what is throughout the site. There is a paint trim color, a blue green color and the roof would be copper coat which is exactly what has been done on the other buildings. He passed the samples around.

On the open space, the original calculation was done that indicated that the site density was 23,600 s.f. or 27%. We are making the building 350 square feet less, and the open space would be very slightly over 27%. The minimum requirement is 20%.

The tree removal plan is shown here, and the number of trees we will put back in place would surpass the caliper inch requirement.

On the landscaping plan, there are two different types of plant material. One would be a low spread 12-18" blue chip juniper in a mulched bed area. There also would be new Cleveland select pear trees, a hardier variety pear tree. This is the entrance into the site, and six of them would be planted along the entrance, a number at each of the corners of the building, and a couple out into the parking lot.

We are talking about two retaining walls. One is more significant and looks like a retaining wall, and the other one looks like an extension to the building.

Along the front face and between the two towers, realizing we will have to make the three-foot step in elevation, we have to create a walkway, which will slightly slope to meet the grades. To meet the drive area here, this area becomes a raised planting area

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Mr. Shuster showed an elevation of the retaining wall in the parking lot on the south side of the building, which is a concrete material. On top of that retaining wall, there was a question about some safety feature. At one time there was a discussion about a guardrail because that wall looked a lot closer to the driveway. In reality there will be an eight-foot planting bed from the driveway to that wall, and on top there would be a pipe rail for safety.

Mr. Shuster passed out copies of the booklet concerning the proposed development. Signage on the building would follow along the covenants with the original PUD submission. Were those distributed to the members? Mr. McErlane answered the problem with it is that some of the submittals were sent in earlier, and duplicates werenít sent in for distribution to Planning Commission, so Planning did not get everything that we got initially.

Mr. Shuster reported that they are looking at two different options for the building, because we donít know how it will be tenanted. One would be completely retail and the other would be retail with a restaurant tenant. There was a typographical error on the square footage. The square footage total is 23,250. One option would be a retail building of 23,250 s.f. The other option would be to have 14,700 s.f. retail and 8,550 s.f. restaurant.

We are putting parking options together for both of those options. Given the required, in both options, we are providing more than the required percentage of parking than what was originally approved. Originally approved was 81% of the total parking that was required. At that time we had a shared parking analysis, using the Urban Land Institute standards and Planning approved this.

With a restaurant or with an all retail building, we are at either 87% or 91% of the total, so we are above what was originally approved.

We are following the listing regarding requirements for signage that are in the original covenants. We are not asking at this time for any additions or modifications to the pylon sign. It has been suggested that the movie center signs be taken out, and we have agreed to do that.

There was an issue about lighting; we have done a photometric lighting analysis and all of it meets or exceeds the requirements. It only requires us to put in one additional light pole and that would match the existing light poles that were put in place when the center was relit back in 1993.

John Peterson from Woolpert is here to answer questions on detention. What was asked at the time of the original PUD submission was that we install at this particular location when we did this building 4770 cubic feet of detention. What we are suggesting is that we meet that by putting in a pipe field that would allow for the detention. Calculations have been sent on to staff and there have been some questions that we can answer.

 

 

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Mr. Shuster added that mechanical equipment was an issue. One of the reasons why we put the arked and taller parapet heights on the building is to allow for hiding the mechanical equipment on the roof.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that as part of the 1993 PUD approval, there was to be 33,934 cubic feet of additional detention to be constructed as the different portions of the approved redevelopment took place. At that time, there already existed 6,226 cubic feet of detention.

At this time, with all the other improvements that have taken place, there are 26,664 cubic feet. As the applicant indicated, 4,770 additional cubic feet is earmarked for this building. That leaves 2500 cubic feet which was for another building that was shown to be developed just to the north of the TGI Friday location.

The proposed underground detention for this building consists of 476 feet of 36-inch conduit and 288 feet of 30-inch conduit in the vicinity to the south, east and north of the building. The questions we had related to the details, calculations to assure that sufficient tributary area is upstream from the basin so it will actually function. We need grate capacity analysis and details of the outlet control structures.

On the site grading, there is a retaining wall on the south side of the building between the parking field and the drive area. Our question related to the differences between the landscaping plan and the actual site plan. If in fact the eight feet does exist, does it have an effect on the parking field?

Mr. Shuster responded a graphic overlay showed it into the island, but in reality it needed to be shifted. The landscaping plan more accurately represents it and we have made a modification to the site plan and I have copies to pass out to you. He passed it out to the members, adding that this more accurately represents what we intend to do.

Mr. Shvegzda stated that if the eight feet is there, that fairly well negates that concern. I believe the retaining wall will be a cast in place traditional type wall, and that related to some of the concerns on tree plantings.

On the guardrail issue, since we have the additional separation between the top of the wall and the back of curb, I would expect the consultant would review and make sure that is a sufficient distance from the main driveway.

On the wall on the east side, is that exposed from the area to the east? Mr. Shuster answered that wall will look like a curb, but you actually will be walking in an area through here and down a sloped sidewalk behind that wall.

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Shvegzda commented the question is in regards to the particular type of wall and the appearance, and the landscaping would essentially screen that. Mr. Shuster confirmed this adding that all you would see from the front elevation would be

Mr. Shvegzda added in general there are landscaped islands within the parking lot. I assume all those will have curbing around them. It is a matter of defining where the curbing will be. Mr. Shuster confirmed this.

Mr. Shvegzda said there was a concern for sight distance, and we need to have that reviewed in regards to the drive aisles intersecting any of the main aisles, basically the east-west drive aisles intersecting the north-south drive to make sure that there is sufficient sight distance there. There was some concern expressed for the former Just for Feet building.

Mr. Shuster responded that issue had a lot to do with the fact that we are bringing a lot of people right back through this main entranceway. When that was done, the turn in was modified. The existing lanes will continue as they are; they wonít change, and these others will be independent. Mr. Shvegzda commented we would need verification on that.

Ms. McBride reported that the staff report was done before the information that was presented this evening.

When the submission was made and staff reviewed it, the applicant was asking for approval of two different plans. I understand that there was a typo, but based on the fact that it was represented as two proposals. One was for a 23,250 s. f. building and one was for a 24,950 s.f. building. The larger building was larger than what was approved and would require full review and approval, not just final development plan revision plan and approval by this commission. So, staff did not look at nor did they calculate parking requirements for use as a split use, retail and restaurant. I have done rough numbers sitting here and Iíll try to address that as we go. Based on the fact that the building would be limited to 23,250 s.f. and that is below what was originally approved as a modification to the PUD plan of 23,600 s.f.

The PUD contains a total of 355,934 s.f. per the applicantís submitted plans. Right now per their submitted plans there are 1472 parking spaces, which gives us a ratio of 4.13 spaces per 1,000. Our new code would require 1738 parking spaces plus the theater, which is going away. Based on the current Zoning Code, the proposed redevelopment would require 1843 parking spaces. That is based on a total square footage for the redevelopment and the existing development of 353, 564 s.f. Our code today would classify this development as a shopping center, which says on your retail square footage, you are at one per 222 s.f., breaking out offices and restaurants and there are two restaurants. We back them out at a ratio of one per 50 square feet.

 

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Ms. McBride added that the applicant is proposing 1470 parking spaces, which is within the same ratio as exists on the site, 4.13 compared to 4.15 (what they are proposing). These numbers do not reflect the restaurant, because staff was not reviewing that at that time.

This brings a discrepancy of 373 parking spaces. Planning has the ability to approve that modification, and it is in the same range as approved previously, but the commission needs to think about the fact that theater parking is different from retail parking. They donít share the same peak hours. If you are talking about strictly retail or retail and restaurant, their peak hour conflicts more with the existing center, so the commission should keep that in mind.

PUD requires a peripheral building setback of 75 feet, and the proposed building is 20 feet from the west property line, so the commission would have to grant the modification from that a requirement. Staff doesnít feel that is a problem, but we needed to point that out to the commission.

There are a number of plan sheets, and we need additional information on them. The waste area will be on the west elevation, and that is an elevation that although there is a restaurant between this building and 747, it does indirectly face one of our primary streets. They are proposing to enclose that with a 10 foot high masonry wall which is great, but we need to see how that is treated. We wonít want to see a plain unpainted split block enclosure. That enclosure would have wood doors, which is fine.

There is a requirement for a minimum of 20% open space on the site, and they will provide 27%. We want to see what areas were included in that calculation.

We need to see details on the retaining wall and the pipe rail. Staff prefers wrought iron fencing such as Costco put up. It is for aesthetics since it is the front to their center, and also it is a safety issue.

We had preliminary minor comments on the landscape plan. Item 4 talks about the availability of land area for the trees adjacent to that retaining wall. The plans we looked at had two or three feet, which wasnít enough to accommodate these trees and the applicant indicated to the commission that they were able to pick up two feet from the drive aisle and the sidewalks.

There are two message boards that the applicant previously agreed would come down when the movie theaters were gone and they need to come down. We did not see any other details for signage.

On the lighting, they are proposing only one additional pole. Staff questioned that they match in terms of color etc. with what was already existing on the site, and that there was to be no other building lighting with the exception of two green neon Cís. One would be on the north and the other on the south elevation.

 

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Ms. McBride added that they did get the building elevations for all four sides as well as a shell floor plan. The applicant has reported the building materials this evening. The only other item is that there should be no outdoor display or sale of goods on this portion of the PUD.

Mr. Galster said when you say that the west property line is at 20 feet, is that with the trash container area? Ms. McBride answered that is just the building. Mr. Galster said so the trash container is probably seven feet from the property line. Ms. McBride confirmed this.

Mr. Galster said am I looking at this wrong, or are the building elevations flipped around, east and west. Mr. Shuster confirmed that they were flipped.

Mr. Galster wondered about the tree issue and replacement caliper inches. Would you consider this similar to what happened to Wendyís where all of a sudden we had a plan, they cut them down, put up half, cut them down, put up half? I donít know that I agree with the idea that a redevelopment can cut down trees and replant half. I think the Tree Ordinance was designed to protect the green space.

Ms. McBride said Mr. McErlane will cover that, but I would say that it is something the commission might want to look at, making revisions to the Tree Preservation Ordinance. What we are seeing more and more is redevelopment instead of the development of virgin land, which was what the Tree Preservation Ordinance was originally designed to cover.

Mr. McErlane said there was a preliminary plan and the applicant has provided information concerning the original preliminary plan that was approved November 17, 1993. In that plan, there was building 300 feet long and 80 feet deep facing the center. This plan sets the building back to back and faces north and south.

The schedule of construction submitted in 1993 indicated that the cinema building would be torn down and this building would be built in 1995. One of the major deviations from the preliminary plan is the schedule. Square footage is slightly less than what was shown, although what was shown previously was all retail space and d id not involve any restaurant space, particularly in that building.

We have received a color pallet tonight and Ms. McBride has commented on the landscaping plan relative to plant sizes.

Although signs have been talked about tonight, no signs have been presented for approval, and if you read the covenants, they say signs will comply with code unless presented and approved by Planning Commission. Until we see a sign package, we are assuming they will comply with code.

 

 

 

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Mr. McErlane added that two pylon signs were approved by Planning Commission, and subsequent to that when it was found out that the cinema building wouldnít be torn down right away, Kimco came in and requested message board signs for operation of the cinemas to be added to the bottom of the approved signs, only to be there until the cinema was subsequently torn down; those need to be removed.

I wonít go through the parking analysis, because Ms. McBride and I have a discrepancy as well as Iím not sure how the existing parking and the existing square footages match up with what was shown on the original preliminary plan.

The Tree Preservation Ordinance was primarily drawn up to protect undeveloped areas from being totally obliterated of trees with no concern about saving them or replanting for those particular sites. In redevelopment, what we are looking at is a previously approved landscaping plan that is being cut down and replaced with a new landscaping plan. In this instance, there are 58 trees being cut down that total 273 caliper inches. If you strictly follow the Tree Preservation Ordinance, there are a number of them that are exempt because they are within the footprint of the proposed building and within the 10-foot perimeter of that footprint. Then, the balance of those are only required to be replaced, if they are over six caliper inches for deciduous hardwoods, and eight inches caliper if they are evergreens, so that is another group that is exempt from replacement. Of those that are left, you are only required to replace half of those that you are taking out.

So essentially, you are only required to replace 42 caliper inches of trees, and what the landscaping plan shows are 17 trees being planted at 51 inches. It may get down to what you physically can plant on the site. Planning Commission and the developer can look at other locations on the Cassinelli Square site if there are locations available. They donít necessarily have to fit within this little footprint of the building.

I do have a couple of questions about some of the things we saw tonight. In terms of the discrepancy between plans, the previous plans submitted and the one that showed eight feet of planting along that driving aisle Ė was the landscaping plan incorrect? Mr. Shuster answered what we intended to do was to maintain and provide the eight foot strip through there. We did not clarify that issue as well as we should have with Woolpert. Subsequently the dimensions that were put in place showed that landscaping bed being much narrower than the eight feet. The intent is that the eight-foot distance that was shown on the landscaping plan would be correct and the modifications would be made as were discussed.

Mr. McErlane responded physically the footprint used on the landscaping plan was longer than what it should have been. Mr. Shuster answered slightly, but it affected only a couple of walkways. It didnít affect any of the landscaped areas, only the hard areas. No landscaping beds were modified.

 

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Mr. McErlane said the other question that I have is the elevations in a couple of the other plans show the dumpster location in the center of the building, and the most recent plan shows it further to the south. Mr. Shuster answered I believe the location is in the c enter of the building in order to have glass on both sides of the center bay area. Mr. McErlane said so this site plan that you passed out tonight should show it in the middle. Mr. Shuster confirmed this.

Mr. Okum said on the parking, you did not consider restaurant space and we were shy 373 parking spaces. If the potential restaurant were on the north pad, what would the parking totals be? Ms. McBride answered without the restaurant they would be deficient 373 spaces. With the restaurant it would be 502 spaces. Mr. Okum said and that is if the restaurant is in the north pad. Ms. McBride confirmed this. Mr. Shuster said the restaurant would be on the north side.

Ms. McBride added the calculations I did are based on an 8550 squares foot restaurant. Mr. Okum wondered if it allowed for the site to the other side of TGI Fridays, a potential restaurant site? Ms. McBride answered that it didnít. Mr. Okum continued so if that outlot were built, the deficiency would increase to a greater number. Ms. McBride stated if you assume that the building will be 23,250 square feet regardless if it is retail or retail and restaurant, the all retail would be short 373 parking spaces. If 8550 square feet of that 23,250 s.f. Building is used for a restaurant, and the balance is used for retail, then they are 502 parking spaces short.

Mr. Okum commented if I look at the site plan that we have been presented with the parking fields, if parking were in that little area to the south, could that parking field in the south quadrant be adequate to service that restaurant? There are a lot of turning radius problems I have with that restaurant on that south side.

Mr. Shuster responded marketing wise, we would never look at that area for a restaurant. Mr. Okum said so Ms. McBride would need to modify her calculation to reflect the restaurant portion to be in the north portion, or 14,700 s.f. of restaurant. Mr. Shuster said it would only be a portion of that; it still would be 8550 square feet.

Mr. Okum said I have some concerns on the turning movement into the southern portion of the site coming off that main roadway. You would be making like a u-turn at a t intersection. It is not set back and typically the setback of an entrance into a business is so many feet back from a corner of a site if it were a street or a roadway. Mr. Shvegzda answered that is correct, and that is mainly to deal with queuing traffic from an intersection. Mr. Okum said so if there is a stop sign on this corner, which I believe there is, there would be cars stopped going south blocking that entranceway. Mr. Shvegzda answered that could be the case. Mr. Okum wondered how to handle that.

 

 

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Mr. Shuster responded we understand the depth of the building would be 60 feet, a smaller tenant base. A restaurant is a high traffic situation, and we want to get as much of the traffic fields out in front to maximize the parking. If you wanted to move it back a little further, I suppose we could modify this island and move it out through here.

Mr. Okum responded that turning radius that Mr. Shvegzda brought up earlier would be a concern if you moved it back into the landscaped area. .On Just for Feetís building, we do have a problem with sight distance. I donít know if right now we have the sight distance; staff will have to look at that.

Mr. Shuster responded the parking field is at that exact distance from the corner right now. Because of the angled parking and the section of island, it would be less than the 19-foot distance.

Mr. Okum said a number of issues have been brought up by staff. If a restaurant goes on the site, it should be limited to the north portion. Mr. Shvegzda has requested detail on the retaining wall and I think Ms. McBride also should review that for appearance and style. I agree that railings need to be placed along that wall, ornamental such as an iron railing type would be more appropriate. On the other hand if a guardrail is required we would need to treat it with landscaping on the other sides of the guardrail because you wouldnít see the railing that much. Perhaps Mr. Shvegzda could give some relief and allow a wire guardrail to be used in these type of applications.

Mr. Shvegzda added we would suggest that the consultant review the ODOT criteria regarding safe lateral distance. Mr. Okum said I understand that, and if it is required by ODOT to have a guardrail there, then maybe some relief to allow an ornamental iron rail to be seen instead of the guardrail. I believe

Mr. Okum said I received a drawing of a drop dome lens instead of a flat lens. We are refraining from drop lenses and going to all flat lens so the light doesnít glare. Mr. Shuster responded we understand; it is one light fixture and our goal is to make them all look the same. Mr. Okum asked if there would be light packs on the building and Mr. Shuster answered one thing that wasnít indicated was that there would be some minor lighting associated with the trash areas for safety, and there also would be some lighting under the canopy area for safety as well. Mr. Okum responded that would not cause any glare issues; the lights on the back by the trash area should be downlit only with no exposed lens.

Mr. Okum said you are not including any signage; would we have to consider the cís on the building as a sign? Mr. McErlane indicated that we would.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Okum asked about the tree issue. Ms. McBride responded in terms of the strict letter of the tree replacement ordinance, it is met, but that ordinances was never designed for this type of redevelopment. It was designed for virgin land development. The Commission will have to look at that issue, both in terms of this development and then long range in terms of the ordinance.

Mr. Okum said with this development, we are getting 17 trees of 51 inches and losing 31 trees and 205 inches. We also are losing 27 evergreens totaling 58 inches. That is a lot of loss.

Ms. McBride responded this development was also approved as a PUD, and it certainly wold be reasonable for this commission to look at maintaining that same level of planting or landscape material. Again, as Mr. McErlane suggested, this is a big PUD and it could go anywhere on there and there certainly are a lot of areas that could take additional landscaping. Mr. Okum added those areas also could eliminate some more parking spaces. Ms. McBride responded I would think there are areas within existing non-impervious surface areas that additional landscaping could be added without creating more non-impervious surface area.

Mr. Galster said usually when we go through final plan review, we have the details like the number of tenants etc. and when we are here considering this as a final development plan review, to me this is more like a preliminary plan. We have no representation of what I consider a final plan, so I am a little uncomfortable calling this a final plan review. It seems like we are trying to hammer this out as if it were a final plan and what it really is is a modification to the final plan, but it is really only designed at a preliminary plan level.

Mr. Galster continued I know we have a lot of comments and a lot of issues. I have no problem with the general idea of redeveloping that building but I have a lot of problem with somehow or another figuring out that this is a final plan that we are doing right now.

Mr. Syfert said he could build the exact building that he represented in 1993 and you couldnít do a thing about it, so it isnít any different than what he represented in 1993. I donít have any problem with it myself. All I am saying is that if they want to develop that building, they can develop it with our approval of course. This commission already approved a modification to the PUD, but they want to modify it again. I agree that there are a number of open issues, but that is primarily because there was lack of communication between the developer and the engineering firm more than anything.

Mr. Galster said I wasnít around when that was done, but I look at the PUDs that we do today, and I look at Pictoria Island for example. We rearranged the buildings and set basic sizes for the buildings and intents for the buildings through the preliminary PUD stage. When it comes to the final development of that, then we have a final plan review and we go through the use and everything else in detail.

 

 

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Mr. Galster added that the way it is titled, it seems to me that, with the exception of signage, we could put in 100 retail stores inside that building. Parking that they are short is 500; being short by 500 if there are two uses there is different than if there are 100 uses. So, how do we properly if they have a real parking problem, if we donít know what the final plan is? That is my concern.

On the trees, I think they should be replacing what they are taking out. I know that the site is plenty big enough as a whole; I donít know that we want to continue to plant trees on the side of the old HQ building, but I think in general the stance needs to be, particularly with a PUD, that these trees that are being taken out should be replanted in full.

Ms. McBride said I would like to express to the commission my concern. think we could deal with restaurant versus non-restaurant; we could do those calculations. The big problem we are having here is we have plans from Woolpert that are shown as existing site conditions and they in no way match what has been represented as the approved proposed site development plan. If they are correct, what was built out there doesnít match what was approved out there in terms of building square footages and parking spaces.

We have no way of knowing here tonight which one is correct. There is quite a discrepancy between those two plans, and it all focuses on parking and square footage. That is my main concern. We can make a fair comparison on with restaurant and without restaurant, but now I am having some concern about the numbers that I gave you because I based them off the documents that were done by Woolpert and labeled "existing plan", and they donít match the approved plan. I am very concerned about that.

Mr. Shuster said when the original plan was done in 1993, we used a survey that was provided as a basis. Since then Woolpert has gone in and resurveyed the development area with the parking that has been provided with how things have been built exactly. I want to make sure the Commission doesnít have the idea that the developer in any way modified and did anything different than what was approved in the original development plan, in terms of what was intended to be built. The buildings werenít made to be bigger; the parking wasnít made to have fewer spaces; things werenít there to be modified. It is a large site, and a lot of times you might have some parking numbers that might not coincide with other parking numbers.

Essentially what we have out there are three fairly large vacancies, and part of that is that those are bigger box type users and very specific types of buildings. What we would like to do is create a little more vitality for the center by putting in this particular building at this particular location in such a way that it can be tenanted the way we are talking about, and that is with two pads instead of multiple pads that was approved preliminarily back in 1993.

 

 

 

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Mr. Shuster added that one of the problems that the leasing market has out there is if you build a building specific to a tenant, many times it is hard to reuse that building. In this particular case it is a fairly small building as retail buildings go. We think it is a better building than what was proposed originally, one that wouldnít have a long concrete block wall facing Princeton. We are trying to provide a better prettier building, rather than a vacant building. That theater will never be inhabited by any other theater. There is no theater that we know of that is using that kind of signature theater representation in terms of numbers of screens.

Many of the things we talk about in terms of area and square footages and parking even when the theater was in use, when Just for Feet and HQ were open along with all the other tenants that were put in place, parking was never an issue. This commission in 1993 said there is a lot of wasted space out there; we have a lot of parking area that we require, but is not used. At the same time, the Commission at that point talked about how to create more greenspace. So there is a kind of Catch 22 in terms of doing both.

Back in 1993 one of the big issues was site detention and it was a preexisting non-draining surface at that time. We have not added any buildings over greenspace from what the original Cassinelli Square Mall was. What the commission required at that time was to add more detention to help it become a better neighbor.

To answer the question about tenanting, you need to have something to show them.. This is a smaller tenant building, and we would agree that we would like to come in with a tenant or tenants identified and know exactly all the perimeters, but because of this particular size, it is not something that is particularly easy to do.

Mr. Vanover said I agree with what Ms. McBride and Mr. Galster are saying, although the applicant is correct in terms of the parking field. At that point of time, we were pushing for greenspace, and I would iek to see even more green space. With these potential shortages that we have, we have two sizeable vacant pads, and we donít know how they will impact. We are starting at this point, whether it is 300 or 500 short, what will we be when we get the new ones in there? That is my concern. I understand the chairman saying that they could build this bigger pad with multiple tenants, but the retail area right now will support that. It would be a smaller number and a little larger in size.

Mr. Shuster added that the original proposed Building D was 300í x 80í was a big barn with seven step tenant pads that would be two bays wide. That wasnít effective for leasing.

From a parking standpoint, if you take a look at what was approved, a lot of this would face towards the eastern part of the center, which means that the parking areas to the north and south wouldnít be as effective as they would be in the big parking area that is to the north of this proposed building. In fact, you would have more pedestrian traffic crossing that main drive aisle.

 

 

 

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VII CASSINELLI SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDING "D"

Mr. Shuster said we think this is a better building. We understand all the concerns that you have and we think staff has done a good job addressing the details. Every time we have had a new comment, we responded to it quickly, even those comments that we received this morning, we responded to many of those tonight. We are trying to get the building up and going and start the building process in the spring of 2001 so we can get rid of a vacant building that has no alternative use in the marketplace right now.

Even with the tree situation, what was proposed in the landscape plan when this was submitted in 1993 may be a little difficult to see, but those black dots in this area indicated the number of trees proposed. Coming down the same aisleway where we had shown three trees originally, we are suggesting six. Where there was only one tree at the corners of the building, we are suggesting pairs. Where there were no trees in traffic islands in that area, we are proposing two landscaped islands. Without making the building not workable from a visibility standpoint, and from putting landscaped islands everywhere that cause other issues associated with this particular pad, we are trying to make the best of all of the worlds we have to work with.

Ms. McBride said we would like to see more happen at that center and some of that vacant space be redeveloped or reoccupied, but the concern I have that has been elevated during this meeting is that what the applicant has said is that the plans that Woolpert did went out and did a survey or whatever, but that the existing preliminary plan from Woolpert showing the 355,934 s.f. is correct. The concern I have is that the City approved this development plan revision, which was for a total of 342, 885 s.f. The TGI Fridays was approved at 8398 s.f. and the Woolpert plan shows that it was built at 9576 s.f. The Longhorn Steak was approved at 5586 s.f. and was built at 6535 s.f.

Mr. Shuster said I might be able to clarify one of those dimensional issues. The square footages were based n the gross interior dimension amounts. When you take a look at the outside, some of those may have been (I donít know) but a lot of the dimensions from Woolpert are the exterior edges of the building. It wasnít intentional, but that may have been one point of discrepancy.

Mr. McErlane commented it looks like the smaller buildings have grown by approximately 1,000 s.f. apiece. Mr. Shuster said that wasnít our intention. Mr. McErlane added the TGI Fridays has not changed since this plan was submitted. Although Longhorn was remodeled, I donít think it grew much in the way of square footage. However, if you are really looking at the parking numbers, we need to know what the accurate numbers are. I think your comparison of parking numbers was based on the preliminary plan, and not the plan that Woolpert put together.

 

 

 

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VII CASSINELLI SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDING "D"

Mr. Shuster responded that may be the case. One of the things to point out is from what was the existing square footage of the center and the existing required parking from the center, we had 2371 required spaces in 1993. That was what the existing center at that time required.

Ms. McBride commented I donít want to get into the parking requirements. I am just trying to get a square footage to work from. Mr. Shuster responded we can work with the staff to identify all the accurate square footages. What we are trying to do is to get the preliminary development plan approved at 23,600, and look at a building that is 350 square feet less than that.

Ms. McBride answered I understand that, but we also have to look at the bottom line. Based on the numbers you provided, it was approved at 342,885, and now all of a sudden I have 355,934. If you can show me where the 355,934 is inaccurate or is counting things that shouldnít be countedÖI notice that there is an area shown proposed to be demolished to the rear of some of your tenant space between Home Quarters and Toys R Us, and according to the Woolpert plan that was not demolished. That may account for some of the square footage.

Mr. Shuster added that might be an exterior covered loading area, not an interior building area.

Ms. McBride said I donít want to split hairs, but we canít come up with accurate parking required versus what is being proposed ratios because we donít know the square footages.

Mr. Okum asked if there were a site plan showing build outs. Mr. McErlane responded that we do not. Mr. Okum said we have an approved final plan that includes H. Ms. McBride responded you have an approved final plan that includes H, but includes a total of 342,885 square feet. Without H, based on their existing plans, they are at 355,934, so they are already over, and there is no Building H any more. H has been combined in TGI Fridays and Longhorns, etc. Mr. Okum responded I understand that, but we have an approved site plan that indicates H on it. We are amending that site plan to incorporate this portion onto that site. Ms. McBride said I would disagree with you, because you have an approved square footage. How that is visually represented is really Ö Mr. Okum said Iím not disagreeing with you, but what I am saying is you are saying numbers, we have a site plan, Mr. McErlane looks at a site plan with that building footprint on it, and even without that building, the square footage is over what it should be. In my opinion, that needs to be resolved, and it may not be resolved this evening.

Mr. Shuster said we would like to be able to move forward with the development plan that we have, so we would like to work with staff to take a look at how exactly the Woolpert number was calculated, versus the existing number. If that number is interior wall space versus exterior dimensions Ė I think what may have been done, and itís been seven years, so I have to apologize Ė my memory is not always that good Ė I believe that Woolpertís plan looks at the exterior dimensions of the wall.

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VII CASSINELLI SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDING "D"

Mr. Shuster added what we were trying to do in that square footage was take a look at the area of parking. That may have been part of the discrepancy, and we would like to work with staff to look at that. We certainly donít want to not be able to replace a building that is actually larger than what is being proposed now.

Mr. Okum said then if the approved site square footage is 342, 885 gross leasable space. without H; is that figure correct? Ms. McBride answered it is shown as the approved square footage. I donít know if it was gross leasable, total floor area Ė I donít know.

Mr. Okum continued we have the number 342,885. With this building, we are at 355,934 and we are still over. Does this building need to be as big as it is?

Mr. Shuster answered from a leasing and marketing square footage standpoint, that is the building that helps to make the center work from a financial model standpoint. Regardless of what those dimensions and those areas area, this building has always been viewed as a site development opportunity. I understand that there are discrepancies in those dimensions. I think we can work with staff and if there is a huge discrepancy that is an issue, we have to address it. When we look at the site density issue, and the minimum requirement is 20% open space, even if the building is at 355,934 from a total building standpoint with this development, awe would still be over that as a minimum site open space requirement. The size of this building makes sense from the kind of tenanting that is being proposed for the center.

John from Woolpert said I believe that the areas that are shown on the plan were taken from aerial photos, so it is basically a rooftop view. They are actually the edge of the roof. It is accurate as far as what you see from the air. Ms. McBride said so when we say 355,934 square feet, that is not total building area; that is total rooftop area. So everything is wrong on the parking space ratios.

Mr. Shuster said I apologize. What we submitted we thought was correct. Ms. McBride responded no, because you based it on this. Mr. Shuster said I apologize for that. One of the issues when we took at look at this was we really thought we were looking at a 23,600 s.f. building that was previously approved. Now we want to put a building that is slightly smaller in its place. We understand that the commission has to take a look at the site as a whole, and that is what the square footage issue is about. I think what we didnít do is dwell on all of the numbers relative to the rest of the center, feeling that those were already accurate and approved. That is probably one of those issues.

Mr. Syfert said I hate to delay your progress, but I believe there are so many irregularities in this; as a matter of fact, I nearly didnít even see this tonight because of what we found in staff. I am going to recommend that you request that this be tabled until next month and get everything ironed out. We will all look at one final plan, staff will look at one final plan, and perhaps we can give you your answer.

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VII CASSINELLI SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDING "D"

Mr. Shuster said we understand that not all of the things were submitted, and we are trying to respond as best we can. A number of the comments that we tried to address tonight were actually received this morning. What we would like to be able to do in lieu of coming back to the commission is to work with the staff to their satisfaction and take a look at the square footage issue, which really is a relative issue to roof issue versus building area issue as well as the parking.

The building itself and the landscaped areas that we see right now respond to all of those comments. The biggest comments that I hear are the overall square footages from a site standpoint. Those are the things that can be resolved with staff. We would hope that we could do that. We understand that you might not want that latitude.

Mr. Syfert responded what I am trying to tell you is I donít think anyone feels comfortable voting to approve this with your working everything out with staff. What I am sensing is that they want it worked out first.

Mr. Galster said I think everybody on this board realizes that particular building is of no use to you now, and everybody would love to see this whole area redeveloped and highly successful. I think you will find we are extremely flexible and willing to work with you to make that happen. However, I think there are some issues that need to be addressed. I have no problem approving a building if I have a general idea of its intended use. Even though you have two separate slabs, which part of that will be restaurant? What do you anticipate for retail?

Mr. Shuster responded we have identified that in the plans we submitted to staff. Mr. Galster responded what I have here doesnít identify where that restaurant was.

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Shuster said one of the concerns I have is coming back and opening up all the other issues. I think we submitted two different floor plans. Did you see that? Mr. McErlane said we didnít see that and that was one of the questions we raised initially because the square footages were different. Mr. Shuster said I apologize. Mr. McErlane continued there was nothing designated as restaurant on the plans.

Mr. Galster said I also have new drawings today that shows the building being shifted over to show the eight-foot, but at the same time moved the trash compactor. The covenants havenít been reviewed; all those things are things that can be addressed relatively simply, and if you bring something back in that incorporates all those comments..

Mr. Shuster said one of the concerns I have is the comment relatives to the tree issues. What we can afford to do right now is build on this piece of property. We are trying to put as much landscape as we can relative to that site. I heard some comments that are different from the tree ordinance and I want to understand that. .

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VII CASSINELLI SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDING "D"

Mr. Galster responded under a PUD every issue is debatable. That could also be addressed.

Mr. Galster said the only other thing that concerns me about the presentation is that we are trying to stay focused on this one building as opposed to looking at the whole plan. If we do that all the way around the whole site, I donít think we would ever get an island back in that parking lot. I think we have to make sure to look at the whole unit.

Mr. Shuster responded our thought there was that it had been looked at by the previous Planning Commission in terms of the preliminary PUD ; that was our thinking, and you may not agree with that at this point of time. We tried to work very well with the Planning Commission.

Mr. Galster responded and I am sure you would agree that in the past seven to eight years conditions have changed. We are more than willing to work with you however we can to make that site successful, but I want to make sure that we have all these issues addressed.

Mr. Galster moved to table.

Mr. Okum said if you look at the exhibit that showed the long building, maybe they gave us something that couldnít work, because they s how a one way roadway along the south portion of the site emptying out into an ingress/egress easement.

Mr. Shuster responded that this was requested based on your traffic engineer working with us. Mr. Okum said everything looks the same on that left corner, except now we have a wall there and it canít enter that ingress/egress easement. I know that the building was going to be stepped from that being the high point down to the north seven steps, so that would have been at grade with that roadway on that site plan. Iím not asking you to rebuild that building, but if I extend that builiding out directly to the east, I come up with the same basic building that you have submitted here without that roadway continuing through.

Mr. Shuster responded by the time you move the square footage out to the north side of the site, if you build it in two steps rather than seven steps, the level of step would be six or seven feet of height difference, which wasnít something that would work as effectively on the back side of the building. That is why we proposed the building to be modified to the two steps with the smaller parking field built as a retaining area.

Mr. Okum said there was a reason that was done that way, for traffic patterns. Mr. Shvegzda stated I think probably the reason that was done that way was the configuration of the parking, to have ample parking in there. Mr. Okum commented I was here then and I recall that was done for the purposes of safety. Planning Commission concurred that if cars were going in there, it would be safer for them to come out at that ingress/egress.

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VII CASSINELLI SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT OF BUILDING "D"

Mr. Shuster said as I recall, that whole entrance development was developed based on the traffic engineerís analysis. I think the one way shown there is to reconfigure the parking the way it was. I recall that the entrance was a big issue, as well as the entrance at Just for Feet was a big issue, but not the directional movement on the site. Mr. Okum said I donít think the directional movement was as important, but I do recall the engineer recommending that the ingress/egress access on the back side of the building be there so that cars exiting out of that parking field could enter into a t intersection into that roadway.

Mr. Shvegzda stated that he did not recall that specific area. I know that we had a considerable discussion of the Just for Feet building in regards to traffic exiting out onto that driveway in close proximity to Tri-County Parkway. That is the reason that there was a raised concrete median constructed in that location. There is no left turn permitted in that location. I donít recall that level of discussion.

Mr. Okum said I think the applicant needs to look at that, because if there is a possibility of getting that going into that ingress/egress roadway along that back side, I donít see why we donít do it.

Mr. Shuster reported we took a look at the slopes and they are actually more significant on the south side and they loosen up as you go to the north side. To put a building with a configuration that works better, when we talk about facing north and south, the steps in that building would be a lot more significant to get only the two pads in that building. In the back area in terms of loading dumpsters site access emergency egress and all those issues associated with actually building the building that step would be significant at that point. We did look at that extensively when we looked at modifying to put this building in place.

Mr. Okum responded I think our engineer needs to look at it in regards to that square footage access, one way in and one way out. At this point I am not overly comfortable with that south side of the building.

Mr. Darby seconded the motion to table. Voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Darby, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert.

  1. DISCUSSION
  2. Mr. Shvegzda said on the Springdale Plaza development, I had a phone call from the applicant discussing a particular comment that was made as part of the discussion and I needed clarification. It was concerning northbound on Tri-County Parkway, the first drive into the development and the addition of a right turn only lane. The minutes of the meeting indicated that the applicant was to look into the viability of doing this.

     

     

     

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    VIII. DISCUSSION - continued

    Mr. Shvegzda reported that subsequent to that, he has submitted some information indicating that for several reasons, basically cost, a problem he perceives with the grading of the driveway, with the additional widening there and the effect on landscaping. He doesnít think it is viable for this site. I am coming back to this Commission to see where we need to processed on this.

    Mr. Galster commented have him bring it back and show us; I am having a hard time visualizing exactly what the problem is.

    Mr. Darby said regardless of what the drawing says, if we are going to authorize a change, he should bring it back. We need to look at it.

    Mr. Shvegzda said the discussion was if the applicant had indicated that they were going to do anything other than the right turn lane, they had discussed generally providing a wider radius on that approaching area into the driveway. The current driveway does have a depressed curve and apron type arrangement. It is a typical type driveway, which is for a more low volume entrance. They would eliminate that and create a normal intersection there, so you wouldnít have the hesitancy when you hit the depressed curve. It certainly would be a much better situation than what they have right now.

    Mr. Galster stated I have no problem with leaving it up to Don to make sure that entrances is handled in the best way possible based on his recommendation.

    Mr. Galster said I canít disagree with that, but we have a lot of traffic on Tri-County Parkway and we will increase the flow of traffic by the development going in there, which are big producers of traffic volume. That is the first right in into that development, and I disagree that turning it into a right turn intersection would make any difference if you donít have a decell lane to get into. He has to redo it; what it means is he would have to cut back into the parking field and do some contour work. For this development and that purpose with as narrow as that is there and with the number of cars that are hitting that intersection, I disagree. I think it should be done. I drive it frequently, and it is amazing the number of left turn cars that are turning left going east bound on Kemper and going south on Tri-County Parkway. It is increasing daily, and if they donít have a decell lane there we will have accidents and the developer should just do it. I think it is necessary.

    Mr. Galster commented I change my mind and go with Mr. Okum.

    Mr. Syfert said I tend to agree with Dave; I would like to see it if at all possible. Mr. Vanover concurred. The stacking lane on eastbound Kemper waiting to make the turn was beyond the stacking lane capacity and was slowing the flow on Kemper. Mr. Galster said they just have preliminary plan approval; they go to Council and come back to Planning, so there is all kinds of time to address that with them. Do they want to change it before they go to Council?


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  3. DISCUSSION Ė continued
  4. Mr. Shvegzda answered they just wanted clarification at this point so they could proceed with plans based on a no right turn lane.

    Mr. Darby said I think procedurally if that kind of change is desired, they need to come back to this commission, because two people have some very strong feelings about it, and we could get ourselves in trouble when we donít observe procedures and have the candidate here before us making his or her request to allow for a change to be made. At minimum, if they can make a case that a change should be made, it should be made from here.

    Mr. Vanover commented what might throw that into a tailspin is the fact that Council has scheduled a public hearing and it is advertised for January 3rd. Mr. Galster said the public hearing and drawings should be what we have seen and approved here. If we look at this change, we look at it when it comes back to Planning for final approval.

    Mr. Shvegzda stated I will let the applicant know that they need to proceed with the right turn lane; otherwise, at some point they need to come before Planning Commission.

    Mr. McErlane said when we reviewed Pictoria Island, the parking garage was left open as far as the architectural features were concerned. It was left for them to bring something back in to staff and get a review and approval from staffís standpoint. We just wanted to show you the end result. (showed board).

    It uses the same architectural precast concrete. One of the things this illustration doesnít show is this is looking at the north side of the building (North Commerce Way) and this is looking at the west side of the building ( the stub portion of Northwest Boulevard). Youíll notices the stairtower on the south side of the building adjacentn to the office building What doesnít show on this portion of it is there are actually two stairtowers, so altogether there are three tower elements. The two towers on the south side of the building are actually stair towers; the third is a false tower element. The false tower was to give it some dimension, and they actually have bumped out the columns so that they give it some dimension. The intermediate columns are false columns.

    The differences in the materials are, one is architectural concrete that is a smooth finish and the other is a sand blasted finish where the aggregate shows. There is a subtle difference in colors, but not as much as this shows.

    Mr. Darby asked if they resolved the issue of the stall widths, and Ms. McBride reported that they went with what we recommended which was Urban Land Institute and different resources like that set forth. Mr. Darby asked if they came up with the required number of stalls, and Mr. McErlane indicated that they didnít change the number in the parking garage at all. One of the things that they indicated that helped them out is the fact that they moved the columns to the outside of the building, so they are no longer an impediment to parking.

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  5. DISCUSSION Ė continued
  6. Ms. McBride added and they were quick to point out that they decreased the size of the building 1í-3" in one width and 8" in another.

    Mr. McErlane added their angled parking was more than what the Urban Land Institute required, so they were able to pick up some of that.

    Mr. Okum commented that he hoped the land use planner does a good job on landscaping in front of that. Ms. McBride said we discussed this and we were concerned about the evergreens and we expressed that.

    Mr. Syfert commented that looks like a job well done by the staff.

  7. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Whitaker seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 10:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_______________________,2001 _____________________

William Syfert, Chairman

 

 

_______________________,2001 _____________________

David Whitaker Secretary