20 FEBRUARY 2001

7:00 P.M.



    Chairman David Okum called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m..

  4. Members Present Councilman Robert Wilson, Bob Weidlich, Bob Apke, Councilman James Squires, Fred Borden, Jane Huber and Chairman Okum

    Others Present William McErlane, Building Official

  6. Mr. Squires moved to adopt and Mr. Apke seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.

    1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 13 January 2001
    2. Zoning Bulletin – January 10, 2001
    3. Zoning Bulletin – January 25, 2001
    1. Report on Council Activities – Jim Squires
    2. Mr. Squires stated that at the February 7th meeting we passed Ordinance 9-2001 for the State Route 747/CSXT Grade Separation project, which is now officially underway.

    3. Report on Planning Commission – David Okum

Mr. Okum said we approved a room addition at 23 Silver Maple Way; there was another room addition at 52 Curly Maple Way which also was approved. Both are a part of Maple Knoll Village. We reviewed changes to the Skyline Chili at 85 East Kemper Road which were approved and they are here tonight for a variance for their signage. We also discussed the Springdale Plaza and the dedication of right of way along the eastern portion of the site (Tri-County Parkway). There is some difficulty with lease issues and they will work with our staff to come up with a revised plan to handle this. Additionally we moved to suspend the rules to have their covenants finalized prior to permits so they can proceed with the project. We discussed an amendment to the Tree Preservation Ordinance to better preserve the trees in redevelopment projects. We also discussed an amendment to the pennant and banner section of the Zoning Code with the exception of corporate flags.





    Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

    20 February 2001

    Page Two


A. Ken Shroyer, 538 Smiley Avenue requests variance to allow the construction of a garage 1 foot from the side property line and 19 feet from the front property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.070(A) "Single household dwellings..shall have a minimum front yard setback of 35 feet" and 153.071(A) "Single household dwellings..shall have a minimum side yard setback of 10 feet."

Mr. Shroyer said I would like to have a variance for a one car attached garage. We have been here for 25 years, and the only optimum place I have to put it is at the end of my driveway along the house which would put it one foot off the property line. I believe you have copies of the pictures, which shows the side yard where I have about a half lot between me and the neighbor’s yard, so it isn’t infringing on their building. The garage would be 13’ x 26’ and the exterior would match the existing building.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing asking those in attendance if they wished to speak to this item. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mrs. Huber asked the applicant if he had ever tried to buy any land of the property to the east of you. Mr. Shroyer said prior to it being sold, I did try to from the previous owner.

Mr. Wilson said if you are going to take down the fence, all your neighbors would see would be the side of the garage. That being a double lot, is more than 30 feet away from the neighbor’s house. Mr. Shroyer confirmed this.

Mr. Squires said that he would be required to have a lot surveyed before constructing the garage. Mr. Okum asked if there were any other conditions that the board should be aware of. Mr. McErlane responded that there were none. The concern about the lot survey is the fact that it would be only one foot off the property line, and it is important to establish where the property line is for future sale of your property and your neighbor’s property.

Mr. Okum asked if the one-foot setback was from the overhang of the roof gutter edge, or not. Mr. McErlane responded typically it is to the sidewall of the house. This end of the house is the gable end. The pitch of the roof slopes up in the front all the way across the house. Mr. Okum said so there would be no overhang on that side, and the one foot is to the finished edge of the siding.

Mr. Borden said in addition to the garage door, would there be any other doors or windows? Mr. Shroyer answered there will be two windows on the side facing the neighbor’s house. There will be a rear exit door and a door entrance to the house, which is the existing entrance.

Mr. Borden asked how that would affect the existing windows on the side, and Mr. Shroyer answered that they would be eliminated.



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Mr. Okum asked if the garage would be higher than your existing house. Mr. Shroyer answered it will be below; at this time we don’t believe it will affect the electrical supply coming into the house or the meter.

Mr. Okum asked if it would have roughly the same pitch on the roof, and Mr. Shroyer indicated that it would. On the photograph, the peak would just about come under the vent on the side of the house.

Mr. Squires said in view of the fact that there are rather extraordinary circumstances on this property and the fact that Mr. Shroyer is willing to abide by our Building Department regulations, I move that this variance be granted. Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mrs. Huber, Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Okum. Variance approved with seven affirmative votes.

    1. Tipton Interests requests variance to allow the construction of a monument sign 0 feet from the right of way and 8 feet from the east property line at 35 Tri-County Parkway. Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(5) "A ground sign shall be..not less than twenty-five (25) feet from another business lot line and 10 feet from a street right of way line."

Bill Woodward said I am one of the investors who two years ago purchased the vacant Leugers Store on Tri-County Parkway and converted into a small center of two tenants, anchored by the Arhaus Furniture Store. Since opening it has become increasingly apparent that an appropriate ground-mounted sign is very important for our tenants. Cindy Fulks with Arhaus Furniture is here to speak to that. It also will be important for our second tenant, who we are still looking for.

There are various physical limitations on the property that prevent us from putting the sign in the location that would allow the appropriate setbacks. We have a driveway on either side and a very large tree on the property. Our proposal for the sign is in this median between ourselves and the Cooker Restaurant, which would be 8 feet from the side property line and at the front property line. The sight distance shouldn’t be a problem, since the traffic is one way around the building, so cars generally exit on this driveway.

Mr. Woodward added that they submitted photographs of the site that demonstrates up by the tree in the center is not a good place for monument signage.

Mr. Okum asked if this would be in the same location as your For Lease sign is, and Mr. Woodward answered approximately. The front of the monument sign would be at the rear of the For Lease sign, so it would set back a little further from the street.


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Mr. Woodward added the height and size of the sign are well within the zoning limits. Additionally, the sign itself is a very attractive sign and would be a nice feature to the landscape of the area. It would be an all aluminum sign about six feet tall and just under six feet wide. We would like it to be lit, but it is very difficult to get power out there, so at the current time it is not planned for it to be lit. It would be backlit if it were lit. We are going to try to get power to light it; we’ll work with Cookers who has power in this location and see if they would cooperate with us in providing a circuit out to the sign.

Cindy Fulks said we have been in our location for 1-½ years, and have had some struggles, due greatly to the fact that we have no signage in the front of our building. Some of that has to do with past management, but some of it has to do with location. Location is primary at this point. If we place our sign where we are allowed to, we will not have any more business. The viewing from Route 747 to Tri-County Parkway after the hill is pretty blank. We have a tree directly in front of the building centered, and that is where our signage can go without a variance. It really is imperative to our business that we have signage nearer to the Cooker Restaurant. When spring comes and the trees bloom, we are nearly invisible.

Our signage on the building is very low key and we are very low key, but we do need for people to know that we exist. The building signage is very light; it is backlit. The sign we want would replicate the building, but we also are going to darken the sign on the building so the sign on the street and the sign on the building will mirror each other. I am really pushing to get the signage backlit so it mirrors the building. The building is very light, and the sign on the building can only be seen at night because it is so light, so we are going to darken the actual Arhaus letters on the side and front of the building. We are really in need of signage. We think we have a lot to offer Springdale, and we think our clientele would know more about us and be more inclined to visit our store if we had more visible signage on the street line.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone in the audiences would like to comment; no one came forward and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Wilson said at this point you said you have not approached Cookers about this sign. Mr. Woodward stated it was our understanding that the City would mail a notification to the neighbors about the hearing, and if they were interested in this, they would show up.

Mr. Wilson said so at this point you do not know if they are pro or con, but by their not being here, the assumption is that they don’t have a problem.

Mr. Fulks said I am very much aware that my other neighbors were notified, because they did approach me today and said they had no problem with the issue. Cookers has not approached me.




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Mr. Wilson said it states that the ground sign should not be closer than 10 feet from the street line, and you want to go 0, and 35 feet from the adjacent business, and you want to go eight, so we are dealing with two exceptions here.

I have a problem with the sign being that close. I am looking at your signage on the building. You have a sign on the side of your building that if darkened and it will adequately be seen in the evening. I would be more comfortable with a sign adjacent to the tree and giving you a variance in that area rather than right on the property line. You are proposing to put that sign in the For Lease sign area, and I would suggest that you put the sign in front of the tree.

You have a sign on the side of the building that faces east and you are going to darken it and add backlights so that will give you evening exposure coming up from Princeton Pike, which is what you want to do. You can see the sign in front of the building when you make the turn. I would much rather give you a variance to put your sign in front of the tree.. You are allowed a maximum of seven feet; you have six feet so you could adjust that if you choose. I don’t feel comfortable putting it that close to the property line. True, Cookers has not come here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they would be opposed to it. They are a franchise, and could have passed that information to regional or the home offices, and it could be six months before they came back and said that they didn’t want this. You are asking us to set a precedent, which none of us like to do, because once we establish this precedent, every business in Springdale will want the same signage at the same location and that defeats the purpose of having our codes.

Mr. Weidlich said I agree with Mr. Wilson. I made several trips by your site back and forth just to look, and I also felt a better position for the sign would be in front of your building at the property line. I don’t think you have any vegetation that would obstruct the view of that sign.

Mr. Okum said Mr. Wilson suggested in front of the tree. I have to agree that placement closer to the middle would be a better alternative and eliminate the side yard setback issue. My feeling is not to put it directly in front of the tree, but where the flagpole was. That would center up with the center of the building. I can understand that you want to get as close to 747 as you can with your signage but I think if the sign is lit, it may mean you would have to do some underground wiring, but then you are not borrowing power from an adjacent property owner. We have dealt with the people at Cooker, and for you to get power from them, good luck.

Mr. Borden said I would like to concur that seems to be the best location in the center of the building. The only problem may be in the summer when you might have to prune that tree, the lower limbs.





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Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said you heard from us about that location; how do you feel about it?

Ms. Fulks said the reason I am here is because feel that the location will not benefit me. The sign will be extremely costly, top notch and the grade of the hill coming up Tri-County Parkway is such that until you actually get up the grade by Cookers you won’t see the sign if you are passing by on 747, which is the bulk of my traffic. Traffic is my issue; I need sales. I need people to know where I am, to see me and to recognize my sign. If I were that much closer to Princeton Pike I would increase my business 10-fold. At this point of time, I need it. I have been at the store for nine months, and I have had more traffic because of the For Lease sign than from any other source. So that indicates to me that is where my sign would be really beneficial to my business.

Mr. Woodward added and speaking from the landlord’s prospective on the location, we also supported the idea to put the sign on that side of the driveway because it is much better for our leasing efforts for the second space. If it were in the center of the building, it would look like a division of Arhaus. The other tenant being in the back, if the sign is along the driveway, they would have much better exposure and improve the chances of getting a quality tenant back there.

Mr. Wilson said you have indicated that you would darken the signs on the side of the building. I would think with the height of the signs at the traffic light, they would be more apt to see that sign than to see it lower. That is why I feel it should be further back, because you have those other two signs and your building is shaped so that when you get to the corner, you see both Arhaus signs.

My concern is if Cookers comes back to you and poses an objection, do you realize that you may have to relocate your sign at that point?

Ms. Fulks said I wouldn’t want to implement the sign until I knew that all issues were solid.

Mr. Woodward said I would have thought that once public notice went to the adjacent property owners, they had their chance to do something in a legally prescribed amount of time. If this body would act, I don’t know how they could make us move the sign.

Mr. Woodward responded I will stand here and make the commitment to either move the sign if we put it in at that location if it is approved, or will deliver a letter from Cookers headquarters approving this location.

Mr. Wilson responded that only satisfies one concern I have. The other concern is the precedent we would be settling by approving this, and I don’t feel comfortable with that, not when there is another alternative.





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Mr. Okum asked if due notice was given to the Cooker legal address. Mr. McErlane reported that it was, as well as in a legal notice in the newspaper. The only option that an interested party has after this board makes its decision is to file suit in a court of appeals against the board. They don’t have the option to come in at a later date and dispute a decision before the board. Their only option is to file suit, and the judge would have to determine if they are an offended party.

Mr. Borden said if you put the sign where you propose to, that shrub would block it. Mr. Woodward responded from the other direction we would have to trim them or replace them with lower shrubs.

Mrs. Huber said they have 49 parking places shown. Is that within code or is it more than they need? Mr. McErlane responded at the time this was approved as a furniture store, it was given some special dispensation from the parking requirements for a typical retail space. It actually has less than the typical retail space. It is okay under today’s code, because we differentiate between those uses, but it has no excess parking spaces.

Mr. Squires said in the application item 2 asks if complying with the code would cause undue hardship and you answered "Strict compliance with the code would mean no visible signage would be possible. It is imperative for the fiscal health of the tenants in the building that identifying signage be provided informing customers of the location. Public safety is not jeopardized."

I tend to agree with what your situation is. I tend to agree with Mr. Wilson as well in terms of precedent, except for the fact that you have a topography issue there and we have unique issue in terms of precedent here.

Mr. Okum said I agree with both of you. Mr. Wilson’s argument is that there is an alternate location that would support the placement of the sign on the site. The problem with the topography to having visibility to S.R. 747 when a business is located one parcel from 747 is not the burden of the board. In my opinion it shouldn’t be the board’s responsibility to provide that exposure for a property not on 747. On the other hand, I think some relief needs to be given the applicant to allow them the opportunity to express their business and I think a ground sign placed on the property line is not an undue precedent. We did it with BP Pro Care on 747 and we’ve done it with a number of properties where there is ample setback space allowed.

On the comments about what would happen if Cooker decided they were unhappy, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for that, but I do think there is an alternate location. I think there is some hardship for this business, and to give them that ability to place the sign in the front on the property line for that portion of the variance I can agree with. Mr. Wilson has given a valid argument for them to place it in another location. Although it is not convenient or as prominent, it still gives them the opportunity to gather that additional exposure.


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Mr. Okum added that there is a sign on the side of the building to identify them. My argument has always been and I will support the placement of ground mounted signs because I believe that the motoring traffic does not look 30 feet into the air at grade differential on 747 to see the Arhaus Sign. On the other hand I do see the Arhaus sign, and I think darkening it would increase that visibility during the daytime.

I will be supporting Mr. Wilson’s position to allow the front yard setback variance, but I will be opposing the request for the eight-foot setback from the side property line.

Mr. Wilson wondered about a seven-foot high sign if their total signage would allow that. Mr. McErlane responded ground mounted signs are limited to a seven foot height, and they are showing six feet right now. In terms of square footage, the amount on this sign is fairly minimal and it doesn’t cause them to exceed the allowable. As far as total allowable, I don’t know for sure; I can figure that up.

Mr. Apke said when I shop for furniture, it is a specific destination, so I kind of don’t buy the argument of happening to drive by on 747, seeing your sign and stopping in. I don’t consider furniture an impulse buy so I’m not really sure having the sign so close to

747 makes that big a difference.

From Tri-County Parkway coming up the hill, do you have any idea how much business you get coming in that direction? With the sign placement you are proposing, you wouldn’t see it until you are past the business.

Ms. Fulks answered in terms of destination shopping, you are 100% correct. However on a daily basis, multiple times a day I get phone calls saying they can’t find me. They have passed my store and have not seen it because there is no signage they can see from 747, which is the Tri-County path. Tri-County is my key; it is how everybody locates me in the city.

As to traffic coming from the other direction, I would have to guess that 90% of that traffic is business traffic.. There are office complexes behind me; I am surrounded by offices and other businesses that are not retail. I could stand in the front of my building and watch the traffic come in, and nine out of 10 cars enter from Route 747.

Mr. Apke said for the record, I visited your site and drove back and forth and up and down the crown of the hill, and I agree with Mr. Wilson. I really like the location where the flagpole is. It is at the center of the building and between both driveways. I think it is still fairly visible. With the signage on the sides of the building, making it a little bolder and with the lighting should be quite visible.





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Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said you have heard the discussion of the board members; do you want to make any further comments?

Mr. Woodward responded I suggest that we structure it in such a way to approve the variances individually. I don’t have a full sense of how everybody feels about it.

Mr. Okum said we will take a motion from the board and allow the members to comment.

Mr. Squires moved that the variance be approved. No one seconded the motion, and it failed for lack of second.

Mr. Wilson asked the applicant if he would consider a seven-foot sign in the middle. If the motion is denied tonight, there is a six-month period before you can come back. I am trying to offer alternatives. One is to raise the sign to seven feet and put it in the middle; the second is to table it to give you an opportunity to refigure; or we may hear from Cookers and they might not care and eliminate one of my concerns.

Mr. Woodward said we would like to table this and look at your suggestion to see if that would work for us. We also will talk to Cookers and reschedule our presentation for the next meeting.

Mr. Squires moved to table and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. This was tabled to the March 20th meeting.

C. Maple Knoll Village requests variance to allow the construction of a brick wall in front of their building at 11100 Springfield Pike. Said variance is requested from Section153.482(A)(1) "No fence or wall, other than a retaining wall shall project past the front building line…"

Margaret Beckwith of Beckwith Chapman Associates said we are representing Maple Knoll Village. Jeff Hodson, Landscape Architect and Lena Mares, Associate Executive Director of Maple Knoll Village also are in attendance.

Mr. Hodson said the wall is a privacy wall that extends into what is technically the front yard setback. This project consists of three different gardens adjacent to one another. The garden that has the wall is the Memory Garden for residents of Bodmann Pavilion, which is a dementia care unit. The Memory Garden is at the top of the slope directly behind the wall. Another garden is the Children’s Garden to serve the lower level Montessori School and the third garden is an Enabling Garden for all the residents. It would be a horticultural therapy garden.

Mr. Hodson added one of the main reasons for the wall is that the population with dementia are sometimes very nervous about going outside, and the wall is meant to be a visual screen and to mask some of the sound of the traffic on Springfield Pike.




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Ms. Mares added the Memory Garden is a contained and secure garden. The only way a resident can get into that garden is to come through the building, through the elevator. The only way out is through the elevator and back through the building. It is protected for the resident and allows screening from the distraction of Route 4.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone present wished to comment on this request. No one came forward, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. McErlane reported that the proposed setback is 27’-10 ½". There would be a need to evaluate parking spaces, because you would be losing four parking spaces. There is a Tree Preservation Ordinance, so when you remove trees, you have to replant.

Mr. Okum asked if any specimen trees would be removed, and Mr. McErlane responded that none of the trees are labeled. Mr. Hodson said we tried to align the wall and the garden as much as possible to save mature trees, but there are a few that will be taken down.

Mr. Wilson said for personal reasons, I must abstain from this issue, and I will sit out in the audience.

Mr. Okum asked how many lineal feet of that wall would fall under the variance. Ms. Beckwith answered it is roughly 180 feet.

Mr. Hodson added that the main material is a brick to match Bodmann Pavilion. It would match the materials of the sign that was just erected, the brick and red castone coping. Mr. Okum asked about the metal fence, and Mr. Hodson answered that there is about 10 feet of the metal fence in the front yard.

Mr. Squires asked about the setback of the fence to the right of way, asking if that were an issue. Mr. McErlane answered that it is not stated as a setback issue in the Zoning Code. The Zoning Code says you can’t have a fence in the front yard. Essentially the setback requirement is the building setback, so in this case it is 27’-10 ½", versus 83 feet

Mr. Borden asked the encroachment in the front yard. Mr. McErlane responded the building setback is 83 feet and the wall is shown at 27’-10 ½" for about 180 feet. It curves further away from the street as you go further to the north.

Mr. Okum asked the legal setback requirement, and Mr. McErlane answered it is 100 feet for the building, but the existing building is in conformances with the old code at 83 feet.

Mr. Okum asked if the City Planner had reviewed this for landscape details and Mr. McErlane said no.

Mr. Okum asked when construction was planned, and Mr. Hodson answered this spring, April or May.



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Mr. Okum said I know we have a variance issue, but it is almost like a six-foot high building going 180 feet across that site. I would feel a little more comfortable with some planning review as it impacts on the Route 4 Corridor. We also could handle the landscape issues since we have no comments from our landscape planner. We also have questions on parking spaces and tree preservation that need some review. I would like it to go through Planning Commission before we make our final decision.

Mr. Okum asked if the board would approve it, would it still go before Planning Commission. Mr. McErlane responded we haven’t evaluated that. Because it is not a building, we would not normally look at it at Planning. You certainly have the option to ask Planning to review it if you prefer that. Mr. Okum said that is where I am leaning, so we could have this on the agenda with the issues resolved.

Ms. Beckwith asked for guidelines to make sure that they are in accordance with the standards. Mr. Okum said yes, we have a copy of the Route 4 Corridor Review District, and our staff would provide you with anything you need.

Ms. Mares said are you indicating that we present this to Planning, or that they review it. Mr. Okum said I would recommend this be deferred to Planning, and you work with staff to provide them with any additional information. It will go directly to staff, staff will comment and refer them back to you, you can respond to those comments in an ample amount of time so that when it comes time for Planning Commission, they can act and it would come back to us with the items cleared up. Is that okay with you?

Ms. Mares said that is acceptable.

Mr. Squires moved to table and defer to Planning Commission and Mr. Apke seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the item was tabled and deferred to Planning Commission.

D. Maple Knoll Village requests variance to allow the construction of a room addition at 23 Silver Maple Way. Said variance is requested from Section 153.175 "The minimum side yard setback…shall be 50 feet." (Referred by Planning Commission)

Mike Pachen, Architect said Planning Commission approved this, but we need a variance because we are encroaching upon the side yard.

This is a five-unit single story attached patio home in this building. It is a small family room addition. Most of it is constructed back in to the pocket with the existing building, but a portion projects out as far as the adjacent concrete patios built for each of the units along what looks like the back property line.





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Mr. Pachen added that the addition was designed to be a miniature version of the two larger gables on either side of it. We used identical materials so it would blend into the building. I did not draw the landscaping, but the plan shows a developed landscape scheme which has a landscaping bed that flows into the adjacent landscaping beds. We used the same plant materials that we used in the original property.

I have photographs of the building and the view of the building from the adjacent property. He passed the photographs around the board.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone present wished to address the board.

Ewald Warken of 361 Naylor Court said I would like to have some more information on how far this will come out. We have a big ditch in the back yard, and have had drainage problems over the years, and I want to make sure that there is nothing that will change this.

Mr. Pachen showed the drawings, stating that these circular elements are concrete patios. There was one here at this location, and that is the size of the addition. The roof area of the addition is approximately the same size as the concrete patio, so the runoff increase will not be any greater than existing. In fact, it may be less because we are capturing all the roof water in downspouts and into the storm drainage system and the water on the patio is not being captured. We underwent a review with Planning, and they were concerned about any change in elevations. We indicated that there will be no change in the grade as a result of this because we are not constructing it out beyond the existing.

Mr. Warken commented that the problem is not the water from the roof. The problem is coming down through that swale.

Mr. Okum asked if the downspout drainage went into that swale. Ms. Mares answered that it did, adding that it is a designed swale for the ground water runoff. When we do have large amounts of water, we have that swale filled with water, as we have our other retention basins filled with water. My understanding is that is the intent of that swale.

Mr. Warken continued all I want to do is make sure that there is nothing changed in that swale, so we don’t back it up again, like we had years ago. Ms. Mares answered there is nothing changed in that swale; it does not impact it whatsoever.

Addressing Mr. Warken, Mr. Okum said you understand what the plan is. I guess the other question would be how much closer this addition would be to your property. Mr. Warken responded the closeness is not a problem; I am concerned about the water.

Mike Sharkey, 355 Naylor Court said like Mr. Werken, I was not aware of this, and as you know, we have had problems with water back there. I am curious about how they will get back in here to do the construction. Where will the access be? There is a fence in the front; will that be taken down?


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Mr. Pachen said this is the driveway that comes in from Springfield Pike, and the contractor will get access from this side of the building. Truck vehicles will be parked under the restrictions of the City, and everything would have to be restored.

Mr. Sharkey asked if it would be brick construction, and Mr. Pachen answered that the façade would be brick and the gable areas will be done in the same vinyl siding as the existing.

Mr. Sharkey asked the time frame for completion and Mr. Pachen answered that it would be done by the end of this year. We have not done construction drawings yet, and then we have to bid the project.

Mr. Wilson said my concern is you have a pitch here; what is coming down will hit the gutters at a faster rate than if there were no roofline. Will that make the water go down the hill twice as fast?

Mr. Pachen said no, we are capturing all the water in the gutters and downspouts and piping it into the existing underground storm drainage system. It is a very minute amount of additional water.

Mr. Okum said our city engineer commented that the amount of water generation is almost non-qualifiable in terms of water retention and detention for the site.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mrs. Huber and Mr. Okum. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Board of Zoning Appeals took a 10-minute recess at 8:40 p.m. and reconvened at 8:50 p.m.

E. Springdale-Mason Pediatric Associates requests a variance to allow the construction of an office building at 11350 Springfield Pike 12’ from the side yard property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.206(B) "The minimum side yard setback for properties abutting residential districts or uses shall be 50 feet."

David Cawdrey said I am Robert A. Cline Company representing the applicant, Springdale-Mason Pediatrics and Dr. Ronald S. Ruben. The applicant has the subject property under contract to purchase, and we are evaluating the site. We met at the January 13th Planning Commission meeting, and were referred to Board of Zoning Appeals.

We are applying for a variance from the south side yard. In our application we tried to answer very thoroughly the questions that were asked regarding first of all extraordinary circumstances. This entire parcel is approximately six acres. Sterling House sets on 2.6 acres and the subject property is 2.14 acres and the third parcel is 1.35 acres which is owned by the City of Springdale for their maintenance yard.


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Mr. Cawdrey stated that the Sterling House facility (assisted living facility) is zoned Public Facilities – Medium Density. We assume that zoning to be more of an institutional designation and in our opinion, it is not the typical residential use. It is more of a commercial or mixed use in that you have a component of the Sterling House facility that does have a residential aspect to it.

The Sterling House facility has a 20 car plus or minus parking lot and our 9100 square foot building would be adjacent to the parking lot as opposed to the actual building.

Some of the hardships that are created by the actual site itself include the fact that the site is pie shaped in configuration being wilder closest to the right of way. We also are encumbered by the fact that we cannot build the building less than 100 feet from the right of way and have any parking 50 feet from the right of way. The site is further encumbered by the fact that Springdale has an access easement running along the north side of the property to allow a secondary means of ingress and egress for traffic coming into the maintenance yard. That would push any potential proposed development further to the south.

Planning Commission strongly recommended that we need to maintain the cross easement from the Sterling House parking lot, through this site to the access easement to the north for future traffic light development. When we met with Planning, they indicated that they really wanted to see that cross easement maintained, and we have done so

Another question in our application as if t his would be detrimental to the existing site. We answered no, and I have with me today with copies for you, a letter of support from Alterra Coventry Corp. the owner of the property. As a part of the contract to purchase, we said we would give them the opportunity to comment on the landscaping and site development. Their letter states that they are completely in support of the development.

The building is actually 15 ½ feet away from the property line. The closest distance of this proposed building to the Sterling House (at the southeast corner of our building to the l-shaped portion of Sterling House) would be 60’ 6". The main part of the Sterling House facility directly across the parking lot is 15’6". The building we are proposing on this site is adjacent to the existing parking for the Sterling House, and that distance from the building to the parking lot is 20’ 6".

The last question asked is about alternatives to this site. Our answer is that if we have to move the building 50 feet to the north, we could not build much of a building at all.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing asking anyone present to address the board. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.





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Mr. McErlane said the overall code section indicates that the required setback is 12 feet unless it is adjacent to a residential district or a residential use. In this case staff interpreted this to be a residential use because there are residents in the building. It is not your typical situation where the applicant is proposing to build an office building adjacent to a residential lot. It is a commercial operation. However, it does have residents in the building. If the applicant could build the building closer to the north property line he would be allowed to build it within 12 feet of the north property line. It is only because of the situation where there are residents in the building to the south.

The applicant has pointed out that the closest point to the building on the adjacent lot to the south is 60+ feet, so the impact on the residents in that building may be pretty minimal.

Mr. Okum said this did not receive approval by Planning Commission. Mr. McErlane indicated that it was a concept discussion on the building. A lot of the discussion related to landscaping and the access drive, and the joint access between the two properties. It really didn’t have extensive discussion on the setback, other than the fact that it required a variance. Mr. Okum added one member might have commented that the building size could be reduced.

Mr. Cawdrey reported we did reduce the size. One of the other issues was the percentage of open area. At that time we only met 26%; we reduced the size of the building as much as we could and we now exceed the portion of open area at 36.98%. The original building was 11,500 s.f. We will need to go to Planning, but we have incorporated every comment Planning Commission presented. We were concerned about

Our major concern was the cross easement. We were concerned about the traffic around a medical facility with parents bringing small children into a medical office building. We wanted to minimize any kind of cross traffic. After discussions at Planning, we feel pretty comfortable that the traffic will be minimal.

Mr. Okum said if Sterling House would have owned all that property and had a medical arts building attached, would we have interpreted this the same way? Mr. McErlane responded actually Sterling House does own all this property; the applicant is purchasing it from them. If there were no common property line between the two properties we wouldn’t have considered setback issues. Mr. Okum said frankly I feel these two are compatible types of use. I don’t consider Sterling House as the residential type.

Mr. Squires said I question that too; do we really consider Sterling House to be residential.





20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. .Borden asked if they were building it on the property line. Mr. Cawdrey indicated that they are not. It would be 15 ½ feet off the property line. We thought we would only have to comply with the 12-foot setback on the south side yard.

Mr. Okum said the drawing only shows 12 feet. Mr. Cawdrey answered I checked today with Tom Toensmeyer of Toensmeyer Architects who prepared the drawings, and we are asking for a 12-foot setback. The main portion of the building is 15’-6". There are two dormer type windows and those varied by two feet in those two locations, so it would be 13’-6" on those two windows.

Mr. Toensmeyer added that the 12 feet is a reference point. It doesn’t touch the building. The building is actually 15’-6", so the majority of the building wall is actually 15’-6" off the property line.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. McErlane about this, and Mr. McErlane reported that it looks like the actual dimensions will be 13’-6" to the wall. Mr. Cawdrey said then I’d like to correct that to 13’-6".

Mr. Wilson said parking in the front is discourage, so that would eliminate 22 parking spots. Can you pick up additional parking spots, perhaps on the side of the building, and eliminate that in the front?

Mr. Cawdrey answered we did eliminate some for Planning Commission, and we created islands of landscaping to increase the amount of open space. Planning Commission is telling us that we have to create a driveway or cross easement and we have tried to minimize that as much as possible. I know parking in the front is strongly discouraged, and we have tried to put the majority of our parking on the side or in the rear. However, with the cross easement requirement, we have to have a driveway.

Mr. Wilson asked if they could eliminate some of those by having parking on the side and eliminate that center island. Mr. Cawdrey responded for circulation, we would anticipate people coming in, approach the building with a drop off at the front door and move in this direction counter clockwise.

Mr. Wilson said in terms of landscaping, I wonder if you would have enough vegetation in front of those parking spots so from the street you would not see cars parked there. Mr. Cawdrey said the landscaping plan that you have in front of you include the City Planner’s comments and meet or exceed her recommendations. Mr. Okum said she probably has not seen this final, and I can assure you that she will request hedges across the front to screen those cars.

Mr. Squires said the way things are going, do we need a variance at all? The Sterling House isn’t considered residential is it? Mr. McErlane responded staff considered it to be residential. You can take into consideration the actual use versus a multi family or single family residence. It is situated more in a commercially utilized district and area.


20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. McErlane added that Mr. Okum brought up the point that if they were all on the same lot, there wouldn’t be an issue there. Maple Knoll has a situation similar to that currently on their development, where they have offices adjacent to residential uses. In most cases they are in the same building.

Mr. Okum said if we were to look for a planning blend, I think this is a reasonable blend. Had it been presented by Sterling House to have a medical arts building, the setback issue would not have been an issue. As it is, that lot is separated off; it has a parcel with a property line, and we have to look to see if there is a unique situation that we can allow a variance to allow this to occur. I have looked at the site twice, and I think the applicant has done a reasonable job to adapt to make this site work and be developable. The 13’-6" from the parking lot and 60’ from the building certainly meets my criteria for separation, especially since there is no parking on the side of Sterling House where headlights would be disturbing to the neighbors. I’ll be supporting this request as it is definitely unique and there is a hardship in the applicant’s use of the site or for any use of the site.

Mr. Squires said because I consider this to be a unique situation, and due to the fact that Planning Commission reviewed a concept plan for this development, I move that the variance for a 13’-6" side yard setback be granted. Mr. .Borden seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mrs. Huber and Mr. Okum. Variances was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Okum said this will be referred back to Planning. Mr. Cawdrey said it is April 10th, and Mr. McErlane stated that the deadline for submittal is March 12th.

F. Michelle Salters, 994 Ledro Street requests variance to convert her garage into a living space. Said variance is requested from Section 153.105(B) "A single two(2) car garage and related parking area is required."

Ms. Salters said I am requesting a variance to convert my garage into a family room.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking if anyone present wished to address this request. No come came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Borden said if this request is approved, do you plan on changing your garage door to a patio door? Ms. Salters said if the City so states, I can do that. I wanted to leave the garage door on there, because I wanted to have a storage area between the garage door and the back of the wall.

Mr. Borden asked if this had been inspected, and Mr. McErlane reported that the permit would not be issued until after this board grants a variance.



20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. Squires wondered if the construction had begun, and Ms. Salters said that it is finished. Mr. Squires wondered if she had a permit for this, and Ms. Salters reported that she got a letter to go to court in January due to this issue. I did all the necessary paperwork that I needed to do, but the City of Springdale never did file the papers or get back to me. So the judge sent me back here and I have to go back to court tomorrow. The way it was described was that a gentleman looked through the window in my garage, which is impossible since I do not have any windows in my garage. When he drove by, I actually did rescreening on my porch, added shutters and painted. In June he wrote this up. I filled out my paperwork in June and they said they would get back to me and if I didn’t hear anything, it would be okay. I never heard anything else. That was in 1999, and in January of this year I was subpoenaed to court for this.

Mr. Squires said in the event that this variance is approved, are you aware that there may be some building inspection violations? Ms. Salter responded all they did was widen the wall and put up a wall between the garage and the living area to give me storage space. I didn’t add any kind of electrical outlets or anything there. I just raised the floor to get off the concrete.

Mr. Squires said do you live out there at all? Ms. Salters said currently there are a couple of chairs and a TV out there for my children.

Mr. Squires asked the number of cars in her family. Ms. Salter answered two and Mr. Squires commented so you could park both of them off the street.

Mr. Wilson said it says "The rear portion of the garage has been converted into a family room and an area used for storage has been left inside the garage door. The applicant has indicated that this situation existed prior to her purchase of the property in 1994. Are you saying there already was a family room there? Ms. Salters answered there already was something there. When I came to get the permit and they pulled the blueprints on my house, it didn’t match. They said that obviously the previous owners had done a couple of things and not notified the city. That is when they told me they would investigate, and if I didn’t hear anything, I assumed I would get the permit. I didn’t do anything until months later and I never heard anything and it’s been almost two years.

Mr. Wilson said you bought the property in 1994. At that time, were you able to put your car in the garage? Ms. Salters said yes. Mr. Wilson wondered if there was some construction going on in the garage. Ms. Salters answered they made it seem like the garage should have been bigger. There is a woodburning fireplace that was there prior to my moving in. Mr. Wilson said so there was a wall there and then some living area behind it, and you have extended the wall closer to the front of the house. Ms. .Salters responded so it is one big room. Mr. Wilson said in a way it was half done before you got there; you just finished it up.




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Mr. McErlane reported I can’t speak to the situation from 1999. I don’t know what occurred there. I don’t know who you might have been working with at that point of time. There will be some issues relative to the building code with respect to how that room is enclosed. Is the back wall opened up to the former family room, or is there just a door opening between? Ms. Salters said it is opened up a little bit. Mr. McErlane said there are minimum light and ventilation requirements and even though you might not have added any electrical, there are building code requirements for electrical outlets every 12 feet along the wall, so you will be required to put some electrical in.

Mr. Okum said you have indicated that there is some opening. If you were to take that drawing provided by the City, is that wall still there? Ms. Salters said half of it is there. Mr. Okum said so you widened a single door into a double door width coming in from the family room. You also indicated that the floor dropped off into the garage originally, and you leveled that out with the rest of your home, so there is no step there. Did you add any heating? Ms. Salters said no.

Mr. Okum said it is a little unique because it is already there. Mr. Wilson asked the storage area dimensions. Ms. Salters said it is probably four to five feet back from the garage door. Mr. Wilson asked if she could have done this in another part of your house as opposed to what you are doing? Ms. Salters responded no,. Mr. Wilson said so this was the only option you had.

Mr. Squires said due to the uniqueness of this situation, I move to grant the variance not to have the garage and with the understanding that the storage area will be maintained. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Mr. Borden wondered if we needed to add the condition that it be inspected. Mr. Okum said that would be done no matter what

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mr. Borden, Mrs. Huber and Mr. Okum. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

    1. Henkle Schueler & Associates requests variance to allow 299 parking spaces (334 spaces required) at Tri-Centre Shopping Center, 11489 Princeton Pike. Said variance is requested from Section153.504 Parking Space Requirements

Jack Brauer of Henkle Schueler said we are the managers of the

Gentry Tri-Centre, and we also are the owners of the Centre in

that we are the general partner of the limited partnership entity that

owns the property. We are here for a parking variance. We came

to Planning several months ago with a request to put a new fascia

on the front of the property. We are very excited about the improvement in the appearance of our property.




20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. Brauer added that they also are very excited about the new tenant we have, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and we have with us Mr. Mark Heath from Chipotle. Because we are putting a restaurant property into the shopping center, it puts us out of variance with the parking requirements. Chad Nahrup from Henkle Schueler is also here to explain the parking studies and demonstrate why there is adequate parking for this restaurant addiltion.

Mr. Heath, Real Estate Manager for Chipotle in the Ohio region. We have examined this site at various times of the day and week and have never seen a parking problem. Therefore we have moved forward with our plans to open the store there, hopefully in early May.

Mr. Okum asked the number of seats in the restaurant and Mr. Heath answered 88. Mr. Okum wondered about a bar area, and Mr. Heath responded that they serve selected beers and a Margarita, but there is no bar. It is for dine in only. This store is unusually large for us. Typically we would be in the 2400 s.f. size. The reason the store has that many seats is because the space was pretty much set in its parameters of 3600 s.f. We are finishing out only 3,000 s.f.

We probably will do as much as 48% carryout. It may be deceiving to look at 88 seats. Our average length of stay per customer is 20 minutes or less; it is a quick service operation.

Mr. Okum asked the hours of operation, and Mr. Heath answered 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mr. Okum asked the peak hours, and Mr. Heath answered that it will differ from time to time. Potentially we will be 50-50 between lunch and dinner.

Chad Nahrup said we did a parking study two years ago, and we went out three times a day for two months. He showed the tenant roster two years ago and now, and it is very much the same. It was an extensive study, and we are hoping that this can apply today.

We found that the parking lot is being greatly underutilized. Right now we have 305 available parking spaces. As part of our improvements to the center and at the recommendation of Planning Commission, we agreed to install some landscaping islands in the middle of the parking lot that will reduce that by six. We are averaging in the 60 to 70’s at any one point and there were only five days that we ever reached 100 cars.

We do have a pretty diversified tenant mix within the center and we feel Chipolte will help some of the other tenants. We have four non-retail tenants that close 5-6 p.m. during the week and are not open on the weekends. With the tenant mix that we have, we feel that the peak hours of operation offset themselves pretty well. A bulk of their customer base will come at lunch and dinner, and a lot of our tenants will be closed at the dinner hour. In general we don’t feel we have a parking problem, and when we get into tenant mix, it shows that things are spread out in terms of the use of the space and the parking lot.


20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking anyone present to address the board. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. McErlane reported that Planning Commission has in PUD zoning reviewed shopping centers in the past concerning mixes of uses and a couple of times has looked at deviations from the zoning code based on peak times in parking. If you look at the uses that are in this center, there are probably about 15,000 s.f. of it that is an office type use. When you look at parking requirements for a shopping center, you are focusing on the retail users because they are the high traffic generators. The retail users in this center are not your high volume Christmas retailers. The other high traffic generators are the restaurants, and their peak times don’t necessarily fall when the high retail users do. Planning more recently approved the redevelopment of the building in Cassinelli Square and looked at parking relative to the mixes of uses in there, which are a little more highly retail than what is in this center.

Mr. Okum said if you have 88 seats, let’s say 44 cars and drop in would be 22 cars in and out for lunches, so it would total 66 cars per one-half hour. Can your numbers support that?

Mr. Nahrup responded our numbers comply with the code. Mr. Okum said if we added 66 more cars in there, where does it fall?

Mr. Brauer answered we still wouldn’t come close to utilizing the complete parking area.

Mr. McErlane said I had discussed with Mr. Nahrup the possibility of additional parking spaces that might be added to the site. There are a couple of areas that could either be restriped or turned into parking. One of the things that Planning has looked at in the past is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense if they are not being utilized to turn that into paving just to satisfy the zoning code numbers. But, potentially if there were a parking problem, those could be turned into parking places, and that could be a condition that BZA could place on the applicant if there becomes a parking problem. However, you wouldn’t get anywhere near 34 spaces.

Mr. Okum commented that when Planning made their motion to include the landscaped islands, that was an acknowledgement that the parking was more than ample for that site, that it was underutilized, and to break up that sea of asphalt with additional landscaped islands would not hurt.

Mr. Borden asked where the landscaped islands would be, and Mr. Nahrup answered that they would be in the middle sections where the light poles are.

Mr. Okum asked if there were any conditions that staff would like us to include in the motion. Mr. McErlane responded only if the applicant is willing to consider additional parking spaces if it becomes a necessity, and if the board would be more comfortable with that. It won’t get you an additional 34 spaces.



20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. Okum said it wouldn’t get the 30+ and additionally I think it will drive itself. The tenants will drive that.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mr. .Borden seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden, Mr. Wilson Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mrs. Huber and Mr. Okum. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Heath said I would like to compliment the Building Department. They turned around plans in a week, which is highly unusual.

H.. Marjorie Pollitt and Joseph Harlow, 259 Harter Avenue request variance to allow the construction of a 10’ x 18’s shed on their property. Said variances is requested from Section 153.492(B)(3) "Detached accessory buildings other than garages shall not exceed 120 square feet in area."

Ms. Pollitt said we need a variances to construct a 10’ x 18’ shed on a concrete pad at the end of our property. You have drawings, and I have some pictures to show you.

Originally there were two sheds there, and we tore one down. The building is more like a house, and I think it would add a lot to the property. I want to do the storage area and eventually do another fence between my neighbor’s and my property.

We have run out of room in our garage. We have added additional storage in the attic and maxed that out. My husband also has a garage full of tools that he needs to move to our house. We don’t have any parking where I live, and I don’t want to lose my garage parking to storage area. In order to do that, I need to get the table saw, band saw and those kinds of tools out and into a storage building. I also have new patio furniture, which I have to stack and cover with a tarp and I don’t think that looks very nice.

I don’t have any neighbors on that side. My property faces Field 6 and my nearest neighbor to the front faces Van Cleve. My neighbor in the back faces Kemper Road and this would be on the opposite side of my neighbor’s house on the other side. There is a big area to buffer it.

Mr. Okum asked if there would be any type of paved surface back to the shed and Ms. Pollitt indicated that she would not, adding that she would like to do landscaping around the shed and put a bark type covering behind it.

Mr. Okum asked if there were an undedicated road that runs along Harter. Mr. McErlane reported that there are a number of parcels that were cut off park property and sold. That is a parcel that used to be a part of the park property. Ms .Pollitt added we have an extra 30 feet of property that our neighbors don’t have. Mr. Okum said so you have an overly large parcel.


20 FEBRUARY 2001



Mr. Okum said you will place the shed on the southwest corner. Ms. Pollitt said the way I would like to situate it would be along the fence line to give us some privacy from the park.

Mr. Wilson asked where the shed would be in relation to the trees and Ms. Pollitt answered it would be in front of the trees. Mr. Wilson wondered about the composition of the shed. Ms. Pollitt answered I would be picking up the gray color in my siding for the main part of the building and I would be trimming it in the darker gray to match my shutters, and gray shingles.

Mr. Wilson asked if she were planning to put ;anything on the west side between the shed and the park. Ms. Pollitt answered I wasn’t; I can do something there if you would like that Mr. Wilson said that is up to you. It is not a prerequisite.

Mr. Squires said due to the fact that Ms. Pollitt and I live close to each other and we both serve together on Council, I will excuse myself from any debate on this issue.

Mr. Borden said you indicated that you will be storing power tools in there and it might be used as a workshop. Do you plan on running electricity out there? Ms. Pollitt indicated that she did, adding that she also planned some outside light fixtures. Mr. Borden asked if they would be noisy tools, and Ms. Pollitt answered it would be things like woodworking. Mr. Borden said and you wouldn’t be working at night. Ms. Pollitt indicated no, plus we don’t have any neighbors.

Mr. Okum said this is one of the biggest sheds we have had to consider for quite a while, but you could put a six-foot high fence along the back there, and the shed is eight foot high. Maybe you could put verbernum across the back of that toward the rec center to break up the exposure across.

Considering the location of the property, the oversize parcel that you have, and your unique situation of being adjacent to the ball diamond, I will be supporting the request.

Mr. Wilson commented that even though Ms. Pollitt and I serve on council, I feel I can be unbiased in this and I will move to approve the variance with the addition of several verbernums between the rear of the building and the park. Mr. Borden seconded that.

Ms. Pollitt said the building has to be five feet from the property line. What about the shrubbery? Mr. Wilson said it can be on the property line if you wish it to.

Voting aye ware Mr. Wilson, Mr. Borden, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mrs. Huber and Mr. Okum. Ordinance was granted with six affirmative votes.







20 FEBRUARY 2001


I. Pete Perdikakis requests variance to allow 107.76 s.f. (82 s.f. allowed) of proposed signage for Skyline Chili at 85 East Kemper Road. Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(C)(1)(b) "General Business (GB) Maximum gross area of signs = (W x 1.5) + 40 square feet." (Referred by Planning Commission)

Mr. Perdikakis said we are making this request because of the changes we are making to the building. We are taking out the backlit case sign that is there now and making it fit the building property and we need some additional space on the signage. This sign would be lit from above.

Wes Noble of HAV Tech said Mr. Okum had brought up the question of a monument sign at Planning Commission, and at this point of time, even looking at the site with a monument sign, we would have to come back for a variance. Also at this point of time, Mr. Perdikakis felt he could not afford the additional budget costs this would entail. Mr. Perdikakis we looked at it in terms of not only the cost but the number of variances that would be needed.

Addressing the board members, Mr. Okum said at Planning there was a recommendation brought forward by Mr. Galster that the applicant considers changing the pole sign to a ground mounted sign. (The applicant had done this at his Woodlawn facility). The applicant was going to look at it prior to this meeting and it sounds like the applicant has concerns about the variances that would be required plus the cost.

This is a major change to this development, and Planning

was very much in favor of the upgrading to the site. The applicant has also removed the sign that was on the back of the building. We are strictly talking about a sign on the top of the building, and some face changes to the big sign. Is the ATM sign considered a directional sign?

Mr. McErlane reported that the ATM sign attached to the pole sign is considered an ancillary sign and doesn’t enter into the calculations for square footage. There is an ATM sign on the building and that does factor into the square footage.

Mr. Borden said I see the ATM sign on one letter dated the 12th at 5.4 square feet but it is not on the letter dated the 15th.

Mr. Okum said when we recalculated it, we had 106.5 and now we are at 102.4 s.f. Mr. McErlane reported that we were rounding them off to 5’ x 8’ and the applicant has refined the numbers to 55" x 7’-10" so that brought it down a little as well. If you do add that back in, we would be looking at 107.76 s.f, and the permissible is 82 s.f. It appears that about 75% of the allowable signage is in the pole sign.

Mr. Noble added even with a monument sign the signage would have been 42 s.f. without the monument structure. Mr. Okum said as a member of this board, if I can bring a pole sign down to a monument sign and get some uniformity across that corridor, I would be inclined to be in favor of variances when requested. We are talking 107.76 s.f. versus an allowable 82 s.f.



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Mr. Perdikakis said when we looked at the monument sign, we got copies from the company that does these for Skyline, and it was 42 square feet, and it would have to move forward because there wold be a problem with the cars that are there, and the other consideration is an additional $10-$15,000 cost.

Mr. Okum said if your pole sign wasn’t so large, your building signage could go up. Mr. Perdikakis said we realize that, but we still would have to come back for another variance.

Mr. Okum asked if they had worked with the City Planner, and Mr. Perdikakis answered no. We ran the numbers and plotted it out to make sure it was in the right spot so it wouldn’t encumber on the parking spaces and be placed properly.

Mrs. Huber asked if there would be more work along Kemper? Mr. Okum said there would be, but there still would be grass in front of them. Mr. McErlane said the city engineer indicated that they wold not take any additional right of way, but I think the sidewalk actually will be removed on that side of the road and they are widening out almost to the right of way line.

Mr. Noble added that the back of the present sidewalk is the back of the new street curb. There are quite a few utilities in that grassy area as well. There are sewers and water meters in there. Mr. Perdikakis added that the property line is right next to me. Where my parking lot ends on the east side is the property line, and it would be extremely tight.

Mr. Okum asked if they considered reducing the pole sign. Mr. Perdikakis answered we considered lowering it to six to eight feet, but then we would be back to a whole new box sign. And then we still have the problem with if it’s too low, trucks could hit it. Mr. Okum asked if they had considered getting rid of the pole sign and putting a bigger sign on the building. Mr. Perdikakis answered no, because it does have high visibility, especially coming from the other way. If you are heading west on Kemper, you can’t turn in left but it does give you the visibility. We couldn’t go much larger than what we are showing you on the drawing right now proportionately.

Mr. Borden said as it stands right now, there is nothing wrong with the pole sign, is that right? Mr. Okum said no, but the pole sign calculations affect the allowable signage on the site. By reducing the pole sign down to a monument sign, they possibly would be in conformance with the allowable signage on the site.

Mr. McErlane said my understanding is you are going to change the pole sign to show the new logo, an oval shape.? Is that just a panel change? Mr. Noble answered yes.

Mr. Perdikakis said if we made the oval approximately the same size as what it is now, just blanked out the rest of it, would that make the signage smaller?





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Mr. McErlane said you have to box in a rectangle, so you would end up with the same. Mr. Noble added if you boxed in the oval, you would be about 42 square. Mr. McErlane said when you talk about a pole sign face, you actually look at the face. The only time you can discount anything is if you are looking at the ground sign; you don’t include the base of the ground sign.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance as follows – a pole sign at 66.5 s.f., a new north elevation building sign at 35.86 s.f. and the ATM sign at 5.4 s.f. for a total of 107.76 s.f. which will be 25.76 s.f. over allowed. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Borden, and Mrs. Huber. Mr. Okum voted no, and the variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

J. Springdale Ice Cream and Beverage, 11801 Chesterdale Road requests extension of Temporary Variance 15-2000, which allowed them to post a 5’ x 20’ Now Hiring Banner from November 22, 2000 through January 31, 2001. Said extension is requested from Section 153.533 (D) "..in no event shall exceed two consecutive weeks."

Andrea Furlotte said we are requesting at least another 90 days on our Now hiring banner. I believe you should have the statistics we put together on the applicant flow. We had approximately 603 applications submitted in the 90-day period, which was a tremendous increase. I didn’t have actual figures from the previous months, but we were getting an average of 10 applicants a week, which we averaged out to be 400 applicants over the previous 90 days.

Since January 26, 2001 we have hired 23 people, and we already have lost five of those. Thirty applicants were referred directly because of the sign on the building. We received 603 applications, and 109 of them came from the sign on the building, 105 were from the sign out front, 311 from various newspapers, 68 referenced and 10 were any other applicant whether through the Internet or they happened to call or whatever.

We have an open house where we go through the applicants, bring people in, tell them about what we do, and show them the work. To date, we brought in 88 of those 603 applicants, and 13 of those 88 were from the banner. We have hired 23 of those.

When I came in here last time we only needed to hire 22 to 23 people. Before that time, our corporate people directed us to get our overtime down. We tried to work with our production union to reopen the contract and discuss new wages, new schedules and all of that. That was turned down, and our contract doesn’t open up until March of 2002.





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Ms. Furlotte added that basically we are working on creative scheduling, and we will need another 15 to 20 people that we need to get in to accomplish our goal.

We think keeping the sign up for at least another 90 days will accomplish that and we don’t need it after that, so the request is for an additional 90 day period.

Mr. Squires wondered how long the banner had been there, and Ms. Furlotte answered it was up for longer than the 90 days granted. My understanding was that I would be notified when it was expiring, and I kind of forgot about it until Ron called me and told me the sign was past due. We got the paperwork in to come before you, because the banner is on the roof and it would be a nightmare to take it down, wait 30 days and put it back up, so he gave me an extension until I came here.

Mr. Squires asked about the 603 applicants, and Ms. Furlotte reported that a large number of them fail background checks, physicals and drug screens. We have even used other outside sources. One is an agency that looks at recent immigrants to the United States, mostly Hispanic. She brought 17 individuals into the plant and only one had a legal Social Security number, so we couldn’t hire any of them.

Ms. Furlotte added that they hired 22 people in the last month and already have lost five of them. Once we get those individuals hired, we will have to constantly keep on top of it because we have such a turnover rate. If we get ahead of the game, we won’t need the temporary banner; the one out front will be sufficient.

Mr. Okum asked the starting wage, and Ms. Furlotte answered our contract says $8 per hour to do manufacturing work, but we went in two years ago and asked to bump it up to $8.50 per hour. From there they get a 50 cent increase after 90 days, then after another 90 days they get an additional 25, 30 or 35 cents an hour depending on what job they are in. Every six months thereafter, they get an additional 25, 30 or 35 cents until they top out at $11.85. This was a five year contract, and the unemployment situation was totally different when we contracted this in. We have about a 50-50 range, employees with 10-15 years and employees who have five years and under.

Ms. Furlotte said I’ll attribute some of the increase in the last 90 days to after Christmas. I know a lot of the retail places were laying off their Christmas help.

Mr. Wilson said of the 109 you don’t have a definitive number that saw the sign on the expressway. Ms. Furlotte responded we probably have 80 that definitely saw the sign from the expressway. We had a few of those that didn’t reference which sign.





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Mr. Okum said sometimes you advertise in the wrong place. Ms. Furlotte answered and that is why we are trying other avenues; we aren’t just relying on the sign. We are doing things inside the plant to help retention. We tried to get the rates raised and better hours, and they voted it down.

Mr. Borden said if this is approved tonight for 90 days, will you need an additional 90 days? Ms. Furlotte answered I am hoping not. If we weren’t making these changes in scheduling in the plant, we wouldn’t need the sign right now. We have to get our overtime down. For example our beverage department used to be a five day operation, but they now run six days a week, so some of these employees are having a whole day of overtime a week. The only way we can get rid of overtime is to be creative with scheduling, and our union contract puts confines on us on how we can schedule.

Ms. Furlotte added that we are trying to work with the union to be creative on how we can schedule so we can give alternate days off. In order to do that, we need to have more people in the plant. They told me we needed 15-20 more people, and we were able to get that in the last 90 days, so I am thinking hopefully we will be able to get that in the next 90. We still have some of these applicants to go through, but I wold hate to take the sign down.

Mr. Borden asked out of the 603 applications, how many had been reviewed. Ms. Furlotte answered she said she had 88 come through the open house. There is a reject file for people who don’t fill out the application or have no work history. We also can’t hire anyone under 18. Mr. Borden asked if they required experiences, and Ms. .Furlotte answered that they want work experience, but we have hired people who have never worked in a manufacturing facility.

Mr. Okum said right now you are battling the summer jobs; everyone is going to Kings Island and making $8-$9 an hour. I understand your situation, but sometimes it is the way you advertise, and sometimes it is limitations by the management that create an issue. I want to get a good return on my investment, and your returns don’t show a lot of hope. I am having trouble considering this banner for any length of time. I would suggest maybe 60 days, and that would be the last time for quite a while.

Mr. Borden wondered about signing bonuses and Ms. Furlotte answered, that they are. We also have a referral program where you can make up to $1,000 over a year. We also have a mentor program, which includes money and stock. Mr. Borden asked about an immediate signing bonus, and Ms. Furlotte indicated that they had other facilities that have used those and they don’t work. Actually the referral programs don’t work either.

Mr. Wilson said I opposed this the last time and my numbers show that you have about 15% of your 603 applicants on the sign. I still feel uncomfortable about it; I think there has to be some other avenues that you can go with


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Mr. Wilson said but on the other hand, 15% is 15%, and I didn’t expect even that. I agree that 90 days is out of the question, especially in view of the fact that you have used up some of that second 90 days already. I would be receptive to allowing the sign up, but I’m not sure whether it should be 30 or 60 days. This time I will support you in keeping the sign up.

Ms. Furlotte responded I want to make it clear that this is not the only avenue we are taking. This is the only avenue that has to be presented to this board. I am not relying on just on that sign, but it is doing something. Is it fixing all my hiring needs? No, none of it is, but a combination of all of it helps.

Mr. Squires asked if she could live with 60 days. Ms. Furlotte answered I would prefer 90, but I could live with 60. Mr. .Squires said we could even make the deadline the end of April.

Mr. Borden said if this is approved, can you make sure it is more explicit to the applicant as to where they are being referred from so we can break the numbers down and see how we are doing? Ms. Furlotte answered I will go through that more with our guard service at the front desk.

Mr. Okum said I will ask for anyone in the audience to speak on this because there is no one left.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance to extend the "Now Hiring" banner up to April 30, 2001. Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

Mr. Borden said I would like to amend the motion so that the numbers of the applicants should be broken out that are generated from the sign on the building. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion to amend.

Mr. Okum said the banner is over on May 1st and there will not be a request for extension. Do we need that requirement? . Mr. Borden responded as long as the applicant understands that. Ms. Furlotte commented that was what my question was going to be, that if I am going to gather this data, am I coming back or am I just gathering. Mr. Borden said if that is the understanding, I will withdraw my motion to amend. Mr. Wilson withdrew his second.

Mr. McErlane said I guess there is nothing in the Code precludes the applicant from coming back. All you can do as a board is make it clear that you are not going to look favorably on it. To meet the April 30th date, the applicant would have to submit her application by the 6th of April to make the April 17th meeting. From what I am hearilng, the board is discouraging any further extension.

Mr. Borden added if you would decide to come back, it would be in your interest to have some numbers.

On the motion to extend the variance, voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mrs. Huber, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mr. Borden and Chairman Okum. Variance was extended.



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  2. Mr. McErlane said to clarify what I said earlier about appeals to decisions by this board, it is easier for the applicant to appeal a decision of this board than a party who is an adjacent property owner. The adjacent property owner has to show that he has standing in the court and then the court has to determine whether or not he has been injured by the decision of this board. So, if somebody from Cooker wanted to file suit, the courts would have to determine whether or not they even have standing from the standpoint of damages, and then determine that they were damaged by the decision. Most of them aren’t overturned from that standpoint, unless there is a real error in the decision.

    Mr. Okum added we always have to make sure that due notices was given to all relevant property owners and published in the local newspaper. Mr. McErlane added that the agenda is out on the web page. Mr. Wilson said we have given notices to the local Cookers, and it is their responsibility to pass it along, but that doesn’t preclude someone from the corporate office coming down here and saying that the local manager doesn’t have the authority to handle this. Mr. McErlane said it actually was sent to the mailing address for taxes, the owner of record.

    Mr. Okum complimented everyone. This was the longest meeting we have had in a long time, and everyone was very attentive and deliberated fairly. It was not an easy night.


Having completed all business, the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 11:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



___________________,2001 _________________________

David Okum, Chairman



___________________, 2001 __________________________

Jane Huber, Secretary