Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

19 April 2005

7:00 p.m.

 

 

I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.

 

II.                   ROLL CALL

 

Members Present:             Fred Borden, Robert Emerson, Marjorie Pollitt

                                             James Squires, Robert Weidlich, Jane Huber

                                             And Chairman Okum

 

Others Present:                  William McErlane, Building Official

 

III.                  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

IV.               MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 15 MARCH 2005

 

Mr. Squires moved to adopt and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.  All voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.

 

V.                 CORRESPONDENCE

 

A.          Zoning Bulletin – March 10, 2005

B.          Zoning Bulletin – March 25, 2005

C.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – March 8, 2005

D.          4/6/05 Letter from Joseph L. Trauth re Administrative Appeal for 12010 Princeton Pike (Staples)

 

 

VI.               REPORTS

 

A.     Report on Council Activities – James Squires

 

Mr. Squires reported that Council authorized an ordinance for environmental cleanup at 365 West Kemper (former Springdale Dry Cleaners). That property was deeded to the City as a result of some out of court settlement because of their excess dumping of tetrachlorethyline.  Before that can be deeded over to the City to redevelop, it must be cleaned up.  Another ordinance mandated rubbish and garbage disposal.  The current language says only trash receptacles may be placed in the front yard prior to 6 p.m., and Mr. McErlane and the Building Department suggested that we reconsider that and make it that all rubbish and bags as well as containers be allowed to be placed out on the curb prior to 6 p.m.

 

Council also referred to Planning Commission a Zoning Code change in the regulation of parking commercial vehicles in residential areas.  This has become a big problem so we referred it to Planning for their consideration.

 

B.          Report on Planning Commission – David Okum

 

Mr. Okum reported that on the request for approval of the driveway with four connections to the street at 11475 Walnut Street there was no one present and it was tabled to May 17, 2005. 

 

 

 

 BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE TWO

 

VI REPORT ON PLANNING COMMISSION – CONTINUED

 

Mr. Okum reported that the final development plan approval for Union Savings Bank at 11333 Princeton Pike was granted.  The preliminary development plan for the proposed dental office at 311 West Kemper Road was approved and referred to Council. 

 

Mrs. Pollitt said the adjoining property is back on the market and I am a little concerned about that since it is a part of the transition overlay district.  I don’t want it to go into a commercial piece of property.

 

Mr. McErlane added that even with the transition overlay, it by right can only be used as residential.  It can only be used as something different if it comes in with a plan that is approved by both Planning Commission and Council, so there are pretty tight controls on this.

 

Mr. Okum said on the agenda was a proposed ice cream trailer in the Tri-County Mall lot, which was withdrawn at the request of the applicant. 

 

Mattress & Furniture Express, 895 East Kemper Road requested the extension of their temporary banner for 90 days.  This has been ongoing and they failed to appear but Planning acted on it and denied their request.

 

The right of way plat (Springdale Elementary School property) which is being deeded over to the City was approved. 

 

There was discussion on the parking of commercial vehicles in residential districts.  It was approved and referred back to Council.

 

VII.              CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT AND SWEARING IN OF APPLICANTS

 

 

VIII.            OLD BUSINESS

 

A.          Administrative Appeal – Planning Commission Denial of Landscape and Driveway Plan, 12050 Princeton Pike (Staples) – Continued in Progress – March 15, 2005

 

Mr. McErlane reported that last month the Board of Zoning Appeals opened the public hearing on this matter and continued it until this meeting.  We have received correspondence from Joe Trauth the counsel for Perin/Tyler asking that it be continued again until the May 17th meeting.  The Perins and the Staples people met today to discuss landscaping and rather than have our consultants here and have this continued, we as staff are recommending that the board will open the hearing and continue it again until May 17th.  From the staff’s standpoint, we are pleased to see that both parties are discussing a resolution.

 

Mr. Squires moved to reopen the public hearing regarding this matter.  Mr. Borden seconded the motion and by voice vote all voted aye.

 

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE THREE

 

ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL–12050 PRINCETON PK (STAPLES) CONTINUED

 

Mr. Okum reopened the public hearing, asking of anyone present would like to address the board on this.  Addressing Mr. McErlane he added that since the hearing is open, I will open it up to comment.  I don’t think there is anyone, but we’ll give them an opportunity. Without counsel being present, I would recommend against it, and recommend that you come to the next meeting.  No one came forward. He asked for a motion to continue the public hearing in progress at the owner’s request.  Mr. Squires so moved and Mr. Borden seconded the motion.  By voice vote all voted aye, and the matter was continued until May 17, 2005.

 

IX.               NEW BUSINESS

 

A.          Approval of a Ground Sign at 0’ setback and 19’ in height at Art Institute of Cincinnati, 1171 East Kemper Road.  Variances are requested from Section 153.523(D) “Permanent ground signs shall not extend higher than seven feet..” and Section 153.531(D)(5) “A ground sign shall be..not less than.ten feet from a street right of way line…”

 

Marion Allman, owner of the property said we want to take down the sign that is there now; we feel it is tacky and doesn’t really represent our business. 

 

We are proposing a gently curved wall with our name on it.  We are hoping to have a sculpture contest and put a sculpture on top of the wall in the center.   I don’t know if it will be a four-foot sculpture or a 10-foot sculpture until we have the contest.

 

Ms. Allman said I understand that I have to be so many feet back and right now my sign is right on the border, and we’ll have to do what needs to be done.

 

Mr. Okum stated there are two parts to the variance request.  One is the height of the sign and the second is the setback from the right of way.  To understand this, you are wishing to move your sign back and that would not be a part of your request?

Ms. Allman responded I thought I could put it right in front, but evidently not.  So I will have to take part of that wall out.  I was trying to save some money by using the existing wall as a brace, but if that can’t be done, that is fine.

 

Mr. McErlane reported that the applicant is requesting a variance to construct a curved brick wall with letters on the front face of it, and erect a sculpture of up to 15 feet in height placed immediately behind the wall.  In accordance with the Zoning Code, we would measure from the bottom face of the wall to the height of the sign, which would put it at approximately 19 feet. 

 

The Zoning Code requires that ground signs be placed a minimum of 10 feet back from the right of way.  There was no site plan submitted, so it really doesn’t indicate exactly where that wall will be.  However, we think the intent was that it be placed in approximately the same location as the current sign, a 0’ setback.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE FOUR

 

ART INSTITUTE OF CINCINNATI 1171 EAST KEMPER RD – GROUND SIGN

 

Mr. McErlane added there is an existing variance for the existing sign that was granted in 1987 for 0’ setback, but this is a substantially different sign than what currently exists there today. 

 

Because the existing sign is located on the right of way today, in order to build this wall the applicant would have to remove at least part of the sign.  There is also a note on the drawings that this wall would be indirectly lit, which means that there may be another issue in terms of trying to locate those lights outside the right of way to shine on that wall.

 

We can’t determine the area of the sign because there are no dimensions on the letter.  The maximum square footage is 100 s.f.  By Code, the sculpture fits the definition of a sign, anything that attracts attention to a particular business.  One of the examples given is this wedge sculpture, and if you look at the front face of that, there is also a logo on that that would constitute a sign as well. 

 

There is also a note that says there might be moving sculpture pieces in the sign, which is also a conflict of 153.523((I), which doesn’t allow for movement of signs. 

 

There are probably a number of things that need to be addressed relative to the square footage of sign face and clarifying the location of the lighting.  I think it would be beneficial, if nothing else to give feedback to the applicant relative to the board’s reaction to the idea of the sculpture on the sign.

 

Ms. Allman said I understand that before we even go ahead with this we would have to submit another plan.   Also, if we get basic approval of this, I would have to have your approval of the type of sculpture we put up there.  I would assume that you would want to see the sculpture or the plan of what it would look like before we moved ahead on it.  Is that correct?

 

Mr. Okum said I am not quite sure.  This is something we have never considered before.  Mr. McErlane has explained to us what the code reads in regards to the sculpture.  From experience, I know content of a sign is not an issue to be considered, but dimension and size and proportion are all things we should be considering when we consider a zoning variance.  So, on that basis I would think that seeing not what it is but its size proportion and dimension are all factors that the board would have to look at.

 

Ms. Allman said so where does that leave me; what size?  Mr. Okum responded right now not at all because you have not given us anything but samples and it makes it difficult for me to act on.  But I want to open it up to the audience and see if there is anyone here that would like to address this.

 

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.  No one came forward and he closed the public hearing.

 

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance request of the Art Academy of Cincinnati at 1171 East Kemper Road and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion. 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE FIVE

 

ART INSTITUTE OF CINCINNATI 1171 EAST KEMPER RD – GROUND SIGN

 

Mrs. Huber said my concern is if we are finished with the widening of Kemper Road.  Mr. McErlane responded I don’t know that we ever will be finished widening Kemper Road, but I am not aware of any immediate plans for it.  Regardless of what might happen there, I think it will impact things to a great degree because there is only 20 feet to the parking lot and a pretty substantial grade.  Ms. Pollitt added I don’t think there are any future plans for that area.

 

Mr. Squires said looking at the application, you are asking for quite a bit.    The wall is constructed right up to the right of way line and you are asking for spotlights and we don’t have spotlights at the public right of way.  You are asking for the height of the ground sign to be 19 feet and we only allow seven feet.  If you are talking about the wedge sculpture with moving pieces, that is another variance.

 

Ms. Allman responded that may not be.  If we have a competition, we would wait until the competition was over  to submit the sculpture.

 

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Squires said you said the sign area cannot be determined.  Are we talking about the wall as well as the triangular wedge?

 

Mr. McErlane reported what I was referring to was the lettering on the wall, because we don’t. know the size or length of it.  If it were the wedge, the logo would be included in that square footage as well.   

 

Ms. Allman reported that the height of the wall would be about the same height as the bricks are now, which is about four feet.  Are there any restrictions to the width with the curve? 

 

Mr. McErlane stated the only thing we would consider relative to signs would be the copy, the letters you have on it.  Ms. Allman said it is 100 s.f.

 

Mr. McErlane added with respect to the existing sign being higher than the seven feet permitted by code, prior to the year 2000 the maximum height for a ground sign was 12 feet. 

 

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said basically you are grandfathered currently, but when you change it, you have to conform to the current code, unless you get a variance.

 

Mrs. Pollitt said I am a little confused.  She has a variance for the old sign.  Mr. Okum said for the 0’ setback.  Mrs. Pollitt asked about the height of the sign, and Mr. Okum reported it is about eight or nine feet high.   

 

Addressing the applicant, Mrs. Pollitt said and you want it to be 19 feet high.  Ms. Allman responded I was setting that as a maximum.  I don’t know what the sculpture will be; it may only be nine feet; but I wanted to give it a little bit of play.  When we are talking about sculpture, it could just be an arm extending up.

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE SIX

 

ART INSTITUTE OF CINCINNATI 1171 EAST KEMPER RD – GROUND SIGN

 

Mrs. Pollitt asked if the applicant would be allowed to put a sculpture anywhere else on the property.  Ms. Allman stated I really don’t have room for it.  Mrs. Pollitt added this is very attractive looking with the curvature of the brick.   I think it goes very well with the style of the building.   But I did notice that if you put a sign there you would be blocking the beautiful architecture of your building.

 

Ms. Allman responded not necessarily, not if it is a metal sculpture that is very delicate.  It may be very delicate.  In fact, it would obstruct it less than it is now.  That white sign is a solid piece, where the sculpture would not be.

 

Mr. Emerson said you have four trees planted on that all.  Will this sign result in removing any of them?  Ms. Allman responded no, absolutely not.  Mr. Emerson commented when I drove by, I couldn’t see your sign until I got right on it.  Will your new sign arch out into the road further?  Ms. Allman answered it will be a very subtle arch and none of the trees will be impacted. They are beautiful; I don’t want to cut them down.  I want to make it look more elegant.  The sign out there now is good for us because you can put letters in it, but it is kind of tacky.

 

Mr. Emerson commented I think her new sign is very attractive.  I   just worry about the 7’-6” x 15’ sculpture, if it goes that big covering up the front of your building.

 

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Okum asked if there was a restriction of the applicant placing a sculpture on her site if it has no identification distinguishable by their logo  that would be part of their development. 

 

Mr. McErlane responded probably no.  We do have at least one location  where there is a sculpture on the property.  It is not out by the street (Princeton Hill Building on Merchant Street).  In this case, it is right on top of the sign, so we have taken it  to be a part of it.

Ms. Allman reported it will symbolize graphic design somehow. 

 

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Borden said if the existing sign is removed, is the variance removed as well?  Mr. McErlane reported that it would not be.  Mr. Borden added I am not having a problem with the wall.  I think it is a nice wall with the arch there.  I just have a problem with the wedge.  Ms. Allman said that might not be either.  It is just a design I came up with.  Mr. Borden commented that is the problem. With nothing concrete, I don’t know how I can decide on anything.  I can’t approve anything that I cannot see.

 

Ms. Allman stated after I came up with this design, I spoke with Mr. Wilkes of the Pyramid Hill, a sculptural park, and he volunteered to help me find a sculpture

 

Mr. Okum said for clarity, since you have a 0’ setback within your 100 s.f., if you were to take out that sign and put a radiused wall in and do the Art Institute of Cincinnati on the face of it within the 100 s.f., you could do that today without a variance.    

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE SEVEN

 

ART INSTITUTE OF CINCINNATI 1171 EAST KEMPER RD – GROUND SIGN

 

Mr. Okum added if you came back to this board at a later time and had a sculpture element that you want to integrate into that, and is under the seven-foot  height limit, I think you would not need a variance.  But if you increased the height over the seven feet, a variance would be needed.  Personally I am not going to be able to support this, not knowing the size  dimension and mass for the element you want to put on top.  Based on that, I won’t be voting in support of your request for a variance.  I am not saying that I would be objecting to some design  in that space on top of that wall at a later time.  I know you want to give us an idea of what types of things might go there, something artistic.  However I can’t support this based on what has been presented until I see the mass and dimension and size that would be applied to that wall.  I think it is a neat concept.

 

Ms. Allman responded I just wanted to see what your concerns would be. 

 

Mrs. Pollitt said I think we should ask the applicant if she would like to table this until she gets more definite ideas on the sculpture or the sign and come back in.

 

Ms. Allman answered it sounds to me like you are pretty open to something very classy being out there, as long as it doesn’t obstruct the view.  Is that correct?

 

Mr. Okum said I am only one person.  Mr. Squires said what we are saying is if we had some dimensions, our decision would be a lot easier.  Right now we don’t have anything to go by.  Mr. Borden has said he would have difficulty with it and I would have difficulty with it, and you have heard from our chairman Mr. Okum.  Mrs. Pollitt has suggested that you might like to have this tabled for further study to see if you can come up with a significant plan with numbers.

 

Ms. Allman said I probably will take a couple of months.  Mr. Squires added if we voted on it this evening and it was defeated, it would be six months before you could re-present it. 

 

Mr. Okum said you could withdraw your request.  Ms. Allman responded I will withdraw it.  Mr. Okum commented I think that is probably a prudent thing to do.  If anyone else on the board would like to comment, it might give you some direction might be to your benefit. Mr. McErlane has indicated that there is an issue with the lighting, and I have a big problem with light glare caused by signs.  You can do internally illuminated letters on the sign, but with that 0’ setback, I would be concerned how that would be right on the roadway.  There is also something they call a rear reflective which creates an aura around the back of the letters. 

 

Mrs. Pollitt said this is one of the nicer presentations that I have seen come through.  I do think your curved signage with the brick really goes very well with the architecture of the building.  The sculptures on the UC campus are very interesting and creative and I hope you can work something out that would be pleasing to you. 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE EIGHT

 

ART INSTITUTE OF CINCINNATI 1171 EAST KEMPER RD – GROUND SIGN

 

Mrs. Pollitt asked if most of her students know her from another arena, or because they see her signage.   Ms. Allman responded signage plays a really big part.  A lot of them say it was signage, but also referrals from high school teachers. 

 

Mr. Squires said this is a wonderful presentation and you should be very proud of it.  The board is open for improvements for you.  I’m like Mr. Okum; I’ll have some problem with the spotlights.  Ms. Allman commented he made a good suggestion about lighting with a halo.  Mr. Squires said I would think that you have enough talented people there that you could come up with some numbers and be on the right track.

 

Mr. Okum said the applicant has requested that this be withdrawn.  I don’t see anyone objecting to that, so we will allow you to withdraw your request for a variance and let the record show that you have withdrawn it, and are open to bring us something else. 

 

B.  Approval of 10’ x 10’ Deck on Front of Residence at 497 Dimmick Avenue to be constructed 24 feet from front property line.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.085 “..minimum front yard setback of 35 feet”, and Section 153.580(B) “..may extend six feet into a front yard and three feet into a side yard.”

 

Ken Zinnecker owner of 497 Dimmick Avenue said I have a 6’ x 7’ concrete slab at my front door upon which I can put one chair.  I would like to make something more accommodating to my family and our guests.   We would like to be able to have a 10’ x 10’ deck.  Front porches are limited to six feet into the yard, and to get the same square footage I would have to go 14’ x 6’ which won’t work.  It would be too narrow and would put the deck under the bedroom and living room windows, which I am very uncomfortable about doing.  So I would like to put a low level deck, integrated with my landscaping.  I am rejuvenating the entire landscaping in front of the house, and this is the last phase of that landscaping project.

 

Mr. McErlane reported that a lot of the properties in the Cloverdale/Smiley/Dimmick area are legal non-conforming properties with respect to setbacks and lot sizes.  This building is fairly close to being correct in terms of front yard setback.  It actually has a 34-foot setback to the front of the house. 

 

Section 153.580(B) allows encroachments into those setbacks and for a front porch, it allows a six-foot encroachment into the required front yard.  Basically it allows a porch to be 29 feet from the right of way line.  With a 10’ x 10’ wood deck  the setback to the deck from the right of way line would be 24 feet.

 

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

 

Mrs. Pollitt moved to grant the variance and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

 

 

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE NINE

 

IX B DECK IN FRONT OF RESIDENCE AT 497 DIMMICK AVENUE

 

Mrs. Huber asked if he was proposing a railing, and Mr. Zinnecker indicated that he was not.

 

Mr. Weidlich asked if the deck would be left in a pressure treated condition or are you going to stain it.  Mr. Zinnecker answered I would like to stain it.  Mr. Weidlich added and you are planning to landscape around this whole deck and have a walkway to the driveway.  Mr. Zinnecker responded right.  There is an existing concrete walkway to the driveway that would be one step up to this deck.  I would like to disguise it as much as I can with landscaping      to make it as unobtrusive as possible looking from the street..

 

Mr. Borden asked if he planned on putting a cover over the deck, and Mr. Zinnecker responded no.

 

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said you have indicated that the deck will be no higher than 12 inches off the grade.  Mr. Zinnecker answered plus or minus, yes.  Mr. Okum said you considered extending the concrete out to accomodate this, and you think the wood would be softer.  Mr. Zinnecker added I think it would be easier to do it and more attractive.

 

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Squires said it is the policy of the Building Department to send out notices on a variance request to adjacent neighbors.  Mr. McErlane reported that they are sent to adjacent property owners within 200 feet. 

 

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said I am assuming since your neighbors Bob Roll and Ray Vincent received notification of this and are not here, they have no objection to this.  Mr. Zinnecker responded I spoke with Ray Vincent, and he said to save him a chair tonight, and I haven’t spoken with Bob Roll.

 

Mr. Squires asked if Mr. Vincent were opposed to this, and Mr. Zinnecker answered absolutely not.  Mr. Squires commented I would like to get that into the record.

 

Mr. Okum said he might not live there forever.  We always have to consider what happens with a variance that goes forever.  Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said if there were restrictions on the variance like there should be no railing and that the deck be no higher than 14 inches off the grade and not be covered, would that be acceptable; could you work with that?  Mr. Zinnecker answered that would be acceptable.

 

Mr. Okum said I drove the neighborhood, and there appears to be a variation in setbacks that is significant.  In fact there was a variation in setback between the two houses that Mr. Zinnecker’s home is between.  Based on that and with the conditions we just mentioned, I would be supporting this variance.

 

Mr. Weidlich moved to amend the original motion to allow the deck to be not more than 14 inches in height off the grade, it will have one step up to it from the existing sidewalk, that the deck will not be covered,  and that there be no railings.   Mr. Borden seconded the motion.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE TEN

 

IX B DECK IN FRONT OF RESIDENCE AT 497 DIMMICK AVENUE

 

On the motion to amend, all voted aye.  On the amended motion, all voted aye  and the variances was granted unanimously.

 

C.    Approval of temporary banner at 409 West Kemper Road (Thriftway) to be extended for not more than six months.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.533(B) (C) & (D) “Such signs may be placed only on the inside of windows or doors and on the exterior of buildings.” “..signs may not be posted, tacked or otherwise secured on fences, posts, poles, trees or surfaces other than the main building,” and “..shall in no event exceed two consecutive weeks in duration.

 

Dan Ward of Phillips Edison & Company said we manage and own the property at 409 West Kemper Road. and I am the property manager. 

 

We are asking for a temporary variance for the banner where the old Thriftway pole sign used to be for exposure to the thoroughfare of Route 4 since we do sit back and it is a lower elevation from Route 4.

 

Winn Dixie filed bankruptcy and we acquired the property in February of 2005.  We have cleaned it up, mowed the grass and keep it clean on a daily basis.  We also have clients  being flown in, and leasing departments are going to have an open house.  We specialize in grocery anchor shopping centers, so that is our main objective.

 

Mr. Okum said for point of information, there also is an angle sign on  post, a v sign.  You are permitted to have that, is that correct?  Mr. Ward said it was denied, and I took it down this evening. 

 

Mr. McErlane reported that the applicant is requesting to allow an 8’ x 22’ banner to remain on the existing pole sign for a period not to exceed six months.

 

Section 153.533(B) indicates that temporary signs may not exceed 20% of the maximum area of signs permitted for the property.  The maximum area of signs for the property is 610 square feet, which would allow a temporary sign of 122, and the banner on the pole is 176 s.f.  So a variance would be necessary from that section.

 

Section 153.533 (C) indicates temporary signs have to be secured to a building and not a sign, so a variance is required for that as well.  Paragraph (D) of that same section indicates that the duration of temporary signs cannot exceed two consecutive weeks.

 

The applicant has requested six months and we need clarification as to what six-month period we are talking about, if that is from the time the sign was put up or if that is six months from tonight. 

 

The applicant has already somewhat addressed the v-shaped real estate sign that violated several different sections of the code, in particular the size of it and its location. 

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE ELEVEN

 

TEMPORARY BANNER – 409 WEST KEMPER ROAD

 

Mr. McErlane stated that the height indicated on the drawings was different than what was actually installed.  They had indicated 11 feet and it was never installed at that height, but it was installed in the public right of way so it needed to be removed.  You are indicating that it has been removed?  Mr. Ward answered yes and the posts will be removed tomorrow.  I got the notification yesterday.

 

Mr. McErlane said on the extension of a particular sign permit, we really didn’t issue any permits for signs, so it is not really an extension.  At this point it would be a consideration of the time period, size and the location of the sign itself.

 

Mr. Okum said I hate to say it, but I have been up there a lot and I didn’t even see the thing on the pole because it is so high in the air I guess.  I don’t know.  Mr. McErlane reported if you are at the traffic light going west on Kemper Road, it is pretty visible.  Coming eastbound it is less visible because you are paying more attention to what is going on.  Grade wise it is higher, but coming westbound because the road is higher it is a lot more visible.

 

Mr. Okum asked the applicant how much of his business is generated by massive amount of signage to make somebody aware that something is there.  How many small grocery entrepreneurs drive Route 4 and Kemper Road and decide to lease the store?

 

Mr. Ward said I was taking the sign down this evening and a gentleman stopped me and asked how much it rented for.  I gave him my business card and asked him to call our leasing department.    The leasing department is ext4nsively out searching.  They are having open houses.  We put the signs up in such a hurry.  I was at another property out of state and was notified on a Friday that we had investors coming to Cincinnati Monday morning.  So we worked extensively Saturday and Sunday to be ready for investors looking to put anywhere from $24 to $200 million in our company.  They are looking for spaces to redevelop.

 

On the low end we may have somebody that takes a 20-30 year lease as it is and will be doing a different new façade, possibly to tie into your development.  At the high end, I don’t know if the church beside it is for sale or the parking lot behind there.  That is an option that I have heard within our company. 

 

Mr. Squires said speaking as a councilmember, it is really in the best interests of the City that this property be marketed.  The longer that stays vacant, it doesn’t do the City of Springdale any good.   In my opinion it is very important to the City that we allow Phillips Edison to redevelop this, to use their maximum marketing facilities to release this and to develop this in conjunction with the development of downtown Springdale.  So it is important to the City that we do this.

 

 

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE TWELVE

 

TEMPORARY BANNER – 409 WEST KEMPER ROAD

 

Mr. McErlane said relative to the installation on the sign, part of the concern typically is the way it is applied and how well it is maintained. I have to admit that this is one of the better installations of a sign that violates our Code. 

 

Mr. Weidlich commented that one of my questions was the effectiveness of the signage for leasing.  Where are the two signs that you took down this evening; on the front of the building?  Mr. Ward responded I took them and put them inside the building in the windows.   Mr. Weidlich said as I came by tonight it seemed like there were more signs across the building than there was this afternoon.  This may not be applicable, but the amount of signage seems excessive across the front of the building, the banner, three window signs and now these two big ones.  Mr. Ward said with the blue and yellow we are trying to catch people’s attention. 

 

Mr. Borden wondered if the request was for the pole sign and the sign on the front of the building.  Mr. McErlane reported that what is permitted in terms of real estate signs is one per street frontage.  The pole sign is visible from both, but the variance could be for whatever is currently up there at this point. 

 

Mrs. Pollitt said if we were to grant this variance for six months and the applicant needed an extension, is that possible, or should we word any motion to give them time to come back?  This is a very important piece of property in Springdale and I want to see the applicant have every opportunity to get a tenant in there, and I would like a grocery store if you don’t mind. 

 

My question is how can we best work with the applicant and with the Building Department and our economic developer to make sure that everybody’s needs are met?  Can that be an extension or not?

 

Mr. McErlane said if the applicant asks for six months and would like to come back in for an extension of that, he could certainly do that.  Mr. Ward added if that banner becomes windblown or torn or shredded, we would replace it. 

 

Mr. Okum said I did not open the public hearing, but I want to make sure that everyone understands that there is no one in the audience to communicate with us, so there was no reason to open up the communications from the public or a reason to close it.

 

Mrs. Pollitt said we are making a motion to allow the temporary signage on the pole sign, which would be Section 153.533(C) and (D) – is that correct?  Mr. McErlane reported said (B) (C) and (D) all apply.  However if you want to include the additional real estate signs, you would need to include 153.531(D)(10) which only allows one per street frontage.

 

Mrs. Pollitt moved to grant a variance from Section 153.533 (B) (C) and (D) as well as Section 153.531(D) (10) for a period of six months from today’s date.   Mr. Squires said it would end October 19, 2005.  Mrs. Pollitt added that would allow for economic development of that piece of property.  Mr. Borden seconded the motion. 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE THIRTEEN

 

TEMPORARY BANNER – 409 WEST KEMPER ROAD

 

Mr. Weidlich said do we want to include anything about the amount of signage in the windows and on the building since the gentleman has moved the two v-signs inside the window?  All that signage across there looked junky to me. 

 

Mr. Okum said the variance is for the pole sign, and she added to that an allowance for more than one real estate sign.  Mr. Ward asked about any stipulation on the square footage and setback regulations.  Mr. Okum said I believe the second real estate sign would need to meet the real estate sign limitations, is that right?

Mr. McErlane reported that the way it was worded it includes 531 (D) (10) which would be a variance from the number of real estate signs, the size and the height.    Mr. Ward said when Thriftway had it, there was a v sign there that was a lot smaller.

 

Mr. Okum said without limitation, it is open and what we need to do is close the limitation to what we think is allowable.  Mr. McErlane added you need to either be specific  from the standpoint of what is currently there today, which would be the signs in the window and on the side of the building and the pylon, or limit it to something.  With it being unlimited I would assume we are talking about what is there currently.

 

Mr. Okum commented with the pole sign you could do it with the 25 s.f., a legal real estate ground sign.  Mr. Ward responded I can take the two I put in the window and have them redone and bring it down to the square footage that is required.

 

Mr. Okum wondered if that was putting a limit on it.  Mr. McErlane said from the standpoint of what your variance entails, if that is what you want to put as a condition on it, that is up to you.   Mr. Borden said not to exceed 25 square feet and seven feet high.  That is what (D)(10) is.  Mr. Okum added that would be my feeling.  Mrs. Pollitt added that was my intent, not to exceed 25 square feet and seven feet in height. 

 

Mr. Okum said the applicant says he can work with that and have those signs redone to meet the intent of the code.  You have the pole sign, but let’s amend the motion to reduce the second allowable sign down to 25 s.f. and seven feet in height.

 

Mr. McErlane said right now there is the pole sign, a sign directly attached to the face of the building, and two in the windows that used to be the v-shaped sign.  So how many signs are we talking about that we are going to allow?

 

Mr. Weidlich commented there are also three additional signs in the windows.  There are like five in the windows right now.    Mr. Ward added there are four 2’ x 2’’s and I put the two 4’ x 8’’s in this evening.  We have the banner on the outside of the building and the pole sign.

 

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE FOURTEEN

 

TEMPORARY BANNER – 409 WEST KEMPER ROAD

 

Mr. Okum commented the banner itself is also in the variance as well.  So we have the pole sign, the banner on the building, the two 32 s.f. faces that are currently in the windows and the 2’ x 2’ signs that are in the windows.  I have to agree with Mr. Weidlich that that is a little excessive, so let’s get this to a point that is reasonable.

 

Mr. Borden said yes, the windows are not approved.  Mr. Okum said what about the banner on the building; is that acceptable?  Mr. Weidlich answered I don’t have a problem with that.  Mr. Okum said so the pole sign, the banner on the building as it exists and the real estate sign not to exceed 7 feet in height or 25 s.f.  Mr. Ward said that is per street, correct?  Mr. Borden said yes, that is what the (D)(10) in the code says.  Mr. Ward said that would be Van Arsdale and Kemper. 

 

Mr. Okum said the motion to amend should be very specific.  We are granting a variance to allow an exception to the code.  We need to be specific as to if it is going to be one v-shape sign to say real estate v-shape and that would be a total of 50 s.f. in that configuration but we call it 25 s.f. on each face. 

 

Mr. Borden said but doesn’t (D)(10) in the code already address that; we already allow for that.  Mr. Okum responded I understand that, but let’s say he wants to split it up; you don’t care?  Mr. Borden said no.  Mr. Squires said you are going to remove the window signs though.  Mr. Ward answered yes.  Mr. Weidlich asked if we were talking two v-signs, and Mr. Borden said two signs.  It could be a v-sign or not.

 

Mrs. Pollitt moved to amend the motion to allow for the pole sign, the banner that is currently on the building, and a 50-foot square sign that would be either two signs or 25 s.f. each and no more than seven feet in height or one v-sign of a total of 50 s.f., one on Van Arsdale and one on Kemper Road.  Mr. Borden seconded the amendment.

 

Mr. Okum asked Mr. McErlane if that was understandable, and Mr. McErlane responded I was fine until we got to the last phrase.  As I understand it, with the exception of the pole sign, the only other free-standing sign is either a v-shaped sign with two 25 square foot faces or two individual 25 square foot signs. 

 

Mr. Squires suggested that we modify the amendment to include that he remove the two existing window signs.  Mr. Borden answered they are not approved and he has indicated he would remove them.

 

On the amendment to the original motion, all voted aye.

 

Mr. Borden asked if there was a date on the time extension, and Mrs. Pollitt answered six months or October 19, 2005. 

 

On the amended motion, all voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

19 APRIL 2005

PAGE FIFTEEN

 

X.                 DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Okum said at the last meeting I asked for suggestions regarding the housekeeping items for the Zoning Code. 

 

Mr. McErlane reported that there was a comment made this evening about a six month period before you could come back in and reapply for a variance.  That was deleted out of your rules in 2003 when they were amended.  The law director determined that we couldn’t do that.

 

Mr. Okum asked if everyone would be present for the May 17th meeting. 

 

XI.               ADJOURNMENT

 

Mrs. Huber moved to adjourn and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.  By voice vote all voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

 

                                                            Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

____________________,2005     _____________________

                                                            David Okum, Chairman

 

 

 

____________________,2005     _____________________

                                                            Jane Huber Secretary