President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on March 3, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Galster, Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of February 17, 1999 were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 10-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH FRED A. NEMANN COMPANY FOR PHASE II OF THE WEST KEMPER ROAD STORM SEWER PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded. Ordinance 10-1999 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R5-1999 "APPOINTING AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TAX REVIEW"
There were no nominations.
ORDINANCE NO. 11-1999 "APPROVING THE REVISED PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF THE PROPERTY COMMONLY KNOWN AS NORTHWEST BUSINESS CENTER (PICTORIA ISLAND)
Steven Kelly of Woolpert introduced Bill Woodward and David Tipton of Tipton Interests. Mr. Kelly said the Pictoria Island development we have submitted is a revision to the previously approved PUD (Northwest Business Center). This land we are presenting consists of 38 total acres. Twenty-three of those acres are the Pictoria Island development. This development was approved by Planning Commission on January 12 and was discussed with City Council on January 20. The revision to the PUD is a development plan that we think is commercial and office type use. There will be two office buildings designed to attract corporate offices. Behind each one of those buildings we have parking garages that will be attached directly to the office buildings. For the 15 acre IDI parcel we are showing a more suburban office type of development in the form of three office buildings with more conventional, open-air parking. The commercial form will be four restaurants which will center around a redeveloped lake along I-275. That lake will be the focal point of the restaurants. The restaurants have adequate parking to the north. The landscaping for this site is very important to us. The water features we show on the site are just taking the existing dry detention basins and redeveloping those, maintaining the existing storage calculations that will meet the criteria of the City and redeveloping them by deepening to cause a wet retention pond but still have the storage inside the retention basin area. We do have some walking trails/sidewalk combinations that are shown within the development. We feel it is important for the offices to have close accessibility to amenities. The restaurants certainly benefit the office development. At Planning Commissionís recommendation we are going to extend a sidewalk from the restaurants to the cinemas. We will have a monument sign for the corporate offices and a site identification sign along I-275. The site identification sign will allow us to have restaurant signage of 100 square feet per restaurant along with site identification that will introduce everybody to Pictoria Island. We are limited to 50 feet in height.
Bill Woodward of Tipton Interests said David and I have been developing together almost twenty years around Cincinnati and have developed about $400 million worth of properties. He showed pictures of some of their developments. The previous Pictoria Island project was beautiful also. I think our project is much superior to that and also doable. We will maintain the quality we say weíre going to maintain with strict standards. Those standards will be recorded and will cover such things as the amount of landscaping each project will have to have, including the restaurants which will be sold to other individuals. Weíll do appropriate lighting in the parking lot and all the lighting and landscaping will be continuous through all the offices and restaurants. The exterior materials of all the buildings will be compatible with each other. Maintenance will be handled with very tough standards and the pedestrian way will be designed very nicely, maybe with brick and benches along the way. All of the comments from Planning Commission have been embraced and all of them probably enhanced the quality of the project. Those include screening the penthouses on top of all the buildings, making sure the lighting for the parking lots is a non-glare variety, screening the garages, and the sign wonít be any taller than fifty feet.
Ms. Pollitt asked could you address the parking capacity for the restaurants?
Mr. Woodward replied the numbers are for restaurant one, 236; two, 125; three, 175 and four, 163.
Mr. Danbury asked for comments from the audience for or against.
Jim OíDonnell, 12018 Crossings, said I have been here since 1982 and I am violently opposed to this. You are paving over Springdale and I think you are selling your souls and my soul to put in 3500 jobs, meaning 3500 cars to a place that is going to create much more carbon monoxide, heat and congestion. Nobody has addressed the traffic. Where are they getting in and out? Is there just one entry way off of Crescentville Road.
Mr. Kelly replied access is going to happen by Crescentville Road and St. Rt. 4 with a lot of the development traffic coming in off of St. Rt. 4 into the development from Northwest Center Drive, also with a left or right turn off of Crescentville Road. There are additional access points that meander through the Showcase Cinema development which can also distribute traffic from Crescentville Road into this project. The egress is going to happen much the same way with the exception of not being able to go out left on St. Rt. 4.
Mr. Woodward said the St. Rt. 4 access is a non-stop access.
Mr. OíDonnell said if you have such limited access to come in and out I think there will be an emergency twice a day, meaning some of our vehicles will have to get in and out. They can get in fairly easily if it isnít blocked with traffic on that inbound road. You are liable to be sued if you donít provide the quickest route to get in and out of some place. I think we are running into danger with having one road, apparently Northwest Boulevard, with a traffic light on a street that does not have coordinated signals. You are looking at a monumental jam. This should be a park. Our town doesnít have enough parks. I think you will have to put a fire and ambulance service over here. You donít know how many people are going to work in the restaurants, much less use the parking lots. You are taking every square inch of land you have here and think you are going to gain by the 1% tax.
The public hearing was closed.
Mr. Wilson said I see a level of summary here that perhaps our prior speaker did not have. Did we ever bring up the number of employees in the restaurants?
Mr. Kelly said on the development plan we highlighted the square footages of each one of the restaurants. Each parking field for the restaurants is set up for the needs of the restaurant. We donít have a number of employees but we expect we will exceed the parking requirements for Springdaleís code, based on number of employees, based of square footage for each site. The restaurants want to be viable and I think adequate parking is important.
Mr. Woodward said typically codes are set up based on the number of square footage in a restaurant and that usually relates to the number of seats that can be put in the restaurant and the number of employees per seat. We exceed the code in all cases.
Mr. OíDonnell said there would be enough parking if the garages are free in the evening. Mr. Woodward said the parking would be free.
Mayor Webster said the amount of space they provide exceeds what our code calls for.
Mr. Woodward said this is a revision for an existing plan that has already been approved for over Ĺ million feet of retail. Can you imagine trying to get half of the Tri-County Mall volume of traffic into this project? I think this is far better than what has already been planned.
Mr. Osborn said I think it should be pointed out to the audience that this is an amendment to a preliminary plan. As a result you are not going to see the level of detail that you will at a final development plan. They have not brought forward specific restaurant users which is not uncommon at this stage in a development process. They have represented how big the footprint of the restaurant will be. We extrapolate a parking size from that. From whatís been represented to us, the size of their restaurants is consistent with the parking fields they are proposing. Weíre not typically looking at the details of so many employees and so many people seated at a restaurant at this stage. They have to secure the zoning, then get a contract to build the restaurant.
Ms. Pollitt said I want to address Mr. OíDonnellís comments in regards to traffic. We did talk about traffic at the last meeting that they were here. We talked about staggered release times for the offices. I believe you mentioned that at the Wardís Corner complex, the companies got together and determined a staggered release time so everyone would not be trying to exit the parking areas at the same time. You felt it wasnít so much of a problem in the morning. We also talked about the continuous right turn and we didnít feel that that was going to be a great hindrance to the traffic flow that we had. It could be shops over there with a continuous traffic base all day long.
Mr. OíDonnell said the biggest problem is only one road to get in and get out. At some point the emergency vehicles would not be able to get in.
Ms. Pollitt replied our City Engineer will look at traffic issues as we get closer to an opening for this project.
Mr. Kelly said we do have the access off of St. Rt. 4 for the inbound traffic and also Crescentville Road. The outbound is primarily out to Crescentville Road. There are ways to meander through the Showcase project for the emergency accesses.
Ms. Pollitt said our city engineers have always been proactive on traffic and I canít imagine that they would not be proactive on this.
Mr. Osborn said we have required the developer to provide an emergency access road that connects to the Avon property. There is another road off of Crescentville that runs back to that parking lot as well as the access of Progress Place. The road is gated and limited to passage by public safety vehicles.
Mr. Vanover said I too, Mr. OíDonnell, would like to see more parks but we have to balance the individualís ownership of the land and their right to develop it as they so deem. This is a step down from what was earlier proposed. Traffic is a headache but we canít blame it all on them. We have traffic coming and going that never stops in Springdale. The Chief of Police and Fire Department have reviewed plans and have given their approval. I was in Planning Commission when this came through and there were long discussions on several issues and there was compromise for that. I understand where you are coming from but we cannot deny them use of their property.
Mr. Galster said, Mr. Shvegzda, on the trip sheets in reference to the restaurants, are we assuming that all patrons are coming from somewhere other than the office buildings? We are not assuming any cross use between the restaurants and offices.
Mr. Shvegzda replied yes, the trips are generated by that particular use.
Mr. Galster said the original plan for Pictoria Island showed that we were going to have 1849 cars in the a.m., 1964 in the p.m. This plan comes out about 150 less in the p.m., not accounting for any cross use. Crescentville Road and St. Rt. 4 has an F rating without this development. We have plans for additional north and southbound lanes, not only on the Springdale side, but also on the Fairfield side. It is possible that new roadways will need to be added in the future. This developer did not put all the traffic that is there now so should we penalize them now and say they canít develop? I canít believe someone is going to rent Class A office space if they canít get into it. If the office space is there then the roadways and improvements will follow. We donít have any choice as a City.
Mr. OíDonnell said we pay for it. How will we get reimbursed?
Mr. Osborn responded the trade off is that we generate a great deal more taxes off this site than weíll pay back in support infrastructure. Over the last thirty years we have been in a very successful and enviable fiscal position among communities because of the economic development we have seen. That is the type of development that more than supports itself. From an economic standpoint residential development is a drain. Commercial development is a plus.
Mr. Vanover said I know we have control on the sensors from Northwest and we can change the queuing as needed. Do we have any control on Xetron?
Mr. Osborn replied I think the plan is to link the signals on Crescentville Road into a single system but I donít think that has been done at this point because we are waiting for the Rt. 4/Crescentville intersection to be modified.
Mr. Danbury said, Mr. OíDonnell, you brought up some very valid points. My biggest concern was traffic. Itís everybodyís concern. Iíve spoken with Mr. Shvegzda and Mr. Osborn and there are some things we will have to do. The offices will have to stagger their start times. When the regional highway is completed up north, that will take a lot of traffic off of Rt. 4. There was a study done in 1991 or 1992 and I believe 50,000 cars were exiting and going north on Rt. 4. We will be able to tweak the signalization. As Mr. Vanover said, everyone would love to see that as a green space but it is owned by some people and the City has invested a lot of time and money to develop this. Itís a TIF zone. It could be retail or industrial, and with industrial you could have 18 wheelers blocking traffic and taking a lot of time going through a red light. I think the development the gentlemen have proposed here will return a lot of dollars to the City and will add to the entrance way. I donít think it will be as big an impact on traffic as we think it will.
Mr. Vanover said the courts have been very clear that we cannot deny a development on traffic alone.
Ms. Pollitt said last Council meeting I gave a report from the Board of Health on laser pointers. We got information from the FDA and a pediatric ophthalmologist and we felt we were not going to ban the lasers for health reasons. We also advised the Police Department that if they wanted to look into it we would send it to the Safety Committee. I had a phone call from a resident who said there was an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer the next day stating that laser pointers can damage the vision. The article was put out by two optometrists and there is a difference between an ophthalmologist and optometrist. We are still going with our recommendation from the FDA that laser pointers are not dangerous unless itís an intentional misuse of the product. If someone were holding a laser to someoneís eyes Iím sure there would be damage if there was repeated exposure but to have a laser beam sweep across the room is not a danger.
Mr. Osborn said the question of public safety regarding laser pointers was addressed to the Police Department and Chief Laage indicated that there is not such a problem that would necessitate additional legislation. The type of incident where someone would physically hold a light to someoneís eyes would easily be covered under assault. There are other forms of legislation in place that he believes would adequately cover any type of misuse.
Ms. Pollitt said anything can be dangerous if used to excess. I do not want to see us, as a legislative body, make rules just to be making rules. I think we have to rely on common sense. I think itís up to parents to regulate their children themselves and not have us do it for them.
Mr. Danbury stated Iím the one who brought it up and I agree with you. I donít want to legislate everybody. I heard a lot of different things about misuse and I was concerned.
Mr. Vanover said I agree with you, Ms. Pollitt. We canít regulate abuse. Huffing has become popular again and itís amazing the household products that they are using.
Mr. Danbury said at the last meeting I asked for information on cell phones, pagers, etc. and so far we only have two people. I would like to encourage you to do that.
Mr. Danbury said I have a letter addressed to me from the Springdale Sailfish Swim Team. They are asking if the City would like to contribute additional funds to support them. We currently are giving them $3,000 to fund the team and their request has not increased in six years. Their coachesí salaries are comparably low for this area. They also state that their biggest fund raiser will be eliminated this year because of the cancellation of the Spirit of Springdale festival. Theyíd like us to contribute an additional $8,000 annually. I want everyone to think about this. If you say one thing to one person you have to say it everybody. This would be every group or organization that has a loss of income. The Mayor and I briefly spoke and he brought up a good point. There are a lot of corporate sponsors out there that may want to contribute in exchange for signage or sponsorship.
Ms. Manis asked do you know what line item that comes out of? Mr. Osborn said itís under program subsidies in the Parks and Recreation budget.
Mr. Galster said they need $11,000 a year and they are asking us to fund their whole budget.
Mr. Osborn responded thatís what it looks like based on the information that we have. Their expenses in 1998 and their revenues were $10,400 so they must have had a little in reserve.
Ms. Pollitt asked how long have we had this contribution to the swim team. When I was in FRYS they asked FRYS to subsidize them also and sometimes we did.
Mayor Webster said it has been $3,000 a year since 1992. FRYS used to subsidize the group but when the City started subsidizing, FRYS withdrew their support.
Ms. Pollitt asked could you tell us the history of the City subsidizing?
Mayor Webster replied as I recall they do have to have a paid coach. Itís the only sport in the city recreational program that has paid coaches. Their budget says it was $5,700 last year and their documentation says thatís on the low end of what other communities are paying their coaches. Thatís probably what sets them apart from some of the other sports.
Ms. Manis said they are a City sponsored group. The program runs out of the Community Center. We give money to Senior Citizens. I donít know that we need to give them $11,000 but...
Mr. Danbury said they have been successful. If you know someone who would like to be a corporate sponsor I think that would be the key.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - March 9
Board of Health - March 11
Board of Zoning Appeals - March 16
Mayorís Night In - March 24
Mr. Osborn said the Kemper Road water main project is now scheduled to begin on March 15. There is a memo in your mail detailing the guidelines that the contractor will follow on that project and the letter that is being distributed to the residents on Kemper Road is attached to the memo. I think itís important to let the public know that the project is now intended to start March 15. During the first three weeks of that project, through traffic will be prohibited on Kemper Road between Springfield Pike and Lawnview Avenue. This is a Cincinnati Waterworks project, not a Springdale project so we have limited control over it. We have, however, attempted to negotiate certain limitations on the types of hours they work so they are not disturbing our residents in the middle of the night, etc., but the whole idea is to expedite the work and complete it as quickly as possible. Weíll keep you up-to-date on any other issues that might develop during the course of the project.
Mr. Danbury said Iíd like to make Council and everyone aware of the passing of a resident of Springdale, Duane Seider. He would have turned 47 this year. Thirty years ago he was in a car wreck and confined to a wheel chair. Heís a brother of one of our former police officers, Steve Seider. Our condolences go out to the Seider family.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Mr. OíDonnell said since you put out a newsletter every so often, why donít you put in it all the streets that have synchronization for the signals because I will travel the streets when I know I can proceed through the other ones.
Also, I would like to thank you for all the lovely green signs you put up on the extender arms. That was a nice project and they look beautiful. I am going to start on Fairfield, Forest Park and Sharonville next. As you exit off of northbound I-275 onto Rt. 4, itís a constant turn to the right. You hit an extender arm right away and the right hand lane sign above you reads dead ahead and right turn, and thatís wrong. You go another hundred feet and thereís another sign and another extender arm saying right turn only. All the eighteen wheelers have to jockey from that lane to the next lane. The sign is incorrect and has to be changed.
Mayor Webster said I would like to thank Mr. OíDonnell for his input over the years. Heís a very vocal individual and he lets you know what he thinks. Heís got some great ideas and we have had a couple of meetings with Jim before we put up the big overhead signs up. We had plans to do that and maybe after talking to Jim we expedited those plans a little bit.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Newsracks - first reading next meeting
Pictoria Island - next meeting
FOP labor agreement - next meeting
Tax Review Board appointment - next meeting
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution for Richard Macke
Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council