7:00 P.M.


  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman William G. Syfert.

  4. Members Present: Don Darby, Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman Tom Vanover, David Whitaker and Chairman Syfert

    Others Present: Doyle Webster, Mayor

    Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

    Bill McErlane, Building Official

    Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

    Anne McBride, City Planner

  6. Mr. Galster moved for adoption and Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. All voted aye and the Minutes were adopted with seven affirmative votes.

    Mr. Syfert said we have a group of planning students from U.C. here tonight, and we welcome them.

    1. Report on Council Ė no report
    2. Zoning Bulletin Index Ė 1999
    3. Zoning Bulletin Ė January 10, 2000
    4. Memo Ė Recommended Changes to the Zoning Code Draft


    1. White Castle requests approval of proposed parking lot at corner of West Kemper Road and Springfield Pike (former Precision Tune ) Ė tabled 1/11/00

Mr. Syfert asked if we have the owners of the property permission and Mr. McErlane answered I was just handed a letter from Michael & Juanita Kocheck. Unfortunately it is not signed, but it is an acknowledgement of the ownersí approval for the proposal. I guess we could consider it and hopefully get a signed copy of it.

Jim Mundt, Regional Manager of White Castle said Mr. Kocheck is ill and not able to be here tonight, so he faxed me a copy of this letter and asked me to deliver it.

Mark Burgess with R.D Zande & Associates the engineers for the project stated most of the comments seem to be about the variances for signage. There are two parcels that are being leased by White Castle. The allowable sign area is 137.5 s.f. and there is an existing 133 s.f. We are proposing a new ground sign at Route 4 and Kemper Road which is 75 s.f. so our total sign area would be 208 s.f. Our question is are we going over the allowable signage since there are two parcels being leased?

Mr. McErlane answered signage allotment is based on the frontage of the building, and not the lot size, so even though you are adding land, the signage allotment remains the same.

Mr. Burgess said another comment concerned the height of the new ground sign being six inches over the required seven feet, and I donít White Castle would have a problem with lowering that down to seven feet.





Mr. Burgess added the fact that the sidewalk at the apron which is 13 feet wide needs to be 10 feet, and we donít have a problem with that. The trench drain will be replaced, and that entry will be revised.

Mr. Mundt added there were questions on the sign on the northernmost driveway as an in only sign. Mr. Shvegzda reported we need clarification on the placement of the signs and types of signs. Part of the concern was where the do not enter signs would be and placement of the in only sign. It would really highlight the southbound traffic if that were in only.

Mr. Mundt answered that the in only was if someone wanted to get back out onto Route 4.

Mr. Syfert suggested going through the staff comments first and have the applicants respond to them.

Ms. McBride reported that a variance will be needed for Section 153.131(B) which requires that the loading spaces not be visible from the frontage of the store. They are proposing to relocate their loading area from the rear of the s tore to the side, and it will be visible from Route 4.

We received the photometric lighting plan and there will be in excess of .5 foot-candles in the parking area. They also indicated that they will be using metal halide fixtures on 26-foot poles with two-foot bases. However, they are proposng both the poles and fixtures be blue. They are within the Corridor Review District which recommends that poles and fixtures be dark in color. Staff recommends that these be revised to dark bronze or a color similar to that which other developments along the corridor have done.

They are proposing a ground mounted sign at the corner of Springfield Pike and West Kemper Road. It is 75 square feet and will be six feet seven inches tall but it will be constructed on an earthen mound. Staff needs to know how high that mound will be. The site is entitled to a total of 137.5 s.f. of sign area. Right now they have 133 s.f. and with the proposed additional signage, it will be 208 s.f. so they will need a variance for the total sign area.

Answering Ms. McBrideís question about the size of the mound, Mr. Burgess stated that it would be one to 1 Ĺ to 2 feet tall. Ms. McBride stated that it is the intent of the Corridor District that those signs not exceed 7 feet in height. Mr. Burgess wondered where this was measured from and Mr. McErlane stated that it depended on how it is graded. If it is a gradual grade from the wall area, I donít think there is a concern.

Mr. Mundt said the sign is our logo with a reader board and it is on top of two courses of block. If the height is an issue, we can eliminate one or two of the blocks.

Mr. McErlane reported that the reason why it may look a little higher is that they worked in a swale to carry water a little higher, but it is a fairly gradual slope.

Looking at the drawing, Mr. McErlane stated the top of the wall is shown as 741 and the sidewalk is 739.44, two feet below that at the curb line.

Mr. Okum said they have agreed to 7 feet above that, so the sign would be 749 at the top of the sign. The applicant agreed.

Ms. McBride said the directional signage is proposed at 7 feet 6 inches and staff feels that is excessive. Typically directional signs donít exceed three or four feet maximum. Our Corridor Review District limits signage to seven feet, but we donít feel that appropriate for a directional sign.





Ms. McBride added that they also would need a variance for the sign location if it were to be closer than 10 feet from the right of way.

Mr. Galster wondered if this were in compliance, commenting that the Corridor Review District says you canít park in the front yard and there are three front yards with this project. Ms. McBride answered that it is largely in compliance. We asked them to get rid of some of the gaps on Springfield Pike so the parking area wouldnít be so visible, and they have done that and also added plant material at the corner. In exchange for that, they are requesting the ground mounted sign. They have increased the green space as well as the landscape material.

Mr. Galster wondered about the concrete wall that is there now and if it still needed to be there. Mr. Shvegzda reported that it is integral to the sidewalk and to remove the wall would mean replacing the sidewalk.

Mr. Burgess said on the lighting, they want it to match the existing lighting adjacent to their own property. The poles are semi dark in color; they call out blue. Mr. Mundt added I would call it navy, the same color as our logo.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the sidewalk along the site is shown as 13í wide and this side of Route 4 has a 10í sidewalk so the plan needs to be adjusted.

The northernmost driveway is proposed to be "entrance only" and we feel it would be more appropriate to have it facing southbound and make it an entryway. We also need to know if the two signs at the existing White Castle drive access will remain.

The trench drain at the northernmost drive access is to be reworked, and the location where it connects to the existing storm sewer system needs to be shown.

Mr. McErlane reported that until tonight, we did not have the property ownerís permission. Planning needs to understand that the applicant is acquiring a lease and not purchasing the property, so the property owner is making statements that he would like approval contingent on being able to reaquire access points in the future.

There is a problem with the right of way that was acquired for the widening of Route 4 in 1986. Everything took place, except recording it. On their drawings, the right of way lines go out onto and past the curb line into the street. That needs to be cleared up, and the City needs to take care of that.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the City Solicitor has reviewed the right of way; it is of court record and wasnít recorded, but that is taking place now. On the three accessways to the Precision Tune site, I canít comment on the property ownerís claim as far as those being closed off during the construction of the project. Obviously whatever would be proposed for that one site would have to deal with the needs for accessways and how that would best work with whatever kind of parking and internal circulation that site would have.

Mr. McErlane reported that a total of 3 directional signs are indicated at the driveway leading into the drive thru, and there is an additional one as you pull in. One has "N" on it indicating it to be 8.5í high and 8 s.f. in area. This should be reduced in height and size. I also question if all three of the signs near the sidewalk are necessary. Mr. Mundt answered probably not. This probably stems from a misunderstanding of what the city wants, and any that are overkill, we will eliminate.





Mr. McErlane added I am concerned about the wording of the sign at the driveway location, which should be the main entrance. We would rather see particularly northbound traffic enter at that driveway, so it should not be indicated as "drive thru entrance only". . "drive thru" would handle it without making people believe that is the only purpose of that entrance.

The other items I have concerning variances necessary for sign area and loading space. Directional signs may be an issue, in terms of adjusting those to comply with code.

Mr. Syfert said for the benefit of the Planning Commission, I believe the letter from the property owners should be read into the public record.

"Michael and Juanita Kocheck

P.O. Box 40890

Cincinnati OH 45240

"RE: 11575 Springfield Pike & 11587 Springfield Pike

Dear Gentlemen,

This is to acknowledge the ownerís approval of the proposed development by White Castle to the parcel at 11587 Springfield Pike.

The second purpose of this letter is to request clarification regarding two concerns I expressed at our September 30, 1999 meeting with City Planning Staff and White Castle representatives on behalf of my wife Juanita, Trustee for the property owner Mrs. Emma Bittner, relative to the development of the corner property. Since these matters are within the purview of the City of Springdale, they are not covered by the plans offered by White Castle for review here.

The first item has to do with the 1983 property "taking" for the widening of State Route 4. City staff has noted in their plan review that this taking has never been recorded. Has this yet been resolved?

The second item has to do with three existing driveways, or curb cuts, which serve the parcel at 11587 Springfield Pike on the southwest corner of Kemper Road. At the request of the City, this development will require the closing of the curb cut on VanArsdale Lane. The City unilaterally closed the Kemper Road drive in conjunction with widening work along Kemper about 1985-86. The value of this corner parcel is directly related to access to it. We would like to see the city to acknowledge that the closing of these two curb cuts to be temporary. If for any reason, White Castle were to move off of this parcel at some time in the future, we would like the city to acknowledge the reopening of these existing accesses.

Sincerely," (NOT SIGNED)

Mr. Huddleston wondered if White Castle owned the site, and Mr. Mundt answered that they lease it and there are 18 years remaining on both properties.

Mr. Vanover said we have no crystal ball, and there is no way we can promise anything on the curb cuts, other than it will be given due consideration. There is no way we can guarantee anything at this point.

Mr. Galster said if we are offering no guarantee to the future driveway use, do we still have ownerís consent to this development as it stands?





We are saying that ultimately we are not going to commit to opening up those three driveways because we canít commit to it. So, does that change the position of the consent of the owner?

Mr. McErlane said unfortunately I am not an attorney, but I think we would have to have a clarification from the owner if it is a condition of his approval. that Planning Commission approve that. In our staff meeting, I had expressed to the owner that Planning Commission would have to consider curb cuts on their own merits for a different development. Obviously to develop as a separate parcel, the City would have to give him adequate curb cuts to serve the development. Also, we couldnít give him any guarantees, but most likely he wouldnít end up with three curb cuts on such a small lot. Any use that would require some parking couldnít function with three curb cuts on that small a lot. From that letter, I would say I didnít convince him of this.

I do think Planning Commission could act on it subject to clarification and an approval by the owner. Mr. Syfert commented he has given approval, but then he turns around and could have withdrawn it. Mr. Galster has a very good point.

Mr. Galster said in general the sign location is a concern to me and also the fact that we would have two message boards on the White Castle site. I might be able to agree with a second monument sign, but I donít know that I would agree with two message boards. I also would like to propose that we move that back to Van ArsdaleĖKemper, in that little grassy area as opposed to at the corner of Kemper and Springfield Pike. I think it makes sense; you would catch traffic both ways. I would like to know if the applicant would be okay with that and the removal of the message board.

Mr. Mundt responded I probably would agree with the removal of the message board. Iím not sure the sign would be worthwhile at the corner of Van Arsdale and Kemper. The way the road is configured to the west, there is quite an offset as you approach the intersection. I donít think eastbound traffic would even see that sign at Van Arsdale. Mr. Galster said we could mound it. I drive through there every day and see that corner.

Mr. Burgess added we are putting quite a bit of landscape material on that corner to make as aesthetically pleasing as possible, and to include that sign there also. Mr. Galster said aesthetically pleasing to me doesnít necessarily include a sign. The whole idea of the corner is to try to keep as much of the greenery as possible. The whole idea of the Route 4 Corridor Study is to do that. I believe this development is much better than what we have setting there right now and Iíd love to see it gone tomorrow, but I also want to make sure that we have a good long term development there. Part of how this corridor develops is going to depend upon what happens to that key intersection. I hate to see us put a sign in the middle of it when there are other areas that would service the lot as well.

My next question is on neon lights, because it has been an issue for this Planning Commission. I know when you came in for the interior modifications, I was my understanding that there were to be no exterior changes, and the neon light was added. The Corridor District strictly prohibits the use of colored lights, so I would ask if you would be willing to turn those off.

Mr. Mundt responded that is one of the new I.D. items that we are adding to our building, and I believe it was approved at the time





Mr. Galster said it was put on the drawing, but there were no exterior modifications to the building approved specifically. Apparently there was a notation on the drawing but the motion was all for interior work. There is some debate over whether or not there was an approval ever granted. I believe I know the intention of this commission. If you look at the new building next door to you, they were denied neon lighting. I think that is still an issue that this commission needs to address.

Mr. McErlane said with respect to the sign on the corner, when this plan came through the first time, the parking was almost all the way up to the sidewalk on the corner and I suggested Planning might be amenable to a sign on that corner if they did a very good job of landscaping around it to make the corner look better because it is a prominent corner in Springdale. That was my suggestion in an attempt to get a lot of landscaping on the corner.

Mr. Okum said I donít know why you need two curb cuts; I see a problem with people coming in this entrance here and here and crossing over each other. I wondered why they did not have one wider curb cut and move one down further north and the other one further south and blend them together into one. I can understand the property ownerís concern over no curb cuts so I have to be sensitive to that, and that parcel would be without a curb cut if it were done.

On the other hand the applicant has presented a letter from the owner and if I am understanding right, when the Kemper Road improvement was made, the take of property included a compensation for elimination in property valuation, so there have been adjustments made. It wasnít a matter of arbitrarily taking it.

I am usually the one in favor of increasing landscaping, but I also am concerned about the people who park at the furthest field and need to walk into the building. I would like to see a walkway in part of that landscaped area that centers in the site. Nothing wide, but something people can walk across safely from those parking areas, especially with the drive through entrance.

On the other hand, this walk in box that you constructed was also not part of the plans submitted to Planning when you did your redevelopment. I would like to see some screening around that because it does not match your building at all. Some additional high shrubbery would improve that area. Mr. Burgess said we could put something taller in there.

In general you have done a much better job with landscaping on this site than most of the White Castle sites I have seen. On the other hand, White Castleís maintenance program needs to be beefed up quite a bit. The Corridor District requires a maintenance program to keep it in its original condition. Mr. Mundt answered we will be irrigating all the turf areas. Mr. Burgess suggested creating an aisle for a walkway.

I do have concerns about the bleed of the lighting off the site, not only meeting your .5 foot-candle minimum, but excessive glare coming off your lighting fixtures. Your indication is that your lighting will match the existing lighting standards with existing heads? Mr. Burgess confirmed this. Mr. Okum asked if they would be relamping and Mr. Burgess indicated that they would not be.

Mr. Vanover said you have two handicap spaces on the east side of the island for the new drive through. I am concerned because you have traffic coming in an existing curb cut, and they will be trying to back into that. With that being Route 4, there will be some high speed entrances coming across traffic lanes.





Mr. Vanover added I think it could be done by closing that curb cut and moving it north and widening it. You could flare both directions and restripe those instead of heading northeast, swing them southeast to give you a cleaner ingress and egress. I am concerned that people will be rear ended as they are backing out of one of those parking spots, especially with two handicap spots right there. I think it is a bad mix, and a mistake waiting to happen. Mr. Syfert commented I donít think you gain anything by correcting that. If you swing those the other direction then they will have to back out into the one driveway you are talking about, and Mr. Kocheck wouldnít have any driveways. Mr. Burgess commented I think the intent is to keep it a one way system. Mr. Syfert commented we seem to be doing a lot of planning, but I donít know that we have any consistent agreement on everything.

Addressing, Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Okum said if they would make the northernmost driveway a right in only and shifted the current driveway cut further north, would that help that parking field or would it be worse? I canít fairly vote to eliminate all ingress/egress off that corner parcel.

Mr. Shvegzda answered if the concern is the vehicles backing out of the angled parking in that vicinity, I donít know that would really do anything to help that. The current driveway situation on the north side of White Castle is somewhat similar. Mr. Mundt added there is angled parking on both sides, and I would feel that the new design is an improvement in that you would have parking on only one side of the driveway. The other problem is that this is a very difficult site to incorporate into our lot. and we have turned this drawing every which way in our effort to add the parking that we feel we need to justify the cost of enlarging the site and still adding landscaping and other requirements of the City. If we widened this driveway, closed this one and reversed the parking, this would be dead end.

Mr. Vanover added the concern is with the northbound traffic having to cross two and one-half lanes of traffic. Knowing the volume of traffic, they will hit that curb at 30-35 miles per hour.

Mr. Okum commented the advantage of the two drives is if you are going southbound, you will take the first drive in and going northbound you would take the first drive in. Unfortunately that means that those parking spaces are subject to a car coming into them. The advantage to it with that angle is if they are looking the way you are supposed to when you back up, they will have a better view than they currently have.

Mr. Shvegzda suggested considering eliminating the parking spaces that would most directly back up into that driveway.

Mr. Darby asked how many parking sites are required, and what is being proposed? Mr. McErlane answered parking requirements are based on seating in the store, and I do not have that detail. Mr. Darby commented it is pretty obvious that the seating isnít increasing and there will be an abundance of parking, is that correct? Mr. Mundt answered we feel we donít have enough parking right now, and we were within code because when we did the remodeling we removed some seats.

Mr. Darby continued the reason I raise the question is because there is so much discussion about that ingress and those two handicap spots that would be backing out. It appears that there would be an abundance of parking here. If it would be easier to get rid of those, it would make a lot of sense. It would solve the problems with the blind backing out and the positioning of the curb cuts. That is a suggestion, but it is based on just how much parking is realistically needed. Mr. Mundt stated we are gaining 10 spaces.





Mr. Huddleston said I appreciate the applicant adding the landscaping and trying to make this workable. The thing the Commission has to operate on the basis of is we are designing this property to last a minimum of 18 years. It is almost inconceivable to me with taking the additional lot and meeting their minimum parking requirements, which they have been operating under, we canít come up with a better solution than this. We have three entrances on Springfield Pike, two of which are in only and one is out only, but only one northbound in. It is a totally confusing situation, and I have to believe there is a better solution, whether it is in the realignment of that drive through or something else, I donít know. I appreciate the applicantís struggle with this, but it is also a struggle for us from a public safety concern. Traffic is not going to do anything but get worse, and we are talking an 18-year cycle. I have to believe there is some way you can combine some of those curb cuts and come up with a better solution than what we have.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said we have had a lot of discussion and I know you have spent a lot of time on this. On the other hand, there have been suggestions brought forward this evening and this is a very difficult motion for me to bring forward because there are a lot of open areas. I would hate to see this project lose a favorable decision if some resolve could be achieved. I think Mr. Huddleston has addressed that very well. My question is, do you want us to consider it based on the comments and suggestions made this evening, or would you like to give it an other month to exercise some of the comments that were made and bring something to the next meeting?

Mr. Mundt answered I am not sure that further study will aid us in greatly improving the design. We thought we had done that when we worked with staff over the last several months. This is a very difficult site. You expressed a concern about the backing, etc. We believe this new design is an improvement over the existing design.

Four years ago we had to reduce the seating inside the building in order to meet the then existing zoning/parking requirements. If we are going to develop this corner and incorporate it into our lot, we have two goals in mind, to increase the stack in the drive through lane and to increase the parking. Right now we donít feel during busy periods that we have enough parking there. There are times when the existing drive through backs up into the north driveway all the way to the sidewalk and virtually makes access to all of the parking stalls impossible. Yes we are moving some of that parking further from the building, which might create some problems for people getting to the building. I think that is fairly easy to address; we can put a crosswalk there.

On the question of one driveway versus two, we have looked at several different configurations of that. It is our feeling that the center driveway is the one most of our eat in customers are familiar with. People who are going to eat in the restaurant probably will pull in that driveway. As time goes on, at least our southbound customers will come to recognize that the north driveway is more convenient for the drive through, and theyíll move in that way. We are trying to direct the traffic in that fashion.

Mr. Burgess added if you condense those drive aprons, and you try to get a truck in there, you want to make sure that he can pull straight in and not have to do a lot of turns throughout the site.

Mr. Syfert commented what I am hearing is you do not think that requesting that this be tabled would do anything in your favor.







Mr. Parham commented there are two issues that I have a concern with and they refer back to the letter. Mr. Galster made a wise observation in raising the question as to whether the property owner would approve of this if we did not provide that guarantee. The response from the Commission was that we would clarify that prior to any approval.

My other major concern is we donít have authorization from the property owner. We have a written document, but we have no signature attached to it, and that is an unofficial document. That does not grant the approval to these individuals to use their property. So if the Commission chooses to approve this, it would be contingent upon a signed document from the property owner authorizing it, and at the same time clarifying whether if we do not provide this guarantee, they still approve of this use of their property. Mr. Syfert responded we had continued this discussion with the understanding that this would be signed and approved by the owner, contingent upon that approval.

Mr. Galster said if we look at the parking issue, which seems to be the major stumbling block, there still are other issues that the applicant needs to give us final answers to so we can narrow down the decision making process. I personally have a concern regarding a second message board and the location of that second sign and the neon lights. These are issues totally separate from the main issue, which is the flow of the parking field. Would you like to address them?

Mr. Mundt answered I see no problem with eliminating the message board. Mr. Galster responded but you do have a problem relocating it and Mr. Mundt said yes. Mr. Galster asked if he had a problem with the neon light, and Mr. Mundt answered yes. We have quite an investment in it.

Mr. Huddleston said I too would have difficulty moving on this tonight. We are combining two sites here, and by my count we have 12 or 13 signs on the two sites, all with logos. While they are directional and everything else, it seems to be in excess. I would like to see some better definition of all of those signs in a combined signage plan. I think the lot ownerís conditions have to be eliminated before we can act positively. If we had fewer questions, we probably could move conditionally but I donít see that with the vagueness of that letter. I have to believe there is a better parking plan than what is there with the curb cuts. Between the lot ownerís conditions, three curb cuts in 100 feet and 12 or 13 signs, I am not inclined to move favorably on this tonight. The applicant started five months ago and came back tonight. Iíd like to see them come back next month with a plan. The landscaping effort has been substantive and I appreciate that. Subject to resolving these other issues, I think we can move favorably on this.

Mr. Darby added neon is a very big problem because of a position we took with a previous applicant, but my biggest concern is the letter. We are operating on a maybe basis; it is not an official document because it is not signed. The contingencies presented therein are contingencies that we cannot deal with. I personally think it would be a good move for us to consider this again next month.

Mr. Syfert said we have heard three or four people who donít want to move forward. I can offer you the position to request it to be tabled to next month to work these things out.

Mr. Mundt requested that it be tabled. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the item was tabled to March 14th.





B. Sofa Express requests final plan approval of alterations to 11750 Commons Drive (Champion Windows Building) Ė tabled 1/11/00

Mr. McErlane reported that Sofa Express called and asked us to table this for the time being while they consider options. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Darby seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye and this is tabled to March 14th.

C. Office Resources, Inc. requests final plan approval of their proposed expansion at 171 Container Place

Stanley Cohen stated that Ron Miller the occupant of the building is here to answer questions.

Mr. Shvegzda reported a concern for how the downspouts would be picked up which has been addressed; they will be conveyed to the existing storm sewer. On the site layout, additional spot elevations have been provided on the proposed parking lot expansion. We still need to see how the surrounding area will drain, whether it will be impede the flow. We question the location of that last parking space adjacent to the proposed dumpster location. It would be very difficult or impossible for a car to swing in one direction in order to exit the parking lot. It appears it must be eliminated from the site. Mr. Cohen stated that has been eliminated.

Ms. McBride reported the plan before the commission on the last review had 27 parking spaces. The applicant eliminated one of them to allow for the location of the waste receptacle in the southeast corner of the site. Now we are showing 26 parking spaces. Our current code requires one off street parking space for each employee on each of the two largest successive shifts. We have asked for documentation that Office Resources offer a letter that they will not go over that number of employees on their two largest successive shifts. We have yet to receive that information.

The site contains 21 existing parking spaces and an additional five spaces are proposed. The general notes on the drawings indicate that 27 spaces are needed to meet the tenantís demands and only 26 spaces are provided so we need clarification on this and documentation.

We are concerned about the location of the southernmost parking space concerning the ability to back out or turn in that area. They would have to back the entire length of that parking field.

Our GI District permits a total of 40% of building coverage, or 12,468.4 s.f. on this site. The applicant is proposing 12,468 s.f. of building area.

The minimum building side yard required in the GI District is 25 feet. The applicant will need a variance; they are proposing 11.34 feet on the west side. They also will need a variance for the rear yard required which is 50 feet and they are proposing 14.23 feet. Another variance will be needed on the minimum side yard setback for the parking areas. It is 10 feet and they are proposing 0 feet. The height of the building is 16 feet which is well below the 75 feet permitted in the GI District.

Our Section 153.106 sets forth a series of performance standards having to do with noise and odor and those types of elements. We need documentation to indicate these standards are being met and will continue to be met with the proposed expansion.








Ms. McBride reported the waste area is to be located in the southeast corner of the site. There is a note on the plan indicating that it will be screened with a chain link fence with vision block fillers and gates if required. Section 153.111 (1) requires that dumpsters be screened using either concrete block or wood sufficient to provide complete visual screening. We will need to see details of the enclosure that would include a suitable material, concrete block or wood and the height of the screening to make sure the waste receptacle will be completely screened from view. Additionally the proposed dumpster is located four feet from the rear property line; the requirement is a minimum of 5 feet so a variance will be needed.

One loading space is required and the applicant intends to retain the existing loading space and enclose it.

There is a note on the plan indicating that using existing and proposed wall packs, the illumination for the traveling areas will exceed the .5 foot-candles required. We will need to see a photometric lighting plan.

We did not see color samples of the proposed expansion, but it has been indicated that it will match the existing building. We also did not receive a landscape plan to indicate existing landscape material or supplementation to the existing material that might be proposed as a part of this expansion.

Mr. McErlane reported the property is currently zoned GI and the building was constructed in 1972. There are a number of legal non-conforming situations relative to lot size, lot width, front yard setbacks, side yard setbacks and parking setbacks. Ms. McBride alluded to some additional variances that are required, one for the side yard setback to the west, which is shown at 11.34 feet ((25 feet required). That is an extension of the existing side yard setback on the existing building. The rear yard setback variance is needed to allow 14.23 feet (50 feet required). Setback to parking on the east side of the site to 0 setback (10 feet required), and setback to the dumpster enclosure which appears to be 4 feet, and 5 feet is required. Because of the current ADA requirements, there is only one handicap space required, but it needs to be van accessible. The handicap space shown is standard, which is about 13 to 14 feet, so it would need to be expanded to 16 feet.

Mr. Okum said the documentation requested from the applicantís tenant has not been provided to the City so we do not know if the parking numbers requested are accurate or inaccurate.

Mr. Cohen answered he will not have that many employees; he will furnish you a letter indicting that they will not have over 26 people. They will have split shifts if necessary to alleviate the number of people.

Mr. Ron Miller passed out a letter to the board members, adding that our people start at 6 a.m. and go through 9 p.m. Very seldom are there more than 15 or 16 people at the location at any one time. This letter states that we do not intend to expand to more than 20 or 21 people. The addition is for storage and warehouse space we need to expand our computer business.

Mr. Okum asked the applicant if they intended to present a different profile for the dumpster enclosure, and Mr. Cohen answered we will furnish you whatever you want. We make them out of chain link fence and put slats in them because they seem to hold up better and require less maintenance, but we will make this out of wood if you wish or concrete block. We would be happy to put anything on the drawings that you would like.





Mr. Okum responded the code requires masonry unit with a closing gate reinforced with wood on the outside of the gates. Mr. Cohen agreed, adding that they are 200 feet back from the road so it would not be very visible.

Mr. Cohen said on the parking, the standard for many years has been 65 feet with two rows of cars and an aisle between them. In the upper portion of this lot we have 55 feet, which provides space for a car and a rather large aisle space. When we get back to where this addition is, we have 43 feet, which is the same car distance and aisle distance that you would have if you had 65 feet with two rows of cars backed up to each other. So we do have ample parking facilities. It is not a problem with the dumpster either, because he comes in straightforward, dumps the load after he picks it up, backs out a short distance, turns and leaves.

Ms. McBride stated the concern that I have with the applicantís letter is the statement that they do not plan to have more than 18 to 20employees per shift. The way our code reads it says one space for each employee on each of the two largest successive shifts. Mr. Miller said people come in at 6 a.m and stay until 3 p.m. others come in at 9 a.m. and so forth. There are no more than 18 people there at any one time.

Ms. McBride said Iíd like to read what sparked some of the concern. In a letter from Mr. Cohen dated December 7, 1999 he indicates "existing building was constructed in 1972 and has always had a high employee to building area ratio." That is what triggered our concern. If the applicant is indicating a high ratio, we want to make very sure that our parking requirements are met.

Mr. Cohen responded this building has more people per square foot than the rest of them in that center do. Most of them are more warehouse type operations. The way the people are organized, there is always room in the parking lot.

Mr. Galster said my biggest problem is that right now they are a legal non-conforming use. In looking at the lot size, the lot width, the building front yard setback, the side yard setback, the parking setbacks that are existing non-conforming uses, we are off 30-50% on every item. Now we are going to take that existing non-conforming use and infringe on every other thing they did conform with. We are going to do that in a pretty major way. We are going to take a side yard setback to the west, 25 feet required and they propose 11; rear yard 50, they propose 15; parking setback 10, they have 0. If we take a non-conforming use that has taken up 50% of the dimensional variances on the lot and add the rest of them, it makes me wonder why we have a code if we are going to allow that kind of non-conformance to the code.

Addressing Mr. Miller, Mr. Huddleston asked if he had not more than 18-20 people in the building regardless of the number of shifts. Mr. Miller confirmed this, adding that they plan to add two employees in the next two years, which would bring us up to 20-22 employees. We really donít have shifts; we have staggered starting times.

Mr. Vanover said looking at the dumpster location, I wonder if those trucks will be able to get in and pick up without having to back out that entire parking field. Going from the nose of the parking spot to the proposed expansion is 43.32 feet. With an 18 foot parking space, that gives you 25.32 feet to negotiate one of those dumpster trucks. That is probably less than the entire length of the dumpster truck. You donít have the radius for him to turn around, so he would have to back out the entire area.





Mr. Vanover asked about the ingress/egress for emergency equipment. Mr. McErlane responded the Fire Department has a copy of the drawing, and they have not indicated any concern. The fact that the lot depth is only 220 feet means they could fight a fire from the front.

Mr. Huddleston said while I echo Mr. Galsterís comments and concerns, I think we pretty much cast the die in our preliminary approval relative to the density on this site. That having been said, I would move to grant final plan approval for the proposed expansion at 171 Container Place, subject to the considerations outlined in Ms. McBrideís report and subject to receipt from the occupant that the number of employees shall not exceed 22 for all shifts, and that a handicap space with van access be provided in accordance with Mr. McErlaneís comments and that this be forwarded to the Board of Zoning Appeals for the variances needed. Mr. Shvegzda suggested the elimination of the furthest south parking space as non-usable. Mr. Huddleston incorporated that, adding I believe that will leave 23 or 24 parking spaces. Mr. McErlane reported there are 26 shown on the drawing; and we are going to lose the one closest to the dumpster. It is possible to pick up another three feet to make the handicap spot van accessible, but you may lose the one bush.

Mr. Darby seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Darby, and Mr. Syfert. Voting no were Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover and Mr. Whitaker. Motion was denied with four nays and three ayes.

Mr. Cohen said I prefaced my original presentation in December with the fact that this property and all the other properties in this area were grandfathered in under previous zoning rules. Had we had to use that zoning code, it would have eliminated quite a bit of this property for any use whatsoever, We would not be so brazen to come to you and ask you for this type of consideration were it not already set as a precedent. If you look at all the buildings in this general area you will find that the original 11 foot side yard was established because that is what the then emerging Ohio Basic Building Code determined as the minimum side yard clearance.

We would not have come here were we not confident that this would be considered. With all due respect to Mr. Galster, I think he may have failed to consider that point. I would pray to this group that you would reconsider that vote, because under the circumstances, I donít know how we will keep these people on this property.

Mr. Galster responded unfortunately I was not able to attend the December meeting, and if I had been here, I would have expressed these same concerns. To me it is like asbestos. It used to be okay to use it, but codes change and itís not permitted any more. Requirements change and unfortunately you may have been grandfathered in back then, but it doesnít mean we would continue to build new construction back to the old 1960ís or 1950ís when it was built.

Mr. Cohen responded this site was exempted from the new code because a number of these buildings were already built. Mr. Galster answered that is correct, but because it was grandfathered in as it existed, doesnít mean that we should keep building on and building on and continuing to ignore the code.

Mr. Cohen commented I donít think we are asking for anything unreasonable, I really donít. We are the nicest looking building in that area; we keep it the nicest. We have a very good quality tenant in Springdale. We certainly arenít talking about anything that is poisonous.





Mr. Cohen added that it wouldnít be detrimental to the site. What it would do is increase the tax base and guarantee that this business remains in Springdale. I donít think I would have a problem getting another tenant for the building, but what this says to me is that you canít ever put an addition on your building, and I donít think Springdale wants that. I really appeal to you to consider that very carefully. We are not going to be detrimental to this general area.

Mr. Syfert stated the motion was denied three-four, so there is nothing further we can do tonight on this issue. Thank you for your time.

Mr. Cohen asked what his options were. Mr. McErlane stated you could take a look at the concerns of the members of the Planning Commission. Obviously to comply with the code you wouldnít end up with much of an addition. I donít know if Planning Commission would consider something less in size than the addition you are proposing, but the concerns are that the building itself currently doesnít meet the setbacks, and what you are proposing takes it even further.

Mr. Cohen responded neither do any of the other buildings in that area. If Boise-Cascade wanted to have an addition, they certainly would want to maintain that same 11-foot sideyard. In view of what I have said here now, I think if you took another vote, we probably would pass. We have done everything we possibly can to satisfy the requirements. I have a letter in my file from my electrical engineer that we will maintain .5 foot candles minimum on our parking lot and everything else you want. If we are not allowed to do this, I donít know what we are going to do.

Mr. McErlane stated I donít think Planning Commission would want to consider the same application if you brought it back in without some modifications.

Mr. Cohen wondered if there were a planning board of appeals or something of that nature. Mr. McErlane responded the Board of Zoning Appeals could rule on an appeal from a Planning Commission decision on final site plan approval.

Mr. Cohen commented I guess we will have to decide what we want to do. Thank you for your time.

Mr. Huddleston said in fairness to the applicant, I made the motion, not with any expectation that other members of the commission would necessarily go yay or nay. I am a little concerned to the extent that we gave the applicant what I thought was a preliminary approval in December. I respect the others opinions, but I donít know what has substantively changed from when we gave that preliminary approval, and that is why I have a concern that we may have misled the applicant. I agree that the density on the site is far beyond what any good planning agency would design today.

On the other hand, you have an applicant that has a track record with the city. You have a business that has a track record with the city and when you look at some of the occupancies around there, and how the buildings are maintained, I think what the applicant was proposing, as long as he lives up to his end of the bargain which he has a history of doing, would be no more onerous than what exists there today even though it is not necessarily what you would plan today.




    8 FEBRUARY 2000


  4. A. Proposed Fee Schedule

    Ms. McBride reported that we have been talking about proposing a revised fee schedule that could be implemented.at the same time the new zoning code goes into place. At the January meeting, I was directed to prepare a draft fee schedule. Basically it reflects some of the concerns we have heard on still wanting to be a resident friendly community and yet needing to cover the costs associated with processing requests like variances or administrative appeals. I believe the proposed fee schedule is competitive with surrounding communities and/or reflects some of the existing fee schedule.

    Mr. Syfert commented I donít know that we intend to be competitive, but are we being reasonable. Ms. McBride answered working in as many communities as I do, I believe it is a fair schedule. You donít want to be the lowest nor do you want to be the highest, and this schedule doesnít reflect either of those positions. Mr. Syfert commented I donít care if we are high or low; are we reasonable. Ms. McBride responded yes, I feel this is reasonable.

    Mr. Darby said on a yearly basis, what would these fees generate and what would they be used for?

    Ms. McBride answered the City retains consultants to do planning, engineering and legal reviews. Now a lot of these are being done at the Cityís cost; very little of these fees are passed through to the applicants, so I would anticipate that the City would recoup some of the fees. You wonít recoup all of them but you would start to make a dent in them.

    Some communities have the philosophy that their planning and zoning departments should not only stand independently in terms of generating their own budget income, but some like to make money. Other communities consider this as a complete loss leader for the city and charge the minimums. The schedule before the commission is somewhere in the middle

    Mr. Darby continued my second question is what is involved with an administrative appeal. Ms. McBride responded that would be if for example Mr. McErlane denied somebody a Zoning Certificate. They could appeal his decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

    Mr. Darby continued I personally have a problem with just two areas, the residential fee at all and the administrative appeal, because that means a person would have to pay for due process, and I have somewhat of a problem with that.

    I think the residents of Springdale exist with many businesses which create problems from time to time but it is a good situation overall. I think we could let business support this entire program.

    Ms. McBride responded some communities choose not to charge for residential variances. Some communities choose to charge a reduced rate such as proposed here, and some communities charge the same rate whether you are commercial or residential. This is taking the middle of the road approach. I would ask the commission to look at the other side and say why should some of the residents of Springdale pay (because it is their tax dollars) for other residents to come in for free to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals because their shed is two feet too close to the property line. Mr. Darby said my response to that would be that taxes go to support lots of things. Ms. McBride answered that is a difference of opinion and it is up to the Commission to make the recommendation.


    8 FEBRUARY 2000



    Mr. McErlane added we had talked a little bit about the fee for residential requests. You have to keep in mind that the requests they are making are such that they donít have to comply with what the code and ordinances of the City say. An appeal is one thing, it is due process, but in a variance request, they are making a request to not comply with the codes and ordinances of the City. As Ms. McBride said, I donít know that it should be the rest of the residents of the cityís responsibility to pay for that. Secondly, without any charges, there is no impetus for the guy who put his shed too close to the line in the first place without a permit, to come in and apply for a variance because he doesnít want to move his shed. I think the fee would cut down on the number of those trivial requests that Board of Zoning Appeals has typically seen.

    On the appeal situation, I would suggest that Planning consider what is done in the Board of Building, Housing and Fire Appeals, in that they leave it up to the discretion of the board to refund that fee based on the request. In the case of an appeal if it is found that they favor the applicant and not the building official, they could refund the fee because in the case of an appeal, it is a difference in opinion of the interpretation of the code. I donít know if Planning Commission and Council would want to lay that kind of responsibility on the Board of Zoning Appeals to refund the fees or not. As it stands in the Board of Building Housing and Fire Appeals, you have to submit the fee when you make the request, and the Board makes the decision as to whether or not it gets refunded. So you do have to put the money up front and be serious about your request.

    Mr. Okum said I marked three items, PUD, site plan review and final plan review. When you refer to additional review charges, I know that is legal, planning and engineering. Is there a city overhead fee attached to that?

    Mr. McErlane reported now our zoning code has two places where it talks about reimbursement of planning review fees. One is in the PUD section separately, and the other section of the code refers you to the Subdivision Regulations. The wording in the Subdivision Regulations throws in an additional 15% overhead fee. The wording in the PUD does not have that in it. AS it stands right now, I think Finance Department is not charging the 15%; they are charging straight expenses.

    Mr. Okum commented I think 15% would be pretty close to appropriate considering the amount of staff time that is involved. Do we address it in the new zoning code?

    Mr. McErlane reported in the new zoning code we refer to this schedule. We say you are responsible for reimbursement and fees as outlined in the fee schedule. Mr. Okum responded so if there is an overhead established, it should be part of this fee schedule. I certainly think PUD would fall in line with site plan and final plan review.

    In the variance request for residential, is there a recording fee required? Do we have to record the variance with anyone? Mr. McErlane answered no, but the new code does require advertising of a public hearing notice, which we donít do currently. Mr. Okum asked the cost of the advertising and Mr. McErlane stated it is in the neighborhood of $54. Mr. Okum commented we should at least cover our cost of advertising. Mr. McErlane said we felt $50 would be close enough to it.

    Mr. Okum said I see a lot of time going into conditional use requests, almost as much as small PUDs. I certainly feel that the $150 for conditional use variances is pretty liberal.




    8 FEBRUARY 2000



    Mr. McErlane said to give you an idea of where we stand currently in charging people, for conditional use permits and zone change requests, we donít charge them anything. The decision was made some time back that we would not do that because we donít want to discourage them from coming in and trying to generate development in the city. Obviously there is a lot more time involved in a site plan review than there is a conditional use permit or zone change, although weíve gotten a lot more detailed over the years in both of those applications. In discussions with Anne on the fees, we felt this would at least cover some of our expenses although it wonít cover in a great detail.

    Mr. Okum said going back to the variance request, on the commercial request there is need at times for staff comments and recommendations for that variance. We currently donít have that avenue at the Board of Zoning Appeals level. If we are charging $200 on the variance request, some of that cost can pay for a letter of recommendation from the City Planner or a follow up to what was decided on at Planning regarding the issues before the Board of Zoning Appeals. We donít have that currently, and I think the $200 would take care of it.

    Do you sometimes end up with a conditional use plan tied up with site plan approval? Mr. McErlane answered if you go through the normal process of events in terms of development of a site that requires a conditional use, you would probably come in with more of a concept plan and conditional use because until you receive that conditional use permit, you donít have the right to develop that property with that use. Itís not too dissimilar to a zone change request where you actually have to get rights to develop it before you can even develop your site plan. There have been instances where we have gotten both at the same time.

    Mr. Okum said so for simplicity sake since they are both commercial, why donít we make them both $200? That would make Conditional Use Permit and Commercial Variance both $200. Commission members agreed. Mr. Okum continued I also would suggest that the overhead cost of 15% be attached to those additional review charges, on PUD, Site and Final Plan Review. I agree with Mr. Darby concerning the administrative appeal; I think the due process should be given to that person. I also think if we have the right for the board to refund the fee for that appeal, we have given them that opportunity.

    Mr. Galster said I would agree with Mr. Darby on the administrative appeal. Even the waiving of the fee; it is asking for a clarification, and it should be at no charge.

    Mr. Vanover said I like the ability of the BZA to waive the charge if they feel it is a necessity, but we would need to check with BZA to find out how they feel about that, because we are imposing an action on them. I would like to have some feedback from them.

    Ms. McBride said I donít have any problem if the Commission wants to omit the administrative appeal fee. The one point that Bill just made and it is a good one is the differentiation between the variance request for residential and commercial, the $50 and $200, we might want to limit that to single household, and then weíll expand the $200 to include multi-household or non-single household

    Mr. Syfert wondered if this needed to be acted upon tonight. Mr. McErlane reported that the fee schedule needs to be in place at the same time as the Zoning Code takes effect. I donít believe that it requires the 30-day advertising period so it could be acted on next month and still be in place by the time the zoning code goes into effect. Mr. Okum said I think we should make the motion tonight and move it forward to Council.


    8 FEBRUARY 2000



    Mr. Galster moved to change the administrative appeal fee to zero and to change the conditional use permit to $200, and to change the residential variance request to single household only. I also move to add the 15% overhead to variance request, residential, single household only. Mr. Okum seconded the motion. It is my understanding that this is an attachment, so if Council approves the Code, they are at the same time approving this attachment. Any change to this would have to be voted on separately, or does this still have to be voted on separately.

    Ms. McBride responded you would want to check with the law director, but my opinion is that this would be a separate attachment. The theory as to why this is a separate fee schedule as opposed to being incorporated into the Code is that this can be changed more easily than an actual text amendment to the Zoning Code.

    On the motion to approve the fee schedule, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Darby, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Syfert voted aye. Approval was granted with seven affirmative votes.

    Mr. Okum reported that one item was discussed quite a bit at the workshop we attended, and this was building lighting. There was some insight into lighting buffer areas similar to landscape buffer areas, the fall of lighting and where it ends on a site. We require a minimum .5 foot-candle but we donít say a maximum level, or where it needs to end and how it can bleed onto other adjacent sites. In the new code we have addressed the effect of glare on lighting, but we have a key situation in our community. Shell at SR 747 and Kemper has indicated to the City that they had not replaced their lights or relamped their facility. When the applicant was in for the car wash change, they indicated they were not changing the lights. They may not have changed the light fixture, but they changed the bulbs. I think the term was used high pressure sodium vapor versus low pressure sodium vapor; itís like a 500 watt light bulb versus a 100 watt light bulb in my kitchen; there is a difference in the light. We see it on the Shell station. I say the Shell station certainly changed the lighting. I have questioned a number of people about it, and they all have agreed that it has changed, and in my opinion administrative action needs to be taken on the permit requested by Shell for the car wash renovation. These lights were not approved.

    Additionally for Phase 2 of our Code, we need to look at the light buffer area. It was very interesting that the topic of overlighting and superlighting of facilities was in three of the sessions. It is something that has become obvious to planners throughout the tristate area. Mr. Darby added one of the presenters suggested that it is important to decide whether to go after signage or lighting. Mr. Okum continued they said it is important to focus not as much on content as on the effect of lighting, which affects neon lighting and the way buildings are overlit or underlit. When the Code said .5 foot candles it referred to the safety of pedestrians going out in the parking lot. We never imagined that we would have these types of superlighting as a way of attracting business. I think we really need to consider that. The Shell Station indicated they werenít changing the lighting and the motion was made that they werenít changing the lighting, so I think they need to go back to the original lighting that was on the site.

    Mr. Vanover added on the buffer concept, we have a situation with the new Vineyard Church. We received a complaint from the neighborhood behind there that is in the Village of Glendale about bleedover from that site. It is outside our jurisdiction and we could choose to ignore it but being a good neighbor, I think it would be a good concept for us to look at.



    8 FEBRUARY 2000


    VII DISCUSSION Ė continued

    Mr. Vanover added that there was an article in one of my trade magazines dealing with lighting and overlighting, and I will get copies to everybody. I definitely think those are very good concepts that may even clear u some argumentative topics in proposals that we run into from time to time.

    Mr. Galster said Springdale Pony Keg has a flashing lottery light; I only noticed it today.

    Mr. McErlane reported Mr. Shvegzda made a late filing for the Planning Commission, and there is one item of business we need to bring up. There is a right-of-way for the Loweís frontage that needs to be approved.

    Mr. Shvegzda stated this provides the additional right of way that is required to encompass the improvements made at Kemper Road, the widening of the additional lanes. We have reviewed it; they have made a few changes, and everything is in accordance with the Subdivision Regulations and we ask that Planning approve the plat so it can be recorded.

    Mr. Galster asked if we have everything we need for Phase 1 2 and 3 of Kemper Road. Mr. Shvegzda responded this does provide right of way for the future widening in that one leg by the railroad bridge, Phase 3. Mr. Galster continued so this provides us with the right of way we need for everything we have planned for. Mr. Shvegzda confirmed this. Mr. Okum asked about the rear, and Mr. Shvegzda reported that all we have in regards to Tri-County Parkway is a statement that says that they will reserve an area. It doesnít actually dedicate any right of way because we donít have a final route for Tri-County Parkway.

    Mr. Galster moved to approve the plat and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the plat was approved unanimously.

    Ms. McBride said our firm does training sessions across the country. My partner puts them on across the country, and we do them for a lot of communities in Cincinnati. I would like to offer as part of our services and at no charge to the City that we come in for one evening and do a training session for the City of Springdale, the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. I wonder if there is any interest on the part of the Commission or the Board of Zoning Appeals. I know some of you had the opportunity to have the training that David Alor offered a number of years ago. Since then we have some nice new faces on the Commission and on the BZA and we have a chance to go over some new things. I would ask Dave to find out from BZA if there is some interest in that, and also what kind of evenings might work.

    Mr. Okum commented that did come up at the last meeting, because a number of the members wanted to be able to come to the workshop and could not. They asked if evenings or Saturdays could be available for training. Would a Saturday or evening be better for your firm? Ms. McBride answered probably an evening just because he has small children, but whatever works. We can come whenever.

    Addressing the students of UC, Mr. Syfert said I would like to thank all of you for being here, and I hope you got some insight into what goes on here.



    8 FEBRUARY 2000



Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. All voted aye and the Planning Commission adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



___________________________,2000 _____________________________

William Syfert, Chairman



____________________________,2000 _____________________________

Dave Whitaker, Secretary