Springdale Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 March 1997

7:00 p.m.



The meeting was called to order at 7:07 P.M. by Chairman William Syfert.


Members Present: Councilmember Steve Galster, David Okum, Robert

Seaman, Councilman Robert Wilson, James Young

and Chairman Syfert.

Members Absent: Richard Huddleston (arrived at 7:10 P.M.)

Others Present: Doyle H. Webster, Mayor (arrived at 7:20 P.M.)

Cecil W. Osborn, City Administrator (arrived at 7:15 P.M.)

Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

William K. McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, Consultant


Mr. Okum moved for adoption and Mr. Galster seconded the motion. By

voice vote, all voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with seven affirmative



A. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes 21 January 1997


A. Douglas & Arlene Eades requests preliminary plan approval of Charing Cross Phase 1 (Revised) tabled 2/11/97

Mr. McErlane stated we have heard nothing from the applicant. Mr. Okum moved to remove this from the agenda indefinitely and Mr. Young seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the matter was removed from the agenda. Mr. Syfert stated I will send a letter to him advising him that it has been removed from the agenda because of no representation.


A. Judith Muehlenhard of Pine Gardens Landominium requests approval of screened in patios and screened in decks for their decks for their developments on Princewood Court and permission to place "For Sale" signs at Springfield Pike & Lawnview Avenue on weekends only.

Ms. Muehlenhard stated I have submitted the pictures of two styles of screened porches. One has full glass and the porch can be used more year round, and the other is a full screened. All the specifications for the porches are given there also. They would be all cedar with vinyl to match the taupe color as well as the taupe windows. We stated that they could go as big as 10í x 30í, if the person chose to extend the full length of the back. They are very expensive; our materials are very nice, and most people are going with the 10í x 10í or 10í x 12í. We are asking for all of them so we donít have to come back on a one to one basis.



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Mr. McErlane reported my first comment was to clarify what the request was. We currently allow within the Covenants 10 foot setbacks for patios and open decks. This is basically asking for screened rooms and glass enclosed patios in that same setback. The Covenants probably will need to be modified because they specifically say decks and patios

Mr. McErlane continued the Covenants have not been recorded yet and we sent a request to the attorney and have not heard anything back on it. Ms. Muehlenhard said he spoke to me and said we should get that recorded. Usually we wait until the very last, right before the closing of the first house.

Mr. McErlane continued the last item was a letter we sent in December on the grading of this project. It did not work out the way they had shown it on the approved plans; they actually have increased the height of the east end of the t in the cul de sac. Ms. Muehlenhard said I checked with the excavator, and he told me he was within an inch of what it said on the cagis drawing. Weíll certainly modify our engineering for the grading. Mr. McErlane added we have a little concern about how to drain storm water along that east line because it looks as though it is about two feet higher than originally shown. (He showed this on the site plan). Mr. McErlane added we required mounding at the end of that, which will make it that much more difficult to build the mound. Youíll notice it has been raised by two feet so I donít know how effective that mounding will be. Mr. Okum wondered if that meant that the buildings would be up two feet, and Mr. McErlane commented that he was sure that they would be. We asked for a revised draining plan in December, and never have seen it. Ms. Muehlenhard said I can have the mechanical engineer get that to you.


Mr. Osborn arrived at 7:15 P.M.

Mr. Syfert confirmed that the size of the patios have changed. Ms. Muehlenhard answered that they hadnít, adding, we would not go back into the setback at all. Each house is custom, and I donít know until a person buys one what they want. One of our clients who will have a house over $250,000 is planning on full glass. She doesnít plan on heating or air conditioning that room (#12). The other people want a screened deck also.

Mr. Okum asked what constitutes a physical structure such as living space? Mr. McErlane responded within the Zoning Code in a typical single family or multi-family dwelling district, you are allowed to encroach within specific setbacks as long as the structure you are building is open. Once you enclose it, it has to meet the setbacks for the regular building.

Ms. McBride reported on the initial submission that the Commission had approved, there were no patios shown. However, I think it was assumed by the wording in the Covenants and the fact that the rear elevations had patio doors, that there was going to be an outside living space. The proposal however is to enclose the deck or patio and they submitted two types of photographs, one a traditional screened porch and the other which bordered on potentially living space.

Ms. McBride continued when we looked at the setbacks, all of the setbacks for the building per se remain unchanged. We provided you the setbacks for the proposed decks/patio enclosures.


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Ms. McBride stated the one condition we recommended in a prior staff report has been met, and that is that from the eastern property line, there should be a minimum of 25 feet from the decks for Unit 16, 11 8 and 7 which back up to those single family residences.

Ms. McBride reported the site plan submitted does not show the four foot earthen mound that was required. Unit 16, 11 8 and 7 back up to that east property line. In the case of Units 11, 8 and 7, the proposed addition actually extends into the toe of that berm so we need to make sure that there is a separation between those two. Similarly the detention basin was not indicated on that site plan and the addition to Unit 4 extends into and over that detention basin, so that is something the Commission will want to look at.

Ms. McBride stated we went to The Illustrated Book of Development Definitions, 1995 Edition and looked at how a porch was defined. Basically the difference between a porch and when it becomes living space had to do with whether or not it was heated and air conditioned and also the percentage of window area to wall area in the enclosure. If it was less than 50%, they did not consider it a porch. By my rough calculations, and I had trouble determining the scale on the elevations, I came up with 42 % window and door area on the proposed additions.

Ms. McBride added if you are considering approving this addition, some questions the Commission needs to answer is, is the proposed addition a porch or enclosed deck or enclosed patio or is it an additional living space to the unit. If you determine it is in fact an enclosed porch, I would suggest you put the conditions on that it not be heated or air conditioned, that a minimum of 50% of the wall area be open, and that the open areas be used for screened areas as opposed to window type facilities that would tend to open that area to year round type usage. In addition we would like to see a minimum of five feet separation between the proposed additions and the toe of the earthen berm along the eastern property line. You want to give special consideration as to how Unit 4 relates to the detention basin and also that the building materials be compatible with the balance of the building. It just said cedar siding; I did not know if it would be painted or stained or what, and we want to make sure that those are compatible.

Ms. Muehlenhard reported it will be cedar and natural and stained. We are not going to put heating or air conditioning in. The house itself can be expanded within the perimeter of the PUD plan from 1343 square feet to 1700 square feet. If they want living space, they are going to expand it within the perimeters. They are not looking for living space. They are looking for more year round utilization of that porch and they are willing to pay a very good price to get those expensive windows put in. I donít have any concerns at all about these people wanting to live out there, and I know one of our clients with the most expensive house, is expecting to put in the glass windows. They are very attractive; they will be a taupe color which blends beautifully with the siding and the rest of the development. I think it is very important; they are willing to pay for it, and it will be a very big disappointment to the clients if they canít add that.

Mr. Syfert asked if these pictures are from the Sharonville development. Ms. Muehlenhard confirmed that they are.



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Ms. Muehlenhard said I didnít bring my site plan up but on the east end of the property, 16, 11 8 and 7, we are aware of the four foot berm and we are planning on doing the pine trees in there. I have no problem with staying five feet away from that berm. Ms. Muehlenhard looked at the site plan, adding that I just sold these units too, and they are planning on screened in porches.

Ms. McBride said this is the toe of the berm, and when you take 10 feet out, you are into the berm; we would like to hold those five feet off the berm. Ms. Muehlenhard responded I canít possibly do that. Mr. Syfert stated that was the agreement. Ms. Muehlenhard continued I donít have any problem with doing it, but I didnít realize the look of it; that is a real nice piece between there and private; nobody would want a five foot screened porch.

Mr. Shvegzda stated then we will have to see a revised site plan to see how the grading of the berm works in relationship to its height versus the slopes and how this will affect it. Ms. Muehlenhard wondered if the height were a problem, and Mr. Shvegzda answered you would have to have some slope to the sides and it is going to create quite a width for that to be accomplished. Ms. McBride commented you show trees on the other side of the berm, so you canít really move the berm any closer to the property. You have the berm and 10 feet between that and the end of the building. Ms. Muehlenhard said I thought the trees were going to be on the berm. Ms. McBride responded it shows them on the other side of the berm.

Chris Smith the builder for the project arrived. Addressing Mr. Smith, Ms. Muehlenhard said the proposed trees are shown off the berm, and they are suggesting that the berm be in the middle. That wonít work, and a four foot high berm needs to be over here more with pines on it. Mr. Wilson said so both of those future residents have already ordered porches. Ms. Muehlenhard added the houses were sold and they want porches. I told them we canít go any further than 10 feet out, so they understand that.

Mr. Huddleston said perhaps someone should explain the process of how this has to occur before these people can proceed. They have sold houses that apparently are not in conformance. Mr. Syfert commented we are looking at an approved plan; that is what you sold us on and that is what we approved. The patios were approved, but not enclosed rooms.

Mr. Huddleston added I donít want to stifle your process, but on the other hand there is a process and I feel strongly that what you are adding is living space, not necessarily porches or patios as they are represented here.

Mr. Smith stated that this berm can be moved closer to the property line, and trees can be put on the berm to allow for a 10 foot patio to be enclosed.

Mr. Syfert asked if this were the approved plan, and Mr. McErlane said I donít know that it has all the finite details, but it is similar in terms of the grading. Mr. Wilson wondered if he could put the trees on the berm and move the berm closer to the property line. Mr. McErlane stated it all depends on the kinds of grades you can get as well as drainage along that property line. Mr. Wilson commented I would like to see how it will affect the private property owners along there.

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Mr. Okum said I donít think that is an issue for tonight, because there has to be a site plan submitted. Mr. McErlane has asked for it and Mr. Shvegzda needs it. I think weíll keep the site plan as an issue by itself. This enclosed room/deck issue has more precedence, because obviously you have made some commitments to people that are not part of your plan, nor were they approved by the city. This Commission has to act on that post haste and make a decision what we are going to do with it.

Ms. Muehlenhard said they prefer it; the lady who purchased Unit 8 loves that site. We had the house going up, and she asked for a screened in patio. Mr. Okum commented first thing you do is go to the city. Ms. Muehlenhard responded I know, that is why we are here. Mr. Wilson added but you already told her that it was going to be done. Ms. Muehlenhard said I can tell her that it canít be if that were the situation. Thatís not a problem, but I know she wants one, and I would hate to disappoint her.

Mr. Galster said to get back on the berm and the trees, part of the reason the trees were in front of the berm was so when they grew they were additional blockage above the berm. If you take the berm and put the tree on top, there is so much area once the tree is grown that is not screened any more.

Mr. Galster added we are talking about the enclosure and cedar, and I personally am not impressed with the look of this. To me it is an extension of the building, and if we approve it, it needs to be more in line with the existing building materials, brick and siding as opposed to the cedar. Having said that, Iím not comfortable with the building basically being extended onto the patio and porch area. When you are talking about the other people along that property line, that is a building to them. It is not the same as a porch. When I look next door and see a screened in porch or patio similar to this, I see the whole structure. In my opinion, this is way too close to that property line with a structure.

Mr. Huddleston said I was not on the Commission when this was originally approved. I did call Bill this afternoon and tried to orient myself a little bit, but what I see is a pretty intense development to begin with. We have had apparent deviations from the plan which they were notified on in December, and we have had no response to that. Now they are before us to ask us to quickly consider an appeal. I have a reservation, as Mr. Galster indicated they are nothing more than an extension of the buildings and the living area in the building. I am not necessarily opposed to that in a general sense, but in this sense with the density that we already have on the site, I would have a great concern with tying that in architecturally to the proposed development, as well as what impact that will have on the adjacent residents. I donít think we have enough information here tonight to consider this with the record here. They already are on notice for deviations from the site plan that need to be responded to and if they want to submit this in the proper form, they need to go back and respond to those deviations as well as document what it is they are going to do exactly and consider the Cityís response to that based on the consultants and the staff reports. Aside from that I am not generally in favor of building additions. If they are talking about decks, I think that is appropriate.

Mr.Okum said I am in agreement with what the other two commissioners have said. How were you going to finish the interiors of those with the windows? Ms. Muehlenhard answered cedar. Mr. Okum asked if they were insulated and Ms. Muehlenhard indicated that they werenít.


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Mr. Okum added they do look like an extension to the existing building, but an add on. If I were to consider anything, I would expect a gabled roof on the back side not a shed roof, and I also would expect the finishes to be the same materials as the existing buildings. Ii would not be in favor of a 30í x 10í room addition on these units; a 30í x 10í addition is 300 square feet of space. I would be inclined to not more than a 15í x 10í screened in area, certainly not a windowed area in any way. I would be more favorable to that than what you have submitted here this evening.

Mr. Smith commented there are only two units that would face the houses; the others face the apartment complex or commercial. Mr. Okum added there is also a side unit where the side of this would be facing Lawnview Avenue. Units 11, 16, 7 and 8 would be seen from Lawnview Avenue. I would be inclined to screens only on the whole side. I am in the construction business, and typically what you are doing is the first phase. The next step would be a person puts a through the wall air conditioning heating unit in it.

Mr. Young said I feel the same way that the other commissioners do. To give the applicants an idea of what the thought processes of the majority, I would suggest that they take those things into consideration before coming back to this commission.

Mr. Syfert commented you have heard a lot of comments. Do you think it would be wise to request that we table it for tonight and come back next month? I believe from the comments that you are on pretty shaky ground committing to screened in enclosures at this time. We also have some other grading issues and things to address that if it is your desire, I would accept your request to table it until next month. Bear in mind that we have two or three members that have never seen this before and this might give them more time to work with it; I donít know. These are over in Sharonville right now; we could go over and look at them.

Ms. Muehlenhard stated there are two in Sharonville, one with a 10í x 10í and the other is 20í or 22í x 10í/ they are 1409 and 1419 Garden Place, off Mallard Cove

Mr. McErlane stated there was a second part to their request relative to offsite real estate signs. We never got anything specific as to where you wished to place them. Ms. Muehlenhard stated I had written on the request that I would like to have For Sale signs on weekends only at Lawnview Avenue and Route 4 directing people down Lawnview and also at Lawnview and Kemper and at Princewood Court. The most important would be Lawnview and Route 4. I would be sure that they were down at a certain time Sunday evening.

Mr.Syfert wondered if this commission could do that. Mr. McErlane answered it depends; I donít think it is Planning Commissionís call either way but if you are requesting to place them in the public right of way, that would be an issue for the administration/public works to address, and they have never allowed that in the past. Mr. Osborn added it is clearly against the law to put a sign in the public right of way. We donít have any deviation from that. The only exception is a church or something of that nature, but signs such as you are describing cannot be in the public right of way, just as political signs cannot be in the public right of way. So, that is really not something that Planning Commission can address.


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Mr. Osborn continued concerning them offsite, Springdale owns the property on this side of the road which would make it public property, and if you were going to put one down at Lawnview and Kemper, you would have to get the permission of the property owner at Lawnview and Kemper. At that point, it would become a matter of a variance for having a sign off site.

Ms. Muehlenhard reported Dr. Claybon has given me verbal permission for the site at Lawnview and Kemper. Mr. Osborn continued again, on this side of the street is public property so we wouldnít be able to do that. Whether you would be able to approach somebody on the other side of the street, I canít say.

Mr. McErlane reported the off premise sign would be acted on by the Board of Zoning Appeals and in order to act on those, they would need the permission of the owners of those two properties in writing. Board of Zoning Appeals meets next Tuesday night. If you can get those into us by Thursday, we will put you on the agenda.

Mr. Huddleston said to reiterate, the development is very dense as it is laid out. On the other hand, it can be a very quality development, and if it is done properly, this could be looked upon somewhat favorably, especially in those areas where it doesnít affect other residents. But, I think you need to be more specific about what you are trying to do both architecturally and in plan view. Again, if they are building additions, I donít think we should approve them. If they are in fact sun rooms or screened in porches, I think that is probably appropriate for this situation.

I wouldnít necessarily look unfavorably at this, but I do think you need to prove that you are in conformance with what you already have submitted to us or that you will be in conformance, and document what you are asking us to approve here.

Mr. Wilson said since you are h here Mr. Smith, I assume you saw this letter; you got a copy of it. There are a couple of things that h have to be corrected. One is the grading and the second is the floor elevations. Those items will have to be addressed, but that letter is dated 11 December so I would encourage you to respond to that as son as possible. The grading especially is critical.

Mr. Smith responded we have not done any final grading, and we do not plan the grading to change. Our houses have basements, and we have raised the floor elevations but the grading around it will be the same level. Mr. Wilson said so you are saying it will be as it is on your site plan, not as it is today. Mr. Smith confirmed this, adding we have a lot of dirt all over the place. Mr. Wilson continued my concern is that you should respond to those questions. When you get letters like that from us, I would encourage you to respond to it as soon as possible in some way so we know your intentions. Right now, I donít think any of us would be in favor of voting on your project with those reservations there. You are starting off with negatives that could have been corrected had you responded, and that is important.

Mr. Galster said I understand you are talking about changing the grading and you are not done yet, but I donít know how you are going to change the elevation of the floor foundation that you already have poured. This letter also addresses the fact that the floor elevations on Building 12 and 13 are higher than the plans. So we are not changing that; you are going to revise the drawing to show and reflect and that also will show and reflect the drainage around those units as requested? Mr. Smith confirmed this.


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Mr. Galster asked why this is that far off. Mr. Smith answered we have basements and the original drawing showed all slabs. When we incorporate a basement, you have to raise that foundation up. Also, we have windows to get light into the basement. Mr. Galster added my concern is if you are going to make these kind of changes, you donít start pouring concrete. You come before the City and request permission for the change. When I first saw this, I thought what will it cost him to tear it out. I am not trying to come across as a jerk about it, but we make people take down utility sheds because they havenít complied with the location and so on.

Mr. Smith responded this is not that I have encroached on any property; I hadnít planned on changing the grade. Mr. Galster answered I understand, but it is different from what you submitted, and I want to make sure you understand the differences whether you are selling them or building them. I would recommend not selling it before it is approved and surely not building it before it is approved.

Mr. Syfert said weíve heard a lot of comments and again Iíll offer the applicant the opportunity to request that this be tabled until next month. Mr. Smith & Ms. Muehlenhard so requested. By voice vote, all voted aye and this will be on the agenda April 8th.

B. Concept Discussion of Proposed Holiday Inn Express, 12037 Sheraton Lane (previous Pizza Hut)

Mr. Sam Patel stated I submitted preliminary plans to discuss and to know whatever is possible on that lot. Mr. Syfert asked if he were the architect and Mr. Patel answered I am not an architect, but I do have nine hotels which I have copied the plans from.

Mr. Shvegzda reported that the existing buildings have a common ingress/egress easement through the rear parking areas, including this particular lot. Based on that fact if that is to be maintained, probably about three parking spaces would have to be eliminated from what is currently shown.

Mr. Shvegzda continued on the parking layout itself, there is parallel parking in the rear along the east edge of the parking lot area. That most southern parallel parking space would be very difficult to access because there is no approach from the south. There are two parking spaces at the northeast corner of the lot that are very close to the Sheraton Lane entrance and a dangerous situation. It would be our recommendation that those two spaces be eliminated. Currently at the rear and front parking areas, there is a turn around t area on the southern portion of the parking lot. Right now the edge of pavement is about 1 foot offset from the property line. With that particular range anybody who is backing up into that area would overhang onto the other property and might damage any landscaping or other features on that location. Based on those comments there are probably seven parking spaces that would not be usable or at least very questionable.

Mr. Shvegzda continued in regards to storm water, any change in impervious areas is minor and would not require any additional expansion to the retention pond that currently exists. Currently there is a catch basin in the vicinity of where the proposed dumpster is located. That area is the major store routing for all the lots that exist to the north of the site.


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Mr. Shvegzda stated concerning traffic, we looked at the comparison with the existing restaurant on the site versus the 60 room motel and based on the PM peak, the 60 room motel has less total trips. We did not look at the AM peak because the facility that was there was not open during the morning hours.

Ms. McBride reported that the proposed use of hotel/motel is permitted within the existing zoning. The property is located within Subarea A of our Springfield Pike Corridor Study, which recommends to increase the appearance of the front yard through additional landscape material. They want to maintain a kind of residential appearance along that area. They also want to coordinate access points between the uses to the north and south, and that currently exists as Mr. Shvegzda indicated.

Ms. McBride continued the proposed development is for a three story 60 unit Holiday Inn Express with 63 parking spaces. The site itself contains 42,750 square feet which is just under one acre. Our code requires that 20% of that be left as open space or landscaped area. The applicant didnít provide an exact calculation, but I rough scaled it off and came up with 12% of the site being open or landscaped space.

Ms. McBride added they are proposing one access point; currently two exist, so that is an improvement over the existing condition. Our code requires one unit per 1,000 square feet of lot area, and the development is proposing one unit per 712 square feet of lot area. Our code also requires a minimum width of 250 feet for lots that would have a motel/hotel, and the subject property has 150 feet of width. They are proposing 63 parking spaces and the ratio they are proposing of one space per unit plus three for employees is appropriate and should be maintained.

Ms. McBride stated they have indicated that the dumpster will be screened on all four sides, and we would want to see the details should the project go forward. The concept plan is lacking some pretty basic information and we would like to see some details on furture submissions. They had some conceptual indications of where landscaping might go and we would need to see the street trees along Sheraton Lane frontage. We would recommend a landscape island along the northern property line to break that row of parking, and that would further reduce the number of parking spaces that they would have. Also, we looked at landscaping along that west property line. There are some pine trees that exist along a portion of that now; Iím not sure that those would remain, but we would want to see some landscaping along that west property line. We didnít receive any lighting information.

Ms. McBride stated the building elevations indicated that the building will be 44 feet high. For the zoning it can go up to 48 feet in height. There was no indication of building materials or colors, and we would want to see that at a later date. If the Commission chooses to approve the concept plan as we are viewing it this evening, we would suggest the number of units be a number more consistent with the requirements of the Zoning Code as opposed to almost a third more than is permitted. We also would want to see the impervious surface area reduced to a maximum of 80%.

Ms. McBride continued the front yard with the Pizza Hut is about 35 to 40 feet in terms of front yard landscaped area. They are proposing five feet and the code requires 10 feet, so we would want to see that 35 feet maintained. That is one of our recommendations from the Corridor Study, and we want to follow through with those suggestions.


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Ms. McBride added that the rear yard (west property line) is being shown as five feet; we would want to see that increased to assure that proper landscaping could be achieved and maintained in that area.

Ms. McBride continued the coordinated access that exists now to the north and the south should be maintained consistent with our Corridor Plan. We would want to see the parking provided as proposed in terms of the ratio, which would be one space per unit and three per employees. I believe that is a fair ratio and the additional details regarding landscaping lighting signage, etc. should be submitted at future submissions.

Mr. Galster said so to keep the same greenspace we have right now, we lose the nine parking places out front. We donít like the four across the back, and there are a couple of other at the entrance, so what size building would really fit here, based on staying within the Corridor Study, staying within the parking requirements of the Code? Ms. McBride responded I did not lay that out, but I would guess 42 to 45 units. Mr. McErlane added 42 units and 45 parking spots.

Mr. McErlane stated Ms. McBride handled most of the comments I have, other than the fact that there are several areas in the Code that control this area. One is that the property is located in The Crossings of Springdale PUD. It is also in Subarea A of the State Route 4 Corridor Review District, and we typically review it under the GB (General Business) regulations in the Zoning Code.

Mr. McErlane continued within the Covenants of The Crossing of Springdale there is a height restriction on commercial buildings, with the exception of The Sheraton, of two stories. In order to build this at three stories, there would need to be a modification to that covenant. Also, I came up with 18% open area; Ms. McBride came up with 12%.

Mr. McErlane stated the Corridor Review District requires a maximum 80% structure and parking coverage, 40% of two facades of the building to be brick and/or stone, and 50% of the roof structure to be a pitched roof. In talking to Mr. Patel, he was concerned about the pitched roof adding that much more height to the building, so what he has is something similar to a mansard type treatment on top of the building. Corridor Review District requires four street tree plantings, and based on the area of the lot, the Zoning Code limits the maximum rooms to 42. There is a 10 foot setback requirement from the right of way and a one foot setback from the rear lot line because it is adjacent to a residential district. There are no free standing signs shown on the site plan nor is there any building signage.

Mr. Galster said we are saying 42 rooms based on the land coverage of one unit per thousand square footage, but that doesnít take into account the Corridor Study as far as the amount of greenspace in the front and reduced parking, does it? Did you calculate all that in or is that strictly from that one formula? Mr. McErlane responded that is strictly from the one formula. Obviously the more stories you have the more units you can get in and take up less ground, but that 42 is based on the area of the lot and one unit per thousand square feet.

Mr. Syfert asked the applicant if he were aware of all the requirements. I know you had talked to Mr. McErlane more than once on this.



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Mr. Patel responded there were several concerns that I had; the first was only being allowed two stories and the height limit. If I go by all the setbacks and the greenspace would I be able to put more rooms in the building? If I go by the number of parking spaces and greenspace, so I might be able to go to 45 or even 50 rooms and still be able to show you that the setbacks are there and the greenspace is there.

Mr. Syfert continued you are over two stories though. Mr. Patel responded I am over two stories; that is one of my concerns that I need to ask you about. Will I be able to put three stories there or not? Mr. Syfert answered we donít know that at this point.

Mr. Okum commented the building to the left of this building is a one story building and the building to the right is a one story building. I would have a real hard time considering a three story building next to those two buildings. The good fortune is that the building to the left or south of your building is more commercial oriented. The further north you go is more residential oriented with the condominiums. I would have some real problems with this building setting out there as a monument three stories on top of that grade whose height elevation off Route 4 is already a story in itself. Basically with a roof system you would be up five stories high, so I would be very much inclined not to consider in any way a three story building there. I would concur with the rest of staffís comments, but on the other hand I would not be inclined to the metal deck type mansard roof system versus one with residential appeal. I think this needs to be carried more like the buildings to the north of your building.

Mr. Huddleston said I would agree with what the staff reports seem to indicate, that the density as well as the height is a little strong for the site. I agree with Mr. Okumís comments about the residential character, even the commercial development is significant so that it needs to have continuity there. What I would suggest to Mr. Patel is that if he is interested in going forward with this, he should attempt to balance a two story element with the full pitched roof and whatever he can maximize those rooms and parking out to be, meeting some of the other impervious pervious surfaces. I donít see this going forward as a rather intense three story mansard roof type development.

Mr. Wilson said Mr. Huddleston covered most of my points; I can only agree with him. Three stories are out. Even though you may have the height of 44 feet and the max is 48 feet, there is a covenant with The Crossings that would prohibit three stories so we couldnít approve it if we wanted to without making a lot of exceptions. I would encourage you to look at two stories and downsize to a maximum 42 rooms and try to be more in compliance with the comments given you this evening. At this point I donít think you would get a favorable nod. Are you willing to come back, revise some plans and give us something more in compliance?

Mr. Patel responded I can come back with a two story concept, but the main question I have is are 42 rooms cast in concrete; can I only have 42 rooms?

Mr. Syfert responded I donít believe the number of rooms is set in concrete but the two story and the greenspace and landscaping are important. There is nothing that says it has to be 42 rooms is there? Mr. McErlane reported in the Zoning Code the maximum is 1,000 square feet of land area per unit so that makes it the 42. It would need a variance to the PUD to make it more. Mr. Syfert added it is possible if everything else fit, there might be some consideration along that line I would think.



Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 March 1997

Page Twelve


Mr. Patel said if everything is set according to Code and I added two or three rooms, would that be acceptable? Mr. Wilson commented I donít think we would have a problem with two or three rooms. Mr. Syfert added that might work.

Mr. Syfert added many years ago when this whole thing was developed, a part of the thinking was that everything was to be one story. The Covenants said two, but I believe the developer basically wanted the concept that he has there, and it was welcomed by the members of the Planning Commission and Council at that time. For me, to think that many years ago I did a good job and to go against it now would be against my grain. Does that answer your question?

Mr. Patel said it does, but the other concern I had was when you have a pitched roof, the building looks more like a three story building because of the height of the pitched roof. If I had a three story building with a flat roof, the height would almost be like a two story.

Mr. Syfert responded but we are talking about the requirements of our Corridor Review District, and I think we are going against everything we have done if we go against that.

Mr. Galster said part of the reason that we want the pitched roof is to make it look residential. Is this building really yellow? Mr. Patel said that it was not.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert commented a number of these I have seen are in brick; is that what you can see this to be? Mr. Patel answered my idea was to put drivitt on it, but if brick is a requirement, there is no problem.

Mr. Syfert said based on the comments, would you like to request that this be tabled until next month? Mr. Patel indicated that he would. All voted aye, and the item was tabled to April 8th.


Mr. Galster stated that Dave & Busterís public hearing is the 19th in Council Chambers. I was contacted by their attorney in reference to their pole sign. They were trying to feel me out as to whether or not this board or Council would be receptive to raising the height to 65 feet as opposed to the 60 feet they agreed to. My only comment to them was it wasnít a Council issue on the height of the sign, but a Planning Commission issue. I can honestly say that given the fact that I have had the contact, it will be brought forward to Council so they will at least be aware of the fact that is an attempted change.

Mr. Syfert asked if everyone were still available on March 27th for the special Planning Commission Meeting reviewing Dave & Busterís?

Mr. Young said for my own information concerning the lady in on the landominiums, when the grading is off that much, what do we do? Mr. McErlane answered we typically donít get any response until they need something from us. That is how the project has been going. Mr. Young continued if that happens, donít we make them stop building? Mr. McErlane reported that we posted stop work a couple of times already. In this case we have told them that they are not going to get occupancy until they clear up the issue but we have a concern about how they are going to grade around there and drain along the property line.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 March 1997

Page Thirteen

VII - DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. McErlane continued the bad part about it is once they move the tenants in itís kind of hard to shove them out the door, and that has happened in their Sharonville project. Mr. Young continued I wonder what our options are here and how we correct this. I wonder how far you let somebody go. Mr. McErlane stated it is a common thing to see changes occur on a site, probably not to great degrees, and when we have a concern about how things are going to drain on the site, we require them to show us how it is going to work. So far they havenít showed us how itís going to work.

Mr. Young continued so are we allowing anything to be done on Units 12 and 13? Mr. McErlane reported they are basically under roof at this point. Mr. Syfert wondered if he could refuse the next permit, and Mr. McErlane responded we have issued all the permits, but we can refuse to inspect any of them. The problem with it is our history has been that they will go ahead and do it anyway. Mr. Okum added typically it is not the Building Departmentís responsibility to go out and resurvey the lot and make sure the grades are in conformance. I donít think I would expect that of the Building Department, but on the other hand had we not caught it earlier, the site would have been completed.

Mr. Young said I understand that, but that is not the question I asked. My question is what do we do and what you are saying is we get pushed around. Thatís what it sounds like. Mr. McErlane stated we withhold any approvals. There are some things you canít stop in the process or they are already done by the time you find them out. Itís not a case of letting them do it. Mr. Young commented thatís like when Ms.Muehlenhard said she had already sold them. Again itís so typical because this guy is building and sheís selling and they donít know whatís going on between the two of them. My next question would be is he really qualified? If he off that far, is he a qualified builder?

Mr. Huddleston commented I would agree with Mr. McErlane. From my experience in residential construction, civil engineering is not necessarily a function of residential construction. Having said that, I think it is important for this Commission to know the quality and performance abilities of a given developer in town, especially if we are asked to reconsider something. I think enforcement becomes an issue of the Building Department and the Administration and the Council.

Mr. Syfert added itís really not our responsibility, but Jimís inquiry is a good one as far as that goes. Mr. Wilson said when they come back if they are not in compliance, we can say until you get this squared away, we canít in good conscience allow these patios and decks. When they have commitments with all these people and they are losing money, they will comply, and that is what you have to do.

Mr. Young said then I will ask you to talk to them and prevent them from coming back in thinking we will allow enclosed patios until these issues are taken care of. My feeling is donít waste your time and donít waste ours, because if they come in asking for that without these corrections, I canít imagine anybody on this board letting them have this.

Mr. McErlane stated I think this board has given them some direction in terms of trying to determine how it will impact the berming and the grading on the lot to build those particular enclosures anyway, as well as the plantings. Some of those you will build into the berms and you canít do that. You can do it if you want to build modular retaining walls around them.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 March 1997

Page Fourteen

VII - DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Young said my concern is I donít understand why these things happen. If they are not in compliance with one thing, in my opinion they should not come in this door. If they are not complying with what already has been agreed upon, why would we even take a look at something else for them. I guess I donít understand that process.

Mr. Okum commented what you are saying is they shouldnít have been allowed on the agenda if they are in nonconformance. Mr. Wilson said I donít think we have put that much teeth up front; we have always done it when they have come here, but I see your point. If we had the power to instruct the Building Department that if those points are not in compliance, they canít come. I donít know if we as Commissioners can deny them an audience if they are in noncompliance. Can we put that in our rules? Mr. Syfert commented it would be tough to enforce.

Ms. McBride reported that is a question for your legal counsel, but I donít think you can deny them the opportunity to make application to you because they are in noncompliance in another aspect on the project.

Mr. Wilson asked Mr.Osborn if there had been a situation like that where Planning denied them an audience because of noncompliance? Mr. Osborn reported we do that for non payment, and we certainly can do it unless we find legal reasons why we canít. I donít have any trouble with anything you all have said but at the same time, there has to be some latitude for the Building Official because there are field conditions that have to be adjusted in the field. It is not uncommon when you get to the field and are under construction it will not happen the way the plans are drawn and they have to submit revised plans. I think that is what he is looking for from them. Weíve identified the problem, now tell us how you are going to fix it. You are right; it would be a great lever if we could say youíre not coming back to Planning Commission until we hear from you, until we get this resolved. I donít see that as a problem, and we will verify that we have the legal ability to do that and if we do, weíll use that as a tool.

Mr. Okum said I notice that the AT&T tower has gone up by the old Kroger candy facility. I also notice that they have mulched and put straw in but they have no landscaping per their approval. Mr. McErlane responded I do not think they are complete yet.

Mr. Okum continued I recently visited Tri-County Mall and noticed the parking areas in the Sears portion of the mall are very deteriorated. I think that is part of their maintenance agreement under the Covenants that the parking areas be maintained. Because we didnít force them to repave the whole area when they did the mall, there was supposed to be a progressive improvement over the entire facility. Mr. Osborn responded I donít recall that, but I will check. Mr. Syfert agreed that on the south side where you go into the optical area is particularly bad.

Mr. Okum reported I see a lot of neon on this chairmanís report. We have a new business in Springdale that seems to think neon lights are the way to get people in the door. If we canít call a rectangular block with nothing in the middle a sign, what can we call it? When you put a perimeter of light around a field whether it has verbiage or a personís face in the middle, I would consider that pretty close to a sign.

Mr. Osborn responded we have gone through this before, and neon by itself does not constitute a sign. Look at the sign definition in the Code. You have brought this issue up before and we have concluded that neon on a building does not constitute a sign.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 March 1997

Page Fifteen

VII - DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Okum continued internally lit around the perimeter? Mr. Osborn said read the definition of a sign; it is not a sign. You can change the Code if you want to, but right now that will not constitute a sign.

Mr. Wilson said when we were talking with Roberds about the banner that was lit, it was determined that it was not considered signage. If it becomes glaring, can we go back and tell them to change it? Mr. Osborn said I canít answer that, but lighting by itself is not signage.

Mr. Okum continued I may be stretching it,... Mr. Osborn responded I think you are, and I think it would be hard to consider something that is silhouetted in neon a sign. Look at these gas stations and restaurants; that is a trend, and I donít particularly think it is a bad trend if it is done correctly, but to try to treat it as signage we are using the wrong tool. If you are concerned about the amount of neon there might be some other way of regulating it, but to call it a sign really stretches that. Mr. Okum asked if there was a way to regulate it and Mr. Osborn answered right now we do not have anything.

Mr. Huddleston commented I agree with Cecil in that it is being used architecturally quite a lot and when used properly itís a pleasant element in commercial architecture. Whether we need to look into some sort of model legislation from either that industry or a model code, I assume there would be something that you could regulate that architecturally if you choose to and as we already have in the past. I guess what you need to cover are the guys that will put some glaring hot sign out there. Mr. Okum said the Chinese place is. Mr. Huddleston added if you are going to look at it, you need to look at it architecturally and not as a sign.

Mr. Okum said regarding the Chairmanís Report, are these within their signage allowances? Mr. Syfert answered yes, there is nothing that has been approved there that exceeds any square footage allowed. A lot of it is the effect that Dick Lohbeck is on the prowl. Mr. McErlane added and you will see a few of them next week at the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.

Mr. Syfert said I would like to thank the staff for their reports tonight. They were very complete reports and I think itís also good to have staff sitting on the dais. Will everyone be present on April 8th? Everyone indicated that they would be. Also, donít forget the special meeting on March 27th.


A. Alterations & Tailoring 11772 Springfield Pike - Wall Sign

B. H & R Block 11814 Springfield Pike - Window Sign

C. We Sew Alterations 366 West Kemper Road - Window Sign

D. Wok Ďní Roll 11774 Springfield Pike - Window Sign

E. Tri-County Beverage 350 Northland Blvd. - Window Sign

F. Blue Star Laundry, 11627 Springfield Pike - Window Sign

G. Silver Shears 324 Northland Blvd. - Window Sign

H. Bingís Bar & Grill 11649 Springfield Pike - Lighted Window Sign

I. Snookerís 12119 Princeton Pike - 2 Neon Window Signs

J. Instant Interiors 11784 Springfield Pike 2 Neon Window Signs

K. Half Price Books 11389 Springfield Pike - Neon Window Sign

L. Angiloís Pizza 11544 Springfield Pike - 2 Neon Window Signs



Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 March 1997

Page Sixteen


Mr.Young moved to adjourn and Mr.Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



____________________,1997 ____________________________

William G. Syfert, Chairman



____________________,1997 _____________________________

Robert Seaman, Secretary