Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 May 1999

7:00 p.m.




The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Acting Chairman David Okum.


Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Robert Seaman, Councilman Tom Vanover and James Young.

Members Absent: Chairman William Syfert

Others Present: Derrick Parham, Asst. City Administrator

Bill McErlane, Building Official

Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

Anne McBride, City Planner


Mr. Huddleston moved to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present except Mr. Young who abstained voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with five affirmative votes.


    1. Report on Council Ė no report
    2. 4/13 Letter of Resignation from Jim Young
    3. 4/15 Letter from Laurence Bergman re 5-Star Car Wash
    4. 4/15 Letter from Laurence Bergman re Development of Kroger Candy Plant
    5. Planning Commissioners Journal Ė Spring 1999
    6. Zoning Bulletin Ė April 10, 1999
    7. Zoning Bulletin Ė April 25, 1999
    8. Regional Planning Commission Year in Review

I. 5/6 Letter of Resignation from Bob Seaman


Proposed Garage, Enterprise Rent A Car, 169 Northland Boulevard (tabled 4/13/99)

Mr. Okum said prior to reviewing this, in Ms. McBrideís report there is a question as to whether a conditional use permit would be necessary for the use of the car wash. We have not advertised or scheduled a public hearing for this, and I donít want to delay the issue, but I want to make sure we are correct. Addressing Mr. McErlane, he asked if this would require a conditional use permit with a public hearing.

Mr. McErlane responded in my opinion, the function of this building is not a car wash, it is prep area for rental cars, and although they may be washing cars in there, it is not your typical automotive wash retail establishment. It is just unfortunate that it was labeled that way on the plans.

Mr. Okum said so our recommendation would be that this be changed on the plans to clean up or something of that nature.

Peter Dirr said as you can see on Sheet AO, the project has been scaled back. All it consists of now is the 21í-4" x 25í-4" car prep area. I have made the revisions requested at the last meeting. The fence was moved, and they will provide new slats on the fence for screening on three sides.



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Mr. Dirr added the garage door has been moved to the rear as requested. This area was dedicated to prepping cars in the first place; there was no parking taken away from it except for the two where you have to come in the garage from the back. We still have about three times as many cars as we need on the premises.

You wanted to know the color of the building, which will be similar to the existing, a gray stucco on eight inch block with the accent joint running around the building. I think we have followed through on all your requests, and we ask that this be approved tonight.

Mr. Shvegzda reported my comments reflect what was initially brought up last year when this was a separate issue. We asked what the existing conditions were on the adjoining property where this was being proposed. We indicated that as it stands alone, we would be talking about 200 cubic feet of detention, which in itself is not a great deal, but there always has been a question about the master plan for the overall site and what additional expansions would be required. We need additional information on the downspout locations, the existing storm in the area and those sorts of things.

Ms. McBride said the applicant indicated, they are proposing to put new slats on three sides of the outdoor storage area that Recker & Boerger currently uses which addresses some of the commissionís concerns about the existing condition of that enclosure.

Item 3 in my report goes to the parking summary, and I donít know what else to say about it other than the information that we have is what has been provided for several months now and I canít tell whether or not they actually meet the parking requirements, and I donít know that they ever intend to provide us with that information.

In terms of the building materials, it will be gray stucco with an accent strip. They have moved the overhead door from the front of the facility to the rear as directed by Planning last month.

In terms of the car wash, I agree with Mr. McErlaneís interpretation that this is truly not a car wash, but for a number of months now, we have pointed out that a car wash is a conditional use, i.e. take the car wash off the building, meaning donít label it car wash. The applicant continues to do so, and as long as they continue to label it a car wash, then I need to address it as a conditional use within this district.

Mr. Okum asked her for recommendations, and Ms. McBride responded my continued recommendation has been that I continue to remain somewhat concerned about whether or not there is parking to this site. We continue to add to it. At this point of time I understand Recker & Boerger is not going to expand, and that is their prerogative to decide, but we would like to see some demonstration that in fact there is adequate parking for this. And, where do we stand on parking? Iím not saying that they donít have it; I just need to make sure that the numbers are there and that they do.

Also, we would recommend that there be no outside storage of cleaning

materials or repair materials. If this is not a car wash, that they remove the

car wash label from the plans or get a conditional use permit. Mr. Okum

wondered if terminology like private car clean up and preparation be

sufficient? Ms. McBride answered car prep would be fine; it is just the fact

that when they blatantly continue to label that car wash, we have no choice

but to mention that a car wash is a conditional use.





11 MAY 1999



Mr. Okum responded I understand, but my concern would be if somebody wants to come through and put AJZ Car Wash on that site, and the terminology is not very clear that it is for private use and not commercial use, that we may have a car wash there some day.

Mr. Huddleston added I would suggest any approval of the car wash should be as an incidental use for the primary business there, or whatever the proper terminology is.

Mr. Huddleston stated I have a concern about the lot condition surrounding these premises. I donít normally get involved in these, but having looked at this based on the number of times it has been in front of t his board for various types of applications, I took an overview. The lot is a mess, and I think any approval, should we decide to approve this, would be conditioned on their limiting all outside storage and cleaning up the outside storage fenced area, which they have agreed to do. I am not sure that slats are the answer because they will look in six months like they look today, which is terrible. There also is a significant amount of incidental outside storage use, everything from trash and rubbish to various types of materials used in the business, and that is not permitted, so I would like to see that eliminated if we give any conditional approval.

I donít see giving approval until we have complied with the parking regulations and have assurance of that.

Mr. Seaman said I would agree with Mr. Huddlestonís comments, especially with the parking summary not having been provided. We have spent a lot of time asking and asking and asking and asking and asking, and I would not consider this proposal favorably tonight for that reason.

Mr. Dirr said the parking would have been addressed, except it went back to this minor addition here, and I didnít think it was necessary to show a parking tabulation. We actually added three parking spaces at the side of the new addition. There was no increase in cars coming on the premises just for this car wash. I think everybody can see that we have more parking than we actually need on the premises. I didnít think it necessary to show a tabulation strictly for the Zoning Code. This was an automobile dealer ship at one time and it has more parking than they can ever use.

Mr. McErlane commented personally I donít have as much of a concern about the total number of parking spaces on the lot, because I think they probably are okay. But I share Ms. McBrideís concern that we donít have that tabulation to verify that, and I think that is necessary. I donít know if it would be acceptable to the Commission to approve it contingent on providing that and it complying with Code.

Mr. Vanover said that was pretty much my point too. We have asked and asked and asked for a breakout; we need a breakout between the office sales, we need a breakout on warehouse; it has been pretty specific. I donít know what the reason is for the resistance to do this. Do I think they have adequate parking? Probably, right now, but we are bound by codes and regulations that we have to justify, and if we canít get the numbers, Iíll be honest, Iím very hesitant at this point to even offer conditional consideration.

Mr. Dirr responded what if I can get that for you in two days. It is on the drawings; 8360 as the sales and office area with 67 cars required by zoning. Mr. Vanover responded that is strictly for that; we donít have the breakout of the warehouse or the additional storage back there. That is all part of what we have asked for.





11 MAY 1999



Mr. Dirr continued can I get with Anne McBride and get the proper form that you wanted in and have it to you in two days so my client can go ahead with this addition? They have been wanting this since last January.

Mr. Seaman said I personally handed the form to Mr. Boerger last month; I gave him my personal copy. I donít think this is acceptable behavior. I personally think we should offer up a motion to deny and they can come back in six months and see if for that six months they have been complying with our code on outside storage of materials. If that is the case, then they can apply again.

Mr. Huddleston said based on the comments here tonight, I will move to deny the applicant. Mr. Galster suggested that the motion be modified to state that it is based on the inability to verify parking, the inability to verify the outdoor storage, to show that there is a requirement for it and the fact that is an elimination of or improvement to the existing condition as well as the car wash nomenclature as additional reasons for the denial. Mr. Okum asked if that were a motion to amend the motion, and Mr. Galster indicated that it was.

Mr. Okum said we have a motion to amend the motion, seconded by Mr. Vanover. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the motion was amended.

On the motion to deny, voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Seaman, Mr. Vanover and Mr. Young. Approval was denied by six votes.


A. Request to replace existing ground sign with pylon sign for Longhorn Steakhouse, 11153 Princeton Pike

Mr. Dan Gorman said I am the new general manager of Longhorn Steakhouse. We are trying to get due consideration for advertising in our area. I brought photographs to show where our sign is. That was on a light traffic day, and we are virtually invisible. WE set down in a little pit and our sign is about the same level.

Mr. Galster wondered if this PUD is a part of the larger PUD for the whole development. Mr. McErlane indicated that it was. Mr. Galster asked if in that block there were separate PUDs or was it all one PUD from Service Merchandise, to the end of HQ and everything forward to SR 747. Mr. McErlane reported all of Cassinelli square is under PUD, with the exception of Steak & Shake, BP, Skyline, Ponderosa and Tiffany Art Glass, which have, separate property owners.

Mr. Galster continued based on our new code when we are looking at pole signs and ground signs, we are still limiting them to one pole sign and two monument signs per site, regardless of the number of buildings and/or outlots. Mr. McErlane confirmed this.

Mr. McErlane reported that the request consists of replacing an existing 3í x 9í ground sign with a 3 Ĺí x 14í pole sign 20 feet high. Longhorn has made this request on two separate occasions and on both of those occasions the landlord denied them a pole sign. In this instance, we have received landlord approval to replace the ground sign with a pole sign.






11 MAY 1999



Mr. McErlane added the pole sign doesnít exceed the 50 square feet allowable nor is it more than the 30 feet in height allowable in the zoning district. However, as Mr. Galster has pointed out, it is an additional pole sign on the total Cassinelli property.

The sign itself will not cause the total square footage to exceed the allowable for Longhorn itself, but it places it within 2 square feet of the allowable sign area for that development.

One thing we need to point out is that the site plan we received did not show any dimensions from the property lines or right of way lines, and the Zoning Code requires a 25í minimum setback from the Ponderosa property line and that it not project into the public right of way

Ms. McBride reported we did not get a dimensioned site plan to indicate the 25 feet off the adjacent property line and would suggest although it is not currently required, the 10 feet off the right of way, so we need to see the site plan with that information.

We also didnít get any information on how the base of the sign would be treated in terms of landscaping, so we would need to see that information. Although I assumed the sign would be illuminated, none of the information submitted indicated that, so we also would need to determine that.

Mr. Shvegzda said the right of way in that area is at the back of the parking lot curb, and there doesnít appear to be any conflict with any of the overhead street signs out there.

Mr. Galster wondered if we know how high the existing monument sign is, and Mr. Gorman answered four and Ĺ feet. Mr. Galster wondered if they had considered increasing the height of that sign. Personally I feel the site has enough pole signs. I look down the street at Fridays for example, and they donít have a pole sign.

Mr. Gorman commented there is a little bit of tradition there too; with Fridays, the big white and red; they were the first, and they are a landmark in that area.

Mr. Galster continued I am not in favor of additional pole signs, so I would like to see you look at increasing the height of that monument sign. Mr. Gorman responded I will take that back to my superiors.

Mr. Young said quite honestly, I am not interested in any pole sign on that property or any other property in Springdale. As I look down that street, I would hate to see Colerain Avenue, and if you allow one, we will get pressure from other people. So, I am totally against a pole sign of any height on that property.

Mr. Huddleston said I am not necessarily in favor of a pole sign; I would not be opposed to their trying to get a little better visual street representation. I think the representation the building speaks for itself on the mansard roof, but if they feel that signage is critical, I would rather see them attempt to do it with some sort of a monument sign than a pole sign.




11 MAY 1999



Mr. Okum said I can concur with all these comments, but in addition I have some real concerns about placement. If Mr. Shvegzdaís comments are the way I read them, the right of way line goes back to the curb of your parking lot, which means your sign would literally need to be back somewhere between your property and the one north of you. And, if it were a pole sign it would need to be 10 feet back from the curb line, so it would move you further away from the right of way line. I donít know where your sign is located, but I think you would be close.

Mr. McErlane commented my guess would be that their ground sign is pretty close to being 10 feet from the right of way now. They have enough room to get it in there because as a pole sign it would be permitted to be up to the right of way line.

Mr. Seaman said if you could make it possibly a little larger and raise it up eight feet or so, which would be less obtrusive than a pole sign. As far as the location is concerned, it seems to be okay. I would suggest a little bigger ground sign with brick and landscaping around it; and if you could provide the landscaping plan it would be great.

Mr. Okum said you have heard the comments from the Commission. Mr. Gorman said I would like to take the recommendations back to our planner and builder, and come back in a month. Mr. Okum added there is a new zoning code being reviewed, and there are some standards for monument signs that Iím sure the Building Department would be more than happy to provide you with as a guideline, or benchmark. Itís not part of the current code, but it would be something this Commission would be interested in seeing if you are going to go that way.

Mr. Okum said the applicant has requested that this be tabled. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Young seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye and this was tabled to the June 8th meeting.

B. Request for Sign Approval for Extended Stay, 11645 Chesterdale Road (former Studio Plus)

There was no representation. Mr. McErlane reported the applicant was informed that they needed to be here. Mr. Okum wondered if the commission wanted to act on this tonight. Since Mr. Syfert is out of town, these two items were brought before me, and it was my decision that the Commission should hear them.

Mr. Galster wondered if the comments would get back to the applicant somehow, or are we just talking to talk. Mr. Okum responded we could take an official action, no different than if I had signed off on it this week. It is your decision if you want to make the comments now or delay it and table it to the next meeting and give them an opportunity to present their case. Mr. Galster said I would like to discuss it this evening.

Mr. McErlane reported the application involves a wall sign and a ground sign. Initially the applicant submitted this as a directional sign, but it is larger than what is allowed. I asked them if they wanted to scale it back to 6 s.f. to comply with code or if they wanted us to review it as a ground sign. (They are permitted to have a ground sign and a pole sign under the code.) They chose to keep it at its current size and have it reviewed as a ground sign. Also there is a 5 x 10 pole sign 20 feet high to replace a 12-foot high ground sign. At the time that sign was installed, our ground sign height was permitted to be 12 feet, with 50 square feet of sign area on it. Total sign area is 111 square feet, which is less than the allowable 317 s.f. permitted for the property.



11 MAY 1999



Ms. McBride reported that the only thing I would add to Mr. McErlaneís comments is that the site plan they gave us again shows the pole mounted sign, but no dimensions from the right of way. Obviously it is fine from the property line and although it is not required, we would like to see the dimension from the right of way.

Mr. Okum wondered if we know where they want to put the pole sign. Mr. McErlane answered the only indication they have given is in the general location of the existing sign. Attached to my comments is an engineered site plan, and there is a large right of way, a permanent highway easement, on Chesterdale Road that was acquired by the State of Ohio when they built Chesterdale Road. You will notice that it looks like from the pavement there is a pretty sizeable setback to the parking area. There is plenty of room to place this sign in there and still stay outside the right of way. For that matter, it probably would be 10 feet back from the right of way.

Mr. Okum said so if the Commission chose to approve the pole sign over the existing ground sign, they could state that it be held l0 feet back from the right of way line. Would that be your recommendation? Ms. McBride answered typically in other communities pole signs are held 10 feet off the right of way because of safety issues etc.

Mr. McErlane added it is possible if it goes 10 feet from the right of way that it would project a little bit over their drive, and personally I donít think thatís a good idea for delivery trucks that might create a problem. We could ask that it be moved back as far as possible without projecting over the drive.

Mr. Okum wondered if it could move further south and not hang over the drive. Mr. McErlane answered if it projected over parking areas instead of the drive, you still would have a problem with someone backing into it. If you move it down closer to the Burger King property, you still would have the same kind of problem. There probably is not enough land there to get a 5í x 10í sign. Itís close. There is an 11 foot plus or minus from the right of way line to the parking stalls and probably another eight feet to the drive, so we are looking at 19 feet. It is fairly close; it probably would be eight or nine feet from the right of way line instead of 10.

Mr. Huddleston said not being here when this original development plan was approved, you have a pretty intense development on this site. It is there, and I am questioning if there was a signage package approved with the development package which we are now possibly changing or violating the intent of the original scope?

Mr. McErlane reported typically the sign package is taken on its own merits. Obviously we look at the signage based on the mass of the building relative to the amount of signs that they want. Iím not even sure that there is even a sign on the building right now. I have a photograph but I donít think it showed a building sign. I believe that the only sign they currently have is the freestanding sign.

Mr. Seaman commented it seems that they are within the maximum signage allowable and I donít see any problems with it complying with the intent of our code.

Mr. Young said I personally donít have a problem with the first two, but I donít see any reason in the world to take away what they have in terms of the existing sign in the front and give them a 20 foot high 5 x 10 foot pole sign. I donít see it serving any purpose at all. I feel the same about Longhorn and the rest of them.


11 MAY 1999



Mr. Young added their advertising gets you there and people frequent the places after that because they like it or donít like it. The fact that you have a sign 1,000 feet up in the air doesnít bring you traffic. I would be against the 20 foot pole sign; the first two signs I donít have a problem with at all.

Ms. McBride said the site plan they had provided us with indicated that there was a six square foot office monument sign; that would be the directional sign but the detail of the sign that was provided was for an 11 square foot directional monument sign. We need clarification on that.

Mr. Okum wondered the size of the sign that is there now. Mr. McErlane stated if there is one right now that identifies the office, it is less than six square feet. I pointed out to them that it was larger than six square feet and asked them if they wanted to scale it back to six square feet or include that as a monument sign. They chose to keep it as a ground monument sign. We do not have that in writing; they told me over the phone.

Mr. Galster said based on the comments we have heard, do you think the applicant would make a presentation at a later time, or do we want to vote on it tonight, or should we table this.

Ms. McBride said given the fact that the applicant isnít here, I would recommend that the Commission consider tabling it until next month.

Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the item was tabled to June 8th.


A. Review of Zoning Code Draft

Ms. McBride stated we are waiting for a comment from the attorney regarding conditional uses within residential districts for churches. As soon as we get that information back, copies of the code will be distributed to Planning for review and consideration at the June meeting.

Mr. McErlane added that is not the only item holding up the zoning code. There are some revisions that need to be distributed to the Planning Commission as well as the zoning map to go along with the zoning code because it doesnít do any good to adopt one without the other. We have changed the zoning district designations, and it is necessary to have them both at the same time.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. Seaman and Mr. Young if they would be here for the June meeting. Both indicated that tonight was their last meeting.

Mr. Galster commented with our two resignations, we are in a unique situation because of the fat that we only have a few months before this board will be totally reseated. The only one seated here that will be back after December is Tom Vanover. Council is currently considering nominations for Mr. Seamanís position to be named at the next council meeting. If anyone has any suggestions of someone that would catch on quickly and be a good contributor, I would appreciate your input. Mr. Young is the Mayorís appointment, but we only have five months until this board gets reseated again. There was some discussion about going back to past board members, but if anybody has any ideas, please feel free to offer them. Council can only appoint to this board for another five months.




11 MAY 1999


VII DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Okum commented it gives an opportunity to someone who doesnít know much about the board but has considered it to try it. Mr. Galster responded that is right. There also was consideration to do like BZA and not replace them, but with this board and every final action needing five votes, we need a full complement.

Mr. Huddleston said I would like to commend my associates for their services. I appreciate their input and wish them well in their future endeavours.

Mr. Okum said diversity makes a strong commission, and although we do not agree all the time, it is better to have that type of a commission to work together. L You both will be missed; you have been great contributors to this commission. It is nice to see the interest and input and commitment that you have shown. Springdale will be missing a lot not having you here.

Mr. Vanover added this is a unique mix of backgrounds on this board. We have a blend from the developerís viewpoint of Mr. Huddleston to the hands on guys like Mr. Okum and myself, and it brings in the total scope. Sometimes it does make it laborious and arduous, but the final package is well worth the discussion. We are gong to miss you both. Good luck.

    1. Canopy Sign Ė Advanced Cellular Ė 11439 Princeton Pike



Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



__________________________,1999 _______________________

David Okum, Acting Chairman



__________________________,1999 __________________________

Robert Seaman, Secretary