June 14, 2011
7:00 P.M.


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Don Darby.


Members Present: David Okum, Tom Vanover, Steve Galster, Marge Boice,
Don Darby, Carolyn Ghantous
Members Absent: Richard Bauer

Others Present: Don Shvegzda, City Engineer; Anne McBride, City Planner;
Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director


Mr. Galster moved to adopt the April 12, 2011 Planning Commission Meeting minutes, Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and the minutes were adopted with
six affirmative votes.


Mr. Galster: No report on Council.


Chairman Darby: You have received a copy of correspondence, Ordinance No. 14 -2011.

Mr. Galster: This was a recommendation from Planning Commission that we extend the allowable time that a temporary sign or a special event sign can go up in front of a business; this was the actual document coming back from Council.


Chairman Darby: There is no Old Business to present at this meeting.


Chairman Darby: There is no New Business to present at this meeting.


A.    Chairman Darby: We have a couple items for discussion; amendments to the Zoning Code and Land Development Regulations, Municipal Lien for non-payment of Planning Review Fees.

    Ms. McBride: In Mr. McErlane’s absence I will be happy to fill in for him. Basically, the proposed amendments to the Zoning Code that are before you this evening, the first set are amendments to Section 153.903 and 150.42. What they do is give the City, if adopted and passed on by Council, the right to lien property where applicants do not pay the City, or reimburse the City, for services that are rendered in conjunction with the review of their property. For example, the City Engineer and the City Planner and occasionally the Law Director gets involved and when we do these reviews and we work with the applicants, we meet with them and go out on the site and do inspections, unfortunately there are some instances where the applicants, or property owners are not reimbursing the City for these funds. Right now, the only recourse would be through legal means. This would give the City the ability through the County Auditor’s office to put a lien on the property for that amount, plus I believe 10% on top of that. There have been several instances through the years, and there is one currently right now over on the GEAA park property, where the applicant / property owner owes the City several thousand dollars.
    I should also note that Mr. Forbes has reviewed this language and feels comfortable with that being added to the Zoning Code.

    Chairman Darby: Based on our discussion, I think that this is a move that is very necessary and should be welcomed.

    Ms. McBride: If that is the wishes of the Commission, then perhaps someone could initiate a motion to recommend to Council that we do amend the Zoning Code, these specific sections, to include this language.

Mr. Galster: Do we require that the applicants obtain a bond for these services if it is a big enough project or are we having problems when it is just a smaller project?

Ms. McBride: In terms of the review services and so forth, right now the way it works is that the applicant or the property owner posts $5,000 with the City and they draw down on that; when it comes to a certain point then they are asked to put more money basically in the account to continue to pay for review and inspection fees and what has happened is the City continues to pay the consultants but the City is not getting reimbursed and there is a gap time between when the City sends those invoices to the property owner / applicant and the services are provided.

Mr. Galster: The Certificate of Occupancy can already be issued so there is no leverage there?

Ms. McBride: Right, correct.

Mr. Galster: I make a motion that the Planning Commission recommends to City Council the adoption of the recommended changes.
Mr. Vanover seconded the motion and with six affirmative votes the motion was approved.

B. Chairman Darby: The next item for discussion is the amendment to the Zoning Code for outdoor advertising devices. There is a document contained in your packet, recommended changes are in red.

Ms. McBride: This is another proposed text amendment and this one is the Section 153.431. This is the Section that addresses principally permitted uses within the Planned Unit Development (PUD) district and specifically what it does is provides for outdoor advertising as a permitted use within the PUD. It sets aside a series of parameters in terms of which properties would qualify for that type of use, if that use were to be permitted and approved as part of the PUD by Planning Commission and Council; some specific parameters in terms of illumination, height, size, etc. that would go along with that.

Mr. Tulloch: What we are requesting is a recommendation on part of the Planning Commission to City Council for the modification of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Code as Ms. McBride indicated, to allow for outdoor advertising devices within commercial and industrial PUD’s and that would be subject to the twelve items “A-L” in the red ink on the item for the proposed amendment. The request is based on the City’s desire to provide better identification for the retail district and that was something that was discussed as long ago as 2004 or 2005 by a consultant to the City, subsequently was addressed in the retail revitalization study. Our objective is to give businesses the opportunity to advertise, that might not have the opportunity to advertise in the retail district; and finally to advertise events and activities of the City. As far back as 2005 the City considered the development of such a sign but we really couldn’t justify the expense based on revenues generated solely from businesses within a specific Planned Unit Development or just strictly from the City. In 2010 we explored some other options and concluded that the only real feasible way of coming up with an electronic sign was to do an outdoor advertising device. The outdoor advertising device will allow advertisement for outside the City similar in effect to what you might see on the Norton or Lamar sign over in the Sharonville area, or in other areas in the Metropolitan area. The caveat here; noted by item “K” in the proposed amendment does require that the sign proponent devote 1/6 of the advertising on the east-bound and 1/6 of the advertising on the west-bound be devoted to businesses within Springdale subject to a plan that a proponent would bring before Planning Commission under this proposed Code modification. There has been a considerable amount of discussion with the Administration, our consultants, our City Law Director; based on the parameters that are defined the industrial, commercial use requirement of the PUD or non-residential distances from ramps and interstate and intersections, there are only two areas where such a sign could be placed. One area is beltway which is where Dave and Busters is and the other one is the current vacant lot between Pictoria and Avon on 275. Other areas, such as GE Park, Tri-County Mall, and Crossings on Route 4 would not qualify because of the nature of the use or distances and so on. The basic form of the document that you have was really derived for the 2007 electronic sign ordinance. There are some changes because of the difference between the sign and the electronic advertising device, but that was the basic form used by Jeff and Anne to develop the Code modifications.

Ms. McBride: We put the provision in here that you wouldn’t be able to come in and apply for a modification to a PUD to allow for this use unless you have already received the required permits from the State of Ohio; that way you are not going to be seeing cases that wouldn’t be approved by ODOT. The other item is to remind the Commission that we are not approving any specific sign for any specific location but rather a change to the Code.

Mr. Okum: When you were doing your review of this, did you look into whether Planning Commission still has control of the building element; the enclosure, the base and the frame; is that still under the control of Planning Commission?

Ms. McBride: Yes, because it is part of the PUD. So, obviously you have purview over that but then too, under item “I”, the outdoor advertising device structure shall be constructed in an architectural style consistent with the PUD development.

Mr. Okum: I understand; but that could be, if the PUD development is concrete block painted, then the structure could be concrete block and painted, and that wording could be construed as consistent. I am thinking that we may want to really look at that in essence to more than just the flavor or the theme of the development or the physical construction of the development, to have a little bit more to say.

Ms. McBride: It would be a use within the PUD, and as such, the Planning Commission and ultimately Council would have the ability to make whatever conditions or requirements that you saw were appropriate for that particular location; whether it is an embellished sign cabinet or an embellished base, that would really come under the purview of a use within the PUD.

Mr. Okum: An example is Princeton Plaza’s new sign bases are not truly consistent with their development but they are better than their development because they are stone based and architecturally significant and contain an electronic digital sign.

Chairman Darby: When this was discussed, it was agreed that this is in here so that the applicant knows going in that any plan for signage will be scrutinized; that is what it boils down to. The final product has to get our approval, as it always has been the case in the past, but it does draw the person’s attention to the signage issue and it sets in place a mindset.

Mr. Okum: The other items I had concern with were under Item “K”: One, I support it; Two, I am concerned about it. I think it is right to do it. My concern is a method of audit, that advertiser follows a regiment of 1/6 of the advertising time being committed to civic groups and the advertiser being put in a position where there is not submissions of those items or he doesn’t make it easy for those items to be submitted to him and it becomes a difficulty for that to be promoted. This would be putting a burden, to apply a standard and it is difficult for the applicant to comply to that, so therefore that advertising would not be promoted. I am also concerned about the legal end of content; we have preached for years that we do not have control over content for signage. Here we are specifically stating in this that content is an item of requirement under this Section of the Code.

Ms. McBride: On the content issue; that was a specific question and reservation of mine and I specifically asked the Law Director that question, “Are you concerned about the content issue relative to signage?”, and his reply was, “No”. He is the Law Director and he has said that he is not concerned about content on the signage. I shared your concern initially, as well. Second of all, relative to auditing - how and formats; this is an amendment that would allow for this use in the PUD district and one of those requirements is that they would have to submit an advertising use policy as a part of any proposed inclusion of this use within a PUD. That advertising use policy will then go into a whole host of items, one of which would be how material is submitted and under what criteria it is judged or accepted, and that would all come within the submission for request for this use within a PUD.
I think that is very fair criteria that, if and when we do get a request or an application to modify a PUD, to include this use on a site in the City and we are reviewing that advertising use policy that would be submitted as part of an application. That is something that we need to give serious consideration to.

Mr. Galster: I look at it as not so much to monitor the content, but the user. The local business will be entitled to 1/6. I think that a more proper to say 1/6 of the users need to be businesses within the City of Springdale. My main question is on Item “G”, I thought our spacing was 22 and I don’t know that this has the same reduction or change in ambient light?

Mr. Tulloch: It is different.

Mr. Galster: When we did the one at Princeton Plaza, we ended up going with all ambient light.

Mr. Okum: It was definitely built on ambient light, but it is not updated because it has not been codified in yet.

Mr. Galster: I would like to clarify that we are using the same basic language that we used and approved with the change in ambient light being what we are measuring “x” amount of distance from the sign. I don’t like saying daylight hours and I don’t like saying evening hours because of thunderstorms during the day you could have a very dark condition and if that sign is a 6500 nit, it will light up the City; so it needs to have the same built in photocell.

Mr. Tulloch: This does require the video display shall automatically dim to a corresponding reduction in ambient light.

Mr. Galster: I just want to make sure that we are consistent. In my opinion it is not going to have any negative impact on any of the surrounding businesses.

Mr. Okum: I tend to agree.

Mrs. Ghantous: I agree. It is confusing enough without using two different systems of measurement.

Ms. McBride: The verbiage is “shall automatically dim to corresponding reduction in ambient light” is verbatim from this resolution. The maximum illumination during daylight hours shall be 5,000 nits. It was adopted using nits. The maximum illumination from dusk to dawn shall be 1,500 nits.

Mr. Galster: Is there a question about measuring the change of ambient light?

Ms. McBride: No, not that I see.

Mr. Tulloch: I think that is why we had the language in there that video display shall automatically dim to a corresponding reduction in ambient light.

Mr. Galster: Getting back to the concern about the sign company not being able to work out with the local merchants for the 1/6; if they don’t get it worked out then they have to make it 1/6 or they can’t run their advertising device.

Mr. Okum: I guess if they can do that to the TV networks so that they have so much public service time on their stations then I guess that you could say that would be appropriate; even though they put them on at 3:00 in the morning.

Mr. Galster: We get one flip; 1/6 of the time.

Mr. Okum: It doesn’t say rotation; it could be 1/6 of the time at 3:00 in the morning.

Mr. Galster: That will be worked out in the advertising policy. The major intent is to allow the Springdale retail business establishments to get an opportunity at a very reasonable number to get on the board; to continue to revitalize and encourage the shopping in the district. I think that is a key point and if it is not there, I don’t vote for it.

Chairman Darby: I would like to get a sense from the group where we are because we have been going a number of different directions and I am not sure we have tied it down; what is it that we would require, based on your recollections, that this would be o.k.?

Mr. Galster: I wanted to make sure that we have the same measuring device or words that we had in the previous one; and Ms. McBride is saying that it does and it satisfies her and I assume Bill looked through it and it is o.k. with him. I want to make sure that it is consistent and I didn’t think that was, but apparently it is based on the modifications to the nits for the daylight. I am o.k. with that.

Chairman Darby: And on the issue of the policy, which would deal with the other issues that were mentioned about availability and timing?

Mr. Tulloch: I know the sign companies, any advertiser or advertiser’s representative will get a report back telling when the ad was on and at what time, etc. That would be part of the policy that the sign company would bring to Planning Commission as part of their overall proposal.

Mr. Galster: I am o.k. with that.

Mr. Vanover: My only question is the definition of “small business in Springdale”; because for example McDonald’s is a franchise but it is under the head of corporate. Wendy’s or UDF, 5/3 Bank; when they set up these corporations they set them up as independent pods. 5/3 Bank would gladly pay a reduced rate to get that flash versus what the going rate on the big boards would be.

Mr. Tulloch: We will have to come up with a definition which will be contained in this policy. We have had quite a bit of dialogue as to what constitutes a small business. The intent here is for them not to simply go out to First Financial and say that they have satisfied their 1/6, or to Cincom or John Morrell but rather that they make it available to small businesses. My sense is that it is going to be a measurement based on employment within Springdale.

Mr. Galster: I make a motion that the Planning Commission approve and recommend the amendment to the Zoning Code and forward it on to City Council for adoption.
Mrs. Boice seconded the motion.

Chairman Darby: Do we want the clarifications?

Mr. Galster: I am o.k. with Ms. McBride giving me the clarification of “paragraph G”; and I think “paragraph K” is self-explanatory. I don’t think it will be an easy document to write but I think it will cover the other concerns that have been raised.

(At this time Mr. Okum polled the Planning Commission Members and with six affirmative votes, one member absent, the motion to forward the amendment to City Council was approved.)

C. Mr. Okum: At Regional Planning Commission meeting last Thursday, we had Colerain Township make submission for some changes to their text amendments for their zoning. One on lighting and then there was a section where they were trying to deal with manufactured homes permanently sited in their development. One of the items of the recommended changes was regarding square feet of the units. All of a sudden all kinds of red flags went up and it was sort of interesting. I recalled in our Code that we have a minimum requirement of residence, as well. From my understanding, we can’t do that anymore because it is determining size of vitality of a home; and by saying a size it is improper. We may need to look at that and change some of our wording because there are some legal issues involving that and it has been challenged in other areas of the country; it ties to value standards. I am not saying that it is right or wrong, but it is something that we need to look at.
I think it ties to condos or split properties, town homes and so forth; frankly you can have a 1,000 s.f. luxury town home and it doesn’t have to be a 2,000 s.f. town home to be a luxury town home. I just want to bring it to this Commission’s attention, so that Staff can take a look at it. I think there is only one Section; it says 153.075 “Minimum dwelling size. A minimum area of single household dwellings and community social service facilities in the RSH-L District shall be 2,000 s.f.” And it is probably in other places in our Code.

Mr. Galster: It is in every District and we also tie how many people can be in a house based on the size of the bedrooms and how many people can occupy a bedroom. To abandon square footage is ludicrous. You have to have some way of making a judgment as to what size is appropriate for certain things; look at what we allow based in our retail district.

Mr. Okum: I can’t disagree with you, Mr. Galster. Right now we are at a down end of construction; we do have some properties in Springdale that could be redeveloped. The last remaining residential development that we have in Springdale which is the Glenmary Mission property could potentially be an issue if you are trying to set house size dimension.

Chairman Darby: I am sure Administration will review that and advise us appropriately.


A. Chairman Darby: In the Chairman’s Report you can see that I worked with
Mr. McErlane to approve seven signs for the City.

a. Wall Sign – Biggie Talls , 710 Kemper Commons Circle
b. Wall Sign – Regency Beauty, 11489 Princeton Pike
c. Wall Sign – Sugar Creek Packing Company, 12021 Sheraton Lane
d. Wall Sign – Laptop on Call, 11782 Springfield Pike
e. Wall Sign – President Tuxedo, 11711 Princeton Pike
f. Wall Sign – Better Foot & Family, 11465 Springfield Pike
g. Pylon & Wall Sign – Fifth Third, 120 West Kemper Road



Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn; Mr. Galster seconded and with six affirmative
votes from the Planning Commission Members present, the meeting adjourned at
7:44 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________, 2011 ___________________________________
            Don Darby, Chairman

________________________, 2011 ___________________________________
                Richard Bauer, Secretary