PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
AUGUST 11, 2009
I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Tony Butrum.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present: Richard Bauer, Tony Butrum, David Okum, Carolyn Ghantous, Lawrence Hawkins III, and Steve Galster
Members Absent: Tom Vanover
Others Present: Pat Madl, Assistant City Engineer; Anne McBride, City Planner;
William McErlane, Building Official
III. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JULY 14, 2009
Mr. Steve Galster moved to adopt the July 14, 2009 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes, Mr. Lawrence Hawkins III seconded the motion and the Minutes were adopted with 6 affirmative votes.
IV. REPORT ON COUNCIL
No report presented for Council.
V. OLD BUSINESS
No Old Business presented at this meeting.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
A. Chairman Butrum: The first item of new business is a pylon sign panel at Pappadeaux, 11970 Northwest Boulevard.
Mr. Gene Maier: I am with United Maier Signs. The existing pylon on the property has Pappadeaux on the top of it; Pappadeaux has a private dining room available. The other two restaurants near Pappadeaux basically are owned by the same restaurant; using another sign they agree with.
Mr. McErlane: One of the things that I need to advise you of is the applicant has not yet submitted an owners affidavit and the owner has not signed the application at this time. At the Planning Commissions prerogative they could act on it with the condition that we receive those documents. The applicant is representing the owner of the property; hopefully at some near future date he can get that information.
Mr. Maier: He is on vacation right now and he will be back Thursday.
Chairman Butrum: That doesnt have to hold us up, we still require it but we can make a decision.
(At this time Mr. McErlane read his Staff comments.)
(Anne McBride and Pat Madl presented no Staff reports concerning Pappadeauxs sign request.)
Mr. Galster: Mr. McErlane, would this be a minor modification to the PUD to temporarily allow it until such time that other restaurant sites are built or occupied?
Mr. McErlane: Certainly you can condition it upon that. I would think that Bahama Breeze has some rights to one of the panels, or the potential user of Bahama Breeze.
The other three are actually owned by the Pappas family.
Mr. Maier: We removed Bahama Breeze and moved Pappadeauxs sign up.
Chairman Butrum: If the Bahama Breeze location would open up as another restaurant, you not only want to assure that they have a spot but what is the order on that pylon?
Mr. Okum: We dont typically talk content; I think that it is important that the sign stay allocated to 100 s.f. for each of the parcels. In this particular case, timing wise and so forth they havent moved on the other two sites. Carlos is empty, Bahama Breeze is still empty; it wouldnt hurt for them to go ahead and use that on a temporary basis. I think that we should give them the temporary right to use that panel. If Bahama Breeze became a viable retail facility / restaurant, wouldnt you want to give them that opportunity to be up higher on the sign?
Mr. Maier: I know the original plan was that Bahama Breeze was the top panel, Carlos was the second, Papppadeaux was the third and then the fourth would be the bottom one. The farthest one from the highway got the top sign, the second farthest got the second, third farthest the third, and the forth got the bottom.
Mr. Okum: I think that for right now we should make it conditional upon the affidavit begin received and the application being signed by the owner, with permission to change out the one panel and to allow a temporary placement of a modified panel for Pappadeaux to use on this short term period until such time that one of the other restaurant parcel changes; that is my motion.
Mr. Galster: Visually these two panels together dont work very well. I dont want to design it for them, but I dont know that I would even read the second sign because they are so similar in color and text and layout; I dont know how much attention that is going to generate for them.
And I will second the motion.
Mr. Hawkins polled the Planning Commission Members (with one member being absent) and with a 6-0 aye vote the request for an additional sign panel (second panel from top) was granted on a temporary basis.
B. Chairman Butrum: The next item on the agenda is a wireless communication tower; it is a conditional use permit, at 11970 Kenn Road.
I did ask Staff to expand our normal distribution of the residential impact area which is normally 200 feet. There are no residential properties within 200 feet of the proposed tower, but there are multiple residences within 750 feet which is what our code calls for in terms of the distance of a tower of that size from a residential area. So, I did request that Staff contact residences within 750 feet of the area for the proposed wireless communication tower.
This is a public hearing and if anyone in the audience plans on speaking in regards to this conditional use permit application they must be sworn in.
(At this time Chairman Butrum did swear in audience members who indicated they would like to speak concerning the wireless communication tower.)
Mr. Nate Meyer: I am the site development manager for the PBM Wireless and we are based out of Indianapolis. I am here tonight to represent Cricket Communications. Cricket Communications is a wireless communications company and they have been here in the Cincinnati market for about 3 or 4 years. They provide wireless communication, mostly cell phones to persons. One of the things that they are seeing now is the need, and this is carrier wide because I represent other carriers as well, the need for the cell phone to work wherever a customer is, whether it is in their basement or in their car or out at work, etc. In this particular case there is a residential area that Cricket is looking to cover and provide service. They have collocated on towers that are close by, one is down near Cincinnati Mills Mall and the other is over near the interchange where Tri-County Mall is. Cricket does not build infrastructure for their antennas, so they have contracted with American Tower Corporation; American Tower is a company that builds towers and owns and manages towers, as well as other structures that hold wireless communication antennas. In this case American Tower will be the owner and the manager of the structure and American Tower has a lease with Calvary Church for a 60 X 60 lease area with a 20 wide easement assess that comes off Kenn Road to their parking lot, as shown on the plans through the wooded area into the 60 X 60 lease area. The church property at the proposed location front address is 11970 Kenn Road; what we are looking to do is construct a 149 tall monopole style, which is self supporting there is no guide wires. There are typically three types of towers that you may be familiar with, one is a guide style that has guide wires that come down off of it, another is a self-support lattice style high tension wire where there is steel members crossing here and there, and the one we are proposing is the one that is visually most appealing which is the monopole style which is like a stick in the air that has the antenna on top. We have designed this site in this area. Cricket handed out a search ring to their folks and said We need a site. I have provided in your booklets on Tab 3 some R-F propagation maps and this is a presentation for Crickets R-F engineer department showing different coverage levels. If you would turn your attention to page 5 of that, you will see a map called Search Ring 350 Map CVG 350 (named after the airport in the area and this is site 350 in this market). On this map there are different colors, blue indicates areas where they currently have good indoor coverage. The area of concern is the yellow oval and the small blue circle is their search ring and that was the area that we were given to find a site and in this area is one property that is zoned to allow a tower and that happens to be where the church is located, everything surrounding is zoned residential. There is I-275 immediately to the south of the church and across from that there is a sound wall that has been recently constructed and those things help to buffer this site because you dont have the distance that your code requires and we are asking for a variance. Inside the yellow circle there is very little blue, the indoor coverage that they seek. Green indicates vehicle coverage and the light green is if you were outside in your yard or throughout the neighborhood and white is either no coverage or very poor coverage. Next on page 6 shows this proposed site the coverage that Cricket would have and you can see that most of the area is now filled with blue and this according to the R-F engineers says that at 149 that is the minimum height they can go and achieve 100% of their objective. My thought is, why would you want to put this up and not get everybody. This also allows for some co-location opportunities for additional carriers to go in this location.
There is a couple things that block R-F signal and that is water and when the trees are mature there is water in the leaves and that really hinders the calls, so anything below 100 because typically mature trees in this area peak out around 100, the goal is to always have your antennas over 100; so if we have a company at 149 ( and they always need 10 separation to maximize the effectiveness and not interference with one another) the 139, 129, 119 and 109 and that would accommodate other carriers and there wont be another tower needed. There has been future interest shown more strongly by T-Mobile than ATT, but both carriers have expressed future interest in this tower; their immediate budgets dont allow. On Page 7 you can see we did a study at 125 at this same location that we are proposing and as you will see Cricket does not reach out as far to the north and south as they otherwise would; Cricket has indicated to me that if it is Planning Commissions desire they could live with this site but they would really like to get approval for 149. Also at this height it doesnt impact the 750 per your code, we would have to get down to a 99 or lower to reduce the setback and we would still need a variance; so any height of tower on this property there is no where to situate this thing and not need some type of variance.
We did look to co-locate; Crickets design is to look at the existing towers and that is what they are trying to get on. In Chicago they did about 750 sites and there were about 20 that needed a new tower. That is how they designed their sites and in this case there is nothing in this area; the topography to get into this area without a tower at this location. Page 8 shows if we were to use the steeple your code requires anything over 50 to be looked at and the steeple happens to be 56. In reality we couldnt get the 56 because we wouldnt want to hide it and we would actually be closer to 45; we cant get good coverage there and the Church would rather we did not mess with their steeple. We looked at the rooftop of the Ramada and it would provide very poor coverage there. We also looked at the Howard Johnson sign along the interstate near the Route 4 intersection and at that particular location there is a Sprint cluster of antennas and that doesnt cover well.
I want to show you that we have been looking to co-locate and it is not going to happen, so we do need a new site; the site at 11970 Kenn Road is not only a preferred location but it is also the only location that we can meet your ordinance to the greatest extent possible.
We do have an 8 tall chain link fence and at the Staffs request we agree to vinyl coat that. Landscaping we believe at this particular site, the existing natural landscaping is better than anything that could be planted. If you look at Tab 5 there are some photos or aerial shots, you can see the proposed location of the site; the birds eye view and the dense foliage and one is when the leaves are off and one shows the leaves up. Then we have photos on the last page looking Northwest showing how think the foliage is.
We did some studies and the FAA filing is not required and that means that the tower will not have to have a light on it, so that will help with the visual impact.
Staff has guided us to do a tree preservation plan per your ordinance and there are some trees that need to be removed and per your ordinance they will need to be replaced, that plan is under Tab 4, showing how those trees will be dispersed. Some trees will have to be a larger caliper so we are doing 59 3, because one of the trees that has to be removed is 24 caliper inches we will replace that with
4 3 ½ caliper inch trees per your ordinance, or whatever we have to do to meet the ordinance.
We have worked to put this site in a location that the mature forest can help to lessen the impact on any residential areas. There is a neighborhood to the north and the forest backs right up to the property lines and if you are sitting in the back of their yards it will be very difficult to see, especially in the summertime the tower because of the thick trees; I am not saying you cant see it, but I dont think they will have any lack of enjoyment of their yard because of this facility being there. We have proposed the tower on a low spot of the property and at Staffs suggestion we have pulled it against the highway as far as we could to meet your setbacks from the property line.
This facility will also have E-911 which is required by the FCC and emergency 911 helps to locate and triangulate calls made from cell phones so that you can better pinpoint the origin of a call. The more towers that are picking that call, the more accurately they can pinpoint and find somebody that has had a heart attack or whatever the emergency would be. That would be a benefit to the community as a whole.
I respectfully ask for your approval.
Mr. Galster: Did you look at the Daysprings Church site in Forest Park?
Mr. Meyer: I know that the search ring did not include that property.
Mr. Galster: Well, it should because it is located within your ring, I believe. If you look on Page 3 and Tab 3, I guess that is outside the yellow ring.
Mr. Meyer: The blue ring is the search ring.
Mr. Galster: So what you are telling me is that you will need a site every mile in order to have indoor coverage in all of these homes and businesses. What is the spread between your towers going to be if this one is approved?
Mr. Meyer: This particular location, it will be about a mile or maybe a little more.
Mr. Galster: That is amazing to me that it would require that.
Mr. Meyer: In a flat terrain we wouldnt need that but we have hills here and we have a lot of forest and that causes a lot of issues. The antennas need a line of sight to the phone. It is like a flashlight, the higher you hold it up the wider they go out.
Mr. Galster: The Dayspring Church site happens to be at a higher elevation. And what about adding towers to the top of the Ramada? If Ramada is 100 what about putting a 45 pole on top of it? Or is there an existing 100 pole, what if you just replace the pole and make it 150 and remounted all the other providers on that same pole?
I guess my question is, are any of those scenarios being considered, or not at this point?
Mr. Meyer: Well, we looked at your ordinance and looked at what was required by the ordinance and our search ring was centered around this area and this is the area that requires the coverage.
Mr. Galster: This is a residential area and you tell me you have looked at the zoning code, and at the same time we are encroaching on a residential area that requires a 750 setback down to 350; so we are half of the required set back to a residential area. Those are concerns and that is why I have these additional questions as to whether or not you have looked outside the box to try to come up with a solution; or is the solution always a new pole? If in fact the pole that is out there right now is 100 tall and you have to put up a 150 pole what about just replacing the 100 pole with your 150 pole. I have seen some of these poles that have been extended in order to get the height, these monopoles are extremely strong for the use that they are being asked to perform.
Mr. Meyer: I will respond to that in two different ways: Tab 3 - Map 5 shows the coverage that is required; there is a blue ring and that is the search ring that is what the R-F Engineers said that we need, a site inside this ring in order to get the coverage of this area. If they wanted us to look at another location they would have directed us that way by providing a different shape search ring or larger or several.
To explain best, if I had a Walmart Shopping Center parking lot and there is an area right in front of the store where I need to have light for my customers safety in the evening hours, I am not going to put my light out in the corner close to the highway to light that corner that is not by the front door; I need to put my light out by the front door. They are telling us the same thing, the site we looked at topography here and our coverage objectives and we need a tower within this blue area to meet that; anything outside of that may or may not work and in my experience it would need to be very close to that. Next, as far as extending any other towers or anything like that, we have not looked into that. Again, I go back to how the ordinance directs us and we have done what the ordinance has required as far as trying to co-locate on existing tall structures and those are defined as any 50 or taller; we have shown that is not going to be very effective for this area. It left us with the only remaining solution which is to somewhere in the search ring put a new pole and this is the only property from a zoning perspective in that area that we can do that.
Mr. Galster: Another question, there is another tower and I want to say it is behind Cincinnati Mills toward the North of Cincinnati Mills and it is probably about Mack Road, that is a huge tower; if you are way up on the top of that is it possible to accomplish the same objective?
Mr. Meyer: I dont like to mix my clients, but we are trying to put Cincinnati Bell Wireless and T-Mobile on that tower and it is structurally failing so that tower cannot hold anymore and we are trying to find solutions to beef it up and currently it does meet structural requirement, but if we added on the things that we need to it would not meet those structural requirements. That site is not over here where we need the light, as in the Walmart description.
Mr. Galster: I understand but when you gain height you gain coverage.
Mr. Meyer: If you would really like us to we could show you propagation maps on that. I really think they are going to show that it is not going to seep all the coverage down into the south part of that area of concern. The next closest Cricket site is at the CarMax.
Mr. Galster: As providers you are trying to provide inside coverage now instead of just mobile coverage; when we originally designed our cell phone tower ordinances and regulations it was based on mobile towers. If in fact the norm is going to be that we need to penetrate the concrete of the basement of these residential homes and now all of a sudden we need to have towers every mile to accomplish that then I think the ball game is changing on us and we are a little bit behind the curve here. If we are going to have to start putting a tower every mile in order to accomplish what the industry wants to accomplish then I think we need to start looking at even more creative ways of putting these towers and hiding the towers. I think that back when we originally did our regulations we were trying to be forward looking and to look at co-location and all that kind of thing and to allow the towers to meet the needs of the providers. With the requirement that they be every mile now or somewhere similar to that it has changed the game over what we originally had planned for. I am thankful that our regulations at least had the foresight to have a setback in a residential area at a high enough number, otherwise we would be looking at a tower every mile.
I say the Dayspring site as an example because it is up on a hill, it is not that far from where you are looking at anyway; maybe if it is a 200 tower your coverage is better; instead of putting a new pole up you extend an existing pole; adding towers to the top of tall structures as opposed to putting free-standing towers. All those things I think need to be looked at outside of the box if in fact the need is to have a tower every mile.
Mr. Hawkins: My biggest concern echoes Mr. Galster and it is for the residences that are in that area or close to it. It is our responsibility, as you ask us to saddle those residents with that tower being there, that we have explored at all other options; that means looking at Forest Park, at Fairfield and looking at other places even within Springdale, such as on top of hotels. Is the motivation from Cricket to have this here more in terms of improving customer service or is it more a motivation to improve your client base?
Mr. Meyer: Honestly, I cannot tell you which of those is the primary motivation but I am sure it is a combination of both, on Crickets behalf; it is not information that Cricket has shared with me. Typically if it is for new customers, for instance if people want to shop at McDonalds in Springdale they cannot do that unless there is a McDonalds in Springdale; as well, people wont use Crickets coverage in Springdale unless there is Cricket coverage in Springdale. They are trying to improve their coverage in Springdale for that purpose. There may or may not be some existing customers in this area that are suffering, often times there are in these situations, but I cannot tell you in this particular situation whether of not there is.
Looking at all these other properties, I have applied for a particular location here that meets your ordinance and we do have a hardship in this case that we need to go for a variance. My goal tonight was to talk about things that you could suggest at this particular site that we can do to help reduce any impact. I dont know if there are any residents that are concerned; I only heard myself and the Church swear in tonight but I do know that there was a resident that wrote in basically asking for the height of the tower to be half as tall, if there needs to be one, and he happens to have an abutting property to the north. We have done a lot of work to get to this point and spent a lot of money; not that that is your concern but it is not like we are showing up and hoping that this happens, we have taken a lot of consideration to put a site where Cricket can achieve their coverage and meet the ordinance. I dont think that your code gives me the burden of proof to show if I can extend every house and rooftop and hotel and sign or church in the area; I do think that it asks me to make sure that within a mile of the site that I cant co-locate on anything and we have shown that, I believe. I do appreciate the out of the box thinking. I guess I am looking at this site and something we can do that is out of the box maybe that can help you feel better about it.
American Tower is building the structure and as far as I understand they would build this site only for Cricket if that is what it came down to, at whatever height you would feel would work for Cricket and your code asked us to show you that; I believe we have shown the minimum height is 125. Your code also asked us to provide for co-location so we believe it is in the best interest of the community to try to co-locate the six major players here in the market: Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Verison, ATT, Sprint, Cricket and Revel, this particular pole is designed to hold five total. American Tower has very few sites that they have a six-carrier pole; I guess if you would want to require that they would consider that and it could cover the whole market so that you dont get other request for towers in this area. I want to reiterate that I dont think that we would need a tower every mile if this was a flat area and had very little population or this same amount of population. That is why Ramada doesnt work because there is a hill there and it is also located outside the search area.
Mr. Bauer: I have the same concerns about the site and if enough searching has been done on other areas or other cell towers that are in the near proximity. Do you know the number of customers that this impacts in this area?
Mr. Meyer: I dont know that number; I can tell you there are quite a few residential streets and a concentration of homes there.
Mr. Okum: My Street wasnt considered in this consideration, but I have the woods behind me. What concerns me is we are designing for inside the home coverage; what is going to happen when we increase cellular tower placement to provide expanded communication services, are we going to start seeing towers every half mile or every quarter mile in order to get that coverage?
The reason Cricket feels they need to defer from our code; it says 750 from residential neighborhoods is because they need to get that inside coverage. The burden is not ours, you need to conform to the codes and you need to give us reasons why you cannot conform to the code, but as technology increases if we are talking towers every ½ mile, where is this going to end? This is an answer to Crickets problems and it will be an answer to four providers problems but it is also infringing on that setback requirement that is set in our code. I think that we have established that 750 from the residential area still should give them coverage. I dont know many people that are in our area that dont have coverage; maybe not in the basement of their house. There has not been anything presented by the applicant that shows the residents in that blue area are not getting Cricket service; there is not a list of people with failure of service in those areas.
Mr. Meyer: If you look at the map of Crickets current coverage, the areas in the white Tab 3 Page 5 are areas where Cricket does not have coverage; the light green areas are outdoor coverage. It is Crickets goal to provide coverage so that your phone will work anywhere you need it to work. The Telecommunication Act of 1996 allows us to, as a FCC licensed provider, allows Cricket to come in and cover areas that need to be covered. We looked very hard to locate on this property where there is no location where we can meet setbacks; we can meet every other part of your code but we cannot meet those setbacks. Many communities, and I have worked in hundreds of communities in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois and New York and Kentucky and the 750 is among the more strict setbacks in a residential district that I have seen. I respect that, but we have the practical difficulty of needing to provide coverage here, and having a parcel that is zoned that we can meet all the requirements except for where we need a variance from BZA. We have put the tower on the Churchs property that slopes down from the residential subdivision to the north toward I-275; in fact there is a drainage swale that comes from the subdivision to the north and comes down through the property and we are alongside that and we are working to design that with your City Engineer and with the County so that we do not impact that in any way; the tower would be down at the low point near the highway, kind of right near where that washes out and goes on to ODOTs right of way. Normally for a tower we want to be at the highest point of the property and if we were to do that we would be up 65 from your neighbors back doors. There is residential to the south and I-275 with a nice sound wall that visually helps hide that from those homes. We meet the distance to residential districts to the west, to the east we do not meet the requirements we are 639 to the closest residence; the
Glenmary Missioners is all wooded area and it could be redeveloped one day, historically people have tried to redevelop that but it hasnt happened because it is not developed. I drove around the neighborhoods and there are beautiful mature trees in front yards and back yards, it is hard to see 50 or 100 because of all the trees let alone far enough to a mile or ½ mile. We have really tried to reduce the impact from a visual standpoint to the residential area.
Mr. Galster: In Tab 3 Page 5 the search area that you are telling us is the area of concern basically all dark green, there doesnt seem to be any lack of coverage in the designated search area. I question why is the search area in the darkest green area that you have inside your yellow circle; seems to me if you would want to improve service to that whole area you would probably move a little farther away from what is right now well covered. The Glenmary Missioners is the last residential zoning in the City of Springdale and we are talking ten, fifteen, twenty years from now.
Mr. Meyer: We could shift the tower, and we would have to get our property owner to agree but they have asked us to push the tower down as far as we can towards the creek so that if the Church would need to expand the tower would be out of their way.
Mr. Galster: Can you answer why in the blue search area, you have identified on Page 5, does it have such good coverage and why is it the limited search area?
Mr. Meyer: The search area is there because it is halfway between the two existing sites, the one to the west and the one to the east.
Mr. Galster: So the search area is limited based on your other towers, not necessarily the need to improve coverage?
Mr. Meyer: It is both. R-F designs the rings and they issue them and we have to go with them; your zoning ordinance within this entire area is residential zoning except for this parcel.
(At this time Mr. McErlane, Anne McBride and Pat Madl read their Staff comments.)
(Anne McBride disclosed to the Commission that she had worked with Mr. Nathan Meyer six or seven years prior to this meeting.)
Mr. Galster: In reference to the trees, back when this Church site was built out, was this one of the sites where we put off the requirement to replant as many trees because of the fact that we are leaving so much green space? I believe there was relief granted because of the fact that we are leaving so many trees on the back site of the property with the understanding that if any development where to happen on the backside of the property the requirement that was given would have to be made up at that point.
Mr. McErlane: I cant recall that.
Mr. Okum: It was protected on that back corner because they intended that they would build in that area.
Mr. Galster: I believe that they developed a certain percentage of that site given the fact that they were not going to touch the other half. There was a substantial amount of tree replacement that was required and thus forgiven because the back site was not developed and I dont know if this would kick in plus this would also be a redevelopment as opposed to a new development and thus would be a 100% replacement instead of 50%, plus you may have some kick in from the original Church development.
Mr. McErlane: The intent for the redevelopment is that you are not removing trees that were part of a development and replacing with half the amount of caliper inches, so I dont think that necessarily applies to raw trees that have grown up over time, but in terms of what might have been relieved on that Church site I would have to research that.
Mr. Okum: I do recall that part of the motion was to protect a certain area of the property and there was relief to the applicant on that provision. That makes it difficult to consider a motion this evening.
Mr. McErlane, the roadway effect for access to this facility, the tree removal for the roadway, was that part of it?
Mr. McErlane: All of the improvement; the tree removal plan on Z-D 1.3 includes the trees that are removed for the roadway.
Ms. McBride: Mr. Meyer, on all of the exhibits that we have received in Tab 3 on the different search rings 149 and 125, these arent dealing with coverage, but only indoor coverage?
Mr. Meyer: No. That is not correct.
Ms. McBride: That is what the cover sheet says, that it is for indoor coverage; I think that is an important distinction to make.
Mr. Meyer: My understanding is that the area shown in white is where Cricket does not have coverage, maybe they have varying degrees.
Ms. McBride: Their exhibit says indoor coverage holes.
Mr. Okum: Mr. Madl, there was reference to a stream or creek or runoff, is that naturally fed or is that runoff from the subdivision?
Mr. Madl: It probably comes from, at least a portion from the subdivision, because it is a 36 pipe.
Mr. Okum: So, there are no environmental issues?
Mr. Madl: No.
Mr. Okum: The issue of the location could be driven by the tree standards that were set for the Church expansion and I certainly would want that resolved prior to our consideration; so I recommend that we carry this to the next meeting until Staff can find out what the result is. At the same time, being the liaison to the Board of Zoning Appeals I will recommend to the BZA not to take action on any decision.
I move to continue this until the next Planning Commission Meeting.
Mr. Galster seconded the motion.
Chairman Butrum: Is the only contingency for moving it to the next meeting to do research of the tree replacement?
Mr. Okum: Yes. I think that is critical.
Chairman Butrum: There are some members of the audience, who were sworn in and if that is the only condition I think we should at least give them the opportunity and listen to them tonight.
Mr. Okum: I will hold my motion to give them the opportunity.
Chad Faubert: I am speaking on behalf of the Calvary Pentecostal Church, I am the financial officer for the Church and an employee of the Church; my residence is in Hamilton. The Church is in favor of having a cell tower on the property; we have been a ministry in Springdale for over 30 years. We used to be at 353 West Kemper Road and then about ten years ago moved to the Kenn Road site. We are in the business of ministry and not of planning cell towers and so we are not always up on all of that information but we do want to let you know that we are a great member of Springdale and we do want something that is aesthetically pleasing to the residents in and around there as we offer ministry to Springdale Offering Support and as our Pastor serves as the Chaplin of the Springdale Police Department. We are in favor of the cell tower.
(At this time Chairman Butrum did swear in Mr. Robert Wilson who requested to speak.)
Mr. Robert Wilson: I live at 690 Glensprings Drive in Springdale and additionally I am also currently the District 1 Representative and this area is my district. I appreciate your comments on the Commission and from the Staff. My concern is I dont think that the applicant has looked at other options. He stated that the current tower is at Cincinnati Mills and he looked at the roof of the hotels, and he mentioned the signage of the Howard Johnson; I have a challenge with not exploring other opportunities. The FCC has approved certain things but I have an issue with that comment because we run the City; we have ordinances to protect our citizens. The idea of having a tower there that is going to impose on our residences with one antenna and one satellite dish with the options of having others there, so are we being asked as a City to approve a tower with one carrier without the option of voting on more. I think we have to be careful when we vote if it goes to BZA and possibly Council; we are approving one user, not multiple users. Have we looked at other options? Also, you mentioned about a tower perhaps every mile overlapping, I cant remember the distance between that tower and Heritage Hills; there could conceivable be three towers in Springdale, then we are looking at really infringing on the neighbors to the east of us. I think Cricket needs to come back with more facts and figures and we as a City need to look and see that by voting for this we are not infringing on other items; we are not voting on something and having them come back and ask for more variances because we allowed this tower. We have to look at what is best for our City.
Mr. Galster: If in fact this tower is approved at 149 we would be encouraging other providers to cohabitate that same pole, so I think you are objecting if there were two or three on it, and I am saying that I would have less of an objection if we could accommodate two or three on it.
Mr. Robert Wilson: Once we vote it would be with the understanding that whatever you vote on, that is the way it is going to be; if it is going to be three or four or five that is what we are going to vote on.
Mr. Meyer: I can only speak to one company off of the top of my head, because I know that they have had lease interest in this property and that is T-Mobile; their budget changed and they didnt move forward. AT&T was contacted by American Tower because it is one of their customers and AT&T said they do not have an immediate need but they would definitely consider this as a possible location in the future to improve coverage. Everybodys R-F frequency has a different natural characteristic of how far it can propagate and how close or how much farther the waves are to one another; these are physical things that cant be changed.
Chairman Butrum: Cellular signal is not a broad spectrum; it is not like they are 30 miles away from each other from the wireless spectrum. They certainly differ just like FM radio stations or like AM radio stations.
Mr. Meyer: They are much closer because they are all in the 1900 spectrum. I think it is fair to say if you have a T Mobile who is looking in this area in the past, and now you have Cricket, two carriers need coverage where there are existing towers that they are on, and they are on ones that are either the same ones that are outside of here or ones very close to them because there is a tower a little bit closer it is close enough where the same carrier couldnt use both because they are right on top of each other from a R-F perspective. There is one a little bit closer on the south side of Forest Park by BW3; T Mobile is on that tower, so T Mobile needs something to help in this area as well.
Chairman Butrum: What we dont know, are there carriers that are currently getting good coverage in that area, and if so how are they accomplishing that.
Mr. Meyer: My goal here is to help Cricket. Just looking at the zoning, you cant squeeze it any closer or have similar setback or other variances that would be needed.
Chairman Butrum: I think we understand why you chose that location.
Mr. Meyer: My homework assignment is not real huge, it is more like show us why nothing else works but are there any other things we could look at doing.
Chairman Butrum: This is going to push us to the next meeting.
Ms. McBride: I was going to suggest that the motion might want to be amended to include continuing the public hearing in progress so that additional information from Mr. Meyer or somebody from the public that wasnt able to come tonight but maybe can come next time, so that the Commission could take in that additional information.
Mr. Hawkins: I would like to know what percentage of residents in that area currently have Cricket service right now.
Mr. Meyer: I have never asked that from Cricket but I know that is available from other clients; clients are concerned with privacy of their customers.
Chairman Butrum: I have a question for Staff, could we ask other wireless companies what their coverage is?
Ms. McBride: I dont know that the City has ever done that but I would suspect that is proprietary information; I dont think that AT&T would want Cricket to know.
Chairman Butrum: I am wondering if people are getting coverage someway, somehow there now.
Ms. McBride: On Page 8 the coverage, if the antenna was to be located on the existing steeple, the area that is white at this scale looks very minute to me and that might not be the case at a different scale of a plan; what does that represent, maybe two houses that cant get it in the basement?
Chairman Butrum: Are they even houses?
Ms. McBride: They need to do it at an aerial or a different scale so we maybe get a better concept as to how many are effected.
Mr. Meyer: So, we need to put the coverage maps on an aerial and zoom in.
Mr. Galster: Can you show me also the coverage ring if it is at 100 at that location?
Mr. Meyer: What about 99, so that it helps our setbacks get reduced?
Mr. Galster: Absolutely.
Mr. Okum: Additionally, if you could do a site line view from I-275 from different residential areas with an overlay of the tower at different heights.
Chairman Butrum: There was a motion made by Mr. Okum and it was seconded.
Mr. Hawkins polled the Planning Commission Members and with a 6-0 aye vote (one Member being absent) the Conditional Use Permit request for a wireless communication tower at 11970 Kenn Road was tabled to the September 8th, 2009 Planning Commission Meeting.
Mr. McErlane: A re-submittal would be due by the 28th of August 2009.
Mr. Meyer: So that I understand about the tree issue, that wasnt a variance but some other kind of a condition?
Mr. Galster: I am going from memory and I could be off a little bit but there was a financial amount that was assigned to the trees that werent able to be replanted, or the site couldnt contain any more tree plantings so therefore it was forgiven because of the fact that so much of the site was left untouched, but with the understanding that if in fact anything was redeveloped, then that requirement to replant those trees would kick back in or a financial contribution needed to be made; I believe that was the way it was worded.
Mr. Meyer: So the financial contribution was not made?
Mr. Galster: No. It was forgiven because of the percentage of the site that was left untouched.
(No other discussion presented.)
VIII. CHAIRMANS REPORT
Chairman Butrum: I approved a sign for Halloween USA 11755 Princeton Pike.
Mr. Galster moved to adjourn, Mr. Bauer seconded the motion and the
Planning Commission adjourned at 9:13 p.m.
Chairman Tony Butrum
Lawrence Hawkins III, Secretary