Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

11 September 1997

7:00 p.m.




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


Members Present: Councilmember Steve Galster, James Young,

Richard Huddleston, David Okum and Chairman


Members Absent: Councilmember Robert Wilson and Bob Seaman.

Others Present: Derrick Parham, Assistant City Administrator

William K. McErlane, Building Official

Anne McBride, City Planner

Mr. Syfert stated that Mr. Seaman had been called out of town unexpectedly,

and by the time Mr. Wilson says he will be here, the meeting will be over I think.


Mr. Young moved for adoption and Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion. By

voice vote, all present except Mr. Okum who abstained, voted aye and the

Minutes were adopted with four affirmative votes.


A. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes - 15 July 1997

B. Report on Council - nothing

C. Letter to Jay Smith, Duke Associates re change in Planning Commission

meeting date

D. 9/5/97 Letter from Chad Oldfather requesting Special Planning Meeting

for Target Final Plan Approval.



A. Duke Associates requests approval of proposed sign package for Tri- County Market Place, 11741 Princeton Pike

Greg Monnig of Duke Realty Investments said on the site plan, we have a 36,000 square foot building going on the south end of the site, in the center an 18,000 square foot building planned and on the north end of the site a 26,000 square foot building. We have free standing signage proposed at the south entrance of the 747 curb cut, and we have changed our request from a pylon sign here to a monument sign for the outparcel along the ramp coming off I-275.

The building elevations correspond with signs #1 and #2. Signs #1 #2 and #3 apply to the south end of the building. Sign #4 applies to the middle building, and sign #5, #6 and #7 apply to the building on the north end of the site, the free standing building.

We will respond to the site plan review we received today from the city planner on a tenant by tenant basis. On Tenant A, Signs 1 and 2, for the south buildings, we have made a clarification. In looking at your area calculations and comments, we have gone back to the tenant and made a change in the size of the signs and the area calculations which will reduce the total area by about 126 feet.

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11 September 1997

Page Two


Mr. Monnig continued we will pass these revised sign elevations out to you. Where you have calculated an area of 13 feet by 42 feet, this is not separate lettering; it is their logo, which is a dash mark and a ball. From the bottom of the bottom row to the top of this logo it will be about 10 feet, so we will be able to take 3 feet by 42 feet out of the calculation for the sign permit, reducing the sign area from 546 to 420 square feet, and reducing the total for Tenant A from 626 to 500 square feet.

For the tenant in the middle, Sign #4, I donít see a problem with any of the comments. Mr. McErlane stated we were trying to get a clarification on the overall height of the Petsmart sign; did you say 10 feet? Mr. Monnig answered from the bottom of the lowest line to the top of that logo is 10 feet. Mr. McErlane responded so you are looking at about 422.5 square feet.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert said there has been no change to Tenant B or C, is that correct? Mr. Monnig confirmed this. If you look at the revised total sign area in general, we are now down to a variance of 162.5 feet. Mr. Galster asked Mr. McErlane if he agreed with these figures, and Mr. McErlane indicated that he did, adding that they are comparing total square footage on the site.

Mr. Monnig continued based on last meetingís comments, one of the things we have done is reduced the height of the pylon sign along 747. We were asking for slightly more than 33 feet on the sign originally, and now we now have reduced that down to 30 feet and reduced the sign panels from five feet to four feet each. We feel like four feet is the size panels that would be needed to have the copy legible. We have reduced the panel to meet the overall height and size of the panels from the previous submission.

Mr. Syfert asked the approximate distance from 747 to the face of the sign for either A or B, Signs 1 or 2? Mr. Monnig answered the approximate distance would be about 320 feet.

Mr. Monnig stated there is a list of variances that will be required, and I have a question on the additional off premises sign for Banc One. It currently is on a pylon at the present location which is off premises already. I am wondering why another variance would be required. Mr. McErlane stated because you are asking for a ground sign that is also an off premise sign that is not currently on the property.

Ms. McBride reported the only items of concern were on the pylon sign; they are showing it six feet from the point of grade to the lowest point of the sign. Our current code, unlike most codes, does not provide a specific distance (the new code will). What we say is it has to provide adequate distance above grade to access, it doesnít say access by who or by what. Itís a little vague. Most of the communities we work with require anywhere from eight to 10 feet, and we have suggested 10 feet here. That is something I would like the Commission to think about, because they are showing just six feet.

On your Tenant C, the south elevation you are showing a 50 square foot sign, and we question whether or not that sign is necessary in terms of visibility. As I understand it, it is located on the side between the two buildings as you are going back toward the truck loading docks. Mr. Monnig commented there is a purpose to that sign. Ms. McBride responded Iím sure youíll explain that to us.



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Ms. McBride said we also question the visibility aspect of the ground mounted sign on the interstate. Those were the only questions and comments that we had in addition to the comments in our report, which respond closely to Mr. McErlaneís comments.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert asked if he would like to address the concern about the sign on Building C. Mr. Monnig responded the sign on the south elevation there will be an alternate entrance which will not be the primary entrance. The primary entrance will be centered at this location, but this business will sell merchandise and services that will require follow up training and education so someone will need to come back to the facility to learn how to utilize the merchandise. That is the purpose of this alternate entrance. Ms. McBride commented so you wouldnít necessarily say the company name, but something like customer training.

Mr. Monnig continued to address the ground sign, although this sign will be a low profile sign, and given the proximity to the I-275 ramp, we have looked at the grades of the ramp versus the finished grades of what we are proposing for the parking area, and believe this sign will be very visible to anyone who is coming eastbound on 275. I think it also will provide an identity feature for anyone getting off this ramp; they will be able to see this sign before they get to 747. We think it adds value to the property.

Mr. McErlane said to clarify the variances that would be required based on the modification that was made tonight, we would have the additional off premise sign for the ground sign, and the total pylon sign being 240 square feet. There is an existing 106 square foot variance for the Swallens and Banc One signs currently. The area of signs #1 and #2 would be 422.5 square feet which would require a variance from the 150 square foot maximum and sign #7 which is 160 square feet would need a variance from the 150 square foot maximum also, and the total area of signs for Tenant A would be 503 square feet (maximum 274 square feet).

Mr. Young wondered how high the signs were at Tri-County Mall. Isnít the sign that is there now 18 feet tall? Mr. McErlane responded I believe it is more than 18 feet, but I donít believe that it is 30 feet. On any other centers that have been approved in the more recent past, 30 feet has not been out of line. Mr. Monnig reported we based our submittal on the most recent free standing signs in the general area. Mr. Syfert commented so they basically are in the same ballpark as the signs we have been working with recently.

Mr. Okum said I was not at the last meeting, but I donít believe this Commission approved this site plan as a concept approval. Mr. Syfert confirmed this, adding that we had favorable comments. Mr. Okum wondered if there were favorable comments for all buildings on the site, and Mr. Huddleston responded I believe there were concerns about the third building, the one on the outlot.

Mr. Okum continued we are being asked to approve a sign package that includes that property and that building. Am I off base or does that seem a little strange?

Mr. Syfert responded I think what they are saying is that in order to properly market the property, they want to be able to represent the signage. I think they already have some pretty good tenants in mind. Anything we would do tonight would be contingent upon the final plan being approved.

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Mr. Okum commented we havenít even got the concept plan approval. Iím a little reluctant to approve signage, when I donít even know if this development with the square footage that theyíll generate with the multiple uses is going to be able to be addressed with access problems in next to Star Bank, the outlot going across the creek line, and tree replacement. We canít force this developer into a cross easement between themselves and Mr. Gilhartís property, but on the other hand if this site works it will need something to handle that entrance. We are being asked to approve signage for something that we donít even know if conceptually it is the right conversion of this site. It makes me uneasy to be requested to vote on a signage package, especially for one parcel that had very questionable comments about it. Iím having a problem with that. That seems irregular because if it were approved by this Commission, it would go to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and they would be even more confused.

Mr. Syfert said correct me if Iím wrong, but I think we are attempting to work with someone who is trying to develop a property that has been setting there for quite some time. To the best of my knowledge Duke enjoys a pretty good reputation in Springdale, and I donít see anything irregular about this myself.

Mr. Okum responded I agree with those comments; I have worked with Duke for probably 10 out of the 16 to 17 years I have been involved with City Government, and they have always lived up to their commitments to the City. However, we are being asked for signage approval and a recommendation which would go on to Board of Zoning Appeals on a site plan that doesnít even have preliminary or concept plan approval. I would encourage this Commission to get this site through the preliminary plan approval process and then consider signage. Quite often signage is the last thing we hear, not the first.

Mr. Monnig stated we are not asking for any approval of signage for the outlot. We have not made a request for any signage for that building. Mr. Galster commented itís on the pylon. Mr. Monnig responded we just show a generic panel; we are not asking for approval for building signage for this building. We are really asking for free standing identification signage for the center, which will be located on this parcel. Mr. Okum commented there are five here, and Banc One is five. Mr. Monnig responded we are asking for identification signage that will identify up to five businesses, but we are not requesting any building signage for this building. Mr. Galster commented you are assuming that there will be a building there. Mr. Monnig answered I am assuming that we will have five uses on this site. Our submittal will be in to Springdale the end of this month, and based on Planning Commissionís comments and subsequent meetings with Mr. Osborn, we have deleted this building from our submittal. The reason we are asking for the signage to be on this area is because of its proximity to I-275 for the other three tenants and the offsite tenant. I am not implying by the fifth sign panel that I am asking for approval for a restaurant here. I am asking for approval for a sign panel for up to five panels, and that is all.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. McErlane if their calculations were based on that offsite being developed. Mr. McErlane said from the standpoint of total allowable signage, no. That particular site would generate its own allowable signage; it is not included in the totals. Mr. Okum wondered where its frontage would be, and Mr. McErlane stated it would be based on whatever is facing Princeton Pike. Mr. Okum commented the frontage I see is from the creek line south. Mr. McErlane said I would base it on the frontage facing 747, so it is facing east.

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11 September 1997

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Mr. Monnig added our intent is not to try to mislead one and get something without asking for it. Our intent is to get an identification sign here.

Mr. Huddleston commented I agree with both the applicant and Mr. Okum. I think we have a little bit of the chicken and the egg going on. I donít know the sentiments of the Commission or if our recourse would be to move on this on a conceptual basis. I am not sure that satisfies what the applicant is looking for, but on the other hand the process has been convoluted. I guess this is a marketing situation so they can bring the rest of the development forward and if there is some way we can move on this conceptually as we have commented conceptually on the overall site plan. I donít know if that is adequate to your needs at this point or not, and it certainly would not imply a guarantee for it.

Mr. Monnig stated in our design of the site, we are beyond a concept plan at this point. It will be submitted to Springdale at the end of September, but we are now at a point where tenants have been identified for each of these spaces and leases have been negotiated and are ready to be executed. The reason for the request at this point is each of these tenants is national in scope. They spend a lot of energy and dollars on identifying key elements and identity features. Prior to the executing of the agreement, I wanted to be comfortable in knowing that they can have their prototypical identification. Our submittal is as close to prototypical identification that we can get without identifying each tenant. Some of those tenants have confidentiality reasons that they do not want to be disclosed publicly at this point of time for personnel and competitive reasons. While it is the chicken before the egg in terms of final approval, in terms of us being able to make the commitments that are being asked, we would need sign variances.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if it were possible for Planning to approve the signage package subject to the final development package? Mr. Syfert said I think that is what I was saying. Mr. Huddleston continued Iím not sure that process works, but it sounds like that is what they are asking us to do. Mr. Monnig stated we have made the assumption that if we canít get the final plan approved, we canít build it and put the signage on it anyway.

Mr. Huddleston said I would be willing to move on such a recommendation only subject to taking the outlot parcel and the fifth signage panel, maybe leaving the panel but certainly deleting the reference to a restaurant. Mr. Monnig indicated that would be satisfactory to them.

Mr. Syfert asked if there were any problem with approving the sign concept subject to the final plan approval and also deleting the fifth panel. Ms. McBride stated in concept and theoretically, if the Commission and Council ultimately were to approve one small 10,000 square foot building for this site, I would raise the question if I were them as to whether or not I wasnít still entitled to all this signage for one 10,000 square foot user because you have approved it and we would assume that the BZA subsequently would have approved it. We are approving it understanding that there are potentially four tenants there. It is a question, but I do think that any approval has to be tied to this specific site plan.

Mr. Young said this is the drawing that we have, which is not what you have there, so my question is which one are we working off? You keep working off that one, and your monument sign is in a different place, there is no fourth building.

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11 September 1997

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Mr. Young continued you are making a presentation to us giving us one thing to look at and showing us something else there. You can understand why there is some confusion and why we might be tempted to say as I am that I would not be in favor of this tonight. You have to get your ducks in line; I donít think they are, and that is not our problem. You should not give us one thing to look at and start showing other things on a different diagram. For me that doesnít work.

Mr. Monnig stated that plan that we submitted evolved from previous Planning Commission comments and comments from Mr. Osborn. This plan was the original concept plan and we have deleted the outlot from this plan. Mr. Galster said so the monument sign is in the correct position on this drawing, not on that drawing? Where are you proposing it? Mr. Young commented the reason I brought it up is that on your drawing, that monument sign is right where that fourth building would be. Mr. Monnig reported on the concept plan, we did not have the same level detail on the topographical conditions of the creek, so after we had additional detail we knew we had to relocate the sign.

Mr. Galster said so we have the latest in front of us. I have a little bit of a problem with the monument sign at I-275. I donít think we are way off of where it needs to be with the other sign package, but I wonít speak for BZA. I have a little concern that for Building 2, Tenant C, that little side sign couldnít be something vinyl on the window or door as opposed to a lit up sign for training entrance. Iím sure if anyone is coming back for training, the people will tell them where the door is. If you can get rid of some signage, why not get rid of that and your number will be closer. Otherwise, I donít have a problem with your other main signage. I donít know if I like the monument sign coming down that ramp at 55 mph.

Mr. Okum said if the proposed monument sign were placed here, there is a growth of trees currently and abutting that is a grove of interstate frontage with trees as well. What do you plan to do with all those trees so that your sign can be visible?

Mr. Monnig reported we have a tree survey for our property that we will submit. Mr. Okum asked about the interstate trees, and Mr. Monnig responded until we get our property cleared, we donít know the extent of what can be done in the right of way. Mr. Okum said but you are anticipating that there might be some. Mr. Monnig stated once we get our site cleaned, we will be able to determine that. At this time we donít know if it will be required or not.

Mr. Okum wondered if the new sign going in by Banc One would be closer to S.R. 747 than the existing sign? Mr. Monnig answered it will be the same location.

Mr. Huddleston said based on some of the comments from other members, I would suggest that convoluting the process wouldnít work too well. As Jim pointed out, you can come back with a final development plan that accurate reflects what you are asking us to act on in conjunction with the signage, because we are a little confused here. According to last monthís Minutes, there are items of significant concern on the development plan. Until we address those and give you a carte blanche on the signage, I would rather you go to your tenants and ask them to sign the lease subject to the signage approval on your prototypical signage. In reality it is no more than you are asking us to do. I want to cooperate with you but on the other hand there are significant issues that still need to be resolved on this.


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Mr. Syfert said if there are no more comments, what is the pleasure of the board, or if the applicant wishes, we can table this item.

Mr. Huddleston said if it is acceptable, I would be willing to give my comments endorsing this signage package subject to a lot of their resolutions that we have talked about tonight. The signage package as it stands isnít bad.

Mr. Galster wondered if we could give them a preliminary approval, if that would help you get beyond conceptual? Mr. Monnig answered I would rather pursue Mr. Huddlestonís suggestion that we get a recommendation based on getting final plan approval because I canít build a building without final plan approval. That gives you the comfort level you need; we are not going to erect signage unless we can get final plan approval. It is not our intent to mislead or deceive.

Mr. Okum said I donít have a problem with the monument sign if your totals are under where they should be. I would like to see less square footage because it will be simpler when it goes to BZA. On the other hand, I have serious concerns about the monument sign and what you will need to do to get clear visibility for that sign to be functional on the interstate, clearing your own trees and interstate trees. At this point we cannot hold Ohio Department of Transportation accountable to our tree preservation ordinance unless they agree to voluntarily. We want to have a resolution from Council go forward to Ohio Department of Transportation that they observe our existing tree preservation ordinance in its entirety in the proximity of Springdale. Considering the flack the state went through with Reed Hartman Highway and I-71 with the tree removal they did for the walls and then replanted them, I donít want to see that continue into Springdale. If there are no trees there and you maintain your tree replacement, I have no problem at all, but if you have to crop trees off the interstate for people to see your sign, I have a real problem with that, and I think our residents do too. As submitted this evening, without knowing what will happen with the tree replacement and the trees along the interstate, I cannot vote in favor of this.

Mr. Huddleston commented I agree with the tree preservation ordinance of the City and its concept. I donít feel nearly as strongly as Mr. Okum does about what I consider scrub growth and very secondary growth trees along a lot of the interstate. Having said that, I donít necessarily disagree with what Mr. Okum has said about at least that documentation being available to us prior to approving this.

Mr. Huddleston said if the applicant is willing to give us documentation on that, I will make a motion that the signage plan approval be given subject to a specific site plan, less outlot restaurant which should be approved at a future meeting of this Commission, and that the pylon sign shall have four panels only. The fifth panel shall not be allowed until an outlot development is approved by the Commission. Mr. Syfert added and it should be referred to the Board of Zoning Appeals for the necessary variances. Mr. Syfert said I as chairman will second the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston and Mr. Syfert. Voting no were Mr. Galster, Mr. Young and Mr. Okum. Motion was denied with two ayes and three nays. Mr. Syfert stated so we are not recommending that this go to the Board of Zoning Appeals at this time.



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Mr. Okum said as I mentioned earlier, I would request that a resolution be drafted and forwarded to Council to go to the Ohio Department of Transportation for them to be in observance of our existing tree preservation ordinance along the interstate, keeping in mind that we do understand that scrub trees and brush are not considered part of that, but hard trees are and preserving what tree lines we have along the interstate with a request for response back that they would adhere to our request. It can be drafted by our tree people Ms. McBride stated we will look into some language and work with Mr. McErlane on that and put something together. Mr. Galster said if there is a monument sign behind trees, can we up our percentage of tree replacement beyond what the code says for any particular applicant? Mr. McErlane commented there are a lot of things that are negotiated out of meetings of this board that are not necessarily in the Code. Most of the developers will do these things in good faith, but it is not enforceable. Mr. Huddleston commented we probably should have done this before they left the room, but I feel we should ask the applicant to document the trees in that area so we can react to that accordingly. If they are willing to do that it shows a part of the good faith negotiations.

Mr. Parham commented in response to Mr. Galsterís question about upping the percentage of tree replacement required for specific applicants, I would not feel comfortable with adjusting to a particular applicant, because at that point you are singling that applicant out and adjusting the rules just for that applicant. Mr. Syfert added you have a tough time defending it.

Mr. Okum said at our zoning code meetings, we have come to the conclusion that Springdale does not have a comprehensive land use plan. Ms. McBrideís firm has been asked to put together a proposal to do one for us and legislation will be necessary to execute a contract if necessary.

Ms. McBride reported in one of the existing districts there is a reference to its consistency with the official land use plan of the City, and there is none. There is a zoning map, but that is different from a land use map. What a comprehensive plan which entails both existing and future land use map does for the City is provides a rational basis for this Commission and Council to make decisions based on land use, Rezoning issues, reuse issues and those types of things. Recommendations that are made in a future land use plan are based on a variety of issues. They are based on zoning, existing land use, physical constraints of the area, topography, flood plain, demographics, etc., a variety that goes into those decisions. We would work with the City in preparing that and with the committee to put that document together. It provides one more step in producing a legally defensible argument for the City if we ever were to be challenged on a rezoning issue. You say we were consistent with our adopted comprehensive plan; it took us eight months to prepare that and was based on x y z and it becomes very difficult to challenge.

Mr. Syfert commented we probably have been doing that without the guidance of your plan, donít you think? This just formalizes it. Ms. McBride responded that is correct, and one of the first things people look for if they decide to challenge our decision in court would be was it a sound and rational decision and on what facts was it based on; is it contrary with the comprehensive plan?


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11 September 1997

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VII. DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Huddleston added beyond that you can be much more proactive. Ms. McBride added in the State of Kentucky if you have zoning, you have to have a comprehensive plan and it has to be updated every five years. The State of Ohio is slowly moving in this area. There is legislation pending now that if you want to get certain types of funding, you have to have a comprehensive plan.

Mr. Galster moved to request a proposal from Anne McBride and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye.

Mr. Young brought up the letter by Target requesting a special Planning Commission meeting. Mr. Syfert reported at the present time there are no plans by the chair to set a special meeting, because we donít know where itís going to go with Council. Mr. Galster commented itís awfully premature. Mr. Young added when I read the letter, I thought the same and wondered how everybody else felt about it. Mr. Okum suggested responding in writing, and Mr. Okum as acting secretary will do that.

Mr. McErlane said Don has had some discussions with Jay Smith and Steven Kelley about detention issues and the creek issues. One of the things that Duke is offering to do is to excavate within the creek area to provide additional storage and additional improved hydraulics due to stream straightening in the creek in lieu of the detention basin. If you will recall when Extended Stay came through there was some discussion by Woolpert that detention directly on the creek is not as beneficial as detention further away from the stream in terms of slowing down water and relative to the amount of water actually going through the creek at that time.

My recommendation and question is if Don feels it is more benefit to the City and the downstream and upstream properties to overexcavate within the creek and allow additional storage and allow improved hydraulics, would Planning Commission agree to consider that? I am only saying that because Planning has the authority to allow deviations from detention requirements.

Mr. Okum said there is no detention on the site currently? Mr. McErlane confirmed this, adding that Don also pointed out that they are only asking for it on the retail site, not the restaurant site. They would provide 100% detention on the restaurant site should it happen.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if that had any floodway connections and would involve the Corps of Engineers. Mr. McErlane reported it is a flood zone, but I donít know where Don draws the line as to when it gets thrown back to the Corps of Engineers. I donít know if he is just talking about the fringe area or not. If it is within the fringe area and is not an actual floodway, I donít think the Corps is involved. It is in a designated flood plain, but there is what they call a fringe area which is where it backs up in that area that you are allowed to do more things than you are within the actual floodway itself. Mr. Okum commented that creek generates an enormous amount of water into the Heritage Hill area. Mr. Syfert said if this slows it down, it is to the benefit of the people downstream.

Mr. McErlane stated there are two things to look at. You donít want to slow it down to the point where you are creating upstream problems, so you are trying to detain water for the downstream properties and not back it up so much for the upstream properties that you create problems.



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VII. DISCUSSION - continued

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Syfert asked if he anticipated that being a part of the submission that will come in. Mr. McErlane answered I would think they will propose something. When I talked to Don about it, I said I thought Planning would only consider it if there is a benefit to the City. Mr. Syfert commented if it is a detriment it will be difficult.


A. Hit or Miss, 11392 Princeton Pike - Wall Sign

B. Soul Winning Church of Gold - 540 West Kemper Road - Wall Sign


Mr. Huddleston moved for adjournment and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



_____________________,1997 ______________________

William Syfert, Chairman



_____________________,1997 ________________________

David Okum, Acting Secretary