Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

7:00 p.m.






The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by Acting Chairman David Okum.


Members Present: Councilman Steve Galster, Richard Huddleston, David Okum, Councilman Tom Vanover and David Whitaker

Members Absent: Chairman William Syfert and Donald Darby

Others Present: Mayor Doyle H. Webster

City Administrator Cecil W. Osborn

Asst. City Administrator Derrick Parham

Building Official William K. McErlane

Asst. City Engineer Don Shvegzda

City Planner Anne F. McBride


Mr. Vanover moved for adoption and Mr. Whitaker seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Minutes were ad opted with five affirmative votes.

    1. 8/11 Letter to Randy Danbury, President of Council from Dave Whitaker referring Zoning Code for Council Review
    2. Report on Council
    3. Zoning Bulletin – August 10, 1999
    4. Zoning Bulletin – August 25, 1999
    5. Planning Commissioners’ Journal – Summer 1999
    6. Hamilton Co. Regional Planning Commission Information
    1. Sports Therapy, 11729 Springfield Pike approval of landscape plan for replacement of trees (tabled 8/10/99)
    2. Mr. McErlane reported that he received a call late this afternoon from Sports Therapy saying that they had an engagement that they couldn’t postpone and asked to be tabled to next month. The only comment I have is that they have an outstanding order against them to replant the trees by the end of this month so I would leave it up to the commission as to whether or not they think it merits being tabled for another month.

      Mr. Huddleston commented I have no problem with that and would move that it be tabled. Mr. Galster seconded the motion, and by voice vote all present voted aye and the matter was tabled t o October 12th.

    3. White Castle requests approval of proposed parking lot at corner of West Kemper Road and Springfield Pike (former Precision Tune) – tabled 8/10/99

Mr. McErlane reported that he had received a call the first of the month from White Castle indicating that they were not ready to come back in with anything, and asked to be tabled to next month’s meeting. Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the matter was tabled to October 12th.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Two


    1. David & Melody Langford, 11673 Harmony Avenue request a second driveway on a residential lot. Variance is requested from Section 150.31(H) of the Subdivision Regulations

No one was present, and Mr. Okum suggested moving the matter to the end of the agenda.

Mr. Okum stated there are public hearings before you concerning Planned U nit Development and these will require five affirmative votes. There are five members here this evening, and you have the option of having this heard this evening or carrying it forward to the next meeting. That is your decision.

B. Target, 900 East Kemper Road requests an additional wall sign on the rear of the building.

Art Harden stated that Target asked me to attend and listen for them, but I understand that Mr. Osborn will make the actual presentation.

Mr. Osborn said the way we are handling this is a little unique, but we felt it was not appropriate to ask representatives from Target to fly from Minneapolis so we asked that they have a local representative present, and I indicated that I would be making the primary presentation.

As part of the North American site, the SKA property, there is a directional sign at what was Commons Drive. That entrance has been closed off per our long-term plan, and made a right in right out only entrance onto Kemper Road. The whole concept from the beginning of the project was that would be only a temporary entrance until we completed the extension of Century Boulevard to the SKA site, and that has been accomplished.

The property that the existing sign is located on is SKA property, but it is no longer effective in terms of identifying those businesses that have expressway exposure at the north end of the project. As part of the long term plan it was recommended but not required by the Planning Commission that the sign be relocated to the new intersection. There were no provisions made in our negotiations with Target at the time the Target project came through. It was going to be left up to the private entrepreneurs to work out the detail of relocating the sign, and that obligation was put on SKA prior to the time that Target purchased the property.

As a result, once we started through the process of getting the original Commons Drive closed and the new road built, we attempted to get the parties together to negotiate the location of the directional sign for the SKA projects. I am here this evening because during that process Target asked as a concession for their cooperation that they be given consideration for a sign on the rear of the building, which will be facing the expressway. Given the size of the sign that they are requesting and the size of the building that it will be placed on, it seemed to me to be a reasonable request. They have shown good faith in their negotiations with SKA and Costco, and as a result I am before you this evening recommending that Planning approve an additional wall sign on the north wall facing the expressway. I believe this sign has the same dimensions as the sign on the front of the building, so if you have seen that sign, you have some idea of the scale of the sign in relationship to the building.




Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Three

VI B Target 900 East Kemper Road – Additional Wall Sign- continued

Mr. Osborn added I can only say to you that I have not committed Planning Commission to this, but I have committed myself and the administration to an effort on our part to get your cooperation and allow Target to have this sign. At one point during the development process for Target, they did have this sign on the table but removed it. Now that the facility is in place, I truly do feel that the sign that they are requesting is not an excessive effort to provide signage to the building.

Mr. Huddleston asked if the matter is resolved regarding the relocation of the monument sign. Mr. Osborn answered that it has been slowed down because the easement area that was agreed to now falls behind the retaining wall that has been designed by Costco. Costco, the City and SKA are all trying to work together to resolve that issue. I think it will be resolved; I can’t tell you whether there will be a modification to the wall that Costco is building or whether the sign will be relocated, but the basis for my getting involved here was the request by Target and through that negotiation process, Target has been very forthcoming in trying to work out the situation. But for the fact that the area defined for the easement now is encumbered by the retaining wall in the southwest corner, the sign would already be erected.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if the SKA tenants were reasonably satisfied with the solution provided, and Mr. Osborn answered I can’t say they are totally satisfied. I don’t think they were totally satisfied when the sign was at the original Commons Drive. I think that some of them want to see more signage, but I have to say that this is a slightly different sign. I don’t know if square footage wise it is any bigger. As a matter of fact it might be a few square feet smaller. It does make an effort to provide for additional tenancies that may not yet be represented, so there is some forethought in terms of layout of the sign as well.

Mr. Huddleston wondered if there were any reason why that should not go in concert with the other finalization. As I recall Planning Commission approved that sign; is that a fait accompli with just the administration working it out. Mr. Osborn confirmed this, adding that he would prefer getting this behind us this evening. As you know, many of the things related to the Costco project are also very close to being resolved. I prefer not to put this over to October if Planning Commission would give it consideration this evening.

Mr. Galster asked if there were any outstanding issues in reference to the Target project. Mr. McErlane reported that there are some trees that have not survived this dry summer that the landscaper is obligated to replace under his contract with Target. I am sure there are still some minor punch items that remain on the street, but they are all items that are being worked on and cleared up at this point.

Mr. Osborn added we have been following the street items very closely because we do have a performance bond. The City is releasing the performance bond on the street and we have a punch list of $1-$2,000 of very minor items but we have authorized the release of the performance bond once they tender a guarantee bond.

Mr. Galster asked if Planning would see the revised monument sign. Mr. Osborn stated you will have to see that before it is erected because it deviates from the sign that was approved; it is very similar.

Mr. Okum asked if there was a formal letter of commitment from Target on the dedication of right of way. Mr. Osborn answered the right of way was dedicated as part of the subdivision plat which has already been taken care of.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Four

VI B Target 900 East Kemper Road – Additional Wall Sign- continued

Mr. Okum said what I was talking about before was the actual construction of the street. We are in the process of releasing the performance bond. It is in their best interests to cause us to accept the street; it already has been dedicated, so we certainly would have leverage if there are any issues related to the street. Mr. Okum responded I was referring to the sign commitment to the SKA development. Mr. Osborn responded as far as I know the paperwork is in hand; the only obstruction is the logistics of how to deal with the conflict between the defined easement and the point where the wall is being constructed. There is a temporary directional sign in the right of way now, further north than the permanent sign will be. I think it is adequate, so I don’t think you will see any other signage go up until this matter is totally resolved.

Mr. Okum wondered about the commitment of land that is necessary that Target currently owns. Mr. Osborn said I believe that should this property change hands before we accomplish what we are attempting to do here, Costco will honor that agreement. My wish would be to try to get that accomplished before the properties change hands so we don’t have to go through this again.

Mr. Huddleston moved to approve the request for the additional signage on the rear of the building. I would have to say that I am not per se in favor of Target getting additional signage . On the other hand, in view of their cooperation and what I think to be the Administration’s continuing professional work in resolving these kinds of issues, I certainly support Cecil’s’ position on this and move for the approval. Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum suggested limiting the signage to the square footage of the proposal, 261 square feet? Mr. Vanover said the total figures are 325 s.f. Mr. McErlane added if you box the entire sign, it is 370 s.f. Mr. Huddleston said I would amend my motion to say to approve the plan as submitted; Mr. Galster seconded the amended motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover and Mr. Whitaker. Approval was granted with five affirmative votes.

C. Darden Restaurants requests development plan approval for a new Bahama Breeze Restaurant at 325 North Commerce Way (Pictoria Island)

Bill Woodward one of the developers of Pictoria Island stated we are presenting the first restaurant, and we are very happy to introduce Jack DeGagne of Darden Restaurants.

Mr. DeGagne said I have some pictures showing the four elevations with a color photograph. I would like to present to you our newest concept of Bahama Breeze. It is a 9524 s.f. building that will seat 239 people inside. There is an outdoor deck and bar area that will have seating for 48 for a total seating of 287. We want to present an island southern Caribbean South Florida Keys style atmosphere from the minute you drive onto the site, and we are doing that with a combination of architectural features such as the extensive use of porches and the gazebo and outdoor deck area, in addition to the building materials with the metal roof and lap siding and the colors. The landscape materials predominantly will be evergreens indigenous to the area. According to code, we need 203 parking spaces, and we are providing 205. Your main access point is facing the 275-ramp area, and if you are heading east on 275, you really have quite a good view of this site.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Five


Mr. DeGagne added the other main feature is the outdoors and deck area on the side by the lake where there will be one or two fountains. We want to accentuate the feeling of south Florida and the outdoor area, sunset and water feature. We will be providing valet parking so the circulation will being this direction From the three restaurants I have been at in Florida, the valet parking is a really nice complementary feature that we like to use which keeps the parking and the flow quite smooth.

Mr. Okum said we will move on to staff reports, open the public hearing and then hear member comments and questions.

Mr. Shvegzda stated that the westernmost driveway to the parking field is 80 feet into the one way section of North Commerce Way. The whole intent was that the first driveway in that direction would be located within the two-way section so that the westbound traffic could turn left into the driveway. We did look at the possibility of widening North Commerce to a two-way section over to where the driveway is currently shown . The problem is there is a severe curve to the west of this area that doesn’t allow sight distance through that area so it can’t be moved over. This is modifying an existing lot, so there will have to be a replat of the subdivision.

The drainage for the area will all be tributary to the regional, a permanent body of water, a retention basin in that area. There have been calculations to show the amount of impervious area that the detention basin will handle, and as we proceed, we will verify the amount of impervious area is consistent with the original design concept. Also in the detention basin there is an area to the southeast of the building with a concrete flume that runs from the parking lot down into the basin. It is more of a concern in terms of the aesthetics. Since the flume width is five feet or so, it essentially opens up to the end of the parking lot. We suggest that a top end be provided, such as bollards to keep people from inadvertently heading down into the detention basin.

In addition in the landscaped median areas through the parking lot there are placements where the catch basins are. In a couple of those areas there is a template break. The location is fine; we just feel that the width of that break is probably excessive and would almost encourage people to cut through. It needs to be narrowed down to at least 5 feet.

In terms of public improvements, because of filling in the sidewalks that are currently constructed along with what is shown on the plan, there is a requirement of 300 feet of sidewalk from the vicinity where it is shown crossing North Commerce Way back to the west where the current sidewalk ends.

In terms of utilities, I don’t believe we have seen anything in terms of sanitary or water and sewer availability.

There will be a sequenced construction of the different restaurants in this area and the question is how the eastern end of this facility, in terms of parking lot will be sectioned off as a temporary measure. It appears by the grading that curbs are required in order to contain the storm water flow but it is not quite clear whether this is being provided or not.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Galster commented on the entrance, are there any other options? Mr. DeGagne responded as far as the PUD as approved, it shows this entrance down one here in line with this aisle, and we would be more than happy to move this entrance over.



Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Six


Mr. McErlane reported up until tonight we didn’t have a color pallet and at this point we really don’t have anything that indicates materials other than the plan, but we have been given a color photo and color rendering that gives colors on the building.

The plans included a 15-foot high monument sign, and the code only allows a 7-foot high monument sign. That sign is 80 square feet, which is less than the total allowed. We couldn’t find a location for that on the plans. I talked to Mr. DeGagne about signs, and he indicated that the signs will meet code and they will submit those when they get the package together.

For the overall development, we approved a development sign, which included 100 square feet for each restaurant user. We need to factor that into the signage as well. There are two wall signs on the building, one at the main entrance, which is 60 s.f. and one at the north wall which is almost 74 s.f. If you total the ones that have been shown together, you get 214, and if there is an other 100 s.f. on the shared sign, that would take them to 314 s.f. As I indicated, the applicant indicated that they would take a look at their total sign package and meet code.

No floor plan was submitted. The importance of the floor plan was to evaluate the parking numbers. On the plan there was an indication that seating was 287 seats, which requires 96 parking spaces. There is an additional requirement for the waiting areas at a rate of one parking space per nine square feet. The plan shows an assembly area of 2300 square feet which is pretty sizeable, and that generates in itself 255 parking spaces which is about 2 ½ times what they have in seating. The applicant indicated that 2300 s.f. was not an accurate figure; it is closer to 900 s.f. which generates another 100 parking spaces, which puts them in the neighborhood of 203 parking spaces, and they are providing 205. The floor plan we looked at today did not show seating for the deck area, and we need a seating plan that shows all the seating n the building to verify the parking numbers, but it looks as though we will be okay on the parking.

One item that deviates from the Zoning Code is the location of the dumpster enclosure. If you look at the site, from a Zoning Code standpoint, the front yard is North Commerce Way, which is really almost the backside of the building, which puts the dumpster enclosure in the front yard of their building. Logistically and realistically there is not really another good place to put it. They have done a fairly good job of screening the enclosure; there is a partial roof over the top to make it look more like a part of the building and not just an enclosure. We would suggest that this be a consideration of Planning Commission.

On tree replacement, there is a burden on the property of 52 caliper inches per acre currently. That would require replacement of 183 caliper inches on the site. The requirement is to replace kind for kind in terms of hardwoods and evergreens. In this planting plan, most of the larger trees are evergreens; the replanting requirement is for hardwoods because we don’t find that many natural evergreens in this area. In the past we have accepted evergreens as a replacement for hardwoods because of that fact. It is important to note that a lot of the trees are planted at 5 ½ inch caliper and 14 feet tall. I’ll let Ms. McBride discuss that in her report, because they are trying to accomplish an effect with what they are planting.




Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Seven


Mr. McErlane reported that when Pictoria Island was in for their preliminary plan there was some recommended changes to the covenants. We have yet to see the final form of those covenants, and very little of those affect this particular site because the site was intended to be a restaurant site from day one. The only things that might affect this property would be that shared sign. There were a couple of changes of building materials that may affect it, but we need to get those underway, and I know that this is outside this applicant’s responsibility. It is the developer’s responsibility to take care of those things. There may be some suggested additional changes to the covenants or at least on the plat to show some easements that are necessary for cross parking cross access.

Mr. Galster wondered if the caliper inches would be replaced in general. Mr. McErlane responded they are far in excess of what is required.

Ms. McBride reported I have some photos I took of the Bahama Breeze in the Atlanta area; I think it is relatively close to what they are planning at this location.

We have a requirement under PUD that they meet a minimum of 20% of the gross acreage in open space, and they exceed that that with 21% of the site. We had some concerns about the parking. They proposed 205 parking spaces. Our initial calculations indicated there were 252 parking spaces required. The new code would require 191 parking spaces for the same facility.

Our question was whether or not it included the outdoor seating area and how they were calculating the assembly area, but without the floor plan, we couldn’t come up with a definite number in terms of whether or not they met the requirement. I will note that the facility in Atlanta was grossly underparked; maybe it was because it was the holiday weekend.

In terms of the front elevation that faces I-275, because of the distribution of the parking field being all to the rear of the building, they have a drop off area and the valet parking is also available there. Although the drop off lane is only 14 feet wide which would tell most people that it is a one-way lane, we want to make sure that is properly signed and marked on the pavement to prohibit any kind of two-way traffic in that area.

The applicant is proposing a total of five parking spaces on the east side of the building four handicapped spaces and one designated for the house musician. I have a little concern about those backing out into the shared accessway with the adjacent restaurant to the east. We ask the Commission to give some consideration to the location of those spaces.

Three of the landscaped islands within the parking field are not fully extended. I believe that is to accommodate the storm water detention system. We would like to see those islands extended further however, to prohibit any kind of cross traffic, particularly for the one on the east where a car could literally pull through onto that access drive. We would like to see them extended further if not all the way through.

Mr. McErlane has indicated that the trash enclosure is technically within our front yard and would require a variance. They are screening that on all four sides and it does have a partial roof; there is a photo of the Atlanta waste area, and it is fairly well screened.





Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Eight


Ms. McBride added in terms of landscaping, the applicant is proposing something that would be new to the Cincinnati area. They are proposing 14-foot high evergreen trees, but they are going to remove the limbs on the first six feet to give the appearance of palm trees, Springdale style. Our landscape architect would like to see some photos on how that has been done prior to approval.

We had some additional minor landscaping comments. We need shrubs along the screened parking area from North Commerce Way and some notes regarding labeling and additional plant material we would like to see around the waste area. The only other major comments we have deals with the street treatment on North Commerce Way. Last month we talked about the street treatment for the cul de sac. Rather than have the Springdale palm trees along this portion of North Commerce Way, we would rather see a unified street treatment for the whole Pictoria Island development, and we would ask that the applicant rethink that and use more typical streetscape style material.

In terms of the lighting plan, they have indicated that the fixtures themselves are to be bronze. I am assuming that the poles will be bronze but we did not see that information, and we need clarification of that. We have a minimum .5 foot candles for any parking or walking area. There are portions of the site that fall below that and there are areas, particularly the service and drop off area and some of the access drives that are bellow the .5 foot candle requirement. We will need to have the lighting plan updated to include all their lighting and maintain the .5 foot candle requirement.

Something that was not addressed in their submission but that I noted in Atlanta and wanted to bring to the commission’s attention is that they had boulders in the parking lot that are stereo speakers producing Caribbean music, even at 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning. I certainly think we would want to think twice about Caribbean music with the rocks in the parking lot when the restaurant is not open.

There are 265 s.f. of signage permitted for this site. They are proposing two building signs, the 160 s.f. sign which would be on the front elevation facing 275 and the 74 s.f. sign on the west side of the building facing the entry. They have indicated the 80 s.f. ground sign, but they have not indicated a location for that, so the commission cannot approve that if we do not know the location. Additionally we have provided 100 s.f. of signage for this restaurant on the 50 foot high pylon for the development. If commission would want to act on the signage, the building signage would be appropriate, but the other signage should be reviewed at a later time when we could have some recommendations.

We didn’t get any floor plans, materials or color samples. Although they are rear elevations, they will be the front elevations with the Pictoria Island development and we want to make sure that it appears as the front as well.

Mr. Huddleston said I notice that you picked up on the sodium lighting. I would ask that there be a consistent lighting plan throughout the development.

Mr. Bill Woodward the developer said we would like to be consistent in lighting throughout the whole project, especially across the restaurant section. In the office section it is mostly structured parking and we probably won’t have parking lot lights in that section of the project. This is our anchor restaurant tenant, and we are going to key off their parking lot lighting for the standards for the rest of the restaurants.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Nine


Addressing Mr. DeGagne, Mr. Okum asked if he had any problem changing the lighting to what Mr. Huddleston has suggested, or do you need to go back to your planners?

Mr. DeGagne answered I don’t think there is a problem, but I would like to present it to the architect. Again, our utmost concern is to comply with your city and with the developer and have the overall look that is needed.

Mr. Okum said there are some lighting issues that Ms. McBride brought up, and we would want to review the sections on the lighting fixtures to make sure that they are non-glare. I think our planners would like to see how they would affect interstate traffic at 35 feet because you are fairly close to the exit ramp.

Mr. DeGagne responded what I had hoped to do was get approval with conditions that we meet your requirements. In references to the outdoor deck area, we do have outdoor live entertainment which is very much a part of our restaurant. It is one performer playing island music, Jimmy Buffet style music that you hear in the Caribbean. In terms of the level of music, we will meet all the necessary codes.

Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Huddleston asked if there should be a preference for sodium versus metal halide lighting. Does it make a difference? Ms. McBride responded more than a recommendation, it comes to consistency throughout the development. I agree with you and would ask the developer to go back and make a presentation to Planing or staff as to which they feel is most appropriate.

Mr. Woodward stated what we can commit to is consistency. I am not sure of the advantages of either system. I know they are different colors, but I don’t know which is preferable. Mr. Huddleston commented I prefer the metal halide, because it is a brighter whiter light, but this should be in the context of the overall development.

Mr. Okum asked for comments from anyone present. No one came forward, and Mr. Okum closed the public hearing.

Mr. Galster said it concerns me that I don’t have a good representation of the colors, and it also concerns me that the aqua type Caribbean blue water color is what will face the street. Is there any way to dress up that look? I love the appearance of the two sides. People who come to your restaurant come through the "back" of the building, so I hate to see that area not quite the same as the other.

Mr. DeGagne responded it is possible to dress it up with the use of landscaping to break up the expanse of that spot on the building. Mr. Galster responded that would help tremendously.

Mr. DeGagne added these elevations are to show you materials and colors. We received the landscape plan today, which greatly accentuates and enhances the building. With the interior landscaping, we can definitely make sure to get some height against those tall walls.

Mr. Galster continued otherwise I like the concept, I like the plan; it looks good. There are quite a few comments that need to be addressed, but it is my understanding that you are looking for a final plan approval with conditions tonight as opposed to addressing the comments and bringing it back again, is that correct?



Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Ten


Mr. DeGagne answered we would very much love to have approval tonight with the conditions. After reviewing the staff comments, I haven’t found one yet that we can’t address to your satisfaction and to the developer’s satisfaction. In reference to the lights, we will do what it takes for consistency.

Mr. Huddleston said the parking requirement in relation to the seating and assembly areas, is there a recommendation from staff based on the information they have in front of them on which we could reasonably act tonight?

Mr. McErlane responded I received the floor plans today for the building, which shows the majority of the seating in the building. The only area that I don’t have seating shown for is the outdoor deck. There are a number of tables and chairs shown in a tabular format. The only areas that are questioned relative to standing areas are the two bars and the waiting area in the lobby. Even if you took the worse case, which would be all standing area for those, it would be 105 parking spaces, still under the 205 they are showing.

Mr. Huddleston asked if that could be qualified to the 287 seats inside the restaurant? Mr. McErlane responded 287 seats mean a parking requirement of 98 parking spaces. Mr. Huddleston continued and the stated area of 48 seats in the open? Mr. DeGagne reported that the 48 seats are included in the 287. There are 239 in the restaurant, and 48 outside on the deck. Mr. Huddleston said and the assembly area was 900 s.f. instead of the 2300 s.f. we assumed? Mr. McErlane confirmed this adding that was the worst case figure. That is assuming that there is no seating in the bar area. The 900 s.f. in the assembly area would generate another100-parking spaces with the 96 they are required for the seating, which brings them slightly under the 205. Mr. Huddleston said so the assumption can be made that the 205 is adequate based on that information being valid. Mr. McErlane confirmed this.

Mr. Vanover said I have a problem with that flume. It is a bit stark and harsh for the environment you are trying to set up. It is a legitimate concern about vehicles getting down in that area. I think there is a better way to channel that water into that retention basin. A more appealing way would be to take it underground. In a worse case scenario, the water rushing down through there would not be a pleasing sight. I would suggest taking that underground and channeling it into the basin, either a temporary catch basin to bleed it back into the retention basin or a direct line. Obviously it will have to go above a water table, but I’m not sold on that situation, especially if it would appear in five other sites around that development.

Mr. DeGagne said my background is landscape architecture and civil engineering and in reference to that flume in that area, an underground solution to the problem, it would be a minor engineering change on the plans, and I don’t see any problem with designing that area for drainage to meet the City’s satisfaction.

Mr. Galster said concerning the rocks in the parking lot playing calypso music, is there any reason to not allow that during the regular business hours? Are you more concerned about the after hours and the volume in general or in its entirety?

Ms. McBride answered one potential problem would be what if an oriental restaurant goes in next door and you have the oriental music and then the Mexican music and so forth. My biggest concern is the act that it appeared to be on 24 hours a day in Atlanta and it was pretty loud.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Eleven


Addressing the members, Mr. Galster wondered if it were everyone’s belief that we should eliminate the music in its entirety or should we try to control and limit it based on hours and volume?

Ms. McBride said this was not indicated on the plan; maybe they have no intention to include it in this location. Mr. DeGagne commented I would believe they would be brought in. There are two ways of looking at it. One would be to make sure they are turned off when we are closed, and the other would be that the music be contained within the site . We have an extensive sound engineering company that calibrates and can keep the music and sound to meet the Code. Mr. Okum commented you are going to have a hard time on that east side because you have a cross easement there.

Mr. DeGagne stated I would like the commission to take into account the highway noise. Just from the time I was out there, it was quite extensive, and I believe a combination of that and our expert knowledge on how to contain the sound, I don’t think that would be an issue. I would be more than happy to provide the necessary data for that.

Mr. Okum commented I do not have a problem with it being contained to the site. There is enough noise level off the interstate that it will be partially drowned out anyway.

I do have several questions. If it were approved this evening, I would be encouraging a final landscape plan approval to address the issues that Ms. McBride brought up as well as how the building is treated on the North Commerce Way elevation as being the front and not the rear of the building.

I also was wondering why the common walking trail did not continue to the edge of the property line. You could continue it down along the property line and over to North Commerce Way. Mr. DeGagne said we could address that issue either by putting the sidewalk in this area or extend it down in this direction, but we will take a look at the PUD plan and meet your requirements. Mr. Okum said so your intent is to continue the walking trail to North Commerce Way? Mr. DeGagne confirmed this.

Mr. Okum continued on the lighting for the parking fields, it should be non-glare. Do you typically have light packs on your buildings for safety, and are they downlit only and non-glare? Mr. DeGagne answered yes. Mr. Okum said so all lighting will be non-glare and downlit.

You have no outside mechanicals other than on the rooftop, is that correct? Mr. DeGagne answered yes, except for the two chimney chases for the fireplaces. Are the fireplaces active? Mr. DeGagne said he did not know; I can get you an answer for that.

Besides landscaping, Mr. Okum asked if the applicant were going to go back to his architect to look at the rear elevation to see if he could do anything architecturally with it? Mr. DeGagne answered I will go back to the architect for his input on ways to break up those two elevations to your satisfaction. Okum continued you show a deck area with open area underneath it; that should be screened down to the ground level perhaps latticing. Mr. DeGagne asked if it could be screened with landscaping or lattice. Mr. Okum said either would be fine. Ms. McBride’s landscape architect could look at it and give you direction.





Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Twelve


Mr. Vanover said on the sidewalk issue, if they will run that sidewalk along the island and are trimming the trees up to six feet, we have eight-foot clearance ordinance above the public right of way. Mr. Woodward said this is private, not public. Mr. Vanover said in terms of clearance, it might be a problem for tall people. Mr. DeGagne said those islands are mounded a little bit for drainage purposes, one foot to 18 inches probably. Mr. Vanover said if they are going to continue that sidewalk along that east boundary, . Mr. Okum added it should go all along the edges, not up through your parking lot.

They are asking for final approval, and we are asking them to go back to the architect to get the design elements to break up that wall. Are we going to approve it without seeing the features? Up to that point, I was pretty comfortable with making a motion for final approval, but once we get into going back to the architect, it changes it. I understand what your desire is, but it is awfully tough to do after the approval would be granted.

Mr. Okum added this is the truly the front exposure of that building, and this also is the icon for the restaurants that will be developed on the other sites, so we have to look at this as what happens here is critical to what happens all the way through the development. If all four restaurants decide to place the rear of their properties along North Commerce Way, then we end up with the back ends of everybody’s building.

This plan has three directions it can go. One is approval here this evening with a 5-0 vote, approval with loose ends. The applicant could request that we hold off this evening and resubmit. I think we need to get a feel from you and Mr. Vanover as Council members to see if you feel it should go to Council. (Both indicated not).

Mr. Galster commented I am trying to get beyond having a total new final plan after the final plan has been approved. There is split face here. What is the actual wall material on the other elevations? Mr. DeGagne answered the main material is lap siding. Mr. Galster wondered if that could be put on the back wall rather than the split face concrete. The question is can we get rid of the split face on those two sides and put a decent treatment on there, since it will be a public right of way view. Based on the number of members here tonight, I don’t believe you will be able to get the approval you are asking for tonight without some sort of modification to this final finish. I am asking you what you would be willing to do. Would you be willing to carry the finishes of the building around all four sides?

Mr. DeGagne responded I would say yes, but I don’t have a definite answer for you. Continuing of the lap siding could be incorporated to break up that elevation. As far as exactly how it would look, I don’t have a clear picture of that. I do know that we are asking for approval with the condition that we meet your satisfaction, and we could do that administratively, hopefully. Mr. Galster said the administrative opinion of what is acceptable might not be acceptable to Planning Commission. What you are really asking for is beyond preliminary plan approval but not final plan approval because the idea is to submit a final plan addressing all these issues to our satisfaction. I have absolutely no problem with a preliminalry plan approval that gives you exactly the issues that need to be addressed, but also that you resubmit it as a final plan. I think you have a good idea on how the board feels about your project, but in my opinion there are too many major wishes waiting out there to be able to vote on this as a final plan approval.

Mr. Okum asked if the applicant wished to move from a final plan approval to a preliminary plan approval this evening. Mr. DeGagne indicated that they were.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Thirteen


Mr. Huddleston said I would agree with Mr. Galster’s suggestion. I think the Commission has strongly indicated a desire to work with you and go ahead with this development, but there are too many unanswered questions. Aside from the technical issues, the major issue is that whole aesthetic issue and I think you will have to do something creative to the back of that building. That is something I would not be willing to give you a carte blanche approval on tonight. So I would go along with the suggestion to change it to a preliminary plan approval. The fact that the two councilmenbers have stated that this is not a major PUD revision will save you time and you will only need to come back to this body for your final plan approval.

Mr. Galster said what in essence we are doing is tabling it to next month until you can finalize all this. Mr. Okum commented in fairness to the applicant he needs something strong enough to go back to his people, the preliminary plan approval, and not just a table.

Mr. Okum said Mr. McErlane brought up some issues regarding the covenants and the change in the divisions on the site plan.

Mr. Galster moved to grant the preliminary plan approval based on the following conditions:

    1. Replat lot to show property line currently established.
    2. Narrow the breaks in the landscape median for catch basin to five feet and extend as recommended by Ms. McBride.
    3. Sidewalk required connecting to North Commerce Way along the I-275 property line.
    4. Move the entry to within the two-way road area of North Commerce Way.
    5. Sign square footage not to exceed 265 square feet total with resubmitted of the ground sign
    6. Verification of the number of parking spaces based on the seating gathering and outside deck capacity shall not exceed the approval of the building department in reference to the parking spaces.
    7. Submittal of final covenants showing staff recommended modifications as well as the cross parking and cross access easements that will be required.
    8. Clear pavement markings for one way westbound in the drop off area.
    9. Landscape information to the satisfaction of the city planner with particular attention to the rear elevations.
    10. Light poles color to be bronze; metal halide preferred
    11. Lighting plan updated to comply with minimum .5 foot-candle consistent throughout the development.
    12. No outdoor speaker system to be used when restaurant is closed and all sound to be contained within the site and provide sound level controls.
    13. Water retention and water management to meet the approval of the city engineer and shall eliminate the flume.
    14. All lighting shall be non-glare and downlit.
    15. All mechanicals shall be screened from view from the public right of way.
    16. Deck screening is to continue to the ground elevation with lattice and landscaping required.

Ms. McBride suggested that materials and color pallet should be provided, and Mr. Galster added to his motion that a sample and color palette for all exterior finishes and surfaces shall be included

Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Fourteen


On the motion to grant approval, voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover and M r. Whitaker. Approval was granted with five affirmative votes.

Planning Commission took a ten-minute recess at 8:45 p.m.

Planning Commission reconvened at 9:00 p.m.

D. GTE Wireless requests development plan approval to co-locate antennae on existing ATT Wireless monopole at Tri-County Commons, 525 Kemper Commons Circle

Richard Trantor, Attorney said Sally Getz with MagTech Services, our site acquisition specialist is the contractor and will make the presentation. I can answer any questions of a legal nature.

Ms. Getz said also with us is Terry Parkinson; who is a network operations supervisor with GTE Wireless. We are requesting a development plan approval in order to co-locate GTE’s antenna and facility on an existing 150 foot monopole. At the time it was approved by Springdale, it was owned by AT&T Wireless which now operates under the name of Cincinnati Bell Wireless.

This monopole is located behind Wal-Mart north of Kemper Road and south of I-275. It is a considerable distance from any residential zoning. The nearest is over 1,000 feet away across I-275.

We are utilizing an existing tower; we are not asking for a new one, and GTE has an excellent record of co-locating. They try to do this whenever possible.

We would like to place an antenna ray on the monopole at 135 feet. The Cincinnati Bell antenna ray is at the top of the tower at 150 feet. According to the structural materials that Cincinnati Bell gave us, this monopole was constructed to allow up to three carriers, so there will be room for another carrier in the future if they could go at a lower height, or 100 feet.

In addition, at the ground level the changes that will be made will be very minor. The facility will be entered at the same entrance, except it will be expanded to the northwest. According to the 1996 approval, the facility has to be surrounded with a solid wood fence and pine trees. Four of the pine trees would have to be removed and replaced further back to allow for expansion of a 15 x 25’ area, and the wood fence would be expanded and continued around the site.

The intent is to make the changes as non-obtrusive as possible and continue with what is already there. GTE will be placing one cabinet inside behind the fence for the time being and they also plan for future expansion.

Mr. Galster asked if the bulk of the ground equipment any larger than the existing AT&T equipment. Ms. Getz answered AT&T uses a building outside the fenced compound area. GTE Wireless is different in that they use equipment cabinets that you don’t go inside to access the equipment, so they would be smaller. Mr. Galster continued and all the trees are planted in the same spacing and same heights as the existing trees? Ms. Getz answered yes, that was the intention of this board.




Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Fifteen


Mr. Galster added when we originally looked at telecommunication towers several years ago, the intent was to get as many occupants on the monopoles as we could get so I am in favor of this. It doesn’t look like there is any great modification to the ground equipment, so I would move for approval. Mr. Huddleston seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum said the existing evergreens have grown substantially since they were planted. Will the replacement evergreens be the same caliper and size? Ms. Getz answered that would not be a problem. We would have a landscaper match that. Mr. Okum asked Mr. Galster if that would be a part of his motion, and Mr. Galster answered that it would.

Mr. Huddleston asked about the approval of the property owner for this project. Mr. McErlane reported subsequent to my report, I received a copy of the lease agreement between SKA and ATT Wireless, which is now Cincinnati Bell Wireless. It indicates that they have sublease rights on the tower and on the property that they have a lease on as well as a letter from Cincinnati Bell Wireless indicating that AT&T Wireless has their permission to make this request.

On the motion to approve, voting aye were Mr. Galster, Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Okum, Mr. Vanover and Mr. Whitaker. Approval was granted with five affirmative votes.

    1. Costco Wholesale requests final development plan approval for a new store at 1100 East Kemper Road

Jeff Ishida of Costco said we are here requesting final development plan approval. This is a 155,000 square foot building. Some of the changes are beefing up the landscaping, adding screening elements not only along Kemper Road but also for the cart storage. Essentially those are the major changes. There will be a new right turn lane into Commons Drive a continuation as a through and right turn only at the first entrance and a right turn only at the second entrance.

Ms. McBride reported that PUD requires 25% building coverage, and they have 21.5%. We also require 20% open space and they have 21.8% so that is not an issue. Right now half of the one driveway right in and right out onto Kemper half of that crosses Temple of God property, which is R-1-A. Driveways are permitted in the R-1-A district, but we will be requiring a cross access easement and the approval of that property owner to construct that drive on that property.

The applicant has submitted Covenants, which exclude any other automotive use other than dispensing gasoline and installation of tires on that property as well as prohibiting sales and display or storage of any retail merchandise, with the exception of cart storage within the designated area. We also would ask that any outdoor retail services be prohibited by this language. The applicant has indicated that they are willing to make that modification to that language. That would prohibit the exchanging of tires outside or something like that, and we would ask that modification be made to the covenants.

The applicant has indicated the outdoor cart storage area on the south elevation (by their dimensions it is 1300 s.f., but I am not sure if the dimensions on the plans are correct). They are proposing to screen that with a 3’6" solid wall. I think the Target wall is only four feet tall but we want to make sure that those carts are completely screened from view.




Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Sixteen


Ms. McBride added in terms of the parking, the site overall requires a total of 711 parking spaces, and our standard size is 9 x 19. They are proposing 775 parking spaces of which 269 are 18 feet in length and the balance are 9’ x 20’. The Commission has the opportunity to vary that standard since this is a PUD. The majority of the spaces that are 18 feet in length are on the perimeters of the site and where they abut landscaped islands, they have added curbs.

The property to the southwest of the site is zoned R-1-A residential, and does require a special buffering treatment. Because of the elevation change the applicant is proposing a 10 foot setback and landscaping in there, but there is a significant retaining wall in there. That setback is probably sufficient, understanding that the property will probably not remain single family zoning forever.

On the eastern property line, a variance is needed from the 75 feet required for building setback (51 feet is proposed on the east property line). Given the adjacent land use, that is not an issue.

At previous meetings and discussions with the applicant, we have required fencing at the top of these retaining walls for safety reasons, and we want fencing that was visible. The applicant is proposing decorative fencing on Kemper Road Century Boulevard and on the south property line that abuts the current R-1-A property. We have not seen details on the fence material, so we would want to see and approve those prior to that being constructed.

Similarly they are proposing a five foot high chain link fence at the top of the remaining retaining walls that do not front any of the street properties or residential properties, and we also would want to see the detail of that chain link fences prior to its construction.

We have asked that they provide details for the waste area screening, and they have provided those. It will be an eight-foot split block wall; they do not however show gates on east or west ends of those and we would want to see screening gates added to those.

The site is allowed 897 s.f. of sign area and they are proposing 1356 s.f. on the building, with no freestanding signage at this point. Three of the signs are 384 s.f. and say Costco Wholesale, which exceeds our maximum of 150 s.f. per sign so variances would have to be granted for the three signs that exceed 150 s.f. as well as the total square footage for the building.

In addition to the 1356 square feet sign area on the building, there is an additional 106.8 square feet on the gasoline canopy, which says Costco Gasoline on four sides, 26.7 square feet per side. Also we would ask the Commission give some consideration to the location of the ground sign that was discussed earlier this evening, that would serve to designate the SKA businesses, Dave & Buster’s, etc. if that is to be located on a portion of this property.

The applicant submitted a revised landscaping plan late on Friday and they addressed number of comments that we had. We had asked for a continuation of the street trees on Kemper similar to what Target and Best Buy had done in the area and what Lowe’s will be doing. We are however asking them to make additional roadway improvements that have eaten into the land that is available for landscaping. Costco is proposing some lower scale landscape items along Kemper Road. They won’t have the same impact as the street trees so that is an item that the Commission needs to discuss and make some decisions on.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Seventeen


Ms. McBride added in terms of lighting, staff report reflects the lighting plan that we had as of 6 p.m. on Friday night, and it does revise the levels of light on the plan and indicates that they do meet our .5 foot minimum foot candles in the parking field and walking areas. We still do not have the color of the fixture and the pole, and we would ask for that information.

We did receive the material color sample on Friday and they have provided screening details for all the mechanical equipment on the roof. I think they have addressed the majority of the comments; there are just a few details that remain.

Mr. Huddleston said you mentioned the street trees on Kemper Road, and subject to a variance on the parking field requirement, wouldn’t a solution be to eliminate two of those vertical spots, take out 25 of those parking spaces and move that whole development area back?

Ms. McBride responded that certainly would be an option if it works grade wise. I don’t know how the applicant feels regarding the parking field.

Mr. Ishida commented we require 5 parking spots per 1,000 square feet, and we are just below that right now.

Mr. Okum said you put an 18-foot parking space next to the 15-foot retaining wall along the front edge of the property. What do you do with the overhang of the car? Mr. Ishida answered we would have parking blocks in there. You can put a parking block in so the cars can’t get close enough to hit the wall.

Mr. Okum suggested that along the wall section, the first section of parking be taken out. Mr. Ishida answered we are at our limit on parking. Based on previous experience, this is the range we need to be in to operate properly, and we are slightly below it right now.

Mr. Shvegzda stated one issue is a grading concern along the new Commons Drive to the north of the northernmost accessway to the public roadway. The plans call for a two to one slope to be constructed from the parking lot area up into the public right of way to within about five feet of the existing curb. This would require having to move that entire grading outside the public right of way and would require an additional wall of 10 to 12 feet in height and 260 feet in lengh.

This additional right of way area was dedicated by Target when it wasn’t clear where the drives on the eastern side of the road would be. The right of way width that exists on the east side of the road is 22 feet from back of curb to the right of way line, and that was done to accommodate a future northbound lane. Some of that will be destructed as part of this development, and we would recommend that an eight-foot width of right of way area at 24 to 1 be provided with grading down for the rounded section at 2 to 1 down to the parking lot area. This basically will continue the section that exists through there and maintain the same offset for the guardrail and utilities and other features. It will mean some type of wall height, but considerably less than 10 to 12 feet. In doing this we will have to include in the covenants the provision for the applicant to maintain the slope in that area.

On the drainage, there was an issue that was addressed, the area in front of the building that ponded water in order to force it out of the storm sewer system. The ponding was in excess of one foot, but the storm sewer has been enlarged to accommodate that. On the detention basin itself, the volume released is acceptable; there are additional detail items that are being worked out at this time.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Eighteen


Mr. Shvegzda stated that the public improvements, which include the additional right turn only lane from westbound Kemper to northbound Century, the extension of the third through westbound lane where the driveway that replaces McClellans Lane and the additional northbound lane on Century Boulevard is indicated on the site plan. We have not received the detailed plans; they are being worked on. The other thing shown on Kemper Road is the addition of a raised concrete median to prevent the left turns at the new driveway that is in the McClellans Lane area.

The current notation in the covenants is a little misleading insofar as which streets are where, and that is why we have indicated that they need to be revised to what is indicated on the comments.

Since McClellans Lane will be vacated, we have a number of lots in this area that needs to have a vacation plat to eliminate the right of way at McClellans, and also a consolidation plat to eliminate the various lots that exist on the site.

Regarding utilities, water and sewer availability letters have been received. The retaining walls have been indicated on plans, but have not been detailed. It is generally indicated that they will be modular walls, with height and construction similar to what is at Target. I assume the color will be similar to that. The only discussion we had earlier was regarding the placement of the retaining wall in close proximity to the right of way. This type of wall at a certain height needs a lateral reinforcement back into the earth. Because of the possible necessity of utilities in that area where this is required to go back in the public right of way, we discussed keeping that down at a level of six feet below the top of grade in that area so we can have flexibility to use it for utilities.

Earlier there was mention of the SKA sign in that area, but right now the proposed retaining wall is around the perimeter of the site, and there is a slope down from that location. There may be some consideration for bumping out the wall to provide a more level location for the proposed SKA sign.

There was a concern and PKG submitted a letter regarding the possible sight distance problem from the southernmost access to Commons. The letter from PKG indicated that their view was that the thing that needed to be done to resolve that appeared more of a lateral construction type situation, moving back the guardrail in this vicinity to allow proper sight distance at the driveway. As Anne mentioned, there needs to be an agreement involving construction of the driveway; half is planned to be on the Temple of Praise property.

Mr. Ishida said on the retaining wall material, I did bring along color brochure that shows what we are looking at. It is a lock block type system with a geo grid as described. The color more than likely will be an earthtone; there are photographs in here of examples of walls (passed it around to the members).

Mr. Huddleston asked the degree of slope across the parking lot, and Mr. Ishida answered we have no slopes greater than 2% with the exception of the areas of the truck traffic behind the building and by the loading dock.







Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Nineteen


Mr. McErlane said Ms. McBride has already covered the issues of the signs and setbacks. The approval of the preliminary plan is actually the approval of any deviations from the code at that stage, so unless they are brought up again tonight for discussion, they were approved in the preliminary plan.

Ms. McBride indicated that there were 269 spaces that are 9’ x 18’ and the balance are 10’ x 20’. I am not sure of the concept behind that, but obviously there is room to make the 9’ x 18’s meet code. The other alternative with respect to planting along Kemper Road would be in lieu of losing parking spaces, to reduce some of the parking stall sizes to accommodate additional planting area. About one-third of the parking spaces are under code right now as opposed to two thirds which are over what the code requires, but there is some room for adjustment in parking stall size.

Part of the access drive to Kemper Road will be on the Temple of Praise property, so it will require their cooperation.

Tree survey has been submitted, and we are working through a tree tally sheet. It looks like the numbers in the Covenants are not totally correct. To date 1,073 caliper inches are required to be replanted. Their planting plan shows 622 caliper inches, but of that 273 caliper inches are Target trees that are being removed and replanted. So, they are planting 349 caliper inches towards their required replanting, which leaves them with a 724-caliper inch shortfall. Based on the $44 per caliper inch that we have established in previous developments, it totals approximately $31,856. There are some comments to that in the covenants and at this point, I feel it is appropriate to hold them to the $44 per caliper inch, and leave the numbers blank until we actually are settled on what the total numbers are.

There are some other items in the covenants that the law director commented on, specifically with respect to the dates of plans. The dates reflected in the most recent covenants reflected a drawing date of September 10th. Ms. McBride has a copy of the September 10th drawings; I’m not sure anybody else does, and we still would want to leave that date blank until we establish plans that comply with whatever Planning Commission approves tonight.

There has been additional wording added that is to reflect comments by the city engineer, but he has not received the covenants and they need to be reviewed by him.

They have deleted the restriction on automotive repair establishments an deleted gasoline sales from that but in reality gasoline sales is not automotive repair, so that is not appropriate anyway.

The Covenants are working through getting some of the minor issues resolved, but the dates need to reflect plans that incorporate all the contingencies that Planning Commission feels appropriate tonight.

Mr. Huddleston asked the applicant the variances in size of the prototype store unit. Mr. Ishida answered the current is 155,000 square feet. We have previously done from 136,000 to 155,000 and some even larger. We are doing here what we consider a flagship location, our standard size, 155,000 square feet.





Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Twenty


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said I don’t want to quash things from going forward, but you can’t reduce your parking, you are over on your signage and you are low on your trees. We have no green. We have a lot of walls that are just vertical masonry units. I know you presented a railing profile today, but we hadn’t seen that.

Mr. Okum added what we were presented in our packets was a chain link fence, and that certainly wasn’t what we directed you with at the last meeting.

Mr. Ishida answered I have to apologize. That was an unintentional item on the submission, and that was not at all our intent. Actually I have to thank Anne for calling us and letting us know that there were certain issues that were not covered and we were able to get her some more documents. There were some screening issues that we had not addressed the mechanical units, the carts and the compactor.

Mr. Okum commented one of the things I noticed in the submission you have given us on the walls show terraced walls, and that might help get you some vegetation onto the site, because right now we have small islands and lots of concrete and walls. The surprise is that we are at the 15-foot drop at the front corner. I did not anticipate that. When I was reviewing it, I was thinking of the cart canopy being 20 to 22 feet off the ground. At that location, cars at that intersection will be looking down at the cart canopy. Is there anything we can do to help the site? I haven’t talked about the trees across the front of the building; did we get those in? Mr. Ishida answered yes, on the latest plan we have trees. Mr. Okum asked John Imbus of CUC, the site engineer to comment on the comments, adding the walls have to be there, but we have no break across the front, minimal sized islands and not a lot of green on the site. Maybe terraced walls with landscaping similar to what you submitted might help to get some green on it.

Ms. McBride said response to the staff comments, they added a number of bushes to give it some type of vertical element,. It is a fast growing bush and will grow as tall as they let it. That is on the landscape plan I received about 4:00 on Friday so the Commission doesn’t have that. So that does provide some of the elements we talked about in staff meeting.

Mr. Osborn said concerning the general comments about being surprised at the wall elements on the site, I want to point out that that information was in the building official’s report of 7/8/99 and if you check the Planning minutes, you will find that he emphasized that in his report. We have known from the very beginning that this site would have a severe grading problem given the requirements of the no more than 2% grade. Mr. McErlane described in detail both the walls that will be below grade as far as Kemper Road is concerned and the higher walls at the rear of the property. It says right here "80% of the site is surrounded by retaining walls as high as 15 feet from the parking lot up to the intersection of Kemper and Century." So the walls have been an integral part of this project; there has been no change since the preliminary plan. I would be concerned if you started encouraging them to put in terraced walls for purposes of landscaping, because frankly those are not necessarily what you want if it is not properly maintained. We have examples around the city where we encouraged people in the past to try to landscape those type of walls and they only become weed infested and overgrown. Frankly I think if you look at this site from Kemper Road, you are not going to see any walls. It is only on property and looking back to Kemper Road that you will see walls. So, I don’t consider that issue to be an aesthetic problem for the City. It might be something for the developer to take into consideration, but from our standpoint, I don’t see how that is a concern.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Twenty-One


Mr. Osborn added in terms of the landscaping, I would defer to whatever discussions you have had in the past on t his site and what directions you have given the applicant. I would add however that we have seen contributions of this magnitude to the Urban Forestry Program from Anchor Associates, about $25,000. So just because they are in that magnitude of contributions, it is not necessarily a reflection of how much landscaping they put on a site, as it is to how much landscaping was existing before they started grading.

Mr. Okum commented we are turning a residential area into a commercial area. The golf course also contributed as well.

Mr. Huddleston said I would agree that it had been stated, and shame on myself as a member of the commission for not picking up on that. To the extent that this site is walled above and below grade front to back, it is almost to the point where I would like to see elevations on the walls, because they are going to be as massive as the structure itself. There will be some significant walls that will be viewed from all different angles by all the traffic on East Kemper as you look down on a sea of parking if there is no opportunity for street trees to shield any of that. The 155,000 square foot prototype really maxes out maybe beyond what the reality of that site is. We have very little substantive greenery and significant walls bordering the site. Mr. Osborn responded a wall consistent to what we are talking about here can be seen at Target, and it is 12 to 15 feet high.

Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Okum asked if she were to quantify this between the Target landscaping plan and their plan, how would they compare. Ms. McBride answered we did not compare in terms of the quantity of the material. How it is disbursed is somewhat different. With the Target parking field we were trying to break up the cuts and patterns and so we established larger islands within that parking field. This plan goes more for the traditional kind of islands at the end of the parking stall rows and a fair amount of it around the perimeter. We had a number of comments, probably a full page worth and transmitted those to Costco and they addressed all of those with the exception of the street trees. We do have a concern about continuing the identity along Kemper, because we have worked hard to try to get Lowe’s and Anchor and Target to participate in that. If there is some way to continue that, it is important. The other observation I would offer is having seen the Costco parking lot in Atlanta, I was initially impressed with the landscaping they had put in that site. I don’t know how the quantity compares with this site, but in Atlanta area it was a nice product.

Mr. Ishida said we took a look at this, and we would be willing to lose one stall along here and give us 10 more feet to get the street trees in. Mr. Okum said I would suggest maybe a hedgerow five feet tall in front of the walls would help. I agree with Mr. Huddleston, and I do have some concerns regarding the top of the canopy. I would not mind it being higher so we would not look down at the roof of it from Kemper Road.

Mr. Ishida answered we have the room and have shown the larger trees along that corner. Mr. Okum said you could put the street trees there if you took out the lane. I am talking about the visual look of the top of the canopy.

Mr. Imbus added that hedge is shown along Kemper Road right now, and it could be broken up to provide screening for the vehicles. Mr. Okum responded I am thinking solid hedge rather than breaks, and then the street trees would be out further where most of the street trees are. Mr. Imbus commented with that additional 10 feet, perhaps we would have room for an additional hedgerow and the trees.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Twenty-Two


Addressing Ms. McBride, Mr. Okum asked for a few minutes to look at the landscape plan she received. The members looked at the plan, as Mr. Imbus reviewed the changes. The changes were minor in terms of plant material and locations of certain trees. More significantly, along Kemper Road we shifted the sidewalk adjacent to the back of the curb to create a four foot wide planting area and placed a continuous row of lower plant material. There were some additional varieties of plantings along the south face of the building to break up the vertical feature of the building. We also added the screening features in the front for the carts and at the rear.

Mr. Okum asked how he would address the issue of the canopy and you already have agreed to get 10 feet across the frontage, which should handle the street trees. Mr. Ishida answered we can either raise the canopies or the parapet. The top is at 22’ and the road is 15 feet so we could raise it 2 feet. Mr. Huddleston added it shows 17’

6" by grade elevation.

Mr. Okum asked if there were any way that the two parking fields closest to Kemper Road could be broken by some landscaping. Those are closest to the roadway and will be what people will be lookng at, and typically there will not be many cars there. Mr. Ishida answered we could add a 10 foot wide island so we would be down to 16 stalls.

Mr. Galster said I am pretty comfortable with this since there are probably 350 trees being added to the site, and they seem to be trying to accommodate the street trees wherever they can; it is just the lay of the land. Once the street trees are there, I am comfortable with the interior landscaping. I agree with the height of the canopy needing to go up since it is at eye level.

Mr. Okum said to recap the applicant has agreed to eliminate the parking spaces and islands along Kemper Road to allow 10 more feet of area at the top of the wall for street tree planting. The applicant has agreed to incorporate two 10-foot islands along the two north to south long parking lanes on the southeast corner. The new landscaping plan has been submitted with the addition of some landscaping and the tree that goes up against the building. Also, you will be fully irrigated to include the vegetation along the top of the walls. Mr. Ishida confirmed this.

Mr. Huddleston suggested that the canopy be six feet above the adjacent public right of way. Mr. Okum responded to simply, we could say that the top of the canopy should be out of the line of sight from any adjacent public right of way. Mr. Ishida agreed with this.

Mr. Galster asked about the fencing, and Mr. Ishida stated we are proposing a guardrail a steel tube fence. The requirement was that it be five feet high and I would rather keep it down to 42 inches, which is code. The impression would be that we are fencing ourselves in. Mr. Huddleston commented that is over a 15-foot drop off in some places. Mr. Okum added if it is h edged, you have two feet of space protecting the fences and they would have to go through the hedge and climb over the wall. Mr. Ishida said we are putting hedges in front of it.

Ms. McBride commented the commission might want to consider leaving the specifics of the fence detail to Mr. McErlane and myself to make sure that it is high enough to meet our safety concerns. I hear what Mr. Galster is saying, and I had more in mind the type of material we are looking at with the news rack enclosures, and not something like the applicant has shown, but I think it is something we can work out with them.


Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

14 September 1999

Page Twenty-Three


Mr. Galster added I would like to see something more rounded to the top of it, and Ms. McBride added it needs to be more of an ornamental style detail not a guardrail. It is our streetscape treatment on Kemper, and that is how we need to approach it.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum asked if he agreed with all the other staff comments, including the cart corral fencing which may need to be four feet. In fact yours might need to be a little higher if you are using similar type carts that Sams uses. Mr. Ishida indicated that he did, adding that they will have the wall high enough to screen carts. Mr. Okum added I really was impressed with how Target did theirs; they had a nice cap lock on top and it was finished out very nicely and blended in with the building very well. Mr. Ishida added that is our intent as well.

Mr. Huddleston said subject to incorporating the chairman’s comments regarding the applicant’s concurrence with the conditions for approving this tonight, ILL move to grant approval of the final development plan for Costco at 1100 East Kemper Road. This includes al staff re commendations and the one condition that Ms. McBride subsequently reported, to work out the ornamental fence arrangement with the planner and staff. Mr. Galster seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Huddleston, Mr. Galster, Mr. Vanover, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Okum. Approval of the final development plan was granted with five affirmative votes.

A. David and Melody Langford, 1673 Harmony Avenue request a second driveway on a residential lot. Variance from Section 150.31(H) of the Subdivision Regulations

Mr. Okum asked if Mr. or Mrs. Langford were here; they were not and Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the item was tabled to October 12th.


Mr. Okum asked what quarter acre outlot at Princeton Plaza is up for development? There is a sign up. Mr. Osborn answered he has some leases coming up, Kentucky Fried and BP.


    1. First Watch – 80 West Kemper Road – Wall Sign & Awning Sign
    2. Crown Services – 289C Northland Blvd. – Wall Sign
    3. Alterra – 11320 Springfield Pike – Ground Sign
    4. Vineyard Church – 11335 Century Circle East – Ground Signs


Mr. Galster moved for adjournment and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and Planning adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


______________________,1999 ____________________________

David Okum, Acting Chairman


______________________,1999 _____________________________

Dave Whitaker, Secretary