7:00 P.M.



I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER


The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chairman William Syfert.


II.                   ROLL CALL


Members Present: ††††††††††† Tony Butrum, Robert Coleman, Steve Galster,

Lawrence Hawkins, David Okum, Tom Vanover and Chairman Syfert.


Others Present:††††††††††††††††† Bill McErlane, Building Official

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Anne McBride, City Planner




Mr. Galster moved to approve and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.† All voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with seven affirmative votes.


IV.               CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Report on Council Ė Steve Galster Ė no report

B.          Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes Ė September 21, 2004

C.          Zoning Bulletin Ė October 10, 2004

D.          Zoning Bulletin Ė October 25, 2004

E.          Planning Commissioners Journal Ė Fall, 2004


V.                 OLD BUSINESS


A.          Approval of Proposed Landscape Plan, Staples, 12050 Princeton Pike Ė tabled 10/12/04


Mr. McErlane reported that he had received a call today from a representative of Staples asking that this be tabled until the December 14th meeting.† Planning Commission moved that this be tabled.


VI.               NEW BUSINESS


Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director asked to make a presentation on the zoning of the property. From the city administrationís standpoint, what we would like for Planning to consider is a recommendation to Council for changing the zoning map to create this as a transitional district.††† The subject properties are owned by Alice Todd, who is here this evening, 1.2 acres which is currently zoned RSH-L, which is low density.† Mrs. Murphy has about Ĺ acre, which is zoned RSH-H, high density.†


We think the rezoning will help eliminate some blight in that there are two residences there that are gradually deteriorating.†† We believe it responds to the land use changes in the vicinity.††† In the near future the Springdale Elementary School will be extended along the north side of West Kemper, so this will all become institutional use.†








Mr. Tulloch added that the transition district will provide buffering between the commercial end, Springfield Pike, and the residential areas further to the east.


We believe it meets the criteria and purposes of the Transition Overlay District.† While it is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, we believe that because of the changes of land uses in the area particularly the institutional uses, the change is warranted.


There is a separate but related matter.† We have two applicants with conceptual plans for the properties subject to the change to the Transition Overlay District.


Pregnancy Care of Cincinnati wishes to occupy the existing substantial Todd residence.† Drs. Onady and Miller, who are Springdale dentists wish to demolish the two deteriorated residences and construct a new medical building with a residential character.


I wanted to make these comments for the city administration on the requested rezoning


Mr. Galster said I agree that there are two different issues.† One is the transitional overlay rezoning and the other are the plans that are here tonight.†† To get a transitional overlay district, I donít believe there needs to be an actual plan in place.† We have to decide whether the transitional fits, whether it is one of these plans or some other plan.


Mr. Okum said we utilized the transitional overlay district for a big part of the section along Springfield Pike from the municipal building to Glensprings Drive.† It was a way to bring some control to what you might consider chaos along that strip, and allowed some uses that were a little unique to that area.† This too would expand that.


I believe if we were to look at that use, especially the pregnancy counseling service, that would be more of an office use, and that zoning would not allow office use.† In my opinion placing an office zoning next to a single family district would be too harsh.† With the residential zoning currently on it and the transitional on top of it that probably would fall in with the transitional zoning districts are in our code.† With the expansion of Springdale Elementary School on the north side of Kemper, it sort of blends it together.†† I am a little concerned about that one single family house that is notched out in that ell not falling under that transitional use, and isolating it to these two properties.† I would rather see that squared up so it is more of a straight line instead of looking like postage stamp zoning.


Mr. Coleman said I certainly think it is warranted and imperative that we separate these two items to have a better understanding of what it is that we want the transition overlay district to be, and not have it driven by the fact that there are other opportunities out there for development.† Once we make that determination, there may be other ideas out there for development as well.


Mr. Syfert commented I think without any doubt that they do have to be separated.†† I believe either of the applications here tonight wouldnít withstand very much without the transitional zoning.







Mr. McErlane said to clarify, the applications before you tonight are concept plan reviews; they are not applications for zoning at this point.† Staff had recommended that the applications come in on a concept level just to get Planning Commissionís feel as to whether or not it was even a viable option to rezone the property to transitional overlay.


Having said that, to give you an idea of what transitional overlay does, if Planning Commission and Council were to designate an RSH-L-T to these properties, it would allow a property owner to either maintain the property as residential, or redevelop it as residential without any Planning Commission approval.† But, if they chose to develop it as something other than residential, they would have to come to Planning Commission and get a plan approved and recommended to Council.† That plan also would have to be approved by Council.


The City on its own can change the zoning overlay to t without a plan and for the purposes of the mechanics of this, it probably makes sense when the recommendation goes to Council, that it is a T-District overlay for the entire property, and not two individual properties or two individual development plans.†


The zoning should be that way.† The plans probably should be considered independently, because they are different plans. †But it doesnít make sense to consider the zoning separately, because it really needs to be taken as a whole.† Those mechanics probably will have to be worked out when the next application comes in, which is an actual application for zoning and plan approval.†


Mr. Galster said I agree that the transitional zoning for all the properties needs to be considered as one issue, and then these individual plans considered separately† Ultimately we have to decide if the zoning makes sense now or not.


Ms. McBride said I am going to refer to some of the discussions we had in the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.††† Jonathan Wocher and I both had some concerns about the continued viability of single family homes in this portion of West Kemper.†† Those have only been furthered by the fact that the school is now expanding directly across the street from one of these properties and northwest of the other.† We also have a lot of activity that we hope will take place in the Olde Town area.† From a comprehensive planning standpoint, I donít have any problem with the transitional zoning, because I felt it was appropriate at the time we did the comp plan.† The committee felt very strongly that it not be represented that way on our future land use map, so that is why the designation is as it appears.†


Conditions have changed. Even if you felt that it wasnít appropriate at the time that the Comprehensive Plan was adopted, conditions in that area have significantly changed and warrant going back and revisiting that issue.


Mr. Okum said I agree, and I think there was some reasoning why the committee did not take look at that section for the t district, and things have certainly changed.†









Mr. Okum said on the other hand, I would hate to take a single property and say that we need to put a t district on it.† That would be the wrong thing to do, and tying it to a development is even more wrong.† Thatís postage stamp zoning, and I am very much against it.


The institutional public facility use (Springdale Elementary School) on the north side of Kemper Road definitely ties it all together.† We probably need to revisit that area, but I donít see any reason why Planning could not make a recommendation to Council and give it the public hearing process.†† At the same time the applicants here must understand that the process would have to be approved before your developments could go through.†


My recommendation as a Planning Commission member would be to carry the line straight north, square it off and incorporate that parcel (Mr. Galster pointed to map.) into that t district recommendation to Council


Addressing Mr. Okum, Ms. McBride said are you suggesting that Planning Commission would be the one to initiate the map amendment for all of these parcels?††† Mr. Okum said yes I am, without tying it to any development.†


Mr. Galster said Drs. Onady and Millerís application includes a request for a zoning change to Office Building (OB).† What we are proposing here is a transitional overlay that keeps the residential underlying zoning, and does not make any change whatsoever in that regard.

I wouldnít be in favor of having an office district with a transitional overlay; that ends up to be spot zoning.


Ms. McBride said if Planning wants to start this ball rolling, I would suggest you initiate a map amendment and consider that at your meeting next month and then go on to Council.†† That would give staff the opportunity to put forth the documentation that this omission needs in order to go against your Comprehensive Plan.† I think it is time to revisit that, but I also think that before you do that, you need to have written justification as to why you should do that.†


Mr. Coleman commented I think the commission should discuss whether or not it is necessary to deviate from the Comprehensive Plan.† Ms. McBride added if the City is going to initiate that, the burden falls on us the staff to provide you with the proper documentation.†


Mr. Okum moved to initiate a map amendment with staff recommendations and review of that property, which consist of six parcels.† It would be east of Hickory, north of Cherry, south of Kemper and west of the easternmost property line of the Todd property.† Mr. Galster seconded the motion.† All voted aye, and the motion was passed unanimously.


Mr. Galster said if we are going to review these conceptual plans, we will do that in anticipation of a positive review by City Council, which after the public hearing will probably be the end of January.†









A.     Concept Discussion of Proposed Pregnancy Care Center, 309 West Kemper Road


Susan Brown, Executive Director introduced Gary Wettig, Vice Chairman on Board of Trustees for ďHealthy BeginningsĒ which is a prenatal care provider. †Also here is Lisa OíBrien who is Director of Business Administrator, Alicia Jones, Director of Programs, Larry Cunningham of Childress and Cunningham the architect, and Alice Todd, the owner of the property we are interested in.


Ms. Brown said we started in 1984 and are a social service agency; we are not a medical clinic.† We provide help to those who are going through an unplanned pregnancy.† We also try to prevent unplanned pregnancies so we provide abstinence education in the school setting, which is a significant part of our agency.


There are three sites, one in Clifton, one in North College Hill and one in Sharonville, and all of our services are free.† Our mission is to strengthen families. We have high professional standards of care and provide accurate complete information about prenatal development, parent education, sexually transmitted infection, abortion procedures and risks and life affirmative alternatives.


We donít recommend or provide or refer for abortion.† All are welcome who have a need.† We offer free pregnancy tests, ongoing care, parenting support groups, one on one mentoring, and free clothing and furnishings. For prenatal services, we refer them to Healthy Beginnings.


Gary Wettig said our mission is to provide pregnant women with medical care in a caring loving environment.† We encourage pregnant women to carry their babies to term.† It was founded in 1993 with several locations in Cincinnati and Dayton.†† We help them apply for insurance and only accept patients referred by the Pregnancy Care institutions. We do not accept walk-ins, because we offer only the medical care and not necessarily the social services that the Pregnancy Care Service offers.†


Ms. Brown said we want to serve women where the need is greatest, and we believe the location on Kemper Road provides us with that opportunity.† ††††This property has a very inviting home look, warm welcoming and yet professional, and also is on the bus line, which is very important to our clients.† We believe there is a mutual fit for both the City and our organization.†† We will maintain the look of this home.† Any architectural changes would be on the back of the building.†


We work 50 hours in a week, three to five employees a day.† There would be one to two volunteers per three-hour shift, and one to three clients an hour at the most.†† There would be more volume between 6 and 8 p.m. when we offer the parenting support group.† The maximum number is 25, and they come once a week for 12 weeks, two or three times a year.† .†††††


Mr. Vanover said I want to let the commission know that my wife has been a sponsor and participant in some of the Pregnancy Care Center walks.† I have funded some of that.† I donít think that is a conflict of interest, but I did want that on the table.†








Mr. Galster asked if the proposed one-story addition shown on the back was based on the Healthy Beginnings joining.† Ms. Brown indicated that it was.† Mr. Galster asked if they could see traffic and trip counts based on you alone and you with Healthy Beginnings, and Ms. Brown indicated that they would do that.


Mr. Syfert asked the commission if they should review staff comments or hold those until after we get through the transitional district process.† Mr. Okum responded I think it would be prudent to hear staff comments.† This is conceptual, and if things moved forward for the process, I wouldnít want to delay the applicantís opportunity to understand the staffís concerns and any input we might have.†

Mr. Galster said I think everybody has had an opportunity to read over staff comments, including the applicant.† Itís a lot of information, but I think it can be worked out relatively quickly.† Rather than spend the next 45 minutes to an hour reading staff comments, if commission members have additional comments or extreme points of interest, it might be better to hit on those, let them incorporate the comments plus our additional thoughts into their next submittal rather than going over every detail at this point in the conceptual nature.


Ms. McBride added if the applicant would like to set up a meeting with staff, we could work through the comments at that time.†


Mr. Syfert asked if everyone was comfortable with that, and the members indicated that they were.


Mr. Galster asked more about the 50 hours per week, and Ms. Brown answered that it would be 9 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 to 5 on Friday and perhaps a half day on Saturday, 9 to 1.


Mr. Galster said I think if you are eastbound, the bus might stop close to there, but I donít know that the westbound doesnít stop further away.† I want to make sure we have sidewalk access to them.† The shared access drive is a critical element to both plans.† The sign should be residential in nature, wood and nothing illuminated.† There should be buffering, because you are extremely close on the one property line to the east and the property to your east is extremely close to his west property line.† This will be critical, as well as the overall traffic counts.


Mr. Coleman said you have locations in Clifton and North College Hill.† Are there any elementary schools in the general area of either of these locations, and how close are they?


Ms. Brown answered in North College Hill, we have the North College Hill Junior and Senior High Schools and in Clifton there is Vine Street Elementary and Hughes High School (a few blocks).† It is two to there blocks to the schools in NCH.†


Mr. Coleman commented I am certainly concerned that Springdale Elementary School would be almost across the street, and I want to make sure I fully understand the ramifications of that type of relationship with Springdale Elementary students and an organization that provides your services.† Ms. Brown responded we would be glad to come in and present our abstinence education.







Mr. Okum said there should be sidewalks, and the developments should incorporate sidewalks into their plans.† Going back to Mr. Colemanís comments, it would be helpful to know the ages of the people you are serving.†


I have a problem with these small drawings; it is important to give this to us large enough for us to read.† I would like to see a limited amount of parking for your pregnancy care center area, some place other than way back in the parking field.† It is quite a distance for people to walk.† Iím not saying that I want parking in front of the building, but something creative to adapt to that parking need for two or three or four spots.


I think this transitional zoning might be the absolute right use.† I am concerned about the proximity to the adjoining property to the east, and I would like to see a dashed line indicating the residential home to the east on the next submission.


We need very low impact lighting levels, as low as possible because we have to be very concerned about how we impact the residents around there.† We want to keep that residential feel and I think you do too.


Mr. Butrum said I know you are planning on moving from Sharonville; have you moved or closed facilities in the past?


Ms. Brown answered that the Sharonville site used to be up in Mason and almost four years ago they moved to Sharonville and did double their client volume.† We have been in our Clifton building for three years; we were just a block away earlier, but we were growing so much we moved and gave Healthy Beginnings the full run of the former site.† We have been in North College Hill since the early 90ís; they had been in a smaller place growing and then this building became available.†


Mr. Butrum commented so none have closed. You said you serve 400 women a year in Sharonville and 1,000 in other locations.† What sort of volume do you anticipate in Springdale and at what level would you move to another facility?


Ms. Brown answered we would want a minimum of 400 but we would love to get up to the 1,000 client level.† That will be over multiple years.†


Mr. Galster asked how this would be handled.† Mr. McErlane answered under the transitional zoning Planning Commission and Council approve a specific† use for the property and a specific development plan for it.† As part of that development plan, we recommend an incorporation of covenants that run with the property that would specifically spell out what the use will be. So it is not necessarily a conditional use, although there will be conditions in the covenants that will spell out what the specific use of the property will be.† If Pregnancy Care Center decided to move on, anyone who wanted to use that property would have to use it under those parameters, or they could revert back to residential or come back in with a new plan, new covenants and go through the process.†


Mr. Galster said my concern about being close to the school is what would happen if you moved out; what could move in.† So the covenants would be extremely important. ††








Mr. Galster commented so they would have to match the same use without Planning or Council having another opportunity to look at a new application.† Mr. McErlane added and that is why it would be important to tie those covenants down fairly tightly.† I recommended including physical limitations in terms of how any development that occurs on that property would look, the intensity of land coverage and so forth, even tighter than what the Zoning Code currently allows.†


Mr. McErlane said concerning the covenants, you probably would start with a draft, and it is important for you to sit down and discuss what potential uses you think you may have on the property and tie those down pretty tightly, because we probably will try to hold you to those uses.† It ends up being a back and forth things with the covenants.† At this point in the development process, it is a preliminary draft, and normally it is the developer who puts those together, with some guidance from Planning Commission and staff.


B.†††† Concept Discussion of Proposed Onady/Miller Dental Office, 311 West Kemper Road


Mark Mullin said I have been in construction for over 25 years around the City of Cincinnati, and I have had a lot of help from Bill McErlane, who I hadnít met until tonight, and I do appreciate that.


Our situation is a little different.† It is a business situation.† The dentists currently have their office space in Springdale and they want to stay here.†


I have read all the comments and on the final set of drawings we would address all your concerns, and I would like to meet with the staff so we donít waste time in preparing the final drawings.


They hope to lease out a part of the building to an orthodontist.† Most of the buildings that I do have a residential feel, which would fit into this transitional zoning that you are looking for.† We also would work with staff in trying to make it fit in as much as possible..†


We have two different concept drawings, a 7,600 s.f. and a 9,000 s.f.† We are trying to make the best use of the property and with the transitional zoning not to make it all blacktop or all asphalt shingles.† We are looking for your comments as well as making the doctorsí investment the best possible.


One of the biggest comments is the property where the parking lot adjoins the east side and the restriction was 20 feet.† If that property is zoned transitional, then the setback for the asphalt would be less than 20 feet, is that correct?††† Mr. Galster said no, the underlying zoning still would apply, but there might be some shared access and shared parking.


Mr. Mullin said we are trying to get as much square footage on the property as possible but also to not make it look institutionalized and keep it the flavor of a residence.










Mr. Galster said I have a hard time saying that it would maintain the residential feel with all the parking in front.† It seems to me that we could shift that building up and put that parking behind and end up with a better feel for the whole project.


Keep in mind that we will want to have the residential look to the building from the street.† If you are not going to have parking there it wonít be your main entrance, and you still would have to have an entrance feature in the back, so you would almost have two front facades, but based on the location of the property, that will be extremely critical.† If we can move the parking to the back, I donít want to have the front become the back of the building.† Mr. Mullin said Iím sure the doctors would not want that either.


Mr. Mullin said the parking lot becomes so long and such a distance to the rear, that it becomes a very long walk to the building itself.† The way this property is laid out, it would be fairly tough to keep the setback.† We can take a look and see if we can come up with something better than that.† Mr. Galster added it also would change once you have this common drive.†


I want it to look almost like a house when it is done.† I understand that it will be an office building, but I want it to have that extreme residential flavor.† A couple of your pictures showed porches, and I think those are great features to have.


Mr. Okum commented that the property on the south side of you will probably be a little more difficult to deal with because it is single family residence.† So the same criteria for buffer yards would be extremely heavy.† I agree with Mr. Galster, but we have to hit the happy medium.† Your site will be a little more difficult because of itís l-shaped quality, but I think this would be a good blend of uses.


This looks like 44 parking spaces; does our code call for that much?† Ms. McBride commented that it is just a little over.†


Mr. Okum said I think 9,000 s.f. is too dense.† I have to agree to Mr. Galster that we need to figure out how we can appeal to this Route 4. This is almost in the heart of Old Towne Springdale.† I donít know if you can move all the parking around the back, because I donít want to kill the single family residence that is there.† Getting some construction easement rights to work with that property might be necessary.


Mr. Mullin reported we cut it down to single lane parking in the front, which is more costly to do.† In discussions with Bill and Jeff Tulloch, I knew they didnít want to see much parking in front.†† We did address no parking in front, but it was a problem in terms of proximity of the parking spaces to the building.


We are willing to work with you as much as possible with whatever needs to be done, and keep in mind what the doctorsí need.†


There are never enough parking spaces, but we can address the landscaping in a pretty heavy situation in terms of softening the asphalt up. †In one area we put parking stops right at the edge which allowed more green space than the asphalt.†







Mr. Okum said I am not overly excited about that dead end on the south where the dumpster container is.† I can imagine a truck coming in and backing out of that parking lot; it is quite a distance to be backing.† The cars that get in there will be backing into each other; there is no way to turn.


Mr. Okum asked how many square feet the doctors have now.† Dr. Onady said I have 990 s.f. and Dr. Miller might have 1,000 s.f.† The building is very antiquated, and the practice is growing and very busy and we canít do it in that type of setting.


The City of Springdale has had other dentists with the same situation, and we have had three of them leave in the last four years.† We need larger office space, and we need to get away from steps.† We see quite a few people from Mapleknoll and we carry wheelchairs up the steps.† It is really rough in the winter.† We want a medical facility with wheelchair accessibility so these patients can keep coming to our practices.


I have been wanting to do something in Springdale for a very long time and I am at the point where I have to do something; I just canít stay where I am.† I donít want to leave Springdale, but there is another community that is trying to get me to come up there.† Both of us have been here since 1992.†


There is an orthodontic practice across the parking lot, and she also has steps that she would like to get away from.† She has been talking to me about doing something with me† In terms of the number of patients, our hours stagger so we donít have people coming and going at one time.†† Itís not like a restaurant or a hair cutting place where you have 5-15 people coming and going in an hour.† We want something that will look really nice that will go within the community structure.† I think you will be proud of it.


Mr. Butrum said† right now you have about 2,000 s.f. combined.† Are you each expanding your own office?†† Dr. Onady responded I am looking for 2,500 to 3,000 s.f. and so is Dr. Miller.† If the orthodontist decides not to go in, we will have 6,000 s.f. but with her it would be 7,500 s.f.†† It would be 1500 s.f. for the orthodontist; they have a bigger patient flow than we do, probably four to six people at one time, or four to six cars per hour.


Ms. McBride stated Dr. Rogers office that Mr. Mullin did turned out to be very nice.† We are doing the Beechmont Corridor Plan, and it is one of the redevelopments that are shown as a good example.† Dr. Onady added we looked at builders and Mr. Mullin does exceptional work.


Mr. Okum asked if there would be a basement area.† Mr. Mullin answered not at this time.† †I am proposing a slab construction.

Mr. Okum asked if record retention was a problem, and Dr. Onady answered my office is full of boxes with records, but I donít necessarily need a basement for my records. Mr. Mullin said we need to expedite this.† We can adjust the design for the parking and there is a square footage issue.† I have done a lot of doctorsí offices and it seems like the minimum space that the two doctors need would be about 6,000 s.f.† Business wise it would be nice to go to 7,600 s.f.









Mr. Mullen added that the size is a very important issue in conjunction with the design of the parking lot.† With 6,000 s.f. we can manipulate it one way but 7,600 s.f

is something else.


Mr. Syfert responded some of it depends on whether or not your orthodontist wants to come in with you; that will drive the issue.† Once we get to that point, I would say that working with staff is the best way to go on this, just as we did with the Pregnancy Care people.† Staff is more than willing to work with you.†


Dr. Onady asked if it were possible for the staff to park in the parking lot on Springfield Pike and walk to their facility.† Mr. Okum suggested a cross easement with the church to use their parking area.†


Ms. McBride asked if there had been any consideration to obtaining the property to the southwest for a parking area.† Dr. Onady said if it would become available, we might want it.† Ms. McBride commented if you were looking for additional parking, that would round it out and would provide the City with certain assurances as to what would happen.


VII.              DISCUSSION


Mr. McErlane said on the question of drawing sizes, we specifically ask for a certain number of full size drawings and a certain number of reduced size drawings to distribute to Planning Commission.† I heard one member say that the reduced size drawings are difficult for him to see.† I need to know if that is the consensus, if everybody wants full size drawings now.† We did that so you could manage them better.† Mr. Okum said I am saying that half size is fine; pint size is the problem. Mr. McErlane said it depends on the size of the development, and Ms. McBride added that sometimes 11 x 17 would be fine.†† Mr. McErlane reported that their initial submittal are full size submittals and we will look at it and determine what an appropriate size is to resubmit.† We give them the option of sending in reduced ones; they may opt to send them in all the same size.




IX.               ADJOURNMENT


Mr. Galster moved to adjourn and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.† All voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 8:55 p.m.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,




_______________________,2004†††††† __________________________

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† William G. Syfert, Chairman




_______________________,2004†††††† __________________________

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lawrence Hawkins, Secretary