14 DECEMBER 2004

7:00 P.M.


I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER


The meeting was called to order at 7:03 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:                  Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director

                                             Bill McErlane, Building Official

                                             Don Shvegzda, Asst. City Engineer


III.                  ELECTION OF OFFICERS


Chairman                Mr. Galster nominated Bill Syfert, and Mr. Vanover

                                 seconded the nomination.  There were no other

nominations and Mr. Syfert was elected by acclamation.


Vice Chairman       Mr. Galster nominated David Okum and Mr. Vanover

seconded the motion.  There were no other nominations and Mr. Okum was elected by acclamation.


Secretary                Mr. Vanover nominated Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Galster

                                 seconded the motion.  There were no other

                                 nominations and Mr. Hawkins was elected by





Mr. Galster moved to approve and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.  All voted aye, and the Minutes were approved unanimously.


V.                 CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Report on Council – No report

B.          Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes – October 19, 2004

C.          Zoning Bulletin – October 10, 2004

D.          Zoning Bulletin – October 25, 2004


VI.               OLD BUSINESS


A.          Approval of Proposed Landscape Plan, Staples 12050 Princeton Pike – Tabled 11/9/04


Pat and Joe Perin, owners of the property came forward.  Mrs. Perin said we received the staff comments Friday afternoon, and we have a new plan with us tonight which addresses some of the staff’s concerns.    We have the plan with us if you would like for us to give you that or we could discuss the old plan.






14 DECEMBER 2004





Mr. Syfert asked if they were representing Staples, adding that Planning Commission has only dealt with Staples representatives up to this point.  I know it is your property, but I am getting kind of confused here.


Mr. Perin reported that we are the property owners, and we also have to work with ODOT who by eminent domain has taken part of the ground, everything north of Staples temporarily.


Mr. Syfert responded we understand that, and when Staples was presenting this, we were planning on having two phases. 


Mrs. Perin added initially we were told by Staples that it would be a very minor change, meaning that the entering would be moved from the west side to the north side, and it has become something rather complicated. 


As you know Rhodes has filed for bankruptcy, and we were notified today that they may continue with their lease.   They may reject the lease or continue on with it, but we have lease commitments that we have to honor with them, so we are here tonight to clarify the issues.


Mr. Galster said I was a little surprised to see the old parking lot layout when we got the landscape plan, because it was my understanding that Staples had your approval to present the things that they presented and negotiate the things that they negotiated.   The layout of the parking lot was an extremely critical issue.


When you say you have a new plan, is the new plan the new parking lot layout that was approved in the Staples approval?

Mrs. Perin answered that the boulevard drive is in the same place, but the issues that were addressed were about the oversize landscaping, some ground cover, and the stepping stones.  Mr. Perin added that we addressed the landscape portion of it, but not the layout of the parking lot itself.  Mrs. Perin added we are more or less committed to that present layout, through our negotiations with ODOT and also in our lease agreements with Rhodes Furniture.


Mr. Galster asked how Rhodes Furniture is affected by the new parking lot layout.  We really didn’t change anything in terms of the spaces in front of them.


Mrs. Perin answered when they first negotiated with us they were quite impressed with the boulevard approach that came directly down into what was our store entrance and is now their entrance. 


Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Galster said based on the approval granted to Staples for their building modification including the parking lot, now it seems that they will not be able to modify the parking lot as was presented.  What happens to the approval we granted?  Does that become null and void?





14 DECEMBER 2004





Mr. McErlane said no.  That is the plan that Planning Commission approved and that is the plan that needs to be built unless Planning Commission agrees to a different plan.


Mr. Galster asked if at the time of that approval, did we have an affidavit from the owners of the property?  Mr. McErlane responded that we have a signed affidavit that was submitted with the application for improvements by Staples.


Mr. Okum commented obviously Mr. and Mrs. Perin and Staples are not on the same page, and it is also clear that Mr. and Mrs. Perin are not on the same page as Planning Commission and the applicant were when we deliberated and made adjustments to allow for the relocation of the main entry to that business.    The relocation to the north side of the building was to pull the traffic away from the building and break up that elevation, which would be the side of their building, not the front entrance, by landscaping and tree elements.  If the roadway were not to move to the west, I don’t know how you could accomplish that landscaping. 


If you have a plan here this evening that accomplishes that goal, I will be open to listen to it.  But if you have not accomplished that, and have not taken the side of that building that used to be the front and addressed that, I will hold to what we approved  originally and we demanded that Staples accomplish. 


Addressing Mrs. Perin, Mr. Okum said in terms of the boulevard effect,  if you look at this aerial photo, the boulevard drives directly into a parking space.  If you are talking about a boulevard effect to the front entrance of your business, that currently does not exist.


My concern is we don’t know what Rhodes will develop into. We don’t know what traffic generations that might develop into.  All we know is that 85% of the parking field for Staples currently crosses a roadway that goes to Rhodes Furniture, which could go to a high traffic producer.  We can’t control what ultimately goes there, but if a high volume traffic producer goes in there, I would have a real problem


Mr. Perin said most of the buildings in Springdale (Haverty’s, Lazarus, Sears) cross the boulevard to get to the stores. 


Mrs. Perin added we hope that Staples will be a tenant for a long long time, but in today’s business, we don’t know what might happen there.  In fact we have constructed the present Staples building with additional utility and a sewer line so that store could be divided into three or four segments with entries coming back to that west side again.  With that scenario, the parking right up against the building is really very bad.  Mr. Perin added that the approved plan would be very negative if we turned that into a strip center.


Mr. Syfert commented it seems that everyone is not on the same page.  I thought we had it pretty well established the way Staples and we thought you and the Planning Commission felt it should be handled. 


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Mr. Syfert added I for one would give you the floor long enough for you to tell us why our thinking is wrong, but we will not approve any plans tonight.  Staff has not had a chance to review the plans, but I think we should grant you 10 minutes to tell us why our thinking is wrong..


Mrs. Perin responded I am not saying your thinking is wrong, but I am going to say that for a number of years that a boulevard effect worked for our store, which had high volume, and also worked for the Staples store.  I think we of all people know the problems with that site, because we were there all the time seeing the problems.


The basic problems with that lot are the cars that run out of gasoline and the trucks that break down.  So it is not racing traffic through there by any means. 


Mr. Perin suggested putting a speed bump in there to slow down traffic.  Mrs. Perin added that the racing has never been a problem through there.


Mr. Perin added that by moving the boulevard to the outside, there is a good probability that we will lose a lot of parking spaces.  ODOT has the condition that they will only lose two spaces when they return that northern section to us.  Mrs. Perin added that they are taking 32 spaces now and when they return the premise to us, they have guaranteed us that we will only lose 30 spaces.  Once the boulevard is changed and they do not have to mesh the new ingress and egress to what is presently there, we are out of the middle.  I think everybody is involved with something with ODOT that we probably don’t want to get into.


Mr. Perin said to address Mr. Okum’s problem, maybe we will have to redraft and go over and see what we can do to break up the building.  The building was built so that it could be broken up into small stores if the large store moved, and in today’s market you never know who will leave and go to another location. 


Mrs. Perin added with all due respect, coming back to Cincinnati and looking at the Staples building the way it is now, they look like they are closed. There are no canopy lights underneath; there is just one big black solid expanse of glass.  From I-275 it looks like Staples is closed. 


When we were first given this project by Mr. Goodermont, he said this is a very very minor change that we are doing; it is just changing the entrance and exit from the west to the north.  It was two or three days before w were ready to go back to our Maui home, and we said fine, no problem.   But, changing the boulevard is a major concern of ours.


Mr. Syfert asked if Staples had lease with them, and Mr. Perin indicated that they do and they have 3 ½ years to go.  .Mr. Syfert responded so talking about splitting up the building is a moot point, right?  Mr. Perin answered absolutely not.   Today it is, but tomorrow who knows.  If they decided to go elsewhere or someone would buy Staples it could change.


14 DECEMBER 2004





Mrs. Perin added right now we have quite a few years left with Rhodes, which really doesn’t mean too much. 


Mr. Syfert said what was done 20 years ago or more was not done by this  Planning Commission.   The way we see it now is that there is a very major problem that we would like to correct.  I don’t think any of us want to create any sort of a hazard to people if we can avoid it. 


You or Staples or someone will have to address that issue, and it would be my recommendation that you request that this be tabled and get everybody on the same page.  We want to see you succeed; we want to see Staples succeed.  We know that we have a problem there; everyone up and down 747 has a problem right now because of construction.  


We want to work with you, but by the same token we don’t want to work with two different decks of cards.  We have to deal with what we are looking at right now.  I certainly hope you can appreciate the seven of us sitting here and charged with that responsibility. 


Mr. Perin stated we missed the October meeting because our son in law had a bad heart attack on the operating table.  Mrs. Perin added that is why we did not have anybody here at that meeting. 


Mr. Galster said I would remind the applicant that if they use the same parking lot layout, that is basically what was submitted the first time and the modifications were made to what was eventually approved.  I would be a little hesitant to encourage you to submit new plans that use the old layout because that is how we got to the point we were two months ago.


Mrs. Perin responded I think what the plans that were approved by you did not take into consideration is the new ingress and egress which will come off 747.  Way back when it was nine feet, and then I heard three feet and four feet, but no one knows until they finish it..  All we know is that ODOT has guaranteed us that they are responsible to make that new ingress and egress to mesh with what is presently there.  When we start doing a new parking lot layout, they are out of the picture.  They will have no responsibility.


Mr. Galster commented it is my understanding from Staples that there has been conversation with ODOT and there was a transition point, Phase 1 and Phase 2 that messed up because we went through the turning radiuses that would have to be made with the new entrance.


Mrs. Perin asked Mr. Goodermond if the present plan that Planning approved was done by a professional civil engineer or by someone on staff   Mr. Goodermond reported that an architect did the site plan.  Mrs. Perin said Bob Lambert told me that he had no expertise in parking lot layout.  Mr. Goodermond commented this has been one of the points.  What is ODOT’s final plan?  How can we plan for the south end when we don’t know what is happening to the north side?  I have asked that question for the last few months.



14 DECEMBER 2004





Mrs. Perin answered we have too, and that is where we keep coming back to the point that they are bound to give us back 30 parking places out of the 32 they have taken, and they are bound to mesh the new ingress and egress with the present boulevard.


Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Galster asked if the City didn’t know where the entrance is.  Mr. Shvegzda reported that there is a plan that is included as part of the overall grade separation project that notes how the drive entrance will be reconfigured.   ODOT just wants to essentially provide the proper arrangements for the site.  If need be, if something happens on the site, I think they would be very accommodating to revise it to however would best work with what is revised on the site. 


If in fact  there is a disagreement or confusion as to what they are doing, I suggest we get together with the project engineer and he can pretty much tell you and show you what is going to happen there.


Mrs. Perin said they seemed very accommodating at the one meeting we all had.  They said you design something and we will try to put it together.  I think an engineering staff or somebody has to get involved in doing that to make sure the radiuses are going to work.


Mr. Shvegzda said they will be very accommodating, but what they have to see is the plans that they have to tie into.  I don’t think they have seen the final version of what is going to happen within the site.


Mr. Perin responded until we have received what they are going to give us back, we can’t tell them.  It would jeopardize us with our law suit and our differences with them if we tell them they have to come over to this point, rather than they have to come to that point.


Mr. Shvegzda answered I can’t respond to that; I don’t  pretend to be an attorney and I’m not privy to any of the negotiations.


Mr. Vanover said I think we have just been exposed to the crux of the matter and it’s dollars and negotiations.  That is between you and ODOT and it is for you and ODOT to hash out.   We have to deal with what is there.  Somebody needs to get back in the huddle and work some stuff out.  I find this disheartening to be at this stage and find that there is haggling going on that should have been ironed out at the very beginning. 


Addressing Mr. and Mrs. Perin, Mr. Okum said I think the simplest thing to do is to meet with Staples, our engineer and the project engineer and try to resolve some of this.  This isn’t the place for that to occur.


Additionally, I think you have to understand that it was your tenant who got your approval to come to us and change the configuration of how that building was addressed.  When they changed the front of the building to the north side that brought up red flags.  



14 DECEMBER 2004





Mr. Okum added Mrs. Perin said it exactly right; it looks like it is closed.  As a Planning Commission, we are very concerned about how that building appears on that site without that main entrance on the west side.  .  So consider that when you are putting together your plan, and we wll be looking for you next month.  Hopefully you will have a resolve to this issue and we can bring it to a close.  We all understand that things will change a little bit as the ODOT project goes on, and that was one of the reasons that we asked for the project to be phased, to accommodate that.  We are just as concerned as you are about the appearance of the west side of the building.


Mrs. Perin responded I really don’t see how parking up next to the building is going to make it look any more occupied.  It still looks like it is closed for the evening; it is a big gap of black glass reflecting with no canopy lights or lights on the building.  Mr. Perin said we will work with this as proposed.  Mrs. Perin added we have always had great respect for you.


Mr. Galster moved to table and Mr. Vanover seconded the motion.  All voted aye and the item was tabled to January 11, 2005. 


VII.              NEW BUSINESS


A.          Approval of Banner to be Extended to January 1, 2005 – Bahama Breeze, 325 North Commerce Way


John Shay, General Manager said originally we asked to have the banner extended through the New Year.  Unfortunately due to production, that banner is still not up and will probably not be up until Monday the 21st.  My purpose of being here is to ask permission to have it up from Monday the 21st through the New Year.  I would like the original 14 days to be regranted, beginning the 21st.


Mr. McErlane reported Planning Commission doesn’t need to act on this.  That is less than 14 days, so we’ll just modify the dates on your application and fax you a copy of it. 


Mr. Galster moved to remove the item from the agenda and Mr. Okum seconded the motion.  By voice vote all voted aye and it was removed from the agenda.


B.     Development Plan Approval of Proposed New Springdale Elementary School, 350 West Kemper Road


Fred Pensinger of Princeton City School District approached the commission stating we have representatives from the architects and engineers present to answer any of your questions.


Mr. McErlane reported that the property is currently all zoned  Public Facilities – Low Density; 4.03 acres of that was rezoned by Council on August 18th of this year.  Total acreage on the site is 14.018 acres, which includes the two baseball fields. 




14 DECEMBER 2004





Mr. McErlane stated that the applicant proposes to construct a new two-story 63,161 square foot school building and accessory paved areas.  We have not yet received a color and material pallet, but the applicant may have that with them tonight.


During the concept plan stage, the applicant represented that the existing school building would remain on site for a period of time after the new school is open.   The applicant has informed us that at this time the district is not intending to do that.


The setbacks all meet the Zoning Code requirements with the exception of the rear pavement setback which involves a shared access easement with the City.   


Parking requirement per the Zoning Code is one space for every three seats in the auditorium and based on the calculations, 134 spaces are required and they are showing 159 parking spaces.


The maximum permitted building height is 50 feet.  Based on what we scaled off the drawings, it appears to be about 43 feet. 


Structures are not permitted to cover more than 25% of the lot and it appears that the final development will be 7%.   Maximum permitted impervious surface ratio is .5% and plans indicate .3%. 


The trees shown to be removed on the site include 1252 caliper inches of category 1, which is deciduous over story hardwoods, 82 caliper inches of category 2 which is evergreen and 122 caliper inches of category 3, ornamentals.  .  There are a number of those that fall in the building footprint which are exempt from replanting, and there is another group of them that are in poor condition that are not worth salvaging.  If you subtract those out, the replacement requirement is 369 caliper inches of over story hardwoods, 20 inches of evergreens and 40.5 inches of ornamentals.


Of the 369 caliper inches of over story hardwoods that are to be replaced, 33 inches of those are required to be 3 ½ inch caliper trees because the trees that were removed that were over 24 inches in diameter total up to 66 inches.


The tree replanting that is proposed on the plan is 210 caliper inches of over story hardwoods, 42 inches of evergreens and 40 inches of ornamentals.  The minimum planting size to replace the major trees is 3 ½ inches and the plant schedule shows 10 3 ½ inch caliper trees, so the 10-foot high evergreen trees shown on the plan are two inch caliper.  Ten-foot high evergreens are likely to be at least three inch caliper, so that is factored into the category 2 number that I have given you. 


The total replanting of trees falls approximately 137 ½ caliper inches short.  We are suggesting that additional evergreens should be planted on top of the grade on the eastern part of the site where it is directly adjacent to the house to the east of the property.   There is one plan in the set that shows properties within 200 feet but that house was omitted from the drawings.  The house appears to be 75 feet from the center line on Kemper Road. 




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Mr. McErlane said if you look at the aerial photo on the screen, you’ll notice that the school has purchased and is developing the properties, including the property just east of the church building.  The next building east of that is the first building that will be adjacent to the school.  That house is approximately 75 feet back from the center line of Kemper Road, which lines up fairly close to the front portion of the new school building.


There are some evergreens shown at the top of the slope on the landscape plan, but they are back further on the site, probably more in line with the garage on the rear yard of the adjacent property. 


There is a single monument identification sign near the corner of West Kemper and Walnut Street.  It is 5’-2” tall and has a 15 square foot sign face with changeable copy.  The Zoning Code permits a seven foot high sign with maximum area of 50 s.f., and the location is required to be 10 feet back from the right of way.  The location of this sign appears to be within the proposed right of way on Kemper Road, so that would need to be moved back.


There are directional signs shown on Sheet C 102 which exceed the maximum height of four feet.  They are shown at five feet, and Sign A appears to exceed the maximum area for directional signs at six square feet.   Sign A and Sign B are shown closer to the right of way than the five-foot minimum setback.  Sign A is shown in the right of way, so those need to be adjusted. 


There are some individual letters shown over the entrance of the building, but there are no details provided.  If both that sign and the identification sign at the corner are to go forward, they will need a variance, since there is only one sign allowed in the Public Facilities District.


Mr. Pensinger responded the whole project is financially challenged, and we are looking at the plantings and trying to see what we can do to minimize the cost.  We want this site to be very nice looking, but when you look at the volume of trees and plantings being placed on the site, we would definitely entertain some suggestions as to ways that we could reduce these plantings to some other level.


Jennifer Larsen, Landscape Architect said I would like a little more direction as to where you would like the plantings.  Evergreens are mentioned in the comments about three times, and I would like a little more direction so next time we get it right and don’t have to keep resubmitting. 


Mr. Syfert responded Ms. McBride and Mr. McErlane both had very definite ideas on where to put these, primarily on top of the slope.  Mr. McErlane reported we are trying to buffer the adjacent lot.  I am sure you did not have anything to work with relative to where that adjacent residence was because the plans don’t indicate that.  If we are looking for a buffer, evergreens are the buffer and they need to be located where they will serve the better purpose.


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Ms. Larsen said so is the issue moving the evergreens or adding more.  Mr. McErlane responded it may be that or it may be substituting that for some of the deciduous trees.  We question the fact that you have blue spruce rather than white pine, because blue spruce have a tendency to grow slower and it may take a lot longer to fill in that 20-foot gap between them than white pine might.  Looking at different materials might work too.  Mr. Syfert commented it is not a major issue; it is a matter of relocating some things.


Ms. Larsen asked if there were any leeway in terms of what we can do to reduce the number of plantings; are there any options?


Mr. Galster said in the past when we have had developments that were able to leave a lot of green space with their development, like these ball fields, that is viewed as a pretty big advantage to the City.  Other than making sure that the project is adequately landscaped and properly buffered to the residential area, I don’t think the shortfall based on our Tree Preservation Ordinance is going to need to be made up in its entirety.  Seven percent is all the building is taking up on the site, so we take that into consideration as well.


Mr. Okum said I was involved in the decision making process of the architectural firm and the engineering and project management for this project.  Besides that I have no involvement whatsoever.  If anyone here has a problem, you have the opportunity to ask me to step aside.  I will also give that opportunity to the school.  Mr. Pensinger responded we are always interested in your comments.


Mr. Okum said I concur with Mr. Galster on the tree issue.  We need to deal with the buffer issue for the adjoining residential property.  Increasing the size of the caliper inches of the evergreens would certainly help.  There is an enormous amount of green space benefit that we are getting out of this project and I am sympathetic to that.  I would not object to some adjustment after you get finished with your final plan as long as those numbers increase.  I would like to see a commitment from the school district in terms of retain age of green space.


Mr. Pensinger said we are adding a lot of green space next to Walnut and Kemper where the school now is right at the road. 


Mr. Shvegzda reported that on the site layout, there is now a service entrance area coming off the drive aisle that heads back to the athletic field parking.  It was noted by the applicant that the vehicles that access this area will enter off Walnut and not via the parking area driveway along the athletic fields.  There was some concern for people wandering back into the service drive area.  There was a discussion about gating this and a concern for controlling the unlocking and closing of the gate.  The applicant suggested signage for that area, which would be acceptable.






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Mr. Shvegzda said to add to that, it should be clarified that trucks would not go back into the area of the community center area.  We would suggest that “No Truck” signs be placed in that vicinity as you come around the corner.


There was a concern about the vehicles which would access the service drive area and be able to make that turn immediately adjacent to the entrance to the service drive.  The applicant has indicated that it has been reviewed and appears to work.  We just need verification on the turning movements.


Part of the north parking field is owned by the City.  The very north end as part of the reconstruction will come right up to the southern portion of those 90 degree parking stalls.  Everything south of that will be replaced.  The drive that goes through there will have a heavy duty pavement constructed.  The surface into those parking stalls within the City property will be resurfaced.  The net parking in that vicinity will actually increase from 79 to 81.


There was a question as to the existing cross parking agreement between the City and the School District and how it would be affected and whether it would need to be modified in any way.   


The entrance to the service drive that connects to that drive aisle does cross out beyond the school district property into the city property, so there will have to be some kind of easement or change in the cross parking agreement.


The sidewalk along Walnut Street that currently is at the curb will be salvaged.  The curb will be removed and the sidewalk will have to be reviewed to make sure that during that construction and removal of the curb no significant damage is done to the sidewalk. 


That sidewalk goes further away from Walnut and comes back in along Walnut.  The part furthest away is outside the right of way and would be the maintenance responsibility of the school district.


On storm water management, there have been a number of conversations in meetings to look at this method of providing the detention.  We have had meetings with the city administration, the recreation department and the design team for the school and have looked at a part of the athletic fields that would not affect ball fields 3 4 and 5, the predominantly used fields.  The placement of this above-ground detention impacts solely field #6 and the recreation director indicated that it is seldom used.


On the detention volume, if you look at the entire site being redeveloped, the requirement would be about 44,000 cubic feet of detention.  In looking at the increase in impervious surface area from existing to proposed, 21,000 cubic feet would be required.  The actual detention volume indicated to be provided at that basin is 27,000 cubic feet.  From what we can recall in the records, there is no significant immediate downstream drainage problem, so this appears to be a sufficient amount of detention for this area.




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Mr. Shvegzda reported that in terms of how that detention takes place, there will be a restrictor within the pipes so that there is no

outlet control structure that goes above the ground surface.  It would look like a regular catch basin and the water would be restrained and bubble out of the catch basin.  The maximum depth immediately at the catch basin would be two feet. 


In addition to that, the maximum slopes shown on the grading plan are five to one, which matches some of the existing slopes beyond the outfield area in ball field #5.


It has been noted to the applicant that the maintenance of the detention basin and the associated features would be the responsibility of the school district, and they have acknowledged that. 


Additional details in terms of the major storm routing need to be submitted.  The storm sewer system is designed to handle the 10-year storm and the difference has to go overland to find its way into the detention basin.  Additional information needs to be submitted in terms of storm sewer analysis. 


The major storm flows around the base of that four to one slope that is at the eastern end.  We need a lot of information to verify the capacity of that ditch that is there.  Because of the way the grades work on that existing property, if the capacity of that ditch is exceeded it will overtop it and flow to the northeast, so we need to have that information tied down.


For that slope as it is four to one and 12 feet at the maximum height, we need very good details concerning the ground cover, the temporary measures to get the ground cover established. 


There is a noted project phasing indicated for the overall project.  We looked at Phase 2-B, which is the northern part of the north parking field, the last phase.  During the time frame when they are replacing the pavement within that drive aisle with the heavy duty pavement, that area will be closed.  There was a concern to make sure that there was some kind of time constraint detail that it would be closed for no longer than whatever time frame they would determine. 


On the traffic impact study, the bottom line is there would be fewer students attending in the future than there are now.  Presently there 10 buses that arrive in the am peak and nine in the pm peak.  After the modifications the number of buses would be only seven in both morning and afternoon.  So there would be no adverse effect on the intersections in the area. 


Some areas of the sidewalk, primarily where it goes around the existing building now, there may be a small area essentially outside the right of way.  The reason it is there now is so it will butt up against the existing school, so additional easements or right of way will have to be provided to accommodate that section.




14 DECEMBER 2004





The plans note an additional width of 10 feet of right of way to be provided along the frontage of Kemper Road.  As part of the overall process of cleaning up the existing property lines and existing right of way, the applicant has submitted the vacation plat for some of the paper streets that exist in that area.  That will be before Council tomorrow, and then there will be a consolidation plat submitted to eliminate the property lines and the problems with building code issues.


Mr. Okum said on the eastern property where the residence is, we have a slope going to a swale.  Would it be possible for the applicant to create a buffer yard mounding type arrangement in that area that would create some protection against any down flow water onto that adjacent site?    Also it would increase the elevation of the trees.  It would be something to give it a little more contour instead of it all sloping in one direction.


Mr. Shvegzda answered the slope comes down, there is a swale and it rises back up.  We were looking to make sure that there is enough depth in that swale section to accommodate the flow that is necessary. 


Mr. Okum responded I was trying to tie in both things to get some separation between the residential and the school property.  By doing some mounding and landscape architecture, you might be able to do that on the eastern side of that swale. 


Mr. Shvegzda said it could be done, but that would necessitate moving something further to the west.  Bottom line is it would affect what is on top as opposed to anything else. 


Craig Honkomp of Kleineger Associates, Civil Engineers said in the past two days we have checked the swale calculations and the flow depth in that swale is about ¾ of a foot, so I believe the swale is sufficiently deep enough to make sure we don’t lose the water onto the adjacent property, which was the concern in a 100-year storm event.  It is a grass swale, and if we tried to add the mound there, you would end up losing playground space.


Addressing Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Okum said so you are saying that restricting that service access drive with a gate is not necessary.  Mr. Shvegzda answered our first comment was that it be provided, but the concern was controlling the locking and unlocking.  It is a matter of policing it with the signage.


Mr. Okum asked Mr. Pensinger if it creates a security issue for vehicles to be able to go back there with free access.  Mr. Pensinger answered the main reason would be for the food service truck and any deliveries during the day.  It would be pretty easy to handle the internal usage when they all come in about the same time.    Mr. Okum said so you don’t consider it a security issue for anybody to be able to go in.  Mr. Pensinger responded the building will be locked; all outside buildings are locked at all times after school starts except for the front door coming into the office and there is a security system as well.  



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Mr. Okum commented if the City is fine with that and you are fine with it, I don’t have a problem.  Mr. Syfert said if it becomes a problem, you can do something about it.


Mr. Syfert said Ms. McBride is not here tonight, and Mr. McErlane is going to present her report.  Mr. McErlane stated that the applicant has provided a photometric lighting plan that in general meets our requirements.  The Zoning Code considers an educational facility as a low activity level facility and requires a maximum height on the light fixtures of 15 feet, which is what the applicant is proposing.  The applicant has met the maximum .5 foot candles at the property line.  The average light level is required to be one foot candle and the maximum light level permitted is 5 foot candles.     


The plan slightly exceeds those two levels, but Ms. McBride has indicated that she doesn’t believe those modifications will negatively impact the surrounding area.  The parking lot lighting is all on the opposite side of the building from the residential properties to the east, so it will not impact residential properties.  The applicant was to provide a color of the pole and fixtures at the meeting, and we have not seen that.


Ms. McBride points out that we have not received a color or material pallet.  She also states that the enclosure for the dumpsters is required to have solid wood gates, and not chain link as indicated on the drawings.


Ms. McBride points out that Planning Commission has had some experience with the noise of children playing as it applies to adjacent residential properties.  I was looking more at the visual impact and how it would impact the neighboring residential property, but I think we probably should look at a heavier buffering method along that playground line to accommodate the noise.


The other issue that Ms. McBride points out relative to landscaping along that line is the fact that the neighbor living there instead of seeing a gradual grade to his west will now see a nine-foot to 14-foot high grade rise fairly quickly from his property line.   She is suggesting that additional trees need to be planted on the slope, at the bottom of the slope and at the top of the slope to break up the impact on the adjacent property.  The question is whether  we relocate trees from other parts of the site so we are not talking about additional trees or this means additional trees.  I think Mr. Pensinger was pleading with Planning Commission, requesting their assistance so that he won’t have to plant more trees.    Mr. Pensinger confirmed this. 


In Ms. McBride’s list of considerations, she talks about the slope, the dumpster enclosure, that the light fixtures have flat lenses, that drawings be submitted that show the structures within 200 feet of the site, that we do see material and color samples and revisions to landscape plan. 


Another item on the landscaping, she pointed out that along the Kemper Road side of the building are four ornamental trees, and she is suggesting additional foundation plantings.


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Mr. McErlane said she also suggests that the sign setback be adjusted to 10 feet from the Kemper Road right of way.


Mr. Pensinger said the lighting is drawn per code, but because of the height of the fixtures it does mean a number of poles in the parking lot itself.  Could we get change that so that the lights with the parking lot could be more perimeter type lighting and not have as many in the lot itself.  We have a representative engineer who could explain this.


Keith Eisner said we could raise the light poles to 23 feet and we should be able to light all the parking lots from the perimeter. The one we are particularly concerned about is the front one that is dual striped for car and bus parking.  It would be a benefit the school district not to have any poles in the area for bus parking.


Mr. Syfert asked if there were some way the poles could be on the perimeter and direct lighting into the parking lot, and Mr. Eisner said by raising the pole height, with full cut off fixtures, we could reach out and cover the center of the parking lot.  The other way would be to go to the perimeter and not be a full cut off fixture and have more of a flood fixture which would increase the glare, so we would prefer to raise to the full height.  We would probably increase the wattage of the individual fixtures, but we would end up with less wattage since there would be fewer poles.


Mr. Okum said one of Ms. McBride made was to go to flat lens.  Mr. Eisner said it wasn’t indicated, but all have flat lens.  Mr. Okum continued her indication was that the lights would be placed at 15-foot, and on 10 to 15 foot high poles.  You are saying that you want to bring them up to 23.  Mr. Eisner responded 15 is how they are currently laid out, and since the school district is interested in raising them, I believe we should be able to do 23 so we can have lights at the perimeter and not in the center of the bus parking.   We would eliminate all poles from the center of the front lot and only have them in front of the parking line ups in the upper lot.


Mr. Okum said as long as you do not have glare on the property or the adjoining properties, and you don’t have the super bright hot spots, I would not have a problem with the lighting intensity increasing a little bit by fewer poles in the southwest corner.   But as you get further towards the community center and low level lighting, I wouldn’t think those fields would be used a lot at nighttime. 


If the community center lights are at 23, I don’t have a problem with it.  You also need emergency exit lights over the doors or area lighting and typically it is done with a flood and a spot shooting down on the field.  I would not want to see any of that to light that loading area, so you may need to go the opposite way.

Mr. Eisner answered we will have a wall pack with full cutoff.







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Mr. McErlane reported when I relayed Ms. McBride’s comments about the lighting levels and indicated that its impact might be low; one of the things we neglected to look at was one of the properties immediately west of this, although zoned Public Facilities is actually a residential use.  It is a group home, and I think it is important to be sensitive to lighting levels relative to that as well as glare on the property.  That would be the northern field and the driveway from the bus area.  The parking lot where the buses are backs up primarily to the UDF development, so it doesn’t have as much of an impact.


Mr. Vanover said on the northwestern bus field, what would be the possibility of putting your 23-footers on the bus parking, and on the back edge by the building reduces the height.  You would get increased coverage from these outer poles and hold that down and that might hold some of the falloff.  I am not as concerned about falloff on UDF, but it is still a public street back there and I am concerned about the glare.  Maybe you could mix the heights and get a little more flexibility that ay, rather than jacking all those poles up on that field to the 23-foot level. 


Mr. Eisner answered we can take a look at it but I believe that to  cover this location and this location all the way to the center of the block we probably would need the poles to be 23 feet on each side.  They are 250 watt and the23-foot would be 400 watt


Mr. Syfert commented this might take a little work to see what works out best, but I think it is a good thought.  Perhaps we can keep the lighting out of our motion and let staff work with them on this. 


Mr. Pensinger commented that the number of poles is a financial issue, but we are especially concerned about school safety, especially in the front lot.


Ms. Baker asked if that would require a variance, or should we work with staff to come up with a solution and no variance required.  Mr. Pensinger commented we will need a variance for the signage, since we would like Springdale to be on the building and on the message board. 


Mr. Coleman commented in my opinion it is an excellent idea to reduce the number of poles in the drop off area and have them in the perimeter.


Mr. Pensinger presented the color pallet.  Ms. Baker reported that it is intended to be brick with split face concrete block base. Because we will be publicly bidding the project, all of these materials are subject to the result of the bid, but we will be looking for something very similar if not identical to what we have here.  We will leave the small board with you.


Mr. Okum said there were references to CMU on the building, more than what you are presenting.  Ms. Baker responded we were not sure where that was coming from, but it is not the intention.   All of what you see in the drawing would be a fired masonry unit. 


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Mr. Okum asked if the bid came in too high and you needed to make adjustments.  Do we end up with a concrete block building with split face block on the whole building, red block?  Ms. Baker said we are managing the project with Turner Construction so we don’t end up in that boat.  We have already gone to utility size brick, which is more economical and there are other possibilities if we would find ourselves in that position.   We will do everything we can to stay away from a block building.


Mr. Okum said you understand that this is in the heart of the City of Springdale, and currently we have an all brick building.  I think the materials you selected are excellent; it ties in with the downtown district really well.  Mr. Pensinger said the district gave this decision to Springdale Elementary School, and I would like to have the principal report on that now.


Susan Welles, Principal of Springdale Elementary School said we started with colors similar to the city building, neutrals and browns, and they didn’t seem very inviting for a school building.  Amanda brought us alternative colors with reds.  There was a great deal of excitement when we saw some of the red colors.  We looked at other buildings that were in those colors, went to other sites to look at other school buildings with similar colors.   Ms. Baker added that it was a unanimous decision among the teachers.


Mr. Okum asked the staff if the color of the pole was a problem, and Mr. McErlane said in the Corridor District it just says dark colored poles.


Mr. Vanover said I don’t want to see a split face block building there, so I hope that you have some control in governing the bid specs.    Ms. Baker answered we will actually specify three exact bricks, so it will be one of three and there should be no other option.


Mr. Vanover said you might want to double check the cut sheets, because it says the head for the KB E-3 says a dark bronze standard finish, and it should be either black or bronze.  I want the heads and the poles to be the same color. 


Ms. Baker said they are asking for steel reinforced wood for the dumpster enclosure gate.  For me that sends up a red flag in terms of maintenance.  I am wondering if there would be any flexibility to looking at something like a louvered gate, an upgrade from the chain link and something that could be painted a custom color. 


Mr. Syfert commented we have had a wealth of experience with the chain link and different colored strips, and they don’t work.  Mr. Pensinger responded this is a solid material.  Mr. Okum commented the Venetian design is nothing but galvanized corrugated metal roofing material.  I can’t tell what the Eclipse design is, but it looks like a wire with a Venetian blind in it.  The only thing I can say is our gates here at the municipal building which is 12 years old are still in existence, and they are a steel framed wood gate system. 



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Mr. Okum added that you have a wood fence you are constructing along the eastern side, so you have maintenance of wood anyway.  I don’t think it would be that big of a deal, and it would be similar to what is on the existing property close by.  I don’t think the cost would make that much difference.


Mr. McErlane reported that usually what we see for wood gates is two by cedar material which is pretty durable when you get that thick.   You have to stain it every once in a while, but typically not that often.


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Syfert said we would like to see you go with it.  Mr. Pensinger said that is no problem.


Mr. Okum said we didn’t discuss mechanical units, and it appeared that all mechanical units would be screened from the public right of way and view.  Mr. Pensinger confirmed this.


Mr. Okum said I would like an opinion or comment from Planning Commission concerning the signage variance they are requesting from the Board of Zoning Appeals.  I would like to carry that comment to the Board next week.


Mr. Galster said I would encourage the second sign on the building.  I think it adds an identity and is something the City should be proud of.  I also understand the need for the outdoor monument sign with the changeable copy, so I absolutely have no problem with the two signs.  No one else on the board had a problem.


Mr. Okum said you have the rear pavement setback and the signage for variances.  Mr. McErlane said the rear pavement setback is an existing situation, but we can consider it separately.  In the past, if we have cross parking easements I don’t know that we have caused them to get variances, but it would clean it up. 


Mr. Okum asked if they needed to add a cross access easement to the list of variances.  Mr. McErlane indicated they did not, adding that we think there is one in existence.  Mr. Shvegzda added it does show the approved ordinance, but the attachments are not consistent. We will verify the ordinance within the city records.  Mr. McErlane added we certainly can address that at BZA if you want to address it.  It doesn’t hurt anything to add it. 


Addressing the applicant, Mr. McErlane said if the consideration is to come to next week’s meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals, we need to get detail on the letters that are on the building.  There is nothing relative to size, so we would need that information, unless you want to delay your application to BZA for a month.  Ms. Baker said I think we can get what is needed pretty quickly.










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Mr. Okum moved to approve the development plan and building plans as submitted.  This shall include all staff, city engineer and city planner recommendations, and is contingent upon approval of the Board of Zoning Appeals of the variances identified this evening, the rear pavement setback and signage on the main building plus the monument sign and a cross easement issue to be included.  Also, all mechanical units shall be screened from view from adjoining properties and public right of way as presented.  All lighting fixtures shall conform to the existing Zoning Code.  Light fixtures shall be finalized by review of staff.  Light fixture and pole color shall be dark bronze or black as submitted.  Tree preservation and replacement conditions shall include that no additional trees shall be required, provided that the green space currently identified on the plan shall remain.  The dumpster and refuse enclosures shall include steel framed wood fence gates, and all gates shall remain closed at all times. 


All four building elevations shall be as presented.  The exterior color pallet shall be based on the presentation this evening.  Signage shall be as requested by the applicant pending Board of Zoning Appeals approval.   Changes to the above conditions shall constitute a change to the approval of the plan and such changes shall require approval by the Planning Commission.


Mr. Galster said in reference to the landscape plan where we are giving them relief from the Tree Preservation Ordinance, providing that adequate screening be obtained.  Right now we are saying that the number of trees he has on the plan is okay, but until we see how that situates with the adjacent east property owner, we don’t know if there shouldn’t be a couple of more trees to adequately screen that.  We are talking about adding them on the top and the bottom of the hill so if they can move trees from the existing plan to accomplish that, and still have adequate landscaping, that is fine.  But if they move the trees to get the screening, there may be a couple of more trees that need to be replaced to make sure that the site is adequately landscaped. 


Mr. Okum said I thought we were going to allow the landscaping provided they met staff’s approval.  Ms. McBride identified the separation of the east property in her report, which was adequate enough.  I understand Mr. Galster’s concern that if they shift all the trees to protect the east property line and all the trees leave the site, we end up with no landscaping anywhere else, so we have to hit that medium.


Mr. Galster said so relief from the Tree Preservation Ordinance can be obtained provided that there is proper screening to the east property owner, and the remaining site continues to be properly landscaped with final approval by staff.


Mr. Okum said I will so amend my motion to include that.  Mr. Galster seconded the amendment.





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Mr. Vanover said Mr. Okum mentioned the lighting fixtures.  I thought we were backing the lighting out so that they can work with staff on the height of the poles.  Mr. Okum said I had that in there, that lighting fixtures and location shall be finalized with staff. 


All voted aye, and the approval was granted unanimously.


Mr. Syfert asked when ground would be broken, and Andy Watford of Turner Construction stated that they anticipate late March of next year.  The project will go to bid in February.


C.     Discussion of Proposed Transition Overlay District – West Kemper Road     


Mr. Okum said when they did the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, they anticipated that things would change.  This is one of the items that has presented itself, and is a necessary change, especially with the change with the school on the north side of West Kemper Road.


If you turn to the future land use plan proposed amendment, it indicates in lighter blue four parcels being changed into Public Facility Zoning.  The area we discussed at the last meeting is the combination of properties and parcels that involved the facility for pregnancy counseling and the dentists’ offices as a transition into our GB District.  In my opinion it eliminates spot zoning issues and gives us an opportunity to control growth and development.  I think this is a fair transition point for that to occur.


I would add that under Transitional Office, we need to add verbiage regarding added limited access points to those properties, so that type of control off Kemper Road is carried into that transitional overlay district.


Mr. Shvegzda commented that would go to the conversation that we had on having a common access for the two uses that came before Planning.  Mr. Okum added I think we should tie that into the transition district verbiage, along with what Ms. McBride had indicated.  She has lighting, hours of operation, building design as needed to insure limited impact on the adjacent property.  I would add to that type of verbiage controlling with limited access to the parcels, so we have common access points.


Mr. McErlane said to clarify, in looking at Ms. McBride’s report, it is important to distinguish between land use and zoning.  The plans she has submitted to you are land use plans that specifically talk about the actual uses or proposed uses on the property, and not the zoning classifications for them. 


The important thing that she points out about the land use plan that was adopted by the City is that it is not set in stone and it shouldn’t be set in stone.  It should be reviewed on a regular basis to determine whether or not it should be changed relative to what is going on in the City, or how the City should look at sensitive areas.




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Mr. McErlane reported that Planning Commission and Council have already taken that step with regard to the application we just saw in front of us in terms of the school.  If you look at the land use plan

as it exists today, it indicates that the properties east of the school and east of the church on the south side should remain Low Density Single Family Residential.  


The City has already taken the step with the school to change that to a degree.  What she is suggesting is that in similar fashion we should look at the properties on the south side of West Kemper Road, directly south of what we did with the school and consider a transitional zoning there. 


To explain what the transitional zoning does, (and this relates to the restrictions Mr. Okum was talking about), it is an overlay on top of an existing zoning, and that is what we are proposing to do.  That will allow the property to remain Residential Single Household.   The houses can be torn down and rebuilt as Residential Single Household without having to come to Planning for any approvals.  Or it can be developed as other uses with Planning Commission and Council’s approval. 


When those uses come in, a preliminary plan has to come in, covenants at our recommendation would have to come in that would put restrictions on access points, buffering and types of uses to the degree that we feel comfortable that they are taking into consideration adjacent properties. 


Those types of issues that we are sensitive to don’t come into play until somebody actually files an application for transitional use.  In our Zoning Code there is no such thing as transitional office.  That is a land use, not a zoning classification.  So, we have to distinguish between those things.


What we are suggesting is if something happens there that it should be a transitional office use in the land use plan.


Ms. McBride is suggesting that the Planning Commission recommend to City Council that the zoning map be changed to two classifications.  It is basically tagging transition zoning classification on the existing zoning.  There are two different classifications in the properties we have outlined; one is Residential Single Household High Density and the other Residential Single Household Low Density.  What she is recommending is that we tag the transition overlay zoning to both of those with the underlying zoning as it currently is.  Also, the land use map for the comprehensive plan should be amended.


I discussed with her whether or not it made sense to make that all one transitional classification, make it all RSH-L-T and from the property owner’s standpoint, she suggested that because you are lowering the density that they could build on, it would be taking something from that property owner.  Not that we know that a property owner would have resistance to that, but it opens the door for that.



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Mr. McErlane added that if you made it all one classification, it would make for a better looking zoning map, but in reality if you just put the t’s on those two classifications it will not make that much of an impact.  If it gets changed into a transitional use, we probably are looking at properties bigger than just single individual lots there.  What we have seen in terms of proposed concept plans are a consolidation of properties to do that.


Mr. Galster commented last month we did look at a couple of different concept plans, and I thought it was important to keep these issues separate.  I think this map is more in tune to what has happened there, and I would like to make sure that we have some access control, but if it has to be a part of any approval with the preliminary plan submitted, then I am comfortable with it.   So I support it; I think it is a good change.   


Mr. McErlane reported that the motion would be to recommend to Council an amendment to the Zoning Map for transitional overlay on these properties.   I believe you have a plat that was drawn up by the City Engineer, but I don’t know if it distinguishes between those two high density and low density.  The other would be a recommendation to Council to amend the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.     


Mr. McErlane said if you look at Ms. McBride’s comments on the second page at the bottom of the page,  there are conclusions and that is the basic motion.


Mr. Galster moved to recommend to City Council that they amend the Zoning Map for the City to designate the eight parcels located in the southeast corner of Hickory Street and West Kemper Road as Residential Single Household – Low Density – Transitional, and Residential Single Household – High Density – Transitional.  The second item would be to amend the Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan to designate the 4.03 acres on the north side of West Kemper Road, recently rezoned to PF-L as Public Institutional.  Mr. Okum seconded the motion. 


All voted aye and the approval was granted unanimously and will be forwarded on to Council.




Mr. Galster asked if there was any more word from the Extended Stay in terms of their plan to replace the trees.  Mr. McErlane reported that he has talked with a contractor who is working with them to come up with a planting plan, and also have received a letter from their attorney saying that they will be submitting a landscape plan as well as an appeal application.


Mr. Okum wondered if the appeal went to the Board of Zoning Appeals or Planning Commission.  Mr. McErlane responded that Planning Commission hears all appeals and variances for the Tree Preservation Ordinance. 




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Mr. Okum said some months ago there was an issue with Provident Bank at Tri-County Parkway and Kemper Road regarding a blue band around the building, and Planning had held to some limitations on that site.  Since that time, the owners have taken all the sign cases off and painted it white.  Council overturned Planning Commission’s decision on the blue issue on the Provident Banks.  I do encourage Planning and Council members to drive down Winton Road near Compton and look at the Provident Bank building that is similar to ours at Tri-County Parkway.  I would be happy to supply you with a photograph of the new green band around the top of the building.


IX.               CHAIRMAN’S REPORT


A.          Staples – 12050 Princeton Pike – Sign Package

B.          Holiday Depot – 7570 Kemper Commons – Wall Sign

C.          Kinko’s Fed Ex – 11338 Princeton Pike – Wall & Window Signs

D.          Tri-County Beauty College – 155 Northland Blvd. – Wall Sign


X.                 ADJOURNMENT


Mr. Vanover moved to adjourn and Mr. Galster seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all voted aye, and Planning Commission adjourned at 9:10 p.m.


                                                            Respectfully submitted,




____________________,2004     _________________________

                                                            William G. Syfert, Chairman




___________________, 2004      __________________________

                                                            Lawrence Hawkins III Secretary