PLAINFIELD PLAN COMMISSION
For April 7, 2011, 7:00 PM
CALL TO ORDER
Mr. Gibbs: I would like to call to order the Plainfield Plan Commission meeting for April 7, 2011. Mr. Carlucci will you poll the Board to determine a quorum?
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci: Mr. Satterfield is absent tonight
Mr. McPhail- here
Mr. Brandgard- here
Mr. Duncan- here
Mr. Kirchoff- here
Mr. Gibbs- here
We have five members present; we have a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mr. Gibbs: Will you please rise for the pledge of allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES (January 3, 2011)
Mr. Gibbs: I assume everyone on the Board has had a chance to review the minutes from January 3rd, if so, I will entertain a motion or corrections.
Mr. McPhail: I move we approve the minutes from January 3, as presented.
Mr. Duncan: Second.
Mr. Gibbs: I have a motion and a second, all those in favor signify by saying aye, opposed, motion is carried.
Mr. Kirchoff: Let the record show that I abstain since I was absent for those two meetings please.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Gibbs: Those wishing to make a testimony and address the Board this evening will need to take an oath of testimony, Mr. Daniel will administer that.
Mr. Daniel conducted the oath of testimony.
Mr. Gibbs reviewed the public hearing guidelines governing the conduct of Public Hearings.
PETITIONS FOR PUBLIC HEARING
Mr. Gibbs: RZ-11-001 Mr. James, we will turn the meeting over to you.
Mr. James: Thank you Mr. President, good evening members of the Plan Commission, we have one petition tonight for public hearing, RZ-11-001, it is a request to annex or to rezone approximately 6.7 acres, pending annexation to I-2 office warehouse distribution district for proposed truck terminal maintenance facility at the address of 10017 East County Road 200 South. This is about 1,500 feet from Ronald Reagan Parkway to the west. The comprehensive plan recommends mixed use office flex space for this area. We have had some rezones in the last couple of years that if it changed the zoning in this area the adjacent 80 acres to the west would rezone from Ag to I-2 in 2006 and then we had a big rezone to the north to I-2 also in 2006, that was for the Allpoints Midwest industrial park, about 770 acres was rezoned to I-2, the property to the south was annexed and rezoned to CI commercial industrial. The one southwest of the site is Adesa Company zoned TC and then between this site and Ronald Reagan Parkway are about 14-15 residential partials that are not in Plainfield, they are in Hendricks County zoned AGR Ag residential. But the comp plan does recommend mixed use office flex space with this whole area. I will show you the comp plan, here is the site, it is about right in here so all of this is recommended for mixed use office flex space and this is recommended for I-2 and then this is the piece that it got rezoned to I-2, so here is the site right here 6.7 acres, 200 south, Ronald Reagan Parkway, and this is the eighty acres that was rezoned to I-2 in 2006 and then the Allpoints Midwest Industrial Park which is I-2. You've got the CI that was rezoned. Wamsley-Charlie and then they also annexed and rezoned as general commercial along with that rezone and then you got the Adesa over in here, and all of that is general commercial, then this that is white, that is still in Hendricks County and zoned Ag residential. So again, here is the comprehensive plan the site is about right here, this piece was rezoned to I-2, even though it was recommended for mixed use office flex space and then our transportation plan, we have a proposed collector that would go down the west property line at the property at some time in the future. That requires a seventy foot right of way, so we need to make sure we get some right of way of this property and then of the adjoined property to the west. The required setback in I-2 is sixty feet, so it would be sixty feet here and sixty feet off 200 South for new development, but there is an existing house that they plan to use that for an office, but new development would require sixty foot setback, but this can't be reduced to thirty feet with a development standards. Going to go to the development standards, because the site is not within six hundred feet of the gateway corridor, it is over 1,500 feet from the Ronald Reagan Parkway and not within six hundred feet of a Plainfield residential district it does not require Plan Commission review of a compliance of the gateway corridor standards. A new development can be approved by an ILP that is an Improvement Location Permit. The proposed use, a truck terminal maintenance facility is allowed in the I-2 by special exception so before any development can occur, if it got rezoned I-2 it would have to go to BZA to get the special exception. No conceptual plan has been provided but they talked about 60' X 100'structure for the maintenance building and again the I-2 setbacks would be sixty feet. The use or functions is the maintenance facility it is not really like a terminal with docks, so the dock doors or loading spaces, so no development center will be required for orientation of loading spaces. But semi tractors and trailers will be parked on the site so that is where it is more similar to a truck terminal and why it would need the BZA approval. If the existing homes to the east are in Plainfield, a fifty foot bufferyard would be required along that east property line with a level three perimeter landscaping. As it stands if it is zoned to I-2, all that is required is a 10 foot side yard set back with level 1 perimeter landscaping along that east property line. Our zoning ordinance calls a district, the only district that is within the Town of Plainfield that falls within our zoning territory. So since not in Plainfield but in Hendricks County, the 50' bufferyard is not actually required even though it is a residential use. Site features sanitary, sewer, and water are available with connection by the developer. The drainage would have to be engineered because the water drains naturally to the south. There is some potential foliage on the site which it could aid in screening, and then access would be from 200 South which is built to handle heavy truck traffic to the Ronald Reagan Parkway and then staff recommends petitioner commit to dedicate some right of way for the Plan collector. So again, here is the site, it is about 230 by over 1,200 feet deep, again there is significant amount of trees already on the site and then you've got the residential uses to the east, between this site and the Ronald Reagan Parkway, but all of this area is recommended for the flex office mixed land use. There is a photo of the site, the existing house, they plan to use that as an office and then down 200 South back to Ronald Reagan Parkway. Some staff comments, pushing the I-2 zoning in this area knowing the comp plan recommends mixed use office flex space for this site, and all the way to the Ronald Reagan Parkway should the zoning be allowed to match the I-2 zoning to the north, the comp plan was amended in 2005 to add the mixed use office flex space land use recommendation. It was created to provide locations for gateway development and support facilities at the edge of the major industrial parks recommends the development comply with the gateway corridor commercial development standards in the C-I zoning districts. Is the proposed use considered a support facility at the edge of the I-2? Normally the I-2 development must comply with the gateway corridor development standards as does the C-I or any special development commitments needed for this location and staff recommends petitioner commit to dedicating some right of way for the plan collector along the west property line. So with that, I will have a seat and Ben Comer is here representing the petitioner.
Mr. Gibbs: Thank you Joe. Ben would you like to address the Commission?
Mr. Comer: Ben Comer, 71 W. Marion Street, Danville. I am here on behalf of your petitioners; I have with me Mike Wyatt and Steve Wyatt here. Steve is the landowner and Mike also represents the petitioner Mr. Sing. Joe has pointed out the most of our case; I will just try to fill in some additional information about this site. We consider there are really four distinguishing factors about this site for your consideration. It is a heavily wooded site, which is going to naturally screen any use that goes on in this property which is a main feature, especially for this type of use. There is existing I-2 to our west, and to our north, we are currently zoned Ag residential, our residents abuts I-2, if this were extended east the I-2 onto our property you would still have an I-2 abutting Ag residential. It doesn't really change in that regard. All of this land in here will be a part of Plainfield and will be some type of commercial or industrial zone. So in the natural extension of the I-2 on our site really doesn't change how things match up because we already have existing residential against I-2. We will need a special exception so we will go to the Board of Zoning Appeals and satisfy any criteria they would want to see on our use and the other natural factor about this particular site is that it is 231 feet wide, so it is not a really wide track when you start putting in some right of way, some set backs. There is not a lot of usable space left to do much. So this particular use is good for this site and that it doesn't need a ton of usable space. Talking about its 6,000 square foot building in terms of the good rear of the track in the middle which will be oriented north and south to where, you know, maybe that building is only 60' wide. So we don't need a lot of use of this space and we would be willing to commit to some right of way along our west line. Because we are really skinny tracked and the field next to us that is I-2 is a very large track, we would respectfully request that the majority of that right of way for the future road go on the corn field to our west, but we are willing to participate, we acknowledge that we should participate in some regard. I would like to see it down in the 15 or 20' range at such time in the future as that road needs to go in. We would do some written commitments to say at that time the right of way would be granted. What that will allow us to do is get in, put up our building with a 60' setback along the west and keep the building in the middle of the property. Let me tell you a little bit about the petitioners business. As Joe said they intend to use the existing house for their office and put up roughly their 6,000 square foot building that they will use to conduct maintenance on their trucks. He owns a trucking line, trucks are on the road and this is where they will come when they need some type of maintenance. So we would expect no more than ten trucks at any given time on this property because those trucks need to be on the road. That is where the petitioner conducts his business. You won't see a lot of truck traffic coming in and out of this site. He will only maintain his own company trucks; this is not a business that caters to the public. 200 South is a fair significant factor in our decision to look at this site because of the anticipated growth and the specs that 200 South were built too, to accommodate that industrial growth. So it is a good thing and it will serve us well and the Town well in this capacity. If we get your blessing and favorable recommendation we will start making plans to of course address the Town Council, but also to address the BZA with some site designs where we start looking at specifically where the building will sit, what the setbacks will be, drainage issues and things of that nature. So for all of these reasons we think it is a good opportunity for a win, win for our business, for economic development for the Town, we don't see a negative impact due to the features of this site that I've mentioned. So with that we will be here for questions, explanations, and respectfully request that you support a motion for the Town Council.
Mr. Kirchoff: I have a couple of questions. Could you put the slide up for us again Joe, please, particularly the one with the trees on it. Do you have an idea yet about how far south you are going to build your 6,000 square foot structure?
Mr. Comer: Right here is where kind (inaudible) the building will be locating.
Mr. Kirchoff: My first question is which I think you've answered. You're not going to being tearing down a bunch of trees?
Mr. Comer: No. That is one of the sites really nice features.
Mr. Kirchoff: Do you have a sense yet of, and I realize this is only to rezone request, so we won't get into some of those details but just for my information do you have a sense of hours of operation?
Mr. Comer: The vast majority of their work will be conducted during normal business hours, 7 or 8 in the morning until 5 or 6 in the evening. Very limited weekend work, but the vast majority of the work will be conducted during normal business hours.
Mr. Gibbs: Anyone else on the Board have anymore questions at this time? Thank you. Since this is a public hearing, at this time I will invite anyone to come forward wishing to address the Commission in favor or supporting this petition? If not, I will invite anyone to come forward with concerns or questions on this petition.
Mr. Carlucci: If you will come up and state your name and address.
Mr. Kirchoff: I don't believe he was sworn in.
Mr. Gibbs: Sir, did you take the oath of testimony?
Mr. Helms: No, I didn't because I didn't think I would say anything.
Mr. Daniel conducted the oath of testimony.
Mr. Gibbs: If you would state your name.
Mr. Helms: Ed Helms and I live right next door to the property that we are talking about. I have two questions. A lot of times these truck places, the guys are trying to get in and out quick, which like you say they are on the road to make money, not sitting in a service lot. Are they going to be staying in the house as well in the office area ever? So we don't have a concern of weekly or a variety of people staying in that one?
Mr. Gibbs: If you would please address the questions to us and we will give the petitioner the opportunity to come back and answer them.
Mr. Helms: The other question I have, on the east between our properties, the berm or whatever you are talking about doing, could you be more specific about that and explain to me what is going to be between my house and the trucking repair shop?
Mr. Carlucci: Joe, could you have your pointer and maybe he can show us where his house is at with the pointer?
Mr. James: This property is not in Plainfield, by the ordinance the site is zoned I-2, they don't have to do the 50' bufferyard, but if this site was in Plainfield then they would have to do the 50' bufferyard along this property line, this level three perimeter landscaping, but of course they can use the existing trees as part of that level three perimeter landscaping. This I-2 has to comply to the development standards with the big warehouses and the C-I has to comply with the commercial gateway corridor standards so this site will also comply with the gateway corridor, even though the site is pretty narrow, you can establish what kind of bufferyard, you can go 50' like what is required, or you can scale it back to 20 or 30 feet, whatever you think is appropriate.
Mr. Brandgard: Joe, just a quick comment before the clock gets away from me, I've got some concern. I think this Board has always been on record that if we are doing something that is next to somebody outside the Town, we make sure they are protected just as well as if they were in the Town from whatever is going on. If our ordinance doesn't reflect that, we need to get that changed, because that has always been the condition. It doesn't matter whether those houses are in or out of Town, the houses, the residential is there.
Mr. James: Its use is what matters but you can make that a commitment certainly.
Mr. McPhail: Mr. Helms, how far south does your property line go? So you have a strip that goes, that green strip is pretty much it.
Mr. Helms: Yes, the only part that would need separated really is right up here near the house, but when you say a separation, I'm curious what you mean, just vacant land or are you going to mound it up and put bushes on it?
Mr. James: A bufferyard is the same as a setback, it cannot go (inaudible) they commit to a 50' bufferyard, (inaudible) since it is already heavy wooded, they will want to keep the existing trees in (inaudible)
Mr. Helms: None of the trees along that fence line there, they are all just a junk (inaudible).
Mr. James: (inaudible)
Mr. McPhail: How wide is your street?
Mr. Helms: I don't know.
Mr. Kirchoff: Looks about the same. We are talking about width, not depth.
Mr. Gibbs: 252 in width? Is that all you have for questions or comments at this time?
Mr. Helms: Yes it is.
Mr. Gibbs: Thank you. Would the petitioner like to come back and address the issues and concerns that have been raised?
Mr. Comer: I want to confirm, Ed, is that your personal residence? You don't, is that an investment property?
Mr. Comer: I really expect all of these properties in through here to be some type of commercial industrial growth. The house will not be our office, pardon me, the current residence converted to an office will not be used for any type of residential use, and it will be an office. Regarding the bufferyard, we do have some limitations due to our width depending on what their setback on the west, what our setback on the east; I think we are very easily going to meet that 50' setback on the east. The question would be, what could go in there to help the situation if anything other than the current vegetation which could very well meet the required vegetation and we will certainly get into more of that if the zoning is approved and we move down the line. Of course the Board of Zoning Appeals is going to want to know all of that and perhaps this is Plan Commission is as well at a later date. What we do know is there is existing vegetation, what we do know is our new improvements will not be immediately adjacent to the residence but on the rear of the neighbors property. But yes, we are willing to commit to certain things that will pacify the situation. That is all that my notes indicate.
Mr. Carlucci: I have just one question, are there going to be, I know they said they are going to repair, are there going to be trucks there that stay overnight and run refridgeration units all night long.
Mr. Comer: The answer to the second question is definitely no. Will there be trucks there overnight? (Inaudible), so the first part of the question is yes there could be trucks stored there overnight, but the answer to the second part is no, they won't be running.
Mr. Gibbs: What about trucks just running for an extended amount of time idling?
Mr. James: I want to add that C-I zoning, all operations have to be conducted indoors, inside the building.
Ms. Martinez: My name is Cheryl Martinez, and I live at 10113 E. Co. Road 200 south, and that is two doors down from Mr. Wyatt's property. I also kind of speaking for Ed before he got up here and then there is another gentleman on the other side of me that he was going to be here but he had an emergency at work and he couldn't make it. But we put all of our thoughts down on paper and I was asked to read it. Some of this stuff has been discussed but, to begin with, we noticed that the notice stated that Mr. Wyatt's property was on the east side and it sounded like the entire east side was next to C-1, but Mr. Helms property is actually a little, according to the maps on the County website, his is a little over half as deep as Mr. Wyatt's and it is wider, so there is residential and then we are next to that and then there is another one next to us. There is one vacant lot and then one all the way down to the County line is homes and there is a little neighborhood behind us as well. Our concern is impact of the trucks will have on our homes and we were told there would be about 40 trucks in and out of that, you told me that, forty trucks in and out of there everyday, which is a lot of trucks. There is a lot of traffic on that road with high school kids getting in and out of school, the high school is only 2 miles down the road, and they travel that road constantly, it is kind of a bypass for US 40. If there is only one way to get in that place and no way to get out and turn around, are some of these trucks going to be lined up on the road waiting to get in and out of the terminal? Granted the warehouses are across the street and that valid but that entrance is a quarter mile down the road almost and they've got a square mile property and roads that they get the trucks off the main road there on 200 and really they are not that much of a hassle, they get back there, you don't see them and you don't really hear them. So the safety of getting in and in and out and then another concern is the water run off if they blacktop a lot of that and put a big pole barn, where is all of the water going to run off too, is it going to be a retaining pond. Right now the front, the northeast corner of Mr. Wyatt's and a northwest of Mr. Helms' property, when we get really heavy rains it just puddles and is there for quite sometime, even after the roadwork they did out front. So now they are going to have nothing but blacktop there, where is that water going to go? Is it just going to travel on down to ours and then we are going to have puddling in our yard, so that is a major concern, and then just the noise, the exhaust, are they going to have fuel stored on the property? Is it going to be new fuel, used fuel, is there a chance of leaking? We've all got wells and septic, there is fields, farm fields all around the property so if there is some kind of potential run off, the water table in that area is rather high, it wouldn't take much to get into our wells and it wouldn't take much to get into the fields and contaminate the fields and they are farmed every year. So that is another concern. Just the noise, the light, and the sound pollution, the pollution from the exhaust from the diesels, well now if you are going to do the 50' buffer that might not be bad but a lot of that foliage that you see are just big trees, they are not really a buffer, and a lot of those trees are right on the line, almost onto Ed's property, so it just doesn't seem like when you are living there that a good fit would be good for that many trucks coming in and out of there for leaks, fuel, diesel fuel, the fumes coming off the trucks themselves, the noise. There is people that live right next to it, and there is a little girl that likes to play outside and we like to enjoy our outdoors and if we've got trucks and fumes and everything, the wind comes from the west it is going to blow over into us, so there goes any outdoor enjoyment and that sort of thing. So I just think it would be better use for a different type of facility. We understand that commercial is coming, there is no way to stop it but it needs to be a business that is complimentary to the existing homes and not something that is going to be adversarial to them. Thank you very much.
Mr. Gibbs: Thank you. Is there anyone else in the audience that wants to come forward? At this time I am going to close the public portion of the meeting and open it up.
Mr. Comer: A lot of the questions, well good questions may not be right for discussion for tonight. The site development questions if you will that relate to lighting, and access, stacking, and drainage. Our normal development type questions and not zoning questions, they are good questions and they have their time and place, but I don't believe that is tonight and we will at some point in the near future if this project moves forward be in a position to give very detailed answers to those questions. This area in Plainfield, both on the zoning maps as well as the comprehensive plan, and plans obviously change through the years, going from residential and (inaudible) to industrial and 200 South certainly no longer you're typical County Road. Perhaps we should rename that to something else besides County Road. This is a natural extension of where this section of Plainfield is currently and will continue to head in the future. I don't believe this particular use is necessarily completely conflicting with the residences. I believe that they can work next door to each other, I believe the BZA will work through that issue that they can next door to one another. We are currently next to an industrial classification, across the street and immediately to the west at anytime that space could be and will be developed in the near future. So your industrial next door next door residential, it is what we have, and through the course of time, today even presently, is changing and I expect and I'm sure even the owners of these properties expect that in the very near future their properties will convert to some type of commercial industrial use. I'm sure if an offer was presented to them they would be well received by them. So we have if we get through tonight and you send this onto the Town Council the favorable recommendation, we have several stops along the way including more public hearings with notice to the residents and where we will continue to work out the details of the specific project. Although the question before you tonight is, is this a good site for I-2?
Mr. Brandgard: Before you leave, what type of vehicles are going to be brought in for maintenance? Are they the tractors from the tractor trailer set up?
Mr. Comer: Yes.
Mr. Brandgard: How many a day?
Mr. Comer: He owns about approximately 50 trucks give or take. So a really bad day is half your fleet going to go down in one day, extremely unlikely. So we would expect that at no particular time there will be no more than ten at anyone time on site. Robin I couldn't see that number being more than 20.
Mr. Brandgard: I just ask because the residents are under the assumption of 40 a day.
Mr. Gibbs: Any additional questions or comments from the Board?
Mr. McPhail: I guess I know there is a rezone and to me it is a little bit unique in fact that we have a site that a portion of that wants to be reused and we don't really have a development plan or do we really know what type of structures and that type of thing. Normally when we rezone we've got rezoning ordinances there or we got ordinances there for the zoning that we have a pretty good idea of what we are going to end up in a finished project and we are going to see that. I think that the petitioner may see some compelling arguments, I do agree that someday the property to the east will probably be redeveloped, will that be a year, a month, or a hundred years, I don't know. But I do believe that is propelling. I am a little perplexed as Robin mentioned that our ordinance does not protect the resident's area if it is not in the Town limits. We need to correct that, I think that is the first time Joe we have ever ran into that with the exception I do remember when we rezoned Allpoints. That we did get protection for those residents that was in Avon on the west side of that, or in the County on the left side. So this is just a little bit unique to me and I'm struggling with, I think the use is not a bad transition use from the I-2 zoning, and to the C-I. We don't know what is going to go here, we know it is going to be C-I to the east, so it has got to be a project that I think makes that transition and blends in there. So I am just a little perplexed in how we address this thing. I'm normally not that way.
Mr. Brandgard: I have one question for Joe. You mentioned it and it is in your verbiage you sent to us. I get concerned if we were to allow the rezone in this use, and then it can be done with an Improvement Location Permit with nothing coming back to us, to this Board for review, I have some problems. Especially when it is something that the residents surrounded, we don't know anything really of how that site is going to be developed to meet all of the criteria including the drainage. I'm not saying that the staff does not look at all of that when they go through an ILP, but I think this is major enough, it aught to be coming back here.
Mr. Carlucci: There's no development plan approval processing this?
Mr. James: No, it is not within 600' of a gateway corridor, Ronald Reagan and not within 600' of a Plainfield residential district, so it doesn't have to…
Mr. Carlucci: So at what point, or could you then suggest doing something by commitment?
Mr. James: Yes, you certainly have them commit to the development plan which is…
Mr. Carlucci: Which would have to happen tonight?
Mr. James: Yes.
Mr. Carlucci: Or in another meeting…
Mr. James: No it has to happen tonight with the rezone.
Mr. Duncan: The commitment.
Mr. Kirchoff: Not the plan but the commitment.
Mr. Carlucci: That is what I am saying.
Mr. Daniel: It has to be a zoning commitment.
Mr. Carlucci: I got to that point, I was just saying that this could be continued to another night and the commitments can be put together.
Mr. Kirchoff: How close is the petitioner to having a sense of what is going to be there and what it is going to look like?
Mr. Comer: Gentlemen, I was surprised as you that that the development plan review is not required, in fact, I called Joe today when I read back over the report. We've been planning all along on doing a development plan.
Mr. Kirchoff: Thirty days you have to commit, we give you a month?
Mr. Comer: This is what I see the process being. If we get through the rezoning, we will then proceed on the Board of Zoning Appeals special exception because there is no reason to do a development plan if we don't have Board of Zoning approval. So what we will do is we will progressively build up to a full blown development plan because we will need some designs, this and that and go to the Board of Zoning Appeals to make their determination and then if we get the special exception at that point and time we will have all of our approvals to come back to you for the full blown development, that is how I envision it happening.
Mr. McPhail: The neighbor brought up some concerns, the drainage, fuel storage and that kind of thing. Those things are going to be addressed in a development plan; I am not uncomfortable with that at all. The traffic impact to me is insignificant based on the zoning to the north, there is going to be trucks in and out of there, the amount of trucks they are talking, is not going to effect a long term use of that road and the traffic in and out of that industrial park. Noise is something that we always deal with, and I think with what the petitioner is saying, I think that could probably be addressed somewhat with hours of operation commitments and those types of things. You don't want to put them in a bind where they can't repair their trucks but there certainly can be some commitments there. It is just a unique situation that we have faced, I do know one thing we are going to address some of our ordinances, we need to do that Joe that is not good for us to treat somebody out of Town differently than it does inside Town.
Mr. James: And in the past we have taken care of that through commitments. One example is the Varis property to the west, because it was next to Westmere, they did have to comply to get the development standards, but they also made special commitments in regards to the setback and screening between that site and Westmere subdivision. Also I just want to add that I think that this site, they will probably have a security fence around the site and if that is the case, they could do a fence on that property line and they could be a solid fence eight feet tall and they could even put it on top of a berm if they want to. So there is different ways to provide a buffer.
Mr. Carlucci: You've got to figure out the appropriate place to do that, if you approve the zoning tonight, there is no commitments to go with it.
Mr. James: Yes, you can make commitments tonight, they can commit to the…
Mr. Carlucci: its kind hard to (inaudible).
Mr. James: Their commitments, not your commitments.
Mr. Kirchoff: I wouldn't know what to ask because I don't know what all the issues are or what it is looking like. You know what I am saying?
Mr. James: So do you want us to take some time to work on these commitments with the petitioner?
Mr. Gibbs: I think that is what I am hearing from the Board.
Mr. McPhail: I would be a lot more comfortable, I think it is a project that could work, but I'm not comfortable with rezoning it without knowing that I've covered the basis to protect those things that our ordinances would protect us if we were in a different situation.
Mr. Brandgard: I came into the meeting tonight feeling rather negative against this, and I've been convinced that it is worth looking at. But there are a lot of empty spaces here that we've got to understand before we do it. We don't normally approve something without having commitments and knowing where we are going. I have a lot of problems with what we are being asked here to do is to certify to zone that amendment request to the Town Council pending annexation. Then in the meantime they've got to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals to make something work on this, so I think approving this and sending it to the Board of Zoning Appeals is leaving them in the woods because there is nothing there either for them to base a decision on.
Mr. Kirchoff: Can you help us Mel?
Mr. Daniel: I think I can help you two ways, one is I think the reason you are struggling is because of its relationship of the County property. If they were in here and had to comply with all of the requirements, current zoning ordinance for property being rezoned or all the property is in Town and you knew the certain setback and what those are, then they would have to go through another public hearing and certain approvals which is not going to be required. I mean all of that is a really different system of what you are accustomed too. I know what the problem is; you just don't feel you have the protections here that you normally would have if this was going through all of the normal processes with our ordinance applying, our public hearing being required. So I think it is an unusual situation for that reason and I think one possible solution and I am sort of putting this together from what I hear from the Commission members is if they got together with the staff and came in here and said here is what we are planning on doing and here is the commitments we are willing to make. I'm not trying to draft these here tonight, but rather it is a buffer zone or why it isn't and why it is going to be in a buffer zone, how are you going to protect these properties and you have that in front of you, and can approve that with those zoning commitments or don't approve it depending on if you were satisfied with the commitments, I think all of you would (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff: The only thing that I would have is the neighbors have input as well. So they have a sense of what we are considering and commit as well, I think that is another critical piece that would be important to me.
Mr. McPhail: Another issue to me it looks like the maintenance building is going to be set back a reasonable distance back, it is not going to be that close to those residential homes.
Mr. Kirchoff: It appears to be on the west side of the property.
Mr. Daniel: I think Ben was even surprised that there wasn't going to be another public hearing dealing with these very issues. I read this and as soon as I read it I thought yes, that is right, but until I read it I wouldn't have realized it until I got here.
Mr. Gibbs: I think a valid question Bill was asking if thirty days enough?
Mr. James: Yes.
Mr. Kirchoff: The only reason I ask that is if we do a continuance tonight (inaudible), I just wanted to be fair to what you think would be a reasonable date for us to set.
Mr. McPhail: I don't think this being a full blown development plan if I know it is not going to be the criteria that we are used to looking at.
Mr. Kirchoff: Based on that, I would move that we continue RZ-11-001 to the May 2nd, 2011 Plan Commission.
Mr. McPhail: Second.
Mr. Kirchoff: We would not then notice again, there will not be a notice, just a continuation, so if you are here and know what is going on. It would simply be the same time, same place, May 2nd.
Mr. James: Correct. That is a good point.
Mr. Daniel: Mr. Helms and Ms. Martinez, if you want some input into this, Mr. James is who you need to talk to before the next meeting.
Mr. Kirchoff: We will still have issues that we want to address.
Mr. Gibbs: We have a motion and a second, Mr. Carlucci would you poll the Board?
Mr. Satterfield is absent
Mr. McPhail- yes
Mr. Brandgard- yes
Mr. Duncan- yes
Mr. Kirchoff- yes
Mr. Gibbs- yes
Motion is approved.
OLD BUSINESS/NEW BUSINESS
Mr. Gibbs: Jill, are you taking the next item on the agenda?
Ms. Sprague: This first part is for Ryland Homes, they wanted to introduce a new line of homes for Sugar Grove Farms. They have the vast majority of the homes they showed me met all of the guidelines and stuff, but there are I think seven homes plus possibly two more that do not have a 484 square foot garage, which is normally required, but the Sugar Groves Farms PUD does have a sentence in there that allows to present elevations to you as long as their garages are over 450 square feet and they have a place other than the garage to put their HVAC units. The ones that I gave you are the plans for the Franklin A through C, the Columbia C and the Jamestown Acres. We showed you all of the elevations and then I gave you part of the floor plan that showed that the HVAC would either be on the second floor or it is in the basement depending on if they have a basement. In this case, basically those all meet as far as the requirements are over 450 and the HVAC would be elsewhere. They also wanted to talk about the Columbia A and B which were just slightly under the 450. They have said that they may be able to make a one foot extension that would make them equal to the Columbia C's and if we could potentially talk about adding those to the list as well to get approved tonight. They did have six other elevations approved in 2008 and those were for two floor plans, I believe those were all just one story buildings so all of those had HVAC in the basement. I do have the elevations for those other two they were talking about. This one is the Columbia A, and the Columbia B, and then the floor plan with the little blue box in the middle is the second floor where they plan to put the HVAC.
Mr. Brandgard: Now you said that if the garage is less than 450 square feet they will add a foot?
Ms. Sprague: I think I calculated it at 439, if they add a foot it will be exactly the same dimensions on the Columbia C which is in your plans.
Mr. James: The minimum is 450; they have to be at least 450.
Mr. Brandgard: I think it started at Columbia A and B and as long as they add that foot, that will bring it up over the 450 mark, then they aught to be approved.
Ms. Sprague: I don't know if we have done this as consent before or what, but it is just old business, it is not actually public hearing or anything.
Mr. Gibbs: We will need a motion on that.
Ms. Sprague: Also Kenny Windler is here with Ryland.
Mr. Gibbs: Were you sworn in?
Mr. Windler: No I did not; I didn't know I was going to speak.
Mr. Daniel conducted oath of testimony.
Mr. Windler: My name is Kenny Windler for the record; I am the Vice President of Land and Operations for Ryland Homes. I just wanted to clarify a couple of the discussions. We are not asking for anything less than what is written in the commitments. The commitments say the garage has to be 484 square feet unless there is no mechanically equipment in the garage and then we can go down to 450 square feet. So the plans that Jill has presented all have 450 square feet. The two exceptions she is talking about and all I was trying to do was bring it up this evening so that we could avoid coming back next month when I want those two plans to raise the garage square footage to 450 square feet. They will be 450 square feet when I submit them to Jill for approval. So we are not asking for anything less than what the commitments say I just want to clarify that point.
Mr. Gibbs: So we really don't need a motion. You got consent.
Mr. Brandgard: As long as you meet the criteria requirements.
Ms. Sprague: Also at Sugar Grove Farms occasionally recently we have been having issues with anti-monotony. The first question I have is maybe not an interpretation question, but the residential guidelines of that PUD stated that the anti-monotony stuff would be listed in their declaration of covenants and normally the Town does not enforce covenants and based on that language, should we be doing that review at all? The HOA does have an Architectural Committee and they have reviewed them based on the letter you have there. The covenants that we have, that I have actually have a recorded stamp on are different apparently from the ones they have, maybe they've updated them and we don't have the updates.
Mr. Daniel: Was that a part of their approval process? Did the Town enforce that?
Ms. Sprague: It is in the residential design guidelines, that the language would be in the covenants I was enforcing it because that is what we had been doing when I started doing it, then also because it was in that residential guidelines language which was part of the PUD reports.
Mr. Daniel: So it is in the Residential Design Guidelines then?
Ms. Sprague: Yes.
Mr. McPhail: It seems to me that we approved those residential guidelines it was the intent that we would review the floor plan and once they were approved then they can…
Ms. Sprague: We do review them, that wouldn't stop, it is just comparing this house to this house to decide if they look similar or not. We would always check for the architectural features.
Mr. James: In the design guidelines didn't give any standards like what do you call significant enough to be different as far as the design features? Jill passed out a letter from the Republic the developer, Mr. Moon and he is on architectural committee and they do approve all of elevations.
Ms. Sprague: Like Joe was saying the method that we have been using as staff was something that had been done before I started doing it and I just kept doing it that way, there is absolutely nothing written anywhere that says that is how we have to do it.
Mr. Brandgard: Have there been conflicts?
Ms. Sprague: Yes, there have been conflicts out at Sugar Grove recently. Generally it is based on each individual comparison really, but the method is to use two group one items to compare and often those will be if there is roof line elevation change, one has it, one doesn't. Or if that elevation changes really big on one house in a narrow spot and half way through on another spot, we might consider that they both have elevation changes but the changes are different so I would count that as one, where the main gable is on the house if one is on the side an one is in the middle, I would count those separately. Porches, the amount of brick, façade modulation, various things like that are things we look for to compare if the house looks to similar or not.
Mr. Kirchoff: But have we actually asked them to make any changes on proposed houses?
Ms. Sprague: Yes.
Mr. Kirchoff: And how many times would you say that has happened out there?
Mr. Sprague: Maybe a dozen, over the whole subdivision. Not just with Ryland but MI homes and Davis and those guys.
Mr. Kirchoff: All in Sugar Grove.
Ms. Sprague: Yes.
Mr. McPhail: But you do review every elevation to see that it meets the criteria.
Ms. Sprague: Yes, I always do that, if those don't meet that is a different story.
Mr. McPhail: Whether this one is enough difference…
Ms. Sprague: Yes, because our method of doing it is much stricter than their architectural committee, because any elevations A versus B, that is different enough.
Mr. Brandgard: This is a statement I think, our requirement of having those words in there covenants are there to make sure that people moving into that area understand what the rules and regulations are. It doesn't say that those covenants take precedence over what the Town has and requires. We do not enforce covenants, we enforce the Town standards, there is a difference there, but I think we ask to make sure that the people buy and move into those areas understand what the criteria is. If it is in the covenants, having it on the plat is one way but most people don't see the plaque, everyone should see the covenants. I think the key is the intent is to make sure that you don't go down the street and every house looks alike.
Mr. McPhail: I would like to compliment Ryland; they have been really good to meet our standards and criteria. I personally am not; of all of the years they've been building in Plainfield and not had a complaint.
Mr. Kirchoff: Interesting thing that Rich said to, because that is one of the subdivisions that we considered building in, and when we met with the sales rep out there, we picked the floor plan and the elevation, he would not allow us to consider that because it was too much like, he said he would never build two houses beside each other alike. He was the one that said to me, that he can't build that house there because I already have one there on that cult-a-sac or next door.
Mr. McPhail: I think they've done a good job.
Mr. Kirchoff: I do too, I'm surprised to hear that you've had problems because I can tell you when we were meeting with the sales rep, he was very explicit that he, he described his company policy, we don't allow two houses to be built beside each other and he said we work very hard in having diversity out here. He didn't use the term that we used and they were explicit with us that we are not going to do that.
Mr. Brandgard: I think that it has come to a time that Joe and staff sit down with the folks out there and talk over what the differences are if we are having conflicts. You need to work it out and resolve it, but like I say, you are still going to review it because that is your job and that is what you are supposed to do. By covenants, they are supposed to make sure that doesn't happen.
Mr. James: The issue is we have no standards that say you have to have two different group 1 features that is just a policy that we've used. So we met with Kenny a few weeks ago to discuss this and he brought up a point, that maybe they had this group 1 feature but they had more than enough group 2 features, so by having extra group two features that should be enough to call it different. Jill pointed out in her memo that maybe we should meet with all of the developers out there and see what kind of standards they think would create a difference and then also do some research and see what some other communities are doing.
Mr. Brandgard: I think the overall intent is to make sure that everything doesn't look the same, and we try to stay away from subjective views out there.
Mr. James: Yes, we need concrete standards so that there are no gray areas.
Mr. Brandgard: On the other hand, this is pretty subjective, if they show you an elevation and they show you the elevation that is next to it, do they look the same or don't they look the same? So I mean to me it is subjective view to look at it. But the level 1 or level 2 things are what you use to make sure they don't do that.
Mr. James: Yes, we need to nail those down.
Mr. Carlucci: The HOA has their job and the Town has ours. You are talking about maybe twelve houses total? How many houses have been built out there? That is not too bad percentage wise.
Mr. James: Kenny showed us, they are all matrix that they use with a potential home buyer; she showed them well you can't have this house 6' 5”, because the matrix says you can't. They do a pretty good job themselves, and he could even give that to us so we can use that.
Mr. Windler: I just wanted to add a couple of points, we do have our own anti-monotony clause, and there has been some conflict come up and I just wanted to kind of explain that just a little bit. Our anti-monotony clause is we will not build the same house with the same elevation next to what is existing, that is already built or directly across the street. We have operated that that matches your clause as well. The conflict that has come up and what I was looking for Joe and Jill to give us some clarity on, is when it is a different house with a different elevation and we have then, I don't restrict that, to be sold next to an existing home. I don't look at it as group 1 and group 2, the way your guidelines are established. To us it is a different elevation and it has different features and so what happened, we sold some homes to customers, we then come to the permitting review and it has been rejected because its been too similar to the one next door even though it is a different house plan all together but they are saying the elevations are too similar. I am in a box at that point because I've already sold and written a contract, so then I have to go back to a customer and say I am sorry that lot potentially that you fell in love with and you wanted to build that house, it just puts us in a bad position. So what I am looking for going forward is hopefully a little bit more direction, something that we, as long as we know the what the rules are and the guidelines are, we can manage it internally. But right now it as you said it is subjective as to which house is similar to another house and another elevation. Does that make sense?
Mr. McPhail: Yes, Jill had us look at some and I thought they were enough different but there was something lacking in the criteria's. So it is confusing.
Mr. Kirchoff: I think it is reasonable for you to expect us to be reasonable.
Mr. Windler: If we can determine, one of the things I always do anytime I introduce new plans like I just did, I called Jill, I come in and I brought her six floor plans, three elevations each so we sat down and we reviewed 18 elevations to make sure they met the residential design guidelines for Sugar Grove. I do that first before I ever release it to the public because I don't want to sell a house and then find out I can't build it in Sugar Grove. So we do that up front and if I know I guess at that point that house A is too similar to house B then I know what the rules of the game are. Then when I release for sale, I can explain that to my sales people and we can manage it internally as well. So that keeps me from getting into that pinch with that customer where we've already sold the house.
Mr. Kirchoff: That is reasonable.
Ms. Sprague: That will make it a little clearer. The different elevations, it has Columbia A, B, and C, those are all different elevations, the Jamestown A, B, and C, those are all different elevation and obviously if it is Columbia versus a Jamestown it is going to be different elevations. The language says differing not different, maybe it is a language thing but that is why I think we have always done it that way or the way that I have been doing it. With the differing means ok, I look at this in a fast drive by I won't think that those are the same house. I can easily obviously do it if it is a different elevation, Columbia A versus Columbia B if that is what you think I should do, I can do that. Obviously that would be a lot easier for Kenny that is what they do themselves. Maybe that is what I need to know.
Mr. Kirchoff: I think the suggestion you sat down and work through that and again I think we need to be reasonable here. Again, I would commend you, I think Ryland has done a great job out there and that has turned into a very nice development and I think we need to find ways to make it continue.
Mr. Gibbs: Next item.
Ms. Sprague: Window sign, these are the window signage where they have the little tiny dots that you put together from far away and it looks like a picture but when you are up close to it you can see through it, that is what they are talking about here. If you got to see Center Street Styling or El Mason you could see basically it is a scenery, you can see out and it helps block the sunlight when it coming in. I think Center Street Styling and El Mason both have the sign that is that big. One of the questions is should we consider the scenery a sign or is that just the window or almost like a curtain or a shade and this is obviously a very different story. If I take a box around each of those sets of letterings, the ones on the right and left on the top are less than 50%. The middle one is not and so they shrunk the middle one down and moved some things around on the sides and I guess the question is, our regular ordinance allows me to make three boxes, this time I made more like six. I can obviously do three boxes instead of six boxes and then they might be over the 50%.
Mr. Brandgard: When you showed me that, the one on the Center Street Stylist, I understand why it is done, to cut down the last sun that is coming through. It is not all advertising; it is obvious what it is there for, for shading. The one at El Mason, is kind of the same way, it is not all advertising. It is kind of like creating a solid wall on the glass. I look at this; if glass wasn't there would we allow that on a solid wall?
Ms. Sprague: I would have to take it and compare it to 10% to the rest of the building then, and I can do that actually too. That was in the language but I curious how to treat the windows separately, but I didn't ask them how big the window was compared to the building in this case.
Mr. Brandgard: A window is just a wall; you got glass instead of some other material. So it is how you approach it, if they already have their signage up on the building somewhere else, they probably used up the most of the signings. It is kind of like the fast food, they have that blank wall and they want to hang advertisement on it and we don't allow that.
Ms. Sprague: I'm not sure that they do have signage up for this building. I don't remember issuing the permit for that. I think the language for the window signs says if the signage in each window pane is less than 50% then it doesn't have to count towards the whole building signage and so that is what I am kind of trying to figure out here, and it maybe that this is 10% and it may be more of an issue than a 20%, then it would be a much bigger issue.
Mr. James: That brings us to our proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance, there were five. These are the issues that we've had here lately. First one was a number of accessory buildings, a certain size lot and so we are proposing they can have three structures that are over 200 square feet but the property has to be at least 1½ acres. Second one is just clarifying setbacks off an alley. The setback off an alley would be a side setback, the normal side setback of that zoning district. The next one it recorded the Government standards, the table we just have to remove projecting signs and some allowed wall sign in all commercial industrial districts and then change it so that the projecting sign is allowed as an incidental sign in the general commercial district. This came about from the new McDonald's the drive thru lanes and windows, more of them are projecting signs so they will know what the window is for, and this would allow them only 2½ square feet. Then the forth one, clarifies a development plan not requiring Plan Commission approval, shall be submitted as an improvement location permit. Right now it you get the meaning that it requires a development plan for all plans but that is not the case as we saw tonight. Our last one, it creates standards for the projecting signs as an in stone sign. If you are ok with these we will put a notice in the paper for the May meeting and officially adopt them at the May meeting.
Mr. Gibbs: Looks like you have the consent.
Mr. James: Ok.
Mr. Carlucci: I only have one question about it, right off of Stafford Road, right after the old high school; there is a gentleman that has a canopy cover frame.
Mr. James: I emailed you about that. On Longfellow?
Mr. Carlucci: Yes, on Longfellow.
Mr. James: He needs a variance; it is in the front yard setback. It is an accessory structure in the front yard setting.
Mr. Carlucci: Has he moved forward at all?
Mr. James: No, not yet. I was waiting on an answer but if you want me to talk to him?
Mr. Carlucci: I know who it is and I may or may not talk to him and there are a couple of other reasons for that. I am not sure he is in good health at this point, but I think those structures in general.
Mr. Kirchoff: Free standing carport.
Mr. Carlucci: A carport is basically what they built, and it should count towards their square footage that you are allowed to cover your property with, so we just need to get our heads together on this a little bit.
Mr. James: But they don't require a building permit and that is why he went ahead and installed it without getting zoning approval.
Mr. Carlucci: I understand that, it may be a need for a future amendment. Because what you are going to do is they are going to say it is not permanent and you have five of them in the back yard covering different things. Or we can take the approach that you need to come in and get that approved because, even though it didn't require a permit, you still have the structure and you still covered a portion of land in a residential area, we've got to think that through a little bit.
Mr. James: Last item, this is the Three Pints Brew Pub, they submitted an ILP to add a pergola around the fence that they have for their outdoor seating. Here is the site plan, it will have lattice and then they will build it with treated lumber and then they will stain it to match the cedar and then they will plant ivy in the lattice and then they will have some additional planters around the outdoor seating. I didn't think this was significant enough to take to DRC but I did send it to them by email, it gets some comments. They were a little indifferent on it, so I just wanted to see what you thought about it.
Mr. Carlucci: They are reducing the size of the canopy aren't they?
Mr. James: No, it is gone. I think it would enhance the outdoor seating and be a nice addition.
Mr. Carlucci: I think the problem is the sunlight during the day; it makes it difficult to sit out there.
Mr. Kirchoff: It certainly changes the look of the site doesn't it?
Mr. James: Something else I want to ask you about, they've asked for a sign up here, but I call it a roof and then DRC called a roof too, then they would have to get a variance.
Mr. Brandgard: Are they calling it a wall?
Mr. James: Here is a view from above, it is not an enclosed roof and it is screening the rooftop, rooftop mechanical. How big could that be? Could they use this whole façade square footage or just that right there or just this up here? We will give them the good news then, about the sign and the pergola. That is all I have for tonight.