The Plainfield Board of Zoning Appeals met on Monday, January 21, 2008. In attendance were Mr. Monnett, Ms. Duffer, Mr. Cavanaugh, Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Matrana.
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci administered the Roll Call.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Gibbs made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 17, 2007 of the Plainfield Board of Zoning Appeals as submitted. Second by Ms. Duffer. Motion carried.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Mr. Matrana said at this time I would like to ask the Town Manager, Rich Carlucci to entertain a motion for the election of officers for the BZA for this coming year.
Mr. Carlucci said the current president of the Board of Zoning Appeals is Mr. Rick Matrana; the Vice President is Mr. Greg Monnett. Do I have a motion to nominate a member for the position of chairperson of the BZA for 2008?
Mr. Monnett made a motion to nominate Mr. Matrana. Second by Mr. Gibbs.
Mr. Carlucci said is there a motion to close the nominations?
Mr. Monnett made a motion to close the nominations. Second by Mr. Gibbs. Motion carried.
Mr. Carlucci said all those in favor of having Mr. Matrana as the President of the Board of Zoning Appeals for 2008 signify by aye. None opposed. Motion carried.
Mr. Carlucci said I would like a motion for the Vice President of the BZA for the year 2008.
Ms. Duffer made a motion to nominate Mr. Monnett. Second by Mr. Cavanaugh.
Mr. Carlucci said is there a motion to close the nominations.
Mr. Cavanaugh made a motion to close the nominations. Second by Ms. Duffer.
Mr. Carlucci said all those in favor of having Mr. Monnett as the Vice President of the Board of Zoning Appeals for 2008 signify by saying aye. None opposed. Motion carried.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Daniel administered the Oath of Testimony.
Mr. Matrana reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings. The first motion before the board tonight has been continued from last month's BZA concerning Debra Lynn Lathan, BZA-07-025.
Mr. James said this petition is a request for a Special Exception to serve alcoholic beverages at the proposed pub located right next door on the North Center Street. It is zoned Town Center and the Zoning Ordinance requires in order to serve alcoholic beverages in the Town Center District you have to get a Special Exception. At last month's meeting the issue came up about The Attic above the old pub and the issue was with The Attic being a teen center the board thought those were incompatible uses. So, the petitioner was asked to make a choice whether to remove The Attic so that the use is no longer above the pub; in order to do that they would have to get the Special Exception. I have not received the word from Mr. Lathan if The Attic would be removed or not.
Mr. Tim Lathan at 436 Duffy Street, Plainfield said as owner of the building I made a decision to go ahead and ask for the license for the pub whatever that entails.
Mr. Lathan said if that is what it takes, that is what I will do.
Mr. Matrana said we would like to respectfully ask for some sort of timetable as to when you might proceed.
(Inaudible) opened by the first of February.
Mr. Lathan said the end of the first week of February; I will say February 6th or 7th and I believe The Attic, the last show is January 27th.
Mr. Matrana said you are saying that the lease for The Attic would be terminated as you open.
Mr. Lathan said if that is my only choice.
Mr. Matrana said as we talked about it last month, you were requesting a permit to sell alcohol and in order for the board to understand things correctly we gave you some concerns to think about. This is a Town meeting and it was continued from last month so I would like to ask if there is anyone in the audience who has any comments either for or against this particular petition to sell alcohol for the old pub? Now would be the time to step forward and give us your concerns either for or against the petition to sell alcohol.
Mr. Bob McCutcheon said my address is 9112 Fireside Drive, Indianapolis. I'm not remonstrating against Tim. Jason Tom and I are the two guys that own The Attic. Tim is our landlord. We appreciate your concerns and we agree with you. We existed there for a year with that situation. We didn't have any problems but we are not concerned about that at the moment. Over the course of the last month we had the kids that came to the club learn a little bit about civics. They signed a petition, and this is a copy for you guys if you want to look at it, and there are 984 kids that want to keep what we are doing around. A couple of things that you need to understand is first of all there might be a couple of small misnomers. The Attic was called a teen club. Well it was a place where teen-agers came to listen to music. Music is the primary thing that we do at The Attic. The bands are bands from high schools. Sometimes we have national touring bands that come. This last year we had bands come from as far west as Portland, Oregon. We have had them come from New York City and as far north as Chicago and Detroit and as far south as Knoxville, Tennessee. They came here to play to the kids in Indianapolis. They played in Plainfield.
I appreciate you giving me an opportunity to speak because I know this is out of the ordinary. We have an opportunity to move into the Village Theater possibly, which is around the corner. It would be easy for us to tell all of the kids we are moving around the block. The person that owns the property wanted to make sure before he entered into sort of negations with us about opening it that we wouldn't run into a problem with you guys. For the last two years I have spent roughly 2,000 hours of time and $10,000.00 of my money trying to give the kids a place to go in this side of Town. I really just don't want to continue to invest more time and more money if that is not what you guys would say would be okay. So, if it is okay with you, I'm not remonstrating against Tim, this has nothing to do with his particular issue; this is totally out of the ordinary and wanting to find out if there would be a problem with us moving around the corner, which wouldn't make us any different than Mission Control. Which would be across the street and actually closer to Tim's bar than we would be at the Village Theater. Our cliental is the same cliental that Mission Control has. Kids vary in age from 15, 16 to in their 20s. We also have a lot of adults that come to our place. Believe it or not they come to watch their kids play in bands. The kids practice in the garage for three months and they finally get them out of the garage and he is on a stage with lights and a PA and they bring grandma and the little kids. There is a family atmosphere that we have created there that we want to continue to create. That kind of sums it up being as brief as I can be but we just wonder if there would be a problem being across the street doing the same thing that we have been doing for the last two years above whatever Tim is going to call the new place.
Mr. Daniel said Mr. McCutcheon I'm the Town attorney so let me comment on that just briefly. The only thing before the Board of Zoning Appeals on this matter is a request to approve a liquor license for the new establishment on the ground floor. This board cannot give advisory opinions. All this board can do is to vote one way or another, if they choose to do that tonight, on the petition regarding the liquor license. If you would like to open another establishment across the street, you need to talk with Mr. James or the Staff and discuss with him what you are thinking about and maybe they can help you do whatever you need to do to go forward with the appropriate board to get that approved.
Mr. McCutcheon asked, which person do I need to talk to?
Mr. Daniel said Mr. Joe James.
Mr. McCutcheon said I will wait and talk to him when the meeting is over. Thank you for listening; I appreciate it. We even brought some kids here tonight to learn about some civics tonight.
Mr. Matrana said thank you all for coming tonight and thank you Mr. McCutcheon. Is there anyone else in the audience who would care to speak on this petition? Being no one coming forward I will close the public portion of this meeting and open it up for discussion or a possible motion concerning BZA-07-025.
Mr. Cavanaugh said first of all I would like to thank the Lathan's and the operators of The Attic for considering the business situation and enabling your businesses to do what you need to do and then helping this board move forward with the decision that it has been asked to make. The decision that the board has been asked to make really doesn't directly pertain to your particular businesses but it does have an affect, which I think you all realize and respect that. But we have to make decisions for what we think is the best direction for the community. Not every decision that the Town has to make fits in the rule book and that is why we have boards and review agencies made up of citizens that live and work here to try to fill in the gaps where things don't quite fit between the rules. That being said and Mr. Lathan with your commitments this evening I would move that the Board of Zoning Appeals approve BZA-07-025 as filed by Debra Lynn Lathan, LLC requesting a Special Exception to allow the sell of alcoholic beverages for on-sight consumption within an establishment to be known as The Old Pub at 115 N. Center Street with an approval. That approval would be subject to the following conditions:
1. Proper licensing from ATC.
2. And from the final dismissal of the lease and no more performances at The Attic. And this board will understand that the final performance would be February 27th and that no pub or alcohol related activities can take place at the new establishment until after The Attic is closed.
Mr. Matrana said can I correct you on one thing? I think they said that the final performance would be January 27th and not February 27th.
Mr. James said we need one more condition. That the Special Exception is not transferable to another owner/operator.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I will add that condition.
3. The Special Exception is not transferable to another owner/operator.
Second by Mr. Monnett.
Mr. Gibbs said based on our discussion last month Mr. Daniel help me understand what would preclude them getting an alcohol license in The Attic leaving that premise but a new establishment coming in above and another youth facility?
Mr. Daniel said the only thing that we could do to change that would be to amend the motion. I don't think you can have a liquor license on a condition upon there being no teen or youth club or whatever else upstairs. If it was vacated, anybody else that went in there would have to get an Improvement Location Permit. Would they go through getting one of those under these circumstances Mr. James or Mr. Carlucci?
Mr. Carlucci said unless Mr. James knows something that I don't know I don't think there is anything in the Zoning Ordinance about when it is going to close. You might have to do a commitment that this or similar types of activities will not take place.
Mr. Daniel said that is my opinion. I don't think if a proper business went in upstairs after The Attic was vacated, I don't think we could refuse to let them go in there.
Mr. James said that is correct. What we would probably do with the teen center is have them come in and get a Special Exception. So, if another one proposed to go up there, we would have them come back to the BZA.
Mr. Gibbs asked, do we need to establish that in writing? Otherwise how would we keep track of it?
Mr. James said if we saw that use go in there, we would take steps to shut them down until they got the proper Special Exception.
Mr. Daniel said another way to do it as Mr. Carlucci mentioned, would be to condition the approval for this liquor license that there would be no similar type facility opening upstairs.
Mr. Carlucci said that is what I would do. I would add another condition that a use like The Attic or other similar uses would not be permitted as long as the liquor license is in affect.
Mr. Cavanaugh asked, does that seem to be adequate.
Mr. Greg Genrich at 333 N. Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Indiana said it is basically an all age's type of club. They want to rent the second floor eventually. We want to make sure it is somewhat clear; I think they understand they can't rent it to another all age's club. That is clear but what we don't want to do is we want to make sure we don't put a commitment in there that is somewhat vague and all of a sudden we have to come back here every time we want to look at another use. Would a restaurant be okay up there? I'm trying to figure out from their standpoint. It is pretty clear that we don't want an all age's club up there; that is understood or a similar type of youth orientated facility but I just want to make sure that we don't have something that impedes their ability to rent the space because it is going to require them to come back here. Is it somewhat restricted to youth oriented business operating the same hours? I don't know.
Mr. Carlucci said if it is a youth orientated club or an all ages club, that or similar uses, I think that is broad enough to cover what the board wants to cover. Is that correct?
Mr. Gibbs said I'm okay with it.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I would like to amend my motion to include a further condition.
4. That granting of the approval for the Special Exception to serve alcoholic beverages is predicated upon the fact that the area formerly occupied by The Attic or other lease spaces available in the building will not be allowed to post youth orientated activities or all ages club type activities in the future.
Second by Mr. Monnett. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Monnett – yes
Ms. Duffer – yes
Mr. Cavanaugh – yes
Mr. Gibbs – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
5-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. Matrana said the next matter before the board concerns Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising, BZA-07-026.
Mr. James said this request actually involves seven actions by the board to allow the conversion of an existing off-premise advertising sign or billboard to be converted to a digital face on two sides; on the north side of I-70 and about 2,500 feet from the east of the SR267 and I-70 interchange. It is actually one Variance of Use and six variances. The Variance of Use is to allow the billboard conversion in the I-2 District and within 600' of a Gateway Corridor. The variances that they are requesting are:
To allow a sign surface area greater than 300 square feet.
To allow a billboard within 2,500 lineal feet of another off-premise advertising sign on the same side of the street or within 1,000 radial feet of an off-premise advertising sign regardless of location or orientation.
To allow an off-premise advertising sign within 60' of the I-70 right-of-way.
To allow an off-premise advertising sign taller than 35'.
To allow an off-premise advertising sign to change messages more than six times per hour.
To allow an off-premise advertising sign to encroach within the side yard setback as determined by height, which would be 40 feet.
Here is the site. It is in the southeast corner of the Duke Eight property. Here is the Duke Eight property. It is approximately in this corner right here. All this is zoned I-2. We have General Commercial right here. A billboard is only allowed in General Commercial in the I-4 Districts. Here is a photo of the billboard. This is the billboard that they propose to convert. In the original Staff Report I stated that it was an illegal billboard but I thought it was part of the airport property and that they were illegally erected but their counsel told me that they were allowed with a permit by Hendricks County in 1998 and the property was not in Plainfield. Olive Clear Channel billboards were legally allowed with permits by Hendricks County. So, after these billboards were permitted by Hendricks County and the property was annexed into Plainfield the billboards became legal nonconforming. The reason they became legal nonconforming is they weren't in the appropriate districts and because of the size and the height and setbacks and all the variances that they requested. When you have a legal nonconforming sign and you have to replace the cabinet or it is removed, then it loses its legal nonconforming status. Then it is like putting up a new sign. Since the sign does not comply with our current standards based on spacing and the appropriate district that is why they need the Variance of Use and these variances. Duke has agreed with the conversion. They have a DVD and they showed that to you at a previous meeting and I also showed it to the Plan Commission. The Plan Commission was receptive to this notion of allowing this digital billboard. The DVD showed the new technology in Cleveland, Ohio and the Cincinnati area so they have seen these in other locations and they liked the new technology compared to your standard billboard. They could also be used for public use for the Amber Alert.
Clear Channel has agreed to remove two existing billboards. The one they wanted to remove was on U.S. 40. We have an opportunity here to clean up SR267. They have three billboards on SR267; one just north of Stanley and two on the west side of SR267 between Reeves Road and Hadley Road. I will show those to you. Instead of removing the one on U.S. 40 we request that they remove the two on the west side of SR267 between Reeves Road and Hadley.
As far as changing messages I know I put a condition in the Staff Report that maybe we should limit it to six times per minute but in the industry standards it is once every seven-eight seconds. By keeping it that way it is more consistent with their leases. That is just one and a half times more per minute. They change instantly and I don't even know if it would be recognizable. I think they would be undetectable.
I also propose to add or change one condition and it would be condition number five. I think I put it with the ILP but we would like to change that to before the ILP is issued and then also add another one, the last condition that Clear Channel shall not attempt to install new billboards along SR267. The current billboards on SR267 are in the appropriate zoning district, they are under GC and once one of them is removed they may be able to meet the other criteria as far as spacing. So, that is just to make sure that we won't get more billboards to replace these ones that they propose to remove.
I think they have given you this map in your packet. It shows the billboard locations. Here is the one on U.S. 40 and then here are three on SR267 and that is incorrect; these two are actually south of Reeves Road between Reeves and Hadley and then there are four on I-70. One of these is the one they proposed to convert.
Here is the sign on SR267. This is north of Stanley on the east side of SR267. Sign number two is on the west side just south of Reeves Road. Number three is on the west side just north of Hadley. That is the one on U.S. 40 just west of White Lick. So, with that there are representatives here and I'm sure they would be glad to answer any questions that you might have.
Mr. Gibbs said as I was reviewing the papers, one of the things that I didn't quite understand, as I was reviewing the motions and I know we are not quite there yet, but if you look at item six, it says, “a variance to allow for a change in the message no more than six times per hour. I'm a little confused.
Mr. Daniel said it is six times per minute.
Mr. Gibbs said on the paperwork it says no more than six times per hour.
Mr. James said that is the way the ordinance is written; that a sign can't change more than six times per hour. So, they are getting a variance from that.
Mr. Andy Kult with the Comer Law Office at 71 W. Marion Street, Danville said I'm here representing Clear Channel Outdoor this evening. I have a representative from Clear Channel who is here. I gave Mr. James a disk with a couple of aerials; one that I wasn't able to get on there timely I would like to give you this evening. As Mr. James said, Clear Channel owns the subject billboard; it is on the north side of I-70 just a little bit east of SR267. The request is to replace the existing faces on that sign with digital faces. I would just like to reiterate, I know we don't want to come in here on the wrong foot, that Mr. James did amend the Staff Report. The illegality was not with our signs so I want to make sure that we are all on the same page on that. I did give him copies of those permits and I have them so our signs have been permitted.
As Mr. James indicated, the primary reason for the variances here tonight are a couple of structural changes to the cabinet. When we take these faces down and put up this new digital technology, we need a couple of support structures behind that in between the two faces. There is nothing that you are going to see from outside of those signs. They are going to look like they do now but because of those couple of structural changes we need to get a variance; you lose your nonconforming status; your legal status. We are just taking the face down and putting up another static face. Without those structures needed you can do that. So, we will call it a technicality that we are required to get these just to give you some information there.
I wanted to quickly go through a few slides. The red dots are the subject sites that Clear Channel currently owns in their inventory in Plainfield. Here is the subject site; again a little close-up on I-70. This is the other side of the subject that we are talking about. Here is one of the four potential removal sites on U.S. 40 right east of Saratoga and then you have seen the others that are all along SR267.
With the digital billboards I think you have all seen the DVD. It is some exciting technology; it is relatively new; it is being used in various parts of the country. I'm from Milwaukee. Since I have gotten on board here with this petition I paid a little bit of attention going back and forth and they have them in Chicago around 294 and Milwaukee have a few and they are pretty cool; they are a neat product. As Mr. James mentioned the face changes about every eight seconds. Just as a slight clarification that industry standard is eight seconds. It's not seven or eight; eight seconds is the standard. There is no video; there is not rolling text; there is no blinking; no flashing; nothing like that. The change in the screen every eight seconds is an instantaneous change; it doesn't scroll across and change as some of them that we see sometimes. It is just an instantaneous change and the new picture is up there.
Some specifics on this particular billboard, as I said, our goal is to replace the faces. That would be the industry standard of a maximum of one change on the digital screen every eight seconds. The site would be networked from a central site in Indianapolis that controls various billboards from one site.
A couple of neat things about them is one of them is the Amber alert system. That is one of the issues why the state has really been on this and INDOT is accepting applications now and they have come up with some regulations regarding these digital signs. We will be tied in with the local State Police on the Amber alert system. When something comes in, we can get that out; that is the picture that you see there. It is superimposed there but basically that is what it will look like. So, that is pretty neat; we can get that in there. As well Clear Channel has voluntarily agreed to let the FBI tie in for similar reasons with this particular site. We are not required to do that but they volunteered to do that for both local criminal activity and for Homeland Security purposes. As you can see there, they have the ability to freeze that image on the screen and leave it there for however long that is necessary.
As I said, the only real change we are going to have to the existing structure is the cabinet structure between there a little bit. What you see there at the same location brings in the need for the variance from the right-of-way here and then this property line over here. It is the same location, the same height. Those static faces will be replaced with the same size digital faces so what you see there is what you are going to have but it will be a digital screen.
Quickly I would like to go over a little bit of the Staff Report. As Mr. James indicated, we are happy to have some receptive support from the Plan Commission. As far as the conditions here, I know we have had some back and forth here and changed a couple of things but what you see on numbers one through six on page four on what was originally handed out number one is okay. Number two we know we need an Improvement Location Permit. Number three the Town has asked for some landscaping and we are happy to do that. With regard to the Improvement Location Permit we would request for the benefit of all parties that we phrase that in terms of a conditional permit. In other words, the Town would give Clear Channel a conditional permit conditioned on the removal of two other billboards that will be stipulated in there but we can't erect ours until those are down. That way Clear Channel has a permit in their hand that they can then remove those billboards and then they would erect their sign. But what we are looking for there is Clear Channel has something in hand; they are not tearing down billboards without having some kind of security there and I think the intent is met because the Town knows they can't put up anything until those are gone. So, our request would be to phrase where we can't get a permit until those are down. That the permit be conditioned on those coming down before we can erect ours. The other request on number six I think we have covered this but again the industry standard is every eight seconds. I talked to Mr. James about this originally because phrasing it in terms of minutes kind of throws things off a little bit. So, our request would be that the signage, the face, not change images more than once every eight seconds. Not only is that a national standard but that is the state standard; that is the standard that INDOT has adopted with all of their regulations. So, that is our two requests on those. If we skip down to number five, it is a provision, I call it some free advertising for the Town; frankly I will say that was a tough one on us at first. I have honestly not heard of that type of a direct jurisdictional benefit as a condition to a zoning approval. It seems like a little slippery slop to me on that type of thing. Having said that Clear Channel is willing to accommodate the Town with one of their eight second slots for three consecutive days three times a year. So, basically they would have a slot just like everybody else for three days in a row three times a year or I guess I would phrase it as “or whatever other mutually agreeable agreement we can come to on that. I don't know what the Town exactly has in mind, you know, the exact purpose of that or what they want to see there so I would say whatever is mutually agreeable, if not what I just stated with the eight second slot three times a year for three years.
The only other thing in the way of conditions with the removal sites again this condition seems to go a little bit far in that generally when you have a variance request conditions pertain to that particular site. I have not been part of one where somebody came in to do something and the condition was okay but you have to deal with something three miles away or what have you. So, that is a little bit strange to us.
Mr. Carlucci asked, it doesn't go across I-70 does it; it's closer?
Mr. Kult said it's off-site is what I'm saying. I would like a little discussion on that if it is needed. I did just get the e-mail today regarding that both of those sites would be the BZA's choice. I guess with that condition from day one we have proposed that we can do that. We would like to offer the sign on U.S. 40 and then we got to the point of saying we will let the BZA chose the other sign. What we have offered here is removing 50% of our inventory in the Town. Keeping in mind that we are not asking for a new location here tonight; this is not a brand new sign that we are asking to put up. We are here mainly because there is going to be some support structures in here. Given that fact in that we are offering to take two of four of them down we are asking for a little bit of fairness there in allowing us to at least choose one site and the Town to choose the other and that would be in line with the understanding we have had up until today and I think we are offering quite a bit there with offering that inventory.
Mr. Carlucci said there are four currently on I-70, is that correct?
Mr. Kult said yes.
Mr. Carlucci said and three on SR267 and one on U.S. 40. So, that would be eight. If you eliminated two, that would still be six.
Mr. Kult said I thought the goal was Town proper. You are correct and I understand what you are saying. Our thinking on that is this is a request related to off-site improvements; not pertaining to the sign. We are happy to meet that request for two to come down; we just think it is fair that we be allowed to choose one of those. I believe that is all that I have in the way of the Staff Report.
Mr. Matrana said I would just like to remind everyone that this is a public hearing; if anybody had any comments about this proposal either for or against this particular sign package with Clear Channel Outdoor, now would be the time to step forward and state your concerns either for or against this petition before the board.
Mr. Carlucci said there are absolutely none in the metro area at this point that you are aware of, these kinds of billboards; in the Indianapolis Metropolitan area?
Mr. Kult said near Greenwood.
Mr. Matrana asked, is it near Taylorsville?
Ms. Duffer said there is a new one in Greenwood.
Mr. Matrana said with no one stepping forward the public portion of this hearing is now closed and I will open this up for discussion and a possible motion concerning Clear Channel.
Mr. Carlucci said I might suggest to the board one reason that we thought that the ones between Hadley and Reeves Road on the west side would be appropriate is to try to eliminate as many as we could in one area. As you know, the new high school is going to open up and both of those billboards are right on that side. That was one reason. We are working on another billboard with another property owner and that would also be on SR267. If that one goes through, eventually that one will come out also. So, we are trying to focus our energy on SR267 as opposed to U.S. 40 at this point just to see that we work in that direction but that is the logic the board can do when you think it is appropriate. Being the first at anything always has its repercussions meaning we don't know how the people who live in Plainfield will take that and the reason that we tried to get a couple of these other billboards out is it looks to them that we made at least a better deal in terms of eliminating billboards. We have eliminated signs with some of the car dealerships and different things that we have done. We have eliminated signs over the years but we never do one to one; it is usually two to one to make the corridors look better. So, that has always been the approach. Clear Channel gets what they want, which is a pretty good place to put a billboard; the first kind of billboard on the whole west side of Indianapolis; the only second one in. Again, I don't know how the residents of Plainfield are going to react to that; they may think it is a bad deal.
Mr. Kult said I understand that Clear Channel is the first here and I grasp that and there needs to be some give and take and we do feel we have done that with like landscaping. These are little things but certainly with allowing the Town to advertise on that sign. I think that is a pretty good commitment from them and on U.S. 40 you are talking right by Saratoga so there are plenty of residents right in that area that are going to appreciate it I'm sure. So, I think we are meeting some of those concerns, those general concerns; that we are putting a good foot forward here on our part. Of course, the other benefit with the Amber alert; I know the folks are going to appreciate that. These are good benefits to have out there with both the FBI and probably the more frequent Amber alert.
Ms. Duffer said personally I have seen (inaudible). My only question to you is looking at removing one on U.S. 40 you have one market there where you have three on SR267. So, I'm not understanding why the one on U.S. 40 would be your preference if that is your only avenue for marketing right there.
Mr. Kult said there is a lot that goes into those decisions and it is a business decision they have made. Since the beginning we have been talking about U.S. 40 and quite frankly we have taken steps toward that direction. We have made some arrangements thinking that if we get this done, we are going to get on this tomorrow. So, we have taken steps in that direction and other than that it is just a decision that they have looked at and decided on.
Mr. Matrana said with no one stepping forward from the audience the public portion of this hearing is now closed and I would like to open this matter up to the board for discussion and a possible motion.
Mr. Monnett said I would like to ask the other board members some questions. Mr. Kult had mentioned on one of the conditions on page four mentioning the Improvement Location Permit they wanted to word it different. He wanted some kind of security. You didn't like the idea of the ILP, is that what I understood?
Mr. Kult said no we know we need to get a permit but we are asking that the permit be issued as a conditional permit stating that we can't erect our sign until our two billboards are down. But at least that gives Clear Channel a permit in hand rather than going and taking signs down without knowing there is some glitch or something happens and we can't get a permit.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I would like to understand the sequencing of the choices for signs proposed to be removed. I believe he started with two that were going to be on U.S. 40 and now from the Town's prospective we would like to eliminate two on SR267. The petitioner is suggesting that it be one at each location, is that correct?
Mr. Kult said the initial question was would you be willing to remove a couple of signs. We said yes; we will remove the one on U.S. 40; there is only one there. And we picked a particular one on SR267. Then the negotiations were well maybe the board wants to have some say in that so we said we would like to propose U.S. 40 and let the board pick from the other three. Today was the first that I got an e-mail that said maybe we would like to pick both of them but originally it was one on U.S. 40 and one on SR267.
Mr. Monnett said I would be in favor of signs coming down be on SR267 instead of the one on U.S. 40; I would rather have them stick with this corridor instead of one there and one out here. It is a good place to start especially if there is another one in the works that will be coming down. I'm all for the digital billboard; I think it is a great idea. As far as the Amber alert and all of that it is fantastic. I realize some federal guidelines come into play when you do digital but I would like to see the billboards on SR267 come down and not the one on U.S. 40 right now.
Mr. Cavanaugh asked, do we need to stipulate which two billboards?
Mr. Monnett said yes. I would like the two on the same side of the high school. Dennis what do you think?
Mr. Gibbs said I'm all for it; I don't have any problem either with the changing of the copy and I like the idea of clustering (inaudible).
Mr. Kult said there is another requirement there that indicated the petitioner will basically never again put up another billboard on SR267. I was asking Mr. James about this. To do that because of the corridor we would have to come in and petition for putting that sign up. So, given we all know things change and whatever might happen we would prefer to commit to never doing it and coming in just filing a petition and certainly the ball is in your court at that time. I think I heard that was agreeable from Mr. James' standpoint.
Mr. James said (inaudible).
Ms. Duffer said (inaudible).
Mr. James said if they meet all of the standards; if not, they have to go back for a variance.
Mr. Monnett said my personal feeling on that is we can't just select one company to put that condition on it. Here again like Mr. Carlucci said you are the first.
Mr. Carlucci said if they want to do a digital billboard, I hope they have a couple of signs in Plainfield.
Mr. Kult said that was the nature of my phrase “slippery slope. Sometimes you assume whenever you are out here, you're not going to allow less the next time or more.
Mr. Cavanaugh made a motion that the Board of Zoning Appeals approve BZA-07-026 as filed by Clear Channel Outdoor requesting the following:
1. Variance of Use to allow an off-premise advertising sign in the I-2, Office/Warehouse Distribution District.
2. Variance to allow a sign surface area greater than 300 square feet.
3. Variance to allow an off-premise advertising sign within 2,500 linear feet of another off-premise advertising sign on the same side of the street or within 1,000 feet of an off-premise advertising sign regardless of location or orientation.
4. Variance to allow an off-premise advertising sign within 60' of the I-70 right-of-way.
5. Variance to allow an off-premise advertising sign taller than 35'.
6. Variance to allow an off-premise advertising sign to change messages more than six times per hour.
7. Variance to allow an off-premise advertising to encroach into the side yard setback as determined by height.
Mr. James asked, can I interrupt you? Number one I left off “district within 600' of a Gateway Corridor.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I would like to add then to number one at the very end after the warehouse distribution district “within 600' of a Gateway Corridor.
This approval is subject to the following conditions:
1. Substantial compliance with a site plan submitted file dated December 21, 2007.
2. Before conversion of the sign an Improvement Location Permit (ILP) shall be reviewed and approved. Said permit shall be a conditional approval only and only fully applicable after the condition stipulated in item four has been met.
3. Landscaping shall be installed at the rate of one-half Plant Unit Value for each 100 square feet of sign surface area.
4. Two existing off-premise signs currently owned and maintained by Clear Channel Outdoor within the Plainfield Town limits commonly known as sign number two and sign number three on the west side of SR267 shall be removed prior to beginning construction on the new signs.
5. The Town of Plainfield shall be allowed to display a message of their choice three times per year for three consecutive days or other similar arrangement as agreed upon by both parties.
6. Messages shall not change more than once every eight seconds.
Second by Mr. Gibbs. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Monnett – yes
Ms. Duffer – yes
Mr. Cavanaugh – yes
Mr. Gibbs – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
5-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I believe we are going to move onto BZA-07-027 and I'm going to recuse myself from that petition.
Mr. Matrana said so noted Mr. Cavanaugh.
Ms. Sprague said BZA-07-027, Browning/Duke, LLC is about the AllPoints building one. They are planning an expansion out there and they are requesting to reduce the required number of parking at least for now. The ordinance would require with the expansion 480 parking spaces and their tenant feels they only need 180 parking spaces. So, their request is to allow this reduction at least for this tenant or any similar kinds of tenants. If that tenant moves out or different tenant that would do a different type of use, then they would put those other parking spaces in.
This is the site; it is north of CR200. The original portion of the building I believe is almost complete and then they have a tenant that is planning to move in and they have requested this expansion. It is all surrounded by I-2 zoning and it is part of the new annexation that was done for AllPoints.
They show in their site plan that there is plenty of land on there for the parking if they should ever need it. The petitioner has shown an interest in keeping all of the car parking on one side of the site so that they could keep the area secured without people driving in and out. In 2005 the Becton-Dickenson also requested something similar, which was granted although their discrepancy in parking was much smaller.
Here is the site. It is a little harder to see up there but they have a small section of land banked for parking if they should need it and then also along the north side of the building. If I recall correctly, most of this site is fenced off. So, any car parking would be trying to get in there would have to go through a fence if they were going to do that. So, that is partly why they have requested that.
When or if we get that far, they have requested that we change condition number two in the parenthesis a little bit. Apparently they have had some issues in the past where if they limit it to one user, that was taken to court so in this case that they have asked to limit it to one user or other similar users. So, if their current tenant would move out but something similar would move back in, then they wouldn't necessarily have to add the parking. I know the petitioner is here if you have any questions and I'm sure they would be happy to answer them.
Mr. John Hirschman said I'm here on behalf of Browning/Duke. My address is 6100 W. 96th Street, Indianapolis. I think the situation was described pretty well in the Staff Report and just now. Maybe explaining the genesis of this request would be helpful for the board. We built AllPoints building one in 2007; that was about a 650,000 square foot bulk distribution facility. We were successful in getting a lease with Prime Distribution Services both for the existing building and then they are wanting us to expand that building by 554,000 square feet. The entire expanded building is what is shown on the site plan in front of you. Through the whole lease process it became evident that they wouldn't need 480 parking spaces to accommodate their operations, their employees, their shifts, etc. and they have looked into this in a fairly highly level of detail. They occupy this much space elsewhere in Indianapolis now so they know what their use is and their real parking requirement was 180 spaces. I think we are building 182 spaces at the southern end of the building. We recognize two things; one is that we don't want to own a building of this magnitude; this is a uniquely large building even in Plainfield, which is a Town full of big distribution buildings. This is a large one so neither Browning or Duke wants to own a building that in 10 years when this lease expires, is a dinosaur and can't accommodate one or more than one future user. We know that the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance requires a higher level of parking of what Prime distribution requires. So, along with our variance filing we have filed some commitments that were highlighted on the screen the affect of which are if Prime moves out and a different user moves in and their uses is different than Prime, we will build the required parking to ordinance. The site plan shows, and what the screen shows, (moved away from mic-inaudible)……is the owner of this building and is wanting to have a functional and affective building 10 years down the road when this expires and from Plainfield's Zoning Ordinance requirements we think with the amount of land that we have banked here for future parking we can satisfy both Plainfield and our own desires to have a fully functional building in 10 years. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Mr. Matrana said at this time I would like to remind everyone that this is a public hearing so if anyone has any comments either for or against this particular motion concerning Browning/Duke, now is the time to step forward and express your concerns either for or against this particular motion. With no one stepping forward I will close the public portion of this hearing and open it up for discussion and a possible motion.
Ms. Duffer made a motion that the Board of Zoning Appeals approve the Variance of Development Standards, BZA-07-027 as filed by Browning/Duke, LLC to provide for a reduction in the required number of off-street parking spaces from 480 parking spaces to 180 parking spaces subject to the following conditions:
1. The parking reduction variance shall be limited to the use and occupancy of real estate by Prime Distribution Services, Inc. And in the event that Prime Distribution Services, Inc. is not the initial occupant of the proposed building or in the event that Prime Distribution Services, Inc. vacates the premises in total or in part thereby allowing for one or more other users in the building this business operations on those premises and are not substantially similar to those proposed by PDS or do not otherwise justify the reduction of the number of required automobile parking spaces the owner shall be responsible for the installation of off-street parking in the amount and configuration, which complies with the terms and provisions of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance. Or obtaining an additional subsequent variance approval for such other users' business operations.
Second by Mr. Monnett. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Monnett – yes
Ms. Duffer – yes
Mr. Cavanaugh - recused
Mr. Gibbs – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
Mr. James said I don't have anything this evening. Next month I will give you a report on some of the issues that we have been taking care of lately. I will get with Mr. Daniel and update the board on those issues.
Ms. Duffer made a motion to adjourn. Second by Mr. Monnett. Motion carried.
Mr. Rick, Matrana, President