The Plainfield Plan Commission met on Thursday, September 9, 2004. In attendance were Mr. Thibo, Mr. Matrana, Mr. McPhail, Mr. Brandgard, Ms. Whicker, Mr. Kirchoff and Mr. Haase.
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci administered the roll call.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to approve the minutes of the Plainfield Plan Commission of August 2, 2004 as submitted. Second by Mr. Matrana. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase said at this time I would like to welcome our newest board member, which would be Mrs. Rene Whicker. We are glad to have you here and look forward to your participation in our meetings. At this time Mr. Carlucci is going to administer your swearing in. (Swearing in at this time).
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Carlucci administered the Oath of Testimony this evening.
Mr. Haase reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings. We have several public hearings tonight. Mr. Higbee I will let you start us out. I believe we have some requests for continuances.
Mr. Higbee said there are a few items on the agenda, two of them go together for Clay-Clifton Farms. They are two rezoning requests out west of Saratoga. They needed to do some further work on the residential design guidelines that they were going to consider offering to the Town and ask for a continuance to October 4.
Mr. Haase said that would be RZ-04-007 and RZ-04-008.
Mr. Thibo made a motion to grant a continuance for RZ-04-007 and RZ-04-008, Clay-Clifton Farms to the October 4, 2004 meeting. Second by Mr. Matrana. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase said if there is anyone here tonight for those, that would be the first Monday in October, which looks like it is going to be October 4. Then do we have another continuance request?
Mr. Higbee said yes that is going to be the Secondary Detailed Plan Approval for a project called The Residence at Towne Center, which would be part of the Metropolis PUD out on the east side of Town. They asked for a continuance to have a little more time to work on some infrastructure agreements with the Town and also requested a continuance to the October 4 meeting.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to grant a continuance for DP-04-025 to the October 4, 2004 meeting. Second by Mr. Matrana. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase said both of these continuances will not be noticed if there is anyone here. This is your only notification of the change in meeting times. With that said we have three other public hearings on line for tonight. I will just ask if there is anyone of those that would wish to have a continuance? Being no one coming forward the first public hearing for tonight is PUD-04-003, Sugar Grove Development Corp.
Mr. Higbee said this is a PUD rezoning, which would be located out on Moon Road on the west side of Town, south of U.S. 40 on property that I believe was known as the Mongan Farm. It was before my days but I have seen that there was a former recreational facility out there. The PUD would consist of several subdivisions within a larger subdivision, if you will. In their documents they divided them up into areas “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” and “E”, each having a different lot size, lot widths and types of homes on them. Along with their rezoning request they provided a preliminary plan that shows the subdivision layout as well as some development standards for what each of those areas would look like and the types of standards they would meet. And then they provided a residential design guidelines document that talked about things such as the architecture of the home and some of the amenity features that they would provide on the lots within the subdivision. In the residential design guidelines document that they offered it was somewhat modeled after Plainfield’s residential design guidelines, which we passed over a year ago. This would be the first large tract development to come in as a rezoning since the passage of those guidelines. We did have one smaller development that had 28 lots on it within the past few months here. So, as I speak through this report, I will sort of be speaking from the standpoint of what are our guidelines compared to what is being offered in this submittal.
The Comprehensive Plan currently calls for what we call rural density residential out here on the far west side of Town. That is a plan that has existed since 1993, however, we are in the process of updating that Comprehensive Plan, recognizing that utilities and infrastructure have been moving that direction for some time. The comp plan that we are working on that is not yet adopted we changed the designation to a mixture of low-density and medium-density residential development. I want to point out again that it is not yet adopted but that seems to be the direction we are headed. We hope that the comp plan will be in front of the Plan Commission and Town Council in the immediate future. This PUD does roughly correspond to what the new comp plan update would recommend if it is adopted. It certainly would deviate from the 1993 Comprehensive Plan that exists out there.
The different areas have lot sizes that range anywhere from 7,200 square feet to 13,500 square feet and anywhere from 60 feet in width up to 90 feet in width. They have minimum size standards for the dwelling units that generally would exceed what our regular zoning ordinances for comparable zoning districts would request. Some of the homes in the smaller lots would range from 1,300 to 1,600 square feet and the larger lots would range from 1,700 to 2,000 as a minimum square footage, the comparable zoning districts for single family, R-2 to R-4 and then there is a two-family section located near Moon Road.
There was some comment from a traffic study. The Traffic Director is here to answer any questions that you have on that.
There is also some comment from the Town Engineer who is here regarding the utilities out in the area. There is, as you know, an improvement project going on on Moon Road.
I want to talk a little bit now about what I was alluding to earlier with the residential design guidelines. This did go to the Design Review Committee on August 24 and they looked at our residential design guidelines as compared to what is being offered in this project. Some of the things that they suggested and are recommending to you are that street trees be added. Since that time the petitioner provided a revision to add those to the project. That the vinyl minimum grade shall be 0.48 per the RDG, which is the minimum recommended by the residential design guidelines. That is thicker than what you see on a lot of production homes in the past and I believe that the petitioner is going to want to ask your permission to deviate from that. But that is what the Design Review Committee has recommended that they stay with the residential design guideline standards. They ask for planter boxes be removed as an architectural credit item and that further information be provided per DRC’s approval for the clubhouse, playgrounds, parks, trails and fountains. That points out something worth noting and that is there is substantial open space within this development. There is a creek on the west boundary and a lot of tree preservation will happen there. They have several good size areas on the interior and some perimeter areas with some large common areas in this development. Looking at open space from the residential design guidelines’ recommendations they would actually exceed the open space requirements of our recommendations probably substantially. However, some of the details for how those open spaces might be utilized were lacking and that is why DRC asked that they would bring those back for approval in the future.
Getting to the architectural, if you recall, our residential design guidelines look at the different facades of a house and they treat the front facade and they treat the side and rear facade. Generally, the way that it is broken down is they have group 1, 2 and 3 items with a group 1 item being the most architecturally significant or having the highest impact such as a change in direction of a roofline, the addition of a porch, the addition of a bump-out to a house or something like that. Something that has a big impact on what you see when you look at the house architecturally. Group 2 items would be sort of a mid level impact type item such as transom windows on a door, side lights on a door, side by side windows on the building facade, etc. And then group 3 items would be items that are desirable but they have a much lesser impact such as molding and trim and coach lights and shutters perhaps would be a group 3 item. So, a combination of group 1, 2 and 3 items in our guidelines will get you to the desired minimum standard. And that is the highest for the front facade but there is also a treatment for side and rear facades especially if your buildings are nearer where they can be seen from a perimeter street of a subdivision. That is what we want is when people look at this subdivision, that they see quality so we look from the prospective of perimeter streets or front facades. That is really what forms people’s impression we feel.
I attached an addendum to your Staff Report that went down through the architectural items as well as other aspects of the residential design guidelines. I don’t want to go through those with you but they are there for you to read and ask questions or for the petitioner to respond to. Some of my concerns were there appeared to be a few items that the petitioner was requesting credit for that did not match up exactly with our residential design guidelines but they wanted us to view them as substitutions as being roughly equivalent. So, they would suggest a group 1 item that wasn’t in our list but they felt like it had an impact on the structure, for instance. Or they would suggest a group 2 or group 3 item that wasn’t the same as ours saying that they generally met the intent of our guidelines. In many cases I think Staff, and the DRC agreed with some of their suggestions, but there were a few cases where we thought there could be double counting. For example, they wanted credit for multiple gables but we already give credit for a change in the roofline. So, I had a question whether that is double counting? As a group, I believe it is a group 3 item but it might be a group 2 because I would have to double check where we gave for a chase fireplace and they wanted credit for a brick chase fireplace. So, I had a question about whether they were asking for additional credit for that because it was brick because then they get two credits for the fireplace. Those were some things that I saw that made me wonder if these guidelines were going to lead to inadvertently applying more credit than our guidelines intended. But I won’t go through the rest of those. I will just let you look at them. They are broken into front facades and then rear and side facades.
And then at the end of that addendum document are some of the other aspects of the residential design guidelines such as a minimum garage size, which they wanted to deviate. We request a minimum of 484 square feet in our residential design guidelines and they wanted to go lower on a case by case basis if DRC would be willing to approve that elevation down to 450 square feet. They wanted to deviate from the minimum vinyl thickness, as I mentioned earlier, and also use a material called R-Board, which was not in our residential design guidelines.
Another item, and this isn’t really something that they are requesting to deviate from, but something that I just wanted to point out to you, was the handling of sidewalks. They offer to put sidewalks or paths along Moon Road and along U.S. 40. However, the Plan Commission may want to consider whether the timing of that is what is desired right now because there is an ongoing road project out there. There is a question if the Town does that road project in the future, will they be willing to put the sidewalks in themselves? You have to assume that they are going to come back in the future for a primary plat and a requirement of platting would be sidewalks unless you waive it. They are saying that they will provide them but if the Town has other ideas about how they would be provided, that is something for you to consider tonight. Also, the sidewalk or path along U.S. 40 is the same thing except we have another player involved because INDOT probably could influence whether or not sidewalks would ever be able to be put up there. A comment I made is I think they are desirable because we are going to have a Comprehensive Plan recommendation of commercial up at that corner of Moon Road and U.S. 40 and it would be desirable to have connections coming up Moon Road and across U.S. 40 from the residential area to get into the commercial area.
I made my final comment here, and I haven’t read all of my comments to you, but my last comment on that addendum was that you may want to consider whether or not additional perimeter buffering should be looked at on some parts of the subdivision such as the north boundary line where you have relatively small lots but you don’t have any kind of a buffer area there between there and the future development to the north.
So, there are other documents I didn’t even get into such as the development standards document. I can answer questions on the comp plan, the development standards or the residential design guidelines or if you want, we can turn it over to the petitioner.
Mr. Jeff Banning with Banning Engineering at 698 Tower Road, Suite 100, Plainfield said I wanted to introduce to you here this evening who we have here on our team. We have Larry Moon from Republic Development who is the petitioner on this particular project. We have Bob Stayton who is has done all of the mechanical work for me from our office and then John Thomas our landscape architect. We also have owners of the property, David Jones and Terry Dillon back here in the audience. That was not a mistake, it is Larry Moon, even though we are developing Moon Road that is his name so there are no mistakes there. I don’t know how he found this site but he did.
I think most of you are pretty well aware of this particular site, where it is located. As a matter of fact, several of you, over half of you, have actually seen a presentation on this property in the past. We were here a couple of different times in the past with another developer. As you are aware, that actual development was denied. Now we have before you what I think is a more superior development that will follow the residential design guidelines that at that point were not in place. At that point the Comprehensive Plan, even though it is not approved at this point, we were under the old Comprehensive Plan. We now know that there is a new Comprehensive Plan being developed. It takes into account that we do have a prison east of this site and across the street. So, with that being the case I think we have found a developer that was willing to utilize those design guidelines, the new Comprehensive Plan and bring a new development in front of this commission.
One of the changes that I want to bring out is originally there were 232 acres in the original proposal. We have added an additional 9-10 acres with a strip of ground here that we actually left out of the original development. That parcel of ground is now under contract and I believe it lends more continuity to the plan than what was presented previously. It also provides a substantial wooded area that we look to preserve as well as back quite a few houses up against that wooded area to create some substantial lots.
What I’m going to do this evening is just kind of do a general overview and then I’m going to have Mr. Moon come up and really talk about the plan, the architectural features and those types of things. I guess one thing that I did want to point out is the Design Review Committee did recommend approval based on the four points that are within your Staff Report. We are in agreement with all of those except item number 2 and that issue will be discussed here later. I just wanted to point that out in this presentation. I think with that I’m probably just going to turn this over to Mr. Moon unless you have any site questions for me or thoughts from that standpoint and let him go through the development statement and through the Staff letter that Mr. Higbee has generated and go from there.
Mr. Haase asked, how much of it is non-buildable?
Mr. Banning said I’m not sure that we actually have a number. I know that there is approximately 54 acres of common area. Non-building I’m not sure I can answer that. Is there any particular area that you are thinking of?
Mr. Haase said I’m just curious how much of it is common area because it can’t be built on. That’s what I’m always interested in.
Mr. Banning said I’m not sure that I could even venture to guess to be honest with you.
Mr. Larry Moon with Republic Development with offices at 3150 Republic Boulevard, Toledo, Ohio said before I get into the project we have not developed in Plainfield before so I will tell you a little bit about Republic. We are a development company that has offices in Toledo, Ohio as well as in Fishers, Indiana. We have been developing in and around Indianapolis for about 20 years now. This would be our first project in Plainfield. We have done a number of others up in the Avon area as well as Fishers, Greenwood and elsewhere. We do primarily residential development. We are not a homebuilder. We are a developer purely. We come in and develop the land. We work with builders and sell them the finished lots.
The site in question that you are looking at we have had a number of preliminary meetings with various Town officials to discuss the direction that we wanted to head with this. We thought it was a challenging site but yet a very unique site with a lot of opportunities. We tried to mix those things together. It is a site that has a lot of wooded areas, particularly on the western portion of the project, to get down to the branch of the White Lick Creek as well as having the prison to the east of it and more open flat areas in that location. So, based on that we have tried to develop a site plan that, in essence, balances those areas out. The other element is it is a very large project. It is 250 acres. When you get into a project of that size, we believe that you need to provide a lot of different options. It would be too monotonous to try to develop it all as one product type in a market. With those concepts in mind we have developed a plan that we think addresses those key elements. One being providing a different market and affordability price ranges for buyers in the Plainfield area taking into consideration the unique elements of the site. And preserving the wooded areas as well as taking into consideration the areas to the east with the prison and trying to basically stay away from that as we head west through the project. Based on that we have developed a plan that creates five separate market areas, which on this plan are marked as “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” and “E”. Generally the concept being that we move from more of a dense use near the east side of the property and the prison facility to a less dense use and a higher price point product over to the west side of the project where we also have the more interesting property with the natural features of ravines and creeks and woods. To do that we have created an entry off of Moon Road that enters into product areas that would be a two-family product area that are all spelled out in your development standards. And then lots in the “D” and “C” area then begin to go into a single-family product that are what I would call a small lot product but preserving a lot of open space in the development design with that. And then to the west we have developed larger slots in the project with a number of cul-de-sacs that back into the woods. There will be a lot of walkouts and a lot of vistas into that area. And then we tried to be very careful to preserve, where we could, as much of the wooded area on the western side of the project through the use of common areas. This area along the creek would not be buildable. I don’t have an acreage count but that is the one area that would be in a floodway and un-buildable to begin with.
Mr. Haase asked, would the rest of it be buildable?
Mr. Moon said yes I believe. In the site plan one of the design elements that we do, which I think the Town has also echoed in some of their design guidelines, is to interlink the neighborhood to provide street networks that connect so that people don’t feel they are separate but they are connected through the streets. All of the neighborhoods are connected one to another. We have tried to highlight them with park areas that create features for the community, as a whole, and an individual neighborhood in general. As you come off the Moon Road entrance, we have created a large park area that would have a pool and an amenity complex as you drive in. It is the first thing that you see, looking at the lake as well, again orientating it so that you really won’t see the backs of homes. Along the Moon Road frontage we have also fronted lots facing out to Moon Road where some of the model courts would be across the lake. On the north side there are actually lots, as Mr. Higbee pointed out, that back to Moon Road. However, we had in some of the discussions created a buffer there that we have committed to. It is a 100 foot buffer wide area that we have committed to having a six to 10 foot tall mound with heavy landscaping along it. So, yes we don’t have homes fronting it because we are getting closer to the prison and we really didn’t want to have homes looking across the street at it. Instead we have created a 100-foot buffer that will be heavily mounded and screened. In the center of the project we have also created a large seven-acre park that you might notice is surrounded by street so that it is very public. You don’t have the rears of homes looking into common areas in this case but it is accessed by four of the five sub-neighborhoods all touch it. The “B”, the “C”, “D” and the “E” all come up in front of this very large central park, which will have picnic shelters, playgrounds, lakes, etc. in it. Also, through the plan we have tried to create distance in a number of locations where streets terminate or you are looking into wooded areas and creating parks and pathway systems, which we show in the landscape plan. It will be created to access through woods, etc. We created a plan where we created a highly quality life in this area.
Into the development standards this is a very complicated document. We have worked a long time with the Town going through it. I realize we are really the first project to attempt to work with this. What we did is we started with what you had and tried to accommodate within it to the extent that we could. There are areas where we have asked for some modification, which I won’t go through in great detail. Mr. Higbee touched on most of them that we felt had merit for various reasons but I think overall you will see the vast spirit and the intent of the document have been adhered to. In working with some of the builders we are in discussions about the project. We have had a lot of discourse related to our architecture and elements that they are going to have to change in the way that they design homes and build them in here. They are willing to do it to the extent that we have proposed. The product that would come out of this will be significantly different than some of the things that you might have otherwise seen them do in other areas, changes that they would have to make based on the design standards that have been submitted. In essence we have taken your standards where, for example, it said you need to meet 11 design criteria in the front facade, we said we will meet 11. However, what we would ask is you have a list of 10 options in category one where there are two or three other things that maybe you hadn’t thought about that we think should be included in category one and so on through the list. So, in essence we haven’t said that we are going to deviate from the numeric standards of the lists. However, we are saying there are other architectural features that we think can add diversity to the home designs and do other things that maybe were not thought about when it was originally developed that these builders feel may work in the architecture of the homes. With that I will just turn it over to you for any questions or go to the public part of the hearing.
Mr. Haase asked, are there any questions from any board members? If not, is there anyone in the audience who has any questions or comments on this rezoning requests?
Mr. Monte Janik at 5528 S. CR600E said we live on the south end of the project that is being developed. We met with Mr. Banning and Mr. Moon earlier and Mr. McPhail because we had concerns and they wanted to talk to us about the road coming back in here into the development and wanted to get our feelings on how we felt about them developing an entrance on that side. We talked about it and the community met and we decided that it would be beneficial to us if the entrance was put at a different location, which they did and we appreciate that very much. So, they have really went out of their way to help us. There are a couple of things though that I would like to ask questions about. I notice that some of my neighbors back here too may want to talk because I’m just talking about myself right now. Number one, I heard you talk about the brick facade and the homes along this area right here runs right along the edge of the road that comes back in our area. Our area is a rural community and we will be looking at those homes. They are talking about putting facade around the roads coming into the development but we would like to see some nice brick facade on the backside also so that we are not staring at vinyl right across the street. Some of my neighbors are right at the edge of that road and it would be a very close view for them and it would certainly distract from our community area that is already existing. So, we would like for you to take that into consideration.
I noticed in the blueprints this afternoon when I reviewed them, there were trees and shrubs and I commend you for that because from what I saw it looked very nice. I would like to see even more, if you would put them in. It would be nice to have a mound buffer in there between the road and the community similar to the one that they talk about in another location.
In the blueprints that I looked at it said the runoff water would go to the west and would go to the White Lick Creek and I’m not sure how it is going to do that. I do know there are some containment areas that will catch the water and when those fill up, how it is dispersed from that point I have no idea but I’m sure they can tell us that. We would like to know that, I would.
I commend the commission on the requirements of the vinyl. I feel very strong about some of the vinyl I look at back in the Saratoga area. It is starting to pop loose and you can see the seams and I know it is a poor quality of vinyl that was put up there. A better, thicker vinyl would certainly make these homes look good after 10 years or maybe 20 years and we would like to see that happen for this group of people and also for us across the street. Even though we are not apart of that area we are close to it and we would still like the area to look nice so that is why I bring that up.
The last thing that I can think about right now is I’m very concerned about the safety of kids. Moon Road has a 50 mph speed limit right now. I believe that is too high for the speed limit down Moon Road. Cars will probably drive 55-60 mph down it at times. When I first moved there 25 years ago, I used to take my two small children and we would walk down that road and ride the bicycles. Today if you go out there and walk along the road, the wind blows you off into the ditch. There is one car after another. It is probably one of the highest traffic areas in Plainfield to be honest with you because everybody cuts around that way to get to the interstate. I think for the safety of kids there has to be some concerns. I heard sidewalks mentioned along Moon Road up by U.S. 40. I believe that it is absolutely necessary that we have a place for kids that will be walking up to U.S. 40 and probably want to cross over to Saratoga to see their friends. I think sidewalks would be one of the ways that we can have some safe areas for kids to walk along that road. Certainly, if they get out on the road, it won’t be safe I will tell you right now. According to the information I read earlier there is going to be a possibility of families with somewhere around 380 some kids in the community. I would say that would probably begin at the kindergarten age. If there are that many kids there, we certainly need to watch and make sure that they are safe at all times. There should be some safe accesses in the community and around the perimeter of the community.
Mr. Bud Daum at 5838 E. CR600S said I just want to say that there is a farming operation and I have two towers on my property, telephone towers. I hope nobody complains about any dust or anything. There is a whole woods in between me and then with these people that spoke about it.
Mr. Haase asked, is that a grain farm and no livestock?
Mr. Daum said yes.
Mr. Kirchoff said give us a sense of where you are in relationship to this.
Mr. Daum said you have to go on down south here.
Mr. Kirchoff said so you are not immediately adjacent.
Mr. Daum said no.
Mr. Moon said there is a woods in between here.
Mr. Haase asked, would the petitioner like to respond?
Mr. Moon said I will try to address a few of the points. Let me point out where the road is on this plan. It is right here where there is unapproved gravel that has the homes on the south side of that road. About having a road in, because it was expressed that there might be an interest from them as well as the Town, the road currently isn’t in the Town I don’t believe. We met with them and from that the conclusion from them was we really don’t want to have our road improved and have houses across the street. It would become part of a subdivision. We would prefer that you develop a way from the road so we have honored that request and what we have done for the buffering, because that road ends about right in here, is we have put a lake there. We pulled away from that property line. We have eschewed the road.
We do have a landscaping plan. It is not in great detail. As you know, part of our commitments are to go back to the DRC for the final landscaped plan and amenity plan. It doesn’t do a great job of showing that area in the homes but it is right in here. And as you see, we do have a lake and we do have room for landscaping on what would be the south side of the lake and heavier landscaping and where the lots get closer this would become mounding and landscaping. So, we did plan to buffer that area. In fact, we have designed it so that those lots do not back up to them. There is a gap along most of the stretch of 150 feet or so of lake between that road and where any lots start on our property.
Mounds and trees I guess I kind of covered both of those.
As far as the runoff of water, I can let Mr. Banning speak to that.
The vinyl thickness, I know we are going to talk about this and I don’t know if now is the time to bring it up, but we have proposed a standard of 0.42, which is higher than what is typically used by construction builders in production homes. The standards range between 0.38 and 0.42 typically, which is the baseline vinyl that you would see and the standards that we have proposed. We are trying to find out more about the vinyl and I feel I’m becoming a vinyl expert. The vinyl that would be on the rears or any part of the homes is an upgraded vinyl. It might not be 0.48, which we found to be about as high of a standard that there is out there and typically only used by re-modelers but the 0.42 is a higher grade. It has a profile to it. So, we believe we are meeting that.
Kid safety, we have committed to sidewalks along Moon Road all the way across our property front and U.S. 40 Mr. Higbee addressed that earlier, we are leaving that to the discretion of the Town. If they want us to put them in when we develop or whether they want some other fashion as they improve Moon Road. So, that we don’t put them in and they come in a couple of years later and rip them out and have to start over. So, we are committed to it. Obviously, that would address the safety along the streets and internally in the subdivision obviously we have sidewalks on all of the lots.
On the drainage I will let Mr. Banning address that.
Mr. Banning said from the drainage standpoint what we would propose to do is to have interconnecting ponds with storm drains, ditches, swales, inlets and all of that water would then drain from Moon Road westerly over to White Lick Creek. The lakes as well as providing amenity features and as well as resolving a huge drainage issue south of the site where the gravel road is now where a lot of the existing homes are along the west side of Moon Road, water that would drain that way currently would be picked up in a detention pond. We would expect to pipe that water back to the west. So, we feel like we would be doing a pretty good job of taking care of some drainage issues along Moon Road that are there now. We have even gone as far as discussing possibly working through and helping out the Town from a detention standpoint for the future Moon Road widening. That could be a benefit for the Town in the future widening of Moon Road. I think we have discussed that before but I will reiterate that again.
Mr. Thibo asked, are all of the small lots up near Moon Road?
Mr. Banning said smaller lots are actually kind of in this area here. What we have tried to do is split coming in the entrance here to where we have a different product on the south as well as the north. What we are currently showing here is the actual double area if you look in your packet. That is what area “A” is showing right now. What we have tried to do is for the community to have the different product types coming in so that they can see what is proposed.
Mr. Thibo asked, kind of a mixture?
Mr. Banning said yes and then you would go north for one product and south for the other.
Mr. Haase said there was an issue with a question about brick on the rears of the homes and Mr. Janik would like for you to address that since you didn’t. My understanding is that the houses along that roadway that your pond pretty much goes to the west edge of those home sites is that correct?
Mr. Moon said this is north and this is south. The gravel road is immediately south and then their homes are on the south side of the gravel road facing north.
Mr. Haase asked, how far back do their homes go?
Mr. Moon said on this plan here you can see. I believe that is the last drive. I will just point to it. It is right here is the last drive and the last house. It is the sixth drive and you can see the last drive where it comes together and the plan is this is a mounded area with heavier landscaping because there is no pond here. We are getting closer and as we get this way, we will landscape along this side of the pond. As opposed to brick on the rear of those homes we have provided a buffer area and a buffer area by the lake as well as the landscaping. The plan isn’t brick but the plan is buffering.
Mr. Banning said Mr. Janik your driveway, if I point to this, heads south in this particular area right here.
Mr. Haase said it is the farthest back.
Mr. Banning said right. Actually Jerry Stokes’ house sits right here in the woods and the driveway back to Mr. Janik’s is right there.
Mr. Bud Daum asked, do you just have one in and out?
Mr. Haase said there is an entrance on U.S. 40 and two on Moon Road.
Mr. Daum said you’ve only showed one down south and I didn’t see the others.
Mr. Haase said there are two entrances on Moon Road.
Mr. Banning said there is an entrance here and here and here on U.S. 40.
Ms. Vicky Kuhn at 5518 S. CR600E said we are just curious as to who are some of the builders that are going to be building in this new development or if we even know that at this point?
Mr. Moon said at this point and time we do not have builders defined. It usually doesn’t happen until we are further along when we sign a contract with them. Again, we don’t build the homes so the simple answer to that is no we do not have builders and I don’t want to represent that we do. We have a representative from Davis Homes in the audience with us who has been very instrumental in a number of the meetings and has a strong interest in building the project as one of a multiple of builders. However, at this point and time I can’t guarantee that they will or won’t be a builder in there.
Mr. William Roe at 5522 S. CR600E said I live right in front of the Janik’s where he lives. I have been sitting there listening and there are a lot of “ifs” and “ands.” I would like to have a better and clearer picture of what is going to happen. I mean they are talking about we have to do this and maybe we will do this and maybe we will do that. I would just like to know what are they going to do? They are talking about the size of the homes. We may put brick on them. We may not put brick on them. We may have guys come in from there. We don’t know who is going to build there. I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about. I just would like to know what is going to go on. The way that it is going on right now is it looks to me like every time they do something they have to come to you and ask you questions if they can do it. Am I right or wrong?
Mr. Haase said I don’t know if you have been able to see that. It is the guidelines and development standards that they are wanting to adhere to, which is part of it. This is, of course, just a rezoning request so we are just going to go through the rezoning process. We don’t do the rezoning here. It actually gets done at the Town Council. They are here for a recommendation so what we are really looking at tonight is rezoning the land, the layout that we have here. We are also taking the commitments that they have presented to us but they do have to come back before us.
Mr. Roe said I appreciate what they have done for us so far. I really do. I really really do but I still have this thing in my mind just exactly are they going to build? Who is going to build there? What size houses are they going to build? How much room is going to be between each house? It is like we said at the last meeting we don’t want another Eagledale in Plainfield. It looks to me like they are really trying to build something nice. They haven’t really come right straight out and said this is what we are going to do. I don’t want to say okay to something when I don’t know exactly what it is.
Mr. Haase said I’m going to let Mr. Higbee respond to that based on what he has given us in our packets.
Mr. Higbee said there is certainly a lot of variability in any project even if you do meet all of our guidelines and all of our development standards in the ordinances. So, do we know exactly what it is going to look like unless they show us actual pictures no but we have a pretty good idea. A month ago when they filed this petition with the Town, they filed a development standards document that defined the lot layout, all of the lot sizes, the lot widths, the setbacks and they also filed a residential design guidelines document that goes a pretty long way in defining the architectural look of the homes and the types of materials that could be used and so forth. Then as you have seen from some of the things that were shown tonight, they have had landscaping, they have shown park common areas, preservation areas, sidewalks and a number of other amenities for the subdivision. For any of you that don’t follow zoning hearings on a regular basis that material is always filed at least a month ahead of time and sometimes more depending upon the type of approval that is being requested for you to review. There is always a public review file for you and we feel like we have a pretty good sense of what this subdivision is going to look like. There are two more steps, as Mr. Haase said, for a PUD like this there is a primary platting step and a final development plan step. So, this development like any PUD will be put through its paces. There will be more files available for the public review and more public hearings for you to gain a better understanding of what it is going to look like.
Mr. Haase said these detailed development standards that we have here in this packet and the residential design guidelines that they have submitted to us if the rezoning gets approved, these get put in right there with the rezoning and they become part of the land, if you will. If you will, they are probably a maximum that we can require out of them and they are a minimum of what they have to do. They can always over produce what they say here but we cannot make them or force them to do anymore than what they have expressed in this packet here. But at the time of zoning these standards pretty much define what they are going to do and it takes a lot of that out of there. What the final project is going to look like I can’t tell you because I’m not an artist but in area “B”, which is the largest area, they list out minimum lot areas of 7,200 square feet. The minimum lot width is 60 feet, minimum lot frontage is 25 on a public street and gain direct access from a public street. The maximum lot coverage is 35%, the minimum yards and building setbacks are for the front at an interstate street 80 feet, primary artery street is 60 feet, secondary arterial street 40 feet, collector streets is 30 feet and then they have a minimum side yard of six feet shall be provided along all sideline lots. A minimum aggregate side yard of 12 feet shall be provided on all lots, a minimum rear yard of 20 feet shall be provided along the rear lot lines, etc. They do that for all of their different areas that they have there.
Mr. Higbee said as a matter of fact, because of the passage of our residential design guidelines over a year ago this project probably has a higher level of information with the rezoning than we have ever seen with a project before because of that residential design guidelines document that was tailored to this project. Does that mean that we agree with everything or you agree with everything? There is room for discussion on those items but the level of information is pretty high.
Mr. Haase said the Town’s review so far of these residential design guidelines what have we done? We have gone through these item by item is that correct?
Mr. Higbee said yes. The addendum to the Staff Report actually goes through item-by-item following the general organization of the residential design guidelines. Their guidelines actually follow the same sequence too so you can take their guidelines and compare them to the addendum in my Staff Report and you can see where there are any differences.
Mr. Haase said the density of this project follows the new Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Higbee said yes. There is another addendum on your report and what it says is a new comp plan recommends a mixture of primarily low-density but also allows for some medium-density for this site along Moon Road. It is not a precise match for the way that it was drawn on the land use map in the new comp plan recommendations but it is pretty close. At the time that we wrote the comp plan up that we are considering adopting we had a park area in there. We were looking at how do we get another public park on the west side thinking that Mongan had historically been like a park so maybe we can use some of that as a public use. Then this project came along so that park area wouldn’t be there, you would just have a mix of medium and low-density.
Mr. Janik said this book was not in the package today when I went down there and reviewed the plans so this answers a lot of questions. If this had been in the packet when I came down today, it probably would have answered a lot of questions.
Mr. Higbee said I think it was there. I actually noticed in the file when I handed it to you.
Mr. Janik said I got two sets of plans and I did have a couple of front pages but the rest of it was not in there.
Mr. Higbee said I’m sorry. The person that prepared the file should have put the whole thing in there. I wasn’t aware of that.
Mr. Haase said with no one else coming forward we will close the public portion of this hearing.
Mr. McPhail said I think as some of the previous speakers alluded I have spent a great deal of time over the last year consulting with this developer and other people on this particular site. My major concern, as we go through this process, is this is the first development since we adopted these building standards. Number two, it is the first large development where I think there will be continual residential growth for the Town of Plainfield. I want to make sure that we get this one right. I think the developer has worked very hard. I think they have listened to the concerns that have been conveyed to them. I think they have come back with an overall project that is getting close to meeting the building standards that we are looking for but I do have some concerns. There are a couple of issues that we talked about earlier. I would like to make a couple of comments. The private road, it’s not a County road, that services those folks to the south I thought that was a major issue that some day be a major problem for the Town as the Town grows and expands in that area. So, I think I’m the one that initiated the request for the developer to take a look at that. I’m satisfied that everybody has had an opportunity………
[Tape one concluded and tape two resumed as follows with Mr. McPhail speaking:]
………I have told all of the property owners there that some day that is going to be a major issue for those property owners because it is not a public road and there are some questions about proper easements, etc.
The drainage issue I do think that if we move forward on this project, that we need to make sure that we look at this drainage to see if it is compatible with the drainage on the Moon Road construction plan as we go down through there. We have talked about that a great deal over this period of time that Moon Road is going to be a problem for drainage as it is developed. I believe that the engineers think that this site can help overall with that project. So, we need to make sure that we talk about that.
I passed out a handout when I came in this evening. I apologize that I didn’t get this to you prior to tonight’s meeting because I don’t like to sit in public meetings and go through a lot of detail but there are some areas of concern that I have that I think that we need to discuss a little bit. I will start with area “A” and that is a multi-family or duplex type area that we are talking about. I tried to give some comparisons and looked around the community and tried to compare lot sizes to what I thought were comparable developments. Peacock Lake, which I think is probably a product that is being envisioned, is a product similar to that and the product at Meadowlark that might fit into this project. Their lots are a little bit bigger than what they are proposing here. I don’t know that I have a real strong feeling whether these lot sizes are large enough but they are smaller than what we have approved in the past for the type of product. Just doing some quick math a small reduction in lots by increasing those lots to a 100-foot width would probably reduce the number of lots from 75 to 66 or 67 in that area. That is without looking at it engineering wise. I don’t know if that is an issue that we need to discuss any further. I think I probably have a little more concern about area “B”.
Mr. Kirchoff said before we go to “B” I would like to raise a question in area “A”. If I read this right, you are proposing it to be multi-family but you are reserving the right to make it single-family high density, as I read this plan.
Mr. Moon said yes that is correct to convert it into the additional area “B”.
Mr. McPhail said I didn’t pick that up. That would even give me more concern.
Mr. Kirchoff said that is why I didn’t want to leave that before you went onto something else.
Mr. McPhail said I’m sorry I didn’t pick that up but that would give me a little more concern about area “B”. Area “B” I tried to compare that to some developments that we have recently approved and I think probably the Paddock at Saratoga is as close to what I envision that they are trying to present to us here. Their smallest lot is 7,500 square feet. Seventy-two hundred square feet is the size of most of these lots. It seems to me that even that reduction of three square feet per lot seems to make that lot real border line for the product that I think they may want to build there. I would suggest an increase in lot size and I just did a rough calculation of kicking the width up to 65 feet and it would bring those lots to 7,800 square feet. It would probably reduce it from 230 to 212 or maybe 210. They might lose more than that. When we look at that particular area, that is the most lots that they could put in. I am a little bit concerned about our overall balance within the community of what I call starter homes. I don’t know what that means anymore in terms of product but I do know in some of our more recent subdivisions that we have had what I believe to be starter homes we have a lot of high repossession rates. We have some problems there that we are not seeing maybe in some other areas. I don’t know if these building standards that we proposed will improve that situation. Again, it is the first test. That is an area that I think we need to be concerned about. Are the lots a little bit too small? I don’t think it is significant in size but I do think when I look at the Paddock and drive through there, if they are much smaller than that, it is going to give you a clustered look that you don’t want that we have seen in some other areas.
Area “C” I couldn’t find any comps for us to look at those particular lot sizes but when I look at the size of homes that they want to put on there, I don’t have a bad feeling about that. I did make a note there that I would like to see them make a commitment to put bricks on those lots that are facing the homeowners to the south. And we set a precedent I think in that area with the last approval that we did in Saratoga. I believe it was Yorktown the last one where those adjoining custom homes we got a commitment to put a brick wrap on the first floors of those homes. I have listed a number of lots that I thought were affected there.
Area “D” seems to be about the same size or a little bit larger lots than we approved in Yorktown and Saratoga. So, I think that is a pretty decent lot size and I don’t have a problem with them.
Area “E” the only comparison that we have is an R-2, which is 15,000 square feet. These are 13,500. It seems to be a trend to put a little bigger house on a little smaller lot in lots of different areas so I don’t have a real problem with that.
I did have some concerns about those lots on the east side of the drive coming in off of U.S. 40. We had talked about that previously. Would backing out of those driveways be a hazard? Should we establish a criteria of those lots that are facing that road that they would have a turn around driveway where they wouldn’t be backing out? I would defer that to our traffic people to discuss. I just know that the subject came up before when we were looking at a similar type of development coming off of U.S. 40.
I won’t go through all of the comments I made on the residential guidelines. I think some of those things that they requested were already covered. I’m afraid if we approve some of those, it would appear that there is an opportunity to double count and I don’t want that to happen. I don’t think in particular like a 10/12-roof pitch meets the intent of what the building standards are trying to do. But I do think they are getting pretty close on those standards.
The one issue of the 450 square foot garage as we were developing these standards, there was a lot of discussion about that and providing ample storage space for other things besides automobiles. I believe that maybe the intent of that issue of wanting the 480 square feet could be met with the 450 if the rest of the building plan provides ample storage space in other areas. The particular one that they gave didn’t look too bad. My real concern with what they are proposing there is I don’t think DRC is an area where we approve deviations to the building guidelines. I don’t know where they should be but I have a concern about DRC approving those when they are not responsible to any public hearing or any unit. I have some concern about that.
The one that I really want to talk about is the building materials. The developer has indicated that he thinks that he is becoming a vinyl expert and I have the same feeling. A year or two ago we began looking at these things. I’m totally convinced that is the strongest issue that we need to maintain in our building standards. We are looking for improved quality. I believe not only the quality of the vinyl but the backing behind it and I spent a lot of time discussing this with manufacturers. I had vinyl samples brought in to me. I have since thrown those away. I looked at lots of manufacturers and their product and the detail. I talked to a lot of people that build it and install it. One of the problems with not having that hard backing, I don’t know what our board is but if it is the foam board, one of the problems that we have found is the quality of the installation. If it is installed properly, what he is saying over soft board, is not a problem. But if you go out in the field and look and it is not installed properly and there are times when they miss nails. There is nothing back there to hold it and they miss that stud that is 16 inches on center. We have one builder in the area that is doing this. He will not build his home without the hard backing. He tells me he cannot prove that he is losing enough installation value in going to the hard board. That is just a non-factor. He happens to be a production type builder in the same quality home. So, I really think we need to not deviate from the standards that we have approved on the siding and the backing when we build them. I think we are going to get a lot better quality product. It is going to be a cost factor to these builders. Most of these other items are not a major cost factor by putting some trim on some different elevations. Vinyl siding will be a cost factor but I believe that our citizens will get a lot better product and they will get their money’s worth when we do that.
Mr. Moon said the drainage compatible with the Moon Road plan obviously I kind of touched on that earlier but we certainly are going to work with the Town in doing that.
The lot sizes in the areas you compared them to in area “A” and “B” where you really had the issues in area “A” the square footage proposed is the minimum of 10,350. Under the R-5 district, which is the first two-family district. But the minimum square footage is 10,000. So, we are actually above what the zoning standards are in the two-family area for the Town and the lot width at 90 is wider than the 70 under that proposal.
In area “B” if you compare the lot sizes in area “B” to the R-3 standards with development incentives, which we are not doing that, we are doing more of a PUD zoning but if you looked at that, which is the development incentives part of the ordinance, the minimum square footage in an R-3 area with development incentives is 7,000 square feet and we are at 7,200. So, we looked at those and tried to exceed those across the board and we think we have. That is where we are.
The other issues with lot sizes we have created over 50 acres of open space that we felt was important to the project both for the preservation of natural areas as well as to create park areas throughout the community. We could create larger lots and less open space and still be well above the ordinance standards within the guidelines of the open space requirements for this type of zoning. We felt the lot sizes proposed are minimums and most of the lots will be bigger one way or another. We felt keeping and preserving the wooded areas and creating the parks was as or more important than expanding lot size and not creating the open spaces to the extent that we have. But we are above the first two-family guidelines of R-5 and we are above the development incentive R-3 on the “B” area lots.
Brick, from facing south you mentioned Saratoga, and I’m not certain about Saratoga, and you correct me, but I don’t believe there is a buffer area between Saratoga lots and the custom lots. We went the route of creating a buffer area as opposed to putting the lots right against it and not creating a buffer area. We are trying to address the same issue in a different way.
The driveway turn around we agree with. We talked about that I know in one of the meetings and we are okay with that. It wasn’t in our commitments because it wasn’t really in the design review codes but we are okay with that one.
To your point of double counting items I quickly scanned your comments because I was just handed them and I think there are two that we may have double counted in looking at it. This has been through three or four reiterations. I apologize for that but I think the chimney chases are in there twice. One is a brick and one is a non-brick in the same category so I don’t think the intent was to get two credits. I don’t quite understand how that one got entered as it did and the other one was the double gable verses the roof bricks. And again I agree if we have a change in a roof elevation between gables and we are getting credit for it there, we shouldn’t be getting credit. So, we can clarify that but the intent wasn’t to get the same feature and getting two credits.
The garage size, we obviously didn’t think it was appropriate to bring in the plans back to the Plan Commission every time we have a plan that needs approval. I suggested that DRC, because it seems like they were most in charge of architecture for homes, for approval of a garage at 450 square feet. I’m open to what the Town prefers to do there as far as how we get that through the process.
Building materials, it sounds like you have been very involved in some of the research and our builders have as well. I think there are two separate issues that have some linkage but in some degree are not linked. One is the thickness of the vinyl siding and the other is the backing. The builders have severe concerns with the backing. OSB and plywood, if you have watched the Trinity lawsuit recently, mold has become a very big concern with OSB and plywood as the exterior sheeting on homes. Builders are not willing that I’m aware of, many of them, to use it for that reason and that reason alone. However, the installation factor is fairly significant in that you may have a builder anecdotally say the actual “R” value is significantly less when you use plywood verses the foam backing. So, you are decreasing energy efficiency of the home significantly. One builder did a test where they take the infrared device and go through on a cold day, and green is whatever, where the wall is not letting off a lot of heat or red or whatever and when you go in an area where they had done the corners with the plywood and the rest of the home with the wallboard, which is the thick foam installation, the color of that gage materially shows that there was much more infiltration where the board is being used. I don’t know how to solve that here. It is very technical. We are willing to work with the Town to come up with something that the builders feel reasonable and that you are comfortable with. I’m not quite sure how to do that at this level. Whether we could send it to another body or create a subcommittee to review this before the next meeting to try to come up with something that everybody is comfortable with. It seems like a scenario where we are a little at an impasse with what the standard is and what the builder is saying this just doesn’t work. Hopefully, there is something in between that everyone is comfortable with.
Mr. McPhail said I won’t claim I’m right but no one has proven me wrong.
Mr. Kirchoff said when we approve those, surely we research 0.48 and we tell the builders do we not?
Mr. Moon said I can’t speak for every builder but there are no production builders in this market that use that thickness of siding.
Mr. Kirchoff said obviously that is our history and that is why we are unhappy.
Mr. McPhail said I didn’t have anybody tell me that they were using that thickness of siding. We have production builders using hard board behind it, OSB.
Mr. Kirchoff said my point is if they felt at that point and time that we discussed it was not doable, why did they not raise that issue before? They were at the table when we discussed this weren’t they?
Mr. McPhail said I don’t believe they were.
Mr. Haase said I sat on that committee and Mr. McPhail went out religiously and researched what the vinyl thicknesses were and was available and what was being used and what was better. Mr. Moon indicated that nobody uses the 0.48 except for re-modelers so it is something that does get used. We have had a huge disappointment with the vinyl construction in the Town of Plainfield, probably all within Central Indiana, if you drive down the roadway. I think that is why we have the requirement of 0.48. So, the material is out there. It is available. It is usable. They don’t want to use it but they can.
Mr. Moon said I think the suggestion is there is something above the current grade of vinyl that has been used, which is more like a 0.38 and a 0.40 and we have proposed a 0.42. We have letters from the suppliers and so on that are very large that it isn’t just the thickness of the vinyl but it is the butt joint, which is the return that creates rigidity. It’s the nail strip. I’m not using the right technical term but those things also factor into it. It is just not one element that creates the rigidity. It’s also the installation. You can use the best siding and if you install it wrong, it is going to still do what it does.
Mr. Haase said I think by requiring the 0.48 we certainly take that out of the factor. We now know they are using probably the heaviest vinyl that is available.
Mr. McPhail said no.
Mr. Haase said so we are not even there but we are taking that one step further in taking at least the quality of the product out of the factor and it basically comes down to installation or backing.
Mr. Moon said the quality does change with the varying thicknesses as well as the design of the vinyl. I think what we have heard from one of the largest distributors in Town is it is not just the thickness that is the factor but it is the butt end. It is the nail strip and you really need to look at the whole package of the vinyl to make that determination, 0.42; 0.44; 0.46; 0.48 you can have one at a 0.42 that is better than a 0.48 if it is the proper siding. I’m not sure what the solution to that is but I guess we are asking that we somehow spend a little more time in some fashion trying to work out a solution that works for the builders. Certainly what they are already offering is a higher grade than what you have in your community currently. So, the next question is how high do we have to take it and then this backing issue is another issue.
Mr. McPhail said when you get beyond talking about the thickness, it gets very complicated. Some of it is double. Some of it is single. Every manufacturer will tell you that they have the best joint. I can tell you that. I have read all of their literature. Every one of them has said I have the best joint and the best locking system, etc. But there are some other criteria. I have no idea how to write a specification other than the mill thickness.
Mr. Haase said I think that was the conclusion we came to when we made these guidelines up.
Mr. McPhail said he is absolutely right. You will probably have some 0.45 that is better than some of the 0.48. I don’t know and I won’t disagree with that. I don’t know how to write it any differently.
Mr. Moon said we can spend hours and bring in experts but I guess what we propose is that we somehow try to do that out of this meeting and see if there is a way to come to a conclusion other than saying that we have to live with one or the other, if we are uncomfortable with what I proposed.
Mr. Kirchoff said I guess I would echo some of Mr. McPhail’s comments about the density. What impact does development incentives have on square footage? Can somebody help us understand that?
Mr. Higbee said they did not use development incentives in this project. Our ordinance has a provision for something called development incentives that helps you reduce lot sizes. Is that what you are talking about?
Mr. Kirchoff said yes.
Mr. Higbee said it says, for instance, in an R-2 minimum 15,000 square foot lot size the normal minimum for an R-2, if you use a development incentive, you can go down to 10,000. However, development incentives come with some bells and whistles attached to them. One of them is the total of the all of the lot reductions that you do in that section of the development has to be offset by providing for open space to at least equal to what you are reducing on the lots. In addition, there is some language in there that requires buffering, minimum buffering at perimeters of the areas that you are utilizing the development incentives in. I think you could make an argument, if you look at the overall PUD, if you look in individual sections, you might find sections that might not meet that but as an overall, because of the amount of open space they have provided, they have probably met that kind of intent. I’m not sure the buffering issue was taken care of because it is a two-prong thing. You have both buffer and provide open space and I don’t know if in all cases where they have some smaller lots, if they provided the kind of buffering that we require under development incentives.
Mr. Carlucci said but the nature of the ordinance is that those incentives were geared toward R-1; R-2; R-3; and R-4. PUDs don’t have development incentives because you are recreating from scratch and creating your own ordinance.
Mr. Higbee said but we often use them as a baseline as comparison just to get an idea but you write your own ordinance with a PUD and you try to say we are offering some different things so we have some different features.
Mr. Kirchoff said as we look at density, we look at the 251 acres divided by the number of houses, etc. as we have added common space and buffering, etc., we have decreased the land that is available for houses, therefore, we decreased the lot sizes in some areas. That is what ends up happening, which gets to my concern. This is certainly a step up from what we have seen before and I was at some of the earlier meetings but when I look at areas, particularly “B” and potentially “A” if it converted to “B”, I guess I’m still uncomfortable that we are really going to have the product that we want. That just looks like an awfully small lot size and a lot of density because we have given up buildable space. I was just hoping that we would have the product that wasn’t as dense as what I’m perceiving this to be. We have been concerned about products that we have out there. I just hate to see this as part of that. I just feel like we have given up buildable space. There are wonderful common areas and all of that but it seems to me I don’t feel like we have ended up with a product that we are going to be happy with.
Mr. Brandgard said part of what you are seeing there is what happens when you go to the more common areas, your lot gets smaller. I think the other thing is if I understand what Mr. McPhail put together comparing area “B” to the Paddock, which is where Davis is building houses, if you drive through there, it doesn’t look like the Claymont by any means from a density standpoint although these lots are a bit smaller than what the Paddock has.
Mr. Haase said Claymont’s are forty by 100 so they are 4,000 square feet just as a point of reference.
Mr. Brandgard said I’m trying to get some idea of the density.
Mr. McPhail said a couple of issues that we tried to address in the building standards is the larger garage. That makes a big difference. You drive through some of these neighborhoods and all of the automobiles are outside and the bicycles are outside and the toys are outside. You just get a sense that you are in a congested area. Working on those building standards we really tried to address some of those issues and it was a big issue for the garage. We spent a lot of time and effort talking about the size of the garage because of what happened. That is no guarantee they are going to put the cars in. I wish they would do that but at least it is an opportunity to get stuff in and put it away. I do think that the architectural features that they propose are pretty close and give a much different appearance than the flat side and some of the things that we have looked at in the past. I think they have come a long way. Like Mr. Kirchoff when I look at 7,200 square feet, is that condensed too small? We have a lot smaller lots in some of the older parts of Town. We really do and 60-foot lots are not very deep but they have alleys behind them and things like that. I don’t want to prolong this thing but I said in my opening statement if we approve this, we have to feel like we are right if we do.
Mr. Haase said I know this is a difficult piece of property to work with especially with the facilities to the east of it. Maybe to the people that live here in Town it is a non issue, the facilities to the east of it, but I know to the outside with people moving in it is huge to them and I can understand that. I’m probably disappointed that “A” can convert to “B”. I’m probably disappointed that the density goes to so far into the project as it does. The density probably isn’t as much of a problem to me as probably the product that will get on this. We are going to get more vinyl clad homes that we have and I think we are at a defining moment in the Town of Plainfield in our residential development right now. That defining moment is what are we going to be in 20 years and where are we going to be in 20 years? I have a real difficult time with vinyl clad in Plainfield all over the place. That is where I come from so it isn’t necessarily the density although it is dense and yes there is a lot of open space but for me it is probably the quality of the product going on the space is my issue.
Mr. Brandgard said to echo that you look at the vinyl side that is kind of why we try to address the vinyl with a better grade of vinyl. I have seen some vinyl homes you didn’t know it was vinyl until you got up and touched it. But then there are others you can tell 10 miles away so as Mr. Haase indicated, it is not only today but what is everything going to look like years from now?
Mr. Haase said that is the charge of the Plan Commission.
Mr. Brandgard said that is right.
Mr. Haase said that is our duty.
Mr. Brandgard said Mr. Carlucci and I had talked some time and I had asked him to do something and he has a piece that he is going to present to us. I think right now would probably be a good time. It comes back to who is the builder going to be? When we look at certain areas in Town where the builders have come in, it has a lot to do with the price of the product and it also has an awful lot to do with the lending schemes that they create to get people to buy the houses. So, there is some concern over who the builder is going to be. I think what I have seen with Davis out there I have not seen with the zero money down scenarios. Whereas, the areas where the production builders have come in with zero money down is where we see a lot of foreclosures. Go ahead Mr. Carlucci with the study that you put together. It is kind of interesting. It is something that is a concern and we want to make sure that we don’t have more of.
Mr. Carlucci said Mr. Brandgard and I often talk and in response to our discussions we were talking about foreclosures because that seems to be a big issue especially in Hendricks County. So, I contacted the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department and got their list of foreclosures for 2003 and up-to-date to 2004. In my report for that time period there were 103 single-family residential foreclosures. Sixty-three of the foreclosures were concentrated in three subdivisions, Westmere, Claymont and Glen Haven. Claymont is right here. You can see the cluster there and a couple scattered in there. Glen Haven is down here and at the top are the villages. And then you go over to Westmere and they are pretty dense over at the Westmere. Then another cluster appeared right behind the Plainfield Plaza, Magnolia. You can see the different dots all around the Town in different areas. There are a lot of reasons people go through foreclosures. They could be unemployed but a lot of does come back to some of the lending practices that take place. I’m not speaking down to the people who live in Claymont, Westmere or Glen Haven because they want the American dream just like everybody else does. They want to own a home but when you have that many foreclosures, we get a lot of calls because when the people just walk away from these houses because they don’t have any equity in it and their rates have gone up or for whatever the reason, we get the calls that their yards aren’t mowed and these things take forever to get resolved. This has the net effect of destabilizing these neighborhoods too when you have that many people coming in and out. There are some wonderful production homebuilders that build bigger homes and you just love to be in them but in the starter homes what is this community going to look like in 20 years? Especially when you have a lot of production building at the lower end of production homes, you also make it difficult for the custom homebuilders to build in the community. The custom homebuilders that we have in the community are primarily in this community. They are local builders building custom homes in the community. It is no disrespect to the production builders but they are coming in from outside of Town into the community but it does have an impact on those custom homebuilders.
Also, those people who live in the houses in the original Town, which is around the Town Hall or in some of the older neighborhoods like Simmons Street or around the high school those homes tend to suffer from these production homes because someone who is making a decision to buy a home will say I can get a little easier financing with the production homes. I can get 25% more square footage but I can’t get that in these homes so we have a lot of rental home housing in this Town compared to the other communities. So, the rental housing tends to increase, which means if someone has a house, they don’t think they can get their money’s worth just selling it outright so they just rent it out and move to Florida, etc. That is a concern. If we are trying to revitalize these neighborhoods, we are making it difficult on ourselves because we are sending them out to the fringe area on those types of lower end production homes.
We also have made a huge investment in this community in parks, trails, recreation centers, aquatic centers with the intent of trying to bring higher income people into the community. When I looked at some information that I will send to the Town Council, it is a monthly economical report that is sent to us. The Brook Abbott income of Hendricks County was $30,765.00. In 2001 it was $30,545.00 and in 2002 it is $29,999.00. It is going down. I would rather see it go the other way because I think going the other way makes those people who live in the community be able to use the recreation and aquatic center and the other facilities. Again, it is not significant but it is a decline. There were other declines there too but I would rather continue to be on the upswing. I don’t know the nature of why that is happening. We do have a lot of influx into this County, one of the fastest growing counties. Maybe that is part of it or maybe it is the type of housing that we are getting. I received this from a gentleman that does appraisals in the Town, and this has to do with looking at the closed sales of homes. If you look on that, the average closed sale in Hendricks County was $159,241.00. In Guilford Township it was $136,777.00. What bothers me from the standpoint of the Town Manager is Washington Township was $165,000.00 and almost $166,000.00; Lincoln Township was $154,000.00; Brownsburg was $213,879.00. If you look over at Guilford Township in the 2000 to 2004 time period, the increase in the value of the homes in this township just went up one percent in a year. So, it is hard to draw a lot of hard conclusions on this but if we continue this trend, will these other trends continue? I don’t know but I thought it was certainly worthwhile pointing these out. The more of these lower end production homes that we get, those starter homes, the more difficult it is for that school system to educate children because the assessed value on those homes are much lower than obviously the larger production homes or custom homes. So, that is the battle that we are facing here. That is the balancing act. I’m sure in the long run this will be a good project but is it to the point where the Plan Commission and Town Council think they ought to approve this or does this thing have to be worked on some more and that is something that you will have to decide tonight. Some of these are not positive trends for the Town. I asked the lady at the sheriff’s department how many they had on the list on foreclosures in Hendricks County for the month of September and they were going to have 160 foreclosure sales. That is not a good pattern for this County to be in. Certainly it would take somebody smarter than me to try to analyze these numbers and figure out what is going on here. But what is clear here in these three subdivisions, and some of these are at a little bit higher end of production homes in that part of the community, is it is pretty substantial in these three communities. I appreciate your time. I wish I could have gotten this to you earlier but I was like Mr. McPhail I was trying to finish this up today and then when I read one of the paragraphs on the bottom it was so bad I had to go down and change it and changed some typos. But again I apologize because I don’t like springing things on people but I think it is something that needed to at least on the record that these trends are out there.
Mr. Haase said we have had some issues with their detailed development standards and their residential design guidelines. Can this go forward here tonight with a favorable recommendation and not adopt these but work on them as it works through the process at the Town Council?
Mr. Higbee said when we designed the residential design guidelines process and implemented the guidelines as a component of our Comprehensive Plan, the intent and the policy was the guidelines become enforceable because they would be made a zoning commitment. So, if you don’t do that, I suppose you have another opportunity when you get to the secondary detailed plan stage. Which is the next step of getting the details agreed to for the subdivision but I think the Town is in a weaker position if it does that.
Mr. Haase asked, could you move this forward with a favorable recommendation subject to the Town and the developer coming to an agreeable package?
Mr. Higbee said I think you could do that if there was a commitment that allowed you to continue to work with those guidelines. I would suggest that they should probably come back to the Plan Commission for some kind of a review.
Mr. Haase said I agree with that. I was just wondering if we can continue on or if we are looking at maybe a continuance to another time to further work on this.
Mr. McPhail said I think there is really a strong desire from this developer to bring a project that is something that we can live with. He has spent a lot of time on it and I really believe that 30 days is not going to make or break the issue and I would suggest that we continue this hearing until next month and give them another month to look at some of these issues that we have discussed tonight. We spent a lot of time on it tonight and we normally don’t spend this much time doing it but this one is so important I think that I don’t want to make any rush movements. I think we would be better off to get one more look at it at the Plan Commission. I don’t know what anybody else thinks.
Mr. Brandgard said I tend to agree with Mr. McPhail. I think we are so close on this one that maybe with a little bit more work on both of our parts we can get there. The issue on vinyl I don’t know where to go there but maybe we can sit down and look at what you have verses what we think we have and work it out. As we said, we are concerned on the look of vinyl based on what we have seen. Proof is what you see.
Mr. Haase said I don’t know where we work this out but I think the developer needs some Plan Commission input and not just Staff input in working this out because that is obviously has been through Staff. He is getting more questions and resistance at the Plan Commission level so he needs some Plan Commission input between now and the next meeting and I don’t know how that gets done.
Mr. Higbee said I wish the attorney was here to comment on that but once something is filed there are some rules of procedures on exparte contact. Contact before filing is one contact and contact after filing is another thing except in a public hearing setting like this. If there is a desire for another meeting before the next Plan Commission, you might want to consider noticing it as a public meeting. That would be a thought that I would have, if there are going to be a lot of Plan Commission members there.
Mr. Carlucci said there is no reason why one or two members of the Plan Commission couldn’t meet with the Staff and the developer. Obviously, you can assign a couple of people to do that. I don’t think that is exparte.
Mr. Higbee said one or two probably wouldn’t be, a majority might be.
Mr. Brandgard said but a group like this you can’t do.
Mr. Higbee said right.
Mr. McPhail made a motion to continue PUD-04-003 until the October meeting. Second by Mr. Kirchoff. And that is with the understanding that there will dialog between now and then.
Mr. McPhail said I think a good faith effort to resolve the issues that are on the table.
Mr. Kirchoff said I would look to the petitioner to see if he would be willing to sit down and talk to us.
Mr. Moon said I think to address a couple of things, converting “A” to “B” we can review that as we talk here and I can look at that. The issue that Mr. Carlucci brought up with the foreclosures we absolutely agree with here. If you look at the communities that you are referring to there, I hope that you don’t in any way think that what we have proposed is one of those communities. There is no way with the development standards you have in your hands that any of the communities with the high foreclosure rates would fit at all with the development standards. Our site plan I think you can tell that this isn’t a cheap project. We are trying to provide starter homes that people can afford and are marketable in your community competitive with others. But we are not, and I’m not going to name builders, that is not us and this project and those commitments don’t reflect that. The site design is with the common areas with parks being centered roads on four sides where you have basically a single loaded street so you only have a house on one side. This is not an efficient cheap plan to build, which you may have seen when you look at some of those other subdivisions. But I bet there is a very grid pattern with limited common areas and no development standards. That is not this project. We wholeheartedly agree with the quality of housing stock and I just want to point out that I don’t think our project is anywhere near achieving some of those concerns that are there. With that I agree. We can continue it.
Mr. McPhail said we hope you are right because that is what we are attempting to do.
Mr. Moon said that is why we have committed to what we committed to.
Mr. Kirchoff said I hope you can work with us on this vinyl issue because I think that is one of the sticky issues.
Mr. Moon said I think we can try to set a time to try to get some experts in the room.
Mr. Kirchoff said we want to make this thing work where it is a win win.
Mr. Moon said I agree so we are okay with a continuance and setting up a time to work together.
Mr. Haase said we have a motion and a second. All those in favor respond by saying aye. None opposed. Motion carried. This will be reread at the October meeting and hopefully we will come to a good conclusion for the Town of Plainfield.
We will reconvene tonight’s public hearings with RZ-04-009, Sutton Ford.
Mr. Higbee said this is a rezoning request out near SR267 and Reeves Road. It would be north of the ABC Distributor site. I actually believe it would be split off of that parcel approximately seven acres. The request would be to go from the current I-1 zoning to a General Commercial zoning. But also included in your packets was an exhibit by the petitioner’s attorney limiting the general commercial use specifically to a few auto related issues. So, that statement is in your packets.
The Comprehensive Plan recommends Light Industrial Office development for the site so that would be commensurate with the I-1 zoning that already exists there. I also have been pointing out that the new comp plan is under development. It is not adopted yet but it recommends mixed Office Commercial District for going a ways north and south along SR267 on that side of the road.
The Traffic Director is here. He made comments regarding ingress/egress that is shown on your development plan. That is just a preliminary development plan/concept plan and a more detailed one would be developed later when it could come back to the Plan Commission for architectural review approval. There were concerns on the access into the site from SR267 and possible traffic bottlenecking, etc.
The Town Engineer indicated that utility service was available and adequate in the area. And I would just defer to the comments and answer any questions that you might have. I did get a letter of support from the Denison Properties that I will give to you right now.
Mr. Ben Comer at 71 W. Marion Street, Danville said Mr. Sutton is in the audience with me this evening as well as Mr. Damon Jones, the landowner. This property is on Quaker Boulevard. A point of reference being Stoops Buick who came before the Plan Commission for rezoning and perhaps even a development plan review. This is just south of that property. It is currently zoned I-1. I believe that Stoops Buick also went through a rezoning from an I-1 to GC and this is almost an identical request for an auto dealership. It is exclusive for an auto dealership or related uses on that site. Our justifications, if I can be concise, is the fact that Quaker Boulevard is mostly zoned General Commercial. This Industrial is somewhat of an isolated zoning classification. There is the General Commercial immediately to the north. Because of the way that the corridor has developed over the years the highest and best use of this property is General Commercial. I’m glad that Mr. Higbee submitted the letter from Denison Properties. Mr. McNaught has gone through several of these rezonings and he well puts why he supports this request.
There is a creek that runs from northeast to southwest that will be the natural barrier between what we are proposing to General Commercial and the remaining portion of the Industrial. That line on a map will follow a natural barrier, which we also believe fits into the justification.
Let me go to the comp plan for just a moment. A deviation from the comp plan that calls for this property to be Industrial is encouraged in this particular case. You know that the comp plan is outdated and is being updated. Industrial at this site is not the reality of what has happened over the years, as you can see. What once was envisioned as an Industrial area has developed, in fact, as Commercial. I’m sure you recognized that fact when you did the rezoning to the north of this property from Industrial to Commercial despite the fact that the comp plan calls for it to be Industrial. This site is exactly like the Stoops Buick site in that regard and the uses and the zoning in the immediate area support, if not encourage, the request tonight.
Mr. Haase asked, is there anyone in the audience who would care to speak on this matter? Being no one coming forward, does the petitioner have anything to close with?
Mr. Comer said there is not other than if you have any questions. Myself or Mr. Sutton should be able to get those answered.
Mr. Haase said we will now close the public portion of this hearing. This is a request for a rezoning. At this time the Chair would accept any discussion among any board members at this time.
Mr. Kirchoff said I would like to hear from our Traffic Director.
Mr. McGillem said the comment that I spoke of is this is a preliminary layout that identifies the proposed uses. There is only one access, which is coming out into the drive into ABC. That is the only access point to get to SR267. The access on SR267 from ABC has an immediate cut. It has the turn lanes. That is not a problem. My concern was in the layout that they propose trying to keep the drive from the dealership to ABC’s drive on the west side of the creek. It is pulling that drive so close to SR267. Especially right now I don’t know what the ultimate design for that drive is going to be into ABC but by being only two lanes right now essentially it is not going to take that many vehicles, especially a truck, coming out to stack up beyond the drive into the car dealership, which means trying to get into the dealership from SR267 they are going to stack up out into SR267. My suggestion would be if it is going to go there, to bite the bullet and get a crossing across the creek farther to the east of SR267 and bring it out onto the drive. I know it is going to be more costly for the access but get that drive back farther east from SR267 where you don’t have the stacking problem getting out into it. It is a matter of design and not a matter of “can it be done?” It is a matter of design, what the final layout is on the thing but I would not want to see a drive that close with that being the only access in and out.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, how far north of Reeves would that access be into ABC?
Mr. McGillem said I’m not sure how far it is, the access north of Reeves coming into ABC.
Gentleman from audience said approximately 500-600 feet.
Mr. Haase said that detail could be worked out at the time of final platting.
Mr. McGillem said that is exactly right. This is not a final layout. It is just a comment on the preliminary layout as proposed right now coming in with the zoning. I just provided it to Mr. Higbee as a comment for discussion if it gets zoned, and go forward. It is an issue that we are going to have to deal with.
Mr. Comer said we recognize it.
Mr. Haase said the Chair would accept a motion if there is no further discussion or questions.
Mr. McPhail said I think I heard this right but the seven-acre site is bordered on the east by the creek. The creek is the natural boundary, is that what you told me?
Mr. Comer said I believe so yes. That is the intent as I understand it.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to certify the zone map amendment request of RZ-04-009 rezoning approximately seven acres from I-1 to GC to the Town Council with a favorable recommendation subject to the following commitments to be provided and recorded on the Exhibit A Statement of Commitment form:
Substantial compliance with the preliminary plan file dated August 24, 2004.
The land uses shall be limited per the petitioner’s Exhibit B file dated August 6, 2004, which permits selected commercial auto-related uses only.
Mr. Haase said let it be understood that there was no rezoning done tonight. That goes to the Town Council.
Mr. Comer asked, do we have a date on that?
Mr. Haase said I would anticipate that going to the next Town Council meeting.
Mr. Carlucci said it could but it may be difficult because you have to get some information in and we only have tomorrow to get this done.
Mr. Brandgard said the odds are that it will be at the last meeting.
Mr. Haase said with that concluded we will now come to the final public hearing, which is DP-04-024, Coleman FLP Complex.
Mr. Higbee said this is an Architectural Review request for a site along Dan Jones Road north of U.S. 40 but located within 600 feet of U.S. 40 and also near a residential area. I think the face of the Staff Report should also say 600 feet within a Residential District. It doesn’t say that and I apologize for that. It is for an office building along Hawthorne Drive similar to other office buildings that exist in the area. There is actually a photo in your packet of a building on Clarks Creek Road where the chamber of commerce used to be located. They have used it as a sample to help you understand what the building would look like here. The zoning is Office District, so that is what you would anticipate going in on this site. They had a couple of challenges that would require a variance and they have variances pending at the Board of Zoning Appeals to reduce the north yard a little bit. To the north is some residential zoning. There is an old, what looks like a silo, kind of an industrial looking site, that is abandoned there right now but it is still zoned Residential. As a result of the residential zoning, the ordinance requires a 20 foot buffer yard on that side. They are asking to reduce that to be more similar to what a commercial requirement would be if there were commercial zoning to the north. That is one of the variance requests pending.
They also have a dumpster enclosure between the building and the roadway to the east but this site has three roadways around it so it would be very difficult to place a dumpster enclosure without requiring a variance. Normally we encourage the enclosures to be back behind the building line someplace. So, that is the second variance request.
In terms of our architectural type items such as landscaping and lighting and the building materials this would be complying with all of those requirements.
The Design Review Committee reviewed this and you can see several of their usual type of detailed suggestions. And all of the revisions that DRC recommended were later supplied by the petitioner and are in your packets.
One detail that popped up at the very end and TAC was not aware of it and DRC was not aware of it but if you look on your site plan, there is an existing detached garage structure there near Dan Jones Road. It wasn’t our understanding or I guess it was just never brought up that the building wasn’t intended to be demolished when the office building went in. It looks to be wood sided or vinyl sided, I’m not sure which. So, if this office building goes in, you are going to see two very different looking structures there and I just wanted to bring that to our attention.
Mr. Jay Arnold at 920 Creekside, Plainfield said in the interest of keeping this concise because of the hour I will just open it up to your questions.
Mr. McPhail asked, why are you going to build a nice building and leave that garage there?
Mr. Arnold said it is not a real old garage. It is not real pretty right now because of the siding but if it had brick on it to match the building, we think it would match. The site plan shows landscaping. We are hoping that you can see clear to let us do that because it is a good building and it would be good for storing mowers and things to maintain the property.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, will you make it fit the site? Is it going to match the building when you remodel it?
Mr. Arnold said I think it is apparent that is necessary.
Mr. Matrana asked, is that a yes?
Mr. Arnold said yes.
Mr. McPhail asked, is the site to the north zoned residential?
Mr. Higbee said yes. It looks like it was maybe almost part of that residential subdivision but it just never got developed.
Mr. Haase said this just got rezoned six years ago.
Mr. Higbee said I know the use doesn’t match the zoning up there. The comp plan would call for commercial up there.
Mr. McPhail asked, what would the setback and the buffer be if that was the same zoning?
Mr. Higbee said if it was commercial, 10 feet and they are coming very close. Did you get 10 feet on the north? I measured it at one time and it was seven feet and then another time it was 10 feet. If it were zoned commercial, which ultimately it probably will be the yard would be proper.
Mr. Haase said my question is probably more for Mr. McGillem. I have concerns about the west entrance and exit out of the facility being too close to the corner. And then the one out onto Dan Jones Road, which I know is an existing exit.
Mr. McGillem said Dan Jones Road is set up with a fifth lane for accommodating everything due to the number of drives and everything that is out there before you can access the middle lane by getting in and out. I’m not so concerned with it. The one on the west drive along Hawthorne what we did is try to line it up. It lines up with the drive to the south that goes into the office building to the south there. So, we wanted those two drives to line up rather than being offset.
Mr. Haase said so you don’t have any concerns really with that.
Mr. McGillem said I think the west drive of someone comes out of that and wants to come out of that building and turn left on Hawthorne, there is possibly going to be times they are going to have to wait to go left on Hawthorne. But you have the other drive that enters and actually comes out to the east of that drive so it is not the only drive.
Mr. Haase asked, is there anyone else in the audience who would care to speak on this request for a development plan approval?
Ms. Mary Lou Coleman said I built the office building to the south of it in 1989. I don’t have enough parking space so I was trying to get more parking spaces so that some of these people could park over across the street, which will help. We have been parking at the Sunshine Café a lot here for quite awhile.
Mr. Haase asked, is there going to be an expansion of this building? Is that land to the east able to support more building?
Mr. Arnold said we are not asking for consideration of that. There was discussion and we have opted to not consider that at all at this time. We are not using all of the square footage that the building could be but this is suitable and gives us a little additional parking. We wanted to line the drives up so that the people across the street, if they care to, could drive straight up and cross and park. We have a little more than what is required.
Mr. Haase said we will close the public portion of this hearing and the Chair would accept a motion to act upon this measure.
Mr. McPhail asked, are they going to have to get a variance from the BZA on the setbacks?
Mr. Higbee said yes because of the residential zoning to the north and then also the dumpster enclosure was another one.
Mr. McPhail made a motion that the Plan Commission approve the Development Plan/Architectural Review DP-04-024 finding that:
Regarding Architectural Review for Commercial development within 600 feet of a Gateway Corridor the Plan Commission finds that:
The Development Plan complies with all applicable Development Standards of the district in which the site is located.
The Development Plan complies with all applicable provisions of the Subdivision Control Ordinance for which a waiver has not been granted.
The Development Plan complies with all applicable provisions for Architectural Review for which a waiver has not been granted.
The proposed development is appropriate to the site and its surrounding.
The proposed development is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.
And that such approval be subject to the following conditions:
Subject to substantial compliance with the site plan, landscape plan, building elevations, photometric plan and associated documents file dated August 6, 2004 through September 2, 2004.
That the current garage on the site be brick veneer to match the brick veneer on the building.
Second by Mr. Kirchoff. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Thibo – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
Mr. McPhail – yes
Mr. Brandgard – yes
Ms. Whicker – yes
Mr. Kirchoff – yes
Mr. Haase – yes
7-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
ZONE MAP UPDATE
Mr. Higbee said I’m going to retrieve a zone map to show you. If any of you noticed it in the hallway, it has been out there on an easel. This is an update of all of the rezonings that went through the Town Council through about the middle of June of this year. This is long overdue to get our zone map updated. So, if you will care to certify this and authorize it, you can sign it and pass it onto the Town Council to get it approved.
Ms. Whicker asked, is the aquatic center zoned as R-3?
Mr. Higbee said yes except for the little piece that was recently annexed, which came in as our default zoning, which is Agricultural.
Mr. McPhail asked, should we rezone the aquatic center to the Park District?
Mr. Higbee said it could be done. I know the master plan was made an integral part of that zoning and if that site is pretty much fully developed, I’m not sure there is that much of a benefit in going back and doing that now. If you anticipate changes out there and you want to develop a master plan and utilize that for future approvals, then you might consider doing that.
Mr. Carlucci said you can’t do that here.
Mr. Brandgard said you can’t do it right now.
Mr. Carlucci said you would have to go through a rezoning hearing.
Mr. McPhail said I would think that we would want to now that we have zoning to cover that.
Mr. Brandgard said we can probably do that with all of the parks.
Mr. McPhail said because in the past we didn’t have that park zoning and we have adopted it right?
Mr. Higbee said correct.
Mr. McPhail said I would think that is something that we would want to address in the future and take care of them all at one time.
Mr. Higbee said the main benefit of that is if you have a master plan, it doesn’t hurt you to rezone these if you don’t but it really helps you with your future development of the site if you have a master plan.
Mr. McPhail said we do have a master plan for that site don’t we?
Mr. Higbee said okay.
Mr. McPhail said we had an entrance coming off of U.S. 40 with parking to get access. I’m talking about the whole piece of property because it is all contingent. It’s not something that we can do tonight but I think it is something that we ought to do.
Mr. Brandgard said we should go ahead and certify this and then come back.
Mr. Higbee said I will get you all a colored copy of what I gave you there. It is much easier for you to read in color. I just wanted you to see the general look of it.
Mr. McPhail asked, how much undeveloped residential do we have that is already zoned?
Mr. Higbee said these are two pretty sizable parcels but hear some other things could happen down here and then we have this, which is east of the office building that we just looked at. Other than that obviously these are developing here so we know what that is going to be.
Mr. Thibo asked, if the new high school goes in at Reeves Road, do they have to rezone all of that?
Mr. Higbee said they have chosen to look at doing a PUD. They could have done it by Special Exception through the BZA but their preferred approach, at least on an informal basis, seems to be a PUD rezoning, which would work. I would just need a motion to approve it and certify this map. You would be certifying it like you certify zoning and then I have the map for your signature. I can then take it onto the Town Council.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to certify the zone map. Second by Ms. Whicker. Motion carried.
PLAINFIELD ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS – Signs
Mr. Higbee said next are the sign amendments. You all have them in your packets. These are the third waive of all the ordinance amendments we have been working on. The first one was the Park District. Then we did a massive update of probably 15 or 20 articles. This is strictly signage here and the last part will be the Town Center related items to come hopefully before the end of the year. I would point out Article 7.5 was accidentally included in here and that is the Town Center article that is not intended for tonight. That would be brought back with all of the Town Center stuff because we are recommending a couple of new districts in the Town Center. So, that all will be brought back but this is the sign segment of what the ordinance committee worked on for about a year and there were meetings with sign companies and a lot of discussion among the ordinance committee for a long time. What we really wanted to do was increase flexibility types of signs that could be permitted without relinquishing the original intent to control signs in Plainfield. So, we think the sign companies didn’t get everything that they wanted but they got some increases in sizes and flexibility that they didn’t have before and they seemed to be pretty happy with that.
You also in the last waive of amendments that we did recently you gave me the ability to approve all of these signs administratively without bringing them to you. So, the combination with the easier approvals and a little bit more flexibility on the signs I think is going to make some people happy. These would be ready for you to begin the adoption process tonight and pass it to the Town Council, if you wish, everything but Article 7.5 that is here. That would be Article 7.2; 7.3; 7.4; 7.6 and 7.8.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to approve the Zoning Ordinance amendments as described. Second by Mr. Thibo. Roll call vote.
Mr. Thibo – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
Mr. McPhail – yes
Mr. Brandgard – yes
Ms. Whicker – yes
Mr. Kirchoff – yes
Mr. Haase – yes
7-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. McPhail said I would like to make a comment on signs. Lincoln Bank has changed all of their signs out based on the current ordinance and they are a lot easier to see than the sign that they had up there before.
Mr. Kirchoff said they are smarter looking.
Ms. Whicker said they did a nice job with their landscaping as well with their signs.
Mr. McPhail said those signs look better than a big pole sign that they had and they are easier to see.
Mr. Higbee said the one on Quaker Boulevard, the pylon, still shows a pole but it will have a brick face. They just haven’t installed that yet.
OLD BUSINESS/NEW BUSINESS
Mr. Higbee said I got a request from Don Lambert and Banning Engineering to rename some streets at Avalon Estates. That was a subdivision that you have approved the rezoning and plat quite a while ago. They wanted to rename the main street coming in. It was previously Perryland Street and now they want to rename it Guilford Lane. The next one becomes Discovery Drive and then Challenger Drive. I checked those three names with the 911 people and they said those names didn’t exist in Plainfield and they would be fine with them. If you give me consent, I will go ahead and when they do their secondary platting, I will use these names.
Mr. Haase asked, is there consent? Consent given.
I brought it to the Plan Commission because the Secondary Plat has not been completed so I felt it was the proper place to bring it.
The last thing is to hand out a report of administrative items. As you know, you gave me ability to approve a lot of things that I didn’t have the authority to approve before such as freestanding signs, building additions, etc. I have approved a few things and don’t intend to talk about them unless you want me to but I’m just going to hand out this report.
Mr. Haase said one thing that we need to do administratively here, even though we are going to do it again after the first of the year, we need a new vice chairman. With his increased knowledge of the Board of Zoning Appeals I would like to nominate Mr. Matrana to pick up the vice chairmanship if he would be willing to take it. Second by Mr. McPhail. Motion carried.
The only other issue that I have, and I’m going to give Mr. Higbee some direction here and if you agree with me, please speak up, we have an outside concern that has come in with recycling dumpsters that is putting them in churches and schools. We make dumpsters be enclosed. Particularly in residential areas I’m really offended by them in the fact that they are even there. So, I think we need to contact the company that is doing that and put them on notice that they have 30-60 days to get them out of here.
Mr. Higbee said I have contacted them and they met with me several months ago and we just haven’t, because of other issues, gotten that closed out but I will re-contact them.
Mr. Haase said they didn’t back off from anything that they are doing. They keep signing people up. I personally believe in the residential areas those things should be enclosed.
Mr. Higbee said they are trying to make the argument they are not trash enclosures, it is a different animal. I told them that we don’t look at it that way but we haven’t proceeded to take any further action.
Mr. Brandgard said this is not unlike the issue that we had with the newspaper kiosk.
Mr. Haase said right. They are not vending newspapers and they don’t have the freedom of the press. We need to contact the people that also have the dumpsters and tell them we are working with the person that is doing it but they have to be put behind an enclosure if they are going to have them.
Mr. Kirchoff said (inaudible).
Mr. Haase said they are getting some kind of reimbursement but I can guarantee you that they are not getting the lion’s share. This guy has a business and that is all that is. We wouldn’t let Ray’s Trash do it.
Mr. Brandgard asked, this is Waste Management isn’t it?
Mr. Haase said I don’t believe so.
Mr. Higbee said it is a national firm called Abbey-Tibby.
Ms. Whicker asked, where you are seeing them placed in churches are you saying those are residential zoning areas?
Mr. Haase said churches are there by special exceptions in residential areas and churches except for the Catholic church are all in residential areas.
Mr. Carlucci said churches no matter where they go are special exceptions.
Mr. Haase said they are in residential areas and we try, as a board, to make sure that the churches respect that residential nature of the area that they go in.
Mr. Brandgard said I think the middle school has one sitting right there in front.
Mr. Higbee said it is one of those many items that we hadn’t had a chance to really work on too much yet.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, where are you on staffing?
Mr. Higbee said as a matter of fact, I interviewed four people this week. I told Mr. Lydick today who my preferred person was and he was going to start background checks. We are hoping that he can get that completed and get an offer made and be able to report it to the Town Council on Monday. We are not sure we can hit that timing or not and bring them in hopefully in a couple of weeks or so after that. Than I have an ad that should be running any time now for a part-time person in addition so that is going to make a big difference.
Brandgard said Mr. McGillem and I attended the Ronald Reagan corridor steering committee meeting last evening and the next meeting will be here. We will host it on November 3, Wednesday night. We will be bringing in the report to this body to review for incorporation.
Mr. Haase said I’m going to nominate Mr. Kirchoff and Mr. McPhail, if they would, to meet with the developers of the Sugar Grove Farms to help relay some of the Plan Commission concerns. It is my understanding that you can have less than a majority at that meeting and I will attempt to attend myself. We need to help the Town of Plainfield as much as the developer and the landowners.
Mr. Kirchoff said I think we are going to Fishers and see a couple of their neighborhoods to help us understand what they are talking about. And then talk about the vinyl issues.
Mr. Haase said I know that when we wrote those design guidelines up, I know how Mr. McPhail was trying to figure out how to get it all to come together. It came down to thickness was the best way to control it and the simplest way.
Ms. Whicker said I think he said there were some developments in Avon that they had done.
Mr. Kirchoff said they did Bridgewater.
Mr. McPhail said those are all pretty big size brick.
Mr. Kirchoff said I want to see some comparable neighborhoods, the same square footage, etc.
Mr. Haase said the lot size doesn’t bother me as much as the product.
Mr. Brandgard said I can show you some $500,000.00 plus houses that are on some very small lots in areas.
Mr. McPhail said on area “B” the most foot coverage that they can have in area “B”, the biggest footprint, is 2,520 square feet. When you take 484 square foot of the garage out, the biggest house that they can put on there is 2,036 square feet if it is all one level. Obviously you can go up but that is 35% coverage on 7,200 square feet. If you have a good quality 2,000 square foot home with a nice two-car garage, I can be happy with that but if you put a 1,200 square foot home on there with a 484 square foot garage, it’s not going to look too good.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to adjourn. Second by Mr. McPhail. Motion carried.