The Plainfield Plan Commission met on Monday, November 3, 2008. In attendance were Mr. Satterfield, Mr. McPhail, Mr. Brandgard, Mr. Dunkin, Mr. Kirchoff and Mr. Gibbs.
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 October 6, 2008 Plainfield Plan Commission meeting as submitted. Second by Mr. Brandgard. Motion carried.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Daniel administered the Oath of Testimony.
Mr. Gibbs reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings. Our first case tonight is DP-08-009, Rajwinder Kaur.
Mr. James said we have heard from the petitioner that he is not prepared to go forward with this petition. He has requested another continuance to the December meeting. He is allowed to continue it without further notice and we are unsure if the notice to the interested parties was done properly also.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to continue DP-08-009, Rajwinder Kaur to the December Plan Commission meeting. Second by Mr. Brandgard. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Satterfield – yes
Mr. McPhail – yes
Mr. Brandgard – yes
Mr. Dunkin – yes
Mr. Kirchoff – yes
Mr. Gibbs – yes
7-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. Gibbs said the next item on the agenda is RZ-08-009, Panattoni Development.
Mr. James said this is a request to rezone approximately 87.33 acres from RA, Rural Residential in Hendricks County to I-4, Heavy Manufacturing pending annexation. This property is adjacent to the Marion County Line on the east perimeter. It is just south of U.S. 40 and it is surrounded by CR1050E to the west and then the proposed Airtech Parkway extension to the south. The property abutting the site is owned by the Indianapolis Airport Authority and it is also a conservation area. We believe it has some bat habitat in these areas. Here is the site on the rezoning map. As you can see, it has not been annexed. This property to the north is zoned Light Industrial in Hendricks County. That is comparable to our I-2, Office/Warehouse Distribution in Plainfield. There is no residential to the north and no residential to the south but we do have about four homes adjacent to this property along CR1050E. Again, this is the bat habitat area or the property owned by the airport, which is heavily wooded and we believe to be a conservation area with the bat habitat.
Parcels “A” and “B” are the only areas in Plainfield where the Comprehensive Plan recommends the heavy industrial use. Parcels “A” and “B” do not abut residential zoning or uses and it does abut the I-2 equivalent in Hendricks County to the north. There is a natural buffer with the airport property to the south that is heavily wooded in the bat habitat.
They do have a proposed business that would like to relocate on Parcel “A” of the property on about 25 acres. It's the LKQ auto salvage operation that is currently operating in Avon south of SR36. If it was rezoned to I-4, they would still need a Special Exception in the I-4 before they could operate on this site. Parcel “C” is adjacent to about four residential homes along CR1050E. I believe the existing access on CR1050E would not be used.
This is the proposed layout. They would extend Raceway Road from the north to provide access to the property. They had it shown in three parcels, this is Parcel “A” and this is where LKQ would relocate and they have Parcel “B” and Parcel “C”. This is Parcel “A”, “B” and “C” and that is the way that I have referred to the parcels in the Staff Report.
Mr. Brandgard asked, what is the date on yours? We received it on the 26th of September.
Mr. James said the one that you received does show this as Parcel “A” but the original one the way that I wrote the Staff Report this was Parcel “A”. This is where LKQ would relocate and this is Parcel “C” that abuts the four residential homes on CR1050E.
This is the Comprehensive Plan. Parcels “A” and “B” adjacent to Marion County are recommended for the Heavy Industrial use. Parcel “C”, which is closer to CR1050E is for Office/Warehouse Distribution or Light Industrial. The reason it was recommended for light use is because of its proximity to the Ronald Reagan Parkway and U.S. 40.
This is our transportation. The plan recommends the extension of Raceway Road down to provide access to this area. This is Airtech Parkway down here, over here is the Ronald Reagan Parkway and U.S. 40 and it also recommends another road basically in the middle of all of this property to provide more access and to provide a connection to Airtech Parkway. Their concept plan does not show this connection or this connection here. So, the question is raised; are these connections really needed?
Staff Comments: Sanitary sewer, water and roads would have to be built and extended to the site. The concept plan does not show the connection to the Ronald Reagan Parkway and Airtech Parkway as recommended in the transportation plan. Are these connections needed and who should build these roads? The Comprehensive Plan recommends Mixed Use Office/Flex Space on Parcel “C”, which abuts the four residential properties along CR1050E. If this were rezoned, the west perimeter Parcel “C” would require a 150 foot buffer yard and a level 5 perimeter landscaping. There is an existing natural buffer to the south of all of these properties. Parcel “C” is also 400 feet from CR1050E, which could have other types of development between the Ronald Reagan Parkway and Parcel “C”. Is this justification for the I-4 zoning for Parcel “C” or are other land use commitments needed for Parcel “C” that would restrict certain types of uses for Parcel “C”. Are additional zoning commitments needed besides what has been offered? Outdoor storage requires a Level 4 screening and any building built on the site would have to comply with Gateway Corridor standards because it is either 600 feet from U.S. 40, Ronald Reagan Parkway or residential zoning. Is the site far enough south with architectural landscaping standards to not impact the Gateway Corridor, U.S. 40?
I also put up the permitted uses in the I-4 District; commercial greenhouse, plant nursery, auto racing and testing, assembling of previously manufactured parts, bottled gas, warehouse distribution manufacturing and so on. This is the most intense zoning district that we have in our Zoning Ordinance. And then also I listed the uses that are allowed by Special Exception. Any of these uses would have to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals to get approval from the BZA. Some are listed; correctional facility, lumber mill, junk yard/salvage yard, which is what LKQ would be listed as. I wanted to put that up there to show you the permitted uses in the I-4 District.
So, hopefully I have given you a good explanation about this request and with that I will have a seat. There are representatives here and I'm sure they would be glad to answer any questions that you might have.
Mr. McPhail said we are looking at rezoning not technically a site development plan, is that correct?
Mr. James said that is correct. We are just looking at the use of the land and no concept plan or development plan.
Mr. McPhail said I have a couple of questions on permitted uses. In the packet you submitted on page six of eight we have cement, lime or gypsum, ceramic and clay products, cinder block and other similar building materials, which tend to make me believe that you have to mix cement or something to do that. And then we have cement mixing as a Special Exception. That seems to be a conflict in permitted and Special Exceptions. I don't know if anybody else noticed that but it seems conflicting to me.
Mr. James said we could certainly make that a Special Exception Use.
Mr. McPhail said I think there are probably some issues if we get that far but I wanted to talk about it in terms of permitted uses. It seems to me when I was looking at it, those two conflicted. I don't know how you can make cement blocks if you aren't mixing cement. We probably need to clean that up.
Mr. Ben Comer at 71 W. Marion Street, Danville said I'm here on behalf of the petitioner and I have with me this evening Chris Alexander from Panattoni Development and a couple of representatives from the Lookabill family whose farm has been in their ownership for many, many years. It is a unique site as you might guess by the fact that the Comprehensive Plan recommends I-4 on the majority of it. It is the only place in or around Town where that is the case so you know it is an unusual site. What it has going for it is it has access to U.S. 40 but at the same time it is tucked away behind an existing line of uses along U.S. 40. So, it really has no visibility. The same can be said for Ronald Reagan Parkway. You can kind of get there in a roundabout way but it has no direct access onto Ronald Reagan and nor is it visible from Ronald Reagan, which those things makes it a very unique site for I-4. At the same time and on the same token that is exactly what makes it not good for other types of uses such as flex space or office space because it has no visibility. So, for the same reason it is good for I-4 and it is not really good for anything else. U.S. 40 and Ronald Reagan are going to support a lot of different types of commercial and industrial uses none of which would be your heavy industrial type uses. You want those tucked away from visibility and that is why this site is good for it and that is why we are here tonight petitioning for the I-4.
There are a few residences along CR1050E and fortunately we have a lot of acreage to work with here. We have that going for us. As you can see, the majority of our site is not really right on CR1050E but we are set back from it so we will be to the rear of those residences and furthermore we have large lots in which we can push those uses back to the east and have plenty to work with for screening. So, we don't think the impact is going to be significant on those residences. The other good news is there are very few of them; there are only three or four there so we are very lucky that is the case. It's another good reason why this is an I-4 site as opposed to a different type of use.
I do want to mention since we did tell Mr. James that LKQ is interested in this site I wanted to state for the record that it is not a done deal by any means. I just don't want there to be any misunderstanding that we hope they will come here but we don't know that they will. So, I did want to state that for the record.
We have met with Staff and TAC committee to talk about infrastructure. I think we all have a very good understanding that those detailed discussions will need to take place sometime in the future if this project goes forward. We will be part of that and we are committed to continue to work with the Town and the Staff and the Town Council in bringing in infrastructure and working out payment of those expenses in doing so.
Other than those comments I think Mr. James has done a fine job of identifying this site and we are pleased to bring this to you and we would be happy to answer any questions that you have and we look forward to continuing to take this forward.
Mr. Carlucci said maybe you could describe the uses east of the Marion County side. Is that where the Shrums Mobile Homes Sales is out there?
Mr. Comer asked, along U.S. 40? Yes it is up there on U.S. 40. The majority of it I would classify as airport use.
Mr. Kirchoff said when you look at the aerial; you have the perimeter road and in between there is not much there.
Mr. Comer said I would classify it as airport land.
Mr. Carlucci said so most of that would be airport land as opposed to commercial stuff along U.S. 40.
Mr. Comer said correct.
Mr. McPhail asked, do you know how far the western boundary is from Ronald Reagan Parkway? Do you know what that distance is?
Mr. Comer said the Staff Report I believe mentions around 400 feet but that would probably be to the CR1050 and then you have another couple hundred feet to where realistically our western boundary would be. You can see there is only a sliver that goes out to CR1050, which is most likely not going to be utilized at all. The most I could see would be an emergency access but we haven't even gotten that far along. It certainly wouldn't be a full blown access by any means.
Mr. Kirchoff said then what you are saying is it is within the 1,000 feet or the corridor that has been established for the Ronald Reagan Parkway.
Mr. Comer asked, within a 1,000 feet? Some of it is yes.
Mr. McPhail said that is a concern.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, are you aware of the overload with Ronald Reagan?
Mr. Comer said not entirely. I'm vaguely familiar with the fact that there is one. I don't know the details. This line right here is probably I'm guessing about 600 feet I would say; maybe 700 in that realm. So, by the time that you get back here to the edge of this lot you are going to be past the 1,000 feet.
Mr. Kirchoff said I understand but I think to me it has implications of what we might want to consider for Parcel “C”.
Mr. Comer said I do appreciate that.
Mr. McPhail said I think we have to protect that 1,000 foot corridor along there and when you get past that 1,000 foot, I'm pretty open minded about it. All of that adjacent to it within a 1,000 feet north and south is going to need to be protected. That is overlay that we agreed to with the County and the other commitments between the towns and County. So, it is probably a matter of 200 or 300 feet to be concerned about, part of Parcel “C”.
Mr. Carlucci said so we measure the corridor from the road.
Mr. McPhail said right.
Mr. Carlucci said to the east.
Mr. Kirchoff said actually is it right-of-way?
Mr. James said the centerline.
Mr. Kirchoff said the centerline of Ronald Reagan, a 1,000 feet east.
Mr. Carlucci said we have a pretty good distance there. Remember what we are talking about why they wouldn't want traffic on there is that old Six Points Road (inaudible).
Mr. James said that is 400 feet from the right-of-way to their property. The property line to the centerline is maybe another (inaudible).
Mr. McPhail asked, is that the CR1050 or Ronald Reagan?
Mr. James said Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Satterfield asked, is that where the residences are located also?
Mr. James said the four homes are along CR1050 right here. (Inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff said my assumption is we would have the right to zone different parcels.
Mr. Daniel said that is correct.
Mr. Gibbs asked, is there anyone in the audience who would care to speak on this matter?
Ms. Laura Stevens said my mother was one that had one of the airport properties you are talking about and she is deceased now so do you want her address or mine?
Mr. Gibbs said yours.
Ms. Stevens said my address is 3545 Middle Patton Park Road, Martinsville, Indiana, 46151. We just don't know how it is going to impact us. I mean I took it as you are considering making that commercial property as well.
Mr. Gibbs said this is just for the rezoning of that piece of property.
Ms. Stevens said but you were mentioning the four homes along the area.
Mr. Brandgard said I think our concern is that Parcel “C”, which is the part that we are not quite sure that it should be the I-4.
Mr. Kirchoff said we are not addressing the four homes.
Mr. Brandgard said we are not addressing the four homes there but we know that will be an impact.
Mr. McPhail said those four homes are in the comp plan as Light Industrial/Commercial.
Mr. James said yes. Actually this is Light Industrial (inaudible).
Mr. McPhail asked, can you put that other slide back up there? Are those parcels on the north does CR250 run through there?
Mr. James said this is Light Industrial; it's all in Hendricks County.
Mr. McPhail said but it's salvage yards and that type thing.
Mr. James said that is correct.
Mr. McPhail asked, would the petitioner be opened to splitting the zoning on that Parcel “C”? When you get past that 1,000 foot buffer, I don't have any problem with the I-4. Certainly, that 1,000 foot buffer I think I hate to put the whole parcel out at this point.
Mr. Gibbs said before we have the petitioner come back and answer that I would like to close the public portion of this meeting and we will have the petitioner come back up.
Mr. Kirchoff said I've got some other questions too. Just to confirm the question that was asked earlier; we are only concerned with the zoning tonight?
Mr. Daniel said yes.
Mr. Kirchoff said I think we do need to protect our Comprehensive Plan; I think we need to be consistent with that. Joe if you could go back that shows the Comprehensive Plan. I don't know where that takes us, where 1,000 foot takes us if you go east from Ronald Reagan. And then from the Staff's standpoint, or maybe Mel could help me here, but since we are only talking rezoning at this point and time we don't have issues resolved about infrastructure or roads and that kind of stuff. Can we go ahead and rezone with the understanding that as it moves forward before any projects would move forward we would have a memorandum of understanding for that?
Mr. Daniel said that would have to be resolved before anything else can be developed out there on that property.
Mr. Kirchoff said so that does not have to be part of this motion tonight.
Mr. Daniel said correct.
Mr. Kirchoff said we certainly want to get those resolved as we go forward with water and sewer and the internal transportation that we put together and all of that. That is another step down the road.
Mr. Satterfield said on Parcel “C” is it divided into the two zoning areas or is it all in one area?
Mr. James said it is proposed (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff said on the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. James said for this request.
Mr. Satterfield said for this request on the Comprehensive Plan is Parcel “C” divided into two or is it all one?
Mr. James said (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff said actually it looks like it even extends farther east than Parcel “C”. If you look at where our proposed road is, that is probably splitting “A” and “B” to some degree.
Mr. Comer said I want you to appreciate the plan that was shown is very preliminary.
Mr. Kirchoff said we understand that.
Mr. Comer said it is good to identify areas.
Mr. Brandgard said we had a sense of what we were doing tonight and what needed to be ironed out before we move forward.
Mr. Comer said our wish coming in was for everything to be I-4. I understand that is not going to happen. As such we do request that the Plan Commission consider an I-2 as opposed to the flex space because the petitioner really does have concerns about being able to market office/flex space from that far removed from the mainstream of traffic. It really is tough to weigh. It would be a tough sale for office/flex space back in that area. There is I-2 to the south you can see recommended on the comp plan. We would request that the Plan Commission consider the I-2 on that area as opposed to flex space.
Mr. James said this is the (inaudible). The front was zoned C-I and the back was I-2 all the way to Airtech Parkway.
Mr. Daniel said that front 1,000 feet was zoned “C” wasn't it?
Mr. McPhail said yes.
Mr. James said but the parcel south of that is the Verus property. Indy Park and Ride is south of that property.
Mr. Kirchoff said I think we have been consistent in protecting the 1,000 foot overlay.
Mr. James said as far as permitted uses but not zoning. You could have some I-2 uses that are allowed in the 1,000 foot overlay. We have C-I here and then I-2 right here.
Mr. Comer said on the other side of CR1050.
Mr. James said that is I-2.
Mr. Comer said so you have quite a bit of I-2 right on Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Brandgard said I-2 coming off of I-4 would better fit than going flex.
Mr. Kirchoff said I'm considering the sense that we would approve the I-4 for Parcels “A” and “B” and portions of Parcel “C” that are not within a 1,000 feet from Ronald Reagan Parkway. Less than 1,000 feet would be I-2. Would that be a reasonable way to delineate that verses the whole Parcel “C”? Is that fair?
Mr. McPhail said I can support that.
Mr. Brandgard said yes.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, Mr. Daniel is that okay from a legal standpoint?
Mr. Daniel said yes.
Mr. Gibbs said on the document that we were presented for page six, which is the exhibit the way the items are listed here is that document the one that we would be holding to for I-4?
Mr. James asked, Exhibit 1?
Mr. Gibbs said yes.
Mr. James said yes. That is actual I-4 Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Gibbs said to follow-up with Kent's concern, which was on page six of eight where you have cement and lime and gypsum you have the same problem on page two of the first column where it is concrete blocks, shape and production. Then I have a question on the petroleum tank farm, commercial. Would that include used tanks?
Mr. James asked, what page is that on?
Mr. Gibbs said page two of the exhibit, second column, half way down.
Mr. Carlucci said (inaudible).
Mr. Brandgard said fuel storage tanks.
Mr. McPhail asked, is there anything in here that we just absolutely wouldn't want there? I don't care if it is a Special Exception or permitted. I would suggest that I would never want to support a landfill. A recycling facility is something different. I think we need to do a little work on this thing. We definitely need some I-4 zoning. I think this is the place that it needs to be. I think it would be a great use for it. There are just a few things in here that I think would be detrimental for the community and I would like to strike them out.
Mr. Comer said we would like to entertain those ideas; let's talk about them.
Mr. McPhail said I would certainly like to see a strike under public uses public and commercial sanitary fill and refuse dump or garbage disposal plant. Recycling doesn't bother me. Recovery facility or transfer station doesn't bother me but dump does.
Mr. Carlucci asked, you aren't concerned about the transfer station?
Mr. McPhail said I guess I would like to know the definition of that.
Mr. Carlucci said typically you bring garbage in to that transfer station and transfer it to something else and haul it out of there.
Mr. McPhail said then I would like to strike that also.
Mr. Satterfield asked, are we striking it for this request or for the whole Zoning Ordinance?
Mr. Gibbs said just for this request.
Mr. Satterfield asked, this is the only place we have it zoned though isn't it?
Mr. McPhail said yes.
Mr. James said instead of doing this tonight would you like to take a step back and maybe we could form a committee and take another look at this?
Mr. McPhail said there are just a few of them here I don't think a developer wants to have.
Mr. Brandgard said before we approve the zoning we need to have this resolved unless they want to wait a month.
Mr. Carlucci said as long as they are here you can go through the list. It's not something we like to do but we have done in the past but strike through the ones you don't want and see if they will agree to it and we can move on.
Mr. Daniel said but you really can't approve it without an agreement on that.
Mr. Gibbs said Mr. McPhail is saying he wants to remove the first one.
Mr. McPhail said there is a question about a transfer station and resource recovery.
Mr. Brandgard said the resource recovery facility by definition sounds like an incinerator.
Mr. Comer said we don't have a problem with that. So, we are just down to the transfer station.
Mr. McPhail said you have to get a Special Exception anyway. So, we have to see it before we approve it. Leave the recycling facility and the transfer station and strike the rest of it under a public meeting. I would like to see us strike slaughterhouse.
Mr. Kirchoff said as we delineated this I-2 from I-4, can we go ahead and mention the 87.33 and then just delineate which goes where?
Mr. Daniel said yes.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion that the Plan Commission certify the zone map amendment request RZ-08-009 as filed by the Panattoni Development Company requesting rezoning of approximately 87.33 acres from RA, Rural Residential, Hendricks County to the I-4 Heavy Manufacturing District and I-2 Light Manufacturing to be identified as such; Parcels “A” and “B” will be I-4 and a portion of Parcel “C” that is greater than 1,000 foot of the centerline of Ronald Reagan Parkway should be I-4. And the portion of Parcel “C” that is less than 1,000 being from the centerline of Ronald Reagan Parkway shall be I-2 with a favorable recommendation pending annexation subject to the following commitment being submitted on the amended Exhibit “A” forms prior to certification to the Town Council.
1. The petitioner shall continue to work with the Town in an effort to extend infrastructure such as sanitary sewer, water and the road network as recommended in the Town's Transportation Plan.
Second by Mr. McPhail. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Satterfield – yes
Mr. McPhail – yes
Mr. Brandgard – yes
Mr. Dunkin – yes
Mr. Kirchoff – yes
Mr. Gibbs – yes
6-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. Brandgard said where we have the overlays like we just went through delineate where the overlay falls so we know what it is if you would please.
Mr. Gibbs said the next item on the agenda is DP-08-010, M&I Hospitality, LLC.
Ms. Sprague said this is M&I Hospitality. They are proposing a LaQuinta Inn & Suites on the last vacant lot in the Cambridge Square West. It is within 600 feet of East Perry Road, which the perimeter parkway is one of our Gateway Corridors. They are proposing a 98 room hotel on that lot. The surrounding uses are primarily hotels and restaurants and then to the east is the proposed Hendricks County Convention Center site. Because the site is in an integrated center you can reduce the side setbacks to five feet.
There is the site. Just to the west of it used to be the Wendy's building and we just saw the petition for the Best Western that would be going on that site. Actually, I think they have already started construction out there. When they first submitted it, it had a few problems and we told them about those at the TAC meeting and they had at least in their files corrected most of those before they brought it to DRC. They decided to ask for a couple of variances based on their site design. They had the required loading space out in the front yard, which is not permitted. So, they would have had to ask for variances to keep it in that location. One was to have it in front of the building and the other to have it in the front yard setback. Instead of asking for those two variances they have decided to not be required to put it in as the Best Western did and as the Holiday Inn did before them probably last year. And also where the yellow is it is an interior access drive, which is not permitted in the front yard setback, which is 30 feet back. Only parking is permitted up to 10 feet back from the right-of-way. So, they are asking for that variance as well. That would be heard on November 17th.
This is the building elevations. They all comply. The trash enclosure they planned to build out of stone and then to use cedar gates. There was just one small error in the landscaping. Their parking lot screening wasn't quite close enough together and they added some plants to fix that. They have way more than enough landscaping to meet the requirements.
One other main issue that we might have with this site could possibly come back to us later is that as new construction they are required to have an individual letter sign. Their franchise basically requires this box type sign. The sizes and the designs except for the type of sign are not a problem but it may be possible that they will be coming back to you for a waiver to ask for that box type sign.
To sum it up they are going to need to come back for those two variances that I mentioned and they have already applied and those will be heard on November 17th. The wall signage may require a waiver and then all of the other issues that we had previously have been corrected except we did have a couple of questions. The parking is required one space per room, which is 98 spaces and they are pretty close on their parking so we wanted to make sure with them that they don't have any meeting rooms or anything like that that would require more spaces. Also, one of the other questions that we usually ask these guys is whether or not the room HVAC units would be flush mounted to the walls. Sometimes they stick out a little bit. I know the petitioner is here if you have any questions.
Ms. Jennifer Lawrence with Moench Engineering at 3996 Clarks Creek Road in Plainfield said I would be happy to address any questions that you may have.
Mr. Carlucci said Jill had some questions about the parking.
Ms. Lawrence said we are aware there is an internal conference area adjacent to the continental breakfast; it is only for internal use. As well as the flush mounted HVAC units, each unit will have a flush mounted unit.
Mr. McPhail said I'm confused on the comments on the driving lane. Your comment was that driving lane is not allowed and it should be parking.
Ms. Sprague said yes; basically if they want to have the driving lane out front so to speak, it has to be 30 feet back. It's just the way our ordinance is written. It only allows parking closer than the 30 foot building setback.
Ms. Lawrence said reasons for that drive aisle location is as we spoke before the parking is kind of tight on this area. If we were able to reverse the parking in the drive aisle and have parking drive aisle, parking drive aisle, parking going from the road to the building, the entryways would cut too close to those parking spaces and there would not be an adequate area to maneuver around those entryways. Our east entryway has been located to be lined up with the ReMax facility to the north of us. That is why we placed the interior access drive as we have and we have asked for a variance and we are on file for the next meeting.
Mr. Gibbs said the rectangle that is out in front of the building what is that?
Ms. Lawrence asked, directly across from the canopy?
Mr. Gibbs said yes.
Ms. Lawrence said the owner wants to put a fountain in. We have some landscaping plantings around that fountain. The fountain has not been purchased as of right now or anything so we have set aside an area for them to have a water feature in front of the hotel.
Mr. Gibbs said I didn't see it on the prints. If there are no further questions, I will open it up for anyone in the public supporting or opposing this project. Being no one coming forward I will close the public portion of the meeting and open it up for any questions or comments from the board or a possible motion.
Mr. McPhail asked, has this been through TAC and did they have a problem with this drive aisle?
Mr. James said (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion that the Plan Commission approve DP-08-010 as filed by M&I Hospitality, LLC requesting approval of a Development Plan for a 98 room LaQuinta Inn and Suites at 6110 Clarks Creek Road finding that:
1. The Development Plan complies with all applicable Development Standards of the district in which the site is located.
2. The Development Plan complies with all applicable provisions of the Subdivision Control Ordinance for which a waiver has not been granted.
3. The Development Plan complies with all applicable provisions for Architectural and Site Design Review for which a waiver has not been granted.
4. The proposed development is appropriate to the site and its surroundings.
5. The proposed development is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance.
And that such approval be subject to the following conditions:
1. Substantial compliance with the Site Plan, Light Fixtures, Photometric Plan, Landscaping Plan, Trash Enclosure details file, building elevations and colored renderings file dated October 17, 2008.
2. The two variances requested with petition BZA-08-022 must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
3. Should a complying building sign alternative not be agreed upon with the franchise, the petitioner will need to request a waiver from the Plan Commission for a deviation from the sign hierarchy.
Second by Mr. Brandgard. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Satterfield – yes
Mr. McPhail – yes
Mr. Brandgard – yes
Mr. Dunkin – yes
Mr. Kirchoff – yes
Mr. Gibbs – yes
6-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
OLD BUSINESS/NEW BUSINESS
Mr. James said Jill is going to go over this real quick. It concerns a home elevation; the required group one features that they need.
Ms. Sprague said basically the story here is that they designed this roof obviously as a hip roof. They got mixed up somewhere and had asked for the 12 inch overhang to be counted as one of their group features. It didn't get manufactured that way so their request is to use the Sugar Grove Subdivision, the PUD allow them to ask for the 10/12 roof pitch to be used as an alternate group one feature. In order to get the four features that they need on the front and the two features from group one that they need on the rear they wanted to ask for that instead of the 12 inch overhang, which wasn't required for Sugar Grove like it is now.
Mr. James asked, which builder is that?
Ms. Sprague said this MI Homes, it is the new home.
Mr. Carlucci asked, is it for just this house or all of them?
Ms. Sprague said I think just for this house. I mentioned to them several times about the 12 inch overhang. I think this was one of the first ones that they submitted so they are probably going to try and stick with the 12 inch overhang in the future.
Mr. James asked, which section is this?
Mr. Kirchoff said it's the old Davis; they bought Davis.
Ms. Sprague said right; I don't remember whether it is Meadows or Lakes but one of those two.
Mr. Brandgard asked, is it for any of this model house that they build or have they built one?
Ms. Sprague said this one is one that they are building and I think they didn't realize the overhangs weren't going to be 12 inches until they started putting it together is the impression that I got. So, she just asked for this particular home; she didn't ask me to request it for this model.
Mr. McPhail said we spent a lot of time and effort on that project. I'm not in favor of reducing that overhang. What are they talking about; no overhang?
Ms. Sprague said I don't think they are talking about no overhang. Most of the time that I saw one it was going to be seven inches rather than 12 inches so I have a feeling that is what it will be; the seven inches.
Mr. Brandgard said they are even calling out 12 inch roof overhangs.
Ms. Sprague said they do have it marked in the little box.
Mr. McPhail said everything on here says it's 12 inches.
Ms. Sprague said maybe the trusses that they got delivered were the wrong ones or something.
Mr. Brandgard said the former builder inadvertently put the wrong siding on and we made him go back and change all of that. As simple as it would be to let this go I don't think we can let it go.
Mr. McPhail said I don't think there is going to be any stopping if we do. We spent a lot of time and effort getting those standards there.
Mr. Brandgard said there are several places, even the blocks on the side, that says 12 inches.
Ms. Sprague said they seemed resigned to the fact that they might have to change it to the 12 inch overhangs but I think they wanted to check and see first.
Mr. McPhail said they have two other builders down there not having any problems.
Mr. Brandgard said I think if we were going to change something, you would need a motion but we are not going to change anything. (Consent was given not to change from the 12 inch overhangs).
Mr. Kirchoff said the last time we approved on the amendments to the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance I had made an incorrect assumption that at the Town Council would be the appropriate time to raise a concern on the adult ordinance. I had a discussion with the Council; the question I had was, and my recollection is, the request for those business permits were proposed to be run through the office of the Clerk/Treasurer. I thought when I got to the Town Council, I should bring that up and at the Council I was advised that I should have gone to the Plan Commission. So, I don't know if we have to have a new public hearing or what process there needs to be on that. I understand that it has to come back here for us to consider changing that. The Clerk/Treasurer doesn't want to be involved with that. I don't know if it should be the Planning Director or the Town Manager for approval. I was uncomfortable that we would give that to the Clerk/Treasurer; he's our CFO.
Mr. Daniel said let me explain why we did it that way. You can do that with the Town Manager and Joe could do that. The only reason we put the Clerk/Treasurer in there is because they have a desk out there where you can come in and get a form most of the time. Joe may not be in or Rich but somebody could walk up to the Clerk/Treasurer, I don't mean him personally, but their office there to the extent that they need forms or to turn in papers or whatever else.
Mr. Kirchoff said I guess I have trouble with that as I read the approval process.
Mr. Daniel said on the other hand it does go through him for approval processing and we struggled with that too and I think probably three people all of whom would be very capable of doing that. Joe may be as good as anybody.
Mr. James said I thought you ought to let Rich take care of it.
Mr. Carlucci said actually not thinking about the person but the position I think it ought to go through the Town Manager. The Town Manager is going to ultimately be responsible anyway so I think it ought to be the Town Manager.
Mr. Kirchoff said that is fine; I apologize to the board because I thought it would be something that we would discuss at the Town Council.
Mr. Brandgard said the only reason I brought it up is because the public hearing was here.
Mr. Carlucci said I think Mel said at the last Council meeting that really that change has to go back for a public hearing because it was changed but the Plan Commission has to approve it.
Mr. Kirchoff said so we need to plan for a public hearing in December to make that change in that ordinance. I feel more comfortable with it going through the Town Manager.
Mr. Carlucci said ultimately if it was done wrong, it is going to come back to you anyway.
Mr. Daniel said so we should make that revision and get it back to you.
Mr. James said actually I already made that revision and sent it to the Town Council with my last report for last Monday.
Mr. Daniel said while we are talking about it we have the case on the political signs so we will get you a revision on that ordinance based on what we looked at and that sort of thing. And leave in there what we think we can sustain and take out what we think we are probably going to lose on and get that amendment before the Plan Commission too.
Mr. Carlucci said we did see where the City of Indianapolis, which has gone through this issue with these kinds of signs, was sending out letters to people. They ran this in the Star; there were signs that were larger than 16 square feet. They were able to enforce that and I would like to do that too because some of these signs are getting very large. They have had their battle with the ALCU over this so if they were able to do it, there must be a way they can do that and maybe because they are treating those signs different from other signs that they are putting in their yard. I think that is where we got in trouble is that I can let somebody put a “for sale” sign in their yard with so many square feet or we don't limit the square footage of the “for sale” sign or we treat them somehow differently. I think that maybe this is where this is going. I think 16 square feet is a pretty good size.
Mr. Daniel said you and I talked about that originally; we talked about taking all of that out for the time being but where the issue is is what Rich is talking about. You have to look at the other sections of the ordinance and not treat the political signs different than other signs you can put in your yard for whatever other purpose as long as you are consistent.
Mr. McPhail said the four by eight signs are too big for residential.
Mr. Carlucci said I also might suggest to make it easier on us is that all of these signs, “for sale” or whatever signs they have, they have to be behind the sidewalk; not even with the curb. There may be an easement in their property but I still think we can enforce it behind the sidewalk. One sign I knew was on Town property I didn't know who to call to come and pick it up. I think that would help the Staff if they are in front of that sidewalk, it doesn't matter if it is in the easement or not, between the curb and the sidewalk we are going to pull those signs out. Keep them behind the sidewalks.
Mr. Brandgard asked, what if there are no sidewalks?
Mr. Carlucci said we will just have to use our judgment. We would look at our GIS system.
Mr. Daniel said even though there may not be a sidewalk there will be some public right-of-way, a curb or something. So, the extent we could determine that we can keep them off.
Mr. James said one problem with the size of the signs is that the large ones are eight by four, 32 square feet. Apparently that is the standard size that the campaigns make. I don't know if it is because Marion County allows 32 square feet or what but I've seen them in other communities that they are 32 square foot size. They need to understand what our sizes are too.
Mr. Daniel said I just want to caution you Joe they don't have to understand anything. If they believe it violates the First Amendment and they think they can get a federal district court to agree with them on it, that's all that matters. As much as we can talk about what looks good and what doesn't look good and what is too big and what's not too big if the federal district court says you are violating a First Amendment right because you put a size replacement on that sign, we lose.
Mr. Carlucci said but apparently Indianapolis doesn't.
Mr. Daniel said I haven't seen that. I haven't seen any case in the State of Indiana that approved a size. Has there been one recently?
Mr. Carlucci said I mentioned what I read in the Indianapolis Star. They were sending letters to people who had signs that were larger than 16 square feet. They told them that they were in violation of a sign ordinance. The only way I think they could do is if they were treating other signs the same way; that's the issue. So, we are back to that issue again.
Mr. Daniel said I agree.
Mr. Carlucci said as long as they are on private property, not public property. On the other hand sometimes they say unless it is on the right-of-way and we know it is on the right-of-way leave them alone; who cares; the election is going to be over.
Mr. Daniel said the other side of it is is what Rich is talking about once every four years or whatever else the inconvenience it is how much time do you want to spend on it. If the ACLU decides to come out here and challenge our client, I don't care. It's a policy decision for the Town to make. One thing I think we should do is I don't care what size it is if it creates a public safety issue, that goes down. If there is a two by two sign and you put it in some way or some height and you can't see that sign is going to go down but that is a public safety issue at that point.
Mr. McPhail said we surely ought to be able to have some control over it.
Mr. Daniel said the court has said you can put up a sign that says that I'm in favor of Christmas and leave it up 12 months a year and there is nothing that anybody can do about it; that is the First Amendment.
Mr. James said Tony with the Sugar Grove Assisted Living stopped by a couple of weeks ago. He said due to the economy they don't want to build the clubhouse with the Sugar Grove Assisted Living out there. But he would commit to building it within two years. I wanted to run that past you and see what you thought about that.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, are you going to tie it to time or tie it (inaudible).
Mr. James said that is a possibility.
Mr. Brandgard said there ought to be a bond on it too maybe.
Mr. Kirchoff said we have talked about some of these other places. I think our conversation has been maybe we don't tie it as much to time as we do to some percentage of residency.
Gentleman from audience said our lender has said that they will finance………we have a commitment that they will finance everything except the clubhouse. The clubhouse will run us about $360,000.00 and all parties involved in the project do want the clubhouse but unfortunately we can't get it financed right now. So, once the property stabilizes at a certain percentage of occupancy, which is usually about 70% of occupancy, which we feel is going to be about 13 months after we open up the main building that is when we are going to build it. But one of the suggestions that Joe had was just two years from the time that we open up the main building. We agreed to build it then.
Mr. Daniel said the problem that we have is we have one development out here that over a period of time they end up never being built. We have people that built those homes believing that they were getting those amenities and then they got into financial trouble and came in and said we just can't afford to build them and help us. We have people saying look when I bought this property, I thought I was going to have this and something and I'm not going to have it. So, Robin mentioned a bond but I do think if you go with the percent; 50% if they built 45% and never sell anymore, than that and those 45% of the people that bought it they are disappointed.
Gentleman said the good news is we have 15 people signed up already so we are getting there.
Mr. Daniel said my point is we have had experiences here where I have no doubt they meant well going in and then had some financial problems and we had some real disappointed people spending a lot of money building a nice home.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, so your two years is from where?
Gentleman said I am proposing that it would be the day that we open up the main building or the day that we get a certificate of occupancy.
Mr. Kirchoff said you would have it constructed by then?
Gentleman said it would take between 90 to 120 days to build so I propose that we start construction within that two year timeframe.
Mr. Brandgard said no offense to you but based on our experience the only recourse that we would have is to have a bond. The fact that we would grant you a delay in doing it doesn't mean it is going to get done. Whereas, if you had to build it up front, you couldn't open it without it being there. So, there is a little bit of a leverage but once we grant a delay we don't have any real leverage in making it happen.
Gentleman said I would just assume if we didn't do it, then there would be a monthly fine or something that we would have to pay.
Mr. Brandgard said I agree but if you are not there, we can't fine you.
Mr. Kirchoff said (inaudible).
Gentleman said actually JD Harris is going to start excavating I think later this ……………
Mr. Kirchoff said (inaudible).
Mr. Brandgard said like I said we've had recent experiences where things have gotten started and the amenities were supposed to go in at a certain time and it never happened. What it comes down to is we have no real leverage especially if the guy is out of business when he walks away from it.
Mr. Kirchoff said the clubhouse is not a freestanding structure.
Gentleman said it is; it is about a 3,500 or 4,000 square foot home basically on our campus.
Mr. Brandgard said in my view you need to bond it or something else so there is a real guarantee to make sure it happens to protect the people that invest in it.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, is there something that we can draft?
Mr. Daniel said it seems to me that they probably ought to just amend the proposal; language or bond or whatever else that we need.