PLAINFIELD BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
December 19, 2011
CALL TO ORDER
Mr. Monnett: Call to order the Plainfield Board of Zoning Appeals for December 19, 2011. I will now ask our board secretary to have a roll call for a determination of a quorum.
ROLL CALL/DERTERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci: Ms. Duffer- here
Mr. Cavanaugh- here
Mr. Gibbs- here
Mr. Monnett- here
Four members present, we have a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mr. Monnett: Would you all please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES (November 17, 2011 meeting)
Mr. Monnett: I will now entertain a motion for improvements, changes, approval for our minutes for the November 21, 2011 meeting.
Ms. Duffer: I have one change, on page 2 in my first comment the last sentence it should say I wouldn't object to this, instead of I wouldn't be objective to this, with that change though I would make a motion to approve the minutes.
Mr. Gibbs: Second.
Mr. Monnett: I have a second and a motion all in favor say by aye.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Monnett: I will now ask our Board Attorney to administer the oath of testimony tonight.
Mr. Daniel conducted the oath of testimony.
Mr. Monnett reviewed the Guidelines Governing the conduct of public hearings. BZA-11-014 CSU, Inc., Mr. James.
Mr. James: Good evening members of the board. This is a variance request to expand outdoor storage in the I-2 zoning; this site is located at 3919 Clarks Creek Road. It is the northeast corner of Clarks Creek and Metropolis Parkway; it is the old Rhoades Beverage building if you are familiar with it. CSU, Inc is a utilities contractor and they moved into the building probably about a couple of years ago, the property is zoned I-2, it has always been I-2, the business is growing and so they need to expand and so he has an (inaudible) the vacant property to the east, it is about 4.4 acres, it is this property right here, here is their site and you can see it is zoned I-2, then here is Central Park, here is Metropolis Parkway, this is zoned Ag and then they've got I-2 zoning over here. This is the self storage warehouse right here that is in the I-2 zoning, and some of it is I-3 and actually some of the north part of this property is zoned I-3 and then you've got I-2 to the north there. Metropolis Parkway is a gateway corridor, so when you have an outdoor storage, it has to be screened and I-2 you are just limited 10% of the gross floor area of all structures on the property, the building is not very large, I think combined it about 39,000 square feet, so this limits them to not much outdoor storage space based on the actual size of the property. When you have outdoor storage along the gateway corridor, you have to screen it with level three perimeter landscaping and to expand the parking lot and the outdoor storage they have to use the depth of the yard development incentive so that is a level 2 landscaping. Talking about this project, we thought that maybe if we increased the landscaping along Metropolis Parkway, that would help screen parking the equipment and some of the outdoor storage area, so with the outdoor storage it requires level 3, and then the level 2 with the depth of yard that gets us to a level 5, so that is what they have proposed. Level 5 is also what is required for orientation of loading space, if they had loading docks facing Metropolis Parkway. This is the site, here is the existing building where they have little outdoor storage already. Then this is the vacant lot, and here is the self storage. They are going to do more employee parking along Metropolis Parkway, sort of create a hierarchy of least intense storage that would be along here, and then as you get further back they have the most intense equipment and product, which would be the reels of cable that they have to store it lined up like this and this site plan shows how they would neatly store it back in this area here and then some back in here. If we condensed it all together it would be about 38% for the outdoor storage based on the structures on the property. Here is a proposed landscaping plan, it is about a 4.5, but we provided more trees back here in front of the building which makes it a level 5, so then here is the main portion of the outdoor storage and with the level 5 here, and what they have around here it would be equal to a level 3 all the way around. We thought because of Metropolis Parkway is the gateway corridor that it would be best to beef it up along Metropolis Parkway and also beef it up along this east end here, so it would screen it as you approach the site from the east. Since this would be vehicular parking, we would have them also do the required shrubs that are required for auto parking between the building and the street. Then also we had them do the required street trees, we added those along here, not street trees, but parking lot trees required for the number of auto parking spaces. So we beefed it up along here and beefed it up on this end. Then they are going to add 5 trees here, which will get this to a level 5 from the existing building. Brian the owner, he has bought this building and he plans on putting some more money into it, they are going to farm this and this is already sloped, they are going to do some more landscaping and maybe do a nice freestanding sign for the building and then also add some more architectural elements along this corner here to make that more aesthetically appealing along Metropolis Parkway. Here is a photo of the site and a photo of the site as you are headed west, and this is the vacant site here and then their existing storage. This is a photo inside of their parking lot, you can see the equipment and how they store it and what they store back here. That is a photo of the reels of cable that they have to store. Then as you head east, we do have some warehouses, this is the back of Epson, they don't have much of a screening back here, and then they also don't have much screening back here. So what is the current ratio for outdoor storage for this site, or what is the appropriate ratio? It is 1 to 10 and appropriate given the size of the lot for outdoor storage. DRC did recommend approval as submitted with the landscaping, and the building, zoning, and permit uses were here before when Metropolis Parkway was built, a contractor in storage of equipment is a permitted use in the I-2 district and does the board agree with staffs approach to increase the perimeter landscaping along the Metropolis Parkway. So with that I will have a seat, their Engineer Jerry Kittle is here and Mr. Paul is here, the owner and I am sure they would be glad to answer any questions (inaudible).
Mr. Gibbs: Joe, can I ask you a question first? I just wanted to make sure of something, if I understood, so if I am looking at the property where you had the landscaping, you say level 5, I am looking at the east end of the property, does a level 5 go north of that entrance?
Mr. James: No, this is about a 1½ right here; this is about a 2.25 right in here, but this right in here is a level 5.
Mr. Gibbs: Would you help me understand what the difference is between when it says employee car parking on the south end, and it also says small trailer parking, what is small trailer parking, what is small trailer parking compared to semi trailer parking?
Mr. James: I will try to answer that, but I am sure Mr. Paul can answer that better than I can, but I think it is like a lowboy that they have along here, and then they do have your regular semi trailer trailers.
Mr. Gibbs: But my understanding is that semi trailers would not be along Metropolis Parkway.
Mr. James: That is correct. This would be employee parking and then maybe they would park the trailers back in here and here that is my understanding.
Mr. Monnett: Is the petitioner here or a representative?
Mr. Kittle: Most of you know you know me and some of you I know from the past, my name is Jerry Kittle, and I am now with a company called Innovative Engineering and Consulting, and our firm is located out of 755 West Carmel Drive, in Carmel, Indiana. With me tonight is Brian Paul which you have sort of formally been introduced to, and they own CSU, Inc., and so with just a couple of things to highlight maybe going over Mr. James' the staff comment, appreciate Mr. James and his time that he has spent working with us and meeting with us and giving his input as we have gone along the process. CSU is an existing construction company, as you have heard tonight they specialize in basically underground installation, via directional boring type of materials, so it is not a conventional open trench usually, it is usually done by a boring machine, so you saw some of the reels that route with some of the pipe that they use as the reels come in, actually they are mobile, they come in and they are selected, put on a truck and then they leave to the job site, so inventory is kind of whatever they see coming up, and what they need then to get to that job site to be installed. So that is kind of how the process works and Brian may want to come up and talk to you a little bit more and answer specific questions on how they go through this process and how long the reels are going to be there. As Mr. James has described we are at the intersection of Clarks Creek Road and Metropolis Parkway. It is important to note that the building has been here prior to Metropolis Parkway and they are operating today within this existing facility. This is kind of a vacant lot, I will just say it is a vacant lot if you have actually driven out there it is kind of a lot that needs some attention, it is kind of a rough site, and in the concept being that this will kind of be an overflow parking. One thing I would like to point out, this fence that is here today that you saw some photographs of is like an 8' galvanized fence, we want to take that down, and install an 8' black vinyl and use the black vinyl slates in it. So that will come and go all the way across and route the entire project. I wanted to make a note of that. So the landscaping level 5, you saw in this particular area here, with the proposed new lot. Again automobile and employee parking and sort of as you go to the north to the storage center the intensity of that parking lot builds. These are rows, I know it is not very good in this illustration from the drawing after the PDF was made, but there are rows in which the material of the pipe will be stored on the reel, so there will be an aisle way for them to be able to back up a truck into that area to pick it up with a fork type truck equipment or heavier equipment to put the reel on the truck and deliver to the site. So back here we have some area for semi tractors to park and as you did see in some of the photographs they do have some lowboy type of trailers, some smaller trailers with the directional machines. Some of those low pieces of equipment will be parked back here but all of the semi trailers and the more intense, I'm going to call it a more intense, use will be to the north of the lot. One other thing that was talked about briefly is, Brian and I sat down and we've discussed doing something with that sign here, we don't have specifics to tell you what that is going to be yet, our kind of envision is some kind of keystone architectural block, there is a raised area there right now, there is kind of a hillside cut in there, so we would like to something nice with some letters and try to dress that area up. The building has been there obviously for some time and trying to do some improvements and cleaning up in planning for the expansion. A couple of things and I will let Brian point out because I know my time is limited, like I said it is an existing building, they are trying to expand, the construction company is permitted in an I-2 area, there is as Joe pointed out, part of this area right here it is I-3, we did not account for that I-3 even though it can be used for a larger percentage for storage in this illustration. We decided to keep it clean and treat it all as I-2 and still be under the 40% request. With that, the additional landscaping, we want to add the entry and incorporate the sign with some future improvements. I will be happy to answer any questions and Brian if you would like to come up and add anything about the facility or the function of the facility, please do so.
Mr. Paul: I am Brian Paul; this is my wife Lori, and my younger son Brian. Ok, Brian Paul, 3919 Clarks Creek Road. I want to give you a little bit of history on CSU, I started the business in 1982 as a sole employee, from those beginnings we now employee 52 employees, we purchased the building on Clarks Creek in July of 2010. The decision to locate in Plainfield has been an easy one, all the places that I have worked, Plainfield is one of my favorite. It is a clean and safe Town without the feel of a large community that is faceless and it has proven to be the right choice. Since moving to Clarks Creek we have 18 positions ranging from anglers to the new controller, we foresee this growth to continue and plan to add 15 to 20 positions in 2012. Sometimes I feel a bit stereotyped; when I tell people I am a contractor, for a lot of people a contractor means you are always late, you are always broke, and you have the stories of broken down machinery and junk. We don't operate on the philosophy by any means, I feel like some of our success is due to being organized. We do need to store more materials than we are currently, but clearly have created a plan that is organized and efficient. I want to assure you that our storage lot would be kept neat and orderly. Like Joe said, we plan to make some improvements to the existing building, the exterior of the building as time goes on, and in closing, I want to thank you for your time.
Mr. Monnett: Any questions?
Mr. Paul: To answer your question on the trailers, a lot of the trailers we use are smaller, we use a lot of mini excavators and that type of equipment.
Mr. Monnett: You say you have 52 employees right now?
Mr. Paul: Yes.
Mr. Monnett: That is just one shift I assume?
Mr. Paul: We have been busy this year; we've been working 6 days a week. I'm not going to complain about that.
Mr. Cavanaugh: Jerry I understood you to say that you are going to replace that fence and it is going to be a black vinyl (inaudible).
Mr. Kittle: That is correct, our intent is to replace that fence, it is really in need of repair and replacement, and we would like to replace it to match.
Mr. Cavanaugh: So it will be a chain link black vinyl with the back inserts as well?
Mr. Kittle: Yes.
Ms. Duffer: So this will match the level of landscape that you are putting on the new lot as well?
Mr. James: Just going to do 5 trees here, and then there will be a gap here which is the existing storage area and parking lot and then across the new portion will be the level 5.
Mr. Cavanaugh: I have a question out of curiosity, not necessarily pertinent to the zoning and hearing request, but there is a drain swell that goes through the middle of that parking lot.
Mr. Kittle: There is.
Mr. Cavanaugh: And that seems to hold water in there, how do you guys plan to handle that?
Mr. Kittle: Actually we have pulled the drainage calculations out for this entire area, those calculations there are on file, the pond there to the north does have drainage rights, the parcel and everything includes the drainage for this. We have checked the capacity of this pond already, to be honest this is kind of a mess, but there is some storm pipe in here, and in fact there area some inlets and beehives down along this area in here that we plan on incorporating into the pavement drainage and that takes it back into this retention pond and we have already verified the size and calculation for that and then allows it to outlet back out, so we have looked at that.
Mr. Cavanaugh: It is something covering?
Mr. Kittle: And that will be covered under our site design plan.
Mr. James: (Inaudible)
Mr. Kittle: I haven't checked that, we have honestly not heard the total graphics survey yet, we have just taken the information that we can from existing information that is out there. We are going to have to work with what is there, and if it is not then we will have to bring in some material or export some material, but we are really trapped by three sides and really four by the time you count Metropolis Parkway and working with the existing storm sewer and casting elevations that are there.
Mr. Cavanaugh: Thank you.
Mr. Monnett: Mr. Gibbs, your concerns have been addressed?
Mr. Gibbs: Yes.
Mr. Cavanaugh: (inaudible) truly not trying to open a can of worms, I think that the plan that is submitted is a good plan, and I am in support of what you are suggesting, however it kind of bothers me that we are going to have by my measure 270, maybe 300 feet of black vinyl fence and then this new double ply tropical garden out there with all (inaudible). Just for general discussion I'm not trying to make a big issue with this. Joe this might be a question for you, what if we thought about taking this planting that is described for the new development and spread it out along the entirety of the fence area.
Mr. James: Yes, I did talk to them a little bit about that. Let's do a level 3 along this entire frontage.
Mr. Cavanaugh: Again, I think what they are submitting or requesting is suitable for the use, I am just thinking that we might get more (inaudible) product if we considered that, that is just my opinion, I mean the other board members might think differently.
Ms. Duffer: Is there room to do that where the existing fence is?
Mr. James: Yes, right here we do, and this can be a little tight right here.
Mr. Cavanaugh: I think the overall balance could be maintained, so I think if that does not mess up the Town's requirements, and it is not actually decreasing the amount of landscaping that the petitioner will need to install.
Mr. James: It is just going to require another landscaping plan which they are going to have to submit anyway for an improvement location permit.
Mr. Cavanaugh: What do you guys think about that?
Ms. Duffer: I think that sounds reasonable, that is why I asked when Joe showed the picture of where the three new trees are going to be with that berm, where the potential sign would go.
Mr. Cavanaugh: The area that I am considering is really just the fence line, not up against the building.
Ms. Duffer: No because they are doing something there, but it is that space in between.
Mr. Cavanaugh: Frankly I think if you are going to have a fantastic dense forced out there along the new fence line and then there will be waste, not to be (inaudible), but this waste line of vinyl fencing that you are going to replace and I just think it would look awkward and you have the opportunity to make really dress up that entry way there, the property to the south is always going to be Ag, it is always going to be wooded I think that is part of the park system that Stout's dedicated isn't it Joe, it was dedicated as a preserve or something I believe, so that area there is probably never going to change. I just wanted to toss that out there for consideration.
Mr. Kittle: I guess I will address that a little bit, I talked with Brain and work through that, we certainly have no problems with that all, basically taking the same amount of plant material and spreading that out and submitting that back to your staff and asking them to look at it knowing that we may have to cluster some of it over in this area because of how tight it is and some of the existing physical restraints that we have to work around out there.
Mr. James: I'm glad you brought that up, actually that was my thought that we'd balance it across the whole frontage and after our first recommended level 5 that was my second thought that is probably the way to go.
Mr. Cavanaugh: That is the only question I have.
Mr. Monnett: Thank you, I will close that to the public and open it up to our board for further discussion or a possible motion.
Mr. Cavanaugh: I am prepared to make a motion. I move that the Board of Zoning Appeals approve BZA-11-014 as filed by CSU, Inc., requesting a variance to increase outdoor storage allowed in the I-2 district from ten percent to 61.5% of GFA at 3919 Clarks Creek Road subject to the following conditions:
1. Substantial compliance with site plan submitted file date December 5, 2011 and landscaping plan submitted file date November 11, 2011.
2. The outdoor storage of equipment, machinery, goods and product should be limited to the 18,553 square feet of storage area shown on the revised site plan.
3. Parking semi trailers will not be allowed along Metropolis Parkway.
4. That the landscaping indicated on the current landscape plan shall be spread out across the extent of the entire fence line from the southeast corner of the building through the extent indicated by the landscape plan.
Ms. Duffer: I will second.
Mr. Monnett: I have a motion and a second, Mr. Carlucci would you please poll the board.
Mr. Carlucci: Ms. Duffer- yes
Mr. Cavanaugh- yes
Mr. Gibbs- yes
Mr. Monnett- yes
Four ayes, none opposed, motion is approved.
Mr. Kittle: Thank you very much.
Mr. Monnett: No old or new business Mr. James?
Mr. James: No we do not; there is no old or new business.
Mr. Monnett: I will entertain a motion for adjournment
Mr. Cavanaugh: So move.
Mr. Gibbs: Second.
Mr. Monnett: The motion is second.