Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Date: December 3, 2009
Time: 6:30 P.M.

The regular meeting and public hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission was held on the above date and time in City Council Chambers, third floor of City Hall with the following members and personnel in attendance: Jack Wheeler, Chair; Edwin Alden; Peggy Hedrick; King Coltrin; Shelby Lawhon; Jay McClelland; Matthew Edwards; Mike MacPherson, Principal Planner, Planning and Development; Ralph Rognstad, Director of Planning and Development; Nancy Yendes, Assistant City Attorney; Martin Gugel, Public Works. There were no commissin members absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:          

The minutes for November 19, 2009 were approved unanimously.

COMMUNICATIONS:

None.

FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT ITEMS:
(These consent cases will be approved by Commission unless a Commissioner or someone else wishes to speak to them.  If so, those cases will be moved to the appropriate place on the agenda and they may be spoken to, and voted on, at that time.)    

  1. Relinquish Easement 744                                   ANFWMD
    (500 West Sunshine)

    Edwards made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Hedrick seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Alden, Hedrick, McClelland, Edwards, Coltrin, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: None.

HEARINGS: 

ZONING:

2.    Planned Development 333                                  Gardner Properties of Springfield, LLC, et al.
(3623, 3627 and 3635 East Sunshine)

Mr. MacPherson said that some of the development on the site took place before the City revised its zoning ordinance in1995 and, due to the revision, some features of the site became nonconforming. He said that, if approved, the zoning change will result in the following changes:

1. This proposal will add the rental of moving vehicles as a permitted use on Tract A. In addition to the self-service storage facility on Tract A, the owner of the property is renting moving vehicles from the site—which is not a permitted use within the General Retail District. This additional use is not expected to have any additional impact over the uses permitted in the existing General Retail zoning.

2. Approval of this Planned Development will reduce the open space requirements from what is typically required in the Zoning Ordinance for the General Retail District, however it will increase the open space existing on the site. Over the years, there have been several actions that have resulted in reduced open space on the property including subdivision of land and dedication of right-of-way for Eastgate. As part of this proposal, each lot will be required to provide at least 15% open space. The accompanying site plan (Exhibit 2) identifies areas that are to be converted from impervious area to open space as part of this proposal. In addition, the landscaped area along Sunshine on Tract B will be enhanced with additional plantings in exchange for the reduced amount of open space. This landscaped area is more visible to the public and enhancing this area will have more of a visual impact than smaller amounts of green space elsewhere on the site.

3. As part of this proposal, off-street parking requirements are being varied from the typical requirement for these types of uses. This planned development defines the parking standard for moving vehicle rental as one space per on-site vehicle plus five spaces for customers. This will help to ensure that adequate parking is provided for the moving vehicles stored on site within Tract A. In addition, the off-street parking ratio for the commercial strip center on Tract B is being modified to one space required for each 200 square feet of building area. The typical requirement is that parking is provided for each use located within the strip center, often resulting in an excess of parking spaces because the parking demand for the uses within the center are at different times (retail stores have higher demands during the day and restaurants have higher demands during the evening). This proposal will permit the different land uses to share the available parking. On Tract C, the uses will be required to meet the normal off-street parking requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.

4. This planned development will bring the existing sign on Tract C into conformance with the requirements of the current Zoning Ordinance. The existing sign advertises the convenience store on Tract C as well as the self-service storage use on Tract A and an ATM located on Tract B. This proposal will consider the subject property a premise for signage purposes, to permit the existing sign to continue to advertise the uses on Tracts A and B. Other existing signs will be permitted to remain; however, no new additional signs will be permitted.

5. The property owners will be submitting an application for an Administrative Lot Line Adjustment to adjust the Lot lines between Tracts A, B and C. The existing lot lines are irregular and create confusion in regard to access and vehicle maneuvering, parking and open space. The lot line adjustment will provide for more regular lot lines, provide additional area within Tract A for the parking of moving vehicles and provide for more green space on Tract C.

Mr. Macpherson said that the applicant also wants to remove the permitted use called “Tier V wireless facility” from tracts A, B and C. In summing up, he said that the proposal would bring the subject property into compliance with regard to uses, parking, open space and signage and that the proposal would provide more open space on the site and would facilitate the continued use of the existing developed site.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing on the case.

Derrick Lee, 2101 W. Chesterfield Village, said that he and the owner of the subject site had conferred with city staff in an effort to rectify problems with zoning violations on the subject site, and PD 333 was the result of their negotiations. He said that the explanations in the staff report and by Mr. Macpherson covered everything and he offered to answer any questions. There were no questions from the Commission.

Dean Ertel, 1616 S. Eastgate, said that he worked near the subject site and did not foresee any negative impact resulting from the proposal.

Randall Wallace, 1845 S. National, said his law firm was representing an auto dealership near the subject property and that he did not have any problem with the proposal as long as cell-phone towers were limited, as proposed.

Chairman Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Mr. Wheller asked staff how the motion should read in order to ensure that no new cell-phone towers could be added to the site. Staff’s legal representative, Nancy Yendes, conferred with Randall Wallace and Derek Lee. Then Ms. Yendes said that the motion should state that “Exhibit 1 would be amended to remove all towers, regardless of type, as a use.”

Mr. Lawhon moved that the board approve PD 333 “but amended to remove all towers, regardless of type, from Exhibit 1.” Mr. Edwards seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Alden, Hedrick, Coltrin, McClelland, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: None.

PRELIMINARY PLATS:

3.     Sunset Plaza                                         Empire Mortgage Company Inc.
             (400 blocks East and West Sunset Street, south side)

Mr. MacPherson read from the Notes section of Exhibit A, the site plan for the proposed plat. The issues covered by the notes included driveways, storm-water drainage features, and a required sidewalk. Mr. Macpherson said that staff recommends approval of the proposal.

In response to a question from Mr. Lawhon, Mr. Macpherson said there would be no driveway access to Campbell Avenue. Access would be to Sunset and to Jefferson.

In response to a question from Mr. Coltrin, Mr. MacPherson said that proposal was in accord with the requirements of recent rezoning cases that had addressed the same land area.

The public hearing was opened.

Representing the applicant, Dana Edwards, 5072 N. FR 159, entertained questions from the Commission. There were no questions and no other speakers, so Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Edwards made a motion to approve the preliminary plat of Sunset Plaza subdivision.  Hedrick seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Alden, Hedrick, McClelland, Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: None.

OTHER BUSINESS:

4.      Master Sign Plan, Deerfield Office Park                                             Pierce Group Inc.
         (3405 East Battlefield)

Mr. MacPherson stated that a Master Sign Plan may be established in order to provide consistent, logical and equitable signage for a property. He said that such a plan is not intended to allow special or additional sign coverage above what would normally be allowed by Section 5-1400 of the Zoning Ordinance, commonly referred to as the Sign Ordinance. He also stated that the applicant is seeking to create a Master Sign Plan to allow two signs on the same lot. The proposed new sign will advertise local businesses in the shopping center while the existing sign will represent the Deerfield Office Park Subdivision as a whole from the eastside. The existing (Deerfield Office Park) concrete structure/sign has an effective area of 88 sq. ft. with a height of 6 feet, and the new sign will have an effective area of 256.6 sq. ft. with a height of 31 feet.  Under the Zoning Ordinance, if signs are spaced closer together than the minimum spacing permitted (300 ft), then one sign may be 40 feet in height and the additional sign must not exceed 20 feet in height. Approval of this Master Sign Plan will not increase the total effective area or the height of the signage that is permitted by the current regulations.

Mr. MacPherson added that approving a master sign plan is not the same as approving a building permit or a sign permit; that approval does not allow for the modification or moving of any sign; and that the applicant will, before receiving any sign permits, need to provide staff with elevations from the adjacent street (U.S. Hwy 65 off-ramp) so that staff can evaluate the height and effective area of any new signage on the subject site.

At this point, Mr. Coltrin, at the advice of Ms. Yendes, recused himself from the discussion and from the vote on this particular case.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing.

Chris Braun, 505 N. Glenstone, said that he was representing the applicant and would be glad to answer questions. No questions concerning the case were forthcoming. So Chairman Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Lawhon moved for approval of the master sign plan for Deerfield Office Park. Alden seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Hedrick, McClelland, Alden, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: Coltrin; ABSENT: None.

5.   Initiate Amendment, Community Gardens and Bufferyards                        Planning staff
(City-Wide)

Mr. Macpherson explained that staff had noticed a conflict between the intent of the new Community Gardens section of the zoning ordinance and the bufferyard requirements of the zoning ordinance. Given the current language, bufferyards would be required between community gardens and residential areas, and also between parks and residential areas. This buffering of uses did not gibe with staff’s intent. Mr. Macpherson also stated as follows:

Staff was recommending that Commission approve this request to initiate a text amendment to Subsection 5-3000 and Subsection 6-1200 of the zoning ordinance. The requested amendment would exempt community gardens and parks from the landscaping and bufferyard requirements of the zoning ordinance. He also pointed out that approval of this request would not amend the zoning ordinance; it would only initiate the process of amending the ordinance. Once new language had been developed, a text amendment application would be processed through the normal process, which would include an advertisement in a local newspaper and public hearings before Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.

In response to a question from Mr. Edwards, Mr. MacPherson said that staff hoped to move forward on submitting the amendment in January.

There was a brief discussion of accessory buildings vis-a-vis bufferyards. Mr. MacPherson noted that in order for an accessory building to be sited near a property line in a residential district, an application requesting such a feature would need to be submitted to the Board of Adjustment.  Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Coltrin said that their recollection of the discussions held by the community gardens task force was that bufferyard requirements were not intended to be imposed on community gardens.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing. No one wanted to speak to this issue, so Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

McClelland made a motion to approve the agenda item entitled “Initiate Amendment, Community Gardens and Bufferyard Requirements.” Hedrick seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Hedrick, McClelland, Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, Alden; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: None.

ANY OTHER MATTERS UNDER COMMISSION JURISDICTION:

There being no other business before the Commission, Mr. Wheeler adjourned the meeting at 7:18 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 


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