December 5, 2005
Present: Council & Staff Present:
Ms. Newsom Scott Wingerson, Assist. City Manager
Ms. Alexander Melinda Mehaffy, Econ. Dev. Admin.
Mr. Stanley David Ramsay, City Counselor
Mr. Shevling Becky Jarrett, Admin. Assist.
Absent: Mr. Reynolds
Item 2 on the Agenda: Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Hill led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 3 on the Agenda: Approval of the November 21, 2005 minutes.
Ms. Abbott made a correction to page 8, first paragraph: 7X3 should be 7.3. Mr. Boor made a correction on page 4, first line: Mr. Boor “asked” rather than “said”. MOTION: By Mr. Revenaugh, second by Mr. Whitton to approve the November 21, 2005 minutes as corrected.
The minutes were approved as corrected.
Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.
Item 5 on the Agenda: CONTINUATION: Of a Rezoning and Site Plan Revision at 5720 N. Oak Trafficway. Applicant/Owner: Donald D. Perry II, N. Oak BP. (File #1262).
Mr. Wingerson reminded the Commission that this is an application to do two things: change the zoning and revise the current site plan. The current zoning is C-2, C-1 and R-1; the request is to change the zoning to CP-3 to allow for the operation of automobile service, a convenience store, gas pumps, car wash and a parking lot. Mr. Wingerson explained that during the public hearing two weeks ago, a question was raised by a Commissioner regarding whether or not the use of this land complies with the North Oak Corridor Study. At that time, Mr. Wingerson said that he had replied that yes, it did comply. Last week Ms. Abbott came into his office, after having done a lot of research, and said that it was not appropriate for this type of use. Mr. Wingerson noted that Ms. Abbott was correct on that point. She had provided Mr. Wingerson with about four paragraphs of information on what the Planning Commission should or shouldn’t do with the N. Oak Corridor Study. In summary, Ms. Abbott’s narrative explains that the plan should be adopted by the Planning Commission- which they did, it should be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan-which they did, and that future developments would be required to adhere to the principles and guidelines contained within the report. The Corridor Study indicates that this area would be appropriate for office development.
Mr. Wingerson explained that the challenge in drafting the Corridor Study was to create density and activity along the corridor. There were a lot of multi-family housing strategies in the Corridor Plan as well as a lot of office development which both create additional density. It also talks about access management and traffic circulation- the current request improves that. It talks about front and side green areas- this plan attempts to do that. The Study says that the City should look thoroughly at requests that expand the depth of commercial lots from N. Oak, that improve the overall physical setting and that expand the economic base. It also says that commercial uses within the corridor must provide significant landscape buffers from the adjacent non-compatible uses, especially single-family residences. That is exactly what this plans shows and the point which has had the most discussion. The Study also states that if possible, parking is encouraged to the side and/or rear of the lot.
Mr. Wingerson further explained that once you get past the N. Oak Corridor Study, it’s important to go back to the basic Comprehensive Plan that re-emphasizes the ideas of access management and reducing curb cuts on the corridors. It also talks about front/side yard setbacks, expanding the shallow depth of commercial property, the physical setting and the economic base. Although he was wrong in answering the question two weeks ago, it is the Planning Commission’s role to balance all of these factors in making their decision.
Mr. Wingerson said that
the current zoning, C-1, would allow any kind of neighborhood or general
commercial retail use that does not involve an automobile. The C-1 portion of the property was zoned
commercial in 1959. During the site
visit there was a lot of discussion about the lot to the west of the developed
site, which has changed since the public hearing. The rear buffer has increased with additional
landscaping. A wood privacy fence is
still proposed along the edges of the parking lot. It also complies with the 35’ buffer to the
south, which is adjacent to the residential property. One of staff’s recommended conditions was to
remove the forth curb cut onto
The service area on this
plan has 10-12 bays with 85 parking spaces.
Mr. Wingerson said that just for comparison, Aristocrat Motors in
Mr. Wingerson ended his comments by apologizing to the Commission for his mistake during the last public hearing and thanked Ms. Abbott for raising those issues.
Ms. Newsom asked what kinds of trees or berms the landscaping around the residential areas consist of.
Mr. Wingerson answered that the trees are not proposed to be on a berm; they will be at the finished grade of the parking lot. The types of trees and distance between plantings have not yet been determined. Staff was planning on leaving that to permit time to make sure there is a vegetative screen when the plants are mature.
Ms. Alexander asked if a ten-foot privacy fence screen the cars from the neighbors since they are very concerned.
Mr. Wingerson said that given the topography, this land is generally higher than the residential property to the south and to the west; therefore, depending on how much grading is done, a six-foot fence is effectively building a 10-foot screen.
Ms. Alexander asked if that would completely screen any cars or trucks.
Mr. Wingerson said that it would absolutely screen them from the street level, but it may not necessarily from an upper level of a house.
Ms. Abbott said that the
new Zoning Map also specifies this property as office complex. She also added that at the site visit there
was a lot of discussion about stormwater run-off, which there is no provision
for. Ms. Warman said that she thought
the run-off water would go to a storm catch basin that is on
Mr. Wingerson stated that condition #9 of the Staff Report says that “A stormwater study shall be performed by the developer and approved by the City. The approved plan shall be implemented by the developer.” In the narrative of the Staff Report it discusses the nature of this application being to seek Planning approval. This is to see if the project can move forward in the City’s eyes before all of the technical studies are done. This plan shows a detention basin along the southeast corner of the property. Mr. Wingerson said that it would be his guess that it would be engineered and designed in such a way that it would capture the water off the site allowing other water to enter the system. It would probably be a split system allowing the basin to hold more than what is normally required so that the parking lot water could enter the system directly.
Ms. Newsom stated, for clarification, that if this plan moves forward with these conditions as stated in the ordinance, the stormwater study must take place and the plan that is in incorporated must have the stormwater captured as to not impact the surrounding residents.
Mr. Wingerson answered yes, and added that the City must approve the stormwater plan and then the developer must install it in the way that it was approved.
Ms. Alexander asked if the number of parking spaces could be cut in half. (from 85)
Mr. Wingerson said that point was made at the site visit and that was one reason he gave the ratio examples earlier, which seem to be consistent with newer service stations in the area.
Ms. Newsom asked Mr. Whitton how many service bays he had at his facility.
Mr. Whitton answered that he has 12 bays.
Ms. Newsom asked how many parking spaces he had.
Mr. Whitton said that he has probably about 40-45 spaces.
Ms. Newsom asked if he found that adequate.
Mr. Whitton answered no.
Mr. Steffens commented that he has a bigger garage at his employer and they never seem to have enough parking spaces either and he has quite a few more than Mr. Whitton does. Not all of them are being used all the time, but three days out of the week they are full.
Ms. Newsom replied that thinking back when she was working full-time she would leave her car at her mechanic’s shop all day…and if there are three or four mechanics working on projects, they need somewhere to warehouse them until they are picked up at the end of the day.
Mr. Whitton explained that there is also the problem of towing and waiting for parts. Sometimes it may take days to get parts and some of the heavier repairs may take several days.
Mr. Boor said that he was at the site visit and it was his understanding that Mr. Perry said that at one point he had forty-some cars on his property at one time.
Mr. Perry said that counting employees and customers at the same time, Mr. Perry said that he had 43 cars on his property.
Mr. Stanley said that Scott had corrected his earlier comment about how this site plan does not conform to the N. Oak Corridor Study, if he heard him correct?
Mr. Wingerson replied that he didn’t say that it did not conform with the N. Oak Corridor Study. What was incorrect was his reply to the direct question about whether automobile uses are in conformance with the Study. Mr. Wingerson said that his recommendation is that the overall project is in compliance because of some of the other factors.
Mr. Stanley asked if that becomes a moot point because the property is “grandfathered”.
Mr. Wingerson stated that it is a factor for the Planning Commission to consider. Mr. Perry had stated in the public hearing that the business had been in operation at that location since 1959. As it relates technically to the grandfather provision, it’s an expansion in both land and physical improvement; therefore, the grandfather point would be moot.
Mr. Stanley also asked if Mr. Wingerson could explain the different intensity use between C-1 & C-2 versus CP-3.
Mr. Wingerson referred to the different zonings on the site plan. Until about three years ago, C-2 zoning allowed for automobile parts & service. The Code was amended to require that use be
C-3. The difference between C-1 and C-2, is generally small, but in either case you would be looking at a typical retail strip center. A dry cleaner, restaurant, discount tobacco store or a beauty shop would be some examples.
Mr. Boor said that in regard to the fence, it was his understanding that Mr. Perry wanted to please the neighbors and that he would be willing to install an eight-foot fence.
Mr. Wingerson said that if that is a recommendation of the Commission, the ordinance could be amended to reflect that.
Mr. Perry answered that he does want to be a good neighbor and as long as an eight-foot fence would be allowed by code, he would be willing to do that.
Mr. Wingerson added that a six-foot fence is allowed by code without a permit; an eight-foot fence would need a permit. In this case, it would become part of the overall building permit, so there is really no difference. The Commission would need to specifically mention the eight-foot fence in their recommendation.
Ms. Abbott said that Mr. Perry had said that if it would make the neighbors happy he would forgo the towing aspect of his business so that there wouldn’t be a build-up of cars in his parking area. She also added that if this application moves forward that it is stated that the parking lot is for parking only and not storage.
Mr. Steffens said that if they decided on an eight-foot fence there would be nothing that would be seen inside of the parking lot. If he had a tow service, he doesn’t think that would be any part of it. There is no car that is going to be visible behind an eight-foot fence.
Ms. Abbott said that you get animals that pile up in old storage cars that sit there forever and ever.
Mr. Steffens said that he’s not going to leave them stored there. He’s going to tow them in, fix them and send them away. Mr. Steffens asked Mr. Perry about the towing service.
Mr. Perry answered that
his towing service consists of disabled vehicles now, but he was also wanting
to possibly pursue a towing contract with the Public Safety Department with the
Mr. Steffens asked how long a car stays in his lot.
Mr. Perry said that right now he hauls one or two every two or three weeks and he calls in to have it picked up for scrap. He monitors it because he doesn’t want it sitting there any longer than it has to.
Mr. Boor said that he understood Mr. Perry to say that he would store any towed vehicle up front after 10:00-11:00 pm and delay moving it to the back parking lot until daylight hours.
Ms. Newsom asked about the two shifts, 7:00am-3:00pm and 1:00pm-9:00pm. She asked if that was for the service station or the tow service or both.
Mr. Perry said it was for both, which is what he does now.
MOTION: By Mr. Whitton, second by Ms. Newsom to approve the Rezoning and Revised Site Plan at 5720 N. Oak Trafficway adding an 8’ wood privacy fence along the back of the proposed parking lot, tapering down to six feet on the sides.
Chairman Hill said that he will be abstaining because of a professional relationship between one of his partners and the applicant.
Mr. Whitton stated that he is closer to this than anyone else because he has suffered through this two bay operation before his expansion. This is a good project as pointed out on the site plan on Saturday. Everything is commercial up front. The only thing bad about it is the parking lot in the back. It is already zoned commercial and if that were back there, there is going to have to be a parking lot for those buildings and more water run-off. Mr. Whitton said that actually, they are probably cutting down the amount of water run-off with this project. The eight-foot fence with landscaping should shield it from the neighbors. This is probably the best plan they could find for this land, plus all this commercial is going to bring is some tax dollars. He will be voting in favor of the project.
Mr. Boor stated that he can feel for the neighbors because
he has lived where he has had apartments around him. In looking at the property, it looks like
there could be a good chance that apartments or multi-level buildings could go
in there, which would be a lot worse environment for the neighbors. It seems that it would certainly improve the
appearance of the approach from N. Oak, because it’s pretty ratty looking right
now. Mr. Perry has certainly stated that
his intent is to be a good neighbor. Mr.
Boor said that he does have some concerns about the stormwater, but he will
have to depend on the engineers and the City of
VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes
Ms. Alexander Yes
Mr. Shevling Yes
Mr. Whitton Yes
Mr. Revenaugh Yes
Ms. Abbott No
Mr. Steffens Yes
Chairman Hill Abstain
Mr. Boor Yes
The motion passed. (8-Yes, 1-No, 1-Abstain)
Item 6 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and the City Staff.
Mr. Wingerson stated
that the City Council is in
Ms. Mehaffy thanked those who attended the downtown project workshop last Thursday. If anyone did not get a chance to attend there is information available on the ed4gladstone website.
Counselor Ramsay said he was considering having some training sessions in January and asked if anyone would be interested. They could possibly be held before a regular Planning Commission meeting.
Chairman Hill said that would be a good idea, but to maybe wait until any new members would be appointed by the City Council.
Mr. Wingerson said some appointments may be made this coming Monday night.
Item 7 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.
No questions or concerns.
Item 8 on the Agenda: Adjournment.
Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:12 P.M.
______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____
Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary
______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____
Brian Hill, Chairman