Granville Community Calendar

Planning Commission Minutes April 7, 2008



April 7, 2008




Members Present: Gina Reeves, Tim Riffle, Tom Mitchell, Jack Burriss, Tim Ryan (Chair), and Jackie O’Keefe (non-voting).

Members Absent: None.

Staff Present: Village Planner, Alison Terry, Village Manager, Don Holycross, and Assistant Law Director, Crites.

Visitors Present: Mr. and Mrs. Sagaria, Ben Barton, Dan Rogers, Barbara Franks, Sharon Sellito.


Old Business:


Review of the Village Gateway District Text – Restaurant Provisions

Ms. Terry explained that it was not her intent to strike the word “alcoholic” in Section (8) of the drive-ins/drive-ups/drive-through definitions and this is an error she will correct. 


Councilmember O’Keefe inquired on how Ms. Terry arrived at drive-thru sales totaling 35% in Section (8)(c).  Ms. Terry explained that they will need a specific number from whoever submits for this purpose.  She stated that the Village would have the authority to request a yearly audit to ensure that drive-thru sales are maintained under 35%.  She stated that an audit can be made part of a conditional use and if there is a violation the permit could be revoked. 


Mr. Mitchell stated that the presented definition is terrific and he appreciated the backup documents listing even more information.  He went on to say that he would only question how they can apply all of the criteria listed in Section (8) – a, b, c, and d. 

a)                  Restaurant service model: Food shall be served or picked up at the counter

b)                  Food shall be made to order

c)                  Drive-thru sales:  35% or less of the overall business can be comprised of Drive-through sales.

d)                  Upscale Décor: Padded or upholstered chairs, carpeting and background music shall be common element designs.

Examples of fast casual restaurants may include:  Atlantic Bread Company, Boston Market, Chipotle, City Barbeque, Cosi, Fazoli’s, Fuddruckers, Panera Bread, Penn Station, and Potbelly Sandwich Works. 


Mr. Mitchell stated that the majority of the examples listed cannot meet the above stated criteria.  He suggested that the language could be rearranged to state “such as” or “criteria that shall be considered” rather than “shall be.”  Mr. Burriss agreed that “upscale décor” could be subjective.  Ms. Reeves suggested stating “upscale décor and design elements.” 

Manager Holycross stated that the staff can work on adjusting the language, but they need to know if the Planning Commission is in agreement regarding the 35% drive-thru sales.  Mr. Burriss stated that the 35% drive-thru sales needs to have some clarification as to how and when it is determined.  He stated that this should be specified in the Code.  Ms. Reeves suggested leaving the language examples of fast casual restaurants out of the Code.  Mr. Riffle and Mr. Ryan believed that there needed to be some examples listed.  Ms. Terry stated that Ms. Crites has advised that they need to be careful not to regulate the interior of the establishments.  Mr. Ryan noted that the Planning Commission seems to be in agreement over criteria a, b, and c and further discussion and/or changes need to be made with criteria (d).  Councilmember O’Keefe stated that the original purpose of this is to minimize the traffic impact and the 35% stipulation regarding drive-thru sales should nail this.  Mr. Burriss cautioned that an accountant could find a way to manipulate the 35% drive-thru sales and perhaps they need stronger language.  He stated that perhaps there also needs to be strong language regarding accountability.  Manager Holycross stated that the staff can certainly address these concerns.  Ms. Terry stated that one option might be to remove criteria (d) regarding upscale décor.  Mr. Mitchell stated that he feels this would be good since “upscale décor” can be hard to qualify.  The Planning Commission agreed that items a, b, and c should remain and the language should be strong enough to make them all “required.”  Mr. Ryan asked that the final changes be made to the proposed language and be brought before the Planning Commission at their next meeting so that they could make a recommendation to Village Council on this last item.  


New Business:

Public Hearing on Proposed General Zoning Code Revisions, to amend Sections 1109.11, 1133.03, 1135.01, 1137.01, 1137.02, 1137.05, 1137.07, 1137.08, 1139.05, 1139.06, 1141.04, 1141.05, 1141.06, 1143.04, 1145.03, 1145.04, 1147.03, 1147.04, 1149.01, 1149.02, 1149.03, 1159.02, 1159.03, 1159.04, 1159.05, 1161.01, 1161.02, 1161.03, 1163.01, 1163.02, 1163.03, 1167.02, 1167.03, 1175.02, 1175.04, 1175.05,  1183.01, 1183.03, and 1189.03, and to amend and change the section number of Sections 1137.03, 1137.04, 1137.05, 1137.06, 1137.07 and 1137.08, and To Enact New Sections 1137.03, 1137.10, 1157.14, 1157.15 Of The Codified Ordinances Of The Village Of Granville, Ohio.


Barbara Franks, 210 East Maple Street, stated that she had many concerns over the proposed Ordinance and she was quite upset to see the pages and pages of new rules.  Mr. Ryan asked if they could go over one page of the document at a time and address her concerns.  Ms. Franks agreed.  Mr. Ryan swore in Ms. Franks.


Ms. Franks stated that she had a problem with the definition and changes regarding an accessory building.  Ms. Terry explained what is considered as an “accessory building.”  Ms. Franks stated that her building in the rear of her property has a separate address and was located on the property before the home.  She went on to say that there is a case before the Ohio Supreme court right now regarding the sale of alcohol in an accessory building and it is being argued that it is illegal to hurt the value of property by limiting what a property owner can or cannot do.  Ms. Franks stated that she was informed of this case by the Alcohol Commission.  Mr. Riffle stated that if you use this logic of restricting property rights it would be ok for a neighbor to run a pig farm out of their garage.  Ms. Franks stated that this is not a good example because livestock requires five acres.  Assistant Law Director Crites stated that she would look into this Supreme Court case and get information back to the Planning Commission.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked that it also be forwarded to Council.  The Planning Commission also discussed whether or not Ms. Franks rear building would be considered as an “accessory structure.”  Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if it would be an “accessory structure” since it has its own address.  Mr. Mitchell stated that much of this would depend on whether or not there is a “Change of Use” granted.  Mr. Ryan stated that the Commission has treated Ms. Frank’s property as two principle buildings.  Manager Holycross stated that there could be a situation where the two buildings are not subordinate to one another.  Ms. Franks noted that she is not only speaking out regarding her own property, but also other businesses in the community.  She stated that Mr. Mershon’s rear building is not considered to be an “accessory structure.”  She also stated that if the Village wants to encourage businesses within the Village these types of regulations are not encouraging.   


Mr. Ryan questioned why there was new language regarding a “Certificate of Occupancy.”  Ms. Terry stated that this is a changeover.  There was also a question by the Commission regarding the proposed definition of a “driveway”.  Ms. Terry stated that she would research other codes and the access management plan to get a better definition of “driveways.”  Mr. Burriss stated that she may want to research how many times the word “driveway” is referred to in the Code and if a definition is even needed.


In Section (38) Ms. Franks questioned if the word “portable” meant a mobile home.  Mr. Ryan states that this means a home not on a permanent foundation. 


Ms. Franks questioned the language in Section (79).  Ms. Terry stated that the words “means the” were added to be consistent with other language throughout the document.  Ms. Franks stated that the original wording in this section made more sense. 


Ms. Franks questioned the language added in Section (96).  Mr. Riffle explained that this defines what a “recreational vehicle” is. 


Ms. Franks stated that she believes the word “permanent” should remain in Section (107).  Mr. Mitchell stated that this is redundant language.  Ms. Franks stated that being redundant here makes more sense.  Mr. Mitchell stated that including the language – “, including anything erected for the purpose of storage” – makes this area in the Code much clearer.  The Planning Commission did not request any changes to Section (107). 


Ms. Franks stated that the language added to Section 1109.11 Public Hearings is “great.”  Ms. Terry explained that this language was added because the Planning Commission and BZBA are currently not consistent with regards to mailing out notifications.  She stated that this will ensure that first class mailings and certificate of mailings are consistent with each board. 


Ms. Franks suggested keeping the word “clearly” in Section 1133.03 (b) – which was previously stricken from the Code.  Mr. Riffle did not see a need to change this language. 


In Section (e) on page thirteen (13), Ms. Franks stated that the continuation of a hearing has no time element and she would like to see this addressed.  Mr. Riffle stated that the rule to decide on the matter at either of the next two subsequent meetings is not enough.  Mr. Mitchell stated that he agrees that a decision should not be open-ended and allowed to drag out forever and a citizen should not have to file a law suit in order to have a decision rendered.  Moreover he stated that it could discourage developers.  Mr. Ryan stated that typically an applicant requests a continuation or tabling of an application with the BZBA and Planning Commission.  Assistant Law Director Crites agreed to further research this matter and get back to the Planning Commission. 


Mr. Riffle stated that Section (4)(D) “Any other person who claims a direct present injury or prejudice to any personal or property right or interest if the application is approved or denied” can be interpreted as “too open ended”  He stated this was the case in a recent situation with an individual claiming to be negatively impacted when their address was not close to the applicant being disputed.  Mr. Riffle stated that as the Code reads currently – a person just has to claim they are negatively impacted, but they don’t necessarily have to prove it.  Mr. Mitchell stated that in the case referenced by Mr. Riffle the Law Director advised the Planning Commission to hear the testimony and error on the side of inclusion and they can decide at a later time if the testimony should be allowed.  Ms. Reeves argued that the witness should show substantiation to what they are saying.  Mr. Mitchell suggested having the person wishing to testify submit a written claim that demonstrates present injury or prejudice.  Ms. Franks stated that any developer will not be in favor of Section (4)(D).  Ms. Terry stated that she will look at the language in Section (4)(D) and add language requiring a written claim. 

Mr. Riffle stated that he is not in favor of the new language in Section (j) on page fourteen (14).  He stated that if the member’s of the Planning Commission are appointed by Council they should let them do the job they appointed them to do.  Mr. Ryan and Ms. Reeves agreed and questioned why they should review items that could potentially be remanded by Council.  Ms. Terry explained that typically appeals of decisions of either the Planning Commission or Board of Zoning and Building Appeals in other communities/municipalities go directly to the Court of Common Pleas, but in our municipality they go to Council.  Mr. Riffle asked why a development plan for a PCD goes to Council.  Ms. Terry stated that a PCD is required to be reviewed and approved by Council, is formally adopted by Ordinance and has a thirty (30) day appeal process. 


The Planning Commission discussed language not being consistent with the provisions for the TCOD (Transportation Corridor Overlay District) and Ms. Terry agreed to look at this.  Ms. Terry explained that the new language in Section 11371.02 is “general cleanup.”


Ms. Franks questioned how long it will be until the Village Planner needs help to do all of the jobs listed in the Code.  Manager Holycross stated that this language simply clarifies existing duties being done today and this is not creating any new job positions. 


The Planning Commission discussed a revision in the Code which allows the Village Manager to appeal to Council (the same as a resident) on any ruling by the Planning Commission or BZBA.  


Mr. Mitchell asked if Ms. Terry could address whether or not Section 1137.03 pertaining to Zoning Permits is new language which makes changes or simply relocating language from other parts of the Code.  Ms. Terry agreed to look at this and get back to the Planning Commission.


The Planning Commission discussed Section (b) on page eighteen (18) regarding “Refundable Deposit on Construction of Improvements Costing Greater than $25,000 – and a bond or cash deposit.” Mr. Riffle stated that agrees that the Village should be protected and all contractors should be able to show financial responsibility.  He stated that there are many municipalities that require a contractor to be licensed to work there.  Ms. Terry stated that some municipalities embrace having licensed contractors, while others don’t.  Mr. Mitchell stated that the Village should require liability insurance and he does not think it is necessary for contractors to post a $5000 cash deposit or bond.  Moreover, Mr. Mitchell stated that he believes this is a bad idea.  Ms. Franks stated that the cash deposit amount ($5,000) seems high.  Manager Holycross speculated that the Village will receive some negative feedback regarding the $5000 to protect the Village.  He stated that the contractor would have an option of a bond or the $5000 cash deposit that he guessed would go into a non-bearing interest account.  Manager Holycross stated that a bond can be more difficult to collect on than having cash on hand.  Mr. Mitchell questioned how much damage has been done in the Village by contractors and could Terry Hopkins answer this.  Ms. Terry mentioned a recent contractor error in the Bryn Du development.  Mr. Riffle was in agreement that a contractor should have to post a bond which protects any damage done to the Village and shows the contractor’s financial responsibility.  Ms. Terry stated that the Village does have the option to hold a permit, stop work order, or file an injunction if damage is done to Village property.  The Planning Commission later clarified that this part of the Ordinance only pertains to new building renovations.  Manager Holycross stated that the monies would be due at the time of the application and not when the application is approved.  Mr. Mitchell stated that this would need to be further addressed.  Manager Holycross and Ms. Terry stated that they would further research options to this section that would still protect the Village.          


The Planning Commission ended their discussion of the Proposed Zoning Code Regulations at page eighteen (18) and stated that they would continue their discussion beginning with page nineteen (19) at their next regularly scheduled meeting if time permitted.


Adjournment: 9:06 PM. 

Mr. Mitchell moved to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting, seconded by Mr. Riffle.  Motion carried 5-0. 



Next meetings:

April 14, 2008

April 28, 2008

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