2013 Agendas / Minutes

MINUTES
ROGERS PLANNING COMMISSION
APRIL 25, 2013

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting of the Rogers Planning Commission was held on April 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. was called to order with Commissioners Martin, Meadows, Denker, Knapp, Swanson, Ende, Terhaar and Burr were present.

Also present were City Planning Consultant Steve Grittman, Deputy Clerk Splett and Councilmember Ihli.

Member(s) excused: Busch.

OPEN FORUM
No one wished to speak.

SET AGENDA
The Agenda was set as submitted.

The following was added under "Other Business"
• Discussion on RE-5
• Discussion on Adult Uses
• Discussion on Planning Commission dress code

CONSENT AGENDA*
A. Approval of the March 28, 2013 Planning Commission Minutes
Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded a motion to approve the March 28, 2013 Planning Commission Minutes with the correction of removing Knapp from being in attendance.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. Public Hearing to Consider the Following Requests by CSM Corporation:
• Rezoning of approximately 2 acres from R2 Single Family Residential to LI, Limited Industry
• Preliminary and Final Plat Approval of CSM Rogers
• Site Plan Approval for the Construction of a 271,145 sq.ft. Office/Warehouse Building
Planning Consultant Grittman provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Majority of the property is zoned L-I with an approximately 2 acre parcel zoned as R-2, Single Family Residential
• Preliminary and final plat with provide 1 lot
• Site plan shows a 271,000 sq.ft. office/warehouse building
• Property will have access off of South Diamond Lake Road
• There should be 3 separate motions for this application

There was a brief discussion by the Planning Commission relating to:
• Retain wall
• Nurp ponds to the north of this property are zoned L-I, not R-2, Single Family Residential

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
John Ferrier, CSM Corporation: I want to thank the staff for all of the work that they have done with us. With me tonight is Tom Palmquist, CSM Corporation and Clark Wicklund, Alliant Engineering, Inc. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have tonight.
Commissioner Meadows inquired if they had an interested party.
Tom Palmquist, CSM Corporation: No, we do not have a specific client yet. We want to be prepared.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Ende seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

There was a brief discussion by the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of the rezoning of approximately 2 acres from R-2 Single Family Residential to L-I, Limited Industry.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Ende moved, Commissioner Martin seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary and Final Plat of CSM Rogers and site plan approval.

There was a brief discussion that this should be a motion only for the preliminary/final plat approval not the site plan. The site plan should have its own motion.

Commissioner Ende amended her motion to recommend approval of the preliminary and final plat of CSM Rogers, Commissioner Martin seconded the amended motion.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend Site Plan approval for the construction of a 271,145 sq.ft. office/warehouse building.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

B. Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Travel Centers of America for a Variance to Facilitate the Removal of an Existing Directional Sign and Replacing it With Two Directional Signs
Planning Consultant Grittman provided the background information commenting on the following:
• The existing legal non-conforming directional sign exceeds the square footage that is allowed
• Their request is to remove the existing directional sign and replace it with 2 signs
• Possible to comply with the code with the smaller signs

There was brief discussion by the Planning Commission relating to the existing sign location, existing size, sign is a legal non-conforming sign and proposed sign locations and size.

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Cory Scheidler, Cedar Corp introduced himself along with Larry Woods, Walton Signage. He provided an aerial photo locating the existing and proposed signs.
Cory Scheidler: We have met with the city a while ago on the site plan that was before you in January of this year. There were some concerns with the project like fire protection. One of the other things that were of concern was for better traffic signage, with the truck traffic intermingling. This area tends to get bottled up. Travel Centers is trying to work with the City of Rogers on providing this from a request at the meeting. Now it wasn't a written request, or a formal request, just a staff recommendation that we try to improve the signage. We are trying to provide better signage for the City of Rogers as was requested during this meeting.
Commissioner Martin: Who made the request for the signs?
Cory Scheidler: I am not exactly sure who it was, we were discussing public safety. Wasn't listed as a formal request, just had it noted as a discussion item that we had, that they would like to see this as part of the project.
Planner Grittman stated that we have checked with public safety staff and they did not recall requesting the signage changes, at least not for sign variances. I am not sure who the request came from.
Cory Scheidler: It was from the discussion of trying to make the flow out there better. The existing sign is 38 sq.ft. All we want to be able to do is to divide that signage in half and put it at the 2 entrances. We don't want to reduce the amount of square footage that we currently have, we just want to relocate it.
Commissioner Martin explained to Mr. Scheidler that the existing sign is a legal non-conforming sign. It can stay there as long as the use is there. The sign cannot be altered or increased in size, activity, or location, it cannot be moved, without a variance. When you try to vary from that at all, we are in a whole different situation.
Cory Scheidler: Can it be reconfigured? We want to keep the amount of square footage that we have, we do not want to reduce the square footage. Just want to take it and divide it into two signs. They are willing to bend to work with the City although they don't want to reduce the size. We are trying to make things better on Rogers Drive and trying to work with everyone.
Commissioner Martin stated that the variance laws are State Statutes that is something that we cannot work with you on.
Commissioner Denker commented that the laws are stricter than they were a couple of years ago. There is not much leeway at all for us to work with you.
Cory Scheidler: I was not aware of that change.
Commissioner Martin read the state statute summary from the packet to Mr. Scheidler. He stated that there are a lot of ins and outs along Rogers Drive and they all have the same rules, have the same little signs out there and operate very well. There is not a uniqueness to this property.
Larry Woods, Walton Signage: The signage would help the truck drivers over there. We sat over there and watched for approximately 1 hour and saw 5 trucks try to pull in before they figured they would not be able to make the turn, then they try to back up. We need the signs large enough for the drivers to see where they should go.
Commissioner Martin commented that truck drivers can see pretty well from up there. There are many, many directional signs along the road out there that do comply with the code. Is there no signs out there where you have A and B now?
Larry Woods: No there is not.
Commissioner Martin: Because you are trying to maintain C, is that correct?
Larry Woods: Yes, but they want to remove C. They want to divide C up, it's large enough to divide it up.
Commissioner Martin stated you have the ability to put signs out there that meet the code and give direction to whoever comes in over there. Just the same as Burger King, the gas station, the bank over there and everyone else. They all have the exit only, enter only, you can put cars only and you have that ability to do that if that is really what your problem is, you can solve it.
Commissioner Meadows asked what would be the square footage of those signs.
Commissioner Martin stated that they are 3 sq.ft. apiece.
Commissioner Denker stated the code states you can have up to 6 sq.ft.
Commissioner Meadows stated that there are difficulties that are unique to this property. I do see the uniqueness of this truck stop along this corner that is trying to direct trucks and cars into it.
Commissioner Martin stated these are traffic directional signs.
Commissioner Meadows inquired how do we split the truck traffic from the car traffic
Commissioner Martin stated that we didn't create that problem, the property owner did, he owns the truck stop. He has created his own dilemma, he created his own business. This is a city ordinance, his truck stop is built in the City
Commissioner Meadows stated what we are trying to do is to see if a variance does apply to this or does the language you read off apply to this. I'm not saying that it is to accommodate them, but to move their process along further at least for discussion. Uniqueness is the only truck stop in Rogers.
Commissioner Denker stated that a lot of truck stops have semis and cars coming in and out in the same location. Why is this one any different? Other truck stops rely on paving directional markings to direct autos vs. trucks.
Cory Scheidler: The traffic patterns have changed over the years. It is part of the function of the growth that has occurred within the City.
Commissioner Martin stated that the ordinance is not prohibiting them to use their property in a reasonable manor, and they are choosing not to.
Commissioner Burr inquired if half of the presentation board that Mr. Scheidler had would be approximately the size of a 3 sq. ft. directional sign.
Cory Scheidler: Yes, that would be the approximate size of the directional sign. With the speed out there, it would be hard to see when you are driving a big truck in heavy traffic.
Commissioner Denker stated that the speed limit there is 30 mph.
Commissioner Martin stated that this situation and McDonald's situation are very similar. They both can back up traffic. The both have trucks pulling in and out.
Cory Scheilder: Just to point out we aren't trying to improve the traffic, we are trying to alleviate the congestion on Rogers Drive.
Commissioner Knapp stated that both of the entrances have left hand turn lanes, so there shouldn't be the congestion. They should be able to see what they are doing. The road was designed for those entrances.
Cory Scheidler: I think that if the congestion out there wasn't an issue, we wouldn't be here this evening presenting this request to you folks.
Commissioner Martin stated the he believes that they have the ability and the right to put a 3 sq.ft. sign out at both of those entrances identifying what they are for. Everybody else along there does it. I understand that you are trying to keep your square footage that you currently have, but it does you no good where it is sitting on the property.
Cory Scheilder: Essentially what we would be doing is taking that existing sign square footage and splitting it into two signs. We are not increasing the amount of signage, just relocating the square footage that is there.
Commissioner Martin stated that once you move that sign, it is no longer a legal non-conforming sign.
Commissioner Denker commented that it is not an ideal situation. You could use A and have it be 6 sq.ft. for cars only and have the semis go through to the next entrance. You could use line directional striping within the property to move the vehicles. Unfortunately, we are tied by the variance standards.
Cory Scheidler: You did do some checking then Steve, that there was nobody in public safety that formally requested. So we don't have any issues with the City so far as not doing any of the signage?
Planner Grittman: We did check and nobody suggested that they were the one to raise the sign issue.
Commissioner Denker asked if the owner was willing to go down to the 3 sq.ft. each.
Cory Scheidler: That will have to be discussed with them. IN our conversation today, he wants to keep the signage that he has. He is willing to work with the City. We took the time to meet with everyone in the beginning and had discussions. I think they are proactive and will work with the City.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend denial of the variance request, as the applicant does have the ability to place a 3 sq.ft. auxiliary sign at each entrance and the aspects of this site do not appear to be unique from other properties in the City's business areas in a way that would support raised sign standards, subject to the following findings:
1. The ordinance permits existing non-conformities to remain, but not be changed in a way that creates new non-conforming conditions.
2. The site in question has significant frontage on the public street.
3. The site in question exceeds allowable sign area in other ways.
4. The applicant can construct auxiliary directional signs in the proposed locations, but with smaller dimensions to meet the ordinance.
5. Signs constructed to meet the requirements of the code would be visible to passing traffic, similar to other business property in the area.
6. There do not appear to be unique conditions on the subject property that would support differential treatment for this parcel..

On the vote, members Burr, Swanson, Martin, Denker, Knapp and Ende voted AYE and member Meadows voted NAY. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS
A. Approval of Eileen Erickson Land Division
Planning Consultant Grittman provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Property was platted to Highpoint Church Addition
• City acquiring the property for park development in that area

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• There is no future development of the property at this time
• Timeframe for the park development

Commissioner Meadows moved, Commissioner Ende seconded a motion to recommend approval of the proposed subdivision based on findings that the lots meet the City's requirements for R-2 zoning and additional future development can occur given access to the remainder of the property.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS
A. Comprehensive Plan – Update on Revisions to Plan following Annexation
Planning Consultant Grittman commented that the combining of the two comprehensive plans has not been as easy as it would appear. The data sources have been PDFs not the GIS files so that entails additional work. Once the map aspect is completed, we can update the text, compile various data sets. Even though the same company did both the Hassan Township and the Rogers comprehensive plans, they are very different. I expect to have a draft of the combined comprehensive plan here next month with a report. We should be able to wrap this up by May or June.

No action required.

B. Discussion Regarding the Agricultural District
Planning Consultant Grittman commented that with the consolidation of the Rogers and Hassan codes, the agricultural district that Rogers had is not applicable to the rural areas of the former Hassan properties. There are a few items within the code that should be amended.

The consensus of the Planning Commission is to hold a public hearing at the May meeting.

C. Discussion Regarding the B-3 District
Planning Consultant Grittman stated that Commissioner Martin presented a request to consider amendments to the B-3 District relating to outdoor display areas. This was something that was discussed and recommended by the Joint Planning Board.

The consensus of the Planning Commission is to hold a public hearing at the May meeting.

D. Discussion Regarding the RE-5 District
Commissioner Martin stated that the language in f(8) should be clarified. He suggested adding language such as "unless developed under the open space development standards".

The consensus of the Planning Commission is to hold a public hearing at the May meeting.

E. Adult Use Regulations
Planning Consultant Grittman stated that this will be on the May Planning Commission agenda.

No action required.

F. Dress Code
Commissioner Martin stated that there was a consensus of the City Council to wear casual attire during the summer months, Memorial Day through Labor Day. He suggested that the Planning Commission also have that option.

No action required.

G. Hardee's Lighting
Planning Consultant Grittman provided an update on this on-going issue. Another notice has been sent to the owner. The City has been notified that the Letter of Credit is set to expire and if there are any outstanding issues they should be taken care of. There is also a maintenance problem with keeping the property mowed.

No action required.

ADJOURN
Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Martin seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Members

Bernie Terhaar
Alternate #1
Bruce Gorecki
Member
Carl Knapp
Member
Dennis Meadows
Member
Dick Martin
Member
Kevin Jullie
Member
Steve Swanson
Member
Rick Ihli
City Council
Keith Neis
Member