Nolensville Planning Commission
July 14, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Board Members Present: Jimmy Alexander, Andy Grosson, Bob Haines, Jeff Hepler, Rick Owens, Douglas Radley, Willis Wells and Frank Wilson
Board Members Absent: Mayor Beth Lothers
Staff Present: Henry Laird, Attorney Bob Notestine, Cathi Little, Bob Hayes and John Strasser
Citizens Present: 14
The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman Rick Owens.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance was led by Commissioner Frank Wilson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Commissioner Willis Wells made a motion to approve the minutes from the June 9, 2009, Planning Commission Meeting. Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion. After discussion regarding typos, the minutes, as amended, were approved unanimously.
Mr. Bennett encouraged the allowance of more Bed and Breakfasts, as they are not only businesses, but they are a welcome to new people. He also stated that when he used to go into Town Hall, he always left mad; but he wanted Mayor and the Commission know the ladies that are there now are helpful, gracious, and have the most marvelous attitudes.
Commissioner Jimmy Alexander introduced Jeff Hepler, the new Planning Commission Member.
Town Planner Henry Laird reviewed this item, stating the applicant installed a wall sign without obtaining a sign permit. After it was brought to their attention, they applied for a sign permit, but were turned down, as the colors do not meet our standards.
George Dean, Attorney for owner, apologized for not applying for the sign permit before installing the sign, the owner did not realize that was a requirement. He stated that after reviewing the Town’s sign regulations, it appears that this sign meets all requirements except for the colors. He also noted that the building is set back off the road by approximately 250 feet. Mr. Dean further stated that the owner is put in a difficult position, as he has already invested approximately $50,000 into this franchise, which may be jeopardized if the sign isn’t allowed.
Mr. Laird pointed out that the goal of the sign regulations was to promote high standards of design for the community, create a strong sense of identity and a “sense of place” that would not only be good aesthetically, but good for the Town economically.
There was some discussion that the black and white sign colors came from a recommendation by the Design Review Committee, approved by the Planning Commission and BOMA, and that existing signs in color were grandfathered in when the new Sign Ordinance passed.
The applicant, Mr. Sam Hyun spoke regarding the difficult economic times and the need for business to survive and create jobs for our community.
After much more discussion, Commissioner Wilson made a motion to approve the applicant’s request to keep the current sign; Commissioner Bob Haines seconded the motion. Upon a vote being taken, the motion passed 5 to 3; with Commissioners Haines, Radley, Grosson, Wells and Wilson for, and Commissioners Alexander, Hepler and Owens against.
2. Dr. Harr Building Site Plan (changes to window and doorframes).
Henry Laird stated the agreement was to test paint and choose either brown or black, whichever looked the best. The consensus was that the brown looked the best. As of this date, approximately one-half of the windows and door frames have been painted, and it looks very nice.
3. Report on Amendment to subdivision regulations to add signature block for electric utility.
Henry Laird stated that the electric utility hasn’t responded to the Town’s proposed changes in the signature block.
4. Report from last BOMA meeting.
Commissioner Alexander reported that the 2nd reading of ordinance 09-08, to annex land east of Haley Industrial Park was approved. The public hearing was also held on ordinance 09-10 that pertains to day care centers in religious institutions.
5. Bond Actions – None
6. Approve Bond Report
Commissioner Wilson made a motion to approve the Bond Report, Chairman Owens seconded; the motion passed unanimously.
7. Discussion of procedure of Planning Commission and Bylaws, presentations of applicants, etc. Discussion of agenda items, motions per bylaws.
There was some discussion of the proper procedures for handling agenda items, motions, citizen comments, etc., per the bylaws.
8. Discussion of interest in amending zoning ordinance to allow Bed and Breakfast facilities in SR zone by permitted with conditions.
Henry Laird stated a property owner had contacted him asking if it could be a bed and breakfast. Currently, that isn’t an allowed use in SR zone. He further stated that there is a lot of rural area in the SR zone that could be used for a Bed and Breakfast. After some discussion, it was determined that there is interest in pursuing this change.
9. Discussion of the need to revise the signage design color allowance.
Henry Laird stated that there have been many discussions regarding the possibility of allowing more flexibility in colors on signs. Some of the options suggested were: keep it as it is, black and white only; to allow black, white and neutral colors; to allow a “splash” of color, such as in a small percentage of the size of the sign.
It was decided that Matt Happel, of the Design Review Committee, will arrange another field trip for Commission members to see what other cities are doing.
10. Consider the need to revise the Parking Lot Design Standards for the front of buildings in the CS/CCO zoning districts.
Joe Epps, engineer for Mr. Yazdian, stated that current and potential tenants are having issues that there isn’t enough parking in front of the buildings. They are requesting to add a second row of parking in front of the new building, and reducing the size of the building to accommodate that.
After much discussion, it was decided that Mr. Laird will provide a proposed change to the zoning ordinance for the Commission to review at the next meeting. The proposed change would allow 2 rows of parking in front of buildings in the CS/CCO zone.
Attorney Bob Notestine suggested that, in the interest of time, the applicant go before the Board of Zoning Appeals to ask for a variance, as it will take several months to pass a change to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance.
11. Discuss possible Commissioner training.
Commissioners are required to have 4 hours of training per year. There is a training session on August 31st in Hendersonville from 4:30 – 8:30 that the Commissioners may be interested in attending. The topic is “Reclaiming the Strip, Redevelopment and Design Strategies for Transforming Highway Corridors into Mixed Use Centers.”
12. Discussion regarding changes to Sign Regulations (Appendix A, Zoning Ordinance) as it deals with Temporary Signs for new and/or relocated businesses.
Henry Laird summarized this item stating that it has been brought to staff’s attention that new businesses are currently limited to 14 days for temporary signs. Most times it takes more than 2 weeks to have a new sign installed. The proposed addition of an item C to section 1.11.4 of Appendix A of the Zoning Ordinance is as follows:
1.11.4 C. New Business signs Such signs may be erected for a new or relocated business until a permanent sign is permitted and installed, not to exceed 90 days, unless extended by the Mayor or his/her designee.
Commissioner Haines made a motion to approve. Commissioner Radley seconded; the motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:46 p.m.
Planning Commission Secretary