City of Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission met on Monday September 12, 2011 at 7:00 P. M. at the City Administration Building, 400 N. High Street. Members present: Chairman, Scott Daffron, Vice-Chairman, Bill Sasse, Charlie Peck, Scott Rowley, and Jim Chubb. Also present were Mayor Curt Moll, Service Director, Don Wittman and the following individuals:

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Dan Cuckovich†††††††††† 1250 May Dr.†††††††††††† Lordstown†††††† †††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Karl Griena††††††††††††††† 228 Robbies Run†††††† Cortland†††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lisa Bellin††††††††††††††††† 236 Robbies Run†††††† Cortland†††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Todd Metzendorf†††††† Cortland Fire††††††††††††† Cortland

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING Ė 6:45 PM

 

Scott Daffron:Today is Monday, September 12, 2011.Iíd like to call to order the Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission for the purpose of Public Hearing 14-11 - Variance Request to the sign ordinance 415 S. High St.- Various businesses Ė LandQuest.Request is to exceed the area requirement for a ground mounted sign at business with three or more occupants to twelve square feet.

 

Scott Daffron: Do we have roll?

 

Roll Call:Bill Sasse, here; Scott Rowley, here; Scott Daffron, here; Charles Peck, here; Jim Chubb, here.

 

Scott Daffron: Who do we have to represent this variance request tonight?

 

Dan Cuckovich:I am Dan Cuckovich with Cardinal Signs.We are going to be going to work on the sign Ė lowering it.

 

Scott Daffron: How many businesses currently exist in there?

 

Dan Cuckovich: I believe thereís one.

 

Scott Daffron:I mean business fronts.

 

Dan Cuckovich:Pardon me?

 

Scott Daffron:Business fronts.

 

Don Wittman:There is a total of four suites.

 

Mayor Moll: Two are unoccupied at this time.Thereís a Hallmark store, Movie Gallery, hair salon and pizza place.

 

Scott Rowley: I was just curious whether there was any intention to break up the Movie Gallery into more possible suites.

 

Jim Chubb: Thereís a lot of rumors for that.

 

Mayor Moll:There wererumors that they were going to combine that with something else.

 

Don Wittman: Well either way for the purpose of the sign ordinance itís three to ten triggers the next additional so I doubt they will split it out to where you would have ten.And consolidation wise I doubt they would go less than three.

 

Scott Rowley: The one kinda question I had is they show $4,600 as the cost of remounting the sign.

 

Dan Cuckovich:Yes.

 

Scott Daffron:Does that include the panels?We donít have a description of what panels.You knowÖ what the sign is actually going to look like.What I have is a frame.

 

Dan Cuckovich:Well thatís pretty much all itís going to be until the businesses are determinedthatís going in there.That each panel will submit for a new zone request.

 

Scott Daffron:So each panelÖ like their showing five panels right now?Is that correct?

 

Dan Cuckovich:Correct.Yes.

 

Charles Peck:The size says six foot by twelve foot.

 

Mayor Moll: Yes.Itís the same frame thatís there now, right?

 

Dan Cuckovich: Yes.Thatís correct.

 

Mayor Moll: That was the main reason for the (inaudible).

 

Scott Daffron:The only question I wanted to ask on that is the frame itself.If they were to change that what would be the cost?To bring that within the ordinances.Do you have any idea?

 

Dan Cuckovich: I mean Iíd be purely guessing.

 

Scott Daffron:Would you have any idea?

 

Bill Sasse:Is that the only reason they are requesting a larger sign bigger than our ordinances is because they could use the existing frame?

 

Dan Cuckovich: That is correct.Yeah.

 

Scott Daffron:Thatís why I was curious what the cost would be.

 

Dan Cuckovich: Um. For that size.Probably double that. (inaudible)

 

Charles Peck:Is that top space Ė the big space Ė is that going to be designated with the name of the plaza or is that going to be for one of the individual stores?

 

Dan Cuckovich:They havenít disclosed any of that to me.What theyíre going to do.Itís kinda lended itself to that.But they are in negotiations with a couple tenants and probable tenants.

 

Bill Sasse:†† And they are going to lower the sign?

 

Dan Cuckovich: They are going to lower the sign.

 

Bill Sasse:But itís still going to hang over the sidewalk?

 

Dan Cuckovich: No.

 

Bill Sasse:It wonít hang over the sidewalk?

 

Dan Cuckovich:It wonít impede the sidewalk traffic.No.

 

Bill Sasse:Good.

 

Charles Peck: Will there be a possibility ofa visual problem for people pulling out onto High St. if the sign is lowered?Or is going to be set back far enough?

 

Dan Cuckovich:I pulled in myself a few times and looked.The road does angle back some as your looking to the left but it wasnítÖ I mean in my opinion it wasnít a dangerous option.

 

Charles Peck:I had a hard time visualizing an eight foot sign.Iím guessing two feet under the bottom?

 

Dan Cuckovich: Yeah.

 

Charles Peck:Would that impair your vision for traffic? Donít get me wrong.Weíre not arguing with you about the sign.We are pleased.We are very happy that you are lowering the sign.Thatís the direction we want to go.I just want to make sure weíre not making a mistake at that location.

 

Dan Cuckovich: What theyíre going to do to lower the sign.. I mean, it didnít appear to me, you know, that is was going to block your view of oncoming traffic.

 

Don Wittman:Charlie, I believe when that was initially developed that had the ten foot setback requirement.Where there was that green space left behind the sidewalk and with the sidewalk and the approach I believe a car when leaving is going to have adequate sight distance coming out of there because itís going to be clear of the right away.Typically you run into that situation on a corner but being youíre on a straight away with the sign it should not be causing any visual impact for seeing oncoming traffic.

 

Charles Peck:Okay.Thank you Don.

 

Scott Daffron:Any other questions?Anybody else in the audience would like to speak for the variance request?†† Anybody would like to speak against the variance request?†† Can I have a motion closed?

 

Charles Peck made a motion to close Public Hearing 14-11, seconded by Jim Chubb.

 

Roll Call:Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes; Scott Rowley, yes; Jim Chubb, yes, Bill Sasse, yes.MOTION APPROVED.

 

Scott Daffron:That just basically completes the public hearing portion of it.We have to wait to 7:00.

 

REGULAR MEETING Ė 7:00 pm

 

Scott Daffron:Today is Monday, September 12, 2011.Iíd like to call to order the Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission.Can we have roll?

Roll Call: Jim Chubb, here; Scott Rowley, here; Bill Sasse, here; Scott Daffron, here; Charles Peck, here.

 

Scott Daffron:Can I have a motion for approval of commission minutes for August 22, 2011.

 

Scott Rowley made a motion to approve August 22, 2011 minutes, seconded by Jim Chubb.

Roll Call:Jim Chubb, yes; Scott Daffron, yes; Scott Rowley, yes; Charles Peck, yes; Bill Sasse, yes.MOTION APPROVED.

 

Scott Daffron:No old business on the agenda.And moving onto new business can I have a motion for approval of 14-11 Variance requested to the sign ordinance Ė 415 S. High St. Ė Request is to exceed the area requirement for a ground mounted sign at a business with three or more occupants by twelve square feet.

Bill Sasse made a motion for approval of 14-11, seconded by Jim Chubb.

 

Scott Daffron: Any further discussion on this?

 

Bill Sasse: Yes. I have two things to say.When we first started changing our sign ordinances we decided that we wanted a certain size.As you notice every time somebody comes in and wants a new sign there getting small like we originally planned on. We got rid of several larger ones Ė ah, the McDonalds sign because they moved and we made Walgreens put in a smaller sign.We did this for a reason.We did this for a long term look.The way Cortland is going to be.They way Cortland is going to look long term.Ah.This place where this sign is going to go in you can see every one of those businesses from the road fairly easily.You can see the signs on their business fairly easily.A large sign on the road is not going to make a difference as far as seeing the business.I see no reason to give a variance for the pure fact that itís going to cost the people money to put up the new sign.Thatís not what our variance is for and itís not a hardship.We have a sign ordinance, we did it for a reason, hereís a chance to get rid of one of the larger signs in town.I think we should do it.

 

Scott Daffron: Anybody else?

 

Don Wittman: I justÖ you know.Youíre not guaranteed that they are going to come back with a ground mounted sign thatís within twelve square fit of what we require for occupants. We set the single occupancy at 48 square feet for a ground mounted sign and 32 square feet for a pole mounted.If they have to go through this expense of reducing and creating a new frame they may choose to keep it elevated sign and go down to the 48 square feet so they can improve visibility. You knowÖ itís just something to consider.

 

Bill Sasse:Well theyíd have to bring that before us when they change it so at that point we can make our decision.†† But as far as this one is concerned thatís the way I feel.

 

Don Wittman:Bill, Iím not saying anything (inaudible).

 

Bill Sasse: I know.

 

Don Wittman:Youíve explained how you feel.†† Iím just saying if they come back with a new submission we donít know what itís going to be like.They may go to the pole mount.They could go to the pole mount and they could move for every foot they move it back they can exceed from the right of way line they can exceed the area requirement by a foot.So, they could have a 60 square foot sign elevated in the middle of their parking lot it they so choose.Whereas loweringÖ you knowÖ I guess I disagree and I see that..

 

Bill Sasse:Iím just trying to see what the Cortland is going to be like 50 years from now, Don.Thatís all Iím hoping for.

 

Don Wittman: And if I do recall Walgreens did get an area variance for their ground mounted sign at their new facility.

 

Bill Sasse: 46 has got whatÖ seven or eight buildings/businesses in it.All they have is a monument sign out front.You can see every one of those names on it.

 

Don Wittman: Well you havenít had the calls from Belleria Pizza on a daily basis trying to get a sign out front because you know where itís at.But when you have transient people going through the community they donít know whatís in that plaza.

 

Bill Sasse: Iím just trying to follow our sign ordinance.

 

Don Wittman:Can I finish my thought?

 

Bill Sasse: Thatís the way I feel and a transient canít find Belleria Pizza? Thatís no reason for us to change our sign ordinance.

 

Scott Daffron:Normally I agree with you Bill in this case I do believe that $4,000 or $5,000 is a significant value in a sign when youíre looking at five businesses in a plaza.Um... I donít see that itís all that big.

 

Mayor Moll:Plus they are lowering it for us.

 

Scott Rowley:Yeah. I was kinda taking the other side also Bill only because of the fact that we are getting what we want.The sign is there and their moving it down and just kinda dividing it up.I mean Iím on the fence but I mean Iíd prefer to see it lower than some other thing also.

 

Charles Peck: I would like to share a thought also.We have had as Don has mentioned several problems with people wanting to put signs up whether they are putting them in the back of a pick up trucks or jet ski trailer signs and the changing of the post out there or whatever.And one of the things you know that we had said was maybe that these business owners should go to the building owner to see if they couldnít do something with that sign to share this (inaudible)work so everybody got some advertising space and this is one of the things that I believe this sign is doing.And we also had, you know, made an effort to try and reduce sky scraper signs.You know, get them down a little bit lower.And this does do the same thing.I am concerned about adding costs to businesses.You know, the businesses are struggling anyway.And I am looking at the alternatives.And yeah this thing is probably slightly, not grossly, but slightly larger you know than our sign ordinance.But I donít know if that justifies the additional costs.Thatís my thoughts.

 

Jim Chubb:†† Well I mean I have a feeling like he said if he gets a hundred calls for the pizza place and everything itís not easy to be driving and looking over. You might not know where it is. I donít know. But if it hurts the people and we need people in this town.

 

Mayor Moll:Thereís two empty stores in there and there could be four and it might be an empty frame with no sign in it.

 

Jim Chubb:†† I think we need to do what we can to satisfy some of these businesses to make sure they stay.

 

Charles Peck: This is as much for the four business slots in the plaza as it is for the plaza owner itself I believe in my mind.I believe in trying to look out for the businesses in the slot in the plaza.

 

Don Wittman: And I think.Well Iím going to make the Charlie Peck request because I notice in the sign that thereís not a slot in there for the address.

 

Scott Rowley:Yeah.I was going to ask that too.

 

Don Wittman: So if you could go back to the owner to have the address placed somewhere on the sign either below or by the post but then you run into what Huntington has their address but itís obscured by vegetation at this point.

 

Dan Cuckovich: They had talked about doing a pole cover on the bottom.That uniforms everything.

 

Mayor Moll:That would be nice.

 

Dan Cuckovich: We could put a number on it.

 

Jim Chubb:Thatís a good idea

 

Scott Rowley:Is that sign lit?

 

Dan Cuckovich: It is.

 

Mayor Moll:Either that or when they put one of the panels together, like the top panel since it is larger we insist that that business put the number on the panel.

 

(inaudible)

 

Jim Chubb:I didnít hear what you were saying.

 

Scott Daffron:No, I just want to say as we get stupider with GPS thatís what people do.You just plug in the address.

 

Jim Chubb:Hey Hey.Thatís the only way I drive.

 

Scott Daffron:Thatís how you got here tonight.

 

Jim Chubb:Yeah I did.No, I finally know where to turn.

 

Scott Daffron:Do we have anybody that would like to add anything at this point?Seeing none.Can we have a vote on 14-11?

 

Roll Call: Scott Daffron, yes; Scott Rowley, yes; Charles Peck, yes, Bill Sasse, yes;Jim Chubb, yes.MOTION PASSED

 

Scott Daffron: Do we have any other business to come before this board tonight?

 

Charles Peck: Ah yes Mr. Chairman.I believe that we would like to nominate Rhonda Horn to be the secretary for the Cortland Planning and Zoning Commission for the balance of the calendar year 2011.seconded by Jim Chubb.

Roll Call:Jim Chubb, yes;Scott Rowley, yes; Bill Sasse, yes; Scott Daffron, yes;Charles Peck, yes.MOTION APPROVED

 

Charles Peck:Congratulation and welcome aboard.

 

Rhonda Horn:Thank you.

 

Scott Daffron:Before we close do we have anything else to add tonight?Seeing none do we have a motion to close?

 

Charles Peck made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Scott Rowley.

Roll Call: Scott Rowley, yes; Jim Chubb, yes; Bill Sasse, yes; Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes; MOTION APPROVED.

 

Meeting Adjourned: 7:15pm.

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _ ††††††††††† ____††††††††††††††† ___________________

Scott Daffron, Chairman ††††††††††††††††††††† Date†††††††††††††††† Rhonda Horn, Secretary