PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES – NOVEMBER 16, 2016

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PLANNING COMMISSION

NOVEMBER 16, 2016

Mr. Jeff Grotsky, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Darrell Craig, Robert Fordi, Jane Richman and Paul Showalter, Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator and guests.

MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Mr. Grotsky asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of September 21, 2016. Mr. Showalter moved to approve the minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Fordi and carried with four in favor, Mr. Craig abstained as he was not present for the meeting. The minutes carried unanimously.

FINAL SITE PLAN – DIXON SQUARE APARTMENTS – SCHEELER ROAD AND HAACKE DRIVE

Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates was present for the application, along with Ms. Kate Gray and Mr. Bryan Matthews of KRM.

Mr. Shearon stated that there have not been too many changes since preliminary approval was given in September. He said that one noticeable change was the now is now “Chestertown Business Campus” rather than “Dixon Square”.

Mr. Shearon showed the annexed area and master plan for the campus which had been seen by the Commission in early summer. He said that he overall design of the campus was the same and showed sketches of the corporate part of the campus, where the large warehouse was moved to the back of the property.  He said that plans for the corporation portion of the development would likely come before the Commission in spring 2017.

Mr. Shearon showed the area where the apartments were proposed noting that it will be built in phases. The first phase of the apartments includes 3 buildings on the east side of the property.  He said that the lot lines were adjusted in September from the original annexation plan, which would allow for 6 apartment buildings overall, totaling 174 units.

Mr. Shearon stated that the entire apartment complex will be built on 13½ acres. He said that the impervious cover has changed slightly due to the addition of sidewalks.  The parking layout was the same as described in September. Mr. Shearon stated that he will bring in each phase showing exactly what is to be built as the development moves forward.

Mr. Shearon stated that the concrete sidewalks were added to the plan paralleling Haacke Drive and Scheeler Road connecting the apartment complex to Town and the Washington Square Shopping Center. He said that the sidewalk also runs between and alongside the parking spaces.  Mr. Shearon stated that there would be trail and sidewalk connections added as the development is built for pedestrian connectivity throughout.

Mr. Grotsky asked if parking on all sides of the apartments would be built as part of Phase I. Mr. Shearon stated that there would be a”U” shape parking area around the 3 buildings in Phase I but it has not been determined if the second row of parking to the west would be built.

Mr. Showalter asked if handicap parking was provided in the parking lots. Mr. Shearon stated that there is 1 handicap space provided per 25 spaces to meet code and the handicap spaces were adjacent to the entrance to each of the buildings for easiest access.

Mr. Shearon showed details of the grading and engineering which he said has been submitted to Soil Conservation for stormwater and sediment control review. He said that the comments have been received back which were minor in nature.

Mr. Shearon showed the utilities plans, including the storm drain system. He said that there was quite a bit of stormwater surface flow from north of the site.  There were 2 stormwater collection points; the Village at Chestertown’s stormwater management pond and the step pool conveyance at Rt. 213.  He said that the existing drainage patterns have been maintained in the development and they have accounted for new industrial uses north of the apartments.  The drainage pipes have been sized accordingly.

Mr. Shearon stated that the stormwater management plan design was the same as shown at the September meeting, but there were final details showing that all requirements have been met. There were bioretention areas between the parking lots and on the northern perimeter.   Stormwater from half of each building will go to a stone drywell, which will have an underdrain that ties into the storm drain system.  Mr. Shearon stated that bioretention areas shown at the September meeting have native landscaping.

Mr. Shearon stated that the new water lines will create a loop from Scheeler Road to Haacke Drive. He said that the sewer has been divided with the first phase coming off of Scheeler Road serving the first 3 buildings.  There will be another sewer line off of Haacke Drive for the other 3 buildings.  When the corporate center is built, Haacke Drive will be extended where sewer will then pick up to serve the other buildings.

Mr. Shearon showed the landscaping plan which was broken into trees, stormwater management areas, and an area to the southwest of the site which was intended to be a wooded buffer. All plantings were native varieties.

Mr. Shearon showed the lighting plan and said that street lighting proposed is the Town standard Granville Lighting (high pressure sodium) on 12’ poles. Goose neck lighting (LED) on 16’ poles would be used for interior parking lot lighting, with 2 lights on each pole.  All lighting was Night Sky compliant.  Mr. Showalter asked if lighting would spill offsite.  Mr. Shearon stated that the lighting was designed at a low height to avoid spillage.  He said that on a 16’ pole the lighting can be spaced out nicely while providing adequate lighting on site.  He said that if the poles onsite were lowered to 12’ additional fixtures would be required.

Mr. Shearon showed renderings of the buildings, which had not changed from the presentation in September.

Mr. Shearon stated that a traffic impact study was done as part of the annexation process for the entire project. He said that the traffic study for the first phase did not propose any changes, but at Phase II a third land on Rt. 213 for a dedicated left turn would be added from the north.

Mr. Fordi asked if there was any discussion of the left hand turn at Scheeler Road and Rt. 213. Mr. Shearon stated that there were different outlets from the development so that did not come up as an issue at this time.

Ms. Gray stated that the interior layout of the apartments are not complete, but each building will have elevators and include of mix of one, two and three bedrooms, with the possibility of studio apartments. She said that KRM will retain ownership of the apartment complex but they were in the process of finding a company to manage them.

Mr. Grotsky asked if KRM had a timeline for the project. Ms. Gray stated that early summer 2017 would be a reasonable guess for ground breaking, with Phase I construction taking about 8 to 9 months.

Mr. Fordi asked what site work would take place on the balance of the site during Phase I. Ms. Gray stated that she thought the area where construction takes place will be fully landscaped so that it does not appear as a construction site, but she was not entirely certain how far past Phase I that would continue.  Mr. Shearon stated that the plans would be more exact when he brought back Phase I construction drawings.

Mr. Fordi asked if the apartments were primarily for Dixon employees. Ms. Gray stated that the apartments were considered an independent project and rentals would be available to anyone.  Ms. Gray stated that feasibility studies were taking place to set a price point for rents.

Mr. Craig asked who would be responsible for maintenance of the bioretention areas and stormwater management. Mr. Shearon stated that in order for the Town and Soil Conservation to sign plans, the owner had to file a signed Maintenance and Inspection Agreement that will be recorded with the deed, stating that maintenance goes with the ownership of the property.

Mr. Shearon stated that all impervious area was being treated on site and the pipes running through the site have been sized to anticipate the entire buildout. Mr. Craig asked what would be used in the bioretention areas as planting medium.  Mr. Shearon stated that there was a mix of 60% organic material and 40% sand that was approved by MDE.

Mr. Craig asked what intersections were included in the traffic study. Mr. Shearon stated that the study included Rt. 213 and Rt. 291, Haacke and Rt. 291, Scheeler Road and Rt. 213, Scheeler Road and Haacke Drive, and the proposed access out of Rt. 213.  Mr. Craig asked who would be responsible for road improvements if and when the “bubble breaks”.  Mr. Shearon stated that a record is kept of each project with baseline numbers for each development and the State Highway Administration reserves the right to go back to a developer if a light is warranted and have them pay for it.  He said that at this point a signal warrant analysis is ordered, but it would not be required at this stage of development.

Mr. Fordi moved for final site plan approval as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Richman and carried unanimously.

There being no further business, Mr. Showalter moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Richman and carried unanimously.

 Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Jeffrey Grotsky

Stenographer                                                   Chair

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