MAY 15, 2019
A regular meeting of the Village of Lakewood Planning Board was held Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7:00 PM, in the Board Room of the Anthony C. Caprino Municipal Building, 20 West Summit Street, with Chairman Martin Idzik presiding. Board members present were Richard Rose, John Jablonski, III, John Shedd, Jeff Slater and alternate member Jennifer Leister. Also present were Village Clerk/Secretary Joseph M. Johnson and Building Inspector Jeff Swanson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by John Shedd, seconded by Richard Rose, to approve the minutes of the last regular meeting of the Planning Board held November 14, 2018.
Adopted: 5 ayes, no nays (Idzik, Rose, Jablonski, Shedd, Slater)
SITE PLAN REVIEW
TACO BELL RESTAURANT
310 EAST FAIRMOUNT AVE.
Karpinski Engineering, Cleveland, Ohio, has submitted an application for Site Plan Review regarding a proposal by Taco Bell, to construct a 2,550 sq. ft. restaurant on an out parcel at the Chautauqua Mall, between Ruby Tuesday and Olive Garden restaurants. Per Section #25-89, [Site Plan Review], of the Village of Lakewood Zoning Law, although the total square footage of the proposed restaurant is under the threshold of 3,000 sq. ft. for site plan review, Building Inspector Jeff Swanson believes it is a significant enough project to warrant review by the Planning Board.
Planning Board Chairman Idzik asked Building Inspector Swanson if he has anything to add prior to listening to representatives from Karpinski Engineering.
Building Inspector Swanson indicated the developer, per the suggestion from the Chautauqua County Division of Planning & Community Development, has agreed to add a sidewalk from the public sidewalk along Rt. 394 to the project site plus consider adding a bike rack to the site.
Chairman Idzik then asked Mr. William Dunagan, P.E and Mr. Christopher Bednar, P.E., from Karpinski Engineering if they would kindly explain their proposal to members of the Planning Board.
Mr. Dunagan began his presentation by reviewing the proposed location which is a .8 acre out-parcel at the Chautauqua Mall, located between Ruby Tuesday and Olive Garden. He noted the property will be leased by Charter Foods, Inc., Talbot, TN from the mall.
When asked how long is the lease, Mr. Dunagan said he believes the initial lease is for five years, with terms for extensions.
Mr. Dunagan then reviewed the various utilities that will serve the site. Water and sanitary sewer details have been worked out with the approval of both the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities – Water Division and the South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer Districts. Natural gas and electric service will be brought into the building from nearby transmission lines.
As far as stormwater management, he said there is an existing 48 in. stormsewer which runs through the property, that will be able to handle any stormwater generated on the site. Mr. Dunagan said it was brought to his attention that there is a focus on the quality and quantity of stormwater managed on site during the review process. Mr. Dunagan said the project site is basically an impervious parking lot. He said because the impervious area will be reduced by approximately 25% there will be no requirement for an underground stormwater storage system. Changes in impervious surface will allow some of the stormwater to percolate into the pervious surfaces and run-off at a slower rate. Overall, the management of stormwater on the site will improve with its development.
Planning Board member Richard Rose asked Mr. Dunagan what will be done with the existing pavement, and if it is going to be removed, are there going to be any drains installed.
Mr. Dunagan said the existing pavement will be removed, and the subgrade will include an extensive drainage system.
Board member John Shedd asked Mr. Dunagan where will such items such as an above ground transformer, back-flow preventer and grease trap be located.
Mr. Dunagan indicated the back-flow preventer will be located inside the building while the above ground transformer, measuring approximately 4 ft. x 3 ft. x 5 ft. high and at grade grease trap will be located in the grassy area off the southeast corner of the building.
Board member John Jablonski asked Mr. Dunagan how will the stormwater around the enclosed dumpster be handled. From his experience, Mr. Jablonski said he has never seen a dumpster without a plume of polluted waste close by, and requested that this waste be directed into the sanitary sewer system.
Mr. Dunagan indicated dumpster containers located within the enclosure are water tight and shouldn’t have any waste dripping from them. Mr. Dunagan said stormwater in and around dumpster enclosures is normally required to be directed into the storm sewer, but he would be happy to check with the local sewer district.
Mr. Shedd said he noticed the mention of a fuel dike on the plans and wondered why that would be necessary.
Mr. Dunagan said not knowing if the general contractor will be storing any fuel on site, plans have to show how a potential fuel leak would be contained so as not to cause an environmental issue.
Mr. Rose asked Mr. Dunagan if the contractor will be restricted to park and store equipment within the project site, rather than on the grassy area between the existing parking lot and Rt. 394.
Mr. Dunagan said the contractor will need to enter the grassy area to do some of the required work, but generally speaking the contractor should keep any vehicles, equipment and supplies within the leased property. It shouldn’t be an issue but he will be happy to talk with the architect and contractors, plus possibly adding a note to the plans.
Mr. Bednar noted there will be a chain link fence established around the perimeter of the project site to not only protect the site and everything within the fence line, but to provide an area for contractors to safely park and store materials.
Mr. Shedd asked Mr. Dunagan if there are procedures in place to reduce the tracking of materials from the construction site into the mall parking lot and onto Rt. 394 and if it is noted on the plans. .
Mr. Dunagan said based the contractors’ plans for construction, this issue should be minimal. However, contractors are required by state law to keep mud and other construction debris off public roads. He added the mall will most likely enforce that policy within the boundaries of their property as well and the subject of mud tracking is noted on the plans.
Building Inspector Swanson indicated from his experience with the folks at the Chautauqua Mall, they are very particular and if there is any evidence of mud tracking from the construction site he will make a call and advise them accordingly.
Mr. Dunagan said he believes representatives from the Chautauqua Mall will keep a close watch on things.
Mr. Shedd then asked Mr. Dunagan if the plans reflect any additional striping off of the property directing traffic from the mall entrance into the restaurant location.
Mr. Dunagan said we were not requested by the mall to do any additional striping.
Mr. Shedd then asked if there were any thoughts about adding more trees to the site.
Mr. Dunagan said we will get to that particular question later in the presentation.
Mr. Dunagan said in response to one of the comments made by the Chautauqua County Division of Planning & Community Development, a sidewalk from the public sidewalk along the south side of Rt. 394 to the site is a good idea. Another idea mentioned by Mr. Swanson was the possibility of adding a bike rack to the site. We think it is a good request and will check with the owner to see if it can be added.
Mr. Rose indicated the Village of Lakewood’s Comprehensive Plan envisions Lakewood as a walkable and bike riding community and adding the sidewalk and bike rack will only enhance the marketability of the restaurant.
Mr. Dunagan agrees, they are both great ideas for the site and see no problems with either request.
Chairman Idzik said another comment from the Chautauqua County Division of Planning & Community Development talked about the possibility of establishing electric car charging stations on the site.
Mr. Dunagan said he considers that particular suggestion highly improbable. If the project was a motel maybe they would be considered. But because the average stay of a Taco Bell customer is no more than thirty minutes, they are just not practical.
Mr. Dunagan said although it isn’t a local zoning code requirement the lighting for the project will be “dark sky” compliant, in utilizing the appropriate LED lighting fixtures.
Mr. Rose asked how tall are the light standards.
Mr. Dunagan said they are 25 ft. tall.
Mr. Shedd asked what kelvin or color will the lights be.
Mr. Dunagan said he doesn’t know the exact kelvin or light color, but if it is important he will find out. He then asked, what would the Village of Lakewood prefer for lighting wave length.
Mr. Shedd said the light color is important to him and although he can’t speak for the Village of Lakewood, he has previously recommended less than 3,000 kelvin, or around 2,700.
Changing subjects, Mr. Dunagan said the proposed dumpster is very similar in design to the one in use at the Olive Garden restaurant next door. It will be functional and enclosed, per the local zoning law requirements.
Mr. Bednar indicated the dumpster pad was designed to drain any spillover to the back corner of the enclosure, where a catch basin is located. Any leakage would stay contained within the dumpster enclosure.
Mr. Dunagan stressed that in most cases surface drains cannot discharge into a sanitary sewer system. He will however check with the sewer district to see if they will allow discharge from that particular catch basin to run through the grease trap. He also stressed dumpsters that are properly constructed are sealed and do not leak.
The next phase of the project Mr. Dunagan wished to review is the proposed landscaping plan, noting a previous question about trees. Mr. Dunagan said although trees are very important, in a business setting of this type, the object is to enhance the visual qualities of the restaurant which need to be seen. Instead of large trees which might obscure the building, the landscape architect’s plan focuses on lower ground cover vegetation. Adding a couple of trees to the site can certainly be part of a discussion we have with the landscape architect, where a happy medium could be reached.
Mr. Shedd said we are a recommending body and he would therefore be in favor of recommending the addition of a number of trees to the project site.
Mr. Jablonski said he would like to see eight (8) medium height trees added to the landscaping plan.
Mr. Dunagan said he will certainly take this recommendation into consideration and relate this information back to the landscape architect.
Mr. Jablonski compared the aesthetic appeal of a competitive restaurant across the street, with trees, against the “urban desert” look of a stark building and parking lot without a sufficient number of trees.
Mr. Dunagan said it becomes a case of personal preference, however he understands Mr. Jablonski’s position. We will certainly convey your thoughts, requesting more trees, to the landscape architect.
Mr. Rose said he agrees with Mr. Jablonski, saying summertime in western New York without shade trees is like being in a desert. Adding shade trees to the site would make it more bearable and comfortable for Taco Bell customers during the summer months. Mr. Rose said it is his opinion the site would be more attractive with additional trees. He then noted the Village of Lakewood recently received the designation of a Tree City USA through the Arbor Day Foundation.
Mr. Shedd said he strongly urges the developer and landscape architect to consider adding more trees to the site.
Mr. Dunagan concluded the presentation by showing interior and exterior views of the most current/modern looks of a typical Taco Bell restaurant, plus views of the 6 ft. 6 in. high monument sign as proposed.
When a question surfaced about the dumpster enclosure, Mr. Bednar indicated the enclosure’s masonry wall will match the restaurant’s exterior.
Mr. Jablonski asked Building Inspector Swanson if the vehicle stacking lane in the drive-thru is adequate.
Mr. Swanson said during his plan review, he found everything within code, adding Karpinski Engineering has gone above and beyond with their plan submittals.
Mr. Jablonski questioned whether or not cars in the drive-thru might on occasion back-up into the mall’s parking area.
Mr. Dunagan said based on the current traffic patterns and current mall usage, it shouldn’t be a significant impediment, however there could be an occasional back-up during lunch hour.
Discussion ensued on possible alternatives in accessing the drive-thru lane, which could include additional signage if need be.
Mr. Rose said because the main entrance to the restaurant is on the west side of the building, he wondered why there isn’t a vestibule or canopy. From a customer satisfaction standpoint, with wind, cold and snow during the winter months, he said it would only make sense to include a vestibule.
Mr. Dunagan said with the main entrance facing west, it is a valid concern and he will gladly mention that suggestion to the architect.
Motion by John Shedd, seconded by Jeffrey Slater, that it is the recommendation of the Planning Board for the Board Trustees to grant/approve the Site Plan Review application as submitted by Karpinski Engineering, Cleveland, Ohio, regarding a proposal by Charter Foods, Inc., Talbott, TN, to construct a 2,550 sq. ft. Taco Bell restaurant on a Chautauqua Mall out-parcel, 310 East Fairmount Ave., between Ruby Tuesday and Olive Garden restaurants, with the condition that consideration be given to the Planning Board’s suggestion/recommendation to add a number of medium height trees to the restaurant’s landscape plan.
Adopted: 5 ayes, no nays (Idzik, Rose, Jablonski, Shedd, Slater)
With the news that Planning Board Alternate, Ms. Jennifer Leister will be resigning, effective July 2019, Chairman Idzik, on behalf of the entire Planning Board, thanked Ms. Leister for her community service, wished her luck, adding she will be missed.
Meeting adjourned: 7:53 PM
Joseph M. Johnson