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    12.    
City Council Regular
Meeting Date: 07/05/2017  
Subject:    PC 17-17, Consider Amendment to Gateway Commerce Center Planned Unit Development, H&W Family, LLLP
From: Scott Harlicker, Planner

INTRODUCTION
The applicant is requesting approval to amend the final PUD to include additional land for a second auto dealership site.
DISCUSSION
Background

In April 2015 the City Council approved an amendment to the Gateway Commerce Center Planned Unit Development to allow the following:
  • a car dealership on Lot 1
  • a swim center on Lots 2 and 3
  • greater flexibility on the remaining undeveloped lots
In June 2016 the City Council approved an amendment to the Gateway Commerce Center Planned Unit Development to add additional land to the auto dealership site. The size of the site was increased from six acres to ten acres. The swim center lot was incorporated into the car dealership site. One of the conditions of approval of the PUD amendment was only one new car dealership allowed in the PUD. The amendment resulted in the following:
  • Car dealership on Lots 1,2 and 3
  • Hotel on Lot 4
  • Retail/restaurant on Lot 5
  • Retail/restaurant on Lot 6
  • Hotel/retail/office on Lot 7
Walser Automotive currently owns the 10 acres (Lots 1-3) on the west end of  Gateway Drive. To date, no plans have been submitted for the development of that site. The proposed revision includes taking the remaining vacant land on both sides of Gateway Drive (10.81 acres) and identifying them for a new car dealership.

The dealership building and parking will be located on 5.76 acres (Lots 6 and 7) on the southeast side of Gateway Drive adjacent to McDonalds. This site is currently two lots and an outlot and identified for retail, office, restaurant and hotel uses.  The 5.05 acres of land on the north side of Gateway Drive consists of two lots (Lots 4 and 5). The identified uses on those parcels are hotel, retail and restaurant. This land is proposed to be used for storing inventory cars.

Analysis

Changes in Design

The proposed amendment does not change the basic road configuration of the PUD. The location of Gateway Drive does not change. However, the remaining land along Gateway Drive, instead be being plated as four lots, will be combined into two lots in the final plat.

Site Layout 

The proposed building is located in the southeast portion of the site, adjacent to McDonalds and Hanson Boulevard. It is proposed to be a 52,000 square foot one story building. All four sides of the building will be visible so building appearance and consistency with the existing development will be key. The proposed dumpster enclosure is located near Hanson Boulevard and the McDonalds drive-thru lane; it should be moved closer to the building, in a less conspicuous location. The car display pads should be setback a minimum of 10 feet from the sidewalk or right-of-way.

A sidewalk is included along Gateway Drive. It is located on the north side of Gateway Drive along the proposed inventory lot. A crosswalk is located near the bend in the road; there, the sidewalk crosses over to the south side of the street and connects with the existing sidewalk at McDonalds. This crosswalk will provided a point where customers can cross over to the inventory lot from the dealership. The crosswalk should be enhanced to make it more prominent. The specific design will be addressed with the site plan.

Building Design

The specific design of the building will be included as part of the site plan review process and will have to comply with the PUD design guidelines. The building is located such that the front of the building is oriented towards the northwest and Highway 10. The attached perspectives provide an idea of what the site will look like from various vantage points. 

Landscaping

The proposed landscaping plan is consistent with the current plan. Sufficient street trees and shrubs are provided along Gateway Drive. The landscaping in the inventory parking lot includes trees on the islands as well as a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees along the rear property line. This will allow views out across the wetlands while providing breaks in the parking lot. The landscaping on the lot with the dealership showroom also includes trees around the perimeter and on the parking lot islands. However, additional overstory trees should be planted along Hanson Boulevard and the top of the Highway 10 ramp. An additional 12 trees planted at 35 foot intervals would soften the appearance of the back of the building.

Signage

The original PUD included two large (maximum size 28' X 14') monument signs, one for the overall development and one for the hotel.  An option to consider, since both both dealership sites will want larger signs, is to eliminate the development sign and allocate one tall sign to each dealership. The larger signs will have to be setback a minimum of 50 feet from the Highway 10 right-of-way. The design of the signs will have to be consistent with the PUD design guidelines. The applicant is also proposing two smaller tenant monument signs (10' X 8'); one on the dealership site and one on the inventory site.

On the Walser site, the owner can use the large monument sign (maximum size 28' X 14'), that was originally dedicated for the hotel, as their monument sign. They should also be allowed to have one smaller tenant sign.

Grading and Drainage

Site grading and drainage will be addressed at the time of site plan review.

Traffic

The applicant has submitted an updated traffic analysis that reflects the proposed mix of uses. The proposed mix of uses reduces the number of vehicle trips generated by the development.

Compliance with Section 11-902.8 Modification of an Approved Plan

The proposed amendment is consistent with the stated intent of the PUD district found in Section 11-902.1. The proposed amendment also complies with Section 11-902.4 District Standards. The underlying zoning of this PUD is Community Commercial; the proposed use is an allowed use in this zoning district.

Planning Commission Meeting

At the May 18th Planning Commission meeting, no residents spoke at the public hearing. The applicant and the owner of the proposed dealership spoke to the Commission. The applicant explained the reasoning behind the proposed amendment and how the second dealership fits in the with current mix of uses. The owner of the dealership introduced himself, explained the operation of  the dealership and offered how the dealership would be a benefit to the community.

The Commission was split on whether to recommend approval or denial. Three Commissioners voted for denial of the proposed amendment. They thought it was a significant change to the PUD and they were concerned with piecemeal way the project is being developed. The proposed amendment eliminates the the mix of uses originally proposed and the second dealership is not an appropriate use. The applicant appeared before the City last year with an amendment; one year is not enough time to see if the undeveloped lots will be developed as currently shown. 

Four Commissioners voted to recommend approval of the proposed amendment.  They believed that the proposed amendment is reasonable given the market conditions. The dealership is unique, will provide jobs and increase the tax base. The proposed use is also appropriate given the suitability of the soils. The proposed use and landscaping will preserve the natural views across to the wetlands.

The Commission voted 4:3 to recommend approval of the proposed amendment.

 
RECOMMENDATION
In Planning Case 17-17, the Commission recommended approval of the proposed PUD amendment with the following conditions:
  1. All the conditions of the original PUD approval of December 18, 2007 are included in this approval.
  2. Approval and execution of an amendment to the PUD agreement.
  3. The proposed dealership is allowed two tenant monument signs and one larger monument size sign. The large monument sign is in place of the large development sign.
  4. On the Walser site, the owner can use the large monument sign (maximum size 28' X 14'), that was originally dedicated for the hotel, as their monument sign. They are also allowed to have one smaller tenant sign.
  5. All signs must comply with the design and setback standards of the PUD Design Guidelines.
  6. The applicant must receive all necessary permits from Coon Creek Watershed District.
  7. An additional 12 overstory trees be planted along Hanson Boulevard and the entrance to the Highway 10 ramp.
  8. All Engineering comments must be addressed.
  9. The car display pads must be setback a minimum of 10 feet from the sidewalk or right-of-way and other property lines.
  10. The dumpster enclosure must be moved to a less conspicuous location near the building.
  11. The crosswalk must be enhanced to make it more prominent.
And based on the following findings:
  1. The use modification conforms to the restrictions of this Section currently effect.
  2. The use and design modifications meet applicable City Code standards, including this Section, currently in effect.
The proposed amendment is consistent with the stated intent of the PUD district found in Section 11-902.1. The proposed amendment also complies with Section 11-902.4 District Standards. The underlying zoning of this PUD is Community Commercial; the proposed use is an allowed use in this zoning district.
 

Attachments
Location Map
Current Approved Site Plan
Proposed PUD Site Plan
Traffic Memo
Applicant's Narrative
View from street
View From Ramp
View From Overpass
View From Highway

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