1. Roll Call: Chairman Brian Berg called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM.
Members Present: Brian Berg, Gerald Mortensen, and Jim Thompson. Mike Plaza and Andy Clark were excused. Quorum present. Also present: Administrator of Public Works Timothy Vergara and Deputy Clerk Deb Ehster.
2. Minutes: Motion by Thompson/Mortensen to approve the minutes of the June 11, 2012 and October 8, 2012 Board of Appeals Meetings. Questioned and carried 3:0.
3. Open Public Hearing: The public hearing was opened at 5:31 PM by Chairman Brian Berg.
4. Domtar variance request from the Village Zoning Ordinance Chapter 590, Section 89 (D) (8) - Parking Space Design Standards: According to the Parking Space Design Standards the following is required: Other than parking spaces designed to serve the handicapped all off-street parking shall be not less than 180 feet exclusive of the space required for ingress and egress. The stalls proposed by Domtar would be 9' x 18' (162 sq. ft) near the Ligno Tech office building & the Domtar shipping office and 9 ½' x 18' (171 sq ft) along the interior of the parking lot.
Jim Visintainer from Domtar and Jay Knoke with Central Wisconsin Engineers gave a presentation of the proposed request. Currently the parking spaces are 9' x 18' and Domtar is requesting they be allowed to replace them at the current size. The stalls near the building are located next to existing landscaping and a concrete wall so it would be difficult to make them larger without doing major work to the entrance. The other stalls would be increased to 9 ½' x 18' to make them slightly larger. The original project is a new driveway entrance which eliminates approximately twenty stalls and the intent is to gain back as many stalls as possible. Consideration of design standards for employee parking was requested since this is a different scenario from a retail parking lot where customer traffic is constant throughout the day. In this parking lot the same people are coming in once a day for their shift using the same lot. To meet the requirements, Domtar considered making the stalls longer but would then face the same problem of regaining the lost stalls due to the new driveway. The handicapped parking requirements and ratio of stalls to employees have been met with the total number of stalls exceeding requirements to accommodate employees during shift changes. The parking lot plan will be completed in two phases with the second phase planned to be completed this fall or possibly next year depending on funding. The railroad spurs within the parking lot will be removed.
5. Domtar variance request from the Village Zoning Ordinance Chapter 590, Section 92 (D) - required fifteen foot-wide minimum landscape planting screen between parking lots and adjacent property lines: There is a required 15 foot minimum landscape planting screen which shall be located between parking lots and adjacent property lines. The request is for a joint parking lot that is shared between Domtar and Ligno Tech. Both parties have agreed to reconstruct the parking lot and do not want a landscape planting screen at their adjacent property lines. The other adjacent property line is with Canadian National Rail Road (CNRR) who has agreed to an easement to allow the parking lot to be constructed within their property without a landscape parking screen.
Jim Visintainer from Domtar and Jay Knoke with Central Wisconsin Engineers gave a presentation of the proposed request. The addition of trees was discussed with Administrator of Public Works Tim Vergara, however, that corridor is owned by CNRR and they do not allow planting within 25 feet of the center line of the railroad tracks. There has been discussion of plantings further north or south on the property but it would not be adjacent to the parking lot. Twenty-one trees would need to be planted in order to comply with Village Ordinance. Since this option is not available, Domtar would be willing to provide the trees to be planted elsewhere in the Village. Tim Vergara mentioned the possibility of down-grading from trees to shrubs or undulating berms to create elevation changes. Planting the trees across the street in the boulevards was also considered since the options are limited. CNRR responded today to Domtar's request for tree planting with a definite "no" and referred to a state statute which requires the railroad to keep the right-of-way clear within 330 feet of any crossing. The 10% of the hard surface parking shall be landscaped requirement for landscaping has been met with the existing landscaping. Options for planting some of trees can be looked into further. There was discussion about green space and plantings within the islands. Domtar does not see the benefit of utilizing this area as green space due to the issues of keeping the areas alive after the winter salting, plowing, and snow storage.
6. Close public hearing: The public hearing was closed at 5:55 PM.
7. Discussions with possible action on the variance request from the required parking space design standards: Motion by Mortensen/Thompson to approve the variance request by Domtar to allow the proposed parking stalls to be 9' x 18' near the Ligno Tech office building and the Domtar shipping office and 9.5' x 18' along the interior of the parking lot. Questioned and carried 3:0.
8. Discussions with possible action on the variance request from the required fifteen foot-wide minimum landscape planting screen between parking lots and adjacent property lines: There was extensive discussion related to points A - E and the Commission did not come to a resolve as to if this variance request could be granted.
A. Ten percent of the hard-surfaced parking lot area shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs and ground cover. Green space shall be contained within the hard-surface area.
B. One tree for every 10 parking stalls shall be provided.
C. A landscape buffer shall be located between parking lots and public rights-of-way. The buffer shall be a minimum of 15 feet wide and composed of a compact hedgerow of shrubs. This landscape buffer is intended to screen the view of parked vehicles and headlights from public rights-of-way.
D. A fifteen-foot-wide minimum landscape planting screen shall be located between parking lots and adjacent property line.
E. In the event that a site is modified to accommodate a change associated with a conditional use, rezoning, or building addition and/or modification, changes in paving and landscaping shall be made to the total lot landscaping.
Motion by Mortensen/Thompson to deny the request by Domtar to grant a variance to the Development Standard 590-92 as it relates to parking lot landscaping and refer action to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Questioned and carried 3:0.
9. Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 6:09 PM.