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TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT _TOD_ CODE WORKSHOP

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					         TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (TOD) CODE WORKSHOP

                 MINUTES OF THE JOINT MEETING OF THE
         PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION AND CITY COUNCIL OF THE
                 CITY OF NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS
                           FEBRUARY 5, 2009


                                     1.
                         CALL TO ORDER- CITY COUNCIL

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Oscar Trevino at 6:30pm.


PRESENT             Mayor                            Oscar Trevino
                    Mayor Pro Tem                    Scott Turnage
                                                     John Lewis
                                                     Suzy Compton
                                                     Dr. Tim Barth
                                                     David Whitson
                                                     Tim Welch

ABSENT                                               Ken Sapp

CITY STAFF         City Manager                      Larry Cunningham
                   Assistant City Manager            Karen Bostic
                   Managing Dir. Dev. Svcs.          Mike Curtis
                   Managing Dir. Community Svcs.     Vickie Loftice
                   Economic Development Dir.         Craig Hulse
                   Marketing Research Coord.         Kristin Weegar
                   Public Information Officer        Mary Peters
                   Asst. To City Manager             Elizabeth Reining
                   City Secretary                    Patricia Hudson


                                  2.
             CALL TO ORDER – PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION

Chairman Randy Shiflet called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.


PRESENT             Chairman                         Randy Shiflet
                    Vice Chairman                    Bill Schopper
                                                     Don Bowen
                                                     Kelly Gent
                                                     Mark Haynes
                    Ex-Officio                       Diana Madar
                                                            P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                            Work Session Minutes
                                                            February 5, 2009
                                                            Page 2




ABSENT                                                Mike Benton
                                                      Steven Cooper

CITY STAFF           Dir. of Planning & Development   John Pitstick
                     Chief Planner                    Eric Wilhite
                     Asst. Planner                    Chad VanSteenberg
                     Asst. Dir. Public Works          Greg Van Nieuwenhuize
                     Civil Engineer                   Caroline Waggoner
                     Recording Secretary              Teresa Koontz


Mayor Trevino welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Tom Lombard,
Chairman of Parks and Recreation Board, as being present.

Mayor Trevino recognized Don Bowen for serving on the Planning & Zoning
Commission for 28 years and thanked him for his service to the community.


                                3.
 DISCUSSION & REVIEW OF TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND
    PLANS AROUND THE IRON HORSE & SMITHFIELD RAIL STATION SITES

            BACKGROUND AND REVIEW OF TIMING OF TOD ADOPTION

John Pitstick stated there are seven items to discuss regarding the TOD and rail station
sites. City Staff continues to meet with the property owners and potential developers
regarding this unique project to North Richland Hills. We are hoping to get some
general direction and consensus from Council and Planning & Zoning tonight and
hopefully bring back the draft code in a few weeks with the creation of the code and
rezoning of the property around the rail stations. Mr. Pitstick introduced the Planning
Staff. He also introduced Gateway Planning Group Scott Polikov and Jay Narayana
who will be giving most of the presentation tonight.

The items for discussion will be as follows:

   1.   Background and Review of timing of TOD adoption
   2.   Review and Consensus of Regulating Plans
   3.   Review and Consensus of Required Street Types
   4.   Review and Consensus of Special Frontage requirements
   5.   Review and Consensus of Land Use mixes
   6.   Input and Direction of Approval and Development Incentive processes
   7.   Final Direction of TOD Code Implementation
                                                              P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                              Work Session Minutes
                                                              February 5, 2009
                                                              Page 3


John Pitstick stated that there may be a special work session or afternoon session once
the draft code is in place. The original timing of bringing this forward has to do with
COG Sustainable Development Grant Application which had an original deadline of May
2009. We were trying to get the code into effect before May to be eligible for the grant
funding. $40 million is available region wide and $12.4 million available on the western
region which includes public infrastructure improvements for sustainable development
projects like this one. The current guidelines give $3 million dollar maximum for single
project introduced and zoning must be in place to qualify. There is a 20% local match
for these grants and public private commitment. COG is also flexible as long as we are
moving in the right direction and if there is interest from the private sector to move
forward. Scott Polikov has recently talked with COG and sent an email stating we are
working toward and plan to submit one or two projects. We are pushing forward to have
the zoning in place by August 2009.

Scott Polikov stated he has learned by COG Staff that they have approved application
for the Sustainable Development grants to be available in March. They asked if this
was the right time to do it and there was not much response. The developer
commitment will be tough to get financing or move dirt and develop a project associated
with TOD infill on all the things they are trying to accomplish. The COG staff said two
things, the commitment would be defined by the City, they would not establish a
prescribed definition for commitment. What that means is we will have to work creatively
with potential developer partners to identify what that means. It would have to be some
non traditional partnership where a developer can come in take a small piece with some
options in the future to make sure there is not an over commitment by them and an
under commitment by the City.

John Pitstick said we continue to update property owners and businesses as we get
calls weekly and Staff will continue to update the citizens. After this meeting we will go
out and do another push for specific property owners and make sure they know what is
going on with the direction before the rezoning takes place. We have had general
discussions with a master developer. The same developer, McDougal that is
developing downtown Irving and Lubbock came in and met with Staff and he showed
some general interest.

The preliminary schedule would be to have the draft TOD code completed at Staff level
by mid April. The initial preliminary schedule for bringing it forward to would be May 21st
for Planning and Zoning and June 8th for City Council with a back up in the June and
July frame. We will be sensitive with the property owners if needed and take time to
visit with them.

Mayor Trevino asked if we have already had meetings with property owners? Mr.
Pitstick answered yes, we have already had several meetings in the past months. The
maps have been modified a little since the original stakeholder meetings so we will
continue to update them.
                                                              P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                              Work Session Minutes
                                                              February 5, 2009
                                                              Page 4


John Pitstick discussed the comments made from the November 20, 2008 work session
which are Historic TOD, TOD Core, General Mixed Use, TOD Residential, Arterial
Mixed Use, High Intensity Mixed Use and Freeway Mix Use. Many of these maps have
changed since the original meetings and are reflected on the new zoning maps.


REVIEW AND CONSENSUS OF REGULATING PLANS

Jay Narayana came forward to discuss the regulating plans. Basically, the plans that
have been developed include a form code based frame work that includes certain key
elements. The regulating plans will be the most important two documents as it will
replace the zoning that is currently in place and they will be the zoning maps for the two
station areas. There are three major elements in the zoning maps, the character zones,
street design and special frontage requirements. There will be development standards
and development incentives because there will have to be flexibility because we cannot
see what will happen in the market in the future.

Details regarding the Iron Horse Regulating Plan include amending the boundaries of
the general mixed use, the TOD code has the highest intensity right near the station,
and areas by NE Loop 820 will add regional retail to the highway frontage. The
development will have the flexibility of transitioning over time. The high intensity mixed
use could potentially be an employment center with higher density office use.

Smithfield is slightly different because there is already some existing development in
place that you have to take into account. For example the historic TOD area would be
one which certain preservation standards would have to be established. There is also a
fairly large TOD core that surrounds it with Smithfield being a main pedestrian artery.
There is also a fairly large area of mixed use which provides a lot of flexibility but you
would have to balance with frontage on Davis which is more attractive for commercial
and establish some transition to the neighborhoods to preserve some existing
neighborhoods. There is some frontage issues on Mid Cities which are fairly suburban
oriented so these will never be pedestrian oriented streets and there will be some auto
oriented developments so the TOD will need to accommodate that.

There was general discussion about the Iron Horse and Smithfield Regulating Plan TOD
maps. Councilman Tim Welch mentioned he had some concerns about how the
freeway is limited to one and two stories and we need to look at opportunities for taller
high rises as the freeway develops.

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission reached a consensus on the
TOD boundaries of the Regulating Plans as presented.


REVIEW AND CONSENSUS OF REQUIRED STREET TYPES
                                                             P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                             Work Session Minutes
                                                             February 5, 2009
                                                             Page 5


Jay Narayana discussed the five street types which are Commercial, Avenue,
Commercial Avenue, TOD Boulevard and TOD Alley.

There was general discussion on Commercial and the how it is effected on Main Street.

Councilman John Lewis asked what was the current right of way on Main Street. There
was general discussion about the right of way on Main Street. Mike Curtis explained
that we are mainly looking at the current thoroughfare plan to make these
determinations.

Scott Polikov stated that there will be considerations and we will look back at the
conditions on the ground and that the cross section that is proposed for the ordinance is
flexible enough that someone on day one would not be non conforming.

There was general discussion on the Avenue Street types.

Councilman David Whitson asked if the curve on Boulder would be removed and made
into a 90 degree street.

Mike Curtis added that tonight we are not asking Council and Planning and Zoning
Commission to approve these dimensions as listed, but would they approve a concept
like this in general. Future meetings would actually include approving details in regards
to sections and fine grained details.

Scott Polikov added that a complete draft would be brought for approval after the
concept has been accepted and approved.

Councilman David Whitson added that he is concerned about pedestrian friendly safety
sidewalks at the rail stations.

There was a discussion about Commercial Avenue at Iron Horse Boulevard at rail
station and along the street.

Scott Polikov discussed the protected left turn lane on Iron Horse Boulevard.

Commissioner Don Bowen asked if the flow of traffic would be hindered due to all the
streets having on street parking?

Scott Polikov answered yes it will, but it would be safer with slower speed movements
and will a benefit for the smaller businesses where people park.

Mayor Trevino discussed the advantages of on street parking and how it will benefit the
local businesses and compared it to Grapevine Main Street.
                                                               P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                               Work Session Minutes
                                                               February 5, 2009
                                                               Page 6


Councilman David Whitson asked would the crosswalk be addressed in the TOD Code
draft or in normal city ordinances. There was a discussion about how the crosswalks
would be addressed in the regulating plan to control the special pedestrian areas.

Commissioner Bill Schopper stated his is concerned about the parking and traffic during
peak rush areas? There are no provisions for parking on the maps that is can see.

John Pitstick answered that according to the answers from the “T’ both stations will
probably need about 500 parking spaces and the station platform and initial parking
spaces would be built as a public improvement for both stations.

There was a general discussion about the Richland Hills Train Station and how the City
does not want the stations to end up as a park and ride.

Scott Polikov stated that two things came up in earlier stake holder meetings that would
help us. One is there a lot of access parking at the right time of the day at the church.
There would be a challenge to create an incentive for people to park and strictly
commute. Also, a parking management system would have to be put in place to protect
the retailers.

Mayor Trevino said he thinks we are in a real bad situation here because people go
over to the Richland Hills Station and the citizens see that and think that is a rail
development. They do not see the Mockingbird Lane, Lovers, Addison rail stations so
they cannot picture what we are seeing.

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission reached a consensus of
Required Street Types as presented.


REVIEW AND CONSENSUS OF SPECIAL FRONTAGE REQUIREMENTS

Jay Narayana explained the exception and additional regulations over the character
zone standards based on specific locations regarding the commercial, arterial and
boulevard frontages.

Councilwoman Suzy Compton stated she is frustrated with the redevelopment on the
south side of Boulevard 26. She wants the Davis Boulevard redevelopment to fit
together and look like it belongs together when it is completed.

John Pitstick stated that we are looking for a fairly equal range in the historic core area.
If a developer comes in and is across boundaries, they can come in with special
development code and make it work but it would have to be within administrative
approval you would have to be within these ranges. Basically we are looking for a
historical core equal mix between retail, office, residential, open space and other
institutional uses.
                                                                P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                                Work Session Minutes
                                                                February 5, 2009
                                                                Page 7




Eric Wilhite said we also have the benefit of being able to use the economic planning
systems study that the “T” had done for the transit stops as well.

Scott Polikov said Eric’s point is very significant and even stronger it reflects the market
study that was completed – and we wanted to take advantage of the analysis that was
done by the experts hired by the “T”.

Mayor Trevino said there was going to be a press conference in the near future to show
the results of a survey they did on rail use in north Texas and what the citizens are
saying. The general consensus is that we need the rail system in place and the
numbers that the “T” is rolling out are a little short. As the high speed rail kicks in these
two places in NRH will be “the places to be”.

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission reached a consensus on
Special Frontage Requirements as presented.


REVIEW AND CONSENSUS OF LAND USE MIXES

Jay Narayana explained the Preferred land Use mix with ranges and locational criteria
with each character zone at length with the draft maps. Character zones discussed
were Historic TOD, TOD Core, General Mixed Use, TOD Residential, Arterial Mixed
Use, High Intensity Mixed Use and Highway Mixed Use.

Mayor Trevino asked staff since general mixed use the catch phrase for an apartment
complex – how can we change general mixed use to what we would like to see in our
City?

Scott Polikov answered there are still going to be locational rules where there will be a
different standard from neighborhoods versus by the arterial. There also will be building
type requirements which will identify the standards. Also this is probably the most
mixed use already and we have to be careful not apply traditional notions of mixed uses
in green field or an area of separate use. There are some conflicts with what the
objectives are, especially regarding the market. Locational attributes within the code
will be developed to so all locations will not be treated the same.

There was a general discussion regarding general mixed use in area cities and what we
want for NRH.

Scott Polikov suggested to Staff that we may want to get more aggressive with the non
residential frontage requirements in certain areas and make a policy decision to slow
down the rate of development in certain areas until the market is right for the kind of
development we want there. In addition with our guidance on the regulating plan we
may need to put more special commercial frontages and define it differently.
                                                            P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                            Work Session Minutes
                                                            February 5, 2009
                                                            Page 8




Dr. Tim Barth stated that he thinks the Mayor maybe illuding to this – the definition of
mixed use is 99% muliti family and 1% something else. And it needs to truly be defined
mixed use. A lot of communities are struggling with this right now because of the fact
that so many people are taking advantage of that definition that is so loose and there
needs to be guidelines in place.

Mayor Trevino stated that the charge of Planning and Zoning and City Council is to do
the best with what we have left for the next generation.

There was a general discussion about single family residences on the Davis Boulevard
Core and how so many families are tearing down old houses and building new ones.
The train station will be even more of an attraction to families.

Jay Narayana stated that perhaps we can different standards of land use mixed use in
the Iron Horse and Smithfield Stations.

Councilman Tim Welch stated his concern with high rise buildings of commercial and
office in the TOD.

There was a general discussion about height requirements on freeway frontages.

Mayor Trevino mentioned that Charles Scoma was present at this meeting and ten
years ago he was saying that Loop 820 would look like the north tollway. So why limit
the development that we know today that is coming.

There was discussion about combining the high intensity and highway mixed use areas.

Jay Narayana asked if the changes were acceptable since we discussed the character
zones and do we keep general mixed use one and general mixed use two and separate
the two? There was discussion regarding separating the two areas.

Eric Wilhite said we have to consider the transition where we go back into the core
zone. The transition area has to occur and combine the uses and structure site
permitted in each. To work, it would be important how the height’s relate.

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission came to the consensus of Land
Use Mixes as presented with the change of creating separate General Mixed Use
districts for Iron Horse and Smithfield.


INPUT AND DIRECTION ON APPROVAL AND DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVE
PROCESSES
                                                              P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                              Work Session Minutes
                                                              February 5, 2009
                                                              Page 9


John Pitstick discussed how we deal with non-conforming regulations and how they
transition in each development since we have some existing businesses in each
location. We do allow continuation of the uses, they can make repairs within existing
facilities as long as they don’t enlarge the use. If more than 50% is damaged then it
does require conformance. If there is a discontinuation of use if it is replaced with a
conforming use, or if vacant for more than 6 months, or water service is disconnected
for 6 months then there could be appeals to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Regarding non-conforming buildings they may be enlarged as long as they don’t
increase the non conforming feature. If there is a set back issue in front of the building,
they couldn’t be enlarged in front but could be enlarged in rear. Also the same variance
with 50% damages requiring conformance and there would be appeals process to the
Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Mr. Pitstick said that non conforming landscape regulations requires if you remodel or
make an addition that equals 75% of the appraised value or 30% increase in the
building area, you have to add the required landscape requirements. Otherwise you
can appeal through an SUP to Planning and Zoning and City Council.

Mr. Pitstick asked City Council and Planning & Zoning if they were agreement with
allowing the non conforming buildings under the new code to change based on current
regulations or do you want to place some alternative standards for required
conformance?

Chairman Randy Shiflet said it seems like the changes that have been in place over the
past few months are acceptable and on behalf of Planning and Zoning is in approval.

Mayor Trevino said that not only will the businesses have to conform to the changes but
the City will also have to make some improvements as well.

Mr. Pitstick explained the Development Incentive Process is to provide flexibility for the
applicants that meet certain criteria. We would allow for a separate application filed as
a special development plan similar to an SUP. There would be some criteria for
developing those, the review and approval incentives will be based on the extent by
which the project meets the city’s vision.

Jay Narayana stated this beyond the capability of staff to approve something of this
sort, Planning and Zoning and City Council would have to approve since it would
deviate or modify the existing standard.

Councilman Tim Welch added that similarly to the RIPD where the developer has the
concept plan, as long as he wants to come up with a conceptual plan and will have to
put a lot of money into it to request the change that would be the best way to go about
it.
                                                              P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                              Work Session Minutes
                                                              February 5, 2009
                                                              Page 10


Jay Narayana said it was true to a certain degree, but mixed use requires a lot of design
detail to make sure it will be built a certain way so it may have to be structured so it
meets some of the design standards in the ordinance but you can conceptually show
how your plan still meets as a conceptual level. The review and approval process as
we stated before we would like to streamline this so most of the applications that meet
the code would be approved by Staff. Any appeals or requesting flexibility or
modifications of incentives then they go before P&Z and Council and we are hoping that
this will create enough of an incentive that most applicants would meet the ordinance
instead of going through the process and additional cost and time involved.

Jay Narayana asked if this process is something Planning and Zoning and Council is
comfortable with regarding the phased application process with the special development
plan?

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission accepted keeping the existing
non-conforming regulations for the TOD Code.

Jay Narayana added the last item is the designed review approval. One thing that will
be added, especially to the Smithfield Historic TOD area is architectural standards and
guidelines which will have a little more to do than design standards.        They may be
stylistic guidelines when it comes to shop fronts, awnings, architectural features that are
characteristic of the architectural style that is predominant. When you have a lot of
subjective decision making it is usually beyond staff’s capability of approval so a lot of
city’s have Design Review Boards. Eighty percent of all design be regulated through
good standards but you still have the 20% that need approval. The options are creating
a Design Review Board, or making the Planning and Zoning Commission this board
until there is sufficient development that would warrant a different board.

Mayor Trevino stated he thinks we will eventually be a city of 90,000 people. The
Council knows their Planning and Zoning appointments and feels confident that they
can do the design review along with the Planning and Zoning, therefore does not see
the need to create another level of beaurocracy.

Commissioner Bill Schopper said alot of master plan communities have the architectural
review board and it is typically the stakeholders that are on the committee as apposed
to the city. He feels that would be better to have a few stakeholders and others on P&Z
sit in on this board.

Scott Polikov stated he feels there needs to be some mechanism in place that puts staff
into the position to set these guidelines.

There was a general discussion regarding who and how to create this board if needed.

Scott Polikov recommended that we look at what Gateway comes up with on the
Smithfield regulations and decide if P&Z makes that determination.
                                                            P&Z and City Council Joint
                                                            Work Session Minutes
                                                            February 5, 2009
                                                            Page 11




Commissioner Bill Schopper said that if we are going to do the architectural review then
it only needs to the Historical Core portion.

The City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission agreed there needs to be a
mechanism in place to establish an architectural review board for the Smithfield
Historical core area only.

John Pitstick said the Gateway team needs about three weeks to finalize the draft code.
After some discussion it was decided April 2, 2009 there would be another Joint
Planning & Zoning and City Council meeting to discuss the final draft codes. It was
discussed that Planning and Zoning and City Council would be able to review the draft
TOD code and forward comments directly to Staff prior to the April 2, 2009 Joint Work
Session meeting. Gateway will forward a revised Regulating Plan and Land Use Mix so
they can be reviewed simultaneously.

Mayor Trevino thanked everyone for coming and encouraged the citizens to call Staff
with any questions.


                                        4.
                                   ADJOURNMENT

There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.


                                         PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

                                         By:___________________________
                                            Randy Shiflet, Chairman
 ATTEST:

 ______________________________
 Don Bowen, Secretary



                                         CITY COUNCIL

                                         By:___________________________
                                            Oscar Trevino, Mayor
 ATTEST:

 ______________________________
 Patricia Hutson, City Secretary

				
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