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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
"TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT _TOD_ CODE WORKSHOP"