Carmel Plan Commission
Tue., Feb. 1, 2022 Department Report
1. Docket No. PZ-2020-00081 DP/ADLS: The Steadman Apartment Community at The Bridges.
2. Docket No. PZ-2021-00247 V: Bridges PUD Z-550-11 Sec. 13.9.D: Right-in/Right-out access only onto 111th St., Full Access onto 111th St. Requested
The applicant seeks site plan and design approval and one variance for a new apartment community consisting of 260 units in 5 buildings. The site is located at the northeast corner of Springmill Road and 111th Street, on about 12.5 acres. It is zoned The Bridges PUD, Ordinance Z-550-11. Filed by Jim Shinaver and Jon Dobosiewicz of Nelson & Frankenberger on behalf of Cityscape Residential, LLC.
The Petitioner seeks site plan and design approval for a new apartment community as allowed under the Bridges PUD. North of this site is the Market District grocery store. West of the site across Springmill Rd. are the Williams Mill and Heritage at Springmill subdivisions; south of this site across 111th Street is the Spring Mill Place subdivision. East of the site is undeveloped land in the Bridges PUD. Please see the Petitioner’s information package for more information.
PUD Standards this project MEETS:
• 300 Apartments allowed in Office and Residential Use Block, 260 apartments proposed
• Amenity Area required
Parking – car:
• 1.5 spaces per Dwelling required, (390 spaces needed, 404 provided)
• 20 ft. greenbelt buffer along 111th St. and Springmill Rd.
Exhibit 5 – Development Standards:
• Minimum building setback from Springmill – 50’ allowed, 56’ proposed
• Minimum building setback from Illinois – 50’ allowed, 210’ proposed
• Maximum building height adjacent to Springmill 38’ or 3 floors, 38’ and 3 floors proposed
• Max. building height when setback 200’ from Illinois – 60’ allowed, 60’ proposed
Exhibit 6 – Architectural Standards:
• Prairie style architecture required and provided
• Residential building mass will be varied by integrating individual porches approximately every 30 lineal feet.
• All rooftop HVAC equipment shall be screened from view.
• Materials located in close contact with the public shall be more authentic in character (i.e. masonry)
PUD Standards NOT MET, therefore Variances may be required:
• Access to Office and Residential Use Block from 111th Street shall be a right-in/right-out configuration. Variance requested to allow a full access onto 111th St. with a mini roundabout.
Site Plan and Engineering:
The proposed site plan has a 3-story building facing Springmill Rd. with the clubhouse in the middle and three 5-story buildings interior to the site. There are also 6 detached 1-story garage buildings and a pool on site. A detention pond is located along the south boundary, adjacent to 111th St. A landscape buffer is shown along both Springmill Rd. and 111th St. Access to the apartments will be from an entrance off of the private street to the north and from a new private street running north/south along the eastern boundary of the site. This street will connect to 111th St. at the intersection of 111th St. and Springmill Ln. The Bridges PUD Concept Plan shows this street connecting to 111th St. further to the west and being a right-in/right/out. The Petitioner has requested a variance to allow this to be a full access point onto 111th St. The City Engineer has requested a mini roundabout for this location and is still reviewing the design. The Petitioner worked with Staff to reorient the pool to be interior to the site instead of along Springmill Rd. They also moved buildings 4 and 5 so that the buildings provide more front facades along the new north/south street. Parking is required at 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit. 390 spaces are required and 404 spaces are proposed.
Engineering review will continue as the project moves through the Plan Commission process. One item that needs to be addressed with the Engineering Dept. is to discuss how drainage for the site to the east will be handled since this project will be using the existing drainage pond.
There is path along Springmill Rd. and the private street on the north side of the project. The Petitioner will be installing path along the north side of 111th St. Sidewalks from the Apartment buildings will connect to the path along Springmill Rd. The petitioner is continuing to work with the City’s Active Transportation Coordinator to provide appropriate pedestrian access throughout the site and the parking lots. A sidewalk is shown on the west side of the new north/south street and staff has asked for sidewalk to be installed on both sides of the new street. The proposed long crosswalks behind the garages creates a potentially dangerous situation for pedestrians using them. Please revise the plans to provide a better pedestrian circulation that creates safer routes for people to walk through the site. 42 short-term (outdoor) and 83 long-term (indoor) bicycle parking spaces are provided on the plans, and this meets the PUD requirements.
The proposed building is designed to complement the Prairie architectural style, which is required by the Bridges PUD. The building materials will be a cultured stone along the bottom portion of the buildings, some brick, and fiber cement panels and trim in the upper portion. The buildings have inset balconies for the apartment units, which help break up the façade and provide privacy for residents. The proposed buildings meet the maximum height requirements of the PUD. Building 1, the Clubhouse, and Building 2 are about 637 feet long along Springmill Rd. This seems like a very long unbroken façade. As a comparison, the length of the main building at the Seasons Apartments on Westfield Blvd. is 396 ft. long. Staff has requested the petitioner break the building into 3 separate buildings, but it is not a requirement in the PUD. The developer desires these buildings to be connected so the residents that live there do not have to go outside to access the clubhouse and amenities. There will be a trash compactor and recycling area attached to the north end of Building 1. They will be enclosed on all four sides and blend in with the architecture of the building. There will not be a roof over the trash compactor and so the height of the enclosure wall should be a minimum of 2 ft. above the compactor, or 6 ft. tall, whichever is greater.
Street lighting is proposed along the new north/south street and within the parking lots. All site and street lighting shall be of a uniform design throughout the Bridges PUD. Parking lot lights are limited to a height of 25 ft. The Lighting Plan meets the illumination levels required in the PUD of 0.3 foot candles at the property lines along Springmill Rd. and 111th St. A pendant fixture is proposed at the clubhouse entry facing Springmill Rd., but it has a visible light source, which is prohibited in the PUD. Petitioner, please propose a different fixture. There are also up and down architectural lights shown on the exterior of the buildings. Petitioner, please change these to only be down lights to reduce light pollution.
Per the requirements in the PUD a 20 ft. greenbelt buffer along Springmill Rd. and 111th St. is proposed with the existing berm. The Urban Forester is reviewing the landscape plan to ensure the trees and plantings in the buffer meet the requirements. The Landscape Plan will not be approved by the Urban Forester until all the PUD requirements are met.
The most recent landscape plan is much closer to being approved. Some of the remaining comments include additional evergreen trees along 111th St. required, moving the evergreen trees along Springmill Rd. to the west side of the berm since they won’t grow as tall as the deciduous trees under the power lines, labeling all trees by symbol or name for proper counting, and widening the tree lawn along 111th St. to 6 ft. Street trees are shown along the west side of the new north/south street. Internal parking lot plantings will be provided as will landscaping and native plantings around the pond. Additional trees have been added around the pond in the updated landscape plan. Building base landscaping will be placed around all sides of a building without garages.
1 entrance sign facing the private street to the north and 1 entrance sign facing the private street to the east is proposed and permitted as well as one directory sign facing Springmill Rd. and one facing 111th St. The Entrance signs are too large as proposed and will be limited to 6 ft. tall and 50 sq. ft., and the directory signs are limited to 5 ft. tall and 20 sq. ft. with “The Bridges” as the primary sign and room for businesses within the PUD listed below at a smaller scale. The design of the directory signs needs amended to reflect these PUD requirements. A Canopy Sign facing Springmill Rd. is also proposed and permitted. The Blade Sign on the south side of Building 2 is not permitted per the UDO and should be removed. Petitioner, please submit an updated signage plan.
Jan. 18, 2021 Public Hearing Recap:
The Petitioner gave an overview of the project. They had several meetings with the neighbors and have made some adjustments based on those comments. Several people spoke in opposition to the project. Their main concerns were the height of the 5 story buildings, landscaping on the berm, road cut onto 111th Street, number of apartments, traffic, and they requested a path along the new north/south street. Plan Commission members had concerns about the mini roundabout and the proximity to the roundabout at 111th St. and Illinois St., the 5-story height visible from Springmill Place, and the views along Springmill Rd. They requested more greenspace and trees in the center of the development, a fitness trail around the pond, a drawing showing the views along Springmill Rd. and what the neighbors will see, and a path along the new north/south street. The Plan Commission voted to send this item to the Residential Committee with the full PC having final voting authority.
DOCS Remaining Comments/Concerns:
- Engineering Dept. approval needed and drainage discussion
- Please revise the plans to provide a better pedestrian circulation that creates safer routes for people to walk
- through the site instead of the long crosswalks behind the garages.
- Revised Landscape Plan and Urban Forester approval needed.
- Petitioner, please propose a different light fixture at the clubhouse entry.
- Revised signage plan needed to meet PUD and UDO requirements.
The Department of Community Services recommends the Committee discusses this item and then continues it to the Residential Committee meeting on Tue,, March 1, 2022 so that revised plans that meet the PUD can be submitted and reviewed.
3. Docket No. PZ-2021-00204 PUD: Flora on Springmill PUD Rezone.
The applicant seeks PUD rezone approval to allow a new subdivision consisting of townhomes, duplex homes, and single-family homes. The site is located at 9950 Spring Mill Rd. and is zoned S-2/Residence. Filed by Jim Shinaver and Jon Dobosiewicz of Nelson & Frankenberger on behalf of Pittman Partners and Onyx and East, LLC.
This proposed PUD seeks to create a mixed residential neighborhood of single-family homes, duplex homes, and a variety of townhomes. There will be a minimum of 25% open space plus tree preservation areas designed into the neighborhood. Currently the property is zoned S-2, which only allows for single-family detached homes on large lots, and the petitioner would like to build a neighborhood with a mix of unit types, including townhomes, on smaller lots. Surrounding the site is Interstate 465 to the south, Meridian Corridor zoning to the east, S-2/Residence zoning to the north and S-2 and S1/Residence zoning and Williams Creek to the west. Please see the petitioner’s information package for more information.
Comprehensive Plan Analysis:
This area is shown as Areas Excluded from the Land Classification Map in the current Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) and so we look at the previous version of the Comp Plan. The previous Comp Plan classified this area as Very Low Intensity Residential which is generally characterized by single-family detached housing with densities between 1.0 and 1.3 units per acre. North, south, and west of the project the land is also classified as Very Low Intensity Residential. East of the project, the land is classified as Employment Node.
The proposed subdivision would fall under a mix of classifications of Urban Residential and Attached Residential. Urban and Attached Residential are not considered a conditional fit or a best fit next to Low Intensity Residential, but there will be a large, natural buffer to the west provided by Williams Creek and a tree preservation buffer to the north. To the east is the Employment Node, and Urban and Attached Residential are considered conditional fits.
There are several Policies and Objectives of the Comp Plan that the PUD helps fulfill, such as:
- Be very sensitive to connectivity and transitions between adjacent areas. Discourage unplanned or harsh contrasts in height, building orientation, character, land use, and density.
- Continue to encourage a variety of housing options to meet the needs of the marketplace.
- Enhance a bicycle- and pedestrian-connected community through expanded installation of multi-use paths, sidewalks, bike lanes, and off-street trails.
- Discourage homogeneous development and corporate brand prototypical architecture. In residential areas, architectural guidelines should be instituted to discourage monotonous development
Please note that the Comp Plan states that the Land Classification map should not be construed as representing the precise location of land classifications but used as a foundation for support and influence with land use and development form decisions and zoning map changes. The Land Classification Map does not establish the right to a certain density or intensity. The Comp Plan is a broad-brush approach to future land planning. Each development proposal should be reviewed with consideration of all sections of the Comp Plan in addition to site features, context, design standards, transition, buffering, and development standards.
Site Plan: The site plan consists of a mix of residential uses from 4 story brownstones as you enter the community to duplexes and rooftop deck townhomes near the middle of the site, 3 story pitched roof townhomes along Springmill and 465, and single-family detached homes toward the west and Williams Creek. There is a public street that enters the neighborhood and loops around with alleys coming off the street for garage access. The PUD allows for a maximum of 129 total dwellings. There is one entrance into the project proposed from the roundabout at Spring Mill Rd. and Illinois St. A large tree preservation area is planned along the northern border with additional tree preservation along the western and southern borders. Stormwater drainage is accommodated by utilizing a large detention pond on the north side of the project. Petitioner, please consider requiring the pond to be landscaped with native aquatic plants for a more natural rather than engineered appearance. There will be sidewalks along all the public streets, and the proposed street cross section for the subdivision will meet the City’s requirement at 56 ft. wide. This allows for 5 ft. sidewalks and 6 ft. tree lawns on both sides of the street, as well as parking on both sides of the street. The Parking exhibit submitted shows a total of 370 parking spaces. This includes 258 garage spaces, 50 driveway parking spaces, and 62 street parking spaces. Petitioner, can additional on street parking be added south of the pond and south of the duplexes?
Additional sidewalks throughout the project will connect the residents to each other as well as to the open spaces and out to Spring Mill Rd. A 10 ft. wide asphalt path will be installed along Spring Mill Rd. and on the south side of the detention pond. A raised pedestrian crossing will be installed north of the duplexes. Petitioner, please better label this location on Exhibit I. Short term bicycle parking will be provided throughout the site as well as 2 covered bike parking features. A crushed stone path was added around the pond for an added amenity.
The PUD includes Architectural Character Imagery for each dwelling type and requires all structures to be developed in substantial compliance with the Character Imagery subject to ADLS approval. This means that what is seen in the PUD is what we can expect to be built. The style of architecture is more contemporary with a diverse mix of materials, black vinyl windows, metal canopies and porch roofs, and less ornate detailing. Because there are so many dwelling types proposed, there is a lot of diversity throughout the development. All of the homes have garages that are rear loaded, and many have front porches, which enhances the streetscape and adds to a pedestrian friendly neighborhood. The petitioner has been working with us to tweak the architectural design and has incorporated many of staff’s comments. The side and rear elevations have been improved to incorporate more brick and other details and variety. Petitioner, please add text to the PUD to require the brick wainscots and the 1st floor brick on the rears of some of the product types, as shown in the character imagery.
The PUD requires a minimum of 25% of the development to be open space, including the tree preservation areas. This is made up through the large pond, and 3 central common areas as shown on the Open Space Plan in the PUD. Tree preservation is also required as illustrated on the Tree Preservation Plan and shall be a minimum of 20% of the development. The tree preservation is mostly limited to the outer edges of the development, but the Dept. would like to see as many trees as possible preserved, such as in the internal common areas. Can the central common area by the duplexes be designated as a Limited Tree Preservation Area? Can you show part of the rear yards of the Courtyard Homes as Limited Tree Preservation Area? Street trees and lot and foundation plantings will be required in the PUD. There will also be a 10 ft. bufferyard along the eastern property line and a minimum 15 ft. bufferyard along the southern property line.
All signage shall comply with the UDO.
December 21, 2021 Public Hearing Recap:
The Petitioner gave an overview of the project. There was one person that spoke in remonstrance about the density, change along Springmill Rd., tree preservation, and the wildlife along Williams Creek. Plan Commission members had concerns about the amount of tree preservation, lack of amenities, the single entrance/exit, and screening the rear of the townhomes from 465. They requested a path around the pond and other amenities, pockets of tree preservation, different street cross sections that could reduce the right-of-way and save more trees, and parking and overflow parking information. The Plan Commission voted to send this item to the Residential Committee with the full PC having final voting authority.
January 4, 2022 Residential Committee Recap:
Petitioner presented original site plan that had 153 lots and how the design has changed to today’s layout. Emergency access is south of the boulevard entrance and uses grass pavers. Additional tree preservation areas were proposed and elevations with ideas for architectural improvements were passed out. Committee would like to see a sample of the colors proposed. There was discussion about the units along I-465 and the noise and how well they would sell. Petitioner has budgeted for sound proofing for those units. Committee would prefer more trees be preserved along 465. Petitioner 6 agreed to work on specifics regarding design and programming in the open spaces. Committee asked that the pond be used as an amenity and not just detention and allow access to the water or incorporate amenities around it. There were also requests for descriptive tree preservation signs, a parking analysis, additional raised pedestrian crosswalks, and information about mailbox and HVAC locations. Committee continued the item to the next meeting.
DOCS Remaining Comments/Concerns:
- Add text to the PUD to require the brick wainscots and the 1st floor brick on the rears of some of the product types, as shown in the character imagery.
- Increase Brownstone Side setback 5 ft.
- Increase Brownstone Front setback to 5 ft.
- Sample Courtyard and Duplex floor plan requested.
- Submit a revised Street Cross Section that shows unique ROW for the east/west road on the west side of the property just north of I-465.
- Add on street parking south of the pond and south of the duplexes?
- Petitioner, please better label the raised pedestrian crosswalk location on Exhibit I.
Recommendation:If all comments and questions can be addressed, the Department of Community Services recommends the Committee discusses this item and then votes to send it to the Plan Commission with a Favorable recommendation.