Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Planning Commission met on March 28 to consider the final plat and plans for DQ, and proposed amendments to code pertaining to mobile food businesses and wireless communication facilities.

Dairy Queen final plans
At the Feb. 28 meeting, the commission considered rezoning request and preliminary development plan for a Dairy Queen restaurant that will be located at 518 East Main Street. The commission voted to forward recommendation for approval to city council.
Council approved the rezoning and preliminary development plan by adopting Ordinance 2543 on March 20.
Michelle Leininger, principal planner, on March 28 presented staff review and analysis of preliminary plat and final plat.
Staff recommendation was for approval of the preliminary plat and approval with conditions on the final plat. Both were approved by the commission.
Leininger continued with presentation of the DQ Final Development Plan.
There were a dozen conditions in the staff recommendation on the Final Development Plan (FDP).
Of those, eight were landscaping issues, calling for the addition of trees, shrubs and sod.
John Odom, architect, said “I’m a little taken aback by how lush this place is going to be, but we’re going to work through that.”
Odom said there was room for a lot of give and take regarding landscaping, but the plan as submitted was already heavy on landscaping compared to other DQ sites.
“Our thought is that we’ve provided a very nice landscaping plan at this point already, and our opinion is we’d like to move forward,” he said.
An area of concern is how best to prevent the lights of cars from shining into residences when pointed north as they go to the drive up window.
Staff favors trees and shrubbery over fence. Brett Limer, council member, wondered if a berm could be incorporated.
There was lengthy discussion about the tree and shrub conditions. Council removed several of the recommended conditions and amended one.
Two conditions called for a reduction in the size of the monument sign – to be no more than 6 foot in height and to be no more than 25 square feet in total area.
The proposed monument sign is 8 feet high. Odom said that they could bring it down to 6 feet in height but asked for an exception on the square footage.
He said the sign elements are prefab pieces and ordering special size would be a difficulty.
The plan includes an architectural drawing of the monument sign. It was noted in discussion that the monument signs for QuikTrip and Sonic appear to be similar in size.
Adrianna Meder, chairman, then went through the 12 recommended conditions one by one, establishing consensus on whether to approve, amend or strike.
Commission removed 4 of the 12 conditions and sends council recommendation for approval of the final development plan with eight conditions to be met.

Mobile Food and Beverage
Commission also considered proposed text amendments to the Gardner Land Development Code (LDC) in sections regulating mobile food and beverage businesses.
Kelly Drake-Woodward, chief planner, gave the staff presentation, followed by public hearing.
Staff proposed one modification to code, removal of four regulations and adding eight new ones.
Mobile food and beverage operators are regulated by LDC Section 17.05.050 (P), which is specific to mobile food businesses, but they are also subject to Temporary Use standards in Section 17.05.050 (Z).
The amendments intend to correct some discrepancies between the two sections.

Tory Roberts, commission member, made the motion to approve, with one change requiring 30 foot distance from residences. Motion was seconded by Tim Brady, commission member, and carried with none opposed.
Draft Amendment TA-16-14 will now go to council with commission recommendation for approval.

Wireless communications
Commission also discussed Draft Amendment TA-16-15.
These amendments pertain to wireless communication facilities and are necessary due to new state and federal regulations.
Following tonight’s discussion, staff will draft amendments and present them for consideration in April.