Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
City of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
October 24, 2005
THE MINUTES OF ALL CITY OF BALLWIN MEETINGS CONTAIN A RECORD AND RESULTS OF VOTES AND PROVIDE A GENERAL SENSE OF THE DISCUSSION. THE MINUTES ARE NOT A VERBATIM RECORD OF THE MEETINGS.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:05 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the October 10, 2005 Agenda Review meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
The Minutes of the October 10, 2005 Board of Aldermen meeting and Closed Session were submitted for approval. Alderman Suozzi amended page 3, Street Tree Inventory discussion, to add if there is any risk of loosing the grant if we do not proceed. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Nik Degler, former summer Intern, presented the comprehensive Commercial Economic Inventory and Analysis that he prepared for the City. The report analyzed 25 retail business classifications. The report also looks at service and retail classifications, square footage, and percentage of total square footage. There were 345 entries which takes up over 2 million square feet, and accounting for almost $5 million in annual tax revenue to Ballwin. Tax receipts from 2004 were used for this study. He said that 60% of commercially zoned land in Ballwin is occupied by retail space. Each square foot generates $2.44 on average for taxes. Over half of the total receipts were generated by the top three categories which were hardware and home maintenance, department and clothing retail, and food and liquor and pharmaceutical retail. The top three businesses with the highest tax receipts were Target, Schnuck’s, and Lowe’s, providing 35% of the tax receipts. The top ten businesses with the highest tax receipts generated 55%. He said this primarily shows that large retail businesses are the main source of retail sales tax generated in 2004. He said the auto dealerships are under represented in size due to using square footage instead of acreage. Auto dealerships take up about 9% of all of the space along Manchester Road. They generate less than 2% of the total retail tax.
Mr. Degler said he is currently enrolled at University of Missouri – St. Louis in the graduate program. He said he will be using this information for his exit project. There will be more analysis prepared on this project in the coming months, and will pass this information along to the city. He said the data base is currently in the Ballwin system and he has a copy for future updates.
Alderman Suozzi asked if the 345 entries are all of the commercial properties in Ballwin. Mr. Degler said that this was everything that he entered as a business. Some locations were not entered, such as places that were not intended to be retail. He said that every entry is basically either a vacant space or a business there that is occupying retail space.
Alderman Buermann asked regarding the vacancy rate, was this completed before Hobby Lobby, or is Hobby Lobby included? Mr. Degler said that at the time of this analysis, that location was vacant. This report is as of September 1, 2005. He said that several businesses, such as Tony Morino’s, in 2004 was open and had tax receipts. This was counted as vacant because as of September 1, 2005, would no longer generate revenue.
Alderman Buermann asked how much square footage was in the Value City, now Hobby Lobby, location. Mr. Degler said approximate between 70,000 – 80,000 square feet. This is one of the largest single entry. He said the biggest surprise was the large amount of commercial space that is taken up by service industries, places that don’t generate sales tax. He said that shopping plazas are increasingly having places that don’t generate any sales tax, such as Army Recruiting centers, cosmetics, service businesses.
Alderman Lembke asked about the percentage of vacancies. Mr. Degler said that most of the plazas are full, but there are several large areas, such as the land by Schrader Funeral Home and Red Lobster. This area is being under-utilized and holds a lot of potential.
City Administrator Kuntz said that this information validates a lot information that has previously been provided. It demonstrates a trend that has been discussed for some time and contributes to our revenue situation. This will be a useful tool in future considerations for Manchester Road and the rest of the business district.
Alderman Robinson asked if any of Mr. Degler’s colleagues are working on a similar project for other municipalities along Manchester Road. Mr. Degler said not that he knows of. He said he will provide additional information to Mr. Kuntz or Mr. Aiken.
Mayor Young said that no action will be taken at this meeting regarding Bill # 3378, Chavanel Subdivision. City Administrator Kuntz said the petitioner, not the Board, has asked to table the issue, therefore, his wishes are being respected by not considering it at this meeting.
Steve Durst, 200 Barker Lane: Mr. Durst said he has opposed many subdivisions in the past 20 years along Barker, but he supports the Chavanel proposal. The developer has been honest and fair and is putting in place things to protect his property. He does not support the creation of a stub street.
Mel Cole, 151 Barker Lane: Mr. Cole said he supports the Chavanel Subdivision. He said there was no opposition at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, and the plans did not show a stub street. Unanimously, the neighborhood was supportive of the plan as submitted. He said the residents of the neighborhood believe that the way McKelvey Homes and Mr. Brennan has presented the plan may be the final opportunity to have what they think will be a quality development in the neighborhood.
Roy Schlumpberger, 112 Holloway Road: Mayor Young said that since Mr. Schlumpberger called, he talked to City Administrator Kuntz. He said that Allied Waste is not allowed to put fuel tax on the bill. City Administrator Kuntz said that the City has informed Allied Waste about this. He said that if Mr. Schlumpberger has a bill with a surcharge, that he disregard the charge and pay the normal amount. If he receives any further communications on this, the City will intercede on Mr. Schlumpberger’s behalf. He said we have a contract with the company that does not provide for any additional surcharges. He said Allied Waste has been informed of this and has withdrawn their official communication. He told Mr. Schlumpberger that he will be glad to take a copy of the bill and pursue this. He recommended that he pay the regular bill and disregard the fuel charge. If they have any question, they can contact the City and we will take care of it for him. Mr. Schlumpberger said that they are billed monthly instead of quarterly. He said the bill showed 7.3 % fuel charge. He said the management company already paid the bill. City Administrator Kuntz said that the contract that Allied Waste has with Ballwin is for single family residential refuse collection. He said if he is being billed for a different service, it may be a different contract with different provisions for things like this. City Administrator Kuntz said that any residential refuse collection that’s covered under the city’s contract is exempt from a fuel surcharge and the company shouldn’t be imposing one.
BILL # 3378 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR CHAVANEL SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
Mayor Young said that the builder has requested that this petition be postponed at this time.
BILL # 3379 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 557, KNOWN AS "THE ZONING ORDINANCE" OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN BY AMENDING ARTICLE VII, SECTION 9 THEREOF WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENT OF A RECREATION FEE IN LIEU OF LAND DEDICATION IN THE R-4 ZONING DISTRICT IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a first reading of Bill No. 3379. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3379 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a second reading of Bill No. 3379. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3379 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3379 with the following results: Ayes – Lembke, Fleming, Pogue, Terbrock, Suozzi, Gatton, Buermann. Nays – Robinson. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3379 approved by a vote of 7-1 and it became Ordinance No. 05-45.
BILL # 3380 - AN ORDINANCE APPOINTING W. LAIRD HETLAGE AS MUNICIPAL JUDGE FOR THE CITY OF BALLWIN FOR AN INTERIM PERIOD.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3380. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3380 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for a second reading of Bill No. 3380. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3380 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3380 with the following results: Ayes – Pogue, Robinson, Suozzi, Fleming, Gatton, Terbrock, Lembke, Buermann. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3380 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-46.
BILL # 3381 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 6 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES CITY OF BALLWIN, BY AMENDING ARTICLE 7 ENTITLED BALLWIN ARTS COMMISSION WITH RESPECT TO ITS ORGANIZATION.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Fleming for a first reading of Bill No. 3381. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3381 was read for the first time.
Alderman Lembke asked, has the Commission been notified of this potential change? City Administrator Kuntz said the remaining members have been advised by discussion. Alderman Gatton asked, will this change the current tax status of the group in terms of donations to the Commission? City Attorney Lucchesi said it will not. City Administrator Kuntz said that’s the reason that the commission will continue as a body. Alderman Gatton said that this is critical to any restructuring that the tax status remain.
Alderman Robinson asked what is the meaning of “with the concurrence of the Board”. City Attorney said it can be changed to “approval”. City Administrator Kuntz said that the intent was that it would follow the same nomination, ratification procedure that is done for every board and commission. This was in the original language. Alderman Robinson asked what happens if the Board does not agree. He suggested that the “Mayor shall appoint someone and the appointment is subject to the approval of the Board.” He said this makes it clear.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Gatton to amend Bill # 3381 as follows: “The Mayor shall appoint all members of the Commission and the appointments shall be subject to approval of the Board of Aldermen.” A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a second reading of Bill No. 3381, as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3381 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3381 with the following results: Ayes –Suozzi, Lembke, Fleming, Buermann, Pogue, Gatton, Terbrock, Robinson. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3381 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-47.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Fleming to accept the Consent Items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Mayor Young said the St. Louis County Municipal League will meet on Thursday, October 27, at St. Ann City Hall at 7:30 p.m.. Eminent Domain and TIF will be discussed.
Mayor Young said the Legislative Breakfast is on Saturday, November 5, at 9:00 a.m. at the Frontenac Hilton.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Fence Easement Issue: City Administrator Kuntz the easement is for the placement of the fence on city property. The only staff recommendation is that the beneficiary of the easement will be responsible to having this easement recorded and provide official notification to the City prior to the issuance of any fence permit on that location. He said this is an equitable compromise that should very much benefit the neighboring party to the subdivision. Alderman Lembke asked if the property owner has been advised of this. City Administrator Kuntz said he has not had communication with them. He said this strictly came from a follow up discussion at the last Board meeting. It is determined to be the least expensive of all options and is consistent with prior practice.
Alderman Robinson said that this is a fence and landscape maintenance easement. He said he wants the beneficiary to understand that they have the duty to maintain the fence and the land. He said if the fence needs to be replaced in 10 years or whatever, the replacement is their responsibility. City Engineer Kramer said this is an agreement to allow the Porcellis to do this on city property. Alderman Robinson said that it is his understanding that one of the conditions in granting the easement is that they would maintain the fence and maintain the grounds within the easement on their side of the fence. Mrs. Ann Porcelli said that is fine with them and this is what they agreed upon.
Alderman Lembke suggested preparing an agreement for them to sign that they are in agreement that they will maintain the fence and land within the easement.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to draft an ordinance and to add the provision relating to the obligation of the land owner. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Lembke explained to Mrs. Porcelli that City Attorney Lucchesi will draft the ordinance for the next Board meeting. The Board will vote on the ordinance. If the ordinance passes, and there’s no reason to think that it won’t, the Mayor will sign the ordinance and a copy will be provided for her signature, and to send back to the City Administrator. Alderman Robinson said that Mrs. Porcelli will pay for the recording of the easement, which is $26 for the first two pages and $14 for each page after that.
Alderman Lembke asked when can they start installing the fence. City Attorney Lucchesi said that this can be done after the easement has been recorded, which will be at least two weeks from now and a fence permit is issued. Mrs. Porcelli said that at this time, there is nothing separating her yard from the hill that goes up to the pond. She said she has children and is very concerned about this. City Attorney Lucchesi said that she can put a fence on her own property right now if she is worried about the time frame necessary for Board approval and recording by the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds. He said that legally, the fence cannot be installed until the easement has been recorded.
Future Meetings: City Administrator Kuntz said that on November 14, a 5:30 p.m. Budget session will be held at the West Springs Church at Big Bend and Ries Road. The Town Hall Meeting will be from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The Board of Aldermen meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. If the Budget Session requires additional time, this can be resumed after the Board meeting at the same location.
City Administrator Kuntz recommended that the December 26 Board of Aldermen meeting be cancelled due to the conflict with the holiday season. A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to cancel the December 26 Board of Aldermen meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the November 17 meeting of the St. Louis County Municipal League is being hosted at The Point At Ballwin Commons. He said we have solicited bids for the light refreshments which the host is expected to provide. That catering will be done by Collier’s. The Board should be there to be recognized as the host city. The normal procedure is a short business session, followed by a program, and then a social time. It generally goes from 7:30 p.m. to about 9:00 p.m.
Closed Session – Real Estate and Personnel: City Administrator Kuntz said this session is requested following the Board meeting.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Adult Entertainment Districts: City Attorney Lucchesi said about 20 years ago, there was a Supreme Case that stated a city could not prohibit certain kinds of businesses under the First Amendment. At that time, the Ballwin ordinance was amended accordingly. He said we thought our ordinance with the special use exception might cover us. In the 20 years since then, there has been a number of cases that have been litigated and proposed that define the issue better. He said the City of Ballwin would be well served to look at this again and perhaps amend the ordinance with respect to certain kinds of businesses. You cannot prohibit them, but you can do a number of things that we don’t have presently in our ordinances. It would be better served now and put it into place than to wait until somebody comes in making the request. He said that as part of this, he suggested a moratorium that we don’t accept anything until this ordinance is finished. He said there are certain procedures that we can put in place that would be better than what we presently have available.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Robinson to have the legislation drafted. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Robinson to make a moratorium on any businesses that might be affected by the proposed legislation. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Street Trees: Alderman Lembke said that there was a tree in the city right-of-way. It was cut down and the stump was left. He said our policy is that we cut the stump as close to the ground as possible and we do not get involved with stump removal. We don’t have the equipment, where do we stop, how much and who is responsible for cleaning this up. The stump is left behind to rot. If the homeowner wants to plan a new tree in its place, they can approach the city and get an idea of what tree needs to be planted. He said in this particular case, the suckers from an ash tree have come up and now stand 3 feet tall. It looks like a bush. He said he received a complaint about this. There’s nothing in the ordinance that refers to suckers out of a tree stump. He said the City Attorney was going to look into this to see if without changing our ordinance, this could be considered grass and that it could be addressed from that perspective. It might necessitate the addition of this being incorporated into our grass ordinance to minimize it and keep it at 6 inches. The particular homeowner that has this in front of their house is not willing to maintain it. They cut around it. They feel it’s the City’s responsibility. The neighbors are looking to the city to solve the problem. Alderman Lembke said he would like to see the growth cut down. City Attorney Lucchesi said he will research this. Alderman Lembke asked if this has to be done by ordinance, is anyone on the Board interested in spending city money for the City Attorney to do this.
Alderman Robinson said he thinks this should be done because he has a similar problem in his ward. Alderman Pogue said he thinks this is still part of the initial tree that was removed. Alderman Suozzi said that the suckers are not necessarily from that tree. They can grow on the trunk of that tree. Alderman Pogue said the arborist should be consulted on this issue. City Administrator Kuntz said that the opinion of the arborist is if the new growth is from this tree. The issue that Alderman Lembke has is that this should be the homeowner’s responsibility. City Administrator Kuntz said that when the tree has been cut down, it’s done and there’s no more city responsibility.
Alderman Buermann asked when the tree is cut down, is there any stump grinding at that time. City Administrator Kuntz said no. Alderman Lembke said that if the resident doesn’t like the stump, they will have to pay to have the stump removed. He said if the stump is cut off and the lawn mower is rolled across the stump, the tree branch sucklings will not grow up. This resident cuts around the stump and has allowed the sucklings to grow and they are now 3 or 4 feet tall.
Alderman Lembke said it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the tree. Alderman Terbrock asked why is it wrong for someone to cut the tree down themselves instead of calling in to have the City do this? Alderman Suozzi said that once it has been cut, it’s no longer a tree.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that the burden is on the homeowner. He said that either the present ordinance covers it or a new ordinance should be drafted.
Alderman Robinson said that the City should get out of the tree business altogether. He said if the tree is on the homeowner’s property, they could cut it down. City Attorney Lucchesi said after the tree is removed from the right-of-way by the city, after that, it’s the homeowner’s problem. Mayor Young said they did not cut down to ground level, it has a stump and they can’t get it all the way to the ground. There’s no way a lawn mower can be run over it. It’s up to the homeowner to drill holes, put something on it because it’s their stump.
Alderman Robinson said that if the city cuts the tree down, a safety issue arises. He said if we remove the tree because of a safety issue, it’s the only time we come in and infringe upon the property rights. He said we keep the city tree designation so that we can remove it for a safety issue. Everything else related to the tree, the stump, surrounding area is still their property. Alderman Lembke said you can’t allow a tree to regrow itself by allowing 50, 60, or 100 suckers coming up because the tree will never regenerate itself that way. He said you have to prune it and select one of the suckers to be the tree and to nurture that back up. He said he doesn’t have a problem with that. He has a problem with someone ignoring it and having the bushy mess in front of the house with weeds growing up through it and around it.
Alderman Suozzi said that there are line of sight issues with brush growing close to the road. She said we trim our trees so that they are all consistent. Mayor Young asked if we could just make it part of the weed ordinance. Alderman Lembke said that’s what he was hoping to do. City Attorney Lucchesi said he will look into it.
At 8:07 p.m., the Board adjourned the regular meeting and reconvened the Capital Budget Work Session discussion. See the Capital Budget Minutes on October 24, 2005 for this discussion. Mayor Young said that he would reconvene the Board meeting following the adjournment of the Budget Work Session. The Board reconvened in open session at 8:21 p.m.
Adjourn to Closed Session:
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Fleming to adjourn to closed session, according to the provision of the Missouri statutes for the purposes of discussing real estate and a personnel issue. A roll call was taken with the following results: Ayes – Robinson, Gatton, Fleming, Lembke, Buermann, Suozzi, Pogue. Nays – Terbrock. The motion passed by a vote of 7-1, and the meeting adjourned to closed session at 8:22 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 8:25 p.m.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi to adjourn the closed session. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous result, and the closed session was adjourned at 9:14 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 9:15 p.m.
Mayor Young announced that the Board met in closed session and discussed real estate and personnel. No votes were taken.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn the open session. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 9:16 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator