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
AGENDA REVIEW MEETING MINUTES FOR
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 6:34 p.m.
Also present were Assistant City Administrator Aiken, Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer, Police Chief Biederman, and City Engineer Kramer.
Mayor Young explained that the purpose of the Agenda Review Meeting is to give the Aldermen a chance to have their questions answered about agenda items for the Board of Aldermen meeting following this session.
Alderman Fleming said the memo said the parcel at Ballwin Commons Drive and Solon Drive will be put up for sale. He said he thought it should not be sold until the plan for the trails was complete. City Administrator Kuntz said that this parcel will not be involved with the trails plan. The parcel Alderman Fleming is thinking of is on New Ballwin Road.
Alderman Pogue said that this parcel is located across the street from The Pointe and surrounded by streets on three sides.
City Administrator Kuntz said that we are cleaning up the zoning so that there won’t be a problem for a future buyer.
Wall/Shelter: Alderman Pogue asked what about the conceptual design of the garage, floor plan, or elevation view? City Engineer Kramer said that the wall needs to be replaced. He envisioned the structure as open sided with the opening facing the yard.
Mayor Young asked how big is the shelter going to be? City Engineer Kramer said it would be about 30 feet deep and as long as possible to fit into the available space.
City Administrator Kuntz said that covered storage gives the benefit of protecting equipment from the elements. It makes it more organized and more efficient for changing over equipment from season to season. It’s cheaper to build because it’s a shed with an opening in the front, the wall in the back will match the height of the existing wood timber wall and provide visual protection for the adjoining properties.
Alderman Lembke said the view from the condominiums could be architecturally enhanced, if possible. City Engineer Kramer said this will block some of the view of the yard, and the backside will have a residential look instead of concrete block with paint on it.
Geese Feeding: Mayor Young said that he hopes an Alderman will make a motion that the ordinance be drafted for consideration at the next meeting. This is an important intricate part of starting to solve the geese problem and is based on the information from GeesePeace and the State. He suggested that this ordinance, if approved, be publicized heavily in the “Press Journal”, on the website, “Horizon”, and send letters to property owners adjoining the Ballwin parks explaining the new ordinance so that they will be aware. The neighbors to the park are at times contributing to the situation by feeding the geese.
Alderman Suozzi said the Chesterfield ordinance also refers to deer. She asked if there is any problem with deer in the parks? City Administrator Kuntz said that we want to be generic in terms of covering all potential wildlife. It’s the whole issue of behavior that causes or encourages conflict that is not suitable for the community.
Mayor Young said that at present, there isn’t a problem with deer. Later on, if we have a problem, we won’t have to re-address this issue. There are a lot of deer in Ward 4.
Alderman Lembke asked if we are to accept the consent items as presented, shouldn’t this be taken out of the consent items and put into the City Attorney, City Administrator or Mayor’s report?
City Administrator Kuntz said that he has no problem with addressing the issue under his report.
Alderman Gatton said that the Chesterfield ordinance specifically mentions Canada geese and whitetail deer. Someone could claim that they were feeding the ducks and the geese came over.
Alderman Pogue said that restricting feeding all wildlife will include birdfeeders. Mayor Young suggested that City Attorney Lucchesi look into this issue.
Planning & Zoning Commission: Alderman Fleming asked what action is requested on the July 20 memo? Mayor Young said that he is requesting that City Attorney Lucchesi review the memo and determine what other items need to be corrected and draft an ordinance to correct the items.
City Administrator Kuntz said that there should be a comprehensive review of these issues. Alderman Fleming said he is concerned about rotating the chairman on a yearly basis. He thinks this is too short. He suggested a 2-year term.
Traffic Policies: Alderman Fleming said if he was to read this as a resident of Valley Manor, he would be discouraged and say that there’s not much opportunity to have input or make a change. To begin the process, 90% of the people must be in favor of the proposal. Mayor Young said that when he talked to the residents of Valley Manor, the residents were in favor of the 90% rule. Since then they have brought 100% agreement of the subdivision to the 20 mph speed limit.
Alderman Fleming said that in order to make a change in the speed limit, it either had to have the recommendation of the Police and Public Works and a vote of the Board of Aldermen, or it could be voted on if 90% of the residents brought it to us. This says 90% of the residents have to bring it to the Board of Aldermen, and then the Police and Public Works can still turn it down before it ever come to the Board for a vote.
Mayor Young said that it was intended to give us a written policy within our that if the Police Department, and Public Works came to us and said no, and we had 90% of the people within that subdivision asking for it, we would have a basis to approve the request within the Policy Manual.
Alderman Fleming said that is not the way it reads. He asked if 90% of everyone in the subdivision has to agree to the speed limit on one particular street. Mayor Young said yes. Alderman Fleming said that an entire subdivision should not have input on a street where they don’t live. The people living on a specific street are most affected. He is more concerned about what they think than the subdivision as a whole. He suggested that this be written to be more hopeful.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that there is going to be a problem if everyone is going to be able to decide what speed limit they will have in their subdivision. He said he strongly suggests that the Board think about this. The Police will have to enforce it. You are asking citizens to know what will be going on on each street. It should be uniform. Police Chief Biederman agreed.
Mayor Young said that this is why it was drafted, because there are places where there is an easy way to regulate it. Valley Manor is an example. It is a single street with a cul-de-sac. There are other subdivisions in Ballwin that have the same kind of attitudes. If we are not going to do it this way, then it needs to be brought up as a standard for the whole City. He said that residents from four other subdivisions have called. He told them that he was drafting a proposal to the Board, and they said that since they all have to drive on a particular street, they should be involved with the process, not just the people who live on that street.
Alderman Fleming said he does not think this policy is hopeful for anyone who would like to have input or affect a change. He said an area like his street, which is 25 mp., when you cross the line into Manchester, it becomes 20 mph. He said that 20 mph is an acceptable standard in the West County area. He suggested that this be written more hopefully for people that want to have input.
Mayor Young said that if the Board is not willing to go this route, then he considers it withdrawn. He said the Board can make another suggestion.
Alderman Suozzi said there is a policy on what is required to get sidewalks and it has a provision to allow a petition, but it also has a statement that if the Board feels there is a safety issue, it can override. She said there are areas in the City that would sign a petition not to lower the speed limit.
Alderman Buermann said there needs to be a standard throughout the city. He said if the 90% agreement is not possible, it should not be a Board policy. Every time this comes up, it will involve Public Works, Police, City Attorney, and staff time. He said if we use the petition route, we are asking for a whole lot of trouble.
Alderman Gatton said he has a lot of problems regarding item 5, which states that “The Board reserves the right to not accept the recommendation by a super majority vote.” He asked when did staff become a policy body? He said the Board is the policy body. According to this, the Board will have to override staff with a super majority vote because they set a policy?
Alderman Buermann said that according to the Policy Manual, it takes a super majority for anything.
Alderman Gatton said that if a petition gets presented and staff says no, and it becomes a policy, then the Board will have to override with a super majority vote. He said the Board does not have to do that on anything else.
Alderman Fleming said that the recommendation has to be overridden by a super majority. Alderman Gatton said that he’s making the recommendation and the Board can accept or decline as it chooses without having to go to a super majority to decline.
The Agenda Review meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
July 25, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Young at 7:03 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the June 27, 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 June 27, 2005 Board of Aldermen meeting and Closed Session were submitted for approval. Alderman Fleming said that the Minutes on Page 5, the first full paragraph, include Ms. Schnell’s exact statement as follows: Ms. Schnell said “I wish we had the opportunity to work with you for one year. Give us a year where we can hash all of this out. A year from now, re-evaluate what’s going on in the park. If you don’t like it, have a roundup. We won’t say anything; we’ll say, well, we failed, but we won’t if you’ll give us a chance.”
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
BILL # 3366 - AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AMENDED PERSONNEL RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CITY OF BALLWIN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Pogue for a first reading of Bill No. 3366. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3366 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a second reading of Bill No. 3366. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3366 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3366 with the following results: Ayes –Suozzi, Lembke, Fleming, Buermann, Pogue, Gatton, Terbrock. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3366 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-33.
BILL # 3367 - AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CONTINUED PARTICIPATION OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI, IN THE MULTI JURISDICTIONAL DRUG TASK FORCE ORGANIZED BY ST. LOUIS COUNTY.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a first reading of Bill No. 3367. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3367 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Buermann for a second reading of Bill No. 3367. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3367 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3367 with the following results: Ayes –Fleming, Pogue, Lembke, Buermann, Gatton, Suozzi, Terbrock. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Young declared Bill No. 3367 approved and it became Ordinance No. 05-34.
CONSENT ITEMS: (Budgeted items which are low bid and do not exceed expenditure estimates and/or items which have been previously approved in concept.)
Item F was removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke to accept the Consent Items, except Item F (Feeding the Geese). A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Special Use Exception Transfer: 14751-14755 Manchester Road: Mayor Young said that a representative of the property owner was not present to answer questions from the Board on this transfer. City Administrator Kuntz said he received an update that the Timka sidewalk is in place. This would be about half or less of that cost. Assistant City Administrator Aiken discussed this with the new owner. The options at this point are to approve, approve subject to the requirement, or hold off and wait until the owner can be present for discussion.
Alderman Lembke suggested that the S.U.E. Transfer be held over until either the representative is present for discussion about the sidewalk, or, if willing to put in their portion of the sidewalk, they would not need to be present at the next Board meeting.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the Special Use Exception transfer subject to agreement by the property owner to construct the sidewalk within 60 days.
Alderman Lembke asked if staff would be able to extend to them the opportunity to reimburse the City’s cost.
City Attorney Lucchesi recommended that the Board not approve this in this manner. He suggested that the Board withhold taking action until a representative is present to see if they agree. Alderman Gatton said that if they don’t agree to it, they won’t have an S.U.E. because it has been this Board’s policy to require sidewalks in conjunction with Special Use Exception transfers on properties of this nature. Alderman Suozzi said this has been the practice, not a policy. She said we have been fortunate that the petitioners have agreed. She suggested waiting for a representative to be present.
Alderman Gatton said that there is no incentive for the property owner to come before the Board. He has owned the property for one year, and been in violation for a year. City Attorney Lucchesi said that enforcement has to take place. Alderman Gatton said that in court, they request extensions, and it goes on forever. He said that there is another company that is in violation and appears to intend to stay in violation. If he doesn’t show up, nothing happens.
Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that the sidewalk issue was communicated to the property owner in a letter that the Board might consider this matter. He left a message that he would not be attending.
City Attorney Lucchesi said the best approach will be for him to come before the Board. You do not authorize the S.U.E. If he is in violation, you take him to court.
Alderman Lembke said the S.U.E. could be approved subject to his acceptance of the sidewalks. If he agrees to that, then he could immediately get his S.U.E., subject to a bond to make sure the sidewalk gets completed. The other approach would be for the second and the motion to be withdrawn, and this be held over until the next meeting, direct staff to contact the gentleman, and explain to him that the Board is very adamant about the sidewalk. The S.U.E. was not acted on because he was not in attendance at this meeting. He needs to be in attendance at the next meeting unless he would be willing to agree that he will voluntarily put in the sidewalk. This could then be reconsidered at the next meeting and Mr. Aiken assure him that the Board will act on the S.U.E. for passage.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that in this particular case, he does not recommend passage since there has not been sufficient communication.
Alderman Gatton withdrew his second to the motion. Alderman Lembke withdrew the motion.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to postpone acting on the transfer of the S.U.E. and give staff an opportunity to discuss with the owner the importance of putting a sidewalk in front of his property, and reconsider the issue at the next Board meeting. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Alderman Gatton said that there is a problem with corporations flaunting these requests and requirements, essentially saying that they don’t see any need to comply. At some point the Board is going to have to enforce the requirements, or make suggestions instead of ordinances.
Appointments: Missouri Extension Council: Mayor Young requested approval of the appointment of Mary Robertson to the Missouri Extension Council for a 2-year term. A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the appointment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Planning & Zoning Commission: Mayor Young requested approval of the appointment of Jim O’Keef to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a 4-year term. A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Pogue to approve the appointment. A voice vote was taken resulting in 5 Ayes and Alderman Suozzi and Alderman Buermann voting Nay. The motion passed by a vote of 5-2.
Alderman Fleming asked if the vote needs to be unanimous for passage. City Attorney Lucchesi said that the Mayor makes appointments and the Board approves appointments. City Administrator Kuntz said that nominations can be made by the Mayor without input, but confirmation ratification is always subject to the Board. The motion passed by a vote of 5-2.
Board of Adjustment: Mayor Young requested approval of the appointment of Michael Wind to the Board of Adjustment for a 5-year term. Michael lives in Castle Pines in Ward 4.
Alderman Pogue asked if specific ward representation is necessary. City Administrator Kuntz said no, however, in this case the vacant Ward 4 position is being filled with a Ward 4 resident. Mayor Young said that in the past, there has been difficulty filling positions with people from all of the wards. He said he would like to have equal representation from all of the wards, but his is not always possible on the Board of Adjustment.
Alderman Gatton said that the Board of Adjustment is a small board. There are only 5 members and 2 are substitutes. It is appropriate to have ward representation even though it is not required.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the appointment. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Fine Arts Commission: Mayor Young said there is a need for recommendations for appointments to the Fine Arts Commission. The current terms won’t expire until October, however, he suggested recommendations be forwarded to him.
Alderman Gatton said that there has been difficulty in retaining appointments to this commission and finding qualified individuals for appointment. Some time in the past, the Board asked staff to survey other cities that have Fine Arts Commissions and find out what qualifications make a good candidate. He asked about the result of the survey. City Administrator Kuntz said that staff met with the chairman and reviewed info from a few other cities. The problem is that artists generally don’t bring the organizational skills to the table in terms of fund raising. Creative people make an exciting event, but the Commission also has to be promote, encourage, and generate funds for perpetuation of the arts. He said we will continue to try to solve this issue.
Alderman Buermann suggested a business person be appointed to the commission.
Candidates for Municipal Judge: Mayor Young said that 3 excellent candidates were interviewed. He said he would like to recommend one as the Municipal Judge and 2 as provisional judges at the August 8 meeting, at which time, all three will be present. It is better to have two people who back up the primary judge than just one due to conflicting schedules. Former Municipal Judge Ray Wagner, Alderman Buermann, and Mayor Young interviewed the candidates. Prosecutor Dick Fox also reviewed the candidates. There were 14 applicants.
Town Hall Meetings: Mayor Young said that the next Town Hall Meeting will be September 12, at the Golf Club House, 333 Holloway, at 6:00 p.m. A Town Hall Meeting will also be held on November 14. The location will be announced when finalized.
Planning & Zoning Commission Ordinance: Mayor Young said that in reviewing of the ordinance, the compensation of the Chairman is not addressed or authorized in the ordinance. Therefore, he would like to see this payment discontinued at the end of this year. City Attorney Lucchesi said that this compensation is authorized by State Statute. City Administrator Kuntz said that City Attorney Lucchesi will review the State Statute for uniformity with our ordinance. Mayor Young said that he wants to discontinue the voting of the Mayor and Alderman at the Planning & Zoning Commission meetings because, in his view, this can cause a conflict at the Board of Aldermen level. He asked City Attorney Lucchesi to review the possibility of this for Board discussion.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Park Dedication Fees Increase: City Administrator Kuntz said this has been at its current formula level for several years and has not kept up with current market conditions. He said recent sales were used as a benchmark. He requested a motion for the City Attorney to draft legislation for consideration.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Terbrock for the City Attorney to draft legislation for consideration by the Board. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
City Administrator Kuntz said that he had discussed with Alderman Lembke about the option for a developer to choose whether to pay the fee or build the amenities. He proposed that legislation be drafted to take this option from the developer and make it the City’s option.
The motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Pogue to have staff look into this matter and report to the Board. A voice vote was taken with 6 Ayes, and Alderman Terbrock voting Nay. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1.
Alderman Terbrock said he did not have enough information on this to vote in favor at this time. City Administrator Kuntz said that at times, this becomes a confrontational question of building what could be perceived as private recreational amenities that don’t benefit the entire community, or paying into a recreation fee, which is required of all single-family subdivisions, with that money to be used exclusively for, based on Board approval, the benefit of the entire community. This will take some of the discussion away from the developer and puts it back onto the City. Mayor Young said that this is not final approval, just authorizing preparation of a draft ordinance for review.
Club House Rentals: City Administrator Kuntz said that staff is reviewing every revenue option that keeps us competitive without pricing out of the market. They would like to create incentive for usage and rental during the non-peak periods, so that mid-week becomes more attractive. He requested approval for draft legislation to be prepared for consideration. City Administrator Kuntz said that the policy would become effective immediately, but agreements that had been made prior to the legislation will be grandfathered.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke to draft legislation, as suggested by City Administrator Kuntz, for consideration.
Alderman Terbrock asked about the volume of weekend bookings compared to during the week. Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that it is usually booked on Friday and Saturday nights, with not much going on during the week. There is higher demand around Christmas.
Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer said that the Sunday rate will be the proposed weekday rate. Alderman Terbrock asked if it wouldn’t be beneficial to lower this rate also. City Administrator Kuntz said that if the Board is in favor of that concept, this can be considered.
Alderman Gatton said that this facility is extremely under-utilized. The city has been subsidizing the facility for quite some time. He questioned whether raising the rate will make it marketable. He said we need to create alternative uses or methods of booking the facility more often or alternative uses. Right now it is a drag on the city and the biggest money loser we have as a recreational facility. He said more thought and discussion is suggested.
Mayor Young said that years ago, the concept of hiring an outside company to manage and market the facility was discussed. This never happened because the Board felt that the City wouldn’t have priority and would be in the hands of a management team.
Alderman Suozzi said that it is too small for many wedding receptions. Alderman Terbrock said that The Pointe is available for city functions.
Director of Parks & Recreation Bruer said that they have been trying to expand the senior citizens activities and dances at the Golf Club. This is a good facility for many of these activities.
The motion to draft legislation was seconded by Alderman Buermann. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Traffic Policies: City Administrator Kuntz said the first issue is a policy to regulate “children at play” signs. He asked if there is any direction on this matter. Mayor Young said that there have been several locations in Ballwin that have requested this.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to draft a policy for consideration to regulate “children at play” signs.
Alderman Suozzi said that over the years, she has had requests for these kinds of signs. A “deaf child at play” sign was erected in Ward 2 several years ago. If the family moves away, the sign is still there, however, a review every 3 years would help with this situation. Every motorist should be mindful that there may be children present. Putting up a “children at play” sign could do harm by giving the false impression that everyone should feel secure because the sign is posted. Where will the signs be placed? Some people will not want a sign posted in their yard. Alderman Pogue said that if they sign a petition in favor of the sign, this is an invitation for the placement of the sign.
Mayor Young said that there are people who believe that they can travel 5 mph over the posted speed sign. If a sign is posted, we will have tried to help the families with children.
Alderman Suozzi said that along with the “children at play” signs, perhaps a sign that says “outdoor play equipment” should not be placed in the street. Alderman Fleming said that he will vote in favor of drafting legislation for consideration regarding “children at play” and speed limit signs. He suggested that the Public Health & Safety Committee review the issues. He said the two suggested policies are inconsistent. One says that 75% of the residents on a specific street must support the proposal, and the other says 90% of the people in a subdivision or neighborhood should be in support. He said the Health & Safety Committee could create consistency in these proposed policies.
Alderman Gatton said that rechecking the areas every three years will become a paperwork hassle, there is no law enforcement on these issues because the signs are strictly advisory. He said it reminds him of the signs “baby on board”. This means that someone is not supposed to hit that car but it’s okay to hit a car that doesn’t have the sign on it. It’s not okay to drive in a hazardous manner whether a sign is posted or not. Alderman Gatton said that a motion and a second has been presented, therefore, a vote is required, unless they want to remove the motion.
Alderman Pogue said that signs are not a replacement for parental supervision of any children playing near or on the street. As an awareness to the drivers, the signs could be helpful to draw attention to the possible presence of children, similar to crosswalk warning signs.
Alderman Gatton said that the Board had an opportunity to do something concrete on this issue a month ago, but the Board rejected it. This does not give sufficient benefit to the residents.
Alderman Fleming asked what will happen if someone requests a “children at play” sign at this time since there isn’t a policy in place. City Administrator Kuntz said that if they were not satisfied with staff’s answer, they could talk to their Aldermen, or address the Board under Citizen Comments. We don’t have any of these signs in stock.
Alderman Lembke asked if there is a prohibition to limit someone from placing a “children at play” sign on their own property. City Administrator Kuntz said that it cannot be placed in the city right-of-way. It would have to be placed in the yard and wouldn’t do much good. There is also a sign ordinance that might prohibit this.
Alderman Buermann agreed with Alderman Fleming that the Public Health & Safety Committee should review both the “children at play” and speed limit sign policy.
Alderman Gatton said that the motion is only regarding the “children at play” signs. Mayor Young said that this could be passed and then sent to the committee for modification. He said he is hesitant to let this die without any action being taken at this time.
Alderman Terbrock withdrew his second to the motion. Alderman Pogue withdrew his motion in favor of allowing the Public Health & Safety Committee to discuss the issue.
A motion was made by Alderman Fleming and seconded by Alderman Pogue to ask the Public Health & Safety Committee to hold a meeting, seek public comment on “children at play” and the speed limit policy, prepare a policy if they deem it appropriate, for presentation to the Board. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
St. Louis County Municipal League: City Administrator Kuntz said that if we agree to host the November 17 meeting, a commitment will have to be made by everyone to attend. Alderman Suozzi said that in 1998 when Ballwin hosted this group, the Mayor of St. Louis was in attendance. City Administrator Kuntz said that The Pointe would be the most suitable location. Refreshments would be served without alcohol.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Buermann to approve the hosting by Ballwin of the St. Louis County Municipal League meeting on November 17 at The Pointe. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion passed.
Future Meetings: City Administrator Kuntz said that a Public Health & Safety Committee meeting cannot be scheduled until Chairman Robinson is consulted. He said the options for August 8 are having a regular Board meeting with the Retreat, a regular meeting with no Retreat, or no meetings on that date.
Mayor Young said that if a Retreat is not held on August 8, a Saturday meeting will be necessary because there are issues to be addressed.
A motion was made by Alderman Pogue and seconded by Alderman Lembke to cancel the August 8 Board meeting, and suggest to the Chairmen of the aldermanic committees that this date is open for committee meetings.
Mayor Young said that a Board meeting could be shortened but that he was planning to recommend a Municipal Judge appointment on that date. After discussion regarding various options for meetings on this date, Alderman Lembke withdrew his second of the motion, and Alderman Pogue withdrew the motion.
City Administrator Kuntz said that the Retreat could be held on August 8 at 6:00 p.m. If necessary, the retreat could be temporarily adjourned to allow a Board meeting at 7:00 p.m. The retreat could reconvene after the Board meeting. Anything that can’t be resolved at the retreat can be assigned to committees. Those committees can be scheduled by their Chairmen.
Alderman Buermann said that some of the Aldermen are not able to be present at a 6:00 p.m. meeting. The Board agreed to meet at 6:30 p.m. on August 8.
Alderman Gatton said that he is opposed to starting meetings on a regular basis at 6:30 p.m. There are family get-togethers that are affected by this. He said that other Board members are also concerned about this. Alderman Terbrock agreed with Alderman Gatton. Mayor Young assured the Board that the meetings will not start earlier than 6:30 p.m. Alderman Gatton said that some members of the Board are having problems with 6:30 p.m. meetings on a regular basis. He would like further discussion about this issue. Alderman Buermann said that if anyone has concerns about the Agenda Review meeting, length of citizens comments, seating arrangements, etc., that these items can be discussed at the Retreat. Alderman Gatton agreed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Yard Art Issues: City Attorney Lucchesi said that Ballwin is a 4th class city, and a nuisance ordinance is allowed in a 4th class city. The gentleman living at 977 Morena was cited for safety violations. He has complied. There does not appear to be a basis for claiming a nuisance unless a nuisance is also declared on 3 or 4 other houses in that neighborhood, including the one right next to him. People have different opinions on what is art. He said the limitation is by state statutes and not public opinion. He asked for direction.
Alderman Buermann asked if this issue is conducive to a lawsuit against Ballwin? City Attorney Lucchesi said that in order to designate this particular address a nuisance, the enforcement with the neighbors will be necessary. The house next door could be deemed a nuisance and a violation of the weed ordinance. If a nuisance ordinance is going to be enforced against one resident, it will have to be enforced against others in the neighborhood. The people there are not necessarily going to want that to happen. This poses a problem with selective enforcement on this issue.
City Administrator Kuntz asked if this should be pursued by the neighbors through the Trustee Indentures, and doing this as a subdivision group. If the majority agreed to this and then imposed it upon themselves as a layer of standard within that neighborhood, would it carry more objectivity if self-imposed than if the City tried to deal with this? City Attorney Lucchesi said the subdivision can do this better than the City can if it has an organization. City Administrator Kuntz said that if it doesn’t have an organization, it could start one. The community standard versus the individual rights of one person to express their creativity, could be affected if the majority prevails and they self-impose restrictions upon themselves by subdivision indentures. City Attorney Lucchesi said these are options that are available. As a 4th class city, Ballwin has to base its ordinances on these considerations. It is not clear that there is a violation, since he has complied with all of the requirements of the City regarding defects.
Tim Purviance, 989 Morena Ct., said that he is concerned about what is being put in the yard and what is called art. The resident at 977 Morena Ct. is an artist, but the materials being used to create his art are trash. He has put up orange plastic sherbert container turned upside down on a piece of wood hanging from the tree. He asked what are we calling art. We need to draw a defining line within the community. Five or six pieces placed artistically in the yard could be art, but this is broken sticks laid beside pieces of metal, there is a cage from an F-15. If this was a piece of an automobile, he could be instructed to remove it. This is a piece of an airplane. Garbage is being used to make art. He said this goes over the line of what is art. There are stickers on the granite rock that says “Acceptance”. He is using this to send a message as a billboard to the rest of the community. Mr. Purviance said that the community is not saying he can’t have art in his yard, but how can this be brought down to a level where it is acceptable in a residential community. This is not an art gallery. It is a residential area. Mr. Purviance said that the neighbors are looking to Ballwin for guidance and perspective from the law that is acceptable in a residential area.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that if the subdivision wants to impose restrictions upon itself, it is in a better position than the City to do so. Mr. Purviance said that there aren’t any covenants that allow the subdivision to do this; therefore, they are under the guidance of the City as the only alternative. City Attorney Lucchesi said that if it can be shown that particular items are causing a nuisance, the City can have them removed. Trash is not allowed in the yard or creating a nuisance. He said there is a fine line between what is a nuisance and what’s not. The electrical ordinance violations have been removed.
Mr. Purviance said he removed all of the sticks that were pilled under the trees because this was a fire hazard. He uses a lot of wood in his designs. Now there are letters and signs going up into the trees. City Attorney Lucchesi said the number of items in the front yard can be limited if it applies city-wide. Alderman Suozzi asked if the number of items could be limited to the size of the property. City Attorney Lucchesi said this could be done.
City Administrator Kuntz asked if this standard were adopted, if the property in question could be considered pre-existing. City Attorney Lucchesi said that this could bring a potential lawsuit. He said the case law says that the City has to be authorized to pass the ordinance and there has to be reasons for doing this, such as public health and safety, and nuisances. A new ordinance may not be needed to enforce a nuisance if it is done specifically on certain things. He may claim that we are not enforcing this on some of his neighbors.
City Administrator Kuntz said that from previous experience with this individual, he will comply to just the specific requirement of the law, and then push the envelope again. This is not a person that is apt to be bullied or simply fold up his tent and go away. Mr. Purviance said that he will follow the law. The neighbors are agreeable to allowing him to have some items in his yard from an art standpoint, but not the overwork of what is being done.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that a position could be taken based on the the number of items according to the size of the lot and the number of pieces; however, what will happen if someone wants three or four birdbaths. Are they going to be told that they cannot do this? What if they want to hang hummingbird feeders from their trees and they put up 20 feeders. Are they going to be told they cannot feed the hummingbirds? Alderman Gatton said that Christmas decorations could be questioned as well. Alderman Suozzi said that he might take the materials from 10 pieces of art and combine them into 5 pieces of art twice as high.
Mayor Young said that if anyone has any suggestions, forward them to City Attorney Lucchesi for the August 22 meeting. We may not be able to do anything, but in the meantime, we can see if there is a structure that is not stable and could fall down when someone passes by. Trash cannot be kept in the yard. He said the Board does not have an answer at this time, but will discuss the matter for further direction.
Mayor Young introduced Scout Adam Keko from Selvidge Middle School.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.
Walter S. Young, Mayor
Robert A. Kuntz, City Administrator