Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda


Meeting Minutes

February 4, 2008
The meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission was called to order by Chairman Michael Wind at 7:00 p.m. Members in attendance were:

Chairman Michael Wind
Commissioner Ron Kadane
Commissioner Pat Apel
Commissioner Pat Buehrle
Commissioner Sue Heath
Commissioner Anna Hunter
Commissioner Frank Karr
Commissioner Jim Leahy
Alderman Jane Suozzi
Mayor Walt Young
Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken
City Engineer Gary Kramer
City Attorney Robert Jones

Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Commissioner Heath and seconded by Commissioner Buehrle to approve the minutes of the January 7, 2008 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
SUE 07-16 – Special Use Exception Petition
(Restaurant with Carryout, Sale of Alcoholic Beverages by the Drink on the Premises, and Entertainment Facilities)
Senor Pique Restaurant, 14870 Manchester Road – Amexja Groupl LLC – Ms. Janet Jiminez
Mr. Jerry Wilson addressed the Commission and requested approval for this petition. Chairman Wind asked about the hours of operation. Mr. Wilson said that the restaurant would be open 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Chairman Wind asked about outdoor dining. Mr. Wilson said that they are still waiting for bids to come in, but if it is fiscally feasible, they would like to build a patio dining area to seat approximately 70 people. Chairman Wind asked Planning Director Aiken if this petition was for the patio. Mr. Aiken said that the patio is allowed by right under the special use exception for restaurants; this petition is for the restaurant itself. Commissioner Heath asked when the petitioner plans to open. Mr. Wilson said they would like to open around February 20, 2008. 
Chairman Wind declared the public hearing open and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of Petition SUE 07-16. There were none. Chairman Wind asked if there were any opponents to speak against the petition. There were none and Chairman Wind closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Hunter noted that the 2007 Comprehensive Plan cited a lack of outdoor dining in the City of Ballwin and said she is glad to see this proposal. Mr. Wilson said that their previous location had outdoor seating and it was very popular.
Commissioner Karr asked if this new location would provide more seating for their customers than the present facility. Mr. Wilson said it would more than double the capacity. Mr. Karr asked if the petitioner planned to have any entertainment. Mr. Wilson said that mariachis walk around inside the restaurant, and in the future, they would like to bring in a salsa band with salsa dancing.
Commissioner Heath made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 07-16 to the Board of Aldermen. Commissioner Leahy seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
SUE 07-12 (3) – Special Use Exception Petition
Goddard School, New Ballwin & Reinke Roads – Brownstone Properties LLC, 635 Trade Center Blvd, Chesterfield MO 63005 – Mr. Andrew Brown
Mr. Ed Griesedieck, attorney for the petitioner, presented the revised petition to the Commission. Mr. Griesedieck described the proposed development and the surrounding neighborhood.   He noted that there are several educational uses in the immediate area.
Mr. Griesedieck said that Goddard School is a high-end educational facility that addresses the needs of working parents with younger children (infant – kindergarten). Their hours are 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The majority of students are there by 9:00 a.m., but there is not a specific start time. The maximum enrollment is 135 students.
Mr. Griesedieck said the building will be oriented toward Reinke Road. He distributed photos of another facility run by the same operator, showing the architecture and style of the facility. Mr. Griesedieck said the plan shows 71 parking spaces. The petitioner will reduce that number based on the petition review report recommendations and usage at other facilities. This will allow for either additional landscaping or dedication of land to the City of Ballwin to allow for the widening of Reinke or New Ballwin Roads.
Mr. Griesedieck said all outdoor lighting would be to city code. He said the landscaping plan shows no disturbance within 10’ of the west and north property lines, and every effort would be made to preserve trees along Reinke and New Ballwin Roads. Stormwater runoff will be collected according to MSD and City standards. Trash receptacles will be enclosed and landscaped.
Mr. Griesedieck said that since many of the students will have siblings who are already enrolled in one of the schools in the area, the traffic impact on New Ballwin and Reinke Roads will be minimal. He said that in response to the petition review report recommendations, the access from New Ballwin Road will be right-in/right out. The access on Reinke Road will remain a full access entrance.
Commissioner Apel asked how overflow parking would be handled for special events such as graduation. Mr. Griesedieck said they would run a shuttle service from the other schools in the area, with their permission. Mr. Apel said that in his experience in similar situations, people would simply park on the street. 
Chairman Wind said that he is concerned about the location and the traffic associated with it. He said he lives off of New Ballwin Road and experiences the traffic during the school “rush hour.” He is concerned for the children who walk to school. He feels that the petitioner is minimizing the impact of the additional traffic entering and exiting the facility onto Reinke Road. Is there any way to mitigate this? Mr. Griesedieck said that, while not ideal, an alternative would be to make the Reinke Road entrance a right-in/right out. He said the petitioner would prefer this entrance to be full access with the stipulation that the City reserve the right to review the situation at a later time to determine if it needs to be changed.
Commissioner Leahy said that he agrees with the petitioner that the traffic issue is already there and the Goddard School would not significantly impact the situation further. He asked Mr. Griesedieck what the average distance is that a family travels to attend one these schools. Mr. Griesedieck said generally within a mile or two. Commissioner Karr asked if the petitioner surveyed the other schools and daycares in the area to determine if they offered the same or similar services to the targeted age group. Mr. Griesedieck said that Goddard School is a more education-driven than a typical daycare. 
Commissioner Karr asked how long the petitioner’s other facilities had taken to reach maximum enrollment. Mr. Griesedieck said approximately 2-3 years, although some open at full capacity. He said it is not tied to a school year.
Commissioner Hunter asked about the plan for additional landscaping if parking spaces were removed. Mr. Griesedieck said that the petitioner will work with staff as to how it will be done. 
Commissioner Apel asked if the petitioner anticipated using a school van or bus system. Mr. Griesedieck said there is no plan to utilize buses.   Mr. Apel said that he is concerned about the curb cut on New Ballwin Road and the safety of pedestrians. Mr. Griesedieck said that the fact that it is right-in/right-out will reduce the traffic at that point.
Commissioner Hunter asked about the lighting. Mr. Griesedieck described the plan for lighting on the site, and said that it all complies with the City ordinances. Chairman Wind asked Planning Director Aiken if he had received any information on the lighting plan. Mr. Aiken said that he has not.
Commissioner Heath asked about the issue of the two lots, and that a building permit could not be issued at this point. Planning Director Aiken said that right now, the problem is with side yard setbacks on the existing lots. The petitioner will have to consolidate the two lots to eliminate the property line between the two lots. 
Chairman Wind asked if there is a buffer zone required on the western side of the parking lot. Mr. Aiken said that a special use exception technically only requires a 5’ green space, which has been met. He said that a daycare is the only kind of commercial use that is allowed in a residential zone in the City of Ballwin; therefore, commercial setbacks apply. Mr. Aiken noted that this site is not one of the residential properties designated in the Comprehensive Plan for development as a commercial use.
Commissioner Hunter said that if the parking spaces on the west, east, and south sides of the site were eliminated, that would leave 40 spaces in the middle and near the building. Chairman Wind asked how many of those would be utilized by staff. Mr. Griesedieck said that approximately 18 staff members would park there on a daily basis. Mr. Aiken said that if the Commission approved a plan that designated more parking than necessary, and the petitioner built a smaller parking lot, he would not have to come back before the Commission to build up to the approved parking plan. 
Mr. Griesedieck said that there is one main door; all others are emergency exits. Parents must personally check their children in and out. During the day, students are only allowed outside with the teachers. Commissioner Karr said this may cause the cars to stack up in the parking lot. Commissioner Hunter said that she feels drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered, and this is not a cause for concern.   Planning Director Aiken said that the traffic study estimates traffic volume to be 62 movements onto the site from adjoining roadways at peak hours. If left turns from New Ballwin Road are prohibited, the traffic study needs to be redone to analyze the impact of the additional left turn movements on Reinke Road. Commissioner Hunter said that another issue is the short left turn light coming up New Ballwin Road from the south. This would need to be addressed if this plan is approved.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of petition SUE 07-12 (3). 
   Mr. Scott Rinaberger, 803 Shady Castle Court, addressed the commission. He operates Goddard Schools in O’Fallon and Chesterfield. He said Ballwin has a need for high-end childcare and feels that this development is a good fit.
There were no other proponents. Chairman Wind then asked if there were any opponents wishing to speak against the petition.
   Mr. John Wohler, 128 Windy Acres Estates Drive, is concerned about the traffic congestion on Reinke Road. He is also concerned that due to the queue at the intersection, exiting vehicles will make a right onto Reinke Road and turn around in his subdivision to go east on Reinke Road, rather than wait to make a left directly out of the proposed development.
   Mrs. Tammy Walker, 646 Old Ballwin Road, is opposed to this development in her neighborhood. She doesn’t feel that a for-profit commercial use is appropriate for this location. She is concerned for the safety of children walking to school, which comprises much of the pedestrian traffic.
   Mr. Tom Walker, 646 Old Ballwin Road, is police officer in another city and an accident reconstructionist. He is concerned about queuing and turn conflict issues. He feels this residential area cannot accommodate a commercial use. 
There were no other opponents, and Chairman Wind closed the public hearing.
Alderman Suozzi asked about the right-of-way dedication suggested by Mr. Griesedieck along New Ballwin and/or Reinke Roads. She said that this would encroach on the detention basin that is shown on the plan. Mr. Griesedieck said that the petitioner has room to make the detention facility smaller and grant a right-of-way along New Ballwin Road.
Mayor Young said that he is concerned about the utility box on the northwest corner of the site. He said it would need to be relocated to accommodate a right turn lane. When the widening of New Ballwin Road was being discussed several years ago, the utility company was not willing to relocate it. The City would have had to bear the cost. 
Mayor Young said he believes that this area of roadway is already at maximum capacity. Furthermore, this development does not comply with the Comprehensive Plan.  Would the plan have to be modified to approve this petition? Mr. Griesedieck said that the City’s ordinances allow for special use exceptions in residential areas. Mayor Young said that this is a Comprehensive Plan issue, not an ordinance issue. City Attorney Jones said the Comprehensive Plan does not have the authority of an ordinance, but if you consistently ignore the Plan’s recommendations when considering petitions, it is not possible later on to rely on it to turn down a request.
Mayor Young said he has concerns about putting another school in this area. He said there are three large schools and two daycare facilities on this heavily traveled road. The intersection of New Ballwin and Reinke/Old Ballwin Roads is congested. He does not feel this is an appropriate use of the property.
Chairman Wind said that he travels New Ballwin Road and there is a significant amount of congestion at this intersection. There are times when southbound traffic on New Ballwin Road backs up to Selvidge Middle School. He is also concerned that the development doesn’t comply with the Comprehensive Plan. He said there are many available commercial sites that could accommodate the Goddard School.
Mayor Young made a motion to recommend denial of petition Z 07-12 (3) to the Board of Aldermen. Commissioner Apel seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye – Wind, Apel, Buerhle, Heath, Karr, Suozzi, and Young; Nay – Hunter, Leahy. The motion passed 7-2.
Summary of Items Sent to the Board of Aldermen/Business Licenses Issued
Chairman Wind asked about the status of Chicago Taste Restaurant. Mr. Aiken said that it was approved by the Board of Aldermen. Mr. Aiken said the Board tabled the petition for 520 Kehrs Mill Road. If it is substantially changed, it will need to come before the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Mayor Young suggested that the Planning & Zoning Commission request that the Board of Aldermen review the day care special use exception and write new regulations for setbacks in residential locations. 
Chairman Wind asked about March agenda items. Planning Director Aiken said that there are no submittals and no petitions have been held over, so there will likely not be a meeting in March.
A motion was made by Commissioner Buehrle and seconded by Commissioner Karr to adjourn the meeting. The motion received unanimous approval, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
                                                                                                Michael Wind, Chairman
                                                                                                Planning & Zoning Commission