Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes
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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION MEETING AGENDA
AGENDA / Briefs
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes
3. SUB 13-01 – Subdivision
(Continued from the March 4, 2013 meeting) The petitioner proposes to subdivide the property at 615 Kehrs Mill Rd into three lots, each facing the roadway. No new or internal roadways are proposed for this development and each house will have its own curb cut onto Kehrs Mill Rd. The existing house on the site will be retained on one of the lots and will be renovated. New houses will be built on two new lots.
4. Z 13-02 – Zoning Ordinance Change (Final R-4 Site Plan Approval)
The McBride Essen LLC is requesting a final R-4 site plan approval for the Essen Place subdivision, which received zoning and preliminary plan approval on January 14, 2013 via ordinance 13-02. The approved plan has 20 lots arranged on a 7-acre parcel. This use is allowed in the R-4 district.
5. SUE 13-04 – Special Use Exception
Mr. Maxson is proposing to open a Jimmy John’s sandwich restaurant with a drive-through window and front yard parking at this address. The property was most recently occupied as an ice cream restaurant, but has functioned as a restaurant location since 1995 when a special use exception was first issued for a restaurant with front yard parking, but that SUE did not provide for a drive-through service window.
6. SUE 13-02 – Special Use Exception (Site Development Plan Amendment)
Lowe’s operates under a special use exception granted per ordinance 00-14 that permits the outdoor display, sale, and storage of gardening supplies. This petition is requesting an expansion of the area utilized for this purpose.
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
May 6, 2013
The meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission was called to order by Acting Chairman Frank Karr at 7:00 p.m. Members in attendance were:
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Secretary Karr and seconded by Commissioner Goetz to approve the minutes of the March 4, 2013 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
SUB 13-01 – Subdivision
Chairman Wind asked about the size of the homes. Mr. Boerding said the homes would be approximately 1800-2000 square feet. Secretary Karr asked about landscaping. Mr. Boerding said that will be between the new owner and the builder.
Mayor Pogue asked if the petitioner is in agreement with the dedication of recreational space or paying the fee in lieu of dedication green space. Mr. Boerding said that Mr. Schmidt needs clarification as to what impact the presence of the existing home has on the calculation. Alderman Boland asked City Planner Aiken how the existing home affects the calculation. Mr. Aiken said there are two formulas for the petitioner to choose from: flat fee (a percentage of the value of the property excluding the value of im-provements), or per lot.
Secretary Karr asked if MSD has reviewed the plans. Mr. Boerding said that it is his understanding that MSD will not require additional detention.
Chairman Wind reopened the public hearing and asked if anyone wished to speak in opposition to the petition. No one came forward. Chairman Wind asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the petition. No one came forward, and Chairman Wind declared the public hearing closed.
Alderman Boland asked City Planner Aiken if the builder would be required to submit elevation drawings with the building permits. Mr. Aiken said there is nothing in the code that stipulates an architectural standard. There are recommendations in the comprehensive plan regarding what percentage of the front of the home can be taken by garages. This is a guideline, not a requirement.
Chairman Wind made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUB 13-01 to the Board of Aldermen, with the provision that side-entry garages be required. Alderman Boland seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
Alderman Boland asked if the detention area is sodded or concrete. Mr. Jeremy Roth, manager of the land development department of McBride & Sons, said that area will be a combined detention area/water treatment facility, part of the newer MSD regulations. It will be a combination of sod and a bioretention – an amended soil mixture that is planted with native plants. It will not have a concrete swale. Alderman Boland asked if there will be a fence around it. City Planner Aiken said that if it is more than 4’ deep, a fence will be required by Ballwin regulations.
Chairman Wind asked City Attorney Jones if there is a way to ensure that the required irrigation system will be used. City Attorney Jones said that he assumed it would be part of the indentures and would eventually be turned over to the homeowners. Chairman Wind noted that there was a development where the irrigation system was required, but was never used, and many plantings died. City Attorney Jones said there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the irrigation system will be used. Ms. Aumiller said it will be included in the indentures, although enforcement will be difficult.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the petition. No one came forward. Chairman Wind asked if anyone wished to speak in opposition to the petition, and when no one came forward, he closed the public hearing.
Chairman Wind made a motion to recommend approval of Petition Z 13-02 to the Board of Aldermen, with the provision that the indentures include the use and maintenance of the common ground irrigation system. Mayor Pogue seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
SUE 13-04 – Special Use Exception
Mr. Kurt Daniels of Cochran Engineering addressed the Commission on behalf of the petitioner, request-ing approval for the petition. The petitioner is proposing a modification to the parking on the western edge of the site to make room for the drive through area. Parallel parking spaces will replace the angled parking in this area. Several parking spaces will be lost; however, the 33 spaces on the site is in excess of the 24 that are required. Stacking of the drive-through is typically never more than three cars. The peti-tioner is proposing to move the dumpster enclosure to the northwest corner of the site. It will be screened.
The petitioner’s primary concern is regarding the curb cut recommendations of the petition review report. Closing one curb cut on Manchester Road and creating one onto Shirley Lane is not something that the petitioner is willing to do.
Alderman Boland asked if the petitioner has had discussion with the hair salon regarding the possibility that their parking may be blocked by a long line at the drive through. Mr. Daniels said the petitioner has not done so, because that situation is unlikely to occur. Commissioner Weaver asked how many Jimmy Johns have drive-through windows. Mr. Daniels said approximately 20% of the stores have drive-throughs. Chairman Wind asked if there is any statistical information regarding drive-through queues. Mr. Kyle Linzen, real estate broker for Jimmy Johns in the St. Louis area, said the busiest time is between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00, when there are usually four cars stacked at most.
Alderman Boland asked why the curb cut recommendations are a dealbreaker for Jimmy Johns. Mr. Lin-zen said it is because corporate mandates that delivery has to occur in a five-minute drive time. Eliminat-ing a curb cut will cause a wait time to exit onto Manchester Road, thus blocking the ability of vehicles to be served and clear the drive-through window.
Chairman Wind asked what the hours of operation will be. Mr. Linzen said that 10:00 p.m. is the most likely closing time. Alderman Boland asked if any changes will be made to the footprint of the building. Mr. Linzen said no. Mr. Bill Biermann, attorney for the petitioner, said there will be architectural up-grades.
Commissioner Goetz asked City Planner Aiken if Shirley Lane and Ramsey Lane line up. Mr. Aiken said they are offset, which causes conflicting left turns. Mr. Aiken said he spoke with Police Chief Schicker at length before he wrote the petition review report. He questions the accuracy of the petitioner’s contention that closing a curb cut will make the site unusable for Jimmy Johns. Mr. Aiken would have to see a traffic study proving that statement before he accepted it. An alternative curb cut on Shirley Lane could be used. It is hard to predict the volume of business this restaurant will have. Mr. Biermann asked the Commission members to keep in mind that changing curb cuts would be cost prohibitive to both the peti-tioner and the property owner. Chairman Wind noted that with the size of the buildings on the lot, it is questionable whether there is a need for two curb cuts.
Extensive discussion was held regarding the options for the number of curb cuts, ingress, and egress, and how it affects traffic entering and exiting Ramsey Lane. It was decided that the best option is to have a right-in, right-out configuration at the eastern curb cut, to keep the western curb cut as is, and to add a curb cut onto Shirley Lane.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if anyone wished to speak in opposition to Petition SUE 13-04. No one came forward. Chairman Wind asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the peti-tion. No one came forward, and Chairman Wind declared the public hearing closed.
Mayor Pogue asked that the petitioner, upon a positive recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission, provide documentation regarding drive-through queuing to the Board of Aldermen. Alder-man Boland asked that the petitioner also provide a drawing showing the curb cuts as discussed.
Chairman Wind made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 13-04 to the Board of Aldermen, with the modifications to the curb cuts as follows: the easternmost curb cut is to be right-in right-out with a device to prevent left turns, and at the petitioner’s discretion install a curb cut onto Shirley Lane. Com-missioner Utt seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye – Wind, Karr, Wright, Theodore, Utt, Weaver, Boland, and Pogue. Nay – Goetz. The motion passed.
SUE 13-02 – Special Use Exception (Site Development Plan Amendment)
Mr. Eric Parker, manager of the Lowe’s store, addressed the Commission, requesting approval for the petition. Mr. Parker said this is the second time he has served as manager at this location and is familiar with operations of the store. He said this petition is requesting an expansion of the current special use exception, to include conditions that currently exist.
Mr. Parker said that in the past there have been conditions at the store that he considers unacceptable, such as the use of the asphalt space in the front of the building or through the curved driveway at the northeast corner of the building. He is committed to not using those spaces for outdoor display. He said he was surprised to learn that the area in question is not covered in the current special use exception. He said the items that are in that area are not storage, but rather sales and service related. He said it is only a 10-15 day supply of goods. This is the peak time for the garden supply portion of the store’s business.
Mr. Parker said that he had spoken with Secretary Karr regarding the Menard’s store coming to the area. Mr. Parker said he wanted to assure Secretary Karr and the Planning & Zoning Commission that Lowe’s would only compete on price and service, not with merchandise on display outside.
Mr. Parker stated his concerns regarding screening of the area. He asked if an SUE could have a specified date range written in. City Attorney Jones said yes, that a particular time or season can be specified. Mr. Parker said that the area closest to the building on the east side is not visible from Ries Rd. He feels that he can manage the inventory on the easternmost side of the area that is visible from Ries Rd in such a way that screening would only be necessary for approximately 100 days a year (mid-March through July 5).
Chairman Wind asked if the pallet stacks accessible by the public (including children) is a safety issue. Mr. Parker said that he doesn’t know of any instance when a pallet of material has fallen over. Lowe’s policy allows open stacking (such as mulch) up to 6-7 feet high. Mayor Pogue showed Mr. Parker some photos, including a stack of empty pallets. Mr. Parker said the empty pallets are stacked so as not to be-come a tripping hazard.
Mayor Pogue asked if the petitioner would consider erecting screening such as that at the Wal-Mart at Manchester and 141, where they have a rack with a drive-through lane and a masonry wall as screening. Mr. Parker was unable to answer whether Lowe’s would be willing to erect a permanent masonry screen. Mayor Pogue said that during his tenure as alderman and mayor, many residents have expressed concern about the appearance of the area. He is concerned that the condition has been allowed to exist in violation of the current special use exception.
Chairman Wind said that although Mr. Parker is stating that the easternmost portion of the extended area is only needed for approximately three months, it has been standard practice to leave inventory there for most of the year. Mr. Parker said that the previous management did so; he is saying it will be removed by the first Friday after the July 4 holiday. Inventory needed through the fall planting season can easily be maintained on the westernmost portion of that area.
Mayor Pogue asked if there is room to expand the fenced storage areas in the back and on the side of the building. Mr. Parker said it isn’t practical to do so, due to the construction of the fence and utilities in that area.
Chairman Wind asked about the storage of propane tanks. Mr. Parker said they are stored under the over-hang on the north side of the building by the entrance door.
Chairman Wind said he appreciates Lowes and understands the need for the garden area, but he is con-cerned about the unsightly display of pallets, whatever the length of time. Chairman Wind said he feels that Lowes could easily put up something to screen the merchandise.
Mr. Parker said he would try to manage the inventory on the building side of the east driveway and not use the eastern side of the driveway. Mayor Pogue said that the biggest concern is the eastern side, with the visibility of product and issues with trash blowing around. Chairman Wind said that it could be a condition of approval that if the petitioner utilizes the easternmost side, that screening be required.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if anyone wished to speak in opposition to Petition SUE 13-02. No one came forward. Chairman Wind asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the peti-tion.
Mr. James Kerber, 160 Log Hill Ln, addressed the Commission in support of Lowe’s. He is a cus-tomer and doesn’t want the city to lose revenue if Lowe’s can’t compete with other similar stores.
No one else came forward, and Chairman Wind declared the public hearing closed.
Chairman Wind clarified that if a motion is made to recommend approval of Petition SUE 13-02 to the Board of Aldermen, it would be done provided that the east side of the east parking lot be utilized only with a screening fence.
Mayor Pogue asked City Attorney Jones if the area in question can be designated with a number in an exhibit to be attached to the SUE when it goes before the Board of Aldermen. Mr. Parker noted that the March 15-July 15 timeframe would be the only time he would want to use that area. Screening the area for that short time doesn’t make fiscal sense. He said there’s no place to build a fence that isn’t asphalt, and any temporary fence will blow away in a storm.
Secretary Karr said Mr. Parker has recently been assigned to this store and has empathy for the City’s concerns. The store is a top revenue producer for the city, and it seems the Commission is not giving him a chance to work through some of the concerns. Secretary Karr said Mr. Parker should be given some flexibility.
Commissioner Weaver asked if everyone is opposed to giving Lowe’s the March – July timeframe to use the easternmost portion of the lot? Commissioner Utt said he is willing to allow them to use it for that timeframe. Lowe’s should be encouraged to stay in Ballwin. Chairman Wind said he doesn’t feel the Commission is limiting Lowe’s capability. Mayor Pogue said the Commission is not reducing stock. Mr. Parker asked if the SUE was approved for the western side of the lot, could he apply for an annual permit to use the eastern side for the March-July timeframe? City Attorney Jones said there isn’t a permit for something like that.
Secretary Karr asked how high the pallets are stacked on the eastern side of the lot. Mr. Parker said it depends on the product, but it ranges from 3’ to 7’ depending on the material. Secretary Karr asked if Mr. Parker could use the eastern side only for the shorter stacks. Mr. Parker said that would be a good compromise.
Mayor Pogue made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 13-02 to the Board of Aldermen, with the acceptance of storage on the westernmost side of the eastern lot, and the eastern side of the east-ern lot be utilized only with screening. Chairman Wind seconded the motion. City Planner Aiken asked what Mayor Pogue intended as screening. Mayor Pogue said chain link with fabric is acceptable, to a maximum of 8’. Chairman Wind seconded the motion as amended. A voice vote was taken with the fol-lowing result: Aye – Wind, Goetz, Weaver, Pogue. Nay – Wright, Utt, Theodore, Boland, Karr. The motion failed 5-4.
Alderman Boland made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 13-02 to the Board of Alder-men, with the provision that the eastern side of the eastern parking lot be utilized for gardening supplies only for a period not to exceed March 15-July 5, and stacked no higher than four feet. Commissioner Utt seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye – Wright, Utt, Theodore, Boland, Karr, Goetz, Weaver. Nay– Wind, Pogue. The motion passed 7-2.
Mayor Pogue asked Mr. Parker to address the visual screening attached to the chain link enclosure on the south side of the building. Mayor Pogue said that most of the required screening is gone. Mr. Parker said it is installed with plastic tabs that break in high wind. Metal fasteners were then used, but then the fabric tears. The issue is being looked into for resolution. City Planner Aiken said the special use exception being amended tonight is the one that specifies opaque fabric, so now is the time to request a modification to that issue if flexibility or a change are needed. Mr. Parker said he would be happy investigate having plastic slats inserted into the chain link.
Alderman Boland suggested that Mr. Parker bring the amendment request to the Board of Aldermen. Mayor Pogue agreed, saying that the Commission members would not be opposed to that.
A motion was made by Secretary Karr and seconded by Commissioner Theodore to adjourn the meeting. The motion received unanimous approval, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Michael Wind, Chairman