Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes



June 4, 2007

The meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission was called to order by Chairman Michael Boland at 7:02 p.m.  Members in attendance were: 

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

Swearing In of Commission Member

Mr. Frank Karr was reappointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission by the Board of Aldermen and was sworn in by Assistant City Administrator Thomas Aiken.  

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Commissioner Karr and seconded by Commissioner Heath to approve the minutes of the May 7, 2007 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission, after an amendment to include Commissioner Hunter as being unable to attend the May 21, 2007 meeting of the Comprehensive Plan Committee.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.

SUE 07-3 – Special Use Exception Petition
Barn at Lucerne Bar – 930 Kehrs Mill Rd, #201, Ballwin MO 63021 – Mr. Rob Wilhite

Mr. Bob Wilhite addressed the Commission, requesting approval for a special use exception to open a an upscale bar with live music at the Barn at Lucerne.  He introduced Nancy Pino, who addressed the Commission on behalf of Londe Enterprises, owner of the Barn at Lucerne.  She said that the owners anticipate creating an entertainment area in the portion of the building that currently houses Clancy’s and the Ladies of Lucerne, as well as the petitioner’s proposed use.  She described planned uses for the other areas of the site.  Ms. Pino said that Linda Vista Montessori School will be moving into the space previously occupied by St. Louis Community College, and that they have provided written documentation approving the petitioner’s proposed use.

Mr. Wilhite said that the target demographic for his proposed bar/lounge is age 30-50+.   As a teacher in the Rockwood School District, he said he is familiar with the community and its residents.  Mr. Wilhite said that his goals are to revive the Barn at Lucerne, and provide a place for Ballwin area residents to go to in their own neighborhood.

Mr. Wilhite said that his establishment will provide a venue for live music, especially Thursday through Saturday.  On Thursday, a low-volume acoustic group will be featured.  Mr. Wilhite has an agreement with Clancy’s to provide food, which will be served by the bar’s employees.

Mr. Wilhite said that he is in agreement with all the issues raised in the petition review report.  He said he anticipates only being open during evening hours (after 5:00 p.m.), with the live music beginning after 9:00 p.m., so as not to disrupt the patrons of Clancy’s and the Ladies of Lucerne.  He is expecting to serve intimate crowds of 80-100 people.

Mr. Wilhite said that the biggest concern is safety and security, and plans to have four security staff members working on nights that larger crowds are anticipated, generally Friday and Saturday nights, as well as special events.  Two staff members will be assigned to the interior and two will be assigned to the exterior.  He would like to hire off-duty Ballwin police officers for this function.

Mr. Wilhite said that the interior decibel level will always be lower than 90 decibels, and he is confident that noise will not be an issue.  He said he ran a sound test and added insulation where the sound was coming through to Clancy’s.  He also walked the perimeter of the site with the sound turned up, and could not hear the music.

Mr. Wilhite said that he would like to begin construction as soon as his petition is approved.  He anticipates a short build-out time, as he does not plan any major renovations.  There will be a two-week training period for employees.  Mr. Wilhite’s plan is to open in August.

Commissioner Leahy suggested that the back entrance be made an emergency exit.  Mr. Wilhite said that that entrance will be off-limits to patrons, and plans to retrofit the door with an alarm-sounding panic bar.

Commissioner Hunter asked about traffic issues.  Mr. Wilhite said that the biggest traffic flow would be at 1:00 a.m. when the business closes.

Chairman Boland asked Mr. Wilhite about getting a sound engineer’s report.  He noted that the petition review report prepared by Planning Director Aiken stated that Mr. Wilhite wanted to wait until the petition was approved since it is costly.  Mr. Wilhite asked if the sound engineer’s report requirement could be waived in light of the informal tests that he conducted along with neighboring business and property owners.  Planning Director Aiken stated that this engineer’s report is not merely a recommendation; it is required by ordinance.

Commissioner Hunter asked about the role of the security personnel.  Mr. Wilhite reiterated that security staff would be positioned both on the interior and the exterior during the hours of operation.

Commissioner Karr asked Ms. Pino of the Barn at Lucerne if she could provide documentation as to square footage and number parking spaces available.  Ms. Pino said that she has already given that information to Mr. Aiken, who confirmed that he is in receipt of that documentation.

Commissioner Hunter asked about screening for dumpsters.  Mr. Wilhite said that in discussions with Ms. Pino, she felt that the existing dumpsters will be adequate to handle the trash that the proposed use would generate.  Mr. Wilhite said that if additional dumpsters are needed, he will build an enclosure.

Chairman Boland opened the public hearing and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of petition SUE 07-3.  There were none.  Chairman Boland then asked if there were any opponents wishing to speak against the petition.  There were none, and Chairman Boland closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Heath asked Planning Director Aiken about including detailed information relative to the security issue.  Mr. Aiken said that if those details are included in the ordinance, it would be enforceable in the future, if necessary.

Commissioner Leahy said that he would like to see the petitioner given some flexibility in regards to the acoustical engineer’s report requirement, in light of Ballwin’s loss of restaurants within the last year.  City Attorney Lucchesi said that this requirement cannot be waived without the ordinance being changed.

Commissioner Heath made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 07-3 to the Board of Aldermen, with the condition that the petitioner provide up to four security personnel to control the premises as necessary, provide a sound study in accordance with Ballwin’s ordinances, and make the rear door an emergency exit with an alarm.  Commissioner Hunter seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

Review of Items Sent to the Board of Aldermen

An updated list was provided to all Commission members.  Mr. Aiken said that as of the date of this meeting, the City came to a signed agreement with the developers of the Timbers at Ries Bend relative to the replacement of the trees after the homes have been built.  A substantial deposit will be held by the City, to be distributed to future property owners to plant trees in accordance with the agreement.  The stop work order has been lifted.

Comprehensive Plan Committee Update

Commissioner Karr stated that the Committee has completed its task and has approved the final draft of the Plan with certain amendments to be passed to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a public hearing and adoption.  Mr. Karr expressed appreciation to the committee members and commended them for the work they did for the City.  Todd Streiler will make the presentation at the July 2, 2007 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission.  Mr. Aiken said that under state law, the Planning & Zoning Commission is required to adopt the Comprehensive Plan for it to become official.  Copies of the Plan will be available for review at the Government Center. 

Other Business

City Attorney Lucchesi explained the proposed ordinance that will establish a procedure for the Commission to annually select a chairman and secretary.

Chairman Boland and the Commissioners thanked Mr. Lucchesi for his service to the City and offered their best wishes for his retirement.


A motion was made by Commissioner Heath and seconded by Commissioner Hunter to adjourn the meeting.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

Michael Boland, Chairman
Planning & Zoning Commission