Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes



April 3, 2006

The meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission was called to order by Chairman Michael Boland at 7:03 p.m.  Members in attendance were:

PRESENT                                                 ABSENT 
Chairman Michael Boland          Commissioner Jeff Medler 
Commissioner Sue Heath 
Commissioner Anna Hunter 
Commissioner Ron Kadane 
Commissioner Frank Karr 
Commissioner Jim Keefe 
Commissioner Don Walters 
Commissioner Michael Wind 
Alderman Jimmy Terbrock 
Mayor Walt Young 
Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken 
City Engineer Gary Kramer 
City Attorney Lou Lucchesi 
Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Commissioner Kadane and seconded by Commissioner Heath to approve the minutes of the March 6, 2006 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.

Z 06-1 – Zoning Ordinance Change Petition and                            

SUB 06-3 – Subdivision Petition

Timbers at Ries Bend Subdivision, 303,311,331 rear, 339 rear Ries Bend Road and 251 Ries Road, Ballwin MO  63021 – Mr. Matt Belcher

Mr. Matt Belcher of Belcher Homes presented the petitions to the Commission.  He said that they are striving to create a sense of community with this development.  He introduced Project Engineer Dan Wind of Wind Engineering, as well as the landscape architect and the arborist working on the project.

Mr. Wind addressed the Commission, describing the site and the zoning of the surrounding neighborhoods.  He said the petitioner is requesting a change to R-3 due to the layout of the development.  There are 24 lots proposed on the approximately 8.5 acres.  Allowing for the common ground, three detention basins, and street right-of-way yields an average lot size of just over 11,000 square feet.  Minimum lot frontage is 70 feet.  Although he considered fronting some of the lots on Ries Road, the petitioner felt that this would essentially create two separate communities.  

Mr. Wind said that Belcher Homes is a “green builder” not only in the homes they build, but in their site work as well.  They respect the terrain and opt for minimal grading where possible. 

Mr. Ed Dermody, the landscape architect working with the petitioner, addressed the Commission.  He said that the plan is to use native plant material that will do well and be easy to maintain.  There are plans for an interpretive rain garden and a small private park area, which he hopes will be used for community education.  They plan to save as many trees as they can, and to create a buffer all the way around the property.  Mr. Dermody said that the detention basins will have native plant material in them, provided that MSD approves the plantings.

Commissioner Kadane asked what the flags marking the trees on the site signify.  Mr. Belcher said that the yellow and green flags indicate trees that will stay, the orange flags show trees that will be removed, and the pink flags marked trees that would be transplanted.

Commissioner Kadane asked about the construction of the detention basins.  Mr. Wind said there would be walls with ornamental grasses and perennial flowers planted in the bottom.

Mr. Wind said that the homes will be in the $500,000 range, which is compatible with David Harrison Farms. 

Commissioner Hunter asked about the roadway in the development, and whether the petitioner had considered two entrances to the subdivision.  Mr. Wind said the plan shows the possibility of future connection to Ries Bend Road at Windcliffe.  Commissioner Hunter then asked about a timeline to make the connection at Windcliffe.  Mr. Wind said that since the property the road would cross is not under their control, they don’t have a timeline to make the connection.  Commissioner Kadane asked why it is included as part of the plan if it isn’t going to happen.  Mr. Wind said it was included to show that, in the event the adjoining properties are developed at a later date, the connection could be made.

Commissioner Wind asked if the proposed cul-de-sac is temporary, and if so, how does that affect the lot size?  Mr. Belcher said that the lot sizes include the easement allowed for the cul-de-sac.

Commissioner Keefe asked the petitioner if he made an attempt to secure the property that would be needed to extend the road to Windcliffe.  Mr. Belcher said that they had discussed it with the homeowner, but they did not want to sell.

Chairman Boland opened the public hearing and asked if there were any proponents to speak in favor of petitions Z 06-1 and SUB 06-3. 

      Nikki Hamilton, 220 Ries Road, addressed the Commission, stating that she feels the plan brings a lot to the community.  She supports the development.

There were no other proponents.  Chairman Boland then asked if there were any opponents to speak against the petitions.  The following people addressed the Commission:

       Richard Sellenrieck, 327 Ries Bend Road.  He feels that Mr. Belcher has not been forthright with him or his neighbors.  He is concerned about stormwater runoff.  He feels the petitioner is just trying to fit as many houses as possible on the property without regard to the proximity of the houses of the neighbors.  Mr. Sellenrieck said that Belcher Homes did not offer to buy him out, but rather only wanted to buy 70’ in the rear of his property.

       Patricia Sellenrieck, 327 Ries Bend Road.  She said that Ballwin’s leadership should choose quality proposals.  She feels this plan is too dense, and does not believe that it will be the green space area promised.  She asked if traffic studies have been done to determine the effect of the additional 24 homes.  She said the residents of David Harrison Farm do not want to look at the backs of the new homes.  She said she had 19 petitions against the zoning, which she presented to the Commission.

      Tom Lovinguth, 232 Jasmin Park Court.  He feels that the density is too high.  His subdivision has eight homes on approximately eight acres.  This development has three times as many houses on about the same amount of land.  

      Mark Plag, 233 Jasmin Park Court.  He and his wife are opposed to the proposed subdivision.  He believes the smaller lot size is out of keeping with the existing neighborhood.

      Greg Kaempfe, 225 Ramsey Lane.  He feels the houses are out of character with the neighborhood, and is concerned about the tax impact on the area based on the price of the houses.

      Roger Thake, 311 Ries Bend Road, addressed the Commission.  He said it seems that the lots are getting smaller and the houses are getting bigger in recent developments.  He doesn’t believe that this development is similar to any surrounding subdivisions.

There were no other opponents, and Chairman Boland closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Heath asked about the 15’ no-grade zone and if the builder planned to comply with the recommendation in the petition review report.  Mr. Belcher said they would comply.  Commissioner Kadane said that the home on Lot 15 is shown over the existing sanitary sewer.  Mr. Belcher said the existing sewer will be replaced with a new sewer.  Mr. Wind said the old sewer would be relocated.

Chairman Boland asked City Planner Aiken if the petitioner’s calculations are accurate for the size of the detention ponds.  Mr. Aiken said that preliminary review shows that there is enough area to put in the detention basins, and that calculations will be reviewed by the City as well as MSD before construction can begin.  Chairman Boland asked if the detention basins would be built with concrete walls, and asked Mr. Aiken whether there is a regulation that prohibits them.  Mr. Belcher said that two of the three will have walls.  Mr. Aiken said that there is no ordinance that prohibits walls in a detention basin, but if it’s over four feet deep it must have a fence around it.  He said that generally such walls have a modular block construction rather than poured concrete.

The resident at 348 David Harrison Lane spoke from the audience, asking where the water from the detention areas would drain.  Mr. Belcher said it would be piped out into existing stormwater sewers.

Commissioner Karr asked if the portions of the lots remaining where the petitioner is taking part of the yards would still meet the requirements of the R-1 zoning district.  Mr. Belcher said the remainders of the lots are still over 20,000 square feet.

Chairman Boland asked if a traffic study had been completed.  City Planner Aiken said that the City doesn’t require traffic studies on relatively low-volume subdivisions such as this because the impact of traffic is nominal.  Furthermore, Ries Bend Road has significant capacity to accommodate additional traffic.

Commissioner Wind asked the petitioner if there are any recommendations in the petition review reports that he doesn’t agree with.  Mr. Wind responded that they feel the proposed lot size is acceptable.  He said the review report recommended extending the roadway to an intersection with Jasmin Park Ct., but the proposed plan was drawn with future development in mind.  Mr. Aiken said in the petition review report that the only way the Sellenrieck property could be subdivided would be to combine it with another parcel, so it was not required by ordinance to have a stub street extended to it.  It would be better to extend the roadway to Ries Bend Road.

Alderman Terbrock stated his concern about green space and the small lots in this development being out of context with the neighborhood.  Chairman Boland asked about the size of the homes.  Mr. Belcher said that the average size of the homes would be approximately 3,000 sq. ft. with a 2,000 sq. ft. footprint.

Commissioner Kadane said that by maintaining a 15’ no-grade zone, the developer will have to modify two of the detention ponds.  He said he would like to see a detailed landscaping plan for the detention basins.

Mayor Young said that he opposes the change to R-3 zoning on the basis of density.  He said the surrounding neighborhood does not support this high of a density.  He believes two entrances to the subdivision are needed for public safety and service provision.  He doesn’t believe that the road extension to Ries Bend is likely in the foreseeable future.                 

Mayor Young made a motion to recommend to the Board of Aldermen that Petition Z 06-1 be declined.  Alderman Terbrock seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with the following results:  Yea: Wind, Kadane, Heath, Hunter, Boland, Keefe, Karr, Young, and Terbrock.  Nay:  Walters.  The motion passed 9-1.

Commissioner Kadane made a motion to recommend to the Board of Aldermen that Petition SUB 06-3 be declined.  Commissioner Wind seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Update

Commissioner Karr reported that during the month of March, eight of the ten focus group meetings were held, with two being rescheduled after the two charrettes to be held on April 20 and 27.  Approximately 87 people attended these focus group meetings.  Arcturis will plot these attendees on a map of Ballwin to see if there is an area where participation is lacking, and if so, encourage residents from those areas to attend the charrettes.


 A motion was made by Commissioner Walters and seconded by Commissioner Karr to adjourn the meeting.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Michael Boland, Chairman
Planning & Zoning Commission