Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes


August 1, 2005

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

PRESENT                                                                     ABSENT 
Chairman Michael Boland                    Commissioner Ron Kadane 
Commissioner Sue Heath 
Commissioner Frank Karr 
Commissioner Jeff Medler 
Commissioner Ed Montgomery 
Commissioner Tim Reisel 
Commissioner Don Walters 
Alderman Jimmy Terbrock 
Mayor Walt Young 
Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken 
City Attorney Lou Lucchesi

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Walters asked that the minutes of the June 6, 2005 meeting be amended to show that he was in attendance.

A motion was made by Commissioner Montgomery and seconded by Commissioner Walters to approve the minutes of the June 6, 2005 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as amended.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.

Swearing In of Members

Commissioners Jeff Medler and Tim Reisel were sworn in for their new terms as members of the Planning & Zoning Commission by Assistant City Administrator/City Planner Tom Aiken.  Mr. Aiken stated that Commissioner Ron Kadane was also reappointed, and would be sworn in at the next meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission.

SUB 04-2—Subdivision Petition (Tabled)— Conley Subdivision – 15362 Clayton Road—Robert & Jeanne-Marie Conley 

Chairman Boland stated that this petition has been withdrawn.

Z05-1— Zoning Ordinance Change Petition—310 Hill Trail—Metropolitan Design & Building, 7174 Manchester Road—Jay C. Simon

Mr. Jay Simon, President of Metropolitan Development Group, addressed the Commission requesting approval for a change from PA Public Activity zoning district to the R-4 Planned Multiple Residential zoning district for 310 Hill Trail, the site of the Hill Trail Bath and Tennis Club. 

Mr. Simon gave PowerPoint presentation, and distributed copies to the Commission members.  Mr. Simon stated that his firm has a “preservation mentality” and plans to restore the clubhouse/home on the property.  He described the development plan for the site, stating that the residences range in size from 2000-2400 square ft., and that the development would be targeted for empty-nesters.

Mr. Simon described the site and surrounding neighborhoods.  He said that the plan is to keep 23 of the existing trees, and to plant 29 new trees.  Nine trees would be removed.  A private roadway would allow access to the adjacent common ground for emergency vehicles.  Mr. Simon proposes to put in underground detention and storm sewers, and has agreed to move them from the original proposed location to allow preservation of perimeter vegetation, pursuant to a recommendation in the Petition Review Report.

Mr. Simon then addressed points raised in the Petition Review Report.   He raised the issue of adjacency of densities as they exist around other multiple-family developments in the City, and stated that he does not feel that their request would be “spot zoning.”

Mr. Simon stated that the units will need to sell for $450,000-500,000 for the proposed development to be successful.  He said that the physical characteristics of the site (small size, the steep slope, and soil conditions) must be taken into consideration to justify the higher densities.  He said the only other option for developing the site would be single-family homes, and the R-2 zoning would limit the development to seven or eight homes.  This would make the cost of a single-family home nearly $1 million in order to give the developer a “reasonable profit” of 15%; therefore, it would not be feasible to build single-family homes.

Mr. Simon stated that the Hill Trail Bath & Tennis Club is not solvent at this time, due to competition from the City’s recreational facilities and changing demographics within the community.  He asserts that the type of development that his firm is proposing is needed to accommodate empty-nesters. 

Mr. Simon addressed the recommendation of the Petition Review Report that the roadway in the proposed development be public rather than private.  He said that the developers do not want it to be a public road.  They want to put in concrete streets in lieu of asphalt, to remove a significant amount of the maintenance cost.  A reserve will be established through monthly condo fees for future maintenance. 

Mr. Simon stated that it would be very difficult to comply with the 15’ no-grade zone recommendation in all areas of the site.  He said in many areas, they would ask for consideration of the alternative of providing new plantings.

Mr. Simon stated that the units along the eastern line of the site could be moved farther off the property line, but felt that the recommended 20’ was excessive in some cases. He said that one or two of the units (those closest to the cul-de-sac) could not be moved off the property line.  He would like the opportunity to request a variance on those units.

Mr. Simon proposes that the development be annexed by the neighboring subdivision, and he will then make improvements to the adjoining common ground area.  He stated that if his development were part of the neighboring subdivisions, then the added common ground would change the density of the proposed development from approximately 9300 square feet per unit to approximately 12,700 square foot per unit.

City Attorney Lucchesi stated that Ballwin will not accept a private street that does not meet the City of Ballwin’s street construction requirements.

Commissioner Montgomery asked Mr. Simon to estimate the cost of the proposed common ground amenities.  Mr. Simon stated that the developers do not intend to spend more than $100,000.

Alderman Jimmy Terbrock asked who would be responsible for the upkeep of the recreational areas in the common ground if the neighboring subdivisions were to annex the proposed development.  Mr. Simon stated that the residents of the new development would pay an assessment to Wildwood subdivision for part of that upkeep. 

Mayor Young asked if the street in the Holloway Ridge Condominium development is a public street.  City Planner Tom Aiken confirmed that it is a public street.  Mayor Young stated that he is opposed to private streets.  He said that the cost of maintaining a private street would be an issue if the annexation alternative were to go through.  Mr. Simon stated that the residents of the proposed development would pay a higher assessment for their street than the residents of the existing subdivision. 

Chairman Boland declared the public hearing opened and asked if there were any proponents to speak in favor of Z05-1.  Alderman Jim Robinson addressed the Commission, requesting that the petition be held over until Ward 3 Alderman Frank Fleming can be in attendance and the new Ward 3 representatives is seated on the Commission.  Chairman Boland said that in consideration of the petitioner and those in the audience who took the time to attend, he felt that the public hearing should commence.  The following residents addressed the Commission:

      George Middendorf, 327 Hill Trail Drive. He said that he is a 26-year resident of the subdivision, and presented a petition with 84 signatures in favor of the development with the project being made part of the Wildwood Subdivision.  In response to a query by Commissioners Karr and Montgomery, he stated that the Wildwood subdivision was built in two stages, and is comprised of two sections, one with voting rights and the other without.  He stated that he was told that 92% of the residents with voting rights signed the submitted petition.

      Donna Jelovic, 311 Wildforest Ct. (President of the Hill Trail Bath & Tennis Club), gave a brief history of the Club, and stating that it has had a declining membership for ten years.  They voted to sell the property in January 2005, and selected Mr. Simon after reviewing several proposals (all for multi-family developments).

      Mary Reinagel, 314 Hill Trail Drive,  has been a resident for 31 years and is a former member and user of the pool.  She feels the common ground has deteriorated and is full of trash, and that she lost a sale on her house because of it. 

      Lynn Goetz, 14706 Clayton Road, said he feels that, as a resident of Wildwood Subdivision, he has a vested interest in the Hill Trail Bath & Tennis Club, and stated that he was not notified of the July 7th meeting.

      Kevin Bowden, 322 Hill Trail Drive. He supports the proposal, but in concerned about a trail through the common ground giving access to the surrounding homes.

      Jim Leahey, 308 Wildforest Court, stated his concern about the building on the site becoming abandoned if this development is not approved.

      David Brush, 244 Aspen Trail Drive (Trustee), has heard from people on both sides of the issue, but believes that a majority of the people are in favor of the development with annexation.

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

      Lynn Hunt, 181 Wildwood Parkway, stated his concern about the density of the development.  He also said that he lives in the section of the subdivision that was not notified of the July 7 meeting.

      Jim Bullard, 478 Wildwood Parkway (Plat 1 Trustee).  He feels that while the proposed development site does not belong to either plat, it is physically part of the subdivision as a whole.  He feels that the multi-family density is too high, and will result in traffic problems on Wildwood Parkway.

      JoAnn Laws, 461 Ivywood Drive.  She is surprised there are two subdivisions, and feels that it should remain single-family residences.

      Dale Vehlewald, 213 Wildbrier Drive.  His concern is that the cul-de-sac of the proposed roadway is much too close to the property line.

      Dorothy O’Driscoll, 421 Ivywood Drive, said that in order to belong to the Hill Trail Bath & Tennis Club, residents had to buy shares, plus pay annual dues.  Since the club is not a part of the subdivision, and she owns shares in it, as a resident of Plat 1, she has as much right as the residents of Plat 2 to be included in the July 7 meeting.  She is concerned about property tax increases, as well as the density of the proposed development.

      Mary Ann Seabaugh, 209 Wildbrier Drive.  Her property borders the cul-de-sac.  She feels that the cul-de-sac is so close to the property line, there isn’t room for a buffer.

      Patrick O’Driscoll, 421 Ivywood Drive.  He was not contacted regarding the July 7 meeting.  Feels the development will increase traffic; the streets are deteriorating.

      Jan Hunt, 181 Wildwood Parkway, asked Mr. Simon whether he had bought the houses on either side of the proposed development.  Mr. Simon said he had not, and would only do so to remodel them for resale.

      Sherrie Lema, 317 Hill Trail.  She asked if the road could be made private, in effect making the new development a separate, gated community. 

      Marilyn Borgman, 177 Wildwood Parkway, has no objection to the development of the property, but feels the density is too high.

Chairman Boland asked if there were any other opponents to speak against petition Z05-1.  There were none.  Mayor Young recommended that the public hearing be held over to the September 6, 2005 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission.  Chairman Boland asked the members of the Commission if there were significant unresolved issues that necessitated holding over the public hearing. 

Commissioner Montgomery stated that he had unanswered questions such as the private street issue, and what percentage of the total number of people affected had been informed of the situation and signed petitions.  Mayor Young said that he wants to have a clear understanding of where the underground stormwater facilities are actually going to be placed, with the information in writing.  He would also like to see resolution on the issue of certain units needing variances, and the placement of the cul-de-sac.

Commissioner Walters said that he felt there was no need to hold over the public hearing.  He felt that the Commission had heard everything they needed to make a decision as far as rezoning, which is the issue before them.  Commissioner Montgomery said that, in fairness to the petitioner, he needed clarification on some items before voting.

Commissioner Walters made a motion that the request to have the property rezoned be denied.  Commissioner Reisel seconded the motion.  Commissioner Walters feels that it is spot zoning.  Mayor Young said there are other developments with the same situation, and there are no other options for this property.

Commissioner Medler said he would be in favor of holding over the public hearing. 

Chairman Boland called for a vote on the motion.  Commissioner Montgomery asked if it would be possible to hold over the public hearing once the motion was voted on.  Mayor Young said that if Commissioner Reisel were to withdraw his second, the motion would die for lack of a second and the public hearing could be continued.  Commissioner Reisel said he was open to that option, but asked whether the format of the next meeting would be a repeat of this meeting.  City Attorney Lucchesi said that the petitioner would likely present an amended proposal.  Chairman Boland said that the point of holding the public hearing over would be to have the Commission’s concerns addressed, and allow the public to make new comments to those amendments.

Commissioner Reisel then withdrew his second to Commissioner Walters’ motion.  Chairman Boland called for another second; none was offered.  The motion died for lack of a second.

Commissioner Montgomery made a motion that petition Z05-1 be held over to the September 6, 2005 meeting.  Alderman Terbrock seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with the following results:  Ayes: Montgomery, Heath, Boland, Medler, Karr, and Terbrock.   Nays: Walters, Reisel.  Mayor Young abstained.  The motion passed.


A motion was made by Commissioner Medler and seconded by Alderman Terbrock to adjourn the meeting.  The motion received unanimous approval.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Michael Boland, Chairman
Zoning Commission