Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Held at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center
300 Park Drive
March 3, 2014 • 7:00 P.M.

Residents of Ballwin are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the programs and services of the City of Ballwin regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, national origin or political affiliation. If one requires an accommodation, please call (636) 227-8580 V or (636) 527-9200 TDD or 1-800-735-2466 (Relay Missouri) no later than 5:00 p.m. on the third business day preceding the hearing. Offices are open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

AGENDA / briefs

1. Call to Order

2. Approval of Minutes

3. SUE 13-11 Special Use Exception (Motor Vehicle Rental and Outdoor Storage of Motor Vehicles)

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Auto Rental, 15471 Manchester Rd, Ballwin MO 63011
Petitioner: Mr. Timothy Hof, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 10144 Page Ave, St Louis MO 63132

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is proposing to move its motor vehicle rental business from 15479 Manchester Rd. next door to 15471 Manchester Rd. This is at the northeast corner of Manchester Rd. and Mimosa Ln. across Mimosa from the Ballwin Post Office. This is a stand-alone business, on a site shared by three commercial buildings. Although presently vacant, this building was most recently occupied by Verizon Wireless in the retail portion and an auto detailing business in the vehicle bays at the rear of the building. Enterprise Rent-A-Car will occupy the entire building.

4. Z 13-11 Zoning Ordinance Change (R-3 to PSD)
    Westglen Court Subdivision

SUB 13-05 Subdivision
Westglen Court Subdivision, 855 Westglen Village Dr, Ballwin MO 63021
Petitioner: Mr. William F. Kemp, Kemp Homes, 320 N Bemiston, Clayton MO 63105

Kemp Homes is requesting a change in the zoning district classification from R-3 Single Family to PSD Planned Single Family Dwelling District for the approximately 3 acre parcel of land at 855 Westglen Village Dr. This parcel is located between the Westglen Village Condominiums and the Westglen Village Apartments. The petitioner proposes to develop the property with a 9 lot single family subdivision.

5. SUE 13-10 Special Use Exception (Communications Tower)
    Ferris Park Tower PhotoSim

Ferris Park Cell Tower, 500 New Ballwin Rd, Ballwin MO 63021
Petitioner: Mr. James Stockell, AT&T Mobility, 13075 Manchester Rd, DesPeres MO 63131

William Jenkins of CIS Communications, LLC, is representing James Stockell of AT&T Mobility in his request for the granting of a special use exception to erect a communications tower near the pavilion in Ferris Park. The proposed tower is called a monopine tower. This is a monopole style tower disguised as a pine tree with exterior mounted antennas and wiring concealed within the branches. Ground-mounted equipment is proposed within a wall-enclosed compound at the base of the tower. The tower is planned to be 130’ tall. It is proposed to be located immediately adjacent to the east side of the sidewalk running to the pavilion near the tree line.

6. Adjournment

Meeting Minutes

March 3, 2014

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

PRESENT                                                               ABSENT
Secretary Frank Karr                                Chairman Michael Wind
Commissioner Lynn Goetz                         Commissioner Mark Weaver
Commissioner John Schwent
Commissioner Mike Utt
Commissioner Chris Wright
Commissioner Lisa Zimmerman
Alderman Michael Boland
Mayor Tim Pogue

Assistant City Administrator/City Planner Thomas Aiken
City Engineer Gary Kramer
City Attorney Robert E. Jones

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Mayor Pogue and seconded by Commissioner Utt to approve the minutes of the February 3, 2014 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

SUE 13-11 (Motor Vehicle Rental and Outdoor Storage of Motor Vehicles)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Auto Rental, 15471 Manchester Rd, Ballwin MO
Petitioner: Mr. Timothy Hof, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 10144 Page Ave, St Louis MO 63132

Mr. Hof, operations manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, addressed the Commission, requesting approval for the special use exception.

Acting Chairman Karr stated that there were three issues of concern to the Planning & Zoning Commis-sion which caused the hearing for Petition SUE 13-11 to be held over – landscaping, curb cuts, and a statement from the property owner giving the petitioner permission to utilize the rear parking lot as over-flow space – and Mr. Hof has addressed those concerns, including submitting a letter from the property owner, Lenette Realty, regarding permission to use the rear parking lot.

Commissioner Utt complimented Mr. Hof on the submitted landscaping plan. Alderman Boland asked about the curb cuts and whether the petitioner is willing to eliminate any of them. Mr. Hof said there are three curb cuts that serve the four businesses on the parcel. Only one curb cut serves the proposed loca-tion for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, so they cannot eliminate it.

Mayor Pogue noted that the petition review report also recommended marking the fire lane as “no park-ing.” Mr. Hof stated that this area is not part of the property Enterprise Rent-A-Car is leasing. Mr. Ken Goldberg of Lenette Realty said that he is willing to mark the fire lane.

Acting Chairman Karr continued the public hearing, and asked if anyone wished to speak in opposition to Petition SUE 13-11. No one came forward. Acting Chairman Karr asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the petition. No one came forward. Acting Chairman Karr declared the public hearing closed.

Mayor Pogue made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 13-11 to the Board of Aldermen. Alderman Boland seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission mem-bers present.

Z 13-11 Zoning Ordinance Change (R-3 to PSD)
SUB 13-05 Subdivision
Westglen Court Subdivision, 855 Westglen Village Dr, Ballwin MO 63021
Petitioner: Mr. William F. Kemp, Kemp Homes, 320 N Bemiston, Clayton MO 63105

Mr. Mark Teitelbaum of Kemp Homes presented the proposed zoning and subdivision plan. He provided background on Kemp Homes as well as information about the three-acre site and the surrounding neigh-borhood.

Mr. Teitelbaum presented a site plan showing a nine-lot subdivision with sidewalks on both sides of the street and a stormwater detention basin. The sidewalks near the entrance have been placed next to the curb and widened to meet City code requirements. The petitioner proposes fencing and landscaping to screen the street from the townhomes to the north. Mr. Teitelbaum said the minimum lot is 64’ wide, and the typical R-3 zoned lot is 70’ wide. The petitioner is proposing the PSD district to allow for some de-sign flexibility.

Mr. Teitelbaum showed a cross section of street showing that the depth will be lowered by three feet to help mitigate the impact of the street on the abutting townhomes. Mr. Teitelbaum said the petitioner worked with MSD on stormwater issues, and at its requirement, has placed a bioretention area within the right-of-way near the proposed subdivision entrance.

Mr. Teitelbaum showed the Commission elevation drawings of the homes that will be offered by Kemp Homes.

Acting Chairman Karr asked if this subdivision would fit into the parameters of the R-3 district. Mr. Teitelbaum said that it will not, and therefore the petitioner is requesting a change to PSD. Mr. Karr ref-erenced the two most recent comprehensive plans for the City, which recommends multi-family develop-ment on this site.

Mr. Teitelbaum noted that the most recent comprehensive plan was adopted in 2007, which was prior to the economic recession. He feels that single family would better serve the area and the surrounding neighborhood. Mr. Teitelbaum feels that developing the site with multiple family housing would cause the resale value of the current townhomes to go down. By building a single family development, those values would stabilize for the current homeowners. He believes the proposed development would be wel-comed by the neighbors. A nine-lot single family subdivision would have less traffic impact than a 24-unit multiple family development.

Alderman Boland asked about the previous petitions submitted for this site. Was the rezoning request primarily for the purpose of inserting single family homes? City Planner Aiken said the previous petitioner initially requested R-4 zoning, which is multiple family zoning, and submitted a single family subdivision development plan. That request received opposition, and the petitioner returned with a duplex development plan, which was withdrawn by the petitioner before being substantially considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Even though single family is allowed in the R-4 district, it was created for high-density multiple family developments. The setbacks and building requirements are established for that kind of development and are not well suited to single family development. The PSD district is intended for single family development, with applicable setback regulations.

Alderman Boland stated that while he is aware of the economic issues faced by developers, he has a con-cern with changing zoning purely to grant economic advantage. What makes this petition different from the last one? Mr. Teitelbaum said the petitioner is requesting single family zoning, and he has spoken with the neighbors and feels they would prefer a single family development because it would have less negative impact on the current residents. Alderman Boland asked Mr. Teitelbaum if he has met with all the residents in the townhomes that back up to the proposed development. Mr. Teitelbaum said he has spoken with the one of the residents by phone. He said he met with the directors of the homeowners association, who were going to disseminate the information to the residents.

Mayor Pogue asked why the petitioner doesn’t develop the site under the current R-3 single family zon-ing? Mr. Teitelbaum said he thought the zoning was currently multiple family. City Planner Aiken said the petitioner could develop the site under the parameters of the R-3 zoning; he would not have to request a zoning change. Mayor Pogue asked again why the petitioner isn’t proposing to develop the site under the current zoning. Mr. Teitelbaum said he would lose one of the lots.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked about the price point for the proposed homes. Are these being marketed to first-time homebuyers? Mr. Teitelbaum said the homes will definitely be marketed for move-up buyers. The price point is mid-$300’s to $400’s. Commissioner Zimmerman asked Mr. Teitelbaum how a prospective buyer will feel about purchasing a $300,000-plus home that abuts townhomes and apartments. Mr. Teitelbaum said he is currently building a development that integrates single family and multiple family, and it’s working out well. He feels this proposed plan is a good complement to the existing neighborhood.

Mayor Pogue referred to the zoning petition review report, noting that some lots do not meet the 60’ set-back requirement. City Planner Aiken said the petitioner made some adjustments to the plan, so the only houses that are currently non-compliant are Lots 1 and 9.

Commissioner Utt asked if MSD has approved the proposed plan. Mr. Teitelbaum said it has been con-ceptually approved. Acting Chairman Karr asked if there will be a homeowner’s association, and what type of ownership the homes will be. Mr. Teitelbaum said there will be a homeowner’s association. The homes are traditional single family ownership. The homeowner’s association is set up to maintain the fencing and detention basin, as well as the trees on common ground.

City Attorney Jones asked about the fence and the landscaped biodetention area near the entrance. Will they be in the City right-of-way? Mr. Teitelbaum said they will. City Attorney Jones asked if the peti-tioner anticipates obtaining an easement from the City so the homeowner’s association can maintain those features? He said the City generally does not like to have such structures in the right-of-way. Mr. Teitel-baum said the petitioner has tried to eliminate as much of the rain garden concept as possible, and add more curb inlet structures to carry water back to the detention basin.

Mayor Pogue noted that the petitioner is planning to build a pervious sidewalk and the petition review report recommended that the homeowner’s association maintain it, which is not typical practice for side-walk maintenance in the public right-of-way. Pervious pavement requires high maintenance to work properly, and with it being part of the MSD requirements, it is imperative that it be maintained properly. Mayor Pogue asked City Attorney Jones if this petition is approved, can regular maintenance reports to the City be required so that the City can be assured that this MSD water quality feature is properly main-tained. City Attorney Jones said a maintenance requirement can be placed into the easement agreement with enforcement mechanisms. Ultimately, however, the developer will no longer be involved and it will fall to the homeowner’s association and the residents to fund and maintain it. Mr. Teitelbaum said all water quality features are dependent on the homeowner’s association being responsible to maintain them. Mayor Pogue agreed, but said he has a major concern with this being a public facility that the City usually maintains, but will be turned over to homeowners who don’t know how to maintain pervious surfaces. He said he would hate to see this system fail and have it fall to the homeowners to replace it. Mr. Teitelbaum said the problem lies with MSD requiring it and the homeowners will have to learn to deal with it. Mayor Pogue said that the petitioner can design it a different way. MSD is not requiring the petitioner to build it this way. Mr. Teitelbaum asked Dan Wind of Wind Engineering if there is another option. Mr. Wind said a pervious sidewalk is less susceptible to problems than pervious pavement because there is no vehicle load on it. Mayor Pogue asked if the developer can build a larger bioswale rather than use a pervious sidewalk. Mr. Teitelbaum said the petitioner can ask MSD to reconsider it.

City Engineer Kramer asked why the water quality feature can’t be moved out of the right-of-way. Mr. Wind said the water has to come from the street. Mr. Kramer said in lieu of a pervious sidewalk, can’t the stormwater be piped to another location? Mr. Wind said that has been done to a point on the street. City Engineer Kramer suggested creating a bioswale on both sides of the street to eliminate the pervious side-walk. He said he doesn’t think MSD cares if pervious sidewalks or bioswales are used as long as there is a water quality feature directing the stormwater is going into the soil.

Mayor Pogue asked how the stabilization will be handled during grading. Mr. Teitelbaum said silt fencing will be used. Mayor Pogue said the comprehensive plan recommends that garages not be more than 50% of the frontage of the houses. Mr. Teitelbaum said home buyers want three car garages. One of their homes is limited to a two-car garage. All others have the three-car option, and two models are three-car standard. Commissioner Schwent asked if all the lots will fit three-car models. Mr. Teitelbaum said yes.

City Planner Aiken wanted the Planning & Zoning Commission to understand that the proposal is a very viable single family subdivision. The problem to consider is that the comprehensive plan recommends multiple family development on the site. The Commission can approve a development that doesn’t follow the plan, but should have good reasons to do so. However, the parcel is zoned single family. Mr. Teitelbaum is asking for a different single family zoning that allows deviation from what is allowed in the R-3. The proposed development doesn’t allow significantly higher density than the R-3 would theoreti-cally allow. However, the proposed development doesn’t meet the setback requirements on Lots 1 and 9, so even if the Commission is in favor of granting the rezoning, it would have to make a negative recom-mendation and the petitioner would have to go before the Board of Adjustment for a variance. The Commission can also table the petition to allow the petitioner to get the variance. City Attorney Jones said it makes sense to table it, rather than start over.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked if the stormwater issues will be addressed before the Planning & Zoning Commission makes a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. City Attorney Jones said that is correct.

Acting Chairman Karr declared the public hearing open, and asked if anyone wished to speak in opposi-tion to Petition Z13-11 or SUB 13-05.

Ms. Sue Phillips, Ballwin resident (no street address was provided), said her concerns are whether the proposed development fits into the neighborhood, and the price point of the homes.

Mr. Richard Guth, 333 Fox Village Ct, said he is in favor of development, but doesn’t believe this is the right one for the site. He submitted information to the Commission members that is based on the proposal submitted last summer, because he doesn’t feel this proposal is much different. The residents whose property backs to the entrance street will be the most impacted, sandwiched between two streets. They will have a diminished view to the south. Mr. Guth feels having the street behind the units will be a safety hazard. He referred to the last page of the packet he distributed to the Commis-sion, which is an alternate plan for access to the subdivision through the Fox Village common ground. Mr. Guth said Mr. Teitelbaum didn’t meet with him or those residents he represents. He said he has a petition signed by 27 of the 52 residents opposing this type of development. He said he was unaware that the petitioner was coming before the Planning & Zoning Commission tonight.

Commissioner Goetz asked Mr. Guth if there is anything on the common ground. Mr. Guth said it is wide open; there are no large trees.

Commissioner Schwent asked City Planner Aiken if the property was posted with a sign. Mr. Aiken said there was a sign and an ad in the paper. Mr. Guth said he is not disputing that. He is disputing what Mr. Teitelbaum said regarding meeting with the neighbors. He said the board of directors did not provide any information.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked Mr. Guth what the main concern. Mr. Guth said it is the access street behind the units on Fox Village Ct. He feels that having two roads coming onto Westglen Village Dr on a curve will be hazardous. Commissioner Utt asked about the speed limit on the street. Mr. Guth said it is 25 mph. Commissioner Utt said that if this petition is denied and someone else proposes a multi-family development, that will be more traffic than a single family subdivision. Mr. Guth said that if it were an apartment complex, he feels it would be accessed from the existing complex to the south. He said he is also concerned about the scale of the proposed homes and that they will be on a hill. Mr. Guth also said he is concerned that the city will have to maintain a long road, when the option for a shorter road is a much better option. He feels that headlights shining into his and the other units next to him will be an issue.

Ms. Edith Mitchell, 349 Fox Village Ct., said she lives in one of the units that backs up the proposed access street. She agrees with Mr. Guth, and said the Board of Directors did not bring it to the resi-dents for a vote. She feels the two streets being so close to each other is a safety hazard, and that hav-ing the street behind her unit is a quality of life exchange. No lights from traffic currently come into her unit. She would rather see the common ground utilized for access to the development.

Ms. Rosemarie Falvo, lives in Westglen Village apartments, said she appreciates the quiet and safety of the neighborhood. She is concerned about increased traffic and large homes looming above the ex-isting neighborhood, and is strongly opposed to this type of development.

No one else came forward in opposition. Acting Chairman Karr asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the petition.

Ms. Theresa Parkin, 341 Fox Village Ct, said that she was not notified of the meeting by the Board of Directors members, but saw the sign and called the leaders of the community about the proposal. While it would be ideal to leave the site as green space, that is not realistic. She does not want a higher density development, or to have the access to the site come from Fox Village Ct. as Mr. Guth is proposing. She feels this is the best proposal.

Ms. Sheila Hill, 300 Fox Village Ct, Board of Directors president, said the board members were made aware of the meeting through the newspaper ad and the sign on the property. She said Mr. Teitelbaum called them and asked to talk to the board to find out what was an issue with the previous proposed developments. She said she is in favor of this petition. She is very much opposed to having access to the site come from Fox Village Ct. Children play in the common ground area. Ms. Hill said that the petition Mr. Guth has is not valid. It has two signatures per household, and some of those who signed no longer live in the subdivision. She feels Kemp Homes is a reputable builder.

Ms. Parkin returned to the podium and stated that Mr. Guth’s petition was based on the proposed devel-opment from the previous petitioner. She stated that the subdivision bylaws prohibit anything from being built on the common ground.

Mr. Guth returned to the podium and stated that while his petition is based on the previous proposal, it is fundamentally the same with the street behind the six units. The only difference is that this petitioner is proposing to lower the street by three feet and add some berming. He said the bylaws of the subdivision do allow the residents to work together for the common good to sell land.

Alderman Boland asked City Attorney Jones if the portion of the public hearing was still for those in favor of the petition to speak. City Attorney Jones confirmed this and said that Acting Chairman Karr could establish ground rules such as limiting speakers to three minutes.

No one else came forward in favor of the petition. Acting Chairman Karr did not close the public hearing.

Mr. Teitelbaum said that Fox Village Ct was designed as a multiple family access drive and subsequently was dedicated as a public street. He feels that it was not designed to be an access street for another subdi-vision. Mr. Teitelbaum said that he is a land planner, and speaks from experience. Mr. Teitelbaum also said that the site will be graded, and the neighboring houses will not be looking up at homes. He said most of the concerns raised by Mr. Guth are not realistic. The petitioner is proposing to build a quality, properly engineered subdivision that will be regulated and reviewed by MSD and city staff.

Mayor Pogue asked Mr. Teitelbaum if the petitioner is willing to pay the fee in lieu of dedication of recre-ational space. Mr. Teitelbaum said if they cannot dedicate the space that doesn’t abut the property, they will pay the fee. Mayor Pogue said he would like the petitioner to meet with MSD and come up with an alternate solution to the pervious sidewalks for stormwater management. He feels it would be better plan-ning practice if the sidewalks were traditional sidewalks maintained by the city.

Mayor Pogue made a motion to table Petition Z 13-11 to allow the petitioner to go before the Board of Adjustment, and to leave the public hearing open. City Attorney Jones noted that the presentation and public hearing encompassed both Z 13-11 and SUB 13-05. Mayor Pogue amended his motion to include SUB 13-05. Commissioner Utt seconded the amended motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

SUE 13-10 Special Use Exception (Communications Tower)
Ferris Park Cell Tower, 500 New Ballwin Rd, Ballwin MO 63021
Petitioner: Mr. James Stockell, AT&T Mobility, 13075 Manchester Rd, Des Peres MO 63131

Commissioner Utt stated that he will abstain from participating in the discussion and voting for this peti-tion because he is employed by the petitioner.

Mr. William Jenkins of CIS Communications representing AT&T Mobility, presented the proposal, re-questing approval for a special use exception to erect a monopine cellular tower in Ferris Park. Mr. Jenkins said that the first step is deciding on a location where the communications tower can be placed to meet need, and if there are any colocation opportunities. If there are no colocation sites, they start looking for locations to build a new site. Mr. Jenkins said there are four criteria when choosing a site to build on: Zoning of the site, willingness of the property owner to lease the site, construction, and coverage. In this case, there are no colocation opportunities. AT&T is already on the tower at New Ballwin Park. Ferris Park is the only suitable non-residential site in the area where a tower is needed.

Mr. Jenkins said that there is a new development plan for Ferris Park. It is the petitioner’s goal to work within that plan to find a solution that not only meets AT&T’s needs, but also fits in with the park’s new plan. The proposed tower would be placed at the end of the parking lot by the new walking track.

The petitioner is proposing a 25’x35’ CMU walled enclosure, designed to fit in with the existing park buildings. Mr. Jenkins said the petitioner is flexible on this design. The site is designed for AT&T’s equipment shelter, a small generator and the tower. City code requires the site to be colocatable, and the proposed facility will be open for colocation; however, any additional user on the tower will be required to lease additional ground space from the City for its equipment compound. AT&T would prefer a larger lease area, but the proposed development would allow the City to have more control over future develop-ment as well as being a revenue opportunity in that a future user would also enter into a lease agreement with the City.

Mr. Jenkins discussed the different types of towers and stated that the monopole tower is what is typically used in urban development. There are several stealth solutions that are utilized. Flagpoles are the most common, but other options are crosses and trees, which are used in “visually sensitive” locations. Ferris Park is one of these, and the petitioner feels that the tree is the best fit for the park. It is a monopole tower painted brown to simulate a tree trunk. The branches are a mixture of fiberglass and other materials to simulate an evergreen. Mr. Jenkins showed simulated photos from different locations to demonstrate what the tower could look like in the park.

Mayor Pogue noted that the drawings show the tower as being 125’, but the petition review report says it will be 130’. Mr. Jenkins said the top of the monopole will be 125’, but the addition of the branches at the top extends it to 130’. Mr. Jenkins said that in order to properly gauge the height of the tower for the purpose of preparing the visibility impact photos, the petitioner did balloon tests. This involves launching a balloon to the height of the tower, photographing it, and then superimposing the tower into the picture.

Alderman Boland asked why there are no photos looking from the south looking north. Mr. Jenkins said that because of the treeline to the south, the balloon – and therefore the tower – was barely visible from the subdivisions to the south.

Mr. Jenkins said there are a number of community benefits to erecting the tower. Foremost is wireless service. He said that data is currently the biggest driver of growth in the wireless industry. Future carrier use and future technology is another benefit. Cellular communication and data is based on line of sight, and towers will be needed for the forseeable future. This tower will be capable of handling it. Cellular service is very reliable, especially in emergency situations. In addition, there will be a lease agreement, which is a revenue opportunity for the City.

Mr. Jenkins feels that locating a monopine tower in Ferris Park will be the least visually intrusive for the community. Should the petition receive a positive recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Com-mission, and subsequently the Board of Aldermen, the next step will be negotiating a lease agreement with the City. If the process proceeds, there will be due diligence required by AT&T followed by the building permit process. AT&T is willing to comply with City requirements regarding issues raised in the petition review report, such as landscaping and utility and access easements.

Commissioner Goetz asked if there are any alternatives to towers. How long are the antennas? Mr. Jen-kins said the antennas are around 8’ tall. Commissioner Goetz noted that the problem stated in the report is that there are three dead zones which are not properly served. Mr. Jenkins said there is a large poor service zone around Ferris Park that is related to capacity issues. Commissioner Goetz asked if the zone is caused by a low area in the park. Mr. Jenkins said that is part of the problem, but a large part of the problem is the sheer number of users in the area. The higher the usage, the smaller the coverage per tower. Mr. Jenkins showed the propagation maps displaying the existing coverage.

Alderman Boland asked if this is similar to being downtown at the stadium and not being able to get texts. Mr. Jenkins said that is correct. When there is a large event where people are using the system, it shrinks the coverage due to the high volume of usage. Alderman Boland asked why the tower at New Ballwin Park doesn’t have as much coverage. Mr. Jenkins said it is a flagpole stealth tower that is shorter and holds fewer antennas. AT&T is working within the limitations of that site.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked if the proposed tower is dedicated to wireless communications and not U-verse. Mr. Jenkins said that is correct.

Commissioner Goetz asked about the petitioner’s plan for when the need increases and another tower is needed in the area. Mr. Jenkins said AT&T will have to work within the parameters of zoning and leasing. They may have to increase the antennas or configure them differently. Those are less expensive solutions than building a new tower.

Commissioner Goetz asked about the feasibility of purchasing a house on a hill and placing the antennas in the attic. Mr. Jenkins said that the needed height is 125’, so finding a leasing opportunity with that location may be difficult, and it could also be a zoning issue. Commissioner Goetz asked City Planner Aiken if it would be allowed in Ballwin to place antennas and a generator in an existing house. Mr. Aiken said he couldn’t really answer that. It is an unusual question, because a utility has never requested to locate in a place like that. Utility uses are allowed in residential areas, but this is exceptional because of the height of the structure. Mr. Goetz said that the City is running out of places to put these towers, and outside-of-the-box thinking is required.

Alderman Boland said the City may be running out of time to be able to dictate to AT&T what the City wants with regards to these towers. There is legislation being proposed in the Missouri legislature that could limit the City’s ability to have any say in the erection of cellular towers. Mr. Jenkins agreed that a bill is being worked through that places limitations on the zoning regulations for communications towers.

Commissioner Goetz asked how the tower will be anchored. Mr. Jenkins said a piered foundation will be drilled for the tower. The design of the foundation will be based on a geotechnical report, which will be generated as a result of soil boring analysis. Commissioner Goetz said he is reluctant to consider rec-ommending approval of this petition without knowing the specifications of the foundation design. Al-derman Boland said that he feels Commissioner Goetz is getting too specific on requirements at this stage of review, and that the Commission should limit its review to the zoning issues before it. Commissioner Goetz disagreed, saying that having seen a newspaper article about a monopine tower’s branches catching the wind and blowing down, he cannot make a recommendation until he is convinced that it’s safely an-chored. Mr. Jenkins said the petitioner is willing to make providing those specifications a condition of approval, which it would be for the building permit as well.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked Mr. Jenkins if the petitioner would have to come back to put additional height on the tower in the future. Mr. Jenkins said that is not the plan. This tower would be adequate for current and future equipment. Acting Chairman Karr asked if it is reasonable to expect that other carriers will colocate on this tower. Mr. Jenkins said most towers in the St. Louis area are colocation sites, so that is the norm. It is a benefit to AT&T from a revenue standpoint, as well as for the City, because the second user would need its own compound with a separate lease.

Alderman Boland asked if the owner of the tower is required to share the space with other carriers. City Attorney Jones said that the City requires colocation. If another carrier wanted to build a tower, they would have to first prove that there are no other suitable sites available. Commissioner Zimmerman pointed out that it is a financial benefit to the tower owner, because subsequent carriers lease the space from them. Alderman Boland asked about the tower in New Ballwin Park. Are there other carriers’ an-tennas on that tower? City Planner Aiken said there are no other carriers on that tower. Alderman Boland asked who would approve another carrier’s antennas to be added to that tower. City Attorney Jones said they would have to get approval from the city, but they would sublease from the tower owner. City Plan-ner Aiken said the carrier would have to negotiate a land lease with the City for their compound. City Planner Aiken said that each lease agreement for the towers in the City is different.

Commissioner Zimmerman said that since the park is being redesigned, wouldn’t it make sense to build a pavilion large enough for multiple carriers? Mr. Jenkins said the petitioner would welcome the opportuni-ty to lease a larger area, but theoretically, any additional compound will be located as close to the tower as possible, next to the one proposed by the petitioner, so it would still look like just one building.
Alderman Boland asked if AT&T is not interested in leasing a larger area. Mr. Jenkins said that it was suggested that the petitioner go with a smaller compound to allow the City to lease additional ground space to subsequent carriers. Mayor Pogue said that while it’s true that the potential of additional carriers is likely, it is not guaranteed, so why make the impact on the park now, when it can be added later.

Acting Chairman Karr asked about the trucks coming in to service the equipment. Will a roadway be built to accommodate them? Mr. Jenkins said the access on a month to month basis will consist of an SUV that will be parked in the parking lot and the technician would walk to the equipment. That is the kind of issue that the petitioner is very willing to work with the City on.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked about the lifespan of the branches. Mr. Jenkins said the maintenance is the responsibility of AT&T. He doesn’t know the exact lifespan, but knows there are monopine towers that have been in existence for at least five years with the original branches.

Acting Chairman Karr declared the public hearing open, and asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of Petition SUE 13-10. No one came forward, and Acting Chairman Karr asked if anyone wished to speak in opposition to Petition SUE 13-10.

Mr. William Fox, 626 Nanceen Ct, said that his property abuts Ferris Park to the south. His neighbor, who has AT&T, has no problems with connectivity. This issue was addressed in 2010, and residents in the Oak Hill and Westglen subdivision submitted petitions against putting cell towers in Ferris Park. He feels it will negatively affect their property values, per an article in an appraisal journal. Mr. Fox said there are problems with the height perception in the photographs submitted by the petitioner. He said the tree will appear to be taller in person than it does in the photographs. He said that pine is not indigenous to this area and will look out of place. The lowest branch is 30’ high, which means it will tower over the surrounding trees at twice their height. Mr. Fox said that in regards to this proposal providing revenue to the City, he doesn’t feel that a development of this nature will provide significant revenue. Mr. Fox feels that possible future state legislation should not be considered. He feels that technology will develop quickly enough to replace towers within the next five years. He feels that placing a communications tower in green space dedicated for public recreational use does not benefit the City.

Ms. Barb Blankenship, 630 Nanceen Ct, said she agrees with Mr. Fox. She asked if the proposed lo-cation is near the shelter where people gather, she would have a problem with that. She feels that the City is moving away from what people want by considering the placement of a tower in the park.

Mr. Rob Schlumpberger, 631 Nanceen Ct, said he agrees with Mr. Fox. He works in information technology, so he understands the problems faced by the petitioner. However, he is concerned about his property values being lowered by having a cell tower behind his home. He feels the technology will advance to a satellite base in the near future. He is concerned about health issues related to high levels of microwave exposure.

Mr. Fox asked if the Telecommunications Master Plan map referenced in the petition review report has been located. Decisions are being based on a map that is not available. City Attorney Jones said he doesn’t feel it would be necessary since this location is in a city park.

Mr. Jenkins addressed the comments regarding property values. He said in the past, the petitioner hired an appraiser to perform appraisals for Sprint. There was no difference in property values for homes located near towers and those not located near towers. He said that in his experience, one of the first things peo-ple look at when buying a home is cell coverage, since the trend is away from landlines.

Mr. Jenkins said that there is a tower located fifty feet from his office and he wouldn’t sit there eight hours a day if he thought it was affecting his health.

Mr. Jenkins agreed that anyone standing next to the monopine tower is going to know it isn’t a real tree, but as a stealth design, it is probably the best option. The petitioner would prefer to put up a monopole tower because it is less expensive, but felt this design would fit in better with the park. Mr. Jenkins also feels that after a time, a cell tower is something that people don’t really notice.

Mr. Fox returned to the podium, and said that he understands Mr. Jenkins’ point of view, but he is speak-ing from the standpoint of what will benefit AT&T and its customers. He said everyone in his house uses a smart device with no connectivity problems. He doesn’t want to look at a 130’ fake tree.

Commissioner Goetz asked City Planner Aiken if there is a provision in writing as to how the towers will be dealt with if technology makes towers obsolete. Mr. Aiken said that the lease agreement says that they will be removed, with the exception of the tower behind the Government Center that the police department uses. That one becomes the property of the City.

Commissioner Goetz made a motion to table petition SUE 13-10 until the petitioner has the foundation specifications. Commissioner Zimmerman said she has another question. City Attorney Jones said there is a motion on the table, which needs a second. Commissioner Zimmerman seconded the motion in order to ask the question. As a point of order, Alderman Boland said the motion needed to be voted on before further discussion. Mayor Pogue asked Commissioner Goetz if he would consider withdrawing the mo-tion so the question could be asked of the petitioner. Commissioner Goetz withdrew the motion.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked if the petitioner has an alternate location for the tower in the event this location does not work out. Mr. Jenkins said that there really is no other location available. He also ad-dressed Commissioner Goetz’s issue with the foundation design, saying all the soils testing would have to be done before submitting a plan, which is an expenditure the petitioner would not want to undertake without an assurance of zoning approval. Mr. Jenkins proposed that AT&T be required to submit a copy of the foundation plan to the City as a condition of the recommendation. Commissioner Goetz was satis-fied with that.

Mayor Pogue said that he would like to see a balloon test done showing the view from the Nanceen Ct. area, since the residents feel the tower would be visible. Alderman Boland asked that the petitioner use all measures necessary to provide the Commission with something more calibrated than taking a picture of a balloon with a smartphone. Mr. Jenkins said they contract with the the firm Black & Veatch and Cellec-tive Site Consultants, who are engineers specializing in telecom, so they are willing to do what is necessary to satisfy the City. Acting Chairman Karr asked how long the petitioner would need to perform the balloon test. Mr. Jenkins said he would contact the consulting firm to get it completed as soon as possible.

Mr. Jenkins said the foundation design would be something the petitioner would wait to do until it has Board of Aldermen approval. Alderman Boland said it is his understanding that if a positive recommen-dation is made by this Commission, it would become part of the condition for approval. He said it isn’t fair to make the petitioner jump through expensive hoops without an assurance of approval.

Commissioner Goetz made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 13-10 to the Board of Al-dermen, pending the results of the balloon test. Commissioner Schwent seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Wright, Schwent, and Karr – Aye; Zimmerman, Goetz, Pogue, and Boland – Nay. Commissioner Utt abstained. The motion failed, 4-3.

City Planner Aiken suggested tabling the petition until the petitioner submits the balloon pictures and the Commission members have a chance to review them. Mayor Pogue said the pictures will not change his vote.

Commissioner Goetz made a motion for a negative recommendation of Petition SUE 13-10 to the Board of Aldermen. Mayor Pogue seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Zimmerman, Goetz, Pogue, and Boland– Aye; Wright, Schwent, and Karr – Nay. Commissioner Utt ab-stained. The motion passed, 4-3.


Acting Chairman Karr moved to adjourn the meeting, which received unanimous approval from the commission members present. The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

Frank Karr, Acting Chairman
Planning & Zoning Commission