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
January 5, 2015 • 7:00 P.M.

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AGENDA / briefs

1. Call to Order

2. Approval of Minutes

3. Z 14-06 Zoning Ordinance Change (Site Development Plan Change)

Ballwin Grove Plaza Site Plan Amendment, 14404 Clayton Rd, Ballwin MO 63011
Petitioner: Ms. Susan Moriconi, Mason Olive Central Associates LLLP, 721 Emerson Rd #100, Creve Coeur MO 63141

The Mason Olive Central Associates, LLLP is requesting an amendment to ordinances 09-20 and 12-28 which, respectively, granted and amended a Neighborhood Commercial Overlay district with an associated site development plan for the approximately 11.64 acre property at the southwest corner of Clayton Rd. and Henry Ave. Ordinance 09-20 approved the development of approximately 40,000 square feet of commercial floor area including the CVS pharmacy and the associated Ballwin Grove Plaza and authorized the retention of an approximately 4.5 acre parcel fronting on Henry Ave in the southern part of the site for the future development of an independent care / assisted living residential facility. Ordinance 13-28 amended the Ballwin Grove Plaza site development plan by permitting the construction of permanent covers over the exterior patios behind the Circle Seven and Mia Sorella restaurants. The site was developed in accordance with ordinance 09-20, but the patio covers permitted per ordinance 13-28 were never built.

4. Adjournment

Meeting Minutes


JANUARY 5, 2015

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

PRESENT                                                 ABSENT
Secretary Mark Weaver                      Chairman Michael Wind
Commissioner Lynn Goetz 
Commissioner Frank Karr 
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 Commissioner Karr and seconded by Mayor Pogue to approve the minutes of the December 1, 2014 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

Z 14-06 Zoning Ordinance Change (Site Development Plan Change)
Ballwin Grove Plaza Site Plan Amendment, 14404 Clayton Rd, Ballwin MO 63011
Petitioner: Ms. Susan Moriconi, Mason Olive Central Associates LLLP, 721 Emerson Rd #100, 
Creve Coeur MO 63141

Mr. Bill Biermann addressed the Commission on behalf of the petitioner, requesting approval for a change to the materials used to enclose the patio at the Circle 7 restaurant in the Ballwin Grove shopping center. Mr. Biermann said that the cost to construct the patio covers previously approved for both Circle 7 and Mia Sorella was found to be prohibitive and the project was never completed.

Mr. Biermann said that in lieu of the stone and masonry materials that were originally approved, the peti-tioner is proposing a permanent structure that will be covered with a tent material in a color to match the existing windows. This will extend the operating season for the patio. He noted that the patio covers have already been approved; the petitioner is simply requesting to change the construction materials. Mr. Biermann acknowledged that there is concern from other tenants in the center that this will increase the parking problem that currently exists. He said that with the proposed cover, seating on the patio will be decreased by two to four tables.

Mr. Biermann said the petitioner is also requesting a vestibule, made of the same material, to be placed on the front of the building during cold weather. During warm weather, the clear wall panels on the patio enclosure will be removed, and the entire vestibule will be removed.
Commissioner Zimmerman asked if freestanding heaters will be used during the winter months. Mr. Biermann said the petitioner will use hanging fixtures.

Commissioner Goetz asked if the vestibule can be built inside the restaurant. Mr. Biermann said there is not enough room to do so.

Alderman Boland asked if the only reason the petitioner is requesting the change in materials is because of the cost. Mr. Biermann said the individual who made the original proposal no longer owns the center. The cost to construct those proposed structures would have exceeded $300,000, in part because utilities would have needed to be relocated. He said the type of structure the petitioner is proposing today is being used in many businesses in the area, including Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield Valley. Alderman Boland said that structure is surrounded by landscaping and is not very visible. What the petitioner is proposing will be viewable by anyone driving up Henry Ave. Mr. Biermann agreed, but said there is not a way to landscape the area to conceal the patio.

Commissioner Goetz asked how many seats will be on the patio after the construction of the patio cover. Mr. Biermann deferred to Buddy Coy, owner of the Circle 7 restaurant. Mr. Coy said there would be approximately 12-14 tables, each seating 4-8 people. Commissioner Wright asked if there will be TVs on the patio. Mr. Coy said it is possible. He said there is no R-factor to the enclosures, so if the weather is extremely cold, even heaters won’t help. The enclosures are more for protection from rain.

Mr. Coy said that he would very much like to have the previously proposed structures; however, they were the plan of the former owner of the shopping center, and would have required removal of the retain-ing wall and moving utilities. This was cost prohibitive, and the current proposal is that of the new land-lord. Mr. Coy said he owns the restaurant, but not the building.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked if there are plans for live entertainment on the patio during the summer months. Mr. Coy said he does not provide live entertainment, and if there are TVs on the patio, the sound would be muted.

Commissioner Karr asked if alternate materials had been considered. Mr. Coy said that several contrac-tors bid on the original patio proposal, but all said that because it would be attached to the building, a frost wall would have to be constructed, which would have necessitated the removal of the retaining wall and the moving of utilities.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked about the longevity of the material that will be used. Mr. Coy said that it has a 15-year warranty. He said that he has used this product at his other venues and it still looks like new after almost 10 years. Commissioner Zimmerman said that fifteen years is optimistic – has the peti-tioner considered the cost of replacement along with the cost of maintenance? Mr. Coy said he anticipates replacement within 10-15 years.

Acting Chairman Weaver asked if only Circle 7 will be installing the patio cover, since the previously approved plans included Mia Sorella as well. Mr. Biermann said that at this time Mia Sorella has not been approached regarding it.

Commissioner Goetz asked if the petitioner has talked with the owner of Mia Sorella. Mr. Biermann said yes, and he feels they are not in favor of the patio cover, because they believe that it will increase the parking problems. Mr. Biermann said he understands their position, but does not agree with it.
Commissioner Goetz asked if the other businesses in the shopping center have been approached. Mr. Biermann said not specifically, but felt that generally they did not have an issue with the proposal. Mr. Goetz disagreed, saying that he had personally spoken with all but two of the businesses in the center, and most were against it. Mr. Goetz said he was told that restaurant patrons park in front of the bank. 
Mr. Biermann said that Circle 7 is not open during lunch. There may be an overlap from 3:00 p.m. until the bank closes. Mr. Coy said there has been a parking issue since the day the center opened. He feels he is an easy target to blame for the parking problems, because he is requesting the patio cover. The seating currently exists; he is not adding more seating. No new parking demand will be created with this approv-al. He feels both restaurants contribute to the parking congestion because they seat the most patrons.

Acting Chairman Weaver opened the public hearing, and asked if there was anyone to speak in favor of Petition Z 14-06. No one came forward.

Acting Chairman Weaver asked if there was anyone to speak in opposition to the petition.

Mr. Tony Randazzo, manager of the CVS Pharmacy, said that he is opposed to the patio cover be-ing permitted. He believes that this will make a bad parking situation worse in the winter months. His customers are not able to park next to his building. He is willing to work with the restaurants, but he feels the management of Circle 7 has been dismissive of his concerns.

Mr. Steve Komorek, owner/partner of Mia Sorella, said he believes that construction of the patio cover will increase the parking congestion. He said people park in the fire lane and in the bank drive-through lanes, blocking the ATM and night deposit. Mr. Komorek said he originally wanted to enclose his patio also, but changed his mind when he realized how adversely it would affect the parking. He feels he will lose business if the parking situation is exacerbated.

Commissioner Zimmerman stated that she was not on the Planning & Zoning Commission when the orig-inal development plan was considered. Did the Commission not feel that parking would be a concern with two restaurants in the center? Mayor Pogue said that the site plan has been amended twice to in-crease the parking capacity. City Planner Aiken said the center is has more parking spaces than are re-quired by the current zoning regulations for the uses that exist. This situation is unique in Ballwin, and appears to be related to these businesses and this shopping center. There are other plazas with multiple restaurants that have never had an issue.

Mayor Pogue said the City is privileged to have two very successful dinner service restaurants in the same plaza, especially with local competition. Mayor Pogue said the Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Aldermen have already approved patio covers; the petitioner is simply asking for a different design. They are not asking for additional seating.

Alderman Boland noted that the design that was previously approved was for a cover only, with no enclo-sure. Mr. Biermann and Mr. Coy said it was designed to be enclosed with a fireplace. City Planner Aiken said that the elevations submitted for that petition only show an open structure. Mr. Biermann said that is a mistake, the intention was always for the area to be able to be enclosed.

Acting Chairman Weaver clarified with Mr. Randazzo if he is willing to work with the restaurant regard-ing parking. Mr. Randazzo said there are parking spaces around the perimeter of the CVS Pharmacy lot that he is willing to share. He wants his customers to be able to park close to the building. Mr. Randazzo said that CVS looked into additional signage for customers only; however, the building was already over its limit for signage. He said he gets 10-15 complaints a day regarding parking.

Mayor Pogue said that the vestibule cover is new to this petition and was not previously approved. He does not like the vestibule at all. He is not as opposed to the rear patio cover. He feels that something more permanent for the vestibule that is architecturally compatible with the center would be better re-ceived. Acting Chairman Weaver agreed that it should be more in character with the architecture of the shopping center.

Mr. Biermann said that the vestibule would only be up during the cold winter months – is the Commission requesting something permanent? Mayor Pogue said yes. Mr. Biermann said he would bring that to the petitioner.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked Mr. Coy what the average guest count is on a Friday or Saturday night. Mr. Coy said it would be anywhere from 200-400+.

Mr. Coy stated that he gets the same complaints regarding parking that everyone else does. He said he is amenable to any solution that benefits all the businesses. He said his original business plan was to be open for lunch and dinner, but decided not to open for lunch due to the parking issues.

Acting Chairman Weaver agreed with Mayor Pogue regarding the front vestibule.

Mr. Jamie Komorek, owner/partner of Mia Sorella, said that the point made about the vestibule on the front not being aesthetically pleasing also applies to the patio cover on the rear of the building. He said there are nearby competitors who have plenty of parking and he is concerned about losing business to them.

Acting Chairman Weaver declared the public hearing closed.

Mayor Pogue made a motion to recommend approval of Petition Z 14-06 to the Board of Aldermen, to allow the construction of the patio cover as proposed but not the vestibule. Commissioner Zimmerman seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye-Weaver, Utt, Wright, Schwent, Zimmerman, Karr, and Pogue; Nay-Goetz and Boland. The motion passed, 7-2.

Other Business

Mayor Pogue announced that as of the November elections, both Aldermen from Ward 2 were elected to different positions – Mark Harder to the St Louis County Council, and Shamed Dogan as State Repre-sentative. He said he will recommend to the Board of Aldermen at the January 12 meeting that Planning & Zoning Commissioner John Schwent fill one of the vacancies for Ward 2. If this is approved by the Board, this will be Mr. Schwent’s last Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. Mayor Pogue will make a recommendation to fill Mr. Schwent’s position at that meeting as well.


Alderman Boland moved to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Zimmerman seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the commission members present. The meeting was adjourned at 8:01 p.m.

Mark Weaver, Acting Chairman 
Planning & Zoning Commission