Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Every effort is made to ensure that the Agendas and Minutes provided on this and subsequent pages is timely and correct; however, users should keep in mind that this information is provided only as a public convenience. In any case where legal reliance on information is required, the official records of the City of Ballwin should be consulted.

Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes


November 5, 2007

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

Chairman Michael Wind
Commissioner Jim Leahy
Commissioner Pat Apel
Commissioner Pat Buehrle
Commissioner Sue Heath
Commissioner Anna Hunter
Commissioner Ron Kadane
Commissioner Frank Karr
Alderman Jane Suozzi
Mayor Walt Young
Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken
City Attorney Robert Jones

Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Commissioner Karr and seconded by Commissioner Heath to approve the minutes of the October 1, 2007 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
Chairman Wind announced that there may have been some misunderstanding of the information on the Zoning hotline. He announced that the petitions relating to 520 Kehrs Mill Road were not on the agenda, and there would be no discussion relating to them at this meeting. 
SUE 07-12 – Special Use Exception Petition
Goddard School, New Ballwin and Reinke Roads – Brownstone Properties LLC, 635 Trade Center Blvd, Chesterfield MO 63005 – Mr. Andrew Brown
Ms. Kerry Keller, attorney for the petitioner, addressed the Commission, requesting that the matter be continued until the next meeting of the Commission. Chairman Wind asked why the petitioner is requesting a continuance. Ms. Keller said that there are substantial changes that need to be made to the plans as a result of the traffic study, and the petitioner needs time to make those revisions. Chairman Wind asked Ms. Keller to ensure that the issues raised in the petition review report are addressed in the revisions before resubmittal. Commissioner Hunter enumerated the issues for Ms. Keller.
Commissioner Heath made a motion to continue this petition until the petitioner has resubmitted their information. Commissioner Buerhle seconded the motion. Commissioner Kadane asked for clarification of what is being continued. He said the Commission has not received a complete submittal. City Attorney Jones asked Planning Director Aiken if the petition had been advertised as a public hearing. Mr. Aiken said it was; that at the time that the ad was to be placed, the civil engineer felt the petitioner was is a position to proceed. City Attorney Jones advised Chairman Wind to open the public hearing so that it could be continued. Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked for a vote on the motion to continue the public hearing on Petition SUE 07-12. The motion was passed unanimously by the Commission members present.
SUE 07-10 – Special Use Exception Petition
Dent Devil, 14949 Manchester Road, Ballwin MO 63011 – Mr. Terrence McDonald
Mr. Robert Behle addressed the Commission on behalf of the petitioner, requesting approval to allow rental and storage of motor vehicles for customers of Dent Devil.   He said that approval of the special use exception would not change the nature of the business, but would allow the petitioner to remain competitive with businesses that offer similar services.   
Commissioner Kadane asked if there would be an affiliation with a rental car company. Mr. Behle said that initially, the petitioner would be providing the vehicles. Mr. McDonald, owner of Dent Devil, said that he would like to retain the option of working with a leasing company. He asked if he would have to appear before the Commission again if he chose that option. City Attorney Jones said that a change to the special use exception would not be required in that case, but the leasing company might have to obtain a business license. Planning Director Aiken said that the special use exception, if approved, will be granted to Dent Devil, and doesn’t specify where the vehicles come from. 
Mr. McDonald said that all the rental cars would be late-model vehicles and under warranty, so any maintenance would be done at the dealership. He said the number of cars parked on his lot would vary, but would not be more than eight vehicles at any given time.
Alderman Suozzi commended Mr. McDonald for his landscaping and the manner in which the business has been kept. 
Chairman Wind declared the public hearing open and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of the petition. There were none. Chairman Wind asked if there were any opponents to speak against the petition. There were none and Chairman Wind closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Kadane made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 07-10 to the Board of Aldermen. Commissioner Apel seconded the motion. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
SUE 07-6 – Special Use Exception Petition
5th/3rd Bank, 15200 Manchester Rd, Ballwin MO 63011 – Mr. Benjamin Moore
Mr. Brian Nickus of Arcvision Inc., Mr. Dennis Denby and Mr. Brian Eames of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, addressed the Commission on behalf of the petitioner. Mr. Nickus said he felt confident that the issues raised in the October meeting have been addressed.
Commissioner Kadane questioned the assertion in the traffic report that traffic queuing to turn left into McDonald’s is not expected to cause undue delays in making left turns out of the proposed development. Mr. Eames said that counts were done along with gap studies, and feels that this statement is accurate.
Commissioner Hunter asked if the petitioner would consider making the curb cut on Manchester Road an entrance only. Mr. Eames said doing that would prohibit westbound exiting movements to their customers, due to left turn restrictions at Old Ballwin Road. The Commission did not feel that this is a reasonable request, given the distance to the closest traffic signal. Commissioner Hunter said that she feels left turn movements from the proposed site are not safe. Commissioner Apel said that the proposed development has less parking than is presently on the site, and he doesn’t recall there having been a problem previously with these exiting movements.
Chairman Wind asked about the gap study. Planning Director Aiken said that the documentation submitted stated that there is more than adequate opportunity in the eastbound traffic flows to accommodate the left turn movements. Mr. Eames explained that the gaps that were counted were for simultaneous opportunities in the two eastbound lanes on Manchester Road, as that was the most critical information needed. Chairman Wind asked if all the lanes of the drive-thru would be open at all times to accommodate queuing. Mr. Nickus said that 5th/3rd Bank has a rule that no more than three cars are stacked in the drive-through. They would open more lanes if necessary. 
Chairman Wind asked about the landscaping plan. Mr. Nickus asked for clarification on the 100% screening requirement, and whether a berm would be acceptable. Alderman Suozzi asked if berms could be installed on top of the proposed underground detention. Planning Director Aiken said that the underground detention will be located under the parking lot. Chairman Wind asked about maintenance of the landscaping. Mr. Nickus said that an irrigation system will be installed.
Mayor Young said he agrees with Commissioner Hunter’s concerns regarding left turn movements. He said he cannot believe this will not be an issue of community welfare. Commissioner Buerhle asked if it would be possible to remove the center island so that left turns could be made from Old Ballwin Road. Commissioner Hunter asked why it was decided that left turns should not be made out of Old Ballwin Road. Alderman Suozzi said that it’s not that left turns shouldn’t be made at that location; it is that the pedestrian island was placed there to safely accommodate foot traffic for The Pointe, which precludes use of center turn lane. Planning Director Aiken said that conflicting left turn movements for Steamboat Lane and Old Ballwin Road also dictated the location of the island.
Mayor Young asked about the MSD requirement for detention. Planning Director Aiken said that the petitioner will most likely get credit for an almost 100% impervious site from MSD and therefore would not be required by MSD to provide detention. Ballwin will require enough detention to meet the City’s standards, as well as approval from MSD, before the project can move forward. 
Commissioner Hunter asked if there is any signage that could be erected that would make left turns into and out of the site safer. Commissioner Kadane said that he isn’t comfortable with the entrance as it is shown, and asked City Attorney Jones if the petition can be rejected on that basis. Mr. Jones said that the Commission can make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen that the petitioner limit left turn movements, and the record will reflect those concerns. Commissioner Hunter said she would feel more comfortable recommending approval if the petitioner would compromise and limit left turns during peak hours. Mr. Eames said that he would relay the information to the petitioner, but could not speak for them on this topic.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of petition SUE 07-6. 
Mr. Steven Wolff, owns 15200 Manchester Road, as well as several other commercial properties in Ballwin. He said that 5th/3rd Bank is a quality business. Mr. Wolff said that if the City dictates that no left turns can be made out of this property, they will never find another tenant for it. This is not a wise practice for attracting business to the City. 
There were no other proponents. Chairman Wind then asked if there were any opponents wishing to speak against the petition. There were none, and Chairman Wind closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Heath said she agreed with Mr. Wolff. Commissioner Hunter said that she just wants to try to find a way to make ingress and egress from the property safer. Commissioner Kadane made a motion to recommend approval of SUE 07-6 to the Board of Aldermen, provided that the petitioner consider limiting left turn movements from their west exit. Commissioner Heath seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following result: Aye – Wind, Kadane, Buehrle, Heath, Hunter, Apel, Karr, and Suozzi. Nay – Young. The motion passed 8-1.
Z 07-1 – Zoning Ordinance Change Petition and
SUB 07-1 – Subdivision Petition
520 Kehrs Mill Road – Charter Development Group I, LC, 11737 Administration Dr. #101,
St. Louis MO   63146 – Mr. Christopher Kersten
Chairman Wind said that it is the recommendation of City Attorney Jones that the Commission reopen the public hearing, table the matter and continue the public hearing for these petitions until an additional submittal is received. 
Mayor Young asked if there is a time period after which the Planning & Zoning Commission should not again continue a petition. City Attorney Jones said that the Commission must rule on a petition within 60 days of the hearing, but as long as the petitioner agrees to allow the matter to remain pending, the Commission can do that as long as it seems prudent to do so. Mayor Young said the problem with continuances is that anyone wishing to address the Commission would not know when it will be discussed. He said that there should be a definite date that the hearing is held. City Attorney Jones agreed, saying that if the petitioner isn’t ready to make a presentation, either the petition can be withdrawn or the Commission can make a decision based on what has been submitted.
Mayor Young said that he wants to have a standard for this type of occurrence, since it has come up again with the Goddard School petition. Chairman Wind agreed and asked if limiting the number of continuances is something that can be determined by the Planning & Zoning Commission. City Attorney Jones said that it would have to be adopted as an ordinance by the Board of Aldermen, but the Planning & Zoning Commission can make the suggestion to the Board. Alderman Suozzi said that more than the time element and publication cost is at issue; other considerations include the time staff spends reviewing petitions and the time of the Planning & Zoning Commission members. 
Chairman Wind said that while he is in favor of limiting the number of continuances in some cases, there may be larger projects that cannot be resolved in a short period of time. Mayor Young agreed, but said that if a petitioner submits incomplete information, it should not be advertised and put on the agenda until all pertinent information has been received by staff. 
Commissioner Apel asked why the Commission can’t simply reject the petition due to a lack of information for public discourse. Mayor Young said that since the Commission voted to continue the petition, he is not comfortable voting on it without notifying the petitioner with a deadline. 
Planning Director Aiken said that submittal requirements and times are a critical issue, and are on the agenda. Mayor Young suggested amending the agenda to discuss these guidelines at this point. Mr. Aiken explained that, per ordinance, the deadline for submitting new petitions is the Friday preceding the Monday six weeks in advance of the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. He said during the first week, he attempts to perform a preliminary review to make sure the petition is in compliance with minimum submittal requirements. If incomplete, Mr. Aiken sends a letter to the petitioner outlining the deficiencies and stating that the petition cannot be placed on the agenda. If there are minor changes that need to be made, the petitioner has a week to make the corrections and return it for review. This gives Mr. Aiken a week to review the plans again, and to make a determination prior to placing the public hearing notice.
Planning Director Aiken said that when a petitioner is before the Planning & Zoning Commission and requests a continuance to the next monthly meeting, it is only four weeks out. In the case where there are major changes to plans that require a full review, in addition to new petitions that have been submitted and are under review, it becomes a substantial workload to get done in a short period of time. Mr. Aiken suggested that the Commission give only two-month continuances, and require the materials and data submittal time to fall in line with the six-week deadline for that meeting. This will give the petitioner two weeks to make the changes and resubmit. Additionally, this will ensure that all petitioners are treated equally, and will allow for a standard response from any city official.
Mayor Young asked if the Board of Aldermen needs to make legislation outlining the procedure. Mr. Aiken said that ordinances seem to be more accepted by most people. City Attorney Jones agreed, but said that it could be done without an ordinance. After discussion, the Commission directed Mr. Aiken to prepare a model policy on continuances. 
Commissioner Kadane asked if the policy can be made retroactive to the petitions that were continued at this meeting. City Attorney Jones said the matter can be reconsidered with another motion. Commissioner Apel made a motion to continue Petition SUE 07-12 to the January 7, 2008 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission and advise the petitioner that resubmittal is required six weeks prior to the meeting. Commissioner Karr seconded the motion. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present. Mr. Aiken will send a letter to the petitioner advising of this decision.
Commissioner Heath made a motion to continue Petitions SUB 07-1 and Z07-1 to the January 7, 2008 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission and advise the petitioner that resubmittal is required six weeks prior to the meeting. Commissioner Hunter seconded the motion. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present. Mr. Aiken will send a letter to the petitioner advising of this decision.
Trails Plan
Linda Bruer presented the Community-Wide Trail System Plan to the Cities of Ballwin and Manchester in its final form. She said it has been through the review and adoption process in the City of Manchester, and she is now requesting approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission as is required by law. Upon approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Trails Plan will become part of the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Ballwin. The Trails Plan is the last element of the Parks Master Plan to be implemented. Ms. Bruer said the only change from the draft is that the foot trails in the southwest subdivisions have been removed, and a bike trail added on the north side of Kiefer Creek Road.
Chairman Wind asked about acquisition of access to private property. Ms. Bruer said that many trails are along streets, but that obtaining permissions will be an ongoing process and will partially depend on redevelopment in the City. Chairman Wind asked if the use of eminent domain will be a factor. Ms. Bruer said that is not being proposed at all.
Commissioner Kadane asked about the cost estimate, and whether approving the Trails Plan would be locking in a budget. Ms. Bruer said that the Commission would be approving the concept only. Mayor Young added that funding is expected to come primarily from grants. He then asked if the Trails Plan would need to be approved by the Board of Aldermen as well. City Attorney Jones said that approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission makes it a part of the adopted Comprehensive Plan; the Board of Aldermen passed a resolution in support of the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Bruer said that upon approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission, the final draft of the Plan will be posted on the City’s website.
Commissioner Karr said that he met with Ms. Bruer regarding the Trails Plan. He said the Plan is designed to involve subdivisions, and feels that support from the residents and businesses is key to the development of the system. He wants to request that opportunities for trails be included in new developments.  
Commissioner Kadane made a motion to accept the Community-Wide Trails Plan as part of the Comprehensive Plan. Commissioner Heath seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
Commercial Land Use
Planning Director Aiken referenced the memo he submitted to the Commission regarding outdoor sales, storage and display of merchandise.    He said this issue came up during the Comprehensive Plan process, primarily as it relates to automobile dealerships.   Mr. Aiken said that the Board of Aldermen requested that the Planning & Zoning Commission discuss the issue of utilization of retail commercial property in the City of Ballwin. Should the City be limiting large-scale users of this limited resource that don’t generate revenue? Should the structure of the zoning ordinance be changed in regards to these users?
Chairman Wind said anything that is done must be done in a fair and equitable manner. He said he needs more data relating to square footage and revenue. Alderman Suozzi suggested offering incentives to retail businesses that generate revenue. Mayor Young suggested a restriction for car dealerships that prohibits “satellite” lots that do not abut the existing business site. How do other cities address this situation? 
Commissioner Kadane suggested that the Commission members review the issue and come back to the next meeting with recommendations. It was decided to table the discussion until the December 2007 meeting.
Other Business
Chairman Wind noted that the summary of items sent to the Board of Aldermen and a listing of new business licenses issued since the last meeting was provided to the members of the Commission. He asked if there were any questions or comments regarding those reports. There were none. Planning Director Aiken said that he had received some information on the Holy Infant parking lot, so they may be moving forward with that project.
A motion was made by Commissioner Karr and seconded by Commissioner Buerhle to adjourn the meeting. The motion received unanimous approval, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
Michael Wind, Chairman
Planning & Zoning Commission