Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes
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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
On December 3, 2012 the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Ballwin will review the proposed 2013 capital budget of the City of Ballwin, at 7:00 P.M. in the courtroom at the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center, 300 Park Dr., Ballwin, MO, 63011.
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Thomas H. Aiken, AICP
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
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 Wind noted that the date on the minutes was incorrect. A motion was made by Secretary Karr and seconded by Commissioner Weaver to approve the minutes of the August 6, 2012 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as amended. The motion received unanimous approval from the Com-mission members present.
City Administrator Bob Kuntz introduced the new Finance Director, Denise Keller, who presented the Capital Budget to the Planning & Zoning Commission per Section 89.380 of the Revised MO Statutes, which states that all improvements to land, infrastructure and public facilities are to be reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission before being approved by the Board of Aldermen.
Finance Director Keller said the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) only includes true capital projects and transfers out for bond debt payments. The items to be included in the CIP are defined as land and building acquisitions, major site and building improvements with a cost of $250,000 or more, and systems reconstruction or replacement with a cost of $250,000 or more. Also included are all major street recon-struction projects that are partially offset by federal grants, such as the Kehrs Mill Rd project undertaken this year.
The proposed 2013 CIP includes $1,090,000 in revenue received from the ½ cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax and the ½ cent Park Sales Tax. A grant of $314,000 has been applied for from the St. Louis County Park Grant Commission and $56,000 is anticipated in federal grants. There will also be a small transfer from the escrow account for sidewalks. The Operating Budget will receive $750,000 of the Capi-tal Improvement Tax revenue to help offset the cost of capital street improvements and maintenance of capital items. The budget proposes the movement of $660,000 of the Park Sales Tax to the Operating Budget to assist with the cost of maintenance and upkeep of recreational facilities.
Planned CIP expenditures next year are $333,000 for the remodel of the boardroom, the adjoining confer-ence room and the addition of a public restroom. It is planned that $462,000 will be spent for Phase 1 of the redevelopment of Ferris Park to include a Nature Exploration Playground, related walkways and a small picnic pavilion. This project will not be undertaken in 2013 if the grant from St. Louis County is not received. The final planned project for 2013 is the rehabilitation of the Holloway Road Culvert; 80% of the cost for this project will be offset by a federal grant.
The final payment to retire the certificate of participation (COP) debt will be made during 2013. Proceeds from these certificates were used to construct the North Pointe Aquatic Center. A transfer of $506,500 will be made from the Capital fund and the remaining $117,500 required will be taken from debt reserves held by the trustee. The city will then be debt free.
The anticipated fund balance for the Capital Improvements fund at the end of 2013 will be $207,428 compared with $187,309 projected for the end of 2012.
Chairman Wind noted that the CIP budget is presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission for infor-mation regarding major infrastructure changes to the city. This primarily affects cities that provide their own utilities, and are not as built out as Ballwin; however, it is still good information for the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Mayor Pogue noted the accomplishment of the Board of Aldermen of the City being debt-free by the end of 2013, which includes one of the general obligation bonds being paid off four years early.
Commissioner Goetz made a motion to approve the Capital Improvement Plan 2013. Commissioner Weaver seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the commission members present.
Ms. Aumiller of McBride & Son Homes presented an overview of the proposal, requesting approval for the zoning change. Due to the economic downturn, over the last four years, McBride & Son Homes has had the opportunity to successfully complete over 50 subdivision projects started by other builders. The petitioner is excited about taking on this project from start to finish.
Ms. Aumiller said that two of the site constraints that had to be considered were the triangular shape of the lot and its proximity to large commercial property (Target). The site currently has two zoning classi-fications, R-1 Residential and C-1 Commercial. Adjacent residential properties are zoned R-1, but there are also lots zoned R-2 and R-4 nearby.
Ms. Aumiller stated the petitioner feels that the proposed site plan fits well with the 2007 Comprensive Plan for the City of Ballwin, as well as the Great Streets Plan. She said that McBride met with the sur-rounding neighbors in order to understand and address their concerns. Ms. Aumiller said the residents that front on Kehrs Mill did not want a second street providing access from Kehrs Mill Road, which was part of the original plan. Another outcome of this meeting was a decrease from 24 lots to 20, with larger lot sizes. Deep landscape buffers will be planted along Kehrs Mill, with a decorative fence. This subdivi-sion will be attractive to families. There is a walking trail that loops around the common ground.
Ms. Aumiller discussed the style of the homes that are planned for this subdivision. Chairman Wind asked what the average square footage will be for the houses. Ms. Aumiller said that floor areas will range from 1500-3000 square feet. Most plans are approximately 2500 square feet.
Chairman Wind asked about the estimated price of the homes. Ms. Aumiller said base prices would start in the mid-$200,000s, with most falling in the mid-$300,000 price range, but prices would go up as high as $400,000. Chairman Wind asked why the petitioner chose not to have 12,000 square foot lots. He said this subdivision doesn’t fit properly with the surrounding R-1 homes. Ms. Aumiller said this is a cluster-type development, in which lot size is based on a gross density calculation that includes common ground. This development has an average density of 15,000 square feet lots based on this calculation. The peti-tioner is not planning a multi-family development; it will be single family detached homes, which will fit in better with the surrounding neighborhood.
Commissioner Schwent asked who would be taking care of all the common ground. Ms. Aumiller stated that a homeowners’ association would be put into place, with restrictive covenants that obligate the homeowners to take care of it. Secretary Karr asked how much the fee would be for the homeowners. Ms. Aumiller stated that it will be $400-$500 annually. Commissioner Theodore asked if automatic sprinklers would be installed for the landscaping. Ms. Aumiller said that is not included in the plan.
Secretary Karr asked about the distance between the homes. Ms. Aumiller said the lots will have a mini-mum of 6’ side yard setbacks (a minimum of 12’ between the homes). Alderman Boerner asked if the homes built in the Magnolia Trace subdivision are similar to those planned for the proposed development. Ms. Aumiller said that they are similar.
Mayor Pogue noted that the landscaping plan showed that the petitioner will be keeping a lot of dead trees. Ms. Aumiller said dead trees will not be saved. That will be corrected. Commissioner Schwent asked if landscaping will be on both sides of the fence along Kehrs Mill. Ms. Aumiller said the landscap-ing will be on the inside of the fence. Chairman Wind asked what kind of fence is planned. He said that an open wrought iron style fence would be preferable. Ms. Aumiller agreed that an open fence would be more aesthetically pleasing. Chairman Wind said a small berm would afford the homeowners more pri-vacy. Ms. Aumiller said the common ground between the fence and the homes will be heavily landscaped and with the distance from the street, a berm would not be needed.
Mayor Pogue asked if the homes would have the option for a three-car garage. Ms. Aumiller said the majority of the lots are not big enough for three-car garages, but if there are lots that would allow them, they will build them at the request of the homeowner. Chairman Wind cautioned the petitioner to keep in mind the Comprehensive Plan’s 50% restrictions on garage frontage.
Mayor Pogue said that the Comprehensive Plan calls for vehicular connectivity to the Target parking lot, but he doesn’t feel that would be beneficial to the neighborhood. He asked if the petitioner would be amenable to building a walkable trail that would connect with the right-of-way to the southwest corner of the site. Ms. Aumiller said that safety is a consideration, with the slope from the site to the Target parking lot.
Chairman Wind asked if MSD has reviewed stormwater detention. Ms. Aumiller deferred to Mr. Mike Faulkner of Sterling Engineering, saying that the petitioner has not progressed that far in the process. Mr. Faulkner said that the petitioner has had numerous conversations with MSD, and the site will meet all the requirements for stormwater detention.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if there was anyone who wished to speak in favor of the petition. No one came forward. Chairman Wind then asked if there was anyone who wished to speak in opposition to the petition.
Mr. Carl Essen stated that he lived at 520 Kehrs Mill Road. Chairman Wind questioned that claim, stating that that the property is vacant, and Mayor Pogue asked that he be required to provide an address. Mr. Essen said he is homeless. Chairman Wind then allowed Mr. Essen to speak without providing an address of residence. Mr. Essen claimed that the petitioner has no legal interest in the property and no right to submit this petition. Mr. Essen read and pre-sented documents to the Planning & Zoning Commission that he alleges support his claim of ownership. Those documents have been placed in the permanent file of the petition.
Mr. Mike Scott, 643 Kehrs Mill Rd, feels that the development is not consistent with the sur-rounding development. He feels that the existing R-1 zoning should be retained. Chairman Wind asked if Mr. Scott’s property adjoins or views the site in question. Mr. Scott said he sees it when he drives by.
Ms. Melody Barger, 131 Glenn Drive, lives directly across from the proposed development. She said she appreciates McBride’s courtesy in speaking with the neighbors. She also feels that the proposed development is not in keeping with the neighborhood and that it will gener-ate excessive traffic on Kehrs Mill Road.
Ms. Peggy Craig, 519 Kehrs Mill Rd, lives across the street from the proposed development. She feels that there are too many homes proposed for this site.
Chairman Wind then asked if there were any other opponents who wished to speak in opposition to the petition. There were none, and Chairman Wind declared the public hearing closed.
Mayor Pogue said he has a concern with the 12’ spacing of the homes. Ms. Aumiller said this is typical spacing for the petitioner. She said it exceeds the fire code separation, and is consistent with the Compre-hensive Plan’s provisions for a cluster development. Chairman Wind said the underlying concern of the Comprehensive Plan is whether an infill site fits with the surrounding neighborhood. He feels the houses should face Kehrs Mill Rd, rather than back up to it. Ms. Aumiller said they designed the subdivision so that cars would not be backing out onto Kehrs Mill Rd.
Alderman Boerner asked how the site plan was changed when the number of lots changed from 24 to 20. Ms. Aumiller said the lots were made larger, and the through street was made into a cul-de-sac at the re-quest of the neighbors. The side yard setbacks were increased from 5’ to 6’. Commissioner Theodore asked if the walking trail was included in the original plan. Ms. Aumiller said it was always the intent to have the walking trail.
Alderman Boerner said that the petitioner has spent a substantial amount of money to determine what type of subdivision and home style can be successful. He does not feel the petition should receive a negative recommendation simply on the basis of not fitting in with the surrounding neighborhood.
Commissioner Schwent asked if it is at all possible to provide a larger side yard setback. Ms. Aumiller said it would not be financially feasible. Mr. Faulkner said he reviewed the site plan and increasing the side yard setback could be possible.
Commissioner Theodore said that the proposed subdivision is a good option. She said the house built at 660 Kehrs Mill Road that faces the road on a large lot has not sold yet. She feels families don’t want to buy a house that faces a busy street, and would prefer to live on a cul-de-sac with a nice green space.
Mayor Pogue pointed out a number of issues in the petition review report that need to be addressed for this petition to receive a positive recommendation. Ms. Aumiller stated that the petition is consistent with all the R-4 zoning requirements, and is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Mayor Pogue said that is true in some aspects, but not in others. The spacing and density is a big concern. Ms. Aumiller conferred with Mr. Faulkner and said that the petitioner can commit to 8’ side yard setbacks. City Planner Aiken said this is consistent with the side yard requirement of the R-3 district. He believes this proposal is con-sistent with one interpretation of the Comprehensive Plan.
Commissioner Theodore asked how the proposed development would impact the surrounding homes. City Planner Aiken said he can’t say definitively, but he feels that there would not be a negative impact on the value of the surrounding neighborhood. The new homes will have a higher value than the surrounding homes. He also noted that traffic will not be significantly affected by the proposed development.
Commissioner Goetz asked why the petitioner is asking for R-4 zoning, which is basically multiple family zoning, when the proposed development is single family housing. Ms. Aumiller said the R-4 zoning al-lowed the petitioner more flexibility in some of the setbacks and lot sizes, so that more common ground and buffer areas could be created.
Commissioner Utt asked if there is room between the fence and the sidewalk for landscaping. Ms. Aumil-ler said that can be looked at for the final site plan.
Chairman Wind said he is happier with the 8’ side yard setback. Will this make the houses smaller or the lots larger? Ms. Aumiller said the lots will be larger. Mr. Faulkner explained how the lots will be adjusted to provide for the larger setbacks, stating that it will not encroach too far into the buffer area.
Secretary Karr asked Ms. Aumiller to provide building elevations for the final development plan.
Chairman Wind made a motion to recommend approval of Petition Z 12-02 to the Board of Aldermen, with the following provisions: provide open fencing along Kehrs Mill Road, 8’ side yard setbacks on all lots, add additional landscaping between the fence and sidewalk, remove dead trees, provide a pedestrian sidewalk in a 10’-wide easement to the City of Ballwin connecting the publicly dedicated roadway to the public right-of-way at the southwest corner of the site through the common ground and along Kehrs Mill Road, and irrigation of common ground area adjacent to Kehrs Mill Rd. Commissioner Utt seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
Chairman Wind asked Mr. Haferkamp if the petitioner is willing to agree to the recommendations in the petition review report, such as removing the second curb cut, adding greenspace, and providing intercon-nectivity with West County Nissan. Mr. Haferkamp said yes.
City Planner Aiken gave the background of the site and said the current curb cut configuration goes back to when a car wash was on the site in the 1980’s. A special use exception had been in place for front yard parking since that time and transferred from business to business. As the city made changes to the C-1 zoning district regulations, the site became legally non-conforming as long as the SUE stayed in place. The SUE expired 90 days after the last occupant of the site, Avis, failed to renew their business license in April of 2010. The SUE and its legally non-conforming status are no longer valid. Subsequent uses on the site have to come into compliance with the current C-1 and SUE regulations, which were listed in the petition review report.
Chairman Wind asked if the petitioner is willing to make repairs to the fencing around the site and enclos-ing the dumpster. Mr. Haferkamp agreed to do so.
Chairman Wind asked if Hertz services the local car dealerships. Mr. Haferkamp said they do, and their customers include West County Nissan.
Chairman Wind noted that the revised site development plan eliminating the curb cut and adding green-space will need to be submitted to MSD and for comment and approval. Mr. Haferkamp agreed to this.
Chairman Wind asked how many cars Hertz rents in a day. Mr. Haferkamp said this location generally has 10-15 rentals per day. Chairman Wind asked if the site has enough parking to accommodate this. Mr. Haferkamp said Hertz can run a 100-car fleet out of a small space because the cars are actually on the road. If they would have an overage of cars not rented, they would be shuttled to the Hertz lot by the airport.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if there was anyone who wished to speak in favor of the petition. No one came forward. Chairman Wind then asked if there was anyone who wished to speak in opposition to the petition. No one came forward, and Chairman Wind declared the public hearing closed.
Chairman Wind made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 12-07 to the Board of Aldermen, with the following provisions: eliminate the western curb cut and add greenspace as required by ordi-nance, repair perimeter fencing and dumpster enclosure, and establish vehicular parking lot interconnec-tivity to West County Nissan. Commissioner Utt seconded the motion, which received unanimous ap-proval from the Commission members present.
Commissioner Weaver asked about the parking issues at Ballwin Grove. City Planner Aiken said parking expansion was provided for if necessary. That construction was approved by the Board of Aldermen and is already underway. It will provide an additional 30 parking spaces.
A motion was made by Chairman Wind and seconded by Commissioner Goetz to adjourn the meeting. The motion received unanimous approval, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
Michael Wind, Chairman