Board of Aldermen Meeting Agendas & 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.
The Board of Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room of the Ballwin Government Center, 1 Government Ctr. Schedule and place subject to change. Meetings are open to the public. All citizens are urged to attend.
Board of Aldermen Meeting
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
March 8, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the February 23, 2004 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval.
Alderman Suozzi amended the Minutes by inserting the following: Page 5, after paragraph 6: “Alderman Suozzi said that at the Zoning Commission meeting in February, former Mayor Montgomery pointed out that the country club said they are preserving the golf course. She said that Assistant City Administrator / City Planner Aiken reviewed the proposal twice and stated in his memo that this proposed development is consistent with the densities of the adjoining Chesterfield subdivisions. She had a personal situation with a single loaded cul-de-sac behind her home, which at first she was opposed to. The property was formerly a horse farm. The street became more of a buffer than the back yards of homes.”
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Minutes as amended. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Mayor Jones said that correspondence has been received from Mr. Simon and The Jones Company regarding the Villas at Meadowbrook Rezoning, Bill # 3284, they would like additional time to respond to some of the Board’s questions. Therefore, this legislative item has been removed from the agenda.
There were no citizen comments.
BILL # 3284 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 557, KNOWN AS "THE ZONING ORDINANCE" OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, AND AMENDING "THE DISTRICT MAP" BY CHANGING THE ZONING CLASSIFICATION OF CERTAIN LAND IN THE CITY OF BALLWIN FROM R-1 SINGLE FAMILY TO PLANNED SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING DEVELOPMENT (PSD) DISTRICT.
Mayor Jones said this item has been removed from the Agenda. He asked Stuart Zimbalist, attorney for Mr. Simon, what the best date is to put this item back on the agenda for further consideration. Since Alderman Anderson will not be present at the April 12 meeting, April 26 was recommended. Alderman Gatton asked about the reason for the delay. Mr. Zimbalist said he was recently brought into this matter and needs more time to become familiar with the issues and to answer the questions from the Board. Mayor Jones said that both Aldermen from Ward 3 should be present. The Board agreed that this issue will be on the April 26 agenda. Alderman McDowell asked, since this is currently pending legislation, is there any time frame in which the Board must act? City Administrator Kuntz said it would stay tabled indefinitely until a motion is made to take it back off the table. Mayor Jones said that since Bill #3284 was read once, it is automatically tabled. The petitioner was assured that it won’t be read a second time until April 26.
Alderman Gatton asked Mr. Zimbalist if significant changes in the plans will be proposed. Mr. Zimbalist said the primary focus is to answer questions that were raised by citizens and the Board at the last meeting. Three consultants have been involved in the last several days. This needs to be done right and not rushed. Mayor Jones agreed.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Anderson to adopt the consent items. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Finance Advisory Committee: Mayor Jones proposed the following nominees: Charles Shaffer, a former bank executive who lives on Claymont Drive in Ward 3, and Dave Porta, an attorney, who lives in Deer Creek Subdivision in Ward 4.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Gatton to approve the appointment of Charles Shaffer and Dave Porta to the Finance Advisory Committee. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Liquor License Renewal: Mayor Jones said this renewal is for the West County Jaycees for the Ballwin Days Festival.
A motion was made by Alderman Buermann and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the liquor license for West County Jaycees for the Ballwin Days Festival. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Finance Advisory Committee: City Administrator Kuntz reminded the Board that the deadline for completion of the nominations for the Finance Advisory Committee is the next Board meeting so that the committee can be active by April 1.
Retreat Topics: City Administrator Kuntz suggested topics and the structure for the May 1 Aldermanic Planning Retreat. He asked for direction from the Board. Mayor Jones recommended not reviewing the Policy Manual at this Retreat. City Administrator Kuntz said that the Policy Manual could be reviewed incrementally when Board meeting agendas are not extensive.
Mayor Jones asked what Staff Violation Enforcement is. City Administrator Kuntz said that this is regarding the code enforcement policies. Much of the code enforcement has historically been by complaint driven. Some violations run in cycles, such as recreational vehicles, utility trailers, high weeds and grass. The code enforcement staff wants to make sure procedures are consistent with the comfort level of the Board. If the topic becomes too extensive in the discussions, it will have to be held over for a later date.
City Administrator Kuntz asked if the Board would like to have a facilitator. In light of the comprehensiveness of long range planning, it might be worthwhile. This is an outside resource. Alderman Buermann asked if this would help the Board move forward on a new strategic plan. City Administrator Kuntz said the strategic plan can be as narrow as land use or as broad as community inclusion, quality of life issues, livability and pedestrian aspects of the community. He said the Board asked for more emphasis on inclusion and getting the community involved in activities. This is not a public relations firm. It is a strategic planning, communications, public relations firm. This firm is addressing the St. Louis Area City Managers about ballot initiatives and community involvement. They have been working with the City of Richmond Heights in their redevelopment, strategic planning and visioning communications. Alderman Anderson said this group has a good reputation and their services are very good for a reasonable rate. Mayor Jones said he considers the staff overviews and community issues on annexation and comprehensive planning to be the most important part of the Retreat. City Administrator Kuntz said written submissions from the department heads will be submitted. Mayor Jones asked that The Vandiver Group presentation be cut back to one hour.
A motion was made by Alderman Anderson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to remove Policies and Procedures from the agenda, and give The Vandiver Group the 1½ hour. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Audit Supplement: City Administrator Kuntz said this is a supplemental fee increase proposed by the auditors. They will honor the contract and absorb and conduct the exercise but in fairness, they will be doing extra work which is more intense and comprehensive. Mayor Jones said he doesn’t see any reason to pay the auditors more money. Alderman Lembke asked if this was something that was overlooked in their bid. City Administrator Kuntz said this is new because there are additional guidelines mandated by the Federal Government that must be followed. It is mainly to be sure that fraud prevention policies are in place and that there’s no fraud being conducted under their watch. They are requesting compensation for the extra procedures and interviews that they have already made. These are new guidelines that have come down as a result of corporate scandals in the last 12 – 16 months. This is in addition to what the Board authorized. The question is should they be held to the original contract amount? Alderman Suozzi said this is not a substantial amount of money. She is surprised they have asked for it. The Board agreed to hold the auditing firm to the original contract amount.
Clarkson Valley Police Contract – Closed Session: City Administrator Kuntz said this is regarding the police service contract. Since this is a negotiation situation that falls within the purview of the Sunshine Act due to the sensitivity, closed session discussion is recommended.
Use Tax: City Administrator Kuntz said this item did not get on last November’s ballot. He asked what the Board wants to do about this item. Mayor Jones suggested letting the committee discuss it. This won’t generate enough to justify payment for a special election. This tax is only on internet sales with a $200 exemption. Other cities that utilize this tax experience an increase in revenue between $100,000 - $200,000. Last year, Kirkwood received $96,000; Des Peres is receiving approximately $250,000 annually. The Board agreed to allow the Committee discuss the issue as a part of its recommendations.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Sign Ordinance: Alderman Suozzi said this is regarding Westridge Elementary School. Carol Mobley, art instructor at Westridge, had spoken with Assistant City Administrator Aiken to find out if a mural would be allowed. From the sign ordinance, Mr. Aiken determined that there is a phrase in the ordinance that says “draws attention”. This mural would draw attention. Because of this, Mr. Aiken could not tell Ms. Mobley that this would be okay to do. She said the only other option would be a change to the sign code. The PTO has agreed to fund half of the mural at a cost of $4,000. The total estimated cost would be $8,000. The two artists have been chosen and they want to do this in mid April. If they get the funding, they want to know if the mural will be allowed. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said that since this does not have to go to the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Board could theoretically approve a change to the sign code in time for the April mural proposal.
City Attorney Lucchesi agreed that under the current definition of sign, this mural would be considered a sign. Under the current regulations, a mural up to about 300 square feet is allowed as a sign, and this one is going to be more than 1,800 square feet. Alderman Suozzi said Westridge took out some large windows and replaced them with smaller windows. There are 10 panels, 10’ x 14’. The windows will be a break. It will be an improvement and will be art. The allowance of this type of request could be limited to an institutional entity and not commercial uses. Mayor Jones said there will have to be an ordinance.
Alderman Buermann asked if the residents around the school have been contacted. Alderman Suozzi said she has seen murals that are very attractive and she is supportive of this. Mr. Aiken has been looking for sample ordinances from other cities. Mayor Jones said the front door of Claymont Elementary has a mural of a tree. It surrounds the front door. It was painted before 1996 when that area was annexed. City Attorney Lucchesi said this came about when there was a facility in Ballwin called Peaches. They had long large buildings and they put what they called art in the windows. They used very large posters. The Board thought this violated the intent of the sign code, so an ordinance was drafted to clearly prohibit this use. Alderman Gatton said that what the Board might consider a commercial message, someone else could call art. Alderman Suozzi said Ms. Mobley said that Westridge is not a commercial entity. If it was the Board’s desire 20 years ago to prohibit this kind of use because it drew attention and would be something undesirable in a commercial area, perhaps it should be limited to institutional. The City of Ballwin may want to put up a mural at some time and the ordinance would not allow it.
Alderman McDowell said every Alderman has the right to introduce legislation. He said the definition of mural should be specified because trying to regulate the content of the mural becomes another issue. The content should be considered, and simply saying that it can only be allowed in certain areas and not in other areas, will be very controversial. Alderman Suozzi said the mural theme is “Paths to Discovery”. It will express the students’ perceptions on their educational experience, past, present and future, and the students are writing and drawing about the topics that will be used for the basis of the mural. Professional artist will be implementing those thoughts and drawings into the design. The professional artists are Sarah Fost and Catherine Magel. Mayor Jones said that staff will work with Alderman Suozzi in drafting an ordinance that can be considered at the next meeting.
Alderman Buermann said that if this is approved, they may want to postpone the mural painting until after the roadwork is completed this summer because of the dust. Alderman Suozzi said the road construction won’t start until after school is out in June.
TIF Boundaries: Alderman McDowell recommended extending the TIF boundaries on the east to Lark Hill. This is a suggestion for the TIF Commission to consider. He said he will provide Alderman Suozzi, aldermanic representative to the TIF Commission, a letter regarding this for consideration.
ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION
A motion was made by Alderman Anderson and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn to closed session to discuss a contract with the City of Ballwin. A roll call vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the meeting was adjourned to closed session at 7:35 p.m.
The Board convened in closed session at 7:42 p.m.
The closed session was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at 8:20 p.m.
Mayor Jones announced that while in closed session, the Board discussed the Clarkson Valley police service contract. The Board unanimously authorized the City Administrator to submit a proposal that is competitive yet non-subsidized.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Buermann to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.