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
Meeting AgendaCity of Ballwin Board of Aldermen Meeting Agenda and Briefs
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE
March 22, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jones at 7:02 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given.
The Minutes of the March 8, 2004 Board of Aldermen meeting were submitted for approval. A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Lembke to approve the Minutes. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Barbara Lockman, 231 Bitterwood : Mrs. Lockman expressed concern about a fence between her property and the new development on the Multiplex site. She wants a fence to run along the side of the common ground. The residents don’t want people cutting through their yards or lose their privacy. Attorney for the developer, Mr. John King, said a fence is proposed along the sidewalk on the side of the new house. No fence is proposed along Mrs. Lockman’s property at this time. There is a no-grade zone which is a buffer. Mrs. Lockman said she would like to have a continuous privacy fence because people will cut through their property. Alderman Robinson asked if their subdivision indentures allow for fences. Mrs. Lockman said yes. Alderman Gatton said the whole Remington Subdivision is fenced.
Patrick O’Driscol, 449 Ivywood Drive : Mr. O’Driscol said he is concerned about the drainage at the new development at the Multiplex site. He said with the density of the houses there will be more water running off the roofs, driveways and roads. He doesn’t see any provision for drainage. He said there needs to be a playground for children. Mayor Jones said there is a shared retention facility. Alderman Gatton said that the new development may reduce the amount if impervious surface that already exists. Alderman Suozzi said there is no fee to use the playground or the common areas at The Pointe. The charge is only if the inside of the facility is used.
Larry Johnson, Trustee for Westglen Woods Subdivision : Mr. Johnson questioned the location of the boundary line between Westglen Woods and the new development. The trustees have had a survey done and are waiting for the report. He is concerned how far the boundary goes into the Westglen Woods ballpark. Alderman Easter asked if the City did a survey when the walking paths were going to be put in and the fence is on Multiplex property? Mr. King said the fence is just inside of the Multiplex property. City Administrator Kuntz said that whatever the survey reveals, the petitioners will honor and have to live within this and not encroach on the neighbors. Alderman Gatton said that there are ongoing discussions between the residents and the Trustees regarding the property line. He said the developers have offered to deed some of the property that has been maintained by the neighbors for 20 or 30 years.
Alderman Lembke clarified the fact that the letter received from Shirley Mergenovich is representing an individual and not residents of the Westglen Woods Subdivision. Mr. Johnson said that is correct.
Mr. Johnson said he personally would like a privacy fence but he cannot speak for the other residents until they have a meeting.
Shirley Mergenovich, 230 Bitterwood Drive : Ms. Mergenovich sent a letter to the Board expressing opposition to the possible cut-through issue. She is concerned about privacy and requested a privacy fence along her property line, especially along the proposed sidewalk connection. She said she talked to the developer about the fence and the developer tentatively agreed that a fence was needed and they would see to it that a fence was installed. She also expressed the need for sufficient playground and ball field for children. She said the Multiplex property is on a higher elevation than her property and was concerned about runoff and damage to her property.
David Lappin, 313 Portwind Place : Mr. Lappin announced that he is withdrawing from the April 6 Aldermanic election in Ward 1. Even though his name will appear on the ballot, he is no longer a candidate.
BILL # 3286 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF A CAPITAL ASSET POLICY FOR THE CITY OF BALLWIN.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Gatton for a first reading of Bill No. 3286. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3286 was read for the first time.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Easter for a second reading of Bill No. 3286. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3286 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3286 with the following results: Ayes – Lembke, Easter, Robinson, McDowell, Gatton, Suozzi. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3286 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-10.
BILL # 3287 - 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 S-1 SERVICE DISTRICT TO R-4 PLANNED MULTIPLE FAMILY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT.
A motion was made by Alderman Lembke and seconded by Alderman Robinson for a first reading of Bill No. 3287. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3287 was read for the first time.
Mayor Jones said this item was twice on the agenda for the Planning & Zoning Commission. At its meeting on March 1, 2004, the commission members present voted unanimously to recommend approval of the zoning change.
Alderman Gatton said he met with some of the Trustees for Westglen Woods, which owns the playground and ball park area immediately to the south of the development. A concern is the location of the property line. He said the developer has had discussions about deeding over some of the property. John King said when the developer purchased the property, they received a title policy which gave them clear title to all of the property. If the adjoining property owner has a legitimate claim, he will deed that property to them or work it out. If they have been taking care of it for 20 – 30 years, they have a right to adverse possession. The title company would have to take care of it.
Alderman Gatton said that at this time, the only existing fence is a barbed wire fence and is not appropriate for separating the two properties. Mr. King said he will get rid of the barbed wire fence and then talk with the trustees and the two homeowners regarding the landscaping and buffering to either install a privacy fence or do additional landscaping that will prevent cut-through traffic. Alderman Gatton said there really is an issue of privacy because of the difference in elevation.
Alderman Gatton asked about drainage and waterflow. Mr. King said the water will be directed into the retention area. He said the MSD rules will apply.
Alderman Lembke said the area that is called common ground or ball field is owned and maintained by the residents of Westglen Woods. There is a concern that there is going to be a problem trying to discourage people from The Pointe from using this ball field. They will think that this is another public park. The Pointe doesn’t have a ball field, but Westglen Woods Subdivision does. This is private common ground owned by Westglen Woods. The residents and trustees have asked for a privacy fence to limit the access of people who do not live in Westglen Woods. Alderman Lembke asked who becomes the enforcer. Mr. King said that when the houses are sold in the new development, it could be explained at that time. Alderman Gatton said a fence could be right next to the ball field along the first base line. Mr. King agreed and said he does not have a problem with that.
Mayor Jones said that once the barbed wire fence is taken down and the landscaping screening is put in, the Board has been assured that the developer will talk with the affected residents to reach an acceptable solution.
Mayor Jones asked about the recreational requirements of the R-4 zoning classification which requires 15% active recreation dedication, or in lieu of payment to Ballwin’s recreation fund. He asked if the developer has considered the two options. The developer said it is their intent to try to meet the recreational requirement by counting certain portions of the site and then creating the north/south connector. Mayor Jones asked if the presence of the trail makes the entire common ground qualifying property for the 15% measurement. The developer said that was the intent but not for the entire common ground. It was certain areas of certain size. The trail would go in on their property and also loop it around the lake, and count the area on the new development property toward the improvement that will be put in on Ballwin Pointe property. Alderman McDowell asked if this would be a combining of Ballwin’s area and their area to qualify for the recreational area. The developer said the trail would go north/south and loop it around the lake. Instead of the improvements being disbursed on the subdivision site, they are trying to keep it as a buffer zone between The Pointe and Ballwin Commons.
Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer asked if the lake is near The Pointe property or near their ball field. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said it is in the corner where the old detention basin was, mostly on their site and partially on The Point site. Mrs. Bruer said this is a trail that loops the property and connects with The Pointe trail system. The developer said yes. He pointed this out on a map for Mrs. Bruer. Alderman McDowell said he has a problem with the concept. They are making a trail that comes from the developer’s property, loops around the lake on Ballwin’s property and then count the various common grounds because they will qualify as opposed to putting a trail that encompasses the developer’s property. They are going to count undeveloped property and say that constitutes the trail and recreational area. The developer said the calculation will include the lake area. Mayor Jones said it either meets the requirement or it doesn’t. The Board cannot waive the requirement.
Alderman Suozzi said this is similar to the Holloway Ridge issue where Ballwin took monetary contribution in lieu of doing an unwanted recreational improvement that went nowhere. Alderman Easter asked what percent is the playground area. Assistant City Administrator Aiken said they are not proposing a playground area. The only proposal is the sidewalk or trail that would run along the entire west side, that is the roadway stub as well as long The Pointe property and around the lake. He said they were hoping that Ballwin would give them credit for the improvement that is actually on The Pointe property toward an overall 15%. He recommended that Ballwin waive the 4-foot concrete sidewalk requirement as an alternative for the 8-foot asphalt path. He did not suggest giving them additional credit for using Pointe property. He said there is a final development plan that will come back before the Board to solve these issues before construction begins.
Alderman McDowell said the four standards upon which his decision is based when he votes is, an error in the original zoning designation, appearance of a change in the general land use pattern of a neighborhood, that applies to this, existence of a significant natural and physical characteristics of a site that prohibits the development allowed in the existing district, the adoption of a community plan that recommends a different land use such that a zoning district change is warranted.
Alderman Gatton said this development proposal has several open issues that the Board needs to respond to. He suggested that the issue be held until the first meeting in April pending the resolution of the fence, boundary, and recreation area issues. This will give the developer time to reconcile these issues and present in final form. Alderman Suozzi said this can be done on the final site plan.
Alderman McDowell asked Mr. King if they are willing to go with either of the two options for the fence. Alderman McDowell explained that the two options are to either put up a privacy fence or do the landscaping to such a degree that it would prohibit traffic from cutting through. Mr. King agreed.
Alderman Lembke said that Ballwin has committed to have walkways throughout the City. A lot of people do not want this because it comes too close to their houses and interferes with their privacy. He asked what direction does the City want to go on this issue vs. the individual residents who are affected by this who have come to expect a certain level of privacy and security. Alderman Suozzi said a compromise can be achieved and protect the privacy of the residents. She said she can understand that people who are using the common ground or ball park want to get to The Pointe and want an avenue to use. Using the common ground makes sense. It if can be pulled away from the residents and the residents protected, it’s a win-win situation. Alderman McDowell said kids from the subdivision are going to run through yards to get to the ball field. Alderman Robinson said the whole philosophy behind the walkway network was go get the kids to their destination with a direct route without more streets to cross. He said the residents have already said that kids are cutting through their yards now. What difference does it make if they continue to cut through? Alderman Gatton said that there hasn’t been a lot of cut-throughs coming from the north to the south as opposed from the south to the north. The residents see that as changing with this development and they want to make sure their needs and concerns are taken care of.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a second reading of Bill No. 3287. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3287 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3287 with the following results: Ayes – Easter, Robinson, Suozzi, McDowell, Lembke, Gatton. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3287 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-11.
BILL # 3288 - AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE APPROVAL OF A SUBDIVISION PLAT FOR BALLWIN POINTE COMMONS SUBDIVISION AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BALLWIN, MISSOURI.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke for a first reading of Bill No. 3288. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3288 was read for the first time.
Mayor Jones said this matter was considered at the March 1, 2004 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Commission members present voted unanimously to recommend approval of this petition, provided that the details of the street lights in the alleyway, walking path and retention pond issue were worked out to the satisfaction of the Ballwin staff.
Alderman McDowell said he is not in agreement with the joining with the City of Ballwin’s property at the lake. Contingent upon approval should be a resolution to the fence and landscaped area and reflected in the final development plan to be presented for Board consideration. Alderman Gatton said the potential property line changes should also be included.
City Attorney Lucchesi said that a requirement cannot be made to adjust the lot size. Alderman Gatton said if the property line gets moved, this could change the lot sizes. If a new plat is prepared, they will have to go back to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Alderman Lembke said he has walked the property line and he said there would be a difference of about 3-5 feet. This will not drop the whole plat out of compliance. Alderman Gatton said the boundary line change could change the plat dramatically or could be a minor change. Mayor Jones said that Bill 3288 includes the conditions of the staff reports of January 9 and February 18, as well as working out the details of the walking path, drainage and retention, and the light positions. Alderman Robinson said the Board is being asked to approve a plat that may be inaccurate. If there is a problem, they plan on deeding the property to the adjacent owner. Mr. King agreed.
City Attorney Lucchesi said this would not change the way it was subdivided, it would change the area of the lot, not the subdivision. It would only change one lot. Mr. King said the Board has a certified legal description signed by an engineer. If it is approved at this meeting, and if there is a problem with the lot, it will have to be determined if it is a major problem or a minor one that doesn’t require a public hearing. This won’t change the subdivision plat.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Suozzi for a second reading of Bill No. 3288. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed. Bill No. 3288 was read for the second time.
A roll call was taken for passage and approval of Bill No. 3288 with the following results: Ayes –Robinson, Easter, Gatton, Suozzi, McDowell, Lembke. Nays – None. Whereupon Mayor Jones declared Bill No. 3288 approved and it became Ordinance No. 04-12.
Mayor Jones asked that Item B, Tennis Courts, be removed for further discussion.
A motion was made by Alderman Suozzi and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adopt consent items A, C, and D. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Finance Advisory Committee: Mayor Jones said there are 3 positions yet to be filled. Alderman Suozzi said she has not had any volunteers. Alderman McDowell said he may have a nomination by the next meeting.
Planning & Zoning Resignation: Mayor Jones said that he has received the resignation of Russ Mandziara. A change in his schedule no longer give him the time to serve on the commission.
A motion was made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Lembke to appoint Jeff Medlor to fill the position vacated by Russ Mandziara. Mayor Jones said that Jeff is a lawyer practicing in St. Louis County who recently received the St. Louis County Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer award. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was passed.
Alderman McDowell asked that a thank you letter be sent to Mr. Mandziara for his service.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Tennis Courts: City Administrator Kuntz said questions have been raised regarding the alternatives to the base bid. Mayor Jones said the low bid would be approximately $9,000 below the budgeted amount. He would like to see the windscreens and backboard installed. City Administrator Kuntz said Director of Parks and Recreation Bruer suggested that by cutting out the middle man, the City could purchase and install the windscreens and the backboard. City crews could do this at a less expensive cost. Mrs. Bruer agreed and said that even though there is $9,000 that appears to be extra, she didn’t budget for a contingency, so in case extra rock or water is encountered, a cushion should be there to cover it. The windscreens and backboard could be installed this summer. Mayor Jones said the facility would not be complete without them. City Administrator Kuntz said he would like to give Mrs. Bruer the flexibility to determine if she can direct order at a less expensive cost. If it cannot be done for less, then it should still be done in conjunction with this project. The goal is to get the project done before the Ballwin Days tournament. It shouldn’t be phased.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Robinson to get the windscreens and backboard with the new surface, and either do the project with Ballwin crews, or go back to the low vendor and take that option. A voice vote was taken with an unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
Sign Code Change: City Administrator Kuntz said City Attorney Lucchesi has provided a Special Use option. The only concern that staff has about the Special Use is that from a practical standpoint, it will take what could be a routine request and turn it into a potential controversy. There will be discussion about what is it going to look like and what is it going to say. These are the two topics that should not be used in the approval or denial process. If it is approved for only institutional, there will be the type of applications that are not envisioned at this time. Alderman Suozzi said that at the school, they have policies and procedures in place where they are not going to put up something obscene. They won’t be allowed to by school district code. City Attorney Lucchesi said an institution means more than a school. It could be a hospital. Alderman Suozzi said the school has been working on this since October. They didn’t know that it could be something that Ballwin wouldn’t allow. She is concerned that the Special Use route will add to their expense because there is a petition fee and a minimum of a 90-day process. A mural would be an improvement in the appearance of the building.
City Administrator Kuntz suggested that he meet with City Attorney Lucchesi and Assistant City Administrator Aiken to come up with an institutional use on a percentage or accessory basis. In that way there will be two options in legislation form for consideration.
Alderman Robinson said he is opposed to spending staff time to come up with an institutional exception rule for this. This will incur more expense for the City to figure out how to put a mural on a school. A year from now, the Board could be listening to a room full of people complaining about what’s on the mural. He doesn’t want to open up that can of worms. There is a sign ordinance in place and the Special Use ordinance, if adopted. Alderman Gatton said if the S.U.E. process is used, Ballwin is suddenly adjudicating art. He doesn’t want to have to deal with that. Mayor Jones said that anyone has the right to bring legislation to the Board. He asked if anyone wanted to make a motion for a first and second reading of the S.U.E., the Board will vote on it.
Alderman Suozzi said she does not like this approach. She said this issue is going to continue to come up and the school deserves an answer. Alderman McDowell said that any alderman has the right to bring a proposal. Mayor Jones said that an ordinance is not on the floor right now so no more discussion is necessary until there is an official ordinance. Alderman McDowell asked if staff is going to try to find alternatives or is the Board letting it die. Mayor Jones said that staff would honor a request from any member of the Board with same respect that they would from any other member of the Board. City Administrator Kuntz said that if that is the direction, a motion needs to be made accordingly. Mayor Jones said that a motion is not necessary to draft legislation.
A motion was made by Alderman McDowell and seconded by Alderman Suozzi that staff will address this issue to find an alternative that does not utilize the Special Use Exception. A voice vote was taken with 5 yes votes and Alderman Robinson voting no. The motion was declared passed.
Health Insurance: City Administrator Kuntz said there is an April 1 renewal date for the employee health insurance. Proposals were received from several companies. The recommendation from staff is that the coverage be switched to Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is a comparable and similar plan as the proposal from United Health Care. United was offering this plan at a zero percent increase over what is currently being paid. Blue Cross is 4.7% less than what is currently being paid. The savings can be passed back proportionately to the employees, and with this $1,000 deductible self-insurance plan, the 10% that was budgeted for a potential premium increase for administration and reimbursement of that claim. With the total of about $107,000 in the pot, it would be a fairly significant usage before the city would be at any financial risk. If we fall below that threshold, that becomes a pot that can be carried forward into next year. The concept is an emerging one but have figured out a way with the company’s incentives to manage our usage through deterrents. He recommended that the employee not share in that risk at this point in the concept. The City can save money and get a handle on the costs.
A motion was made by Alderman Gatton and seconded by Alderman Lembke to accept the bid so that the City can move forward and not be penalized with another month of increased rates, to take advantage of the savings on April 1 instead of having to wait until May. A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.
CITY ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Concealed Weapons: Alderman Gatton said rather than wait for St. Louis County, he said that neighboring counties are not waiting and are issuing concealed and carry licenses. He recommended going ahead with the signage. City Administrator Kuntz said that everything is ready to move forward. Alderman Gatton said he is concerned that somebody from St. Charles County could carry a concealed weapon into Ballwin’s public buildings.
Alderman Robinson complimented the Ballwin Police Department on their quick response efforts.
Alderman Lembke recommended participation in the Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT), which trains and puts into neighborhoods individuals that are trained and has exposure to what it would be like to help out in a major emergency when police and fire protection would be delayed maybe up to 3 days in the case of an earthquake. Ballwin is sponsoring the CERT program on April 23, 24, 25, 2004. Anyone interested should call Metro West Fire Protection District at 636-458-2100.
A motion was made by Alderman Easter and seconded by Alderman Lembke to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.