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Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

MINUTES OF THE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION MEETING
CITY OF BALLWIN – 300 PARK DRIVE

December 4, 2006

The meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission was called to order by Chairman Michael Boland at 7:01 p.m.  Members in attendance were:                                                                                                                                        

PRESENT                            ABSENT
Chairman Michael Boland        Commissioner Sue Heath
Commissioner Pat Apel          Commissioner Michael Wind
Commissioner Pat Buehrle
Commissioner Anna Hunter
Commissioner Ron Kadane
Commissioner Frank Karr
Commissioner Jim Leahy
Alderman Jane Suozzi
Mayor Walt Young
Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken
City Engineer Gary Kramer
City Attorney Lou Lucchesi


Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Commissioner Kadane and seconded by Commissioner Karr to approve the minutes of the November 6, 2006 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.

2007 Capital Budget Presentation

City of Ballwin Finance Officer Glenda Loehr presented the proposed Capital Budget for 2007.  The review of the City Capital Improvement Plan by the Planning and Zoning Commission is a requirement of state legislation.

Mrs. Loehr said that the document had been revised to make it more reader-friendly. It has more comparative information from the year before to show trends.  She said the Capital Budget differs from the Operating Budget in that it fluctuates more depending on the number of major projects planned, reimbursements, grants, etc.  In 2007, the total number of proposed expenditures are $4,634,009.  This is $188,486 more than the 2006 budget.

The bulk of the proposed expenditures is allocated to the Public Works Department for street improvements.  Thirty-eight percent must go toward bond debt, which includes bond issues for street improvements, and the construction of The Pointe and North Pointe facilities.  Ms. Loehr discussed the breakdown of fund allocation for individual departments.  Anticipated revenues to offset these expenditures comes to $4,115,173, a shortfall of $518,935; however, there is a carryover fund balance from prior years.

Chairman Boland asked if the City is ahead of schedule on the TIF debt.  Ms. Loehr said that the City is on track with repayment.

Commissioner Apel said that rather than seal the golf course parking lot, those funds should come from the people who use the amenity, and instead use the City monies to repair the streets.  Ms. Loehr said that the funds used for the parking lot come from the ½ cent parks tax, which must be used exclusively for parks purposes. 

Planning Director Aiken said that the Capital Budget is adjusted to meet the revenues that are available in a particular year.  If revenues are down, projects don’t get completed.  Commissioner Apel asked if the City has a long-range Capital Budget plan.  Ms. Loehr said the current plan presented is three years out, which is as long-range as is viable.

Commissioner Karr made a motion to recommend approval of the 2007 Capital Budget to the Board of Aldermen as presented.  Commissioner Buehrle seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

SUE 06-18 – Special Use Exception Petition

Restaurant with Carryout and the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages by the Drink for Consumption on the Premises (no live entertainment)

Fortel’s of West County, 15037 Manchester Road – Ms. Elizabeth Reh

Planning Director Aiken said that he received a phone message inquiring why this petition had been removed from the agenda.  He said he did not know who the person was and was unable to reach the individual to respond.  He said that may be why the petitioner was not at the meeting.  Mr. Aiken said that if the Commission chose to open the public hearing and continue it to the next meeting, he would contact the petitioner, but said that the petition is pretty straightforward.  Fortel’s is moving to a location that was previously a restaurant, and the restaurant has been at its current location in Claymont Plaza for several years.  Mr. Aiken said that he foresees no problems with the petition.

Commissioner Buerhle said that the location is designated incorrectly on the plans.  Planning Director Aiken confirmed that the petitioner is seeking to move into Ballwin Village Plaza #6.  Commissioner Hunter said that she would like to see the Commission make a decision on this petition so that the petitioner can move forward.  Commissioner Karr said that the Commission needs to know whether the petitioner is willing to pay the sidewalk reimbursement fee.  Alderman Suozzi said that could be handled by the Board of Aldermen.

Chairman Boland declared the public hearing open and asked if there were any proponents to speak in favor of the petition.  There were none.  Chairman Boland then asked if there were any opponents wishing to speak in opposition to the petition.  There were none, and Chairman Boland declared the public hearing closed.

Commissioner Kadane made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 06-18 to the Board of Aldermen, contingent on the petitioner’s agreement to pay the sidewalk reimbursement.  Commissioner Hunter seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

SUB 06-6 –     Subdivision Petition

Swamy Subdivision – 901 Westrun Drive, Ballwin MO 63021 – Mr. & Mrs. Yoga Swamy

Mr. Gary Chura addressed the Commission on behalf of the petitioners, stating they are requesting approval to subdivide their property into two lots for the purpose of building another single-family residence.  He said that the subdivision is zoned R-3 (minimum lot size requirement 10,000 sq ft).  Mr. Chura said that the two lots resulting from the subdivision would be approximately 17,000 sq ft and 14,000 sq ft, meeting the lot size requirement for R-3 zoning.  He noted that the trustees of Deer Creek subdivision have given their preliminary approval to the plat.

Mr. Chura said that the petitioner will be working with Mayer Homes to construct the new house, which will be approximately 3,000 sq ft.  Mr. Chura said that the lot has a severe slope, which will be a factor in building the house.  He said the petitioner plans to preserve much of the existing stand of trees for screening purposes.

Chairman Boland asked about the elevation drop-off of the slope at the rear of the property, since the Commission did not receive a topographical map.  Mr. Chura said that he does not have the data on that.  It will be part of the construction application process.

Chairman Boland declared the public hearing open and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of the petition.  There were none.  Chairman Boland then asked if there were any opponents wishing to speak in opposition to the petition.  The following residents addressed the Commission:

   Mr. Stuart Smith, 925 Westrun Drive, believes the lot is not suitable to have another house built on it.  He does not like the density that will result from the subdivision of the property and feels it is not consistent with the character of the neighborhood.  He believes that the trustee approval does not represent the feelings of the neighbors.

   Mr. Ray Lembke, 423 Gillham Court, believes that the homes on the proposed lots will not be allowed to have decks because of the shallow lots and potential for trespassing in the rear yard setback.  

Mayor Young referred to the subdivision of 410 Gillham Court, saying that he understood that to be the only lot that was allowed to be subdivided per the indentures.  Mr. Lembke said that particular lot was mentioned specifically in the indentures as having the right to be subdivided, but there was nothing in the indentures about it being the only lot with rights to do so.

   Mr. Russ Case, 430 Gillham Court, is opposed to the subdivision of this lot.  He believes there are many lots in the Deer Creek subdivision that are large enough to be subdivided and that this is just the start.  He feels that this will hurt property values.  He said no neighborhood meeting was held regarding this issue.

There were no other opponents, and Chairman Boland declared the public hearing closed.

Commissioner Kadane asked if the Planning & Zoning Commission would have an opportunity to review a topographical map.  Planning Director Aiken said a site plan would be part of a standard building permit submitted to the City’s Plan Reviewer.  In this case, Mr. Aiken said that the City Engineer would be asked to review it with regards to grading.  Commissioner Kadane asked if the Planning & Zoning Commission could ask for a site plan.  Mr. Aiken said that the Commission could request any information needed to make a decision.

Chairman Boland noted that people purchase larger lots because they want more land and separation between themselves and their neighbors.  He said that developments are designed with these aesthetics in mind.  He feels that people should not buy these “premium” lots with the intent of subdividing and selling a portion of it.

Commissioner Hunter feels that subdivision of this property could have a negative impact on the neighbors.  She has concerns that more disturbances on the parcel will cause more stormwater runoff.  Commissioner Kadane pointed out that this plan does meet the zoning requirements as far as size, but from a planning standpoint, there isn’t enough information to make a decision.

Alderman Suozzi said that this subdivision was originally approved under St. Louis County zoning.  Was the subdivision approved as a density development or a PEU (Planned Environmental Unit) such that the lot has to be this big as a part of the overall density plan?

Mayor Young asked City Attorney Lucchesi if the Planning & Zoning Commission or the Board of Aldermen have the right to require all facts and information pertinent to the petition.  City Attorney Lucchesi said that the Commission members can ask for more information but cannot base their decision on issues not related to Planning & Zoning.  Chairman Boland asked Mr. Lucchesi if he felt that the Commission was in possession of all the information needed to make a decision.  Mr. Lucchesi said that it would be important to determine if there was a reason for the size of this lot at the time the development was built.  Mr. Aiken said that is information the petitioner should provide.

Chairman Boland called for a motion to table the petition and hold over the public hearing.  Planning Director Aiken noted that the next scheduled meeting would fall on January 1, 2007, which is a holiday.  Commissioner Kadane made a motion to cancel the January 1, 2007 meeting and hold over the public hearing for Petition SUB 06-6 until the February 5, 2007 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission.  Commissioner Buehrle seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

Commissioner Kadane moved to table Petition SUB 06-6, requesting that the petitioner provide additional information including, but not limited to, a topographical map, information on the original subdivision petition regarding densities, and other pertinent information.  Commissioner Buehrle seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.

Z 06-4 – Ordinance Change Petition and SUB 06-7 – Subdivision Petition

Coachlight Subdivision Plat Amendment – J & F Park Place LLC, 695 Trade Center Blvd #200, Chesterfield MO  63005 – Mr. Chris DeGuentz

Mr. Ed Griesedieck addressed the Commission on behalf of the petitioner.  He said the market has changed since the development was originally approved.  There has been more demand for the villa-style units than for the two-story townhomes.  This market is mostly empty-nesters who don’t want to have the responsibility for the exterior maintenance.  The petitioner is asking to amend the site plan to build villas instead of some of the townhomes.  The density of the development will go down by 25% and the size of the units will increase by 25%, from 1200 sq. ft. to 1400-1800 sq. ft.  The price will range from $250k - $350k.  The buildings will be 60’ wide on a 70’ wide lot, leaving 10’ between each building.  

Commissioner Hunter stated her concern over the loss of pedestrian access.  Mr. Griesedieck said that all the formal walking paths are still in place.  Commissioner Karr asked if the villa units will have patios.  Mr. Griesedieck said that they will.  

Chairman Boland said that when the original development was approved, it was an exciting approach reflecting new urbanism principles.  He is disappointed that the amended plan is back to the same old “garage-in-front” style that is so common.  Mr. Chris DeGuentz of Fischer and Frichtel said that they looked at providing the ranch-style unit with a rear alley, but the limitations of front yard setbacks do not allow for it.  He said that if they cannot have this submitted plan, they would tough it out and stay with the approved plan; it will just take longer to build out and sell all of the units.

Mayor Young asked if the petitioner had considered requesting a change of zoning and going with a “new town” atmosphere that targets a younger market with reduced prices, rather than empty-nesters.  Mr. DeGuentz said that was the premise of the original proposal; it just hasn’t worked out that way.  

Chairman Boland declared the public hearing open and asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of the petition.  There were none.  Chairman Boland then asked if there were any opponents wishing to speak in opposition to the petition.  There were none, and Chairman Boland declared the public hearing closed.

Chairman Boland stated his concern that the new Comprehensive Plan for the City is nearing completion, and while this proposal goes against the Plan, he can’t make the petitioner wait while the Plan is approved.  

Mr. Aiken said that other villa projects in the City have larger side yard setbacks than this plan.  He also stated that the original plan called for an alleyway service corridor for trash pickup and parking.  Under the new plan, the roadway is now the service corridor.  He said the petitioner misjudged the market and is now asking the City to discard its planning ideals so they can sell their product more quickly.  Mr. Griesedieck said that under the old plan, the petitioner was trying to sell something that people didn’t want.

Commissioner Apel made a motion to recommend approval of Petition Z 06-4 to the Board of Aldermen.  Commissioner Kadane seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with the following result:  Aye:  Apel, Boland, Buerhle, Hunter, Kadane, Karr, Leahy, and Young.  Nay:  Suozzi.  The motion passed 8-1.

Commissioner Kadane made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUB 06-7 to the Board of Aldermen.  Commissioner Apel seconded the motion.  A voice vote was taken with the following result:  Aye:  Apel, Boland, Buerhle, Hunter, Kadane, Karr, Leahy, and Young.  Nay:  Suozzi.  The motion passed 8-1.   

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Update

Commissioner Karr urged the Commission members to attend the next meeting of the committee, which will be held on December 18, 2006.  At that point, the first draft of the Comprehensive Plan will be available for review.  

Review of Items Sent to the Board of Aldermen

An updated list was provided to all Commission members.

Adjournment

A motion was made by Commissioner Hunter and seconded by Commissioner Leahy to adjourn the meeting.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Michael Boland, Chairman
Planning & Zoning Commission