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
May 2, 2005

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

PRESENT                                                                ABSENT 
Chairman Michael Boland                          Commissioner Phyllis Erwin 
Commissioner Frank Karr                          Commissioner Sue Heath 
Commissioner Ed Montgomery                Commissioner Ron Kadane 
Commissioner Tim Reisel                        Commissioner Jeff Medler 
Alderman Jimmy Terbrock 
Mayor Walt Young 
Assistant City Administrator Tom Aiken 
City Engineer Gary Kramer 
City Attorney Lou Lucchesi

Swearing In of New Commission Member

Mr. Don Walters, 409 Holly Haven Drive (Ward 1), was sworn in by Assistant City Administrator Thomas Aiken.  Mr. Walters replaces Mrs. Terry Byatt, who moved out of the City of Ballwin.

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Commissioner Reisel and seconded by Commissioner Montgomery to approve the minutes of the March 7, 2005 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission.  The motion received unanimous approval from the members present.

SUB 05-1—Subdivision Petition - Ries Estates—Taylor Morley Land Development, 17107 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield MO 63005—Mr. William Taylor

Mr. Kevin Riggs of Cole & Associates addressed the Commission on behalf of Taylor Morley Land Development LLC, to request the site plan approval of a 28-lot residential subdivision on approximately 10.5 acres.  Mr. Riggs described the parcel and the zoning of the surrounding neighborhoods.

He stated that the primary access will be off of Ries Road, ending in a cul-de-sac.  There will be a connection to Holly Haven Drive, which is required by ordinance.  

Mr. Riggs addressed several points brought up in the petition review report.  He stated that rather than 302’ of the creek being enclosed in a storm sewer pipe, the developer has reduced the length of the pipe to approximately 55 feet (approx. 100 feet including stabilization) to preserve the creek in its natural state as much as possible.  In compliance with the petition review report, the developer will place the culvert in the creek at as close to a 90-degree angle to the street as possible.

Mr. Riggs stated that the developer has provided no-grade zones of 15-25 feet around the perimeter of the site. 

Mr. Riggs referred to the recommendation in the petition review report that only five building permits be allowed until such time as all plantings related to the creek construction be completed.  He requested that this requirement not be imposed, as weather conditions that preclude optimal plantings could then unreasonably hold up construction.   The developer would prefer to be bound to a limit of 60% of permits issued.

Mr. Riggs stated that the houses would range in price from $375,000 for a ranch model to the low $400,000s for a two-story model.

Commissioner Montgomery asked City Planner Tom Aiken if staff was comfortable with allowing the developer to have more than five building permits before creek stabilization occurred.  Mr. Aiken stated that many times, without such a requirement, landscaping of common ground areas is the last thing done.  Meanwhile, until the plantings are in place, erosion is occurring and possibly affecting neighboring subdivisions, and the City has no recourse until after two years has passed.  Mr. Riggs stated that the developer is willing to establish a special escrow for this work, which would give the City leverage with the developer within the standard two-year period.  City Planner Tom Aiken stated that he would accept a flexible six-month time frame so that the vegetation can establish itself before the developer leaves the site, and also suggested a limit on the number of occupancy permits to be issued prior to this work.

Chairman Boland raised the concern regarding Lot #11, which would be most susceptible to erosion according to the original plan that was submitted.  Kevin Riggs stated that the developer agrees with the biomediation recommended in the staff review report, and agreed not to pursue a building permit for Lot #11 until such time that the creek stabilization is finalized and approved by the City.

Mayor Young suggested that one option would be to deny occupancy permits if the creek stabilization has not been completed.  He feels that a nine-month compliance period is more reasonable.

Chairman Boland declared the public hearing opened and asked if there were any proponents to speak in favor of SUB 05-1.  There were none.  Chairman Boland then asked if there were any opponents to speak against the petition. 

            Mr. Jerold Bernstein, 908 Cleta Drive, addressed the Commission, stating that 41 of the saved trees are bisected by the property line, and feels that these should not be considered in the developer’s total.  He questioned why the City of Ballwin does not enforce the subdivision ordinance requiring that natural features be preserved. (Mr. Bernstein also submitted his comments in writing to become part of the official record.)

            Mrs. Debbie McGrath, 114 Holly Garden Drive, addressed the Commission, stating her concern about drainage and erosion.  She wants preservation of the creek bank (grading and plantings) to be done as soon as possible to deter erosion.

            Mr. Carlos Burgas, 910 Cleta Drive, addressed the Commission, stating that he is opposed to the loss of natural features. 

            Mr. Stephan Heissinger, 914 Cleta Drive, addressed the Commission, asking whether the dead trees bordering his lot would be removed.

            Mrs. Jean Favara, 142 Holly Garden, addressed the Commission, stating that she is concerned about the loss of wildlife and green spaces in the area.

            Mr. Paul Hohenberger, 412 Holly Haven Drive, addressed the Commission, stating his concern as to how the demolition of the existing houses will affect the trees to be preserved.

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

Mr. Riggs addressed the concerns that were brought up by the residents.  He stated that in working with the City in the past, it has been found that the subdivision ordinance provisions in question have been sources of negotiation.  The intent is always to maintain the integrity of the ordinance.  In the matter of erosion control and sedimentation, Mr. Riggs stated that the developer has met and or exceeded both national and local requirements in that area, with a stepped-up set of regulations that are enforced with weekly inspections. 

Mr. Riggs stated that the developer will walk the site with their landscape architects, and will remove dead trees from the no-grade zone.  They will try to preserve the undergrowth as well, in order to retain as much of the natural state of the no-grade zone as possible.  The developer will remove existing structures and improvements, including fences, in the no-grade zone, but will need to have survey information regarding the fences.  Their intent is to preserve the natural buffer.

Commissioner Reisel asked City Planner Aiken to give his comments on the statement that the natural features ordinance is not enforced.  Mr. Aiken said that in the past, it has been interpreted in this manner as it has in this proposal.  To save all the trees would make most properties undevelopable.  Therefore, it is necessary to balance a developer’s rights with tree preservation.  The 15-foot no-grade zone was established to do this.  Mr. Aiken stated that the no-grade zone is not an ordinance requirement, and that Ballwin does not require developers to plant any trees in a new subdivision.  The ordinance language requires natural features to be preserved wherever possible.

Commissioner Montgomery brought up the question of whether the Natural Features provision of the Subdivision Ordinance should be reviewed.  City Attorney Lucchesi said that when an individual buys the property, they can cut all the trees down if they want to.

Commissioner Walters asked Mr. Riggs what problems increasing the no-grade zone would cause.  Mr. Riggs stated that the developer has to grade the area so that water will flow away from the homes and he has to maintain a maximum roadway slope of only 6%.  He also said that increasing the no-grade zone would decrease the size of the rear yards, impeding the homeowners’ ability to put in accessory buildings or pools, etc.  Mr. Aiken stated that the no-grade zone is imposed on the developer, not the property owner, and the property owner can clear as much vegetation as they wish.  Mr. Aiken stated that the developer is willing to follow staff’s recommendations to provide plantings to provide 50% screening where there are no trees currently exist.

A motion was made by Commissioner Montgomery and seconded by Commissioner Karr to recommend approval to the Board of Aldermen of petition SUB 05-1, subject to compliance with the recommendations of the petition review report, and to staff’s satisfaction.  The motion received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.  Mayor Walt Young abstained from voting.

Mayor’s Comments

Mayor Walt Young said that he would like to see a rotating chairmanship for the Planning & Zoning Commission, so that more people can learn the responsibility behind it.  Mayor Young also asked that each of the Planning & Zoning Commission members attend the C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) classes.

Adjournment

A motion was made by Commissioner Montgomery and seconded by Commissioner Reisel to adjourn the meeting.  The motion received unanimous approval.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

            Michael Boland, Chairman

            Zoning Commission

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