Planning and Zoning Meeting Agendas and Minutes
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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
Meeting Agenda click here
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
October 3, 2011
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:
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Secretary Karr and seconded by Commissioner Apel to approve the minutes of the August 1, 2011 meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission as submitted. The motion received unan-imous approval from the Commission members present, with the exception of Chairman Wind, who ab-stained.
SUE 11-04 Special Use Exception (Trailer Parking in the C-1 District)
Mr. James Randall addressed the Commission, requesting approval for the petition. He stated that he is one of the four owners of Mr. Harry’s Carnival Foods. Mr. Randall said the application for the SUE stemmed from a notification of non-compliance for the trailer parked in the front parking lot of the build-ing. He said the trailer has been moved to the lower parking lot behind the building, but is still not in compliance. If this SUE is approved, the trailer will be permanently located on its own parking pad west of the building behind the building line.
Chairman Wind noted that the submitted drawing showed the trailer being parked in Ellisville. Mr. Ran-dall apologized, saying that he mistook the property line for the building line. The trailer will be 48” from the building. Chairman Wind asked about the size of the space and the trailer. Mr. Randall said the easement is 14’ wide and the trailer is 8.5’ wide. Chairman Wind asked if the trailer would be utilized or just parked in the space. Mr. Randall said the trailer would be utilized, as it contains the competition bar-becue cooker used to provide the food to Mr. Harry’s Carnival Foods. They will be actively cooking in the trailer every day.
Chairman Wind asked about the slope and grading on that side of the site. Mr. Randall said that a retain-ing wall will have to be erected in order to level that area for the pad. The wall will be no more than 36” high. Mr. Wind asked City Planner Aiken if a fence will need to be erected. Mr. Aiken said it depends on how it is laid out; the retaining wall will have to go through the plan review process for building permits. If a fence is needed, it will be required at that time.
Secretary Karr noted that one of the electrical boxes is open and hanging off the wall. Mr. Randall said he would notify the landlord. It may be a cable box.
Secretary Karr asked if there will be lighting on that side of the building. Mr. Randall said there are lights on the trailer. When the trailer is backed in, there will be a spotter to help guide the driver backing it in.
Chairman Wind asked if any of the trees along that portion of the site would be removed. Mr. Randall said that one pine tree would have to be removed to accommodate the parking pad. Chairman Wind asked if the petitioner is willing to replace the tree. Mr. Randall said he will replace the tree.
Commissioner Wright asked if there were no kitchen facilities inside the restaurant. Mr. Randall said the space was formerly Quizno’s, and did not have a hood system or cooking equipment. Installing these items would be cost prohibitive. The petitioner’s lease on the property expires May 1, 2012. Mr. Randall said they would renew for one year, with the goal of moving to a larger restaurant space with a kitchen within the city. Mayor Pogue asked if people walk up to the trailer to order food. Mr. Randall said the trailer is not utilized in that fashion.
Commissioner Utt asked if there is room in the back to set up the trailer. Mr. Randall said there is room, but that is essentially the “front” of the tenant space in the lower level, as well as their parking lot. They are trying to keep the trailer out of any of the visual frontage of Farber Center.
Commissioner Apel asked City Planner Aiken if he has any objections to this SUE. Mr. Aiken said that he doesn’t see any major problems with having the trailer parked on the side of the building.
Mayor Pogue asked if the petitioner would be willing to place a concrete bollard to protect the first meter. Mr. Randall said if it is needed and required, he would be willing to do this.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if there were any opponents who wished to speak in opposition to Petition SUE 11-04. There were none. Chairman Wind asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of the petition. There were none, and Chairman Wind declared the public hear-ing closed.
Mayor Pogue made a motion to recommend approval of Petition SUE 11-04 to the Board of Aldermen, with the provision that the petitioner replace the tree and place a concrete bollard to protect the meters. Chairman Wind seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from the Commission members present.
Z 11-05 Zoning Ordinance Change
City Planner Tom Aiken stated that a question was raised by a sitting alderman and a previous alderman about whether Ballwin should be more flexible on the issue of outdoor display and storage in commercial districts. The current regulations are very limited with regard to the type of merchandise that is allowed to be stored outside (automobiles and nursery supplies), and what is allowed by special use exception (gardening supplies). Meetings were held with local businesses, City staff, aldermen, and the Ballwin Business Resource Officer.
City Planner Aiken said enforcement of the regulations has been on hiatus pending a resolution of the ordinance amendment question. Stores with outdoor displays that do not fall under the provisions of the ordinance are technically in violation. Chairman Wind asked about Arco Lawn, which has lawnmower equipment outside. City Planner Aiken said they are not supposed to be selling or displaying merchan-dise. They store mowers being serviced outside during the day and they are put inside at night. Several Commission members said this is not correct. Mr. Aiken said that if this is not accurate, they are in viola-tion, and will be even if this zoning ordinance change is passed, because the new ordinance will only allow display on the front sidewalk of the store.
Chairman Wind asked what kind of outdoor display the current ordinance allows. City Planner Aiken said the current code does not allow it at all, unless there is a special use exception in place. Chairman Wind asked about a special permit for sidewalk sales. Mr. Aiken said businesses can get a special event permit four times a year, for three days per event. Chairman Wind clarified that this zoning ordinance change would allow outdoor display all the time. Mr. Aiken said yes, on the front sidewalk for the period that the business is open. Merchandise would have to be taken inside when the store is closed. A special event permit supersedes the zoning ordinance, and allows outdoor display anywhere on the site for up to three days, four times a year with a permit.
Commissioner Wright said that outdoor displays increase sales of the displayed merchandise by 10% at the Quiktrip in unincorporated St. Louis County. Mayor Pogue noted that the ordinance also says that anything sold outside the store must also be available inside the store.
Chairman Wind asked City Planner Aiken if he sees any risk in putting this ordinance change in place. Mr. Aiken said his concern would be that the aesthetic of the Manchester Road corridor might suffer. The City of Ballwin needs to find a reasonable middle ground between restrictive and permissive.
Commissioner Apel asked City Attorney Jones if outdoor display became a problem, will the City be able to address the situation and make changes if necessary? Mr. Jones said yes, since this is only a portion of the premises and it is specifically regulated. Chairman Wind asked about setting a trial period of two years and revisiting the issue. City Planner Aiken said that with sunset provisions, there is the risk of the issue being forgotten. He recommends that if the Planning & Zoning Commission feels this is an ordi-nance that should be in place, that they recommend approval. The issue can be reconsidered if there is a problem. City Attorney Jones agreed, saying that if the sunset provision runs out, there is no regulation in place at all.
Chairman Wind opened the public hearing and asked if there were any opponents who wished to speak in opposition to Petition Z 11-05. There were none. Chairman Wind asked if there were any proponents wishing to speak in favor of the petition.
Alderman Mark Harder said that he was part of the focus group. He said the merchant repre-sentatives felt the regulations should be restrictive as far as where items could be displayed. Currently several businesses are in violation of the current code, and enforcement is difficult. He feels this ordinance finds a good middle ground.
He said if the merchant is required to bring the items in when the store is closed, they will not purchase as much and try to store it outside because there is not room inside the store. He said outdoor displays should be related to the season, and will be limited to the front side-walk. He said that in addition to benefitting existing businesses, having this ordinance on the books may be the difference in whether businesses choose Ballwin in the future.
City Attorney Jones said that the ordinance he drafted doesn’t contain a provision that limits “seasonal” displays. After discussion, the Commission members determined that it would be difficult to define “sea-sonal” and decided that the draft prepared by City Attorney Jones should not be changed in that regard.
Secretary Karr asked how the retail establishments would be notified if this ordinance is adopted. Mr. Harder said that this could be done via the business resource officer. City Planner Aiken said that he planned to notify the businesses of the new ordinance if it is put in place.
Mayor Pogue said that his recommendation is to differentiate between new and resale merchandise. His concern is that it will look like a garage sale in front of the resale shops in Ballwin. He asked if this was ever addressed in the Great Streets meetings. City Planner Aiken said he did not recall the issue of out-door display and sales being specifically addressed.
There were no other proponents, and Chairman Wind declared the public hearing closed.
Commissioner Wright made a motion to recommend approval of Petition Z 11-05 to the Board of Alder-men, with the addition of limiting the display to new merchandise only. Commissioner Schwent asked if that were challenged legally, would it stand up in court? Stating “new merchandise only” will exclude those businesses that are exclusively resale. City Attorney Jones said that subparagraph “h” already states that “no particular type of product or merchandise shall be precluded from being sold in this manner.” He said the only thing he was going to change was subparagraph “j” to delete the words “at night” and substi-tute “when closed.”
Commissioner Wright amended his motion, recommending approval Petition Z 11-05 to the Board of Al-dermen, amending subparagraph “j” to delete the words “at night” and substitute “when closed.”
Chairman Wind asked about Spirit West and their landscaping. City Planner Aiken said the petitioner is not finished yet. He has not signed off on the issuance of the business license yet, but it is very close. Mr. Aiken said the petitioner does plan to make the driveway connection, but has deferred that project for financial reasons.
Chairman Wind asked about ELCO Cadillac. City Planner Aiken said that it is on hold because MSD decided that detention was necessary after all. The last time he talked to the petitioner, he felt the issue was resolved, so the project may be moving forward.
Chairman Wind asked about 5th/3rd Bank. City Planner Aiken said he has not actually spoken with a representative of 5th/3rd Bank; he has only dealt with the agents. The project is on hold pending authori-zations. The project has MSD approval.
Commissioner Theodore asked about CAP Carpet. City Planner Aiken said that it is moving forward. It took a long time for the engineer to get authorization to proceed. The petitioner is having trouble coming to a deal with the adjoining property owner for the cross-access.
Secretary Karr asked about Schnucks. City Planner Aiken said the new Schnucks is underway. Secretary Karr asked about the work being done at the existing Schnucks in Ballwin Plaza. Mr. Aiken said that the owners of the plaza, at Schnucks’ urging, are redoing the entryway. This will supposedly help with exit-ing onto Manchester Road. MoDot required the sidewalks to be rebuilt as a condition of approval of the reconfigured curb cuts.
A motion was made by Chairman Wind and seconded by Commissioner Apel to adjourn the meeting. The motion received unanimous approval, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
Michael Wind, Chairman