CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY JULY 10, 2006
PRESENT: Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith
Councilman Carol Rudi
Councilman Wayne Beer
Councilman Mark Revenaugh
City Manager Kirk Davis
City Counselor David Ramsay
City Clerk Cathy Swenson
ABSENT: Mayor Bill Cross
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith opened the Regular July 10, 2006, City Council Meeting at 7:30 PM in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance, in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF THE REGULAR JUNE 26, 2006, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to approve the Regular June 26, 2006, City Council Meeting Minutes as presented. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded the motion. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (4-0)
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA
Following the Clerk’s reading, Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the Consent Agenda as presented. Councilman Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (4-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-06-38, authorizing acceptance of a proposal from Cargill, Incorporated for the purchase of Snow Removal Salt. Councilman Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (4-0)
Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION
R-06-39, authorizing acceptance of work under contract with Larkin
Excavating, Incorporated for the
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-06-40, authorizing execution of a contract with Bohnert Construction Company in the total amount not to exceed $554,720.00, which includes alternate Bid Items One and Three, for the Gladstone Public Works Improvements Project 046083. Councilman Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (4-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-06-41, authorizing acceptance of a proposal from Vellar Consulting in the amount of $25,000 for Neighborhood Development Consulting Services in the Bolling Heights Subdivision within the City of Gladstone, Missouri. Councilman Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (4-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve ANNUAL LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS for:
· TEZ, Inc. dba The End Zone, 7632 North Oak Trafficway, Class A Liquor by the Drink License.
· Big Stones, Inc. dba Stone Canyon Pizza, 6433 North Prospect, Class A&B Liquor by the Drink License.
· Senor Tequila, 6502 North Oak Trafficway, Class A&B Liquor by the Drink License.
· Gasmart, USA, Inc., 7303 North Oak Trafficway, 7 Day Package Liquor License.
· Wasahi, LLC, 328 NE 72 Street, Class A&B Liquor by the Drink License.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar,
· Mark & Michelle’s Bar & Grill, 7102 North Oak Trafficway, Class A Liquor by the Drink License.
· The Hide Out Bar & Grill, 6948 North Oak Trafficway, Class A Liquor by the Drink License.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (4-0)
Item 6. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith introduced Josh Johnson and his mother Connie Johnson. Mayor Pro Tem Smith invited Mr. Johnson to step forward and tell the audience about himself.
Mr. Johnson stated he is a Boy Scout in Troop 180,
Mayor Pro Tem Smith thanked both Mr. Johnson and his mother for attending the meeting.
James Pfaff, 1505 Northeast 58th Street, began by thanking Council members for taking the time to listen to his concerns this evening. Mr. Pfaff stated he would like to address three points that have caused him to come forward to this Council meeting. Mr. Pfaff said he would first like to let Council know who is standing before them; secondly, he would like to explain the issues that he and his wife would like to discuss, and finally, he would like to hear from the Council, if anything, can be done to resolve this situation.
Mr. Pfaff said he has been a member of this
community since 1962, when his parents moved here. His wife, Gloria Scott, has been a resident
of the Northland since 1965. For the
last three years they have been renovating an 1880’s home in
Mr. Pfaff stated he was present at this meeting to present an issue that he has been unable to resolve in ten months. Mr. Pfaff said this issue is in regard to the property at 5711 North Flora, currently owned by J.C. and Christine Ellis, and Council may be familiar with the property; it is a beautiful white colonial on the hill, formerly owned by Art Piburn. Mr. Pfaff stated that in September 2005, his wife made an anonymous complaint in regards to code violations on Mr. Ellis’s property. His wife explained that they wished to remain anonymous, and did not want to cause a rift with their neighbors. Mr. Pfaff said the procedure that was explained was that this complaint would be kept confidential, and there would not be anyone on their land and if violations were found, then Mr. Ellis would be cited and required to conform. Mr. Pfaff said this was not the case, and after reporting the violation, Mr. Reyburn (Neighborhood Services Coordinator) was sent to observe if there were any codes violations at this residence. Mr. Pfaff said in a conversation with Mr. Reyburn, he discovered that he was very familiar with Mr. Ellis and his family, and he explained that Mr. Ellis had been cited at a different location for similar violations before purchasing this property. Mr. Pfaff said he was also informed that Mr. Reyburn lived next to Mrs. Ellis’s father, which made him and his wife very uncomfortable, because this was supposed to be an anonymous complaint. Mr.Pfaff stated Mr. Reyburn then said he was going to speak to Mr. Ellis, and he apparently did speak to Mr. Ellis and also let him know where the complaint originated.
Mr. Pfaff said before the complaint was investigated, he explained to Mr. Ellis that he would have a survey taken and wanted to erect a privacy fence on the property line, which was and is in dispute. Mr. Pfaff stated that he and his wife were away from home for two weeks, and when they returned, Mr. Ellis was in the process of erecting a privacy fence. Mr. Pfaff said when he reiterated his position that he did not agree with Mr. Ellis’s choice of boundaries, Mr. Ellis became very aggressive and combative towards his wife and him, which is when he became aware of his reasoning for erecting the fence and his anger towards him and wife.
Mr. Pfaff stated Mr. Ellis had been made aware of his complaint via Mr. Reyburn, and his anger was toward him and his wife for having to conform to the City codes and ordinances. Mr. Pfaff said that from that point on there has been animosity and aggression towards his wife and him from Mr. Ellis. Mr. Pfaff reported that Mr. Ellis was cited and fined for his ordinance violations and told to apply for a business, occupational and building permit. The building permit was for a building that he had already constructed without a permit. Mr. Pfaff said he knows that Mr. Ellis has now paid his fines and has applied for and been granted a business/occupational license, but still no building permit. Mr. Pfaff stated this is not a choice that he made when he moved into Gladstone and appropriately applied for and conformed to the codes and ordinances. This is what he has and continues to do is proceed to the point where he is caught and must do something and then do the least that is possible until the next time he is cited. All the while continuing to operate a business making profit and not conforming to any of the rules that are set before him.
Mr. Pfaff said he has not seen any changes to his operating style nor does he expect to. If anything, this has become worse. He now employees three people who do not live in the residence as required by code. His nightly maintenance of his equipment is ongoing, lasting 2 to 3 hours in the evening. The noise level is on a consistent with that of a commercial property, but this is not a commercially zoned area. Mr. Pfaff stated he does not want a garden service business in his neighborhood, and Mr. Ellis does not use a ½ ton pick-up truck with an 8-foot trailer with a lawnmower on the back that can be pulled into a driveway. Mr. Pfaff said Mr. Ellis has ¾ ton flatbed trucks with a fifth wheeler trailer for hauling commercial mowers, commercial weed eaters, a motorized cart for hauling, multiple commercial chainsaws, and various other pieces of commercial equipment. The hauling of cut limbs and over-hanging debris on his trailers and the wood chipper to dispose of these limbs are not that of a home business. Mr. Pfaff said he and his wife are protesting that Mr. Ellis was given a license to operate in a residential neighborhood and has operated illegally before actually receiving his license. Mr. Pfaff stated that Mr. Ellis has chosen to skirt the laws and ordinances of this community for over two years, and they believe and see on a daily basis that Mr. Ellis will continue to operate in an illegal manner.
Mr. Pfaff continued by saying this has gone on long enough – his wife and he have followed the procedures required by this city and its own municipal codes that the community has chosen to adopt. Simply being cited is not an option any longer. Mr. Pfaff said the City has observed Mr. Ellis’s violations from his property and he has continued to provide photos of his ongoing illegal business. Mr. Pfaff said Mr. Ellis chooses to operate illegally and his property and well-being suffers because of inaction. Mr. Pfaff stated he is protesting that Mr. Ellis was given a license to operate a business in a residential neighborhood, and they do not think this should have been granted. This is a commercial business, not a home based residential business. Mr. Ellis has operated in Gladstone for a number of years, and a City employee is and has been aware of his business and occupation, and he continues to operate.
Mr. Pfaff continued by saying he was at the meeting to register a complaint, not only about the business at 5711 North Flora, but also with the City of Gladstone as a whole. Mr. Pfaff gave to Council packets of information with photos of Mr. Ellis’s residence and business that is being operated on his property. Mr. Pfaff said that included in the packets were printed e-mails of his correspondence with Building Official Alan Napoli. Mr. Pfaff said his third point is what can and will be done about this situation, and said he is in the process of retaining bids and hiring a surveyor for what he feels was an illegally constructed fence. Mr. Pfaff stated the bids he has received so far have not been cheap, and it is his understanding that even after they do this, Mr. Ellis can choose to ignore the survey and they must then hire an attorney and take him to court in order to get action to have the fence removed. Mr. Pfaff concluded by saying he and his wife have placed their time, energy and money into this process, and now would like the City Council to enforce the laws of their land.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked City Manager Kirk Davis if he had any comments at this time.
City Manager Davis said he would need to review the matter, and would defer at this time to Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson, who is also the Director of the Community Development Department, who handles these issues. City Manager Davis said he would like time to review the issues, read the document Mr. Pfaff provided, and learn more details about this concern.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson agreed with City Manager Davis in that he would need some time to review these concerns, and would suggest as a first step that he and Mr. Pfaff meet this week to discuss some of the issues. There are some limitations as to what the City can and cannot do, especially with a history of citations. Mr. Wingerson said a meeting with Mr. Pfaff would allow him to better understand the issues and a course of action could then be determined.
Mr. Pfaff said he would appreciate meeting with Mr. Wingerson. Mr. Pfaff said he and his wife have been trying for 10 months to get these concerns resolved, and unfortunately had to bring it before the City Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated Council members appreciate Mr. Pfaff’s approach in allowing Council members to communicate to him through proper channels. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said it is a resident’s right to come before the City Council when they have concerns, and he respects the manner in which Mr. Pfaff approached the Council. Some people do not address the City Council in such a respectful manner. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he felt that after Mr. Pfaff met with Mr. Wingerson, he would better understand the City process and the City will have a better understanding of Mr. Pfaff’s concerns.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh asked that Council members receive a follow-up report regarding this matter.
John Garner, 111 Heatherton Court, began providing to Council members copies of a letter sent to Jim Campbell of NorthStar Bank on April 17, 2006, from the City of Gladstone. Mr. Garner asked for specific answers this evening to each one of the eight items contained in the letter, and if they are legally and binding in a court of law. Mr. Garner stated he wanted each item to be addressed specifically at this time.
City Counselor David Ramsay stated he would not be able to give a legal opinion immediately at the time of the meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked Assistant City Manager Wingerson if there were any updates on Heatherton Court.
Mr. Wingerson replied the bank is working very hard to dispose of the property, but that was the only update he had at this time.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated to Mr. Garner he understood why Mr. Garner wanted answers to the items, but he believes it would be unfair to ask the City Counselor to respond to each item at this time, and asked if a written response would be agreeable.
Mr. Garner said his wife spoke to a lawyer who said the only item that the City can legally make the Bank adhere to is the application for building and land use, which is in the new ordinance with the $500 for new houses under construction. Mr. Garner said he wanted to know at this time if this has been done and addressed with the bank. Mr. Garner asked if the letter doesn’t mean anything, why did Mr. Wingerson write it? Mr. Garner said he has waited long enough for action to take place, and he has had no communication from Mr. Wingerson since the last meeting, nor has he heard from the bank. Mr. Garner said he feels the City or the bank are dragging their feet, and the City has bent over backwards for the bank, and he is not seeing any response. Mr. Garner said his neighbors were present at the meeting, and they would like to see some action.
Mr. Wingerson stated, as Council is aware, this is a complicated issue. The very vast majority of the concerns at Heatherton Court are civil in nature, between individual property owners. Mr. Wingerson said in terms of an opinion another lawyer gave on whether these items are enforceable or not, he cannot answer, but he is certain that he and City Counselor Ramsay can work together and arrive at an opinion. Mr. Wingerson said he believes the letter is valid and believes that each of the items is administratively enforceable; in fact some of the items have already been completed. Mr. Wingerson stated, in terms of City staff or anyone in City Hall dragging their feet on this issue, that is simply not the case. Mr. Wingerson said Staff is working as diligently as they feel their role allows with the bank, as well as the property owners in Heatherton Court to achieve a reasonable solution. The gist of the matter is that it is a civil, private concern with which City staff is seeking to assist, and to that level of response, Staff is doing an “above the call of duty” level of effort.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated in this instance, the City has tried to assist with some issues that are probably civil issues, and has probably pressed those as far as possible. If the City has made a mistake, it is in giving the impression that the City could help with more than it can. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said we do need to continue to try to assist the residents with everything we can, and he does not have the impression that anyone is dragging their feet on this issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he visited with Mr. Garner after the last Council meeting, and he tried to get assistance from someone he knows at the bank, but the bank is also in an awkward position. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said the bank will lose money on this deal, and they are trying to mitigate their losses, which is their right to do. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he believes this issue is on Assistant City Manager Wingerson’s mind every day, but he does want Mr. Garner to feel the City is being responsive to his concerns and questions. Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked that Mr. Wingerson provide to Mr. Garner a brief written response to his questions, and to stay in contact with Mr. Garner.
Mr. Garner stated a building permit has been issued and the bank has paid the money to keep the area clean. There are still weeds in the outside area, and the hill needs to be re-sodded and the weeds removed in that area. Mr. Garner said someone did remove the hay bales that were in front of the sewer drains, but there is still mud on the street, and there needs to be more hay bales or put some plastic along the sides of the street.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said the City has some ability to mow weeds and assess a lien against the property, and he does not know if those avenues have been exhausted.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh stated this is not the first time, in the short time he has been a member of the City Council, where a case came up where truly as much as the City and Council would like to be able to do something right away to make an issue better for the residents, there are legal limitations as to what can be done. Councilman Revenaugh stated he would like for City Counselor Ramsay to give some clarification to City Council members and the Heatherton Court residents as to where the City can assist the residents and where it cannot, so residents will have that clarification and know how to proceed with legal action or other action. Councilman Revenaugh suggested a letter from Counselor Ramsay would help everyone understand exactly where the City’s legal ability to remedy this situation lies, and apparently this has not been done, as Mr. Garner keeps coming to the Council meetings asking for something to be done. Councilman Revenaugh said he would like to see the City clarify for Council members and the residents what can be done and cannot be done regarding the issues that have been brought before City Council
Mayor Pro Tem Smith agreed and said if there are things we can do, we need to do them, such as mowing, erecting erosion control devises or assessing a lien against the property. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said it is time for clarification to be made, and then the residents can pursue whatever avenues are available to them, and the City can do what it can.
Mr. Garner pointed out that attached to the packet he distributed was a return letter to Mr. Wingerson from James Campbell, Senior Vice President of the bank. The letter states that the bank has contracted to have the debris removed from the bank property, which should be done when weather permits. Mr. Garner said this letter was dated May 1, 2006. The debris is still piled up, and with the weather being dry this work could have been done on any day. No work has been done on this issue. Mr. Garner stated in regard to the notes from the meeting with Jim Campbell that was included in his packet, he accidentally left off one page, and if Council members would like that page, he would provide it to them. Mr. Garner said these are his notes from a meeting that was held with some of the Heatherton Place homeowners and Mr. Campbell.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if Mr. Garner would please provide that copy to City staff before Thursday, so it could be included in the City Council packets of information they receive each week.
Mr. Garner agreed to provide the information. Mr. Garner stated the play at the park Friday night was excellent, and he wished to thank everyone for their work on it, and he hopes more people will attend.
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh extended congratulations to the Parks and Recreation Department and the City staff involved with putting on another fabulous July 4th celebration. Councilman Revenaugh said many residents have told him how spectacular our City’s fireworks were. Councilman Revenaugh said there was a complimentary letter in the Kansas City Star, and people are coming from out of town to see our fireworks. Councilman Revenaugh congratulated Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis and her staff for a great event.
Councilman Wayne Beer had no comments at this time.
Councilman Carol Rudi thanked Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis for the great July 4th event. Every year she thinks the fireworks cannot get any better, and every year they are better. Councilman Rudi said she was at the Theatre in the Park presentation of Oklahoma on Sunday, and it was excellent and she hopes more people will attend the Theatre in the Park presentations. Councilman Rudi asked Director Lillis to talk about upcoming events in the park.
Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis reported that the next event at the Gladstone Amphitheatre is the movie, Charlotte’s Web, which is scheduled for 8:30 PM, on July 21st. Director Lillis stated it is hoped the young children will attend this movie. The next event will be the second Theatre in the Park production of Anything Goes. Director Lillis reported that the attendance estimate for the Oklahoma production was 12,400. There were huge crowds on Friday and Saturday.
Mayor Les Smith extended cudos and expressed appreciation to the Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Safety Department for the July 4th activities. Mayor Smith said he thought there were fewer renegade fireworks this year than have been in the past, and that is probably because the enforcement and education has increased. Mayor Smith said to Public Safety Director Bill Adamo that he may give his staff a hard time on occasion, but when they do a good job, he also want to express a “job well done”, and they did do a good job over the July 4th holiday.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis stated he wished to tell the Parks and Recreation Department what a nice job they did on the July 4th event. It was a great display and a great crowd. City Manager Davis said the Public Safety Department handled the crowd well, and to all “kudos” on a good job.
Item 9. on the Agenda. SECOND READING BILL 06-20, granting a Special Use Permit to T-Mobile to operate a Communications Tower facility at 2013 NE 72nd Street. Applicant: Selective Site Consultants, Incorporated. Owner: Kansas City Power and Light Company. File No. 1278.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to place Bill 06-20 on its second and final reading. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith pointed out that at Council members places was an updated photograph of the cell tower that is proposed, and asked that Council notice that the platform antenna shown in the picture has all three platforms shown. The picture presented to the Planning Commission and to the City Council did not show all three platforms, it only showed the top platform. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he requested that some accurate photos be presented to show what the tower could look like when completely erected. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he still feels very strongly that if the two pictures are compared side by side, one can see a definite difference between the platform type pole and the flush mount pole, a picture of which was also provided. The flush mount pole has three antennas mounted closer to the pole.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated he knows that Council members have seen the tower in the Village of Oakview at 64th and North Oak Trafficway, and while they may not think it looks too bad, he would disagree. Mayor Pro Tem Smith reported that Oakview is in the process of perhaps adding another 25 feet to the tower, which will make it a 150-foot tall tower with three platforms on it. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he recalled when Oakview approved their tower, and our City did not take kindly to it, because we were criticized by our residents for allowing such an ugly structure in our City, to an extent that one of our Council members suggested writing an open letter to the editor explaining it was not our tower.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said his mother has often said “don’t curse the dark, when you can light a candle”, and he felt there is an opportunity to light a candle in this instance, while after cursing Oakview, we now have it in the palm of our hands whether or not to approve a very similar structure. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he does not know whether our City should turn its back on the aesthetic argument of the tower.
Councilman Wayne Beer said knowing that there is no tower that would be considered pleasing, and there is no location that is going to be ideal if it is visible to anyone, he understands that. In these particular cases, he does not find that the platform tower is any more objectionable than is the flush mount tower. Councilman Beer said neither one of the towers is pristine nor ideal; however, the location of this tower versus the Oakview tower is significantly different in that this is already an industrial location, as it is a Kansas City Power and Light site that has other towers and a substation. Councilman Beer said, in fact, the substation creates a great deal of noise, which he would find to be significantly more objectionable than the aesthetics of either of the two towers.
Councilman Beer said the tower at Oakview is placed in a location where it is impossible to be anything other than the eyesore that it is, as it is so close to Gladstone Plaza and North Oak Trafficway. The towers being proposed to our Council are a greater distance off of a major thoroughfare, and given that the platform tower is much more likely to result in someone not coming forward at a later date for another tower is something that has to be looked at very closely.
Councilman Beer said having to give consideration to another tower in this City, especially when one looks at the locations that have been suggested, with regard to signal propagation, that there is no other place in town that would be suitable for another tower. Councilman Beer said given this tower’s location and the fact that people expect cell phone reception and signal propagation, he thinks this has to be considered favorable.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he does not disagree, and from a land use standpoint he feels this is a very appropriate location for a cell tower, and may be the best in the City, and he definitely understands the cell phone reception issues. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said in the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act, Section 704 states very significantly that no discrimination shall be made in preference for one carrier over another carrier, and one of his concerns is that if Council approves this platform tower, will the City be in a position where the next people who apply for a tower say a tower was granted before and the City cannot discriminate against them, and therefore the City must also give them a platform tower. Will the City be in a position of setting a precedent by the fact that the first tower the City approves would be a platform tower. Mayor Pro Tem Smith invited a representative from Selective Sites to step forward to answer some questions from Council members.
Councilman Revenaugh asked, for clarification, what the two pictures Council members were provided represent. Councilman Revenaugh said he knows there are three platforms on the proposed tower, and asked if there were three on the other one?
Mayor Pro Tem Smith replied the other picture is of a flush mount tower with three antennas on it, with only two carriers on it, as T-Mobile will take the top two.
Jess Louk, of Selective Site Consultants, 8500 West 110th Street, Overland Park, Kansas, said he was representing T-Mobile, USA and stated the next carrier will probably try to take the next two spots on the flush mount tower being discussed.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said on the platform antenna T-Mobile will only take one site, so therefore there would be two spots available, so there would be a net gain in that location on that pole of one carrier. Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked Mr. Louk if the City granted approval for a flush mount pole, could that in the future be retrofitted to a platform antenna.
Mr. Louk replied the answer to that question is “it depends”. It depends on if the City approved a flush mount antenna facility, his company typically would order a tower that is capable of holding flush mounts structurally, and what would probably be perceived as a business decision from T-Mobile USA is whether they would want to spend the extra capital dollars to order a “beefier” tower that is capable of holding the mounts, even though they are not approved to do so. So, effectively, they would be spending money for something they technically cannot use.
Mr. Louk stated regarding the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Mayor Pro Tem Smith pointed out that the site being discussed is an ideal location for a telecommunications tower - it is an industrial use, and he asked if this location is not right for a standard tower with platform antennas, then what is? Mr. Louk said what is being seen in the
telecommunications industry is that more and more people are demanding service in their homes. It is no longer just driving in the car or just being in the office at work. People want it in the basement while they are watching their big screen television, text messaging their friends about a game, or sending some sort of data.
Mr. Louk said more and more often they are finding themselves in residential neighborhoods looking for pieces of ground where they can get vertical real estate in the air, and service the network. What that means is, in a lot of cases, they are finding churches and other nonconforming uses and bringing them to the cities for their consideration. Mr. Louk said that is when they really pull out all “the bells and whistles” and do what they call stealth installation. Mr. Louk said the difference would be if he were here a month from now representing T-Mobile on a church, he would bring stealth installation with something that would make sense for the use. In this particular instance, the best use for this facility is a platform tower. Mr. Louk said this tower will be filled up pretty quickly. There is a coverage need in Gladstone across all the carriers. Mr. Louk said there was a radio frequency engineer in the audience, Luke Lowenbrink, who was present to answer any technical questions that do not involve the real estate acquisition.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if there is such a need for this, then chances are a net gain of one space isn’t necessarily enough. Other carriers are going to be looking for a place to come to town.
Mr. Louk replied what will most likely happen is that his company would build this as a three carrier monopole or, if approved, as a platform tower, and order a three or four carrier pole – probably a three carrier. It will hold three carriers with a full loading. A fourth will come along, and have to typically do some sort of structural modification in order to make the tower work. They would put something on the tower to make it work, using smaller lines and beefing it up.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he understood vertical stacking on a tower, but for example is it possible to locate another tower in this same area being discussed.
Mr. Louk replied it would be tight, and their main objective is to be off the road and away from the tennis courts, and stay in the industrial part. At the rear of the Kansas City Power and Light facility there is not a lot of room. Their first preference was to put it back even further, but what happens is it gets closer to housing, and the topography slides down a little bit, so they had to live with the front. Mr. Louk said he does not know if there is room. There is room for another tower, if Kansas City Power and Light would allow for a tower to be built within its fenced facility. They do not allow towers within their fenced facilities, unless they are owned by Kansas City Power and Light, and they do not allow carriers inside them.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he understands the aesthetic concern and placing the tower back off the road, and a limited number of residents around it, but the fact is his guess is there are probable 12,000 to 15,000 cars per day that traverse 72nd Street. Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated as Councilman Beer said at the last meeting, these tend to become invisible, and that might be right if one looks at them all the time, but he does not know that for people coming from out of town if it would become invisible to them. Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if there might be room for another antenna on the property.
Mr. Louk replied there is not room for another tower - there is room, but he does not believe it is viable because the landlord, the person who owns the tower, will not lease space within the compound facility. If the City of Gladstone wants to bulldoze its tennis courts and erect a tower facility there, then, yes, but of course that is owned by Kansas City Power and Light, also.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated the reason for stealth technology is because communities are preferring not to have these types of towers in their community. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he has heard of trees (telecommunication antenna tree masts that look like trees) and he understands as of today that they even come in different species.
Mr. Louk replied they do come in different species. They are significantly more expensive and cumbersome to build, and a tree in this location doesn’t really make sense outside the substation. In some cases it is absolutely something that T-Mobile and some of the other carriers are willing to do. In this instance, it is something that would have to go to the corporate level to be approved, because the cost difference is so much, and it will not be approved within a substation. Mr. Louk asked if there was any neighborhood opposition to the tower. It is his understanding that to date, there has not been any neighborhood opposition, and the reality is no one comes out to support towers, unless there is a landlord that is receiving the revenue. Mr. Louk said the public has had an opportunity to provide feedback, and for a telecommunications tower near residential neighborhoods, there has been no opposition at all. Mr. Louk asked that be considered in Council’s decision.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if residents call after the tower is erected, they may be given Mr. Louk’s home phone number.
Mr. Louk replied to please give them his office number and he would be happy to have a neighborhood meeting with residents to explain some of the benefits.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated by then it would be too late.
Mr. Louk stated it is an interesting economy, and it is true it is not the most beautiful structure in the world, but for everyone who comes in to explain, know that 90 percent of the population in the United States has a cell phone, and they use it in one way or another. The industry trend nationwide is for more towers. Mr. Louk said that is not something that as a City Council you want to hear, but when one makes a phone call, the voice takes up
room on the network, and when one sends a picture or a video stream, it takes up much more room, and there is only so much band width that each carrier has and can use.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he does not wish to give the misconception that he does not want a tower and a tower in this location, but this community does not allow someone to build an ugly building in the City, and this is the same thing. We are asked to grant a Special Use Permit to allow one to build a structure. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said we don’t allow ugly buildings and he does not know that we should allow ugly cell phone towers, and that is his position. Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if the primary user on the proposed antenna is T-Mobile?
Mr. Louk replied that was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said if they have a platform at the very top, that is what they want more than anything, and it allows some other spaces to lease.
Mr. Louk said that was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked what is the practicality of a pole with a platform at the very top and flush mount below that, as a compromise position. Such towers do exist, as there is one in North Kansas City.
Mr. Louk stated, as a T-Mobile representative, they have no problem with that. Mr. Louk continued by saying the problem may be when a second carrier comes in to make a building application, the building permit department is going to have to review the Special Use Permit approval and see that they can only be flush mounted, because he guarantees when the next person comes along, sees the existing vertical real estate, he will say, “ah, no new tower needed, let’s go to T-Mobile and do a lease with them”. When they come in to file the building permit, most likely what will be seen is the full antenna rate proposed.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if this will serve T-Mobile’s need in our area, or will they need other locations in this immediate area.
Mr. Louk replied that is an interesting conversation that he and City staff could sit down “off line” and discuss the master plan for Gladstone. Mr. Louk said the Northland in general, and especially Gladstone and some of the neighboring communities are underserved compared to some of the other jurisdictions in the area, such as Kansas City, Missouri, the Johnson County metropolitan area, and some of the areas in Wyandotte County. There is a lot of building and money coming into this area right now from the cell phone industry to get it up to par. Mr. Louk said it is not something he would want to talk about on public record, but would like to sit down in a private meeting and discuss. Mr. Louk said it can be seen on the map where the holes are in the coverage.
Councilman Beer said his house sits in one of those holes. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said he does too. Councilman Beer said this tower will not help him one bit.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said the tower would help him, and he still does not want it.
Councilman Rudi asked if this pole had a platform on top and it allowed the two flush mounts below, will those two flush mounts be usable by two other carriers?
Mr. Louk replied, probably, he is not a frequency engineer, but what will happen is there won’t be a lot of flexibility or choice, and at the end of the day the engineers will have to accept the limited and reduced coverage because it is his only option. In reality, a second tower will not be approved by this body, so they will have to live with a second installation.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith said all the carriers have coverage in Gladstone, if nothing else they have them on our water towers, so these are secondary. It is not that the City is denying access to anyone, because they would have limited usage of that. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said Staff did recommend a flush mount antenna, and he does not care at all for the platform at all, but thinks it would help to have the platform on the top and flush mount under that. It can be seen by the picture provided today versus the picture provided last week, that this is three times as obnoxious as the picture Council members had previously seen. Anything to eliminate those halos would be aesthetically beneficial, and the users are getting the same thing, they will gain the two that are requested instead of just one.
Councilman Mark Revenaugh stated he had taken an informal poll since the last City Council meeting, and without exception, all the Gladstone residents he has asked if this is an aesthetics problem or a communications issue, have all said they want to communicate. Councilman Revenaugh said we don’t want to be a community that people drive into and can’t communicate. We have primary coverage, but like Mr. Louk said, people want to be able to talk in their homes and they want better coverage. We are going to get excellent coverage by having the three platform tower and without tying T-Mobile’s hands. Councilman Revenaugh said they are going to look for other locations, because people want to be able to communicate, so he does not see a benefit in tying one hand behind their back and say we will only accept one platform and two flush mounts, because it will cause a reduced capacity. The other carriers that use the tower will be at a reduced capacity, so they will be looking elsewhere.
Councilman Revenaugh said aesthetically, they look a little like the ornaments at Bartle Hall. There were a lot of derogatory comments when they were first put up, but over time people have grown to like those pieces of art. Councilman Revenaugh said he was not comparing a cell phone tower with a piece of art, but there is a similarity.
Councilman Beer said telecommunication towers are becoming prevalent enough now that people, while they don’t like having a tower in their back yard, accept the fact that the towers are there and that the towers are necessary for communication. Councilman Beer said he does not know how we can avoid them.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith stated the argument is not whether there should be a tower at this site, but what type of tower should be there and weighing the aesthetics, because there are people in our community who don’t think we should have an antenna like the one at 64th Street and North Oak Trafficway, and believes there are people that think they are nothing less than hideous. Mayor Pro Tem Smith said if we can get three carriers total, what is the downside of at least addressing the aesthetics of this.
Councilman Revenaugh replied he believed the aesthetics have been addressed, and he thinks the majority like the platform tower.
Councilman Rudi stated both poles are ugly, and neither one is less ugly than the other, and she would rather see one ugly pole that has full coverage, so we don’t have three carriers that apply for another location. Therefore, until they come up with the technology that allows for the removal of the poles altogether, she is in favor of this particular location, and this particular tower with the platforms.
There being no further discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Smith called for a vote.
“Aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi. “Nay” – Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith. (3-1) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 06-20, and enact the Bill as Ordinance 4.001. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded.
Roll Call Vote: “Aye” – Councilman Mark Revenaugh, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi. “Nay” – Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith (3-1).
Item 10. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
There was no other business.
Item 11. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA.
There were no questions from the News Media.
Item 12. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business to come before the July 10, 2006, Gladstone Regular City Council Meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith adjourned the meeting.
Cathy Swenson, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: ___
Approved as corrected/amended: ___
Mayor Bill Cross