CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2008
ADJOURNMENT TO CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh opened the City Council Meeting to adjourn to a Closed Executive Session on February 11, 2008, at 6:00 PM. Councilman Wayne Beer made a motion to adjourn to Closed Executive Session pursuant to Missouri Open Meeting Act Exemption 610.021 (1) for Litigation and Confidential or Privileged Communications with Legal Counsel, and 610.021 (2) for Real Estate Acquisition Discussion, and 610.21(3) for Personnel Discussion. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh. (3-0).
Mayor Les Smith and Councilmember Carol Suter were also in attendance at the Closed Executive Session.
Mayor Les Smith recessed the Closed Executive Session to go into an Open Study Session at 6:30 PM.
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
PRESENT: Mayor Les Smith
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh
Councilman Wayne Beer
Councilman Carol Rudi
Councilmember Carol Suter
City Manager Kirk Davis
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson
City Counselor David Ramsay
Mayor Les Smith opened the Regular February 11, 2008, City Council Meeting at 7:30 PM in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 2. on the Agenda. ROLL CALL
Mayor Les Smith noted that all Council members were present.
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Les Smith introduced Troop 288, sponsored by the Northland Presbyterian Church. Mayor Smith invited the Scouts to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, in which all joined.
Mayor Smith invited the Scouts to introduce themselves as follows:
Boy Scouts – David Bratten, 5th grade, Antioch Middle School; Austin Barker, 5th grade, Oakwood Manor Elementary School; Andy Nissley, 9th grade, North Kansas City High School; Harley Marolt, 4th grade, Oakwood Manor Elementary School; Michael Hubbert, 10th grade, North Kansas City High School; Donavon Edmonds, 10th grade, Platte City High School; Matthew Edmonds; Michael Kautz, 9th grade, North Kansas City High School; Alex Nissley, 5th grade, Clardy Elementary School. Adult Leaders – Dave Edmonds and Jonathan Watkin.
Mayor Smith thanked the Scouts and leaders, which was followed by applause.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated that he noticed a number of the Scouts were from North Kansas City High School, and said he taught at North Kansas City High School for 23 years. Councilman Beer jokingly said it took him a little while to graduate, and said he hoped they would do a little bit better job in that regard!
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY 28, 2008, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to approve the Regular January 28, 2008, City Council Meeting Minutes as presented. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded. The vote: “Aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh. “Abstain” - Mayor Les Smith.
Item 5. on the Agenda. PRESENTATION OF BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS APPRECIATION PLAQUES.
Mayor Smith said he and City Council members would like to present plaques to some outstanding citizens in appreciation for their service to our community. Mayor Smith invited the recipients to join him in front of the City Council dais.
Mayor Smith began by saying that he would not read the plaques but would recite their service period on the respective Boards.
Roger Shannon, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
December 1991 – December 2007
Mayor Smith said that Roger Shannon has been on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board since 1991, and he has been an integral part of the Parks Department. Mayor Smith said Mr. Shannon goes back to the mid 1980’s when he was directing adult softball. Mayor Smith jokingly said he was attempting to play adult softball during that period of time. Mayor Smith thanked Mr. Shannon for his service to the City.
Kate Miner, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
December 2004 – December 2007
Mayor Smith thanked Ms. Miner, and said it is easy to talk about all the good things in the Parks and Recreation Department.
Patty Ibarra, Environmental Management Advisory Committee
December 2004 – December 2007
Mayor Smith thanked Ms. Ibarra, and jokingly said she might be leaving the Board at the right time, because that group will be very busy with the City’s sustainability issues.
Robert Cornick, Telecommunications Advisory Board
December 2004 – December 2007
Mayor Smith thanked Mr. Cornick, and said this Board has morphed over the years. It started out as the Cable TV Advisory Board, and has had many roles and functions throughout the years.
C. Loren Boor, Planning Commission
December 2004 – December 2007
Mayor Smith presented Mr. Boor with a plaque, along with a plaque for his wife, LaVonne Boor, who retired from the Gladstone Recycling and Solid Waste Committee last year, (currently the Environmental Management Advisory Committee). Mayor Smith thanked Mr. Boor.
Mayor Smith said everything we do in this community starts with the volunteers, and there is a lot going on in this town. These folks are indicative of the residents who put in hours and hours of their time. They are not paid for their work, and are probably out of pocket quite a bit. Mayor Smith said on behalf of the City residents, Staff, and City Council, he would like to thank the Boards and Commission members for making our community what it is today, which was followed by applause.
Patty Ibarra thanked Mayor Smith, and said she first called the City to see how to dispose of her thermostat, which had mercury inside of it. Ms. Ibarra said she is very happy to have served on a Board.
Robert Cornick stated it was nice being on a Board and working with the Board members, and being appreciated.
C. Loren Boor thanked Mayor Smith and said he has been impressed with the leadership shown by Board members and as well as City Council members. Mr. Boor said our City government tries to keep the people happy, but still provides the leadership to bring Gladstone along.
Kate Miner said it was a wonderful experience working with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Roger Shannon, all the Council member, Director Lillis and her staff. Ms. Miner said it is a wonderful group, and we can see across the street the results of working together.
Roger Shannon stated it has been a real privilege to work with all the people he has worked with over the years. Mr. Shannon said through dedication and hard work they have accomplished a great deal; it has been a privilege to be a small part of that. Mr. Shannon thanked Mayor Smith and City Council members.
Mayor Smith stated that Summer Austin, who served on the Capital Improvements Program Committee from January 2007 through September 2007, and James Austin, who served on the Environmental Management Advisory Committee from January 2007 through September 2007, were unable to attend tonight’s meeting, as Mr. Austin has taken a job in Texas, so they had to relocate.
Item 6. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA.
Following the Clerk’s reading, Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the Consent Agenda as presented. Councilman Beer said he did not wish to have Resolution R-08-12 removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion, but would like for this Resolution to be explained for the benefit of the audience.
City Manager Kirk Davis said this is a partnership for our City’s paramedics to be working with students who are training to become paramedics. It gives our City an opportunity to interact with the next class of folks who are entering that profession. It hopefully gives us an inside track on hiring the best of those folks to work for our City. It also gives our paramedics, who are very good at what they do, the opportunity to train Community College students who are interested in moving into that field. City Manager Davis invited Interim Public Safety Director Mike Hasty to add his comments.
Interim Public Safety Director Mike Hasty said the only thing he would add is that these students have completed all of their training in the course work, and have passed to that point, and are ready to begin providing patient care. They will be under the direct supervision of specific paramedics on our staff who are trained to handle these students. This is a common and very valuable experience for students passing through this program, and many of the other area ambulance services are also participants with the college.
Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-08, authorizing acceptance of a proposal from Victor L. Phillips for the purchase of a Compact Track Loader for the net purchase amount of $51,624 to be reimbursed to the City under a Mid America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District grant. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-09, authorizing an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Gladstone and the Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District for the Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-10, authorizing acceptance of work under contract with Rose-Lan Contractors, Incorporated, for the North Oak Water Main Replacement – Northeast 72nd Street to north City limits, and authorizing final payment in the amount of $61,808.80 for Project WP0790. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-11, authorizing acceptance of work under contract with Daktronics Engineering for the Video Display Board in the Natatorium in the Gladstone Community Center, and authorizing final payment in the amount of $83,163.00 for Project CB0665. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-12, authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement with the Junior College District of Metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri, to provide clinical experience training for students in the College's Paramedic Program. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve a NEW SEVEN DAY PACKAGE LIQUOR LICENSE for Lighthouse Party Shop, LLC.; 5800 N. Oak Trafficway; Jeffrey S. Bay, Managing Officer. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh, and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0)
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Larry Newport, 2002 Northeast 69 Terrace, said there is a car that has not been running for a month or more, and has a flat tire, which is located at 6821 North Euclid. The car has been sitting at this address for a couple of months. At 1710 NE 69 Terrace there is a wrecked car sitting at this location, which has been there for about three weeks, and has not been moved. Between 69th Terrace and City Hall, there is a wrecked car sitting, with the left front fender all bashed in and the tire is flat. It has been sitting on the street all weekend. (Note: It was later determined this address is 6921 North Woodland). Mr. Newport said they could at least remove these cars from the street and put them in their driveways.
Mayor Smith asked Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson to follow up with Mr. Newport after the appropriate actions have been taken.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilmember Carol Suter expressed her congratulations and appreciation to City staff and volunteers who worked so hard on the opening of the Community Center. It was such a fun event to see it open and to watch people using the Center. It has turned out wonderfully. Councilmember Suter said she knows Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis has a long list of things they are working on, as all the kinks get worked out of things, but people were certainly enjoying it, and it is quite a compliment to this community.
Councilman Wayne Beer invited everyone to the formal dedication of the Community Center on February 23rd from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. There will be activities all day.
Councilman Carol Rudi stated she wished to express her sadness for missing Saturday’s opening of the Community Center, because she knows it was wonderful; however, a new grandbaby got in the way of that. Councilman Rudi reported that on April 18th and 19th, there will be an event in the Community Center, which is Art Springs in Gladstone. It will be our City’s first annual art show. Councilman Rudi said she hoped everyone can attend, and if anyone would like to be sponsors, to please let her know, or talk to Director Lillis.
Councilman Rudi extended sympathy to the City of Kirkwood. The City Council and staff in Kirkwood have been through quite an ordeal. Councilman Rudi said she has been privileged to know a couple of the Council members through various activities, and it is a very sad day when people who want to do nothing more than serve their community are killed for that.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh said he has belonged to several fitness centers around the community over the last 25 years, and he can honestly say that ours by far is the best one he has ever seen. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he belonged to another one north of the river up until December, and not only are our fees lower, but you also get to swim to boot. It is an incredible facility, and he urges everyone to check it out for either an individual or family membership.
Mayor Les Smith stated he wished to echo Councilman Rudi’s comments regarding the folks in Kirkwood. Many of us are active in the Missouri Municipal League and we have an opportunity to meet people from other communities around the State. Mayor Smith said he knew both of the deceased Council members and knows the Mayor, who is the past President of the Missouri Municipal League. Mayor Smith said our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones, and to the grieving community. Mayor Smith said they need our support, and he believes we have given them our support.
Mayor Smith said he attended Mayor Funkhouser’s Mayors’ Summit on Light Rail last Friday. Interestingly enough, they had a great opportunity to just network before the meeting began, and it was amazing how many Mayors asked how our Community Center-Natatorium partnership is going, and how did it work, and can you pay for it? There was one community who had a feasibility study in the pipeline for a similar facility, and after some of their consultants toured our facility and saw the arrangement we have with the School District, they decided to “drown” their feasibility study and not move forward with a similar facility in their community. Mayor Smith offered congratulations to City Manager Davis, Assistant City Manager Wingerson, and Parks and Recreation Director Lillis, and others for getting the facility sufficiently open to the public. The dedication is February 23rd, and at 10:00 AM, there will be quite a party with high school bands and high school children involved with the festivities. Mayor Smith said he is sure there will be riveting speeches by political figures, and he invites everyone to attend all the activities throughout the day.
Mayor Smith reported a proclamation was presented from City Council to a resident, John Dods, who was a long time City Attorney with Gladstone. Mr. Dods was celebrating 50 years in the practice of law with Shook Hardy and Bacon. Mr. Dods sent along his appreciation for the proclamation that he received.
Mayor Smith said the City is progressing nicely on the plans for the outside of the Community Center. It looks a little stark right now, but you have to forgive us with this weather. By spring this entire area is going to blossom and move forward with the cultural events being scheduled at the Community Center. Mayor Smith offered thanks to each and every one of the Staff members who have played a big part in that effort, and also to some in the audience, who were very instrumental in getting the program going. We are making headlines in the metropolitan area for all the right reasons.
Item 9. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis reported that City Hall will be closed on President’s Day. City Manager Davis reported that Community Center memberships total 527 already, and that accounts for roughly 1,200 people. This is a fast start, and we are very proud of the facility. City Manager Davis said a lot of folks will be recognized, and a lot of folks spent a lot of time making it happen, and he is very proud of their efforts. City Manager Davis said another person of whose efforts he is proud is Roger Shannon. Roger started on the Park Board in 1991, and he has had so much to do with softball and Happy Rock Park, and how it worked. He is the before and after story. He has some horror stories of “before”. Roger started on the Park Board when Happy Rock Park opened, and he has provided a lot of support to Director Lillis and her staff, as the City began to develop the softball programs out there. City Manager Davis said 1991 to 2007 is an adequate amount of service to dedicate to your community, but we are going to miss Roger, as a staff, and our hats are off to him.
Item 10. on the Agenda. SECOND READING AMENDED BILL 08-01, Amending Schedule V of the Model Traffic Code (Gladstone Municipal Code Section 4.100.020), to establish a “No Parking” zone along the west side of North Main for southbound traffic from Northeast 62 Place south to approximately Northwest 61st Terrace.
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to accept the First Reading of Amended Bill 08-01, and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Amended Bill 08-01 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 4.062. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith.
Item 11. on the Agenda. CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING: for consideration of the amendment of Section 7.135.010, and 7.140.010 of the Gladstone City Code relating to C-1 and C-2 Zoning Districts within the City of Gladstone. File #1309.
Mayor Smith explained the process for the Public Hearing would be that the Public Hearing would be opened, then comments would be heard from Staff, followed by comments from the public in favor of the Ordinance change, and then those who might be opposed. Mayor Smith opened the Public Hearing.
Comments from Staff
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson began by saying the basis of this hearing is to consider whether the retail sale of auto parts should be allowed in a C-1 classification. Currently it is allowed in a C-2 classification. There was an amendment proposed to the Planning Commission on December 3, 2007, suggesting that retail auto parts sales could be allowed in the C-1 zoning classification. City Council considered that on December 10, 2007, and two weeks ago it was listed on the City Council agenda, and again tonight for reconsideration. The amendment itself, from a technical perspective, is really pretty simple. It is a revision of the C-2 classification and simply adds retail auto parts stores to the C-1 classification.
Mr. Wingerson said the packet Council members received is the original packet from when this issue was presented in December, and contains a transmittal memo, the actual language of the Zoning Ordinance that applies, Public Hearing notices, and minutes from the Planning Commission meeting. Mr. Wingerson said he would be happy to answer any questions.
Mayor Smith asked if there was any new information in the packet.
Mr. Wingerson replied there was no new information in the Staff packets.
Comments from the Audience in Favor of the Ordinance change
Pete Hall, 5621 North Clinton Place, began by saying he is probably the one who started all of this. Mr. Hall stated he had a narrative he would read as follows:
I have always believed that it is best to address or to correct inequities in any system or process as they are found and not just ignore them. This is one way we improve and make things better for others in the future. That is precisely why the zoning text change on retail auto parts was brought forward.
Several months ago I had a “Future 500 Company” ask me to help find a site for a retail store. I was able to find a location in Gladstone that they liked, but we found a problem with the commercial retail zoning. I asked City staff to review why retail auto parts were excluded from standard retail development zoning; that is when we found that portion of the C-1 zoning code was established in the 1950’s, and I am sure you will agree much has changed since then. After review, City staff agreed that there was sufficient reason to revise that portion of the zoning code to include retail auto parts stores in C-1 zoning, as long as the store sold at retail to the public and did not perform installation or service work in or on the premises (a true retail store).
In America, we love our automobiles. We wash them, shine them and keep them in heated garages; many new homes now have three car garages, so all of our loved ones can be inside and out of the elements. The retail aftermarket parts and auto care business is now at $65 billion a year and growing (please note that this number does not include any service work). This industry has become very sophisticated, the stores are becoming larger, their product mix or number of items that are carried in each store is now over 25,000 items with access to 100,000 if needed, and the average store will have an inventory of $500,000 or more; they sell everything from computer chips to car wax. I have recently visited several area stores; they have friendly, helpful and knowledgeable employees. They are clean, well stocked and brightly lighted. They are as customer friendly as any local grocery store; in short they are what most retail outlets strive to become.
Here are a few additional facts about the retail auto parts business that I would like to share: 1. The average store has 15 to 20 employees. 2. Pay ranges between $12 and $16 per hour. 3. Retail sales increases have averaged 5.5 percent annually over the last five years.
Gladstone has always prided itself on involving its citizens in government. This city has more of its residents on Boards and Commissions than any other municipality in the region. The people on these Boards and Commissions volunteer their time, talent and work extremely hard to provide recommendations on a variety of issues to this City Council. These recommendations are their best opinion on issues that come before them, and the City Council has always considered their recommendation as a valuable tool in making decisions on matters affecting our City. Further, we are extremely fortunate to have a City staff whose expertise and experience far exceeds most other cities the size of Gladstone. I make these statements because both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City staff recommended approval of this zoning text change, and it was forwarded to the City Council as a general housekeeping item; however, it seems to have developed a life of its own.
As you are aware, my involvement was early on in the process, thinking the matter was an oversight in the current zoning code. I am the one who brought the inequity to the attention of the City staff for their review and action. I know that this City Council believes that it is important to be as well informed as possible on all subjects brought before them in order to make the best decisions for our City and its residents. There are several areas of additional information which was not available or discussed at the December 10th City Council meeting when this text change item came before you and that is what brings us together again this evening. You had the foresight to reconsider this recommendation and generally there are three areas of additional information pertaining to this zoning text amendment that was not available on December 10th. First, is the rather impressive numbers stated earlier tonight on inventory levels, employment, sales and growth. Second, is the fact that all other municipalities in the Northland allow retail auto parts stores in C-1 zoning. As an aside, even Overland Park, Kansas, one of the area’s toughest cities on zoning, allows retail auto parts in C-1 zoning. This does not make it necessary for Gladstone to follow suit, but it does indicate that those cities with which we directly compete for retail businesses believe that auto parts stores do belong with other retail trade.
Lastly, after reading the December 10th City Council meeting minutes, I had a great deal of concern about the possible condition of the parking lots and the type of customers these stores attract. As you know, I have never and would never intentionally do anything to hurt this community and thought I may have been misinformed or perhaps I didn’t understand the retail auto parts industry as well as I thought. I took it upon myself to visit several local auto parts store locations numerous times over an eight-week period. I checked on them early to late six days a week (146 visits). Not once did I see a vehicle in the parking lot of these establishments being worked on; no cars on jacks and only three times did I see a hood up on a car and one of those was at Perkins on North Oak. The events in the minutes were an anomaly and I am sure that it is very unusual to see this type of thing, but it can happen, even in the local super market or restaurant parking lot.
Our City commercial development plan approval process works very well and allows for ample notification to go to the residents about proposed changes. I believe strongly in public input and this City has long been recognized, even nationally, for its inclusion of City residents in the development approval process. The December 10th City Council meeting minutes do show concern for lack of that public involvement. The approval of this zoning text change does not limit in any way the plan approval process, which encourages such public involvement. If any auto parts store wishes to develop a store anywhere within our City, public involvement will be required. I would submit that most neighborhoods would prefer quality retail uses that are not intrusive or cause problems for the surrounding residents. Yes, I think they would prefer a use such as retail auto parts stores if the zoning were to allow it.
I ask that this Council approve this evening the recommended zoning text change before you.
Recap: Information not known at the December 10th Gladstone City Council meeting.
Sales, employment, growth and inventory numbers.
All Northland competing cities allow for retail auto parts stores in C-1 zoning.
Clean well-operated retail outlets and parking areas.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this information with you this evening. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have on this matter.
Mayor Smith asked City Manager Davis or Assistant City Manager Wingerson if we could verify that all these municipalities allow auto parts sales in a C-1 zoning.
Assistant City Manager Wingerson stated that Staff has not done that research to confirm that.
Mayor Smith asked Mr. Hall to help clarify for him, as he is unclear; he has three or four of the surrounding communities’ zoning codes here, and basically they do not specify in their printed zoning codes (found online) that retail auto parts stores are allowed in C-1 zoning. What they say in a lot of places is that standard use in a district could be a whole ton of things, but could not include wholesale sales. Mayor Smith said he talked to three different mechanics, and asked them if they buy wholesale from some of the auto parts stores in our city, and they indicate that they are able to buy wholesale. Mayor Smith said he is looking for clarification as to if they actually do sell wholesale, then none of the surrounding cities do allow auto parts stores in their communities, so we need to clarify that if we could.
Mr. Hall replied if you ask them specifically, they will provide that information specifically. Our City is no different. Our Code online does not indicate whether it does or does not allow retail auto parts stores, and that is really not uncommon. Mr. Hall stated he would be glad to share with Staff all of his information.
Mayor Smith directed Mr. Wingerson to please be sure to ask the wholesale question. Mayor Smith asked Mr. Wingerson if an already built property is zoned C-1, and we should allow auto parts sales in a C-1 zoning, and they meet all the requirements, can they be granted an occupation license, or would it require public input as Mr. Hall suggested.
Mr. Wingerson replied if it is planned zoning, then it would require the public input. For a straight C-1 zoning, and no exterior building modifications, then there would not be an opportunity for public input.
Mayor Smith said the reason he asked was earlier we approved the liquor license for Lighthouse liquors. We went straight from payday loans, and none of us in the room are big supporters of payday loan shops, and we were hoping to upgrade that property. As they met all the requirements and had all the zoning in place, we had no choice but to grant them a license for a liquor store, which made him think that he is not sure that is totally correct.
Comments from the Audience in Opposition of the Ordinance change
Jesse Valenciano, 6503 North Olive, said he lives directly behind the center. Mr. Valenciano stated this makes him wonder why we need another auto parts store. We have three on North Oak. Advance Auto Parts is on Vivion Road, and they all deliver wholesale. Why were they turned wholesale – why would they object to it? Mr. Valenciano said he believes the City needs to stay with boutique type operations. We need to clean up the City. There are a lot of problems on North Oak and Antioch Road. There are plenty of repair facilities and you can get bodywork, upholstery, auto parts and anything you want, is already here. Most people are not going to be able to work on their cars.
Mayor Smith said this is the first time in many, many years he and Mr. Valenciano have agreed.
Mr. Valenciano said we cannot change our own batteries in the cars today. We can’t change our own light bulbs, because you have to replace the entire assembly on a lot of cars. Mr. Valenciano said he feels the City will be stepping back, thinking this is good for the future.
Mayor Smith closed the Public Hearing.
Item 12. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 08-04, amending Section 7.135.010, and 7.140.010 of the Gladstone City Code relating to C-1 and C-2 Zoning Districts within the City of Gladstone.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to place Bill 08-04 on First Reading. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Beer said we have tasked Staff to do a bit more research, and it may be best to wait for the second reading until we have received the benefits of that research.
Mayor Smith said he saw two Council members nodding yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh inquired into what Staff has been tasked to do?
Mayor Smith replied Staff has been asked to verify if surrounding communities allow auto parts sales in a C-1 zone, and whether or not that will make a difference in our thought process would be the question.
Mayor Smith said he would like to move forward, and has a litany of reasons why he will be voting against this Bill, but will defer to the wishes of the Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh asked if the information Staff has been asked to research germane to the decision before us? Is it information we have to have before we make a decision?
Mayor Smith replied the reason to have that information is to know what is going on around us. His guess would be that Mr. Hall’s purpose for mentioning that would be that if we continue to be somewhat selective in what zoning districts we allow those in, someone interested in this area could build their operation in a surrounding community. Mayor Smith asked Mr. Hall if that were correct.
Mr. Hall replied partially, and the other part is that most all of the other cities have upgraded their zoning issue. When it comes to this, ours was in the 1950’s. These stores do up to $2 million per year, so they are looking at paying good money, so a lot of people want them in their cities, and make it as easy as possible.
Councilmember Carol Suter said the information requested is not germane in her opinion, so for her there is no need to wait.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 08-04, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 08-04 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 4.063. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded.
Councilman Rudi stated this is a really hard decision for her. Councilman Rudi said she can see the upgrade in the zoning to move what used to be more service oriented operations into a retail category. On the other hand, she looks at the North Oak Corridor Study, which has recommended that we group automotive types of activities to the south portion of North Oak. In looking at the Village Center Plan, we don’t really have a specific plan, but she does not feel that what we were thinking of in that area would be something like auto parts. If we move auto parts stores into this category, they can be anywhere in any of those areas. Councilman Rudi said we are working on our Comprehensive Plan, and she feels that maybe this needs to be done in conjunction with that. The change in the way we view our City zoning could make a big difference on this particular issue. Councilman Rudi said because of the inconsistency with what she already sees in the North Oak Corridor Study, she will not be voting in favor of this.
Mayor Smith said to Mr. Hall that he appreciated the diligence he has shown in bringing this forward, and he agrees with Mr. Hall about public involvement, but he agrees with him more from the standpoint that if we have such a business who wishes to locate in a particular area in our City, then let’s let them come forward and let’s have them apply for a zoning change, apply for their site plan provision, or whatever it might be. Let’s have public input on that application specifically. Jesse Valenciano, a resident who lives directly behind the center, who was against the rezoning of the property in the first place, thinks we need to be a bit more forward than this type of use. Mayor Smith said let’s use this as an example. If there is an auto parts business that wishes to locate on that pad site, then let’s have them come in and apply for a rezoning, and go through the entire process of notifying the neighborhood and have that discussion with the neighborhood, rather than just blanket across the City, downgrading the classification. Then we have done it for the whole City.
Mayor Smith said he had placed at each Council member’s place a zoning map of the City. Some of the areas are planned zonings that require a site plan approval; some are properties that are probably not conducive to this type of use, but as can be seen, there is plenty of opportunity in the City of Gladstone for auto parts retailers to locate in a C-2 or C-3 district. Mayor Smith said to make his point about each individual parcel, if you look at Gladstone Plaza on North Oak Street, it is zoned C-1, but what you will see is three individual pad sites that came in and asked for rezoning for a higher classification. One of which is an auto parts store, and they were granted that rezoning. We took the lower use of the C-1, and we did allow three different uses on that tract of land for a higher zoning, but yet we didn’t do the whole property.
Mayor Smith said he believes it is OK for this City to be a little bit more particular in what we want. Mayor Smith said he does not have anything against auto parts stores; he has been in one in the last three weeks, but we are facing a lot of development opportunities. We granted a lot of uses and classifications that are causing us problems. We talk about pawnshops and payday loans, and used car lots. Let’s be particular, and let’s not just say across the whole City any particular use is now allowed in a C-1 zone. Mayor Smith said we cannot help but tie this as an example to the property at 64th and Antioch Road - the Tower Plaza property. That is a vacant C-1 property with a pad site. Mayor Smith said in David Gale’s presentations when he was talking about the redevelopment of Gladstone Plaza and redevelopment issues on the North Oak corridor, there was even some discussion of razing the auto parts store that is there, because it is too valuable of a pad site for that type of use. There needs to be a more diverse type of use. There needs to be some retail that creates some synergy, not only in the project, but along our commercial corridors, and that is not the type of use typically, in his opinion, that generated those.
Mayor Smith said he has probably half a dozen other reasons why it doesn’t make sense for us to make this text change for the good of the City overall, but believes this is probably enough. Mayor Smith said he would not be supporting this.
Councilmember Suter stated there is lots to be said on both sides of this particular issue. As an alum of the Planning Commission, she comes down on the side that we have a Planning Commission for a purpose. It’s a larger group than this. It gives full and thorough discussion and analysis to the issues that come before it, and they consider a recommendation coming from Staff, who also research, review, and think through everything that they bring to us. Councilmember Suter said this recommendation came from Staff, was processed by the Planning Commission, and came to us with approval from both of those entities. Councilmember Suter said given that most of the municipalities around us haven’t made a significant distinction about this, and as she looks around the community, she sees some kinds of stores that are nicely done, and some kinds of stores that are poorly done; whether they are auto parts, hair salons, or payday loans. There are certain parts of our community that need to be improved – the North Oak corridor in particular definitely needs to be improved. Councilmember Suter continued by saying she does not feel a particular kind of retail store here and there makes a significant difference. She believes it will take a lot more broad stroke improvements in order to improve North Oak the way we want to see it.
Councilmember Suter said for the most part when you look at some of the developments, in particular the ones Mayor Smith mentioned, and some of the newer ones, landowners and developers who have invested in them are smart people and realize they have to have the right retail mix in order for all of their tenants to be successful. It is rare for the new investor to do something that would sabotage its current tenant or future tenants. Councilmember Suter said she is excited about the quality of what is being built in Gladstone these days, and she believes it is leading us in the right direction. Councilmember Suter said for those reasons she supports this Ordinance.
Mayor Smith said he does not disagree with Councilmember Suter, but if you look at the demographic for an auto parts store, his guess is that it is probably between 18 and 48 year old males. If you are looking at creating a synergy, and let’s look at this particular development, does that get it? This is a pad site, which is potentially one of the two most visible locations in our last greatest development in Gladstone. Is that the type of use that will help drive that synergy? It is not a car full of mom and dad and the kids. It is not a husband and wife looking to shop. There is no impulse buy to it, and there is nothing to pull traffic off of the street into the retail development. Mayor Smith said he would hate to think we gave up that corner for that type of use. We have people screaming for more diverse and better retail opportunities in the City. Mayor Smith said we may have to wait a little while to get it, but to give this away carte blanche across the whole City, to him sounds like sales tax dollars at all costs. Our community has been telling us through the master planning process that they don’t want the same old Gladstone, and he really believes it is OK to hold our ground and expect better than what we had before. It is the only way we are going to turn this community around economically in his opinion. There is the opportunity for every developer as it is now to cut out that half acre, that one acre, that pad site, that building or whatever and come into the City and ask for the appropriate zoning for any type of use.
Councilmember Suter said this Ordinance doesn’t give permission for this type of store at the 64th and Prospect location. That has to come before us again specifically for a site plan revision, so there will be an opportunity to make a decision about that particular installation.
Mayor Smith said if it fails, we have opened the door for C-1 properties all across the City where appropriate.
Councilmember Suter said she cannot imagine we will be overrun by car parts stores, unless there is something happening in America that is contrary to current retail trends. Councilmember Suter said while she would like to see us have even more upscale kinds of nice synergistic retail, you look around the universe and all we are getting on every corner and every development anywhere in the City is another Penney’s, Lowe’s, or a Home Depot. It’s the same stores, the same stores, the same stores going up in new locations. Retail America is becoming very standardized and homogenized and there isn’t that kind of retail available. Given the recession that we clearly are in or going into, retail sales at this time are struggling all the way around, and what we are seeing are more businesses closing and more chains closing their stores than we are opening. Councilmember Suter said for a lot of those reasons, and again she would like to look at individual sites, but it seems to her that in the changing of America that this isn’t a particularly significant change in our zoning law of which to be particularly afraid.
Mayor Smith suggested that if they have to come back for a site plan revision, why not come back for a zoning change simultaneously?
Councilmember Suter said she agrees with the Planning Commission and the Staff’s opinion that this isn’t a matter that needs to be looked at in every single instance.
Mayor Smith said with all due respect to the Planning Commission, and we have all served on the Planning Commission, he served on it probably longer than most, they did not have the benefit of this discussion. They did not totally have the benefit of Mr. Hall’s information nor did they have the benefit of this discussion, and he does not know how in depth the Staff recommendation was. Mayor Smith said he agrees, having served on the Planning Commission, he believes strongly in our volunteer Board and Commission recommendations, but he does not know if you took this back to them, it would come back unanimous.
Councilmember Suter said they are on the record for having been unanimously in favor of this.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he was on the Planning Commission when this property came up for development originally, and he opposed it. He was one of two or three Planning Commissioners who did oppose it. He too would like to see a higher use for all of our development efforts. Last Saturday he went to Smithville to a drug store that has been turned into a gourmet restaurant. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he would love a gourmet restaurant in Gladstone, and he wishes we were discussing a zoning change for that instead of an auto parts store. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said if he understands it correctly, a Sonic drive through could go into that pad site instead of the auto parts store. He has not done an informal poll of the neighborhood there to see whether or not they would like to have all night traffic and the grease and smell from a fast food restaurant, but he does not have that much of a negative connotation about auto parts stores. He thinks people must use them or they would not exist. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he would rather see something else on this particular space. All of us would rather see nicer boutique type of uses, but the demographics are working against us, which is why PB&J restaurants supposedly won’t come into town, because there is no lunch business. Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh said he is not saying we have to be satisfied with what we get, but he fails to see the argument for keeping out a well-run, well designed auto parts store. Even if they do have delivery people who deliver wholesale parts, he is not sure he understands the distinction that causes that to be an issue.
Mayor Smith said he was just making a point as it pertains to Ordinances that he read online. They may not actually allow those uses in their cities. The store on North Oak Street, by Mr. McCullough’s office, had four pick-up trucks sitting in the parking lot today. That was his point, not so certain that they do allow them. Mayor Smith said he agrees with what Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh is saying, but at some point in time we have got to hold out for what we want, and what we need in this community. This is the shining example of new development in Gladstone. It is the biggest and best we have. We protected the neighborhood against a Sonic; the Sonic was a potential player at the time. We protected the neighborhood against that by the way we made them orient the building and the way we did the site plan, the lighting, and some other things, so the neighborhood actually knows, and probably is expecting that to be a possibility. We have a gentleman who was the fiercest opponent of the project, who lives right behind it, who thinks we gave that up for something, we ought to do better than that type of use. We need to create some synergy, wait for it, hold out for it and quite frankly, demand it or we are never going to turn this community around.
Mayor Pro Tem Revenaugh asked if we have the right to tell a developer what kind of business he can put in his property.
Mayor Smith replied they came to us and asked for a specific zoning, which was C-1, and they knew what went and would qualify for that zoning when they applied. They made an argument for the validity of it, the need for it, and also for the fact that it was satisfactory – absolutely yes.
Councilman Rudi said she really cannot look at this change regarding this one particular property. She is looking at it for the entire City, and to her this is something we need to be doing at this time. She is not saying in the future we shouldn’t make that change, but at this time, she thinks with all the City has in the works and potentially in the works, we need to wait, and she cannot make this change for the entire City.
Mayor Smith said the very next meeting of the Comprehensive Plan Committee is going to deal largely with land use and zoning districts and so forth. We are getting ready to go through that process. Talk about volunteer and citizen input, we have a hundred people participating in that process, and these types of uses may be exactly what they want to overlay for Oak Street and Antioch Road, but we are almost looking at superceding the work they haven’t done yet.
Roll Call Vote: “Aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh. “Nay” – Councilman Carol Rudi and Mayor Les Smith, (3-2). Mayor Smith said this Bill has been enacted as Ordinance 4. 063.
Item 13. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 08-06, approving the Litigation Settlement Agreement with AT&T Mobility for payment of Business License Taxes for cellular telephone service.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh moved to place Bill 08-06 on First Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 08-06, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 08-06 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 4.064. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith.
Item 14. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 08-07, amending Ordinance Number 4.030 by repealing the provisions of the “Building and Construction Ordinance” of the City of Gladstone, Missouri, regulating “Fences and Walls,” and enacting new provisions in their place.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to place Bill 08-07 on First Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 08-07, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Carol Rudi moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 08-07 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 4.065. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Revenaugh and Mayor Les Smith.
Item 15. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
Mayor Smith made mention that Mrs. Boor’s plaque from last year had Mayor Cross’s name on it, and Mr. Boor’s plaque this year had Mayor Smith’s name on it. Mayor Smith proposed to the City Council, that just like we did with the proclamations, that plaques and so forth that are given to residents include the names of all the members of the City Council, rather than just the Mayor’s name. City Council members indicated they agreed.
Councilman Rudi suggested smaller type on the plaques.
Item 16. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA.
There were no questions from the News Media.
Item 17. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT.
There being no further business to come before the February 11, 2008, Gladstone Regular City Council Meeting, Mayor Les Smith adjourned the regular meeting.
Cathy Swenson, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: ___
Approved as corrected/amended: ___
Mayor Les Smith