CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
Mayor Mark Revenaugh opened the City Council Meeting to adjourn to a Closed Executive Session on September 22, 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. Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (3-0).
Councilmember Carol Suter and Councilman Les Smith were also in attendance at the Closed Executive Session.
Mayor Mark Revenaugh adjourned the Closed Executive Session to go into an Open Study Session at 6:45 PM.
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
PRESENT: Mayor Mark Revenaugh
Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi
Councilman Les Smith
Councilman Wayne Beer
Councilmember Carol Suter
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson
City Counselor David Ramsay
ABSENT: City Manager Kirk Davis
Mayor Mark Revenaugh opened the Regular September 22, 2008, City Council Meeting at 7:30 PM in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 2. on the Agenda. ROLL CALL
Mayor Mark Revenaugh noted that all Council members were present.
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Revenaugh led the Pledge of Allegiance, in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 25, 2008, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to approve the Regular August 25, 2008, City Council Meeting Minutes as presented. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Item 5. on the Agenda. PROCLAMATION: Recognizing NATIONAL CODES ENFORCEMENT MONTH and the important role Code Compliance Officers play in our Community.
Mayor Revenaugh read and presented the Proclamation to Building Official Alan Napoli. Mr. Napoli thanked the Mayor and City Council members.
Item 6. on the Agenda. PROCLAMATION: recognizing October 2008, as WHO NAMED AMERICA YOUTH EDUCATION MONTH in recognition of the America 500 Birthday Extravaganza 5-year global education initiative.
As there was no one present to accept the Proclamation, Mayor Revenaugh asked City Clerk Cathy Swenson to mail the Proclamation to the appropriate party.
Item 7. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA.
Following the Clerk’s reading, Councilmember Carol Suter moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-58, authorizing acceptance of a proposal from Independent Salt Company for the purchase of snow removal salt. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-59, authorizing acceptance of work under the contracts with Acme Flooring, Otis Elevator and, National Fire Suppression for the Gladstone Community Center-Natatorium; and authorizing final payment in the total amount of $23,915.70. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-60, authorizing execution of a contract with Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal Company in the total amount not to exceed $62,171.00 for the Roof Replacement at Public Works Upper and Lower Storage Project. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-61, authorizing acceptance of work under contract with Calvert’s Paving, Incorporated, for the Oak Grove Park Trail Reconstruction Project, and authorizing final payment in the amount of $10,576.22. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-62, declaring certain City property as surplus and authorizing the sale of such property together with certain abandoned and unclaimed property held by the City to the highest bidder at auction or by sealed bid; and further authorizing the transfer of certain surplus items to the Missouri Department of Public Safety; and authorizing the donation of surplus items to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, The Surplus Exchange, and the Secure the Call Foundation. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-63, granting an Electric Energy Utility Easement to Kansas City Power and Light Company over, across and upon City-owned property known as Flora East, and located at 5900 North Flora. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to adopt RESOLUTION R-08-64, authorizing the execution of a long-term lease with Atkins Johnson Farm LP, a Missouri Limited Partnership, for the Historical Grounds and Structures owned by the City and known as the Atkins Johnson Farm. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to approve the ANNUAL LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWAL for Tommy’s, 6221 North Chestnut, Class A&B Liquor by the Drink License. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Councilmember Carol Suter moved to approve the JULY 2008 FINANCIAL REPORT. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi, and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0)
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Joann Whitlock, 607 NE 67 Place, stated she wished to thank the City for installing the street inlet on 67th Place, in front of Sharon Aller’s house. It is pulling some water off of the street, and it really helps. Ms. Whitlock continued by saying that on August 4th, she met with the Capital Improvements Committee and they passed a motion to give the City 30 days to find out how much it would cost to do a study on the other drainage problems. Ms. Whitlock said the 30 days are long past, and she hasn’t heard anything. Ms. Whitlock said she checked the City’s calendar for October and did not see a meeting scheduled. Ms. Whitlock inquired into the status of this issue.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson thanked Ms. Whitlock for her nice comments, and said we don’t often hear them. The study itself has been approved by the Capital Improvements Committee. It was very much below the budgeted amount, so it was approved via e-mail. Public Works is currently interviewing consultants to perform those studies, and it should be moving forward as a contract approval in four to five weeks.
Mayor Revenaugh asked for clarification on the stages of the process for this project.
Mr. Wingerson replied first the City will be interviewing consultants and negotiating a contract, and then preparing the contract for the City Council’s consideration to award the contract. Currently, the City is in the contract negotiation stage.
Ms. Whitlock offered her thanks.
Item 9. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilmember Carol Suter said she has been on vacation and is glad to be home. It is always fun to go see other parts of the universe, and it makes you appreciate the place you call home, and Gladstone is a good place to call home.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated he has also been gone for some time, and it is good to be home.
Councilman Les Smith had no comments at this time.
Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi asked Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Lillis for a report on activities in the parks.
Director Lillis reported that on Friday, an advocacy group that is trying to purchase the seven acres adjacent to the Nature Preserve are doing a benefit concert starting at 5:30 PM at Oak Grove Park. The concert will have four different bands performing. Currently this is the big event for this weekend.
Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi reminded the audience that October 3, 4 and 5 are the dates for Gladfest and she hopes all can attend.
Mayor Mark Revenaugh pointed out that the City Council, in response to several citizen requests, has held two out of three smoking meetings, to get input from the citizenry on their feelings about a potential smoking ban. Mayor Revenaugh added that the third meeting in that series is October 9, at 6:00 PM, at the Community Center and encouraged all to attend and participate. Mayor Revenaugh stated that One KC Voice, the company hired by the City as consultants to direct the survey from the citizenry, will be presenting their findings and, at that same time, they will be presenting them to the Council and then the public will have the chance to let Council know how they personally feel about the particular subject. Mayor Revenaugh stated that there was an article in the KC Star’s Northland section last Saturday, which blasted the City of Liberty for lack of leadership on their Council for not passing a strict enough Resolution for the smoking ban. Mayor Revenaugh continued by saying that it is a delicate issue and it goes to personal freedoms, it goes to public health, and there are several important issues that are tied into this, and it is one that City Council is not taking lightly. Mayor Revenaugh again encouraged all to attend the smoking ban meeting and stated that it is by giving input, that Council is able to make an informed decision.
Item 10. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson reported that City Manager Kirk Davis is out of town on business, and said he sends his regrets, and thanks Council for his time away. Mr. Wingerson stated our community, as well as our Council Chambers, are infinitely safer today, because Public Safety Director Mike Hasty is back from the FBI Academy. Mr. Wingerson welcomed Director Hasty back and said he was sure Director Hasty would work to implement some of the things he learned at great personal sacrifice, having been away from home for ten to eleven weeks, and he thanked Director Hasty. Mr. Wingerson reported that as Gladfest is the weekend of October 3rd, City Hall will close at noon because the street will be closed. Staff will be in the office, as this day will serve as a clean-up day.
Councilman Wayne Beer stated that as was mentioned, Director Hasty has just returned from ten weeks at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia and the fact that he was chosen to go is quite an accomplishment, because there are very, very, very few police officers who have the opportunity to go to the FBI Academy; and we feel very fortunate that our new Director of Public Safety was chosen to go. It’s an accomplishment for Director Hasty and a very good accomplishment for the City of Gladstone.
Mayor Revenaugh also thanked Director Hasty.
Item 11. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING: for consideration of Rezoning and a Site Plan Revision subject to certain conditions for property located at 2412 and 2590 Northeast 72nd Street. Applicant: QuikTrip Corporation. Owner: Harriet Chesterton. File Number 1320.
Mayor Revenaugh opened the Public Hearing.
Planning Specialist Chris Helmer began by saying he would like to present a recap of the process of the application with the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission had considered this application at the August 18, 2008 Planning Commission Public Hearing, as well as September 2, 2008. At the August 18, 2008, Public Hearing, the Planning Commission recommended that the application be tabled so that staff and the applicant could further address what came from the Planning Commission, and what was heard through the public hearing process from area residents. Mr. Helmer said that he was going to talk about the application in general terms of how it was presented in Council’s memorandums, as well as what was presented before the Planning Commission, that being a Phase One development proposal, as well as a Phase Two. Phase One can be associated with the application of the rezoning, which would be the current residential property immediately to the west of the current store for the purpose of construction of a proposed drive that would connect to the existing store. Mr. Helmer said there would also be the “right-in”, “right-out” of the current drive. There would be the two separate actions, or proposals, that come with the Phase One development.
Mr. Helmer said at the initial stages of this application, the Phase Two development plan was for the overall construction of a larger building at a future date. The Planning Commission, at the September 2, 2008, meeting, unanimously voted in favor of the rezoning with the associated or proposed drive; however, they also voted unanimously against approval, of the Phase Two development. After the August 18, 2008, Planning Commission Public Hearing, staff drafted a Site Plan Ordinance, which was preliminary in nature. Mr. Helmer stated that the Planning Commission did not recommend that move forward at that particular time. Mr. Helmer stated this evening Council has been presented with a Site Plan Revision Ordinance, as well as rezoning, that specifically focuses on the Phase One proposal, being the rezoning proposal, as well as the Site Plan amendment, which would be for the new drive as well as the “right-in”, “right-out” for the existing drive.
Councilman Smith questioned the rationale for leaving the existing drive. Councilman Smith stated in regard to creating a “right-in”, “right-out” drive, that he had concerns regarding the ability to get off of 72nd Street. Councilman Smith asked if there were concerns of there being some conflict with the traffic from the new drive crossing paths with traffic entering and exiting the old drives.
Mr. Helmer explained staff had been working with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for several years on access to this property from M-1 Highway. Staff continues to work on this application for M-1 access. In the event MoDOT approves an M-1 access, staff would recommend the current drive on 72nd Street be closed. As a compromise, pending action by MoDOT, staff recommends the “right-in” “right-out” drive to allow additional access to the site. The new drive, which will be approximately 150 feet west of the proposed “right-in” “right-out” drive, should provide more efficient traffic flow by allowing vehicles to turn westbound on 72nd Street from two drives exiting the site. In reviewing the traffic study, it appears that the “right in”, “right out” drive will help alleviate traffic congestion caused by vehicles exiting the site and turning left to go eastbound on 72nd Street. Traffic within the site will have two alternative exits from the site to turn westbound on 72nd Street.
Councilman Beer stated that he hadn’t heard the answer to the eastern “right-in”, “right-out” entrance, for traffic exiting at the eastern entrance, and traffic exiting left out of the western entrance. Councilman Beer asked how much conflict of traffic there would be and what the likelihood for conflict was – is the distance 100 feet or 150 feet between drives?
Mr. Helmer responded approximately 150 feet.
Councilman Beer said given the four lanes of traffic and the proximity to the intersection of 72nd and Prospect, that he was a little bit nervous about the possibility of conflict at that point.
Mr. Helmer replied that there are still a lot off challenges at the site, being a very unique site, and that it will continue to pose some challenges. In regards to the direction of the proposed drive, there is some possibility and intent that it would alleviate some of the overall congestion. There are some very peak times and the study states that there will be some challenges in that the drive is located so very close to the intersection.
Councilman Beer stated that the “left-out” traffic now is horrible and that the proposed drive should provide some relief of that issue. Councilman Beer added that he was still a little bit nervous about the conflict of “right-out”, “left-out” at the new intersection.
Councilman Smith said his concern is internal congestion and asked what would happen with cars on 72nd Street westbound. The problems occur when there is congestion at the drive. If you envision traffic turning into the “right-in” egress, the existing drive, with traffic coming from the new drive, there seems to be a point of congestion there. Councilman Smith asked that if there is congestion, and there is confusion, do we not run a greater risk of cars stacking up into 72nd Street and the old drive?
Mr. Helmer replied that he was providing the recommendation of the study and as far as overall internal circulation, there did not appear to be a substantial amount of concern on that particular type of congestion.
Councilman Smith asked if the primary reason for not closing the existing drive was because the City did not want to cut off that particular property.
Mr. Helmer responded that it was of primary concern.
Councilman Smith then asked if there was some mechanism that could be used to alleviate that “land-locking” if circumstances should change.
Mr. Helmer responded that he believed that there was. Mr. Helmer stated that it had not been looked into in great detail and asked that Mr. Wingerson provide a brief summary on the matter. Mr. Helmer added that there could potentially be some sort of an easement agreement; however, it had not been explored in great detail.
Mr. Wingerson stated that it is important to understand that QuikTrip does not own the property that the building is currently on. Closing what is proposed as the “right-in”, “right-out” driveway would eliminate all access to that property and that was an unacceptable condition to the property owner, which was communicated by QuikTrip. Staff discussed shared ingress/egress easements to eliminate that driveway and that condition was unacceptable to the current property owner. The ultimate solution to that intersection is for MoDOT to allow a curb cut on M-1, and so far, they have not allowed those improvements. The solution is something that we cannot solve, and the second best action is to place the driveway west of its current location and severely limit the number of cars in and out of that “right-in”, “right-out” driveway. Most people are going to want to go to 72nd and M-1. The other thing that impacts inside the property where the two drives kind of cross each other, is that the queuing gets longer to 72nd Street because the conflict is further into the property, instead of right at the curb line of 72nd Street, and the visibility is very, very good there, so as long as the cars traveling eastbound on the new driveway pay attention, it should be pretty good.
Councilman Smith added that he doesn’t disagree that the property owner should be concerned about losing access, but that his question was is there some mechanism that could be used, so that if the property owner does lose access via the new drive, we could allow them to open that back up. If that is not do-able and the concern is stacking on 72nd Street, what if that became a “right-out” only, and no entrance to the property at that point.
Mr. Wingerson replied that representatives were present and that he was sure they would be glad to address all of those various options. Mr.Wingerson also stated that staff had asked all those questions.
Councilman Beer pointed out that the only way in and out right now is at the east entrance and asked how long it would take for people to change their habits of trying to go in the “right-out”. Councilman Beer expressed concerns that there is only one lane and stated he could see pretty serious issues happening here.
Mr. Wingerson responded that hopefully the design of the island in the existing driveway would largely prohibit that, and that it wouldn’t be impossible, but it would be difficult, and Mr. Wingerson agreed that there would be some training necessary for the users of QuikTrip.
Councilman Beer suggested islands on 72nd Street to prevent that.
Mr. Wingerson concurred that islands would prevent it.
Mayor Revenaugh said he had read the Planning Commission Minutes and that he did not recall the Planning Commission having a lot of “heartburn” over the inverse-egress.
Mr. Wingerson and Mr. Helmer agreed with Mayor Revenaugh.
Councilman Smith responded by saying it does not mean that we can’t.
Mayor Revenaugh stated that he was wondering if ten people had overlooked something.
Jeremy Crosby, 5725 Fox Ridge Drive, Mission, Kansas identified himself as a representative for the QuikTrip Corporation. Mr. Crosby thanked the city staff for their willingness to hear about the project. In regards to the drives being discussed, the concerns are first that the access to the property owner would be lost if closed. QuikTrip looked at a median in front of the “right-in”, “right-out”, and it is cheaper to build the “right-in”, “right-out” the way it is today. QuikTrip had agreed with staff that when access on M-1 is gained then they would close that access. Mr. Crosby stated that was QuikTrip’s agreement with them. Mr. Crosby said that helps explain why QuikTrip chose to go the route that it did. QuikTrip would like to purchase the house, demolish it, and install a new driveway to the west and they are hopeful that would help alleviate the existing problems. QuikTrip is aware that it is not going to fix everything, but it would improve the current situation. QuikTrip hopes to work with staff in the future to gain access on M-1. Mr. Crosby stated that it has been a very challenging ordeal for QuikTrip, it is very expensive, it will cost between $400,000 to $500,000 to meet the request from MoDOT to gain the access that QuikTrip needs. That is why QuikTrip has not done that, but they are hopeful that staff will help to put some pressure on MoDOT and help them obtain a more reasonable way to rebuild and gain access from them. Mr. Crosby requested approval of the rezoning and the Phase One Plan.
Councilman Beer stated that in past proposals, access was denied by MoDOT, and asked if MoDOT would permit access, given the right design and construction?
Mr. Crosby responded that given the right design, construction, and a payment of about $75,000, MoDOT would grant access to M-1. Initially, it’s a $75,000 check to get that access, and then the remainder of the $400,000 to $500,000 for improvements to a deceleration lane with a right turn in and improvements at the intersection, such as new signal heads. Mr. Crosby stated that he had not worked on that project himself, but that there were a lot of new things that MoDOT wanted them to construct to get that access, and it would have cost QuikTrip a lot of money, and that did not make good economical sense for QuikTrip. QuikTrip hopes that with City staff’s support, there can be a better response to their request. QuikTrip is moving forward with trying to work with staff to gain that access from MoDOT so that it is more economically feasible.
Councilman Beer responded that he understood that, and that the intent of his question was had MoDOT made some movement in that regard?
Mr. Crosby replied yes.
Councilman Beers stated that was promising and encouraging.
Comments from Members of the Audience in Favor of the Application:
Comments from Members of the Audience in Opposition of the Application:
Cheryl Delong, 2308 NE 73rd Street, stated that when traveling east on 72nd to turn onto North Park, it is already very, very busy with traffic going westbound and that if the drive is right there, really close to that street, it will be really hard. The busy time for QuikTrip is between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM when people are coming home from work, and stopping to get gas. Ms. Delong stated that she thinks it is going to be almost impossible to turn there. The other thing is bringing it up closer to the neighborhood as the kids’ bus stop is only a block up from there, so you have kids that might be going back and forth there, where at least right now, where that drive is, it’s down in that busy intersection where kids are not crossing the street. Ms. Delong stated that is another issue that bothers her, because kids are getting off the bus and possibly walking home. Ms. Delong said that the street there and neighborhoods on the other side are her two main concerns.
Gail Kerns, 2308 NE 72nd Terrace, said that she had the same concerns with the driveway being moved. Ms. Kerns stated that she lives close and can hear almost every time there is a wreck at the intersection. Ms. Kerns said she does not think there have been many incidents with traffic going in and out of QuikTrip, and it is a “neighborhood thing” so people know that at 5:00 PM they are not going to be able to turn left, they are going to have to go right, and either turn on North Park, turn right and go back and through the neighborhood; and people will do that. In the busy times, you know you are not going to be able to turn left out of her neighborhood, so she goes back behind their home and comes out at the intersection at M-1 across from Wal-Mart. Ms. Kerns continued by saying that by moving the driveway 150 feet back to the west, people would never be able to turn left exiting off of North Park. Ms. Kerns said that she understood that when the Planning Commission approved the rezoning, the Planning Commission agreed that if they gained the M-1 access, they would reconsider enlarging QuikTrip. Ms. Kerns stated that she was definitely against that and does not think the store needs to be any bigger. QuikTrip is in a neighborhood and has ten gas pumps, and there has been talk of adding more. This is a neighborhood, it is not on Vivion Road, where a QuikTrip is being built that appears to be a truck stop. Ms. Kerns said it is very convenient to go to QuikTrip in her neighborhood, but she does not want to walk out her front door and have it too close.
George Wages, 7201 N. Park stated that QuikTrip is right behind him. Mr. Wages said in regard to the QuikTrip issue, he knows the traffic situation, and when he backs out of his driveway on a busy day, he can’t turn left on 72nd Street. He has to go right or he goes out by Wal-Mart to M-1, and he thinks the only thing that will take care of this “right-in”, “right-out” issue is the exit on M-1. Mr. Wages said that everybody in Gladstone, that lives around there and goes in the QuikTrip, knows the traffic situation. If it moves down, you’ve got that kind of a hill that comes up and there are only so many lanes to turn right going south on M-1. If nobody’s making a right-hand turn and everybody is going straight on 72nd to go up to Hy-Vee, they’re not going to be able to turn right, it just keeps backing them up. Many times, it’s backed up to the top of the hill, so how will someone turn left? Mr. Wages said another issue is, if this application is approved, there are a lot of big trees on that property. The developer said he was going to put in a fence, and there’s vacant land next to that fence, and if they just put up an ugly yellow-brown fence, everybody is going to see that and the big QuikTrip. Mr. Wages said right now, a lot of the neighbors can’t see the QuikTrip, because there is a lot of big brush, and nice trees. In the fall you can see the QuikTrip, in the summertime you can’t see it because of the leaves. Mr. Wages said the traffic issue is the big issue, and he lives right behind it, and sees the traffic go out and in, and he knows it might be cost feasible for the M-1 access, if the City could get something worked out. Mr. Wages said he knows Gladstone has a base for taxes, and he pays taxes. There is money coming in for Gladstone. The City has made improvements, and we need to work together on this and find a solution on both ends.
Denise Nance, 7233 North Olive Street began by saying that when she steps out on her porch she sees this property that QuikTrip is wanting to purchase and rezone. Ms. Nance said she agrees with the previous comments, that when it is all nice and lush with trees, you can’t see it. Ms. Nance said there are lots of small children on her street, and she worries about walking out and having that eyesore, and it won’t feel like a neighborhood, and she will feel like she is in a commercial area. Ms. Nance said she has a five-year old who gets on the bus at 73rd and North Park, and has been absolutely floored since school started in August, while sitting on the corner with him, at the speed and volume of traffic that cuts down North Park from 72nd, then down 73rd and tries to go out to 73rd Terrace, right there at Wal-Mart. Ms. Nance said she believes a lot of that is due to the traffic constraints, probably from QuikTrip because they are trying to hurry and get around because they weren’t able to turn left getting out of QuikTrip, and she really does not see where this is a solution. You’re just moving that left-handed congestion down, so people will continue to speed through that neighborhood, and that is a great concern with all the small children.
Edward Jones, 7224 North Park stated his concern was the traffic signals. The signals from 72nd and Antioch back the traffic all the way up to North Park now. So what would it do if you open the other gate up down there? It’s just going to back it up further, you wouldn’t be able to get out on North Park at all, so then we are all going to be circle jerking, more or less, because we’ll all have to go around, and come back around to go to the QuikTrip. QuikTrip moved from down on 72nd Street, where they were in the beginning, why haven’t they done something before now?
Mark Revenaugh responded by saying that he could not speak for QuikTrip.
Mr. Jones continued by saying that QuikTrip has been there for years; if it costs $400,000, well they’re a company, we are people that just live there in the neighborhood, that just want to be left alone. That’s the reason we moved out in the cow pasture in the first place, was to be left alone, and it’s just coming closer and closer, and they’re talking about putting in more pumps, when we’ve got Hy-Vee across the street that has plenty of gas pumps for us. We’ve got plenty of gas; we don’t need any more diesel around. Mr. Jones stated that was his concern, that it would wreck his neighborhood, totally. There would be more trash on the street every morning. Every morning, when he comes out of his house, there are always more beer bottles and cans, and he is kind of tired of it.
There being no more communications, Mayor Revenaugh closed the Public Hearing.
Item 11a. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 08-23, amending Ordinance No. 3.973 and being an Ordinance relating to Zoning Ordinance Regulations and the establishment of Use Districts within the City of Gladstone, Missouri, for property located at 2412 and 2590 Northeast 72nd Street. Applicant: QuikTrip Corporation. Owner: Harriet Chesterton. File Number 1320.
Councilman Les Smith moved to place Bill 08-23 on First Reading. Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 08-23, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi seconded.
Councilman Smith stated one of the conditions of this Bill includes “No vegetation shall be disturbed beyond 110 feet of the south property line…” Councilman Smith asked if that is intended to be between 72nd Street and the new drive.
Mr. Wingerson replied the intent is to allow the driveway to be installed, but leave the rest of the property in the current, natural state.
Councilman Smith inquired into how far back the new drive would be.
Mr. Wingerson replied it is about 75 to 85 feet, and then grading needs to occur for actual construction, and they have some screening requirements they would like to do.
Councilman Beer said the plan that Council has before them is to scale in regards to the positioning of the house, and it looks like it is nearly to the rear of the existing house.
Councilman Smith asked Mr. Crosby if eliminating the “right in” from the existing approach would be completely unacceptable?
Mr. Crosby said that is something they would have to ask the property owner. His stance is that he does not want to lose the only ingress/egress point to this property.
Councilman Smith suggested what if it was left as a “right out” only and not a “right in”.
Mr. Crosby said that is something they looked at, but the plan right now is not to do that. It is something for which he would have to gain corporate approval. Mr. Crosby said they do plan to close that, working with the City to gain the M-1 access. If we close the “right in”, then the owner has no ingress to his property. If we close the “right out”, he has no way out of this property, which is why we have the “right in and right out”, so the owner still has an ingress/egress point to his property.
Councilman Smith said he could support the new drive for only one reason, and the reason for that is to make the project overall safer. Councilman Smith said he was not totally convinced that by still allowing a “right in”, that stacking could still be forced down 72nd Street. If the “right in” could be closed, it is a “no brainer”.
Mr. Crosby said he would have to contact the owner of the property to see if he would allow for that.
Councilman Smith said Mr. Crosby complimented staff, and he believes that staff would be likewise complimentary of the QuikTrip folks, who have worked through the process very well. One of the issues about QuikTrip is they are a very good operator. Councilman Smith said what we have to remember is that if QuikTrip should choose to go away because they cannot improve the situation, there is still a convenience store that could be operated by others, and so far the track record with QuikTrips has been pretty good.
Councilmember Suter asked for clarification that the ingress/egress is not an issue for this Bill, as this Bill is just the rezoning.
Mayor Revenaugh agreed that was correct.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi and Mayor Mark Revenaugh.
(5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Smith said he agreed wholeheartedly with Councilmember Suter’s observation; however, there will be no need to rezone the property if we are not willing to move forward with the Site Plan revision. We don’t want to give a blanket zoning change if it’s not going to apply to the issue at hand. Councilman Smith asked if any other Council member had that concern, and suggested Council may not want to take the next step, and allow QuikTrip, City staff and the property owner to discuss the “right in” issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Rudi said she would be in favor of waiting until we can get an answer on the “right in and right out”.
Councilman Beer said he thinks Council needs to know what the QuikTrip’s position would be in this regard, and we should have some sort of a answer from the property owner before we continue with this Ordinance.
Mayor Revenaugh asked that this Bill be put on the City Council agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Mr. Wingerson replied the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting would be October 13, 2008.
Item 11b. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 08-24, approving a Site Plan Revision for property located at 2412 and 2590 Northeast 72nd Street. Applicant: QuikTrip Corporation. Owner: Harriet Chesterton. File Number 1320.
Councilman Les Smith moved to place Bill 08-24 on First Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 08-24, 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 Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi and Mayor Mark Revenaugh. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Revenaugh stated that this Bill would be put on the City Council agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Item 12. on the Agenda. PUBLIC HEARING for consideration of a Sign Variance to allow construction of a pole sign at SS Auto Sales, located at 6889 North Oak Trafficway. Applicant/Owner: Stephen “Brent” Shaw.
Mayor Revenaugh opened the Public Hearing.
Building Official Alan Napoli began by saying this matter comes before the City Council because of the May 2, 2008, tornado. SS Auto Sales, who has been located on North Oak Trafficway for several years, had an existing pole sign, which met all the requirements of the existing Sign Ordinance when the building was constructed. In the last few years, the Sign Ordinance has changed, which no longer allows for the installation of pole signs. The sign at SS Auto Sales became an existing/non-conforming sign, which means it could be there, but if anything happened, a monument sign would need to be installed. The tornado completely blew down the sign, pole and all. This brought his existing/non conforming sign into a situation where it can no longer be legally used, based on the current Ordinance, and because of that the applicant has requested a sign variance.
Stephen Shaw, 6889 North Oak Trafficway, said part of the sign use is for the lighting and security for the property. The sign was there when he bought the property. The pole broke off on the bottom shaft, and to put it back to its original state would cost $1,000. To replace the sign with a monument sign would cost around $10,000. Mr. Shaw said his request is to put the sign right back up exactly as it has been for the last ten years.
Mayor Revenaugh inquired into the height of the sign.
Mr. Shaw replied the sign would be basically the height it was before, but it will be six inches shorter. The pole inside of the pole broke loose from the very bottom, so when it fell down, he cut it off, and another pole may be put in, and the sign reinstalled.
Mr. Wingerson stated the height of the sign is 21 feet.
Comments from Members of the Audience in Favor of the Application:
Mayor Revenaugh closed the Public Hearing.
Mayor Pro Tem Rudi asked if there was not a business on North Oak Trafficway that was damaged by the tornado that was granted a variance for rebuilding by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).
Mr. Wingerson replied yes, for the building itself.
Mayor Pro Tem Rudi asked for clarification if that was a variance to go back to what they had before.
Mr. Wingerson replied that was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi moved to approve the Sign Variance to allow construction of a pole sign at SS Auto Sales, located at 6889 North Oak Trafficway. Applicant/Owner: Stephen “Brent” Shaw. Councilmember Carol Suter seconded.
Councilmember Suter said this is hard for her, because the City has worked so hard at upgrading in Gladstone, and one of our biggest issues as a First Tier Suburb is that we are out of date. North Oak Trafficway and some of our major thoroughfares are out of date, and we look old fashioned and run-down. Councilmember Suter said she is loathed to maintain the things that need to be improved, but she is torn because she understands the issues of a business person and the cost difference in complying with a new look. Councilmember Suter said she has sat through enough meetings where the community has said that they are concerned, and want us to upgrade. Council is harassed about North Oak Trafficway and are asked what they are going to do to upgrade it. Councilmember Suter says this runs counter to what we have heard so much of the community say through the Gladstone on the Move process, the Long Range Planning Process, and the Comprehensive Plan Process, so it makes it hard for her; although, she is completely sympathetic with the business owner’s issue with this.
Mayor Pro Tem Rudi said she agreed with Councilmember Suter, and said this has been really hard for her to agree to, and she hopes if this is approved, that Mr. Shaw would consider lowering the sign, if possible. Mayor Pro Tem Rudi said that because we had a business come in to BZA and request a variance to rebuild, and the variance was granted, she does not feel she can deny this particular request for a variance; however, monument signs are what we want. Mayor Pro Tem Rudi suggested Mr. Shaw begin putting his money away, because if it blows down again, she does not believe she could approve it again.
Councilmember Suter stated that we need to be clear as we move forward, that we are intending to improve the look of Gladstone and we are expecting business owners to make plans for that. We, as a City, cannot do that for a business owner, except to encourage business owners to plan ahead, and anticipate upgrading, since that is what the community wants to have happen.
Councilman Beer said a compromise that has been granted in some cases was one that perhaps one would call a modified pole sign or modified monument sign. In this particular case it might fit well with that possibility of providing a much shorter pole. This may work to make this a pole sign that complies with monument sign heights and clearances, and with the landscaping that is normally required around a monument sign. Perhaps this is a compromise that could be reached.
Councilman Smith asked Mr. Wingerson if that would be a possibility.
Mr. Wingerson replied with the grades on North Oak, and with SS Auto being one of the lowest elevations, in order to come up to site level, it would require some height to do that.
Councilman Beer suggested that if the elevation of the site is such that a monument sign would not be visible from the street, then a compromise could be an elevation change of the pole itself, on a modified level, such has been granted previously.
Councilman Smith asked Mr. Shaw if this application were approved, would he work with City staff, and see if there is a way to compromise a bit on the height where it doesn’t affect the visibility of the sign, but yet it meets some of the goals of the community. Councilman Smith said he is talking about a matter of a few feet or so.
Mr. Shaw commented that his property is low lying, and the property next to him has trees and no one maintains that property, and by lowering the sign, and due to the trees, his sign would not be visible at all. With the height of 21 feet, it would not be as if he were located on a hill and had a high sign. Mr. Shaw said he is in a valley, and it is about 100 yards on North Oak before anyone can see the sign. Mr. Shaw said he has been at this location for ten years, and has done a lot with the appearance of his building and the landscaping to make it look nice, but he does know that someday he will need to put up a new sign. Mr. Shaw said right now, he is dealing with everything the insurance did not pay for, and with putting up that same sign, although it would be a foot shorter than is was, it still has lights, which is a safety feature for his cars.
Councilman Smith said he was the Council liaison for the Sign Focus group, and they have run the gamut from all signs have to be changed overnight to various trigger mechanisms that we have had throughout the years. Councilman Smith said he agreed with Councilmember Suter in that we have to start somewhere. We have here a small business owner, who, through no fault of his own, had a sign come down. That is different from saying to a business owner, if you remodel or expand, then you need to factor into your budget the new sign. This is an expense that this business owner is being thrown at midstream, by no cause of his own, and for that reason, it makes some sense to allow him to put his sign back.
Mayor Revenaugh said Council does understand the applicant’s plight, so the recommendation is to keep the sign as low as humanly possible and it would be nice if at some point in the not too distant future, if the applicant would replace the sign with an up-to-date sign that meets the signage codes that would be more in keeping with all the other businesses that the City is working with on North Oak.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilmember Carol Suter, Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Les Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Rudi and Mayor Mark Revenaugh.
Item 13. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
There was no other business.
Item 14. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA.
There were no questions from the News Media.
Item 15. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT.
There being no further business to come before the September 22, 2008, Gladstone Regular City Council Meeting, Mayor Mark Revenaugh adjourned the regular meeting.
Cathy Swenson, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: ___
Approved as corrected/amended: ___
Mayor Mark S. Revenaugh