July 7, 2003
Item 1 on the Agenda: Meeting called to order – Roll Call.
Present: Ms. Abbott Council & Staff Present:
Mr. Bone Scott Wingerson, Assist. City Manager
Mr. Davis David Ramsay, City Counselor
Mr. Dillingham Mayor Pro-Tem Wayne Beer
Ms. Newsom Councilman Carol Rudi
Absent: Ms. Alexander
Item 2 on the Agenda: Pledge of Allegiance.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 3 on the Agenda: Approval of June 16, 2003 Minutes.
The minutes were approved as corrected.
Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.
Item 5 on the Agenda: Consideration of a Special Use Permit at 203 NE 73rd Street. Applicant: Amanda Ratcliffe. (#1192) City Council Public Hearing July 14, 2003.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked Ms. Newsom for the site visit report.
Ms. Newsom referred to her memorandum dated June 26, 2003 which was included in the Commissioner’s packets. She reported that the Ratcliffe’s have done a lot of work in order to make their home acceptable for a daycare. The only request she would make is that Ms. Ratcliffe install child-proof locks on all three of the gates in the back yard. There doesn’t seem to be much traffic in the neighborhood. With that, Ms. Newsom made a motion.
Ms. Newsom made a motion to approve a Special Use Permit at 203 NE 73rd Street, Mr. Revenaugh made the second to the motion.
Mr. Davis asked if the motion included the recommendation of adding the child-proof locks.
Ms. Newsom said that it was not included in the motion, but if the Commission would like add it as an amendment to the draft ordinance that would be fine with her.
Roll Vote: Ms. Abbott
The motion was carried.
Item 6 on the Agenda: FINAL PLAT: Consideration of a Final Plat, Lots 1,2 and 3 of Carriage Hill 9th Plat. (#1197)
Vice-Chairman Dillingham called on Mr. Wingerson for the staff report.
Mr. Wingerson stated that the applicant is requesting final plat approval of lots 1,2 and 3 of Carriage Hill 9th Plat. This area was effected by the May tornado and the homes on those three lots have been substantially damaged or destroyed. The applicants are requesting a final plat which will change the plat from three existing lots, to two lots, eliminating one lot. The property owners and their representative are present tonight if the Commission has any questions for them.
Johnathan Watson, 6000 NW Valley Drive addressed the Commission. Mr. Watson explained the request of desiring to combine the three lots into just two lots to allow for two larger homes to be re-built. The interior lot, which was the smallest lot, will not have a house built on it. It will be divided up between the two outside lots. Mr. Watson commented that the two larger homes that will be built will make a nice transition between the adjoining neighborhood.
Mr. Steffens asked if the lots have already been purchased.
Mr. Watson said the contract is pending approval of this plat.
Mr. Revenaugh asked if the houses to be built will be larger than the surrounding homes and if there was any neighbor opposition.
Mr. Watson answered that they will be slightly larger because it will allow the homes to have 3-car garages. Regarding the opposition, the neighborhood association issued a letter of approval to the perspective owners.
Ms. Newsom made a motion to approve Final Plat, Lots 1,2 and 3 of Carriage Hill 9th Plat, Ms. Abbott made the second to the motion.
Roll Vote: Ms. Abbott
Item 7 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of a Special Use Permit at 7513 N. Highland. Applicant: Gladys Morrison (#1193)
Vice-Chairman Dillingham called on Mr. Wingerson for the staff report.
Mr. Wingerson reported that the applicant is requesting a Special Use Permit to allow the operation of an in-home appointment based massage business. Ms. Morrison is the applicant. The property is currently zoned R1. He referenced a set of recommended conditions in the staff report, such as the hours of operation. There are a couple of issues for the Commission to consider. One being that the business would be in operation approximately 27 hours per week and how many clients that would translate to. Mr. Wingerson commented that possibly Ms. Morrison or her representative will address that in her presentation.
Mike Keleher, 403 NW Englewood Road addressed the Commission. Mr. Keleher stated that he is here this evening to represent Ms. Morrison. Ms. Morrison choose this neighborhood because of its beauty and stability. Before Ms. Morrison speaks, he would like to distribute a few exhibits. Exhibit 1 is a collection of letters from associates and clients of Ms. Morrison. In addition, Mr. Keleher said that the Commission will also hear from Mr. Rodney Holland, an area appraiser who will speak on the impact the business will have on the surrounding neighborhood. Ms. Morrison has accepted all the conditions set forth by staff. As far as traffic generated, each client will spend approximately 1 ˝ hours per appointment, in a 27-hour week that would bring about 14 or 15 clients a week or approximately three a day. Ms. Morrison is a single individual and is living there by herself, therefore, this use will generate less traffic than most families would have and certainly less traffic than a day-care facility. Another major issue to address is a petition that was signed by area residents. Mr. Keleher said that in speaking with two of the residents who signed the petition, they told him that the person obtaining the signatures had referred to Ms. Morrison’s special use as a massage parlor. Everyone knows the negative connotation that carries and that is clearly not what Ms. Morrison is proposing. There are very strict guidelines, which Kevin Smedin with the Missouri State License Board, will address.
James Rodney Holland, 6 NE 53rd Terrace addressed the Commission. Mr. Holland distributed a report to the Commission and explained that a few days ago Ms. Morrison asked him to examine the property for the purpose of ascertaining if there would be any demeanuation in value to either that property or to any of the adjacent property as a result of the property being used for not only a residence but also for massage therapy. Mr. Holland reported that he likened Ms. Morrison’s contingent usage to that of child care, beauty shops and other similar uses that are prevalent in every community. He examined the records of Gladstone for homes that had been granted Special Use Permits, which are sited in his report. He picked five homes that were in the same neighborhood or adjacent neighborhoods and photographed them for his report. Mr.Holland stated that in his opinion there is no demeanuation in value of the homes near the ones he sited in his report. In most of those cases, those operations may entail more noise, traffic, fumes or light. He likened Ms. Morrison’s facility to that of a music teacher. He referred to Alan Zimmerman, whose wife taught piano out of their home in Carriage Hill. She had fifteen to twenty students coming to the home and it didn’t demean the value of their home or any of their adjacent property owners. It wasn’t a disturbance to anyone. As for Ms. Morrison’s case, he cannot find any reason for her business to cause demeanuation of the property.
Ms. Newsom noted to Mr. Holland that Debbie Romel’s property, which is noted on his report, is a photography studio, not a day care.
Kevin Smeden, 16311 Oxbow Drive, Kearney, Missouri addressed the Commission. Mr. Smeden stated that he serves as Vice-Chairman of the Missouri State Board of Theauroputic Massage. Massage therapy has been regulated since 1998. As it was eluded to earlier, massage therapy has had a less than favorable reputation. The Board’s number one job is to see that improper elements are not posing as ethical therapeutic massage facilities. For an individual to become licensed in Missouri, they have to meet educational requirements, go through a complete criminal background check and pass a national certification exam. It is legal to own and operate a massage therapy business out of your home. That also requires that the property itself be inspected on the State level and that certain strict guidelines before that individual is issued a license. He has been a massage therapist for thirteen years and the Board has not had any complaints or problems from people running businesses in their homes.
The question was asked regarding how often inspections of the home are performed.
Mr. Smeden said that whenever that person gets their massage therapy license, it is good for two years, their business license is renewed annually. If there has been an individual complaint, the Board would send an investigator out undercover, or an inspector could be sent out to inspect the property. After the initial inspection, the Board would not send anyone out unless their was a complaint.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked what percentage of the licensees have home-based businesses.
Mr. Smeden said he is not sure. Currently there are about 1500 licenses in Missouri, and about 500 licensed businesses.
Ms. Newsom asked about the flow of events regarding the Board.
Mr. Smeden said that once the business is cleared through the City and she notifies the Board, then the Board will send an inspector to the property using a checklist of things they go through with her. After all those things are met, she will be issued a business license. Mr. Smeden distributed a copy of a booklet stating the rules and regulations set by the Board.
Gladys Morrison, 1007 NW Jones Drive Apt. A, Parkville, Missouri addressed the Commission. Ms. Morrison said that she has agreed to purchase the property at 7513 N. Highland contingent upon receiving this Special Use Permit. This particular home, which she looked at several times, happens to be set up where the one-car garage is enclosed and has a separate entrance; this meets the qualifications that the State requires without any major construction. The property is currently leased until the first of September. She stated that since she only has one client at a time there is ample off-street parking. She will have an investment in the home, therefore, she looked into whether or not the business will bring the property values down. At this point, she has no reason to believe it will. The Missouri State Massage Board currently licensed her and she has approximately 2000 hours of practical experience and training. She currently works in North Kansas City in the back of the Thyme Capsule Nutrition building at 2627 Burlington. There are two chiropractors there, another massage therapist and a naturopathic doctor. Ms. Morrison stated that she has been working as a therapist for 5 ˝ years and she applied for the State license as soon as she was eligible. She has well-established clientele and therefore she does not need to advertise and place signs. Currently her work hours at Monday 9-12 and 1-6, Tuesday 1-6, closed Wednesday, Thursday 1-6, Friday 9-12 and 1-4, Saturday 9-12 and closed on Sunday. This makes for approximately 27 hours per week. Her proposal is not to work any more hours than that since her clients are used to those hours. Approximately 95% of her clients are scheduled for at least 1 ˝ hours per session. A portion of the remainder of those clients are children, whose parents have the option of being present. Ms. Morrison said that although she is available for appointments 27 hours per week, doesn’t mean that she schedules that full. She has preparation work to do between clients and she also has records that have to be kept just like chriropractors and doctors do. Her maximum massages during the week would be fourteen. For the past year, she has averaged ten per week. Her purpose is to provide comfort and reduce pain. She has worked on people with cancer, MS, fibermialgia, migraine headaches, arthritis and pains caused from accidents, falls and other injuries. Ms. Morrison said she would be glad to answer any questions and thanked the Commission for their time and consideration.
Mr. Steffens asked Ms. Morrison if she would be the only one doing massage in the house.
Ms. Morrison answered yes, and added that the State would not approve the home for more than one massage therapist to work there.
Mr. Steffens asked if there would only be one client there at a time.
Ms. Morrison said that is correct.
Mr. Davis asked if she will be the only one living at the residence.
Ms. Morrison answered yes at this time she would be the only one unless in the future she should marry.
Mr. Revenaugh asked if she is planning on doing any improvements to the house.
Ms. Morrison said that there is landscaping work to be done. She has always prided herself in having a nice yard. Inside, there may be a few cosmetic things to be done.
Ms. Newsom asked if Ms. Morrison had any plans for the “dead” driveway which used to lead to a garage.
Ms. Morrison said that she planned on leaving it there to use for parking; however, if that were a contingency of getting the Special Use Permit she could change that.
Mr. Davis stated that he has looked at the property and he realizes that the home was once used as an unapproved beauty salon. In looking at it, his interpretation is that someone stretched the limits of what can be done in an R1 zone. He asked Ms. Morrison if she would be doing anything to “downsize” the use of the lot.
Ms. Morrison said that she didn’t have any intention of tearing down a garage or anything like that. There is only about six or eight feet from the parking beside the garage to the back fence. It pretty much covers the whole back of the lot. Ms. Morrison said that working from her home will allow her to keep her overhead down and be able to keep the prices of her massages affordable.
Mr. Keleher introduced one of Ms. Morrison’s clients to speak.
A client of Ms. Morrison’s, 8008 Forest Park Drive, Parkville addressed the Commission and said that Ms. Morrison has been treating both her and her son for the last few months and it has helped them considerably. Her son had terrible migraine headaches that caused him to be sick and after his treatments his headaches have been reduced to about one every two weeks. The service Ms. Morrison has provided has been a great benefit to her.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked for anyone in favor of the application to please step forward.
Beth McKern addressed the Commission. Ms. McKern said that she has a lot of arthritis and Ms. Morrison has helped her in relieving pain and has come highly recommended.
Kathleen Piper, 5018 N. Park Lane, Kansas City, Missouri addressed the Commission. Ms. Piper agreed with Ms. McKern that Ms. Morrison is a good person and has helped her in relieving her pain as well.
Patti King, 7625 NW Stoddard, Kansas City, Missouri addressed the Commission. Ms. King said that she is a chiropractor in North Kansas City. Massage therapy is a good form of rehabilitation because is touches all acupuncture points; people get relief from pain and see results.
Debbie Page, 145 NW Point Drive addressed the Commission. Debbie said that she is a massage therapist and currently practices massage at a facility in Gladstone. Gladys is very professional and her clients are very fortunate to have her.
Newton, 11301 NW Crooked Road, addressed the Commission. He explained that he does sports massage where Ms. Morrison practices now. They exchange clients frequently. He believes her facility would be an asset to the community.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak in opposition of the application.
Jean Furgeson, 7515 N. Highland addressed the Commission. Ms. Furgeson stated that she is not really opposed to massage therapy, but she just doesn’t want it next door to her. This poor house has gone through a lot. The guy who first built it, built that big garage and Ms. Furgeson said she didn’t come up and oppose that but she is opposing this.
Mary Ann Albin, 1602 NE 76th Street stated that she is not questioning Ms. Morrison’s abilities or her expertise. She doesn’t feel that this is going to add anything to her neighborhood. She would prefer Ms. Morrison find another area for her business.
Barbara Taylor, 7503 N. Highland addressed the Commission. She noted that Ms. Morrison said she will be working 27 hours per week, but asked if she would increase those hours. Also, would she be allowed to change the entire building into a massage facility in the future? Is she asking for a change in the zoning? She asked about signage, will it be allowed?
Vice-Chairman Dillingham answered that this request is for a Special Use Permit, not a zoning change. It will only allow Ms. Morrison to work as a licensed therapist at this residence. There will not be any signs allowed.
Ms. Taylor asked about deliveries and trash.
Ms. Morrison said that the only delivery she has now is linens. They are delivered once a week. Ms. Morrison said her trash would be average household trash, especially since she is the only one who lives at the house. She said she would not increase her hours and knows that if she wanted to she would have to come back to the Commission. The Board of Massage Therapy would not allow her to have employees.
Ms. Taylor asked her if she was doing this to save money.
Ms. Morrison answered that it does save her money and it is also convenient. Each year she leases her space it is possible that her rent will increase, this way she knows the price will not increase and she can keep her prices down.
Arlene Bongiovanni, 1600 NE 76th Street stated that her and her husband have lived in their house for 40 years and worked very hard to take care of it. She does not feel that it’s a good idea. This is just the start. Before long, it will not be a nice area anymore. Her husband passed away 20 months ago of cancer and she has about killed herself trying to keep things up. She just doesn’t want it, she doesn’t care what her business is. Ms. Morrison needs to keep her business in a public place.
Joe Lindhorst, 7506 N. Highland addressed the Commission. Mr. Lindhorst said that as far as he knows this is a single-family zoning and he doesn’t see any need for any businesses in the area. At this point, it is a relatively stable neighborhood. He does not feel like this would be compatible with the area.
Clara Mulnix, 7512 N. Highland addressed the Commission. Ms. Mulnix said that she has been in her house for thirty years. She is very opposed to a business being in the neighborhood. It will bring strangers into their neighborhood. Her grandchildren come over and play outside and she wants them to be safe.
Jean Soligo, 7502 N. Highland addressed the Commission. Ms. Soligo said that she has been in her home for 33 years. Everyone appreciates what Ms. Morrison does and wishes her well, but the neighborhood is stable and adding this business is not a good idea. There should not be any businesses in their neighborhood. Perhaps if Ms. Morrison had been in the neighborhood for while, it might be different. Ms. Soligo believes that a business should remain in a business environment.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked if there were any more comments from the public. Hearing none, he closed the Public Hearing.
Ms. Newsom said she did not see anything in the draft ordinance stating that there will not be any signs on the property.
Mr. Wingerson said he believes it was left out, but he will add it.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked staff if there are any other Special Use Permits in the neighborhood.
Mr. Wingerson answered that staff looked at many other Special Use Permits in researching this application, but he did not look at them by area. Staff would need to do some more research.
Ms. Wild suggested the Commission perform a site visit and she would chair it.
It was decided that a site visit would take place on Wednesday, July 9, 2003 at 5:30 pm.
Item 8 on the Agenda: Other Business.
Item 9 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and City Staff.
Councilman Rudi thanked the Commission for their time here tonight and thinks that a site visit is a good idea for this application. She also congratulated the City on a great Fourth of July celebration.
Councilman Beer noted that the Bluesfest was a great success.
Mr. Wingerson invited the Commission to attend the Amphitheater re-dedication on Friday, July 11, 2003 at 7:30. The dedication will be prior to the production of Peter Pan.
Item 10 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.
Ms. Abbott said that she had two things. One is the Bell’s residence where there are some wires there that are still down from the tornado. Also, what is the status of the Senior Apartments?
Mr. Wingerson answered that KCPL was contacted and they just haven’t made it back there. He said he would follow up with them again. As for the Senior Apartments, they have been cleared for about a dozen individual units in the front building. They have a lot more work to do in the entire facility; specifically there are several things that need to be resolved and probably the biggest one at this point is construction of North Central.
Mr. Bone asked when the creek upgrade project in Brooktree is supposed to start.
Mr. Wingerson answered that would be the 59th Terrace drainage improvements project which is an overflow storm sewer system that will impact a good number of Brooktree residents. Another project is the lower Rock Creek project that may be divided into two phases and could start as early as this Fall. The 59th Terrace project will probably be a Fall/Winter project.
Mr. Revenaugh had a long-time resident of Gladstone tell him that the City had a great Fourth of July display and hopes they keep up the good work.
Ms. Newsom asked for a copy of the letter the appraiser gave in his presentation.
Mr. Wingerson said he will have copies made and will bring them to the site visit.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham asked about the light pole on the ground at Lighthouse Custard.
Mr. Wingerson said he would look into it.
Mr. Steffens asked what is going on with Tommy’s.
Mr. Wingerson said he does not know anything new.
Mr. Bone said there are some small trees that need trimming along Brooktree Lane at Shady Lane in front of Osco.
Mr. Wingerson said he would look at it.
Item 11 on the Agenda: Adjournment.
Vice-Chairman Dillingham adjourned the meeting at 8:48 P.M.
______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____
Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary
______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____
Brian Hill, Chairman