April 5, 2004
Item 1 on the Agenda: Meeting called to order – Roll Call.
Present: Ms. Abbott Council & Staff Present:
Ms. Alexander Scott Wingerson, Assist. City Manager
Mr. Davis Lynn McClure, Econ. Dev. Administrator
Chairman Hill David Ramsay, City Counselor
Mr. Kiser Councilman Wayne Beer
Ms. Lowe* Councilman Carol Rudi
Absent: Mr. Dillingham
* Entered meeting after roll call.
Item 2 on the Agenda: Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Hill led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 3 on the Agenda: Approval of March 15, 2004 Minutes.
Motion by Ms. Newsom, second by Ms. Alexander to approve the March 15, 2004 minutes. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.
Item 5 on the Agenda: CONTINUATION: Consideration of a zoning change east of and adjacent to M-1 and north of 72nd Street. Applicant: Liggett Construction, Inc. (#1221).
Chairman Hill said that Mr. Dillingham prepared the site visit report and had asked Ms. Newsom to report it at the meeting in his absence.
Ms. Newsom referred to the site visit report that was placed at the Commissioners’ places this evening. The site visit took place on March 20th at 10:00 a.m. The developer joined many representatives from the Planning Commission to walk the terrain. As expressed on the site visit report, there were some concerns expressed by various members of the site visit committee about losing the wooded landscape, the need for a temporary access road, the matter of grading that would need to take place, the concerns of adjacent landowners regarding wild life, the proximity of the townhomes to the current existing residences and the amount of buffer that would be left at that time. The conditions that Mr. Dillingham has noted on the site visit report would propose the following solutions to the above concerns:
· Proceed with a secondary access road to the development at the place noted on the site drawing. Access road should be completed and ready for use before any townhomes are occupied.
· Provide a walking trail within the development and allow the trail to be hooked up to the trail system being built in the City.
· Provide at least a 20 feet buffer of trees on the perimeter of the development, with special effort being made on the southwest corner of the development which touches the existing residences.
· The developer should provide a tree preservation, tree reforestation and landscape proposal for the center of the development.
· As stated in the staff recommended conditions, all trees shall be marked for removal and City staff shall inspect and have the right to keep trees from removal. Any trees over 14 inches in diameter that must be removed will be replaced in the development by trees with a combined diameter equal to the removed tree(s).
Ms. Newsom said that is the site visit report as Mr. Dillingham presented it. She would be open to discussion from the other Commissioners.
Mr. Wingerson said the only thing he might suggest to the Commission is to set these five bullet points from the site visit report as goals and allow the City engineers, as well as the applicant’s engineers to work through those issues. It may not be possible to provide the 20’ undisturbed buffer on the south part and it may not be possible not to disturb trees in the center of the development and it may not be possible to entirely connect up the walking trail from north to the south and east to the west, but certainly staff has been working towards those goals from the beginning and every week more information becomes available. The developer wants to do all of those things, but at this point it’s an engineering question, not a “want-to” question.
Chairman Hill asked what became of the ground water study and the traffic count.
Mr. Wingerson answered that the applicant’s engineer is here. In effect, minimal impact on 72nd Street, categorized basically as insignificant because this is near the bottom of a watershed it is the preferred solution to let that water pass through rather than detain it.
Ms. Newsom said that after walking that terrain and looking at the “buildable area” ledge on the side that abuts M-1, and looking at the grade from M-1 into the site, she is a very strong proponent that a secondary, emergency access road needs to be in place before units are occupied. God forbid there should be some disaster that would block the other road, but she is wondering if there is some alternative method to access this development via M-1 in that very steep incline. She would like to see that as something the developer works out.
Mr. Wingerson added that they are looking at future alternatives that would access Antioch Road on the east side of the property. It would provide a secondary access, but would still be one point to consider. Future development may provide that as a usable street rather than as an emergency street.
Ms. Newsom asked if that would have the possibility of being in place as an emergency access prior to occupancy.
Mr. Wingerson said he’s not sure that would be practical at this point.
Chairman Hill said that one question he had was in regard to the grade of the access and asked what the potential would be for the emergency access to come in from Antioch Road and be part of a walking trail that could also accommodate an emergency vehicle.
Mr. Wingerson said that in trying to picture that in his mind, he believes that it would too far to the south in order to allow grades to be mitigated. It wouldn’t provide the secondary access that he’s after.
Ms. Abbott said that, as usual, her main complaint is water and asked where all the water is going to go when it rains.
Mr. Wingerson said that the water generally goes north and then east into Shoal Creek.
Ms. Abbott said that she would like to be assured that the erosion and so on that takes place when concrete replaces the trees and the grass…she would like to be assured that the neighbors surrounding to the east will not be hurt by run-off water.
Ms. McGuire commented that she thought the water shed to the north and away from any of that. She walked the property and it seems that it actually falls off in the north direction into the creek bed. She asked if that was correct.
Chairman Hill asked if the engineer would like to address that.
Jim Kraatz, John Lutjen & Associates, 8350 N. Sinclair Avenue, addressed the Commission. To answer the question about the storm drainage, Mr. Kraatz pointed to the map and showed the water will drain into Happy Rock West and on into Shoal Creek. He said there is about a 40’ grade change from the top of the property down into the creek bed.
Ms. Abbott asked where Shoal Creek goes.
Mr. Kraatz said that Shoal Creek runs under Antioch and extends north through MO Rt. 1, and eventually up to Highway 152.
Ms. Abbott asked if that was Shoal Creek over on Prospect where they’ve done all the excavating and they built the dam.
Mr. Wingerson said that is Rock Creek.
Ms. Abbott thanked Mr. Kraatz for his explanation.
MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. Kiser to approve the proposal for a rezoning and site plan, to include the conditions listed in the draft ordinance and the five proposed goals that Mr. Dillingham outlined in his site visit report.
VOTE: Ms. Abbott Yes
Ms. Alexander Yes
Mr. Davis Yes
Mr. Kiser Yes
Chairman Hill Yes
Ms. Lowe Yes
Ms. Newsom Yes
Mr. Revenaugh Yes
Mr. Steffens Yes
Mr. Whitton Yes
Chairman Hill announced that the application would be forwarded to the City Council with a positive recommendation on April 12, 2004.
Item 6 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of a Special use permit and Rezoning at 1900 NE Englewood Road. Applicant: Creative Arts Academy. (#1223)
Mr. McClure reported that applicant is Creative Arts Academy. Ms. Pam Raisher is here tonight to visit with the Commission about this application. She is a current tenant in Antioch Shopping Center and has been there for 25 years. She has been in the Northland since 1972. Mr. McClure drew the Commission’s attention to the site plan for further explanation. He said that the parcel on the east is what is being discussed this evening. This is currently the Englewood Baptist Church location. Lot two would be split, basically breaking off the portion that has the gym and the education rooms, which roughly measures 450’X 225’. It includes the gym and education rooms in the adjacent green space that stretches to the south. The remainder of the lot would remain under the ownership of the Church including the Church, the Church office, the house that you see noted, the parking lot and the adjoining green space. Ms. Raisher is asking for a rezoning of this location from R-1 to CP-0 and a Special use permit to allow operation of a dance and gymnastics school. Mr. McClure noted on pages three and four of the Staff Report, four of the recommended conditions:
8. The applicant shall negotiate a contact, agreement or purchase which provides for shared parking in perpetuity. Staff shall review the agreement prior to recording and subsequently be provided a recorded copy. The contract should be transferable to a future owner/lease holder in order to retain the ongoing support of the Commission. Mr. McClure said that there will be a presentation related to this topic this evening, but he believes at this point what they have been able to reach is a 50-year agreement with a 25-year extension.
9. Parking requirements per the City of Gladstone parking ordinance shall be followed.
10. Ms. Raisher shall work with the surrounding neighborhood to insure that a level of residential privacy be considered and implemented as feasible.
11. Signage at the location shall be limited to applicant owned property or included in a shared signage agreement with the current tenant, which is the Church.
Mr. McClure said that the applicant and her representatives will speak next and answer questions.
Ms. Abbott asked where the driveway is on the site plan that goes to the Church from Englewood Road.
Mr. McClure answered that the driveway to the Church is on the very far north portion of Lot 2, you’ll see a non-exclusive parking lot area. That is where the entry to the Church is.
Ms. Abbott asked where the driveway was from Englewood Road.
Mr. McClure said there is a driveway at the top of the hill on NE Englewood Road that is located just about the center of where you see the property labeled “sold to Scott and Pam Raisher”. It is an entry point that has no parking in there. It’s simply a turn-around that comes back to NE Englewood Road.
Pam Raisher, 7209 NW Prairie View Road, Platte Woods, Missouri. Ms. Raisher thanked the Commission for taking the time to consider her request for rezoning. She said that she is life-long Northlander, born, raised, reared, went to school out here. She started Creative Arts Academy in 1971 in Smithville. By 1976 she had five locations. In 1977 she merged those locations into the Antioch Center and have actually been there 27 years now; a very long time. Creative Arts Academy is a children’s business. They specialize in dance, gymnastics, tumbling and cheerleading. She has been in Antioch Center for a very long time; however the Center was sold recently. About two years ago she started the search for land or to build at a perfect location. Ms. Raisher was very close to moving to Liberty when she found Englewood Baptist Church, which was a godsend as far as she is concerned. The facility is very similar to what she has in existence right now in Antioch Center. It has a stage, it has adjoining rooms, it’s got the gymnasium…which she has…the gymnastics center. In fact, Ms. Raisher said that she was the first gymnastics center to go in the Northland and if this should go, she would be the only gymnastics still left in Gladstone, which she thinks would be wonderful for the kids. Ms. Raisher said that the marriage between the Baptist Church and Creative Arts Academy would be wonderful. Their hours are very opposite. They operate Monday-Thursday, 10:00 am-2:00 pm, 4:30 pm-8:30 pm/9:00pm. They are not there on Sundays, the Church is in on Sundays. The parking lot actually enters from Woodland and they would share that parking space and the arrangement has been a 50-year…she said she would let Charles speak about that and John Ellis from the Church. Ms. Raisher said that as far as plans for the future, if this were to work she would love to see this beautified and cleaned up, not cleaned up, but made really attractive. A wonderful place for kids. She thinks it would just be terrific.
Chairman Hill asked if any of the Commissioners had any questions for Ms. Raisher.
Mr. Davis asked her to go over the hours of operation again.
Ms. Raisher said that her hours right now, which she would assume would stay the same, are Monday-Thursday. They do split schedule, they do 10:00 am –2:00 pm and then they take a break and they all go pick up their children at school and then they come back and work from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm or 9:00 pm. One thing she preserves is Sundays; they do nothing on Sundays. In terms of conflict, she really doesn’t foresee a conflict. The Lutheran Church at this moment has a lease on the education center, which is part of this package. She would very much like to see the Lutherans stay. She thinks it’s a great blend of the Baptist and the Lutherans and children and the dance studio and the gymnastics center. That is to be negotiated as soon as they pass this next phase and see who really is the owner of that property. The Lutheran School would operate just as it does now. In fact, at this moment, the Church leases out that space for basketball tournaments and basketball leagues, etc. The usage is not really all that different and the time frames are very similar.
Mr. Davis said that he has a very real concern. He has visited some of the properties on 57th Street and the houses that back up to the property. The parking lot of the Church is immediately adjacent to those properties and the traffic and the lights and the cars are really going to be a nuisance at night. There would be a great number of cars coming at night. He believes this would be a nuisance for the people that are adjacent and he wonders what could be done to correct this. It sounds to him that with what she is proposing, it will just increase the traffic which will take an existing problem and make it worse.
Ms. Raisher said that they had talked about that on Saturday when they had a meeting with the neighbors. There were two neighbors there and one of the ladies was concerned about that. She was grateful to learn of the concerns. Ms. Raisher suggested a 6’ or 7’ privacy fence, which she believes the Church had offered to do prior to this. This would eliminate lights although it wouldn’t eliminate traffic moving, but right now in Antioch Center by about 8:00 pm in the evening, they’re really winding down. That parking really, thanks to the Church again, would be much closer to her facility. A privacy fence would cut down on the lights and probably would cut down on the noise. In terms of beautification she would like to plants and shrubs and really make it an attractive children’s facility, which would also help.
Mr. Steffens asked how many cars at the most she would have in there.
Ms. Raisher said that right now in Antioch Center she has 54 spaces and that’s plenty. She can’t imagine ever having more than 50 spaces tied up at any one given time. They only open their facility for parent observation the first class of each month, so the first full week of the month is when parents are there observing.
Mr. Steffens said that right now the gym is being used heavily at night.
Ms. Raisher said that is correct. She also gave the Commission a binder of photos depicting what they do at her facility.
Ms. Newsom said that on the recommended conditions the hours of operation are stated as “no earlier than 8:00 am and no later than 9:00 pm, Monday through Saturday”. She thought that Ms. Raisher had said that it is a Monday through Thursday operation.
Ms. Raisher said that Monday through Thursday are their regular hours. On Friday evenings from 4:30 pm-6:30 pm right now she has her performance dance teams and her competitive gymnastics team there; that fluctuates depending on the competitive season.
Ms. Newsom asked if classes are held on Saturdays.
Ms. Raisher answered that she doesn’t have…at the moment…and again, she hopes this business will grow. Saturday notoriously has been a very big time for dance studios, her academy however, has never seen a lot of enrollment for their Saturday classes. From time to time she will have a few tumble tots programs where the children are little, but generally it has been her experience that her competitive and more advanced students would be the only ones that would be in on Saturday, if they are. For instance, they have a performance that’s coming up at Metro North; she has to do a Saturday rehearsal before they go to the show at Metro North. She can’t say that would be never but at the moment, and for the last 15 years, they have had minimal classes on Saturday.
Ms. Newsom said that for clarification, it would appear that the Friday and Saturday times are more studio time, practice time and not scheduled instruction.
Ms. Raisher said that was correct; she would not have the traffic on Friday or Saturday compared to Monday - Thursday.
Mr. Revenaugh asked Ms. Raisher to clarify the Baptist-Lutheran leasing arrangement.
Ms. Raisher said that her hope is that she would purchase the gymnasium and what they term the Fellowship hall and the Education center. At this moment the Lutherans have been utilizing both the Education center, the fellowship hall and the gymnasium. As she comes in there with her business that is going to change somewhat because she is going to be using the Fellowship hall and the gymnasium as a gymnastics center, not as a gymnasium. Her hope is that the Lutherans will continue to stay in the Education center. Her vision for the future is to make that just what it is, but make it a preschool in conjunction with the tumble jungle, which is an area she created in a separate space in Antioch Center. The tumble jungle was built specifically for children from 2-5 years of age. It has a tree house jungle gym. It’s large motor skill development, memorization skills. It would be extremely conducive to having a preschool in one end and this tumble jungle in another. Right now she comes from 18,000 square feet so she really could use the space of the education center; however, in making this a smooth transition she would like to help the Lutherans if she can. If they don’t want to move she doesn’t want them to move either. They have been working on building their own education center but she thinks that has been held up and it may be a one-year lease, it may be a two-year lease. At this moment she’s not sure where that will go.
Mr. Revenaugh asked Ms. Raisher what she meant when she said the Lutherans are using it for an education center.
Ms. Raisher said the building is labeled “education center” on the outside. It is currently housing the Martin Luther Academy which is the Lutheran school. So the Lutheran school leases from the Baptist: the education center, the fellowship hall and she believes additional classrooms in their sanctuary area. They are a full-time school. They have been there for quite some time.
Discussion ensued regarding which buildings were included in the application. Ms. Raisher explained that the confusion is because the site plan drawing shows the gym as one building and it is actually two buildings that are connected.
Mr. Davis asked why this application needs a rezoning and not just a special use permit.
Mr. McClure said that what is consistent for dance studios in Gladstone is C-2 zoning. He said he would let the applicant explain why the change was requested to C-0. He believes that what they will hear is that it’s probably for marketability…her investment in this center. Special use permits have a cycle to them, where the CP-0 zoning will have consistency to it.
Ms. Raisher answered “investment”. She said it is a lot of money to invest to not be sure where she’s going to be in ten years.
Mr. Davis said that the reason for his question is there is absolutely no break in the residential property from N. Oak all the way to Englewood Road, which means she is asking the Commission for spot zoning and that if in fact she decides to move on the City would have broken the zoning on Englewood Road and absolutely any other type of use consistent with that zoning could fit. He can’t speak for anyone else but he would be a lot more comfortable with a request for a special use permit than he is for a zoning change.
Ms. Raisher introduced her realtor, Charles Small, to speak about that.
Charles Small, 100 Clayview, Liberty, Missouri, Prudential Carter Duffy Real Estate addressed the Commission. Mr. Small said that recommendations that staff made…he thinks #9 and #10 are pretty obvious...number eight had to do with the contract and the lease. At the present time, there is a draft that is prepared to be signed by both parties that would allow for the purchase of the two buildings as listed on the site plan and consecutive with that would be a lease for the use of the parking lot as it currently exists. Currently they have a 50-year lease…they cannot go over a 99-year lease because it would be considered a sale and not a lease…and the Church was not consistent with that so they went with 50. Both parties have a right to buy the other party out. They want the situation to work well but should it not and one party need to leave that would protect the party who remains. Mr. Small said that he believes that item #11, signage, is also worked out. They have a drawing that shows a shared signage that is consistent with a similar sign that is on the property already. Mr. Small said he would pass along a copy of that plan. He would like to thank Scott and Lynn because as a member of another city’s Planning & Zoning Committee he hears all the time where people walk in and asked all these questions and they threw them out of the room and said it just couldn’t be done…Scott and Lynn answered all their questions and encouraged them to move forward and tried to help them through. He thanked them for that and for their professionalism.
Mr. Small continued by beginning to explain why Ms. Raisher would like to rezone from residential to commercial office. In talking with Scott at their first meeting their intent was that if she only goes to a special use permit there is a potential that she could spend well over half a million dollars on this property and somewhere down the road a committee may have an issue with the type of use she has and prohibit her from doing the type of business she wants to do. It was all of their ideas to go with the lightest use zoning that they possibly could that was commercial zoning to protect her investment. At any point in the future should it need to change and her use not be allowed that it would have the least impact as far as a commercial use. If it were to re-sell without the Church and the stuff that’s there now that she’s not currently buying at this time it would be very difficult for her to turn around and sell this property should her special use permit be denied at some point in the future. If he understands it correctly it could be a daytime office facility, it may be something that would include a daycare, which is the type of use that is existing right now even though it’s not zoned for that. He doesn’t see that it is that much of a change. He certainly didn’t want to go to a C-2 or C-3 and they don’t intend to upgrade the zoning in the future. If problems arise with the parking or the car lights the special use permit will come back to the Commission in a five years, which is what they are proposing, and those issues can be discussed.
Ms. McGuire wished to clarify that in order to get a CP-0 the applicant must still have a special use permit to operate the business?
Mr. Small said that it is his understanding that the dance needs C-2.
Ms. Lowe asked if Ms. Raisher is planning on expanding the retail operation.
Mr. Small answered that she has no plans to expand the retail and it really won’t be “off the street” type traffic. There will be no real signs that indicate that there’s a retail shop there. The retail area is mainly for the participants of the dance studio.
Mr. Davis asked if the Commission could issue a Special use permit for longer than a period of five (5) years.
Mr. McClure said that would be up to the Commission.
John Ellis, 5116 Washington, addressed the Commission. Mr. Ellis said that he is the Trustee Chairperson for the Church as a volunteer of course. He wanted to clarify a couple of things. There were some questions about the Lutheran School. Mr. Ellis explained that their Church entered upon a very unique agreement with the Northland Lutheran School Association which started last July to lease. It has been a very workable situation. They are paying the Church a monthly rent for that space until they get their new facility built. There are some delays in building the new building and so they are going to continue on as a school in the Church’s facility for the next school year. He sees them being there until at least June of next year, so it’s a temporary location for the Lutheran School. It’s been very good for their Church and he hopes they will stay. In this agreement they have agreed to negotiate that lease with the Church and with the new owner of those two buildings. It’s been about a year or so that the Church was really anxious about selling some of their excess property. They are asset rich and they want to turn those assets into cash for the Church’s benefit. They had been looking at several prospects and are being very, very careful about the type of person that they sell these buildings to. They were thrilled about the fact that Creative Arts Academy is going to be the new buyer, they hope. The research they have done in terms of the buyer has been very positive. There have been lots and lots of positive remarks about her business and her integrity and her way of doing business, so they are excited about that. Ms. Reisher has talked to the Church about doing a number of improvements, like painting or perhaps awnings that would really dress up the building. He thinks that will help the whole neighborhood. Mr. Ellis said that the big parking lot that the Church uses is entered into from Woodland. (The site plan actually has it listed as Highland). The parking lot that is there is huge, about 250 spaces there. That is more than enough spaces for the Church; their Church is not that big. The Lutheran School uses that parking lot now for their teachers to park and they have activities. They have never had a problem with too many people there at one time. He does know, however, that…he’ll speak to something that happened last Friday night…the Lutheran School Seniors had a lock-out that night and some of the kids had their cars in the parking lot a little bit late that night and maybe caused a problem. That is unacceptable as far as the Church is concerned and had he known about that Friday night he would have called the Police. That is one event where there was some noise and lights from cars. A privacy fence might solve the problem of lights from cars. Mr. Ellis said that, bottom line, he thinks that this is a great opportunity for the Church to move forward. He thinks it’s good for the community, it’s certainly good for their Church and he thinks it’s good for the neighborhood. Of course it will also keep a profitable business here in Gladstone for tax purposes and that’s always a good thing. The next step is to get Aylett-Flowers Survey to come in and do the survey. Everything is in a hold pattern until this is approved.
Chairman Hill asked if the Church would be willing to install a privacy fence north of the parking lot.
Mr. Ellis said that he can’t speak for the Church at this point, but it’s been discussed as an option if that’s going to help the situation. Their Church is very committee-oriented and they would have to vote on something like that, but he thinks it’s a strong possibility.
Chairman Hill asked if anyone would like to speak in favor of the application.
Janet McKinney, 4122 N. Campbell, Kansas City, addressed the Commission. Ms. McKinney said that she has literally been a life-long attendee and member of Englewood Baptist Church. It also happens that right now she is serving on the Trustee’s Committee and she has a daughter who has been a student at CAA for slightly over four years. It all just kind of came together rather strangely, so she thinks she has a very unique viewpoint of the situation. She would like to say that she is so impressed with the way Pam runs her business from two separate aspects, She manages to blend together to make a successful enterprise. She has such care for the children. For example, she will make sure that the kids are assigned to the proper class based on their developmental level, not what their parents want them to be doing. It’s enough to challenge them but not get them to be frustrated. She really cares for the kids. They use cute terms that make it really fun for the kids. On the other hand, it appears that she is an excellent business woman. Having spent 8 or 9 months every year for four years weekly in her studio she has observed enough to know that she knows what she’s doing. Even though she has a great deal of space in Antioch Center right now, she says she has a large lobby but usually it feels very small because it is such a successful enterprise, it can be pretty cramped there. Ms. McKinney said that she would encourage the Commission to give favorable consideration to Pam’s application as a parent of one of her students and as a member of Englewood Baptist.
Christine Selig, 1807 NE 57th Street, addressed the Commission. Ms. Selig said that her backyard is right along the parking lot. She is very in favor of this move, but she would really like to see a privacy fence with gates to where she has access in and out her back yard. Sometimes they have to move things out the back and they have gates that open up that allow her to drive down in her yard if she has to. She is very in favor of this, but there is a lot of traffic and they have a dog that is outside some and when there are children along the parking lot and sometimes they see a dog and they think they can come up and pet it and…not that they can’t…but some dogs are kind of skittish and she doesn’t want a problem with that.
Chairman Hill asked if anyone would like to address the Commission in opposition to the application.
Lee Palmer, 1908 Englewood, addressed the Commission. Ms. Palmer said that she just had a stroke and that the gentleman with her may have to help her. She stated that she lives next door to Englewood Baptist Church and she has her doubts on this. One thing is she has some concerns about Englewood Baptist Church and their dealings with the neighborhood. She knows that when they bought 1908 Englewood they promised the neighborhood that they was going to buy the house for their missionary and a month after they bought the house they put the fence up in her yard and sold the house, so they took half of her yard for Englewood. She thinks that was deceiving the neighborhood. She knows the pastor is probably not the same pastor but she doesn’t trust Englewood Baptist Church because of what they did to the Woods who used to live there. They took part of the property and she doesn’t know why Gladstone let them do that because they promised they were just buying that house for their missionary. Ms. Palmer added that she sees the kids from the Lutheran Church crossing over and she knows the hours they cross over and their hours…she used to have kids, she used to take them to dancing, she used to take them to modeling…and when they’ve got dancing for 45 minutes she didn’t go home. She sat in the parking lot waiting for them. Another thing is that street (driveway on Englewood side), she pictures parents driving up there more often and the Luthern kids walking…she sees accidents. Kids cross those crosswalks and go back and forth from the school to the Church. There will be more kids going to dancing school because they don’t come the same hours, they go different hours. The gentleman with Ms. Palmer said that their concern is that they will use the drive off of Englewood as a drop-off pickup point instead of using the parking lot so that’s going to increase the traffic of that area which is right adjacent to their lot (Lot 1). Ms. Palmer said people do use that drive to go to the Baptist School. They are also concerned about property values because it will be commercial property next to their house. That may drop some property values, so they would like that addressed. Ms. Palmer said she is sure Ms. Raisher is a very good person, she’s sure she loves kids but she belongs to a church and they have meetings and she knows that Englewood Baptist used to have meetings on Monday nights, that’s the same night she has meetings. She also knows that they have prayer meetings on Wednesdays and Ms. Raisher has dancing on Wednesday nights too. There is also revivals and vacation bible school. The traffic isn’t just going to be fifty cars on a particular night. There could be a lot more cars than that. Ms. Palmer said that she knows the Church uses both parking areas. She’s also afraid that Ms. Raisher is going to make the lot directly behind hers a parking lot in the future. They’re not saying they don’t want her there, they just have a lot of concerns with the rezoning and traffic issues and the property values. Ms. Palmer said because of her dealings with the Church she would like to have it on paper that they are not going to build a parking lot behind her lot. She wants the promise. Ms. Raisher could buy the land and do whatever she wants.
Chairman Hill asked Mr. McClure that it appears that the tract that is actually to be rezoned is labeled “Property sold to Scott and Pam Raisher” and then about halfway along the east property line it juts out behind Lot 1, which is what Ms. Palmer owns.
Mr. McClure answered yes, that is correct.
Chairman Hill asked that if later on if the Commission were to approve zoning to CP-0 we would be talking about a commercial tract with 150’ of frontage on Englewood Road.
Mr. McClure said he didn’t have the exact number but it would be somewhere in the range of 150’-200’.
Discussion ensued regarding a site visit. It was decided that Mr. Kiser would chair a site visit on Friday, April 9, 2004 at 5:00 pm.
Item 7 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of a Site Plan and Rezoning at 6110 N. Oak. Applicant: Larry Myers. (#1222)
Mr. Wingerson reported that the applicant is requesting two actions, a zoning change from CP-0 and R-1 to CP-3 and site plan approval. Both actions are related to development and construction of an automobile sales facility. The applicant is Larry Meyers who has operated Northland Auto Sales for a good period of time in Gladstone and the surrounding area. Mr. Meyers most recently has been at the intersection of 64th and N. Oak. That property was purchased for redevelopment and the Commission is familiar with the Walgreen’s development at that intersection as well as rehabilitation of the existing Smokehouse shopping center which will start in the next week or ten days. There are really a couple of issues to think about conceptually. The first one is what role does the N. Oak Corridor Study play in this application? Technically the N. Oak Corridor Study would suggest that automobile sales should occur further south on N. Oak in the area of 58th and N. Oak. That’s generally the area of what used to be McCarthy Nissan, which is now Northtowne Auto Sales. Gladstone Dodge is also down in that direction. This site, Mr. Wingerson believes, provides some different challenges in that the surrounding land uses are much more intense that many other parts of N. Oak. The City’s new fire station is directly to the north, further to the north is a self-service car wash. To the south and to the east is an adult novelty shop and across the street is Village retail. Further to the west is Bircain Apartments. It’s an interesting, existing land use which may support a low volume car dealership even though it’s not exactly per the N. Oak Corridor Study. The other issue is access to and from N. Oak. Mr. Wingerson said he would let the applicant’s engineers talk a little more about this, but basically a traffic study indicates that there is a problem there that exists today and that development of this property for the use that will be explained in a few minutes doesn’t provide a significant change to that condition. It’s needed now; it will be needed afterwards. Staff is recommending that the applicant contribute to a portion of what is ultimately necessary in that part of N. Oak.
Mr. Wingerson said that he would like to draw the Commission’s attention to four or five recommended conditions: a one car deep display area is permitted; in this application that will be accomplished by topography in that from N. Oak you’ll be looking up to the property which will allow you to view, typically, only one row of cars at a time until you got onto the property to see the entire vehicle field. Signage should be compliant with the Sign Code for the building and free-standing signage. Vehicle parking and customer parking is prohibited in the drive aisle and entry approaches. An escrow to contribute towards improvement of that intersection and a stormwater plan be developed and provided for review. Staff is recommending a site visit on this application but at this point staff is recommending approval overall of the zoning change and the site plan.
Jeff Horstmeyer, Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC, 801 Walnut, Kansas City, Missouri, addressed the Commission on behalf of the applicant. Mr. Horstmeyer began by stating that as the Commission knows Larry has been in the Northland for close to 30 years, if not 31. With the Walgreen’s situation he has been looking for a piece of property and this vacant piece is one of the few areas that is large enough to handle car sales along N. Oak. He referred to the site plan. The site right now is an existing house that is north of the adult entertainment area. He will let the engineer go over how the dirt will be moved and leveled. Mr. Horstmeyer showed renderings of what the building is to look like. The building will be made of burnished block as a base and then above that would be a dry-vit finish. The store front would be mostly 10’ of glass and a then a metal panel above that would be for the signage. Larry would like as much exposure to the showroom as possible.
Stan Eiler, Aylett-Flowers Survey, Senior Project Manager, addressed the Commission. Mr. Eiler said that before he gets into his brief presentation he would like to say that Mr. Wingerson was very helpful in providing answers on their project. He has given good guidance and suggestions one of which was the suggestion that they commission a traffic study for this project. They were cautioned going in that there were a couple of issues that the traffic study needed to address. The first issue is site distance. As you are pulling out of where they show the driveway on the site plan that is the approximate location, plus or minus a few feet, of the existing driveway that leads to the house as it sits there now. This has been determined to be the optimum visibility location. You can see several hundred feet in both directions. Any shift to the north or the south is going to place you on the backside of a press and you won’t be able to see either to the north or the south depending on which way you move the driveway. The driveway has been an acceptable location for the residents and remains an acceptable location for the dealership. There was a concern about the possibility that a traffic signal might be necessary at the 61st Street corner. The traffic engineer indicated that in the existing condition it does not meet any of the MoDot warrants for a signalization installation and even after the installation of the dealership, which is going to be a very low traffic generator, it will continue not to meet any of the warrants for a signal at 61st Street. Mr. Eiler said there was a third issue regarding the left turning motion into the project. In a perfect world they would have a dedicated left-turn lane up and down N. Oak and eventually God willing and somebody prints a whole bunch of money, they will be able to do that. In the mean time there was some thought to providing a left-turn, but there is simply adequate right-of-way to do that. Again, the dealership is a relatively low traffic generator. You’ve got good site distance both north and south. The recommendation is that in a perfect world we go ahead and put in a left turn lane. It’s simply not adequate right-of-way-wise to put in a dedicated left turn lane. You need left turn lanes all the way up and down N. Oak. It’s a major project from probably 72nd Street on to the south. It needs to be done as package rather than piece-meal. Larry has indicated that he’s willing to make a contribution in escrow in order to participate in some sort of N. Oak improvement when the timing is appropriate.
Mr. Eiler began to explain the topography and how they plan to grade the site. You’ve probably driven by it numerous times and not even noticed the house sitting up there. They are going to move a fair amount of dirt off of the “knob” that the house is sitting on and grade it to a visibility angle to N. Oak. They are going to provide a stormwater control facility, commonly referred to as a detention pond, to be sure they do not increase the runoff from the existing condition. That will be located and is identified on the site plan. That will be part of the traffic study and the hydraulic calculations will accompany the stormwater report. Final design is pending final approval of the site plan.
Ms. Newsom asked how the proposed grade from Mr. Meyers project compare with the existing grade at Priscilla’s.
Mr. Eiler showed her on the site plan where there will be a very low retaining wall approximately 2’-3’ high, nothing like the wall at the fire station. They will be rising up as they go and all the water will be falling off to the south and being collected in an inlet by the driveway.
Ms. Abbott said that she lives off of N. Broadway at 59th Terrace which comes out on 61st Street. That is all woods back on the west side of that lot and in back of Priscilla’s there are thick woods. She is extremely concerned because they just got their water problem solved on East Creek and this water that comes off of this project goes right into East Creek.
Mr. Eiler said that they are planning to leave all of the buffer that would be on the west side of the ditch. The limits of the construction will be the crest of the hill and from there on there is a curbing there and then it drops down. Mr. Eiler pointed these things out on the site plan.
Ms. Abbot said that on the site plan it reads “possible future vehicle storage lot”. If they do that it’s not going to remain like it is now?
Mr. Eiler said that they do not have any intentions to grade or create that area at this time. Larry can probably speak to the possibility of maybe a major franchise moving in or a new dealership might want that as storage so they wanted to make sure that if they are approved that they have that possibility. That is a very expensive project and Larry is not in a position to move that kind of dirt at this point.
Ms. Abbott said that the traffic at 61st and N. Oak is one of the nastiest intersections and she drives on it everyday. Priscilla’s has an exit from their parking lot on 61st Street that is not marked on the site plan and people pull out of there and that makes for some difficult traffic problems.
Mr. Eiler said that he didn’t think they would be doing anything to worsen that condition. That seems like something that is existing that should be handled with Priscilla’s.
Chairman Hill asked what the distance is from the curb to the vehicle display.
Mr. Eiler answered that it would be 30’.
Mr. Davis asked what parcel is CP-0 and what part is R-1.
Mr. Wingerson answered that around Priscilla’s it is CP-0, the house is R-1 and Priscilla’s is zoned CP-1.
Mr. Davis said that the concerns expressed tonight have been regarding the proposed future vehicle lot and the proposed future drive. He asked if the Commission approves this as a plan does that mean they are also approving the “future” items.
Chairman Hill said that is understanding is yes.
Mr. Davis said that the zoning facing N. Oak appears fairly reasonable, but rezoning the back of the lot concerns him because it extends 600’ into the residential area.
Larry Meyers, 71 The Woodlands, addressed the Commission. Mr. Meyers said that he doesn’t have any intention to use the future proposed lot, but he was told to go ahead and put it on the plan just in case he ever may use it.
Mr. Davis said he would feel more comfortable approving a plan without the proposed “future” parking area.
Mr. Meyers said he wasn’t sure but he thought there was still about 50’-75’ of buffer zone even if it was to be built. He doesn’t even plan on using the “future drive”. He thought the fire department might want it. In the event he should ever sell the property someone else might want that parking in the rear, but he doesn’t plan on using it.
Mr. Davis said that it’s only one vote, but to him the application is more appealing without that area included on the site plan.
Ms. Newsom asked if when they go for a site visit could some flags be placed where the proposed storage lot would be. Mr. Eiler said he could do that and asked for some clarification.
Mr. Meyers said that he is just trying to use more of the three acres that he purchased. The building is going to be $1.5 million, it’s going to really be awesome. It’s something that nobody would put by Priscilla’s.
Ms. Newsom asked about the service area.
Mr. Meyers said that it will be a mechanical service area. His plan is now that Pete Diaz and him are going to join up and bring Pete’s auto center down there with his new building. He said he really needs to get started on it. The 10/31 Exchange is killing him. He has 180 days to build this or loose $200,000 in taxes…so he needs a rush on it.
Chairman Hill asked for anyone in favor of the application to come forward. Hearing no response he asked for anyone in opposition to come forward.
Galen Neil, 6010 N. Wyandotte addressed the Commission. Mr. Neil explained that he is here to address the traffic situation that prevails in that area currently. Four years ago, February 29, 2000, he was northbound making a left-hand turn onto 61st Street at this location and he was waiting on the traffic that was southbound. He was struck from the rear and driven approximately 42’… straight down the highway. What happened from this point on was that he contacted the Gladstone Police Department and they came out and said they were not able to do anything with this accident. They told him he would have to contact the Highway Patrol. So they did that but they had an accident in the northern part of Clay County at that particular hour that they were working so they weren’t able to get a Trooper down here to investigate the accident. What they said to Gladstone was for them to take the names of the parties that were involved and they will contact them later. As a result of that the report was written by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and they took this information apparently from the City of Gladstone P.D. There were innumerable errors made in this report and as a result of that, to make a long store short, he wrote a letter to the Colonel (he offered this letter to the Commission). He said that since he was northbound, there was not any jurisdiction from the City of Gladstone and he also said that the Colonel apologized in the letter for the errors that were made. There was a Trooper that could have answered the call even though they said one was not available. The Trooper that said he could have answered the call said he never got the call. What he’s saying is this is a very dangerous intersection and it hasn’t corrected itself any. He doesn’t know what the accident ratio is on that intersection, but he guarantees it’s dangerous. What Ms. Abbott said a while ago was in regard to turning right southbound onto 61st Street. He has had to wait on cars turning left turning out of Priscilla’s. He thinks that is something that needs to be addressed by the City of Gladstone and so far as attempting to cut down the ratio of accidents. There definitely is a problem down there. What is happening here is that if they can’t get a left-hand turn in the center of that street, then it’s just going to draw another problem.
Chairman Hill asked Ms. Newsom if she would like to chair the site visit. Discussion began to ensue regarding the time and date of the site visit.
Mr. Meyers said that everything seems to be pertaining to the 61st and N. Oak intersection. He has nothing to do with that. That problem has been there forever. Mr. Meyers said that he is in a time problem. Even going from now to the 15th …he has to identify a piece of property or don’t…one or the other. He’s either going to take his money from the Walgreen’s store and go home or he’s going to do this project. That problem that is being discussed is 125’ from his location. He knows it’s a bad intersection and it needs stoplight and he would love to have a stoplight there, but just not at his expense.
Chairman Hill asked Mr. Meyers if what he is saying is that he cannot wait until the next Planning Commission meeting for their decision.
Mr. Meyers said that is correct. He has to make the decision one way or another tonight. If he doesn’t he loses a substantial deposit. He’s going to more than likely have to buy this property one way or the other. This meeting was supposed to happen March 22, but there was a little delay there. Due to current tax laws, the 10/31 Exchange, he only has until April 15 to identify a piece of property. He knows that is not the Commission’s problem.
Chairman Hill called for a five-minute recess. The group reconvened at 9:20 pm.
Chairman Hill said that the site visit would not occur because the applicant cannot wait. He asked if there was any further discussion.
MOTION: By Mr. Davis, second by Mr. Whitton to approve the proposal for a rezoning and site plan, contingent upon the language referring to “proposed vehicle lot” and “possible future drive” be stricken from the proposal and to include the recommended conditions. In addition the motion is to also include that the buffer zone in front of the project comply with the streetscape plan.
Ms. Newsom said that she is not a big fan of used car lots because of the level of used car lots that you generally see. Common is not a term she would use for this proposal as it is being displayed here. It appears to be way above and beyond what your normal “rehabbed filling station into a used car lot” would be. Therefore, she is looking favorably at this. Second, she thinks that there is a land use issue. Car sales was on the streetscape plan years ago and it was not planned to be this far north but that was before the purchase of the fire station property and construction of the fire station. You’ve got property sandwiched between Priscilla’s and the fire station that she thinks this is just about the best use for at this particular point. Right now she can’t think of anything else that could go in there with this same kind of value. Therefore she will voting in favor of this proposal.
Ms. Abbott said that she would like to compliment Mr. Meyers on his car lot that he had on the corner of 64th & N. Oak. It was a very acceptable used car lot. She said she hesitates because it seems as though the City spent a lot of time on the N. Oak Corridor Study and there isn’t any way that would approve of car lots that far north. They’re all supposed to be south of 58th Street. Ms. Abbott said she feels really torn because there is probably nothing else that would be acceptable for that lot, but she doesn’t really want a car lot in there. She is not sure how she is going to vote for this.
Mr. Whitton said that he thinks this is a good plan and a good project because it has low impact on N. Oak as far as ingress/egress and cars coming and going all the time. He doesn’t think you could find anything else that would have less traffic flow to and from. Like Mr. Meyers said, he can’t help what goes on down at Priscilla’s. Overall, it’s a beautiful project. The man is pouring a lot of money in this. He was willing to move and let Walgreen’s go in where he was. He will be voting in favor.
Ms. McGuire said that she would like to address Mr. Neil’s comments. She too had a similar accident on Vivion Road; however, she doesn’t see where it really impacts Mr. Meyers here tonight. She thinks that may need to be addressed with the City. She will be voting for it.
VOTE: Ms. Abbott Yes
Ms. Alexander Yes
Mr. Davis Yes
Mr. Kiser Yes
Chairman Hill Yes
Ms. Lowe Yes
Ms. Newsom Yes
Mr. Revenaugh Yes
Mr. Steffens Yes
Mr. Whitton Yes
Chairman Hill said the application will be going to the City Council on April 12, 2004 with a positive recommendation.
Item 8 on the Agenda: Other Business.
Item 9 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and the City Staff.
Mayor Pro-Tem Beer said that it has been a long night of business and there were a couple of tough projects which he will be seeing next week. He encouraged everyone to vote tomorrow. He invited everyone to attend the grand opening of the new City Hall addition at 6:30 pm on April 12.
Councilman Rudi urged everyone to vote tomorrow. She said that as far as next Monday goes she thinks they (the Commission) should all stay until the meeting is over to see exactly what the Council does with the proposals that they send to them.
Mr. Wingerson said that he would like to highlight the memo placed at their seats tonight from City Manager Davis encouraging the Commission to attend a couple of training sessions. In conjunction with that staff is attempting to plan and schedule an orientation working with City Counselor Ramsay and City Manager Davis and perhaps Christine Treat-Bushyhead who may perform some of the orientation. He also thanked Mr. McClure for his presentation tonight. That was a technically complicated case and he did a good job explaining it.
Item 10 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.
Ms. Abbott said she would like to ask some questions about Englewood Vista. The N. Central street is almost completed and is very nice, thank you. The wall is almost complete as well. It’s beginning to look like they may wind that thing up down there. She is really disturbed about the retention pond. That black plastic is still there and all those trees that were taken out by the tornado are still lying around. There’s downed trees on Broadway, there’s downed trees at the other end of the retention pond, there’s weeds growing out of it. It really is a tacky mess down there. There are still dead shrubs there that they didn’t replace.
Mr. Wingerson said he would take a look at it.
Mr. Steffens said that he thinks there is a water leak on Old Antioch Road just east of the Starbucks down by the Church.
Mr. Revenaugh said that while it’s not usual for the Commission to be rushed into a decision like they were tonight with the Meyers case he thinks it was nice considering the fact that we have a good community citizen who was encouraged by the City to sell his property to Walgreen’s and in turn the City was going to help him find a place to relocate. He’s glad to see that the Commission could be flexible enough to help him out with the time constraints.
Ms. Newsom said that she has an apology to make to her fellow Planning Commissioners and to the City Council and to the staff. A couple of weeks ago a proposal came forward to the Planning Commission and she had some real heartburn about it. She doesn’t know if it was the antagonistic nature of the applicant in their presentation, she is not a person to be bullied, but she felt intimidated. There’s no accounting for it regardless. She did not vote what she considers to be her personal integrity on that and she voted along with the group and she wish she hadn’t. She wished she had the integrity that Mr. Whitton had the other week to be the lone soldier to vote against something. It wasn’t a right land use, it wasn’t right for the community and thankfully the City Council corrected that and voted the proposal down. She feels badly that she voted for something that she didn’t feel was right. She promises not to do that again. Land use and redevelopment is so critical in this City right now she thinks they have to be visionary and not just what’s convenient but what is right for the community as a whole and down the line.
Chairman Hill said that since he is going to be out of town for the site visit he wanted Mr. Kiser to know that he shares Mr. Davis’ concern over the CP-0 on that property. He can see the special use permit and the idea that it would revert to residential, but he is having a real tough time over the CP zoning. He asked that Mr. Kiser really take a look at that while at the site visit. Chairman Hill also commented that he hasn’t seen MoDot out rebuilding N. Prospect. He assumes MoDot is responsible for 64th Street several feet either way and he is assuming that the “Grand Canyon” that we have opening up just to the west of N. Prospect at 64th Street is either going to be our biggest tourist attraction or maybe some day we’ll get MoDot to throw some ash in it.
Mr. Wingerson joked that in the “canyon” he is proposing a boat. He said that MoDot does have jurisdiction 500-some feet west on 64th Street. Staff has spoke with MoDot and they will continue to do so about that and many other areas.
Item 11 on the Agenda: Adjournment
Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 9: 40 P.M.
______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____
Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary
______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____
Brian Hill, Chairman