June 21, 2004
Item 1 on the Agenda: Meeting called to order – Roll Call.
Present: Ms. Abbott Council & Staff Present:
Mr. Davis Scott Wingerson, Assist. City Manager
Mr. Dillingham David Ramsay, City Counselor
Chairman Hill Mayor Wayne Beer
Mr. Kiser Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Rudi
Absent: Ms. Alexander
*arrived 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 June 7, 2004 Minutes.
Ms. Newsom noted that on page six she used the word “subsumed” rather than “consumed” in the first paragraph, second line.
Motion by Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. Dillingham to approve the June 7, 2004 minutes as amended. The minutes were approved as amended.
Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.
Item 5 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of a Site Plan Revision at 6024-B Antioch Road, Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Applicant: Meadowbrook Village (#1224). The City Council public hearing is scheduled for June 28, 2004.
Mr. Whitton joined the meeting, 7:35 pm.
Chairman Hill asked Mr. Wingerson for the staff report.
Mr. Wingerson reported that this is a relatively self explanatory request. It’s a site plan revision to allow construction of an open deck behind the west side of Meadowbrook Shopping Center, specifically behind the Peanut restaurant. Staff is recommending approval, however, he would like to highlight three of the six recommended conditions: the outdoor area of the facility shall be used primarily for eating, the hours of operation for the outdoor areas shall be 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and customer access to the outdoor area shall be through the primary facility. Mr. Wingerson said that he would be happy to answer any questions. In addition, he asked Chairman Hill to let him read a letter of opposition into the record during the public hearing.
Chairman Hill asked if anyone was present on behalf of the applicant.
Steve Osman, 4948 W. 88th Street, Prairie Village, Kansas addressed the Commission. Mr. Osman stated that he is the managing member of the Meadowbrook Village Shopping Center Limited Liability Corporation. This is his second opportunity to come before this Commission seeking modification to the existing zoning. The first, which they have installed, was a new sign in the front of the shopping center. He thinks that anyone who has seen the sign would acknowledge that it was very well done and very tasteful and certainly a nice addition to the area as opposed to the twenty-five year old sign that didn’t reflect well on the upscale image that he knows the City is trying to accomplish in today’s world. Mr. Osman said that the purpose of this (deck) is not to impose a lot of aggravation and create problems for the neighbors or become a lightening rod for anything. It was strictly done to provide a little adjacent area to the existing facility that would allow people to take advantage of a very nice area in the back of the shopping center that is an extended distance from any of the neighbors as the site plan shows. Mr. Osman explained that it is across the parking lot and a large fence separates the Peanut from everyone. It is not designed for public musical events, it’s not designed to have a juke box blaring out there, it’s strictly and purely designed for eating and to provide a nicer accommodation for people. Why does he do that? Why does he encourage it and why is it important? Mr. Osman replied that in today’s world, those of you who are in business recognize, that many of the small businessmen really exist at the pleasure of the public and it’s getting harder and harder to compete. It’s more difficult to be successful as a small entrepeneur than it is in almost any other time that he has been involved in since the early 1970’s. What do you do to compete with the Zona Rosas of the world or the places that are the large conglomerates that can come in and spend two million dollars on a facility and attract everyone to their patio area and do all the things that they do? You try to provide a little bit of a nice environment that is well maintained. Mr. Osman said that he believes that if you were to inquire privately or publicly to Scott, that when he was talking with him and he (Mr. Osman) imposed the regulations, he was the one that suggested some of that because there is no intent to use this for anything other than eating. Just a nice eating area that’s on the back. He thinks that the closest house by distance is 300’ and most people are even further than that. In the winter time it’s certainly not going to be used and in the summer time when it’s blistering hot there will probably be some usage of it but it’s going to be primarily for the times of the year that are really very nice and comfortable. People will want to take advantage of it and they’re going to be eating and they’re not going to be out there having parties and things of that nature. Certainly the operator and the owner of the Peanut has done a very nice job in trying to create a nice environment inside and it’s been a great tenant for the shopping center. Mr. Osman said that he knows there are a lot of people here that are concerned about issues and he would certainly welcome being able to respond to any of those points because the intent is to make it a quality addition to the building and that’s what he hopes the Commission would concur with.
Ms. Newsom asked if Mr. Osman could give her the distance from the finished edge of the deck to the property line of the shopping center, not the house, but to the property line.
Mr. Osman said that he doesn’t know the exact distance but he knows that it complies with all the applicable codes for alcohol consumption. He would think that is probably in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred feet.
Ms. Newsom asked if he meant to the edge of the property.
Mr. Osman said that there is a lot of edges of the property.
Ms. Newsom said that she is talking about the boundary of the shopping center property.
Mr. Osman approached Ms. Newsom to view the site plan. He said that one inch equals 80’ and so it looks like that distance would probably be about 120’-150’ using the scale. He asked if anyone had a ruler. He said that would be to the end of the backyard of the closest neighbor. So the house…
Ms. Newsom said that is still the neighbor’s property. The second question she had is something Mr. Osman brought up in his presentation about music. She asked if it was his intent to pipe loud music or anything out there or have any kind of P.A. system for paging.
Mr. Osman said no, that was not the intent. It is strictly and purely to allow people to go outside if they want to smoke and they can sit on the patio, they can have a beer or their sandwiches or hot wings. The majority of the activity will be inside. This is just a nice addition that will help them become and remain competitive with all the other people.
Mr. Revenaugh asked the applicant if one of the reasons he is wanting to put the deck out there is to utilize some of those parking spaces in the back.
Mr. Osman answered that could work, although they can do that today. They can park in the back and they can come up through the back door which is there and has always been there since 1961. That door connects to the backside of the Peanut. All of the employees of the Peanut park back there currently. All of the NEA people park in the back currently. All of the beauty supply people park in the back currently. Many of the patrons of the Peanut park back there because it’s very close and it’s very convenient. It’s already being utilized.
Mr. Revenaugh said that in staff’s conditions it stated that the access to the deck was going to be through the restaurant.
Mr. Osman said that is correct and was a restriction that he accepted.
Mr. Revenaugh asked if that meant that the people that would park in the back would have to walk around to enter.
Mr. Osman said that no, they would come in exactly the same way they are coming in today. That would be through the back door, which is utilized by four or five other tenants for their current patrons as well as employees, and come up four steps and take a left hand turn and go in. It would not require them to go through the double doors, go out to the front and take a left and come down about 30-40 feet and come in. They don’t have to do that today. They don’t have to do it tomorrow.
Mr. Revenaugh asked if there would be restricted access to the deck.
Mr. Osman answered that was the restriction they accepted and that’s not an issue. It’s not going to be coming and going through the deck. It will be the normal methods of entering and leaving the premises as they currently exist.
Ms. Newsom asked Mr. Osman if when he was referring to the back door if he was referring to the back entrance to the shopping center and not the back door of the Peanut establishment.
Mr. Osman answered yes. He said that they only question he has is…they do have the back steps there and that’s part of the fire code…he’s not sure how they resolve that. He doesn’t know what to do with that because you have to have a back entrance to your facility; you have to have steps, you have to have the ingress/egress that provides. They are not intending to utilize this for any other purpose but the eating area and he doesn’t think that he has the ability to cut off the normal entrance and exit that currently is there. If people want to leave the Peanut today they can do so by going out the back door and down the steps. If they choose to do so today, that’s provided by code. He’s not sure how he can comply with the condition, but he is willing to listen to what he can do.
Ms. Newsom said that her next question was going to be about the emergency egress from the deck if it’s all blocked off. What takes place there?
Mr. Osman said he doesn’t know. He thought he would let the professionals tell him how to do it. He thinks the issue is not so much the coming-and-going, because there’s a huge parking lot back there that’s used by lots of people as it exists currently. It doesn’t seem to be an issue, hasn’t been an issue for forty (40) years. The issue is how much disturbance this is going to cause. Maybe the thing to do is for him to stop talking and let the Commission listen to these complaints or the issues and let’s try to address them because they want to be a good neighbor and he’s not trying to create any issues. He asked the Commission if that would be acceptable.
Mr. Steffens asked if there will be any music on the back.
Mr. Osman said no.
Mr. Steffens asked if the only noises would be coming from the people sitting there.
Mr. Osman said that is correct.
Mr. Steffens asked Mr. Wingerson how we are doing the entrance into the deck.
Mr. Wingerson said that from an architectural standpoint he doesn’t know what the solution is. He’s not qualified to design a deck for commercial use so he doesn’t know how they’re going to do it. It’s important for neighborhood preservation to ensure that the customers of the Peanut go through the Peanut in order to access the deck.
Mr. Steffens said that they can’t have people coming up to the deck and just getting on to the deck from the back side.
Mr. Osman said that technically you could come into the space today that way. He thinks the Commission has to understand that there is a motivation that is similar to theirs. There is a justification for not having people coming and going there. It’s a very simple thing. If people don’t pay their bill and they leave on the back these guys don’t want that either. They’re going to monitor that. He’s not sure how they are going to protect the entrance and comply with the code, but if there are some ways to do it he is certainly willing to listen.
Ms. Abbott asked what kind of lighting he is proposing for the evening hours.
Mr. Osman said that he is not going to change anything as far as the parking lot is concerned. The lighting that would be on there would be directed to the patio itself because for one that’s all you want to light and the lights are going to be so that they face away from the neighbors. The second reason is that they are not going to light anything more than they have to because it changes the mood and it’s expensive. Whatever lighting is there is going to be there. It’s not going to really change and he would be willing to assert that the candle power difference noticeable from any distance is not going to be noticeable.
Ms. Abbott said that she drove back there and she sat there and watched. She doesn’t understand what he is talking about when he talks about the back door. She asked if that deck is going to be connected to that building. If so, where?
Mr. Osman said yes, it is going to be connected to the building. It’s connected to the deck area that is already there and being used for ingress/egress to that facility It will be an extension of the existing concrete deck. It is not next to the existing door that’s on ground level; it’s next to existing door that’s about four feet above ground level.
Mr. Whitton commented that the Peanut does serve alcohol.
Mr. Osman said yes they do.
Mr. Whitton asked if they planned to have a portable bar out on the deck and asked if people will be drinking out on the deck.
Mr. Osman said yes, they will be. It is a sports bar. He is not sure if there will be a portable bar. What he is doing is providing the basic fundamental deck and the deck material. They are not doing any of the extra installation. He can ask the operator if they would like.
Aaron Whiteside, 8211 Cherokee Circle, Leawood, Kansas, addressed the Commission. Mr. Whiteside said that as far as service, most likely the bulk of the beverages and food of all aspects will probably come from the interior just because most of the facilities for serving those things are back in the main part of the bar. It’s possible they may decide to do some cans of pop and some pitchers of water and then maybe a bin of beer bottles so that a guy can serve a little bit more quickly but they wouldn’t put any sort of full-scale service bar back there really at all. It shouldn’t require it because the bar isn’t far from there so the servers shouldn’t have much of a problem getting back there. He said that they had asked about people coming and going from the deck. They had discussed it and they had thought that the most reasonable thing for their standpoint was to probably have an emergency gate ‘cause you don’t want to trap all these people in this little gated area. They would also have someone watching to see if people were leaving over the fence to ditch on their tabs or minors jumping over the fence to get drinks. There’s a lot of concerns there. They would definitely have someone on staff watching it and making sure that no one did anything wrong. Mr. Whiteside added that he does not intend on bringing any music back there of any sorts…just people out there eating and having a good time and having all kinds of fun.
Chairman Hill asked if anyone present would like to speak in favor of the application. Hearing no responses he asked for anyone in opposition of the application to come forward.
Oma Shultz, 2200 block of 61st Street addressed the Commission. Ms. Shultz apologized for her accent, she’s not a very smooth talker like those two gentleman are she’s just a plain housewife. Her concerns are the noise, traffic on 61st Street coming from the Peanut…intoxicated with the speed on 61st Street. The cars coming down it at night is tremendous. Ms. Schultz asked Mr. Whiteside if there is music in the Peanut.
Chairman Hill said that questions would need to be directed to the Commission and they would all be answered together.
Ms. Schultz said that her complaint is when they open the back door to air the place, for whatever reason, the noise is tremendous. If she has a party in her backyard of about 6 or 8 or 10 people the neighbors say “Oh my God, Oma you had a party. It was really loud.” What would happen when they are about 40, 30 or 20 or more people sitting in the backyard having a drink, having a good time, laughing loud, speaking loud? What are they going to do because they sleep with an open window? Most of the neighbors have been in the area for about 20, 30 and 40 years and longer. They have paid their taxes for all that time. They choose Gladstone because it was, at that time, a very nice place to live. They enjoy the neighborhood very much. They plant their flowers, they paint their homes, they keep it nice and clean and they like it that way. Seventy percent of the people that were questioned in the neighborhood are retired people. They like their peace and quiet. They don’t need a place that is loud and noisy. What about the teenagers that hang around the place. Who would stop them? It was just said that there will be somebody watching what’s coming and going; that is a promise, we don’t know if that will happen. Ms. Schultz said that she thinks that we should not allow this because it’s a neighborhood and it should stay a neighborhood. Business is fine; business is bringing in taxes and we all know that, but they already paid their taxes for 40 years. They moved into their place in 1967. They have been quiet, clean neighbors. They would like to keep it that way.
Lila Albertson, 2400 NE 60th Street addressed the Commission. Ms. Albertson said that she has that concrete wall behind her lot and the wood fence up above it. Noise comes over that wall. Trash trucks up there sound like they are right in their back yard. Anybody that has ever been to a restaurant and heard people talking know that people can be loud in restaurants too. If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel, sometimes you can’t even hear the people that are sitting at the same table.
Marjorie Carr, 2311 NE 60th Terrace addressed the Commission. Ms. Carr said that her yard backs up to the shopping center. She can hear the music at night with her doors and windows shut. She finds beer bottles in her back yard. She has grandchildren. If they are out there eating at 5 or 6:00 PM, who knows what the little kids are going to hear? She enjoys her back yard. She’s out there all the time. There’s fights out in the parking lot. Once that deck is built, and people know about it, they’re going to park back there. They’re going to hear more arguments, more fowl language, because that’s what happens when we drink. Ms. Carr said that she likes her beer too, but she shouldn’t have to listen to other people. It’s not good now, so can you imagine? If they’re not going to put music out on the deck…they open that door just for the servers to go in and out, they can hear it now with the doors and windows shut in the middle of the winter at 1:00 AM. She goes out the back at 9:30 PM at night and she can hear the music. She can’t afford to move. Her house is paid for. They all enjoy their neighborhood and she has lived their for 20 years and she’s never had a problem with the shopping center. Besides that, he (Mr. Osman) said it was beautiful out back! She has if the Commission has been back there. There’s dumpsters here and there, it stinks. You can’t use that excuse that it’s going to be beautiful back there, unless you stand their and look at their back yards. Is that going to be high enough to where they’re going to look over their back fences? How many of the guys are going to go inside and use the bathroom? Are they going to adhere to 10:00 PM? Ms. Carr said that she has to have her sleep. She’s older and she can still hear it, so what if here hearing was really good? She really hopes the Commission considers this because they just don’t need this back there.
Bruce Ogden, 2306 NE 60th Street addressed the Commission. Mr. Ogden said to add to the rest of what’s been spoken already tonight is that the whole back parking lot area is drained by one drain in the back. It already fills up with trash and debris from what’s there already blowing from the stores. We all know that if you’re sitting outside on a deck a gust of wind comes up and blows papers of your table it will go on…they’re not going to go out and pick up that paper. The next rains storm that comes by is going to wash the trash down to the drain and it’s going to clog that up again. What happens is when this drain clogs up the entire parking lot drains into his back yard, which drains into his neighbor’s back yard, which goes to the next back yard into people’s crawl spaces. So they have to go and clean this drain out because the shopping center won’t do that. That is really his biggest concern.
Marjorie Carr, 2311 NE 60th Terrace addressed the Commission. Ms. Carr said that she forgot to hand in the petition that she had signed by sixty people in the area. She handed it to Chairman Hill.
Linda Francis, 2407 NE 60th Street addressed the Commission. Ms. Francis said that she owns her home. Ms. Albertson and her are neighbors. She can hear the music when the back door of the Peanut opens even across the street on 60th Street. She doesn’t think that any of the neighbors are not wanting a small business to make more money. She doesn’t think that is the issue here. The issue is the traffic and the types of people that stay at the Peanut during late hours. She doesn’t know if any of the Commissioners have ever gone through the Meadowbrook Shopping Center’s parking lot at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning or 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning…it’s a mess. Those are the things that they are concerned about…their property and their privacy.
Theresa Kennedy, 2302 NE 60th Street addressed the Commission. Ms. Kennedy said that she is one of the neighbors that Bruce was talking about as far as that drain. She has brought this up before to Public Works. She understands what these people are talking about, but they don’t need this. When you can hear them putting beer cans and crap into the garbage late at night and it wakes you up…come on, who needs it. If they want a deck they can put it in the front of the building. It’s just not fair to the neighbors. She asked the Commission if they are appointed.
Chairman Hall answered yes.
Frances Kennedy, 2302 NE 60th Street addressed the Commission. Ms. Kennedy said that at night you can hear the loud music. She asked how tall the fence is now that they have.
Chairman Hall answered that it was probably either a six or eight foot privacy fence.
Ms. Kennedy said that she didn’t think so. Plus they have a gate back there and there are kids going in and out of that gate all the time. They come up on the side of the fence from Antioch and they don’t bother to close it. You can sit it your back yard and watch them. Ms. Kennedy said that if they are going to put in a patio that is five feet and the fence may be 6 or 7 feet, she thinks that maybe they should increase it and maybe put something to stop the water from coming over the side of the fence with the trash. She was flooded out twice in the seven years that they have lived there and they’ve never been reimbursed for any of the stuff that they had damaged. That’s still another issue. She said that she thinks it’s wrong. You can hear the motorcycles, the cars and the honking when they close at 3:00 AM. They shouldn’t have to close their windows in order to have any type of peace and quiet. They talk about that they want to increase business. Applebee’s doesn’t have a patio. Go on down to the other part where they have Tortilla Flats and places like that, they don’t have patios. She has been behind that shopping center and it is trashy. They would have to really improve it to put a patio in the back.
Wilma Bellafiore, 2309 NE 60th Terrace addressed the Commission. Ms. Bellafiore stated that the Dollar General Store is directly behind her house and the Peanut is by it. The wooden fence already has a board taken out of it. She can hear the music at night now when she’s in bed at least until 1:00 AM in the morning. She definitely does not want a deck put on there because it would be so much…she likes to sit out on her patio. If they have this deck up high, they can look down on whatever they are doing. She has kids at her house sometimes and they don’t need to hear all of this stuff. She ended by saying that she definitely does not approve of it.
Marian Airington, 2402 NE 61st Street addressed the Commission. Ms. Airington said that she bought her house in 1959 before the shopping center or the apartments were ever built. No one told them they were going to be there. Her son frequents the bar occasionally and he says it gets so smoky in there that they open the back door to get the smoke out and that’s why they can hear the music through there. He also told her one night that he was in there and this couple were leaving and he said they were so drunk that he couldn’t hardly walk and he took them back in and told the bartender to call them a cab because they’re going to kill somebody if not themselves. You’ve got that issue there. She doesn’t want it there. She didn’t want the shopping center there but she got it.
Connie Lancaster, 2207 NE 60th Terrace addressed the Commission. Ms. Lancaster said her address is approximately one block behind the shopping center and the Peanut. She arrived home about 12:30 AM Saturday night and she could hear the music, every word, every note from the song that was playing. It’s quite disturbing. She has a thirteen year old daughter. When they do get loud up there in the parking lot they can hear the foul language that’s being used up there. She would appreciate it if the Council would consider not allowing this deck to be installed.
Donald York, 2400 NE 61st Street addressed the Commission. Mr. York said that he has the same concerns as the rest of the folks about the noise and the conditions in the parking lot late at night, rowdiness and whatnot. The only other thing he can offer is that he also has concern for the value of his property and how that might be impacted by this addition.
Linda Francis again addressed the Commission. Ms. Francis said that she would be interested in knowing any escalation in problems late at night at the shopping center that would involve police. Is the City having a lot more calls going on over there? She has gone over to the pet shop on Saturday morning and had to walk over throw-up all over the walkway. A deck with more people, and she knows that you can’t close the deck off completely, but going around there in the back and the police can’t see what’s going on back there.
Chairman Hill said that may be something that the City Council looks at.
Mr. Wingerson said that he would like to have a letter from David Peironnet dated June 17, 2004 entered into the record as an exhibit since all the issues have been previously discussed. Chairman Hill agreed that would be fine.
Ms. Newsom said that she noticed the existing dumpsters as she drove behind the shopping center and asked the applicant what is going to be done with those.
Mr. Osman asked her what she meant…replacing them? Changing them?
Ms. Newsom asked what’s going to be done to mitigate the ugly look, the bad smell and the way that they are randomly spread out all over. It’s not a good look.
Mr. Osman said that as far as the dumpster for the Peanut, that would be put into a private enclosure. As far as the dumpsters for other tenants, they are where they are in order to accommodate the convenience of those particular tenants. From time to time those dumpsters are replaced or sanitized by the company that’s used. As far as the look, he doesn’t know if anyone can see through the fence to see where they are physically located as being an issue. He said that if the Commission has some suggestions he would be glad to take it into consideration.
Ms. Newsom said that if the backside were to become more user friendly, she was wondering if there was consideration to screening all of the dumpsters and giving them permanent parking homes like is done in some of the new construction.
Mr. Osman said that in a new shopping center that is an absolute must. In an older center where you have designs that were done 30-40-50 years ago it doesn’t allow it in some cases. In some cases it does and some cases it doesn’t. He would agree that when things smell bad they’re not desirable. Mr. Osman said that he would like to take a moment to comment on a couple of things as quickly as he can. He explained that these are very nice people and they have concerns in their mind that they believe are very important and they believe them to be important because this is something they can focus on and pay attention to and look at. If the Commission really accepts and listens to what they are saying the overwhelming majority of those kinds of comments…(Mr. Osman was interrupted by a member of the audience) He continued by saying that he doesn’t want the Commission to confuse things that really don’t pertain to the issue before them. There were some points that were brought up that he thinks that are important, such as water. Mr. Osman said that he has had water problems too. He thinks it’s a City problem and he has issues with that, but that drain is not on his side of the fence, it’s on the other side. As far as people coming in being underage and drinking…absolutely. The number one people who enforce that kind of thing is going to be the employees of the Peanut. Why? They can’t afford with the money they’ve invested in this location to run afoul of the police and the liquor code violations. They can’t afford to let that happen. They’re going to watch that more than anybody. And sure, in the morning there are going to be bottles and things there and the number one person who complained about that was him! He was up there because his tenants complained about it. He was up there and he was paying attention to it. As soon as they get a chance they clean it up and that’s just part of what you have to put up with when you’re doing business in a business environment. Is it friendly? Is it something you appreciate it? Do you really want that? Absolutely not, but it’s a part of doing business and they try to correct it in the morning and do the best they can. As far as trying to design this to make it as user friendly as it can possibly be. He would be willing to sit and work with whomever they direct to try to make it the right way.
The audience began to speak out and ask questions and make comments. Chairman Hill said that at this point if the Planning Commissioner’s have a question of someone they can direct them to that person. One member of the audience spoke out and Chairman Hill said that they could go back and forth on this all night but nothing will be accomplished. The audience member argued that the drain does belong to that property. Chairman Hill said that he would let City staff look into that.
Chairman Hill closed the public hearing.
Ms. Newsom said that before she does anything she would like to see if Mr. Wingerson has a scale or a ruler so she can get her initial question answered.
Mr. Wingerson said Mr. Osman said that it was roughly 120’, by his rough scale he would suggest that’s 85’ to 95’.
Ms. Newsom agreed and said that is what her “paper-folding” measuring was coming up with.
Chairman Hill asked if there have been any complaints of area residents of noise generated from the Peanut.
Mr. Wingerson said that he can’t answer that question completely but he does know that as part of the review process Public Safety has an opportunity to review these applications and they did not indicate anything above normal or anything to advise the Commission about. He said he would have that information for the City Council’s benefit at their public hearing.
Chairman Hill asked if City staff has a device to measure noise levels and what is City code on noise.
Mr. Wingerson said that there is a decibel limit and Public Safety does have a decibel reader, he is not sure what the allowed decibel level is.
Ms. Abbott said that she remembered that when Donovan’s was in Englewood Shopping Center, with the traffic and the police they really got some nice tickets out of that.
An audience member began to speak and Chairman Hill reminded her that the public hearing was closed.
MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. Steffens to approve the site plan revision at 6024-B Antioch Road for the Peanut.
Mr. Osman asked if he could speak so that he could withdraw the application. Chairman Hill said he would allow that.
Mr. Osman said that it was never the intention of his tenant to create any issues or any ill feelings. These points that have been raised are in some cases valid in many cases not, but never the less he wants to be a good neighbor and he wants to address what needs to be done and evaluate the right way. If he determines that there is a solution to some of the issues they will re-file, if not, they withdraw.
Chairman Hill told Mr. Osman that he wants him to realize that they obviously are looking at how it would impact neighbors and business development and the Peanut is a valued business in the community. He would suggest that if he comes back with another application he needs to address the noise concerns. With the deck there the door will be open more, there will be more noise coming out so if there was some way to mitigate the noise coming out the back door that would be appreciated. Secondly, from what the neighbors are saying he wonders about the security is at the center. It sounds like there may be some activity there that is questionable although the deck may not have much to do with that. It may draw more people back to the back of the property and make that worse. The trash is another issue. City staff can probably confirm who’s land the drain is on and who’s responsibility it is to maintain it. Chairman Hill indicated that these are all concerns that came up in the public hearing.
Mr. Osman thanked the Commission for their time and said that he appreciated some of these items being brought to his attention. They intend to be good neighbors here as they are in all the cities they participate in.
Mr. Davis said that he had two concerns. Someone said the center was built in 1961 or 1962? One thing that impresses him is that any time you go commercial in an area that is adjacent to residential it’s likely that there will be problems, but when this was first built they did an excellent job of using the buildings themselves to buffer from residential areas. The rear of the property was used for delivery vehicles during the day. The buildings themselves are used as a buffer from noise and traffic. In many ways the way it was originally designed represents the best of a difficult situation. Mr. Davis said that basically the applicant is reversing the door and putting a back door out of the establishment. He doesn’t think he could ever support it. The way it was developed initially was correct. It does not need a commercial institution on the rear adjacent to single-family residential. Secondly, he was elected to the City Council in 1969 and when knocking on doors in that area the residents would ask him if he would go around and see the drain problem and it was bad then. The City Council then tried to correct it 30 years ago. One thing that he learned then, and he’s not an engineer, is that the problem is that the water runs downhill. He said that Mr. Osman has a major responsibility for finding a better solution that is long overdue.
Ms. Newsom said that for future reference for the applicant something to think about is to think through the contingencies of is there another way to construct this deck. Are there ways to baffle the noise? It looked like it would be an attractive deck that was designed, but she’s not sure that it would meet the particular requirements that this particular site has. Even though the shopping center was built prior to the regulations for shielding dumpsters, this shopping center has had several renovations to the front. A couple of years ago she had the opportunity to go around back to one of the offices there and she was appalled at the way it looked then. It was cleaner when she drove through there tonight, but part of being a good neighbor is being a good neighbor every day. She thinks that could be modeled on a higher level to promote a better relationship with the neighborhood.
Mr. Osman said that if she would look at the tract record of the shopping center she would see that his company has only been involved for a limited number of months, less than 2 years. They have made a number of changes. He has come to them for approval to make changes and make upgrades and they have supported those. They are good neighbors and they are trying. He appreciates listening to some of these comments and concerns because…you have to give him a little bit of benefit of the doubt that he is genuine and he is trying to do the right thing. If you talk to any of the other cities that they do business in they will tell you that they don’t just do things by the technical letter, they do things by the spirit. They do things because they are the right things to do rather than because they have to do them. He can give you example after example of that situation. Mr. Osman said that it is extremely difficult to be a small business man like himself and being a tenant and trying to compete. He often has to work with his tenants who are having difficulties. It is not a bed of roses. It’s a real dog-eat-dog world. Despite what President Bush is saying about the recovery and the economy it hasn’t trickled down to Kansas City yet. He is going to take a lot of these comments and he’s going to listen to them and try to do the right thing. In some cases he can correct them, in some cases he can’t because of issues. He’s not going to come back to the Commission with a half-baked idea. If he comes back it will be with the right idea or he’s not going to come back.
Chairman Hill said that his matter is closed and proceeded with the remainder of the meeting.
Item 6 on the Agenda: Other Business.
Item 7 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and the City Staff.
Mayor Pro-tem Carol Rudi said that the orchestra did a great job at their performance at Oak Grove Park and encouraged everyone to attend any of the many events still planned for this summer.
Mr. Wingerson thanked everyone for their time tonight. These are difficult topics tonight and they always do a great job. He let the Commission know that there was an updated Board and Commission Handbook at their places tonight along with their “green card”. This card is nothing more than a laminated copy of the Commission guidelines that they learned about a couple of weeks ago. He asked that they leave the green cards at their places tonight and they will be distributed at each meeting.
Item 8 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.
Ms. Newsom said that it looks like she has been enlisted to make ice cream again this year for the 4th of July so there will be ice cream at the park.
Ms. Abbott asked about the curb that comes from 59th Street to the drain from the “barracks” in front of the Bells’ house. She said that City was going to do that project last year and it’s still not done.
Mr. Wingerson said that he would have to check the current status, but the last time he checked on it there were two property owners that couldn’t agree on the style of retaining wall they wanted so they wouldn’t sign the easements.
Mr. Whitton apologized for his tardiness.
Chairman Hill asked if the dance studio is now in compliance with their site plan.
Mr. Wingerson said that it is very close. Staff is continuing to work with them on getting adequate ground cover and they have a small planter bed near the corner that is required to be installed. Staff is also suggesting that the outbuildings are painted to match the primary building.
Ms. Newsom asked if there was a time frame on the banners they have up there.
Mr. Wingerson said that he hasn’t seen them lately but in the past they have been compliant because they are mounted flush to the building. They are allowed quite a bit of signage since that wall is so large.
Chairman Hill asked if the plantings are of the size that was required on the site plan.
Mr. Wingerson said that largely they are compliant size-wise. All of the shrubs are as well as much as he can remember.
Chairman Hill asked if they are ever going to seed or sod.
Mr. Wingerson said that some of the fill-in ground cover area needs to be re-seeded and will probably be done in the fall. It has been re-seeded twice since last fall.
Chairman Hill said that the place looks terrible and he is not real happy with the appearance of that corner. It was definitely not what was promised. He asked what is going on across the street at the old Amoco.
Mr. Wingerson said that is just a clean-up that is required by DNR to remove some contaminated soil.
Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:40 P.M.
______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____
Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary
______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____
Allen Dillingham, Vice-Chairman