March 21, 2005

7:30 pm


Item 1 on the Agenda:  Meeting called to order – Roll Call.


Present:                                                          Council & Staff Present:

                        Ms. Newsom                           Scott Wingerson, Assist. City Manager

                        Ms. Alexander                          David Ramsay, City Counselor

                        Chairman Hill                            Kreg Cox, GIS Manager

                        Mr. Boor                                  Mayor Wayne Beer     

                        Mr. Stanley                              Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Rudi     

                        Mr. Shevling                            

                        Mr. Whitton                                        

Mr. Revenaugh                        

Ms. Abbott

Mr. Steffens

Mr. Reynolds


Absent:           Ms. Lowe




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 February 22, 2005 Minutes.


Motion by Ms. Newsom, second by Ms. Abbott to approve the February 22, 2005 minutes as submitted.    The minutes were approved as submitted.


Item 4 on the Agenda:  Communications from the Audience.




Item 5 on the Agenda:  CONSIDERATION:  of a Site Plan Revision at 6100 N. Oak Trafficway.  Applicant:  Gladstone Gifts, LLC, (dba Priscilla’s).  Owner:  Randy Robb.  (#1246).   


Mr. Wingerson reported that Gladstone Gifts does business on the corner of 61st Street and N. Oak on land that is currently owned by Mr. Randy Robb.  The land that is the subject of the request tonight, for construction of a parking lot, is owned by Mr. Larry Meyers.  It is believed that this strip of land would eventually be sold to Mr. Robb and used as extra parking for Priscilla’s.  Should this application move forward, some of the confusion regarding ownership should be resolved.  He introduced Mr. Cox for the remainder of staff’s presentation.

Mr. Cox reported that the applicant is requesting a site plan revision for the area in the rear of the building to allow for additional parking.  The land is generally located at the northwest corner of 61st Street and N. Oak Trafficway.  The surrounding land uses are as follows:  North: used car sales and service; South: vacant; East: residential (Village of Oak Park); West: Bircain Apartment Complex.  Mr. Cox referred to the aerial photograph that showed the lot lines of the two parcels.  The site is zoned CP-3 and was zoned as such in April 2004.  Surrounding zoning is as follows:  North:  CP-3; East: R-1; South: CP-2; West:  R-3.  Mr. Cox showed on the site plan where the existing drive onto NE 61st Street would be closed when the new driveway was built.  Eight new parking spaces would be created.


Mr. Cox reviewed the recommended conditions:

·        Install trees along frontage minimum 35’ on center.

·        Adjust the existing manhole to be flush with the ground.

·        Install handicap ramp in new rear parking since handicap space is required.

·        Lower lot drive will not be allowed to connect to neighbors lot to the north.

·        Vegetative buffer required along west edge of lower lot.


Mr. Wingerson asked for questions from the Commission.


Ms. Alexander asked if Priscilla’s had that much need for more parking.


Mr. Wingerson said that there are representatives from Gladstone Gifts who can speak to that, but in development of Mr. Meyers car lot some of Priscilla’s parking was lost.  Part of this request is to gain those spaces back and some is due to demand.


Ms. Newsom asked what the vegetative buffer might consist of.


Mr. Wingerson said that what was envisioned was a hedge row with a maximum height of approximately 42”.


Ms. Newsom asked how many parking spaces were lost with Mr. Meyers’ project.


Mr. Wingerson said it’s hard to say because people were parking on unimproved surfaces, not endorsed by Gladstone Gifts.


Chairman Hill asked what kind of lighting is proposed and what steps will be taken to reduce the impact on neighbors to the west. 


Mr. Wingerson said that no lighting is proposed although in the recommended conditions it does state that any added lighting installed shall be done in a manner that reduces the impact on adjoining properties. 


Chairman Hill asked if the trees being added are only to the 61st Street frontage. 


Mr. Wingerson said that in the two conditions that refer to landscaping, it states that “trees shall be planted along street frontages…”, which would refer to NE 61st Street and N. Oak. 


Chairman Hill asked if the site plan revision is for the entire site or just the parking lot.


Mr. Wingerson answered that technically it is a site plan revision for the new parking lot that is currently zoned CP-3. 


Chairman Hill said that his concern is that if it just involves the parking lot in the back; how are the other conditions going to be enforced?


Mr. Wingerson said that when the ownership combines into a single owner then the existing site plan would be amended to include this application. 


Ms. Alexander asked what kind of assurance the Commission had that the parking lot would not be used to park cars from Mr. Meyers’ lot.


Mr. Wingerson said that as the Commission remembers, the Council made that a specific condition in the ordinance for Mr. Meyers’ project.  Staff has tried to address that issue in condition #4, which states that cross connection of the lower lot and adjacent property is prohibited. 


Mr. Revenaugh asked why the sale wouldn’t have taken place before the application came forward.


Mr. Wingerson said that it is his understanding that it is a contingent contract.


Ms. Alexander asked if water from the new parking area would flow into Mr. Meyers’ detention pond.


Mr. Wingerson answered that the water will go into 61st Street and then back into the pond.


Ms. Alexander asked what effect that would have on residents downstream.


Mr. Wingerson said that the existing detention basin is over-designed and was done so with the idea that it would hold more water from additional development.  Second, Mr. Meyers’ original request included a drive there that was taken out by the Planning Commission; however, the basin was designed with that in mind.


Ms. Abbott asked why they eliminated parking spaces #8 and #9 (upper lot) on the site plan. 


Mr. Wingerson said that with the proposed closure of the drive on 61st Street there was not sufficient backing area to allow cars to get in and out, so two spaces were eliminated and parallel spaces were created.


Ms. Abbott asked why the handicap parking space would be on the rear because of the incline.


Mr. Wingerson explained that because the parking lots are not connected by a drive aisle, a second handicap space is required in the lower lot. 


Ms. Abbott said that she noticed there are not sidewalks on the site plan.


Mr. Wingerson said he would make a note of that.


Mr. Reynolds asked what the required number of parking spaces were for this size of retail facility and also if the building had a lower level.


Mr. Wingerson answered that there is no lower level and that the required number of spaces would be eight spaces.


Chairman Hill said that his observation is that we will have one parcel with two separate zonings.  He asked why the Commission is not considering a rezoning.  He also wondered why the Commission is not checking to see if this site conforms to current code as far as setbacks, streetscape guidelines, etc.


Mr. Wingerson said that a zoning change was discussed with the applicant and it was decided that the zoning change would be applied for after the ownership change.  The building is existing, therefore it is “grandfathered” when it comes to setbacks and those types of issues.  What staff has tried to do is improve the property as much as possible and get it closer to City standards. 


Ms. Newsom asked what assurance the Commission has that if the site plan revision takes place, it will come under one ownership and the contract will be executed.


Mr. Wingerson said that we do not have that assurance.


Ms. Abbott asked who owns Priscilla’s.


Mr. Wingerson answered that Randy Robb owns the property that Priscilla’s is on; Larry Meyers owns the land where the parking lot will be and Priscilla’s is owned by Mr. Larry Cooley.  (The applicant answered part of this question from the audience). 


Ms. Abbott asked who is paying for all this concrete work.


Mr. Wingerson said that he does not know.


Ms. Shevling said that there is a contract in place with a contingency that this sale will proceed. 

Both parties would be obligated to honor that contract if the change was made…or they could both agree to back out. 


Mr. Revenaugh asked if there are any negative implications if the Commission were to approve this site plan revision and then the contract didn’t go through.


Mr. Wingerson said that there are always negatives, but one positive would be the closure of the 61st Street entrance and another would be prohibiting cross connection of the parking lot to Mr. Meyers lot.  The negative impact would be the split ownership of properties and who is using what for what purpose. 


Chairman Hill said he is not sure the Commission can bind the owner of the store to the owner of the proposed parking lot.


Mr. Wingerson said that it would be possible, if the Commission should choose, to add a condition stating that the ownership change must take place in order for this application to be valid.


Ms. Abbott said that with 4,800 feet of new concrete you would get over 3,000 gallons of water in a one inch rain.  The retention basin on Mr. Meyers’ property is a dry basin and lets the water run out just as rapidly as it comes in.  East Creek was running bank-full last Fall.  East Creek has floated baby grand pianos at one time.  It was in her basement at one time.  All this new concrete will cause a lot of water runoff. 


Mr. Steffens asked if this is all approved and then doesn’t happen, can it become part of Mr. Meyers’ car lot.


Mr. Wingerson said no, that it would take Commission and Council action because of condition number four.


Chairman Hill asked for those in favor of the application to come forward.


Tom Windsor, 1800 Southwest Fountain Drive, Lee’s Summit, Missouri addressed the Commission.  Mr. Windsor said that he is the contractor for Priscilla’s and that there is a local firm retained who has done all the engineering work on several adjacent properties and will blend the water retention requirements from the new parking lot to meet City standards.  The closing of the existing drive onto 61st Street seemed like a good opportunity since it is always crowded and congested. 


Ms. Abbott asked if Mr. Windsor did the excavation for Mr. Meyers’ lot or the south side of Priscilla’s building.


Mr. Windsor answered that he did not do either one of those projects.


Chairman Hall asked for those in opposition to come forward. 


Galen Neill, 6010 N. Wyandotte addressed the Commission.  Mr. Neill said that he would be speaking as Chairman of the 59-61 Neighborhood Watch Group and distributed pictures of the detention basin on Mr. Meyers’ property for the Commissioners to look at.  A brief description was written on the back of the pictures.  Mr. Neill submitted, for the record, a protest petition signed by 66 homeowners and read the cover page (see attached).  He stated that since the Planning Commission and the City Council previously turned down a request, whereby a street would give ingress and egress to Mr. Meyers’ used car lot, he can only assume that Mr. Meyers’ still owns the property where the parking lot is being requested.  Mr. Meyers’ has not been a good neighbor.  The construction area of the retention pond and surrounding areas in front of the wall is a mess.  Tree limbs, paper, bottles and construction materials were never moved and still remain.  The mud from the area is washing out onto 61st Street.  Curbs are full of mud.  There is one area adjacent to the street where the water has opened up a sinkhole and the hole is approximately 2’X2’.  The street is settling.  This is an additional expense to the taxpayers and that is not right.  There is a large amount of tree limbs that have been disposed of and it looks like they are cedar.  He would have to assume that this was dumped by a passerby who may have thought the area was a landfill.  He remembers that the original site plan for Mr. Meyers property showed sod in this area; however, it is not there.  Mr. Neill said that he must point his finger at Mr. Wingerson and the City staff for not following through with the plan that was submitted by Mr. Meyers and would assume that this will be corrected soon.  In conclusion, Mr. Neill strongly urged the members of the Planning Commission to vote no on this request. 


Mr. Revenaugh asked Mr. Neill what exactly the group is protesting.


Mr. Neill said they are protesting the parking lot because it will impact the 61st Street traffic.


Mr. Revenaugh asked Mr. Neill if he was concerned about 7 additional cars flowing onto an already crowded 61st Street.


Mr. Neill answered yes, that is their primary objection.


Jim Burt, 805 W. Meyer Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri addressed the Commission.  Mr. Burt stated that he and his family helped build Bircain Apartments.  This intersection already has problems and is the only one that doesn’t have a stoplight.  In the last two years, on just the west side, there have been 17 accidents.  Priscilla’s used to be a liquor store.  That whole plan fit fine when N. Oak was two lanes and very slow, about 35 years ago.  We’re in 2005 now.  Bircain has been flooded and will be flooded again because of all the construction that has taken place.  There just isn’t sufficient water retention.  Mr. Burt said that he has been in construction and development for 30 years.  This is a disaster waiting to happen.  He’s not talking about an inch or two of water coming into people’s houses, he’s talking feet!  He asked who is going to be responsible for that.  He asked the Commission if they’re going to look at his 100 residents who live down in the valley and tell ‘em “We’re sorry, we thought Priscilla’s should have a parking lot up here.  They said they had enough water retainage.”   Mr. Burt went on to say that it is a mess back there.  Developers have had ample time to sod, seed, whatever they need to do to make that area look right.  It just doesn’t work.  North Oak has enough on it as it is. 


Mr. Revenaugh asked Mr. Burt if he was one of the owners of Bircain.


Mr. Burt answered yes.


Mr. Revenaugh asked if when Bircain was built if they built any kind of stormwater runoff.


Mr. Burt said it wasn’t required at the time.


Mr. Revenaugh asked how many square feet of asphalt that development took away from the natural environment.


Mr. Burt answered said that he would guess maybe 10,000 square feet.


Mr. Revenaugh asked him if his contention was that the amount of asphalt required for 7 parking spaces is going to materially effect the development of over 10,000 square feet of asphalt.


Mr. Burt said that he what he is saying is that 7 more are going to add a little bit more to the parking that the car lot added and the fire station…more and more keeps being added.  It won’t work. 


Ms. Alexander asked if the City has any plans for taking care of East Creek.


 Mr. Wingerson explained that the City significantly upsized the culvert under N. Broadway a few years ago (1999) which change the flow of that creek from a “chokepoint” at N. Broadway to a more freely flowing creek. 


Mr. Reynolds asked what the purpose is for condition #4, regarding cross connection.


Mr. Wingerson answered that it was to make sure that the parking lot to the north is not connected to the proposed parking lot.  This was at direction of the City Council when Mr. Meyers’ site plan revision was heard last year.


Mr. Reynolds asked if Mr. Wingerson thought that it was the City Council’s intent to prevent cars from being parked in the proposed lot. 


Mr. Wingerson said that was mentioned in the discussion as was a concern regarding drive-thru traffic from employees and people test driving vehicles.


Ms. Newsom remembers a concern being people cutting through to get to the highway.


Mr. Reynolds asked if it would become an issue if cars starting being parked there because they could come down N. Oak and park them there.  He said he was still confused on why they were asking for more parking spaces when the requirement is only 5-8 spaces.


Mr. Wingerson said that the parking would be a private enforcement issue.  As far as the additional parking, representatives of Priscilla’s have indicated that they have a demand.  Occasionally, people are parking on 61st Street and at the office building to the south and walking to the facility.


Mr. Whitton stated that the Commission shouldn’t care who parks on the proposed parking lot.  This is a simple site plan revision with seven new parking spaces.  We’re trying to figure out who’s buying it; it’s none of our business.  It’s a contingency.  They’re going to sell the property.  If it goes, they’ll sell it.  It’s a simple matter and he doesn’t know why we’re trying to find out why the sky’s going to fall.  It’s a very simple operation. 


Ms. Abbott asked why the draft ordinance does not reference closing the existing 61st Street drive as a condition.


Mr. Wingerson said that it is not spelled out; however, it is illustrated on the site plan which accompanies the ordinance.


MOTION:  By Mr. Whitton, second by Mr. Revenaugh to approve the site plan revision at 6100 N. Oak Trafficway along with two added conditions that state the existing 61st Street drive will be filled in and that that ownership change must take place.


Ms. Newsom asked if the zoning on the lot will stay C-3 and the zoning for the remainder of the building and the existing parking remain C-1.


Mr. Wingerson answered yes.


Ms. Newsom stated that because of that issue she will be voting no. 


Ms. Abbott agreed.


Mr. Steffens said that he thought the zoning change would come next.


Mr. Wingerson said that is what he anticipates and if the Commission would like to add that as a condition they may.


The group discussed adding a condition that would state that the rezoning would need to take place before construction begins.


Mr. Whitton and Mr. Revenaugh agreed to amend their motion.


Ms. Abbott said she would like to see Mr. Meyers clean up his mess and to add that as a contingency as well.


Chairman Hill said that he will be voting against the application.  This is an obsolete building that has reached the end of it’s economic lifetime.  By allowing the additional parking, the Commission is extending the life of a non-conforming site.  He is opposed to that.  Obviously, the Priscilla’s people are telling the City that this building does not satisfy their needs anymore…when that happens the Commission should not modify and extend a building’s non-conforming site plan.  The only way he would me aminable to this is if the entire site was brought into compliance with current codes. 



VOTE:            Ms. Newsom              No      

Ms. Alexander           No                  

                        Chairman Hill No                  

                        Mr. Boor                    No                  

                        Mr. Stanley                No                  

                        Mr. Shevling              No      

                        Mr. Whitton               Yes                 

Mr. Revenaugh          No      

Ms. Abbott                 No

Mr. Steffens               No

Mr. Reynolds             No


Vote:  Yes-1, No- 10.  The motion fails.





Item 6 on the Agenda:  Communications from the City Council and the City Staff.


Mayor Beer reminded everyone of the election on April 5, 2005 and also that Bluesfest is coming in June and they are always looking for volunteers.


Item 7 on the Agenda:  Communications from the Planning Commission Members.


Ms. Newsom said there were a lot of cars for sale parked on the old Texaco lot on Antioch over the weekend.


Mr. Reynolds said he is planning on attending the MARC workshop on Thursday, April 24.


Item 8 on the Agenda:  Adjournment.


Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:45 P.M.





Respectfully submitted:


______________________________________    Approved as submitted _____

Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary


______________________________________    Approved as corrected   _____

Brian Hill, Chairman