July 2, 2007
Present: Council & Staff Present:
Ms. Newsom Carol Rudi, Councilman
Mr. Shevling Scott Wingerson, Assistant City Manager
Mr. Whitton Chris Helmer, Planning Specialist
Ms. Abbott Becky Jarrett, Administrative Assistant
Absent: Ms. Alexander
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 the June 4, 2007 minutes.
MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. Whitton to approve the June 4, 2007 minutes.
The minutes were approved as submitted.
Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.
Item 5 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING on a site plan at 6129
Mr. Helmer reported that
CVS Pharmacy is applying for a site plan revision to add a monument sign at the
Ms. Newsom was curious about how the line of sight is measured.
Mr. Helmer answered that on the hand drawing that was in the packet it shows that the sign was pulled back a bit from the sight triangle, which is from the sidewalk area at the very corner of the property.
Ms. Newsom asked if there is any practical application test that is put to this line of sight. She said that there has been a tendency in the past to deal with line of sight and say that the current line of sight are appropriate and that anybody can see it. The problem has been that some of those judgments have been made from a man thats about six foot tall in a pick-up truck. Those that are five foot five driving an average sized car dont have that same line of sight. Is this intersection in particular, if you stop where you are supposed to, going to provide sufficient line of sight?
Mr. Wingerson stated that
the manual on uniform traffic control devices requires a safe sight triangle of
fifteen feet. As Mr. Helmer stated, this
sign is beyond the intersection of the right-of-way lines at this corner. It is also behind the existing tree line on
Ms. Newsom asked if the current landscaping is going to be changed or improved.
Mark Borgart, 1009 NW
Chairman Hill asked if there was anyone in favor of the application. Hearing no response, he asked for those in opposition to speak. Again there was no response. Chairman Hill closed the public hearing.
Motion: By Mr. Shevling, second by Mr. Whitton to approve the site plan revision at 6129 N. Antioch to include staffs recommended conditions.
Ms. Newsom said she would like to speak on the landscaping issue. She was part of the Council in 1993 when this was approved and they had spoke to Osco at that time about their landscaping and about maintaining it; it has been a struggle. It doesnt look good. It doesnt meet the standards of some of the other developments throughout the City. She would hope that with CVS taking it over they would kick the landscaping up a notch.
Mr. Whitton remarked that he thinks this sign is needed here. He doesnt particularly like the message board, but it is probably needed for their business because he noticed that Walgreens has one at 64th and Oak and it probably helps promote business which is what we need to do. Hes in favor of it. As the drawing indicates, it is set back plenty far enough, and thats a controlled intersection. Ms. Newsom may have a point about the landscaping, but he thinks that by all rights it would be no more than fair to approve this for these people.
Mr. West said that there is one issue he would like to bring up; however, it wouldnt necessarily influence his vote on this, and that is carbon emissions. Anytime you start adding electric burning issues, then you have to look at the carbon footprints that are being created and added. He is hoping that somewhere in the comprehensive plan there will be some efforts made to address this issue.
Ms. Abbott commented that in comparing this sign with the one at Northland Auto Sales where there is no landscaping at all, there should be consideration made to requiring landscaping around it so it doesnt look so stark.
Amended Motion: By
Ms. Abbott to approve the site plan revision at 6129
There was no second to the motion, therefore it failed.
Mr. Garnos stated that he would be supporting the application because it complies with all the regulations and requirements. He said he has noticed how many electronic readerboards there are in the City and he hates them.
Ms. Newsom added that as Mr. Whitton said these signs are the price of doing business. She also hates them as Mr. Garnos does. It seems that as you drive down N. Oak during the day people are on their cell phones or looking at ads and not paying any attention to what they are doing and you have to drive even more defensively than you used to.
Chairman Hill stated that
he will be voting against this application and he feels very strongly that it
should be denied for aesthetic and safety purposes. He said that his office is located just a
couple of blocks east on
Chairman Hill continued by explaining that the other issued he is concerned with is aesthetics. Just because one property looks like crap that doesnt mean that the Commission needs to approve another one to do that. There is a history on this site of non-conformance with the site plan. There was the problem with weeds along the east boundary which took forever to get cleared up. There has been problems with outdoor sales and he doesnt see any reason to reward somebody who has a site that has been non-conforming with something thats going to make it look even worse. The business has been there for 10-12 years at this point and has done just fine. It has done well enough that CVS decided to maintain a location there when they bought out Osco. He thinks that the signage will detract from the appearance from the building and the site, and the Antioch corridor. Chairman Hill again stated that he will be voting against this application.
Mr. Whitton remarked that he thought Chairman Hill was losing the point in regards to the sign not being needed. To be fair with these people and to be competitive with the other pharmacies, he thinks they need it. He thinks the Commission may have lost sight of the fact that this is a business in our town and they need to promote it and let them do better business so they can pay more sales tax revenue, which we need badly. He said he is still in favor of the project.
Mr. Shevling said that he understands everything Chairman Hill said and that he has a valid point; however, you could also make the counter argument that this sign might help traffic accidents because they know they cant see and so they know they have to be careful when theyre coming out. The other thing is that this meets ordinance and code. He would also like to see the current landscaping better maintained than in the past. He will be voting in favor of this application.
Mr. West added that he is not a fan of readerboards and thinks that they are a distraction no matter where they are. He agrees with Mr. Whitton in that the playing field has been established and that this business is operating on that playing field and within the guidelines that are set. He will support it, but he would also, in the future, support a discussion of putting a moratorium on the readerboards.
Chairman Hill mentioned that he questions the need for a readerboard when the more successful retail locations in town, such as Zona Rosa, do not allow readerboards. He would challenge the Commissioners to realize that if they feel that the sign code needs to be changed that they are under no obligation to approve this application at this time. If this sign goes in with the readerboard, it gets grandfathered in under a new sign code and its one more sign you dont want forever.
Ms. Newsom Yes
Mr. Shevling Yes
Mr. Whitton Yes
Ms. Abbott No
Chairman Hill No
The motion carried. (5-Yes, 2-No)
Item 6 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING on the Non-Chartered Financial Institutions Ordinance. Applicant: City of Gladstone. File #1295.
Mr. Helmer stated that the Commission received numerous documents in their packet including: the moratorium resolution, the non-chartered payday loan and title loan businesses ordinance, updates to the City Council, focus group meeting minutes, education documents and Gladstone demographic date. He briefly explained why each of these were included and what they consisted of. Mr. Helmer said that the new ordinance would be amended into Title XII, Chapter 135 of the City Zoning Ordinance, titled, Non-Chartered Payday and Title Loan Businesses. In the draft ordinance these types of businesses would fall into the C-1 classification. The main component of this ordinance, Mr. Helmer explained, is the separation requirements of payday or title loan businesses from other types of land uses. For instance, a new title loan business coming in shall not be located within 5,280 feet of any other existing payday or title loan business or within 200 feet of any residentially zoned property. Any new payday loan businesses would have to be a multi-tenant building with not less than four separate occupancies. Mr. Helmer asked for questions from the Commission.
Mr. Shevling asked if schools could be added to the 200 feet although he couldnt think of a place that would come into play.
Mr. Helmer said that in researching the target areas of these businesses staff was looking for trends which is depicted on in some of the research maps that the Commissioners received. Staff tried to put what was reasonably possible in the ordinance as far as areas to stay a distance away from.
Mr. West asked how the mile of separation requirement be affected by city limits.
Mr. Helmer answered that the ordinance does address areas outside of Gladstone city limits.
Ms. Newsom asked what the rationale behind having them being located in a multi-tenant building was.
Mr. Helmer commented that the clustering of stand-alone buildings is very apparent. The goal was to prevent the amount of these types of freestanding buildings in the City. Signage is also another issue that can be addressed as a whole when grouping them in a multi-tenant building. Having one sign to represent the entire building will cut down on multiple signs throughout the City.
Mr. Wingerson said that another idea to having them in a multi-tenant building is that they are not owner occupied and therefore, become transitory. If business isnt perfect they may seek another location because they dont have ownership interest.
Ms. Abbott asked if these regulations apply to pawn shops. She also asked how pawnshops compare to payday loan facilities.
Mr. Helmer answered that pawnshops do not fall into these regulations and explained that according to the State of Missouri the regulations are different for pawnshops because they deal with the sale of goods.
Chairman Hill said that going back to Mr. Shevlings question on distance from other facilities outside the city limits, he remembers that back when Pricillas came in there was a similar issue.
Ms. Newsom said she was on the Council at that time and she specifically remembers that schools were a part of that equation as well as residential areas. She also remembers that anything that was outside of Gladstones boundaries didnt count.
Mr. Wingerson replied that the land regulation for an adult use business and a business that performs a paper transaction are different in terms of schools and churches. An adult use would be more similar to an alcohol restriction, like a bar. Schools are zoned R-1, so they are covered in this case.
Chairman Hill asked why, on the distance restriction, the ordinance wouldnt include the payday loan business being located within a certain distance of a pawnshop.
Ms. Newsom inquired about monitoring the businesses that change ownership and how that is going to be done.
Mr. Wingerson said that other than the occupational license application hes not sure that staff has a better way of monitoring ownership changes within the investment groups.
Chairman Hill asked if the triggering event could be the change in the officers of a corporation or managing member of an LLC.
Mr. Wingerson answered that he could certainly check with Counselor Ramsay on that, but in terms of business practices his feeling is that it may become overly restrictive.
Ms. Newsom commented that she appreciated the work that has been done up to this point; it was needed. She wished this was in place two years ago.
MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. Shevling to approve the Non-Chartered Financial Institutions Ordinance with the potential revisions discussed.
Ms. Newsom Yes
Mr. Shevling Yes
Mr. Whitton Yes
Ms. Abbott Yes
Chairman Hill Yes
The motion carried. (7-Yes, 0-No)
Item 7 on the Agenda: Communications from City Council and the City Staff.
Councilman Rudi thanked the Commission for their discussion on the payday loan issue. They brought up some good points that the Council will look forward to having some answers to. She reminded everyone of the 4th of July celebration at Oak Grove Park as well as Cinderella which starts this weekend for Theatre in the Park. Beauty in the Beast will be shown in August.
Mr. Wingerson introduced Community Developments intern, Casey Hartline, who is attending school at UMKC. He also thanked the Commission for their discussions on the cell tower at Englewood and Flora. He believes they made a significant record as well as some very well thought out arguments. Ultimately, the Council had a three-hour public hearing and accepted the Planning Commission recommendation and denied the application. At the City Councils next meeting, staff will present a findings of fact and conclusions of law which provides the Council with a written decision.
Mr. Wingerson gave a few follow-ups to some issues raised by some of the Commissioners at past meetings. The issue of weeds at 56th and Indiana has been resolved. Weeds at the muffler shop have been resolved. MoDot has been working on the potholes on M-1. Staff had a preliminary conversation with a MoDot engineer about the possibility of the City filling the holes and billing back the cost. Those discussions are continuing. Staff had a conversation with the owner of the property where the semi-trailer advertisement is at 68th and Broadway. It is leaving in the short term but also may be likely located in Kansas City, Missouri. The hand-written signs at Westlake Hardware are gone. The fire lane at Home Depot was compliant the last time Mr. Wingerson checked it.
Mr. Helmer mentioned that the two studies (Pleasant Valley and Vivion Road Corridor Study) that were placed at the Commissioners places this evening are for their review and will be discussed in conjunction with the comprehensive plan hearing on July 16th. If there are any questions about any of the information please contact him.
Item 8 on the Agenda: Communications from Planning Commission Members.
Ms. Abbott said she had a few items to discuss. The first is the new triangle at Broadway and Englewood is weeds. Also, on Broadway from 59th Terrace up to 68th is full of potholes. Going on up the hill on Broadway, near Wyandotte, there are some more really bad potholes. Ms. Abbott remarked that according to BankLiberty they are going to open in about six weeks and that made her wonder what happened to the cutting down of the hill on 64th Street.
Mr. Wingerson explained that one of the conditions of the development agreement for Tower Plaza was that the developer create a Transportation Development District (TDD) to fund the improvements to 64th Street as well as create engineering plans. Both of those things were accomplished; however, neither the residents or the utility companies would work with the developer in order to build the street. In order to make these public improvements happen, the City is now working with the developer to help obtain the easements and make the utilities move their lines in order for construction to take place. He stressed that it will happen and that it is just taking a while for everything to fall into place.
Mr. West asked about the stoplights at Home Depot and the turn signals at 72nd and N. Oak that he had brought up a couple of meetings ago. He said he can guarantee that the turn signal has not been changed. Even in the middle of the day cars are lining up and it is taking two to three sequences to get through.
Mr. Wingerson explained that the Home Depot signal is triggered by traffic exiting Home Depot/Steak and Shake/Snappy; however, if the signal was set to trigger traffic on Old Pike Road traffic it would be green all the time for Home Depot traffic. Staff looked at, and mildly adjusted, the sensitivity of the traffic loop in the pavement of the Home Depot driveway. Mr. Wingerson said that 72nd and Oak is a different story. It was changed to add four seconds of green time to the queue lane at peak times to the north/south bound turning lanes. The problem is that changing it too far extends the queues for straight north/south as well as east/west. Mr. Wingerson said they will continue to look at it and adjust it as necessary.
Ms. Newsom said that it seems like every spring there is an issue at Westlake with outdoor sales. They have changed managers several times since they moved there and she wondered if there is any way staff could get with them before next spring and come up with a resolution. She also commended the Public Works Department for the slurry seal that is being done this year. It is far better than what has been done in the past; it looks great.
Mr. Shevling thanked staff for fixing the potholes on his street.
Chairman Hill reported a new detached accessory structure on the northwest corner of Walrond and Indiana. It does not appear to be in compliance. He said that Mr. Steffens had asked him to bring up the fact that during walking he has noticed that the storm drains that go under Bales and Brooketree Lane are not being kept clear where the water exits. His concern is that the erosion that appears to be happening will begin to wash away sidewalks and streets.
Item 9 on the Agenda: Adjournment
Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:45 P.M.
______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____
Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary
______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____
Brian Hill, Chairman