July 16, 2007

7:30 pm





Present:                                                          Council & Staff Present:

                        Ms. Newsom                           Carol Rudi, Councilman

Ms. Alexander                          Scott Wingerson, Assistant City Manager

                        Ms. Babich                               Chris Helmer, Planning Specialist

                        Mr. Garnos                              Becky Jarrett, Administrative Assistant

                        Mr. Shevling                            

Ms. Suter

Mr. Whitton

Ms. Abbott

Mr. Steffens

Mr. West

Chairman Hill


Absent:           Mr. Boor




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 July 2, 2007 minutes.


MOTION:  By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. West to approve the July 2, 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 the Vivion Road Corridor Study.  Applicant:  City of Gladstone.  File #1298. 


Mr. Helmer announced that two studies are going to be presented tonight, beginning with the Vivion Road Corridor Study.  The main issues and recommendations center largely on the lack of basic public amenities along the corridor.  Currently the corridor functions predominately for moving traffic and doesn’t take into account as much pedestrian amenities such as curb and gutter, sidewalks, landscaping, medians and turn-lanes.  In effect, the adverse affects that this can have, within the Northland, predominately can stem on existing development and development patterns.  Mr. Helmer explained that the other large component for the corridor is community identity.  Within the study are recommendations for making the corridor more aesthetically pleasing through the development of archways and a parkway alignment.  The main highlight of this plan centers on the recommendation that would affect Gladstone.  The overall goal of the corridor is to enhance development or the parkway boulevard type feature throughout the entire corridor, but specifically what would enhance Gladstone would be the small intersection of the interchange at 169/I-29 Highways.  Mr. Helmer referred the back page of the Vivion Road Corridor Study Memo that the Commission received.  This memo mentions the creation of a 10’ wide trail along the south side of Vivion Road that passes under 169/I-29 Highway overpass along with adding a 15’ center landscape median and enhancing pedestrian crossing at the Old Pike Road intersection. 


Mr. Helmer recapped that what the study is looking at is providing linkages that currently do not exist such as better access through existing development or through the linkages on pedestrian movement such as trails and walking paths.  He said that basically explains the summary memo that was distributed in their packets and he would be glad to answer any questions.


Mr. West said that there are a couple of problems along the Gladstone stretch of Vivion Road.  One is if you exit from I-29 southbound and try to turn westbound onto Vivion Road, the bridge support for the I-29 overpass blocks the view of the on-coming traffic.  He asked if the improvements will change that visibility. 


Mr. Helmer said that is a good point, and he would have to look at the study and see how it addresses that issue in particular.  He does know that each study does outline and weight pretty heavily on traffic safety concerns. 


Mr. West said that the other safety issue is that because there is no access to Vivion Road onto

I-29 southbound for westbound traffic, a lot of cars come out of Price Chopper and the car dealerships that head westbound to Belleview and then make a u-turn.  He asked if the study would take out this concern.


Mr. Wingerson replied by stating that this is a planning study and is designed to talk about how the corridor should function overall in terms of not only transportation but also aesthetics.  The preliminary engineering has just started along the section along Vivion Road to Gladstone as well as the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot) environmental clearances that have to be done.  At the conclusion of that work, some preliminary detailed alignments would be available to review.  In the early version that he saw, about six months ago, the sight visibility problem coming off the highway was being addressed by relocating where the bike/pedestrian path, which creates more room out into the intersection for visibility.  Mr. Wingerson explained that in regards to Mr. West’s second question, he has not seen anything that indicates an additional ramp or a change in configuration of ramps for southbound I-29.  He said staff will keep monitoring those concerns and other questions like those as the project moves through engineering.


Ms. Suter asked about moving Vivion Road north and asked if that is a realistic thing that might ever happen.  She also asked if the new development at the corner of N. Oak & Vivion would be accommodating any of the recommendations in this study.


Mr. Wingerson answered that moving Vivion to the north had some feet to it a couple of years ago; probably less so now.  The main reason for the concept was a widened and separate bike/pedestrian trail.  He has not seen final plans for the development of the seminary project, but it doesn’t appear to incorporate all of the recommendations of the Vivion Road Corridor Study.


Ms. Newsom said that as she went through the study, there is a whole chart of financial options; however, she did not see a dollar amount attached to the total project nor Gladstone’s portion of it.


Mr. Helmer stated that the segment total is $954,000.91, which is stated in Appendix 12. 


Mr. Wingerson added that Gladstone would be applying jointly with Kansas City and Riverside for transportation and enhancement funds.  He believes this is a project funded in 2013. 


Ms. Abbott said that coming off I-29 and trying to go north on North Oak is very dangerous and going south is impossible. 


Mr. Wingerson answered that he understands the intersection at Vivion and North Oak is being enhanced with the seminary project. 


Chairman Hill asked Mr. Helmer what is expected of the Commission this evening.


Mr. Helmer explained that the meeting tonight was advertised as a public hearing and that staff would take the Commission’s and the public’s comments tonight back and draft a resolution for adoption at the next business meeting. 


Chairman Hill asked if anyone in the audience would like to address the Commission in favor of the application.  Seeing no response, he asked for those in opposition.  There was no response.  He asked if the Commission had any further comments.


Ms. Babich said that in regards to the landscaping she is all for these improvements along the corridor, but she wondered who will be responsible for maintaining it.


Mr. Helmer answered that for the areas in Gladstone it would fall under the regular street maintenance program as well as the mowing.


Mr. West asked if Vivion Road isn’t currently maintained by the State of Missouri.


Mr. Wingerson explained that it is a MoDot highway and technically they have responsibility for maintenance; however, when applying for the State and Federal enhancement funds the locality absorbs responsibility for maintenance for a period of time.  (Remainder inaudible)



Item 6 on the Agenda:  PUBLIC HEARING on the Pleasant Valley Road Study.  Applicant:  City of Gladstone.  File #1298. 



Mr. Helmer began with some background information on the Pleasant Valley Road Study and explained that the plan was conducted in 2004 by Bucher, Willis and Ratliff.  It centered on the realignments that would affect Gladstone the most.  (Mr. Helmer referred to the PowerPoint maps, which indicate alignments A, B, and C.)  The main issues with the plan were to address future transportation needs as well as improve mobility along the corridor and safety.  Currently, there is not the arterial linkage that could potentially enhance future development or access in and out of Gladstone.  The preferred alignment that is recommended in the plan is alignment “C”, which runs north and east of the Atkins-Johnson property.  The road improvements that would be in Gladstone would consist of a three-section with curb and gutters.  The plan would also include a north bike path.  The approximate estimated cost of the project (2004 dollars) would be $21.6 million; Gladstone’s portion would be approximately $4.6 million dollars. 


Mr. Helmer explained that another important component part of the alignment is the creation of the new “T” intersections that would be at 64th Street, N. Brighton and N. Indiana Avenue.  With the preferred alignment, the main component was from public involvement.  The costs estimates for each of the A, B and C alignments are very similar.  There was no real deterrent as far as swaying towards one alignment or the other, but other factors that came into play were  environmental impact assessments and safety.  The entire alignment would run from the North Indiana/64th Street area over to I-435 in Kansas City.  Mr. Helmer said he would be open to questions at this time.


Chairman Hill said that his concern is that in having “C” be the recommended alignment that leaves the intersection at Antioch Road untouched.  It seems that there will still be significant traffic on the curve because of the neighborhoods to the south of NE 64th Street.  He had thought that the idea of the study was to alleviate the traffic issue at the curve.


Mr. Helmer referred to another aerial photo that showed a “T” connection as well as the existing residential development from Jackson, which the study proposes would run straight through to the Pleasant Valley Road alignment.


Ms. Babich said that the report talks about schools; however, it only mentions Chapel Hill Elementary.  St. Andrews is now eight grades, several more grades exist now than when the study was done, and they have a lot of car traffic coming in and out of the school twice a day, she is concerned that this alignment will increase traffic in front of the school and possibly creating issues with people dropping their children off.


Ms. Suter said that by making Pleasant Valley Road curved instead of dead-ending it into Antioch, it will also accelerate the rate the of traffic and at the top of the curve is where the school zone is.


Mr. Helmer said that the engineering issues can be looked at closer.


Discussion ensued.


Scott explained that the purpose of the alignment is to efficiently move traffic east and west.  The alignment provides an east/west corridor from I-435 to N. Prospect.  The over purpose is to move traffic.


Mr. West asked why study groups preferred the “C” alignment.


Mr. Helmer answered that there was a series of two public meetings where an opportunity for plans to be submitted providing a more suitable alignment.  As far as specifics to why, the study did not indicate.  Once again, related to the cost estimates or environmental concerns there was not one alignment over the other that provided any major obstacles.  In the study there was two bulleted areas one being problems were from the existing alignment with the curves, no turn lanes, no blinking or traffic signals.  The improvements determined were to widen the road, add turn lanes as well as address some of the concerns for traffic signals. 


Mr. West said he was looking for a more specific reason as to why “C” was chosen.


Ms. Abbott said that if plan “A” was chosen they could put a stoplight at Pleasant Valley and Antioch and stop everything.


Mr. Wingerson explained that there was a lot of public involvement in choosing plan “C” and a lot of Gladstone resident input.  In addition to the two public meetings Mr. Helmer spoke about there was a third meeting with just the residents of Carriage Hills to receive their input.  Mr. Wingerson said that at one of the meetings he was able to attend he remembers discussion about the opportunities for public beautification in the “y’s” that the turns created.  The idea for the design is more about moving traffic than about anything else.  The last idea is the thought that there are development opportunities with this design regarding mixed-use development.  He summed up those reasons for the “C” alignment by being:  public beautification, protection of the neighborhoods to the south of Gladstone and different development opportunities than would be afforded by alignment “A” or “B”.


Chairman Hill asked if there would be signalized intersections at both of the “T’s.”


Mr. Wingerson said that has not been determined yet.  If traffic warrants it; it maybe necessary.


Ms. Suter commented that on behalf of the Atkins-Johnson Committee, this recommended alignment is the most ideal for making the best use of the entire property that is going to become available for development.


Mr. Steffens said that he would think that alignment “C” would be the best because there is no access to the north and this would put it in for the future for Gladstone, but it will take two stoplights.


Mr. Shevling said that “A” and “B” may look simpler, but are they the best answer long-term.  There’s no such thing as perfect, it’s just what’s best of the options presented.


Mr. West said that he believes “C” is probably the best option is the objective is to create an infrastructure that will support additional development in Gladstone.  However, if the objective is to facilitate the flow of traffic, then he would suggest that “A” is the better option because it corrects the intersection problem at Antioch Road,  it’s a smoother turn and it will minimize impact on residential areas currently around it.  It really depends on what the overall object is.


Chairman Hill asked for those in favor to come forward.  Seeing no response he asked for those in opposition.  Again there was no response.  Chairman Hill closed both public hearings.


Chairman Hill said the Commission will wait for staff to come back with the resolutions.


Item 7 on the Agenda:  Communications from City Council and the City Staff. 


Mr. Wingerson said there was a lot of follow-up from their last meeting.  He is preparing a written memo in response and it will be mailed out soon.


Mr. Helmer spoke briefly on the Development Review Process and stated that the Planning Commission will be receiving the final implementation documents at the following Planning Commission meeting.


Item 8 on the Agenda:  Communications from Planning Commission Members.


Ms. Abbott thanked Mr. Wingerson for having the pothole on N. Wyandotte fixed.


Mr. Shevling said he has Ms. Abbott beat- the pothole he complained about last time, they tore out the whole street and re-paved it!


Ms. Newsom said that at the last meeting they had quite a discussion regarding reader boards and signage.  She suggested that it be something they look at reviewing in the future. 


Mr. Wingerson responded by stating that at the last City Council meeting staff was directed by the Council to review the monument sign part of the Sign Code.  It is being brought forward at the next Council study session.  


Ms. Newsom also reminded everyone that Gladfest is only 11 weeks away!  If anyone would like to volunteer, please see either Marilyn Ahnefeld, the Chamber Officer or her.


Mr. Garnos said that since he has moved to Gladstone he has noticed that the intersections discussed tonight are two of the most dangerous intersections Gladstone has and he’s pleased that we are looking at and studying the answers and pros/cons to each.  He also brought up another topic that he was listening to on the radio, which was smoking policies.  He heard the City of Liberty is dealing with it now and if they pass it that would make 75% of the surrounding communities having adopted a ban on public places.  As he understands it, Kansas City has not adopted it; however, he does not want to see Gladstone be one of the triggering communities and end up with way more attention on us than we want. 


Mr. Wingerson commented that the City Council has been briefed on the issue and talks about it frequently.  It is an incredibility difficult issue and the Council is doing the best they can to deal with it and be aware of what is going on around the metropolitan area.


Ms. Babich said that the large piece of turquoise Styrofoam is still in the greenway in Brooktree.


Mr. Wingerson said he went to look for that, so he’ll have to get with Ms. Babich so she can point it out.


Mr. Steffens said that the drain basin that Chairman Hill mentioned for him at the last meeting has been fixed. 

Chairman Hill said he had a couple of thoughts regarding the CVS sign from the last meeting.  During the discussions, someone had mentioned that the Walgreen’s store at Antioch Shopping Center had a marquee sign; it does not.  They have a monument sign, but it does not have animation.  There was quite a bit of discussion by the Planning Commission members that night feeling that we had to have a level playing field for CVS because Walgreen’s had one.


Mr. Whitton said he was not talking about that Walgreen’s, he was talking about the Walgreen’s on 64th and N. Oak.


Chairman Hill said he is curious if Kansas City permits them (reader boards).  There is a lot of talk about level playing fields, but he cannot think of a business located within the city limit of Kansas City that has one.  They’re all in Gladstone!  He thinks the City Council needs to have a moratorium on them until there are revisions to the Sign Ordinance.


Councilman Rudi stated that not only did she ask for a review of the Sign Code, but she did ask for the possibility of a moratorium.  She also informed the Commission that the Council did not finish the reading of that issue and it was tabled until their next meeting.  There were only three Council Members present at their last meeting. 


Mr. Wingerson informed the Commission that the City Council did pass the payday loan ordinance.


Item 9 on the Agenda:   Adjournment


Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:31 P.M.





Respectfully submitted:


______________________________________    Approved as submitted _____

Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary



______________________________________    Approved as corrected   _____

Brian Hill, Chairman