July 7, 2008
Council & Staff Present:
Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Rudi
Scott Wingerson, Assistant City Manager
Chris Helmer, Planning Specialist
David Ramsay, City Counselor
Melinda Mehaffy, Economic Dev. Admin.
Becky Jarrett, Admin. Assist.
*entered 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 the June 16, 2008 minutes.
MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. McCullough to approve the June 16, 2008, minutes as submitted. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.
Item 5 on the Agenda: PRESENTATION: of the draft Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Helmer said that the bulk of the presentation tonight will be by Mr. Kevin Kokes of Bucher, Willis, Ratliff, but he would like to quickly lay out the intent of tonight’s meeting. He explained that the reason for the meeting was to give the Commission an opportunity to have a discussion of the draft Comprehensive Plan and get their comments prior to the open house next week. The next study session will be at the City Council on July 28th and then back to the Planning Commission for a public hearing on August 4th. Final adoption of the plan probably will not take place until mid to late August at the Planning Commission.
Mr. Kokes gave a presentation of the draft via a PowerPoint presentation, which is attached as part of the record.
At the end of his presentation, Mr. Kokes asked for questions or comments about the plan.
Ms. Abbott asked about the gateway star on page 6-3 at Englewood and N. Oak. She said that part of that isn’t even Gladstone.
Mr. Kokes replied that would be true for many of the gateway locations as you look around the edges of the City. What they are identifying are important intersections or locations where special things may need to be done.
Ms. Newsom commented on the section which discusses schools and making the area more pedestrian friendly. She said that something else that needs to be looked at carefully is the traffic flow for the private schools.
Mr. Kokes said that one of the recommendations in the plan is to pursue “Safe Routes to School”, which is planning around all the schools in Gladstone and one of the key issues is traffic flow. Ideally, what these programs do is try to reduce the amount of vehicle driving to and from.
Ms. Newsom asked if adopting the Comprehensive Plan will assist the Planning Commission in their decision making process.
Mr. Kokes answered that the Land Use Plan serves as a guide for future zoning decisions, but it is not a zoning map. The Commission will always have the opportunity to zone properties that do not conform to the Land Use Plan.
Ms. Newsom asked if the property should become vacant do they have the latitude to change the zoning and not allow the business.
Mr. Kokes replied that under State Statute cities do have the opportunity to initiate to down-zoning or re-zoning on any piece of property. That would be an issue that the Commission and the Council would have to decide if they wish to consider.
Ms. Newsom asked if when it is adopted by the City Council, will the Commission have the latitude when a proposal comes forward to say this does not match the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Wingerson said that before he answers that question he would like to state that the Planning Commission will adopt and approve this Plan and be the “end all” authority on this Plan. The City Council is being given opportunity to provide input to staff to share with them in considering the Plan, but they are the final authority.
Mr. Wingerson said that once they have adopted the Plan, they can use it as a guide. It is one tool in the overall tool box and then they will have all the tools they need.
Ms. Newsom said that she has enjoyed reading this Plan because at her very first Planning Commission meeting she was presented with a Comprehensive Plan put together by an intern and this is much better and much more thorough. She likes the way it incorporates the suggestions of Gladstone on the Move.
Mr. West asked if there were any opportunities to speed up the process. He cited North Kansas City as an example and how they have redeveloped in the last few years. He knows they have a monetary resource that Gladstone doesn’t have, but wondered if Gladstone could help accelerate the process. He knows there are a lot of parcels for sale on N. Oak right now.
Mr. Wingerson answered that the first step is to come up with a Comprehensive Plan. There are always ways to speed things up. He explained that what Gladstone has that North Kansas City didn’t really have in the early days of their projects was strong community support and political will. That’s what Gladstone has. Riverside most recently didn’t have all the political will that it took to make those difficult decisions. That’s Gladstone’s strong suit. First, Gladstone needs to adopt the Plan and the regulations to go with it and keep working.
Mr. Helmer asked the Commissioners to get with him if they have any questions or further comments regarding the Comprehensive Plan.
Item 6 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and City Staff.
Councilman Rudi welcomed Ms. Smith to the Commission. She came from the EMAC group, so she has sustainability experience. She also announced the next event at Oak Grove Park, which was “The King and I”- this weekend starting at 8:30 pm. She also reminded everyone to spend money in Gladstone.
Mr. Wingerson welcomed Ms. Smith and thanked Mr. Kokes for his presentation this evening.
Item 7 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.
Ms. Abbott said she was so proud of Gladstone for the 4th of July celebration.
Mr. McCullough thanked the City for the new sidewalk on Brooktree Lane that he is now enjoying walking on.
Ms. Newsom congratulated the City and staff on their All American City award. She knows it was a ton of work and it is to be commended. Gladfest is only three months away. If you would like to volunteer please contact her or someone at the Chamber. She asked Mr. Wingerson what happened to the signs in front of City Hall that were up last summer that indicated “No Pool Parking Between Signs.” Mr. Wingerson said he is not sure, but he will check and see if they can be put back up. She also asked about the temporary lane markers on M-1 and hoped that the turn lane will be painted back when they are finished. She thinks it really cut down on accidents. Mr. Wingerson replied that staff has been on top of that issue and has indicated to MoDot that they wish to see the turn lane remain.
Mr. West commended on their All American Cities Award. He would also like to add to that his personal accommodation on the creativity they have used in terms by trying to lessen their carbon footprint by incorporating the use of hybrid vehicles into the City fleet. He might suggest that the City arrange for fleet pricing for all residents of Gladstone for hybrid vehicles.
Ms. Smith said she is excited to be here tonight and is excited for the Comprehensive Plan. She attended one of the meetings and agrees with everything in the Plan.
Item 8 on the Agenda: Adjournment.
Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:35 pm.
______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____
Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary
______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____
Brian Hill, Chairman