October 6, 2008

7:30 pm

Present: Council & Staff Present:

Ms. Newsom Councilman Wayne Beer

Ms. Alexander Councilmember Carol Suter

Ms. Babich Scott Wingerson, Assistant City Manager

Mr. McCullough Melinda Mehaffy, Econ. Dev. Admin.

Ms. Smith Richard King, Public Information Officer

Mr. Shevling David Ramsay, City Counselor

Mr. Whitton Chris Helmer, Planning Specialist

Ms. Abbott Becky Jarrett, Admin. Assist.

Mr. Steffens

Mr. West

Chairman Hill

Absent: Mr. Garnos

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 September 2, 2008 minutes.

MOTION: By Mr. McCullough, second by Ms. Newsom to approve the September 2, 2008, minutes as submitted. The minutes were approved as submitted.

Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.


Item 5 on the Agenda: PUBLIC HEARING : on a Preliminary Plat at 7202 N Agnes. Applicant: Walmart Real Estate Business Trust. Owner: J.A. Peterson Company.

PUBLIC HEARING: on a Rezoning at 7202 N. Agnes. Applicant: Walmart Real Estate Business Trust. Owner: J.A. Peterson Company.

PUBLIC HEARING on a Site Plan Revision at 7207 N. M-1 Highway. Applicant/Owner: Walmart Real Estate Business Trust. File #1325.

Chairman Hill indicated that all three of these public hearing items would be taken as one discussion tonight. He announced that all of these applications would have a public hearing at City Council on Monday, October 13, 2008. He explained the hearing process to the audience and then called on City staff to begin.

Scott Wingerson, Assistant City Manager for the City, addressed the Commission. Mr. Wingerson gave a brief overview of the order of speakers that the Commission would hear from as well the general outline of the meeting from public input, discussion and finally a vote.

Mr. Wingerson started his presentation with several thank yous. He said that this presentation tonight didn’t come to them tonight based on several thirty-minute discussions. This project came after three or four years of exceedingly hard work with Walmart regionally, and in Bentonville, Arkansas. He gave most of the credit for bird-dogging to Melinda Mehaffy, the City’s Economic Development Administrator. He continued by stating that it is important for them to know that one of the City Council’s top priorities is economic development and that certainly this fits into the Council’s goal.

Mr. Wingerson also thanked the entire Community Development Department. All of the department worked with very limited information and had to bring the pieces of the puzzle together over the last nine or ten months and everyone came to the plate when they were asked. He also thanked the City Manager; who allowed staff to do their job and was patient moving forward. Finally, he thanked the City Council who helped staff with rumor control.

Mr. Wingerson noted that over the years typically, he has taken and encouraged a role of information, advice and guidance; however, tonight because of the importance of the project, he will take a much stronger advocacy role when the recommendation is presented.

He then went on to briefly explain the four actions being considered tonight. First is the preliminary plat. The purpose of the preliminary plat is provide the developer with some development rights to move forward and spend the significant dollars that it takes to properly engineer a project. Combined with this, and almost taken as one issue, is the final plat. Walmart has chosen to bundle these together and do the formal engineering it takes to get to this point. There is a public hearing on a preliminary plat and ultimately a final plat, which allows for a transfer of ownership from the Peterson Company who currently owns a small parcel on the east to Walmart Real Estate Business Trust.

Mr. Wingerson (while referring to the PowerPoint presentation) spoke of the zoning change and pointed to the area that is currently zoned R-1 where a subdivision plat was approved by the City Council but was never recorded. The proposed zoning change is from R-1, single-family residential to CP-3.

The last action is the site plan approval, which is everything combined. It incorporates the plat and zoning change and allows for the improvements as proposed. While referring to the PowerPoint, Mr. Wingerson depicted to the Commission areas that would be additions to the building. Drawing their attention to the east edge of the property he said is an area that is proposed to be an employee parking lot. There is approximately just under 200 parking spaces there and helps Walmart make their overall parking ratios for the facility itself. Mr. Wingerson referred to a dashed line on the far right of the drawing and explained that this line represented a thirty-foot buffer and stressed that nothing in that buffer area would be disturbed or touched in terms of grading or clearing. That is the closest that any improvement comes to any eastern single-family homes. In many cases the grading is 75, 85, 90 feet from the property line to the east and in all cases the parking lot itself is a minimum of 75’ or 80 feet from the adjoining properties.

Mr. Wingerson said that a couple of things have happened since the application has been filed. Staff has been very clear with the folks at Walmart that it was important to protect the adjoining property owners. One of the early questions with this site plan was what the future holds for the land north of the proposed employee parking lot. At this point Walmart has no plans for that area; however, staff encouraged, and they agreed, to put the “planned” designation on all of the land so that nothing could be built beyond what is seen today without public hearings.

Staff has had numerous discussions with area neighbors, has taken good notes and have sought to successfully address 95-97% of the concerns they heard about before tonight’s meeting. He believes this is the best plan with the least possible impact, have identified no negative traffic impacts and found no negative stormwater impacts. Overall there is a reduction in signage.

Mr. Wingerson backed up and reviewed the land disturbance slide to draw their attention to the southeast corner. He pointed to the land that would be disturbed around the parking lot which was indicated by a dark gray area. Moving away from the parking lot to the north he indicated how less and less of the land was undisturbed until it was out into an existing natural area.

Around the employee parking lot is a proposed sound barrier/screening wall. It will extend from the existing screening wall of the store to the east along the north side of the existing employee parking lot, then turns south and heads toward NE 72nd Street to a point where all property owners are properly screened. Originally, this wall was proposed to be 6 feet in height. Based on input from the residents, staff requested that it be increased to 8 feet and Walmart has agreed.

The proposed signage is a change from a very stark monument sign that currently exists to a sign that incorporates natural materials and enhanced landscaping to make it more attractive overall. Mr. Wingerson pointed out that this particular sign is very much in keeping with the work that the Sign Code Focus Group has recently done and will be recommending to the City Council in a few months.

Assistant City Manager Wingerson highlighted some of the conditions in the draft ordinance specifically related to the site plan:

#7. All manicured landscaping and related improvements shall be maintained in perpetuity. All manicured grassed areas and landscaping shall be irrigated.

#8. Portable storage units shall not be placed or stored on site.

#10. Exterior lighting shall be designed, installed and maintained to reduce any adverse impact on the surrounding neighbors.

Mr. Wingerson said that the next three conditions are all conditions that are related to input from the neighborhood.

#11. Undisturbed areas east of the grading limits of the employee parking lot will be protected. A pre-construction meeting with the general contractor will be required outlining the importance of maintaining existing vegetation outside the grading limits. An orange construction fence will be installed along the east grading limits around the employee lot staked approximately 6 feet on center.

#12. Screen wall on the north and east of the employee lot shall be increased from 6 feet to 8 feet.

#13. Natural area bordering employee lot shall be treated for noxious weeds. Upon completion of the project, treatment of this area shall be discussed with the Walmart store manager.

#14. Employee lot shall be monitored with security cameras consistent with the existing customer parking lot.

Mr. Wingerson said there are a total of fourteen conditions; however, he only spoke of a few of them.

Mr. Wingerson said that in our community in a case like this, it is impossible to separate the land use question from economics. Today the market went below 10,000 points in who knows how many years. We’re in a housing crisis. We’re in credit crunch. We’re talking about bail-outs. The economic news is negative on a national, state and worldwide level We are extraordinarily lucky to be able to talk with one of the largest corporations in the world about reinvesting in the City of Gladstone. He hopes that the Commission will recommend to the City Council very positively this request. If they do they will be part of the process that helps stabilize the economic part of this community and allow the continuation of high quality public services such as Public Safety and snow removal, help upgrade the dated and aging facility and perhaps spur additional development at the intersection of 72nd and M-1 Highway. Staff is recommending approval of this request with the fourteen conditions on the site plan.

Mr. Wingerson then turned the presentation over to Mr. Patrick Joyce representing the Walmart Corporation.

Patrick Joyce, Continental Consulting Engineers, Incorporated, 9000 State Line Road, Leawood Kansas 66206, addressed the Commission. Mr. Joyce stated that he works for Walmart and is also here with David Lotz, Senior Civil Engineer for Continental Consulting Engineers, Inc. as well as Tim Donkers with pb2 Architects. Mr. Joyce said he will be presenting the Walmart store expansion and site modifications. He stated that he is here this evening in support of public hearing #1324 and #1325, site plan revision, rezoning and preliminary final plat relating to the Walmart store expansion at the Northeast corner of the intersection of Missouri 1 and NE 72nd Street.

Mr. Joyce stated that the store will be expanded from 151,775 sf to a 177,044 sf Supercenter. It will have both hard goods and a full grocery center. This represents approximately 25,000 sf of additional retail. Mr. Joyce referred to the PowerPoint slide to show the Commission which areas of the store were to have the additions. The expansion area will necessitate the need for additional parking. The ratio above 5.0 parking stalls per 1,000 sf of building space is typical for most retailers. The store as presented has a parking ratio of 5.24. In order to make this parking possible the purchase of a 7.7 acre tract of land directly adjacent to the east of the property will be necessary. This land is currently vacant property and will require rezoning from R-1 to CP-3. This will allow for construction of a 1.7 acre parking lot. The parking lot will be for employees only. An employee entrance will be designated with a card reader at the back of the store. The parking lot features an 8 feet screen wall across both the north and east sides.

Mr. Joyce continued by stating that a stormwater detention basin will be constructed on the north side of the parking lot behind the screen wall. Existing vegetation will be preserved over the majority of this purchased tract. This will be facilitated because Walmart is an industry leader in construction, erosion and sedimentation control. Part of the erosion control plan for this project will be to protect the natural vegetation. A stormwater pre-construction meeting will be held with all ground disturbing sub-contractors before any construction begins. In this meeting, Mr. Joyce said they can stress the importance of maintaining a natural vegetation where indicated on the plans. They will also invite certain City representatives to attend this meeting. In addition, an orange construction fence will be erected at the limits of their disturbed area which will add an additional level of security from disturbing the ground they don’t want disturbed.

Moving over to the existing Walmart site, Mr. Joyce explained that the existing water fountain located at M-1 and 72nd Street will be removed and that area will be re-graded and re-landscaped. The parking stalls on the existing site will be reoriented from sixty degree parking to ninety degree parking. The parking lot will expand up to 22 ft to the west. All asphalt and concrete pavement will be repaired where deteriorating and the remainder of the asphalt that is not replaced will receive a two-inch mill and overlay. This will be done prior to re-striping. This will give the parking lot a new look. All existing curb islands will be relocated and fresh landscaping will be added. An irrigation system will be installed to maintain all manicured areas. He also added that during the project they will treat the areas requested for noxious weeds.

Mr. Joyce said that lastly the existing monument signs will be updated to reflect new Walmart branding and incorporate branding elements in their design. Additionally, they will be removing the “Tire and Lube” entrance pylon sign which currently exists and it will not be replaced. Mr. Joyce introduced Mr. Tim Donkers to speak about building elevations.

Tim Donkers, pb2 Architecture & Engineering, 710 West Roselawn Drive, Rogers, Arkansas, 72756, addressed the Commission. Mr. Donkers stated that he is representing Walmart on behalf of the expansion project here in Gladstone. He explained that on the building elevations, as most everyone has noticed, it is quite different than any Walmart anyone has probably seen. That is because it is something new. It’s the new proto-design that Walmart is incorporating in their stores and this will happen to be one of the first Walmarts in the County to receive that application, let alone this area. Some of the things that Walmart is trying to do when they incorporated this design was to present a more attractive and approachable building. One of the key elements they are incorporating is what they call an “iconic tree planter” on their front sidewalk. Most stores don’t have any landscaping on their front sidewalk, but this is one item they would like to add. It will be a landscaped planter that will create somewhat of a plaza area for people to gather.

Mr. Donkers also spoke about the center sign badge element. This is a new material that is being introduced. It is called a Trespa wall panel system. It is something that is not structural element, but it is part of the actual sign badge application. It also has some “green” building features as well. On the vestibules there will be two main entrances on the front of the store. One side will be the “Home and Living” which is the general merchandise side. It has a much more approachable look as well as a much more human feel to it. The “Market and Pharmacy” side is the grocery side. There are windows on the front which provide natural light to the cart storage area.

Mr. Donkers continued to a slide that detailed some of the sustainability initiatives that go on inside the Walmart building. The first thing is the application of LED lights. In the past Walmart has used fluorescent lighting, which when applied to coolers caused more heat, thus more energy to cool. LED lights are actually 70% more energy efficient and allow 100,000 hours of life. This also reduces the need to manufacture and dispose of fluorescent lights. Another area they are applied to are all of the jewelry counters as well as all of the signage including the wall signs and the monument signs. Mr. Donkers highlighted the next area of initiatives which included waterless and low flow fixtures. All the restroom sinks will include sensor activated low flow faucets which reduces usage by about 84%. He said that a waterless urinal speaks for itself and creates much less water usage as a result.

Mr. Donkers explained that currently that roof on the existing Walmart is made of a dark membrane and it is an older roof and the condition is somewhat poor. As part of the expansion, they are going to replace the entire roof membrane in addition to providing a white membrane on the new part of the roof. What the high solar reflectivity of the membrane will do is result in lowering the cooling loads by about 10% in the building. Having a higher solar reflective index will reduce the heat island effects, which is the thermal gradient difference between developed and undeveloped areas, and it minimizes the impact on micro-climate, human and wildlife habitat.

Quickly, Mr. Donkers reviewed a few other sustainability items beginning with the interior lighting. This store has already been retrofitted with the “T-8” fluorescent lamps. They are much more economical and efficient as opposed to the fluorescent lighting of the past. There are also light sensors that will be in all non-sales floor areas. When there is no foot traffic the lights will go off to save energy. Another item is the water heating. The store will be equipped with a unit to capture waste heat from the refrigeration equipment and will use that to heat the water for the kitchen prep areas. One final item Mr. Donkers mentioned is the central energy management system. This is a system that is in place so that they can monitor the energy use of all of their stores, 24 hours a day, 7 days week, 365 days a year in Bentonville. They can monitor how much energy is being used and something gets out of whack they can immediately notify the store manager and have it addressed.

Mr. Donkers showed the Commission the material board which displayed both the material and color types of the proposed store. He then turned the presentation back to Mr. Joyce.

Mr. Joyce asked if there were any questions for him at this time.

Ms. Newsom said that Mr. Donkers mentioned a kitchen prep area and she wondered if that was going to be in a restaurant/dining area.

Mr. Donkers answered that the kitchen prep area he was speaking of would be where the meat and ground beef are packaged. He also said that there is a small food prep in the leased Subway tenant space, but no, there will not be any dining areas.

Ms. Newsom said that she is not crazy about the word “discussed” in condition #13 that talks about treatment of noxious weeds. She said anyone can discuss it, but that doesn’t mean there’s going to be a resolution or that there is any hammer with this nail. She’s not sure “discuss” is the right verb to put on a stipulation.

Mr. Wingerson answered that currently the residents are experiencing some poison ivy from the Peterson Company property close to their property line and have expressed some concern about getting rid of that. The people from Walmart have agreed to spot treat all noxious weeds somewhere towards the start of construction and then somewhere towards the end treat it a second time. From that point forward the store and the grounds are transferred from the construction people to the store management, who then would be the contact for the City or the residents to treat noxious weeds and that would be addressed as a code concern at this point if it were to reoccur.

Ms. Newsom said if it just discussed with the store manager, what happens when that person moves on? Is there anything in writing? What’s the hammer?

Mr. Wingerson said that it would be a code violation in the future- so that’s the hammer. There will be documentation provided to the store manager about this concern; then it becomes a City code violation which the City would address in their normal mechanism. The condition is more worded to provide guidance to anyone who looks at it that it’s not the planning processes responsibility to, in perpetuity, keep the area free of noxious weeds. We are just dealing with it in the construction process, but then it goes into the code process and the operational function of the store.

David Lotz, Continental Consulting Engineers, Incorporated, addressed the Commission. Mr. Lotz added that Walmart has gotten into a rather aggressive system as far as notifying their store managers from an electronic webpage that will update after the construction is complete all of the maintenance type issues that the manager will be responsible for. Instead of relying on word of mouth, there is a very detailed process that is monitored by somebody at Walmart and is available to him on a full-time basis to access.

Chairman Hill said he would proceed with the public hearing portion of the meeting by calling for those in favor of the application to come forward to the podium. He asked for audience members to limit their comments to three minutes per person.

Carolyn Heckert, 3024 NE 73rd Terrace addressed the Commission. Ms. Heckert said she just needed some clarification on some things that she received in her packet. She said it was noted that there would no longer be temporary storage on facility and wanted to confirm that meant there would be no more semi-truck trailers dropped on the facility for Christmas overflow storage. Her other question was concerning lighting. A lot has been talked about the parking lot changes, but no one has talked about if there will be an increase in lighting. Ms. Heckert also asked about the fencing that was noted on the site plan. It was clarified this evening that there would be an 8 ft sound barrier fence, but on the plan it says that there is a 4 ft and 6 ft wood fence, so she didn’t know if that was discussing current fences or if there were any plans to add additional fencing to the property lines.

Tim Adams, 7212 N. Bellefontaine, addressed the Commission. Mr. Adams said he has lived in his house, which will be directly affected by this parking lot, since January and the number one reason he bought that house is because when you look out the backyard it’s nothing but wooded space. Coming this spring he will now look out his backyard and see nothing but parking lot, so this is directly affecting his property value, his quality of living in his backyard and his number one concern is what it’s going to look like. Is he going to have bright lights shining in his windows all hours of the night? Is he going to be able to look down and see people coming and going at all times? Will they be able to see back into his house from there? How much of the wooded area…right now it’s all hard woods…quite thick for 150-200 ft. Will there be access for pedestrians to come up on this side of the wall? Now he has to add a fence. Are they looking to re-fence his yard with a taller fence to make sure that nobody is filtering across? Trees are valuable. Green space is valuable; it adds value to any property. Are they going to replace as many of these trees as they can with this grading that they are going to do? He happens to be one that, even though it’s directly behind his house, he will probably have the 80 ft of trees and it starts tapering as it goes north to south. As you get down to the corner it’s taking away almost all of the trees that are grown there. Are they going to replace those trees? He would love to see a row of blue spruces or something that over time would build up and provide a nice shield. He would hope that this Council would seriously look into all of that and to provide that for the neighborhood that is going to have to be their neighbor from now on.

Chairman Hill asked Mr. Adams how many houses north of 72nd Street he was.

Mr. Adams answered that he was the third backyard from 72nd Street.

Chairman Hill asked if anyone else would like to speak in favor of the application or just have general questions.

Barry Darlington, 7201 N. Bellefontaine Avenue, addressed the Commission. Mr. Darlington said they talked about a 30 ft buffer between the parking lot and the existing property owners and asked if it would extend the full length all the way north to south. He liked the idea of the spruce trees separating the zoning for business from the residential areas in Tall Timbers. He figured Walmart could probably get a pretty good price on trees since they have a nursery center. Mr. Darlington expressed his concern for the lighting pollution coming from the parking lot. He said if you go by Walmart or Hy-Vee you can’t see sky at night because of the light pollution. He asked for low lighting across the parking lot. He also wondered how much they were going to cut off the area where the monument sign is. He didn’t see it on the plan. The big berm that is there now helps to keep the noise down from the parking lot.

Abe Huffstickler, 7204 N. Bellefontaine Avenue, addressed the Commission. Mr. Huffstickler said that he is directly affected by the employee parking lot. His main concern is with Walmart being a security friendly company to their employees they’re going to want to light that parking lot and that’s going to light his backyard. His other concern is that they are going to want to put security cameras in there and will they have the ability of looking into his windows.

Pat Anthony, 7200 N. Bellefontaine Avenue, addressed the Commission. Ms. Anthony said that her property is the one that will be most affected by the parking lot. As she discussed with Scott and Les when they came and gave a presentation at her home, her main concern is water run-off. They talked about this pipe that would be running north and south to channel that and that it would be okay. She’s sure that once it’s done it would be okay, but while they are grading and doing all that work…they have lived there for thirty years this year… and have never had water in their house. Her concern is while this is being done and until it is reseeded and the terracing is done what guarantee does she have that she is not going to have water running into her home.

Kendra Schneider, 7216 N. Bellefontaine, addressed the Commission. Ms. Schneider said that she has been there eight years this month and that is the exact reason they moved there- because of all the trees. They wanted the mature trees. For several years they had talked to City Hall and found out it belonged to Mr. Peterson and that it was zoned for potentially patio homes, retirement homes, duplexes, whatever it might be, but it wasn’t expected for anything to go on. She knows with the whole Walmart project it was a very high level of knowledge. Ms. Schneider said when she started seeing the flags she started calling, trying to find out what was going on. She doesn’t remember the name of the gentleman she spoke with, but he kept saying he wasn’t aware of anything. She said she kind of understands that, but still they are being put in a position to where their property values, she feels, are going to go down or stay the same. They have always had that nice buffer of all those trees and they really want to continue to keep that. The few things she would like to know are: Has Missouri Conservation been contacted? Are they involved? Are the people doing the dirt work from this area and do they really know what is really the best for our soil? Will moving all of that dirt disturb the ground enough to shift the foundation of their homes? What about all the trash? She said it has been better, but it gets worse in the winter and it is very unattractive. She understands there is a gas line back there. What is the possibility of a problem with that and the machinery that will be working back there? She would like to see more presence of Gladstone Public Safety because she knows of one case where her backyard was lit up by the police helicopter because they thought that someone was in the woods and had come from a purse snatching at Walmart. Ms. Schneider said that there is already a problem with the south entrance into Walmart. People want to go across to Hy-Vee; Hy-Vee people want to come to Walmart. There are constantly close calls of accidents as well as pedestrians trying to run across too. She didn’t know if maybe at the top of the hill…because she knows a lot of people come up from Appletree Apartments…and it’s not safe for them to be coming back and forth…there could be a pedestrian walkway as well as maybe a light. She also asked if there was any chance of a gas station being added in the future. Ms. Schneider said that it has been mentioned tonight about the north side of this property being undisturbed and that if something was going to come in it would be a public hearing. She wondered why it couldn’t be a public vote. She knows of several folks in Gladstone…they weren’t aware of this…but just the little bit they knew they didn’t want it coming in and getting that big. Gladstone has two gas stations already and that’s really all that we need.

Randy Aubrey, 3009 NE 73rd Street, addressed the Commission. Mr. Aubrey stated that he appreciates Walmart’s endeavor here, he knows this is a lot of money for this expansion, but he thinks that the Commission has heard several comments from neighbors with concerns. He said there are couple of questions they may want to consider. The 30 ft setback on the east side is very generous, but it looks like there is room for a greater setback and not endangering the natural habitat. He said they might want think about increasing that setback. The other thing he is concerned with is the future use of the northern end of the property. He would like to see that remain undisturbed. They may want to consider there are a lot of hard maples in that area. Gladstone already has a state sanctuary for maples on the other side of Missouri Route 1, so they may want to perpetuate that. Mr. Aubrey indicated that his second area of concern is the parking lot area. If this plan goes through he would like to see some kind of assurance that it is strictly for employee parking and no other future use. A third question he had was regarding the south entrance that is used for truck loading and unloading area. He asked what the future use of that entrance would be. His last request would be that a security gate be at the employee entrance so that only employees are allowed in and out of that parking lot.

Chairman Hill asked for those in opposition of the application.

Patricia Ballard, 3001 NE 72nd Street, addressed the Commission. Ms. Ballard stated that as far as she is concerned no one wants to live next to a Walmart she doesn’t care where it is, much less a supercenter. She was born and raised here on Linden Road; she was here before Gladstone and she just can’t believe what’s going on here. He says they’re going to put up barriers and such to hide the noise and the stuff, but she said that there are all kinds of pollution and trash that they pick up constantly down in their area. It blows all the way down [to her house]. That wall is not going to do anything. If they allow this store to go in they’re going to have increased traffic. With the increased trash there will also be increased crime. Ms. Ballard said there is already a police officer up there overnight. She doesn’t know about anyone else, but over the last couple of years she has put substantial money into her land and home and this will definitely drop her property value. She is not for that. There are two grocery stores right around there; this supermarket will have another super grocery store in there. What are they going to do with those other two supermarkets? Plus there are probably six or seven that are probably just around in the area. Are they going to sell out the average homeowner for just a little bit of increase in sales tax dollars? She thinks that is terrible. She doesn’t think they are looking after the interest of the average homeowner. She thinks that is terrible because they were here before they were.

Chairman Hill asked if there was anyone else to speak in opposition. Hearing no further response from the audience he asked City staff and the Walmart representatives to address the questions asked of the audience.

Mr. Wingerson said that he would go through the questions that he made notes of and answer what pertains to City staff.

  1. No temporary storage and no containers. Mr. Wingerson said that he believes that would refer to containers on the asphalt that are about the size of a semi-trailer to store lay-away items. Not only is that type of storage prohibited by the draft ordinance, but Walmart is getting out of that business and it is not their desire to do it either.

  2. Lighting. He will let Walmart answer that further.

  3. Existence of a 4 ft and 6 ft wood fence on the property line. Mr. Wingerson said this is on the very east property line and they are currently existing on the developed lot of the homes in Tall Timbers on the property line. He pointed this area out on the PowerPoint slide and said that there would not be any additional fencing closer to the homes than the parking lot will be.

Chairman Hill asked if there would be any landscaping around the fence.

Mr. Wingerson said that about halfway up the parking lot is where the new landscaping starts, then goes south towards 72nd and around the corner of the parking lot. The landscaping that is on the east side of the parking lot is primarily evergreens.

  1. Mr. Adams questions regarding lights and people and what he might see from his

home. Mr. Wingerson said he will have Walmart address that.

  1. 30 ft. buffer the entire length of the site. Mr. Wingerson referred to the PowerPoint

landscape slide and said that on the far east line there is a dashed area- that is the 30 ft buffer area, which is the area that is undisturbed. The setback is different there. The setback that is calculated for City use is the distance from the property line to the first improvement. At minimum that is 75 ft from the east property line; at maximum it’s about 120 ft from the east property line measuring the setback itself. The 30 ft line is simply an undisturbed line of any vegetation being disturbed at all and it does extend from 72nd Street to the north limit of the property.

  1. How much is cut off the hill at 72nd & M-1? Mr. Wingerson said he cannot answer that question one hundred percent, but staff did ask Walmart to lower the hill to the extent possible. Based on their investigation from months ago, there is a significant amount of utilities located in that hill (where fountain is) so his guess it won’t go down more than 2 ft, so most of the berm will remain.

  2. Lighting at the employee lot. Can security cameras see into the residences? He will let the engineers talk about that.

  3. Ms. Anthony wanted assurance on the run-off during construction. Mr. Joyce can address that.

  4. Ms. Schneider’s questions: Regarding the level of knowledge. Mr. Wingerson remarked that there was a high level of knowledge, but none of it was a reality until the application was filed. As soon as the application was filed staff tried to get very comprehensive packets out to anyone who might be affected by the project and hold individual meetings. Staff understands the perception of that from Ms. Schneider’s perspective and he hopes that the Commission and everyone in the audience will understand that as soon as the City had an official application they got the word out as aggressive and comprehensively as possible.

  5. Is Missouri Conservation involved? Mr. Wingerson said he was not sure.

  6. Will it disturb the foundations of the homes. The engineers can answer this better.

  7. Trash. Staff has dealt with the trash at the existing Walmart from a code enforcement perspective. Mr. Wingerson believed that currently Walmart has two people that walk the exterior of the site every single morning and most of the residents, as Ms. Schneider said, have seen a big improvement on the trash collection that just gets away.

  8. Gas line. The engineers can talk about that.

  9. Traffic impact. Mr. Wingerson explained that staff spent a lot of time looking at where Walmart and Hy-Vee cross each other on 72nd Street. They looked at the potential of a traffic light or a different way of striping, but unfortunately the traffic light is too close to the existing light at M-1 to allow a second light to be installed. That is in the City’s jurisdiction, so technically the could do it, although it would not be consistent with typical traffic light design standards. He continued by saying that after discussing those options staff came to the conclusion that the main entrance for the existing Walmart and then probably more so for the proposed Walmart is at 73rd and M-1 where the existing traffic light is.

  10. Gas station in the future. He will let Walmart answer this question.

  11. Vote of the people. Mr. Wingerson stated that this is the process allowed and required by State Law- public hearing with the Planning Commission, public hearing at the City Council based on a recommendation by the Planning Commission and then the Council’s vote on the matter is how it’s decided. There is an appeal process and if Ms. Schneider would like, he said he would be glad to go into that with her.

  12. Mr. Aubrey talked about a greater setback. Mr. Wingerson said he thinks he already talked about that. The dashed line is an absolutely hard line that’s undisturbed- period. The setback is much further than the not disturbed line; two or three times more.

  13. Future use of the north end. Mr. Wingerson said he tried to address this question in his opening comments so he would try again. The entire property, if approved, would be zoned CP-3. The “P” in that classification is for “Planned District” meaning that anyone that wanted to do anything on the north side of the property would come through this process with the same notice to adjoining property owners and a notice in the newspaper and a sign on the property- everything that staff has done for this application. A public hearing with the Planning Commission, City Council and vote.

  14. Use of employee parking lot. Mr. Wingerson said that he has referred to it as an employee parking lot almost exclusively, but he didn’t mean to imply that it would only be used for employees. He believes the intended purpose will be to require the Walmart employees to park there but should it be at a peak season he doesn’t think that it’s possible to separate customer traffic from employee parking. Ninety-nine percent of the time the lot will be used for employees because it’s convenient for them because of the card entry to the back door. Staff did talk to Walmart about a security gate for the employee parking lot; however, it was not supported by the folks in Bentonville and was just not condusive to what they were trying to accomplish.

Finally, Mr. Wingerson wasn’t sure if Ms. Ballard had a question, but said he would be glad to answer it if she did in fact have one. He turned it over to Mr. Lotz for further clarification.

David Lotz with Continental Consulting Engineers addressed the Commission and said he would try to fill in the blanks with the questions that were asked.

  1. Lighting. The existing site currently has 42 ft high light fixtures in the front parking

lot. The proposed parking lot will be completely re-lit. Everything that is there today will be disposed of. Those proposed lights will be the same as today- 42 ft high lights in the front parking field. 1,000 watt metal lights. The rear parking lot will have a lower light fixture. Those will be 28 ft poles with 400 watt lights. The goal in any city is to maintain zero foot-candles at the property line and that is what they will have with this project. In theory, there is no light trespass onto the adjacent property owners. Will the property owners be able to see these light fixtures? Yes, they are 28 ft high, so they will be able to see the light source, but the light will not trespass on to their properties.

  1. What will Mr. Adams be looking at from his property? Mr. Lotz explained that the

lots are at a much lower elevation than the proposed parking field. He believes it is up to 20 ft in elevation difference from where the parking lot is to where the homes are. They are also going to have the 8 ft screen wall adjacent to the property owners both on the north side of the parking field and also on the east side, so they are totally shielding where employees are parking. There will be a gate on the north side of the parking field so Walmart can access the detention basin. The gate will be locked at all times except for access to mow. There shouldn’t be anyone getting around the screen wall unless they scale an 8 ft high screen wall. There is currently existing a 6 ft high screen wall that extends the full length of the property. Mr. Lotz added that they have also done a pretty exhaustive effort to landscape the area that they are disturbing on the east side of the parking field. He doesn’t remember the species that they are planting, but they can certainly take a look at planting those types of evergreens that may satisfy the neighbors. He further wanted to clarify that they are not disturbing the existing vegetation to the north. On the east side of the parking field at the very southern end they are keeping a minimum of 30 ft of the existing vegetation. He said that when they are spraying for poison ivy they will be very specific as to what they are spraying because they want to keep that existing vegetation there.

  1. Grading at 72nd & M-1. Mr. Lotz remarked that there are existing utilities that will

keep them from lowering the grade there, but they can look at not lowering it at all if that is the neighbor’s concern.

  1. Security cameras. Walmart’s plan is place two cameras on the rear of the building

that will monitor the rear parking field. The specifics of the camera have not been detailed to the engineers yet, but Mr. Lotz said that he would express to Walmart the concern of the property owner about those cameras having the ability to look into his home. He said they should be able to be directed into the parking lot only.

  1. Water run-off. Mr. Lotz asked that Mr. Patrick Young address this question. Mr.

Young explained that for each Walmart project a construction stormwater program is

put into place. Walmart is one of the industry leaders in erosion and sedimentation

control. For this site, they will implement a similar program to control stormwater

during the construction phase. This will include such things as silt fences, sediment

basins, waffles and temporary seeding. Mr. Young said he doesn’t see this as being a

big issue because Walmart takes it very seriously.

  1. Clay and soil in this area. There is a landscape architect in their office (Leawood,

Kansas). They work in the Kansas City area often and are very familiar with the soils in the area and they will make sure the appropriate plantings are used.

  1. Earthwork. Mr. Lotz explained that they will be taking down a portion of the hill to level where the employee parking lot is being built. They will not be doing any blasting that would affect residential foundations.

  2. Trash. Mr. Wingerson eluded to the fact that the existing Walmart store manager has implemented a process where they are going out there and picking up trash on a regular basis. Mr. Lotz said that they will also place that in their owner operation model for the manager.

  3. Gas line. The building is served by a 2 inch gas line. This is a fairly small gas line and typical of what you would see in a residential subdivision. As far as relocation of the line, it will not be a major issue.

  4. Gladstone Public Safety. The City will address how often they visit the site.

  5. Gas station. At this point, Mr. Lotz explained that Walmart is not typically putting gas stations with any of their buildings. They sometimes put them in with a Sam’s Club, but not a Walmart store. A gas station is not planned on this lot at this time. If they would want to add a gas station in the future, they would have to come back through the Planning Commission and City Council in order to get an amendment to the current site plan.

  6. North part of the property. Again, at this time there is nothing planned for the north part of the property. Mr. Lotz said that because of the contours it would be rather difficult to build anything. It will probably stay in a vegetative state in perpetuity, but he would not give any guarantees. If someone wanted to change anything they would have to go before the Planning Commission and City Council for approval.

  7. Traffic concerns. An initial traffic study has been done on both intersections of the site. The drive entrance and traffic signal at 72nd and Highway 1 works very well. The drive entrance between Hy-Vee is operating at lower levels of service, but the majority of the cars don’t generally use that entrance. Mr. Lotz said that typically what happens is that with the improvements is that if people have difficulty getting out of a particular entrance they will find their way to another entrance.

  8. 30 ft setback. There is a 30 ft setback that runs the full length of the eastern property line. The parking field is 75-80 ft back from the property line. Again, since the vegetation is not going to be changed behind the parking field, he feels that they have adequate setback and no reason to offer additional setback.

  9. Security gate. Walmart is not interested in putting in a security gate in at the rear parking field. They want access in and out of there freely. The lot will be designated as an employee parking lot. Walmart will paint the parking stalls white which designates to their employees that it is for them. The parking field in the rest of the parking field will be yellow. There will be signage as well. As far as overflow during holiday shopping, it should be very limited.

  10. South entrance/truck loading. Currently there is a loading dock on the south side of the existing store. That loading dock serves the entire store at this point. There will be a second loading dock loaded at the north end of the store. The north loading dock will serve the general merchandise and the garden center area. The south loading dock will serve the grocery area. They are not intending to get rid of the dock area on the south side because two are needed. There will also be the addition of a bale and recycling area on the south side of the dock area near 72nd Street which will provide some additional shielding of that truck turn around area.

Mr. Lotz said that like Mr. Wingerson he wasn’t sure if the last homeowner had a question or not. At this point he opened his presentation up to the Commission for questions or clarification.

Ms. Newsom asked how the bale and pallet recycling area would screen the truck docks.

Mr. Lotz said it would be about 45 ft in length and 11 ft tall. There is already a berm there and it will be placed up into that berm area. It will not fully shield the area, but it will help.

Ms. Newsom asked how the construction will be phased.

Mr. Tim Donkers answered that the phasing has not been worked out yet, but since the store will remain open, Walmart doesn’t want to impact their sales significantly. They take a lot of precautions to make sure that its customers are shielded from the construction.

Mr. Lotz added that relative to the parking lot he would think that they would build the new employee parking lot as one of the first things in the design process so they can move the employees. Then they will probably tear out the northern parking field and rebuild a new parking field so they can open that up. The details are still to be worked out.

Ms. Babich asked if in the interest of reducing trash and being more “green” if Walmart had given consideration to ceasing the use of plastic bags.

Mr. Donkers said that is something that Walmart has encouraged. There is one thing that they have implemented in some of their stores and that is reusable bags available at the checkout. This is being done to see if it would cut down the use of plastic bags and it is something that is very likely that this store might have as well.

Mr. Wingerson added that Walmart has adopted a mission to reduce the use of the plastic bags by 50% within the next few years. He also apologized to Ms. Schneider for skipping over her concern about Public Safety and explained that Walmart has a contract with the City to provide an officer inside the store. Mr. Wingerson said that Ms. Heckert has asked if she could make one last comment to the Commission before the public hearing is closed.

Carolyn Heckert, 3024 NE 73rd Terrace, addressed the Commission. Ms. Heckert stated that overall Walmart has been a very good neighbor. She has lived in Tall Timbers for twelve years and anytime she has had an issue with anything that Walmart was doing she just picked the phone and called the manager. Whether it was noise, trash or fallen trees those things were always taken care of. She believes change is inevitable, she just wants them to remain a good neighbor, just like they want to be good neighbors to each other. Ms. Heckert commented that they have done a beautiful design and she thinks it is going to improve this store and the concerns is the parking lot and to maintain their neighborhood.

Pat Anthony, 7200 N. Bellefontaine Avenue, addressed the Commission. Ms. Anthony said that she is the one who got the poison ivy in the spring. Two trees had fallen down and in the process of cleaning them up she got poison ivy. Her concern is that with this 30 ft easement who will be responsible for it. She also thought that the employee parking lot was just going to be for employees. Will there only be a sign put up stating that?

Mr. Wingerson answered Ms. Anthony’s questions by stating that responsibility on the Peterson property has always been difficult because it has always been considered a natural area. Technically the responsibility is with the property owner, but a lot of time for efficiency, many times the homeowner takes the same action as Ms. Anthony did. In the future it will be considered a developed piece of property and that makes Walmart responsible. Mr. Wingerson said that when Ms. Anthony was kind enough to host a meeting at her home to talk about this project, it was discussed as an employee lot. Certainly, it has not changed, and he apologized to her for being unclear. As Mr. Lotz explained it’s going to be an employee lot. It’s going to be signed for that and it’s going to be mandated by Walmart that their employees park there. During peak times there may be a few people that park there, but it is a very long way to the front door. He thinks that if anyone does it they’ll only do it once!

Chairman Hill closed the public hearing and asked for discussion from the Commission.

Ms. Alexander thanked the audience for their courtesy this evening.

Ms. Abbott commended Walmart for the comprehensive plan they presented tonight.

Ms. Newsom said she didn’t see any reason to lower the berm at 72nd and M-1.

Mr. Lotz said they would be okay with leaving the berm where it is.

Chairman Hill added that this is a very well thought, well prepared plan. The parking lot seems well landscaped. He knows its zoned R-1 now, but to develop that with the terrain that’s there father to the north he thinks that’s a pretty imposing challenge for any developer and that is why it has sat there for so long. This plan will preserve as much of the natural setting that the residents to the east have enjoyed and the parking lot probably isn’t going to be as much of a disturbance as if patio homes were put in there. He said it is an attractive plan with a much more appealing building for the community. Not the most important thing, but it will generate additional sales tax revenue for the City and help the City Council keep property taxes down.

Ms. Newsom said that she was on the City Council when Walmart moved to the location from the Hobby Lobby location. Concurrent to that time was a situation in Liberty where they wanted to move their Walmart and make some renovations. Liberty took a very hard edge and was not very welcoming to Walmart and ended up moving across the highway to Kansas City. The development that occurred with that has drawn so much of their retail out of Liberty into Kansas City and has been a huge detriment to them. She would never want to place Gladstone in a situation where they would lose a good, solid tenant that provides the City with sales tax revenue to maintain the services that they have all come to know, love and expect on a regular basis. In the current economy maintaining those services that are based on basically sales tax revenue, she doesn’t want to effect the residents adversely, but she definitely wants to see Walmart stay and grow.

Item 6 on the Agenda: MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Ms. Abbott to approve the Preliminary Plat at 7202 N. Agnes. (Resolution 08-02)

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander Yes

Ms. Babich Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Mr. Shevling Yes

Mr. Whitton Yes

Ms. Abbott Yes

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Yes

The motion carried. (11-Yes, 0-No)

Item 7 on the Agenda: MOTION: By Mr. West, second by Ms. Newsom to approve the Final Plat at 7202 N. Agnes.

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander Yes

Ms. Babich Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Mr. Shevling Yes

Mr. Whitton Yes

Ms. Abbott Yes

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Yes

The motion carried. (11-Yes, 0-No)

Item 8 on the Agenda: MOTION: By Ms. Alexander, second by Ms. Smith to approve the rezoning of property legally described as Lot 2 Walton’s Addition from R-1 to CP-3.

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander Yes

Ms. Babich Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Mr. Shevling Yes

Mr. Whitton Yes

Ms. Abbott Yes

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Yes

The motion carried. (11-Yes, 0-No)

Item 9 on the Agenda: MOTION: By Mr. West, second by Ms. Newsom to approve the site plan revision on property legally described as Lot 1 and Lot 2 Walton’s Addition.

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander Yes

Ms. Babich Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Mr. Shevling Yes

Mr. Whitton Yes

Ms. Abbott Yes

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Yes

The motion carried. (11-Yes, 0-No)

Item 10 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and City Staff.

Councilman Beer commented on a great Gladfest.

Mr. Wingerson thanked the Commission for a great public hearing tonight and also for their patience for a long meeting.

Item 11 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.

Ms. Babich asked about the status of the clutter ordinance.

Mr. Wingerson said it was done and he would find out when it would be presented to the Council.

Ms. Abbott thanked Mr. Wingerson for getting the grass and weeds cut and cleaned up at Englewood Vista.

Mr. McCullough said he thought it was a great Gladfest. He also added that he had a reason to experience the quick response of the Gladstone Fire/EMS and it was remarkable.

Ms. Newsom thanked everyone involved in Gladfest for a job well done.

Chairman Hill thanked Ms. Newsom for co-chairing Gladfest.

Item 12 on the Agenda: Adjournment.

Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 9:31 pm.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____

Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary

______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____

Brian Hill, Chairman