February 2, 2009

7:30 pm

Present: Council & Staff Present:

Ms. Newsom Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Rudi

Ms. Alexander Scott Wingerson, Assist. City Manager

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

Mr. McCullough Chris Helmer, Planning Specialist

Mr. Garnos Becky Jarrett, Admin. Assist.

Mr. Velasquez

Ms. Smith

Ms. Abbott

Mr. Steffens

Mr. West

Chairman Hill

Absent: Ms. Babich

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 January 20, 2009 minutes.

MOTION: By Mr. McCullough, second by Ms. Newsom to approve the January 20, 2009, minutes as submitted. The minutes were approved as submitted.

Item 4 on the Agenda: Communications from the Audience.


Item 5 on the Agenda: CONSIDERATION : Of a request to vacate unimproved rights-of-way at NE 73rd Terrace and N. Euclid Avenue. Applicant/Owner: J.A. Peterson Enterprises, Inc. File #1326.

Item 6 on the Agenda: CONSIDERATION: Of a Final Plat at NE 73rd Terrace and N. Euclid Avenue. Applicant/Owner: J.A. Peterson Enterprises, Inc. File #1329.

Item 7 on the Agenda: CONSIDERATION: Of a Rezoning and Site Plan Revision at NE 73rd Terrace and N. Euclid Avenue. Applicant/Owner: J.A. Peterson Enterprises, Inc. File #1330.

Chairman Hill announced that these three items would be discussed together this evening. Back in November the public hearing was held and closed on these applications; therefore, the public will not be allowed to speak this evening, but will have a chance at the City Council meeting on Monday, January 9th. At the November meeting the applicant requested to come back and address the Commission with the proposed changes. Those revisions will be heard and considered tonight.

Planning Specialist Helmer stated, for the record, that at the meeting of November 17, 2008 the Planning Commission originally heard these applications. In the Commissioner’s packets this evening are the original documents as well as the revisions submitted by the applicant. He offered to answer any questions at this time.

Hearing no questions at this time, Chairman Hill called on the applicant to come forward.

Brian Forquer, Lutjen, Incorporated, 8350 N. Saint Clair Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri, addressed the Commission. He introduced Mr. Riedemann, President of the Peterson Companies, Bill Podrebarac and Chris Chancellor with Lutjen. Mr. Forquer stated that in November when the Commission heard these applications he had requested a continuation to review the Planning Commission’s comments.

Mr. Forquer stated a list of the issues raised: parking, 72nd Street access, stormwater, landscape screening, architectural enhancements, covenant agreement (provided in staff report) and the rental to home ownership discussion. A memo was also included in the staff report stating that eventually the ninety-eight living units that are provided in this development will be marketed to home ownership; however, market conditions right now don’t allow that to happen, so for the near future they will be leased until that condition can be resolved. The homeowners association will be developed for this property to help maintain it for the aesthetics of the property. The Peterson Company does development of lifestyle residential communities and it continues to be a very important activity. Currently, they have Copperleaf, The Preserves at Carriage Hill, Carriage Hill Estates and Embassy Park in the Kansas City Northland.

Mr. Forquer continued by saying that he appreciates the opportunity to present this project and tonight he will walk through some of the things they are asking for: street vacation, rezoning, site plan revision and a proposed plat.

As discussed previously at the Planning Commission meeting, their property is R-3 and a portion of C-1. R-3 is Garden Apartments, C-1 is Commercial. They are trying to rezone the entire parcel to RP-3, which is a planned district and tie the site plan to the rezoning. Any substantial changes to the site plan would have to come back through the process. Mr. Forquer walked the Commission through a PowerPoint presentation depicting existing conditions.

The street vacation allows the owner to vacate Brooklyn Avenue and 76th Terrace and clean up the Euclid Street realignment that was done around 1988. The original portion that was done with Family Video vacated a portion of the street and this continues the vacation. It allows them to re-align the road and provide a cul-de-sac from 72nd Street all the way to Euclid providing two points of access on the project.

Regarding the site analysis and constraints of the project, Mr. Forquer said that there is an existing KCP&L easement dividing down the middle of the property. There is an eastern and western drainage way. Site Plan issues are: adding additional parking under the KCP&L easement as well as along the internal road; providing grading limits and preserving the existing vegetation and enhancing existing vegetation along the storm sewer drainage area. East of the KCP&L easement they are requesting a fifteen-feet building separation to try and preserve more of the existing vegetation. Mr. Forquer showed the highlighted areas on the screen which depicted the additional parking spaces provided. There are sixty-one additional stalls. He said that is almost one off-street parking space for each unit. They have also placed “no parking” signs on the south side of 73rd Terrace.

Mr. Forquer said another point mentioned at the prior meeting was the view that the neighbors would have of the units. The units noted in red on the PowerPoint will have architectural elevation upgrades to provide additional aesthetic views to the existing neighbors. As shown previously, the stonework and the upgrades will match. In addition, they have provided not more than two consecutive buildings in a row with similar rooflines.

There have been numerous discussions on stormwater drainage at the southwest corner of the property. Mr. Forquer showed the existing conditions of the proposed plan as well as the surrounding areas on the PowerPoint presentation. He explained that watershed from an area up to forty-seven acres empties into the storm drain at the 72nd and Euclid intersection. What has been revised on this part of the plan is additional landscaping to buffer the existing neighbors from the culvert. The culvert has also been moved over closer to the new homes to allow for additional landscaping. They have also revised the inlet structure and it now has bars across it so it is not an open-ended structure. They have also tied the existing storm sewer at the north property line into that structure and then the pipe outlets from that.

Mr. Forquer said that site distance on 72nd Street is the last issue. They have reviewed site distance from the proposed N. Brooklyn intersection and based on AASHTO guidelines they meet the site distance requirement. They are requesting that the intersection is still maintained as a full access point. It helps with marketing the community and providing two points of access for the residents.

As previously discussed, the recommended conditions in the staff report are acceptable. The only one that he would like to discuss further is the issue regarding irrigating all maintained landscaped areas. They are looking at irrigating the detention basin, pool and cabana and the area around the parking. Mr. Forquer said he would be glad to answer any questions at this time.

Mr. West said that he realizes that they have just a little more than 10% of the space, but he missed any kind of quantitative assessment of how much more water flow the basin will handle with the changes that are proposed with the re-designed piping and swale.

Mr. Forquer answered that it is the same design, but they have just tried to provide more of a buffer to the existing residents.

Ms. Abbott said that she is curious, with an open culvert during rainstorms, if they aware of how many gallons of water will accumulate in one inch of water on an acre of concrete and rooftops.

Mr. Forquer said he knew that for the November meeting, but he just doesn’t recall it tonight.

Ms. Abbott answered that it would be 27,154 gallons of water. They have five acres- basically homes and driveways and streets and in an open culvert. She said that is a lot of water. She asked how many gallons of water the retention basin takes care of.

Mr. Forquer said that it is not an open culvert, it’s actually a box structure with an opening that matches the swale and two openings on the side.

Ms. Abbott said a child could fall in it.

Mr. Forquer replied that is why they put the bars across it- for safety purposes.

Ms. Abbott asked how much water it would accommodate.

Bill Podrebarac with Lutjen addressed the question. Mr. Podrebarac said that the pipe itself will accommodate a lot more water at that location than the whole system is really able to convey. The big problem with it is that once the water gets down by 72nd Street there is a smaller culvert that conveys the water into Rock Creek and that will be the “choke point” for everything. With what they have been able to accomplish, they can put a larger pipe in from that inlet box down to 72nd Street and there is a detention basin situated off to the side. When it starts to rain under ordinary circumstances this will work just fine. It will collect all the rainfall from a two-year and a ten-year event. Once it gets into a really high rainfall event- like a one hundred-year- …

Ms. Abbott interjected and said that would be like the six inches they had just four or five years ago.

Mr. Podrebarac said that would be between a ten or fifty-year event. It also depends on the time interval in which the rainfall was collected. With this system it can hold all the water and it can be diverted into the basin and then over the weir and onto the side of 72nd Street instead of going westerly along private property.

Ms. Abbott asked how many gallons the retention basin holds.

Mr. Podrebarac answered that for the one-hundred year event it will hold about 586,500 gallons; and that would be just for a brief period. It fills up real briefly and then it drops right back.

Ms. Smith asked what would happen when the grate gets blocked by debris.

Mr. Podrebarac replied that ordinarily it is a prolonged effect and with regular maintenance it shouldn’t completely obstruct. If that were to happen there are two additional inlets on the side which will collect some water. There is also a swale that extends from behind the inlet to the south down to the detention basin.

Ms. Smith asked who will be responsible for cleaning the debris out.

Mr. Wingerson answered that after construction and acceptance of the project it will be the City’s responsibility.

Ms. Abbott asked who will maintain the retention basin and culvert.

Mr. Podrebarac replied that the culvert will be a Public Works issue and maintained by the City of Gladstone.

Ms. Abbott remarked that there is a lot of maintenance required on those retention basins because she has one down by her house that is in bad shape and nobody seems to want to take care of it.

Mr. Forquer said that the storm sewer will be Public Works responsibility. The Peterson Companies will maintain the detention basin as a private tract.

Ms. Abbott asked if that was in the requirements (conditions).

Mr. Forquer stated that it is a point of discussion that he has had with City staff and for the record he stated that the Peterson Companies will maintain it.

Ms. Newsom asked if it will be part of the homeowners association once this transpires into individually owned units.

Mr. Forquer answered yes.

Ms. Newsom said that Mr. Forquer had mentioned not irrigating all of the landscaping; however, looking at the list of plants proposed, there are some that will do well in this environment without water on a regular basis, but there are a couple, such as River Burch, that need the irrigation. She would hope that as the landscape architect goes about the project, that those are not placed in non-irrigated areas.

Mr. Forquer stated that the reason he would like to have further discussion on this topic is because if the ultimate decision is to lot split these to individual home ownership, he is not sure how the irrigation system is designed to maintain the units individually in the future. Is it fed off each unit? Is it fed off a master? How is it maintained? Does the homeowners association take care of all that? That’s why he has stated that he is agreeable to the open spaces, but he just wants a little further design development on the irrigation system to figure that system. That is why he is apprehensive to agreeing to it. The Peterson Company is maintaining this and trying to rent it, so the better the project looks the better the lease rates will be.

Ms. Newsom asked if they have given any thought to doing a rent-to-own situation.

Mr. Forquer replied that he has not gotten into that with them at this point yet.

Chairman Hill said that it was his understanding that in the long term that they would be selling the individual units and therefore asked if maintenance would be provided.

Mr. Forquer said that is one option. Another option would be to lot split it out and maintenance would not be provided. It hasn’t been discussed fully with the Peterson Company.

Chairman Hill said that seems completely different that what he has been understanding.

Mr. Forquer left the podium for a moment and returned. Upon his return he stated that everything will be maintained.

Chairman Hill said that he would assume that the developer has negotiated some type of maintenance agreement with City staff for the retention basins.

Mr. Forquer replied that if they are private…

Chairman Hill said that there have been instances where developers do not maintain detention basins. It would seem like there would need to be some type of agreement.

Chris Chancellor with Lutjen addressed the Commission. Mr. Chancellor stated that it is certainly typical to enter into a detention maintenance agreement and what they need to do is just work with staff and come up with the correct form. Ultimately what that will do is put responsibility for maintenance of the detention facilities on whoever owns the private open space tract and in the interim before those are sold, that would be Peterson Development. Later, the responsibility would be on the homeowners association. It would become a recordable document against the tracts of land involved.

Chairman Hill said the final thing on his list has to do with site distance on 72nd Street. He is still having a difficult time with the issue of cars that may get stacked up on eastbound 72nd Street turning north into the new street. He asked if a traffic study was done on this issue.

Mr. Forquer said that their traffic study was more directed to the Euclid and 72nd Street intersection. They looked at intersection site distance trying to determine the left turn and stopping sight distance. Both of those requirements have been met.

Chairman Hill asked if that is the case even if there are three cars stacked there to turn left. It seems that it would be a total blind spot for somebody coming from the west.

Mr. Chancellor commented that the intersection of Brooklyn and 72nd Street is really the worse case scenario because as they looked at it they realized that it drops down to a low point on 72nd and is just to the east of Brooklyn. It was analyzed as if there were only one car sitting there waiting to make a left and in this example with what’s required, it well exceeds the minimum stopping site distance required my AASHTO. If there were to be two or three cars stacked there, they would be further up the hill and it would be easier to see. In the end, one car sitting there would be the worse case scenario. Mr. Chancellor said that he believes that what it comes down to is that there are safety concerns there; however, with the studies completed they feel comfortable proposing a full access intersection at Brooklyn. The traffic study was done for the entire Stratford Park area and included the Family Video site. The study analyzed both the Euclid intersection and the Brooklyn intersection. What it determined was that because there is not a left turn at Euclid, the signals are set up such that the inside lanes get a turn arrow and most of the traffic generated coming eastbound on 72nd Street is going to make the left at signal, they are not going to make the left at Euclid. Since the inside lane is acting as a turn lane the majority of the through traffic continues moving eastbound on the outside lanes.

Ms. Alexander said that she is deeply troubled…she doesn’t care what the study shows…they are creating another situation like the QuikTrip and Prospect one. Why create a problem in advance whey they’re going to be back here later trying out how to handle the traffic? Why not handle it now? They should not use that curb-cut that close to the light.

Mr. Chancellor replied that he can appreciate her concern. Their concern has never really been allowing an eastbound left turn into Brooklyn because the majority of the traffic is going to make that left at the protected signal at Euclid. Their concern has always been the ability for someone heading out of Brooklyn to be able to make a left to get out into 72nd Street. During peak periods it will just be entirely too busy for someone to think about that; they’ll go over to Euclid and use the signal, but certainly there are a lot of non-peak periods where people will be able to utilize the Brooklyn entrance.

Ms. Alexander said it is an accident waiting to happen.

Ms. Newsom said that she would like to still go back to her initial suggestion back in November that the exit on to 72nd Street be signed as “right-in, right-out only during peak hours.” She said sometimes people don’t think and you have to tell them.

Mr. Chancellor said he wouldn’t disagree with that point and he thinks that is certainly open for discussion. He thought that idea has a lot of merit.

Ms. Smith asked what a typical unit would rent for.

Kenneth Reidemann, Peterson Companies, 100000 W. 75th Street, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, 66204 addressed the Commission. Mr. Reidemann answered that the units would average around 1,350 square feet (two and three bedrooms) and the rent would range from $1,000 to about $1,150 plus all utilities.

Ms. Smith said she thinks that is important to know. She also asked how they would make the transition to sell them.

Mr. Reidemann replied that they would have to rent with one year leases from the beginning and then you would very carefully pick that time in the economy when it’s time to convert then begin to reduce the terms of the leases. In a very brisk market it could take a year or so, so you would start preparing about a year in advance.

Chairman Hill asked for further discussion.

Mr. Garnos stated that he lives three blocks north of this site and the thing that he is having trouble with is that this is private property; they presented a plan that includes stormwater studies, traffic studies and they have complied with City staff requirements including thirteen additional requirements by the Planning Commission. He’s not in favor of one hundred more housing units being near where he lives or the traffic that it will bring, but he’s having a real hard time figuring out on what basis to oppose it. If the vote was for a park or ninety-eight units- it’d be an easy vote. If the vote was if he wanted one hundred extra vehicles going through the same intersection he goes through everyday or not- it’d be an easy vote; but that’s not what they’re looking at here. Mr. Garnos mentioned that he wasn’t in favor of the video store that’s there now, but he couldn’t find a reason to oppose it. He wouldn’t put one there, but when you’ve complied with all of the requirements and then some…he’s just not sure of the basis on which he can oppose it.

Ms. Alexander said that she would be a lot more comfortable if that many units were on twice the land or if there were half the units on the land. She feels totally squished when she looks on it. The product is good; the houses are good. The applicant has worked with the City and she thanked staff for working with them, but she is not comfortable with it.

Ms. Newsom commented that she shares some of the same feelings that have been expressed by Mr. Garnos and Ms. Alexander, but the bottom line is this could be a whole different development than what it currently is. She thinks that all the parties involved have done their homework on this. They have listened to the concerns that came forward and have come back and addressed them. When push comes down to shove she would much rather see residential housing units there than another dinosaur of a video store like the one that just went in or a dry cleaning shop or a Wendy’s. With the thought of them being owner-occupied down the line and with that promise on the record, she can be in favor of this project as it now stands.

Mr. West said he would echo the sentiments expressed by Mr. Garnos and Ms. Newsom. He understands Ms. Alexander’s concerns as far as density; however, one of the realities that they have to acknowledge is that Gladstone has a limited geographic area and as a society we are moving towards greater density of population units. There are some first class developments around where housing units are just as close as these are and it’s just something that Gladstone is not used to because we happened to have been graced with a lot of land mass and we’re used to big, sprawling lots. Unfortunately, those changes are coming. Mr. West added that all of the planning and discussions have taken place and the applicant has been very responsive to the issues that were expressed.

Chairman Hill said that as long as it is an up-scale development, he thinks that keeping things like the irrigation systems and…(inaudible). If they are going to be able to insure that it is marketable to ultimate homeowners and it’s going to be maintained and it is an example. Chairman Hill used The Woodlands as an example. (inaudible). He would encourage the City Council and staff to include the irrigation system and maintenance as part of the conditions.

MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. West to vacate unimproved rights-of-way at NE 73rd Terrace and N. Euclid Avenue.

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander No

Mr. Whitton Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Mr. Garnos Yes

Mr. Velasquez Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Ms. Abbott No

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Abstain

The motion carried. (8-Yes, 2-No, 1- Abstain)

MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. West to approve Preliminary and Final Plat at NE 73rd Terrace and N. Euclid Avenue.

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander No

Mr. Whitton Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Mr. Garnos Yes

Mr. Velasquez Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Ms. Abbott No

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Abstain

The motion carried. (8-Yes, 2-No, 1- Abstain)

MOTION: By Ms. Newsom, second by Mr. West to approve the Rezoning and Site Plan Revision at NE 73rd Terrace and N. Euclid Avenue with the addition that maintenance of the detention basin be included in the homeowners association agreement.

VOTE: Ms. Newsom Yes

Ms. Alexander No

Mr. Whitton Yes

Mr. McCullough Yes

Mr. Garnos Yes

Mr. Velasquez Yes

Ms. Smith Yes

Ms. Abbott No

Mr. Steffens Yes

Mr. West Yes

Chairman Hill Abstain

The motion carried. (8-Yes, 2-No, 1- Abstain)

Item 8 on the Agenda: Other Business.

  1. Sign Ordinance Discussion- Mr. Helmer said that the sign ordinance included in the Commissioner’s packets included revisions suggested at the last meeting. He mentioned the LED or plasma style monitors is included. Regarding the calculations that Chairman Hill had discussed, staff reviewed the topic and changed the eight-second duration to fifteen seconds. This would allow for four ads per minute. Mr. Helmer said that no action is needed from the Commission this evening. The draft will go to the City Council next, then back to the Commission as a public hearing.

Item 9 on the Agenda: Communications from the City Council and the City Staff.

Councilman Rudi said that Councilman Beer is not here this evening because he is ill. She reminded the Commission of the election tomorrow. Ms. Rudi also announced the current art exhibit in the Community Center lobby of Frank Armato.

Mr. Wingerson reminded the Commission to RSVP for the Boards and Commission Banquet if they have not done so already. Also, a group photo will be taken after the meeting this evening. Mr. Wingerson reported that the apartment sign on Broadway, the fence at Westlake Hardware and the pallets stacked at Malone Lawn and Landscape are all at some level of the code enforcement process. He has not yet met with Ms. Raisher of Creative Arts Academy.

Item 10 on the Agenda: Communications from the Planning Commission Members.

Ms. Alexander thanked staff for the good information they supply the Commission with.

Ms. Newsom said that in front of the new Mazda dealership there is a manhole that has a square manhole cut out around it that is very bumpy. At 76th Street there is a section of various repairs that have been completed at different times that needs to be looked at by Public Works.

Mr. West asked if the stoplight at Englewood and Broadway (north/south bound) could be reviewed. It is an extremely short light.

Item 11 on the Agenda: Adjournment.

Chairman Hill adjourned the meeting at 8:37 pm.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________________ Approved as submitted _____

Becky Jarrett, Recording Secretary

______________________________________ Approved as corrected _____

J. Brian Hill, Chairman