Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission
Date: February 3, 2011
Time: 6:30 P.M.
The regular meeting and public hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission was held on the above date and time in City Council Chambers, third floor of Historic City Hall with the following members and City of Springfield staff in attendance: Shelby Lawhon, Chair; Matthew Edwards, Vice Chair; Gloria Roling; Jay McClelland; King Coltrin; Phil Young; Mike MacPherson, Principal Planner, Planning and Development; Ralph Rognstad, Director, Planning and Development; Ann Razer, Principal Planner, Planning and Development; Fred Marty, Deputy City Manager; Tom Rykowski, Assistant City Attorney; Paula Brookshire, Public Works; Cody Marshall, Public Works; Diane Showerman, Administrative Assistant, Planning and Development. ABSENT: Jim Hansen and Thomas Baird, IV.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the January 6, 2011, Planning and Zoning Commission were approved unanimously.
Mr. MacPherson thanked the Commissioners for coming to tonight’s meeting, especially in light of the blizzard Springfield was hit with during the week. He also introduced and welcomed a new staff representative, Diane Showerman, who is responsible for recording minutes and other duties for the Planning and Zoning Commission.
FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT ITEMS:
(These consent cases will be approved by Commission unless a Commissioner or someone else wishes to speak to them. If so, those cases will be moved to the appropriate place on the agenda and they may be spoken to, and voted on, at that time.)
- Relinquish Easement 758 Michael Manzardo
(762 S. Augusta Dr.)
Relinquish Easement 759 Showplex Cinema
(3232 & 3228 E. Montclair)
3. Vacation 746 Greene County
(200 block E. Webster)
Mr. Macpherson stated the applicant requests to vacate a portion of the public street of the 200 block of E Webster Street, between Boonville and Roberson, in order to accomplish to address storm water drainage issues and to construct new drainages and pedestrian facilities that would benefit the Greene County campus and neighboring properties. Any necessary changes to the existing public infrastructure and utilities in this area will be maintained by Greene County. Neighborhood notices went out and no one objected to the request to date. He said that this vacation will not adversely affect private or public utilities and serves no useful purposes to the public. The vacated area will eventually be used for an area-wide storm water facility which would benefit the public more than maintaining the vacated portion of the street. Public Works didn’t have any concerns with this vacation request. Mr. MacPherson said this proposed vacation meets the approval criteria for vacating this property immediately. The City and Greene County have worked hand in hand with this application and are jointly satisfied with all conditions of this request.
Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.
Mr. Lawhon asked if the applicant was not present; no one responded.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing. He asked Mr. MacPherson if he had any additional comments.
Mr. MacPherson said he would like to advise the Commission, according to Rules of Procedure, applicants do need to be present for a zoning request but not for vacation requests.
Mr. Lawhon asked if anyone had questions or comments; no one responded.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.
Mr. Young made a motion to approve Vacation 746. Roling seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray, Roling, and Young. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Hansen and Baird.
ZONING MAP AMENDMENTS:
4. Z-01-2011/COD#40 Seminole Baptist Temple
(4221 S. National)
Mr. MacPherson introduced this case, stating the purpose of this request is to rezone the subject property, which is approximately 9.92 acres, generally located at 4221 S National Ave from Planned Development District #84 and Planned Development District #307 to a General Retail District with establishing Conditional Overlay District #40. The portion of the property within Planned Development District #84 is the existing church building and associated parking area to the south. Seminole Baptist Temple acquired some undeveloped property within Planned Development District #307 south of the Green Circle development. The church plans to expand the parking area and relocate an existing outbuilding and is therefore requesting to rezone their property to a GR, General Retail District to have consistent zoning on their property.
Mr. MacPherson stated the applicant is requesting a Conditional Overlay District to prohibit uses that would normally be permitted under a GR, General Retail zoning that is not currently permitted under the existing zoning including taverns and cocktail lounges, convenience stores, and pawn shops and second hand stores. Approval of this request will provide consistent zoning for further development of the applicant’s property and will allow for similar development as is permitted under the existing zoning. Approval of Seminole Baptist Temple’s application is not expected to have any adverse impact on the surrounding property or public infrastructure.
Mr. MacPherson added that the following uses shall be prohibited within this District: entertainment-oriented Use Group; convenience stores with or without gas pumps; household resource recovery collection centers; pawn shops, second-hand stores and flea markets; golf courses, including miniature golf courses and driving ranges; retail establishments for the following types of uses – package liquor, pipe and tobacco; taverns and cocktails lounges; water reservoirs, water standpipes, and elevated and ground-level water storage tanks.
Seminole Baptist Temple held a neighborhood meeting on January 14, 2011 which no one attended. City staff received one call from a neighboring business inquiring about the case. The purposes of this applicant’s rezoning request with conditions were explained. The neighboring business was satisfied with the applicant’s request.
Staff recommends approval of Seminole Baptist Temple’s application for this request.
Mr. Lawhon asked Commissioners if they had any questions or comments for staff regarding this request; no one responded.
Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.
Robert “Bob” Stockdale, 1531 E Bradford Parkway, Suite 320, came forward as the architect/consultant for the applicant. Mr. Stockdale stated that he didn’t have anything to add to staff’s presentation. The church is in the early planning stages of a major facility expansion over a period of a few years, requesting to consolidate the zoning of the property. Seminole Baptist Temple met with the City’s Architectural Review Committee in November 2010 who recommended the church rezone this property so there would not be complications with applications for future permit requests. Mr. Stockdale then asked for approval of this application request and if Commission had any questions or comments. No Commissioners had questions or comments for Mr. Stockdale.
Mr. Lawhon asked if any other citizen would like to speak; no one responded.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.
Ms. Roling made a motion to approve Z-01-2011 with Conditional Overlay District #40. Mr. Young seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray, Roling, and Young. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Hansen and Baird.
5. Z-02-2011/COD#39 FDIC/Southwest Community Bank
(2814 S. Fremont)
Mr. MacPherson addressed the Commission stating the applicant is proposing to rezone approximately 2.38 acres, generally located at 2814 S Fremont Ave from a General Retail District with Conditional Overlay District #39 to a General Retail District and establishing a new Conditional Overlay District #39.
Mr. MacPherson said the current Conditional Overlay District #39 required a lot combination of this property with the property to the north that fronts Woodland St. These two lots are now under separate ownership and are unable to be combined into one lot. Therefore, the applicant only wants to change this requirement from the original Conditional Overlay District.
The General Retail District is intended for uses that provide community-wide personal and business services and is consistent and comparable with the existing intensity of uses located east of Fremont Avenue. The Conditional Overlay District will require additional screening and restrict signage along Fremont Avenue which reduces the impact to the residential neighborhood to the west. The new Conditional Overlay District will only change one item, the lot combination from the original Conditional Overlay District since there are now two separate owners of the lots that were to be combined.
In exchange, there would be a cross access easement provided and, if in the future there is development in the other lot, that there would be a connection made through the remaining lot unto Woodland Street. Consequently, there is one access driveway will be allowed on Fremont Avenue. When that property develops, a cross-access easement is needed between the drive-way on Fremont Avenue to the property to the north fronting Woodland Street.
Mr. MacPherson stated the Comprehensive Plan designates this area as appropriate for high-intensity retail, office, or housing. This project area is located near Activity centers and recommends mixed and multiple land uses on any given site with major considerations given to creating attractive pedestrian spaces and streetscapes, shared or public open spaces and links to greenways. The high-intensity retail, office or housing category lists General Retail as an appropriate zoning district within these areas.
The proposed Conditional Overlay District #39 will still restrict the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), require additional screening along Fremont and limit the signage height, size and display.
On behalf of staff, Mr. MacPherson recommends approval for this request with the Conditional Overlay District #39 and asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners.
Mr. Lawhon asked Commissioners if they had anything they would like to ask or discuss; no Commissioners responded.
Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.
Bob Murray, Murray and Company, 2225 S Blackman Road, representative for the applicant, FDIC, came forward to the podium. Mr. Murray stated they held a neighborhood meeting on January 10, 2011. Only two individuals showed up for the meeting and one was him and the other was Richard Walters, the buyer. Mr. Murray and Mr. Walters are in complete agreement with staff’s recommendations and asked if Commissioners had any questions.
Mr. Lawhon asked if Commissioners had any questions or comments; no Commissioners responded.
Mr. Lawhon asked if another citizen would like to speak; no one responded.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.
Mr. Coltrin made a motion to approve Z-02-2011 with Conditional Overlay District #39. Mr. McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray, Roling, and Young. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Hansen and Baird.
6. Z-03-2011 Bruce Hunt/Joyce Mason
(242 S. National)
Mr. MacPherson stated the purpose of this request is to rezone approximately .45 acres on property generally located at 242 S National Avenue from a Residential High Density, Multi-Family District to a General Retail District.
Mr. MacPherson stated background information regarding this case finds that the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council approved a rezoning request from a Residential High Density to a General Retail District with conditions for the subject property on May 19, 2008. The conditions were never fulfilled and the subject property reverted back to the Residential High Density District.
Mr. MacPherson stated this previous case was emailed to Commissioners today.
Mr. MacPherson further stated that the Comprehensive Plan designates this area as appropriate for medium-intensity retail, office, or housing uses being near a major Activity Center (downtown) and located on a primary arterial.
The applicant is proposing to rezone 0.45 acres of property from a Residential High Density Multi-Family Residential District to a General Retail District. A law office is currently situated on the subject tract.
The subject property is situated along National Avenue, a primary arterial roadway, and McDaniel Street, a commercial local roadway. The property is surrounded by General Retail zoning to the north and east and Medium-Density Multi-Family Residential with the Walnut Street Urban conservation (Overlay) District to the south and west. The Walnut Street Urban Conservation District (UCD) allows for office, personal service and retail uses similar to the housing in this area. Approval of this request is consistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan to concentrate commercial development at or near intersections of arterial streets (National and St. Louis) and at identified activity centers and is consistent with the existing zoning and development in the area. Development of the subject property will be an expansion of this existing commercial node at National Ave. and St. Louis St.
As part of the rezoning, the applicant is required to dedicate additional right-of-way along National Avenue and a sight triangle at the intersection of National and McDaniel. In addition, a cross access easement is required to be provided between the access on McDaniel St. and the property to the north. This will allow traffic between the properties without the need to access the major street system.
Mr. MacPherson added if the property and the lots to the north would be combined, there probably would be consideration for access to National Avenue however that access would be a temporary access because given at the point and time when that cross access could be completed to Dillon’s the connection to National Avenue would be forfeited.
City Council approved a rezoning request from the Residential High Density District to a General Retail District with conditions for the subject property on May 19, 2009. Planning Commission also unanimously recommended approval for the rezoning request. The conditions were never met and the subject property reverted back to the Residential High Density District. The one difference between the conditions approved in 2008 from the current application is that it required either a lot combination with the lots to the north or a cross-access easement from McDaniel Street to lots to the north. The current application has requested a cross-access easement from McDaniel to the lots to the north upfront.
Public Works Traffic Engineering has reviewed the proposed rezoning request and determined that the change in zoning would no cause a significant increase in number of trips generated by this property. The proposed rezoning would result in an increase of fewer than 1,000 additional trips generated by this property compared to the current Resident High Density zoning district; therefore no traffic impact study is required.
This property is located within the general boundaries of the Jordan Valley Park Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. However, because it is not located within a project area, development on the property will not generate additional tax increments.
The Zoning Ordinance requires perimeter landscaping where a parking lot of vehicular use area is within fifty (50) feet of a public right-of-way and there is not an intervening building. Perimeter landscaping is a minimum open space of ten (10) feet wide between the abutting right-of-way and the off-street parking or vehicular use area with the following plantings per hundred linear feet: one (1) canopy tree, one (1) understory, ornamental or evergreen tree and four (4) shrubs.
A bufferyard is not required when right-of-way separates the General Retail zoning district from an adjacent non-residential zoning district like the Walnut Street-West UCD which permits retail, office, and personal service uses.
In the General Retail District, all structures shall also remain below a thirty (30) degree bulk plane as measured from the boundaries of any residential districts.
The City’s Exterior Lighting Standards restrict the permitted lamination to no more than one-half (0.5) footcandles at any point along the perimeter of a property where it adjoins a residential zoning district or is separated from a residential district by a right-of-way of seventy (70) feet or less; and one (1) footcandle at any other point along the perimeter of the property. It also states that there shall be no lighting of a blinking, flashing, rotating, or fluttering nature, including changes in light intensity, brightness, or color except for public safety purposes. A site lighting plan for uses requiring sit plan review is required to be submitted and approved by the City that meets these requirements.
The findings in our recommendation to the Commission is that the Comprehensive Plan designates this area as appropriate for medium-intensity retail, office or housing uses being near a major Activity center. The General Retail District is intended for uses that provide community-wide personal and business services, shopping centers, and specialty shops. The General Retail District is consistent and comparable with the existing intensity of uses located along National Avenue. The conditions outlined for development will provide the City with additional right-of-way, a sight triangle and cross-access for future improvements to National Avenue.
A neighborhood meeting was held on January 12, 2011 where 48 neighbors were invited with five (5) of those neighbors who attended. Of those five neighbors, Mr. Robert Sweere who is an adjacent neighbor to the proposed rezoning, has submitted a letter, marked as Exhibit 3, including some property listing overviews, photographs of his property, and some of his concerns about the proposed development, and are included in Commission’s packets as part of his opposition to the applicant’s request.
Mr. MacPherson stated that staff is recommending approval of this re-zoning request.
Mr. Lawhon asked Mr. MacPherson if the request from May 2008 and the current request are substantially similar or if there are any significant differences between them.
Mr. MacPherson stated the May 2008 request and today’s request are substantially the same, allowing basically the same uses permitted in General Retail that would be appropriate to the development of that lot or a combination of those lots. Its mere size would limit those that would not fit there. It could be a variety of things ranging from a strip center to fast food restaurants, and both would fit in either zoning.
Mr. Coltrin asked Mr. MacPherson about the drive access on National Avenue, if S National Avenue 230 and 234 were combined, that drive spacing would be closer for arterial drives that would normally be utilized if when the City is in a unique situation do you ever talk with Dillon’s or the adjoining property owner about whether or not they would be interested in having an access easement between good neighbors for better circulation.
Mr. MacPherson responded stating that the applicant and Public Works Traffic both visited with the neighboring property to confirm that was true, and they have not received any cooperation with regard to the access at this time, and that is why others have offered.
Mr. Lawhon asked if the applicant or representative was present.
David Williams, 2119 E Division Street, asked if there were any questions from Commissioners which he could answer. Mr. Williams stated he is satisfied with the staff report and had nothing else to add.
Mr. McClellan said to Mr. Williams that there seems to be some conclusion that there will be a McDonald’s at that location and asked if he could confirm or deny that rumor.
Mr. Williams said negotiations are underway but, at this time, there is no contract but in the future there could be a contract, contingent on the land being zoned properly and a lease. It’s the typical negotiations of a large corporation. Mr. Williams stated he owns the lot and has contracts on the two lots to the north. McDonalds approached him regarding these lots.
Mr. Lawhon asked if anyone else would like to speak regarding this particular zoning case.
Bob Sweere, 810 E Stanford, stepped forward to the podium, handed Ms. Showerman a letter from Steak N Shake owner, Gary Leonard, and requested for it to be included in this record as another individual who is also opposing this applicant’s rezoning request.
Mr. Sweere stated he owns the property at 302 S National Avenue, which he uses as a law office and is part of the Walnut Street Urban Conservation District (UCD). He said he has raised three children in Springfield and lives in University Heights. He and his wife were planning on rehabilitating the top two floors of the 302 S National Avenue office so he and his wife could move there since their University Heights home is now too large. Once the UCD project was approved last year, he and wife went ahead and begun to rehab that property, spending tens of thousands of dollars rehabbing and improving the house, with plans of spending thousands more to complete it. He referred to the photographs included in Commission packets showing their efforts to rehabilitate that property.
Mr. Sweere stated that when the original proposal to rezone 242 S National Avenue would provide for a fast food restaurant, Mr. Sweere questioned the common sense in rehabbing 302 S National Avenue as a single family dwelling. Mr. Sweere believes it is significant that when he applied for the UCD to be amended so they could improve their properties in the 300 block of S National Avenue, the Sweeres, as good neighbors and citizens, tried to do their best to address the concerns that neighbors, staff, and the Commission had regarding their proposed future uses. Mr. Sweere believes the applicant in this case has done nothing to address their concerns regarding traffic, lights, noise, or odor.
Mr. Sweere stated the existing use at 242 S National Avenue address, probably has five (5) or six (6) trips a day. On weekends, one (1) or two (2) trips per day. Mr. Sweere said that if a fast food restaurant is put in at that location, his guess is that approximately 500 trips per hour during mealtime, with 100-200 trips per hour for the rest of the 24 hour day, comparing the traffic and noise to the intersection of Sunshine and Campbell where another McDonalds is located. Mr. Sweere pointed there was only one sidewalk on McDaniel Street and one hundred percent (100%) of the time when there is snow, people walk in the street.
Mr. Lawhon informed Mr. Sweere his five (5) minutes were up but would be allowed an additional two (2) minutes.
Mr. Sweere thanked Mr. Lawhon and continued to address his concerns about pedestrians being hurt in traffic.
Mr.Sweere directed Commission to page 8, paragraph 8 of the staff report, specifically the comment “a bufferyard is not required in this location.” In Mr. Sweere said if his home was zoned for a single family dwelling, under Section 6-1212 of Code, for every 100 feet, they would have to put in several pieces of landscaping. Mr. Sweere is concerned about outdoor lights going into his bedroom window at night, car doors slamming, drive-thru speaker orders, grease and debris in his yard all the time since there is no bufferyard requirement.
He suggested the applicant could have requested a Conditional Overlay District, being a good neighbor to other neighboring properties.
Mr. Sweere asked that the applicant be denied.
Mr. Lawhon thanked Mr. Sweere and asked the Commissioners if they had any comments or questions for Mr. Sweere.
Mr. McClellan asked Mr. Sweere how long he has had his office at 302 S National Avenue.
Mr. Sweere responded he purchased it in 2008.
Mr. McClellan noted Dillon’s and Steak N Shake were existing and asked Mr. Sweere how he believed McDonald’s was going to make a different smell than the same foods that have already been cooking at those locations.
Mr. Sweere responded that McDonalds is going to have the same odor but won’t be dissipated by a block; McDonalds will be next door to him.
Mr. McClellan asked Mr. Sweere if he ever filed a grievance with the lights from Steak N Shake or Dillon’s.
Mr. Sweere said he hasn’t filed a grievance but he has a two-story barrier between his property and the lights.
Mr. Lawhon asked for discussion amongst Commissioners and staff. Mr. Rognstad said he would like to point out a couple of issues.
Mr. Rognstad stated the prior zoning request didn’t have a Conditional Overlay District attached. They had conditions and they weren’t met, so they expired, and there are similar conditions with this re-zoning request. There is no bufferyard requirement but there is a perimeter landscape requirement. If the zoning was Single Family, there would be a wider perimeter landscape but they would not be to the extent of what Mr. Sweere indicated. When there’s an intervening street, there is no requirement for that many plantings.
Mr. Edwards asked staff since we’re not requiring a traffic study, if we approve this, if there will be a traffic study required down the road before permits are issued. Mr. MacPherson referred the question to Public Works.
Ms. Brookshire answered stating Public Works look at whether the traffic study is needed at the time of rezoning, and since the increase of traffic potential isn’t high enough to trigger a traffic study in this case, we wouldn’t look for one later.
Mr. Lawhon questioned Ms. Brookshire how Traffic would come to the conclusion that traffic study wouldn’t be needed in this case because we don’t know exactly what the use will be for this case.
Ms. Brookshire said they look at what is the existing zoning versus what is the requested zoning change. In this case, we compared Residential High Density to a General Retail District. We use information regarding many of the uses that could be in that category. There is only a 221 vehicles per day difference but because of the concern, Ms. Brookshire researched that if a fast food restaurant was put in place, the difference in vehicles was 870, and Traffic requires a 1000 vehicle difference before requesting a traffic study.
Mr. Coltrin asked Ms. Brookshire if this site does develop and they have to come up with a site plan, if Traffic has control over driveway locations, access, and traffic flow.
Ms. Brookshire confirmed they do.
Mr. Coltrin motioned to approve Z-03-2011. Roling seconds the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray, Roling, and Young. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Hansen and Baird.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT:
7. Use Permit 394 Kenneth W. Austin Trust
(3859 W. Nichols)
Mr. MacPherson introduced this request for a Conditional Use Permit for an automobile salvage yard within a General Manufacturing District.
He informed Commission that staff has reviewed the request and has determined it does satisfy the standards for Conditional Use Permits as outlined in Section 3-3310 of the Zoning Ordinance.
The Growth Management and Land Use Plan designates the subject property and surrounding area as General Industry, Transportation, and Utilities. This land use category includes industries that involve rail service, heavy truck traffic, extensive outdoor storage, noise and odors, and the handling of raw materials.
Although zoned General Manufacturing, the properties located immediately south and west of the subject property are currently occupied by single-family residential land uses. The Industrial Land use Guidelines in the Growth Management and Land Use Plan suggest a transitional area or step-down land use should be provided between industrial and residential land uses. The guidelines also suggest industrial and related uses that have excessive visual clutter, noise, glare, and/or odors should provide adequate screening and buffering. The subject property and adjacent single family residential land properties are separated by public right-of-way along W Nichols Street and N Eldon Avenue. The applicant proposes to install a 6 ft tall metal fence around the proposed automobile salvage yard. Staff believes the fence and public right-of-way (N Eldon Avenue and W Nichols Avenue) will adequately screen and separate the proposed automobile salvage yard from the adjacent residential land uses.
The requirements for the Conditional Use Permit for an automobile salvage yard are the location of the structures, off-street parking, and other site improvements shall be in substantial conformance with Exhibit III. The Fire Department access shall be provided to all areas of the yard. Access roads shall meet IFC 2006 requirements, including gates and turnarounds for fire apparatuses. The subject property shall comply with all applicable storm water regulations. Any signage shall conform to the standards set forth in Section 5-1400 of the Zoning Ordinance. All other standards of the Zoning Ordinance, and other applicable ordinances, shall be adhered to.
The applicant held a neighborhood meeting on September 16, 2010. Approximately five people attended the meeting, with no opposition. Staff hasn’t received any notifications of opposition to this application.
Staff recommends approval of this applicant’s request.
Mr. Lawhon asked someone to use a laser pointer on the Power Point presentation to indicate where the metal fence will be placed.
Dave Drumm, 801 S Glenstone, the applicant’s engineer, came forward to the podium, and using the laser pointer to the Power Point presentation, showed where the perimeter of the salvage yard is located, pointing to the existing residence stating that it will be used as a guard facility.
Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.
Dave Drumm, the applicant’s representative, stated the applicant is seeking a Conditional Use Permit for a salvage yard. They held a neighborhood meeting with positive response. One gentleman who attended the meeting had a storm water question. His questions were answered and had no opposition to the applicant request. The response was positive; one gentleman who attended the meeting had a storm water question but was satisfied with the answer.
Mr. Drumm asked Commissioners if they had any questions he could answer; no Commissioners responded.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.
Mr. Young motioned for approval for Conditional Use Permit #394. Mr. Edwards seconded that motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray, Roling, and Young. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Hansen and Baird.
ANY OTHER MATTERS UNDER COMMISSON JURISDICTION:
8. Capital Improvements Program City of Springfield
Ann Razer introduced the 2011-2016 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). Ms. Razer stated that the CIP is a plan, not a budget document. The CIP does not authorize any expenditure of funds. It does, however, establish the city’s priorities for public projects based on available and projected financial resources and project criteria.
The CIP program strategies are to protect the life, health, and public safety of the citizens of Springfield, improve existing infrastructure and to construct new infrastructure to accommodate growth.
Capital Projects are, by definition, improvements to physical facilities costing $100,000 or more, a life expectancy of at least six (6) years, with funding sources that are known or anticipated.
Every other year the City of Springfield adopts a Capital Improvements Program (CIP) which is a plan for the City of Springfield’s capital expenditures for the next six years. In the past, the CIP was done each year but in 2009 a decision was made to change from an annual to a biennial CIP. Changes to the CIP process includes conversion from an annually to biennially, adopted every other year. The minimum project threshold went from $50,000 to $100,000, and will amend the CIP for new projects approved by Council until the new biennial CIP adopted which will be in December 2012. Reflections will be made on the City’s website.
Ms. Razer stated that the CIP is a plan, not a budget document. The CIP does not authorize any expenditure of funds. It does, however, establish the city’s priorities for public projects based on available and projected financial resources and project criteria.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reviews the list of projects included in the CIP as part of its oversight of city plans. Staff will consider the commissioners comments before finalizing the CIP document and sending it to City Council. The list of CIP projects is also sent to the presidents of neighborhood organizations in Springfield and they are invited to submit their questions or comments.
Projects in the Capital Improvements Program either have a committed funding source or an anticipated funding source that depends on a vote of the citizens or on action by City Council. For example, the CIP includes projects that would be funded by the renewal of the ¼ cent capital improvements sales tax, the 1/8 cent transportation sales tax, the ¼ cent parks capital improvements sales tax, the level property tax, or grants from various agencies.
Voters most recently renewed the 1/4 cent capital improvements sales tax in June 2010, the 1/4 cent parks Capital Improvements Sales Tax in August 2006, and the 1/8 cent Transportation Sales Tax in August 2010.
Ms. Razer shared that 54 CIP projects were completed during the 2009-2010 Biennium. Those projects have included: four (4) airport; four (4) municipal building and grounds; two (2) new parks; one (1) new street; four (4) park improvements; two (2) sanitary sewers; one (1) sidewalk & Overpass; two (2) solid waste facilities; three (3) special facilities; nine (9) storm water; 19 street improvements; three (3) traffic management/traffic signals.
There are 227 projects for the 2011-2016 CIP. The number of projects is higher but covers two years. There are one hundred fifty one (151) continuing projects from the 2009-2014 CIP plus 76 new projects. (Attached is the 2011-2016 Preliminary List CIP of Continuing and New Projects.) Some categories do not have projects. The CIP list was coordinated by meeting with neighborhood association presidents and representatives for their neighborhood meetings for comments. Separate public meetings will be held in various neighborhoods for upcoming voter initiatives. Departments will host public meetings for individual projects.
This report will be presented to City Council at their luncheon on February 8, 2011 and will go before Council on February 22, 2011. It is a one reading bill only and then will move forward for Council’s vote. Ms. Razer shared with Commissioners their questions and comments will be included in the report forwarded to City Council.
Mr. McClelland asked Ms. Razer why is the City spending millions of dollars on building new fire stations (referring to page 1 of 19 of the 2011-2016 Preliminary List CIP of Continuing and New Projects) when they all can’t be kept open now? Mr. McClelland continued with a second question. Why is the Parks Department, which is one of only two self-sustaining departments, spending $54,000,000 for new parks when we are not even filling the existing parks?
Fred Marty, Deputy City Manager, stepped up to the podium to explain fire stations are built to respond to the areas where the need is. Some older fire stations are closed while new ones open to accommodate growth. The City recently completed an accreditation visit by ISO Evaluation Service and we’re awaiting results to keep up with standing. We know we need a fire station out to the west and have already acquired land for that from the initiative taken to voters in Level Property Tax three (3) years ago. The City has money in the existing CIP for land acquisition and now for design. We will have to go before voters again to actually construct new fire stations.
Mr. Marty continued that the Parks Department is preparing a request for voters to approve a sales tax in support of new construction both with storm water as new facilities in the parks. New requirements are constantly being updated. According to the Parks Board, the population utilizing parks is up The Parks Board will take sales tax initiatives to the voters for a vote, determined by greatest need and how will it be expended for facilities.
Mr. Rognstad stated he believes all the fire stations are now open.
Ms. Roling asked Ms. Razer if any or all projects are being funded by other sources other than the CIP.
Ms. Razer explained there are many funding sources such as state & federal grants, developer contributions, tax initiatives, and cooperative agreements to name a few.
Mr. Rognstad said the one-quarter (1/4) cent CIP only supports a small portion of the total funding. Projects are also funded by airline fees, sewer fees, and other various taxes. Projects are generally set when taxes are voted on. Some categories we won’t know until a later time such as developers matching for projects which we don’t know exactly how much they will contribute until the developers show up.
Ms. Razer reiterated that the CIP is not a budget but a plan showing where the City how it believes needs to go forward.
Mr. Edwards commented that the snow removal is an issue. The County plows all of its roads but the City does not. In light of our blizzard this week, Mr. Edwards suggested we should consider upgrading our capacity of additional snow removal on residential streets.
Ms. Razer said she will take that comment forward to the Council.
Mr. Young stated he understood this is a planning issue, not a budget issue, but wondering if there are contingency funds set aside in the instance something comes in over budget.
Ms. Razer said projects are worked up by individual departments estimates how much projects their projects are going to cost. Each project must have its own contingency and these are the best estimates for those projects.
Mr. Rognstad stated that when voting occurs for the one quarter (1/4) cent, one-eighth (1/8) cent, and Level Property Taxes, we estimate for a three (3) to four (4) year period, and at that time setting up a contingency for an estimate cost for other projects.
Mr. Rognstad added that the City went to a biennial CIP was due to the fact each year we were re-estimating figures, which took away from staff’s other projects. Some of these projects were on going for years. This CIP process is now a biennial process to make more efficient use of staff’s time.
Ms. Razer mentioned the Finance Department also tracks these costs twice a year.
Ms. Roling motions to approve the 2011-2016 CIP. Mr. Young seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray, Roling, and Young. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Hansen and Baird.
Meeting adjourned at 7:46pm.