Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Date: June 9, 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 City Hall with the following members and personnel in attendance: Shelby Lawhon, Chair; Matthew Edwards, Vice Chair; Thomas Baird, IV; Gloria Roling; Jim Hansen; Jay McClelland; Jason Ray; King Coltrin; Phil Young.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:          

The minutes of the May 12, 2011, Planning and Zoning Commission were approved unanimously.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Agenda item #4; Mr. Lawhon stated the applicant has requested to table this proposal indefinitely.

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.)    

  1. Relinquish Easement 763                                  Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, LLC
    (500 W. Sunshine & 1935 S. Campbell)
  2. Change of Use 488                                  Springfield Public Schools
    (415 S. Golden)

Hansen made a motion to approve RE 763. Baird seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Ray, Baird, Hansen, McClelland, Edwards, Lawhon, Coltrin; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: Young; ABSENT: Roling.

 

McClelland made a motion to approve Change of Use 488. Edwards seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Ray, Baird, Hansen, McClelland, Edwards, Lawhon, Young; Coltrin; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Roling.

HEARINGS: 

VACATIONS:

3.     Vacation 747                                               City of Springfield
       (600 block of W. Cherokee St.)

Mr. Young recused himself from the hearing because Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC is a client of his firm. 

Mr. MacPherson said this vacation is pursuant to a license agreement with the City under Special Ordinance No. 2409 to relocate Cherokee Street from Sagamont Avenue to Campbell Avenue and then to vacate the above described remnant of Cherokee Street.

Mr. MacPherson stated Staff stated all requirements have been met, this request fulfills the intent of Special Ordinance No. 2409, and that the applicant provided necessary easements which have been accepted by recipient parties; two easements from City Utilities, one easement from City Sanitary Sewer. 

Teresa Davison, PE, Heithaus Engineer, representative for Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC supported this proposal. 

With no further appearances, Mr. Lawhon closed the Public Hearing.
                                                                                                                     
Mr. Edwards motioned to approve Vacation 747.  Mr. McClelland seconded the motion.  Motion carried as follows:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland, and Ray.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  Young.  ABSENT: Roling.

4.   Vacation 748                                    Drury University
     (700 block of E. Webster St., south side)

Mr. MacPherson stated the applicant has requested to table this proposal indefinitely. 
                                                                                                                     
Mr. McClelland motioned to table indefinitely Vacation 748.  Mr. Baird seconded the motion.  Motion carried as follows:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT: Roling.

ZONING MAP AMENDMENTS:

5.  Z-07-2011/COD #42                                    Affordable Homes
     (N. Hilton Ave., 200-300 blocks, east side)

Mr. MacPherson stated this request includes a Conditional Overlay District restricting the development to no more than forty-eight (48) units on the subject property and to a maximum height of two (2) stories for any buildings.  This would restrict the development to a density and height to no greater than the R-SF, Single-Family Residential District.

Referencing page 9 of the Staff Report, Mr. MacPherson said the applicant is requesting Low-Density Multi-Family Residential zoning with a conditional overlay district to restrict the development to a maximum residential density of eleven (11) units per acre.  The proposed rezoning and the accompanying preliminary plat (Westport Woods) will facilitate the development of this site for affordable housing.  The extension of College Street is considered a subdivision requirement and is addressed in the preliminary plat report for Westport Woods.

The subject property is situated along Hilton Avenue, a residential local street. Public Works Traffic Division has reviewed and determined that the change in zoning will not result in a significant increase in trip generation; in fact, the trip generation was decreased with the reduction of the Highway Commercial (HC) zoning district.  No traffic impact study is required.  The property is surrounded by undeveloped single-family residential and highway commercial on the east, Westport Park and School on the south, medium-density multi-family and developed single-family residences on the west (across Hilton Ave) and developed highway commercial uses to the north.

This request is consistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, which identifies this area as an appropriate location for low or medium-density housing.  The Low-Density Multi-Family Residential District is intended to serve as a transition between low-intensity and high-intensity districts.  The close proximity of housing to the adjacent park, school and commercial services at Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass is a benefit to the development and community in that it reduces vehicles on the street.  It will allow for families to walk their children to school and utilize the park for recreational purposes.  It will also reduce the drive or walk for shopping and services that are located at Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass.

The applicant is requesting a conditional overlay district to restrict the development to no more than forty-eight (48) units, which is a residential density that is comparable to the R-SF, Single-Family Residential District.  The R-SF zoning district has a maximum density of seven (7) dwelling units per acre while the proposed development would have a maximum density of 7.7 dwelling units per acre.  This also displayed in the fact that the traffic volumes are significantly reduced in comparison to the existing zoning district.  This request will also allow the applicant to develop without using the Multi-Family Matrix Guidelines.

The applicant has also requested a conditional overlay district to restrict the height of the development to a maximum of two (2) stories.  This will require that the height of any multi-family buildings will be less than the required maximum height in the R-SF District.  The R-SF zoning district has a maximum height of two and one-half (2 ½) stories when side yards are less than fifteen (15) feet in width and a maximum height of three (3) stories when side yards are fifteen (15) feet or more.  Most of the housing stock in the adjacent neighborhood is currently single story; however, any new single-family homes constructed could be built much higher.

The Zoning Ordinance requires a Bufferyard “B” between the R-LD district and any adjacent R-SF districts.  The Bufferyard “B” requires a minimum open space of fifteen (15) feet wide with the following plantings per one-hundred (100) linear feet:  one canopy, understory and evergreen tree with six (6) shrubs.  Principal buildings and parking garages have a maximum structure height of forty-five (45) feet or three (3) stories, except that all structures shall also remain below a forty-five (45) degree bulk plane as measured from the boundaries of any residential districts.  Although the bufferyard has fewer requirements than by the conditional overlay district, this development is further restricting because it is limited to two storie

The Zoning Ordinance requires perimeter landscaping where a parking lot or 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.

The City’s Exterior Lighting Standards restrict the permitted lamination to no more than one-half (0.5) footcandles at any point alone 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 site plan review is required to be submitted and approved by the City that meets these requirements.

The applicant held a neighborhood meeting.  Thirty-seven (37) property owners who resided within 185’ of the subject property were notified of the public hearing.  The City has received 28 letters of opposition, two (2) City Council Protest Petitions, petition of neighbors with 24 signatures to date.  Copies of all documents are included in the packet.

The Findings for Staff Recommendation is the request is consistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, which identifies this area as an appropriate location for low-or medium-density housing.

The perimeter landscaping, bufferyard requirements and height limitations, as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance, will mitigate the potential impact of multi-family development on the surrounding properties.

The proposed low-density multi-family residential use provides an appropriate transition between the highway commercial uses immediately to the north and single-family uses to the east, south and west.

The proposed conditional overlay district will restrict the density and height of the proposed development to no greater than the R-SF, Single-Family Residential District, if not less.

Findings for Commission to consider recommending denial is the proposed zoning district is too intense considering the surrounding single-family development.

Staff recommends approval of this request with the requirements of the Conditional Overlay District No. 42.

Referencing the PowerPoint presentation, Thomas Baird, IV asked for clarification of the area requesting to be rezoned.  Mr. MacPherson pointed to the areas on the map.

Mr. Baird asked if the two pieces of property were adjoined together or how they were two different zonings.  Mr. MacPherson stated it was a combination of various lots and the applicant would add to that to make it one complete project.

Ralph Rognstad said the zoning existed prior to 1995; it was split zoning on the lot.  It is the same for the parcel directly to the east; little less than half is zoned Highway Commercial with remainder Single Family.

Jim Hansen, referencing page 9 of the Staff Report, Item 4, last sentence, “This request will also allow the applicant to develop without using the Multi-Family Matrix Guidelines” asked why That was  included.  Mr. MacPherson stated it was because it is less than 11 dwelling units per acres; above 11 dwelling units is when the Matrix is in effect.

Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.

Joe Carmichael, representative for Affordable Homes, stated he is available to answer questions.  Mr. Carmichael referred to the map on the PowerPoint presentation, stating the area on the map is mostly covered by woods and brush. Surveyors working on the property on several instances discovered drug paraphernalia on the property.  Affordable Homes intends to build an apartment complex on this site which would include three (3) buildings with 46 units; half of those units would be two (2) bedrooms and half would be three (3) bedrooms.  Two (2) bedroom homes would have 1154 sq ft and the three (3) bedrooms would have 1352 sq ft; units being designed for families.  Center building would house a community facility and, inside the building, offices with approximately 2200 sq ft.  One-hundred twenty (120) feet from the back of the building to the boundary line would provide green space and place for children to play with a walking trail.  The front side of the building, facing Hilton Avenue, would provide a dense burmed area with shrubbery and trees as permitted by the City, shielding the neighborhood from noise, lights, and other activity. In effort to provide connectivity, a section of College Street would be placed.  The school nearby is currently being renovated and expanded.  To the south is the park with a pool and youth center.  The pool is currently being remodeled for approximately $1M dollars.  The school nearby is currently being renovated and expanded.  The City and the Park Board are in discussions regarding enhancing the park. 

Mr. Lawhon asked what would be the height of the burm alongside Hilton Avenue.  Mr. Carmichael stated it would be four (4) feet high with plantings on top.

Mr. Lawhon asked what defines the term “affordable families.”  Mr. Carmichael responded they would ask for federal funding to provide housing for less than 80% of the medium income for the county.  Majority of units would be for families making less than 60% of the medium income.  Typical renter in their developments is a mother with two (2) or three (3) children with good job who normally couldn’t afford this type of housing.  Rent is income based; approximately $450 to $470 per month.

Mr. Lawhon asked if Affordable Homes has a similar development in Springfield.  Mr. Carmichael responded there is one at Bennett and Scenic consisting of 32 units with one of those units being an office.

Mr. Lawhon asked if there was “on site” management.  Mr. Carmichael responded they won’t commit to having “on site” management however they would be on and off property throughout the day.  Within their budget, Affordable Homes is placing security patrol.

Mr. Baird asked if the buildings would be built all at once or in phases.  Mr. Carmichael responded the projects are typically completed in approximately 12 months.

Mr. Baird asked if there is a ratio of units to vehicles. Mr. Carmichael stated they would comply with the City requirements however typically, a resident in these communities have one vehicle per apartment; three (3) bedroom units will typically have two vehicles.

Jay McClelland asked if the green area on the south side is the water detention area.  Mr. Carmichael confirmed.

Mr. McClelland stated the neighbors are concerned about the water detention area and asked how deep would be the detention.

Ralph Tate, Tate Engineers, representative for the applicant, stated the elevation of the burm is estimated at elevation 1245; flow line out of the pipe outlet is set at elevation 1239, giving a six (6) foot depth.  There is a one (1) foot free board which means maximum water level is one foot below top of burm.  Flow line out is basically a foot below the detention facility.  Maximum water height is four (4) feet at the outlet.  The base of detention area goes uphill, is about two (2) foot deep at the upper end.  The detention will be a dry area, without water in the area, with the exception of major storm events which are intended to retain water, at a four (4) foot height for an hour, but then after an hour or so, will drain down quickly.  A foot of water may be in there for several hours because of the water quality aspect of it.  It will take approximately 24 hours to drain out.

Mr. McClelland asked how secure will be the water detention; they attract children.  There is a park and school nearby.  Mr. Tate stated it would as secure as anywhere else; not anticipating a fence around the detention.  The outlet structures are built with grates and bars.  Mr. Tate said he anticipates a short pipe will go out to the southwest underneath the sidewalk, water being discharged to the east side of Hilton Avenue, going underneath the sidewalk into the road ditch.

Mr. Lawhon asked if the detention basin was designed purposefully for the runoff from this applicant’s development.  Mr. Tate confirmed.

Mr. Tate stated the overall detention volumes keeps the runoff to the same quantity as it is now at the existing condition; the water will be running off the same rate as it is now.

Mr. Tate stated the existing zoning line for that Highway Commercial is set down at Water Street.  With this proposal, the line would move to the north approximately 166 feet, greatly decreasing the Highway Commercial area.  The remainder would be zoned Residential.  The developer has agreed to have the same density as the existing Single Family zoning.  The building height would be more restricting than Single Family, being limited to two-story.  Based on the existing zoning compared to the proposed zoning, the traffic counts will be greatly reduced because the Highway Commercial zone has been greatly decreased. 

Mr. Baird asked how the traffic count was derived.  Mr. MacPherson asked to reference the table on page 8 of the Staff Report which demonstrates the daily trips generated with average uses of that particular zoning in that area of property from the Engineer Standards; reducing that intensity to residential.  Mr. MacPherson directed the question to Paula Brookshire from City Public Works, Traffic Division.  Ms. Brookshire said it was based on the zoning of a property, not based on the development there located; that’s potential for the existing zoning to the proposed zoning.

Mr. Hansen asked if the walking trail communicates with the park.  Mr. Tate confirmed that it would to the south property line.

Mr. Baird asked if there is a concern with children crossing College Street in order to get to the school or the park; if there will be a crosswalk.  Mr. Tate said he was sure a crosswalk would be there. Originally the developer wasn’t intending on placing College Street in there but it is a City of Springfield requirement.

Marie Carmichael, representative for the applicant, stated five percent (5%) of the properties will be fully handicapped accessible, with wheelchair mobility within those units.  The green spaces for these units were specifically put in the back to deter the children from playing out in the front of the development.  BBQs grills will also be placed in the same area.  Potential residents will be carefully screened with a criminal background check following up with their former landlords.

Mr. Young asked how this development would blend in with the community.  Mrs. Carmichael responded that she couldn’t guarantee the façade would be all brick. 

Mr. Young asked if balconies would be on the 2nd level.  Mrs. Carmichael confirmed.

Mr. Ray asked what was the experience regarding theft and vandalism on their previous affordable housing developments.  Mrs. Carmichael reiterated they screen all their applicants with criminal and previous landlord background checks.

Rhonda Harrell, 3138 W College Street, spoke in opposition of the proposal, stating traffic concerns if College Street continues through; Westport School is currently K-5 but will become a K-8 school, increasing traffic and students; decreasing values on homes in neighborhood; increase in crime, already lacking police patrol.  The current wooded area is currently a good place for children to play and wildlife to roam.  Water detention would be inadequate and increase of mosquitoes and snakes, and potential drowning of children.  Ms. Harrell stated the developer talked about trail connecting to the park but the lot next to that is the school, then it’s the park.  The trail would have to go through the school and doubt the school would allow that because according to the plans for the school, there’s supposed to be a football field, soccer field, and a baseball field.  Currently the front entrance to school is on Golden, the entrance would be changed to Hilton Street.  Traffic will increase for drop off and pick up of children.

Ms. Harrell asked if this affordable housing project would be HUD housing.  Mr. Lawhon stated it is income adjusted housing. 

Ms. Harrell said initially she heard there was supposed to be on-site management but now it sounds like that may not happen.  Ms. Harrell said she lives within 500’ and didn’t receive a letter regarding this proposal.  Ms. Harrell asked Commission if they would like this in their backyard.

Mr. Lawhon asked Ms. Harrell was evidence does she have concerning the decreasing property values.  Ms. Harrell stated she spoke with realtors who informed her when these type of developments come into neighborhoods, property values decrease. Mrs. Harrell said she received a reassessment property form stating their property value is increasing but knows due to the economy, the property values have decreased.  Ms. Harrell said people don’t want to move into an area with apartment complexes due to the traffic, people coming in and out, and not “keeping up” with their property.  Ms. Harrell stated the developers are not looking out for the safety of the kids; they are only interested in the money.  The neighbors have a vested interest because they are living there.  Ms. Harrell stated she’s lived in that neighborhood for 38 years, attended Westport Elementary and glad something’s being done for that part of town but doesn’t see this project as being positive for the neighborhood.

Mr. Lawhon asked Ms. Harrell about receiving notification of the meetings.  Ms. Harrell stated she didn’t receive a letter as a resident within the 500’ nor did she receive a letter regarding the meeting being held at the pavilion; she heard about the meeting from a neighbor.

Mr. MacPherson stated the City mails out letters for the neighborhood meeting are sent to property owners within 500’.  Under a separate mailing, letters are sent to property owners within 185’ for public hearing of the Planning & Zoning Commission.  The data used for mailing said letters comes from the most current list of property owners from the Greene County Assessor’s office.  We keep a record of those letters sent in our case files as well.  Advertisements and posted signs regarding the meetings are also made.

Mr. Ray asked Mrs. Harrell for clarification regarding her question about HUD qualifications and whether she wanted to know if tenants would qualify for HUD housing assistance.

Mrs. Harrell said she would like clarification as well since the developer talked about housing being affordable and then the applicant sharing about income guidelines being 60% and 80% and understands that how HUD works.

Mr. MacPherson stated he was Director of the Housing Authority in Cabool, MO.  When talking about HUD housing, there are two different programs.  One program consists of a housing authority which owns apartments and dwelling houses that are rented out based on income levels.  Other HUD housing is also referred as Section 8 housing, people, who are unable to live in a HUD home, qualifies and receives a voucher which covers the rent.  This particular program is different in the way it works.  People who live in affordable housing unit under these types of programs pay rent from their own income.  Their rent is reduced because the project receives tax credits.

JoAnne Mead, 3217 W College, spoke in opposition of the proposal.  Ms. Mead asked why the exit from the project come onto College.  Ms. Mead said when it rains, it doesn’t come down fast; there is substantial flooding down Hilton Street, going knee deep.

Braden Wall, 3209 W College, spoke in opposition of the proposal, concerned about the type of people who would be tenants since he lived in that type of neighborhood previously for 12 years.

Delbert Hale, 3208 W Water St, spoke in opposition of the proposal, asking upon completion of the project, if the developers would live in their neighborhood for five years.

Tawnya Elliott, 3222 S College, spoke in opposition of the proposal, citing decrease in property values.  Ms. Elliott stated she previously lived in low income housing which followed the same stringent rules with the same background check, and moved out as quickly as she could because children ran around like animals and the activity of drugs amongst tenants, with police frequently arriving on scene with lights and sirens.  Ms. Elliott is concerned because Hilton Avenue is very narrow and doesn’t understand how it could sustain extra traffic, including heavy equipment during construction.  Ms. Elliott is also concerned about parking and the additional vehicles in the neighborhood and stormwater. Tenants will not be gainfully employed and will have assistance from the government to pay their rent.  Ms. Elliot also noted the developers didn’t mention if they will be employing local workers.

Mr. Baird asked how her previous experience of living in low income housing compares to pictures presented by the developers for this project.  Ms. Elliott stated the developers kept the property landscaped but believes there were sixteen (16) 4 unit buildings.

Ms. Elliott continued that a portion of the wooded area the developer plans on clearing out for this proposed project will remain wooded because that property is in trust.  The road won’t go all the way through and will have to stop at the property line.

Mr. Baird shared with Staff that he noticed at the southern property line, the south section of Hilton is narrower toward College Street and then widens; there isn’t curb and gutter and asked if anything has been addressed for the southern part of Hilton to be widened.  Mr. Rognstad stated there is no requirement to widen Hilton.

Mr. Baird if there had been a study of traffic impact of people going onto Hilton Street and accessing Mount Vernon.  Ms. Brookshire said Traffic hasn’t looked at how this development specifically affects Hilton other than the traffic volumes impact presented; at this time there are no plans to improve Hilton.

Marsha Hatfield, 3222 W Olive Street, spoke in opposition of this proposal, who said the City may have not received their letters as they were just mailed a couple of days ago.  Ms. Hatfield cites safety, theft, and drug concerns.

Paul Schmitz, Sr., 3230 W Olive, who stated he’s lived in the neighborhood 35 years, spoke in opposition of this proposal, citing stormwater, traffic, and drug issues.  Mr. Schmitz Sr. stated he’s contacted police with drug paraphernalia discovered in the wooded area and the police refuse to go onto the property because it’s private property.

Joyce Hale, 3208 W Water St, spoke in opposition to this proposal, citing traffic and safety concerns.

Mr. Hansen asked Ms. Hale if they had a neighborhood watch association.  Ms. Hale referred to a gentleman named David.  Mr. Hansen said to talk with them when they speak at the hearing.

Dan McCollum, 3001 W Lincoln St, spoke in opposition of this proposal.  Mr. McCollum stated the developers will live maybe 10-20 years but the buildings will live for 50-80 years and the Commission’s decision will live forever and would like to know what happens when the developers decide to sell the project or their heirs take over.  Mr. McCollum stated the new owners won’t be able to raise the rent and will make budget cuts to the maintenance of the property so they can make a profit.

Jim Brewer, 525 S Hilton, spoke in opposition of this proposal.  Mr. Brewer said that when he was younger, he lived in a low income housing area and knows how drugs and crime breed from these areas. Mr. Brewer also cited traffic concerns.

Kayla Vich, 3209 W Olive, spoke in opposition of this proposal, encouraging the developers to build in Joplin where they need housing and work.

Ken Vestal, 303 N Westport, spoke in opposition of this proposal.  They bought the house because they living and dining room windows overlook the wooded property; the land is a swamp, wildlife and spirits, and demands the area be left the way it is.

Ashley Powell, 3216 W College St, spoke in opposition of this proposal, citing recent traffic issues.  Ms. Powell sent an email to City Traffic Engineer, Martin Gugel, on December 15, 2010, due to concerns about the traffic with the children in the area.  Ms. Powell stated she has a copy of the email and traffic counter report with her.  Ms. Powell also addressed signage and crosswalks due to a disabled gentleman who lives in the neighborhood.  City addressed some of the issues by placing some signage around the cul-de-sac.  Ms. Powell also addressed her concern about how Hilton Street is narrow.  Mr. Gugel responded to her email stating “regarding the width of Hilton Street, it is 36’ wide close to Chestnut Expressway, 26’ wide between Water & College Street, and 20’ wide south of College St.  Standard width of a residential street is 26’.”  Ms. Powell said she has almost been hit head on several times at the end of Hilton because people who don’t know the area are coming through to go to work or school and are not aware of how narrow is Hilton.  The Counters from Missouri Traffic Division completed on December 21, 2010, being unsure if school was still in session at that time, the total was 706 vehicles, believing it was before Price Cutter and other businesses were open.  North of Hilton and College, the count was 780. Ms. Powell is concerned additional vehicles and traffic from development would create a bigger traffic issue and how will Hilton manage the flow.

King Coltrin asked if Ms. Powell addressed her traffic concerns to the school and if they had any comments.  Ms. Powell said she hasn’t specifically spoken with the school.  Ms. Powell asked if Commission wanted to see the email and reports.  Mr. Lawhon said that should have been submitted before the public hearing.

Beverly Wilson, 3216 W Water St, spoke in opposition of this proposal, stating the City couldn’t afford to rezone.  The City would have to eventually purchase two stop lights; one at Chestnut Expressway and Hilton with the second light being needed at Mount Vernon and Hilton.  The City should not use the money to rezone the subject property but to hire additional traffic patrol.  Hilton Avenue is already used as a shortcut from Chestnut Expressway to Mount Vernon. Of the 13 homes in the neighborhood, 12 are owner occupied; one (1) is a rental.  Three (3) families have lived there over 30 years.

Vivian Schmitz, 3230 W Olive, spoke in opposition of this proposal, stating she agrees with most of what has been said at this public hearing.

Claudia Letterman, 3237 W College St, spoke in opposition of this proposal, citing concern for decrease in property value.

Lorie Uselton, 525 S Hilton, spoke in opposition of this proposal, citing concerns for safety of the children.

Mr. Lawhon asked if anyone has a comment or concern regarding this proposal which hasn’t already hasn’t been addressed.

Wes Shealy, 3222 W Water Street, spoke in opposition of this proposal.  Mr. Shealy stated the location for Westport Woods is on a low valley and will be the direction where the water will go.  Mr. Shealy stated he also agreed with what was previously addressed.

Sandra Harris, 3241 W College, spoke in opposition of this proposal, citing noise and traffic concerns.  Ms. Harris has a 27 year old disabled son who is now afraid of going outside due to the increase in traffic.

Ms. Mead approached Commission again and asked why the playground is going to be in the back of the building.  Mr. Carmichael responded that normally children play in the backyard and it seemed natural to place the playground in the back, keeping the children away from traffic.  If the playground would be required to be in the front, it wouldn’t take away from the development.

Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.

Mr. Baird asked for clarification purposes if Commission would have the public hearing on Westport Woods at this time before voting.

Mr. Lawhon called for a recess. When the meeting resumed, a preliminary plat was discussed. After that discussion, a vote was taken on zoning case Z-07-2011. See below for the results.

Mr. Hansen motioned to approve Z-07-2011 with Conditional Overlay District No. 42.  Mr. Coltrin seconded the motion.  Motion carried as followed:  AYES:  Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, Ray; and Young.  NAYS:  Baird and McClelland.  ABSTAIN:  None   ABSENT: Roling.

6.  Z-08-2011                                    City of Springfield
     (W. Republic Rd., 3000-3100 blocks, south side)

Mr. MacPherson stated the subject property proposed is scheduled to be annexed at the City Council meeting on July 11, 2011.  If the property is annexed, Staff proposes the following rezoning requests be approved:
  1.       An irrevocable consent to annex the property was signed by the property owner in 2005, (Attachment       which allowed City sewer services to be extended to this property. 
  2.       The Growth Management and Land Use element of the Comprehensive Plan identifies the portion of West Republic Road as appropriate for medium-intensity retail, office or housing.  The proposed General Retail District would allow for community-wide personal and business services, shopping centers, and specialty shops.
   
Staff is recommending approval of this request.

With no appearances, Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.

Mr. Ray motioned to approve Z-08-2011.  Mr. McClelland seconded the motion.  Motion carried as followed:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland; Ray; and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None    ABSENT: Roling.

(The folowing item was discussed out of sequence.)

PRELIMINARY PLAT:

10.  Westport Woods Apartments                                    Joe Carmichael and Charles Chappell
     (N. Hilton Ave., 200-300 blocks, east side)

Mr. Lawhon called for the public hearing for Preliminary Plat Westport Woods. 

Mr. MacPherson stated the purpose of this request is to approve a preliminary plat to subdivide 7.74 acres into a two (2) lot subdivision with a common area, with the common area being defined, in this case, the detention area.

Mr. MacPherson stated addressing street connectivity is priority for public safety.  Emergency services need to have immediate access when necessary.

The applicant’s proposal is consistent with the City’s Subdivision Regulations.  If approved, this plat would remain active for two years.  All City departments support this proposal as shown with the conditions; the water detention, water conveyance, and the historical rate of water movement have been studies by Public Works Storm Water Division.  The street layout and design for this project has been studied for the use of this site including connectivity.

One of the goals of the City’s Comprehensive Plan is to provide an adequate system of thoroughfares that will insure logical development of the community, safe and efficient movement of people and goods, and economical expenditure of public funds.  Section 403.4 of the Subdivision Regulations requires that, when a new subdivision adjoins un-subdivided land susceptible to being subdivided, new streets shall be carried to the boundaries of such tract.  It is important to provide interconnections between parcels as they develop to ensure logical, compact, contiguous development.  In this case, the undeveloped lot to the east will need proper access in the future for development and the connection of College Street will provide that access.  The applicant’s proposal meets this requirement by extending the right-of-way for College Street to the east property line.  Also, there is no east-west local street connect between Hilton Avenue and Golden Avenue forcing all internal neighborhood vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic to chestnut Expressway and Mount Vernon Street.  This increases travel distances for internal neighborhood vehicular traffic (which in turn increases gas consumption and air pollution); puts pedestrians and bicyclists on streets that have more traffic volumes and higher speeds; and increases traffic congestion on the major streets.  The proposed extension will also facilitate access for emergency vehicles.  If an emergency vehicle was responding to a call in the area via Chestnut Expressway or Mount Vernon Street, and the street was blocked between Hilton Avenue and Golden Avenue, the emergency vehicles would have to travel ½ mile north or south to the other major street to continue on the call.  This could waste valuable time in responding to an emergency situation.  The proposed extension of College Street will begin to provide the connection between subdivisions and the existing neighborhoods for internal neighborhood traffic and emergency vehicles.  The connection will not be complete until the land to the east develops.  The College Street connection will primarily serve neighborhood traffic.  There is no reason for external traffic to use the street, so there should not be a significant increase in traffic on existing College Street.

Mr. MacPherson stated as spoken with City Council, this policy is not a popular policy.  It is rare the neighborhood would want the connectivity and it is also rare the applicant would want to spend the additional money on the development.  The overwhelming and compelling reason for that, among the other things such as air pollution and connectivity issues, is public safety; to get emergency vehicles to respond in an adequate time to preserve and save lives.

The remaining standards of the preliminary plat are in place.  Staff recommends approval of this preliminary plat.

Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.

Ralph Tate, representative for the applicant, stated he had nothing to add to the previous discussion and is available to answer questions.

Mr. McClelland stated in Zoning Case Z-07-2011 with Conditional Overlay District No. 42, the identification does not go up into Lot 1 but the preliminary plat includes Lot 1.  Mr. McClelland asked for an explanation.

Mr. MacPherson stated the first case is the Zoning case.  The preliminary plat which addresses Lot 1 is not part of the zoning project which is why the map configuration is different.

With no further appearances, Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.

Mr. Lawhon stated Zoning Case Z-2011 with Conditional Overlay District No. 42 and Preliminary Plat Westport Woods would be voted on separately.  After the vote has been made, these proposals will go before City Council.

Mr. Hansen said he walked the property and commented the woods have been a beautiful amenity to the neighborhood but the property belongs to someone else and they have plans to develop it.  The plans call for plenty of green space and a good sized water detention basin.  Since the area is zoned single family, the woods eventually would go away to development anyway.  Each objection brought forth by citizens has been addressed by the developer.  Mr. Hansen said he would vote in favor to approve this application.

Mr. Baird stated he was perplexed about these two proposals.  It is up to Commission to determine if the development is for an appropriate use of land; it is hard not to argue.  Mr. Baird said he was perplexed regarding the traffic concerns; going south from the development, Hilton does narrow.  This is not within the developer’s control. 

Mr. Baird stated to Staff that he understands Westport Elementary school is changing the location of the front door to the park side.  Mr. Baird asked is the entrance will still be located off of Golden or will that change to Hilton.

Ms. Brookshire stated they have been in discussions with the school.  The front door will face the park.  The City has asked the school to try to work with their circulation, and to use Golden for the entrance as opposed to Hilton.  The school has asked the parents to not use Hilton for the drop off and pick up of their children because of Hilton’s narrow street. 

Mr. Baird stated his concern with traffic patterns and trip generations for parents who drop off and pick up their students.  Mr. Baird asked if the development does pass and there continues to be traffic issues on Hilton, will the City bear responsibility.

Mr. Rognstad stated the City would bear responsibility.

Mr. Lawhon asked what would drive the City to consider widening Hilton Avenue.

Mr. Rognstad stated there is a six year Capital Improvements Program, which projects are prioritized.  Unless it’s a safety hazard, typically local streets don’t make it on that list; usually it’s major streets that are priority.

Mr. Lawhon asked for confirmation of safety being an issue.  Mr. Rognstad confirmed safety would be an issue but for this project the traffic volume wouldn’t be great enough.

Mr. McClelland states he frequently uses Hilton and understands how narrow the street is.  Mr. McClelland stated he believes if the applicant fulfills all the obligations the City requires, he would vote to approve the request.  Mr. McClelland stated he can’t explain what concerns him and will be not vote to approve this request.

Matt Edwards stated aside from the existing issue, there is already traffic and stormwater issues within this neighborhood.  This case demonstrates where the citizens have a serious need and the City has to respond to that need.  Mr. Edwards encouraged the citizens to work with the City on getting their issues prioritized.  This development fulfills its obligations however the neighborhood still has needs.  Mr. Edwards will vote to approve this request.

Mr. Lawhon said citizens have different, not opposing, interests.  Mr. Lawhon said he understands the neighbors want to preserve their neighborhood, with concerns of various issues.  Mr. Lawhon said he has to look at this application to see if it fits in with the Comprehensive Plan for the city; which Mr. Lawhon stated he believes it does.  Mr. Lawhon stated he intends on voting in favor of this zoning case.

Mr. Coltrin stated Westport School has been there for a very long time and in his opinion, doesn’t think the schools take as much interest as the citizens do regarding transporting children back and forth to and from school.  Mr. Coltrin is concerned the schools are more focused on expansion instead of transporting the students.  Mr. Coltrin also stated Hilton Avenue, at one time was wide enough, but now the neighborhood has grown, the street is no longer wide enough.  The applicant is going through the process, making attempts to do the right thing.  Mr. Coltrin stated he would vote in favor of this application.

Phil Young stated he does agree with most everything that has been said, looking from all the facts.  The applicant has complied.  Mr. Young stated the developers may be somewhat naïve thinking the children will only play in the back; children will be children playing in mud holes and swamps.  Kids will play everywhere. Mr. Young also understands traffic issues, and the developer is not trying to increase the detriment to the area.  Mr. Young stated he will vote in favor of this request.

Mr. Edwards motioned to approve Preliminary Plat Westport Woods.  Mr. Young seconded the motion.  Motion carried as followed:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, Ray and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  McClelland   ABSENT: Roling.

6.  Z-08-2011                                    City of Springfield
     (W. Republic Rd., 3000-3100 blocks, south side)

Mr. MacPherson stated the subject property proposed is scheduled to be annexed at the City Council meeting on July 11, 2011.  If the property is annexed, Staff proposes the following rezoning requests be approved:
  1.       An irrevocable consent to annex the property was signed by the property owner in 2005, (Attachment       which allowed City sewer services to be extended to this property. 
  2.       The Growth Management and Land Use element of the Comprehensive Plan identifies the portion of West Republic Road as appropriate for medium-intensity retail, office or housing.  The proposed General Retail District would allow for community-wide personal and business services, shopping centers, and specialty shops.
   
Staff is recommending approval of this request.

With no appearances, Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.

Mr. Ray motioned to approve Z-08-2011.  Mr. McClelland seconded the motion.  Motion carried as followed:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland; Ray; and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None    ABSENT: Roling.

PLANNED DEVELOPMENT:

7.  PD 167 Amended                                    The Salvation Army
     (709 N. Kansas Expressway)

Mike MacPherson stated that this proposal is to facilitate the expansion of services offered by Salvation Army, who is also the current occupant of the site. 

Mr. MacPherson said the Planned Development was created in 1994.  In 1995, there was a city-wide re-mapping of Springfield’s zoning map and in the process, one part of the land zoned PD 167 was mistakenly shown to be in an R-SF, Residential Single Family District when in fact, it was part of the Planned Development District No. 167.  PD 167’s site is unusual; most frontage on Chestnut Expressway but also about 165 feet of frontage on Chestnut Street, which is where the error occurred.  This error will be corrected if this proposed rezoning is approved.  An emergency shelter, multi-family housing units, and a soup kitchen are among the land uses that would be permitted.

Mr. MacPherson continued that the Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan Summary Document (June 2004) states that “there is a need for overnight emergency shelter (Safe Haven) for homeless persons not suitable for or on a waiting list for permanent housing for transitional housing programs.  There is also a need for permanent housing options for the chronic homeless (such as single men, mentally ill, disabled, elderly, etc.).”  The same page of the document recommends that such action be initiated by “faith based institutions such as the Salvation Army, The Kitchen, and the Victory Mission.”

Mr. MacPherson said more recently, Springfield’s Consolidated Plan, 2010-2014 stated in its executive summary that the housing needs that are of highest priority are housing for the elderly, for renter households, for personal with disability, and for the homeless.  It is City staff understanding that these are some of the groups the Salvation Army is proposing to help when they expand their facilities at the subject site.

Mr. MacPherson said that the applicant held a neighborhood meeting; neighbor questions and concerns addressed were to satisfaction.  Staff did not receive negative feedback. 

Mr. MacPherson stated a sidewalk is required around the Chestnut Expressway frontage.  If the church to the west of the subject site is not agreeable to the proposed driveway relocation, the applicant will need to come to an agreement with Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) on the location of any driveway or driveways on Chestnut Expressway for common access to both the church and Salvation Army.

Staff recommends approval of this proposal.

Jim Hansen asked if the amendment to Planned Development No. 167 is due to the driveway issue.  Mr. MacPherson stated this zoning request is to close as many access-ways as possible and to limit those to the smallest number possible.
Paula Brookshire stated Chestnut Expressway is a MoDOT route; at this point they’ve allowed one access route.  Proposal is to share a driveway with the church, moving it to property line. City requires this to be agreeable with the church otherwise any additional access would be left to MoDOT.

Mr. Lawhon opened the public hearing.

Major Norman Grainger with the Salvation Army stated that in 2006 City officials asked about Salvation Army’s plans for Harbor House facility on Boonville. A feasibility study was conducted to consider moving facility to another location within the community. Upon completion of study, decision made to have Harbor House on current property. Salvation Army invited community leaders for direction and support for needs of the community.  Harbor House became transitional housing for single men only; forty bed facility for last 15 years. Family Enrichment Center is for eight (8) families.  During extreme weather, it has also been an emergency shelter for past four years.   Proposal is new start housing on northern structure site.  Southern structure will be emergency shelter expanding to 56 beds. Middle site is for adult housing center consisting of 40 units.  Plans also include a men’s building. Stepping program entails from individual living on the street, going to shelter, to stability, for self sufficiency. 

King Coltrin asked if structures will be compatible with neighborhood.  Maj. Grainer stated they will model the neighborhood.

Michelle Garand with Community Partners of the Ozarks, oversees continuum of care.  Continuum of Care is a local homeless service network, mandated group from federal government who receives HUD funding. Point and time counts of homeless: Last several years, seen marked increase both sheltered & unsheltered – 250 unsheltered.  Vulnerable families include women with young children, some women who are pregnant, and veterans.  Twenty-five percent (25%) are veterans.  Current waiting list for emergency shelter is 215 people, including 66 children.  Ms. Garand believes Salvation Army will continue to make positive difference in lives and community.

Jeff Smith, with the Salvation Army also spoke in support of this proposal.

Christopher Swan, Butler Rosenbury Partners, spoke in support of this proposal and to answer questions.

Cathleen Kennedy, 1915 W Chestnut Street, spoke in opposition to the rezoning for a shelter in a single family residential neighborhood; concerned about inadequate parking, increased traffic, and stormwater issues. Heavy rainfall creates swamps in Nichols Park across the street as well as in Salvation Army’s empty lot.  Ms. Kennedy stated many in her neighborhood don’t feel they are educated enough for their voices to be heard, and because they live in a lower income neighborhood, everything is pre-determined. 

Tim Rosenbury of Butler, Rosenbury and Partners spoke in response to Ms. Kennedy’s concerns.  Understand how shelter could be alarming. Shelter is located away from neighborhood on land owned by Salvation Army; buffered from north via 30’ landscaped bufferyard, Forty units of apartments not on land zoned single family; shelter faces Chestnut Expressway.  Regarding parking along Chestnut Street; there is not a driveway; no vehicles will be routed to or from Chestnut Street.  Parking for apartments will be south of the apartments, on west end of the property.  Stormwater will be collected off the roof of the New Start Housing Project facing Chestnut Street and diverted to the south; no stormwater will go into the residential neighborhood.

Tom Baird, IV asked if consideration was given to move the New Start Housing Center along Chestnut Street further south toward the main part of the complex.

Mr. Rosenbury responded plans for this proposal are for a literal expression of the stepped program, bringing families back into the community. Two-story portion toward the back, needs to be limited to one story, back portion can be no greater than two stories. Attempt to continue rhythm and fit into residential area.

With no further appearances, Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.

Mr. Edwards motioned to approve Planned Development 167 Amended.  Mr. Coltrin seconded the motion.  Motion carried as followed:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland; Ray; and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT: Roling.

MASTER SIGN PLAN:

8.  Sign Plan for TerraGreen                                   Blackman Road Properties, LLC
    (Seminole & Blackman, SW corner)

Mike MacPherson stated the approval of a Master Sign Plan application shall not authorize the erection, placement, reconstruction, structural alteration or moving of any sign, but shall merely authorize the preparation, filing and processing of applications for any permits or approvals, which may be required by the codes and ordinances of the City, including, but not limited to, a building or sign permit.  The signs shall be required to have a separate permit.

Mr. MacPherson said a Master Sign Plan application may be approved for the purpose of establishing consistent, logical, and equitable signage for:  multiple uses on a single lot; a building group of a single use or multiple uses that may involve multiple properties; or a large tract that contains a single use with multiple services.

Mr. MacPherson continued that the main intent of a Master Sign Plan is to provide clarity of communications regarding tenants and services to users of the premise or building group.  A Master Sign Plan is not intended to provide special or additional signage allowance in terms of total effective area than would otherwise be permitted by Section 5-1400 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Mr. MacPherson stated Exhibit 1 shows requirements for Master Sign Plan TerraGreen.  The effective area is not increased anymore than the existing sign code ordinance.  The applicant is seeking approval of this request which will allow a total of eleven (11) signs within this business development, dispersed around the property to identify uses and directional purposes. 

Application meets requirements.  Staff recommends approval of this request.

Jim Hansen asked for clarification on Exhibit 1, Item 2. 

Kevin Lowe, Engineer with Olsson Associates, representative for the applicant, stated the drainage easement runs down the side. When Blackman Road was expanded, there was a pipe to catch water, which was then piped down to the detention basin to the south.  Water quality requirements stated pipe couldn’t be shared.  TerraGreen’s water flow had to be separated from the street flow.  Drainage easement is below with pipe underground; sign will go on top. 

Shelby Lawhon opened the public hearing.

With no appearances, Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.

Mr. Ray motioned to approve Master Sign Plan TerraGreen.  Mr. Edwards seconded the motion.  Motion carried as followed:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland; Ray; and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT: Roling.

PRELIMINARY PLAT:

9.  Margenerous Subdivision                                    Peter Generous and Jennifer Cannon
    (1301 S. Jefferson)

Mike MacPherson, referencing the site map, stated the existing lot facing Jefferson Avenue is not a subject of this proposal.  This proposal is to subdivide into two lots which have street frontage.  Lot 2 has street frontage; Lot 1 has partial street frontage.  Lot 1 at the rear of the property will be used for aesthetic purposes only; no intended construction projects.
 
Request for subdivision variance is due to the fact there is not full frontage to Jefferson Avenue.  Remaining standards meets requirements for a Preliminary Plat. 

Staff recommends approval of this request.

Jim Hansen asked if this request would preserve the lot from being developed in the future.

Ralph Rognstad there is a house on each lot; no further units can be built on it.  Out-buildings can be added and expansion of existing house but no additional houses.

Mr. Hansen asked for clarification on the compelling reasons for this request.  Mr. Rognstad stated Lot 1 could have more land.

Phil Young noted in the purpose statement, the latter part of the sentence states “without frontage.”  Mr. MacPherson clarified it should state “not complete frontage”.

Jim Hansen, referencing Attachment A, asked if Lot 2 was developed, would it require a hard surface driveway. Paula Brookshire responded if Lot 2 was redeveloped, it would require a hard surface driveway.  Currently there is a gravel driveway. 

Shelby Lawhon opened the public hearing.

Rick Wilson with Wilson Survey, representative for the applicants, stated Peter Generous and Jennifer Cannon are husband and wife.  The applicants acquired the property five (5) years ago and have maintained it with a park-like setting and a pool with privacy.  The applicants would like to retain the property but uncertain if they want to maintain the two homes and would like the option to sell.  The lot line adjustment would allow them to sell and maintain park like setting in their residence.

Mr. Lawhon closed public hearing.

Mr. Rognstad clarified that if this proposal is approved, the amended verbiage would need to state “approve variance to allow lot without full frontage on the street”

Mr. Edwards motioned to approve Preliminary Plat Margenerous Subdivision with amended language “approve variance to allow lot without full frontage on the street.”  Mr. Baird seconded the motion.  Motion carried as follows:  AYES:  Baird, Coltrin, Edwards, Hansen, Lawhon, McClelland, Ray and Young.  NAYS:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT: Roling.

ANY OTHER MATTERS UNDER COMMISSON JURISDICTION:

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:03 p.m.

 

 

 


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