Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Date: June 10, 2010
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: Jack Wheeler, Chair; Shelby Lawhon, Vice Chair; Thomas Baird, IV; Gloria Roling; Jim Hansen; Jay McClelland; Mike MacPherson, Principal Planner, Planning and Development; Alana Owen, Senior Planner, Planning and Development; Nancy Yendes, Assistant City Attorney; Martin Gugel, Public Works; ABSENT: Phil Young, King Coltrin, Matthew Edwards.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:          

The minutes for the commission meeting of May 13, 2010, were approved unanimously.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Mr. MacPherson said that Alana Owen would be presenting the City's summary of the proposed zoning amendment dealing with Use Groups (agenda item 7).

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 749                                   ANFWMD
    (500 block W. Sunshine St.

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


HEARINGS: 

ZONING:

2.     Z-12-2010                                               CY Properties, LLC
       (3184 E. Sunshine St.)

Mr. MacPherson read the following excerpt from the City’s staff report:

  1. The applicant is proposing to rezone approximately 1.75 acre of property from a PD, Planned Development (PD 237) District to a GR, General Retail District to allow for the construction of a bank, financial use. The former Carson’s nursery buildings are currently situated on the subject tract. The applicant is proposing on removing these structures and building a bank on the front portion of the tract. The nurseries, greenhouse and garden stores uses are not allowed in GR. These uses are allowed in HC.  The nursery would not be allowed to continue under the conditions placed on this rezoning
  2.  

  3. The Springfield Comprehensive Plan supports medium intensity retail, office or housing in this area.

Mr. MacPherson also read the following conditions included in the staff report:

  1. Five feet of additional right-of-way for Sunshine Street and Mayfair Street and a 30-foot by 30-foot triangle at the street corner is required. 
  2. Sidewalk is required on Sunshine Street and Mayfair Avenue street frontages.
  3. Best practice for access on Sunshine Street would be 200 feet from Mayfair Avenue.  Existing access on the adjacent lot is 160 feet from Mayfair.   No access other than the existing is recommended.  Best practice for access on Mayfair Avenue would be 75 feet to 150 feet from Sunshine Street.  It is recommended that access to Mayfair be at least 75 feet from Sunshine Street but no farther south than Washita Street.         
  4. The existing "Nursery" use will be removed.

If these conditions are not completed within two years from City Council’s approval, then the approval is null and void and the zoning will remain a Planned Development (PD 237) district.

Mr. Macpherson said that no concerns had been voiced at the neighborhood meeting held regarding this case. He then read the following findings from the staff report:

  1. The Springfield comprehensive plan supports general retail uses at this location.
  2. The GR, General Retail District is intended for retail uses as well as bank and financial institution uses as proposed by the applicant.
  3. The [subject site will be governed by certain] conditions outlined for development.

Mr. Hansen asked how the City could be sure the storm-water detention would not be bought out. Mr. MacPherson said that the storm-water would not be bought out. He said that at the time of development the applicant would need to show that the site’s storm-water detention would be “adequate to maintain the flow at the historic rate.”

Mr. Lawhon asked if Mr. MacPherson’s answer meant that, at the time of development, the storm-water situation “can’t be any worse than it is right now.” Mr. MacPherson said that that was correct.   

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing.

Deborah Scott, 4816 S. Roanoke, said she was with Wilhoit Properties and was representing the applicant. The Commission members had no questions for Ms. Scott. There being no other speakers, Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Lawhon made a motion to approve zoning case Z-12-2010. McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, McClelland, Baird, Hansen, Roling; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards.

PRELIMINARY PLAT:

3.  Kensington Park Villas                                    Kenington Park, LLC
     (Kansas Expressway, 1300 block S., east side)

Mr. MacPherson said that the proposal was to divide 7.32 acres of land into a five-lot residential subdivision. He said the development would be built out in phases. He said Lot 1 would be developed during Phase 1. He said that staff was recommending approval of the plat.

Mr. McClelland asked if any of the conditions mentioned in the staff report were new to this version of the plat. Mr. MacPherson said no, there were no new conditions.

Mr. Hansen asked what the staff report meant by “change in configuration.” Mr. MacPherson said that, now, the plat was broken into five lots.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing. Mike Beaty, P.O. Box 7056, Springfield, said one aspect of the new proposal was that one large lot, “the multifamily lot,” would be split into two lots. He said that most other aspects of the plat would be the same as what was approved by the City in 2008. He said development of the site would be phased in over time.

Mr. Hansen asked how access would be provided to the area of new construction. Mr. Beaty said the site would be accessed by traveling through the area of the existing apartments. He added that some of the storm-water from outside the subject site would be intercepted and detained on the subject site before eventual discharge into the “MoDOT Kansas Expressway right-of-way.”  In response to another question from Mr. Hansen, he said that Lexington St. would be built once the project went into its Phase 2 stage. Mr. Hansen asked where the run-off would go once Lexington was built. Mr. Beaty illustrated on the map displayed in the meeting room where the run-off would go, and he said that between his development and the Echo Park apartment development, all the run-off in the area would “be taken care of.”

Mr. Wheeler asked if the applicant would eventually build Meadowmere St. between this development and Kansas Ave. Mr. Beaty said no, this development would provide a stub street at its east end but would not extend any street out to Kansas Ave. Mr. Wheeler asked if there would be “construction access” via the Meadowmere right-of-way. Mr. Beaty said there would not.        

Mr. Wheeler asked staff if a developer could use a platted but unimproved right-of-way to give construction vehicles access to a site. Ms. Yendes said that “they would have to come and get consent” from the City. Mr. Beaty stated that the developer would have to abide by a “sediment and erosion control plan,” and that plan would show the proposed construction entrances.

Bradley Scherff, 1301 S. Kansas Ave., said his father owned a garage that is located “where Meadowmere would extend through” if it were extended west from Kansas Ave. He said there was a narrow road to the south of Meadowmere which was being used by builders of some single-family homes on Lexington and he hoped it would not also be used as a construction entrance to the subject site. Mr. Wheeler suggested that Mr. Scherff let the Building Development Services department know of his concerns.

There being no other speakers, Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing. He said he felt comfortable with the application.  

McClelland made a motion to approve the preliminary plat of Kensington Park Villas. Roling seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, McClelland, Baird, Hansen, Roling; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards.

ZONING TEXT AMENDMENTS:

Mr. Macpherson gave some background information on the process of creating text amendments. He noted that the zoning ordinance had last been amended significantly in 1995 and the amendments being discussed tonight were part of an effort to keep the ordinance up to date. 

4.  Farmers Market amendment                                    City of Springfield
     (City-Wide)

Mr. MacPherson said that the need for this amendment became apparent after a task force had completed a study of urban gardens. He then went into the specifics of this proposed ordinance change. He said the purpose of the subject amendment was to amend the zoning ordinance to add uses to the definition of Farmer’s Market, modify the Commercial Garden and Farmer’s Market use to function independently of each other, and add a new temporary use for Farmers Markets with standards for their operation.
 
He said that, currently, farmers markets are allowed as a permanent use in all of the commercial and industrial zoning districts. He said that staff felt it would be appropriate to allow them in residential districts too, as a temporary use. He referred the Commission to the section of the staff report called “Farmers Market Enforcement Standards.” He read the requirements listed therein that an applicant for a permit for a temporary farmers market would need to meet.

He said that meat and eggs could be sold at such a market, but “all meat sold to the public is to follow USDA requirements and all eggs sold to the public are required to be licensed by the state of Missouri.” He said that meeting these criteria would be “part of the permitting process also.”

He said the proposed amendment amounted to an “extension of the urban gardens element effort in the City to provide more of a local effort for growing and conveying locally grown food products in an economy that has been difficult at best.”    

Mr. Lawhon asked it were true that the entity running such a market would need to disassemble it at the end of each day of operation. Mr. MacPherson said yes, that was the case.  Mr. Lawhon asked what would happen if one of the neighbors of such a market did not like it. Mr. MacPherson said that if the site became a nuisance, then the director of the BDS department would have the authority “to move.”

Mr. McClelland asked about how the meat and eggs would be refrigerated. Mr. MacPherson said that the City would not be enforcing that; the standards for meat and eggs would be regulated by “the USDA.” Mr. McClelland asked, “Where’s the line on this?” Mr. MacPherson said that the issue of meat and eggs was just one aspect of enacting a zoning provision allowing the establishment of temporary farmers markets. He said the City and the Health Department would not be regulating any meat and eggs distributed at such markets. 

Ms. Roling asked about a market near Seminole and Glenstone streets. Mr. MacPherson said that the establishment in question was probably “a commercial use, and that would be a permanent use, as opposed to this.” It would not be affected by the subject amendment.

Mr. Hansen asked if restrooms would be required, and Mr. MacPherson said that yes, they would be.

Mr. Baird asked why it was necessary to mandate the presence of restrooms. Mr. MacPherson said that this was a requirement for other temporary uses and the BDS department wanted it “carried forward” with this temporary use. Mr. Baird asked if all of the structures would need to be taken down at the end of each day. Mr. MacPherson said that yes, the structures would need to be taken down. He said he thought you would be likely to see canopy tents and tables, rather than more solid structures, at such markets.   

Mr. Hansen said he was in favor of the proposal.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing. No one wanted to speak, so Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Mr. Wheeler said the proposal was “very much in line with what the urban gardens task force envisioned as an ordinance ... to enable farmers markets.”

McClelland made a motion to approve Agenda Item 4, “Farmers Market Text Amendment.” Roling seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, McClelland, Baird, Hansen, Roling; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards. 

5.  Nonprofit Community Center                                    Bryan Ragsdale
    (City-Wide)

Mr. MacPherson said that this proposal was brought forward by an organization called Bridges for Youth. He said they wanted to renovate a building near McGregor School and provide after-school services to the children. He said the text amendment stipulates that applicants covered by this section of the ordinance will need to get a conditional use permit before developing or redeveloping. He said the amendment would affect all of the city's  residential zoning districts.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing. Bryan Ragsdale, 7428 E. Farm Road 156, said he was representing Bridges for Youth. He said his client had no objection to being subject to the conditional-use-permit process.

There being no other speakers, Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Lawhon made a motion to approve Agenda Item 5, “Nonprofit Community Center.” Hansen seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, Roling, McClelland, Baird, Hansen; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards. 

6.  Off-Street Parking Amendment                                    City of Springfield
     (City-Wide)

Mr. Macpherson said that this amendment would change the parking requirements for antique- and flea-markets and for health and fitness centers. Staff, he said, had determined that the current requirement for flea markets was too high and should be modified to be the same requirement as the parking standard for furniture stores. He said that, regarding fitness centers, this was a case where a new kind of land use had made some of the old regulations somewhat obsolete. He cited as examples the businesses Wacky World and Jump Mania. Staff determined that such establishments should have a requirement of one parking space per two hundred square feet of floor area.

He said that the proposed amendment would also alter the requirements for “dance halls, skating rinks, and retail uses.” In the case of dance halls and skating rinks, he said that the current standard was so low that staff thought it might be a typographical error. In the case of retail uses, staff was recommending that the standard be changed to one space for each 250 square feet of total floor area or one space for each 200 square feet of net usable floor area.

He said that staff was recommending changing the category dealing with “tennis club (indoor), health club, gymnasiums, racquetball clubs and similar uses” to a category specifying “athletic clubs (indoor), gymnasiums and similar uses.” He said this would allow “health clubs” to fit into the “health and fitness facility” category rather than be a separate item in the ordinance.

He said the amendment also deals with restaurants. He read the text of the proposed new Section 5-1502.B.18, Subsections a, b, and c, dealing with restaurants. He also called the commissioners’ attention to the proposed new requirement for regional shopping centers.

Mr. MacPherson said the land uses being addressed were ones staff had “experienced problems with.”

Mr. Hansen asked how the lowering of parking requirements for flea markets would have any “practical effect” on those establishments if they were already located in a parking lot. Mr. Macpherson replied that there might be a cumulative effect, in that lowering a requirement for one business in a shopping center might free up more spaces for other businesses in the center.  

Mr. McClelland asked what would happen to fast food restaurants that did not meet the new standards. Mr. MacPherson said those businesses would not be subject to penalty because they would be grandfathered in.

Mr. Lawhon asked how staff had come up with “these numbers.”

Mr. MacPherson replied that, in one case, staff had analyzed data provided by a flea market to see how much parking need was being generated by that business. He said staff had also referred to the parking standards published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Mr. Baird asked how the parking analysis process would work for someone wanting to open a new business. Mr. MacPherson replied that staff would look at the proposed new land use and the required parking standards for that use. 

Mr. Wheeler asked about the process. Mr. MacPherson said that in order to get a business license, the applicant would need to demonstrate to the City’s BDS department that he could provide an adequate number of off-street parking spaces to serve his business. Mr. Wheeler said he could imagine a case in which a land use in an existing shopping center would change and the new use would generate more parking, thus exceeding the standards for that particular shopping center. Mr. MacPherson said that one possibility in such a case would be for the center to enter into a “cooperative parking agreement with a neighboring facility.” Mr. Wheeler said that one of the cooperative parking agreements he was familiar with seemed to be “quite successful.”

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing. No one wanted to speak to this issue. Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing. 

Mr. Hansen made a motion to approve Agenda Item 6, “Off-Street Parking Amendment.”  Mr. McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, Roling, McClelland, Baird, Hansen; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards. 
 
At this point (7:50 p.m.), the Commission took a recess. The meeting was called to order again at approximately 7:58 p.m.

7.  Use Groups                                    City Council
     (City-Wide)

Alana Owen described the concept behind the Use Groups amendment. She quoted as follows from the City’s staff report:

Each Zoning District currently has a list of permitted uses with individual uses listed.  Staff has encountered several situations where a proposed use is very similar in function to a permitted use within a certain Zoning District, but it is not allowed to locate on the property because it is not specifically listed in the Zoning District as a permitted use.  Use groups will allow for uses that have the same function and have the same potential impacts to locate in the same Zoning Districts without the need to list each use specifically.  This proposed amendment, modeled after the Portland, Oregon ordinance, classifies land uses and activities into use groups on the basis of common functional, product or physical characteristics.  Characteristics include the type and amount of activity, the type of customers, how goods or services are sold or delivered, and certain site factors.  The use groups provide a systematic basis for assignment of present and future uses to Zoning Districts.  The decision to allow or prohibit the use groups in the various Zoning Districts is based on the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan and, Ms. Owen added, on the “purpose and intent of each zoning district.”  Ms. Owen also read the following excerpt:

 This proposed amendment will begin the process of establishing use groups by adding a new section, Section 1-2000, Establishment of Use Groups, in the Zoning Ordinance.  This Section describes the purpose of use groups, considerations for the classification of uses and explains the information provided for each use group.  The new Section also establishes ten use groups ...

She also cited the following passage from the report:

For each use group the characteristics of the use group are given as well as a list of example and accessory uses that are allowed.  Some of the use groups include a list of exceptions whereby certain uses are restricted in some manner or prohibited altogether within that use group.  The amendment also revises several existing Zoning Districts to strike individual uses that would be categorized in the proposed use groups permitted in each district.  It is important to note that while this is a substantial change to the Zoning Ordinance, the intent and use limitations of each Zoning District have been maintained.  Following approval of the initial amendment, additional use groups will be established over a period of time.

She said that some land uses, being unique, would continue to be listed individually in the zoning ordinance.

Ms. Owen also read the following passage from the staff report:

This proposed amendment is the most substantial change to the zoning ordinance since the adoption of the current zoning ordinance in 1995.  Staff believes this change will provide for the flexibility needed to adapt to changing and evolving land uses while still protecting the interests of the community and adjacent property owners. 

Ms. Owen said there are no changes being proposed for any of the residential zoning districts. She also said that all of the design requirements, such as bulk requirements, within individual zoning districts would remain the same after passage of the Use Groups amendment.

Ms. Owen said that staff had notified neighborhood organizations of the proposed change. She said she had received an e-mail from a Mr. Robert Thurman. She said Mr. Thurman had opined that the language in the amendment was too vague. She said staff had tried to strike a balance between language that was too vague and language that was too specific. She said that “no matter how hard [staff might] try to list every possible use that you could possibly think of out there, we know that we’ll miss one, and so this allows those uses to occur without having to have them listed.” She said that staff will probably be going back over the amendment and tweaking it as time goes on.

She said that another of Mr. Thurman’s concern was that the director of Building Development Services was given a lot of power by this amendment. She said that the director already has that power under the current ordinance.

Mr. Lawhon said he liked the fact that the amendment would allow more flexibility in interpreting zoning issues. He asked if this approach would eventually be extended to the entire zoning ordinance. Ms. Owen said that that was correct. He asked how long Portland had been using the Use Groups approach. Ms. Owen said she did not know exactly. He asked how well this approach had been received by the development community.  Ms. Owen said that, without doing more research, she could not make any assertions about that.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public heating. There being no speakers on this issue, Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Mr. Wheeler said he appreciated Mr. Thurman’s e-mail contribution.

Mr. Lawhon said he was in favor of the amendment.

Mr. Wheeler said that he thought it was good that staff had been tweaking the zoning ordinance during the current lull in development caused by the down economy.

Lawhon made a motion to approve Agenda Item 7, “Use Groups Text Amendment.” McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, Roling, McClelland, Baird, Hansen; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards. 

Mr. Lawhon said he wanted to thank staff for the work it had put in on the Use Groups amendment.

VACATION:

8.  Vacation 745                                    City of Springfield
    (2800 block E. Galloway, north side)

Mr. MacPherson gave the Commission some background information on this case. He said that a rezoning had taken place in November of 2009 on the subject site in order to rectify a situation in which a business had established a land use that wasn’t allowed in the subject zoning district.  He said he thought that if the Use Groups provision had been in the zoning ordinance at that time, it would have saved the applicants the trouble of going through the rezoning process. He quoted as follows from the city’s staff report:

  1. City Council approved General Ordinance 5840 on November 9, 2009 to rezone property located at 3537 and 3539 South Lone Pine Avenue and 2811 East Galloway Street from an LB, Limited Business District to a GR, General Retail District.  As part of their approval Council included a requirement for the dedication of additional right-of-way along Galloway as well as other requirements for joint driveway and access easements.  When the property owner was preparing the Right-of-Way Deed for dedication of right-of-way along Galloway it was discovered that when the additional right-of-way was dedicated a portion of an existing detention basin, including the outlet structure, would be located on City right-of-way.  The property owners’ zoning was contingent on the right-of-way being dedicated and the right-of-way was dedicated to the City to make the approved zoning effective.  In an effort to avoid having to provide a license agreement for the structure to be located on the right-of-way and to avoid future liability for the City due to the existence of such a structure on the right-of-way, staff is proposing that the small portion of right-of-way be vacated and an Irrevocable Offer to Dedicate be recorded.   The Irrevocable Offer to Dedicate will guarantee the right-of-way is available when the City has an improvement project in the area and needs the additional right-of-way, but will allow the applicant to retain the property with the existing detention until that time and avoid potential liability to the City.  At such time the right-of-way is needed, the applicant will be required to move or modify the detention basin so that the improvement is completely on private property.

Mr. MacPherson said staff was in favor of the vacation.

Mr. Hansen asked if there were any plans to improve Galloway St. in the near future. Mr. MacPherson said improvements to the street would be contingent on “development activity” occurring on the subject site. Mr. Wheeler said he did not recall seeing an improvement to Galloway being listed in the Capital Improvements Plan.

Mr. Hansen asked whether the City, if it acquired the subject right-of-way in the future, would end up having to pay for the “detention modification.” Ms. Yendes said the City “shouldn’t have to pay,” and that “Public Works deals with that, and they negotiate how that gets changed” and how anything in the right-of-way “gets moved.” She said it would usually be a developer who would have to pay for modifying the detention facility. Mr. Hansen said it looked to him like there was no more room for detention on the subject site. Mr. MacPherson said that he knew of cases where detention had been “moved to off-site.” In other words, the storm-water would end up in “a regional detention facility.” 

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing. There being no speakers, Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

McClelland made a motion to approve Agenda Item 8, “Vacation 745.” Roling seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Lawhon, Roling, McClelland, Baird, Hansen; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Young, Coltrin, Edwards.    

ANY OTHER MATTERS UNDER COMMISSON JURISDICTION:

There being no further business for the Commission, Mr. Wheeler adjourned the meeting at approximately 8:27 p.m.

 

 

 


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