Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Date: September 2, 2010
Time: 6:35 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; King Coltrin; Matthew Edwards; Gloria Roling; Phil Young; Thomas Baird, IV; Jim Hansen; Mike MacPherson, Principal Planner, Planning and Development; Nancy Yendes, Assistant City Attorney. Absent: Shelby Lawhon; Jay McClelland.


The minutes of August 19, 2010, were approved unanimously.



(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.    Z-17-2010                                        Russell Withers Trust
      (2828 E. Chestnut Expressway)

Mr. MacPherson said that this is a request to rezone approximately .53 acres from an R-SF, Residential Single Family Zoning District to an O-1, Office District. The existing house will then either be remodeled to accommodate an office, or the rezoning will be used to market the property for development for uses permitted in an O-1 District.

Mr. Macpherson said that “the proposed uses permitted in the Office district are consistent with the neighboring uses, as can be seen in the staff report on your matrix and the Springfield-Greene County Growth Management and Land Use plan indicates the subject property should be developed as high-intensity retail, office or housing. In reality there are very few residential houses left along that strip and it’s probably inevitable that they will all be ultimately changed to either retail or office.” The rezoning, he said, would not be effective until certain conditions were met. Mr. MacPherson read those conditions from the staff report:

1.  The 3 lots need to be combined into 1 tract so the existing structure will remain in  conformance with the setback requirements of an O-1 district.
2:  Construction documents will need to be submitted and approved by BDS for the change in use of the structure.
3.  Five additional feet of right-of-way is required for both Chestnut Expressway and Ken Avenue.
4.  A 30 by 30 foot sight triangle is required at the intersection of Chestnut Expressway and Ken Avenue.
5.  Sidewalk is required on the Ken Avenue frontage.                                                               

Mr. MacPherson said the applicant had requested that the two-year period mentioned in the staff report as being the deadline for the completion of the site improvements be changed to a three-year period. He said staff was recommending approval of the deadline extension and of the zoning request.  

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing.

Dana Edwards, 5072 N. FR 159, said he was representing the applicant. He said the applicant had no immediate plans for the subject site but was waiting to see whether the economy improved, which was why he had asked that the time-frame for site improvements be extended from two years to three years.

Mr. Hansen asked if the site’s owner had a year lease for “that brick house.” Mr. Edwards said that that was correct.

Mr. Baird asked about the lease and the “thought process” involved in the rezoning request. Mr. Edwards said that “we want to leave our options open to see what it might generate.” Mr. Baird asked whether another rezoning request on the same property submitted in, say, “year two,” would “muddy the water?” Mr. MacPherson said that another request would be treated just like any other rezoning request.

Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Mr. Hansen asked how long the single-family zoning would be in effect. Mr. MacPherson explained the process followed when a rezoning request has been approved subject to the fulfillment of conditions. Mr. Hansen said was in favor of the current proposal.

Mr. Wheeler said he thought the three-year period was appropriate.

Edwards made a motion to amend the rezoning request to allow the applicant three years in which to meet the conditions listed in the staff report. Coltrin seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Coltrin, Young, Roling, Baird, Hansen, Edwards; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Lawhon, McClelland.

Edwards made a motion to approve zoning case Z-17-2010. Coltrin seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Coltrin, Young, Roling, Baird, Hansen, Edwards; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Lawhon, McClelland.

2.     Z-18-2010                                         City of Springfield
          (3200 block E. Redbud St.)

Mr. MacPherson explained that the purpose of the case was to rezone property located at 3237, 3238, 3254, and 3308 East Redbud and Lot 5 of Timbercrest Addition from a Greene County R-1 zoning district to a City R-SF, Single Family Residential, zoning district.
He then read the following “background information” from the City’s staff report:

On August 23, 2010, the City Council held a public hearing on the annexation of these properties which will be finalized at the September 7, 2010 meeting. Additionally a resolution to initiate the rezoning of these properties was approved by City Council at their August 23, 2010 meeting.
The applicants are proposing to match the existing residential zoned property in Greene County to a similar zoning category within the City as well as the portions of the property that are currently within the city limits. 

He said the owners of the subject properties are going to participate in a “sewer tax district” and thus have sewer service extended to them. He said that making the city zoning consistent with the county zoning amounted to “clean-up work.” He read the following from the Findings section of the City’s staff report:

  1. The Comprehensive Plan and the Southeast Springfield Development Study support single family residential uses at this location.
  1. The R-SF, Single Family Residential matches the R-1, one-family zoning category within Greene County and the portions of property that already are within the city limits of Springfield.

He said staff was recommending approval of the proposal.

Mr. Hansen asked if the sewer district would place “the burden of the sewer payment on the lot instead of on the owner.” Mr. MacPherson said that that was correct. Mr. Hansen asked if any of the other property owners in the vicinity were given a chance to have input into the creation of the sewer district. Mr. MacPherson said all he knew was that the property owners involved with the subject sites had agreed to the terms of the sewer district and other owners in the area had not.      

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing.

Robert Strang, 5147 S. FR 181, asked for clarification on what the case was about. Mr. MacPherson said that he thought the subject subdivision had been established without regard to the Springfield city limits, and so some lots had fallen within the city and some had fallen outside the city. Mr. Strang said he lived in the vicinity of the subject lots and was wondering if he would need to “participate in this or is this only for those lots?” Mr. Macpherson said that only the subject lots would be affected by this proposal. Mr. Strang asked if this action would affect the subdivision’s covenants. Ms. Yendes said no, it would not. 

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

Coltrin made a motion to approve zoning case Z-18-2010. Hansen seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Coltrin, Young, Roling, Baird, Hansen, Edwards; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Lawhon, McClelland.



3.     Nonconforming Lots amendment                                         City of Springfield

Mr. MacPherson said that this proposal, if enacted, would allow the development of lots that currently are not developable. He said subsection 5-1702 of the zoning ordinance would be changed. He read the following passage from the Staff Comments portion of the City’s staff report:

  1. City Council approved a resolution (G.O. 9794) on June 14, 2010, to initiate an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance relating to nonconforming lots of record for the purpose of facilitating development and redevelopment of such lots.
  2. The proposed amendment will allow the redevelopment of lots for single-family detached dwellings that do not meet the area and lot width regulations in the R-SF, R-TH and R-MHC Districts. It will create more opportunities for infill development of some small vacant residential lots and thus generate more density in some older neighborhoods. This will also provide more opportunities for productive use of these nonconforming residential properties.
  3. Staff has encountered several situations in the past where property owners within the City could not meet the current nonconforming lot regulations. Under the existing regulations a single family detached dwelling can only be built on a lot that is forty (40) feet wide and at least four thousand (4,000) square feet in area. There are many older subdivisions and lots that have been established on smaller and narrower lots. Any single family detached dwelling located on these lots cannot be rebuilt without zoning variances. This amendment would allow approval of these nonconforming lots administratively if they can meet all other criteria.
  4. The proposed amendment removes the language for nonconforming lots regarding the minimum lot width and area; however, the lot must meet the following two criteria: The lot must be shown by a recorded plat or deed to have been created prior to 1956 or annexed after 1956 and must front on a local or collector street or accessed by using an alley or cross access easement. Both of these criteria were part of the original nonconforming lot ordinance. The amendment will also allow on-street parking within three hundred (300) feet of the subject property on a street with a minimum pavement width of twenty-four (24) feet to be used in place of minimum off-street parking requirements for single-family detached dwellings.
  5. This amendment will only affect nonconforming lots in the Single-Family Residential, Residential Townhouse and Manufactured Home Community zoning districts and will not create any additional restrictions on property owners of nonconforming lots of record.
  6. Public Works and Building Development Services support the proposed text amendment.

Mr. Hansen asked why the year 1956 was specified as one of the criteria. Mr. MacPherson said that 1956 was the year in which the City established its zoning ordinance.

Mr. Wheeler asked, “Are there presently quite a few empty lots that this might allow construction on?” Mr. Macpherson said, “Yes.”

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

Hansen made a motion to approve the zoning amendment which the agenda called the Nonconforming Lots Amendment. Edwards seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Roling, Young, Baird, Hansen, Coltrin, Edwards; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: McClelland, Lawhon. 


4.     UP 391                                         Chi Alpha Christiasn Fellowship of Springfield
          (680 S. Florence Ave.)

Mr. MacPherson said the Governmental Institutional District in the zoning ordinance allows for multi-family dwellings but specifies a maximum floor area ratio of 1.0. The Zoning Ordinance also allows for a floor area ratio of up to 5.0 with a conditional use permit.

Mr. Macpherson said staff was recommending approval with the following conditions, which he read from the City’s staff report:

  1. If additional impervious surface area is proposed and storm water detention is required, staff recommends some innovative concepts be explored, such as rain gardens or other means to meet storm water and water quality requirements.
  2. Fire apparatus access roads shall have a minimum unobstructed width of 26 feet in the immediate vicinity of any building or portion of building more than 30 feet in height.  All fire apparatus access roads shall meet the minimum requirements for turning radius of 28 feet.  All other International Fire Codes shall be met.
  3. All other standards of the Zoning Ordinance, and other applicable ordinances, shall be adhered to.                                    
Mr. MacPherson said the proposed project would involve the construction of a four-story building.

Howard Cavner, 4466 E. Culloden Lane, said he was the campus minister for United Ministries in Higher Education, which is “one of the partners in this project.” He said his organization wanted to build “a value-space student housing project.” He said that some of the values “attached to the property” would be community service, scholarship, and citizenship. He said that Missouri State University (MSU) supported the proposal. He said the applicants felt that the project would “enhance the ... quality of the educational experience for the students that live in this property.” Mr. Coltrin asked about a detail of the proposed building. Mr. Cavner said that on the ground floor near the entrance of the building there would be “a variety of programming space and some offices” for the campus ministry.

Brent Stevens, 5051 S. National, one of the architects on the project, said the proposed building would be in conformance with the requirements of the GI zoning district. He said that a floor area ratio higher than 1.0 was needed to make the project economically feasible. He said the neighborhood meeting describing the project had not produced any opposition to the project.

Mr. Hansen asked about vehicular access to the site. Mr. Stevens said the applicants were coordinating access with the neighboring MSU tracts of land. In response to another question from Mr. Hansen, he said that the exact location of the trash dumpster, if any, had yet to be determined.

Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Baird made a motion to approve Conditional Use Permit 391. Edwards seconded the motion.  Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Roling, Young, Baird, Hansen, Coltrin, Edwards; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: McClelland, Lawhon.   



5.     Wehr's Chestnut Plaza                                   Chestnut Center, LLC
        (501 W. Chestnut Expressway)

Mr. MacPherson said the purpose of the proposal was to approve a preliminary plat to subdivide 1.93 acres into a three-lot commercial subdivision. He described the current land use on the subject site. He said the current one-lot development would be changed into a three-lot subdivision.

Mr. Macpherson said that the lot line between the existing car wash and the existing restaurant would be adjusted so that the lot containing the car wash would meet the zoning requirements for open space. He pointed out that the site plan stated that the subdivision would be considered to be a premise, and he read the following passage from the City’s staff report, which explains why the definition of premise is relevant to this case:

As the note on the preliminary plat states, the three (3) lots shall be considered a premise with respect to lighting, signage and parking requirements. A premise, as defined by the Zoning Ordinance, is considered a tract of land, consisting of one (1) or more lots, under single or multiple ownership, which operates as a functional unit. When developed, a premise shall also possess one or more of the following criteria:  shared parking, common management, common identification, common access or shared circulation. The lighting, signage and parking is shared by the entire site. If the site was not considered a premise, then lighting standards would apply to each new lot line, signage would be limited due to spacing and frontage requirements and additional parking or bicycle parking would be required for any off-street parking deficiencies. A cross access easement provides shared access to all lots via Main Avenue and Campbell Avenue since direct access to Chestnut Expressway is prohibited.

He said the proposal was consistent with the Subdivision Regulations and staff was recommending approval of the proposal.

Mr. Edwards asked what the intent of the request was. Mr. MacPherson said, “I think it creates an opportunity for marketability for the individual units within the tract as opposed to having the whole tract for marketing.” 

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing.

Ralph Tate, 4059 W. Page Place, said he was representing the applicant and would entertain questions. He said he thought all “City requirements” had been satisfied. Mr. Wheeler asked whether a new owner of one of the lots would have to abide by the sign ordinance. Mr. MacPherson said that, with regard to signage, lighting and parking, “it takes the entire premise to bring all of them into conformance with the Subdivision Regulations. So, that would convey with the lots, individually or collectively.”       

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

Edwards made a motion to approve the preliminary plat for Wehr’s Chestnut Plaza subdivision. Young seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Roling, Young, Baird, Hansen, Coltrin, Edwards; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: McClelland, Lawhon.


Mr. MacPherson said there would probably not be a second Commission meeting this month (The September 30 meeting is considered the first meeting in October.).

There being no other items for discussion, Mr. Wheeler adjourned the meeting at approximately 7:22 p.m.






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