Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Date:

September 11, 2008

Time:

7:00 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: Phyllis Ferguson, Jack Wheeler, Edwin Alden, Ray Shermer, King Coltrin, Bill Bryan, Jay McClelland, Mike MacPherson, Principal Planner, Planning and Development, Ralph Rognstad, Director, Planning and Development, Nancy Yendes, Assistant City Attorney. ABSENT: Peggy Hedrick and Shelby Lawhon.

Approval of Minutes:

The minutes of August 7, 2008 were approved unanimously.

Communications:

Mr. MacPherson said Item 8, Vacation 725 has been tabled indefinitely at the request of the applicant.

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 713
    National Holiday, LLC
    1200 block East Holiday north side
  2. Relinquish Easement 714
    Lester E. Cox Medical Center, Inc.
    3801 South National
  3. Relinquish Easement 715
    City of Springfield
    815 East St. Louis
  4. Relinquish Easement 717
    City of Springfield
    815 East St. Louis
  5. Relinquish Easement 718
    City of Springfield
    815 East St. Louis
  6. Request to Dispose 476
    City of Springfield
    Interstate 44 and Highway 13 northeast corner
  7. Subdivision Variance 326
    Paul Kirk
    2744 & 2754 South Glendale

    Ms. Ferguson request to have Item 6, Request to Dispose 476 removed from the Consent Agenda.

    Mr. MacPherson said Request to Dispose 476 would be heard as Item 11 on the agenda.

    Wheeler made the motion to approve Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 on the Consent Agenda. Shermer seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Ferguson, Wheeler, Alden, Shermer, Coltrin, Bryan, McClelland; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Hedrick, Lawhon.

    Hearings:

    Vacations:

  8. Vacation 725
    Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
    1100 block North Lyon

    See previous action to table.

    Zoning:

  9. Zoning Case Z-26-2008/Conditional Overlay 23
    Ward Branch Ent, LLC etal
    4833 South Campbell

    Mr. MacPherson said Tract 1 would remain residential zoning, Tract 2 would be rezoned to O-1 and Tract 3 would be rezoned as GR. Approximately 25 acres of the existing tract of land owned by the applicant lying north of Wellington Hills Subdivision and east of Quail Creek Subdivision would remain R-SF. The subject property is located at the northwest corner of Campbell Avenue, an expressway, and Weaver Road, a secondary arterial. The Comprehensive Plan identifies this as an appropriate area for high intensity retail, office or housing. It further encourages the development of comprehensively planned neighborhoods that are supported by public open space, a mixture of housing types and are within a convenient walking distance of some retail stores and personal services. Approval of this request would further the development of a compact community in this area by providing jobs and services for the existing and planned residential development and would expand on the planned retail, office and residential development to the north. Upon development of the subject property for retail and office uses, bufferyards would be provided adjacent to the residential development. Internal bufferyards would also be provided between the GR and O-1 zoned areas and adjacent to the proposed residential development on this tract and to the north. In addition, any structure built within the proposed GR zoned area would be required to remain below a 30-degree bulk plane from any residential district. This would help to ensure that tall buildings are not constructed in a manner so as to visually dominate the adjacent residential homes. Any building constructed within the proposed O-1 zoned area must remain below a 45-degree bulk plane from any residential district. In addition to restricting the floor area ratio to .30 with the COD, the buildable area of the subject property is further limited by the floodway and flood plain located on the southern portion of the property. The Ward Branch creek traverses the property creating a significant area within the proposed GR zoned area that would remain undeveloped, which would provide additional protection for the single family development to the west. The COD that accompanies this application requires several public improvements to accommodate this proposed development. The subject property would need to be subdivided with a major subdivision and development may be phased as long as the necessary public improvements to support each phase are provided as outlined in the COD. The initial phase of the development (Phase 1) would include development south of the Ward Branch creek up to a maximum traffic intensity of 3,000 daily trip ends, which equates to approximately 80,000 square feet of retail area. This phase of development requires Weaver Road to be upgraded through the subject property and on the east side of Campbell Avenue. Phase 2 of the development includes the development of the subject property north of the Ward Branch up to a maximum traffic of 11,000 daily trips cumulatively in Phases 1 and 2, which equates to approximately 300,000 square feet of retail area. This phase of development requires that Campbell is upgraded to three lanes in each direction from the U.S. Highway 60 (James River Freeway) to Weaver Road. In addition, the intersection of Lakewood and Campbell must be reconstructed and Lakewood constructed west through the subject property to serve the proposed development. Lyon, which is the outer roadway along Campbell, must be relocated and connected between Lakewood and Lyon at the north property line of the subject property. Additional development of the subject property beyond what is permitted in Phases 1 and 2 would require the traffic study to be updated to determine future phasing of the development and construction of street improvements so that the current level of service is maintained until such time as other street system improvements such as the upgrade of the interchange of Campbell and U.S. Highway 60 and construction of Kansas Expressway, south of Republic Road to FR 178 (Weaver Road) are completed. The subdivision and development of this property would require that street connections be made to existing and proposed streets to the north, west and south to provide for interconnectivity of the street system and for internal circulation within the development. The connection of Lakewood to Buena Vista in Quail Creek Subdivision would be required in a future phase as determined by the updated traffic study, but at a minimum is required prior to the completion of the last phase of development. However, the connection would not be permitted until Buena Vista is extended at least to Farm Road 145 (Kansas Avenue), which may result in a delay to future phases of the development. The portion of the property that would remain zoned for single family residential use can be developed prior to the extension of Buena Vista for Farm Road 145 provided no direct street connection is made between the street system serving the non-residential development and the street system serving the residential area. An indirect connection of the street system could be provided by having a connection of the residential street system a block off the Lakewood/Buena Vista alignment. This would provide for interconnectivity without initially having a direct link between the residential and nonresidential development. However, Lakewood must be connected to Buena Vista and other platted street connections made between the zoning districts when Buena Vista is extended to Farm Road 145. The Parks, Open Space and Greenways Plan Element of the Comprehensive Plan shows the future connection of the Ward Branch Greenway extension through the subject property. Upon subdivision and development of the property, trail connections would be required to provide for the use and enjoyment of the amenity by those living and working in this area. Because the public improvements on this project are extensive, the applicant is exploring some funding options to assist with the public infrastructure costs associated with this development.

    David Hutchison, Traffic Engineering, said the project site is on an expressway between a freeway interchange and an arterial street. The proposed zoning is appropriate from a transportation and planning perspective however, the complete street system is not in place. The Major Thoroughfare Plan includes Kansas Expressway from Republic Road south to the Christian County line and Buena Vista and Lakewood connection as a collector street between Kansas Expressway and National. Because there is not a complete street system, traffic is now focused to Campbell. One of the conditions for this development is that the intersection of Weaver Road and Campbell be upgraded and that Campbell be upgraded to six lanes between James River Freeway and Weaver Road. The traffic analysis shows that the upgraded street system could support additional traffic but not all of the traffic that the full development could generate. The conditions require the development be phased. The residential development could occur now, the commercial development south of Ward Branch could occur with the Weaver Road project and the portion of the development north of Ward Branch could occur with the Weaver Road project and Campbell being upgraded to six lanes. The remainder of the commercial development would not be permitted until the additional street improvements occur that would provide alternatives for some of the traffic now using Campbell. Another condition is the extension of Buena Vista to Farm Road 145 or to future Kansas Expressway. Buena Vista is included as a collector street on the Major Thoroughfare Plan. It is essential to provide a westerly outlet for the development along Campbell and to provide a direct connection from the residential development to the west and the commercial services for their support. Staff does not support a direct connection between Lakewood and Buena Vista in the Quail Creek Subdivision until the connection to the west occurs. Staff realizes the connection to the west is essential to keep Quail Creek from becoming the principal outlet to the west. The City of Springfield, Greene County and MoDOT have a project design to improve the intersection of Weaver and Campbell. That project is ready to proceed once right-of-way has been acquired. The only right-of-way remaining is that within this project site. The 2009-2013 1/8 cent sales tax includes design and construction of improvements at the interchange of Campbell and James River Freeway.

    Ms. Ferguson clarified that the city was comfortable with the existing infrastructure for Phase 1. Mr. Hutchison said the residential development would not generate enough trips to overload the existing subdivision streets it would connect to. Ms. Ferguson said when the retail is ready to develop it requires the Weaver and Campbell upgrades be completed or begun. She asked if that would happen simultaneously or need to be in place prior to the development. Mr. Hutchison said the development south of Ward Branch is dependant upon the Weaver Road project. It would not occur until that project is complete or at least well under way so any development would come on line after the intersection completion. Ms. Ferguson asked if they were amenable to donating the needed right-of-way. Mr. Hutchison said there have been discussions among the public entities and the developer and he would expect that to occur.

    Mr. Wheeler asked for clarification of where Buena Vista connects to proposed Lakewood. Mr. Hutchison said Buena Vista is an east/west street through the Quail Creek Subdivision. Mr. Wheeler asked if traffic would be able to go down Lakewood to where Buena Vista dead-ends. Mr. Hutchison said staff expects Lakewood would only be built a certain distance until the other improvements are completed. Mr. Wheeler asked for more detail on the upgrades to Weaver Road for Phase 1. Mr. Hutchison said Weaver would have two through lanes in each direction at the intersection with Campbell. At the east and west end of the project it would be one lane in either direction with center turn lanes. There would be dual left turn lanes on Weaver Road to Campbell in each direction, right turn lanes and have substantially more capacity at the intersection than exists right now. Mr. Wheeler asked if the area of Weaver Road on the south side of Wellington Hills would also be improved. Mr. Hutchison said it would include the bridge over Ward Branch and then taper to the existing roadway.

    Mr. Coltrin asked if Commission approves the zoning is it contingent upon the right-of-way and the Weaver Road improvements. Mr. MacPherson said yes, it is part of the COD.

    Mr. Rognstad said the zoning is approved but nothing can be constructed until the improvements are made. Mr. Coltrin asked if the improvements were not made for five years the zoning is still approved. Mr. Rognstad said that is correct. Mr. Coltrin said in other cases there were time limitations on the improvements. Mr. Rognstad said with the COD the process has changed.

    Kelly Short, Stormwater Engineering, said typically in zoning cases they do not get into detailed design because the site conditions are apt to change. The impervious surface ratio has the largest impact on runoff. As the property sits today the Zoning Ordinance allows it to be developed to a maximum 70% impervious surface ratio. Residential lots typically are not developed to this extent and common averages range from 40-45% impervious surface ratio. The GR maximum impervious surface ratio is 80% so it would be an increase from the existing. In order to protect the public there are many stormwater ordinances and specific design criteria that help to limit the post development impact. Current design criteria would require water quality protection, peak flow rate restrictions and stream buffer requirements. Because the Ward Branch drainage basin is about five square miles, a 100-foot buffer zone would be required from the streams ordinary high water mark on each side. He said this would be consistent with the development requirements for Walnut Creek to the south of Weaver Road. Currently they are at the end of the remapping of the flood plains within the city limits and this area is within the remapping area. That remapping could potentially change the flood plain limits. He said the current box culvert under Weaver Road is a double cell culvert. The new plans are for a five-cell box culvert that would prevent Weaver Road from being over topped in the future.

    Mr. Shermer asked for the history of Ward Branch flooding. Mr. Short said it is a large watershed, is extensive and has gone over Campbell. Mr. Shermer asked if the five-box culvert was sufficient for any type of rainfall. Mr. Short said you design for a probability storm so there is always a possibility a storm would exceed expectations. Common practices are what they use to determine the culvert sizes. He said you expect the stormwater from this site to pass through the culvert prior to the peak that would hit Ward Branch. That peak would happen when the most remote part of the watershed gets to this point. This development has the potential to go through the culvert under Weaver Road ahead of the peak and potentially not having that great of an impact to the peak flow rates.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if what the city was proposing would take care of the overflow from this development but not correct the existing problems. Mr. Short said yes.

    Mr. MacPherson said the proposed rezoning is consistent with surrounding non-residential uses and zoning to the north along Campbell and at the northeast and southwest quadrants of the intersection of Campbell and Weaver. Staff is recommending the request be approved with the requirements as stated in Conditional Overlay District 23.

    Mr. Wheeler asked if the new Weaver Road would eliminate the use of the frontage road next to Campbell. Mr. Hutchison said the frontage road would be closed off at the Weaver Road intersection. The existing Weaver Road would serve as a portion of the frontage road system with the intersection occurring about 800 feet away from the Campbell intersection.

    Kevin Lowe, 1525 East Republic Road, said the lots in the single-family area match the lots in Wellington Hills and Quail Creek. He said neighbors would like to see some streets not connected but the requirement is in the Subdivision Regulations so he has no choice but to make the connections. Mr. Lowe indicated on the overhead the bulk plane and how it relates to the neighbors. He said there are ordinances that regulate the bufferyard and the amount of plantings between the GR and the residential areas. He said the stormwater flow rates cannot increase after development from what exists there today. He believes this could be a big financial boom for the city but because of all of the improvements involved, it would not be happening next year.

    Mr. Wheeler said City Council should be the only ones to overrule themselves on the connectivity issue. He said often there are HC and GR projects where the backs of the buildings have been unattractive metal siding, HVAC units and loading docks. He said the neighbors looking at that would concern him. Mr. Lowe said there is nothing in the COD regarding architectural features at this time. He said perhaps the developer would be willing to amend the overlay to address that issue.

    Charlie Dischinger said he owns the property just to the south of this. He said he has dealt with several developers who had no concern for those that live in the area but Mr. Stenger has a different viewpoint. He said there are no agreements with him regarding right-of-way for the Weaver Road project either. He said a positive vote by Commission on this project would rectify all of the past problems they have suffered regarding the flooding. In 2000 the water was about six feet deep over his bridge.

    Mr. Shermer asked why it would solve his problems. Mr. Dischinger said they are going to buy him out.

    Linda Johns, 4818 South Wellington Drive, said she is one of the three properties to be most impacted by this project. She said she has grave concerns because of what she could be looking at 50 feet from her backyard. A manmade berm that was put in several years ago to prevent noise pollution to the Wellington Hills neighborhood does a wonderful job and the regrading of that land would increase the noise. She is concerned about progress so close to their neighborhood. She would like the case to be delayed until the flood mapping is completed. She is concerned about the stream that runs behind her property, noise pollution, architecture issues, the lack of buffering and the traffic because Weaver Road would go back to two lanes right before it reaches their neighborhood.

    Ms. Ferguson asked Mr. Short to address the remapping of the flood plain. Mr. Short indicated on the overhead the area that is being remapped. Ms. Ferguson said it appears that it shrinks and asked why. Mr. Short said over the past 12 years they have adjusted the model with several different engineers and this is the result of those changes. He said he believes it has actually shifted to the northwest of what is actually shown on the overhead. Ms. Ferguson asked if the flooding pattern has changed over the past 12 years. Mr. Short said this indicates the new 100-year flood area.

    Mr. Wheeler said when looking at the area south of Ward Creek, how close could development occur at the western edge of the property. Mr. Lowe indicated on the overhead the area where development could occur. Mr. Wheeler said he is concerned about aesthetics around the area where Ms. Johns owns property. He said he hopes there is a way to address the issue. Mr. Lowe said he asks there be approval with the insertion of some type of design controls. He said there needs to be some research on composite panels and speak with the owners. There are no architectural requirements on the Sam’s property and he believes there would be a similar building at this property. Those types of buildings are usually large metal boxes. Mr. Wheeler asked if the final plat would go before ARC or Commission. Mr. Lowe said the plat would come before Commission. Mr. Wheeler asked if Commission would have influence at that time. Mr. Lowe said there cannot be conditions on the plat. Mr. Rognstad said the design has to be part of the overlay. He said what staff has been putting into PD’s is a section stating all sides of the building visible by the public from a right-of-way or nearby property would display a similar level of quality of architectural finish. It also states the building should be broken up into 50 foot elements to prevent solid walls. That can be done with changes of color, texture, material, projections of the wall or groupings of windows. He said staff proposes not more than 10% of it be metal but the new composite metal panels are different so more of those are allowed. Facade colors should have low reflectants. High intensity metallic, black or fluorescent colors are prohibited. Off street loading would be located at the side or rear yard of buildings and designed so they are integrated into the architecture of the building. Mr. Lowe said he is agreeable to that being added but he would like the flexibility to go to 50% metal.

    Ms. Ferguson said she assumes the site would be prepared and sold. Mr. Lowe said that was correct but they would probably build the residential. Ms. Ferguson said she would like whatever Commission decides to require to go with the sale of the property. Mr. Lowe said perhaps instead of the bufferyard on the back property line it could be required behind the back drive. Ms. Ferguson said if it is a box, those on the west side would have to deal with the unsightliness of the back of the building and the noise and light. Mr. Rognstad said the overlay could have conditions that the bufferyard would have to be wider to extend to the east side of the drainage. They could also require plantings in that area on the east side. Mr. Coltrin asked if the circulation aisle could have tree lines on both sides to block headlights. Mr. Lowe said that was not an issue.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if Commission needed to include that in the motion. Ms. Yendes said anything Commission wants required would need to be in the motion. Since it is in an overlay district, the applicant would need to agree.

    Stephanie Montgomery, 5051 South National, asked for clarification on the trees on both sides of the driveway. Mr. Coltrin said he was looking only at the limited section of the drive that would be in the back of those top four lots. This would both screen the building and the headlights. Ms. Montgomery asked if he is referring to trees between the driveway and the building. Mr. Coltrin said it is similar to driving down a parkway with trees on both sides of the road. Ms. Montgomery said the driveway could be too close to the building. Mr. Coltrin said then they would only be put in on the one side between the houses and the drive. Ms. Montgomery said she would ask they only be on the west and south side. Mr. Coltrin said it would depend on the layout. Ms. Montgomery said when they first started this they were concerned about the land use being consistent with the surrounding area and the Comprehensive Plan. She said that is the key issue because it is just the zoning and if the land use is appropriate. When they met with the neighbors, there was a large group in attendance. Their main concern was the connection between the roads. They were advised that would happen in the platting stage and given the rules, it was unlikely to not happen. Because of the traffic study, it is now required to not connect until future roadways are built to accommodate the rest of the traffic. She feels this satisfies everyone temporarily. They also are concerned about the flooding. She said the acquisition of the properties to the south should help that problem. They do agree with the architecture requirements and the trees on one side of the drive.

    Mr. McClelland asked if Ms. John’s property would no longer be in a flood plain. Mr. Short said when the new maps are finalized that would be correct. Mr. McClelland said Mr. Dischinger indicated his and another property would be bought out. Ms. Montgomery said if the zoning is approved, they would purchase those properties.

    Ms. Yendes said she wanted to clarify the developers were agreeing to the architecture language read by Mr. Rognstad and the planting of trees on the east side of the bufferyard. She asked if that also included the extension of the bufferyard to the east side of the drainage. Ms. Montgomery said she does agree with those.

    Ms. Ferguson asked what she would be amenable to for the buffering of noise and light. Ms. Montgomery said the distance and the trees should minimize the noise and lights. She believes the location would take care of that. Ms. Ferguson asked if it was about 50 feet. Mr. Lowe said the building would be 50 feet away. He said there is a city ordinance regarding spillover lighting so he believes 50 feet is not an issue. It is not in the overlay but because of practical reasons, it cannot be closer than that.

    Lisa Langley, 902 West Brookshire Drive, said the berm was put in when Payless Cashways was located where the Library Center is now located. She said that berm helps to deter noise and light from the neighborhood. She said she would like to see the property as a park because of the creek, library and trails.

    Jim Rock, 4610 South Quail Creek, said they met with the developers on several issues and they have been very credible. He wants someone to develop the property that has a feeling for their neighborhood.

    Steve Sponenberg, 4830 South Wellington, said he is concerned about the 50 feet because it is too small of a distance. He asked if the connection further north had to be finished prior to the commercial development. Mr. Hutchison said the development is supposed to include the extension of the frontage road in front of the library into Lakewood and relocated farther from Campbell. He said the would be a connection back to the north but no direct connection back to the west from the commercial to the residential. There would be a way to get to Quail Creek if you go back to El Camino and Shawnee. Mr. Sponenberg said his main concern is the buffer zone.

    Mr. Wheeler said they are working on some language that would make the back of the building more aesthetically attractive but would not reduce the 50 feet. Mr. Sponenberg said that is fine but his concern is about the 50 feet.

    Lance Strenful, 4938 South Wellington, said he is concerned he would be looking at a large building from his property and about the flooding issues. He said there were so many people at the neighborhood meeting they had to stand outside and missed much of what was discussed. He opposes the development because he does not have a lot of information and would like to have more time to do research.

    Ms. Ferguson said the amount of people who attended the neighborhood meeting is out of the norm. She asked if they had an opportunity to speak with the developers after the meeting. Mr. Strenful said there were too many people. Ms. Ferguson asked if he attempted to contact them at their offices after the meeting. Mr. Strenful said he did not have that information.

    Aleta Dyer, 4926 South Wellington, said she also would like additional time. She said she did some research this week and it created more questions for her. Her house is focused to look out the back and visually they would be able to see the GR area and there is a lot of noise. She complimented the developers on how they handled the number of people in attendance at the meeting. Quail Creek was concerned about cutting the roads through but they are protected because they would be surrounded by single-family homes. She believes Wellington Hills have a different set of concern, especially those on the west side of Wellington Drive because their backyards are next to GR. She understood there would be a flood plain there but no one at City Hall could guarantee the flood plain and creek would be protected forever. She is concerned about GR on that corner, trash, outside storage, noise and flooding concerns. They need more time to focus on the needs of Wellington Hills. She asked why the entire area needs to be zoned commercial when only the area around Campbell can be developed.

    With no further speakers, the public hearing was closed.

    Mr. Rognstad said he has spoken with the applicant about the bufferyard. The required bufferyard is 20 feet and they are proposing to increase that by 5 feet to make more room for plantings. Rather than the typical plantings they would do evergreen trees planted 30 feet on center so when they grow together they provide more of a screening. He said it probably would not be a solid wall of evergreens but it would break it up more than trees and shrubs normally planted and be planted on the east side of the bufferyard. That would give the 25 feet with the 24-foot drive aisle. Staff also does not have a problem with it being 50% composite panels.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if the owner could put storage containers in the 25-foot bufferyard. Mr. Rognstad said only plantings in the 25-foot area but storage trailers could be put in against the bufferyards. Ms. Ferguson asked where the berm is in relation to the bufferyards. Mr. Rognstad indicated on the overhead the location. She said if the berm is within the bufferyard it could be left and block out some of the problems.

    Mr. McClelland asked about the area to be developed by Weaver Road. Mr. Hutchison said the Weaver Road project could potentially start next year and would take approximately one year to build. Mr. McClelland asked if they could approve the other two areas now and bring back the other area after the flood plain issue has been taken care of. Ms. Montgomery said the price of the land is increasing rapidly and the commercial area makes the plan viable. She said if the front of the land is not zoned commercial, it is not economically viable to buy the property. She said the mapping has taken 12 years and have had several properties affected by it so that would be hard to agree to.

    Mr. Wheeler said he agrees that this area is appropriate for zoning as GR within the Comprehensive Plan but some elements recommend step down zoning when moving from GR to R-SF. He said GR does abut R-SF zoning, in this case, but there is no step down zoning so that calls for additional buffering.

    Mr. Coltrin said the developer has spent some time in meeting with the neighbors and it appears there is a vegetative buffer existing on the property. He said if they were to leave that buffer in place, it would go a long way in helping. He believes this zoning and use is appropriate for the property so he would be supporting it.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if Ms. Yendes had any further language to be added to the Conditional Overlay District. Ms. Yendes said only what she had recommended before regarding what was read by Mr. Rognstad, that they agree the bufferyard would be in all instances wide enough so the east side of the drainage is between their development and residential. Also that they would do their plantings on the east side of the drainage area. She said those are the three things they agreed to. Ms. Ferguson said Mr. Coltrin stated there was significant, mature landscaping along the side so that could be added to the language that it would remain. Ms. Yendes said whether the developer agrees or not, a recommendation could be made to Council that they increase the buffer or that they include a requirement that existing trees, to the extent possible, be saved. She said Commission could make a motion separate from the approval of the case for the recommendation because the developer has not agreed to that. Ms. Yendes said they have now verbally agreed to attempt to preserve the vegetation in what would be the buffer yard, to the extent possible. It can be added as a requirement to the COD.

    Ms. Ferguson asked what she meant by to the extent possible. Ms. Yendes said things can happen during development so sometimes a tree cannot be saved because of damage or because of a stormwater requirement.

    Mr. Shermer said this is a typical situation when you have commercial backed up to residential. He said he wonders why they cannot have land use buffering and he is having a problem with 50 feet. He believes the residents would be able to see these buildings and he believes they would be detrimentally affected and the values of their homes may go down. He does not believe trees are an adequate buffer and thinks if some patio homes or duplexes went in there at the street it would be helpful. He said he does not think he is for the proposal because of those reasons.

    Ms. Ferguson said she also has some concerns about how she would feel about having a box store 50 feet from her property line. She said she is not sure why it is appropriate to have GR backed up to this R-SF area and she feels step down zoning would be more appropriate. She said she has no problems with the R-SF development and is comfortable with the stormwater runoff. She also cannot support the GR zoning next to the residences.

    Mr. Wheeler said he would make a motion on the recommendation before he makes a motion on the zoning case if that is acceptable. Ms. Yendes said that was fine but if it was on the vegetation issue, they have agreed to that. Mr. Wheeler said he would also like to encourage Commissioners to discuss the motion prior to it being seconded.

    Wheeler made the motion to recommend to City Council that additional buffering be included between the GR and the R-SF areas on Zoning Case Z-26-2008/Conditional Overlay District 23.

    Mr. Bryan said he believes the only way to get this passed is to increase the buffering. He said he is also sensitive to the developers’ view that if the buffering is increased you devalue the land. They have a lot of costly improvements to make so Commission needs to be sensitive to an extent. He said he does think an increase in the buffering is warranted.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if he had a suggestion on how much to increase it. Mr. Bryan said it is hard to know how much to increase it and is unsure if 75 to 100 feet would please the neighbors. With the natural buffering he is unsure if it is practical to develop land closer than 100 feet from the neighbors because of the contours and drainage.

    Mr. Wheeler reviewed his motion and said it does not include any specific numbers but does include a general recommendation to increase the buffering.

    Mr. Bryan seconded Mr. Wheeler’s motion.

    Mr. Rognstad said Council would send that back because they want to know what is being recommended. He said Commission needs to decide what it wants to do. The community is urbanizing more and there is going to be more density because of issues with energy costs. Screening can be provided between uses but there is no way, in an urban environment, to totally screen off and not be able to see the buildings. Screening works as a visual buffer but does not work as a noise buffer. For that you need something solid like a berm and when you have an area like this with a drainage way it creates challenges because some people are higher up. A 20-foot buffer is in the ordinance but a wider buffer in this case is appropriate because of the topography. The reason staff did not look at a transition is that next to most residential you have a wide flood plain. If you tried to transition on the southern end, there is not enough property to from a lower to higher density. Staff felt, particularly on the southern end, that the flood plain provided more than enough separation. On the northern end it is more of a problem but staff believes a bufferyard with evergreens would provide a visual screening.

    Mr. Bryan said he does not believe that any retail could be hidden on the property but at least the increase of the buffer would help the neighbors to an extent. He asked if it would be appropriate to table the motion to give the developer an opportunity to give specifics on the bufferyard.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if it were tabled to the next meeting would it remain on schedule for Council. Mr. Rognstad said it would go to Council in October.

    Mr. Wheeler said without better language regarding buffering he is not comfortable with the project.

    Mr. Wheeler withdrew his motion. Mr. Bryan consented to withdrawing the motion.

    Ms. Ferguson said the developer has indicated they would like to table the case to the September 25 meeting.

    Bryan made the motion to table Zoning Case Z-26-2008/Conditional Overlay District 23 to the September 25 meeting. McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Ferguson, Wheeler, Hedrick, Shermer, Coltrin, Lawhon, Bryan, McClelland; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: Alden; ABSENT: None.

    Zoning Text Amendment:

  10. Personal Services in Office Districts
    Ron Burch

    Andy Furedy said either Council or Commission initiates most text amendments. This particular amendment has been initiated by a citizen that owns property in an office district. The applicant would like to be able to lease the building to a tenant who would be providing a spa service. The office district allows personal services uses and they, along with retail uses, are limited to no more than 10 percent of the floor area of the building in which they are located. Staff feels that retail and personal service uses are appropriate in the office district because they provide services to customers, office tenants and workers. Allowing a mix of uses in the same district reduces the need to travel to find that same service. The 10 percent limitation was put there to keep personal and retail uses from becoming dominant in the office district. There is a different impact on infrastructure and adjacent property between a personal service use and a retail use. Retail uses generate more traffic, noise and longer hours but personal service uses tend to have less traffic, noise and shorter hours of operation. Staff feels the limitation of 10 percent on retail uses should remain. Staff is recommending approval of this application but requests changes be made to the applicant’s request. Staff is requesting to separate retail uses and personal services into two different categories and limit the types of retail uses to the retail establishments listed in the GR District and add definitions of personal service establishment and retail establishment. Because this issue is so complex staff has provided in the staff report findings for both approval and disapproval.

    Ms. Ferguson said she sees day spas as more of an afternoon or morning event and not as something that would be done on a lunch hour. She said looking at the different personal uses she thinks it is shifting more into retail than a convenience for the individuals that are in an O-1 District. Mr. Furedy said staff did not want the retail to become a dominant or stand-alone use that would attract traffic from outside the office area. There is that concern with personal services as well. Ms. Ferguson asked if Commission were to approve this application, could they limit the hours of operation. Mr. Furedy said staff did not consider that in this issue but has in others. BDS has to enforce the Zoning Ordinance so when a business closes at a later time it is difficult to enforce unless there is a complaint. Mr. Rognstad said there are other uses in the office district like fitness centers and colleges that potentially would be open later. The office district is not purely just office.

    Mr. Wheeler asked how far back does the definition of Office District go. Mr. Furedy said that particular use has been there since 1995. Mr. Wheeler said it is difficult to enforce hours of operation and many offices have changed their hours as society has changed. He said if fitness centers are allowed in office districts it seems natural to allow spas to have the same consideration.

    No one spoke in opposition. The public hearing was closed.

    Mr. Shermer said he has a problem with Exhibit 1, Subsection DD and its permitted retail uses. To allow these retail uses is to change the character of offices within the city and dilute their buffering capability. Its inclusion would allow a number of retail uses next to single-family residences of which they have had some experience with lately. He said he would support Exhibit 1 with Subsection DD and its various uses redacted. He said he does not have a problem increasing some personal service uses on a case-by-case basis utilizing the Conditional Use Permit method even though it would require a public hearing each time.

    Mr. Wheeler asked for clarification. Mr. Shermer said Exhibit 1 looks good except for the DD part. Mr. Wheeler asked if this same process for a spa could be extended to package liquor. Mr. Furedy said package liquor is listed under retail establishments and retail would still be limited to 10 percent of the building. The uses have been broadened somewhat because it gets difficult to say you can have a cigar store but you could not have a jewelry store. Mr. Shermer said that is what he has an issue with.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if Mr. Shermer wanted to keep all of the DD uses at or below 10 percent. Mr. Shermer said right now the Zoning Ordinance includes Section 4-2002, V and he wants Subsection DD redacted out because of all of the various retail uses listed do not fit with the character of office zoning, even with the 10 percent limitation. Mr. Furedy said paragraph V indicates the way it reads today. Ms. Ferguson clarified the retail uses were being expanded under the 10 percent and that is what Mr. Shermer is objecting to. Mr. Shermer said that was correct. Mr. Rognstad said it is not limited to newsstands or cigar stores so BDS would have to make an interpretation as to what retail means. Retail in the other districts is much broader than those three uses. If you take retail out across the board, you would make many places nonconforming that exist today. Ms. Ferguson asked if he was specifically opposed to particular uses listed in the DD section. Mr. Shermer said the package liquor, restaurant, grocery or convenience store. He said he does not think those types of uses fit with the character of an office building. Mr. Rognstad said the types of restaurants typically seen are sandwich shops. Mr. Shermer said if it is a large office complex 10 percent could be quite large.

    Mr. Bryan said what makes him in favor of the proposal is that it would not be general retail, such as a big box store, and still gives a bit of a buffer. He said he is in favor of the proposal.

    Wheeler made the motion to approve Zoning Ordinance Amendment - Personal Services in Office Districts. Bryan seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Ferguson, Alden, Wheeler, Coltrin, Bryan, McClelland; NAYS: Shermer; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Hedrick, Lawhon.

    Request to Dispose

  11. Request to Dispose 476
    City of Springfield
    Interstate 44 and Highway 13 northeast corner

    Mr. MacPherson said this is a cooperative venture between MoDOT, The City of Springfield Public Building Corporation and the Park Board. This involves a land swap between MoDOT and the City of Springfield to provide right-of-way to construct a new diverging diamond interchange at I-44 and Highway 13. The agreement is that MoDOT would exchange three equal or greater parcels of property with the city for the purpose of acquiring the necessary right-of-way for the construction of the interchange. He said the lots that would be exchanged are not specific because MoDOT is still preparing the design work.

    No one spoke in opposition. The public hearing was closed.

    Ms. Ferguson said she requested this case be removed from the Consent Agenda to make sure the citizens would get a good deal when the land was exchanged. She asked if the three parcels that would be equal or greater referred to value or size. Mr. MacPherson said it would be of equal quantity. Ms. Ferguson asked if it was a goodwill effort for the city. Mr. MacPherson said it is a general agreement between the agencies. Ms. Yendes said there would be a written agreement and the Parks Department would be involved because they would be receiving part of the property for the zoo. She said it appears we would be receiving more property than we are giving and it would be in a more usable location. What we are giving up is closer to the right-of-way. The city would be receiving a better interchange as well as the land for the zoo. She said the exchange should be in the area shown on the diagram provided to Commission.

    Ms. Ferguson said Mr. Alden recommended the item be tabled. Mr. Alden asked if it would be more defined by the next meeting.

    Mr. Coltrin said usually there are long and lengthy legal descriptions involved in cases like this. He asked if they were being asked to approve a concept. Ms. Yendes said in the past Commission has been asked to approve acquisitions and disposals within a boundary area and the exact location is determined in the future. For MoDOT to go ahead with a design they want to know there would be a swap. She said there is a timetable involved with getting their projects in the schedule to be paid for.

    Ms. Ferguson asked if they needed to include in the motion that the Parks Department gets the property. Ms. Yendes said no because the Public Building Corporation is involved as well and they may need to come back and have another action to add the property to the zoo.

    Coltrin made the motion to approve Request to Acquire/Dispose 476. McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Ferguson, Alden, Wheeler, Shermer, Coltrin, Bryan, McClelland; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Hedrick, Lawhon.

Other Business:

Mr. Rognstad said the meeting on September 26 would have the item that was tabled at tonight’s meeting. The next meeting would be on October 9 and only two applications are on that agenda. He said neither cases would have a public hearing so after those cases were held there would be a workshop to discuss any items Commission would like. Staff is recommending the October 23 meeting be cancelled.

Ms. Ferguson said she has received a letter of resignation from Mr. Bryan. She said this is a good opportunity to serve the community on this Commission.

Any Other Matters Under Commission Jurisdiction:

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30 p.m.


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