Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Date: November 5, 2009
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; Edwin Alden; Peggy Hedrick; King Coltrin; Shelby Lawhon; Jay McClelland; Matthew Edwards; Mike MacPherson, Principal Planner, Planning and Development; Ralph Rognstad, Director of Planning and Development; Nancy Yendes, Assistant City Attorney; Kelly Short, Public Works; Martin Gugel, Public Works; ABSENT: Michael Sutton.


The minutes for September 17, 2009, and October 8, 2009, 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. Relinquish Easement 742                                   Pennock Development, LLC, et al.
    (3003 South Kansas Expressway)
  2. Relinquish Easement 743                                         Kenneth and Dorothy Hamilton
    (2814 South Fremont)

    Lawhon made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.  McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Alden, Hedrick, McClelland, Edwards, Coltrin; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Sutton.



3.     Z-14-2009                                                             OM & TAT, LLC
(500–600 block West Sunset, south side)

Mr. MacPherson said that the proposal’s intent was to rezone land from a residential to an office and a retail land use. This would allow a residential care facility (i.e., nursing home) to be a legal use on the O-1 portion of the subject land and would also allow retail uses to extend from Campbell Avenue west to a newly constructed street named Market Avenue. The Comprehensive Plan indicates that this area is an appropriate one for medium-intensity retail, office, or housing land uses. The O-1 district is considered to be a low-intensity district. Both the O-1 and the GR districts require that bufferyards be built between the districts and any abutting residential district. In addition, there will be bulk plane requirements placed on any new development. Staff recommends approval of the rezoning and the accompanying preliminary plat. Mr. MacPherson said that the developer of the subject tract had hosted two neighborhood meetings on the proposal.

Jane Earnhart, with Scott Consulting Engineers, 550 St. Louis Street, said that the development on the O-1 portion of the subject site was likely to be a nursing home. The facility would front on Sunset Street and would take its access off Market Avenue. She said that Market would be designed to curve slightly and would be narrower than normal, which would give the street a traffic-calming effect. She invited questions from the commissioners. There were none. Mr. Wheeler opened the floor to members of the public.

Allan Clair, 514 W. Greenwood, said he is concerned that his property’s value will drop if the proposal is approved. The proposed new street, Market Avenue, would have southbound traffic heading straight for his house. Traffic and noise will increase in the neighborhood. Lots of grading will be needed to build things on the subject tract. He thinks the intersection of Sunset and Market will need to be improved, which will be  expensive.  

Curtis Kelly, 6127 W. Greenwood, is concerned about the situation with stormwater runoff. He said the water on the subject lot will have nowhere to go. Mr. Kelly showed commissioners and staff some photos of the alleged stormwater problems. He also mentioned that there will be problems with trash pickup.  

Mr.Wheeler asked staff if there are any restrictions in the City Code about trash hauling services. Ms. Yendes said that yes, there are restrictions that, for instance, keep trash trucks from operating in the early morning hours.

Kelly Short, with Public Works, said that, based on the photos, the current drainage structures and easements seemed to be operating properly. He said that the applicant will be required to ensure that current drainage patterns are not changed and that stormwater will continue to flow north toward South Creek.

Linda Bakk, 625 W. Greenwood, said that she is upset that Greenwood will no longer be a cul-de-sac. She said there will be more noise, more traffic, and decreased property values.

Mr. Wheeler explained that City Council has adopted a policy requiring that streets be extended in order to improve or provide connectivity. Good connectivity is of benefit to emergency vehicles trying to access neighborhoods.

Sara Doden, 542 W. Greenwood, said Greenwood is a narrow street and she thinks the increased traffic on it will hurt the neighborhood. She said she thought that delivery trucks would have a have a hard time navigating Greenwood St.

Mr. Coltrin asked Martin Gugel, with Traffic Engineering, if he thought that delivery vehicles would be a problem on Greenwood. Mr. Gugel replied that he thought that most such vehicles would avoid Greenwood; rather, they would access the new developments by using Sunset and Market streets.

There being no one else wanting to speak to Z-14-2009 and its accompanying preliminary plat, Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Mr. Wheeler spoke to the issue of requiring Market Ave. to be built. He said he did not think it was the Commission’s place to go against a policy—street connectivity—that had been created by the city council.

Alden made a motion to approve Zoning Case Z-14-2009. Lawhon seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Alden, Hedrick, McClelland, Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Sutton.


4.     Maples Health Care                                        OM & TAT, LLC
             (2600–2700 blocks South Campbell Avenue, west side)

Mr. MacPherson explained that this case is a companion case of Z-14-2009: it includes all the land proposed for rezoning by Z-14 and also some land that is already developed at the southwest corner of Sunset and Campbell streets. The combined tracts will be known as Maples Health Care subdivision. As part of the preliminary plat application, a subdivision variance is also being requested to allow for a street, Market Avenue, to be built to standards more appropriate for a residential neighborhood. Mr. MacPherson said that part of the development would be adjacent to residential areas and part would not.

Mr. McClelland asked if the business selling ATVs, at the corner of Campbell and Sunset, would “go away.” Mr. MacPherson said it would not. It would continue to be zoned GR, General Retail, along with a new area of GR-zoned land abutting it on the west.

Some members of the public spoke to this case, as part of the public hearing held for the rezoning case, Z-14-2009. For those comments by the citizens, see the minutes describing  the rezoning case, Item 3 above. Ms. Jane Earnhart, representing the applicant, also spoke on the preliminary plat case and the zoning case, as reflected in the minutes above. She noted that the applicant hoped that the narrower- than-standard street being proposed would serve as a traffic-calming device.

Lawhon made a motion to approve the preliminary plat of Maples Health Care subdivision.  Edwards seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Alden, Hedrick, McClelland, Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Sutton.

At this point, Mr. Alden left the Commission meeting.


5.      Sight Triangles                                                       City Council

Mr. Macpherson explained that a sight triangle refers to the area at a street intersection which must remain free of visual obstructions. Staff is recommending that the ordinances be modified so that staff can have the discretion to allow the deployment of a modified sight triangle when circumstances justify and rigorous adherence to the normal regulation would not be needed to maintain public safety. Under the proposal, the city’s Administrative Review Committee would be authorized to approve such modified triangles.

Mr. Wheeler asked if staff could provide an example of where such an ordinance might come into play. Ms. Yendes cited the intersection of National and Chestnut Expressway. She said that the current regulation prohibited a developer from erecting a monument sign at the northeast corner, even though southbound vehicles seeking to turn left at that intersection have a protected-turn arrow, ensuring they can make a safe turn.

Mr. Lawhon asked how staff would determine whether the normal regulation could be modified safely. Martin Gugel said that staff would look at each site on a case-by-case basis and take into account research done by organizations such as the Institute of Traffic Engineers before deciding to modify the normal regulation and approve a modified sight triangle.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing on this case.  No one spoke to the issue. Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Coltrin made a motion to approve the zoning text amendment. Hedrick seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Hedrick, McClelland, Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Sutton, Alden.


6.   Street Name Change 70                                                    Charlie Denison
(4200 block South Glenstone Avenue)

Mr. MacPherson said that the proposal was to change the name of a section of Glenstone Avenue to Nature Center Way. He said that the subject section was disconnected from the rest of Glenstone and that some drivers thought the subject road could be used as a frontage road along the freeway (U.S. 60). He said that the property owners and businesses along the subject section were supportive of the change. He said that all the affected public agencies, including Emergency-911, were in favor of the change.

Mr. Lawhon asked when the change would become effective. Mr. MacPherson said that it would be effective upon approval by City Council.

Mr. Wheeler opened the public hearing on the case. No one spoke to the case. Mr. Wheeler closed the public hearing.

Lawhon made a motion to approve Street Name Change70. McClelland seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Wheeler, Hedrick, McClelland, Coltrin, Edwards, Lawhon; NAYS: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Sutton, Alden.


There being no other business before the Commission, Mr. Wheeler adjourned the meeting at 7:29 p.m.



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