Minutes for the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission
DATE: August 18, 2011
TIME: 6:30 pm
The regular meeting and public hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission was held on the above date and time in City Council Chambers, third floor of City Hall with the following members and personnel in attendance: Shelby Lawhon (Chair), Matt Edwards (Vice Chair), Jay McClelland, Gloria Roling, Jason Ray, Thomas Baird, IV, and King Coltrin; Nancy Yendes, City Attorney; Ralph Rognstad, Director of Planning and Development; Mike MacPherson, Senior Planner; Sandy Goddard, Administrative Assistant; Paula Brookshire, Professional Engineer: Cody Marshall, Professional Engineer; Matt Schaefer, Senior City Planner. ABSENT: Phil Young.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the August 4, 2011 Planning and Zoning Commission were approved unanimously.
Mr. MacPherson states that item Z-11-2011 which deals with a rezoning request at 1100 N Glenstone, is a companion case with a Preliminary Plat by Warren Davis Properties, also at the same location and those cases, if you so desire, can be heard together, although you would want to make separate motions.
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.)
- Z-10-2011 Earl Steinert
(Republic E. 1900 block south side)
Mr. MacPherson highlighted the testimony at the last Planning and Zoning meeting regarding Z-10-2011. There was a public hearing at the previous Commission meeting. During the public hearing, there was testimony given by staff and testimony given by the public and the hearing was closed. Since there was not a quorum of 5 members recommending approval or denial, the case was tabled until August 18, 2011, so absent commissioners could vote on the recommendation. The following day, an e-mail was sent out asking each of the commission to review the testimony on the video recording and the record of proceedings, so everyone would have complete information for their deliberations in the discussions tonight.
Mr. MacPherson added staff would be glad to answer any questions regarding the case or testimony at the public hearing, commenting one Commissioner had requested more detailed information regarding floor area ratio (FAR), stating a graph had been prepared to depict and contrast the existing and proposed floor area ratio (FAR.)
Mr. Lawhon asked Ms.Yendes if a motion needed to be made to bring the item off the table.
Ms. Yendes stated no, it is already on the agenda.
Mr. Lawhon asked if the commissioners that were not able to attend last meeting, if a statement was needed from them verifying they have watched the video or read the transcript.
Ms. Yendes stated she believes it would be very good for the record, if those commissioners who plan to vote, have watched the video, read the record, and indicate they have done so.
Mr. Lawhon asked if there is anyone who will be recusing themselves from this particular zoning case. None of the commissioners recuse themselves. He asked if the commissioners that were not at the last meeting had the opportunity to watch the video of the proceedings of this particular zoning case, and if they have a good understanding of the issues involved with it.
Mr. Edwards and Mr. Coltrin confirmed their understanding of the case and that they had reviewed the proceedings and video.
Mr. Lawhon commented to Mr. MacPherson that if would be instructive to review the FAR graphic submitted to commission.
Mr. MacPherson stated the subject site is 4.74 acres, or 206,474.4 square feet. At the existing floor ratio of .233, that would allow development of square footage up to 48,108.53 square feet. The request in this case, is the floor area ratio be adjusted from .233 floor area ratio (FAR) to .4 (FAR). A .4 floor area ratio would allow a footprint 82,589.76 square feet. A graph was presented to demonstrate, the existing floor ratio, of .233 (FAR) contrasted with the proposed floor area ratio of .4 (FAR) An example was graphed depicting the 82,589.76 square feet divided equally by 5, because during the testimony it was stated the proposed hotel would be five stories. The example depicted 16,517 square feet for each floor, recognizing the division for each story of the building might not be divided into equal square footage. Mr. MacPherson added that the existing zoning of the .233 (FAR) could also be five stories.
Mr. Lawhon comments that as the public hearing was closed, asks if there are questions for staff or discussion among commissioners.
Mr. Lawhon stated one item he wants to mention that was helpful to him, regarding the concerns brought up about the potential ground water pollution, from a closed gas station, at Charleston and Republic. Included in the Commission packet was a memo dated August 9, 2011 to Mr. MacPherson from Olivia Hough, Senior Planner, Brownfield’s Coordinator. There was some discussion about testimony at the public hearing stating there were restriction and covenants on the subject property and that the subject site might not be suitable for a hotel. The investigation revealed the site had been cleaned up and that there were no restrictions regarding development. Lawhon expressed gratitude for the extra amount of time invested reviewing the case further to get more facts. He also thanked Mr. MacPherson for explaining the floor area ratio, adding the way it is currently zoned, there could still be a five story building, it would be smaller in foot print, also addressing the DNR environmental concerns. He expressed his appreciation and feels satisfied with what has been presented.
Mr. Edwards made a motion to approve zoning case Z-10-2011. Ms. Roling seconded. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Lawhon, Edwards, McClelland, Roling, Ray, Baird and Coltrin. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Young and Hansen.
Mr. Lawhon addressed the public, stating that there are some people in the audience who were at the last meeting, when they had the actual hearing, and have an interest in hearing what happens from here with the case.
Mr. MacPherson stated there will be a record of proceedings completed tomorrow with relationship to what happened at this meeting tonight, relevant to this case. A supplemental explanation will be submitted and that case, along with this new information, will be presented at the City Council meeting, which is here at 6:30 on Monday night the 22nd of August.
- Z-11-2011 and Preliminary Plat – Warren Davis Properties Warren Davis Properties
(Glenstone N, 1100)
Mr. Lawhon introduces Zoning Case Z-10-2011 and a Preliminary Plat for Warren Davis Properties.
Ms. Roling and Mr. Baird recuse themselves.
Mr. MacPherson reported first on the zoning case. This particular property was rezoned in 2007 to a HC, Highway Commercial District to accommodate a proposed commercial development on the property, basically dealing with the grassy area which is in front of the Solo Plant itself; a Conditional Overlay District accompanied the HC zoning that required construction of a raised median on Glenstone Avenue to manage access and provide a refuge area in the middle of the street for pedestrians to cross Glenstone in the middle of the block. The subject property along with the larger tract of land to the east and southeast was included in a Preliminary Plat (Solo Cup Subdivision). Subsequent to the approval of the previous zoning case and preliminary plat, the property changed ownership and the plans for the property have changed. The applicant is requesting to rezone the property back to the previous GM, General Manufacturing zoning to be consistent with the remainder of the property under the same ownership. The previous preliminary plat expired and the applicant has submitted a new preliminary plat to subdivide the property into two lots.
Approval of this request would provide for consistent zoning on the property. It would also remove the Conditional Overlay District that was included in the previous rezoning and the median on Glenstone Avenue would no longer be required.
Staff recommendations for the zoning is that approval would provide for consistent zoning on the subject property and remainder of the property under the same ownership and if approved, the property will revert back to the GM, General Manufacturing zoning that existed prior to the approval of the existing HC, Highway Commercial and Conditional Overlay District zoning in 2007. That is the essence of the zoning.
The preliminary plat is consistent with the subdivision regulations. The plat proposes four variances as follows; the first variance request for access off Chestnut Expressway and a left hand turn access already exists. There are four (4) driveways existing on Glenstone Avenue and they do not meet the 250 feet apart separation requirement that the subdivision regulations require. The applicant is requesting a variance to eliminate two of access ways and try to align the others with the Evangel drives. That alignment will still fall short of the separation requirement, but the line-up is preferred over the adequate distance.
A turn-around would normally be required on Pythian Street for fire truck apparatus. The turn-around is not necessary because a fire lane is proposed in the plat from where Pythian intersects with the subject property all the way back to Chestnut Expressway.
Finally, the applicant is requesting a variance to pay a fee in lieu of constructing sidewalks along Bergman Street. The fee would be applied to a place where the sidewalks would be more applicable and useable. Planning Staff is recommending approval of the Zoning request, the variances, and the Preliminary Plat.
Mr. Lawhon stated, for the record, that Mr. Hansen is now present, asking Ms. Goddard to notate his arrival.
Mr. Lawhon opens the public hearing.
Kevin Lowe, Engineer with Olsson Associates, 550 St. Louis Street, Springfield. Mr. Lowe stated that Mr. MacPherson did a good job, and the community has lost a lot of jobs here and the owner needs to get this job done so they can make use of these buildings. He wanted to add, in regards to a turn lane, pointing to the map, that it was a turn around and a fire apparatus road will go all around the building to meet the fire code, so there will be a place there to turn around. Mr. Lowe commented that the neighborhood meeting did not have any attendees, the biggest neighbor being Evangel College, and there are no issues. He referred to the map regarding sewer and the location of that property, stating that there has been a turn lane, without a drive and stated that if anyone has seen the property lately, the owner made an improvement by getting rid of the brush and the tents located on the property. He asked for questions from Commission.
Mr. Russ Rubert, President of Rubert Diversified Investment Company, 1841 E Bergman, Springfield. They own the building located at 1841 E. Bergman, directly across the street from the subject property. He is not opposed to the rezoning request; the main issue he wanted to address was the potential traffic problems primarily on Bergman. He gave some historic information stating that his Father was one of the people involved in getting Lily Tulip located in Springfield, stating that they have had a long association with the property. He looked back at the files and found that it was 1951 that Lily Tulip went around the country to 40 cities and somehow selected Springfield as the location for their manufacturing headquarters. His father was then President of Prow Brothers Truck Line and also the Springfield Traffic Club. He drove them around to potential locations and then worked with C. Arch Bay and others to entice them to come to Springfield. His father was proud of that fact and would show his son a letter that he was given personally thanking him for his help. At their height, they employed over 1200 workers. That was before they were sold out to Fort Howard, then Sweetheart Cup and then later to Solo Cup.
For some time in the 1970’s, Lily Tulip even leased the building that Mr. Rubert’s company is in now, on Bergman. Since they have owned the building across the street for all those years, they have a good feel for the traffic flow, and the potential problems in the area. The street right behind the building, used to allow traffic, and it was after they were sold to Fort Howard Paper Company or Sweetheart Cup, they blocked off the street that connects behind the plant to Pythian. He stated he is uncertain why they did that and references the map. He wanted to point out that their traffic flow has a few additional challenges and he is hoping that the rezoning and redevelopment will address those challenges. Presently, there is no stoplight at 2 locations, referencing the map, and when you go out Nias Street there is not a stoplight at Division. Actually they have to go completely out Pythian and all the way to Cedarbrook and down to get to a stoplight. During the 5 pm rush hour, it is really backed up, down Glenstone, and really difficult to get out.
Secondly, something you might not know, there is a standing truck problem, you wouldn’t expect that, but the little Medical Clinic, on the corner, referring to the map, it does drug testing for truck drivers and other industrial trucks. He commented on the blockage of the street by the 18 Wheeler Trucks waiting, running their engines, and making his windows vibrate. They block the lane for other big trucks coming in that way. The reason he mentions this is because it is going to be a bigger issue with him if they locate truck loading docks there or they change some of the flow patterns on the north side of the building. A complaint they had when Solo Cup was there, was they would try to pull a truck in the entrance, referencing the map, which was directly across from their building, and as they pulled in, they would then have to back up over their grass to get in the entrance, and there would be huge ruts from the trucks tires. He mentioned this because he would like subject to consider an off road ramp or parking area where the trucks could pull off of Bergman to then make that back turn to go into the truck docks, otherwise there is not enough room, even if you make the entrance wider, to make that back turn. Having a turning zone, referencing location on the map, where they could turn around; where the trucks turn around now they come in to go to back side of the building; they turn down Stewart Street by accident and Stewart dead ends there. So they pull into the back parking lot of our property and try to turn around there. They twist the big wheels and this has created a huge hole in the drive, and the last estimate for repair was $15,000.00 to have the pavement repaired. These are just random trucks that are basically trying to get back up Nias to go to Division to go on out.
Again the whole idea of considering the traffic flow, and respectfully, to be clear, we do not oppose the rezoning, they have been in the area a long time and they know about street improvements and traffic flow considerations for this type of heavy traffic; it is perhaps obvious that an industrial plant that was fine sitting at the edge of the town in the 1950’s may now become a traffic flow nightmare for the neighbors if the side streets are not updated and potential traffic flows carefully considered.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing and thanked Mr. Rubert for sharing the history of the property. He states they will start with the zoning case first then the plat, as they heard both cases at the same time; Commission will make motions and vote on them separately.
Mr. Lawhon closed the public hearing.
Mr. McClelland made a motion to approve Z-11-2011. Mr. Edwards seconded. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Lawhon, Edwards, Hansen, McClelland, Ray and Coltrin. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: Roling and Baird. ABSENT: Young.
Mr. Lawhon asked for discussion on the Preliminary Plat Case.
Mr. Edwards made a motion to approve Preliminary Plat Warren Davis Properties. Mr. Coltrin seconded. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Lawhon, Edwards, Hansen, McClelland, Ray and Coltrin. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: Roling and Baird. ABSENT: Young.
- Brick City Development Plan Amendment Brick City, LP: Brick City Two, LP; (Phelps w, 200 block southside) Taylor-Martin Holdings, LLC
Matt Schaefer introduced the amendment. The developers, Brick City, Brick City Two, LP and also Taylor-Martin Holdings, submitted an Amended and Restated Redevelopment Plan for the Brick City Redevelopment area in response to some nonconformities that have been identified in the area. Primarily it is with Missouri State University, they currently lease property in the redevelopment area and it is used for classroom space and studios for Missouri State University’s Art and Design Department. The plan that is currently adopted for the area does not identify educational or institutional uses and the proposed Amended and Restated Development Plan will bring that into conformance by expanding the permitted uses to include all uses that are permitted under the zoning ordinance. The Redevelopment is currently zoned Center City so any uses that are permitted in Center City would then be permitted by the redevelopment plan. This redevelopment project was approved in 2006 and it was part of an application requesting tax abatement pursuant to Chapter 353. It is a program that promotes or encourages blight remediation by providing property tax abatements. To date, a portion of the redevelopment has been redeveloped. Currently you have the Missouri State University Art Design Department and you have some adjacent office and retail space that have been established. The Springfield comprehensive plan supports this amendment. The area according to the land use plan is identified as “Greater Downtown,” and under that designation it allows and promotes high-intensity office, retail, housing, academic, and public land uses, preferable in mixed-use buildings with a strong pedestrian orientation. The Plan also identifies center city zoning as the preferred district for the area. Many of the uses just mentioned are proposed as part of this redevelopment. Another thing to mention is the recently adopted IDEA Commons Plan also supports this type of activity in the area, and Staff supports this amendment.
Mr. McClelland asks Mr. Schaefer about the building at 503 North Boonville. He states, in the application received, it is one of the most dilapidated buildings in downtown. He asks if the building is savable. He states that he has looked at the building and can’t tell how dilapidated it is.
Mr. Schaefer states that the building is in need of some work, however that property is not located in the Brick City Redevelopment Area, it is actually in the Stray Dog Redevelopment Area, which is on the next case.
Mr. Lawhon asks Ms. Yendes if there is going to be public hearings on the two cases, Brick City and Stray Dog?
Ms. Yendes states no. She states that they will take comments but it is not an official public hearing.
Mr. Lawhon asks if there are any comments from the public regarding the Brick City Development Plan Amendment.
Shawn Whitney, 901 St. Louis; He is the attorney for Brick City, stating he is making himself available for questions.
Mr. Lawhon asks for discussion among Commissioners or additional questions for Staff.
Mr. Ray motioned to approve the Brick City Redevelopment Plan Amendment as presented. Ms. Roling seconded. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Lawhon, Edwards, Hansen, McClelland, Ray, Roling, Baird, and Coltrin. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Young.
- Stray Dog Redevelopment Amendment Taylor-Martin Holdings;
(Boonville N and Phelps W, SW and NW Corners) Model Market, LLC
Matt Schaefer acknowledges this is a similar request; basically the developers have requested approval of an Amended and Restated Development Plan for the Stray Dog Redevelopment Area. It would expand the permitted land uses under that redevelopment plan to be the same as permitted under the Springfield Zoning Ordinance. The area is predominantly zoned “Center City,” except for 221 West Phelps Street, and that is the western most property on the north side. That is zoned HM, Heavy Manufacturing and is currently used as a warehouse. The redevelopment specifically explains that the property would be rehabilitated for warehouse use. Currently that property has had some renovations, but there are some exterior renovations that remain. Basically this is being requested because it would allow greater flexibility for the developer to acquire tenants, and redevelop the property. As in the previous case, the Springfield Comprehensive Plan supports the proposed use as described in the amended plan.
Mr. Lawhon asks about the building, commenting that it is a warehouse now, and the plan is to use it as a warehouse in the future.
Mr. Schaefer adds that it is for just one portion of the area. The property at the Southwest Corner is utilized by Inveno Health which is a commercialization unit of St. Johns Research Institute. The Northwest Corner is 503 North Boonville, and that is the property which Mr. McClelland referred to regarding the condition of the building.
Mr. McClelland asks if it is fixable.
Mr. Schaefer states that according to the developer, they propose to rehabilitate the structure, but the plan calls for full rehabilitation and some building additions.
Mr. Lawhon asks if there are any comments from the public regarding the Stray Dog Redevelopment Plan Amendment.
Shawn Whitney, 901 St. Louis; He is the attorney for Brick City, stating he is making himself available again for questions.
Mr. Ray makes a motion to approve the Stray Dog Redevelopment Plan Amendment as presented. Mr. Baird seconded. Motion carried as follows: AYES: Lawhon, Edwards, Hansen, McClelland, Ray, Roling, Baird, and Coltrin. NAYS: None. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: Young.
ANY OTHER MATTERS UNDER COMMISSION JURISDICTION:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:10 p.m.