LEE’S SUMMIT PLANNING COMMISSION
Minutes of Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Tuesday, March 13, 2007, Lee‟s Summit Planning Commission meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Christopher at 4:10 p.m., at City Council Chambers, 220 SE Green Street, Lee‟s Summit, Missouri.
OPENING ROLL CALL:
Chairperson Trainer Absent Mr. Christopher Present
Ms. Rosenquist Present (Vice Chair)
(entered at 4:15 p.m.) Ms. Funk Absent
Mr. Reece Present Mr. Pycior Present
Mr. Atcheson Present Mr. Gray Present
Mr. Fristoe Present
Also present were Robert McKay, Director, Planning and Development Department; Linda Tyrrel, Deputy Director, Planning and Development Department; Tom Scannell, Current Planning Division Manager; Chris Hughey, Planning Technician; Christina Alexander, Staff Planner; Jennifer Baird, Assistant City Attorney; Kent Monter, Development Engineering Manager; Jeff McKerrow, City Traffic Engineer; Michael Park, Senior Staff Engineer; David Lohe, Supervisory Engineer; Jim Eden, Battalion Chief, Fire Department; and Kim Brennan, Administrative Secretary.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Vice Chair Christopher announced that the Commission would hear agenda Item 5 (Applications 2007-008 and 2007-009) and Item 6 (Application 2007-010) at the same time. He then asked for a motion to approve the agenda. On the motion of Mr. Reece, seconded by Mr. Gray, the Planning Commission voted unanimously by voice vote to APPROVE the agenda.
1. APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDA
A. Application #2006-296 – FINAL PLAT – Summit Fair, Lots 1-7 and 9 & Tracts A,
B, D and E; RED Development Inc., applicant
B. Minutes of the February 13, 2007 Planning Commission meeting
On the motion of Mr. Fristoe, seconded by Mr. Reece, the Planning Commission voted unanimously by voice vote to APPROVE the Consent Agenda, Item 1A-B as published.
2. Application #2006-270 – PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN – Starbuck‟s &
Hillcrest Bank, 851 & 855 NE Woods Chapel Road; Commercial Site Consultants,
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Vice Chair Christopher opened the hearing at 4:14 p.m. and announced that Application 2006-270 was continued to April 10, 2007 at staff‟s request. He then closed the hearing.
(The foregoing is a digest of the secretary‟s notes of the public hearing. The transcript may be obtained.)
3. Continued Application #2006-244 – UDO AMENDMENT #19 – Amending Articles 2, 5,
8 and 16; City of Lee‟s Summit, applicant
Vice Chair Christopher opened the hearing at 4:15 p.m. and asked those wishing to speak, or provide testimony, to stand and be sworn in by the court reporter.
Mr. McKay entered Exhibit (A), list of exhibits 1-5 into the record. Using a Power Point presentation, he first related that Amendment 19 had a public hearing for the Planning Commission previously, but the City Council had subsequently requested a larger meeting of residents and the development community to get further input. The CDC had a hearing for this application on January 24, 2007 and the Commissioners had received copies of the minutes and the DVD of the meeting.
Mr. McKay displayed an older Lee‟s Summit neighborhood map, done according to the 2004
Master Plan. The UDO had been initially approved in November 2001 and ongoing amendments had both kept it up to date and responded to changing conditions. The proposed UDO Amendment 19 would do both. The CDC had held two open meetings on September 13, 2006 and October 11, 2006 and the Planning Commission had then held its public hearing on November 14, 2006. On December 7th, the City Council had heard the draft amendment and sent it back; and on January 24, 2007 a large public forum had been held and comments received. The administrative delay had been extended to April 13, 2007 but the Council would not be renewing it again, so timeliness was important.
Mr. McKay related that the amendment had two new definitions: of owner occupied and of
principal uses. It also created a new zoning district, RLL (Residential Large Lot), with a half-acre minimum lot size. There had been another neighborhood meeting after the January 24th CDC meeting, and the changes that had come out of that included removing the accessory-use loft units out of the R-1 zoning district. At present, in order to have a loft unit above a detached garage in that district, the lot had to be 15,000 square feet or more. The participants at the neighborhood meeting had raised and discussed a number of questions about whether the principal dwelling would be owner-occupied and the issue of these lofts being rental units in a single-family neighborhood. Under the present draft, the lofts would still be allowed in RP-2 zoning districts but not in single-family districts. This change did not apply to the loft units Downtown and in the TNZ areas, as these were principal and not accessory uses.
Lot splitting had been another major neighborhood issue. Lots resulting from minor subdivision plats now had to be at least 80% of the average size of the other existing lots. Upon the first request in any neighborhood for a minor plat, staff would look over the neighborhood and make a determination as to what the average lot size was. Any resulting minor plat would have to meet the 80% requirement to be approved administratively; and if that was not met, it would have to go through the public hearing process and before the Planning Commission. Mr. McKay emphasized that this determination would be made at the time of the first minor plat application and used for subsequent applications. It would not be re-done over and over, with the average lot sizes getting smaller with each application and evaluation.
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Vice Chair Christopher asked for clarification, and Mr. McKay pointed out an example on the map of a neighborhood with lots of 40,000 square feet. Lots resulting from division via a minor plat would have to be no less than 32,000 square feet. The purpose was to prevent the premature development of a large lot into smaller lots, as well as to protect the neighborhood‟s character. It would still allow for infill development as long as that was on appropriately sized lots. This standard would apply only to the R-1, RLL, RP-1 and RP-2 zoning districts. The current language specified only that minor plats meet the minimum lot size for a district. The Planning Director would be responsible for determining what the applicable area was when making determinations about average lot sizes; and Mr. McKay did not think that would be difficult in the older Lee‟s Summit neighborhoods. If the area could not be determined to be a “neighborhood,” they would use a 500-foot radius.
Article 5 in the amendment had been amended for clarity, removing commercial feed lots and disposal from the AG district. The BP (Business Park) designation was replaced with CS (Commercial Services).
In Article 8, Section 8.010 amended paragraph C by adding “except for an accessory dwelling
unit as further provided for in this chapter.” Mr. McKay explained that the previous concern had
been over someone renting out a garage for a commercial use; but loft units could now be rented out in RP-2. This article also imposed size restrictions on skateboard ramps and play equipment including playhouses. For playhouses in particular, there were maximum sizes, heights and distance from property lines. Article 8 also added two sections on temporary and prohibited accessory uses. In Table 8-1, everything was removed other than accessory structures and it was now called “Structures.” Administrative changes had included removing reserved sections and renumbering accordingly.
Following Mr. McKay‟s comments, Vice Chair Christopher asked if there was anyone else
present wishing to give testimony, either in support for or opposition to the application. Seeing none, he then asked if the Commission had questions for the applicant or staff.
Ms. Rosenquist asked if there would be any restrictions on modifications pertaining to lots under the 80% rule. Mr. McKay answered that staff did not grant modifications to final plats. An applicant wanting a modification would have to go through the Planning Commission and the Council.
Mr. McKay confirmed for Mr. Pycior that the owner/occupant of a residential lot could not rent an accessory structure except in the RP-2 district. For minor plats in general, this was the only change to the process. If turned down for administrative approval, an applicant still had the option of going through the public hearing process. He clarified for Mr. Reece that an applicant could split a large lot into two or even three lots, as long as each was at least 80% the average size of surrounding lots.
Mr. Bill Fairbanks came to the podium and gave his address as 506 NW Donovan, “Area 1” on the map. He remarked that his neighborhood had particular concerns about lot splits, and in their case, the restrictive covenants set originally by the O‟Brien family had specified that a lot
split could not result in lots smaller than the smallest lot in the neighborhood. He and his neighbors supported the amendment, feeling that it would help avoid piecemeal building and platting in older neighborhoods.
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Vice Chair Christopher asked if there were further questions for the applicant or staff. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing at 4:30 p.m. and asked for discussion among the Commission members, or a motion.
Mr. Fristoe made a motion to recommend approval of Application 2006-244, UDO Amendment #19: Amending Articles 2, 5, 8 and 16; City of Lee‟s Summit, applicant; subject to staff‟s letter of March 9, 2007. Mr. Reece seconded.
Vice Chair Christopher asked if there was any discussion of the motion. Hearing none, he called for a vote.
On the motion of Mr. Fristoe, seconded by Mr. Reece, the Planning Commission members voted unanimously by voice vote to recommend APPROVAL of Application 2006-244, UDO
Amendment #19: Amending Articles 2, 5, 8 and 16; City of Lee‟s Summit, applicant; subject to
staff‟s letter of March 9, 2007.
(The foregoing is a digest of the secretary‟s notes of the public hearing. The transcript may be obtained.)
4. Application #2007-006 – REZONING from AG to CP-2 and Application #2007-007 –
PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN – Saddlebrook Commons, east of M-291 Hwy.
and north of Saddlebrook; Polsinelli, Shalton, Welte & Suelthaus, applicant
Vice Chair Christopher opened the hearing at 4:33 p.m. and asked those wishing to speak, or provide testimony, to stand and be sworn in by the court reporter.
Mr. John Peterson of the law firm of Polsinelli, Shalton, Welte & Suelthaus introduced Mr. Matt Austin, partner in the firm; Mr. Matt Denis of Kessinger Hunter; Mr. Scott Cargill of Lutjen Engineering and Mr. Tom Fulton, traffic engineer with Olsson and Associates. He related that in evaluating this site for the 355,000 square foot shopping center, they had taken into account that the property fronted on M-291 and was close to M-150 with the Outer Road being the primary access. There were two well-established residential neighborhoods to the south. To accommodate the proximity of these neighborhoods, they would concentrate the highest-density development on the north side, transitioning down to the lowest density on the south.
The heavily vegetated area on the far south end was a flood plain, and the applicants had decided to take advantage of the existing vegetation in this part to designate it “Tract C” for permanent green space. They had discussed maintenance options with the adjacent neighbors. One idea considered was to donate Tract C to the City as a City park; however, the City decided its size and location would not be suitable for that. Then they looked into deeding it to the neighborhood organization, but maintenance and insurance issues were a problem with that option. The decision was that upon City approval, they would deed-restrict the property for the Homeowners Association. Upon zoning and plan approval, the 12 acres in Tract C would be a permanent greenbelt as a buffer or for possible recreation with walking trails. The southeastern part of Tract C would be the only utilitarian use: the applicants planned to construct a dry detention basin there. Most of the excess rainwater runoff would be delivered to that basin, and it would be metered for the most timely release of the water. Hopefully it would even improve some situations downstream; but in any event, the ordinances required the applicant to prove that they would at least not exacerbate these problems and the basin would address that.
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Regarding traffic impacts, the applicants had commissioned a traffic study based on Mr. McKerrow‟s previous work. Highways M-291 and M-150 and the Outer Road were all potential
access points, but the goal was for all intersections to operate at no worse than LOS “C”. The road improvement projects listed in staff‟s report would accomplish that, and the ordinance requirement was to prove that they would at least not exacerbate existing conditions.
The applicants had held two neighborhood meetings attended by 60-70 people and had met with Homeowners Association representatives that afternoon. The parties had agreed on three conditions. They would construct a 6-foot berm on the southern boundary, landscaped on top to provide a visual buffer in addition to the existing vegetation. They asked for a modification to the requirement for a fence on top of the berm; however, they would meet with the neighbors again at the final plan stage and would build a fence if the neighbors wanted that.
Paddock Street would terminate at the property line. Because of the topography, it was not likely to continue through the property and they did not want vehicle access between the neighborhood and the development. Their proposal was to create a cul-de-sac, and would give the City an easement or title if requested.
They would work with the neighborhood on signage, particularly to put directional signs on the two driveways accessing the outer road to make it clear to drivers they could not access M-291 to the south. That signage would be part of the sign package.
The applicants agreed with staff‟s four Recommendation Items, as well as other items to be reviewed at the final stage, and they understood the required road improvements with the first phase.
Following Mr. Peterson‟s presentation, Vice Chair Christopher asked for staff comments.
Mr. Hughey entered Exhibit (A), list of exhibits 1-16 into the record and read the four Recommendation Items. Staff supported the ideas for the buffer area and berm. This development did meet the parking requirements, but staff had noted that a change to more intensive use such as a drive-through business might require another development plan.
Mr. Hughey confirmed that the berm showed up on the landscape plan. Concerning the cul-de-sac, they could dedicate that via final plat. Mr. Scannell added that dedicating additional right-of-way would be good procedure. However, they had not yet finalized the details after meeting this afternoon, so staff would need some time to draft the conditions and make sure the applicant and neighbors agreed on them. The Commission could hear additional testimony at that time.
Following Mr. Hughey‟s comments, Vice Chair Christopher asked if there was anyone else
present wishing to give testimony, either in support for or opposition to the application.
Mr. Gary Price of 4159 SE Paddock was present as HOA president for Estates of Saddlebrook. Their main concern was multi-family development on the site, but the buffer proposal did address those concerns. There was a temporary cul-de-sac at present, but it did not function well as a turnaround, and moving it would take some paving off some of the lots. Mr. Price remarked that the applicants had seemed to listen to what they‟d said and would be likely to
follow through on their agreements.
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Mr. Ray Crawford, president of the Saddlebrook Homeowners Association, agreed with Mr. Price‟s comments. They had two well-attended meetings and the applicants had answered
every question. He commended them for the way they had responded to the neighbors‟ concerns.
Vice Chair Christopher then asked if the Commission had questions for the applicant or staff.
Ms. Rosenquist asked if they would need to add a condition for the agreement pertaining to Tract “C”. Mr. Scannell answered that they were platting that under the Common Tract provision in the UDO. It held that the City had to approve land sold under Covenants and Restrictions, and Tract C could not be sold.
Mr. Reece asked who would be responsible for the mowing and general maintenance; and Mr. Pycior noted that the applicant had testified about a tract being available for walking trails and other recreational uses. He wanted to know what the vehicle for making that happen would be, and if it would be a Property Owners Association [POA] and deed restriction. Mr. Scannell explained that these responsibilities would be under the developer‟s ownership. When they platted the ground they would set up a Property Owners Association for maintenance of common tracts. A CC&R would set up maintenance requirements. Under the UDO, a POA could not be dissolved without City approval, and the City would not want to do that without some assurance about maintenance responsibilities. Decisions like making the land available with walking trails would be an agreement between private parties and not a City matter.
Vice Chair Christopher noted that the list of improvements in the traffic study included some current and some projected to 2030. He asked how staff got to those improvements and what triggered the future improvements. Mr. Park came to the podium and explained that this material was based on development impact and not a 2030 projection. They had the “Future 2030” analysis that the applicant‟s consultant had done, and had looked over both existing conditions and existing-plus-development conditions. What the study did was confirm that this development would provide adequate right-of-way. As more development occurred, capital improvement projects would likely be necessary some time in the future. Mr. Atcheson remarked that future developments would be picking up their share of the impacts, and Mr. Parks responded that sometimes capital improvement projects were needed as general traffic increased.
Vice Chair Christopher asked if there were further questions for the applicant or staff. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing at 5:08 p.m. and asked for discussion among the Commission members.
Vice Chair Christopher suggested the Commission discuss adding any more conditions, and Mr. Pycior remarked that just as the walking trails‟ signs would be looked at by staff, so the cul-de-
sac would be. He wanted to send the application through as-is and when the applicant and neighbors decided on what they wanted they could send it over to staff. Vice Chair Christopher remarked that the neighborhood might prefer a cul-de-sac in that location because the one there at present infringed on a couple of lots and was falling apart. From the perspective of a benefit to the City, that was a condition they would like to see happen. Vice Chair Christopher then re-opened the hearing, at 5:10 p.m.
Mr. Scannell stated that the City did have a condition in regards to the cul-de-sac at Paddock Drive; and the applicant would have to come back through with applications for both that and the directional signs. That would allow the residents to review that sign package separately;
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and for this reason staff did not have any recommendation items addressing those issues. Staff also felt that the applicant‟s testimony about offering to meet with the residents in the final plan stage about the landscaping could carry over as a matter of record to the final plan stage, so they would also not have a recommendation regarding that. Staff had drafted language for the cul-de-sac, that “the developer shall dedicate sufficient right-of-way to construct a cul-de-sac per the City’s Design and Construction manual, at the northern end of Paddock Drive.”
Mr. Pycior remarked that this was confusing, as saying the City the cul-de-sac was going to be built by the City was different from what he had heard the developer say. Mr. Peterson said it would ultimately be the City‟s decision. He acknowledged that he did not exactly know what the
condition of that cul-de-sac was, and he wanted the neighbors to be able to decide about that and then come back to the City. The applicant‟s offer was to provide right-of-way and the City
could decide to improve or modify it. Their own offer had been to provide the right-of-way and the City could ultimately decide to either improve or slightly modify it if they saw fit. The commissioners agreed with the approach of dedicating the right-of-way but not constructing the cul-de-sac at this time.
Mr. Scannell confirmed that the property available for walking trails and other recreational uses would fall under an agreement between two private parties if the applicant included it within the CC&Rs.
Vice Chair Christopher asked if there were further questions for the applicant or staff. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing at 5:15 p.m. and called for a motion.
Mr. Reece made a motion to recommend approval of Application 2007-006, Rezoning from AG to CP-2 and Application 2007-007Preliminary Development Plan: Saddlebrook Commons, east of M-291 Hwy. and north of Saddlebrook; Polsinelli, Shalton, Welte & Suelthaus, applicant; subject to staff‟s letter of March 9, 2007, specifically Recommendation Items 1 through 4 with the addition of Recommendation 5, reading that “the developer shall dedicate sufficient right-of-
way at the end of Paddock Drive for the construction of a cul-de-sac.” Mr. Fristoe seconded.
Vice Chair Christopher asked if there was any discussion of the motion. Hearing none, he called for a vote.
On the motion of Mr. Reece, seconded by Fristoe, the Planning Commission members voted unanimously by voice vote to recommend APPROVAL of Application 2007-006, Rezoning from
AG to CP-2 and Application 2007-007Preliminary Development Plan: Saddlebrook Commons, east of M-291 Hwy. and north of Saddlebrook; Polsinelli, Shalton, Welte & Suelthaus, applicant; subject to staff‟s letter of March 9, 2007, specifically Recommendation Items 1 through 4 with the addition of Recommendation 5 as stated.
Vice Chair Christopher complimented the applicant on presenting their case well and also meeting with the Homes Association.
(The foregoing is a digest of the secretary‟s notes of the public hearing. The transcript may be obtained.)
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5. Application #2007-008 – REZONING from AG to CP-2 and Application #2007-009 –
PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN – Bob Sight Ford, 607 NW Blue Parkway; TRD
a Missouri LLC, applicant
6. Application #2007-010 – SPECIAL USE PERMIT for car sales – Bob Sight Ford, 607
NW Blue Parkway; TRD a Missouri LLC, applicant
Vice Chair Christopher explained that he would open all three hearings. The preliminary plat would be heard separately, but participants could just state that the previous testimony applied. Vice Chair Christopher then opened the hearing at 5:20 p.m. and asked those wishing to speak, or provide testimony, to stand and be sworn in by the court reporter.
Mr. Brad Strittmater of Olsson and Associates, stated that they were an engineering and planning firm representing the applicant. He gave his business address as 7301 W. 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS. Mr. Tom Sight of Bob Sight Ford was also present and wanted to give testimony.
Mr. Strittmater explained that this application represented the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the Bob Sight Ford dealership. The reason for this was the extensive roadwork and associated improvements related to the Summit Fair development. That would be on the north side of Chipman and east of US-50. The existing NW Blue Parkway, shown on the displayed rendering in red, would be relocated to the east about 400 feet including the Chipman Road intersection. During the hearing process for Summit Fair, there had been testimony giving valid reasons for that relocation. However, the effect on Bob Sight Ford, located on the south side of Chipman, would be extensive.
The main part of the existing Bob Sight Ford dealership faced west, with the used car facility facing north. Its access was off NW Blue Parkway, with the parking lot to the south and east and some „inventory‟ parking along the north by Chipman. After Blue Parkway was relocated it would be on the east side of the Bob Sight property. Bob Sight Ford would be granting a right-of-way for the Summit Fair road improvements, and the road would run through the property and connect up to the existing Blue Parkway on the south. The roadway work would require that the existing Bob Sight Ford building be removed completely and a new one constructed. This would access off the new NW Blue Parkway. Mr. Strittmater emphasized that there was no practical way to save the existing buildings and still build the road as planned.
The dealership would remain open at all times during the construction of both the new Bob Sight facility and the shopping center. The first phase, indicated in yellow on the rendering, would move traffic off the northbound lanes of the existing Blue Parkway and route it to the southbound lanes, which would become one lane each way. Mr. Strittmater pointed out how the parking lot would be reconfigured, plus constructing a temporary lot on the MoDOT right-of-way to the west. It would connect to the existing commuter lot to the south. NW Blue Parkway would remain open and access the property.
In Phase Two, they would construct a new building, shown in green on the rendering. The new building would be entirely constructed before the old one would be taken down. Some of the parking lot on the north would be reconfigured in Phase Two.
Phase Three would be demolition of the existing buildings. In Phase Four. NW Blue Parkway would be constructed in its new location, still maintaining access to the new facility off existing Blue Parkway. In the fifth and last phase, shown on the rendering in red, they would have the
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new dealership open with NW Blue Parkway relocated and open to traffic. At that point, the lanes for the existing Blue Parkway on the west side would be removed, and the right-of-way for the current Blue Parkway west of the Bob Sight property would be dedicated back to Bob Sight. MoDOT would then have the temporary parking facility added to the commuter lot.
Mr. Strittmater then addressed staff‟s comments. He acknowledged that this was a complex plan. The applicant agreed with most of the stipulations for both this application and the Preliminary Plat. Regarding Recommendation Item 9, “the site shall be engineered to provide
adequate sight distance at all driveway locations,” Mr. Strittmater pointed out that they were not
moving any driveways. They did have a retaining wall located in the sight triangle and would have to move it. He commented that the Mr. Sight had worked with the Summit Fair development throughout the process, in order to accommodate both parties‟ goals. He would obviously have some challenges doing business during the business and road relocations.
Mr. Tom Sight of Bob Sight Ford remarked that this was a new kind of project for him. He was surprised at what construction costs were and how complex the pricing was, and emphasized that it had been important for his business, Summit Fair and the City to all work together. He did have problems with some of the requirements, and pointed out that the business would be losing a lot of space. He specifically asked for Recommendation Item 2 to be deleted. The plan showed that they had a high-quality aluminum material on the roof that would be better-looking than a parapet. The air conditioning units would still be visible from US-50 in any event, and adding a parapet would be a cost increase of up to $150,000.
Regarding Recommendation Item 6, they had been working with the City to reach an agreement about the landscaping, as they had plenty of trees along the west side already, and plenty of shrubs on the east side. Concerning islands, they had looked at other dealerships and saw islands but they were losing more parking in this transition. Islands would also make maintenance work like snow plowing more difficult. He pointed out that this area was new car storage, not a shopping center nor employee or customer parking. The most difficult stage would likely be when Bob Sight was first in the new building but would not be able to use the south side until it was graded and the roadwork done.
Following this presentation, Vice Chair Christopher asked for staff comments.
Ms. Alexander entered Exhibit (A), list of exhibits 1-17 into the record. She stated that this application was a plan for rezoning and a preliminary development plan for the redevelopment of Bob Sight Ford. The applicant had requested a number of modifications, and they were working together to find a middle ground that worked. This was somewhat different from the Comprehensive Plan; however, the goals were still the same. The zoning changes were consistent with the current uses.
Concerning the modifications requested, staff supported the request for a modification to impervious coverage (Recommendation Item 3). The existing site had 97% impervious coverage, and the redeveloped one would be down to 86%, with the UDO requirement being 80%. Staff supported the modification because it was a substantial change that brought the site much closer to the requirement. Staff also recommended an increase to the parking lot islands (Recommendation Item 3), which would reduce that further. The applicant also had requested a modification for the street frontage trees on Blue Parkway, and staff partially supported that modification. Staff would agree to that at the west side of Blue Parkway due to the grade difference. However, Blue Parkway north of the southerly drive was even with the parking lot, and staff would not support leaving out the trees there. Regarding the frontage trees along the
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US 50 Highway, the applicant was providing close to the number of trees required and there was a 150-foot distance between the highway and the right-of-way so staff was supporting the number of trees shown on the plan (Recommendation Item 7).
Staff also supported the applicant‟s request for modifications to the parking setbacks on the
west side of Blue Parkway and the east side of US 50 Highway (Recommendation Items 4 and 5). The right-of-way bisected the property, and Blue Parkway would end up being several feet lower than it currently was. Typically, the parking setback for the property east of US 50 would be 20 feet, and in this case it would be 10 feet for parking vehicles that were for sale. Staff supported this modification request, again because of the distance between the highway ramp and relocated Blue Parkway. Staff supported approval of the rezoning and preliminary development plan, subject to Recommendation Items 1 through 11.
Following Ms. Alexander‟s comments, Vice Chair Christopher asked if there was anyone else present wishing to give testimony, either in support for or opposition to the application. Seeing none, he then asked if the Commission had questions for the applicant or staff.
Mr. Reece had several questions about Recommendation Items 2, 6 and 8. He first asked why a higher parapet (Item 2) if the units had sufficient screening, and they would be visible from US 50 Highway anyway. If there was sufficient screening around the unit on the roof, he was not sure what would be gained by raising the parapet. Concerning the modifications to street tree frontage and parking lot island requirements in Items 6 and 8, Mr. Reece wanted to know generally if they could work out an acceptable arrangement and how flexible the City would need to be.
Mr. Scannell first replied that the condition with the parapet reflected the UDO requirement that roof-mounted equipment be screened by a parapet, not individual screens around individual units; and staff‟s Recommendation Item 2 just reflected that. Staff also felt that the overall result would be a better-looking building with one parapet than with individual screens. Mr. Reece asked how tall the building would be, and Mr. Scannell explained that this site was lower than US 50, so drivers on the highway would be looking down at it. From Blue Parkway, the road would be about 3-6 feet lower than the site on the southern edge where the terrace retaining wall would be. Mr. Reece remarked that depending on the placement of the units on the roof, people might not be able to see them from anywhere so he was doubtful that a parapet wall would be all that useful for screening. Mr. Scannell answered that it might not be visible from the south, but he was less certain about visibility from Chipman Road and Blue Parkway near the Chipman intersection.
Concerning the modification for the street trees, staff had felt that they had made a compromise with this recommendation, considering the specific constraints of the site. The parkway at the southern edge would have the terrace, and planting trees on this part of the site would be difficult. On the northern edge, on a more level surface with Blue Parkway, staff asked for 11 street trees based on the UDO requirement. This approach was consistent with how staff had dealt with two recent car dealership applications, with the applicant providing street trees based on the UDO in both cases. However, it did partly reflect the individual characteristics of the site. The two recent applications had been required to comply with the 5% rule, but in this case staff had also considered the impact of the right-of-way for Blue Parkway cutting through the property. Concerning the modification to landscape islands, the proposed 3% was a little over double what they currently had. Staff had considered that the business would need some display areas for sale vehicles, and they were looking for some islands close to the main entrance off Blue Parkway.