CITY OF WEBSTER GROVES
September 5, 2006
The City Council met this date in a regular session in the Council
Chambers at City Hall at #4 E. Lockwood at 7:34 p.m.
Present at Roll
Call: Mayor Gerry Welch
Councilmember Kevin Gunn
Councilmember Jeanne Kirkton
Councilmember Joan Esserman
A quorum was present.
Also present: Mr. Steve
Wylie, City Manager
Helmut Starr, City Attorney
Katie Nakazono, City Clerk
Mayor Welch stated that
Councilmember Jotte has been selected as the Mayor Pro-Tem, and stated that he
is the new President of the Missouri Chapter of the American College of
Emergency Room Physicians.
Mayor Welch introduced Edie
Good, Daughters of the American Revolution, who accepted a proclamation for
REMARKS OF VISITORS
Henry Hoener, 1412
Selma Ave., dispersed a
handout and addressed the spending of proceeds from the sale of the Water
Melinda Bier, 500 Kirkham, stated that she owns a home near Larson Park and the Parks crew recently cut down
bamboo on their property. She stated that she was not aware that they were
going to be cutting down the bamboo, and it has created a safety hazard and a
liability. She passed around photos of the area, and stated that all their
windows were now exposed to the tennis courts, and the koi pond is no longer
Mike Oppermann, Director of Parks and Recreation, stated that they
removed the bamboo that was planted on City property, and are in anticipation
of improvements to the Park. He stated that they made a lot of effort to get
in touch with the homeowner, but the owner they were dealing with died suddenly,
and the property was put into an estate, and sold. We tried to track it, and
placed business cards in the door of the residence, and received no response.
As a result, we felt the bamboo needed to come down. We hope to begin
construction by the end of this month. Bamboo is considered to be very
invasive, and the plan is to work with the homeowner in terms of putting
improved landscaping in, native species. We have every intention of being a
Jenna Rinck, 406
Glen Rd., stated there has
been a reduction in available parking spaces for Nerinx Hall High School, and asked the Council if they could
address this problem.
Councilmember Jotte stated that the Nerinx Hall administration
should check all avenues for additional parking.
Mr. Wylie stated that there have been many meetings to try and
generate ideas for parking between Nerinx Hall, Webster Groves High School, and Webster University in order to alleviate the parking problems.
NEW BUSINESS, MAYOR, COUNCILMEMBERS, CITY ATTORNEY, CITY MANAGER
BILL # 8514 – THIRD READING
motion of Councilmember Esserman, seconded by Councilmember Hart, BILL #8514 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 60,
“TRAFFIC CODE” SECTIONS 60.640 “USE OF SAFETY BELTS” AND 60.685 “USE OF CHILD
RESTRAINT DEVICES” TO INCREASE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILD RESTRAINT DEVICES, having been introduced and read twice on August 15, 2006,
was taken up its title read a third time and placed upon its passage to become
Mayor Welch called for the vote on Bill #8514.
AYES: ROBINSON, JOTTE, HART, GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH
Mayor Welch stated that Bill #8514 was approved.
BILL # 8515 – THIRD READING
motion of Councilmember Hart, seconded by Councilmember Jotte, BILL #8515
ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE TRAFFIC CODE, CHAPTER 60, BY AMENDING
SCHEDULE H TO ELIMINATE THE PROVISION FOR NO PARKING ON POLK AVENUE (PRIVATE
STREET), having been introduced and read
twice on August 15, 2006, was taken up its title read a third time and placed
upon its passage to become Ordinance #8515.
Mayor Welch called for the vote on Bill #8515.
AYES: JOTTE, HART, GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH, ROBINSON
Mayor Welch stated that Bill #8515 was approved.
BILL # 8516 – THIRD READING
motion of Councilmember Jotte, seconded by Councilmember Hart, BILL #8516 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE TRAFFIC
CODE, CHAPTER 60, BY AMENDING SCHEDULE H TO CREATE A NO PARKING ZONE ON THE
NORTH SIDE OF WAYMIRE AVENUE, having been
introduced and read twice on August 15, 2006, was taken up its title read a
third time and placed upon its passage to become Ordinance #8516.
Mayor Welch called for the vote on Bill #8516.
AYES: HART, GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH, ROBINSON, JOTTE
Mayor Welch stated that Bill #8516 was approved.
BILL #8517 – FIRST AND SECOND READING
Councilmember Robinson introduced BILL #8517 ENTITLED: AN
ORDINANCE PERMITTING THE SUBDIVISION OF CERTAIN PROPERTY AT 755 CATALPA AVENUE,
and at the Councilmember’s request, the Bill was read twice, first and
second times by title only, and placed on the agenda for future consideration
of the Council.
Roger Grow, Director of Planning and Development, gave a brief
presentation on the proposed subdivision. He stated that the Plan Commission
voted 7-0 to recommend approval as submitted.
Mr. Starr stated that when it meets the regulations specified in
the subdivision code, the law specifies that you have an administrative
function requiring you to pass that subdivision.
BILL #8518 – FIRST AND SECOND READING
Gunn introduced BILL #8518 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE
PERMITTING THE SUBDIVISION OF CERTAIN PROPERTY AT 35 & 37 OAK TREE AVENUE, and
at the Councilmember’s request, the Bill was read twice, first and second times
by title only, and placed on the agenda for future consideration of the
Grow gave a brief presentation on the application, and stated that both lots
are substandard. They meet the buildable lot criteria because they were listed
as separate lots in 1956, and there were separate houses on each lot. Under
normal procedures, we would administratively handle a boundary adjustment plat.
Because the proposal is to shift some land from the larger lot to the smaller
lot, we cannot approve the boundary adjustment plat administratively, because
we are increasing the sub-standardness of a lot. Their only option is to seek
a resubdivision of the property. Their proposal is to shift about 8 feet from
the larger, 50-foot lot, to the smaller, 37 ½ foot lot, so that each resulting
lot is 43.75 feet and the lot size for each lot is 7,000 square feet.
Currently it is 6,000 and 8,000. This can be considered by the Plan
Commission, and they can recommend that the City Council grant a variance for a
subdivision that is substandard if it protects the interest of the community,
as well as a couple of other factors. The Plan Commission considered this at
the August 21, 2006 meeting and voted 7-0 to recommend approval subject to
conditions dealing with the redevelopment of the property, as well as the
condition that any new house built would be subject to the new proposed
regulations for floor area ratio and front-entry garages being considered the
same night by the Plan Commission.
Gunn asked why we are requiring them to do something that has not yet been approved?
Grow stated that the belief is that the potential to build oversized houses
there is substantial and as a condition of making the resulting development
compatible with the neighborhood, that it should be subject to the standards
for infill housing that they are recommending to the Council.
Gunn asked what authority the Plan Commission has to add a condition that has
not been authorized by the Council.
Starr stated that the authority is in 50.070, which says that you have to, at
the same time you are granting a variance, protect the public welfare and
interest of the municipality, and that the general spirit of the regulations
are preserved. I think it is not inappropriate to put restrictions on that
Gunn stated that the restrictions are on the building, not on the lot.
Starr said that, as a Council, you can modify conditions. It is not
inappropriate to impose conditions.
Grow mentioned other subdivisions where the design of the building was a part
of the conditions for the granting of the variance.
Gunn stated that he doesn’t have a problem putting conditions on the building
or the lots. What he does find somewhat troublesome is that the conditions
that are put on, are specifically the ones that are under consideration by the
Council, but have not yet been adopted by the Council.
Jotte asked if this would comply with previous height regulations.
Grow stated that it would.
Hart stated that she doesn’t think the applicant was upset with the fourth
Gunn stated that his was a much more general comment than it was specific to
this property. He stated that he understands the need to make these lots
comply with the current neighborhood. It is an issue he has with the Plan
Commission imposing conditions that have not yet been decided on.
Starr stated that they never impose, they recommend to the Council, and Council
always has the right to change them.
Esserman asked what would be changed if that condition was removed.
Grow stated that they would be able to build to the setback lines and to the
height, and you could conceivably have a building that is 4,000 square feet.
AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR
IMPROVEMENTS TO LARSON PARK
A motion was made by Councilmember Kirkton, seconded by
Councilmember Robinson, to approve Resolution #2006-38.
Mr. Oppermann stated that he made a commitment to Ms. Bier to
bring in wood chips to top off the bamboo, and it would be placed in the area
as soon as it was available. He stated that they measured where they cut, and
there may have been a piece or two on the other property. Clearly the bamboo
was originally planted on City property, without City approval. There may have
been a stalk or two on private property, but 99% of it was on City property.
Mr. Oppermann stated that the scope of the project is the complete
renovation of the tennis courts, which will look similar to those at Blackburn, a new ADA accessible path leading to the tennis
courts, a new retaining wall, new furnishings, and a new sign at Kirkham.
Landscape improvements will come in over time. Funding for the project is from
a Municipal Park Grant. Mr. Oppermann reviewed the budget adjustments made in
order to accommodate this project that was a bit over budget. Other
improvements at Larson Park include
the replacement of a bridge, cleaning up a collapsed retaining walls, and the
biostabilization of the creek bed. Great Rivers Greenway has committed $45,000
to creek bed restoration.
Mr. Oppermann noted that there is a water line below the bridge,
and it is our desire to move that line, and they are currently in discussions
with Missouri-American Water Company. We look for this project to be completed
by the end of this calendar year, weather permitting.
Mr. Wylie emphasized that the items that the Parks and Recreation
Department are giving up in order to complete this project are still needed.
Councilmember Jotte asked about the possibility of continuing the
bamboo and if there was an estimate of the cost of relocating the water line.
Mr. Oppermann stated that it will come back, it is not easily
gotten rid of. Being a non-native plant, Staff does not recommend allowing it
to come back, but that would certainly be an option. The estimate from
Missouri-American Water is $27,000. Mr. Wylie clarified that we have not ended
our discussions with the Water Company.
Councilmember Gunn stated that the Parks Department does a good
job in creating a great environment, and once the improvements are done, Ms.
Bier will think they are great. Mr. Oppermann and the staff will work with you
to try to solve the issue, and if they don’t, you can always come back to the
Mayor Welch called for the vote on Resolution #2006-38.
AYES: GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH, ROBINSON, JOTTE, HART
Mayor Welch stated that Resolution #2006-38 was approved.
A motion was made by Councilmember Esserman, seconded by
Councilmember Hart, to approve the Consent Agenda.
Mayor Welch called for the vote on the Consent Agenda.
AYES: KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH, ROBINSON, JOTTE, HART, GUNN
Mayor Welch stated that the Consent Agenda was approved.
The following Consent Agenda was approved:
Approval of Minutes
– August 15, 2006
– Authorizing the City
Manager to Purchase a Vehicle for the Park Maintenance Division
APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Peter Ruger was appointed to the Library Board.
Kevin Loida was appointed to the Old Webster Special Taxing
EXECUTIVE (CLOSED) SESSION
No Executive (Closed) Session.
There being no further business to come before the City Council,
the meeting was adjourned at 8:20
P.M. on motion of the Mayor,
PASSED AND APPROVED this 19th day of September, 2006.