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CITY OF WEBSTER GROVES

August 1, 2006

 

The City Council met this date in a regular session in the Council Chambers at City Hall at #4 E. Lockwood at 7:39 p.m.

 

Present at Roll Call:                              Mayor Gerry Welch

                                                            Councilmember Edward Robinson

                                                            Councilmember Randy Jotte

Councilmember Kevin Gunn    

Councilmember Jeanne Kirkton

Councilmember Joan Esserman

 

Absent at Roll Call:                               Councilmember Kathy Hart

 

A quorum was present.            

           

Also present:                                        Mr. Steve Wylie, City Manager

                                                            Mr. Helmut Starr, City Attorney

                                                            Ms. Katie Nakazono, City Clerk

 

PRESENTATION

Mayor Welch and the Council thanked the Community Days sponsors, and Mike Oppermann, Director of Parks and Recreation, for a successful Community Days. 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.      Levying and Establishing the Rate of Annual Property Taxes to be Collected for the Year 2006 by the City of Webster Groves, Missouri

Mayor Welch opened the public hearing, and Eileen Meyer, Finance Manager, gave a brief presentation on the tax rates. 

 

Councilmember Esserman asked Ms. Meyer about the caps on the business districts, and

Ms. Meyer stated that she believes the maximum allowable is 0.85, and we take a voluntary reduction. 

 

Mayor Welch closed the public hearing. 

 

BILL #8509 – FIRST AND SECOND READING

Councilmember Esserman introduced BILL #8509 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE LEVYING AND ESTABLISHING THE RATE OF ANNUAL PROPERTY TAXES TO BE COLLECTED FOR THE YEAR 2006 BY THE CITY OF WEBSTER GROVES, MISSOURI, 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. 

 

 

 

2.      Levying and Establishing the Rate of Annual Property Taxes to be Collected for the Year 2006 for the Webster Groves Library District

Mayor Welch opened the public hearing, and Eileen Meyer, Finance Manager, gave a brief presentation on the tax rates. 

 

Mayor Welch closed the public hearing. 

 

BILL #8510 – FIRST AND SECOND READING

Councilmember Jotte introduced BILL #8510 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE LEVYING AND ESTABLISHING THE RATE OF ANNUAL PROPERTY TAXES TO BE COLLECTED FOR THE YEAR 2006 FOR THE WEBSTER GROVES LIBRARY DISTRICT, 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. 

 

REMARKS OF VISITORS

Dunn Spears, 94 Reasnor, stated that he came to a previous Council meeting to voice his concern about the venting on his stove, and that he has not received a response.  

 

Mr. Starr stated that he is going to be meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Spears at their home tomorrow to discuss possible remedies for the situation.  It is not clear if this is a City responsibility, it may be a civil matter between them and the contractor.  

 

Councilmember Jotte asked Mr. Starr to share a memo with the Council on the resolution of the matter. 

 

NEW BUSINESS, MAYOR, COUNCILMEMBERS, CITY ATTORNEY, CITY MANAGER 

No New Business.

 

NEW BUSINESS

BILL #8511 – FIRST AND SECOND READING

Councilmember Robinson introduced BILL #8511 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE PERMITTING THE SUBDIVISION OF CERTAIN PROPERTY AT 8379 BIG BEND, 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. 

 

Mr. Roger Grow, Director of Planning and Development, gave a brief presentation on the subdivision application.  He stated that they are requesting a variance to a front yard setback along Selma Ave.  The Plan Commission concluded that the requested variance was justified due to the unusual triangular shape of the property.  They also felt it would provide an opportunity to provide a better buildable area so that the building could be placed in such a way as to preserve many of the mature trees on the property, and to provide a buildable width consistent with the other lots to the north.  Architecturally, you could have a house that would fit in better with the neighborhood.  They recommended

 

this with several conditions, including a reasonable effort to preserve all trees exceeding four inches in caliper, that the size of the proposed house not exceed 28% of the square footage of the lot, and that the architecture be consistent with the neighborhood as determined by the ARB. 

 

Councilmember Robinson asked about the 28% restriction, and Mr. Grow stated that the Plan Commission is having a hearing at the end of this month on proposed language that provides for a floor area of up to 2,400 square feet, but beyond that level, imposes a 28% floor area ratio.  A floor area ratio is basically the livable space of a house, excluding basements and cellars, divided into the total square footage of the lot.  The house they have in mind would meet that requirement. 

 

Councilmember Jotte asked about the way the house may be oriented, and what could be done without variances.  He stated that he is concerned that all the houses right now are facing a particular way.

 

Mr. Grow stated that if they don’t require a variance, that establishes a very constricted buildable area for the property.  In either case, they can orient it either way.  It is their intention to orient it towards Selma.  The applicant’s sister is an architect, they are familiar with the architectural details along Big Bend.  While the building is oriented along Selma, there is also an entrance off of Big Bend, and the configuration of the floor plan is such that it is consistent with the elevations along Big Bend to the northeast. 

 

Councilmember Esserman asked about the reference to the sinkhole problem, and Mr. Grow pointed out the location.  He stated that he can not state that there will be no effect from the sinkhole, but they will be doing a grading plan and a stormwater plan, and we will see how the differential runoff is accommodated by their provisions for stormwater.  I believe the sinkhole referenced in the minutes is on the north.  There are sinkholes all over this area. 

 

Mr. Starr asked Mr. Grow to clarify the 28% rule mentioned.  He asked if the Plan Commission is considering a flat 28% across all districts and all size lots.

 

Mr. Grow stated that staff has suggested to the Plan Commission that there be a guarantee to build a house up to 2,400 square feet.  As you get larger and larger lots, the problem with monster or infill housing tends to go away, because the houses that are built on larger lots don’t come anywhere close to 28%. 

 

Councilmember Gunn clarified that for this case, the petitioners have agreed to the 28% rule, the Plan Commission recommended it, because it seems to be in scope and scale with the rest of the houses on the block.  By agreeing to that in this case, there is no precedential value to that, we are still going to be discussing the issue as an overall plan throughout the City. 

 

Mayor Welch asked if they were not granted this variance, is there enough space to build a house? Mr. Grow stated that there is. 

 

Councilmember Robinson asked if a variance was needed, or if the area was grandfathered in? 

 

Mr. Grow showed the area on a map that could be built in without a variance.  The variance is only being asked for on Selma, and it lines up with the rest of the houses on the block, except for the immediate next door neighbor.  There are tree preservation issues as well.

 

Lauren Strutman, architect for the proposal, showed photographs of the existing home, which they would like to preserve, as it is historic.  She stated that they are proposing two lots; the existing home, and the second lot.  They did a tree study, and if they do not get the variance, the new home will have to be pressed against a grove of trees to the north.  If we were able to get the variance, we think it would sit better and look more normal.  She also showed plans of the house, it would look traditional and in keeping with the area.

 

BILL #8512 – FIRST AND SECOND READING

Councilmember Gunn introduced BILL #8512 ENTITLED: AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING A REVISION AND CODIFICATION OF THE ORDINANCES OF THE CODE OF WEBSTER GROVES, MISSOURI, ENTITLED “THE CODE OF WEBSTER GROVES, 2006” AND PROVIDING FOR THE REPEAL OF ALL ORDINANCES PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, 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. 

 

Mr. Starr explained codification to the new Councilmembers. 

 

Resolution #2006-33

Authorizing the City Manager to Award a Construction Contract for Replacing the Existing Fountain and Entrance Plaza at City Hall

A motion was made by Councilmember Kirkton, seconded by Councilmember Jotte, to approve Resolution #2006-33.

Mayor Welch called for the vote on Resolution #2006-33.

MEMBERS VOTING:

AYES: NONE

NOES: ROBINSON, JOTTE, GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH

ABSENT: HART

Mayor Welch stated that Resolution #2006-33 failed, and that this issue would be revisited at some point. 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

A motion was made by Councilmember Esserman, seconded by Councilmember Jotte, to approve the Consent Agenda. 

Mayor Welch called for the vote on the Consent Agenda.

MEMBERS VOTING:

AYES: JOTTE, GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH, ROBINSON

NOES: NONE

ABSENT: HART

Mayor Welch stated that the Consent Agenda was approved. 

 

The following Consent Agenda was approved:

·        Approval of Minutes – July 18, 2006

·        Resolution #2006-27 – Restating and Affirming Ordinance #7699 Which Established Section 2.080 of the Code of Webster Groves, “Compliance With the State Conflict of Interest Law” 

·        Resolution #2006-28 – Authorizing the City Manager to Purchase a Replacement Command Vehicle for the Fire Department

·        Resolution #2006-29 – Authorizing the City Manager to Purchase Three Mobile Data Terminals for the Police Department

·        Resolution #2006-30 – A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract for Pavement Condition Data Collection on Asphalt Streets

·        Resolution #2006-31 – Approving an Increase to the Employer Contribution Under the Non-Uniformed Employee Money Purchase Pension Plan

·        Resolution #2006-32 – Approving an Increase to the Employer Contribution Under the Police and Firefighters Money Purchase Plan

 

APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

·        Jeffrey B. Smith was appointed to the Health and Environmental Services Advisory Board.

·        Deborah Salberg was re-appointed to the Board of Adjustment.

·        Mark LaVigne was re-appointed to the Plan Commission.

·        Bob Herdler was appointed to the Library Board. 

 

EXECUTIVE (CLOSED) SESSION

Councilmember Gunn made a motion, which was seconded by Councilmember Esserman, to go into Executive Closed Session per Attorney-Client Privileged Communications [MO Statute 610.021(1)] and Negotiated Contract [MO Statute 610.021 (12)].

Mayor Welch called for the vote on the Closed Session.

MEMBERS VOTING:

AYES: GUNN, KIRKTON, ESSERMAN, WELCH, ROBINSON, JOTTE

NOES: NONE

ABSENT: HART

Mayor Welch stated that they would go into Closed Session.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:23 P.M. on motion of the Mayor, duly seconded.

 

APPROVED this 15th day of August,  2006.

 


#4 EAST LOCKWOOD
WEBSTER GROVES, MO 63119
PH. (314) 963-5300
FX. (314) 963-7561