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March 7, 2016

7:30 P.M.

Commissioner Bruce BienhoffPlanning Director Paul Chaffee
Commissioner Augie BoginaDeputy Planning Director Doug Allmon
Commissioner Randy BraleyPlanner Mark Zielsdorf
Commissioner Dennis BusbyAdministrative Assistant Angie Lind
Commissioner Kathy Peterson
Commissioner Les Smith
Commissioner Sara Somsky
Commissioner Henry Specht
Commissioner Steven Wise
Commissioner Doug Hill
Commissioner Alan Willoughby

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Welcome to the March 7, 2016 meeting of the Shawnee Planning Commission. We’ll begin with roll call.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Somsky.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Peterson.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Willoughby is absent.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Bienhoff.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Busby.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Bogina is here.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Wise.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Braley.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Specht.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Smith.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Hill is absent.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: If you’d please rise and join us in the Pledge of Allegiance.




CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Items 1 through 6 are listed under the Consent Agenda Items. Unless there is a request to remove an item from the Consent Agenda, the items will be approved in one motion. Is there a request to remove an item from the Consent Agenda? If not, is there a motion to approve the Consent Agenda? Commissioner Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: I move for approval of the Consent Agenda.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Commissioner Somsky.

COMMISSIONER SOMSKY: I’ll second that motion.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: There’s a motion and a second to approve the Consent Agenda items 1 through 6, all in favor?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Opposed? Motion passes.

(Motion passes 9-0; Hill and Willoughby absent)




PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The applicant requests special use permit and site plan approval for Johnson County Tree Disposal Services, a commercial landfilling operation limited to tree limbs and brush to be located at 6403 Vista Drive. The application is filed by Jerry Bichelmeyer.

The property is zoned AG (Agricultural). The applicant proposes to operate a commercial landfilling operation limited to the collection and burning of tree limbs and brush materials. Commercial landfilling operations are allowed with a special use permit in the Agricultural and Planned Industrial zoning districts.

The property is a landlocked 9.7 acre parcel of land that is legal non-conforming. The property has no street frontage, nor easements for access from other parcels.

The property to the north, south, and east are zoned PI (Planned Industrial). Property to the west is zoned both Agricultural (city owned property) and PI (Bratton property).

Surrounding land uses include vacant rangeland to the north, vacant land used as a source for the removal of topsoil to the east, a cell tower site and Attic Storage to the south across Clear Creek, vacant land owned by the City of Shawnee for the future location of a west community center and Bratton Brothers Construction business are located to the west across the railroad tracks. Adjoining the west property line of the site is the Burlington Northern mainline. The Clear Creek trail is on adjacent property to the south and east, north of Clear Creek.

The Land Use Guide of the Comprehensive Plan depicts parks and open space uses as being appropriate for the site. This designation is common throughout the Mill Creek floodplain to discourage uses that are not compatible with being located within the floodplain. The use of the property as a limited use commercial landfill operation such as proposed by the applicant could be located within the floodplain, provided no actions are undertaken to inhibit the flow of storm waters through the site.

The applicant proposes to provide a location for landscape companies, tree trimmers, and the general public to deposit tree limbs and brush for burning or grinding. The operation will not be a disposal site for other forms of debris.

There currently is no direct access to the site for a commercial operation open to the public. The applicant proposes to use an access road that was constructed as part of the Clear Creek trail project. The concrete road was placed in an easement off the north end of Vista Drive between Ryan Lawn and Tree and Attic Storage. The road crosses Clear Creek at a low water crossing and crosses the trail ending just north of the trail. The low water crossing and trail were constructed with an extra thickness to handle trucks that use the access road to haul topsoil from the property to the north. An ingress/egress easement with the City of Shawnee was granted by the property owner to permit city vehicles to access the trail from Vista. This portion of the trail is located in an easement across the property of the landowner to the east of the location of this special use permit. The applicant shall work with City staff to select a third party structural engineer that will inspect the low water crossing and concrete trail to determine if the structures will withstand the weight of the trucks and frequency of traffic over the trail and crossing. The applicant shall pay for the study and report, and shall enter into an agreement with the City of Shawnee to pay for repairs or replacement of the structures if necessary.

The access road ends north of the trail. A haul road used to bring soil to the Attic Business Park development in the 1990’s crosses the property to the north, but does not extend into the project site. This road has a gravel base, but is covered with dirt, and provides no clear delineation of its location. Driveways for a commercial use are required to be improved with asphalt, concrete or paver brick by code. This is a requirement of all commercial developments. The applicant will be required to provide a paved surface meeting the intent of city regulations for the driveway. Gravel is not an acceptable material for a driveway in any of the City’s zoning districts. The applicant has indicated that he has no intent to provide a paved driveway surface as required, and intends to use a new driveway across his neighbors’ property onto his site for the delivery of tree and brush debris by customers constructed of gravel and dirt. The applicant has indicated that he has an access agreement for an easement across the property to the east, however the applicant has not provided a copy of the agreement to staff. In the recommendation section of this staff report, staff will recommend that consideration of this item be tabled until an executed agreement is provided to staff, if not received prior to the Planning Commission meeting.

The Kansas City area has been infested by the emerald ash borer which kills all species of ash trees. It is estimated that there are 4.6 million ash trees in the 9 county Kansas City region. The borer has been found in Douglas, Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas. There is a quarantine that has been placed on ash trees that prohibits the movement of ash tree limbs, trunks and roots from these counties. There also is a beetle that has infested Austrian and Scotch pine trees that is moving through the region that is taking its toll on these trees. Proper removal of the ash and pine trees is required to reduce the population of the pests, and slowing the spread of these infestations.

Chapter 8.20 of the Shawnee Municipal Code provides that the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designated representative shall approve the issuance of a burn permit only if they find that disposal by burning is in the public interest and the burning will not have substantial, adverse effects upon the safety of the public. The infestation of the emerald ash borer and beetles that effect Austrian and Scotch pine trees have devastated the pine and ash forests. The Kansas Department of Agriculture has identified burning of ash tree limbs as an effective way to dispose of dead or diseased ash trees. Additionally, burning of pine trees affected by beetles also provides an effective an immediate means to dispose of these trees. As a result, the Fire Department has determined that burning of ash limbs and Austrian and Scotch pine limbs is an effective means to dispose of these dead and diseased trees is in the public interest. However, the mere burning of other tree limbs, brush and debris is not in the interest of the public. Therefore, the special use permit will be conditioned upon the acceptance of ash tree and Austrian and Scotch pine limbs and debris only at this site.

The applicant has indicated the hours of operation of the business will be between 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. during the summer and between 6:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. in the winter. Deliveries may be made at the site during these hours, however, Chapter 8.20 requires that burning shall not be initiated until 8:00 A.M., material to be burned shall not be added to the burn pile past 3:00 P.M., and the fire shall be extinguished by 5:00 P.M. An individual must be present at all times the burning operation is in progress. The applicant must receive a burning permit from the Shawnee Fire Department for each day burning will take place. Staff recommends the hours during the summer also be limited to 6:00 P.M. to not interfere with the use of the trail by the public during the evening.

The applicant has indicated that there will be approximately 25-100 trucks per week that will come to the site.

As provided in SMC Chapter 8.20, burning shall be restricted to periods when wind surface speed is more than five miles per hour and less than fifteen miles per hour and from a direction that will not carry smoke over any occupied dwellings or public roadways. The applicant also shall not burn on orange alert days.

It is expected that this use will be more temporary in nature than permanent. As the borer and beetle infestations slow and move out of the region, the need for disposal of these trees will be reduced. It is noted that not all ash and Austrian and Scotch pine trees brought to the site will be diseased, but owners may remove them in anticipation of becoming infested.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will require the applicant to obtain an Air Quality Construction Permit for the use of an air curtain destructor. Additionally, an Air Quality Operating Permit will be required from KDHE. The Johnson County Environmental Department is responsible for inspection of the facility and air quality testing.

The character of the area will not be changed significantly by this use of the property. The agriculturally based use, and its remote location should not have an impact on the area. No permanent structures will be constructed, and the property is relatively secluded by the location of the railroad tracks, land to the east that is located in the floodplain, and Clear Creek to the south.

Approval of the special use permit should have little, if any, detrimental effect upon surrounding properties. Properly maintained, this use should be a good neighbor, retaining for the most part an agricultural based use. Businesses located in Attic Business Park will see increased truck traffic along Vista Drive from the operation of the business. However, industrial users that may be located in that area in the future, as well as office warehouses could also produce the amount of traffic expected to be generated from this use.

Denial of the request would not appear to benefit the community as a whole. There is a benefit to the community to have the ash and pine trees removed and destroyed in a proper manner. The air curtain destructors should mitigate smoke from being emitted from the site.

The applicant plans to access this site from a driveway that has been constructed north off Vista Drive which crosses both Clear Creek and the Clear Creek trail and then across the property to the east. The existing driveway and low water crossing of Clear Creek was constructed with a thickness to accommodate trucks removing topsoil from the property to the east. To assure that the construction will withstand truck traffic approaching twenty to one hundred trucks per day, the City will require an independent third party engineer inspect the driveway and low water crossing to determine if the concrete structures can withstand the anticipated daily use. The developer shall enter into a maintenance agreement with the City to repair damage to the driveway, Clear Creek trail, and low water crossing.

The applicant will obtain an easement from the property owner to the east to access the site, since this property is landlocked. A new driveway is proposed to be constructed north and parallel to the Clear Creek trail from the existing driveway. As required by code, the driveway shall be constructed of asphalt, concrete or paver brick. The applicant has shown a gravel driveway. The site plan shall be revised to indicate construction of the driveway on the site plan using one of the above mentioned materials as required by code, and shall be constructed prior to issuance of a burning permit. The provision of a dust free surface using approved materials is important to the use by the public of the Clear Creek trail not to be affected by blowing dirt and dust. The applicant shall provide the City a copy of the access agreement with the adjacent property owner.

The driveway is gated and locked at the entrance off Vista Drive, as well as south of the Clear Creek trial. The gates will be opened during the hours of operation of this business. Signage is already provided at the intersection of the driveway and the trail to alert the public to watch for truck traffic crossing the trial.

An area is indicated on the site for a delivery turn around to unload the limbs and trees being brought to the site. The turnaround area shall also be paved with an acceptable hard surface to limit dust from being created at the site from the incoming and outgoing traffic.

Since no water is available at the site, the applicant shall submit a fire safety plan for approval by the fire department prior to beginning operations. The applicant and fire safety staff have discussed the requirements expected in this plan.

No permanent structures will be constructed on the property. The applicant proposes burning of the ash and pine limbs using two different methods at the site. An open pit is proposed to be constructed to collect and burn the limbs and associated debris. An air curtain destructor will be placed along the length of the pit. The pits are proposed to be 10 feet wide, 10 feet deep and 40 feet in depth. The air curtain is mobile and can be moved to the portion of the pit currently being used. The second method of burning will be in burn boxes. Similarly, an air curtain destructor will be installed adjacent to the burn boxes. The purpose of the air curtain is to trap the smoke being emitted from the burning and blow it back into the pit or burn box to supply an additional source of heat, and remove the smoke and particulates from the air. As a result, there is not a plume of smoke that is emitted from either the pit or the burn box. Each day the fire in the burn boxes and the pit will be extinguished by 5:00 P.M. Ashes from the boxes and pits are to be removed from the site and either provided to landscapers for use as a soil amendment or properly disposed of at a solid waste landfill.

The applicant does not intend to provide fencing around the site, as access to the business will be through two gates that will limit access to the site except during business hours. However, staff has concerns that the public using the trail will have access to the site, since it is not enclosed.

An employee will be stationed at the site during all hours of operation to manage the placement of loads of the limbs, and to collect payments from those using the facility.

This is a landlocked piece of property of an irregular shape that has limited potential for development. Additionally, most of the site is located in a flood plain which further limits its development potential. Such a use would most likely be found in an agricultural or industrial area where little development has taken place. The use is heavily regulated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is inspected on a regular basis by the Johnson County Environmental Department and permits are issued by the Shawnee Fire Department. Should the applicant not provide a signed easement agreement with the adjacent property owner by Monday, March 7, 2016, staff recommends this item be tabled to the March 21, 2016 meeting to secure the document.

Provided a signed easement agreement is provided, staff recommends the Planning Commission consider approval of SUP-01-16-02 and SP-01-16-02, special use permit and site plan approval for Johnson County Tree Disposal Services, a commercial landfilling operation, located at 6403 Vista Drive, subject to the following conditions:

That concludes staff’s presentation.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you, Paul. Is the applicant present?

APPLICANT: Hello Commissioners. My name is Jerry Bichelmeyer; my address is (omitted from record); I’m a proud resident of Shawnee from nearly 65 years; I am a real estate developer; I have developed the property just to the south of this, which is Attic Business Park; in 1999 I did a FEMA recognition park on top of the floodplain and developed that; and I have also developed the Widmer Woods subdivision in Shawnee; and I also was the original developer of the Cobblestone Village project in Shawnee on the home property where I grew up and was very near having that completed in 2008 on the original project and we ran in to the financial drop and unfortunately were not able to finish that; almost the chancery to it in 2014 with Qrivit and it remains to be seen what will happen there yet. So, to give you a brief history of the property. The property, 80 acres to the east was purchased when I developed in 99 the business Park, we utilize that to, utilized that soil to build up the 30 acres and take it out of the not only 100 year floodplain, but the 500 year floodplain to that and through the course of time in 2005 I purchased the 10 acres where this site is the property owner that was on the west side of the tracks, he had very little access, where the trail is now was his only access to the property before; my development of this property was landlocked by the creek and the access was off of Woodland Street, that was just closed for the railroad crossing site; this property, the whole area was their part of the Shawnee Recreation facility that Larry Rieke developed down on Johnson Drive, this was access ground that he had and was purchased to facilitate the, again the Attic Business Park. The 10 acres itself is a very secluded piece of ground that’s on the western edge of about 160 acres that goes from basically shy Mission Park down all the way to Johnson Drive in the ball fields; to the north of that is the Deffenbaugh landfill/Johnson County landfill; the site itself, as I said, is secluded for a use like this; again, I’ve had recent in 2005 and in trying to find an economically feasible use for it; I approached Larry Ryan, property owner across the creek and asked him if he might be interested in the site for planting trees or nursery, shrubs, and he said he was not interested in it for that but he thought he had a very good potential use for it and he explained the situation with the ash borer/ash beetle and looked at the site and thought it would be a very good location for that because of its basically being in a, in the middle of nowhere; that led me to come to the City, to contact the City to find out the feasibility of doing a project like this; I also had talked to, Larry Ryan directed me to Ron Keith who has a similar tree service and he looked at the site also I was very interested in it with the encouragement of those two I thought there might be a feasible use for the site in burning trees. I have asked Mike Boothe, who is with Johnson County Health & Environment to come to explain basically the burning principles and he has been good enough to come and just give you a brief outline of the burning principles, Paul did somewhat but Mr. Boothe is an expert in the field so he has agreed to come up and neither one of us know what we’re doing here on the monitor but I want to show you… You just place it here, Paul?

APPLICANT: Hello, I’m Mike Boothe with Johnson County Department of Health & Environment, I’m the air quality program manager and our address is 11811 South Sunset Dr. in Olathe and I’ve been the, in this position since 1988 and I’ve had a lot of experience with these, I’ve just inspected a similar one down in a new development; it’s a temporary one so it’s built, they actually dig a pit in the ground that serves the same purpose and it was at 175th St. and Kenneth Road where they are developing and clearing property out right now for a new development out there; so what the principle is behind these is it blows a curtain of air, just like it says, it’s an air curtain incinerator, it blows a curtain of air across the top, I call it the grave because it always reminds me of a grave, it blows a curtain of air at the top, it’s angled down, and what that does is two things: it feeds oxygen to the fire, so it burns hotter, it burns faster; it also does exactly like it sounds like, if it’s a curtain of air over the top so there is very little to any smoke. By doing that in getting it hotter, the smoke which is partially burnt fuel, burns up itself so you will see very little visible smoke come off of this thing. In fact, under the operating permit that they are required to get, they are not allowed to make very much smoke, so if you see, if there’s a lot of smoke there, there’s a problem. It’s not being operated correctly. So, when they fill up the pit with timber, they have to keep all of it below the level of the air curtain which angles down and as long as they do that, the only time you’ll see smoke is when it starts up and when they drop more material in there, it’ll just break that curtain temporarily, you’ll see a puff and that’s about it but you will see just about no smoke coming out of it if it’s operated correctly. So, they actually work quite well. Questions? Yes.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Would that be the end of your presentation?

MR. BICHELMEYER: I have a few comments after that.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Why don’t we wait until you are completely done?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: If you can hang around. Sir, did you have something else that you wanted to add?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Well, if you look at the monitor Australia picture of burning and operation on how to, how that basically red-hot fire with no smoke coming off of that. As far as addressing some of the recommendations that the city has…if this is the right time to do that I would like to explain my position or my thinking and what I would like to do on a couple of these items. I respectfully ask that that you consider possibly or the city considers making some changes here. On item number one, I would, to make this economically feasible, I’d like to be able to burn any tree that comes to the site, any tree that is burned and does not go into the landfill, the burning operations or the burn down on 100 tons of ash or hundred tons of tree is down to two tons, so there’s a 98% reduction by the ways that would go into the landfill; the two tons that are left as was mentioned is an additive for topsoil and can be utilized in commercial business, landscaping businesses and other uses their; so, it may be somewhat of a problem for someone that brings out a load of trees and there is some other, some trees that are not ash to be separated out, so I would ask that might be considered to be able to burn whatever is brought out to me. On item number five, I have no problem with the summer hours being shortened until 6 o’clock as long as the fire is out by 5:00, and I’ve talked with Fire Chief Sands (Fire Marshal Corey Sands) about that and if we are burning drier material we may be able to load it up a little bit past 3:30, the thought being that to take advantage of the burning operation most efficiently once your fire get started and then in the morning then you are going full bore for the middle hours and then your burn down is another hour and a half to two hours where you cannot add more materials to make it most efficiently as possible, I want to burn as long as I can; I know I need to be out by 5 o’clock; if the fire is not out we will add topsoil to it to where it is extinguished with the topsoil. And then, the biggest one is item number seven, as far as the access road; the access road has been in place since 1999 when we first started; it’s been improved dramatically two different times; one in 2005 when the lot adjacent, where Ryan Lawn and Tree is now, when that was raised up out of the floodplain, we raised the haul road site three to five feet all with crushed rock and gravel; the rock and gravel there is approximately 5 feet deep; it is solid as a road base as you can be; also in 2012 when the trail came in, the first 150 feet of the access road was improved with curb and paving…I have a picture if…pictures to show you. This is looking from Vista Drive back to the north, you can see the curb on the side, concrete curb and the asphalt is back to, you can see the wood fence back to the back there and that’s what the first gate is there; so, there is very good improvements, perfect improvements there that will control any dirt or mud going on the street. And then, this is a picture of the haul road that is going back there now; again, this is 3 to 5 feet deep; it is all rock, crushed rock and gravel and millings on the top of it; there is no dirt or mud on this main access road that goes all the way back to the, across the creek; before I would have to cross the neighbors’ property to join that to improve. The ridge that was referred to is, was put in by the Shawnee Parks and Rec. for the trail; as you can see it is all concrete, it is a low-water bridge; it is extremely heavy duty; it was designed and built for heavy loads, for trucks. And so, if this does need to be inspected and before paying an agreement to an amount for inspections, I would like to see the city would be satisfied to revisit the construction specifications and make sure that it was built to their specifications. If that is not acceptable, then I’ll do whatever I need to do on and going back to the gravel road, it has not caused a problem in the 17 years that the site has been used; I am not looking for any special treatment here but I do want to be treated equally with the other people that are using this site when Shawnee came in and redid the bridge and that they discussed going back and paving the asphalt or the drive and other probably 800 feet back towards the creek and decided at that time it wasn’t needed. For my start up business to have to bear all the expense of improving that road all the way through when there is Johnson County Parks and Rec. who uses it and the other property owner, I don’t think is equitable. I do not want to cause a problem for the other property owner. I don’t want to cause a problem for Shawnee. But, I would request possibly a trial period of two years if there is a problem that’s found, I would agree to a mud bond to take care of any problems that arises from that in the event that it’s not satisfactory then in two years I would agree to pay my equitable share to do what’s probably chip and seal there. I live on Lackman Road, I have chip and seal in the middle of Shawnee and I think paving there is more than what’s needed and I would respectfully request that those items be considered. Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Paul, do you want to say something regarding the questions?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Yeah. I want to make a few comments to the Planning Commission. Mr. Bichelmeyer has been aware of the limitation on ash/pine for quite a period of time. The Planning Commission doesn’t have any authority, nor the Governing Body have any authority to allow other types of trees to be burned at the site; that’s the discretion of the Fire Chief and/or his designated assistant and the way that the ordinance reads is: if you’re gonna bring limbs and brush from off-site onto a piece of property it has to be in the public interest; and, as I stated before, fire department didn’t take it lightly; they took a look at it to determine it is in the public interest to provide a place to properly destroy the ash and pine trees that have been diseased; it’s not in the public interest just to run a burn pit for whatever. So, I wanted to make that point very clear. Then, as far as the access road, if Mr. Bichelmeyer desires to pursue some type of variance, he can certainly do that with the Board of Zoning Appeals. We’ve been upfront with them from the beginning regarding what type of road would be required for a new commercial development. The picture he showed you with the gravel road was the old haul road that was used to bring topsoil from that property to the north up into Vista business Park and is still used on occasion to haul topsoil out; it’s a requirement that we would require of any new business to occur and quite frankly staff doesn’t know that it, feel that it’s in the best interest to have a gravel and dirt type drive paralleling the Clear Creek trail that the public uses on a frequent and regular basis, to have opportunities for dust and dirt to be blowing on them as they use that recreational feature, so I just wanted to let you know where staff came from on those issues and that basically when you make your consideration there are some things we’re not the Fire Chief and we’re not the (inaudible) so we did ask them to make the determination to help us out and certainly they could have made the decision that it was in the public interest for any and all trees and brush to be burned or that nothing be burned that was brought to the site. So, they recognized the need in the next two years to properly destroy these trees that are having the pests that are inundating them right now.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Does the Commission have any questions for the staff or the applicant?

MR. BOOTHE: I’d like to say something. I’d like to clarify what role is…it might help. Some of the permit that they would have to get from the state of Kansas will have some of the same requirements that would be in the special use permit. He would not be able to operate on an ozone alert day of any kind, whether it’s orange or hopefully not read. The ozone standard has been changed just last year and the new one will, it is in effect but will, it’s gonna take several years before we know whether we will be in violation of it as we have been in the past or in compliance and that’s just cannot depend on the weather. Last year we had a couple of ozone alerts because the weather wasn’t that hot, we had some windy days that worked out great and in 2012 when we had that very dry winter and very dry summer, we had 24 and we had 22 violations so it can vary from year to year. The testing, when I do an, I would be the one, the permit would require some record keeping on their part when they start up and when they shut down each day, if there was a breakdown it would have to record that, how much, if there’s, they’ll have a diesel engine on this to power the blower, there some requirements on the diesel engine itself, and just being on the hours of operation, type of fuel they use which is low-sulfur diesel (inaudible) and then I would do an inspection and those are unannounced inspections, each is subject to it at least once a year, so I would just show up and do the inspection and make sure that the records are in compliance and then I do what’s called officially in opacity (inaudible) I’m certified, I can read the smoke that he’s required to meet a certain, there’s a certain amount that he can emit and it’s very low, it’s 10% opacity and the easiest way to think of that is if you look through a clean window and you see everything outside, that’s zero opacity, you can see everything behind it; if the window is completely dirty like mine my house, then you can see some of what’s past; if it would be like completely with a cardboard, that’s 100% opacity, you see nothing in the background, you wouldn’t see anything. They are allowed 10%, that’s very, very, low. Most businesses of any other kind tend to be about 20%, so they’re actually pretty low and if they don’t operate it correctly, it will be in violation. So, if you see smoke rolling out of it, you will know, you don’t have to be certified like I am, to know that there is a problem and when the fire department, somebody can call and I would come out to a complaint. And the certification that I have, I have to recertify twice a year, I can, it is accepted as evidence, legal evidence in federal or state court. So, that’s even just, the visibility sounds kind of goofy, I understand, but it’s technically EPA reference method nine, but I’ve been doing it for a long time and I’ve certified I think maybe 56 times, so it’s not, I have to do it every six months, next month is my 59th or something like that it’s come up again, so…

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Mr. Bichelmeyer do you have anything else you’d like to supplement?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: All right, so does the Commission have any questions for the staff or the applicant? Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: First of all, I think this is a great idea but I do see a couple of things that I need to have answered. First of all being, you mentioned that it would either be a trench burning system or the burn box system. Either or…which one…

MR. BICHELMEYER: It depends on…

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: …which way are you leaning on? You’re talking about not putting up any buildings but then a burn box is not a building but it is something that is dropped on the property…


MR. BICHELMEYER: There’s advantages to both of them and I don’t want to limit myself to one. The pit is, 90% of the burners sold are pit burners, they are typically $40,000-$50,000 machines…it’s kind of funny that the company that I’ve talked to that sells the burner boxes which can go up to $150,000, he recommends trying a pit first to see part of the differences, the soil, how compacted is, whether it will hold shape or fold in; part of it is I want to leave myself open to possibly having both, to start with one; there’s advantages to both and if I have the volume that I need, if I need two burners to accommodate the material that is brought out, then I would start out with a pit burner first and then hopefully build to the burner box. So, they both do the same thing; one is above ground, a burner box is basically the same size, it has concrete refractionary walls that are made to reflect the heat in; it stands about 10 feet tall; it has to be loaded from the top; of course a pit burner is, you basically drive up to it drop material in. So, they both accomplish the same thing; the smoke will not be any different on either; it’s just a matter of if, you know, what volume I need to burn to take care the material, what’s brought.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: Follow up to that is that your building in a floodplain and you’re talking about doing a trench and having debris that is only going to be removed when you reach a certain capacity…what happens with the trench when there is a flood?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Well, it will be filled up. The water table on this particular site where this property is, the water table is about 10 feet below the elevation of this site; also, my site slopes up to a higher elevation so it’s possible to take it up the hill farther if needed; I’m on the property since, well part of the 80 acres since 99 and I’ve been, what flood, what high water marks have been have gone farther down towards the 80 acres and not backed up towards the railroad track; water would basically, but just, it depends on how much ash is in the pot, in the burn trench; it may be needed to be emptied every morning; so, if it does flood obviously I can’t, you know, I can’t build a burn in a trench and that’s where the burn box would be more efficient, it’s above ground.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: Okay. So, we’re just in a, will cross that bridge when we get there?



MR. BICHELMEYER: The flood area?

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: That’s fine. I mean, yeah. I have another question.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Did you have something?

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I actually have another question. I have a list.


COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I know that you’re talking about not sensing the property and I understand that, but we also have, and you do have the gate coming off of the cul-de-sac as well as the secondary gate which is right before the walkway, but that walkway has access from the street and the housing and the area school District and all of that is out in that area, that’s a very favored trail by residents in that area, especially in the summer kids get on that go and without having that fenced and only having one person manning the entire operation while it’s burning, I have a concern that I’d like for you to explain. If you have one person on site and he’s running the front loader that something would in the burn pit and you have 10 kids that are 14 years old or younger that sometimes don’t make the best decisions fly up there on their bicycles, the guy on the front loader is not going to have any idea that they are there because he’s going to be doing his job. Without that being fenced, I think that poses a huge risk to you. I’d be curious if you thought about that or any explanation of what we could do to prevent something like that? You’re going to have an open flame…


MR. BICHELMEYER: The operator’s gonna be within 50 feet of the loading of the burn box or the pit…


MR. BICHELMEYER: I am a parent of seven children and I understand what you’re saying. I can’t control the people on the walking path; again, when we put the trail in, when we gave access for the trail, it was discussed whether it needed to be fenced or not and at that time the Parks Dept. said that it did not need to be fenced. Obviously, this is a change, I’m aware of that, there is machinery that is operating there now in the topsoil business that is also dangerous and there’s been no instances there where there’s been a danger that is closer to the trail than what my site would be. So, it’s, I understand the question. If it does become a problem, it’s possible that we fence along the trail portion of that and we would certainly look at that. Kathy, that may be something that we could do at the start up, too; not fence obviously the whole property, but fence along the trail where that, you know, would be because the property is shaped the way it is, it wouldn’t take an awful lot of sense to, you know, seal that off and maybe turn the corner and at least give it a perception of being secured more. So, I would certainly look at that.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Braley.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: First I’ll start with the question. (Inaudible)

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I do not have any idea how much, how often it is. Not enough that we’ve had anyone have any complaints about the number of trucks crossing the trail since the trail’s been open in that area.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: As one of the users of the trail, the reason I asked that maybe I was just there on a bad day, but this kind of goes to sort of my interest in seeing that the access road get paved. I happen to be riding my bike through there and I must have passed through there right after one of the trucks had gone through; there was debris on the trail, you know, it posed a danger, it was rocks and topsoil; maybe the hatch wasn’t closed, but knowing that there’s going to be 100 a week going through there, I can only imagine the amount of debris that could potentially be dropped on the trail and propose a hazard to cyclists; this is a clip here that we move pretty quick through here, that part of the trail when we’re riding our bikes. With regards to the fence, Paul, I don’t know if you recall this, I was on the Park Board when this trail was being constructed, I thought they said that no fence could be constructed there because of it being a floodplain and the potential for flooding that that propose some sort of either hazard for collecting debris or not allowing people to exit the floodplain should a flood occur. Is that correct?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Yeah, I believe it’s the type of fencing; maybe a split rail may not be a problem, but certainly chain-link, wood, or chicken wire would because what potentially happens with a flood, it comes up out of the creek, similar to even what happens to our bridges, it can damn up and then hold water back and potentially cause more of a problem but the fence being there than if the fence wasn’t there in this situation.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: So then that leads me to my final question. To the owner, would you be open to some type of fencing to contain the operation area and not necessarily by the trail, but again speaking to safety, that allows your equipment to move around within their but at least to be able to have a circular fence around the burn boxes.

MR. BICHELMEYER: Yes, I would be open to that.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Okay. And then I do, I reserve the right for one more question. With a person on their, there will be no structure so the person that’s working there there’s not a hut or anything they’re in or operating while they are waiting…is a porta-potty there for them or how is all the logistics for the employee gonna be?

MR. BICHELMEYER: We will. I have a porta-potty there but there will be no building. They are there the whole time working.


MR. BICHELMEYER: And if they leave for lunch or need a bathroom break, there’ll need someone else that will take their place. There will never be nobody there.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Busby.

COMMISSIONER BUSBY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A question for you, Jerry. How are you can have somebody that’s going to be able to tell the difference between ash trees and some of these other trees? I mean realistically we’re limiting you because of what’s been discussed earlier and that’s all that can be burned there.

MR. BICHELMEYER: Well, and that was one of the reasons to request that other, the trees be burned. I would imagine it wouldn’t take a couple hours to educate the operator of what’s ash and what’s pine and what’s not. We also have the possibility of having a chipper there and if materials brought in and it can’t be burned, it’s possible it could be chipped. So, I went necessarily have two refuse a customer but it’s, it would be a little bit easier if I was able to burn whatever came and I, again I respectfully, in putting this out there, I know we talked about this at the beginning and I’ll do whatever obviously whatever the Commission decides if it’s easy and economically feasible as possible… So, in answer to your question, I’m sure they’ll be able to tell within, you know, within a few days’ time what is ash and what is pine and what is not and if the product is received, first off I would say 95% of the business that will be doing will be with specific tree services and if they go to a job and obviously they know if they’re removing ash trees or pine trees or whatever and if they have a load of something other than that, they can take it to, you know, another site. Were to be working directly with them. The loads that come from the public will be, in my opinion, very small compared to the volume that comes from the contractors.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Yes, I have a, I guess a concern in the question. The concern is, again, with how would we ever know what is actually being burned since the space is so secluded, so we just have to go on faith of the operator that they’re in compliance with what is allowed to be burned. But, and I have a question, if you could point out on the map the actual area that is required to be paved?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: This specific operation for the operation of the landfill that we are talking about would be the area from this point after it crosses the creek in this area right here.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: So, the spot all the way to the creek is already paved from Vista? That’s already paved?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The point about here back is paved like you would see. And we’re not looking at a street with curbs and gutters…


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: And we’ve even had some discussions since we do, we have chip seal streets with an adequate base that would, we would look at chip seal also as, you know, one form of an asphalt type of…

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: And part of that is still crushed rock?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The rest of this is crushed rock left over from the old haul road when they were bringing it back up.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: So, there’s still the possibility of getting dirt and debris on the trail even if the other portion is paved?


MR. BICHELMEYER: There’s, excuse me, there’s about 1000 feet from the curb. (Inaudible) there’s 1000 feet from the 150 feet that the, to the gate starting where were at right there; that whole line going straight back to the north there is 1000 feet and then there’s approximately 500 feet going from that site to the entrance of my 10 acres; so, it would involve, and plus what’s on the interior of course on my site, so it would require me to pave about 1500 feet of this drive to meet the requirements that’s there now.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: No, that’s not correct. Where only requiring you to pave your driveway and drop-offs, not the remaining portion.

MR. BICHELMEYER: I’m sorry, I misunderstood that completely. I apologize.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: So, on the property line, over to where it crosses the trail…



MR. BICHELMEYER: That changes, Commissioner and Paul, that changes a lot from what I thought was going to be required of me. Through this whole time I thought I was gonna have to pave from where it stops right now, 25 feet all the way…and that’s the reason for my somewhat concerned about paving for the other parties involved. Okay, I would say that I do not have a problem with doing something like a chip and seal, if that’s acceptable, from where the turn off is to go west into my site. That changes…

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: So, I suspect that part probably isn’t paved or built-up roadbed like the other part is…

MR. BICHELMEYER: That’s correct. There is no roadbed there. I would have to start from scratch to do that…

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: …do something otherwise trucks are in the sink out and be a big mess…

MR. BICHELMEYER: …done on the original site. You start obviously with rock and then you go with, you know, you build it up until you get to the final gravel.



MR. BICHELMEYER: Paul, I apologize, I thought, all along I thought that was, that was the main reason why that was such a burden to me.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: I think what I heard, just to clarify, is you would be agreeable to paving that portion from where it basically crosses the trail over to and into your site?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Correct. That the game changer.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Smith.

COMMISSIONER SMITH: Mr. Chairman, thank you. Paul, just a little housekeeping stuff. Recommendation number five there is a, the first sentence indicates limited to 8 PM and then your recommendation further down is 6 PM. Are we in agreement that you are, the official recommendation is 6 PM?


COMMISSIONER SMITH: Okay. Is there any merit to what Mr. Bichelmeyer is saying regarding the bridge? Have you already looked enough at the construction specs or as builds or whatever to determine that you really do need an inspection by an independent third party?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Our Development Services staff is that the feeling that they would like a structural engineer to take a look at. I mean, it’s one thing to look at the drawings and how it was constructed and I think their assumption is that everything is going to be fine but now we’ve got some history with some truck traffic and heavy loads being carried across and just I think it’s more of a reassurance to them that if we allow this use that were not putting the bridge in a bad situation where for some reason it would fail or the, you know, the trail itself, where the trucks would cross would fail and certainly I think it’s probably something, some protection for this business owner also.

COMMISSIONER SMITH: That’s good. That’s definitely good enough for me. A minor point, do we or should we include a recommendation regarding them being responsible for keeping the trail free and clear of dirt and debris for that part that abuts the roadway?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: That’s a difficult one since you have another user that’s…

COMMISSIONER SMITH: Yeah, but we’ve got this one here now… Okay, so does that qualify a no, not really?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: No, it’s… If you want to make that a condition, you certainly can.

COMMISSIONER SMITH: Okay. Just food for thought.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Commissioner Specht.

COMMISSIONER SPECHT: Yeah, I was actually, you kind of took the words right out of my mouth. I was wondering if Mr. Bichelmeyer or maybe you could address it, what plans you did have in regards to maintaining the trail or just overall debris because obviously with the trail, trees, branches, and leaves, obviously there’s a lot more debris that, or potential debris and just how you plan to address that.

MR. BICHELMEYER: We can make sure that at the end of operation every day that the, if there is any debris that’s cleared off, that can be done as a person leaves the site. I would imagine primarily your thinking of the trail or the bridge and the first thing you do when you certainly, first thing you do when you leave is lock the gate at that time you are right where the bridge is in the trail is, so I don’t see any problem at all on making sure that there’s no debris every day at the end of every work day.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Somsky.

COMMISSIONER SOMSKY: I was just wondering what the fire control measures are for the site in general if there is an errant spark that lights some adjacent area on fire or what have you.

MR. BICHELMEYER: I have to work on a plan with the fire Chief to go over that. The topsoil, again, that will be used at the end of the day to do that. There will be a mound of topsoil there at all times; I also will investigate possibly getting a water truck or something along those lines there since there is no water on site to be able to utilize for anything like that.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So, Mr. Bichelmeyer, are you Tree Liquidators?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Tree Liquidators was a name I thought up and I had second thoughts about that and it will be Johnson County Tree…

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So, could you go through your experience with a landfill like this and burning?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Could you go through your experience about this operation?

MR. BICHELMEYER: I have, before this started, I have had none. I did not know of the operation. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot. It’s, with Mr. Boothe’s help I probably talked with him 20 times. It’s something that we will rely on the information; the manufacturer’s suggestions and what’s done there. It’s something that will, obviously, we have controls over us, as far as air quality in the fire, so we will follow all the guidelines that are given to us.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: How do you think that we would go through all of this monitoring that the city is suggesting that we do on both being, having the fire out at five and days when you cannot burn and the type of work that you’re taking, trees that you’re taking and the monitoring involved…

MR. BICHELMEYER: I don’t think it will be much of a problem. Again, once the operator or whoever is running it knows what a pine tree is and what an ash tree is. As far as the monitoring, we have to have the fire out at five; if I were to expect for inspections at any time, it’s no different than any other or restrictions that are put on you, you either abide by them or you are penalized for it. So, I have no problems in believing that whoever operates the site will do as restricted or required.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: And they would be doing so under your instructions daily?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Absolutely, yes.



CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Okay. And what kind of person do you think you would hire to be there?

MR. BICHELMEYER: I know two friends of mine that are retired from the excavating business that would love to be sitting on a tractor and making some money. It just, you know, I don’t think I will have a problem with someone who is experienced in operating machinery to do that. I’m not gonna have a $10/hr. operator, minimum wage operator there to do that, it’s…

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So, you think though easily be able to pick up ash borer types of limbs? Be able to know that if they are mixed in with other groupings of oak trees or whatever else and the type of person that you’re gonna hire will know that…


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: …recommended 3 o’clock for the fire and not 5 o’clock, is that true?

MR. BICHELMEYER: It’s 5 o’clock to have the fire out; it’s 3 o’clock to quit loading the burn box. It takes an hour and a half to two hours to burn down the materials that’s loaded.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Okay. And they will know which days they can’t burn because of…

MR. BICHELMEYER: We have to get a fire permit every day.


MR. BICHELMEYER: So we have to call the fire department to get a permit. If there’s a windy day or the alert is orange or red alert, then we won’t be able to get a fire permit; we cannot burn without a permit and we would not jeopardize the operation to try to burn another day when we shouldn’t.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So, I think you have kind of a farming background that you think somebody can do this kind of operation without any experience?



MR. BICHELMEYER: Yes, sir it’s not, if you know how to operate a machine, it’s not going to be difficult for them to be able to scoop up or grab with a claw bucket load and put it into the pit or the fire box and it, again, within a day they’ll be able to figure out whether the limbs are from an ash tree or obviously pine trees are very simple or something along those lines.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Can something happen wrong to the burn box if there is too much wood; if there’s too little wood; if there’s anything like that?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Well, again they’ll be educated in, you know, what to do if there is a problem; we’re monitored very closely by the county and of course by the fire department. So, I would welcome any inspections or any problems, we are here for, to make it a, you know, a business that can be, you know, be in business for the next 5 to 10 years.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: And if you know, what are some of the other disposal options the area for ash borer?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Johnson County landfill.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: That’s the only place? There is no other?

MR. BICHELMEYER: We feel we are providing a service that is a benefit to the city and the county and the property owner. If you’ve been to Johnson County landfill often, this would be a much better site to be at.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: And the grinder, do you happen to know what the noise levels are of the grinder?

MR. BICHELMEYER: No sir, I do not. I do not imagine it would be different than the dirt pulverizer that’s been in operation there. And again, the closest residents to this is 1500 feet to the west and across the railroad tracks and to the east is 2300 feet before you hit Barker Road. To the north there are no houses, you go to the ball fields and then all the way to the landfill from there. To the south, you go more than 1500 feet before you hit the first business, which is Attic Storage. So, it’s about as good a place as you could find in Johnson County, as far as not being intrusive to anyone.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So, in providing this service to all of Johnson County, you want to make sure…you were also commenting that you wanted to expand it to other trees besides ash borer?

MR. BICHELMEYER: Well, that’s what originally I said if it was possible I’d like to be able to burn other trees so we wouldn’t have to identify and have the other problems but if we can’t do that then we are limited; and again we tell 95% of our operators will be the tree service people and typically they will have on their load, you know, they will have, you know, if there cut down trees then that’s what have; if there is a mixed load, we have, we’ll obviously identify it and put it in a different pile to throw in the chipper or not accepted at all if, the whole pile (inaudible) that way.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Okay, thank you. Is there any other questions for the staff or the applicant? Commissioner Busby.

COMISSIONER BUSBY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess this is not a question, it’s more of a concern. I’m old enough to remember when Dutch elm disease was coming around and all the elm trees were going to die then…it didn’t all die, okay. So, now we have these other insect borne diseases and there’s can be people that save their ash trees by treating them; so, what are we able to tell them, tell the people when we are gonna have a concentration of these diseased trees there and my understanding is the fertile female will fly from 2 to 12 miles away from it, so this concentration of insects carrying this disease is going to be so much there that I’m not sure how we tell the other people in the city of Shawnee that hey it’s okay were gonna burn them. Yet I still think when we concentrate that level there that there really is no way to keep that from happening.

MR. BICHELMEYER: Your question is how do I control the…I have, there is Mr. Keith from Arbor Masters is here this evening and that’s probably a question that he might have the answer to. All I’m gonna do is provide a service for the people that bring me the trees.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Peterson.

COMISSIONER PETERSON: Is the arbor master guy still here available for questions?



CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Could you give us your name and address, please?

SPEAKER: Ron Keith is my name; I’m owner of Arbor Masters Tree and Landscape at 8250 Cole Parkway, Shawnee, KS 66227.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Peterson.

COMISSIONER PETERSON: My questions are twofold. First of all, how serious is the concentration? I mean, if you were to have a map of Wyandotte, Johnson, and Jackson counties which is the main places for this, is it threat level red, is that, what is it and where are the highest concentrations of these boring diseases that we are, those are the only ones that we are able to dispose of currently?

MR. KEITH: Well, right now it’s been detected all in Johnson County, so…


MR. KEITH: Yup. The emerald ash borer is very hard to detect, number one; in order to see if an ash tree has been infected it starts at the very top so in arborist has to go up to examine from the top; you won’t notice it at the bottom and if it is noticeable when you get up there, it’s already diseased so it’s gonna die. There’s no curing once it gets infected. So, that’s the problem. The problem is, as we work through it is you quarantine it and when we do try and do the injections, which are 98% effective, as long as you do the injection before it’s infected and that’s the call that’s hard to make, because to go and do the inspection of all the trees and then decide while do we do the injection to preserve these or, you know, do we take the risk and let it go through like the Dutch elm disease lasted for many, many, years and then it passed; and yes there are some elms left, very few, but they are out there; and so, you know, it’s good to be a process and it’s good to be a long process and if you go up north, it’s total devastation and…


MR. KEITH: Well, not north here. I’m talking about like Minnesota, Michigan, yeah we’ve inspected those areas and looked and even some of the cities here in Kansas City, Johnson County and stuff, Overland Park is one of them that’s actually gone up there and looked at what their program was and try and figure out how are they can protect some of these trees; and so there’s a lot of different methods in the cities are doing a lot of different things to figure out what they’re going gonna do but it will definitely affect their budget because it’s a very expensive injection but it does last for three years. So, there’s, those decisions need to be made prior to a tree being infected and when was it infected, again are big decisions that only in arborist can usually see and it takes quite a long time to even diagnose that, you know, you gotta go through and look at quite a few limbs to make sure that the tree is not infected; and size has a lot to do with it as well, you know, there’s many, many, many ash trees that have been installed that are 2 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch trees which are not going to justify any kind of injection so you’re just gonna let them stay or see what happens or, you know, recruit; and a lot of them, you know, quarantine the area and go in and take them all out before they get infected and just start over, that’s one process; some is to save the big ones and remove the small ones and things like that. So, you know, you have the potential here to have a huge amount of debris and when Mr. Bichelmeyer approached me about this, I’ve been looking for property to do this on and we are in dire, we are in dire need of a piece of property, more than one is not enough, we need multiple sites like this in the area to handle all of the debris that’s gonna be coming from the ash trees at some point. You know, we talk about, you talk about how is he gonna, you know, probably keep it separate…well, that’s gonna be hard to do but in reality if he deals with a few companies, you know, there’s gonna be contracts, it’s gonna be (inaudible), it’s just gonna be ash removal so there’s gonna be a lot of times it won’t be that hard to, you know, separate because most of the wood debris that’s gonna be collected from the cities throughout these trees anyway so that will be pretty easy. The other thing is, it’s probably to his advantage anyway to keep it with ash trees because they will burn twice as fast, he’ll get better production, you know, you wouldn’t want to put an oak log in that probably in this container because it would take so long to make it burn, you just probably wouldn’t make any money doing oak or any other type of wood. So, to say that would be hard to detect probably, yeah, probably a word be but more than likely it’s gonna be ash trees anyway. We do have a place that we do use now that does the recycling and they are completely full, they’re already full and we haven’t even started. In fact, they shut down last summer for about six weeks just to get caught up because they were so full and recycle and they had so many machines and they were breaking down and they just got behind. So, this is definitely gonna be a problem, we deftly don’t want to take it to the landfill and Johnson County or Deffenbaugh because number one fills up way too much room, they are already struggling for room; you can’t afford to take it with the prices, they’ve raise the rates so it makes it where no one can afford to take it there. So, now that’s the way that they limit the amount of debris that they take in and so there’s another one way down south and it’s the same thing, it’s a landfill. So, there really aren’t any of these burn sites that were gonna need because we’re gonna have too much of it, of this debris and nowhere to take it and nowhere to do with it and, you know, yeah you can make firewood out of it and they are allowing that to happen but, you know, you can only make so much firewood out of all of these trees that are going to be affected by this disease; it’s a terrible thing that’s gonna happen and again, you know, because you don’t see it and nobody realizes what is happening but there are millions of ash trees affected and it’s gonna start, we’re doing lots, lots, and lots of injections now so Prairie Village are involved in it and have taken a friendly position in protecting their ash trees; Kansas City Kansas really hasn’t done anything, they’ve got lots of ash trees over there that’s gonna be infected and it’s going to affect everything else. So, the cities that have a lot of ash trees, Merriam has a ton of ash trees and they are not doing anything and so what happens when the cities don’t do anything and the cities that do it just kind of, you know, it’s a domino effect because they’re not doing anything and you guys are or whatever it hurts what you’re trying to protect because they are not doing their either. So, it is a big deal that’s coming up. I do admire all of his work that he’s trying to do to get this in, you know, if he does, you know, I would definitely be one of his customers and take that wood waste to him and I think it’s, again, with all of the work that is done in the burn box and all of the technology that went into that to keep burning safe and effective as far as, you know, the air quality and things it, you know, I’ve been around them, I’ve seen them, I went to Florida and looked at them because, you know, I kind of was already doing this prior to meeting him, and I had already done some work and learning on what they do, they are very effective, they work very well, the reason I don’t have one yet is because they are very slow and the hours of operation is not going to be very effective for him with one burn box; it’s a start. You know, I’m just saying there’s a huge need here and I’m asking, or I’m thinking that yes, I understand that there’s a lot that goes into it but working have a huge, huge shortage of a place to take this debris and if you would consider trying this and working through it, I think that it’s a big help to the community. Not a little help, a big help and it’s not anything anybody wants is to have wood waste being burning in their backyard where the smell of smoke. In this scenario, neither one of those would be done. I think the burn box is a clean burn and where his location is, it would, no one would even know and you’d be doing a huge favor to the community and there’s gonna be a huge problem if you don’t. That’s my opinion. So, any other questions?

COMISSIONER PETERSON: You mentioned just taking ash and then I know that Pine is another problem, I know that the, would it be better idea if we said that for the first six months it’s on a contract basis? By the way, small business I understand you don’t need everybody telling you how to run your business, I get that but the best way to control the type, so that it keeps you not at risk for being fined or whatever, but also to get a feel for the operation, how many trucks you’re gonna have, you know, have some sort of control so that we can then take a breath and say okay then we can accept oak, okay don’t worry about that, but we do need worry about this. What are your thoughts?

MR. KEITH: It’s hard for me to answer that question. I would think that from what I know about the burn boxes and the air curtains that we’re talking about and his site and he’s looking at a couple of those if he can get one started and get the other one going, the rate of production with just those two units probably won’t take a lot so you’re not gonna see a big pile of wood waste down there that’s gonna need to be burned up because the production rates are not gonna be that fast. So, I don’t look for that to be a huge problem because it’s not a big enough site to really turn into an ugly site, if you know what I’m saying. I think he’s gonna regulate it where he could stay caught up with it and that’s why he talked about he’s only gonna work with a couple contractors and so that’s all he can really take, is to work with a couple contractors to, so he wouldn’t get overloaded and have that wood waste sitting there for a large the time and not get burned up. So, I think that well control itself, actually based on the type of burning that we’re gonna be doing that it’s not gonna turn into this huge massive pile of debris that’s gonna be unsightly or controlled by the contractor like you were mentioning. I think it’s probably gonna control itself and again, I think the public is gonna wait to see what happens, you know, and what’s gonna happen is there trees are gonna die and that’s a sad thing because they don’t see anything wrong with it, you know, and so, you know, I’m not sure that like what you are saying most of the wood waste that’s gonna come in volume are gonna come through contracts. And so, but again, when you start going and it’s not happening yet, it is happening slowly and it’s been on the news and a little bit in the public eye but once it starts going to be just like Dutch elm disease whereas if you remember down in Dutch elm disease, I’m third-generation owner of our company, we started here in 1956, but it was, you know, every elm tree was going just like…and them were big trees, now we’re dealing with ash trees so we are lucky they are not giant American elms that we are covering, you know, a block and that was a shame to see those big trees go down and we took many of them down over in Kansas City Missouri and Kansas City Kansas where they just, you know, shaded the streets and they were absolutely beautiful and to watch those things die is just, it was awful. So, that’s gonna happen, they’re ash tree, not American elms but they’re still beautiful ash trees in the city, tons of them. So, we need a site; we need more than this site; we need lots of sites that we can burn clean air, you know; we have too much mulch now; they can’t sell the mulch fast enough; they can’t produce it enough to clean the sites out to take more debris; they can’t produce it out, you know; they can produce it but there’s not enough buyers for it, you know, and a lot of our mulch actually doesn’t come from them, it comes from down south; you’ve got all kinds of different types of pallets and stuff they get a more consistent product so when they color it it’s a lot prettier product then wood waste. So, wood waste is a cheaper mulch and you can buy it cheaper; it doesn’t hold the color long and it dries out real quick and blows away; so, it’s not real effective mulch like good mulch is so that’s the other downside to it as well, so… Any more questions?


MR. KEITH: I’m long winded. But, I am a big advocate of this the city would really do good. I know, you know, the community would do good, but I think personally and all wood to be burned is clean air, I think is a very effective way to get rid of wood waste. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Paul, I just had one more question. Is there any concern by the city that it doesn’t have fire service; there’s not a hydrant within range?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: That’s why the fire department is requiring them to develop a fire protection plan for the site prior to issuing any permits for…

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So that might possibly include a fire hydrant?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Correct, and that’s the other advantage with the paved road once you get off the trail it’s more easily delineated and identified and you can tell where it, it is. The part that is on delineated is when you get up to the topsoil, obviously some of the road south is delineated but I’m, you know, that (inaudible) is part of the fire safety plan too is having that access so firetrucks know where they can drive and not get stuck in the mud, so to speak.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Okay, thank you. Is there any other discussion by the Planning Commission? Questions for the staff or the applicant? So, then we’d be in public discussion. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to speak?

PUBLIC COMMENT: My name is Leon Rieke; I live at (omitted from record); my business is on the end of that drive; I’ve been there since 1967, actually (inaudible); we own the property, 73 acres that’s in the “L”, so he comes across our, his road coming in along the south going into his property is running off of our ground and then all along is east side is all up along our ground. Yeah, Paul’s pointed out there. We are against this. I can envision trucks going in and out of there on that road going 25 feet up there, I can envision us picking up a lot of tree limbs and stuff with people get tired of going in there and thrown him off on us instead of taking them over there. There’s no way to control that and if you’ll notice his burn pits are close to his east line, those squares he’s got on there which is right in here, so he’ll probably be want to run over there on our property and access his pits from that area. The gate, we was instrumental with the city in working with them to get this trail way put in there, we gave them the property because we envision that 73 acres sometime being in part of the Parks system for Shawnee and Johnson County Parks. That’s all it’s good for. With that burning operation over there, the people utilizing that trail down through there is not really gonna like and it’s going to detract from anything that hopefully wildlife, birds and everything is gonna be over into that area. The guy that’s taking topsoil off of our ground back there, I don’t, he’s close to being done in tomorrow he could be done if I told them to get out of there. So, he’s not a long-term resident. I don’t know how many loads he goes out of there a day but he don’t, I doubt if he goes over there, out of there with 8 to 10 loads a week and if he does get debris on the trail like you’re worried about, call down there and talk to Neil Holman at the Parks and if I get any complaint, he’ll be done, because that was one of the agreements when Shawnee put that trail in is the topsoil guy was not supposed to cause any problems with that trail. So, if it becomes a problem it can be remedied because we are compassionate about that area becoming a long time park and the city has talked favorably in the future of trying to turn that into a park. With this burn operation there, I listened to what Ronnie said and everything, but there is no way to control that brush going in there. I mean, I’ve burned with pits before, I was probably one of the early ones in Kansas City to use a pit burner, Becca still got it out there at my office…if you want to see one, come on out and you can look at an old one. It’s not a new one because we quit using it. When he pit burns out there, those pits are not gonna last very long because when you burn in a pit, the sides of it become like brick and it just dries out and they fall in and normally in the past when we’ve used pits, if we get over four or five days we’ve gotta dig a new pit. You can’t use them again. They just deteriorate, so he’s gonna be stuck think with a long-term burn box, which will be above ground and is also gonna generate a lot of ash out there. I don’t know what he plans on doing with the ash, that’s nice to think that it’s going to go to topsoil amendments and that kind of stuff but he’s got a lot, he’s gonna have a lot of ash to handle out there. I never heard anybody mention how many days a week he’s gonna burn out there. I heard the hours, I never heard Monday through Friday or it sounded to me like seven days a week; that doesn’t bother me because I don’t live there, but it does bother me for having him burn too long. But, I just envision and lot of problems coming down the drive going back in there because I know the topsoil guy occasionally gets trash and stuff dumped back there because it’s easily accessible because you can see it. And those two gates, on the left there’s a gate there and if they lock that, that’s okay, on the one down closer down at the entrance, down if they lock it, but when those gates are down, there is nothing to keep people from driving down in there and driving on to our 73 acres in going back in there and disposing mattresses, refrigerators, the whole deal. And with the added traffic back there and people becomes aware of what’s going on, they’re gonna be want to dump in there, so I think you need to think about that. I won’t drag on here but we are against this operation. Thanks for your time.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Is there anyone else that wishes to speak on this item? If not, then we’d be in Commission discussion. Commissioner Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Yes, Mr. Chairman, do you know whose property that access goes across there? Who is given the easement to access that?

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Mr. Rieke is. Isn’t he?

MR. RIEKE: You talking about…which access you talking about?

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Where it turns left and that goes up to the property.

MR. RIEKE: I gave that to him, 25 feet; the deal was he gets a 25 foot width paralleling the sidewalk access. He’s running right alongside that…

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: So, I realize we’re in Commission discussion but it seems to me that if you didn’t want the operation going on, you wouldn’t give access to the property.

MR. RIEKE: He’s entitled to access to his property.


MR. RIEKE: He’s landlocked and he’s entitled to access. Where he wanted to put it, was gone straight ahead and back and angling over to it…well, that’s fine for him but for us long-term (inaudible).


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Busby.

COMMISSIONER BUSBY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, one question is I’m not sure we ever got an answer as to whether Mr. Bichelmeyer agreed with the recommendations of staff and that’s gonna make a difference. I mean, if he doesn’t want to do the road, doesn’t want to do some of the stuff then essentially that’s against the recommendations by the staff. So, I really think that might be important so I know kind of what I’m voting on.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Okay. Mr. Bichelmeyer, do you agree with the stipulations of the staff report for approval?

MR. BICHELMEYER: I agree with all of the stipulations.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: All the stipulations, thank you. Commissioner Braley.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Yeah, thank you, Mr. Chairman. You know, my biggest concern about this project is the impact of the trail, the users of the trail. I mean, this was a signature project for the Parks department. The community came out the day it opened, very proud of it, they were anxiously awaiting this trail; it’s a vital connection to the rest of the trail system that connects into Johnson County and Shawnee Mission Park, and I just think again, doing their best to clean it up at the end of the day, but if you’ve got 10 trucks that went there, you know, over it a day and if you have limbs dropping off or mulch is dropping off, it just, to me it doesn’t make a good impression for the city. I mean, were out there trying to protect the assets that we have in our city, the impressions that we make, it’s just, that’s kind of my hang-up on this whole project and the impact that it’s going to have on those who use the trail and the experience that they have. That’s my only comment.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Commissioner Specht.

COMMISSIONER SPECHT: I’m not opposed to this, but I guess I would like to see additional stipulations, more so in regards to the cleaning or the maintenance of the trail and some requirement for fencing to kind of at least, I don’t know if the fence should be around the actual burn area or if it’s along the trail, but I think that that may help reduce some of the safety aspects or potential safety concerns as well as the cleaning or maintenance of the trail if there is any debris. I’d like to see those potentially added in as some of the stipulations for the agreement.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Is there a motion on this item? Commissioner Busby.

COMISSIONER BUSBY: Not a motion but I really can’t vote for this because I’m still concerned about not only the safety issues but also we’re, it seems to me we’re continually going to import an insect that’s going to be a problem for years to come and I’m not sure that that benefits the community from that standpoint.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Is there a motion on this item? Commissioner Peterson.

COMISSIONER PETERSON: I move that we vote on SUP-01-16-02 and SP-01-16-02; special use permit and site plan for the Johnson County Tree Disposal Services, located at 6402 Vista Dr. with the stipulation that all staff recommendations in addition to number 14 adding fence that is viable around the burn operation in respect to the floodplain, the right kind of fence and number 15 that the owner of the property be responsible for regular, if not daily, maintenance to the trail system to protect its integrity.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: And just to be clear, before we have a second your motion, because I don’t think you said so, is for approval.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Is there a second?

COMMISSIONER SPECHT: I will second that.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: There’s a motion and second to approve SUP-01-16-02 and SP-01-16-02; special use permit and site plan approval for the Johnson County Tree Disposal Services, a commercial tree limb disposal landfill, located in the 6300 Block of Vista, all in favor?

COMMISSIONERS: Aye, aye, aye.




CHAIRMAN BOGINA: So we’ll have roll call. Commissioner Somsky.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Peterson.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Bienhoff.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Busby.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Wise.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Braley.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Specht.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Smith.



CHAIRMAN BOGINA: I still didn’t hear you.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Three Aye’s, six Nay’s; Motion fails, thank you.

(Motion to approve 3-6; motion fails; Hill and Willoughby absent)


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Stating the reasons. Let’s see…Commissioner Braley could you make such a motion?

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a motion to deny SUP-01-16-02 special use permit and SP-01-16-02 site plan for the Johnson County Tree Disposal Services, a commercial landfill for trees and brush, 6403 Vista Drive; reasons being concerns for safety and impact to public trail system.


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Remember you want to talk a little bit about the factors that you can look at so…appropriateness, surrounding uses, character of the area, something like that too. So you probably want to add a little more.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Okay, to also include inappropriate use for property and its adjacency to neighboring properties… Paul, what were some of the other factors that we need to consider? I mean, I just, that…

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I think you’ve talked about character of the neighborhood…


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: You’ve talked about the safety of residents using the trail system…

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Safety on the trail and actually safety of the property for its operation.



CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Commissioner Busby do you have a second?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: There’s a motion and second to deny SUP-01-16-02 and SP-01-16-02; special use permit and site plan approval for the Johnson County Tree Disposal Services, 6300 Block of Vista. This is my first time for this, so do we vote, do we vote again?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: You vote again on the motion.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: All in favor of the motion to deny?




CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Motion passes, thank you.

(Motion to deny passes 6-3; Hill and Willoughby absent)


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The Governing Body over the last few months has been discussing a conflict between the Zoning Regulations and are building codes regarding fencing requirements around residential swimming pools. In the International Building Code and then the Residential Building Code there’s an exception that’s provided that if a resident provides a mechanical pool cover that meets the International standards, that no fencing is required; and that in other situations where a 4 foot fence is required; and then will we get the Zoning Regulations, the Zoning Regulations state that there has to be a six foot fence that is provided around a residential pool.

So, through a lot of discussion that they had over a three-month period of time, at the last City Council meeting, the Governing Body made motions to amend the International Building Code that in a case where a resident provides a mechanical pool cover that meets the standards of a four foot fence required and then the Residential Building Code standards that anytime there is a swimming pool constructed that a five foot fence be required. Part of the logic with 5 foot fence is that separate from our Building Codes, the county actually is the one who regulates commercial pools like in a hotel or a subdivision type of sign pool or other type of public facility so rather than having all of these numbers dancing around out there for public pools that don’t have covers, they decided to come up with a, go with a 5 foot height; so, as a result another portion of the discussion led to how many places and how many codes do we direct people to take a look at trying to find the answer in the decision was made that we are going to have all the regulations regarding swimming pool closures in the Building Code and so what we’re taking a look at doing and the several varied zoning districts that deal with single-family residential and duplex residential we have the statement that’s in italics for you that talks about private tennis courts, swimming pools and similar private recreational facilities. We keep the information in about meeting set back requirements in the backyard, but the last sentence says, “Such facilities shall be contained within a fence extending from ground level to at least six feet above grade”, and so we’re looking at just striking the last sentence out of the Zoning Regulations so everything is in one place. In the other logical thing for that too is why we’re talking about the height of the fence and the Building Codes, we talk about how the fences need to latch or what is the width between spindles or slats in the fence, so that way all of that is altogether in one place in a resident just needs to go to one, if you refer to the other it look like you could just have a 6 foot fence and were not really addressing how it needs to be latched and how far the spindles need to be placed. So, what we recommend is that you all authorize us to publish for a Notice of Public Hearing for the first meeting in April to consider we delete this sentence so it would be a text amendment.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Are there any questions for the staff? Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I completely agree with striking that, the multiple references are a problem. Why are we not having any reference to the Building Code that we are currently doing this with… Are we can say anything about see IBC 2012, RBC 2012, or are we just gonna strike it out and move on?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I think the intent is to strike it out. The problem that we start running into when we start referencing codes and for a while back in the 90s we use to reference different codes that apply that aren’t in the Zoning Regulations and then over time we went from the Uniform Building Code to the International Building Code and we’d remember to make a change one place and not in another and if the IBC were to change their section numbers so the reference numbers, you know, in this situation then we need to remember oh yeah we have to go back into a text amendment to the Zoning Regulations to make the match and this way it’s just easier and cleaner, it’s just all in one place regarding fencing around pools.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I would, I completely understand that, is there any way that we could say in reference to currently applicable building code, whatever? Because, I mean, we deal with this all the time, we deal with 07/2012, you know variations of the amendment of 2010…

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Yeah, we could probably take a look at doing that with our, bring you something and if you want some alternative language too…

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: It just like, this is saying nothing…as in, build it how you want to.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Well, all it does is tell you where to, where you can put them. Yeah, we can come back with an alternative language and just hope the public hearing on amending these sections and if there is a last sentence that you prefer to then…


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: We could do that also.


COMMISSIONER SMITH: Mr. Chairman? Just very quickly, I promise. And Paul, not knowing the definitions affiliated with this ordinance, how does this affect hot tubs since I almost had to pull my granddaughter out of one last weekend?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Yeah, I think it’s probably as the other recreational facilities part of it that we have.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Do we have a motion to instruct the staff to authorize publication of a notice of public hearing to consider the proposed amendment to at the April 4, 2016 Planning Commission meeting? Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I move that we approve the proposed text amendments to the Zoning Regulations as staff recommended so that we can set it for a public hearing.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Commissioner Wise.

COMMISSIONER WISE: Second that motion.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: There’s a motion and second to authorize the staff to publish a notice of public hearing to consider the proposed amendment to the April 4, 2016 Planning Commission meeting, all in favor?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Opposed? Motion passes, thank you.

(Motion passes 9-0; Hill and Willoughby absent)


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Paul, do you have any other business?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: One item real quick. At your places I gave you an update on some meetings we’ve had with Deffenbaugh and some proposals and discussions that we’ve had with them; also wanted to let you know, true to their word, on 26 of February they did complete the piping system and lit the flair and set up the vacuum to pull the landfill gas through the system and as I’ve noted we’ve had one complaint very early in the morning on a Saturday regarding any odor coming from the landfill. So, hopefully they have it under control may think with the plan set you have we’re sort of addressing how we’re going to approach future cell development and some of the things that they will do initially as they continue to build out. So, we’ll keep an eye out on and we’ll see where we are in another 2 months.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Great, thank you. Does the Commission have any business for the staff?


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: If not, Commissioner Specht, do you have a motion to adjourn?

COMMISSIONER SPECHT: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I’ll move we adjourn tonight’s meeting.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Thank you. Commissioner Somsky.

COMMISSIONER SOMSKY: I second the motion.

CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Motion and second to adjourn, all in favor.


CHAIRMAN BOGINA: Opposed? Motion passes.

(Motion passes 9-0; Hill and Willoughby absent)