PDF Format:





July 18, 2016

7:30 P.M.

Commissioner Bruce BienhoffPlanning Director Paul Chaffee
Commissioner Augie BoginaPlanner Mark Zielsdorf
Commissioner Randy Braley
Commissioner Dennis Busby
Commissioner Kathy Peterson
Commissioner John Smith
Commissioner Les Smith
Commissioner Alan Willoughby
Commissioner Steven Wise
CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Good evening and welcome to the July 18, 2016 meeting of the Shawnee Planning Commission. I’d like to welcome John Smith as a member of the Planning Commission. On behalf of all the Planning Commissioners, I hope your find your time on the commission rewarding and appreciate your service to the community. We’ll start with roll call.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner John Smith.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Peterson.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Willoughby.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Bienhoff.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Busby is here.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Bogina


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Wise.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Braley.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Les Smith.


VICE-CHAIRMAN BUSBY: If you’d please join me in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.



CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Item 1 is listed under the Consent Items Agenda. These items are considered to be routine in nature. The items conform to City requirements and staff has discussed conditions of approval with the applicant who is in agreement. Unless there is a request to remove an item from the Consent Agenda, the item will be approved in one motion. Is there a request to remove an item from the Consent Agenda? Seeing none, is there a motion to approve the Consent Agenda? Mr. Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to make a motion to approve the Consent Agenda subject to conditions as presented by City staff.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Thank you. Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I second the motion.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Thank you. All in favor, say aye.


VICE-CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Opposed nay? Motion carried.

(Motion passes 9-0)

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: We’ll move to New Business:



PLANNER ZIELSDORF: The applicant requests site plan approval to place 3 temporary modular units adjacent to the east (rear) wall of the existing church building. The church property is zoned AG (Agricultural) and contains approximately 20 acres. This allows the temporary structures to set back substantially from all surrounding property lines. The buildings are screened from view by the existing church and will be hidden from view from Gleason Road. The FedEx facility is located to the south and southeast, while a plastics manufacturing facility and self-storage facility are located to the east. A single family home on acreage is located to the north that is buffered by a berm and solid row of evergreen trees.

The applicant is requesting use of the buildings as a temporary space for children’s ministry/education services while a permanent church addition is being designed and ultimately constructed. The church currently owns a separate off-site property and building on McCoy that is being used for these programs. The church desires to have all activities on the same central campus. Because of this, the church intends to sell this off-site property asset to finance construction of the new church addition.

Two of the modular units are identical in size, and measure 63’8” in length by 28 feet in width. The third unit is larger and measures 76 feet in length by 45’3” in width. Height of all of the structures is approximately 16 feet to the peak of the pitched roof.

It is the intention of the church to construct a permanent facility for their ministry needs. This second phase was shown conceptually on the church master plan when the first phase was approved and constructed in 2003. Given the temporary nature of the buildings and past policy of the Planning Commission regarding the use of temporary structures, the applicant has requested a period of just over two years for use of the temporary units. The church has submitted a letter indicating a target date for occupancy of the permanent church addition, and removal of modular units by September 1, 2018. As with other similar temporary unit applications, the site plan shall be reviewed in a period of 18 months to allow the applicant to update the Planning Commission of their progress in construction of the permanent addition to the church facility.

The units will be installed in a u-shape to allow a central courtyard in the middle of the three units. Access to the modular units will be from a wide sidewalk that is located to the north of the church and connects the existing parking lot. The concrete sidewalk will be extended eastward and then southward between all of the units to provide central access to all buildings. The buildings will be equipped with ramps to fulfill ADA requirements to serve disabled persons. These units have bathroom facilities and will be connected to sanitary sewer. In case of inclement weather, ready access to the main church will be provided for occupants of the mobile units. The Fire Marshall has reviewed the site plan, and has no issues with the temporary location.

All building setbacks have been met. The buildings are set back approximately 180 feet from the south property line, 500 feet from the east property line, and 370 feet from the north property line.

All buildings have a slightly pitched roof with composition shingles. All walls have wood panel siding. The largest building is currently painted light beige that matches the color of the existing church. The two smaller units are currently a darker brown color and will be re-painted to match the light beige color found on the church.

No additional parking stalls are required on the site. Phase one for the existing church included permanent parking improvements that anticipated expansion of the church facility and campus.

This development is subject to the provisions of SMC, Chapter 11.20, Land Disturbance Activity, which pertains to site grading and erosion control measures.

There are no public storm drainage improvements required for this project. Since these are temporary modular buildings, the downspouts will discharge onto splash blocks and then travel via overland flow to the existing detention facility.

All fire lanes, water lines, fire hydrants and fire suppression equipment shall be installed as required by the Shawnee Fire Department.

As far as a recommendation, staff recognizes the need for some facilities to be temporary in nature, especially when a congregation is experiencing growth. However, the use of temporary structures does not provide a permanent solution for space needs of the congregation. As such, the church has formulated a plan to have a permanent addition financed, constructed and occupied at the campus by September 1, 2018. This seems to be a reasonable time frame. In light of this, staff recommends approval of SP-23-16-07, to allow placement of three (3) modular classrooms at the Mill Creek Community Church campus located at 7825 Gleason Road, subject to the following conditions:

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Thank you, Mark. Is the applicant present?


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Would you please come forward and state your name and address for the record?

APPLICANT: David Robinson, address is (omitted from record).

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Thank you. Have you read the staff report and are you in agreement with the conditions?

MR. ROBINSON: Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Does the Planning Commission have any questions for the staff or for the applicant? Mr. Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Yes, I had a question for staff. What happens if there still is the need for space after September 1, 2018.

PLANNER ZIELSDORF: Basically that is part of the reason we are bringing this back in eighteen months to review the progress. The Planning Commission can see where they are at and at that time determine if there needs to be an extension of time or not.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: I have a question to make sure I’m on the same page. Will the electrical lines be put underground with this hook up, or is that something that is normally done for modular units?

PLANNER ZIELSDORF: I don’t have an answer to that. I’m not sure how that would be handled to be honest.

MR. ROBINSON: What our intention is, yes they will be put underground, the electrical will be. It will be seen as a semi-permanent hookup event though they are temporary in nature. We are not going to be running lines from the building, we will run the lines underground.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I have a question about the temporary capacity when you bring these units in. Are you at capacity at this point that you don’t foresee that there is a need for an additional modular between here and eighteen months, or what are your thoughts on that progression?

MR. ROBINSON: Thank you. As was stated we have a building at 8125 Mc Coy that right now is our offices and our over flow classes and some of our mid-week activities as well. These modulars would certainly cover the office space and the mid-week space as needed. We don’t anticipate the need, sort of an extra need, beyond these three.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Braley.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: A question for the applicant. So this two year period, this is for my information, are you still in a capital campaign to raise money for this, or is this time simply needed for design or construction. Just where are you in this process?

MR. ROBINSON: Yes, we are in the design process. We expect to get going in October. We have been working with our architect, Mantel and Teeter architecture firm. This whole process while we anticipate using them and working with them beginning in October to plan and design. Using 2017 to essentially be for the capital campaign, as well as selling our second building, through which will get us out of debt and be able to have monies to put toward the new building. That’s part of the goal for actively selling the, actually we’ve been trying to sell the Mc Coy building for the last seven months. We’ve got some good bites on it right now. So we hope to be out of that second building by the end of the year and be able to put those monies toward the building campaign for building number two to replace these three buildings.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: If there are no further questions, then is there a motion on the item? Commissioner Les Smith.

COMMISSIONER LES SMITH: Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I move that we approve SP-23-16-07, which is a site plan for the placement of modular classrooms located at 7825 Gleason Road, subject to staff recommendations and conditions.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Wise.

COMMISSIONER WISE: I’ll second that motion.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: There is a motion and a second on the floor, all those in favor say aye, opposed nay, the motion carried.

(Motion carried 9-0)

CHARIMAN BUSBY: Staff has two items under other business. Item One. Staff has requested to provide an overview and clarification of several items regarding site fencing at Rhein Benninghoven elementary school from previous discussions. Paul.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The Planning Commission at the July 6, 2016 meeting considered a request from the Shawnee Mission School District to modify the condition of approval to use a different fencing material than a decorative fence around a portion of the perimeter of the site. Staff has requested this item once again be discussed by the commission to provide clarification regarding several issues that were broached at the meeting, as well as to provide a more detailed description of the request.

The financing for the reconstruction of Benninghoven elementary school is from a portion of a bond issue approved by district patrons. Among the projects included in the bond issue was the reconstruction of five elementary schools. Reconstruction of four of the schools is underway, and the fifth school to be reconstructed (in the SM West area), and that school is yet to be determined. 39.6% of the total bond issue is dedicated to the reconstruction of these schools. These improvements come on the heels of a previously approved bond issue that reconstructed Ray Marsh, Nieman, Shawanoe, Apache, Highlands, Oak Park-Carpenter elementary schools and made substantial improvements to Prairie elementary school.

Staff reviewed the fencing improvements made or currently being undertaken at those locations which is presented later in this report.

Reconstruction of Benninghoven, Shawanoe, and Trailwood in Overland Park are different from the reconstruction of other schools since the buildings are being constructed on vacant portions of the site and there are several other buildings that are being reconstructed, but those are being torn down and those students are being temporarily housed at other district buildings that were used for other purposes. As a result, existing playfields and playgrounds are being moved to other locations on the property including the site of the original building. Some of these exterior features are in what may be considered a front yard area.

This is a brief history of the fencing proposed and subsequently approved by the Planning Commission for this site. Staff will present a series of diagrams. Benninghoven is located at the southwest corner of 67th Street and Caenen. This elementary school is unique in that this the only elementary school located on the same campus as a high school. A galvanized chain-link fence along the west side of the property splits the elementary school and high school properties. All perimeter fencing on the site is currently a galvanized chain-link.

On December 7, 2015 the applicant received site plan approval for a new 73,722 square foot elementary school that will replace the existing Benninghoven building. The school district proposed to replace the galvanized chain-link fence along Caenen with a six foot black vinyl chain-link fence, as well as to provide a six foot tall chain-link fence along the entry drive, as well as behind the hard surface playground area at the rear of the school. The galvanized chain-link was proposed to remain along the north, south and west property lines. This is what you see in the diagram. The red areas is where existing galvanized fencing was going to be replaced with black vinyl chain link and the rest of the existing galvanized chain link fence was going to remain in place.

As part of consideration of the site plan, the Planning Commission asked if the vinyl chain-link fence proposed along Caenen as well as the galvanized chain-link fence along 67th Street could be constructed of decorative steel instead. The galvanized chain-link would remain along the west and south sides of the property lines. This diagram was put up because it superimposes the site plan that was also approved at Benninghoven and which along with some discussion along the south property line and the galvanized fencing was provided. Staff just wanted to emphasize that the south property line was heavily planted with coniferous trees, as well as deciduous trees; junipers, oak and maple, against the properties as well as the new driveway, and there are new plantings between the driveway and the school property. In the absence of a representative from the school district, the architect indicated that would be acceptable, without input from the school district. As a result of that discussion, the Planning Commission approved the placement of a decorative fence along Caenen Road as well as along 67th Street, and the use of a black vinyl colored chain-link fence along the driveways and around the playground. So what ended up after that discussion was the original proposal was modified and this area went from the original proposal of the black vinyl chain link to a decorative fence and on 67th Street from the remaining, or the existing galvanized chain link to black decorative and that proposal had the retention of the existing fence along the west along the Shawnee Mission Northwest property line, south side, and around the playground areas.

The school district obtained an estimate from the building contractor for the cost of installing a black vinyl fence around the perimeter of the property, but included the item in the bid documents a black decorative fence along Caenen and 67th Street as approved by the Planning Commission. The estimated cost for the black vinyl chain-link fence was $34.00 per lineal foot, and was $115.00 per lineal foot for the 6’ decorative fence.

At the July 6, 2016 meeting the school district proposed a compromise to the previous approval to install the six foot black chain-link fence as originally proposed along Caenen, as well as along the entry driveway, and the playground, and then replacing the existing galvanized chain-link fence along the south and west sides of the site (which had previously been approved to remain), as well as the fencing along 67th Street that had originally been proposed to remain the galvanized chain-link and subsequently required by the Planning Commission to be a black decorative fence, with a new six foot black vinyl fence.

So the school district received their bids and came back with a proposal to basically upgrade all the existing fencing on the site to use the black vinyl which was modified from the first proposal where they were just looking at doing the black vinyl on the Caenen Street side and then leaving all the rest the galvanized.

Additionally, a four foot black vinyl chain-link fence will be placed near the stormwater detention area at the southwest corner of the site. This proposal was made as a compromise to enhance the existing fencing at the site, and provides 3,290 linear feet of new black vinyl chain like fencing at the site. The saved dollars will be used for furnishings, technology, and playground equipment. Funds from the bond issues can’t be used for just general classroom activities, they can only be used for technology, buildings, furnishings or these types of improvements.

As a result of the Planning Commission discussion, the Planning Commission accepted a portion of the compromise to provide a black vinyl covered chain-link fence along the south and west property lines, and 67th Street, but retained the requirement for a black decorative fence along Caenen, and added decorative fencing along the driveway and around the rear playground.

Staff researched the following fencing treatments that have been installed at schools that have been recently reconstructed along their street frontages. I won’t read all of them, but what we have observed or at the schools that aren’t finished at this time, being Crestview, Briarwood and Trailwood, in all those situations they will be having black vinyl fencing. Trailwood will be having black vinyl fencing installed along the perimeter fence. Trailwood is one of them like Benninghoven where some of the playground, like Shawanoe, is actually in front of the school. At Benninghoven some of the playground is being moved to the north side of the school. In the other schools some fencing was replaced and some wasn’t like Oak Park-Carpenter there is no fencing along Nieman Road, and galvanized fencing remained along the north and south properties as well as around the playground which remained in place.

It was the desire of staff to bring this item back to the Planning Commission for further discussion. Staff feels it is important to provide additional information since no representative from the school district was present to clarify the funding source, compromise proposal, and financial considerations regarding the perimeter fencing for Benninghoven Elementary School. If the Planning Commission makes an amendment to the condition of approval for the fencing it will be noted in the project file for SP-33-15-12.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Smith.

COMMISSIONER LES SMITH: Yes, Paul in the staff report we talk about decorative fence, what was the definition of a decorative fence?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The definition of a decorative fence from the discussions was something not necessarily wrought iron, but has that look to it. It has a double rail with pickets in between, generally they come in four foot, six foot, or eight foot lengths. I know at the last meeting staff mentioned you know there will be play areas where kids will be kicking balls, running around, there are going to bump into the fence and you know it may be compromised over time. Where a chain-link if something bounces into it bounces back, or off and really doesn’t do damage.

COMMISSIONER LES SMITH: Will the fence be a privacy fence or will you be able to see through the spaces.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: You would be able to see through it.


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: My guess is what it would look like is similar to along the subdivisions around their edges where a subdivision has a black decorative type of fencing material. I know Wedgewood, Fairway Hills, and other of the often newer subdivisions. So I think what we are wanting to let the Planning Commission know is that the compromise proposal isn’t out of the norm from what they have done at the other schools during the reconstruction and perhaps went even a little further from their original proposal to leave some of the galvanized fencing in place, and just go ahead and replace all the fencing with new so it looks the same all around the school.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Paul, I have a question regarding the effectiveness of a decorative fence for retaining play equipment such as balls and that nature. I know 67th gets a fair amount of traffic, and I’ve seen balls going over that could create quite a hazard. I guess the other thing I would note in the previous discussion regarding the fence in front of the school, it looks like the fence comes around and buts up against the side of the school, so it doesn’t block the front view.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Correct. I think that not having the fencing all along the front it still gives the impression of a yard in front of the school.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Just interested in your thoughts about keeping playground equipment in.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Well, you know if kids are playing kickball you may have balls that will go over. The fence that is there now is four feet and this one will be six feet, so it may stop more. I know when my kids were there and I was waiting for pickup before recess was over, you’d see balls fly over, so I think by raising it from four foot to six foot there may be less opportunity for play equipment to go over the side. I think we’ve seen and the Planning Commission noted that when you go from galvanized fence to either the green coated or the black coated, the fence tends to go away a little more than the silver.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Any further questions for the staff?

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: Can you go back to the very first proposal picture. So it was to leave the remaining galvanized and have the remaining six foot black vinyl fencing on the front. Our biggest problem was along 67th Street. Our first request to change was to change, well two things, to change the galvanized along 67th Street and to change the black vinyl shown in the red (along Caenen) to be changed to decorative as well as along 67th Street.


COMMISSIONER PETERSON: So we knew that one of the discussion points at that time was that the existing was shorter fence and we were wanting to have the street appearance as well as safety of the equipment and children in and out. So back to the final drawing.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The one that was approved last time or the alternate proposal?

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: Let’s go to the alternate proposal.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The alternate proposal has the same feature as the original proposal with the six foot black vinyl in these areas (the front of the school) and changes the existing fencing on the site to black vinyl. All the fencing on the site becomes black and is consistent. I will tell you there are a couple schools that have the black vinyl and galvanized and you can tell. The galvanized fence was in good shape but it looks sort of unfinished.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Any other comments or questions for the staff? If I understand it correctly at this point, Paul, we can either not offer an amendment or it would stay as proposed from the last meeting, or offer an amendment that would change to a different proposal. Is that correct?


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Inaction means it stays the same, or someone can offer an amendment.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The last approval was what is shown in red is black vinyl chain link, and then the green is the decorative. I know there were some comments made about other schools. We went out and took a look and there may be some adjoining properties that had decorative fencing, but none of the schools themselves actually has decorative fencing on their site. Those were not in the Shawnee Mission district, but were out in Blue Valley.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: Mr. Chairman, could we hear from the applicant, please.

APPLICANT: Duane Cash (address omitted). I am representing the Shawnee Mission School District, architect for ACI Boland Architects. With me tonight we have Mr. Kenny Southwick, Deputy Superintendent for the school district.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Would you share your thoughts on this subject then.

MR. CASH: I think in hindsight the fencing should have been issued all the way across the property, and I think that the owners recognize that as well. We do think that the chain-link fence does provide an adequate fencing material for this site. The question was around the playground equipment. The decorative fence is spaced four inches on center, so smaller balls and hands can go through that. Smaller items can go through that fencing. Chain link is what you would most likely see in a playground area and for all fencing. Thank you.


COMMISSIONER BOGINA: Mr. Chairman. As I don’t know, but maybe you do, when does the school district make decisions when there are fences in the front and when there aren’t? I can’t think of every specific instance, but I know there is no fencing at 71st and Lamar. That school and some others that I just happened to drive by, and if you know when do they make those decisions of not having fencing in the front and when they do not.

MR. CASH: Well I think it has a lot to do with the size of the site. The bigger sites where we have a bigger setback from the street or a playground area from a street, or a busier street where we might forego fencing, or is that a question about fencing at all or…

COMMISSONER BOGINA: Fencing at all. I don’t mean to interrupt you, but the City of Leawood, for whatever school district that it is, that they have an ordinance to which you cannot have any fencing along the front. I think that’s the reason at Prairie Star on whatever road that was, that I went by didn’t have any front fencing and there’s some schools around Overland Park that don’t have front fencing. The staff has said that there are some, and I was just wondering if you knew why they made those decisions.

MR. CASH: As architects and the school districts we have taken a position lately with safety concerns, especially with the safety, that we protect the site as best as we can. One of the first lines of defense is the site. Who’s on your property, why they are there, are the kids safe while they are out playing, that people can’t just walk onto the site. So fencing has become more prevalent. I think a lot of that is borne out of the safety issue.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: I certainly understand that.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Schools that didn’t have play areas or playfields in what would be called the front yard, the front area was not fenced. There was no reason to fence. The kids would be back behind the fence on the playgrounds. What you have at Shawanoe, Trailwood and what you are going to have at Benninghoven, are playfields that are actually extended out, or in front of the school, and the open playfields at Benninghoven are going to extend all the way from Caenen to the Shawnee Mission Northwest property line. I think of you are wanting to call that fencing in the front yard, that’s why they are fencing that. One reason is for safety to make sure the kids area safe and not to say they are in a contained area, but they are contained in the areas that are being used for recess, physical education, or what other subjects may be going on. That was our observation. Obviously, the school district has their own reasons.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: I’m sorry. I know that the last time we talked a lot about cost and do you have any constraints about how manyor what kind of contractors can be used? Do they have to be union or non-union?

MR. CASH: This project does have to be a union contractor because J.E. Dunn is an at-risk contractor and they hold the contract for this project.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: So if the school district has chosen to use a contractor that only uses union labor and union product, then wouldn’t you expect that this has to be above or higher cost, or do you find that union labor in construction is going to raise the cost for schools using this type of formula is going to be the same as others?

MR. CASH: I can’t prove that. I think to be honest with you.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: I think that the process are way out of line for what I’ve been used to, and I was shocked last time when you said you thought it would be $165.00 a foot and you’re asking us to use finances in order to approve your plan. But yet, you’re using numbers that maybe not relative to what the City of Shawnee is used to. So I would make just one last comment. What you’re asking us to do, you are asking us to choose cost, but yet you are proposing 2,287 linear feet at $34.00 which is approximately $70,000 some dollars which is not that different from what our initial proposal was of $95,800 from the approval two weeks ago. With those two comparisons, if we’re supposed to use those numbers, I mean, if you want us to choose on cost, the cost is now not that much different.

MR. CASH: I think one of the reasons you might see this cost different from what you are used to is because this is a school and this is a playground. I think I have touched on that last time. I think that we have to use a higher quality product as a minimum. We wanted a heavier duty fence. I could spec a cheaper decorative fence to save some dollars there, but I think we wanted a product that was robust. Because kids will run into it, stand on it, try to climb over it, and those issues. I can’t really speak about the dollars until we go out to rebid again, because we will rebid. We have not awarded this contract. The numbers are estimates based on what we think will be based on what we got the first time. We may get a better pricing by getting better coverage on the bidding.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Sir, would you like to speak?

MR. SOUTHWICK: Thank you. Kenny Southwick (address omitted). I serve as deputy superintendent for the Shawnee Mission School district. Thank you all for your time. I have actually sat on a commission like yours and I understand the gravity and importance of what you do. Thank you. I want to first apologize. I read the notes and also heard from our architect that some of the problem may have been the fact that we did not have a district representative when their original discussion took place. It would not be typical that we would always have one, but when we feel like there is a need we most definitely will be here. I’ll offer that apology as well. Let me address the question of fencing around our properties. Since Mr. Douglas has come on and has become our chief, we have walked around all of our facilities for safety issues not only keeping balls and students in, but also keeping people who might not wasn’t to do good things around our schools out. So some of the areas that we have in the front yards I think staff had mentioned that and Duane certainly did, there are areas during the school day when we would not necessarily have kids going out into that part of the yard. It becomes easier for us to supervise and make sure that we maintain a level of safety so we did a district wide audit and over the last few years we have had fencing projects going on all across the district based upon that philosophy. Again driven around the most important thing we do to secure the perimeter of the property first, the front door, and then if anything happens we do what we need to do to take care of that. The issue about why some fence is the same around a building and not another. First, I have to agree that the first plan that would have left the four foot fence got past myself and Mr. Robinson. We would not recommend putting up a four foot fence anyplace in the district, so that did get past us and also was something we should have corrected. If you hadn’t caught it we would have corrected that as we moved forward with our project.

I would have to say that we will build a fifty year school. We are looking to replace all our older schools across the district. We are regreening these neighborhoods. These are major investments not only for the school district, for the patrons that voted, and our communities. We wanted to do that with high quality. As we do that we have a set of standards that we have used in the past around fencing, and we have tried not to use a common grade fence, not a cheap fence that in three or four years is going to rust or look bad. We are going to look at coated fences around areas and I would tell you in my discussions around the decorative fence, for the school district, the choice of the district would be the black vinyl fence and that’s after 41 years of doing this kind of business.

I would apologize for the concern I was not here for all the conversation related to the decorative fence and how that laid out and what might have been said, but I can tell you that having those discussions early on we would have been here to have those discussions, and try to explain to you why not. So we’re trying to build a building, we’re trying to build the appropriately, we’re trying to build those to a set of standards. We will work very closely and I want to tell each of you and pass it on that your staff has been awesome for us to work with and we’re here to try to look at things to be logical and support coming up with a rationale in the end.

One of the things we want to make sure that we do is that we meet all your ordinances. As we develop these buildings we want to make sure that we follow appropriate codes that need to be involved and work very closely with your staff and we’ve done that. At the same time we would want to make sure that there’s some practical sense to the materials that we use as well as the cost and how long they can be sustainable along the way. We are asking for a variance in your decision, adjustment in your decision. I want to mention that I am fortunate enough to have Patty Mach, who is a resident of Shawnee, but also a school board member that unbeknownst to me came to support me tonight, and Fred Logan is here as well, who represents the school district as our attorney. I’d be glad to answer any questions that you have, and again thank you for the opportunity to have you listed to this again and hopefully bring this to a resolution.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Peterson.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: Thank you for your time and your explanations. A brief history on my behalf, don’t know if fellow commissioners share my view. Is that when this first came up the biggest concern was the four foot fence along the busiest street , not the residential street and so we asked some questions and a decorative fence came up. Since there was nobody saying no, we were like yeah, this is a great idea because we always want what we want. Then when you guys came back it was kind of a situation where, well OK, we say we want this and now are we going to be wishy-washy. We understand the additional cost, anybody that looks at a coated fence versus a decorative fence understands that there is a difference in price. It was one of those situations, at least it was for me. I do believe that the black coated fence can be practical, I hate the fact that we have to have fences around the schools. My three children went to Shawnee Mission schools and I drive by their elementary schools and they’re surrounded by fence which they weren’t before, but I can’t change that either. My biggest point to you is what your best compromise between you and us, are you asking to go back to the previous plan, or the July 6th third compromise that what you proposed because what works best or what. I need a clear delineation of what you would love for us to do.

MR.SOUTHWICK: I may need some help from Duane, but as I listen to the presentation tonight I think that the compromise the district would offer you would have all of our fence be new rather than leaving the old fence. Correct me if I miss this, that would be all the six foot chain-link fence and it would all be costed. So there is additional expense there that we’ll bear over and above what the original would be. To be honest I still think it still fits better with the school in terms of what we are trying to accomplish for safety. And what we are trying to put together as to what our standard would be. Not the four foot pickets, but also not leaving the old fence, but coming in and replacing all of this fence.

CHAIIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: A question to help with my understanding. What is the concern with the decorative fence? I know one of the things that we were looking for is a brand new very nice looking school and to have curb appeal, but yet not to compromise safety. So tell me your concerns with a decorative fence.

MR. SOUTHWICK: My personal concerns would be that decorative fencing is not going to function as well for us. It may look good and be aesthetically pleasing, and it may be a want and a desire that you would like to see in the project, but I think in terms operating a school, providing all the functions for safety, operating, providing the opportunity to provide a fence, not a cheap fence, but not an expensive fence. I also think meeting your original standard is what you wanted to see, as the commissioner said, to remove the four foot fence. People don’t think I’m that old, but this is my forty-first year and I’ve built a lot of buildings and have been on a lot of school grounds, and to this date I have never been on a school site with a decorative fence. One of the problems we run into, you can imagine as we build and rebuild all of our schools, we have 14 municipalities. Every group and every commission has things that they would like to have. What we have to do is look at those things that let us set a standard that will be efficient for us and try to set standards. It is very difficult for everyone since each of the schools we are working on, except for two of them, are located in different municipalities so there are lots of ideas on what people would like to have.

We want to deliver a great project, but we try to have some standard about what’s functional and what will last. My personal opinion is although decorative fencing may be very nice and it would be great to have that out on 67th Street, you’re going to have great curb appeal of this building anyway with the landscaping we are going to do, with the plans that we have on the building which is a gorgeous building. You will have great function for students, and the new playground that we are going to have, we are going to have a brand new facility. Our issue will be what happens as you regreen your neighborhood. Again, I don’t want be too harsh with it, but one of the difficult things we have is what the city planning commission, what they would like to see versus what we really need in trying to make sure that we spend the tax payer dollars the best way we can.


COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Yes, thank you Mr. Commissioner. This question may be for Mr. Cash, Mr. Southwick maybe as well, now that we have been kind of talking about the safety component and keeping people out and keeping the children safe within the school environment. Has law enforcement weighed in now that we have had instances where they have run into problems with between the one type of fence or another? What would impede their ability to respond and be effective in performing their duties?

MR. SOUTHWICK: I won’t talk specifically about fencing. I will tell you again that Chief Douglas, long time former Overland Park chief and works for our department now as the Executive Director for Safety and Security. He’s been instrumental in all security that we’ve done, as we are building all the electronic security, all the upgrades to our camera systems, the networking of each one of the high schools, the networking of middle schools, networking of each elementary school, so that there is an opportunity at each of those sites to plug in and see what is going on in other buildings all that has been guided and directed by the police departments. In addition to that, the police chief has reached out to the police department in each of our municipalities, have done common training. As a matter of fact, we had an active shooter training at South High School. We facilitated those over the last couple of years, so we have stepped up our game by having Chief Douglas here.

Fencing has been looked at as an integral part, and Mr. Douglas would probably talk longer than I can involving detail, and just that publicly there has been that coordination. When we have an event it will be seamless with our police department with the municipality’s police departments to resolve that conflict. We do that on a daily basis.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: OK, but there was nothing specific about breaching one type of fence versus another that you know of. I mean there may not be, I’m just curious if that’s ever been considered.

MR. SOUTHWICK: No, but this issue has been discussed with our architect and with our staff in turn to try to resolve why a decorative fence, why would it be necessary versus what our standard has been.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: OK. Thank you, thank you Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Paul, do you have a comment.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I wanted to say staff has looked at a lot of the elementary schools and middle schools and at Northwest, Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission South and what fencing they have. I don’t know if the security department has looked at the difference between decorative fence at their facilities or chain link at their facilities, but staff is unaware of any facility that has decorative fencing. All the fencing is chain link in one form or another.

When we approved Ray Marsh, Ray Marsh doesn’t have fencing in the front yard. There is galvanized fencing on the south, north and west and around the playground that remained. When we approved the site plan for the new Nieman Elementary School some of the old fencing was replaced, but it was replaced in kind and the new areas with just galvanized fencing. When we did Shawanoe, and Shawanoe is a lot like Benninghoven in that there are some play areas in front. At Shawanoe they are all across along 75th Street, where at Benninghoven it’s just on one side, but their fencing is the black vinyl chain link fence so certainly the request for a decorative type fence is an outlier for the district as a whole. It isn’t something that’s been required.

When I drove out to take a look at some of the Blue Valley schools, there was a lot of black vinyl coated, a lot of galvanized, and quite frankly there were a couple schools where it was just kind of a mish-mash of some black vinyl coated that was right up against chain link and at least to be considering aesthetics, didn’t look real well since some of the galvanized was staring to rust our and not the situation you would have expected to have seen from that school district’s perspective of how their properties look.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Smith.

COMMISSIONER LES SMITH: Thank you. Paul, because I’m not familiar with all those other schools, are they truly comparable as having residential directly across the street from the front of the school?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Ray March has residential directly across on Rosehill. Nieman does directly across Nieman Road. On the south side there are some apartments, then on the east side there are homes in that general area. Shawanoe there are apartments to the south and west, then on the north side there are single family homes. Oak Pak-Carpenter is basically surrounded by single family homes on all sides. You know I think a lot of the district’s older school locations were neighborhood schools where parents were more liable to let their kids walk to school, could indeed walk to school, so a lot of those are sited in residential neighborhoods.

COMMISSIONER LES SMITH: Would you mind putting up the graphic from the last meeting that we approved at the last meeting?

MR. CASH: The end of last meeting?


MR. CASH: Is this the proposal from the last meeting?

COMMISSIONER LES SMITH: Yes, I was thinking more of ours. First of all a blanket statement, I’m not ever going to apologize for raising the bar a little bit. This might be a little more decorative than any other fence. I’m surely not going to apologize for that as long as there is a safety issue of course. It does look like the one thing, and I made the motion that probably there is no real good rationale for the decorative fencing along the back side, which I assume was around some of the play area. There’s probably no good purpose for that to be there. It would seem like vinyl chain link fencing would be good there. It’s not a hill I would die for, but I kind of like what we came up with quite honestly.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Do we have any further discussion. If not would someone care to make an amendment? If you don’t then the issue is essentially left with the plan that is on the screen right now. (Inaudible form the audience). That would be fine.

MS. MACH: Patty Mach, I am a member of the Board of Education for the Shawnee Mission School District. (address omitted). First of all, I want to echo what Dr. Southwick said about thank you for serving. I understand that commitment, thank you for being here. Just listening to the discussion tonight, I would ask that someone make an amendment for a variety of reasons. Consistency among our schools, which I think is extremely important. We want Shawnee Mission Schools to not be different. We want to be a district of schools. So we want to look similar, then not all the same, as you can see our schools look different, but consistency I think is important. I think it’s also important from a safety standpoint, so that our safety and security don’t have to deal with different fencing as opposed to other schools in the district. I’d also like to just, I’m not an architect, I’m not a landscape architect, I’m a stay at home mom. But I believe that you want aesthetically, as Mr. Bienhoff was stating, be aesthetically pleasing from the street. I would guess that you wouldn’t see a chain-link fence, as Mr. Chaffee said it would fade away. A decorative fence you would see very much. Finally, on the issue of safety. When I’ve got one more point. Safety, as Mr. Cash talked about. Balls and hands getting stuck in the decorative fence and the bounce back. I’m sure you all have kicked a ball along a chain-link fence, it bounces out and it bounces back. The fence gives with it if you will. The decorative fence, I don’t believe that would happen.

Finally, Mr. Bogina you were talking about the cost factor. If I heard your numbers correctly, it would still be a savings of around $20,000 is that correct? In my book that’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of technology, so I would request that someone please make this amendment so that we can have this same fencing around the building. Thank you for hearing me out.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Thank you. Any questions. Mr. Bogina.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: Because we were asked to make the decision on cost, and now cost is really not the item, and, I’m sure that I know there’s an awful lot of non-union contractors in Kansas that can do the work, and because it is a union contractor someone outside of Kansas that is doing the work. So first we are asked to decide on the cost and now we are asked to decide on security and then we have comments on what’s more aesthetic. I mean it is the Planning Commission’s decision as to what’s more aesthetic. Although I was somewhat surprised when the architect agreed to this the first time, as Commissioner Peterson, I think it was a great upgrade and I think all the architecture and all the aesthetics that the school has put into this plan. The fencing in my opinion, makes it look that much better.

I think it provides that same amount of security, that they could create with pickets at two and a half inch rather than the standard, or three and a half inches, or at two inches. I don’t think that a few little baseballs that pass through are a big concern to the school district. So if it’s our decision as to what’s more aesthetic, then I agree with the Commission back in December when we thought an ornamental fence along the side that faced single family housing would be appropriate. With the length of it if Commissioner Smith feels that the west side is unnecessary and we shorten the distance for them. The cost, not really, I don’t think has much bearing on it. I think the numbers are getting smaller and smaller the less linear feet we compromise to. Thank you.


PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I think one last item I don’t want to get necessarily lost in the mix from back in the original approval in December is that no one form the school district was at that meeting. That was their decision to be there or not, but they allowed their architect to make a presentation and rather it was fortunate or unfortunate. You know, the architect made a decision on behalf of the school district. If they has someone present at the meeting, the discussion may have gone perhaps a little differently that, oh yeah sure, the decorative fence is going to be OK. I don’t know that we would have made a different choice, or that the district at that time would have said it was something they can take a look at and will come back later, but go ahead and approve the rest of the plan. So I don’t want that to get lost in the discussion that we all think that the school district at that time willingly said we’ll do the decorative fencing and then they are trying to come back and try to do something different.

MR. CASH: We are representing the district as an architect. As a design firm we want the building to look as good as well. That’s very important to us, as well as cost, safety, educational capabilities as well. Price comes into play and I think that the architect that was here that night felt the same way that it would be a great thing with our having the time and forethought of what it would impact for cost. We didn’t have time to know what the cost would be. What the impact of what that material would have to be like for long term sustainability and safety and durability. So I think that was kind of a knee jerk reaction. That is we had the time developing the whole building as was presented to you. It would not have been presented to you we would have due diligence and the analytics there to say that that doesn’t make sense for lots of reasons. So I would like to add one little thing. I do have concerns about a rigid picket fence around playground areas. I think if you thought for a second, a kid running for a ball and running into a square tubed fence is not the same as running into a chain link fence. I do worry about that and hope that is something to consider.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: Yes Mr. Chairman, thank you. I do appreciate the district’s compromising coming back with a six foot fence around the perimeter. I know when our children were there, I witnessed on many occasions people choosing to climb the fence to jump over as opposed to go through private areas to pass through because it was either more fun or easier for them. I know a lot of our discussion was around aesthetics around the front of the school. We had an original requirement to have a decorative fence along 67th Street, which I think we have come back around to say it’s OK not to have which I think is about the most heavily trafficed street other than the drop-on, drop-off and pick up. We talked about not wanting to have a fence in front of the school. As I look at the drawing, the fence comes along to the side of the school so you can clearly see the front of the building. It has no fencing, so I have no issues with a six foot tall black coated chain-link fence around, as depicted in the compromise. I’m prepared to offer an amendment to our requirement.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Then please go ahead and offer the amendment.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: I would like to propose an amendment to the fence to allow and require the six foot black vinyl coated chain-link fence around the property lines, and playground as depicted on the compromise drawing and remove the requirement of the decorative fencing to amend SP-23-15-12.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Thank you, is there a second? Commissioner Wise.

COMMISSIONER WISE: I’ll second that motion.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: All in favor say aye, all opposed nay. The motion carries.

(Motion passes 7-2. Commissioners John Smith, Peterson, Willoughby, Bienhoff, Busby, Wise and Braley aye; Commissioners Bogina and Les Smith nay)

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Item two for other business is to review a proposed amendment to the Planned Unit Development Mixed Residential zoning regulations regarding density requirements for senior housing projects. If the Planning Commission desires to proceed with consideration of the amendments, staff will prepare amendments to the zoning regulations and the Comprehensive Plan for consideration at the August 15, 2016 meeting, and at that time a date would be set for a public hearing.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: One of the topics we’ve had discussions with numerous developers over the past year is in regard to providing senior living housing opportunities within our community. Often times sites that we take a look at are smaller in nature. One of the reasons is developers of senior housing like that projects to be located near amenities; swimming pools, libraries, shopping. A lot time times that sites are smaller than we would expect to see for a traditional apartment development. Our regulations today regarding the number of square feet of lot area required doesn’t make a differentiation whether it is senior housing or a traditional apartment type development. As we have been looking at it a little more, we noted that for senior housing apartment parking requirements are different. For an apartment complex, it is two stalls per unit and for senior living it is 1.3 parking stalls per unit. Many times the amenities you see in senior projects are more interior type of amenities, such as meals being provided. A club house that you may be outside by a swimming pool in an apartment complex in a stand alone building is often on one of the floors of the senior living building. Often times there may be medical care that is provided or we may have some outdoor facilities such as a patio covered with a pergola or roof, a walking trail that doesn’t eat as much a ground as some of those other outdoor activities such as a swimming pool, a separate clubhouse, tennis courts, or whatever else you may see.

What we have come up with is a discussion to see if the density in senior living developments could be different and perhaps a little higher than what you’d see in an apartment building and therefore consume less space. One of the real good examples was when Village Coop was constructed, they have an underground garage as well as some surface parking. As a result, theoretically, the amount of land they would need to have to even have that type of service wasn’t as great as you may been otherwise.

Right now the zoning regulations require 2,800 square feet of land area for each dwelling unit for a multi-family dwelling structure which is about 15.5 units per acre. The current exception is that if the proposal is within a quarter mile of the Townsqaure zoning district we go down to 2,250 square feet per dwelling units which is about 19.36 units per acre. One of the reasons that we did that two or three years ago was that we wanted to provide the opportunity to increase the density in the downtown area, as well as the lots that were going to be available for that type of development were just not going to be as large, and we were wanting to get as big a bang for the buck as we could down here.

Staff reviewed some other city’s regulations and we did some calculations on the size of a parking stall, the size of the drive aisle next to the parking stall and how many square feet in our multi-family is taken up by an outdoor swimming pool and clubhouse area, and try to come up with a further reduction in square feet that was reasonable and still seemed to have decent front years, and you’re going to have landscaping, and there is still area you could build a gazebo, a walking area, or have a community garden, and still have adequate space to do so.

We came up with a calculation of 2,000 square feet per dwelling unit which takes the density up to around 21.78 units per acre which is pretty comparable to what you see in other communities for some of their senior housing opportunities.

What we would like this evening is some general discussion, if you all think it is an amendment to the zoning regulations to pursue. If you think it is, then we’ll bring back specific verbiage to be considered, probably very similar to what you see before you, so you can see what it would look like. We’ll also bring back an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan because the Comprehensive Plan sets the maximum units per acre calculation. We would want to go back in and make sure we are willing to have a higher density per acre than just a traditional style apartment development.

If you want us to pursue something we’ll get it for the next meeting and then as we generally do we will have discussion. If you like the verbiage, we will set a public hearing and then go on from there.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: Paul, crazy question. Maybe I’m just getting offended that I am getting closer to the age of 55. Is that the magic number that everyone thinks they can get a discount because AARP comes and starts sending you stuff?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Generally 55 is used in age restricted developments. 55 tends to be the more common age that’s used. Sometimes you’ll see 62 years used. What we saw that was common when we did our planned single family age restricted zoning regulations is that the husband or he wife may be 63, but the spouse is 58 or 57, so we used that number so you’re not necessarily the person on the other end. So the husbands can live there and the wife can and vice versa, or significant other.

COMMISSIONER PETERSON: As a follow up I have one quick question. Thank you for explaining that. By opening this up for senior living, but not that I have anything against that, but are we opening the gates to one specific area where, and not necessarily others, or are we looking at apartments for young people that want to live like that. Is the density study across the board, or just this section?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: For the density we are just looking at for housing that is age restricted for over fifty-five. So, we are just looking at 55 and older. You’re not looking at a nursing facility or general apartments. That may be for another discussion that we may want to have further down the line. What we’re looking at any trying to accomplish, is trying to accommodate a different type of housing. Senior housing has been around for a long time, hopefully it will be more common requests we are going to see along the line and not limited to a certain location, where we are saying all senior housing has to be west of I-435, or east of I-435. With it being a rezoning, someone is still going the have to come in with a PUD rezoning, so you are going to be approving a plan. You know, there maybe some situations where someone is bouncing the highest density off, but the architecture is horrible, and they are not meeting the design standards and we still have the ability to request them to make some tweaks.

COMMISSIONER JOHN SMITH: I can have some examples, particularity when you have these units where you move up to where you may be able to buy a house, and then you move up to assisted living. How do you handle that then you zone those, and when you plan those? You know personally, when we’ve looked at those primarily across the border, but there are some here too, how would that be handled?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Certainly, and we can prepare those types for discussion. I think it’s an idea we would want to pursue having more discussion on.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: One thing that concerns me about this is when you’re talking senior living, there is a considerable difference between the three levels being full nursing home, or congregate care, to assisted living and independent living. We’ve added in a bunch of independent living and those are pretty active people to be changing this, and the other thing with independent living, and my father was in Shawnee Hills, I’m wondering.. That’s considered senor housing correct?


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Is there any way for that to be changed five years from now from senior housing back to market priced housing?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: It could. This sort of gets us to the position we’re in. Shawnee Shawnee Hills came in, they had, I’m not sure how many units, that they had, maybe 150 units, so back at the time we were looking for what we call medium density development. We had no differentiation between a senior facility and another facility. The building itself may be on a site of five acres, but to make the zoning requirements work, they had to purchase the ten acre piece, so half their property is tied up in the zoning, so they are basically abutting up to vacant land to get the density they were required to have. I guess, in my mind, what is the more efficient use of ground, allowing a higher density to serve the same purpose, and not just tie up ground to have to have to meet our density requirements.

Our proposal doesn’t change the skilled nursing, intermediate nursing facilities. In fact, in those cases they are zoned Professional Office. We have no density requirements on a nursing facility. Basically it’s can they fit a building on the property, and can they park it adequately, and if they can, it’s good to go. Also, we have the RHR district which is the high rise zoning. If you have at least a four story building or greater you already have the density bonus built in because you are going up higher and you can actually get some pretty good density off those projects.

So what it all comes down to is when we look at senior housing, do we want to offer up the ability to have a higher density and have those projects eat up less, rather than saying you have to have your ten acres for your 100 units, or 150 units and you figure out what do with the other five acres you may have?

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Braley.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: Thank you Mr. Chairman. So I guess this one will be philosophical. So why only, I guess this is what Kathy was saying. So why only consider higher density for a certain population, rather than a higher density across the board, from a planning standpoint?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I think form a planning standpoint and I think some of this is philosophical too, all things being equal and you take, how much land do you need to have to provide for a normal apartment complex. You have “x” number of acres, you are required to have a certain number of amenities, basically larger parking areas than you would have otherwise, and in senior living if you don’t need to have as much space, then why should it be required. It may be on down the line that we want to bump the density in multi-family, but do we want to bump it by having taller structures, as opposed to a three story structure to gain the density. In that situation too if you have a hundred units in four stories, as opposed to one hundred units in a two story or three story, the footprint of your building may be smaller, with less ground bring necessary to be provided.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: So in short, I’m very much in favor of us looking into this and really get into it. A couple of concerns I have is one, base it on current assumptions of how things are going and want to make sure some of the creativity that may come out of the development community as far as what they are going to bring to the table. The other thing is the assumption on a 55 year old family unit. I think in all that I’m reading; is still in the job market, probably a two car family, still wanting amenities to be active and to have their own community near the city center. So I would like to see how that plays out and not base that on some current assumptions but project being as we see that population as they are aging now, and retirement is not 60. But in general, and maybe that’s the next step for the millennials and being able to respond, not being status quo, but what do we need to do to be competitive so if the developer brings a product to us, what can we do to be ahead of the curve in responding to it?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I think one of the other things that we need to do, that staff has been looking at is looking at the Land Use Guide. We don’t have a lot of land that we show for high density residential. We have an awful lot shown for medium density residential. This is where you start bumping into that ten unit an acre guideline that we have. Maybe going in the Comprehensive Plan we go in and say these densities go back to the 1980’s and you know what was considered to be low density in 1980 is not now. In Shawnee we didn’t even have a lot of the planned single family subdivisions that we have today. Is medium density really 12 or thirteen units to acre rather than up to ten units per acre. There are ways we can take a look at that also, and make some tweaks to the Land Use Guide and even make some tweaks to what our definitions are for the types of housing.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Commissioner Bienhoff.

COMMISSIONER BIENHOFF: I know over the last few years or several years from time to time we talk about the desire to increase the density. I’m curious what is driving that desire. I’m sure it’s easy to find people who would not necessarily share that desire. What is the driving force behind that?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Some of the driving force is that there are age groups that are willing to move into different types of housing opportunities. If you are 70 years old and don’t want to mow the yard anymore, and maybe you’re 35 you don’t want to do that either. I just think lifestyles have changed especially with the older population. As we age longer, you know we may still want to be active, but we want other housing opportunities.

I think the other thing that you see even to keep housing affordable, and I’m not talking about subsidized housing, you hear developers talk about their entry level houses and they’re $325,000. For entry level, and that is hard to grasp, but the cost of land, the cost of providing utilities. The water district, their fees are going up, the sewer district, their fees are going up, it’s not any cheaper to pave a street and do curbs and gutters. The cost per lot has increased to the point that developers are looking for more density so they can spread the cost over more lots, and build more houses. You look at the planned single family developments that probably would have been R-1 years ago, the Crimson Ridge’s, Greenview Ridge, Wedgewood, and Fairway Hills. I think anyone who looks at those, those all turned out to be very nice, but they don’t have the 75 feet of street frontage on every lot, they are 65, 60’s, and a variety of sizes. Builders changed their ways. There became more of a variety in house design, changed to accommodate smaller lots. I can do a comparison of a house in Lakeview and it’s square footage and a house in Fairway Hills and its square footage, and the lot frontage and the design of the home, and a house in Fairway Hills is appraising out higher than some in Lakeview. There is that old traditional thought that the bigger the lot, means the bigger the house, and it’s more expensive. It’s just not necessarily the case anymore.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: I am going to assume that you are going to need a motion from us to proceed.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: Just a shake of the heads, if you are all interested. That’s fine, we’ll prepared verbiage and then come back and try to hit on the issues we spoke about tonight.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: I guess is there anybody who is completely opposed to this for preparing verbiage and then becoming part of the public meeting for public discussion? Then I think we will proceed with that.

Does the Planning Commission have any other business? Yes, Commissioner Bogina:

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: If I could ask you a few questions from the last meeting. I really didn’t want to get into all of them at our last meeting. Does the streamway, could you give us an idea as to the possible timing of the streamway?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The timing of the streamway is, the southern end of the project has actually started. These has been some tree removal to start relocating the creek. We have gone on an expedited schedule of our stormwater improvements. We are looking at doing the southern and then the middle part which is in the area behind the post office and Russell Florist, and the vacant property that is the middle. Then we have the Nieman north which goes under Nieman and in the area where the e-cig shop is and then goes up the paved drainage way along 60th Street, and then it heads toward Flint. Those are the three separate projects that we hadn’t necessarily taken SMAC money for. The Governing Body reconsidered and accepted the SMAC money for all three projects so we are looking at doing them all simultaneously in 2017 and 2018 and get them all done at once.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: I don’t know why I think I know this, but will part of that be a deeper channel behind Russell Florist and water was going to be congregated there a little bit and a walkway?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: There will be a bridge that crosses the creek generally in the area where the post office and Russell Florist is. There will be a walking trail along the southern area as well as a sidewalk along 62nd Street for a certain distance. The channel may be a little deeper. It is being moved further north. One thing to remember is it’s a tributary to Turkey Creek and only during heavy rains there is a lot of water in it. Most of the time if you go down you can take off your shoes and wade in it from one side to the other, so the water doesn’t really pool or stand much.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: So I guess I might go to another point then. I don’t think the developer last time proposed, and I don’t think we asked whether or not he could provide an access to those 175 people in that building down to the streamway where they could walk to pick up their car, or walk for pizza, or to go to the telephone store and combine those people with the downtown shopping area.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: What they would do is go down Goddard, and then hook into the sidewalk that will go along the streamway on the north side.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: So they would walk east, and then north.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: North along Goddard, and then connect in, cross the bridge and then…

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: Wasn’t their parking lot area just eight feet from the top of the channel where they could have put steps if it wasn’t dangerous, I assume they could have put steps down.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I think that it is steep enough if you tried to put steps, it angles so much there’s not enough ground to try and get from the parking lot and then across.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: That was going to be my next point.

COMMISSIONER WILLOUGHBY: I think it is more like 15-18 feet to the channel.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: I thought it was more like eight. But maybe it could and maybe it was a way to get people more into the downtown area for shopping, for lunch for taking their car to get it worked on during the day and things like that. But my last point was that we did approve, and it’s exactly what the ordinance was, but it’s paved from property line to property line and we had no on-site amenities, like they have in Overland Park, Leawood and Lenexa, that would have some on-site gathering whether it was just to have someone to pick up or if your addicted to smoking, or just want to be outside. Something you know your going to have to stand on the pavement and it seems like we could have other developments that are going to come it along Nieman, which are going to be dense, and I have no problem with density, as Mr. Tubbesing told me a few times. We should have some type of requirement to have more than the minimum green area where they could sit outside or do whatever they would, and I know that we haven’t addressed this because this is the first plan that we had that kind of look to it. So do you think sometime on an agenda staff could work up some ideas as to how we can accomplish that?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: One of the goals of the planning department for 2016/2017 is to do some architectural guidelines, and I’m sure amenities will be included along the Nieman Road corridor. We have guidelines for the Johnson Drive area that we use. We’ll certainly bring them to you for review and comment as we get those prepared.

COMMISSIONER BOGINA: Thank you. I would guess on the Nieman Road plan we talked about that frontage road as you would exit to the east, and whatever on the Nieman plan, also heading west for southbound traffic that the plan will take care of the frontage road access issue? Well, let me rephrase that. We have a higher volume of people that are trying to turn left from the south on that frontage road. Right now it is “X” amount of people and then that many more, perhaps the Nieman plan will address this situation a little more. Thank you Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Any other items for staff from commissioners?

COMMISSIONER WISE: A minor comment. I still noticed that the galvanized panels were still on the fence at Johnson Drive and Monrovia. I did not see the back of the building, but I understand they were working with staff, but we’re somewhat past the deadline at this point.

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: The applicant has made a submission as of the last deadline, which was last Wednesday. We’re working with them to come up some more modifications, but they’re scheduled for the August 1st agenda. I will reiterate to the applicant that the question has been raised and they need to be on the August 1st agenda. I think as far as the building material on the building, we may have found a product that will work. It’s a product similar to what we have out at Community America, which I think is well done with that metal. We are still having discussions on the fence. They want to use the same material on the fence also.

COMMISSIONER WISE: Have you spoken to them about the fence?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: We have relayed back to them our comments.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Any other items? Commissioner Braley.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: I know Doug has been the point person on this, but at the last meeting I requested that he reach out to Mr. Nachbar to see how they handle delivery of vehicles to their property. Do you have any updates on that?

PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAFFEE: I haven’t heard an update.

COMMISSIONER BRALEY: That’s OK. I’ll just wait, thank you.


COMMISSIONER PETERSON: I move we adjourn the meeting.

CHAIRMAN BUSBY: Is there a second.


CHAIRMAN BUSBY: I have a motion and a second to adjourn, all those in favor say aye, all opposed nay, the meeting is adjourned at 9:17 P.M.

(Motion carried 9-0)