The Clarkson Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, pursuant to notices published in The Countian, St. Louis County, met on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at the Clarkson Executive Building to consider two agenda items and to make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen.
Planning and Zoning Commission Members present were:
Anne Grabner, Chairperson
Alderperson Amy Setnicka, Ward 2 and City Clerk, Michele McMahon also attended. Commission Members John Cloute and Jerry Litschgi were unable to attend.
After the meeting was called to order the Chairperson introduced Commission Members. The City Clerk read the Notice of Public Hearing for the first agenda item: To consider a request from Alizadeh Orthodontics to allow non-illuminated channel letters attached to the north side of the building and to the east side of the building (facing Clarkson Road) at the property known as 2997 Clarkson Road and to make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen.
Dr. Cyrus Alizadeh thanked everyone for giving up another night to discuss his request. He explained that he changed his request from the last meeting as going from two (2) LED lighted channel letter signs to two (2) non-illuminated channel letter signs and the reason he would like this signage is their existing sign is small and often missed by his clients. They want the lettering to identify this building as pertaining to orthodontists. He said their existing sign blends in too much with the surroundings.
Madam Chair, Anne Grabner, shared an observation she had regarding this request. This is the first time the Planning and Zoning Commission has been asked to allow signage pertaining to a service opposed to signage identifying a company, school, or building name. This being “in uncharted waters”, she was wondering how the remaining Commission Members felt about asking the Board of Aldermen to give more clarification to the code regarding signage?
The Commission Members discussed various aspects of existing signs in the City along with the definition of “Sign” in our Code.
Commission Member Schiller asked Dr. Alizadeh if two signs were necessary; stating she could see how the signage could help his business, but not necessarily make it easier to help his clients find his office. Commission Member Hussey stated that Dr. Alizadeh moved from his Ellisville location to the Clarkson Road address in 2006 knowing our signage code at that time. Lastly, it was asked if this is considered a destination sign versus an advertising sign. Whereupon Commission Member Bogosian believed it to be a destination sign, otherwise, he said, it would state “COME TO OUR OFFICE FOR A BEAUTIFUL SMILE”.
Amy Setnicka introduced herself as a Clarkson Valley resident who was asked to speak on behalf of the Rottjakobs, who are out of town. She received an email from them stating they would definitely prefer the address numbers as was mentioned at the last meeting instead of the channel letters. Dr. Alizadeh said by changing his request to two non-illuminated signs, he believed he did everything that was asked of him by the two opponents that attended the December meeting. Although there were no new opponents or proponents attending this meeting, the City Clerk stated there were two residents that expressed opinions via phone call and postcard. The resident to the north of the building that resides at 160 Highgrove Court mentioned the signs were too large in her opinion. A resident of Fox Chapel whose house is behind the church next to the Alizadeh Building, was okay with the proposal as long as the signs were not illuminated.
After some discussion on how the vote would be taken, it was decided to consider the request as proposed: To allow non-illuminated channel letters attached to the north side of the building and to the east side of the building (facing Clarkson Road) at the property known as 2997 Clarkson Road and to make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. A vote was taken for a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen with the following results: Ayes: Bogosian and Corno. Nays: Grabner, Hussey and Schiller. The Commissioner declared this motion as having failed.
Chairperson Grabner then made a motion for an affirmative recommendation to the Board of Aldermen, seconded by Karl Hussey and a vote was taken to allow one (1) non-illuminated channel letter sign to be located on the north side of the building closest to the church with the following result: Yeas: Grabner, Schiller, Bogosian, Corno and Hussey. There were no nays. The motion was declared as having passed. Commission Member Bogosian asked that the Minutes clearly reflect the business owner’s request was for two (2) signs. It was established that Dr. Alizadeh would attend the regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen to be held Tuesday evening, April 5th at 7:30 in this same room.
The City Clerk read the Notice of Public Hearing for the second agenda item: To hold a public hearing to consider a new definition of Family and to make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen.
Chairperson Grabner asked why this was being considered and Commission Member Honora Schiller who also serves as Alderperson, responded by saying the definition is outdated and reminded everyone of the case of the unmarried couple living in Ladue turned in by a feuding neighbor because this was contrary to the definition of Family in their City’s Code.
She said that she and Alderperson King served on this Committee to develop the new definition. They considered many definitions but felt Frontenac’s definition was succinct. She also discussed the only variance from their Code to this Committee’s recommendation which was to limit the number of full-time domestic employees allowed per residence, which is two (2) in Frontenac. They felt one (1) domestic employee was sufficient since the number of part-time employees is not mentioned within the definition.
Commission Member Bogosian asked if the City Attorney had a chance to look at this definition to which Alderperson Schiller said he did. Mr. Bogosian said as long as it passes the Attorney’s scrutiny and it withstood any issues with the City of Frontenac, he was onboard with it.
Chairperson Grabner made a motion for an affirmative recommendation to the Board of Aldermen, seconded by Gregg Bogosian. A vote was taken with the motion to accept the new definition of Family with the following result: Yeas: Grabner, Schiller, Bogosian, Corno and Hussey. There were no nays. The motion was declared as having passed. Chairperson Grabner stated the Planning and Zoning Commission makes an affirmative recommendation to the Board of Aldermen.
The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Michele McMahon, City Clerk
City of Clarkson Valley