Planning and Zoning Commission

April 29, 2009



            The Clarkson Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, pursuant to notices published in the West Newsmagazine on Wednesday, April 8th and the Clarkson Valley website since March 24th and letters mailed to residents living within 500' of the proposal on Friday, April 10th, met at City Hall on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 in the Fru-Con Center's third floor Presentation Room at 15933 Clayton Road to consider the proposals brought forth by John King, representing St. John’s Medical Office Building and to make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. 


            Planning and Zoning Commission Members present were:


                        Susan Shea, Chairman, Alderperson, Ward 1

                        Artie Ahrens

                        Gregg Bogosian

                        John Cloute

                        Anne Grabner


                        Frank W. Hodgdon III, Commissioner and newly appointed Commission Member, Jerry Litschgi were present to observe.


Commission Members Jack Hauser, Lin Midyett and Paul Mercurio were not able to attend.


The City Attorney, Patrick Butler and City Clerk, Michele McMahon, also attended.


            After the meeting was called to order, the Chairman asked the City Clerk to read the Notice of Public Hearing for the agenda item being considered: To consider a request from St. John’s Mercy Health Care for approval of preliminary site development plans, to consider their proposal for consolidation of Lots 2A and 2B to one (1) lot to locate a medical office building, to change language to the PC Code allowing outpatient surgery with no stay longer than 23 hours, and to re-position the Clayton Road driveway farther west, all at the properties known as 15945 Clayton Road and 15959 Clayton Road and to make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen. 


Mr. John King, the attorney representing this proposal introduced himself and the remaining presenters were introduced.  Dan Kalicak, Vice-President of Business Development and Strategic Planning, St. John’s Mercy and Terry Flynn from the same department; Trish Geldbach, Vice-President of Operations, St. John’s Mercy; Marlys E. Schuh, M.D. Founding Physician of the St. Louis Cancer and Breast Institute (a group of eight with the primary building on Ballas Road); Wayne Williams, Vice-President of Real Estate and Terry Bader, Senior Vice-President Navvis Development; Greg Garner, Principal of Archimages; Paul Boyer, P.E., Principal of CEDC Civil Engineering Design Consultants; Brian Schmidt, P.E. Assistant Transportation/Civil Project Engineer of Horner & Shifrin, Inc. Engineers; Randy Mardis, Landscape Technologies; Neal Bauer, who was unable to attend, was mentioned as being the construction project manager from McCarthy Construction. 


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            John King spoke of the three requests and gave the history of the original lot belonging to Fru-Con.  It was split into two in 2004 because at the time, St. John’s intended to construct two buildings.  He then spoke about the request for a code change to allow visits no longer than 23 hours.  He mentioned the state law that prohibits visits longer than 24 hours unless you are a fully licensed hospital.  The nature of the hospital’s use was then discussed.  Mr. King said they plan to use the building for the treatment of cancer, mostly of women, with medical and surgical oncology as well as radiation.  They plan to have a number of internal, primary care and family-practice physicians. 


            The architect, Greg Garner spoke along with the civil engineer for the job, Paul Boyer about the site and building.  First the site:  He explained the necessity of relocating the main entry drive farther west on the 10.6-acre parcel and said they are working with the county highway department to make a much safer ingress/egress as well as achieving a better circulation pattern to the entrances and parking areas.  They explained that Mr. Schmidt performed extensive due diligence with regard to the traffic study and stated they received MoDOT’s conceptual approval.  They are working with Fru-Con and MSD on the detention basin and explained that history, saying that Fru-Con engineered and built the existing basin.  MSD has since become more restrictive about holding more water during periods of heavy rain and meting it out at a much slower rate than its current configuration. 


            The parking lot areas will contain drain inlets that will be placed liberally on the parking lot, hydraulically pumped to the basin to address requirements for a 100-year flood.  MSD has approved the overall design. 


            Landscaping was then discussed with mention of green spaces and walking paths.  The off-loading of materials delivered by smaller trucks will be taken to a loading pad opposed to over-the-road trucks going to a large loading dock. 


The newly submitted handout entitled Site Section Diagram was discussed.  At first glance, the diagram appears to show a huge retaining wall.  Upon closer examination, it is a cut view with a 5’ tall person standing across Clayton Road looking toward the office building.  Several members of the board requested this in order to determine the impact of the retaining walls running parallel with Clayton Road.  The wall will not be visible although approximately 2’ of the 1-1/2” diameter steel pipe (painted a bronze color) guardrail (handrail) will be visible.  From that location, one would be able to see approximately 2-1/2 of the three stories and the awning (porte-cochere).  They intend to build a sidewalk along Clayton Road and landscape the area in between. 


Discussion came back to the basin area when knowledge was made the landscape architect is turning the basin area into a wetlands.  There was a newly submitted handout showing the material to be used along with the fencing.  Chairman Shea asked who would maintain the wetlands, to which it was noted St. John’s would in a joint effort with Fru-Con, as they both are responsible.  Paul Boyer explained the requirement MSD has regarding the Clean Water Act and the mandate for the wetlands.




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The building’s first floor will contain 52,000 sq. ft. of space with four entrances.  Regardless of where people park, they can gravitate easily to the elevator.  The second floor has 40,000 sq. ft. and the third floor has 33,000, for a total of 125,000 sq. ft.  It was asked if they knew the Fru-Con building’s footage, to which Greg stated a little under 42,000 per floor for a total of approximately the same square footage.


The floor was opened to questions.  Some that were asked regarded sign plans (to be submitted at a later date for a special use permit); further explanation of the 24-hour stay (the clients of this building are considered outpatient); will the building be staffed 24-hours round-the-clock (yes, although there will be standard hours for medical uses, generally 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.); lighting (blending with Fru-Con’s parking lot – 2’ candles, standard shoebox shading, dusk-to-dawn); sidewalk along Clayton (yes, more than 5’ from the retaining wall); square footage of pharmacy (600); rehab gym (no); soiled laundry and bedding (trucked off site); bio-hazardous material (red bags picked up and removed from site); incinerator (no); gas used for sterilizing (no); what is a hot lab (single node biopsy to identify where the cancer is in the breast); radiation (most done with a linear accelerator opposed to isotopes; number of anticipated employees (best guess – 175); explanation of “simple café” (small food service of sandwiches and soft drinks for patients, visitors and employees similar to that of St. Louis Bread Co. but not cooked on premises); handicapped parking spaces (plan shows technical compliance with ordinance but upon suggestion, St. Johns agreed to double the number shown on site plan); proof that taxes are current and paid (St. John’s agreed); proof of highway department approval for signal (they are in detailed conversation with St. Louis County Highway and the county agrees this is designated as an entrance and it will be signalized); 6’ tall black vinyl chain link fence (chosen to be less intrusive and more protective).


Mr. Jerry Roberts of Midwest Music was present and stated that after speaking with the architect; he had no problems with them repositioning the driveway farther west.  It was mentioned the Dierberg’s Store Manager, Jerry Ebest stated he had no reason to oppose the project, either (confirmed by Chairman Shea).


            A vote was taken to recommend to the Board of Aldermen its approval to consolidate lots 2A and 2B into one lot. Yeas:  Ahrens, Bogosian, Cloute, Grabner and Shea. 


            A vote was taken to recommend to the Board of Aldermen that they amend Section 405.095.B.2.b.5 of the PC Code to allow outpatient surgery with no stay longer than twenty-three (23) hours.  Yeas:  Ahrens, Bogosian, Cloute, Grabner and Shea. 


            The recommendation to the Board of Aldermen for approval of the final site development plan was taken in two votes with stipulations.


Moving the driveway farther west should be granted subject to St. Louis County Highway Department’s approval and that the electric signal will be installed and expenses paid by St. John’s Mercy.  Yeas:  Ahrens, Bogosian, Cloute, Grabner and Shea. 


            The building should be approved subject to the five (5) following conditions:

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·         Board of Adjustment approves all requested and necessary variances

·         Signage package to be submitted to the city at a later date for issuance of a special use permit

·         Final approval received from MSD and Fru-Con

·         Requirement for 200’ buffer is fulfilled opposed to the 191.4 mentioned on site plan

·         Chain link fence subject to Board of Aldermen approval


The final vote was taken with the following result.  Yeas:  Ahrens, Bogosian, Cloute, Grabner and Shea. 


            The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.


                                                            Respectfully submitted,



                                                            Susan Shea

                                                            Planning and Zoning Commission

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley