Minutes of February 2012 Meeting
Board of Aldermen

RECORD OF PROCEEDING

______________________________________________________________________
Meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Clarkson Valley at City Hall (Fru-Con Center), February 7, 2012.
______________________________________________________________________

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. A roll call was taken with the following results:

PRESENT

Ward

ABSENT

Mayor Scott Douglass 

 

Alderperson Susan Shea

Ward 1

 

Alderperson Jim Meyer

Ward 1

 

Alderperson Honora Schiller

Ward 2

Alderperson Wendell Sittser Ward 2     

Alderperson Scott Schultz

Ward 3

Alderperson Lin Midyett Ward 3
Alderperson Lin Midyett Ward 3

Also in Attendance:

City Attorney: Patrick Butler
City Clerk: Michele McMahon   
 

Mayor Douglass asked those citizens in the audience wishing to speak on the subject of solar panels to please hold their comments for the Public Hearing.  

REMARKS, PETITIONS AND COMPLAINTS 

Frank Hodgdon, Planning and Zoning Chairman and resident of Forest Hills Club Estates, spoke saying he was upset about the Schnucks construction project and how it is creating congestion for northbound traffic on Clarkson Rd.  Mayor Douglass stated MoDOT has agreed to conduct a study of the intersection.  On a related matter, he also said he placed calls to St. Louis County and MoDOT and they are looking into the arrow situation from eastbound traffic on Kehrs Mill Road attempting to turn north onto Clarkson Road. 

REPORTS 

St. Louis County Police Report:  Officer Thom Taylor of the St. Louis County Police handed out the January Police Report.   

Mayor’s Report 

Court Report:  The total amount collected for traffic fines and court costs for the month of January 2012 was $16,055.03.   

St. Louis County Government Offices, West Division:  Mayor Douglass explained to those present that the City received notification from St. Louis County it was closing its West Division Offices, which prompted the necessity to find a new court location.  Court was held at the Daniel Boone Library on Clarkson Road for the month of January but beginning next week, will be held in the Fru-Con Office Building (now known as the Clarkson Executive Center) third-floor Presentation Room.  He concluded by saying the County has subsequently rescinded its decision to close the West Division but all changes for our court's new location are in place. 

Kehrs Mill Road:  Mayor Douglass acknowledged this was one of the first months he did not place a call to St. Louis County Highway Department about the area on Kehrs Mill Road in front of the high school that tends to have drainage issues during times of heavy rain.  He said he would make the call later this month.  He did, however, speak with the highway department about their findings of who owns the land abutting Kehrs Mill Road and the houses backing up to it from Jennycliffe.   

Revenue and Expense Report:  Mayor Douglass stated one reason the report looks so good is the nearly $15,500 refund the city received from Meridian Waste when they verified our numbers of housing units versus what they had been charging.  On a different note, Mayor Douglass reported he would be going to the Board of Aldermen soon with a request to codify the city's ordinances which has not been accomplished since 2006. 

Census Figures:  Mayor Douglass stated the 2010 census figures show the city's population decreased in size by 42 people for a total of 2,632.  One way that affects us he explained is the amount the city receives from the 1/2-cent sales tax from St. Louis County, which is distributed by population.  The amount the County municipalities receive is between $105 and $115 per person, so although not significant, it is still a loss. 

Alderpersons' Reports 

Planning & Zoning Hearing:  Alderperson Shea reported she attended the Planning & Zoning Hearing during the past month which will be discussed later in this meeting.   

Trashcans Visible From Street:  Alderperson Schultz stated he has witnessed more violations of trashcans visible from the street.  Also, receptacles left at the curb either too far in advance of pickup or later than what is allowed.  He said he would be writing letters to the violators. 

City Attorney's Report 

There was no report.

NEW BUSINESS 

Audit:  Alderperson Schiller made a motion to approve for payment invoices in the amount of $75,163.14, seconded by Alderperson Schultz.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.  

PUBLIC HEARING 

Request for Special Use Permit to Locate a Solar Energy System:  City Clerk, Michele McMahon, read the Notice of Public Hearing.  Mayor Douglass gave instructions to those citizens present wishing to speak and then turned the floor over to James Babb who was asked to make his presentation and to answer question of the Board.   

Mr. Babb had several handouts for the Alderpersons and took time to describe his plans in detail to all those present.  He spoke about solar shingles; thin cell panels versus thick silicon cell panels; explained that connection for electric cables on roof-mounted system must be encased in conduit; showed before and after site designs using landscaping; described the design of Dr. Joseph Gira's system in Town & Country; showed the proposed front porch roof system; the north-facing system stating the top of the panels are below the peak of the roof; and the ground-mounted system whereby trees would be lost.  He entertained and answered several questions from members of the Board.  

Members of the audience in opposition spoke about precedent-setting; maintaining the neighborhood's aesthetic value; the various households able to view the applicant's roof; trustee approval and subsequent withdrawal of approval; safety aspects; the applicant's potential financial gain; the possibility of a 100% ground-mounted system; and the precedence which was established when dealing with fences many years ago with the potential to change the subdivision indentures by having the trustees collect votes of its residents. 

A member of the Planning & Zoning Commission spoke of how the Babb's have been attempting to decrease the visibility of their system; and a Kehrs Mill Estates resident spoke on behalf of renewable energy and concluded by saying that not having solar panels could possibly decrease the value of homes. 

The Public Hearing closed at 8:50 p.m. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

Request for Special Use Permit to Locate a Solar Energy System:  Mayor Douglass explained to the Board Members there appeared to be four options available at this meeting regarding Mr. Babb's request.  1) Approve the request.  2) Using the advisory motion made by the Planning & Zoning Commission, approve a ground-mounted system.  3) Deny the request.  4) Table the request.   

A motion to reject Mr. Babb's request was made by Alderperson Schiller which died for a lack of a second motion. 

There was further discussion about the necessity for changes to the ordinance if the request for a special use permit passed tonight.  There was also the fire code issue, to which Mayor Douglass explained that Metro West has prepared a recommendation to its Board to approve the adoption of the 2012 fire code within the next four months.  The question then arose if the Alderpersons were to vote negatively on the request this evening, would the Babb's have to reapply?  The response from the City Attorney was yes.  Another question for the sake of clarification was asked of the attorney.  If the Board tables this request and Mr. Babb comes back with a modified plan, does he still have to reapply?  To which Mr. Butler stated he did not.   

A motion to table was made by Alderperson Meyer seconded by Alderperson Shea.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.   

Alderperson Sittser made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Alderperson Midyett.  A voice vote was taken with a unanimous affirmative result and the motion was declared passed.  The Meeting of the Board of Aldermen adjourned at 9:20 p.m. 

 

Scott Douglass, Mayor

ATTEST:  Michele McMahon, City Clerk

 

Back to Main Page