Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Arrowhead given nod from commission

The plans for a new Arrowhead Hardware store to replace the current one have been approved by the Baldwin City Planning Commission Tuesday night.

The plans for a new Arrowhead Hardware store to replace the current one have been approved by the Baldwin City Planning Commission Tuesday night.

April 23, 2008

A packed house at Monday night's Baldwin City Council witnessed the strong feelings regarding the process to build a new hardware store here. But, a day later, problems were solved.

Gary and Robbie Lamoreux want to build a new Arrowhead Hardware Store at the entrance of FireTree Estates just north of their present location on North Sixth Street. They first brought the plans to the Baldwin City Planning Commission about a year ago. For various reasons, the project was still stalled.

The Lamoreux's architects, Brian Kemp and Paul Werner, expressed those concerns at Monday's meeting.

"The chain of events didn't happen like we expected," said Kemp.

That started a discussion that eventually spilled into harsh words between the architects and city staff. The architects were wanting the council to approve the site plan for the building without the planning commission's approval.

After a lengthy discussion, the motion was made to do that, but it failed 3-2. Council Members Ken Wagner and Doyle Jardon voted for it, but Council Members Ted Brecheisen Jr., Tony Brown and Amy Cleavinger voted against it.

However, they directed city staff to call a special meeting of the planning commission Tuesday night to look at the site plans again.

"We rely on the planning commission to do a lot of work for us," said Brecheisen. "I think it only fair that that goes back to the planning commission. If we don't respect our planning commission, what good does it do?"

Wagner expressed the feelings of most in the crowd and it brought a round of applause and cheers.

"I'd first like to thank the Lamoreuxs for wanting to invest in Baldwin City," said Wagner, drawing the crowd's reaction. "I don't understand why we started this project eight months ago and we're still having this frustration."

City staff and the architects told different stories. There was miscommunication and other problems. Tuesday's planning commission meeting, held after a building zone appeal hearing, was called to sort it out and it worked.

"The BZA meeting and then the planning commission went surprisingly well," City Administrator Jeff Dingman said Wednesday. "The BZA approved both of their variance requests. Everyone was in a cooperative spirit. As the planning commission met, there was an acknowledgement of breakdown in communications to this point, and then discussion was had, agreements were made and we should have a complete, final amended site plan for the hardware store by the end of today.

"There was a brief discussion at the end of the planning commission portion about how this process has been very difficult for both sides of the table, culminating in a circumstance at Monday's council meeting that should never have happened," said Dingman. "All agreed to that."

He said if all goes as planned, the council will have a special meeting at 4 p.m. Friday at City Hall to wrap everything up.

"I think that was their indication, that they would be willing to meet this week to get this all settled," he said. "Technically, at this point accepting the plat is a formality, it was the site plan that really was at issue. We should have a discussion on the site plan with the council, too, to show what the planning commission recommended and the owner agreed to."

Comments

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

So is this serving as the OFFICIAL announcement of of the council meeting for 4pm Friday??

What about the EXTREMELY poor conduct of both councilmen Wagner and Jardon?

Nice to see that the reporter on this story was willing to tell the WHOLE story.

0

b8es 6 years, 4 months ago

Wagner and Jardon were absolutely correct in their questioning about the approval process. I very much respect Brown, Cleavinger and Brecheisen, but unfortunately they are just misinformed about the Council's role in the approval of a Site Plan. That is not their fault. The City has people on staff who are paid to know the legal process of zoning control, and should have advised them that the City Council (according to Baldwin's Zoning Regulations) has absolutely no say in the approval of a Site Plan. That authority rests with the Planning Commission. To have the Council weigh in on the site plan is simply not appropriate, and could be considered illegal.

On the reporting, it is disappointing that the article never mentioned the fact that the Planning Commission APPROVED the site plan in July of 2007. The minutes from that meeting clearly reflect that the site plan was approved, with some minor conditions that have been met. This fact was pointed out during the Council meeting Monday evening more than a few times. In fact, the article says that: "The architects were wanting the council to approve the site plan for the building without the planning commission's approval." In fact, the architect's main argument centered around the fact that the site plan was already approved in July. They just wanted the Council to affirm that approval by directing the building inspector to issue the building permit.

As an impartial observer, I can't imagine why the Lamoreux's aren't bringing a lawsuit against the City for the added architectural fees, delays or other damages. It certainly appears that they have a case.

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

They aren't bringing a lawsuit due to the FACT that one of the conditions the approval in 07 was that the 2 lots would be combined into 1. The Lamoreux's made the sound financial choice not to do this. There fore the appoval in 07 was therefore null and void as the site plan changed. Therefore, it HAD to go back to the planning commission.

0

Jayhawker1 6 years, 4 months ago

n0zpe

The plat has nothing to do with the site plan, other than to reflect acurate easements and property lines. The site plan is it's own entity not tied to the plat. Your justification for thinking that the previous approval was nullified is not acurate. It should not have gone back to planning commission after the inital approval last summer....I think everyone learned valuable lessons from this pain...namely that the city code is horrible and they need to update it faster than they had planned in order to protect city staff and the neighborhoods in baldwin.

0

ibelieveinmapleleaf 6 years, 4 months ago

Hearty praise for Ken Wagner for having guts to call a spade a spade in a public forum and later on a public street. The Codes Inspector is inept, combatitive, and has no problems telling lies when she feels it's necessary to cover her mistakes. She and a few key others on the city staff have got to go or our city will never make it.

I'm glad that Gary and Robbie were able to move forward and it's truly shameful that they were subjected to what can only be some sort of personal vendetta against them by the city staff and those old geezer bozos on the Planning Commission. Good news is that the grim reaper will eventually thin the herd on those fossils.

0

b8es 6 years, 4 months ago

Jayhawker1 is correct, nOzpe. Jeff Dingman read the four conditions of July 07 approval at the Council meeting the other night. None of them required that the two lots be combined. The approval condition that brought about the re-plat had to do with shared access for the parking areas across the lot line, restrictions on the access for the southeast entrance, and the dedication of additional right-of-way. The re-plat was just the best way to address those items. It could have also been accomplished with deed restrictions, covenants, and right-of-way dedication documents without a re-plat. The Site Plan did not change.

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

the site plan did change.

in the original, for instance, the storage area for the rental equipment was soft surface, and only had 2 elevations on it.

The NEW one had phase 1 rental equipment on a hard surface, and phase 2 on a much smaller soft surface. It also included 3 elevations.

So, YES the site plan did change.

0

Jayhawker1 6 years, 4 months ago

Angry neighbor n0zpe, You're really late to the game and should have been involved last spring if you're pissed about the project. The special meeting by the City Council is explicitly for the purposes of signing the replat. The only gripe you still have is the access that they allowed...and you can't do anything about it. As you were told at the meeting last Monday, the code doesn't say ANYTHING about double frontage lots in the commercial zoning. I'm sorry you can't just let it go and be happy that you got your desperately needed screening from the horribly offensive light duty rental equipment. If you're so offended by the sight of the store, why not use THE OTHER TWO entrances to your subdivision.

0

Jayhawker1 6 years, 4 months ago

You really are ignorant to what has happened during this process. The changes you mentioned were part of the conditions of the first approval. The extra elevation and hard surfacing were added as conditions to a second illegal approval of an already approved site plan.

0

b8es 6 years, 4 months ago

Amen Jayhawker1!

The second approval was an illegal approval of an already approved site plan. Nicely put.

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

see, you guys are just not getting the point here.

I am NOT unhappy with the hardware store, or anything about it at this stage of the game.

Tuesday night EVERYTHING was worked out, and as far as I am concerned, everyone is happy about it.

If you really understood my frustration it is NOT with the hardware store. It is with the conduct of the 2 councilmen in an open meeting. THAT IS ALL.

As was said Tuesday night. Who would want to buy anything from a hardware store that looks like a bank. I personally think everything will look great as approved by the commission.

0

Jayhawker1 6 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm...I didn't get that from your previous posts. If the crux of your frustration was with conduct from councilmen then why did you choose to not mention it when you were ranting ignorant statements about site plan issues?

Nice try.

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

BTW Jayhawker1,

The meeting where the double frontage lot was discussed was Tuesday night, not Monday night.

And there are only 3 ways into firetree. 1 out to Ames via Crimson. 1 out to 6th street 1 out the 400 rd.

2 of these go past the new store.

Thanks for being so informed of a neighborhood you obviously DON'T live in.

Let me just say this again. I am NOT an angry neighbor. Everything is worked out, and I personally can't wait for the new store to open so that I don't have to go to Lawrence to get items that the current store isn't big enough to shelve.

If you had read my comments, and NOT read into my comments. What I was talking about was the conduct of 2 council members in an open meeting.

NOTHING negative at all about the new store or the people that own and run it. I am ALL for the success of this city, and the businesses in it. I am just a little frustrated by people like you who are always trying to find fault with people and actions that you don't necessarily understand.

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

You are right, that was another subject that shouldn't have been brought into this discussion.

Here is my ORIGINAL statement.

"So is this serving as the official announcement of of the council meeting for 4pm Friday??

What about the extremely poor conduct of both councilmen Wagner and Jardon?

Nice to see that the reporter on this story was willing to tell the WHOLE story."

0

kermit 6 years, 4 months ago

I, for one think it's about time we had some councilmen with enough cajones to stand up for the taxpayer and the citizens of Baldwin. Interesting that the two councilmen you have problems with are the two who actually own businesses in this town and understand the frustrations of being a business owner. My guess is that n0zpe is a government employee who has no clue what it's like to work in the private sector and have to deal with ridiculous rules and regulations government throws at business people. My guess is the 2 councilman have had to deal with similiar situations and were speaking out of experience not just "theory" or "feelings". Your real beef n0pze is that instead of politcal correctness and the insipid "let's just all get along" mentality a spade was finally called a spade. I know we'd be much better off in the country if more elected spoke their minds like these two just did. Standing ovation for Jardon & Wagner!!

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

Kermit,

you couldn't be more wrong.

I am NOT a government employee, but my hat off to all of those people that work hard everyday to deliver the services that allow our city to run. And for that matter to the Council members to spend their own time to serve.

My frustration is with 2 councilmen who are there to represent the citizens of this fair city and uphold ALL the rules and regulations thereof. Yet these 2 seem to want to circumvent the very process they are there to uphold. If they are frustrated with the processes, as many obviously are, they are the ones with the ability to fix them, not just go around them.

THAT is my frustration.

0

kermit 6 years, 4 months ago

Are you serious that your real beef is that 2 councilmen actually showed some passion and compassion for a fellow busisnessman in this community and spoke out against what they saw as incompetence and ineptness by part of our city staff? what are you--some kind of pollyanna who can't take a little healthy disagreement? what makes you so uncomfortable with 2 elected representatives being passionate about their convictions? What a bunch of wimps we have become in this country!!! Again, I will bet $$$ that you don't have a clue what it is like to own your own business. Maybe if you did you'd understand that it tends to make one a bit more out spoken because as a business person you don't have a union rep, the EEOC , OSHA or a lawsuit -aphobic HR department to go whine to. You have to stand up for yourself because no one else will do it for you. Again, I see this as 2 businessmen sticking up for another businessman who has been getting the run around. As you said, it's all been decided now and everyone is happy---so why are you still making an issue about this?

0

b8es 6 years, 4 months ago

Circumventing processes? nOzpe, please. Obviously the on-line courses on zoning laws I have been providing you are not sinking in. Wagner and Jardon were the only ones at the Council meeting who even talked about the proper procedures. That is why Jardon was waving the code book "like a Southern Baptist preacher on a Sunday morning", and he was right to do so.

All legalities and site plan technicalities aside, the thing that bothers me the most about this entire thing is the behavior of our building inspector. She was totally disrespectful and combative toward the Council. These are the people who we all elected to represent us. Frankly I was offended that she would treat out elected officials like she did during an open meeting. She was also very unprofessional toward the applicant's architect, bringing up nitpicky typos on the plans as evidence that they could not be trusted. I can only imagine how she acts toward builders, developers, and business people when she has them one-on-one.

Baldwin is not a big enough town to be chasing out good businesses and developments. I am as strong a supporter of high quality development standards as you will find, but there is a right way and a wrong way to implement those standards. Treating everyone like garbage is the wrong way. Making up the rules as you go along is the wrong way. Getting into shouting matches with Council members at an open meeting is the wrong way. To a professional business person (the type of person we want to attract here) it makes the entire town look like a bunch of clowns.

For some, the only contact they will ever have is with the local government is through the building inspection department. It disturbs me that we have such an inhospitable representative for this encounter.

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

kermit,

I couldn't agree more with you on the point about professional standards, and the kind of businesses that we ALL want to attract to Baldwin City.

I guess we will just have to disagree on who we think was in the wrong here.

Regardless of who was disrespecting who, all of this should have been handled differently. In public was NOT the right place. I can only hope that it will be in the future.

0

kermit 6 years, 4 months ago

n0zpe

Again you and I disagree. In public was the ONLY place for this to happen. Otherwise no one would know or believe how frustrating working with city staff can be. I am absolutley convinced that the ONLY reason the plans have now gone through the planning commission and on there way to the city council for approval is because Jardon & Wagner had to get their dander up and grab everyone's attention. Isn't it tier job to hold city staff accountable? Since I don't hear about these kind of fireworks happening on a regular basis in the city council I can only assume that this is not the norm and was only done because the council members were sympathetic and wanted to make sure Baldwin didn't lose another badly needed business in this little town.

II would agree that it is very sad that it had to come to this but I am very glad we have at least 2 councilmen who are willing to take what could be an unpopular stand to ensure city staff is responsive to the people.

Now ibelieveinmapleleaf's previous remarks a few weeks ago are starting to make sense. Sounds like he/she too have been in similiar frustrating positions with city staff.

the question now to ponder is how are we going to grow this comunity (i.e. tax base) if it's this difficult for any business to get going here? this is what scares me the most.

0

Jayhawker1 6 years, 4 months ago

If you would have really read my email genious n0zpe, I said use THE OTHER TWO entrances to your subdivision..that would imply that you avoid the one where your precious eyes might be looking at a bobcat...instead of the road...where your eyes should be anyway.

Nice to see adequate representation from your neighborhood at these meetings...did I see maybe 2 or 3 households represented out of the 130+ in your sacred neighborhood?

Let me guess...they all told you that they agree with you...but couldn't make it to a public forum specifically designed to let their voices be heard...

Perhaps the majority of the City's business owners that were present at the City Council meeting might be right? gasp could the city government be inadequate? The business owners would know....not a joco transplant trying to be a schmuck.

0

ktrendel 6 years, 4 months ago

I would encourage each of you to talk with a Baldwin City Planning Commissioner to get an accurate account of the history with this project. There have been many misconceptions with the process of the project. I would be more than willing to relay the actual events of the review for the Arrowhead Hardware application. Contact me at kylet@devorearch.com or 785.242.6161.

Sincerely,

Kyle Trendel Baldwin City Planning Commissioner

0

n0zpe 6 years, 4 months ago

joco transplant??

you really have no idea who I am do you.

I grew up in a much smaller town than even this one.

Nice try, but you guessed wrong again Jayhawker1.

0

Jayhawker1 6 years, 4 months ago

Just a little frustrating when you raise your kids in this town to see what happens when good people try to do something good for the town...

We all have our own opinions, just got a little excited when I saw you typing something innaccurate from the meeting I went to, the things I've read about the project, and what people around here have been saying.

Gotta love public forums!

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.