City of Lee’s Summit Board of Zoning Adjustments
                         Executive Conference Room
                            220 SW MAIN STREET
                           LEE’S SUMMIT, MO 64063
                                 Minutes of March 27, 2003

The Lee’s Summit Board of Zoning Adjustments meeting of March 27, 2003 was called to order
by Chairman Laurence Pressly at the Executive Conference Room, 220 SW Main Street, at
7:04 p.m.


Laurence Pressly              Present               James Hand             Absent
Shawn Geraghty                Absent                Dave Mosby             Present
Bernard Dick                  Present               Diana Frank            Present

Also present was Tom Scannell, City Planner, Rich Wood, Staff Attorney, Mark Dunning, Codes
Administration and Kim Banks, Secretary.

   Approval of Minutes for February 27, 2003 Board of Adjustments Meeting

Chairman Pressly announced one correction to the meeting; Mr. Hand had not been present as
had been indicated. He then asked for a motion for approval of the minutes. Ms. Frank made a
motion to approve the minutes with Mr. Dick seconding. The Board of Zoning Adjustment voted
unanimously by voice vote to APPROVE the corrected minutes.

1. Application #706 – Variance to rear setback – 3610 NE Grant, Patricia L. Arends,

Chairman Pressly opened the hearing at 7:05 p.m. and entered the List of Exhibits (A), 1-16 into
the record.

Ms. Patricia Arends, applicant, gave her address as 3610 NE Grant in Lee’s Summit. She
explained that she had a deck built that extended about 2-1/2 feet too far according to the City
setback requirements. The variance request was to keep the current deck dimensions.
Mr. Pressley noted in the notes and information provided that the deck construction was started
some time ago; and asked what was the schedule and who built it. Ms. Arends replied that it
was started around December of 2001 or January of 2002; and the construction was done by
Floyd Denham Construction. She confirmed that it was under her direction.
Mr. Dick asked if the applicant had a contract with Mr. Denham to build the deck; and if she ever
had a conversation with Mr. Denham about permits. Ms. Arends replied to both questions that
she did not. Asked if Mr. Denhamm had told her that he would obtain the permit, she indicated
that he had said nothing about it and a crew of Mexicans had built it; and that he had made no
suggestion that she go to the City and get a permit for it.

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Chairman Pressly remarked that Ms. Arends had been notified several times by the City; and
asked what she had done; if she had not responded to those or had ignored them. Ms. Arends
stated that she and Ms. Denham had in fact responded; and they had talked with Mr. Tom
Arbuckle when he came out to look. This was after the construction phase.
Mr. Dick noted that on March 30, 2001, someone had called the City about the deck; and Ms.
Arends had been instructed that she needed a permit. He wanted to know what had taken
place in the two intervening years.
At this point, Ms. Sharon Denham was sworn in. She also lived in the house, at 3610 NE Grant.
Chairman Pressly commented that the City had followed up several times about the permit, and
they had done their part. Ms. Arends emphasized that the whole project was Mr. Denham’s.
She had talked with him and assumed that he was going to get the permit. Chairman Pressly
pointed out that Ms. Arends was the property owner and the project had been hers, not Mr.
Denham’s. Ms. Arends responded that Mr. Denham did get a permit. She acknowledged that
this was after the deck had been built but stated that she had not known she had to have a
permit for it; as she was not the one who had built it. She had hired people and assumed that
they had a permit.
Chairman Pressly asked who had built the room addition and Ms. Arends answered that it was
Floyd Denham, confirming that it was the same person. Ms. Denham confirmed that Mr.
Denham was her brother; and stated that he lived in Independence. He did construction for a
living. Mr. Dick asked if it did not seem odd that Mr. Denham did this kind of work for a living
and lived in Independence, which probably had codes similar to Lee’s Summit’s, but would not
know about a permit. Ms. Arends answered that they had a permit posted. Mr. Scannel
clarified that a permit was issued for the room addition, but not for the deck.
Ms. Arends stated that she had a back door at that location; and some sort of walkway was
necessary where it opened. Ms. Frank asked if the deck was on room addition plans submitted.
Ms. Arends answered that it was basically an afterthought. She had not known what the builder
was going to do with that part of the project. She had a deck already and the new deck, to the
south of the new construction, was not on the plans. They had extended the existing deck
across the back, in order to have some sort of walkway there to come out the back door.
Mr. Pressley remarked that Ms. Arends had known about this when she designed the addition.
Ms. Arends responded that she had never thought about where the back door would go out to
nor asked about it; and did not know anything about decks. She had assumed Mr. Denham
would handle the situation and had told him what she wanted as far as the rooms went. She
pointed out that they had a permit for dimensions of about 30 by 18 feet. Chairman Pressly
asked why they had not put the door on the side of the room out to the existing deck and Ms.
Arends and Ms. Denham explained that there was a shower and bathroom there.
Ms. Frank asked Mr. Scannell if the City would not consider a door so many feet to the ground
illegal. Mr. Scannell referred the question to Mr. Mark Dunning; and Mr. Dunning explainted that
this was not the primary required exit door. If a door was above three risers, about 24 inches, a
landing had to be provided before the steps. Mr. Dick asked if steps were shown on the plan
and Mr. Scannell replied that the room addition plan showed only a few windows, for the closet
and to the larger addition.
Ms. Arends stated that Mr. Arbuckle, the City building inspector, had been out and never
mentioned any of these things. He had just inspected what was there. From the door over, the
deck’s depth was about five feet. She then passed around photographs of the project,
commenting that she had spent quite a lot of money having her yard landscaped so it would not

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENTS                 2                                    March 27, 2003
be detrimental to the neighborhood. She stated that all the people she had contacted and
notified of the meeting had not seen any problem with it at all. She acknowledged that she had
told them it was in violation of City codes. Mr. Scannell identified the photos as Exhibit 17.
Mr. Mosby asked if the sequence was that the applicant got the permit for the building addition,
and then decided to add a deck while building it. Ms. Arends related that the room was
complete; but then they had to have someplace to walk about on. She had hired a group of
Mexicans to build it. She commented that she was in the lock and key business and didn’t know
about construction. Ms. Frank asked if this meant that the builder who built the addition was not
who built the deck and Ms. Arends confirmed that it did.
Chairman Pressly remarked that Ms. Arends was nevertheless the one with the problem. She
answered that this was correct; but that she was not aware of the permit requirements.
Chairman Pressly commented that as Ms. Arends was in the lock and key business and would
work around contractors, it was a little surprising not knowing about permits being necessary.
Ms. Arends answered that she did not build the deck and was never around construction. Ms.
Frank had thought that Ms. Arends and Ms. Denham had said that Floyd Denham had built the
deck. Ms. Denham answered that he had built only the room addition, not the deck.
Asked by Chairman Pressly how she would change the project to meet the code if necessary,
Ms. Arends answered that she would just remove a couple of boards, as it only extended over
about 2 - 1/2 feet. Chairman Pressly noted the 30-foot rear building line on the sketch,
remarking that it looked more like five to ten feet over. Ms. Denham stated that Mr. Arbuckle
had measured and said it was 2 - 1/2 feet. He had measured from property line at the fence to
the deck; then telling them they needed to get a permit. Chairman Pressly asked for some
clarification of the sketch.
Mr. Scannell explained that the drawing titled “Plot Plan Submitted by Applicant” was not drawn
to scale. He had then drawn the other plan in the packet, using the correct dimensions of the
room addition. The plot plan they had provided when getting the room addition permit was for a
21x30 foot addition; but in fact the room was actually 24 feet deep. When drawing on the deck
using their dimensions, he had put in a couple of lines to distinguish the different setback lines.
The 30-foot notation was for the house; and the 25 feet was the UDO requirement of 25 feet.
Ms. Arends pointed out that in the photos, the actual fence was behind the additional privacy
fence. Mr. Scannell asked if this was based on the plot plan when the house was built, noting
that fences were not always right on the property line. Ms. Arends answered that Mr. Arbuckle
had told them it was 2 - 1/2 feet. Ms. Denham added that they had a letter saying it was 2 - 1/2
feet but she had not thought to bring it.
Chairman Pressly noted that on the plan submitted by the applicant, the deck was 21 - 1/2 feet
from the fence line; and came out four feet from the house. It then went across 30 feet, dropped
down and then across 21 feet. It appeared to be 8 - 1/2 feet over the building line. Ms. Denham
again referred to the letter she had at home; and Ms. Arends recalled Mr. Arbuckle saying that it
had to be 25 feet from the edge of the deck to the back. Mr. Scannell explained that this was
correct; but fences were not necessarily on the property line. Ms. Arends answered that she
had installed the privacy fence but the one behind it was already there when she moved in.
Mr. Dick asked Mr. Scannell how much the deck protruded into the setback requirement. Mr.
Scannell then referred the Board to the aerial photograph taken in April 2001, showing the deck
under construction. The property lines were highlighted. With the front being 30 feet, the back
would be a smaller distance than the front. Ms. Arends pointed out that all the decks near her
house were butted up against the back property lines. Mr. Dick then asked Mr. Scannell how
far, in from the 25-foot setback the deck was; and Mr. Scannell answered that it was about

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENTS                  3                                    March 27, 2003
seven feet into the 25-foot setback and one foot into the 7 - 1/2 foot setback. The inspector had
probably measured it correctly; but the fence was probably not located right on the property line.
Ms. Arends asserted that it could not be that much off; and Chairman Pressly answered that it
was nevertheless hard to make any variance without the exact numbers. Ms. Arends repeated
that they were just going by what people who have been out there had told them and Ms.
Denham mentioned the letter, remarking that she had thought it would be on file.
Ms. Arends asked Mr. Scannell if he had talked to Mr. Arbuckle. He answered that he had not;
and she remarked that this was strange, as Mr. Arbuckle had been out numerous times.
Chairman Pressly told her that she was the applicant and the one with the problem; and should
have brought all the evidence she had with her.
Mr. Dick noted the last paragraph under Existing Conditions on page two read: “this deck is
located approximately 7 feet from the side property line and approximately 18 to 25 feet from
the rear property line.” An 18-foot difference would put it seven feet into the setback. With 25
feet, it would be zero. Mr. Scannell explained that the line was at a slight angle, with an offset
on the deck as well. This was based on the paper work and he had not gone out and measured
it. To be certain, it would be necessary to have a drawing representing the real dimensions.
Mr. Dick stated that the Board would have to get some actual dimensional numbers and Ms.
Arends countered that she thought they did. Mr. Dick then suggested that it might be in the
applicant’s favor to have a certified survey plot by a surveyor. Chairman Pressly explained that
for the Board to grant a variance they would need to know how many actual feet the variance
would be. If and when she sold the property, a title report would be flawed; showing part of the
dwelling being over the building setback line. Ms. Arends answered that the reason she and
Ms. Denham were before the Board was that Mr. Arbuckle had told them they needed to go get
a variance. He had measured; and it was 2 - 1/2 feet off. She added that she had gone by his
word; he was the one directing the whole project and they have really complied…
At this point, Mr. Dick remarked that the applicant’s completely not assume any responsibility for
the project was amazing. She had claimed complete ignorance to the extent of giving the
impression that this was a ‘mystery deck’, that had simply appeared; and he found this
Ms. Arends related that her experience with permits was getting a permit once a year to work in
Lee’s Summit. When the deck was built, it was actually just connected to an existing deck. She
had not given the builders any dimensions; rather she had just told them to connect it and bring
it across. She had known nothing about a setback. She also pointed out that decks in her
neighborhood, some directly behind her, were about ten feet from the back property lines. She
had also seen decks nearby that were falling down and the City had not done anything about
them. Mr. Dick suggested that if Ms. Arends compiled a list of these non-compliant decks, the
Board would look at the situation and Ms. Arends responded that nothing would be done about
it. She further commented that she had a pool behind her that was mosquito-ridden and grown
up with trees and trash and despite letters she had sent the City had done nothing about it;
adding that nothing was done about anything in my neighborhood. Mr. Dick asked if she had
obtained a permit for the building addition and Ms. Arends thought that the builders did it. She
again mentioned the derelict pool near her house and Chairman Pressly said that the Board’s
current concern was her own deck. The Board could deny the variance and she would have to
tear the deck down to meet the code. Or in the alternative they could continue it until she got
exact measurements. Hiring a surveyor would be the official way to do that. Once the Board
actually knew what the deck situation was relative to the setback, then they could determine
whether to deny it or to make a variance.

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENTS                 4                                    March 27, 2003
Ms. Arends asked how Mr. Arbuckle had come up with his figures, suggesting the Board talk
with him and see what he said. Chairman Pressly declined, saying that was not the Board’s
responsibility and Ms. Arends asserted that she was at the hearing because of Mr. Arbuckle’s
paperwork. Ms. Denham asked if there was a surveyor name on the original plot plan and Mr.
Scannell identified Land Survey.
Mr. Dick stated that the reason Ms. Arends was at the hearing was not Mr. Arbuckle’s doing but
because she had built a deck and was notified in March of 2001 about needing a permit for it.
The hearing would not be necessary had she come in for the permit. Ms. Arends responded
that was told by the builder not to get a permit. She continued that she had talked to Floyd
Denham and he had said the City would just deny it and to forget about it. Chairman Pressly
responded that it was Ms. Arends’ property and she was the one who had to make sure that
things are right. Ms. Arends remarked that she was present trying to make them right.

At this point, Mr. Dick stated that he found it remarkable a businesswoman who had been
working in Lee’s Summit a number of years professed such a level of ignorance about matters
like permits. Ms. Arends replied that she resented this, as she did not build the deck and the
people she hired were responsible for it. She had no idea how large it could be. When the City
contacted her, she had asked Mr. Denham, who had built the room; and he said forget about it.
Chairman Pressly responded that the best course of action might be to deny the variance and
Ms. Arends have Mr. Denham alter the deck to meet codes. Mr. Dick added that she might also
want to consult an attorney. Ms. Arends stated that she had not known anything about the
dimensions and that the deck had already been built. She had asked Mr. Denahm when they
enlarged it, in 2001.

Mr. Mark Dunning gave some clarifications. On October 3, 2002 Ms. Arends had obtained a
permit for a deck. It gave an area of 272 square feet. The plot plan drawn for this permit
showed the deck coming off the back of the house, 14 feet from the corner, for a setback from
the rear property line of 35 feet. However, what existed at her house did not correspond to the
square footage of 272 drawn on the plot plan; consequently, the permit might be invalid. Mr.
Scannell stated that this was some new evidence; and Mr. Dunning remarked that they had
never closed it out, because of this issue. He continued that on March 30, 2001 they were
requested to do a deck pier inspection. The inspector, Tom Arbuckle, noted that there was no
permit and wrote that “a permit for the deck is required prior to deck re-inspection. Please
respond to the Codes Administration Office and obtain the required permit and Community
Development approval.”
Mr. Dunning did not know who had requested the inspection. At the time no deck was there yet;
they had only inspected the holes in the ground for the piers. It was obvious, as Mr. Arbuckle
had noted, that a permit was required.
Mr. Dick expressed confusion as to why an individual with no knowledge of needing a permit
would call for an inspection? Mr. Dunning explained that in that case, the inspector noticed piers
going in when they had a room addition permit. Mr. Dick and Mr. Mosby both commented that
they had understood the deck was not thought of until after the room was built. Ms. Arends
explained that she had not known the builder was going to put a deck on or whether he was
going to build steps. They did not discuss that. Ms. Frank noted that Ms. Arends was notified at
the time of the piers’ inspection that she needed a permit. And at that point, there was no deck,
only piers. Mr. Dunning stated that the inspector noted the deck was under construction and
Ms. Frank stated that she would then know at that time she needed a deck permit. Ms. Arends
responded that she had not. She had assumed that if anything was needed for the City, the
Mexican builders would obtain it. Mr. Dunning remarked an inspection report would be left on

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENTS                 5                                    March 27, 2003
site; but he had no way of knowing who might have picked it up. Inspectors were required to
make reports on every stop made and to leave a copy of the inspection report at every site.
Ms. Frank asked if the City knew who called for the inspection and Mr. Dunning answered that
Codes did not keep people’s names and numbers when they called for inspections. Ms. Arends
related that she had neighbors living in back of her who had made trouble for her during her
divorce and when she was remodeling her kitchen. The neighbor had called the City on her
numerous times. Chairman Pressly remarked that who made the call was immaterial; the
situation was a deck that was over the building line. A notice had been given that a permit was
needed and at this point, the Board could ask her to have it surveyed for exact figures,
continuing the matter until next mnoth. Or they could vote on it now and probably deny the
application, after which the applicant would have to adjust the deck to fit the code. He
suggested taking a vote at this point.
Ms. Arends indicated that she would get a survey. Mr. Dick informed her to make sure she
understood the situation, that it would need to be signed by a professional surveyor. This would
not guarantee or assure that she would get a variance; it would only give the Board accurate
numbers to work from. Chairman Pressly added that it would also give her information she
would need at whatever time she sold the house. Mr. Dick further stated that the applicant
would need to communicate with the City.

Ms. Arends wanted to know what numbers she would need to get into the setback. Mr.
Scannell answered that the deck needed to be 25 feet from the rear property line; and 30 feet
for the room addition. With the survey there would be two variances; but these could be
combined. The Board would take no action other other than to table or continue it until 30 to 60
days. The side yard setback, based on Mr. Scannell’s measurements, was encroached by
about a foot. Ms. Denham asked how far it would have to be from the side and Mr. Scannell
replied that would be 2 - 1/2 feet. Chairman Pressly remarked that what it needed to be was
immaterial; the survey was to show what was there. Mr. Scannell suggested continuing the
hearing to a date certain of May 22, which was approximately 60 days.

Mr. Dick made a motion to continue Application 706, variance to rear setback, 3610 NE Grant,
Patricia L. Arends, applicant. Ms. Frank seconded. On motion of Mr. Dick, seconded by Ms.
Frank, the Board voted unanimously to CONTINUE Application 706, variance to rear setback,
3610 NE Grant, Patricia L. Arends, applicant to a date certain of May 22, 2003.
Mr. Dick added that Mr. Scannell and staff needed to assist the applicant and the surveyor to
assure that the Board had the necessary information at the next hearing. He also reminded Ms.
Arends that she did have the option of changing her mind in the interim if she so desired.

Ms. Frank made a motion to adjourn and Mr. Dick seconded. The Board voted unanimously to
adjourn; and there being no further discussion, Chairman Pressly adjourned the meeting at 7:26

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENTS                 6                                   March 27, 2003

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