CITY OF SHAWNEE FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES July 2, 2002 7:00 P.M. Chairperson Meyers called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and announced that immediately following the Committee meeting a Budget Meeting would be held. Chairperson Meyers empowered Councilmember Newby to vote in Councilmember Thomas’ absence. Committee Members Present Councilmember Meyers Councilmember Sawyer Councilmember Pflumm Committee Members Absent Councilmember Thomas Councilmembers Present Councilmember Goode Councilmember Segale Councilmember McGuff Councilmember Newby Staff Present City Manager Montague Assistant City Manager Gonzales City Attorney Rainey Public Works Director Freyermuth Police Chief Clark Finance Director Meyer Parks and Recreation Director Holman Fire Chief Hudson City Engineer Wesselschmidt Project Engineer Gregory Project Engineer Lindstrom Accounting Manager Kelly Accountant Oldham
Members of the public who spoke were: JIM MARTIN, Shawnee Economic Development Council, 6333 Long (Item 1); JACK WATERS; 6333 Long, Suite 301 (Item 1); GREG CHENEY, 6924 Larson Lane (Item 3); LYNN FAIRCHILD, 6918 Larson Lane (Item 3), CATHY LAIRD, 10521 W. 70th (Item 3), CHARLOTTE HARGIS, 6925 Ballentine (Item 3), CAROLYN HOOVER 10521 W. 69th Terrace (Item 3), LYNN BAIRD (Item 3). 1. DISCUSSION OF APPLICATION FOR ISSUANCE OF PRIVATE ACTIVITY REVENUE BONDS FROM RENNER WEST, LLC, FOR THE RENNER NORTH OFFICE BUILDING. City Manager Montague stated Mr. Waters was here to present his project and Jim Martin from the Shawnee Economic Development Council would present the schedule for revenue on the tax abatement. He stated that the City has heard from the Shawnee Mission School District and they are not opposed to the project or the abatement. JIM MARTIN, Shawnee Economic Development Council, 6333 Long, stated he would present the fiscal impact analysis of this project. In background for those in attendance in the audience, when IRB financing is used, whether it is taxable or tax exempt, the property for the duration of the bonds is actually 100% property tax exempt by federal and state statutes. Cities typically require a payment in lieu of taxes for all or part of what would have been the property tax liability, as a matter of agreement with the
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developers of the project. In this case, Mr. Waters is requesting a 50% in lieu of agreement. JIM MARTIN presented a picture of the building. He stated included in the packet is the fiscal impact analysis that includes the current mill levy for the location on the first page, and also on the first page it shows what taxes revenue the property has generated in property tax since the year 2000. The total property tax liability last year was $7,900 with the City's portion of that $1,800. Mr. Martin stated the spreadsheet included in the packet shows the ten year duration of the request. The assessed value of the property is shown as $940,000 based on a best estimate, and 25% of that is shown as the assessed value. The City is required by state statute to show the impact of the exemption on all government agencies which is shown in the spreadsheet also. Based on the current mill levy and the expected appraised value of about $3.76 million for the building, with the 50% exemption, the City would generate 9,890 per year in property taxes or payment in lieu of for this project, which is a 431% increase over what is currently being generated on the site. Mr. Martin presented a graph showing the property revenue projections for the City for the duration of the agreement. He stated in Year 11, the City would begin to receive $19,779 in property tax on this project. One other consideration for this speculative development was related to employment. At 3 persons per 1,000 square foot, the building would include about 72 employees, and at 4 persons per 1,000 square foot, the building would include about 96 employees. Most office buildings fall in between 3 and 4 persons per 1,000 square foot. Typically, finance, insurance, real estate and service sector firms occupy this type of building. Average wages are $34,478 for service sector firms and $49,574 for finance, insurance and real estate sector firms. Chairperson Meyers asked if there were any variations to the City's current policy that the Committee should be aware of. JIM MARTIN stated no. This project is in compliance with the current interim Financial Incentive Policy. One of the specific targets in that policy was the development of office space and this addresses that. Councilmember Segale asked if the building was a Class A building. JACK WATERS, 6333 Long, Suite 301, stated it was probably a "B+" building. Councilmember Segale stated that the documents showed a Class A on page 1, but the application says Class B. He asked what the difference was between a Class A and a Class B. JIM MARTIN stated that discrepancy was his error. He stated Mr. Waters could explain the difference in classes much better. Councilmember Segale stated that at the outset he supports this, and he has not supported tax abatements in the past. The objective of this is to show that office buildings can continue to be successfully developed in Shawnee. Light industrial development has
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been successful, however, office development is a direction the City needs to go and granting these exemptions are a necessary evil to stimulate the kind of development that the City wants to see. He asked if the class of the building affects the tax value of the building. JIM MARTIN responded it might slightly, but not a lot. Councilmember Pflumm stated the assessed value would not be below what is shown in the spreadsheet. City Manager Montague stated it is never a sure thing until the County does the appraisal. Councilmember Pflumm stated that the assessed value would go up over the ten-year period. JIM MARTIN stated exactly. The analysis is based solely on the appraised value and the current mill levy, either of which could change. Generally office facilities do appreciate in value, but because that is difficult to predict, the value is shown as level throughout the ten-year period. JACK WATERS thanked the Committee for the opportunity to present the project. He stated the site is on the northeast corner between Renner Road and the access ramp onto I-435, on the north side of Midland. It is a site that has had a number of projects proposed on it over the years, however, it is a very difficult site because it has a steep hillside embankment. He stated they have designed the building around that embankment with full glass windows all the way around. JACK WATERS presented a color rendering of the building. He stated in response to Councilmember Segale's questions there are basically D, C, B and A buildings. The definitions are not totally clear, however an example of an "A" building is Lighton Plaza, which is behind the Marriott in Overland Park. It is 14 story, all marble entryway, with heated walkways. It is a top end building. An example of a "B" building is the existing Gold Bank building on Renner Road. It is a very nice building with a lot of custom features, handsome granite entry, single elevator as opposed to two or three and not quite the same level of finish as an "A" building. A "C" building is like a call center where the whole space is filled with cubicles. The building relevant to the presentation will be developed very similar to the Gold Bank building. It will have perimeter private offices all around the outside on both floors. It will be a substantial and quality building. JACK WATERS stated he owns other property in the area and his hope is to improve everything in that corridor for himself and for the City. Councilmember McGuff asked where the parking lot and entry to it would be. JACK WATERS stated the parking lot is on the south side, the entrance is the proper amount of distance up Renner Road to the north.
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Councilmember McGuff asked if there would be two entrances to the parking lot. JACK WATERS stated the project was originally designed with two, but had been cut back to one. Councilmember Goode stated he supported this project and it would be an asset to the City. JACK WATERS stated the office market is soft in Johnson County due to the transition at Sprint. The City's policy is an important tool in attracting office development to the City. Shawnee does not have office space to speak of. Shawnee deserves more high quality office development. He stated he wanted to do what he could to bring that to Shawnee, but it comes with inherent risks. At this time there are no tenants for this office building. He stated his intent is to have tenants, but it does take courage to build this type of project. Mr. Waters stated he commends the City for offering the incentive for this type of building. Councilmember Pflumm, seconded by Chairperson Meyers, moved to recommend the Council approve the application for issuance of private activity revenue bonds and the request for the 50% in lieu of payment from Renner West, LLC, for the Renner North Office Building. The motion carried 4-0. 2. DISCUSSION OF FINAL PLANS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF 55TH STREET BETWEEN ROSEHILL ROAD AND QUIVIRA ROAD, P.N. 3286. Chairperson Meyers stated final plans have been submitted by Shafer, Kline and Warren and preliminary plans were approved by the Council on May 13, 2002. The estimated total budget cost is $1,800,000. The current total budgeted amount is $2,180,000 to be funded entirely by the City at Large. Project Engineer Lindstrom stated that the third meeting with the neighborhood was held the previous night. Eleven residents were in attendance and it was a short meeting because most individuals' questions have already been addressed. Since the preliminary plans were approved, no major changes were made. Minor modifications to some retaining walls and driveways, but there is no additional information other than the final plans are complete and are essentially the same as the plans the Council saw at the May 13, 2002 Council meeting. The condemnation was filed today and right-of-way is proceeding. The expected bid date will be sometime in August and start construction shortly thereafter. Councilmember Sawyer, seconded by Chairperson Meyers, moved to recommend the Council approve the final plans for the improvement of 55th Street between Rosehill Road and Quivira Road, P.N. 3286. The motion carried 4-0. 3. DISCUSSION OF BURNING ORDINANCE.
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Chairperson Meyers stated that staff has recommended some improvements to Shawnee Municipal Code Section 8.20 to more clearly define the regulations as they pertain to burning yard waste, as well as sections that pertain to permits for bonfires and campfires. Chief Hudson stated the Fire Department prepared a draft ordinance after the Public Works and Safety meeting and tried to address the ideas and concepts of the existing ordinance. The draft in the packet includes areas that were not well defined as well as apply some ideas for burning in the evening for people who are burning fires for gettogethers in the evening time. Staff looked at prior changes to the ordinance and tried to pick up the same theme that prompted previous changes by restricting fires in the evening by requiring a permit, restricting how often they occur and requiring a permit fee for bonfires and campfire activities. Chairperson Meyers stated that he was aware there were going to be changes to clarify dates and times that allowed for burning, however the additional items clarifying campfires and bonfires included a 10 p.m. timeframe to extinguish a bonfire. He asked if that applied to campfires also. Chief Hudson stated yes, the intent was that both of those would not go past 10 o'clock. Chairperson Meyers stated he felt that 10 p.m. was unrealistic. Most campfires would not normally start until after 9 o'clock. He stated he was not in favor of the 10 p.m. timeframe and he would like to hear discussion, however his proposal would be to restrict it to midnight. Councilembmer Pflumm asked how the 10 o'clock time frame was determined. He stated based on his experience campfires do not get started until after 9 p.m. because it is really not even dark until then. Chief Hudson stated that the 10 o'clock was included as a starting point. Based on the Fire Department's experience it seemed like 10 o'clock was a typical ending time. Councilmember Pflumm asked if the required permit fees were changed from $10 to $75. Chief Hudson stated the residential yard waste permit has always been $10 and remains at $10. The bonfire and campfire permits did not have a permit fee associated with them in the past. The proposal for that in this ordinance is $10. The $75 permit fee is for permits such as developers clearing a large piece of property and burning of mature trees. Those situations take time to send someone out to make sure it is ready to burn. That fee has not changed. Councilmember Segale asked if bonfires were limited to five or eight a year. Chief Hudson stated the proposal includes five permits per year for one piece of property.
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Councilmember Segale asked if the situation that had been discussed by the Council previously was an outdoor fireplace or a bonfire pit. Chief Hudson stated it wasn't a fireplace. It was a built rock structure with a pit where wood is placed. Councilmember Segale asked if there were those types of set ups at some parks such as Antioch Park. Chief Hudson stated he did not know. In the ordinance, the Fire Department tried to address the issue of still having that type of fire. There are outdoor fireplaces that are available for outdoor use. This ordinance excludes this type of appliance from any type of a permit or permit fee. Councilmember asked if there was a ten foot round structure would it be characterized as an appliance. He stated in that type of situation it would only be allowed five times a year and each would require approval. Chief Hudson stated, yes. Councilmember Segale asked if an individual has a permit and it rains, is an additional $10 permit fee required. Chief Hudson stated that the Fire Department works with people on those situations and even individuals who just do not get to use their permit. An additional permit fee is not required. Councilmember Newby stated when Mr. Krutz spoke about this issue to the Committee, the Committee thought more clarification was needed. It appears that the days when burning is allowed were clarified. Chief Hudson stated that is correct. However, that was actually changed in 1997, with a start date of January 1, 1998. Allowing burning on more days has had a positive effect on the City. Since that change there is no longer a problem with so many people burning at once that created a haze of smoke in areas of the community. Councilmember Sawyer asked Chief Hudson to clarify the difference between a campfire and a bonfire. Chief Hudson stated that the difference was size. A smaller fire could be allowed to be closer to a property line or structure. Councilmember Sawyer asked if that was stated in the ordinance.
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Chief Hudson stated that the intent was that the campfires were so small that there was not any distance requirement placed on them. Because the bonfires were bigger the Fire Department felt it was important to put the 25' distance requirement. GREG CHENEY, 6924 Larson Lane, stated he approached the Committee last month about this issue. He said although he didn't have much time to prepare for this meeting. After reading through the draft ordinance, it appears that it is aimed at what is going on at their house with their fire pit. He stated he has a limestone fire pit, with an inside diameter of 32". From the ground to the top of it is about 16". He stated his family burns the limbs and split firewood from their yard. The fire pit is on the north side of the house. There is no fence, perhaps if there was a privacy fence none of this would be an issue. He stated his sense from the last meeting was that the Committee did not plan to do anything to regulate campfires. However, this proposal does not address the primary issue the Council discussed at the previous meeting, burning of leaves. This proposal primarily affects the campfire he has. The fire pit was built in the fall of 1999 and it is used primarily in the spring and fall. He stated they use it to cook and have neighbors come over also. They try to use clean wood, and once the fire gets burning, there is not a lot of smoke. He sated he has not had any smoke in his house. He stated that they have done this for three years since this fall. They did some trimming and cut the bush between their house and the neighbor's house who was complaining and he had noticed her at her window when they were burning. He stated that the bush has grown up more and there is a good dividing space between the two yards. The house is to the west, so the only time the smoke would bother her is when the smoke was out of the east. When the weather is nice, they probably burn three times a week. GREG CHENEY stated after the last meeting the Chief informed him a permit was needed and since that time they have requested a permit each time they burn. He stated that the fire pit is not that much different from the manufactured fire pits or stoves. He stated that no coals get outside the fire pit and it is always attended. He stated he was asking the Committee to take a very close look at this proposal. Chairperson Meyers asked how long Mr. Cheney had lived at that residence. GREG CHENEY replied since June of 1999. Chairperson Meyers asked how many times the Cheneys use the fire pit per year. GREG CHENEY stated he had talked with the Fire Marshal after the last meeting and came away from that meeting thinking that the changes that would be proposed would not affect the status quo, however, now it has gone from unlimited burnings to five burnings per year. Chairperson Meyers asked Mr. Montague why those restrictions were added. City Manager Montague answered it was because there had been numerous complaints about the burning. The current ordinance allows people to burn in their back yard any
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time they want to. He stated it seems that if other burning is controlled that type of burning should also be controlled. Chairperson Meyers asked for clarification that the Cheneys had not burned in the last two weeks yet there had been numerous complaints. Councilmember Sawyer stated he believed there was burning the weekend prior. GREG CHENEY stated that if there was any burning there was a permit. Chairperson Meyers asked if the fires were extinguished when finished. GREG CHENEY stated no. The fires are allowed to burn down. Councilmember Segale asked what the difference was between an outdoor fireplace and this pit. GREG CHENEY stated he was familiar with Coleman outdoor fireplaces that are square with a lid on it that has open wire around the outside and legs. The base stands 12" to 18" tall. The whole thing is about 24" tall. Councilmember Segale stated he was curious when something like what Mr. Cheney has becomes an acceptable appliance. Chief Hudson stated the Fire Department looked at things like having the corrugated metal around the container because they act as spark arresters. They don't allow for big pieces of wood so that helps contain any sparks and smoke. Councilmember Segale asked if the issue is smoke or sparks. Chief Hudson stated it could be both. The smoke issue would be controlled by how often the permits could be issued. The appliance itself would not really control the smoke except that it would be a smaller fire. Something like an appliance could be used anytime. Councilmember Segale stated that big smokers produce a lot of smoke. Chief Hudson stated the Fire Department does not get complaints about those types of appliances. Councilmember Segale stated that the issue of appliances is an issue of containing sparks, not smoke. Chief Hudson stated yes. The intent was to strike a reasonable balance and allow those.
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Councilmember Sawyer stated it is difficult to load up those appliances with as much firewood as a 32" fire ring. Chief Hudson stated that the intent of having the Fire Department approve appliances is the Fire Department would stick with the theme of the ordinance of minimizing the sparks. Councilmember Goode asked Mr. Cheney why he wanted two or three permits per week. GREG CHENEY stated his family does this for enjoyment. The neighborhood is very close and many times go over to each others' homes to visit. He stated he is a member of a hiking, backing group and invites those friends over from time to time. Councilmember Goode asked if Mr. Cheney was ever aware that the smoke might get out of hand and agitate the neighbors. GREG CHENEY stated he had not thought there were any problems until this year. There had not been any complaints until this year. Councilmember Segale asked Mr. Cheney what his suggestion would be. GREG CHENEY stated if the limit was five times a year with a few they would probably not do it. They would look at other alternatives. The problem with chimeneas is that they cost $100 and only last about a year. The Coleman fire pits are about 30" square and not much smaller than the fire pit. Councilmember Segale stated that he heard the Chief say the more important thing seemed to be containing the sparks. Councilmember Segale asked Chief Hudson if establishing a size that would be regulated would be possible. Chief Hudson stated the Fire Department could take a look at that. He stated after the last meeting he felt like there were two issues that needed to be addressed. One was to clarify the dates and times for residential burning. The other issue was the situation with campfires and bonfires. The Fire Department does have some people come in and get campfire and bonfire permits and wanted to have some way for regulating those. He stated that the Fire Department could look at other sizes. As the size gets bigger, there is more danger. Councilmember Segale stated that this would be that under a certain size would not require a permit or be limited in number. He stated he agreed bonfires of 10' should get a permit. GREG CHENEY stated that at the last meeting Chief Hudson had stated that in his history of working with the Fire Department to his knowledge there had never been any fire damage caused by this type of fire. He stated that if the Committee decides to look at
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changing the size requirements, it should be stated as 4' or larger, a 'not to exceed' phrase, as opposed to 'up to a' certain size. Councilmember Sawyer stated he struggles with campfires this close in proximity to other residences. He stated he has a chimenea, but does not use it when it is 80 to 90 degrees. He stated that he uses it in the spring and the fall, but he does not use it if the smoke happens to blow in the direction of neighbors. There is smoke with fire and not everybody wants the smoke. He stated that a campfire is like burning limbs. A campfire is different at the lake or a campground. He stated he believed that neighbors should be considerate of their neighbors and not burn when the smoke might be annoying. GREG CHENEY stated there have been times when they have taken their neighbors and the wind into account. LYNN FAIRCHILD, 6918 Larson Lane, stated she lives right next door to Mr. Cheney. The neighborhood is not Lake of the Ozarks but it is a refuge. Since the Cheneys moved in, it has pulled the neighborhood together. Neighbors gather at the Cheneys and visit. She stated there's something about a fire that's magical. My son is 17 and in love, and the other night he went out and started a fire in the chimenea. The neighbors enjoy the magic of a fire. Kids roast marsh mellows. Both of my boys have bad allergies and even with the windows open we have not had any problem with smoke. She stated she did not see the problem. Councilmember Newby stated he agreed with Councilmember Pflumm that there seemed to be one central issue. The Council is considering making a rule for the masses and we are stuck on one particular issue. He asked if the Cheneys have been paying for the permits that they have been getting since the last meeting. GREG CHENEY stated no. At this time, based on the current ordinance, there is no fee. He stated he agreed that by getting a permit it put the Fire Department on notice that there was burning going on. Councilmember Newby asked if the central concern was the limit on the amount of times a fire could happen each year. GREG CHENEY stated yes, limiting the number of times was a concern, as was the cost involved. Also, construing their fire to be a hazard when a chimenea would not be construed to be a hazard. Councilmember Newby asked if the purpose of the $10 fee was so the Fire Department could be prepared. Chief Hudson stated that the proposal was to charge a fee for other burnings, so the reasoning was to be consistent with that. The purpose of the permit was to let the Fire Department know so the station in the area can be notified. Additionally, the dispatchers are notified also, so when they get calls they know there is a permit in the area.
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Councilmember Newby stated there is a cost issue that wouldn't be applicable if it were some of the other applications that were discussed and that also wouldn't apply to the timing issue. There's some debate, but it seems everybody believes that there is more risk the bigger the fire, so that might suggest that either the time limit or the fee is appropriate. Chief Hudson stated based on the minutes of the 1997 minutes, the fee for the permit was established to put some controls on the burn. If a permit fee were charged, fewer burns would go on. The Fire Department stuck with that theme to put some controls on. Councilmember Newby asked if one of those two things were eliminated if it would seem more reasonable. GREG CHENEY stated that five times a year would make the decision for them; and, the fee of $10 each time would prevent them from even considering using the fire pit. Councilmember Segale stated if there were no fee it would be hard to determine what is burning sticks and what is a bonfire. He asked Chief Hudson if the intent was to put all types of residential burning into a scheme of a $10 permit fee. Chief Hudson stated yes. He stated that the Fire Department has had people come in on the guise of getting a bonfire permit and it is to do their yard waste burning at night. The Fire Department has tried to screen those applications when they come through and work with the individuals to make it right. Chairperson Meyers stated that he believes that is how it should be handled, with the Fire Department making the decision of how it should be handled. He stated he did think there should be a requirement for a permit for bonfires or campfires as we have so there is notification. He stated he did not have a concern about a bonfire having an associated fee with it because he did not believe that it would happen that often, only for Homecoming type events or a boy scout troop would have a bonfire for an activity. He stated he did not see the need for a cost being associated with a campfire. He stated he did not know what the complaint was on campfires. He stated he did agree with Mr. Segale that there should be some clarification of what would be a proper size that is acceptable for a campfire. He stated he did not see the need to limit the number or the need for an associated cost. He stated if he was hearing more complaints he might have a different thought, but he had not heard any complaints. Councilmember Segale stated he would suggest that bonfires be defined as some type of ceremonial use and for that a permit would be required and there would be a limit of the number that could be held per year. For fires that are less than 3 feet and have some type of structure built around them would be acceptable without a permit as are the use of a chimenea or an outdoor fire appliance. By defining a bonfire it clearly delineates between burning yard waste and a bonfire.
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Councilmember Sawyer stated his question was where does a campfire become a bonfire. A three foot campfire could be a bonfire if the wood were stacked high. He stated he believes the problem gets back to smoke. He stated he agreed with Councilmember Segale's position on bonfires because there are very few that happen. CATHY COLLENE LAIRD, 10521 W. 70th, stated she lives two doors from Mr. Cheney and unless she drives down the street or is invited she does not know there is a bonfire. Mr. Cheney has two children and there is nothing greater then seeing the kids with their friends with their parents around the campfire. She stated she did not know that he had a bonfire unless she drove down the street or walks over to his house. This campfire does not compare with a bonfire like they would have at the Lake of the Ozarks. Councilmember Sawyer stated Mrs. Laird is southwest of Mr. Cheney and generally there are not many northeast winds. CHARLOTTE HARGIS, 6925 Ballentine, stated that she goes pretty far back with the City and she is amazed that fire is entertainment now because in the past the Council had such a big battle over whether or not burning of leaves would be limited and the reasons for that was for health reasons. It is the smoke. Kansas City does not even meet the specifications for air cleanliness that were set 20 years ago. She stated that when she first moved to Shawnee, trash was burned in cans and people wanted to get rid of the smelly cans. The big problem came from people with big lots who wanted to burn their leaves and they felt as though it was a real imposition on them. She stated over the past three years the burning at the Cheney's had gotten bigger and bigger. She stated she has asthma and allergies and can not breathe well. One night the Cheneys burned from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Burning that long causes smoke to collect in the atmosphere. If there is a lot of moisture in the air smoke collects and hangs. Because there is a lake there the moisture accelerates. The odor is terrific. She stated she does not see why the City has an obligation to open up burning for entertainment when the City is trying to control burning. She stated she would feel much more comfortable if the campfires and bonfires were limited in size. The rules used to be to bank a fire and put it out if you were going to go off and leave it. She stated she had no complaints about the Cheney's behavior, just the effect of the smoke. The City is obligated in some way to restrict this. She stated that if she is planting flowers in her back yard there are times when she has to quit because of the smoke. Councilmember Segale asked if there was a restriction on the fire of 3 feet would that be satisfactory to Ms. Hargis. CHARLOTTE HARGIS asked if Councilmember Segale had ever had a tree blow down. It is difficult to get it down to a manageable size. Councilmember Segale stated he believed they were all in agreement on burning of bonfires and yard waste.
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CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated the trees are large and stored on the ground, which creates some problems. The problem with a size restriction is when you put a bigger branch on. Councilmember Segale referred to Item F on page 19. He asked if that included a campfire 3' or less in diameter, in an appliance that was enclosed, if that would be acceptable to Mrs. Hargis. CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated not if they burn wet wood in it. If you poor gasoline on top of it to get it going. A campfire is made out of sticks and small limbs, when you start adding bigger logs it gets out of hand. A campfire should not go more than 3' high either. Chairperson Meyers asked if Mrs. Hargis thought the Cheneys' fires were higher than 3 feet. CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated that when the Cheneys first moved there it was not so bad, but as time has gone on the fires have gotten bigger. Councilmember McGuff stated that in his experience that when you are done with a fire, you extinguished it. He stated he could see how waking up at four in the morning and a fire is still burning it would be irritating. Chairperson Meyers stated he agreed with that. He asked Mr. Cheney if he had a problem with extinguishing the fires. GREG CHENEY replied not at all. He stated he has a 100' garden hose there all the time. He stated he has not used gasoline to start any fire. Councilmember Pflumm asked what hours Mr. Cheney burned the fire. GREG CHENEY stated usually in the evening, sometimes until midnight or one o'clock. He stated he would not have any problem extinguishing the fire before they go in the house. CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated that allowing burning until midnight is not satisfactory. The original intent of reducing burning was to clean up the atmosphere. If burning is going to become entertainment people who have asthma can not tolerate that. Chairperson Meyers stated it was his understanding that the City has never had restrictions on campfires before other than getting a permit. He asked if that was correct. Chief Hudson stated the Fire Department had always interpreted the ordinance that way. Councilmember Pflumm asked Ms. Hargis how far away from the campfire does she live. CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated that the Cheney's house is about 5 feet from her property line. She stated she has a 30 foot set back. She stated that the Cheneys have a gorgeous
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brick patio on the other side of the house and the previous owners had done all their entertaining to that patio. It would be farther away from everyone if the Cheneys would do their burning on that patio. Councilmember Pflumm asked Ms. Hargis how far from the campfire is she. CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated she is not a good judge of distance, maybe about 10 feet. GREG CHENEY stated twenty-five feet. Councilmember Pflumm stated it would be better for the Cheneys to burn late at night since Ms. Hargis would not be out in her yard that late. CHARLOTTE HARGIS stated that she is not going to be out at noon either. That is not the answer. Councilmember Segale stated that since they had such an extensive discussion on this he would like to ask Chief Hudson to take some of the suggestions and come back with some alternatives at a different meeting. Chairperson Meyers stated he wanted to let someone who had been standing for a long time the opportunity to address the Committee. CAROLYN HOOVER, 10521 W. 69th Terrace, stated she lives two houses to the north across the street on the lake and she never knows when the Cheneys are having a fire. Councilmember McGuff asked if there had been any other complaints from any other families around the area. City Manager Montague stated he was not aware of any other complaints. Chairperson Meyers stated the Committee needs to give Chief Hudson some specific direction. He stated his suggestion was to not put a fee on a campfire. He stated the committee agrees on some type of suggestion for diameter, and possibly height also. Councilmember Pflumm asked if the fire could be moved to the other side of the house. GREG CHENEY stated that area is not as conducive to a fire because of the trees and less ground cover. Councilmember Sawyer stated he still thinks it gets back to smoke. Currently the City of Olathe's compost pile is on fire. He stated when driving along K-10, which is quite a distance from the composting, it smells bad. Smoke does carry. Councilmember McGuff stated there is quite a difference between the burning of compost and burning of regular wood.
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Councilmember Sawyer stated his point was that smoke carries a long ways on the ground. The issue is not the safety issue, it comes back to 'do I care about my neighbor'. It comes down to putting the fire out and judging the wind, which is difficult to legislate. He stated he has concerns about building the fire ring taller to contain a bigger fire. Councilmember McGuff stated he was not advocating building it taller. He stated he felt there should be constraints on how high the wood should be stacked. Chief Hudson stated that he had taken some notes and would bring some changes back to the Committee. The item was continued to the August 6th, Finance and Administration Committee. 4. DISCUSSION OF FINAL PLANS FOR THE TURKEY CREEK TRIBUTARY CHANNEL IMPROVEMENT, PHASE V, NORTH OF 60TH AND WEST OF FLINT, P.N. 3275. Chairperson Meyers stated Shafer, Kline and Warren, Consulting Engineers, have submitted the final plans for the design. The project is partially funded through a Johnson County Community Development Block Grant for $200,000. The City is obligated to spend these funds by the end of 2002 or risk losing the funding. Due to an extended delay in obtaining the permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a limited time is available to bid and construct the project. Staff recommends that these plans be approved and prepared for bidding as soon as the permit is received. The total probable project cost is $300,000, with the City providing $100,000 from the General Fund. Project Engineer Gregory stated the project is located south of Johnson Drive by Flint Avenue right by St. Joseph's school. There is a concrete channel near 60th. The project will extend that channel up through the property up to a point where St. Joseph's school has agreed to build a reinforced concrete box so they can put a road in. He stated there have been problems with the Army Corps of Engineers just because they are overloaded, not because there are any problems with the project. Chairperson Meyers asked if the funds are in jeopardy if the project is not completed by the end of the year. Project Engineer Gregory stated that the CDBG is concerned that if the project is not started and reimbursements are not turned in, the CDBG program looks bad to the federal agency. Chairperson Meyers asked if there was any possibility that the City would end up having to pay the $200,000. Project Engineer Gregory stated if the job is bid in August there should not be any trouble, but if there is a hold up due to the Army Corps of Engineers, the CDBG program
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would spend the money on another project. At this point it appears that the project is ready to proceed. Everyone involved has been working together to make sure it all works together. One of the challenges of this project is trying to keep anything that is done aggravating the flooding to the adjoining duplexes and upstream at other houses also. At the same time of this design staff is working with the engineers on a SMAC study to look at all the drainage issues in the area. Councilmember Sawyer stated at Flint and 60th does any of the drainage from that corner flow into this project. Project Engineer Gregory stated no, that water flows south down Flint and will be addressed when the Flint project is done. Chairperson Meyers, seconded by Councilmember Sawyer, moved to recommend that Council approve plans for the Turkey Creek Tributary Channel Improvement, Phase V, north of 60th and west of Flint, P.N. 3275, and direct staff to prepare specifications for bidding as soon as possible. The motion carried 4-0. Councilmember Newby, seconded by Councilmember Sawyer, moved to adjourn. The motion carried 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
______________________________________ Carol Gonzales, Assistant City Manager