South Madison Street property will no longer be hampered by Madison Overlay requirements.

Madison Overlay reverts to normal commercial zoning

9 new business prospects near roundabout but no announcements yet

With a number of supportive property owners in attendance, the Webb City Council on Monday did away with the Madison overlay district.

The Madison overlay, stretching from MacArthur Drive to 10th Street, was established in 1999 as a way to keep some of the qualities of the tree-lined thoroughfare as it transitioned from residential to commercial.

The City Pointe shopping center was the main development constructed as the overlay was meant to be.

However, rather than a mix of residential and commercial property, practically all of the residential properties in the overlay district were rezoned commercial. The anticipated economic boom was delayed by the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

Now that economic development is surging again, property owners feel they are at a disadvantage because prospective buyers balk at the overlay’s requirements, such as deeper setbacks and vegetative barriers to protect homes on side streets behind stores.

When the ordinance was first read on March 22, real estate investor Shane Burns said he had lost two prospective sales because of the overlay requirements.

The ordinance unanimously approved Monday reverts the overlay district to the common commercial requirements.

Jerry Fisher (3rd Ward), who along with Gina Monson (2nd Ward) are the only council members who were on the council when the overlay was established, said the law was poorly written. “At least we can learn something from it,” he said.

He said the worst part about it was that it gave the Board of Adjustments and Appeals power to override any of the overlay requirements. “The board of adjustments can change anything,” he said.

Of course, Webb City more recently has a second area for commercial growth – by the roundabout.

City Administrator Carl Francis said he has nine projects in the works in what’s properly known as the Centennial Retail and Industrial Park.

In that area is a proposed multi-family housing complex that received unanimous final approval for the appropiate zoning change. The property, owned by Jock Evans, is behind a strip of commercial properties on the west side of East Street and south of Aylor Street. Commercial developers are in support of more potential customers nearby.

Francis also reported that the city now owns the former G&H Concrete site east of Webb Corp, at the “Y” where Broadway and Daugherty Street meet. He said developers and Webb Corp have expressed interest in the property, but the immediate focus is on demolishing dilapidated structures and clearing the property.

ANOTHER MAJOR STREET PROJECT?

Before the meeting ended, Fisher said he would like for the council to consider another major street project.

He said there has been good public response from extensive work that was done on Madison and Daugherty streets, mentioning that “Broadway needs the same thing.”

Moreover, he said, “The city’s financial condition is excellent.”

There’s also concern about the amount of damage done to streets by the February freeze. 

And Rick Roth, director of street and water, said the city will be sharing the “expensive” cost with Joplin to rebuild Enterprise Avenue, in the Joplin-Webb City Industrial Park. Roth said the street needs a new subgrade because it has not held up to truck traffic.

ABANDONED VEHICLE CHANGE

The council accepted first reading of a bill reducing the time an abandoned vehicle can be parked on the street from 14 days to 48 hours.

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale said the change will bring Webb City in line with codes in other cities, and it will help clean up some areas of the city.

Rather than wait for a neighbor to complain, Ragsdale said he wants the police department to be proactive in tagging abandoned cars.

Police Chief Don Melton said a flat tire is an indication a car has been abandoned.

Ragsdale said he neighbors likely don’t want to complain because they don’t want to cause trouble. “I’d rather have a guy with a junk car mad at me rather than his neighbor,” Ragsdale said.

The bill amends section 220.060 of the Webb City code book.

Fisher pointed to a problem with tagged car owners simply moving the abandoned vehicle into their front yard.

“Then we have the public works nuisance officer take care of it,” Ragsdale said. “They’ll have 10 days to get it out of their front yard.”

Fisher noted the problem of unused cars in yards isn’t always enforced.

Ragsdale couldn’t deny that but advised council members to keep alerting public works.

RE-ELECTED COUNCIL MEMBERS SWORN IN

City Clerk Kim DeMoss administered the oath to four council members re-elected without opposition to two-year terms. They are, Andy Queen (1st Ward), Gina Monson (2nd Ward), Jonathan Shull (3rd Ward) and Debbie Darby (4th Ward).

Ragsdale reappointed Monson as chairman of the financial committee and Queen as her assistant.

The council re-elected Fisher as mayor pro tem.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved a small easement on a corner of the city-owned Wild Rose Cemetery for Liberty Utilities to replace a pole and guide wires. The 14 foot by 95 foot site is on the northeast corner of Oronogo Street and Cardinal Road.
  • Received updates from Francis’ administrator’s report:

– Residents will be able to get rid of old electronics as well as other hazardous waste on May 15 at the dropoff site at the public works building, 1060 N. Madison St. The Region M Waste Management District will cover the first $2,500 of the cost of the service. City wide cleanup week is set for normal trash days the week of May 10 – 14, when WCA will pick up unlimited amounts of trash at the curb.

– Three police cruisers that were to have been traded in will instead to individuals. Bids for the vehicles came in at a total of $10,052 more than the dealer had offered. And the dealer is OK with the department selling the vehicles.

– The concrete tornado shelter in the block north of the post office will be moved to the new parking lot south of City Hall. Francis reports the shelter has rarely been used at that location and City Hall is in need of the shelter and additional storage space. The shelter will not be considered a public shelter unless the weather incident occurs during business hours. There will be signs posted as to the location of community shelters.

– The city will help the Webb City Senior Citizens Center by paying for its internet service, which will cost the city $149 a month.

– The fire department recently responded to a Mutual Aid call for a structure fire in the city limits of Duquesne. The owners of the home called City Hall and to make sure the council and staff were aware of the firefighters’ professionalism while assisting a neighboring community.

– There are 15 possible dates for tournaments to be held this summer at the baseball/softball complex in King Jack Park.

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