City Council Hears Appeal for New Downtown Business
August 19, 2017
By Stephanie Edwards
Local business owner Shane Veritasi appeared before City Council on August 10 to appeal a decision handed down by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission. Veritasi had applied for an exterior renovation permit for an exterior façade on the building located at 6 SW Third Street.
The denial was based on the Downtown Lee’s Summit Design Guidelines, a portion of the Unified Development Ordinance that determines design standards for the historical business district in downtown Holden.
Veritasi requested permission to replace an aluminum fascia below the transom windows with white marble, as well as the stucco bulkhead.
City Planner Shannon McGuire testified that the changes are not in harmony with current design standards. “The white marble that is being proposed is not historically used in Lee’s Summit and is not historically accurate to the period of our buildings in Lee’s Summit nor is it currently found in other applications within the district,” McGuire said.
The concern is also that the loss of historical architecture and design could put the City’s place on the National Register of Historic Places in jeopardy, he said.
The City did compromise on the white marble below the transom windows, but denied the application for the bulkhead, concluding that the white marble material was not historically used in the area.
The applicant contended during his testimony that the rendering shown in the City’s evidence was not the rendering he had submitted. He said that the meetings are not publicly available and that until his presence at the Thursday meeting, he was not aware of the rendering the City had shown. “What was denied was not even shown. It was a rendering done by the City. It showed a completely different marble and color and it is not to scale. It is imposed over brick that doesn’t exist. I wasn’t invited to this meeting. I never heard about this meeting.”
Councilmember Diane Forte commented that she hears requests for modifications from developers week after week. “I think it is a modification, and it is not going to ruin our downtown, and it is not is not going to make things not look right,” Councilmember Forte continued. “One thing I will say on the rendering for those of you who did it. I really didn’t appreciate not seeing that building the way it looks today. I’m sorry; I know you put it together, but we should not have gotten something with Midwest Vacuum looking like it did before they renovated it. That’s not fair to us.”
Councilmember Forte said there is a group of people who care about Downtown, including business owners and City staff members. She further said that the Community Economic Development Committee (CEDC) and other staff members have made plans to get together and take another look at current downtown standards and “find out what is working and what is not working.”
The Council voted 6-1 to grant the appeal. Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney, and Councilmembers Diane Seif, Craig Faith, Trish Carlyle, and Diane Forte voted in favor. Councilmember Fred DeMoro voted against the measure. Councilmember Dave Mosby was absent at the meeting.