Crestwood Board of Aldermen discuss, postpone vote on power of review proposals

Planning commission not onboard with proposed power of review bills

Crestwood City Hall

Photo by Gloria Lloyd

Crestwood City Hall

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen heard two power of review ordinances April 12.

The first, which passed 7-0 after an amendment, would establish a 48-hour timeframe for the city planner to alert the board of reviewable decisions by the planning commission. If notice is given in 48 hours, the board has five days to call for review — if the timeframe is missed, the board has 14 days to call for review.

The 14-day timeframe started at 30 at a past meeting, then changed to 10 and lastly was changed to 14 after Mayor Grant Mabie said 10 is too low.

The second ordinance was recently discussed by the planning commission and opposed by commissioners. It would give aldermen the power to consider any matter tabled by the commission, if an alderman believes the matter would be in jeopardy if it were tabled. The motion would require a majority vote by the board to be heard.

Commission Vice Chairman Greg Zipfel said at a commission meeting that the ordinance feels like an attempt to strip powers from the commission.

“Sometimes it is important for the commission to table items until we get the appropriate data to render an opinion,” Zipfel said. “I’ve been very upset with many of the goings-on that have occurred in the past year or so, especially surrounding the development of the Crestwood Mall site. None of them have gotten me to the point of considering resigning from the commission much like this has.”

Mayor Grant Mabie said he was surprised to see comments from commissioners who felt the board wasn’t listening to commission recommendations because the board has gone with commission recommendations “95 percent of the time.”

Mabie said he appreciates the work done by the commission, and the seriousness they display, but in the end it should come down to elected officials to decide if certain matters should pass or not.

“The citizens of Crestwood ultimately elect this board to make decisions on development and zoning matters in the city. This board has to weigh a number of factors which may have been considered by planning and zoning and some of which may not have been,” Mabie said. “For things like this, where it’s a failsafe backup mechanism, it’s always better to have and not need than to need and not have.”

Mabie suggested tabling the ordinance to allow him to talk to commissioners to ensure there are no hard feelings or issues with the ordinance.

Ward 3 Alderman Greg Hall and Ward 4 Alderman Tony Kennedy, the commission’s aldermanic representative, said they wouldn’t vote to approve the ordinance until the commission is on board.

“I want them to support this to show them we support and appreciate them and value everything they’re doing for us,” Hall said. 

The board voted 7-0 to postpone the ordinance. Ward 2 Alderman Justin Charboneau suggested the board make approval of the ordinance a super-majority of six votes to show the importance of the matter.