aldermen have approved a plan to replace the brick barrier near a Hanley Road high-rise with shrubbery.
Aldermen voted 6-1 in favor of the request from KBS Realty Advisors on June 12. KBS serves as trustee on behalf of the , located in the 7700 block of Forsyth Boulevard.
The company wants to replace the barrier because it collects moisture and sustains damage during upkeep of the adjoining Pierre Laclede parking lot. The wall screens the lot from the neighboring sidewalk and Hanley Road.
Planning director Susan Istenes acknowledged city staff felt like they were "going out on a limb to encourage this type of wall in a place that probably is going to be tough on planting due to the limited bed size," the proximity of Hanley and other factors.
The permit approved Tuesday identifies 11 conditions that must be met for the new green wall—to be composed of Northern Bayberry—to stay in place. Among them:
- The plants must be placed in a staggered row.
- A two-foot strip of sod must be planted along the sidewalk's edge to contain the mulch.
- The plants must grow to between six and eight feet no later than 18 months after they are installed.
Ward 3 Alderman Alex Berger III served as the lone vote against the proposal. He said he wonders why the change is needed and pointed out the absence of a "more hearty endorsement" by city staff.
The remaining aldermen and Mayor Linda Goldstein voted in favor of the measure. But others had questions.
Ward 1 Alderman Joanne Boulton told Istenes she is concerned the new barrier will not filter noise as well as the brick structure.
Istenes said that city staff examined the issue and that they don't think people will hear much noise coming from the site.
Ward 2 Alderman Michelle Harris said that she think the city's safeguards are wise and that she applauds efforts to have more green projects in downtown.