A crowd of concerned residents packed the Sunset Hills meeting room to protest both a new emergency communications tower planned for 4580 S. Lindbergh and a new Petro Mart to replace the long closed Bob Evans restaurant at 1430 S. Kirkwood Road.
Emergency Communications Tower
A representative from Cellective Solutions petitioned the planning and zoning commission for a conditional use permit for a 190-foot telecommunications tower that will be part of an updated St. Louis County Emergency Communications network. The proposed location was in the parking lot of the South County Health Center, next door to Two Heart Banquet Center on S. Lindbergh.
Cathy Ely was one of four residents who complained to the P&Z commission about the tower. Ely lives on Sappington Road, which is adjacent to the proposed tower location and said the tower would destroy property values of nearby homes as well as backyard views.
She also questioned the timing of the meeting during the holiday season when residents are busy with family activities and wouldn’t have time to gather their forces.
“We have the TV tower, we’re used to that. Why can’t they hook into that?” Ely asked referencing a 1200 foot tall Fox2 television tower located behind the Lindbergh school campus on Emil Ave.
The Cellective Solutions spokesman said that they had approached the owners of the Fox2 tower but thought the leasing fees to add their equipment to the tower would be prohibitive.
The planning and zoning commission voted to not recommend approval of the tower to the board of aldermen and requested that leasing space on the existing television tower be reconsidered.
The P&Z commission also heard more from George Eble from Land West 7, the developer trying to replace a shuttered Bob Evans restaurant with a Petro Mart.
Changes to the preliminary development plan removed a traffic signal and concrete median from S. Lindbergh. The developer had previously presented the Petro Mart development plan to city officials in September, but withdrew the plan after residents complained during a four-hour aldermanic meeting.
P&Z president Nick Dragan asked the audience to not rehash old complaints previously aired at other meetings.
“This matter has been before this commission several times, and we’ve talked about this ad nauseum,” Dragan said.
Eight residents and local business people spoke to the commission. A representative of the nearby Holiday Inn spoke in favor of the project. Two representatives of the Circle K across the street spoke out against the proposed competition, citing traffic concerns.
The planning and zoning commission unanimously recommended approval for the new plans and a conditional use permit for Land West 7. The Petro Mart will once again go before the board of aldermen for final approval.