Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Moratorium Urged on Building Permits Alderman Concerned over Development of `Prize Corner"

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Moratorium Urged on Building Permits Alderman Concerned over Development of `Prize Corner"

Article excerpt

A Clayton alderman is calling for a moratorium on commercial building permits while the city considers changing some zoning restrictions and building requirements consistent with a new master plan.

Of special concern to Ward 2 Alderman R. Dean Wolfe is redevelopment of property located in Clayton across from the St. Louis Galleria.

The city Plan Commission is scheduled to meet on Nov. 30 to consider developer James Shucart's proposal to build a Linens 'n Things store at the northwest corner of Clayton Road and Brentwood Boulevard, where Al Baker's restaurant is now located.

At a Board of Aldermen meeting last week, Wolfe asked City Attorney Sarah Siegel for an opinion on whether the city could impose a moratorium to stop redevelopment there. He also told City Manager Steven Hoffner that he would like to see staff recommendations for making commercial development in the city consistent with a new master plan completed earlier this year.

"I think this is a question of whether we control our future destiny in Clayton, or be nibbled to death," Wolfe said.

Ward 2 Alderman Susan Korsmeyer also complained that the Shucart plan to redevelop the site caught the board off guard.

"I would like an opportunity to more fully understand all of the development opportunities for that area," Korsmeyer said.

The Shucart site currently is zoned for the retail commercial use that Shucart is proposing.

Wolfe said that he is not opposed to the specific store Shucart proposes to build but that he doesn't like the developer's site plan. He said the plan too closely resembles the kind of strip-center development that occurred in St. Charles County around the Mid-Rivers Mall.

Wolfe said he wants to see the area developed for its best possible use while maintaining an appearance unique to Clayton. And, Wolfe said, he specifically opposes anything resembling strip-center development there.

Wolfe said the board should impose a moratorium for a limited time so that it can plan for redevelopment there that will be consistent and uniform, not piecemeal.

"To let this prize corner get away - even if it meant we had a lawsuit filed against us, that doesn't bother me," Wolfe said. …

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