Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Board Seeks Authority on Ue Request Officials Seek to Block Substation with Building Permit Ordinance

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Board Seeks Authority on Ue Request Officials Seek to Block Substation with Building Permit Ordinance

Article excerpt

The Frontenac Board of Aldermen plans to make the decision on whether Union Electric Co. is given a permit to build a substation in Frontenac.

Under Frontenac's current ordinance, public utilities must get a building permit from the Board of Adjustment.

But aldermen oppose the electric company's plan to build a substation in a residential area and want to take authority in the matter, says City Administrator Michael Schoedel.

Alderman Leslie Tzinberg, 2nd Ward, asked City Attorney Frank Susman last week whether the board immediately could approve a bill requiring public utilities to appear before the board for permits.

Susman replied aldermen could make such a change but that it couldn't be done that night because the matter was not on the agenda and a bill had not been drafted.

Alderman Norton Beilenson, 3rd Ward, said he was concerned about waiting one month for the board's next meeting before making a change.

Beilenson said he didn't want to give UE time to file an application under the current ordinance.

Aldermen asked Susman to draft legislation requiring utilities to come before the aldermen with permit requests.

Schoedel says the board will hold a special meeting Thursday to consider the issue.

Schoedel expects UE to apply in the next two weeks for a permit to build the substation on property it owns at 10420 Cable Avenue.

The site is west of Lindbergh Boulevard on the southern fringe of West End Park.

Meanwhile, UE has torn down a vacant house on its Cable Avenue property and has begun making offers to buy adjoining property.

Bonnie Rhein, who lives at 10402 Cable Avenue, said that she had rejected UE's offer for her house because it was below St. Louis County's assessed value.

Several residents of Glen Abbey, which is west of the adjacent Frontenac Racquet Club, told aldermen they were concerned that:

Frontenac officials might fight UE's plan in a lawsuit, which would be expensive, and UE likely would win in eminent-domain proceedings. …

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