Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Neighbors Protest Plan for Office Development

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Neighbors Protest Plan for Office Development

Article excerpt

Residents on Weber Hill Road in Sunset Hills are concerned that an office development proposed at Interstate 270 and Gravois Road would bring congestion to the residential neighborhood.

Representatives of Bakewell, the developer, say the office project would add about 400 cars a day to traffic in the area. Residents say that it would be too much additional traffic and predict that drivers would take short cuts on Weber Hill Road.

Bakewell wants to build two office buildings totaling 112,220 square feet on about 6 1/2 acres near the northwest corner of Interstate 270 and Gravois. One would be a two-story building of 44,827 feet, and the other a three-story building with 67,393 square feet.

The offices would be built on property Bakewell is buying from St. Louis County for $367,000. As part of the deal, Bakewell is donating about 146 acres along Lawler Ford Road on the north edge of Castlewood State Park to the county.

The county has tried to sell the Sunset Hills property about three times in the past 12 years. Deals collapsed when potential buyers could not get zoning they sought from Sunset Hills. Uses proposed for the property have included a bowling alley, a fast-food restaurant and a strip shopping center.

The plan for office buildings concerns Doree Wren, a resident. She said, "The citizens of Sunset Hills are stuck in the middle. The big problem is that Weber Hill Road is a little country road that has been paved over to develop a residential area."

About 30 residents of Weber Hill Road were at last week's meeting of the Board of Aldermen. Among their concerns:

Eastbound drivers on Gravois would face extreme difficulty in turning north onto Weber Hill.

Office traffic coming from areas north and east of Sunset Hills would use Weber Hill for a shortcut.

Weber Hill Road is a residential arterial road with limited sight distance. More traffic would put children on bicycles and school buses at risk for accidents.

A dual left-turn lane is needed at the Interstate 270 interchange.

Bill Bunte, Bakewell's traffic engineer, said that he would consider "the idea of a double left (at the Interstate 270 ramp), but our analysis shows there's enough capacity at Weber Hill Road and Highway 30 to handle the traffic. …

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