Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Developer Gets Initial Approval for Plans on Old Seminary Site

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Developer Gets Initial Approval for Plans on Old Seminary Site

Article excerpt

Dan O'Shea's five-year effort to build 43 houses on 13.8 acres that was once part of St. Stanislaus Seminary is almost over.

Last week, the Hazelwood City Council gave O'Shea preliminary approval to build the Riverwood Crossing subdivision, a mix of ranch-style and two-story houses to sell for $130,000 to $170,000. O'Shea is president of Horizon Homes. Final council approval is expected March 19.

The proposed development will be south of Croftdale Drive and east of Howdershell Road. O'Shea has tried since 1992 to get the subdivision approved. Twice, when the land was still unincorporated, St. Louis County denied the request based in part on the 6,000-square-foot lots proposed for 51 houses. Then Hazelwood annexed the land, which sparked court arguments on whether the annexation was proper. Horizon Homes agreed to meet the city's 10,000-square-foot minimum lot sizes and all other zoning and development laws. That dropped the number of lots to 43. The City Council approved the request, despite opposition from residents who believe that the subdivision will destroy the historical significance of the seminary buildings. "I'm shocked you can cannibalize your own heritage this way," said Hazelwood resident Christy Love. "There should be no further encroachment on the property," said resident Geri Debo. "This is something so unique to Hazelwood." Debo said the main seminary building was constructed in 1823, two years after Missouri became a state. The city should do all it can to preserve the s eminary buildings, including maintaining a buffer of land between the defunct seminary and other development. "The Jesuits certainly made a mistake. they shouldn't have let it go," Debo said. Councilman Jeanette Eberlin, 6th Ward, said she resented the negative comments accusing city leaders of being insensitive. The City Council had no choice but to comply with the developer's request because he followed all regulations, Eberlin said. …

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