For most City residents, the most obvious evidence of change is when a new business opens its doors in their neighborhoods. Yet, that moment is usually preceded by hours of study, applications, hearings, and legislative action. One early stop for some projects is the City’s Planning Commission. Here’s what happened at a recent meeting that may affect your neighborhood:
The Planning Commission approved a Special Use District overlay for The Grove Business District. The new zoning overlay regulates uses for new businesses in the district but allows existing uses to remain as long as these uses continue in operation. The Special Use District enabling legislation permits an overlay zoning district for the purpose of addressing health, safety or general welfare issues. The proposal now moves to the Board of Aldermen for a public hearing and legislative action.
The Planning Commission also approved a new zoning designation for the Georgian Square development, from “A”—Single Family to “H”—Area Commercial. This rezoning sets the stage for the development of an office and retail complex in the area bounded by Lafayette, 13th Street, the Truman Parkway and I-55. The Land Clearance Authority and the Land Reutilization Authority now own all of the property in this area with the exception of the MoDOT property and will sell this property to Gilded Age for the development. The MoDOT property included in the development will be made available to Gilded Age following the reconfiguration of the I-55/Tucker/Gravois exit ramp so that the ramp will connect directly with the Truman Parkway.
At the same meeting, the Commission also approved a language change that will allow the development of retail and office structures in excess of 7,000 sq. ft. in “H”—Area Commercial zoning districts located within 1,500 feet of an interstate highway or highway access ramp. Currently, the City’s zoning codes do not permit the development of any office or retail structure in excess of 7,000 sq. ft. as a “use by right” except in the “I”—Central Business, “J”—Industrial, or “K”—Unrestricted zoning districts. This change to the language for the “H” district will make it easier to attract new, planned larger-scale retail developments —- and the stores we want to fill them to the City.
And, finally, the Commission approved a zoning change that will facilitate the expansion of the popular Vitale’s Bakery on the Hill.