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OK recommended for Petro Mart final development plan

Public hearing scheduled for Feb. 26 on Petro Mart final development plan

Mike Anthony
Executive Editor

Aldermen will conduct a public hearing Feb. 26 on a final development plan for a Petro Mart convenience store and gas station planned for the former Bob Evans site at 1430 S. Kirkwood Road. (click for larger version)
February 13, 2013 - The Sunset Hills Planning and Zoning Commission voted last week to recommend approval to the Board of Aldermen of a final development plan for the construction of a new convenience store with gas pumps at 1430 S. Kirkwood Road.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 8-0 to recommend approval of the final development plan for the Petro Mart convenience store with eight gas-pump islands. Commission members Al Koller and Jeff Sanders were absent from the Feb. 6 meeting.

A public hearing on Land West No. 7's final development plan will be conducted by the Board of Aldermen when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at City Hall 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

During last week's public hearing on the final development plan, no residents addressed the Planning and Zoning Commission.

As proposed, Land West No. 7's final development plan calls for a 4,080-square-foot convenience store on the 1.61-acre site of the former Bob Evans Restaurant on Kirkwood Road, also called South Lindbergh Boulevard.

George Stock of Stock & Associates Consulting Engi-neers Inc., who represented the developer, told the commission, "This final development plan is very consistent, almost identical, to the preliminary development plan approved by the planning commission and the Board of Aldermen."

Access to the site will remain the same as it is now, Stock said.

"There is a restricted right-in, right-out access located on the northern portion of the site on South Lindbergh (Boulevard), with a full-access located a little further south, midway on the site, and then there's an access onto Monica Drive that's full access," he said.

Land West No. 7 first proposed the Petro Mart in the fall of 2011.

In December, Mayor Bill Nolan cast the deciding votes to approve two measures permitting construction of the Petro Mart.

In separate votes, the Board of Aldermen deadlocked 4-4 on approval of a preliminary development plan and a conditional-use permit for the convenience store with eight gas-pump islands.

Voting in favor of the two measures were Ward 1 Alderman Richard Gau, Ward 3 Alderman Stephen Webb and Ward 4 Aldermen Pat Fribis and Art Havener. Opposed were Ward 1 Alderman Dee Baebler, Ward 2 Aldermen Scott Haggerty and Thomas Musich and Ward 3 Alderman Jan Hoffmann.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Dec. 5 to recommend approval to the Board of Aldermen of a preliminary development plan and a conditional-use permit. Sanders was absent.

Land West No. 7 previously proposed a 4,500-square-foot Petro Mart convenience store with eight gas-pump islands on the site.

John King, an attorney who represents the developer, previously told aldermen the Petro Mart, which would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, would generate $50,000 to $60,000 annually in sales-tax revenue for the city.

The developer withdrew a previous preliminary development plan that called for the installation of a raised median on South Lindbergh Boulevard from Interstate 44 south to Watson Road and a traffic signal at the intersection of Lindbergh at Sunset Office Drive and Monica Drive.

Several nearby business owners objected to the raised median, saying the median would limit access to their locations along Lindbergh, while the traffic signal would create congestion on the roadway.

In December, two representatives of an existing Shell station across from the site of the Petro Mart — attorney Bill Remis, an attorney with DosterUllom LLC who represents Circle K and Spirit Energy, and Mike Powers, of Circle K — voiced their opposition to the revised plan.

Remis told the board he believed approval of the Petro Mart would create traffic congestion and safety issues.

In September, a petition signed by 174 Sunset Manor subdivision residents who oppose the Petro Mart was presented to the Board of Aldermen by Carol Morrison of Deane Court. Morrison and former Ward 1 Alderman Frank Hardy, who is challenging Baebler in the April election, collected the signatures for the petition.

The development will negatively impact the Sunset Manor neighborhood by reducing property values, disrupting personal lifestyles, increasing traffic on residential streets and jeopardizing the safety of playing children and pedestrians, according to the petition.

In addition, those signing the petition object to the Petro Mart because it will operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

In November, Hardy requested the Board of Aldermen delay consideration of the Petro Mart proposal to give him time to collect signatures on a protest petition.

A total of 36 properties are within 185 feet of the Petro Mart and the signatures of 30 percent — 11 — of the property owners would be required for the protest petition.

A valid protest petition would require a two-thirds' majority vote of all aldermen to approve any zoning ordinances.

"... I was not able to get the required number of signatures for various reasons, but I do have the original petition ...," Hardy told the board at its December meeting.

Tags: Sunset Hills News

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