April 09, 2014 - The Sunset Hills Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously last week to recommend approval of a conditional-use permit to allow Rogelio Estrada Lopez to open a Mexican restaurant at the Econo Lodge, 3730 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Lopez is a resident of Millstadt, Ill., where he operates a restaurant.
The Board of Aldermen could consider the recommendation when it meets Tuesday, April 22.
In December, the commission voted 6-3 to recommend approval of the conditional-use permit, or CUP, to the Board of Aldermen. Commission member Darlene Freber was absent from the Dec. 4 meeting.
Aldermen voted 5-3 in January to approve the CUP, with Ward 3 Alderman Kurt Krueger, Ward 2 Alderman Tom Musich and Ward 1 Alderman Richard Gau opposed. But two days later, Mayor Bill Nolan vetoed the ordinance approving the CUP, citing discrepancies with the site plan submitted by Lopez.
The mayor sent Assistant Zoning Enforcement Officer Patricia Moore to check out the site the day after the vote, and Moore discovered that the site plan submitted with the restaurant's application did not match the parking actually at the site.
The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously in February to uphold Nolan's veto.
At the April 2 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, commission member Jeff Sanders asked City Engineer Bryson Baker to recap why Lopez's request for a CUP was again before the panel.
"... The applicant originally applied for the conditional-use permit for the restaurant and the site plan did not meet the city requirements for a site plan," Baker said. "It was still passed — or recommended for approval — by P and Z. It was approved by the Board of Aldermen, and then it was vetoed by the mayor, due to the site plan not being complete to city standards.
"So now they have hired St. Louis County Surveying & Engineering to do a site plan, and it's in your packet now. So it's a more complete site plan that includes everything that's required by the city," the city engineer added.
Sanders asked Baker, "So everything's in compliance?"
Baker said, "Correct, according to the site plan. The site plan is in compliance with the city requirements."