Page 1

Call Publishing, Thursday, July 25, 2013 - Page 7A

• Say Attorney for developer says work on building to continue (Continued from Page 1A)

wanted a casino. Despite Dooley’s opposition to reconsidering the zoning on the grounds that it could spur a lawsuit from Ohio-based NCR, the County Council voted 5-1, with one abstention, in June to send the issue back to the planning panel. The resolution, introduced by 6th District County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, stated the council’s intention is to initiate “reverting, changing or amending the zoning” of the site back to its original R-2 single-family residential zoning. If the Planning Commission makes a recommendation at its next meeting Aug. 5, the issue again heads to the County Council, where Dooley could veto it. The council could overrule Dooley with a supermajority vote. A non-binding show of hands taken at the end of the meeting showed 250 people against the complex and 12 in support of the apartments. About 75 to 100 opponents remained outside the chambers, not allowed in due to fire codes. More than half of the people who raised their hands in support of the complex were NCR employees or consultants. Although Dooley has called the notification process for the NCR building “flawless,” several speakers told the planning panel they would have preferred to have known about a hearing conducted last year so they could have appeared then instead of now. Sister Mary Catherine Wesley of the neighboring Monastery of St. Clare previously told the Call that, though the monastery had received a postcard about each nearby development in the past, it did not receive a postcard about this project. Department of Planning officials have said that the postcards are not legally required and are only sent as a courtesy. In advance of the July 15 hearing, the county put up two notice signs on the property, angled so that drivers on Telegraph Road could see a sign from either direction. Last year, the notice sign was set about 80 feet back from the road, next to a small house that occupied the property until it was demolished in mid-May. “It is not surprising that the sign was not noticed, since one would have had to trespass to read it. Had we been able to see the

sign, we would have been here 16 months ago,” Oakville resident Al Fanger told the commission. “One sign that I remember seeing and was always clearly visible was the ‘For Sale’ sign that was never removed (until construction began).” In response to statements made by early speakers that they did not understand how anyone could be against an apartment complex for senior citizens, a speaker told the panel to look at the audience, comprised largely of senior citizens. “This cookie-cutter design might be fine for the city where you have space limitations, nearby parks and shops, but in Oakville, we have adequate land to incorporate one-story access with patios for our seniors,” Fanger said. “The proposed design might be the most energy-efficient building in Missouri, and that is nice. But being able to have a view and for everyone to see the sun is nicer.” The building will be certified LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — platinum, NCR project manager Eric Walker previously told the Call. After listening to nearly two hours of opposition, King did not back down on NCR’s previous position that it has all legal permissions and will continue building the complex. “We have building permits. And that’s why we have built this development,” King told the crowd, pounding the podium. “And we will continue to build this development until we are told to stop.” With that opening, an opponent in the audience seized his chance. “Stop,” came a single man’s voice from the crowd. “Stop!” called out a few others. “Stop!” the crowd joined in. King then corrected himself. “Until we are told to stop by a court of legal jurisdiction,” he clarified, “we’re not going to stop, we’re going to continue to build ... By the time this process is finished we will be up one story, and we will continue to build. And we will continue to operate this facility.” King originally represented the developer during a public hearing last year, for which Oakville residents, including Goddard School owner Cindy Pyatt, say they never received notice. After no one spoke in opposition to the development in April 2012, the Planning Commission voted to recommend R-8 residential rezoning to the County Council, which approved it unanimously in May 2012.

• Calendar (Continued from Page 3A) at the Concord Trinity United Methodist Church Library, 5275 S. Lindbergh Blvd. • Take Off Pounds Sensibly Chapter 186 will meet at 9 a.m. in Rooms 3 and 4 on the lower level of Mary, Mother of the Church, 5901 Kerth Road. • Bingo will take place at 10 a.m. at Crestwood Elks Lodge No. 2503, 10261 Bauer Road. Proceeds will benefit military and youth programs.

Wednesday, July 31

• Youngsters ages 8 to 18 can learn how to play Minecraft at 2:30 p.m. at the Cliff Cave Branch County Library, 5430 Telegraph Road. Registration is required. To register, call (314) 994-3300. • The South County Kiwanis Club will meet at noon at Miss Sheri’s Cafeteria, 5406

Southfield Center. For more information, call (314) 487-6877. • The South County Toastmasters will meet at 7 p.m. at the MetLife Building, 13045 Tesson Ferry Road. Visitors are welcome. Toastmasters is an international organization that assists individuals to improve their communication and leadership skills. To obtain more information, visit www.southcountytoastmasters.org or call (314) 282-0124. • The Gravois Kiwanis Club will meet at noon at Sam’s Steakhouse, 10205 Gravois Road. For more information, call (314) 556-8768. • The Rotary Club of Crestwood-Sunset Hills will meet at 12:15 p.m. at the Holiday Inn-Viking, Lindbergh Boulevard and Watson Road. Visit www.cshrotary.org for more information.

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Volume 16, Number 35

2 Sections, 36 Pages

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

9977 Lin Ferry Drive St. Louis, MO 63123

callnewspapers.com

Two proposed developments opposed by nearby residents By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter A local developer faced dozens of angry neighbors last week at zoning hearings for two subdivisions it proposes in south county. If plans presented Aug. 19 to the county Planning Commission are approved by the County Council, Oakville-based J.H. Berra will build the 48-home “Manors at Grant’s

View” on 10.2 acres in Affton, next to its already-planned luxury Grant’s View subdivision at the corner of Gravois and Musick roads. It also proposes the 35-home “Estates at Briarcliff” on 21.23 acres on Schuessler Road off Tesson Ferry Road. The “McMansions” of Berra’s proposed Estates are too large for small lots and are

By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter St. Louis County Library officials are analyzing traffic around their proposed new library site to see if the location will work despite safety concerns raised by residents at a public hearing. Library officials want to replace the Tes-

son Ferry Branch Library with a new library at the southeast corner of Gravois and Musick roads, across from Grant’s Farm. At an Aug. 19 county Planning Commission public hearing and at the library Board of Trustees meeting earlier that day in Frontenac, south county residents told library

(See OPPOSED, Page 6A)

South county citizens voice concerns about traffic at proposed library site

After-school transportation for transfer students OK’d By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter The Mehlville Board of Education voted 5-2 last week to authorize spending up to $76,000 on transportation for Riverview Gardens students attending Mehlville who want to participate in after-school activities. State law requires that the Riverview Gardens School District provide transportation to school for students who want to leave the unaccredited district, but does not require them to pay for buses after school so the children can participate in extracurricular activities. The board will pay for the buses and transportation from roughly $1.5 million in payments Riverview Gardens owes the district for its 215 students who (See TRANSPORTATION, Page 5A)

Call publishes 25th annual Fall Sports Preview

High school athletes reported back to school early for practice and workouts in recent weeks in preparation for the 2013 fall sports season. Above, hopefuls for a spot on the Lindbergh High School varsity soccer program loosen up for head coach Andrew Mertens. Read more about the upcoming season in the Call’s 25th annual Fall Sports Preview, which is featured in the second section of this week’s issue.

Senior apartment complex in Oakville back before council By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter With a housing complex for the elderly now back before the County Council, the many players in the issue of the site’s zoning continue to be at odds. A report from the county Planning Commission recommending against rezoning the Oakville site of the government-subsidized complex was on the County Council agenda for its meeting Tuesday night — after the Call went to press. Karen Twinem, spokeswoman for Ohio-based National Church Residences, or NCR, said the developer expected to see the coun-

cil vote Tuesday night, but the owner of the preschool next door to the project, Cindy Pyatt, said she did not yet anticipate a vote. Pyatt, who owns Goddard School, and Michelle Norris, vice president of public policy at NCR, met separately last week with council members, lobbying for votes for and against the complex, under construction at 6050 Telegraph Road in Oakville. Norris cleared up some misunderstandings about the complex in her meetings with council members, Twinem said. A persistent myth is that the apartment complex is not for seniors — the developer is required by the $6.7 million project’s funder, the Department (See COUNCIL, Page 7A)

Hearing on Arbors at Clydesdale Park draws dozens of residents By MIKE ANTHONY Executive Editor The Green Park Board of Aldermen is scheduled to vote next month on a proposed subdivision off Kohrs Lane. Dozens of residents attended a public hearing last week at City Hall on the Arbors at Clydesdale Park, a subdivision with 41 attached homes proposed by de-

veloper J.H. Berra at 10995 Kohrs Lane. Ward 2 Alderman Tim Thuston, who owns the property, recused himself from the public hearing. During the hearing, which lasted more than an hour, seven residents voiced their opposition to the proposed Arbors at Clydesdale Park. Among the residents opposed were former Mayor Tony Konopka

and former Alderman Trudy Hoey. Resident Fred Hoehn, who led the effort to incorporate the city of Green Park, spoke in favor of the proposed development, as did Thuston’s mother, Ann, and two sisters, one of whom came from Iowa for the public hearing. In response to concerns raised by aldermen (See DOZENS, Page 8A)

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Inside the Call Our town...................... Opinions...................... Classifieds.................... Fall Sports Preview..... Football........................ Girls’ tennis................. Softball........................ Cross country.............. Boys’ soccer................ Girls’ golf....................

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Page 2A A separation agreement with Page 4A former Crestwood Finance Page 10A Officer Greg Kremer was apPage 1B proved last week by the city’s Page 3B Board of Aldermen during a Page 4B special closed session. Visit Page 5B www.callnewspapers.com to read Page 6B this and other web-exclusive Page 7B Read more on Page 2A about an Eagle Scout stories. Website content is upPage 8B Court of Honor for Nicholas Davis. dated daily.


Call Publishing, Thursday, August 29, 2013 - Page 7A

• Council Planning panel recommended against changing site’s zoning (Continued from Page 1A)

of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, to keep the project as a senior complex for the next 40 years, and separately the county has zoned it only as a senior housing complex. Sixth District County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, was unavailable for comment before the Call’s press time. Pyatt has formed a nonprofit organization, Concerned Citizens of Oakville, that has received donations from residents and hopes to raise enough to post a $65,000 bond, or 1 percent of the total construction cost, to obtain an injunction against construction. In the County Council’s unanimous approval of zoning for the development last year, the council listed providing “adequate temporary off-street parking for construction employees” as a condition of development. In that same section, the council writes, “Failure to comply with any or all the conditions of this ordinance shall be adequate cause for revocation of permits by issuing county departments or commissions.” The council writes that the zoning enforcement officer “shall enforce the conditions of this ordinance ...” Until last week, NCR did not provide any parking for construction workers at its site, and managers of neighboring businesses repeatedly called the St. Louis County Police Department to report construction workers’ cars parked in neighboring parking lots despite the posted “no construction parking” signs, Pyatt said. Each day of construction, 10 workers would park their cars in the shopping center parking lot next door against the prohibition of its management, she added. The St. Louis County Police Department confirmed that officers have gone to the site to discuss parking with the foreman. “There was a misunderstanding with the contractor about the parking and we are working it out, so I believe they are parking on the site now,” Twinem said. “So that’s taken care of.” NCR tried to rent parking spaces at Tori

Pines Commons for construction workers, but the management company declined to lease them space, Pyatt added. County Director of Planning Glenn Powers noted that Pyatt also parks a van on the Tori Pines Commons property, but Pyatt is a tenant of the shopping center and opened a Goddard School after-school satellite program in the building in July. Powers said he was unaware of the construction parking issue and that the Public Works Department would be in charge of revoking any county-issued permits. The county zoning enforcement officer, John Watson, said he was also unaware of the issue and reacts based on complaints to his department. He had not received a complaint about the construction parking at the site but promised to investigate. To Watson’s knowledge, no developer has ever had problems complying with the construction parking requirement or had permits pulled due to lack of compliance. “It hasn’t happened in the past to my knowledge, but if that’s a condition of the approval then it’s certainly a possibility,” he said. “We will have our inspectors go out and take a look at it and do what’s necessary to see that it stops.” Pyatt also called the police on NCR construction workers when the workers set their construction equipment on her property as they were building on the NCR site and then declined to move the equipment. “There is all of 6 inches between our two fences,” she said. “They said, ‘We can’t build it backwards,’ and I said, ‘You’re going to have to. If it’s too small (of a space) to be building it on your property, you shouldn’t be building it.’” In June, the County Council voted 5-1, with one abstention, to approve a resolution introduced by Stenger that directed the Planning Commission to conduct another public hearing with the intent to revert the zoning of the 1.44-acre site to its original R-2 single-family residential classification. In August, the planning panel voted 6-1 to recommend that rezoning the site of the apartments at 6050 Telegraph Road be rejected. Commissioner Bill Sneed, of Oakville, cast the lone vote to change the project’s zoning.

Robin L. Kaiser

(Continued from Page 5A)

“District at Crestwood” entertainment complex, based on a similar successful development near Chicago, includes a comedy club, an upscale bowling concept and a movie theater around a community plaza. Centrum is not pursuing the second phase of the proposed redevelopment at this time, which would have included more retail options. Schlink’s meeting with Centrum officials was productive, the mayor noted. “My meeting with Mr. Barket and others this past Friday went very well. I was clear with them that I was not representing the board,” he wrote to aldermen. “My objective was to reiterate my strategy to help address concerns from all wanting to con-

duct their due diligence. It was received very, very well.” At the Aug. 13 board meeting, Schlink questioned Centrum’s original $121 million estimate of redevelopment costs in light of an email written by former Centrum representative Vic Pildes that Barket forwarded to Schlink. In the email, Pildes said the environmental survey Centrum relied on for its cost estimates was only an “advisory memo to get the city to act.” The new survey will not be an estimate of remediation, Schlink told the board, but it will give the city and Centrum a better picture of what will be involved in the site’s remediation. Contacted after the meeting with the city, Hawkinson said that Centrum did not wish to comment. Barket and Schlink are still under a 30-day press moratorium they agreed to uphold.

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Volume 16, Number 36

1 Section, 16 Pages

Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013

9977 Lin Ferry Drive St. Louis, MO 63123

callnewspapers.com

Stenger says he has no votes to rezone site of senior apartments By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter The zoning of National Church Residences’ Oakville senior apartment complex is back in the County Council’s hands, but 6th District County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, said he does not yet have any votes to rezone

the site at 6050 Telegraph Road. “At this point, none of the council members are coming forward and wanting to reverse it,” he told the Call. “They feel that giving the citizens of our district their voice was very important ... But in summary fashion, from council members I’ve talked to, they are taking the recommenda-

tion of the (county Planning Commission) seriously and are not inclined to go against it.” After no one initially spoke in opposition to the development, the planning panel voted to recommend R-8 residential rezoning for the site to the County Council, which (See VOTES, Page 8A)

Environmental assessment approval a step forward in mall redevelopment By KARI WILLIAMS Staff Reporter Approval of an environmental assessment at Crestwood Court has moved Centrum Properties and the city of Crestwood one step closer to the redevelopment of the mall at no immediate additional cost. Mayor Jeff Schlink told the Board of Aldermen last week that talks with Centrum since the previous board meeting have been “extremely positive,” and the

entire Crestwood Court property will be reviewed through the Brownfields Assessment Program of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “This is a step forward, and it’s a step in a positive direction,” Schlink said. Rebecca Hawkinson, of Centrum Properties, told the board Centrum is “happy” to assure the Crestwood community that the property “will be clean when (they) move

By KARI WILLIAMS Staff Reporter Crestwood Mayor Jeff Schlink said two recent meetings with representatives of Centrum Properties “were extremely positive.” Schlink told aldermen Aug. 27 he met twice with Centrum representatives since the previous board meeting. The purpose of the meetings, according to the mayor,

was to identify “what we all know are some of the stumbling blocks” of the proposed redevelopment of Crestwood Court. Centrum, along with Angelo, Gordon & Co., owns the mall site. The third “no” vote on Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, or PGAV, as the planner for the proposed redevelopment of the mall

(See APPROVAL, Page 4A)

Crestwood mayor says recent meetings with Centrum ‘were extremely positive’ Megan LeFaivre-Zimmerman photo

Panthers kick off 2013 football season

The Mehlville High School football Panthers kicked off the 2013 season Friday with a home game against Northwest. The Panthers were on their way to victory, but had the win stolen from them in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter when they fell to Northwest 15-14. Above, Northwest’s Andrew Ide, No. 82, and Mehlville’s Mike Mik, No. 28, go for the ball early in the game. Visit www.callnewspapers.com to read stories about this game, along with stories about the football Flyers and football Tigers.

District’s plans for Long concern Tsichlis By KARI WILLIAMS Staff Reporter Concerns raised by Doercrest Manor residents about a Long Elementary School bus route exiting onto Doercrest Drive are the result of “poor communication” by Lindbergh Schools officials, according to one Crestwood alderman. Ward 4 Alderman Mike Tsichlis, who lives on Doercrest Drive, told the board last week that Doercrest Manor residents were “left out of the loop.” “I would say on behalf of the school district with the residents, the residents weren’t brought in until kind of

(See PLANS, Page 15A)

Lindbergh school board OKs contract totaling nearly $625,000 for Long work By MIKE ANTHONY Executive Editor A contract for nearly $625,000 for improvements at Long Elementary School recently was awarded by the Lindbergh Board of Education. Board members voted unanimously to award the $624,700 contract to Spencer Contracting Co. of Arnold, which submitted the lowest of four bids, according to Executive Director of Planning and Development Karl Guyer. In December, Lindbergh Schools paid $850,000 to buy 4.684 acres (See CONTRACT, Page 7A)

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after the fact,” he said. “And then communication just didn’t turn out to be beneficial, as I can put it from a couple of meetings that were held at the school district.” Frank Ruzicka, Tsichlis’ nextdoor neighbor on Doercrest Drive, read a letter to the Board of Aldermen formally requesting that city Mike Tsichlis officials review the district’s plans for the school “in accordance with the definition (of

(See POSITIVE, Page 6A)

Inside the Call MFPD news................. Opinions...................... Calendar...................... Lindbergh news........... Oakville news.............. Nuptials....................... Calendar...................... Classifieds.................... Pro services................. Crestwood news..........

Page 3A Page 4A Page 5A Page 7A Page 8A Page 9A Page 9A Page 10A Page 13A Visit www.callnewspapers.com to read more about Page 15A the Mehlville High softball team’s recent fundraiser.

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The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen will consider the second reading of an ordinance next week that would allow the bow hunting of deer. The city recently sponsored a forum on this topic. To read a story about the forum, visit the Call’s website at www.callnewspapers.com. The website is updated daily.


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• Votes Residents keep up pressure on county to change zoning (Continued from Page 1A)

approved it unanimously in May 2012. “The council people are basically saying they thought it was a good zoning then and they think it’s a good zoning now, and they don’t wish to change it — particularly in light of the Planning Commission’s recommendation that it not be changed,” Stenger said. Now that the planning panel’s recommendation has been filed with the council, Stenger said he has three months to try to obtain the votes to change the zoning. In June, the County Council voted 5-1, with one abstention, to approve a resolution introduced by Stenger that directed the Planning Commission to conduct another public hearing with the intent to revert the zoning of the 1.44-acre site to its original R-2 single-family residential classification. In August, the planning panel voted 6-1 to recommend that rezoning the site of the apartments be rejected. Commissioner Bill Sneed, of Oakville, cast the lone vote to change the project’s zoning. Oakville residents contend they did not receive notification of the rezoning for the site, which led to no one showing up to oppose the apartment complex at a series of public hearings in 2012. “Had I heard from anyone, one single person, through any of that process — even for one person, I would have paused it,” Stenger said. “And I do that routinely.” At the Aug. 27 County Council meeting, Oakville residents kept up the pressure on county officials to change the zoning of the National Church Residences, or NCR, site. Lemay Township Republican Committeewoman Theresa Douglas again raised doubts about the market study for the project. At the July 15 Planning Commission public hearing, Douglas had suggested that the errors in the market study could be grounds for nullifying the zoning and agreements with NCR. “There were a lot of misstatements that were in the market study, and all of this came about as a result of what was in that market study,” she said. “Perhaps you can use that to avoid some legal liabilities.” NCR attached its market study for the site to its application for $6.5 million in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, and several speakers at public hearings have cited errors in the study. The market study is a requirement of the HUD application process. It was not used by the county Department of Planning to make its decision about the site, said county Director of Planning Glenn Powers. An approved HUD third-party analyst, ALCA Associates of Westerville, Ohio, conducted the study and issued a fact sheet in response to Oakville residents’ concerns. ALCA is certified to do housing market studies through the National Council of Affordable Housing Market Analysts, NCR spokeswoman Karen Twinem said. In his rebuttal, Allan Forsythe, president of ALCA Associates, said HUD reviewed and could have rejected the study, but did not. Forsythe, with 20 years of experience, wrote the study.

In the market study’s site profile of 6050 Telegraph Road, ALCA Associates wrote that the 1.44-acre site is 1.5 acres. Forsythe based this off a sales flier and the brochure on the property, which both listed the site at 1.5 acres. After NCR secured funding from HUD, it bought the former single-family property in December 2011 for more than $575,000 from Christine and Marcus Balch of Concord. Prudential Alliance Commercial real estate agents Jason Morgan and Mike Forth issued the real estate flier that stated the property was 1.5 acres. Their office is in Chesterfield. The study notes the potential site’s location next to the Goddard School and near Oakville Middle School, but said it was bordered “on the east side (by) open vacant land to the school buildings.” The property has been bordered on the east since 1959 by the Monastery of St. Clare. The cloistered nuns sent their external representative, Sister Mary Michael, to the Planning Commission to oppose the complex. The nuns’ concerns include lighting, privacy, fencing and noise. Forsythe admitted his error in classifying the nuns’ property, but contends that the traffic on Telegraph Road will disrupt the nuns’ praying more than an apartment complex of “quiet, elderly women.” That is the target population for the apartments as outlined in the study, Twinem noted. Speakers at hearings have mentioned that Oakville has a low federal poverty rate compared to other areas in St. Louis County, which leads them to question why the developer chose to locate apartments designed for low-income tenants 62 years of age or older in Oakville, rather than in other locations in St. Louis County. In his comments to the County Council last week, NCR Vice President Matt Rule said that the developer chose the site because it wants its residents to live in a safe and caring neighborhood. “We believe that God has called us to reach out to the disenfranchised. It’s a great neighborhood, with great neighbors,” he said. “We don’t want to see our seniors squeezed out to hard-hit neighborhoods or to far-flung suburbs.” The market study contradicts itself with at least one racial profile given that matches neither Oakville’s demographics nor those of county residents. In the Demographics section of the study, Forsythe writes that the population of “the PMA (primary market area) and the county” is 82.7 percent white and 14.7 percent Hispanic or Latino. That does not match the racial demographics of either Oakville or St. Louis County for either 2000 or 2010 or the document’s own “Racial Profile” section, which states that “the population of the PMA is predominantly White Alone at 97.3 percent. The dominant minority is Asian Alone at 1.2 percent.” The 2010 census figures for Oakville show a population that is 96 percent white, 1.8 percent Asian, 1.4 percent Hispanic or Latino and smaller percentages of other races. The figures for St. Louis County as a whole show a population that is 70.5 percent white, 23.6 percent black, 3.8 percent Asian and 2.7 percent Hispanic or Latino.


Volume 16, Number 51

1 Section, 24 Pages

Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013

9977 Lin Ferry Drive St. Louis, MO 63123

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County must pay trash haulers total of $5.9 million, judge rules

Mehlville students stock school’s food pantry

Mehlville Senior High School students in Jane Perrica’s leadership class unpack some of the food items collected during a recent community food drive for the school’s student pantry. Pictured, from left, are: Alaina O’Neill, Tara Becker, Alexa Dell, Emma Torno, Bailey Miller, Ian Hurt, Shane Burke, Marc Jones, Amber Rickert, Emily Ackels and Rachel Benesh. Read more on Page 11A.

By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter Given a chance to reconsider the damages St. Louis County will pay the trash haulers affected by the county’s establishment of trash districts, Circuit Judge Barbara Wallace handed down a $5.9 million judgment last week.

The award is more than five times larger than the $1.1 million in damages Wallace previously granted the haulers after she first ruled in their favor in 2010. The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed Wallace’s ruling, but remanded the decision on damages back down to her.

By KARI WILLIAMS Staff Reporter A Crestwood-based developer told the Board of Aldermen last week that his company does have an interest in the redevelopment of Crestwood Court, despite statements made by a mall owner to city officials

indicating otherwise. G.J. Grewe representative Bill Appelbaum said the comment Sol Barket of Centrum Partners made is “completely untrue.” “We’re very much in favor of the redevelopment of that mall and working with

Crestwood developer disputes Barket; expresses interest in redeveloping mall

Nearly 50 discuss incorporating area or forming new county By MIKE ANTHONY Executive Editor Nearly 50 people attended a meeting last week to discuss the possibility of incorporating Oakville as a city or forming a new county. The Dec. 9 meeting at the Cliff Cave Branch County Library was organized by Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, who raised both possibilities during her town-hall meeting in October. “... This is not a political meeting. It is not party affiliated,” she said. “What I have found since May — I guess it’s about six months — is that this is a community effort, both Republicans,

Democrats, independents are pretty much in agreement that maybe it’s time Oakville, south county, whatever ... looked into maybe what we could do to — I don’t know if insulate is the right term to use — but give us another layer of government to protect our interests as a community ...” Noting “the government that we have now is not working for us,” Haefner outlined three options for those in attendance to consider: incorporating as a city, being annexed into an existing city like Green Park or Sunset Hills or breaking off to form their own county separate from St. Louis County. (See NEW, Page 16A)

Transfer students attending Mehlville adjusting well, Knost says By GLORIA LLOYD Staff Reporter As the Missouri Legislature gears up to address the issue of unaccredited school districts and transfers when it convenes in January, the issue became even more of a statewide one last week when the state Supreme Court upheld a court case mandating that students in the unaccredited Kansas City Public School District can transfer to four neighboring districts.

The after-school transportation the Mehlville Board of Education approved so the students could participate in extra-curricular activities is working well, and the district will spend much less than the $76,000 approved by the board, Knost added. In a Board of Education discussion Dec. 12 on next year’s tuition rates, which must be set for students whose parents live in another district but own property in Mehlville

(See DISPUTES, Page 8A)

Council nixes appointment of Bob Baer to police panel By MIKE ANTHONY Executive Editor The County Council rejected one of County Executive Charlie Dooley’s nominees to the Board of Police Commissioners last week, due to concerns over his “close relationship” with Dooley’s campaign treasurer, John Temporiti. The appointment of independent T.R. Carr, a professor and administrator at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and a former Hazelwood mayor, was unanimously approved by the County Council during its Dec. 10 meeting. However, the council rejected the appointment of Sunset Hills resident Bob Baer, a Republican, to the Board of Police Commissioners. Baer served 25 years as president and chief executive officer of UniGroup, the parent company of United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit. In addition, Baer served as president

(See MEHLVILLE, Page 17A)

(See PANEL, Page 10A)

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And while Kansas City students and parents figure out how to navigate the law just as St. Louis County families did last summer, the hundreds of former Riverview Gardens students now attending the Mehlville School District are adjusting well, Superintendent Eric Knost said. Some of the 216 students who started the year by transferring to Mehlville have returned to Riverview, leaving the district with roughly 200 transfer students.

(See DAMAGES, Page 4A)

Inside the Call School news................ Our town...................... Opinions...................... Calendar...................... Holiday news............... Letters to Santa............ Nuptials....................... Obituaries.................... Classifieds.................... Crossword puzzle........

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Of the three options presented by Haefner, those present indicated they favored forming a new county, citing the hurdles to incorporation and annexation that would be imposed by the St. Louis County Boundary Commission. But they agreed, by consensus, to establish a steering committee to study the specifics of all of three options. Any such effort to establish another layer of government would have to be led by residents, Haefner emphasized. “... As your state representative, my job tonight is to facilitate this meeting and get this project going, and then have to hand it off to whoever is interested in moving forward with it,” she said. “I’m not even here January through May four days a week. I would not be a good leader of this group. I just don’t have the time to do it. I have the will, and I will be as supportive as I possibly can be as far as any legislation that needs to be filed on a statewide basis, working with our County Council — good luck with that — on anything that needs to be done. “But I’m here to support the efforts of this group, whatever those efforts may be. It would just be improper for me to lead this charge, but I wanted to get it going because of all the emails, the interest I’ve had through the town-hall meetings and with all that’s been going on in the community in the last six months ...” Haefner has led the opposition to a senior housing complex at 6050 Telegraph Road, citing a lack of notification to Oakville residents about the rezoning for the site. The $5.1 million, 45-unit, 41,778-squarefoot senior apartment complex is being built by Ohio-based National Church Residences, or NCR, on a 1.44-acre lot, bordering the Monastery of St. Clare and the Goddard School, a preschool for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Although the construction of the building itself will cost $5.1 million, the $6.7 million grant NCR received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also covers the $500,000 land purchase, the architect and other costs associated with construction. After no one initially spoke in opposition to the development, the Planning Commission voted to recommend R-8 residential rezoning for the site to the County Council, which approved it unanimously in May 2012. In June, the County Council voted 5-1, with one abstention, to approve a resolution introduced by 6th District County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, that directed the Planning Commission to conduct another public hearing with the intent to revert the zoning of the 1.44-acre site to its original R-2 single-family residential classification. In August, the planning panel voted 6-1 to recommend the rezoning be rejected. Commissioner Bill Sneed, of Oakville, was the lone vote to change the project’s zoning. Sneed also was the only member of the commission who spoke during the vote, citing the lack of notification to residents as a reason to revert the zoning.

“... We’re not here to rehash the whole senior housing issue, but I truly believe that when you look at the series of missteps along the way, every single one of them that was favorable to the developer and to the project, I have a hard time believing that it was not an agenda,” Haefner said. “It wasn’t a series of mistakes that we unfortunately got the brunt of, it was an agenda that no one would listen to what the citizens of this county wanted to do ...” But the senior center is not the only issue facing Oakville residents, according to Haefner. A well-funded nonprofit organization, Better Together, recently announced six studies on potential areas the city and county might be able to merge — public finance, public safety, public health, parks and recreation, infrastructure and administration and economic development. County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay sit on the board of Better Together, which is primarily funded by the Missouri Council for a Better Economy, whose sole donor is billionaire and political activist Rex Sinquefield. “... I know that a lot of you are aware of the senior center that’s being built on Telegraph Road, which kind of stirred everything up, and then when you add to that all of the talk that you hear now about the city-county merger that I can assure you is in the works — the city will deny it, the county will deny it — but I can assure you that the wheels are in motion,” she said. “They are very well-funded, and that is the ultimate goal for St. Louis County. “If I had to guess, I would guess it’s going to be on a statewide ballot in 2016. It will not matter to anyone out state, and that will be the target of the advertising campaign as to why this is such a great benefit to the state of Missouri to merge the city and the county. And if you’re an outsider looking in — and I get this — if you look at the region ..., it makes sense to do so. But when you are a taxpayer in St. Louis County, you are taking on an additional tax burden. There’s no way around it ...” An effort is underway to merge the crime statistics of the city and the county, “which will bring St. Louis County statistics up 8.5 times. Other issues will follow ...,” Haefner said. She slammed Stenger for his lack of responsiveness to her, both as a state representative and as a resident of Stenger’s council district. “... And just so you know, not only as a state representative trying to contact another elected official, but as a constituent and a business owner in his district, he will not return my calls and has not for over four months now,” Haefner said. “So you’re not alone if you’re not hearing from Councilman Stenger ...” The representative said the meeting’s turnout indicated residents are interested in moving forward with some type of effort. “... The fact that there are so many of you here tonight tells me that there is an interest in moving forward with some form of protections from the government that we have now, that has been unresponsive in a multitude of ways to do what this community has asked for,” Haefner said.

Oakville senior housing — 3  
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