WEST PINE LACLEDE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
President Harold Karabell called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM and waived the normal order of business to allow visitor presentations by Mavis Thompson, Emma Klues,and Austin Barzantny.
MAVIS THOMPSON, License Collector for The City of St. Louis, and ALNITA HOPKINS, Executive Assistant
Ms. Thompson gave a brief autobiography, she defined beneficiaries of fees collected by the Office of the License Collector as agencies and non-profit organizations in St. Louis City. The recipients in turn filter funds back into the City’s economy. She described the three main categories of tax collection as municipal taxes, manufacturing taxes, and hotel/motel taxes. From these and other sources, her office collects and distributes approximately $61 million annually. She noted that to date this year her office has launched the first phase of implementing online business license filing to increase the efficiency of the office and to save business owners’ time. Given that the city has over 20,000 active businesses and she has a staff of only seven, it is difficult to say what percent of them do not pay their taxes. A priority for 2018 is to help non-payers to become current is to accept partial payments – to pay something on the debt. She concluded with an invitation to all to come to the City Business Open House at the City Hall Rotunda April 18-19. At this event businesses show case and/or sell their products and services.
EMMA KLUES – Vice President Communications & Outreach Great Rivers Greenway
Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) connects the St. Louis region with greenways, making it a vibrant place to live, work and play. Greenways are places where you are able to walk, run, bike ride, discover your community, exercise, meet neighbors, get around town, or just get some fresh air. GRG is leading a major public-private partnership to establish the conceptual plan for the Chouteau Greenway, which will connect WU and Forest Park to the WU Medical Center, BJC, the Cortex district, the Foundry and Armory projects, Grand Center, SLU, Harris Stowe State U., STL downtown, and the Gateway Arch. The design competition held in recent months generated four proposals from community members, partners, and designers. GRG now very much wants resident review and comments on the proposals. Read the CONCEPTS online and view EXHIBITS AND EVENTS all around town including the Schafly Branch Librarythrough April 15.
To review and comment, start at https://greatriversgreenway.org/chouteau/. Note that the final day for submitting review is April 22, 2018.
AUSTIN BARZANTNY, One North Group and JOEL FUOSS, Trivers Associates
Mr. Barzantny and Mr. Fuoss were primary presenters on the proposed new townhouse development at 4101 West Pine. The lot has long been vacant, and One North purchased it about a year ago. Given the lot’s modest size and the demand seen for larger units than, for example, those in their 4101 Laclede project, One North plans to build nine townhomes. In a lengthy presentation complete with multiple large renderings, Austin and Joel enumerated several key features of the development.
- Construction probably beginning June, 2018
- Two story units ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet plus 2-3 car garages and, in some unit’s, roof top patios
- At least four additional parking spots
- Car access to the units via the alley (no curb cuts needed).
- An “urbancentric parcel that includes stoops with windows into the lower levels, brick fronting with terra cotta tile, some outdoor space between units
- A rain gardens with permeable pavers
- Possible upgrades to cul de sac area (e.g., iron work enhancement)
- Adherence to form-based code with the exception that no commercial space is planned because of size constraints and poor location for drawing commercial business
Attendees questions and comments included the following
- Parking in the streets around the project is already at a premium even allowing for the plan for construction workers on 4101 Laclede to park on the property by the end of April. The developer claimed to be looking at parking lot options in the area for construction workers to use. Also the construction crew will be much small for West Pine because of the project’s smaller scope.
- Attendees again expressed concern about the possible negative impact the construction phase may have on The Block.
- Traffic in the alley boundary of the project is already heavy and drivers speed through it. Could the construction crew put in speed bumps to slow traffic.
- Will the brick surfaces in the alley be maintained and repaired if damaged by construction?
- Prices will probably begin in the $500,000 range (under consideration).
- The project financing does not include any tax incentives.
- Construction noise has been very bothersome with 4101 Laclede. Per the construction boss, the noise is hard to control when heavy equipment is essential.
- Sidewalks will be left wide enough to allow for safe wheelchair use.
- Consistent and timely communication is essential for current residents. The communication around 4101 Laclede construction matters has been inadequate even with the attempt to use email notifications. The developer should consider hiring someone specifically assigned to communicating upcoming construction developments that may interfere or hinder resident life.
- Attendees from Hampton Condominiums, which border the proposed site support the project.
- The project will provide attractive housing, enhanced property value for the neighborhood homeowners, and tax contributions.
Following the presentations, Dug Fetch made the following proposal regarding the variance that eliminates commercial space as a requirement for the project: WPLNA endorses the proposed 4101 West Pine project. Sense of the body re variance (no commercial space): Propose endorsing project on Sarah and WP w/ its variance: Unanimous endorsement.
Can WPLNA somehow pressure developer/construction to provide communication and care for neighbors. Maybe use email as a way to provide info to everyone. Really need to up the ante on communication – maybe hire someone who is specifically charged w/ communication in timely way.
Agreed to defer regular business including elections until May meeting. Will take nominations from the floor at that meeting.
Op Brightside on May 5 alley clean up. Meet at community garden.
Reminder to vote for / against CID/… petition. Perhaps notary can attend May WPLNA meeting.
BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE REPORT
SECURITY COMMITTEE REPORT – Marshall Michener
Terry Van Schaik, Secretary