As Crestwood official, Vincent was not attentive to resident concerns

Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

In his June 20 letter to the editor, Sunset Hills resident Gary Vincent asks that city officials give due consideration to the wishes of homeowners living near a vacant parcel of land currently under consideration for development, asserting that the Sunset Hills “brand” precludes the construction of cluster homes in this area.

He further recommends that homeowners be given a voice in the development process so that the character of their neighborhood is respected and preserved.

While I support Mr. Vincent’s right to express his concerns, I was left wondering whether he is aware of the complete irony of the situation in which he now finds himself.

Understanding this irony will require a brief step back in time, about 15-plus years ago.

Like Gary Vincent, Crestwood residents living on Bali Court, Rosaire Drive and Rayburn Avenue hoped that city officials would respect their objections to a proposed development that would abut their properties, as it was not in character with the neighborhood.

That proposed development was the relocation of the Crestwood Swim Club, owned by Rosebrook Real Estate.

Unfortunately for those residents, city officials ignored their pleas, ultimately granting approval for the construction of a private swim club right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

To fully appreciate the incongruity of allowing the swim club to be located in this neighborhood, readers may wish to go online and view a satellite image of the area.

As soon as the swim club opened, residents had to grapple with the problems caused by the club’s PA system and the lights around the grounds and asked the city for remedies.

One resident suggested putting impacted residents of the neighborhood on the board of the swim club to ensure their concerns were addressed. The response he received from the swim club’s owner? “Well, that’s not going to happen.”

Who was that owner? None other than Gary Vincent.

During the period preceding the relocation of the swim club, Mr. Vincent was the president of Rosebrook Real Estate, a member of the Crestwood Swim Club and a Crestwood Ward 2 alderman. Those residents were not arguing for a “brand” or larger lot sizes. They just wanted their alderman, Mr. Vincent, to listen to them.

At the time, other swim club members occupied seats on the Board of Aldermen as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission.

They paid little attention to the obvious ethical concerns of advancing a private cause over the public good.

I hope for Mr. Vincent’s sake that he is treated with more empathy and respect by Sunset Hills officials than that which he offered the Crestwood residents he was elected to serve, who also sought nothing more than to protect the integrity of their neighborhood.

Martha Duchild
Crestwood

Editor’s note: Readers interested in learning more about the Crestwood swim club can read about the issue in The Call’s online archives.

Mrs. Duchild unsuccessfully ran for the Lindbergh Board of Education in April 2017.