Citizens need to speak up next week in Sunset Hills

\Call the Tune by Mike Anthony

\”Call the Tune” by Mike Anthony

Three public hearings involving the proposed redevelopment of Court Drive and West Watson Road west of South Lindbergh Boulevard will be conducted next week by the Sunset Hills Planning and Zoning Commission.

The public hearings involving the area devastated by the New Year’s Eve tornado that swept through the city will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Community Center, 3915 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The public hearings will include:

• A recommendation by the Residential Recovery Task Force that was appointed in June by Mayor Bill Nolan. The task force has recommended the Planning and Zoning Commission vote to amend the city’s comprehensive plan to allow for both single-family residences and attached housing on Court Drive and West Watson Road — similar to the nearby Courtyards of Sunset Hills, which has both single-family homes and attached villas.

• A request by the Court Drive Residents Task Force, chaired by Gerald Smith, to change the comprehensive plan. The Sansone Group and partner A.J. Borzillo Inc., working with the task force, are proposing some retail and senior housing for the area. The Sansone Group has roughly a dozen or so properties in the area under contract.

• A proposal by Dr. George Despot-is, of Des Peres, a trustee for properties at 12417 W. Watson Road and 3825 S. Lindbergh Blvd. Despotis did not offer any specifics of his proposal at a recent commission meeting.

The roughly 10-acre site currently is zoned R-2 single-family residential with a 20,000-square-foot minimum lot size.

Many residents thought this issue had been decided on June 1 when the commission voted to reject an amendment to change the comprehensive plan to provide for commercial and attached-unit residential uses of the area.

But that’s apparently not the case as at least one and likely two of the public hearings will involve requests to change the comprehensive plan to provide for commercial or retail use.

Given that, we encourage residents to attend Wednesday’s meeting and voice their desires about the area in question as the decision to amend the comprehensive plan lies solely with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Back in June, many residents of the tornado-affected area requested a quick resolution of the future of the area. That hasn’t happened because they’re still awaiting that resolution five months later.