City of Sunset Hills must be protected from ‘creeping commercialism’

Allow me to preface this letter by expressing all due respect to the people who work for and govern the city of Sunset Hills.

I moved to Sunset Hills in the 1980s and have lived happily in the Courtyards off Eddie & Park for the past 10 years. My neighbors and I always believed we lived in a residential neighborhood until Mayor John Hunzeker and McEagle Construction Co. sought to change that.

We voted for Mayor Hunzeker in 2006 because he promised to hold the zoning sacrosanct and did not want government in the commercial development business, yet he used a city newsletter to extol the virtues of the McEagle office development to be built on the Heimos greenhouse property. That property is zoned R2 residential.

Indeed, I would think residents on Eddie & Park, Lindbergh, and East/West Watson Roads would be confused by the contradictions in the mayor’s words and deeds. The 1,500 cars projected to have parking spaces in the development would have a profoundly negative impact on our residential streets and quality of life, as well as safety issues relative to Truman Elementary School.

In a recent mailing, the mayor suggests some city officials elected two years ago are now attempting to stop all redevelopment in Sunset Hills. Actually, two of these aldermen — Tom Hrastich and Frank Hardy — have met with residents about the McEagle project in an attempt to craft a proposal all can live with, and both have publicly expressed a willingness to support projects that do not compromise the integrity of our neighborhoods.

We have found these gentlemen as well as mayoral candidate Mike Svoboda to be dedicated public servants who truly serve the best interests of all Sunset Hills residents.

I consider our city to be an oasis whose residential character must be protected from the specter of “creeping commercialism.”

Voters have well-defined choices in the April 8 election. The decisions we make now for our elected officials will have a lasting effect on the future character of our city.

Jean Stemmler

Sunset Hills