County Planning Commission holds response to council MotoMart denial

Commissioners believe gas station fits surrounding area


Photo by Erin Achenbach

The view from the site of the proposed Moto Mart along the Mississippi River, directly next to the JB Bridge.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The St. Louis County Planning Commission voted 6-0 June 27 to hold its response to the County Council over a proposed MotoMart gas station off Interstate 270 next to the Jefferson Barracks Bridge. 

MotoMart is a gas station/car wash combination and is requesting the zoning at the site be changed from M-1 Industrial, FPM-1 and FPM-3 to M-3 Planned Industrial and FPM-3. The lot is 2.94 acres and is in the Mehlville School Disitrict. The proposal features a car wash and drive-thru, 35 parking spots, a new pole sign and some landscaping. The gas station would be open 24/7 and staff around 35 employees. 

The proposal was first heard by the commission during a public hearing in January. The panel then recommended the proposal to the council for approval in March, and received a letter from the council disputing the commission’s reasoning in early June. The commission tabled the council’s response at that time to give the commission an opportunity to draft a letter explaining the commission’s support for the new gas station. 

Planning staff brought two letters to the commission at the June 27 executive session — one recommending approval of the MotoMart again and one recommending denial. The commission consensus was to recommend approval again, but some commissioners felt the letter staff drafted didn’t do their argument justice.

“I think we heard a lot of things from the commissioners … when we approved it … I don’t think (the letter) really includes the number of items that we were hearing from my colleagues,” Commissioner Bill Sneed said. “I think our responsibility is to give Jacob (Trimble) a list of items we think should be included.”

Sneed said the letter needs to include past commission arguments like the site is serving the general public and residents; utilizing the area might reduce crime and overall revenue generation. 

Commissioners also pointed out that while the site is in a floodplain, there are other similar projects in the county with the same circumstances.

The commission voted unanimously to table its response until an updated letter can be written.

This is not the first time MotoMart has petitioned for a gas station in the same location. In 2020, the company proposed a similar plan at the same spot, which overlooks the Mississippi River. At the time, the Planning Commission recommended denial of the petition because staff did not feel that the interchange could handle the amount of activity, nor did the use fit the surrounding area.