Crestwood aldermen may give final approval tonight on new zoning code


Photo by Erin Achenbach

The sign at Scott Credit Union in Crestwood along Watson Road.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen may vote tonight on a new zoning code for the city, marking the end of an undertaking that has been years in the making.

The Board of Aldermen is slated to hold a second reading on the new zoning ordinance when it meets by videoconferencing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22.

The revamped zoning code has been an ongoing project between the city and planning firm Peckham Guyton Albers and Viets since 2018. The Planning and Zoning Commission began reviewing the draft ordinance from PGAV in July 2019, beginning with the sign code, which was formally adopted by the Board of Aldermen in January this year. 

The proposed zoning code rewrite being weighed by the aldermen would pass off some zoning powers held by the Board of Aldermen to the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as create a new special zoning district along Watson Road, known as the Watson Road “overlay.”

A public hearing over the proposed zoning code was held by the aldermen in November and the ordinance was first read Dec. 8. A second reading and final approval of the ordinance may happen at the Dec. 22 meeting or the Jan. 12 meeting. 

In the proposed draft ordinance, public hearings for developments will take place at the Planning and Zoning Commission instead of the Board of Aldermen. The Planning and Zoning Commission will also become the approving authority for major site plans. 

Projects requiring modification in the Watson Road overlay will be required to come before the board and the board will remain the decisionmaking authority for text amendments, zoning map amendments, preliminary development plans and conditional-use permits; but the public hearings for text amendments, map amendments and preliminary plans will only happen at the planning commission level.

In the case of conditional-use permits, or CUPs, public hearings will be held at both the commission level and board level. 

In the proposed rewrite, city staff will be the final authority on final development plans and minor site plans.

Another component of the draft ordinance is the introduction of a Watson Road overlay, which dictates what kind of developments and signage are desirable for the Watson business corridor to encourage a deeper “sense of place” in Crestwood. The goal of the overlay is to eventually develop Watson Road into a walkable, pedestrian corridor, with 10-foot sidewalks on either side of the road to encourage pedestrian use. Current Watson Road sidewalks are 5 feet across. 

Zoning for a proposed redevelopment of the Crestwood mall between Dierbergs and McBride Homes would fall under the new overlay.