Crestwood discusses law on keeping ducks, eye center, Chase ATM comes to city


Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer

Crestwood resident Catherine Biermann smiles while holding her chicken, Jane, at her house in Crestwood. Jane is one of five chickens that Biermann keeps in a coop on her property on Lodge Pole Lane. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen conducted a number of public hearings at its Aug. 25 meeting, held virtually over videoconferencing application Zoom. Hearings included a hearing for a standalone ATM on Watson Road and an ambulatory surgical center on Big Bend Road, along with a discussion of residents keeping ducks in the city.

No member of the public spoke at any of the public hearings.

Ambulatory surgical center coming to Crestwood

Ordinances granting a conditional-use permit and site plan approval for Visco Properties to operate an ambulatory surgical center at 10296 Big Bend Road were unanimously approved by the board.

The site is currently zoned C-1 commercial and contains one building, originally built in 2008, that has historically been used for medical offices. The proposed use would operate on the first floor of the building and, according to a staff report to aldermen, is in “excellent condition.”

The site is in a commercial zone north of the Sam’s Club on Big Bend Road and east of a multifamily residential complex located in Kirkwood city limits.

The planning panel recommended approval of the CUP and site plan at its Aug. 5 meeting, with no conditions other than hours of operation set at 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mayor Grant Mabie questioned those set hours of operation rather than a later closing time since the building is in a commercial district. Harashe explained that the hours of operation were requested by the applicant.

“Because it is a medical use, they aren’t in the office late into the evening, so that’s why they close early compared to the other places in that plaza,” Harashe said.

The proposal also includes a backup diesel generator, in case the building loses power. Ward 3 Alderman Scott Shipley asked if the generator would be enclosed in any way to reduce possible noise pollution when it runs or if the generator could be moved to a different portion of the property.

“We feel the generator is in a good location. It is least visible to any of the occupants that will be driving into the development,” said architect Brian Shearer with firm Marasco & Associates Inc., which specializes in health-care architecture. “We are proposing a new enclosure wall … (around) the generator unit, and the wall would be higher than the top of the generator itself” and will provide sound buffering.

The generator would be used only in emergency situations whenever primary power fails during surgery or other medical procedures.

“We found that the location is a great location for us. We’re proud to be part of the city of Crestwood, and it’s a great area that’s been servicing the community for a long time,” said applicant and ophthalmologist Dr. Navin Tekwani with Tekwani Vision Center, which has locations in Concord, south St. Louis city and St. Peters. “Our goal is to take a medical use building that is no longer occupied that much and turn it into … a surgical center for eye surgery. It’s something that isn’t going to generate a lot of traffic or impede on the existing area.”

Multiple RFPs received for Crestwood mall site

In a brief update given to the board about the former Crestwood Mall property, Mabie said that the city had received “multiple” responses to the city’s requests for proposals.

Interested parties had until Aug. 18 to submit proposals to the city after the RFP was issued June 19.

Three developers have tried and then subsequently dropped redevelopment proposals for the site in the last seven years since the mall closed. The most recent developer to back away from the project was Creve Coeur-based Walpert Properties that had proposed a $300 million high-density mixed use development. Walpert had the property under contract from owners UrbanStreet, contingent on landing tenants and businesses but the deal fell through due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was exciting,” Mabie said of receiving the RFPs. “We’re happy to be reviewing them … and there are potential users who have reached out since that time and want to get in touch with people who submitted RFPs and create a dialogue and express a desire to be part of the project.”

Public Works will review duck ordinances

The Public Works Department will review the municipal codes of surrounding jurisdictions to see if any of them address keeping ducks, at the request of Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding.

Crestwood’s municipal code allows for residents to keep up to nine chickens on their property, but prohibits sheep, goats, hogs, cows, horses, mink, rabbits, ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens, turkeys, bees — including honey bees — and other domestic animals or fowl.

Residents who wish to keep the domestic animals listed can submit an application for a permit to the city, however, the portion of the municipal code that explains the process to apply for a permit only refers to chickens and honey bees.

Breeding told the board that he had a resident approach him with questions about keeping ducks in the city and that the resident felt that the ordinance about chickens was vague when it came to ducks.

Aldermen approve plan for standalone ATM

Chase Bank will soon be installing a new standalone ATM at 9540 Watson Road after aldermen unanimously voted to approve a conditional-use permit for the bank to operate the ATM.

Because the ATM would be motor-vehicle oriented, it requires a CUP, Harashe told the board. If it was a standalone bank with no drive-up, it would have been allowed by right.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the ATM at its Aug. 5 meeting, with the condition that signage be increased.

“We would just like to add that the traffic flow has always been a concern for most jurisdictions, but I want everyone to know that the uses per hour are probably 10 or less,” said Reed Burdine, an architect with firm RMTA on behalf of Chase Bank. “We expect traffic to be 100 cars a day or less based on traffic studies we’ve done with hired professionals.”

Facade improvements passed

Aldermen unanimously approved a site plan for facade improvements by Rock Development, Inc. for a building at 9401 Watson Industrial Road.

The building is home to Just Around the Corner Inc, a wood floor and home flooring contractor.

Some of the exterior improvements include a covered entryway into the building, decorative lighting and reducing the garage bays on the front and rear of the building to one in each area.

Because the changes require a building permit, a site plan had to be submitted to the city, triggering the public hearing.