Development proposals to be considered this week by Green Park Planning Commission

Business-license committee will meet March 6 at City Hall

By BURKE WASSON

Green Park officials were slated this week to discuss the possible development of new businesses as well as whether to establish business licenses for any new and existing establishments.

The Green Park Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled Tuesday night — after the Call went to press — to discuss two separate proposals that could bring three additional restaurants and one new gas station to the city.

One proposal would bring a QuikTrip gas station and fast-food restaurant to the former Bommarito property on St. Johns Church Road.

The other proposal would relocate the Lion’s Choice restaurant to the Fantasy Coachworks site at 6034 S. Lindbergh Blvd. The area where Lion’s Choice currently sits — 6112 S. Lindbergh Blvd. — would be filled with Golden Corral and 54th Street Grill & Bar.

“Lion’s Choice is proposing to move from their location where they’re at now up to where the Fantasy (Coachworks) property is,” Mayor Tony Konopka said. “And when we talked about that, Lion’s Choice approached City Hall. I had asked that they hold a meeting with the people that would be most affected, and that would be the people in Ronnie Hills (subdivision), to get an idea.”

A committee studying the possible impact of business licenses in Green Park is also scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. today — March 6 — at City Hall, 11100 Mueller Road.

The committee is scheduled to discuss the city’s future cost of maintaining streets at the Green Park Commerce Center once it is filled, which has been stated as one of the reasons why city officials should consider adding extra revenue through business-license fees.

The Green Park business-license committee then will meet Tuesday, March 18, and Monday, April 14. On March 18, the committee is tentatively slated to study how other St. Louis County fourth-class cities like Green Park handle business licenses.

Committee chairman and Ward 2 Alderman Tim Thuston has said that of 44 fourth-class cities in the county, 26 cities have a fee-based structure for business licenses.

At the April 14 meeting, the group will study the alternative of possibly increasing the city’s half-cent capital-improvement sales tax instead of establishing business-license fees as a way to generate additional revenue. This idea was proposed by Green Park Chamber of Commerce President Jim Smoot, a historical opponent of business licenses.

Konopka also said that the city is proceeding with the redevelopment of Green Park Road through discussions with the St. Louis County Parks Department, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The city is pushing forward with plans to allow a trail on the north side of Green Park Road that would “hook up with” the trail at Clydesdale Park, according to the mayor. But expanding that trail past the park down to Kohrs Lane is still a challenge, Konopka said.

“There have been some things where the county parks didn’t really want us to do some things,” the Green Park mayor said. “But at least now, the discussions that I have had have been positive …

“St. Louis County will allow us to hook up to the trail that is already in their park. If we run a trail up from Tesson Ferry (Road), we’re going to be allowed to hook up to the trail that’s already there. Putting in another trail would be redundant. That trail would parallel Green Park Road, go down to about where the county-park entrance is and right there their trail sort of veers off northbound and heads for the woods.

“We are proposing that we continue our trail parallel to Green Park Road and go all the way down to Antrill (Drive) and from Antrill go up the hill and go up to Kohrs (Lane) and so forth so that people will have easy access. So the discussions that I have had have been positive and there’s some things that are working out fairly well.”

Green Park Road is planned to be redeveloped along a 6,000-foot stretch from Tesson Ferry Road to Lin Valle Drive. The road will benefit from two extra feet of lanes on each side to make 12-foot lanes, the pedestrian pathway along the road’s north side, an additional right-turn lane at the road’s intersection with Tesson Ferry Road and a new left-turn lane at Antrill Drive.

Preliminary design plans also call for eliminating drop-offs and ditches from the road and replacing them with vertical curbs on each side. Because the curbing would replace ditches on each side of the road, a storm sewer would be installed across the road’s length.

Substantial grade changes will also be made at the road’s intersections with Kohrs Lane, Mueller Road and Lisa Marie Court to improve sight-line visibility and provide better curb alignment.

The second phase of Green Park Road’s reconstruction includes widening its bridge over Gravois Creek. With plans for the first phase of the project still undecided, the second phase likely will not begin until 2010 at the earliest.

The Green Park Road redevelopment was originally a $2.4 million project, with 80 percent of that cost being paid through a federal grant obtained through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

But the project will be more costly than anticipated due to such factors as the city’s recent intentions to construct the pedestrian pathway along the road’s north side instead of a sidewalk down the more residential south side and also because of estimated increases in construction costs over time.