MotoMart decision on hold for further research

The+view+from+the+site+of+the+proposed+Moto+Mart+along+the+Mississippi+River%2C+directly+next+to+the+JB+Bridge.

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

A proposal for a MotoMart near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and Interstate 255 was considered by the St. Louis County Planning Commission Feb. 14, but was put on hold to allow commissioners to analyze the staff report more closely.

The commission originally heard the plan Jan. 11. The proposal features a car wash and drive-thru, 35 parking spots and a new pole sign.

The planning staff’s report recommended the commission deny the plan for a variety of reasons. Firstly, a Sixth County Council District Community Area Study identified the area for recreation or residential uses, and a gas station is strictly commercial. The report stated that the river overlook location lends itself to recreational use.

Staff also pointed out the proposed pole sign on the preliminary site plan did not have a height indicated. The plan shows the sign at an elevation of 434 feet, and the nearby highway is 470 feet. Planner Abby Froidl said for the pole sign to be visible from the highway, it would extend beyond maximum allowed heights.

“The department finds even a 30-foot pole sign would be out of character and scale for the surrounding area,” Froidl said.

Staff also found that the Missouri Department of Transportation will not permit the current proposed entrance, as it is opposite the I-255 exit ramp. 

Other issues include the proposed location being in the stream buffer setback for Martigney Creek, the location of the car wash is not permitted by zoning code and the preliminary plan does not feature any landscaping.

Traffic was a concern at the public hearing in January, and staff did mention that this area is not intended for increased traffic volume.

“The proposed development is a high traffic-generating use for a corridor that is not intended for such volume,” Froidl said. “The department does not recommend introducing commercial-style uses at this interchange.”

A different MotoMart plan was proposed in 2020, and was also denied for traffic concerns. Developers removed the truck refueling station on-site since then, but the change hasn’t alleviated county concerns.

The commission will consider the plan again at its next executive session.