Panel recommends approval of I-255 MotoMart

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

The St. Louis County Planning Commission recommended approval of a plan for a MotoMart near Jefferson Barracks Bridge March 14. The plan was recommended for denial by county staff for its inability to be tied to industrial uses.

The plan for the proposed gas station has gone through many phases. In 2020 it was denied for traffic concerns due to a truck refueling station on site, resulting in the removal of the station for the new proposal.

The newest proposal has been tabled twice by the commission for traffic, issues with the site plan and most recently, its commercial purpose in a residential designated zone. Staff has said that for a commercial use to be in the area, it should be tied to an industrial use. According to staff, all signs point to the gas station looking for customers from Telegraph Road and Interstate 255, not an industrial use. 

Acting Director of Planning Jacob Trimble said staff reviewed the public hearing in January and the developer specifically mentioned looking for customers from the two roads. The on-site pole sign is also facing I-255.

“We continue to find this can not be tied to any industrial uses in the area, any industrial users who stop at the site would be incidental and would not be a critical component of the request,” Trimble said.

Commissioner Keith Taylor motioned to approve the plan despite staff concerns.

“The uses that can go here will never go here with the dust from the quarry … as far as the car wash being in the front, we can make the car wash look like the Taj Mahal with architectural review,” Taylor said. 

Commissioner Bill Sneed said the location has been “desolate” for a long time and he suspects nearby residents would want some activity at the site. At the Jan. 19 public hearing of the proposal, one neighbor to the site said he and his neighbors are not looking forward to 24/7 lighting nearby.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the plan.