Planning Commission tables County Council’s order regarding I-255 MotoMart

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

A proposed Moto Mart near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, Interstate 255 and Koch Road received a response from the St. Louis County Council in April listing issues with the proposal.

The St. Louis County Planning Commission has been working on the proposal since January, most recently recommending it for approval to the council in March. The recommendation was against planning staff’s recommendation at the time, who felt the commercial aspect of the site did not fit at the location.

The council echoed staff’s concerns — a council order stated the proposal is not visually appealing, is not appropriate at the location and is inconsistent and incompatible with floodplain setbacks and area studies.

The proposal is in the district of 6th District Councilman Ernie Trakas and is in the Mehlville School District. 

Staff drafted a response to the council’s letter, but commissioners felt they didn’t have enough time to properly review the response before the meeting.

Commissioner Keith Taylor took issue with some of the council’s reasoning.

“When you tell me the site is in a floodplain, it’s pretty high for the floodplain. It’s a high-density development? There’s no higher density than being up on Telegraph Road … trying to get into … a service station,” Taylor said. “This proposed use is not visually appealing to who? Who lives across the street?”

Commissioner Bill Sneed was also opposed to the council’s order, mentioning the opportunity to use a piece of land that has been unoccupied for years. Sneed also said in the future he would like to see pressing matters like this be delivered earlier than the rest of the matters to the commission to allow for better analysis.

This is not the first time MotoMart has petitioned for a gas station in the same location. In 2020, the company proposed a similar plan at the same spot, which overlooks the Mississippi River. At that time, the Planning Commission recommended denial of the petition because planning staff did not feel that the interchange could handle that amount of activity, nor did the use fit the surrounding area.

The commission voted 6-0 to table the matter for a future meeting.