South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Proposed gas station off I-255 tabled again

Photo by Erin Achenbach
The view from the site of the proposed Moto Mart along the Mississippi River, directly next to the JB Bridge.

The St. Louis County Planning Commission tabled a proposal for a MotoMart at Interstate 255 and Koch Road Feb. 28 for the second time.

The proposal features a car wash and drive-thru, 35 parking spots and a new pole sign and has several issues according to county staff. Staff recommended the commission deny the petition due to the commercial nature of the site being in an area that is not intended for that use. 

The site plan features a pole sign that faces the highway, which Acting Director of Planning Jacob Trimble said indicates commercial use in an industrial zone.

“All commercial uses have to be reasonably tied to an industrial use. There is no reasonable way to tie this to an industrial use,” Trimble said. “It is clearly and obviously being shown to attempt to get users off of the interstate, which shows it is not intended as an industrial use, it is intended to be commercial use.”

The staff recommendation notes that a commercial use like the gas station would bring traffic that the area is not intended to handle. The sign would also have to extend to heights the commission can’t allow to be seen from the highway.

Outside of zoning and the pole sign, staff mentioned issues with the location of the entrance disturbing a stream buffer setback, a car wash being in the front yard and a lack of landscaping.

Commissioners felt the site needs something to be constructed, as it has been empty for years. 

“I’m looking at a piece of property that’s been sitting there for a very long time, nothing has happened other than the weeds keep growing up,” Commissioner Keith Taylor said. 

The commission voted on denial with three yes’, one no and two abstentions, leaving it on the table until next time while staff attempts to compile more information.

Commissioner Bill Sneed, who abstained from the vote, said issues with the site can be worked out by the petitioner and any issues with the pole sign will need more analysis by the commission.

“As far as the other items, those things can be resolved as we have typically resolved them in the past,” Sneed said. “They have to comply or they don’t get a sign. The rest of the items can be worked out between staff and the petitioner.”

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