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

St. Anthony’s rezoning request approved with unanimous vote by County Council

The County Council voted unanimously last week to grant final approval to legislation that rezones St. Anthony’s Medical Center property to an all-commercial district.

With the new zoning, the hospital now can proceed with what it terms a 25-year master plan to add new medical offices, parking and other facilities. Part of St. Anthony’s plan calls for the construction of a parking garage, parking lots and a four-story medical office building within a roughly 15-acre stretch of land between Nottinghill subdivision and Sunset Drive.

The proposal has upset Nottinghill residents, who contend the construction of those structures and parking lots near their homes will create noise, increased stormwater runoff and ultimately harm their property values.

After hearing residents’ concerns, the county Planning Commission in May postponed a decision on the hospital’s request and asked St. Anthony’s to consider changing its plan so that no building or parking structure would be constructed in those 15 acres. The hospital subsequently submitted a revised site plan that:

• Reduces the size of the proposed parking garage from a five-story, 346,756-square-foot structure to a three-story, 105,000-square-foot structure and increases its setback from the Nottinghill boundary to 175 feet from 120 feet.

• Increases the setback of a four-story medical office building and conference center from the Nottinghill boundary to 100 feet from 50 feet.

• Increases the setback of surface parking lots from the Nottinghill boundary to 50 feet from 20 feet.

• Eliminates a 20,000-square-foot central utility plant that would’ve been built 95 feet from the Nottinghill boundary.

• Increases the amount of buffer between the subdivision and St. Anthony’s property, including a 6-foot-high sight-proof fence, 3- to 5-foot berm and “heavy landscaping” on both sides of the fence.

• Limits the height of parking lot lights located within 200 feet of the Nottinghill boundary to 16 feet, which is the standard for subdivisions.

Residents recently asked for additional setbacks, but the plan did not change.

Sixth District Councilman Steve Stenger, D-south county, has said he’s worked with hospital officials on amending St. Anthony’s plan to address the residents’ concerns. The final master plan, he contends, is the best compromise for both sides.

“They’ve certainly made concessions in their master plan, and the concessions were significant. That’s not to say that the residents’ concerns weren’t reasonable because they were,” Stenger said recently, but added, “I also had to weigh the concerns of the community as a whole. I not only represent the residents that are adjacent to St. Anthony’s, I also represent over 150 some-odd-thousand people who are in my district at large. And I feel that it would be inappropriate, I feel that it would be against my conscience, to deny them the expansion of St. Anthony’s premises.”