UPDATED: QuikTrip proposed for Sunset Hills on hold indefinitely at developer’s request

One petition remains on tonight’s commission agenda

By Mike Anthony

Two petitions scheduled for tonight’s meeting of the Sunset Hills Planning and Zoning Commission have been removed from the agenda.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. today — May 13 — in the Robert C. Jones Chambers at City Hall, 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The only petition the panel will consider is a request for an amended development plan submitted by Toys R Us to make facade modifications to its existing storefront at 3600 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The following requests have been removed from the agenda:

• A petition for a lot split submitted by James and Lura Cooksey to split a single parcel into two separate parcels at 10229 E. Watson Road.

• A petition for a CUP submitted by CIS Communications LLC to erect a telecommunications tower and shelter at 9907 Sappington Road on property owned by the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.

A public hearing on a proposal to construct a QuikTrip at the Missouri Department of Transportation’s east commuter lot at Kennerly and Weber Hill roads in Sunset Hills has been postponed indefinitely.

The Sunset Hills Planning and Zoning Commission had been scheduled to conduct a public hearing Wednesday, May 14, on QuikTrip’s request to construct the 5,773-square-foot convenience store with eight, single per island, dual-faced gasoline pumps.

As the Call first reported online last week, Jim Sansone wrote in a May 6 email to Sunset Hills City Engineer/Director of Public Works Bryson Baker, “We would like to postpone until further notice the Sansone/QT petition scheduled for the May 14, 2014, meeting date.”

Asked if he believes QuikTrip will come back with another proposal for the east commuter lot, Mayor Mark Furrer told the Call, “I do not. As one citizen asked me, ‘Have they gone away forever?’ And I said, ‘Well, forever’s a long time, but I don’t think they’re going to be coming around anytime soon because the site is so tough. There’s just not much you can do with it’ …”

QuikTrip had requested a zoning change to PD-LC(B) for the 1.615-acre east commuter lot, plus approval of a preliminary development plan for the site and a conditional-use permit, or CUP, for the proposed convenience store with gas pumps and outdoor seating.

In addition, Sansone Group had requested a zoning change to PD-LC(B) for the 1.25-acre west commuter lot.

Furrer, who lives near the site of the proposed QuikTrip, and other nearby residents are opposed to the plan, saying it would create traffic congestion, provide little value to residents and disturb the residential setting of their neighborhood.

Furrer, who defeated incumbent Bill Nolan, launched his write-in campaign for mayor roughly two weeks before the April 8 election, sparked by his opposition to the QuikTrip.

Furrer was not the only victorious write-in candidate. Donna Ernst, an aldermanic write-in candidate in Ward 4 — the site of the proposed QuikTrip — defeated incumbent Art Havener.

Furrer told the Call he met recently with representatives of Sansone and QuikTrip — Mark Kornfeld and Jim Sansone of Sansone Group and Alan Renner, QuikTrip real estate manager. Of their decision to postpone the issue until further notice, he said, “… I think it’s wonderful.”

Furrer said he believes both QuikTrip and Sansone did “the right thing. They understood that the people were against it. I think they knew they had a tough location, and they withdrew it.

“Then they asked me specifically if I was against QuikTrip anywhere in the city, and, of course, I assured them I was not. So I said, ‘Find another location and we’ll look at it.’”

The Planning and Zoning Commission originally was scheduled to conduct a public hearing on QuikTrip’s request in April, but that meeting was postponed until a required traffic study was completed.

“… They said, ‘We haven’t done our traffic study yet. Do you think we should?’” Furrer said. “And I said, ‘Well, I think it would be a waste of money (because) the people really don’t want it …’ It was a very friendly meeting. I listened to the proposal and basically told them why I didn’t like it, and then they withdrew it indefinitely.

“And again, I wanted to assure them, which is true, I’ve got nothing against QuikTrip or Sansone, and if they find another location, bring it to us … If they can find some other site that’s suitable, we’d certainly entertain it.”

As the Call reported in July 2012, the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance approving a cooperation agreement between the city and the Sansone Group for public improvements and development rights for the easternmost commuter parking lot. The duration of the cooperation pact was 18 months.

In December, aldermen voted unanimously to extend the agreement with Sansone until Jan. 10, 2015.

Sansone Group is under contract to purchase two commuter lots from the Missouri Department of Transportation, or MoDOT, in exchange for $1.03 million and building MoDOT a new 9.5-acre lot at Rahning Road and Highway 30. The purchase itself, approved by the Highways and Transportation Commission, is not final and is subject to Sunset Hills zoning approval, as well as MoDOT’s typical approval of access to the site and Sansone building the new commuter lot.

The May 14 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting originally was scheduled to take place in the gymnasium of the Community Center. The meeting now will take place at 7 p.m. in the Robert C. Jones Chambers at City Hall, 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The commission will conduct a public hearing on the following request:

• A petition for an amended development plan submitted by Toys R Us to make facade modifications to its existing storefront at 3600 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The meeting agenda was updated after the Call went to press and the following two items were removed from the agenda:

• A petition for a lot split submitted by James and Lura Cooksey to split a single parcel into two separate parcels at 10229 E. Watson Road.

• A petition for a CUP submitted by CIS Communications LLC to erect a telecommunications tower and shelter at 9907 Sappington Road on property owned by the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.