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

UPDATED: Sunset Hills commission to conduct hearing on request for substation

Panel to discuss consultant to update city’s master plan

A public hearing on a proposal by Ameren Missouri to construct a new substation on Deane Court will be considered next week by the Sunset Hills Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, July 7, at City Hall, 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

Three petitions regarding the substation were heard last month by the Planning and Zoning Commission, with the panel voting to recommend approval of two of them.

The panel voted 8-0 to recommend approval:

• Of Ameren’s request for a lot consolidation to combine three parcels into one — 109 Deane Court, 117 Deane Court and 121 Deane Court.

• Of Ameren’s request to change the zoning at 117 Deane Court and 121 Deane Court to C-1 Commercial from R-6 Single-Family Residential to be consistent with the C-1 Commercial Zoning at 109 Deane Court, where the existing substation is located.

Commission members Al Koller and Kevin Studer were absent from the June 4 meeting.

Ameren’s third petition, which sought an amended conditional-use permit, or CUP, to allow the construction of the new substation on the three properties, was tabled by the panel.

At issue is the city’s requirement for a 75-foot setback. City officials define the substation as a structure, which would require the 75-foot setback.

However, Ameren contends the substation is equipment, which does not need to meet the setback requirement.

The substation wall would be 55 feet from the east property line, and Ameren has submitted a petition for a text amendment to the city code to allow construction of the new substation.

The text amendment is scheduled to be considered by the commission Monday.

Steve Bihr of Ameren Missouri told the commission last month that the existing substation at 109 Deane Court was built in 1962. Ameren officials determined in 2008 that the substation is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

The most economical and best location for the new substation, according to Bihr, is on the adjacent properties of 117 and 121 Deane Court. As proposed, the new substation would have two transformers, two switchgears and include sound walls and an oil containment system in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Barb Moran, who lives on Deane Court next to the proposed substation, told the commission that she had concerns about the substation, including noise, drainage issues and potential health risks.

Bihr told panel members that Ameren would be willing to provide additional vegetation and screening in response to Moran’s concerns.

In a separate matter, Planning and Zoning Commission members are scheduled to discuss whether to retain a consultant to assist with updating the city’s comprehensive plan. The plan was last updated in 1999.

At the panel’s June meeting, Dan Gardner of Houseal Lavigne Associates of Chicago discussed the process his firm would use to update the comprehensive plan if selected by city officials.

In a related matter, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted in June to recommend denial of a request to erect a 100-foot telecommunications tower at 9907 Sappington Road.

A public hearing on the request for a CUP to erect the monopole telecommunications tower and a shelter on property owned by the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection will be considered by the Board of Aldermen when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 8, at City Hall.

The request for the CUP was made by CIS Communications LLC, which owns and manages a number of tower locations throughout Missouri and Illinois. William Jenkins of CIS told Planning and Zoning Commission members last month that he was representing AT&T.

Nine residents who live near the site of the proposed tower addressed the commission, saying they opposed the request and hoped it would be rejected. They said the tower would be an eyesore and expressed concerns about the impact on their property values, possible health risks and water runoff.

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