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

With library closing, Green Park officials eye redevelopment of business corridor

Pousosa’s motion proposes eliminating Lin Ferry Drive

With the Tesson Ferry Branch County Library scheduled to close in late 2015, Green Park officials are considering ways to redevelop the city’s Lindbergh Boulevard business corridor, including the Lin Ferry Drive area.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously last week to approve a motion to schedule a work session to discuss establishing a redevelopment district “to encompass all retail and service commercial, office commercial, institutional public and institutional semipublic” uses from Tesson Ferry Road to Mueller Road as outlined in the city code for the areas adjacent to Lindbergh Boulevard, Tesson Ferry Road and Lin Ferry Drive.

Ward 1 Alderman Tony Pousosa’s motion, which was seconded by Ward 1 Alderman Carol Hamilton, also references the city’s Comprehensive Plan regarding uses along Lin Ferry Drive, “which encouraged attracting the walking public. However, this has not happened and there will be even less opportunities with the library leaving.”

“To encourage this plan …, the aforementioned area should be put under redevelopment, along with the elimination of Lin Ferry Drive. This redevelopment will more effectively control our community’s destiny in the future,” Pousosa added.

Mayor Bob Reinagel said, “Well said, I would like to concur …”

When asked by Reinagel how the board should proceed, City Attorney Paul Rost said, “… The next step probably would be to set up a work session to discuss (the proposal) — take an hour, half hour, whatever it takes just to go through some of the ideas … Then we can talk about, at that same time, how it could be done and what the process would be.”

City officials would have to review the Comprehensive Plan and the zoning code in an effort to determine “what we might want to see there and what we thought was feasible. And then you can take it to the next step, which is if you want to put it out to RFP (request for proposals) or something like that. We can go that way.”

Reinagel said, “Good. I think this is something I think we need to do …”

The mayor also asked Pousosa to work with him to compile the information that would be needed for the work session.

“… We’ll try to move forward on this kind of quickly because I think you’re right on track that we need to do something kind of quickly,” Reinagel said.

At press time, the work session had not been scheduled.

Local officials, including Green Park elected officials, who formed the Save Tesson Ferry Library Committee organized an email campaign to County Executive Charlie Dooley last spring in which hundreds of south county residents urged Dooley to either keep the Tesson Ferry Branch in the current building, which opened in 1958, or build a new library on the same site at the corner of Lindbergh Boulevard and Lin Ferry Drive.

But construction of the new $16 million Grant’s View County Library Branch, which will replace the Tesson Ferry Branch, is underway at Musick Avenue and Gravois Road in Affton and is expected to be completed in late 2015.

Library officials have declined to reveal their plans for the existing Tesson Ferry Branch, but Executive Director Kristen Sorth has previously said that many potential buyers have expressed interest.

Regarding the Lin Ferry Drive area, the Comprehensive Plan states, “The future development and uses along Lin Ferry Drive, because it is a short, two-lane, lighter traffic street than Lindbergh Boulevard and Tesson Ferry Road, is more conducive to uses attracting the walking public who, although they may access the area via a motor vehicle, should be encouraged by the types of uses along Lin Ferry Drive to move from store to store without using a vehicle.

“A future comprehensive redevelopment of this area might be conducive to pedestrian-oriented uses such as restaurants — without drive-through windows — coffee shops, bookstores, gift and card shops and other compatible light-retail uses that incorporate pedestrian ways if and where possible.”

Under the city code, the areas adjacent to Lindbergh Boulevard, Tesson Ferry Road and Lin Ferry Drive comprise a Commercial Corridor District, or CC District.

“It is the purpose of the CC District regulations to accommodate highway-oriented retail, services and office commercial activities while minimizing their impacts on adjacent residential and institutional uses,” the code states.

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