Two of Fenton’s municipal groups are on opposite sides of a pending legal debate regarding a utility decision for Fenton Logistics Park.

While desiring to further develop the former Chrysler Plant in Fenton, US Capital Development executives asked for a variance to place high-power electric lines above ground, rather than underground, as city codes require.

The variance for 2055 Fenton Logistics Park Blvd. was sought from the city’s zoning code.

Fenton’s Board of Adjustment can grant appeals and variances from Fenton’s zoning codes. To receive authorized variances, petitioning entities must explain and demonstrate what hardships the city’s existing codes place on their specific projects.

During a July 16 city hearing requested by the petitioner, the board of adjustment approved US Capital’s variance request regarding the placement of requested overhead electrical lines. US Capital representative Scott Haley indicated the company’s hardship stemmed from possibly having to relocate electrical lines additional times in the future, if further development of the site led to infrastructure changes.

The July 16 approval sent the matter to the board of aldermen for consideration.

In an atypical development, on Aug. 8, aldermen filed a petition for judicial review with the St. Louis County Circuit Court about the board of adjustment action and requested a stay order until such review is concluded.

The legal filing for this case states that aldermen believe US Capital’s wanting to avoid additional costs from not placing the electric lines underground is not consistent with the hardship requirements for a city-required variance. Therefore, such an authorization under these circumstanced is illegal, concludes the filing.