The overflow crowd that jammed Sunset Hills City Hall last month for a proposal to demolish the former Econo Lodge, 3720 S. Lindbergh Blvd., and replace it with a Tidal Wave car wash and convenience store did not materialize at the Sept. 11 meeting.
The deciding vote on the proposal was postponed, at the request of developer Edison Real Estate. City Administrator Eric Sterman said a reason was not given for the postponement.
Public opinion on the project has been mixed, though it leans against the proposal. So far, elected officials have given no clear indication as to where they stand.
The planning commission in July gave the proposal a positive recommendation on a 6-2 vote. Chairman Terry Beiter dissented, saying that while anything that replaces the notorious hotel would be an improvement, a car wash/convenience store is "not the best use for one of the more prominent intersections of the city."
Many neighbors fear that the proposed development would generate too much traffic on East Watson Road.
New Tax Rate
In other Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen actions, the board approved the city tax levy for property assessed in 2018. As assessed by St. Louis County, Sunset Hills' total residential property value is $247.293 million, commercial property value is $102.844 million, agricultural property is $118.250 million and personal property is $47.317 million.
Residential property increased by about $2 million, commercial property decreased by about $2 million and personal property increase by about $2 million, while agricultural property remained unchanged.
The tax rate per $100 for residential property is 51 cents, for commercial property 54 cents, agricultural 58 cents and personal property 60 cents.
These levies represent only a small portion of the city's $11 million in annual revenue, most of which is generated by sales taxes.
Permit For Hampton Inn Renovations
The board approved an amended conditional use permit request from Abid Nissar, owner of the Hampton Inn at 1580 S. Kirkwood Road. Nissar plans to renovate the existing hotel to pursue a rebranding to the La Quinta chain's standards.
The improvements will include alterations to the lobby and entrance, additional parking and other changes that will bring the hotel into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Nissar said the changes will "refreshen the whole neighborhood's look."
There had been some concerns expressed by aldermen in August about adjacent rental properties owned by Nissar that had been cited for code violations. City Attorney Bob Jones said the issues have been addressed.
Basketball Goals In Right Of Way Prohibited
The board passed an ordinance that prohibits the erection of fixed basketball goals within city rights of way. Two existing goals will essentially be grandfathered in, provided the property owners indemnify the city.