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Fox 2 News’ Elliot Davis Interviewing Ald. Florida

May 12, 2006 Ald Jennifer Florida, Events/Meetings, McDonald's on Grand, Media, Politics/Policy, South City Comments Off on Fox 2 News’ Elliot Davis Interviewing Ald. Florida

davis_floridaI’m reporting today from the Board of Aldermen meeting. Following the meeting Fox 2 News reporter Elliot Davis began questioning Ald. Florida. From the balcony I can’t hear his questions or her answers. Suburban Journal reporter Jim Merkel followed Davis in questioning Ald. Florida.

On a side note, the aldermanic chambers are absolutely stunning. The public balcony is located on the third floor of city hall. If you have not attended a meeting before give it some consideration if you are downtown on a Friday morning.

– Steve


Recall Florida Effort Adds Phone Hotline

I received an email informing me that a voice mail box has been set up for the Recall Florida effort, 314-995-2047. The recorded message has 15th Ward resident Mary Ann Lawrence introducing herself and mentioning they’ll have petitions in Tower Grove Park this coming Saturday and at Hardford & Roger the following Saturday, both from 9am to 11am. The message is also asking for volunteers to help go from door to door gathering signatures.

I met Rev. Mary Ann Lawrence briefly on Tuesday. As the voice mail says, she is a 15th Ward resident but she is also the pastor of the St. Matthew United Church of Christ at 2613 Potomac St. where the Gravois Park Neighborhood Association holds their meetings. As a 15th Ward resident and as a spiritual leader in the neighborhood where the McDonald’s is proposed I can see why she is so involved in this effort.

[UPDATE 5/12/06 – Looks like they’ve also added a website although it is quite sparse right now.]

– Steve


Board of Adjustment To Render Decision Regardless of New Design

On April 19, 2006 the Board of Adjustment tabled a decision on the citizen appeal of a drive-thru variance for a proposed McDonald’s on South Grand. At that hearing Ald. Jennifer Florida stated “they” would be revising the McDonald’s plan to reflect the Toronto standards that I first suggested on March 20, 2006. Funny, but it almost sounded like Florida considered herself part of the development team rather than the people’s representative. But, I digress…

A May 4, 2006 , letter from the Board of Adjustment states:

“If plans are not received within 2 weeks of the date of this letter, the Board will deliberate upon this matter with evidence already received. If revised plans are timely received, this appeal will be rescheduled for a later date.”

So is the wonder team of Pyramid, McDonald’s, Core States Engineering and spokeswoman Jennifer Florida working on a revised site plan? Probably, because it did not seem like the Board of Adjustment was impressed with the standard menu of small building, tons of parking and excessive curb cuts.

I just called the city’s zoning department to inquire if any new plans have been submitted, I am awaiting a return phone call. Meanwhile the deadline is a week from today.

I have re-read Toronto’s “Urban Design Guidelines for Site with Drive-Through Facilities” and I must say it is quite complete (4.9mb PDF file). The document covers the history of drive-thrus, problems associated with them and reasons for seeking to control where and how they are built. The document should be adopted by every other city in North America, including St. Louis.

Any facility with a drive-thru that is being touted as applying these guidelines needs to front on all public streets. So, a business such that is not on a corner should have its building up to the single street it faces. Those located on corners, however, should have their structures up to the public sidewalk on both streets. Anything less is simply lip service.

The original site plan of the proposed McDonald’s had three curb cuts, two on Grand and one on Winnebego. Way too many for a single business. Anything they submit needs to have no more than two curb cuts. Lighting should also be carefully designed to minimize glare on neighboring properties. But as I’ve said before, this really shouldn’t matter. The McDonald’s could & should just rebuild on their current site and Pyramid should build a mixed use project on the old Sears site.

– Steve


Sign the Recall Florida Petition at Tower Grove Park on Saturday

Volunteers will be taking signatures from folks wanting to sign the Recall Florida petition this Saturday from 9am to 11am near the new Tower Grove Farmer’s Market. Look for volunteers in Recall Florida t-shirts near the new Tower Grove Farmer’s Market opening this Saturday just West of the Pool Pavilion. This is just West of the main traffic circle, see #20 on this map.

Be sure to check out the market but it looks quite promising with some great vendors lined up. It will run every Saturday into October.

[UPDATE 5/11/06 @ 11:45am. I revised the headline to remove the Farmer’s Market reference. I also made it clear the volunteers with the petition will not be in the market but near the market. As people have commented, this market is a great thing for the city and has absolutely zero involvement with the recall effort.]

– Steve


Recall of Ald. Florida Has Begun!

Start of RecallLast night, following the Gravois Park Neighborhood Association Meeting, residents of the 15th ward began signing a petition to recall Ald. Jennifer Florida. Ald. Florida was not present at the meeting where residents shared their displeasure over the proposed relocation of a McDonald’s to their neighborhood.

To be successful a total of 1,409 signatures of current 15th Ward registered voters will need to be collected. This represents 20% of the registered voters in the ward as of the last Mayoral election held in April 2005. Only 615 voters cast ballots for Florida in April 2005.

I will be checking with the organizers periodically to report the when and where on how to assist with the recall effort.

– Steve