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Opinion: We Must Invest Beyond The Central Corridor

January 23, 2019 Featured, North City, Politics/Policy, St. Louis County, STL Region Comments Off on Opinion: We Must Invest Beyond The Central Corridor
Campbell House Museum on Locust, the last mansion from Lucas Place

From the early days to St. Louis’ founding in 1764, being up from the Mississippi River was a good thing. Namely, those who spread along the banks north & south of the original spot were subject to flooding. Those uphill from the center weren’t subject to floods.

Following the cholera epidemic and fire in 1849, wealthy citizens became convinced that it was no longer desirable to live in downtown St. Louis. James Lucas and his sister Anne Lucas Hunt soon offered a solution. They developed the idea of the “Place,” a neighborhood with deed restrictions that ensured it remained apart from the city and general population. The main thoroughfare was aptly called Lucas Place. Originally Lucas Place (now Locust Street) extended between 13th and 16th streets when the city limits were just one block to the west between 17th and 18th streets. When established, Lucas Place was west of the developed portion of the city, making it St. Louis’ first “suburban” neighborhood.

Lucas priced the lots so that only the wealthy could afford the live there. He also built restrictions into the deeds so that the properties could not be used for commercial purposes. (Campbell House Museum)

As the city’s population ballooned Lucas Place was no longer the desirable location it once was, so the wealthy moved further west.

Originally, the streets around the intersection of Lindell and Grand featured row after row of stately houses, mansions, and even a private street. By the late 19th century, the area had become the wealthiest neighborhood in the city, home to some the most important members of St. Louis society.

Sitting west of the central city and along major streetcar routes, Midtown proved highly desirable to those fleeing the coal-fueled pollution further east. Sitting on a hill, upwind from the central city, the neighborhood began to receive the accouterments befitting its tony status in St. Louis. Vandeventer Place, a private street on the northern edge of the neighborhood, served as the crown jewel of the rapidly expanding area.

Platted by the famous German-American surveyor Julius Pitzman, Vandeventer Place exacted strict obedience from the affluent homeowners who purchased plots along its regal tree-lined boulevard. The new mansions that filled the private street conformed to rigid design and expense requirements that only the wealthiest industrialists in St. Louis could afford. Interestingly, the governance of the street required unanimous votes to change the street’s charter. (St. Louis Magazine)

In 2014 I posted about the dire economic disinvestment in the north county area at Chambers and Lewis & Clark. Click image for May 2014 post.

The Central West End was next, and this continues today. Reinvestment has been seen throughout this “Central Corridor” for a few decades now. As North St. Louis continues to hallow out, we’re seeing North St. Louis County experience devastating disinvestment. With typical suburban development patterns, North St. Louis County is a very large area. It still has nice neighborhoods, but the signs of change are all around. Take Spanish Lake, for example:

When three nearby Shop ‘n Save stores closed in November, it left shoppers fewer options and created what the USDA classifies as a food desert.

Spanish Lake is in the northeast corner of unincorporated St. Louis County. The cities of Florissant and Ferguson are on its west side; the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are on the east.

The population is just under 20,000 and has been shrinking for decades, while the poverty rate has increased.

Until recently, Spanish Lake residents had several options for grocery shopping. Three Shop ‘n Save stores located along the western edge of the community provided easy access to fresh, affordable produce. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Those who’ve been on the fence about moving elsewhere are going to reconsider. I can’t say that North St. Louis County has reached a tipping point, but it feels like it’s close.

The recent non-scientific Sunday Poll was about reinvesting in areas north & south of the Central Corridor.

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis’ “Central Corridor” (West from Arch) has always been a high priority, areas North & South should just accept this.

  • Strongly agree: 2 [6.06%]
  • Agree: 6 [18.18%]
  • Somewhat agree: 3 [9.09%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 2 [6.06%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 3 [9.09%]
  • Disagree: 9 [27.27%]
  • Strongly disagree: 8 [24.24%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

No, we should not accept this. We can’t afford, as a region, to write off huge areas. Unfortunately, I think the regional pattern was set long before any of us were born. That’s not to say we can’t rethink our approach. I just don’t see the leadership or willpower to take on the change that would be necessary.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 29 of 2018-2019 Session

January 18, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 29 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 29th meeting of the 2018-2019 session.

Two bills were introduced last week that weren’t on version 1 or 2 of that agenda.  See BB 220 (Redevelopment Plan for 5467-5559 Delmar) and BB 221 (Redevelopment Plan for 5539-5551 Pershing)

Today’s agenda includes ten (10) new bills covering a wide variety of issues:

  • B.B.#222 – J. Boyd – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the City to issue and sell its general obligation bonds in various Series, in an aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $40,000,000 of which no more than ($6,000,000 in aggregate Principal amount shall be issued annually) for the purpose ofStabilizing, within the limits described in the City’s Proposition NS (Neighborhood Stabilization) Ordinance; containing an Emergency clause.
  • B.B.#223 – J. Boyd – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Circuit Attorney to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding withThe Unites States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Missouri Providing for cross-jurisdiction over crimes that take place in and around St. Louis, authorizing one or more qualifying St. Louis Assistant Circuit Attorneys to be assigned to the UnitedStates Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Missouri as Special Assistant United States Attorneys to facilitate the investigation And prosecution of Federal offenses involving the possession or use of a firearm; containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#224 – J. Boyd – An ordinance establishing a “Dig Once” policygoverning where, when and how often construction and Excavation that disrupts access to the right-of-way including the Flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic may occur.
  • B.B.#225 – Oldenburg – An ordinance adding a new Chapter underTitle 25, the Building Code, to be known as “Small Wireless Facilities and Micro Wireless Facilities;” containing aseverability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#226 – Navarro – An ordinance amending Ordinance Nos. 64518, 67309, and 68206; authorizing the execution of an Escrow Trust Agreement by and between the City and UMB Bank, prescribing the form and details of said Escrow; authorizing the release of unnecessary funds from the Argyle Special Allocation Fund(“SAF”) and other related actions; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#227 – Oldenburg – An ordinance relating to the undergrounding requirements set forth in Chapter 23.42 of the Revised Code; repealing Sections 23.42.010, 23.42.030 through, 23.42.050, and 23.42.070 of the Revised Code expanding the scope and applicability of the underground district.
  • B.B.#228 – Vollmer – An ordinance approving the petition to amend the petition to establish the La Collina Community Improvement District, finding a public purpose for the petition to amend the petition to establish the La Collina Community Improvement District, and containing an emergency clause and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#229 – Howard – An Ordinance repealing Section One of Ordinance 48889, codified as Section 8.10.060 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis, pertaining to the payment and discount of a tax imposed on cigarette merchants, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section One of Ordinance 48889.
  • B.B.#230 – Moore – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Ms. Norma Jean Bell Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Lexington and North Newstead and run west on Lexington to the intersection of Lexington and Clarence.
  • B.B.#231 – Muhammd – An ordinance enacted pursuant to Section 56.540, Revised Statues of Missouri to repeal Ordinance No. 70056 relating to the Office of the Circuit Attorney of the City allocating the positions established by Section 56.540, R.S.Mo to classes with grades and a schedule setting minimum and maximum salaries for such grades by repealing Section Two and replacing said Section providing with such salaries be paid bi- weekly; providing for payment of overtime wages subject to the requirements of the Fair Labor Standard Act and shall be allowed on the basis of hours worked and the bi weekly rate of pay and containing an emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Thirty (30) New Board Bills Week 28 of 2018-2019 Session

January 11, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Thirty (30) New Board Bills Week 28 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 28th meeting of the 2018-2019 session. This is the first full board meeting of 2019.

Today’s agenda includes thirty (30) new bills covering a wide variety of issues:

  • B.B.#190 – Davis – An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Airport Commission, the Board of Public Service, and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, establishing and authorizing a public works and improvement program St. Louis Lambert International Airport, consisting of capital improvement projects to and for the terminal complexes, airfield structures and facilities, and associated Airport structures, facilities, and environs including certain snow equipment and vehicles, and other associated Airport improvements, as more fully described in the attached EXHIBIT A, entitled “FISCAL YEAR 2019B PROJECT/EQUIPMENT LIST” at a total estimated cost of Six Million Dollars; authorizing an appropriation in the total amount of Six Million Dollars as follows: a) Five Hundred Eighty Eight Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty Four Dollars from the Airport Development Fund and b) Five Million Four Hundred Eleven Thousand Thirty Six Dollars from the Passenger Facility Charge Fund; authorizing the Mayor and the Comptroller to enter into and execute easement agreements granting such easements or right-of-ways; authorizing and directing the Director of Airports with the approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment to let contracts providing for mapping, appraisal, and escrow services, title work, ground maintenance, security services, legal services, and other related services for the implementation and administration of the Airfield, Building & Environs Projects; authorizing and directing the Board of Public Service with the advice, consent, and approval of the
  • B.B.#191 – Davis – An ordinance recommended and approved by the Airport Commission, the Comptroller and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, making certain findings with respect to the transfer of up to Thirteen Million Seven Hundred Twenty-Seven Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty-Nine Dollars ($13,727,769) of excess moneys that The City, the owner and operator of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, intends to transfer from the Debt Service Stabilization Fund to the Airport Revenue Fund in accordance with Section 516.B of the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Indenture of Trust between the City, as Grantor, and UMB Bank, N.A., as Trustee, dated as of October 15, 1984, as amended and restated as of July 1, 2009, as amended and supplemented; authorizing a transfer in an amount not to exceed Thirteen Million Seven Hundred Twenty- Seven Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty-Nine Dollars ($13,727,769) from the DSSF into the Revenue Fund during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, to be used to make funds available to mitigate rates on an annual basis during the term of the Airport Use and Lease Agreement commencing July 1, 2016; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#192 – Davis – An ordinance establishing and creating a Planned Unit Development District for a portion of City Blocks 3926 and 4585 to be known as the “Olive West Planned Unit Development District”.
  • B.B.#193 – Davis – An ordinance recommended by the Airport Commission and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller to enter into and execute a Second Restated and Amended Lease Agreement Northern Tract Site, between the City, the owner and operator of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which is located in St. Louis County, and Bi-National Gateway Terminal, LLC, a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Missouri, granting to the Lessee the right to occupy and use the “Leased Premises”consisting of approximately 61.10 acres and improvements thereon commonly known as the “Northern Tract Site”, in Section 201 and EXHIBIT “A” and EXHIBIT “B” of the LeaseAgreement AL-094, in order to: a) demolish any existing improvements that are not retained improvements, b) construct new improvements in order to accommodate international cargo enterprises and other air cargo operations and distribution facilities, c) develop and operate a fixed base operator facility, and d) perform all operations and functions that are incidental or necessary to such use and development or authorized in the Lease Agreement AL-094; authorizing and directing the Mayor, the Comptroller, the Register, the City Counselor, the Director of Airports, and other appropriate officers, agents, and employees of the City.
  • B.B.#194 – Moore – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for Cottage/N. Taylor/Maffitt/Cora.
  • B.B.#195 – Oldenburg – An Ordinance recommended by the PlanningCommission pertaining to “The Lighthouse Area Special Use District;” repealing Section Six of Ordinance 70557 relating toConditional Use Regulations for The Lighthouse Area Special Use District and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; and containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#196 – Oldenburg – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Zoning Code, Title 26; amending Chapter 26.08 of the Revised Code by adding definitions for the terms micro wireless facility, small wireless facility, wireless facility, and utility stations and utility towers; repealing Section One of Ordinance 70555, codified as Chapter 26.20 of theRevised Code, pertaining to the “A” Single-Family Dwelling District, and enacting a new Chapter in lieu thereof on the same subject matter; repealing Section Five of Ordinance 64868, codified as Section 26.24.020 of the Revised Code, pertaining to the Use Regulations of the “B” Two-Family Dwelling District, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; repealing Section Two of Ordinance 70812, codified as Section 26.40.025 of the Revised Code,concerning Use Regulations for the “F” NeighborhoodCommercial District, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; repealing Section Three of Ordinance 70812, codified as Section 26.52.020 and 26.52.025 of the Revised Code, pertaining to Use Regulations and Conditional Uses of the I Central Business District, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; repealing Section Five of Ordinance 70812, codified as Section 26.60.020 of the Revised Code, pertaining to Use Regulations of the K Unrestricted District, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; and containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#197 – Oldenburg – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Forest Park Southeast Form Based District; amending Ordinance 70732 by amending the definition for utility / communication uses, and repealing and replacing table 5.13; repealing Section One (C) of Ordinance 70732, and enacting a new Section One (C) in lieu thereof on same subject matter; and containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#198 – Oldenburg – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Central West End Form Based District; amending Ordinance 69406 by amending the definition for utility/communication uses, repealing and replacing table 5.13 and updating the regulatory plan maps; repealing Section One (C) of Ordinance 69406, and enacting a new Section One (C) in lieu thereof on same subject matter; and containing a severability and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#199 – Davis – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3000 Locust.
  • B.B.#200 – Roddy – An ordinance repealing paragraph (f) of Section Two of Ordinance 63780, approved on May 31, 1996, as amended in Ordinance 64550, approved January 15, 1999, and Ordinance 68236 approved January 16, 2009 and in lieu thereof a new paragraph (f) is enacted extending the period of time during which the Central West End Southeast Special Business District shall be permitted to collect a tax within the boundaries of the district and increasing the amount of such tax to an amount not to exceed $0.85 per $100.00 of assessed valuation of all real property within such district and to amend and restate the use for which the additional revenue produced by such tax may be put to include cleaning, landscaping and maintenance, security and public safety, purchase and installation of public infrastructure, public transportation, administration, and contingency fund for such categories; and containing effectiveness and emergency clauses.
  • B.B.#201 – Roddy – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters residing in the Central West End Southeast Special Business District, as established in Ordinance No. 63780, approved
    May 31, 1996, amended in Ordinance No. 64550, approved January 15, 1999, and amended in Ordinance No. 68236, approved January 16, 2009, a proposal to extend the levy of a tax on the real property located in said district for an additional ten years and increasing the amount of such tax to an amount not to exceed $0.85 per $100 assessed valuation; submitting said proposal to the voters of said district at the General Election on April 2, 2019; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#202 – Cohn – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for Meramec St./S. Compton/Bates/S. Grand.
  • B.B.#203 – Ingrassia – An ordinance pertaining to the permit fees established pursuant to the City Bike Share Policy established and authorized by St. Louis City Ordinance 70710; establishing a Micro-Mobility Fund, and requiring the permit fees collected pursuant to the City of St. Louis Bike Share Policy to be deposited into the Micro-Mobility Fund.
  • B.B.#204 – Oldenburg – An ordinance amending Section Three of Ordinance No. 70892 pertaining to the establishment of procedures and requirements for the collocation and deployment of Small Wireless Facilities in the right-of-way and City property by adding a new subsection L to Section Three of Ordinance 70892 to permit the City to require reasonable, technically feasible, nondiscriminatory and technologically neutral design or concealment measures in a Historic District; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#205 – Vollmer – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1929 Edwards St. & 5210 Daggett.
  • B.B.#206 – Vollmer – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 5126 Daggett & 5135 Daggett.
  • B.B.#207 – Coatar – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 200 North 4th Street.
  • B.B.#208 – Ingrassia – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2647-2653 Locust.
  • B.B.#209 – Spencer – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3535 Michigan.
  • B.B.#210 – Roddy – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 4325-4333 Swan.
  • B.B.#211 – Guenther – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 2821-2823 Iowa.
  • B.B.#212 – Ingrassia – An ordinance pertaining to the duties of the Commissioner of Corrections and St. Louis City Sheriff, amending Title 16, Chapter 16.16 by adding to new sections to Chapter 16.16; new section16.16.350 requiring that the physical health needs of pregnant inmates, including providing for adequate nutrition, clothing, continued and adequate access to prenatal care and all other pregnancy related health services, and to limit the restraint of pregnant inmates throughout their pregnancies and post-partum period while in custody; and new section 16.16.360 requiring that adequate feminine hygiene supplies for all female and/or menstruating inmates be provided; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#213 – Navarro – An ordinance pertaining to parking within the “Skinker-Fauquier Parking District;” establishing the location and restrictions for curb parking in the restricted parking zone within the “Skinker-Fauquier Parking District;” authorizing the placement of Permit Parking Only signs within the District; and prohibiting the parking, within the District, of any vehicle which does not display the authorized permit; containing definitions, a penalty clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#214 – Moore – An Ordinance establishing a two-way stop site at the intersection of Warne and Lexington regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on Warne at Lexington and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#215 – Coatar – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City a gross receipts tax to be imposed on telecommunications and fiber network providers as set forth herein; providing for an election to be held therefore and the manner of voting thereat; and, upon passage of said ballot measure, an amendment to City Ordinance 67717 as codified in Section 23.34.020 of the Revised Code and Sections 23.34.010 though 23.34.030 of the Revised Code reflecting gross receipts tax to be imposed as approved by the voters of the City; establishing a Telecommunications Gross Receipts Tax Fund, and requiring the gross receipts tax collected pursuant to the Sections 23.34.010 through 23.34.030 of the Revised Code to be deposited into the Telecommunications Gross Receipts Tax Fund to be appropriated and expended to further smart city initiatives in the City.
  • B.B.#216 – Kennedy – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Homer G. Phillips Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Aubert and Fountain and run north on Aubert to the intersection of Aubert and Maple.
  • B.B.#217 – Kennedy – An ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 69984 which pertains to the creation and administration of the City of St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board, codified in Section 3.140.010 –3.140.080 of the City Code of Ordinances, and creating a new St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board (the “COB”) as provided in §590.653, RSMo, which shall have the power to receive complaints, make findings, and recommend disciplinary action based upon its review and investigation of complaints by members of the public alleging misconduct by members of Division of Police involving excessive use of force, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, discourtesy, or use of offensive language, including but not limited to, slurs relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigrant status, and disability; and containing a severability clause and emergency clause. COB will have the authority to make findings and recommendations regarding the Division of Police policy, procedure, operations and training.
  • B.B.#218 – Vollmer – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 5726 Reber Place.
  • B.B.#219 – Kennedy – An Ordinance setting forth regulations for the use of surveillance technology by the City, requiring Surveillance Technology Usage Rules, Regulations and Guidelines be Established and Approved by the Board of Aldermen before such technology may be used and plans may be put into practice; and containing a severability clause and emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers: City & County Police Should Merge

January 9, 2019 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers: City & County Police Should Merge
Tiny north county suburb of Flordell Hills no longer has their own police force, they contract with Velda City.

I thought more people would respond to the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll on merging the City & County police departments.

Q: Agree or disagree: The police departments for the city & county should merge.

  • Strongly agree: 6 [33.33%]
  • Agree: 4 [22.22%]
  • Somewhat agree: 2 [11.11%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 3 [16.67%]
  • Disagree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Strongly disagree: 1 [5.56%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I agree with the criticism of this plan — leaving 53 tiny unaccredited police departments in St. Louis County would be a mistake. I’m a huge fan of major consolidation, reorganization of the region, so it makes sense that I favor a more ambitious approach. That said, I don’t trust Rex Sinquefield or others in pushing for a merger plan.

I just can’t help but think it’ll be more self-serving than good for everyone in the region.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Unhappy Trump Partially Closed The Government

December 26, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers Unhappy Trump Partially Closed The Government
Me in front of the White House, October 2001. Back then I wore a watch and on my belt: a case for a point & shoot camera!

Unsurprisingly, most of those who resounded to the recent unscientific Sunday Poll are unhappy with the partial government shutdown, blaming the president:

Q: Agree or disagree: I’m glad President Trump is holding firm on money for the border wall, worth the partial government shutdown.

  • Strongly agree: 6 [20%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 1 [3.33%]
  • Strongly disagree: 23 [76.67%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince 20% why they’re wrong.

Those who wanted to visit the Arch museum should consider ice skating at Kiener Plaza. Skate rentals are $12 ($7 kids), skating is free if you have your own skates. See Winterfest for more hours, etc.

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