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Parking Nightmare on Halliday Continues!

April 15, 2008 Events/Meetings, Parking, Politics/Policy, South City 18 Comments

It has been nearly a year now that residents of one block in the Tower Grove East neighborhood have been dealing with a paved front yard that just won’t go away. Sadly the saga continues. Yet another hearing is scheduled before the board of Adjustment on Wednesday afternoon at City Hall (1:30pm, room 200).

Initially the developer just paved the front yard of the property without proper permits. Since then numerous meetings have been held between residents that objected to having a neighbor’s front yard be nothing but parking. The compromise was to be angled on-street parking. The developer and alderman Conway were pushing for the city to vacate part of the street so that real estate could be deeded to each of the four condo units — a bad idea.  I think someone from the city this would br bad policy so that pu the developer back at trying to pave the front yard for parking — this time applying for a permit in advance.

Currently the space remains unplanted and filled with gravel — condo residents are parking on the gravel area.

This is what we gey when we allow aldermen to play development consultant.


Currently there are "18 comments" on this Article:

  1. studs lonigan says:

    The developer removed the concrete to obtain Historic Tax Credits from the state. Now that he has, it appears that he wants to repour the concrete. Though this would be a violation of historic district standards, there would be no consequences for the action. If that is sanctioned by the Board of Adjustment, the alderman, or anyone else, design standards in place for city historic districts are utterly without meaning, even if the developer has his snoot deep into the public trough.

  2. william kruse says:

    “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. They paved paradise, and put in a parking lot.”

  3. Michael Allen says:

    The reason that there are no consequences coming from historic district standards is because the building is not located in a local historic district with design guidelines. The Tower Grove East Historic District is a national historic district. Historic rehab tax credits are available, but there is no local design review.

  4. studs lonigan says:

    The state would not issue the credits with the illegal and decidedly unhistoric concrete in place. My point was that *if* it is repoured in the future, the state makes no provision to penalize developers who flout its exacting standards after the fact: his name doesn’t go into a black book of sorts and they don’t bring it to bear on his next slippery, pathologically lying, philosophically insolvent development.

    Believe me, I would not expect any local authority to actually enforce historic standards! After all, the nearby Shaw Neighborhood IS a Local District and such standards are not really enforced there.

  5. Not to oversimplify, but wtf is wrong with grass? I live about 4 blocks east of this travesty on Halliday. I walk by it several times a week and each time I shake my head in disappointment.

  6. Mike Wissinger says:

    The original illegal paving took place during the weekend of the South Grand house tour. The paved solution is dangerous and unsightly, and we’d really like the city to enforce the law at this point. When the appeal was dropped last year we hoped we were done with this, but the fact that the curb and tree lawn were never restored seems to indicate that the original goal was to wear down neighborhood opposition all along.

  7. Bridgett says:

    Unofficially, until the letter goes out to him, Mr. Heyer’s appeal was denied. He can do one further appeal to the circuit court. I don’t know. I’ll be going, if he does. I was there today.

  8. studs lonigan says:

    After much rather contentious discussion yesterday afternoon, the Board of Adjustment voted to uphold the Building Commissioner’s denial. If the developer wishes to pursue it yet further, he will be obliged to appeal it through the circuit court. No one could tell me definitively when or if he ever runs out of “appeals” or what yesterday’s vote means in terms of the illegally appropriated public sidewalk and curb being restored. Conway spoke on behalf of the developer and had provided him with a letter of support. Some of the BOA commissioners seemed perplexed that he would persist so doggedly in favor of a redevelopment ardently and unequivocally opposed by constituents. There’s a long story there. Anyway, this is a victory for TGE and city residents who oppose poor design and developers who believe that the permitting process is only for everyone else. On the other hand, the issue is not yet completely resolved.

    [slp — if the next appeal is court that is really it — they could appeal up various levels in the court system but that can get costly.  The courts, I’ve found, are unlikely to reverse the board’s decision unless it were to see a major mistake based on the record of evidence.  Getting the curb and tree lawn restored will be tough.  Conway needs to be replaced in 2011 (or sooner).] 

  9. Bridgett says:

    Really?? Isn’t he obliged to restore the curb and tree lawn? What do we need to do in TGE or on Halliday to make that happen?

    My neighbor asked Conway why he keeps at it for this developer even though not a single resident wants it, and he told him, “Because I gave my word.” Then he trashed talked some of my neighbors. Lovely.

    Our political power in TGE, though, is cut off at the knees. We are one little sliver of Conway’s kingdom. I have a hard time thinking we’d convince Shaw how wrong he is.

    maybe at the next redistricting he won’t be so happy with having us in his domain.

  10. studs lonigan says:

    Conway has not been straightforward with anyone about this, including the BOA at its Wednesday hearing. He has repeatedly implied that the neighborhood is “divided” on the issue of the parking and that this annoying indecision has worked a hardship of sorts on the developer. And so, this version goes, confused because the neighborhood kept changing its mind, the developer just went and poured his concrete without a permit. Exactly why he thought it was okay to do so is never fully explained. In fact, from the very beginning, opposition to paving and parking on the front lawn has been consistent, unequivocal, and clear, in writing, verbal testimony and in numerous public meetings. One BOA commissioner in particular argued strenuously during the Board’s post-hearing deliberation in favor of the pad being reinstalled. I mean, the dude was WORKING it, grumbling at his fellow commissioners, sighing in exasperation, rolling his eyes extravagantly. He openly referred to TGE residents as “stupid” and speculated that this stupidity caused them to prefer to have an empty building rather than condos. Arrogant asshole. Fortunately, two other commissioners were sympathetic to the neighborhood’s point of view and agreed that Tower Grove East should not be penalized to accommodate an irresponsible and presumptuous developer’s reckless contractual arrangements to provide parking. He plays dumb fairly well, but that didn’t help him much on Wednesday and neither did Conway’s ace. We will await the developer’s reaction to the BOA’s official decision before we make our next move. Our goal is to have the public sidewalk and curb restored and we will pursue that objective.

  11. Chris says:

    If the developer has already sold the condos, why does he care if they have parking, or are there still one or two left unsold? Is he worried that he could be sued by the owners for false advertising? And really, I know the area in question–is parking really that bad on the street? It’s not like their cars can’t still be broken into.

    [slp — not sure how many are sold.  I do know the developer did commit to having an off-street space with each unit so yes he might have some legal issues if he can’t provide a space for each unit.  Of course that should not obligate the city to bail him out.] 

  12. thoughts from south grand says:

    Five condos are located at 3557 Halliday. Three were sold in 07, one is pending and one is for sale.

  13. thoughts from south grand says:

    The MLS listing for the three units sold in 07, the pending unit and the unit for sale specifically include off street parking in the description.

    I assume that the three units that were sold in 07 had a parking spot attached to the contract.

    Is that fraud of some kind?

    [slp — MLS descriptions and other marketing material are specifically excluded from standard real estate contracts.   It really comes back to the legal description and if parking was noted in the sales contracts.]

  14. Jane says:

    How do you think we feel?!?! We are actually living there!! Please stop all the hating. We are all trying to make this place look nice. We want the neighborhood and street to look beautiful and now that the building has been renovated it has done just that! We are not trying to create an unsafe situation with the parking!! We just want the parking that we paid for when we bought the place. We want the neighborhood to look as beautiful as all of you do so please stop all of the hating.

  15. thoughts from south grand says:


    You and the other condo owners in the building have been taken advantage of by the developer. I would recommend

    consulting an attorney experienced with real estate contracts.

  16. Jim Zavist says:

    And I’ve got a nice bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in buying, too.
    I sure wouldn’t call this hating. I’d call it pointing out illegal activity and keeping public property accessible to the public. You may think that you “are not trying to create an unsafe situation with the parking”. You may even want the “street to look beautiful”. The unfortunate reality is that you(r developer) have removed existing green space (the tree lawn) and made life less safe (backing across the sidewalk). And just because you “want the parking that we paid for when we bought the place”, doesn’t mean the developer was acting either ethically or legally. He needs to operate within the the laws of the city, and he obviously hasn’t. The existing residents/your new neighbors did nothing wrong – why should they be penalized?! If the developer can’t deliver on his illegal promises, it needs to be solved between him and the condo residents. He can’t simply expect to ask for forgiveness, after the fact!

  17. thoughts from south grand says:

    The paved front lawn has now been removed and replaced with sod and saplings.

    The apron has also been removed and replace with a “bump-in” curb that takes up the tree lawn area (tree lawn = street) as if 45 degree parking will be utilized – has this been approved?

    I’ll send Steve a pic when I get back in town.

    What do you think the reaction of the developer’s neighbors would be on his exclusive street in Chesterfield, where homes sell for 3-5 times the value of homes on Halliday ave., if he bought the local alderman and paved his front lawn ??

    Posted using the new google chrome browser.

  18. samizdat says:

    “…bought the local alderman.” That’s funny. Makes the Board of Alderman sound like a candy store. As in, a developer in a…


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