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Lake Saint Louis says ‘yes’ to pizza development after plan changes

The “square beyond compare” is coming to Lake Saint Louis following a bit of work regarding the concerns of some residents near the restaurant’s proposed location.

The Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen approved a change in the development plan and a special use permit at its July 6 meeting that will clear the way for an Imo’s Pizza along Hwy. N, the first Imo’s in the city. The board took that action after delaying a decision at its June 15 meeting.

The board voted 4-1 to approve an amended agreement after Imo’s officials met with residents and submitted new plans. Alderman Gary Torlina (Ward 1) cast the lone no vote. Alderman John Pellerito (Ward 3) was absent.

The amended bill will allow a 7,020-square-foot, four-unit retail building on a 1.77-acre plot. The property is located on the north side of Hwy. N, south of Pond Fort Trail, west of Ronald Reagan Drive and east of Ridgeway Drive.

Sommers Landing subdivision residents told the board at its June 15 meeting that the restaurant could disrupt their neighborhood.

“We do have a lot of concerns about lighting issues, late nights and the hustle and bustle of traffic,” said Michael Meatte, a director with the Sommers Landing Homeowners Association.

City officials said nearby residents had anticipated when they moved in that the location would be the site of an office building.

Tom Palitzsch, broker and associate owner of Thomas Realty Group, represented Hawk Ridge Investors LLC, the Imo’s developer, at the July 6 meeting.

Palitzsch said that proposed outside dining had been eliminated and outside signs had been changed to be less obtrusive – both changes in response to residents’ concerns. The development, Palitzsch said on June 15, “is a continuation of the Hwy. N retail corridor that was created many years ago.”

“Traffic here is tremendous,” he said. “Nowhere else in Lake Saint Louis do we have this traffic and that’s what drives retail.”

Retail property in the nearby Shoppes at Hawk Ridge shopping center is available but Imo’s officials have said that they prefer developing their own property.

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