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Possible Lake Saint Louis Garden Center expansion raises concerns

(Sue Steininger photo)A proposed special use permit to expand outdoor storage at the Lake Saint Louis Garden Center at 3230 Technology Drive drew the ire of nearby Waterford Villas subdivision residents.

A resolution granting the special use permit and site plan improvements to Kirkwood Material Supply Inc. that came before the Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen on Jan. 17 drew flak from at least a dozen or more subdivision residents.

The board opted not to make a decision yet on the resolution at the end of a more than three-hour meeting. Instead, it tabled further discussion until the board’s March 6 meeting, when all board members could attend. Alderman Karen Vennard [Ward 2] was absent.

The permit and improvements would add 16 storage bins for road salt and other materials that would be at least 12 feet high. Richard Kopp, president of Kirkwood Material Supply and owner of the garden center, said he needs to buy more building materials. “I need to compete with Lowe’s and Home Depot,” he said.

Residents, however, questioned whether the permit would change the nature of the garden center during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Gary Smith, president of the Waterford Villas Homeowners Association, said residents are worried about the impact of the changes on their property values. His comments were echoed by other residents. Kim Pfalz said the proposed changes “may fit more the description of light industrial.”

Aldermen and Mayor Karen Schweikert said they had mixed feelings about the proposal because Kopp appeared to be responsive to residents since buying the property in 2015 and the business had been open since 1985. “This is a tough one,” said Alderman John Pellerito [Ward 3].

Schweikert said she would like to see if some compromise might be released. Tabling a decision on the resolution until March 6 also allows Kopp time to meet with subdivision representatives.

 

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