A turn of events at a Maplewood Planning and Zoning Commission meeting might net the city a new park.
Dan Stevens, owner of Treasure Aisles Antique Mall and Big Bend Antique Gallery, both on Big Bend in Maplewood, wanted to use a part of his property for his customers to picnic on.
The property is a connected vacant lot near houses behind the shops, and is zoned residential. For Stevens to use it for his customers, it would need to be rezoned from residential to arterial business.
When it came before planning and zoning Monday night, a group of neighbors opposed rezoning because they said the lot had been littered and overgrown with weeds in the past decades, and were concerned it could happen again if it was rezoned. Stevens said he didn’t own the property back then.
He said all he wanted to do is use it as a park, and even offered to donate the lot to the city if that’s what it would take.
After public comments, City Manager Mary Corcoran said he was against rezoning, because once it was zoned commercial there would be no going back. He also said the city would be interested in talking with Stevens about his offer to donate the property to the city. The commission didn’t vote on the rezoning, which left open that possibility.
This article was reported by Nancy Miner.