Richmond Heights plan & zoning OKs multi-family proposal

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Richmond Heights is a step closer to seeing a 207-family, multi-use development built on Dale Avenue at Boland Place.

IMG_2165After hearing comments both for and against, Richmond Heights Plan and Zoning Thursday evening voted 7-2 to recommend to the city council that the property between Dale, Boland, Highway 64/40 and the city-owned sports field be rezoned from single family residential to planned development mixed use, making way for an apartment building with retail on the first floor to proceed.

See also: Richmond Heights P&Z to vote on multi-family, multi-use proposal

The developer, Joe Cyr, of ILI, LLC, and the architect, Bob Koch, of Fugleberg Koch Architects, reviewed revisions made to the building since the last plan and zoning meeting, including stepping back the top floor facing Dale, to reduce the visual impact.

Cyr had also hired the St. Louis firm, Crawford, Bunte & Brammeier (CBB), to study the impact on traffic. The firm concluded there would be no change in traffic on Dale or Boland with the proposed development, he said.

Four residents spoke for the proposal, and eight spoke against, in the public hearing.

Dan Schibig, who lives on Boland, said the project would bring people into Richmond Heights who would stay and buy houses, also property values would go up, and maybe some would have kids who would go to Little Flower School.

Patrick Eppert said, “Progress is good.” He said the development would be better than letting it sit dormant, and Richmond Heights should join area cities that have seen a resurgence, mentioning Maplewood.

Many who spoke against it said they want a project that’s not so dense. Ken Coleman said, “Scale it down to 100 units — don’t be so greedy.”

Derek Bolden, who lives across the street from the proposal on Boland, said, “I will be facing it head-on. Put yourself in my shoes. How would you feel?”

Mike Barron said the economy hasn’t been the best, which is why the property has sat dormant for so long. “It will sell. The location is great. We’re sitting in the catbird seat — don’t jump at this,” he said.

Mark Miller said he has a hard time believing the developer-paid CBB traffic study stating traffic on Dale and Boland won’t change, and that the city should have it’s own study done. “Anyone would be naive to think traffic won’t be impacted every hour of the day,” he said.

Commission member James Renz said the project would be putting “an elephant in a small room.” He said the Richmond Heights comprehensive plan states a building should integrate — he said this would dominate, not integrate.

Renz and Andrew Franke were the only “no” votes on the commission. The proposal is set to go the the city council at the Jan. 4 meeting. The council can take plan and zoning’s recommendation, or not.

6 COMMENTS

  1. What an unintelligent comment from the Maplewood resident. We need diversity? What type of diversity are we needing exactly? Are you trying to say that Richmond Heights is too white? Those are absolutely racist statements.

  2. This is not the same thing as a multi-family unit of 4,8,12, etc. Progress and growth for a healthy community means more than one type of dwelling. These are nice units and the people living in them would bring diversity that, quite frankly, is needed. Of course, if you live right across from it, (as the one resident who would be facing this development stated), you might not welcome it, but that is a natural “not in my backyard” type of reaction. As a Maplewood resident, I can honestly say that a nice development like this is needed in Maplewood–not another business like McDonald’s. The leaders of Maplewood are EXTREMELY business friendly–they bend over backwards to accommodate businesses. But they could not care less about us regular-Joe residents. We need leadership in Maplewood that cares about its citizens as much as its businesses. That’s all I am seeking–for the city of Maplewood to treat residents with the same encouragement as their commercial interests. Thank god the proposed McDonald’s fell through! As for this proposed development in RH, let it go through to allow for some more diversity in your community.

    • You are supporting something that isn’t going into your own community. It’s being placed in an area where it will congest traffic and wedge in more than 207 FAMILIES. More than 200 PEOPLE would be too many.

  3. This is sickening. The city already destroyed a neighborhood to put in a Menards near two other huge home improvement stores. Now, they want to force 207 families into the middle of an already congested area. At this point, I’m sorry I didn’t buy a house in Maplewood. Their leaders aren’t making great decisions (Tom Hortons, QT, proposed McDonald’s), but at least they’re preserving the downtown and creating a sense of place. In Richmond Heights, all we have is random development that seems to have no plan. It’s hard not to wonder who’s benefiting besides the developers.

  4. I feel like a broken record, since I already said this on the other article, but it’s just so short-sighted to tear historic brick institutional buildings like this, especially in Richmond Heights, which lacks much of the large brick structures that, say, Webster or even Maplewood have. I just wish we had more imagination as a community and found ways to repurpose or reuse these buildings. I’ll reiterate: there’s no way the quality of construction on this new building will be anywhere close to the quality of the existing school on that site. Is there any way the council will block this? Why couldn’t these developers have considered another site that didn’t have a large preexisting structure? This is about money for them, not the overall well being of the neighborhood in which they build. It’s too bad that they got the green light on this. Long term this is not a good choice.

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