Five Frequently Asked Questions About the Proposed Moore Library in Tapawingo
Last month a Sunset Hills resident discussed his revised intentions to turn the former Griesedieck property into a community library. Residents had several questions on traffic impact, parking, and operating hours.
Sunset Hills resident Al Moore announced last month that he was pitching the former Griesedieck property, also known as the Paraclete property, as a community library instead of a cultural center.
Residents who were hesitant about the cultural center concept still had several of the same questions on a library's potential impact to neighborhood traffic and safety, usage on streets, and its business plan.
Patch spoke with one of Moore's associates, Jim Johnston, to get more information on how the library would function within the Tapawingo and Sunset Hills communities.
How will the library function?
The library’s major collections (history, children’s books, art) will be split in different buidings, with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating areas.
The non-profit first opened in Crestwood Court as St. Louis Children's illustrated Art Museum, but Johnston said museum space alone could not be a use on the Griesedieck property.
“That was part of who we were—a museum of books. So I thought now we could be a library with art," he explained of the new concept. The ‘art’ part will manifest itself in different forms. Exhibit pieces from the museum are still stored away, and they also plan to offer different types of art classes.
When will it be open?
The library will be open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon – 5 p.m. on weekends. Special event hours run from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., though Johnston emphasized that they won’t run special events all the time. These hours are to allow them to offer activities such as weekend breakfasts with artists, or an evening class
What will the traffic impact be? Where will they park?
There are 59 parking spaces on the property, according to Moore’s latest proposal. These spaces are broken up in clusters near the property’s major buildings so patrons will be able to park near the collection they want.
Moore and his associates believe their library will draw around 35 daily visitors.
While neighbors have asked for better estimates, Johnston said, “Really, it’s a number that there’s no way to really quantify before you open.”
Some neighbors expressed concern that parking would spill onto residential streets. Johnston doesn’t anticipate the lots being at capacity very often, but said there are arrangements in place for overflow at special events to use the parking lots at Moore Quality Farms. A shuttle would bring visitors to the property, Moore said at last month’s planning and zoning meeting.
Johnston added there’s still some question whether some locals will be considered ‘traffic.’ Sunset Hills residents in the Tapawingo subdivisions and beyond could access the library on foot, bike—or golf cart.
Can Moore take down his private gate so library traffic can funnel down Maple Avenue?
Johnston said Moore maintains the piece of road behind his gate, which lead to homes owned by his family. The one-lane asphalt road doesn't easily accommodate cars traveling in opposite directions.
“The idea of relocating the entrance… is not viable for several reasons. There would be tremendous expense incurred in attempting to do so. It would require a significant amount of topographical changes to the property on the southern corner. This construction would cause a major and lengthy disturbance for the community. Having the entrance at this location would also cause a significant traffic hazard, as the corner where Gary Player turns into Maple is a sharp blind corner.”
Would the Tapawingo homeowners’ associations be left to bear the wear and tear on private streets?
While golf course traffic is allowed through the subdivisions, the subdivsions’ streets are maintained by their homeowners’ associations. Neighbors have questioned whether the library would contribute to their maintenance, or if residents would pay for the additional usage on streets.
The Library is prepared to pay each association $500 for annual costs “as a neighborly gesture of goodwill,” according to their proposal. Johnston said they will not become members of the associations, however.
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