Sunset Hills Mayor Bill Nolan broke two votes Tuesday evening to approve a conditional use permit and preliminary plan for a 24-hour gas station and convenience store south of I-44.
The planned Petro Mart still has the resentment of several nearby residents and businesses—including the Circle K gas station directly across the street from the former Bob Evans restaurant site on Lindbergh Boulevard.
In September residents Carol Morrison and Frank Hardy presented a petition with 174 signatures against the development with the proposed traffic changes. Aldermen delayed their vote that month, and Land West 7 postponed another appearance before the board to adjust the project. Their latest modifications to the plan were presented at last week’s planning and zoning commission meeting.
Land West 7 removed the proposed stoplight at Monica Drive and median separating Lindbergh traffic. Vehicles will instead access the gas station from three existing entrances, including a south access on Monica Drive. The size of the convenience store will be reduced slightly and the number of pump islands has also been reduced, attorney John King said.
Because Land West 7 is no longer making changes to MoDOT-owned property or the roadway, King said the developers do not need MoDOT approval to move forward.
Ward I Alderman Dee Baebler, Ward II Scott Haggerty, Ward III Alderman Jan Hoffmann, and Ward II Alderman Thomas Musich voted against Petro Mart during both votes.
The board unanimously approved:
- an amendment to the city's site design standards for motor vehicle-oriented businesses
- a lot consolidation for the three properties being used for the new site (126 Floralea Place, 111 Monica Dr., 1430 S. Kirkwood Rd.)
- a zoning change for the three properties
Representatives from neighboring Circle K, Crossroads Medical Center, Holiday Inn, and Mile 277 spoke on Petro Mart's potential impacts to traffic. Bill Remis, speaking on behalf of Circle K, had previously objected to the addition of a traffic light at Lindbergh and Monica. Tuesday he said they believe the plan's revisions are an attempt by Land West 7 to push the project through without addressing larger traffic issues.
Residents who spoke during the public hearing were more concerned about traffic funneling down Monica Drive into their neighborhood. Carol Morrison pointed out that it would be the only 24-hour business in Sunset Hills that backs up to residences.
Sunset Manor resident Kathy Tripp said she and her neighbors opposed the project because developers or city officials never reached out to them to their address concerns.
Ward II Alderman Thomas Musich said he met with roughly 100 residents Monday night during a Sunset Court subdivision meeting. While they liked the sound of the business, they were less enthusiastic about having it in that location, he said.
"Their unanimous decision to me, and their comments were... trying to put a square peg in a round hole. They didn't think it was a good fit because of the safety and traffic concerns that they had," he said.
- Resident in Favor of Sunset Hills Petro Mart: 'Anything Is Better Than a Vacant Building'
- Resident Petition Opposes Petro Mart on Lindbergh Boulveard
- Sunset Hills Planning Commission Recommends Petro Mart Changes Despite Concerns of Neighboring Businesses