September 12, 2005

Strange City Planners

This post is under "housekeeping" because it pertains to the area in which I work.

The article is on, the online version of the Post-Dispatch. A woman in my community choir and I were chatting about this because she knows I work on the street. Said article articulates (maybe) the plans of Creve Coeur, MO to make Studt Avenue (I still don't know how to pronounce that after 5 years of working in a building that resides on that street) the "main east-west street through the downtown." WHY? It's this tiny road. Hear the toll of the eminent domain bell, citizen.

I'm truly boggled. Pertinent info:
Matthew Brandmeyer, Creve Coeur's planning director, said the downtown plan "provides the framework for how this part of the city will be redeveloped in the future, if and when the property owners choose to rebuild."

Note the phrase "when the property owners choose." It reflects early opposition from some residents and business owners who feared the use of eminent domain. The final plan discourages that approach.

For example, the Plaza Shoppes at Olive and New Ballas will remain. As for the people of Old Ballas Village, a condominium development, "Their future will be in their hands," Brandmeyer said.

The plan has residents and civic leaders pondering how it will change the character of their community.

Mayor Harold Dielmann has lived for 75 years on the same piece of ground his grandfather and father farmed. "Now we're getting a downtown," he chuckled. "We didn't move downtown, so we're building one."

"I think we've got a great community, but we think it will get even better with a new downtown," he said. Diane Deutch has lived with her husband in Creve Coeur for 30 years. "When I first read about it, I thought - a downtown Creve Coeur?" she said

" I guess it could be very pretty and fine," she said. "There's a need for apartments and condos in Creve Coeur, loft living would be good, and I'm all for having more eating options. I just don't want to add traffic to my quiet neighborhood."

Deutch said she liked the idea of making an area more pedestrian-friendly.

Other people have expressed a dislike for buildings being built right up to the sidewalk. Streets would be in a grid pattern and as narrow as possible to handle traffic at a slow pace.

The plan envisions Studt Avenue as the main east-west street through the downtown and Ham Avenue as the main north-south street. Some buildings could be several stories tall, but skyscrapers are out, Brandmeyer said. The downtown could contain about 400,000 square feet of commercial space, 400,000 of office space and 500,000 square feet of condominiums.

Posted by hln at September 12, 2005 09:20 PM | Housekeeping | TrackBack

Creve Couer.

I love the new , flashy Creve Coeur, complete with the broken heart logo over the 270 overpass.

For those not familiar with French, Creve Coeur means broken heart, and pertains to an Indian legend about a teenager who committed suicide over by Creve Coeur Lake. There is a small falls that looks like weeping rock, and the legend says it's the spirit of the Indian girl.

What do you do if you don't know the legend? You see an overpass on Olive and 270 with giant stone blocks with broken hearts adorning their clean facade.

hmmm - I wonder how long it will take a heartbroken teenager to leap from the bridge to make a dramatic statement of how much they loved (insert name here)?

Brilliant city planning. I hear the city of St Louis is renaming themselves Carjackopolis after a failed video game from the late 80's.

Posted by: Jim Durbin at September 14, 2005 03:30 PM
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