Patch.com posted a pretty thorough summary of the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27.  Check it out.
 
 
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Here's a recap of last night's Planning Commission meeting by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The planning department presented its review of the Maryland Pointe plan, which was thorough and took an hour to present.  View the report here.

Residents also spoke against the plan and while concern for Creve Coeur Park remained, it is noteworthy that many of the comments also centered on why this development is bad for Maryland Heights as a city as well.

The Planning Commission did not vote on the issue, but deferred decision until the Oct. 11 meeting.  Stay tuned here for more information on what's next.  One thing is clear:  the Maryland Pointe project has hit some major roadblocks, and that is good news for Maryland Heights, Creve Coeur Park and surrounding communities.

 
 
Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Planning Commission will hear the City's response to the Maryland Pointe proposal. This meeting is important, because it is likely the last chance for residents to speak their piece aboout Maryland Pointe before the public hearing is closed and the commission votes to approve or not approve the conceptual development plan. 

Your voice is needed to speak up at this meeting to tell the commission that Maryland Pointe is no good for Maryland Heights!
 
 
The following is a full reprint of remarks made by resident Melissa Moulton at the August 23 public hearing on the Maryland Pointe development, in the Howard Bend area, next to Creve Coeur Park.

A good Missouri boy named Mark Twain once said, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”  I think what that means to us today is that you can’t properly evaluate the Maryland Pointe proposal unless you use your imagination to see what other possibilities there are.

Residents who oppose this development are not naysayers, we’re visionaries.  We’re using our imaginations to see what else is possible.  For example:

·         With its proximity to other outlying farms, could this land be the site of a large regional farmer’s market, on the scale of Soulard Market? 

·         Could recreational attractions be expanded, such as the new soccer fields going in across from the Lakehouse Restaurant?

·         Could it be the area’s first solar farm?

·         Could it serve the fast-growing market for locally-produced food, for customers such as Schnucks, Dierbergs and local restaurants?

·         Could it hold a training ground for science education for Parkway, Pattonville, Maryville, Lindenwood, and beyond? 

·         Could it provide a unique environment for research by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center?  Has anyone asked?

·         Would it be suitable for grazing cattle or horses?  

·         Floodplains are not unique to Missouri.  Could the Missouri Botanical Garden be interested in this habitat for its global research projects?

Just think of the possibilities!  This land could be so many things that add to us locally and to the region as a whole.  Unique attractions.  Businesses that grow the economy by providing something new and different.  Expanded recreation and agricultural resources that have too often gotten pushed further and further out from where people need them.

But please, not another generic retail area that robs from neighboring communities – and even our own – for the short-term gain of a few developers. 

Maryland Pointe is the first proposal to come to us for this location – not counting a quite similar proposal by the same developers, in roughly the same spot, in 2008.  To accept this proposal would be like getting married after your first date.  All I can say is don’t do it.  There will be other suitors, other worthy ideas.  All you need to see them is your imagination.

 
 
The following is a full reprint of comments made by resident Norma "Susie" Meyer at the Maryland Heights Planning Commission Meeting on August 23, 2011.

I wish to acknowledge the members of Maryland Heights Planning and Zoning Commission, Maryland Heights Officials, my fellow residents of Maryland Heights and YOU the developers.  Thank You for allowing me to speak.

Do you sometimes think who or how many people live in the truth of reality?  The word REALITY is defined as "The fact or state of being real or genuine, an actual situation."
In reality the developers have approached Maryland Heights Planning and Zoning Commission, our officials and the residents with an actual situation. Which is to develop Maryland Pointe, 191 acres of large-scale retail and/or mixed use in a flood plain adjacent to Creve Coeur Park. I enumerate on the words "flood plain" because although the levy is termed a 500-year levy the mighty Missouri River is truly in command when it comes to floods.  Just as the Tornado of April 22 took command and devastated our Community.  IT CAN HAPPEN.

The word REALISM is defined as "Concern or interest with actual facts and things as they really are."

I am a member of THE MARYLAND HEIGHTS RESIDENTS FOR RESPONSIBLE GROWTH and we are interested with actual facts and things as they really are. In other words "REALISM".

Actual facts are:

We pay taxes to support this city of Maryland Heights.

We choose to live here because of what Maryland Heights has to offer.
The EF3 Tornado devastated our community on April 22. Ninety per cent or more of these devastated homes owned by Maryland Heights residents are rebuilding.  WHY?  Because we know Maryland Heights is a great city. We need to keep it a quality First-Class city.  Do not destroy what has already been built!!!!

We do not want a massive development next to our beloved Creve Coeur Park and along Maryland Heights Expressway as the developers have designated.

We do not want to diminish or damage all the joys of being a community that has a Park that is completely diversified in its assets and neither do we want our green space destroyed.

We do not want big box stores who promote products MADE IN CHINA.

We do not want added crime, pollution, traffic increase and excessive noise to disrupt our peaceful township.

We do not want our tax money wasted helping developers get RICH.
Nor do we want our community blighted with more vacant buildings.
                             
This development stands a grave chance of failure and we will be left with the aftermath of no revenue and an eyesore of vacant buildings to mar and depreciate the value of our community.

The word REALIZE is defined as "To understand correctly."

I as a resident of Maryland Heights realize and understand correctly that:

Our country recently lost its rating and admitted its failure.  The status and the crisis of the economy clearly defines that unemployment is at its greatest number. I realize that no jobs means no money to spend at THE PROPOSED Maryland Pointe Center. I realize that increased gas prices will deter shoppers outside of our community.

The developers state much, much revenue will benefit the community.  Wow!  Look at those dollar signs $$$$$.  Dollar signs $$$ look good on paper.

BUT, I realize and correctly understand that promises sound so good but seldom mature to their estimated potential after the fact.

Like the reproduction of rabbits shopping centers pop up everywhere and then FLOP in a matter of time.  Empty parking lots and empty buildings at Northwest Plaza and Crestwood are standing proof of failure.  Do we want a new landscape like those??

In realization and in reality ARE shopping malls the answer to the LIFE LINE OF MARYLAND HEIGHTS AND/OR THE UNITED STATES?  Or would building and/or re-opening manufacturing plants to create jobs and produce products that say, "MADE IN AMERICA'" be a far better route to take to save our great country.

Big box stores that say 'MADE IN CHINA' are taking over. And now a China HUB at Lambert Air Port.

Too bad we can't out source our shopping malls as they have outsourced our jobs.

Realize and understand correctly it's time to save our community.  Bring business into our already existing vacant buildings, re-vamp Westport and bring back business that will benefit our community.  Restore manufacturing in our vacant warehouses and create jobs.

In conclusion Officials and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission it is time to live in reality and face the actual situation. Have realism and be concerned with the actual facts and the things that really are. And finally realize and understand correctly that the residents of Maryland Heights want you to VETO this development.  Please say "NO" to this massive development of Maryland Pointe.

And to you the developers, I may be a small voice next to a large developer but please realize and understand correctly that "THE RESIDENTS OF Maryland Heights" do not want you to develop Maryland Pointe and take 191 acres adjacent to Creve Coeur Park.  The residents do not want you to destroy our wetlands, our productive farmlands, our Theis fresh produce farm and our green space.  The residents do not want you to turn 191 acres into concrete pavement and large-scale retail and/or a mixed use district. Thank You!



 
 
Drop by the St. Louis Bread Company at Westport this Saturday morning from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. and get up to speed on what's happening with the Maryland Pointe development.  Whether you've been tracking this issue since 2008 or just found out about it, we'd love to answer your questions.

We'll have flyers for the 9/27 Planning Commission meeting, petitions, and t-shirts for sale.  Come grab a cup of joe and meet some folks who share your concern/passion about stopping regional retail development near Creve Coeur Park.
 
 
The August 31 edition of the Suburban Journal printed a more complete summary of the August 23 Planning Commission meeting, which you can find here.  A good recap if you've missed previous meetings.

The next step in the process is the final (we hope) public hearing on September 27.  The public will be allowed to make comments at the meeting, and the city planning staff will present their recommendation to the Planning Commission.  Then, the commission is expected to vote on whether or not the Maryland Pointe proposal is allowed to go forward.