The final hurdle (pun intended) for the GoApe Adventure Course in Creve Coeur Park is a hearing at the Maryland Heights Planning Commission on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center.
The full proposal with details on the course location, design and operation can be found by clicking here
. Anything passed by the Planning Commission must be voted on by the City Council, so if you have opinions on the matter, please contact your council representatives directly.
Not sure who they are? In the left navigation panel on this page, select "Maryland Heights Officials" and you're on your way.
Citing the zipline adventure course proposed for Creve Coeur Park as a benefit for area residents, the St. Louis County Council passed the proposal in a vote of five to one in tonight’s meeting. Councilman Quinn, whose district includes Greensfelder Park where the course was initially proposed, was the only dissenter, saying he was uncomfortable with using public lands for profit.
More than 15 county residents spoke about how the proposal would undermine the value of the park, focusing on loss of wildlife habitat and quiet green space. The lack of public hearings and input on the project was another deep concern.
One speaker spoke in favor of the course, in addition to Acting Parks Director Tom Ott, who said the project will benefit many people in the county and provide 12 jobs. Proceeds from the operation will go into the parks budget. The course is expected to open this summer.
After speaking with the STL County Parks Department, we found out that the revenue from the Go-Ape tree-line adventure course WILL NOT go to the County General Fund. The money will stay in the Park Department budget. That information was from a newspaper article and we apologize for not double-checking before we posted it.
Also, please understand that MHRRG is not taking a position for or against the Go-Ape course. We are advocating for Public Hearings and the same chance for public debate that the users of Greensfelder Park had.
If you are looking for more information, here is the Go-Ape informational page
that is posted on the STLCounty Parks' website.
It lists what the company will be paying to build in Creve Coeur Park and has a 'new course' informational brochure you can download. There are also links that contain letters from another Park and a "Park Friends" group that already have this zip-line course set up in other states.
One piece of information that hasn't been in the news so far: In order for the Go-Ape course to be placed in the area by the old Trolley Station, the Parks Department will be moving the large Corporate Picnic shelter out of that portion of the park.
Currently, events in that shelter hold up to 500 people who mostly drive to the park in separate vehicles. The Go-Ape program is by reservation only: weekends it allows only 14 people per 1/2 hour and weekdays 14 people per hour on the course. 50% of their reservations are families who usually ride together in one vehicle.
Please direct questions about the ropes course to the St. Louis County Parks Department 314-615-5454. Direct questions about environmental/wildlife concerns with the course to the St. Louis Audubon Society 314-599-7390.
Speak Up NOW for Creve Coeur Park's Future! Tuesday, February 19 at 6 p.m.
St. Louis County Council Chambers
41 S. Central Ave., Clayton, MO 63105
To Go Ape or Not Go Ape: This Is the Question
St. Louis County Council Wants to Squelch
We think the public has an important role to play in determining the nature and scope of changes made to St. Louis County's most popular park: Creve Coeur Park. With over 1 million visitors a year it is the people's park, bought and maintained by the taxpayers and voters of St. Louis County.
In a proposal produced last fall, St. Louis County sought to enter into a contract with Go Ape, a developer of adventure activities, to install a tree-top adventure course in Greensfelder Park. They held two community forums to inform the public, only to find out the public did NOT want the course located there. After significant public debate, that proposal was withdrawn.
This winter, the St. Louis County Council moved the proposed course to Upper Creve Couer Park without any attempt to involve the public in a discussion of the merits of the project in the new location. There has been NO attempt to bring park users & taxpayers into the conversation with community meetings and detailed information on the scope of the proposed development by Go Ape.
There are other troubling aspects to the process of approving this major change to Creve Coeur Park:
We believe there is a serious lack of public input and a breech of trust with St. Louis County residents in this attempt to force through a speedy vote on the Go Ape contract. We need clarification on several issues:
- The St. Louis County Council has quietly put the project on a fast track to a contract approval. It has already passed a preliminary plan approval in Bill No. 26, 2013 at last Tuesday's county council meeting.
- This Tuesday, Feb. 19, they fully intend to commit to the contract with Go Ape.
With so many open questions, we believe it is important to slow the process down and conduct full public hearings on the Go Ape contract proposal.Here's what you can do:
- Why is the council circumventing the normal public-engagement process?
- What's the hurry? Why is it being fast tracked in two consecutive meetings over 8 days?
- St. Louis County Parks have a detailed master plan for the parks and this type of use is not mentioned. Why are they circumventing the parks' well-considered master plan?
- Why are they allowing Go Ape to stipulate the required environmental assessment comes after contract approval? There will be significant changes made to the tree canopy and disruption to the internationally designated important birding area.
- Is the modest income projected from this adventure course worth disturbing the people's park for private profit?
- As it currently stands, any monies paid to St. Louis County will go into the general fund, NOT St. Louis County Parks. How does that help the parks?
- Attend the St. Louis County Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. and voice your opinions.
- Contact your St. Louis County Council member and let them know you want public input on this proposed contract.
- Contact the bill's sponsor, County Council District 2 Council Member Kathleen Burkett, and let her know what questions you have and what you think of the project.
Contact Us | Phone: 314-283-2328 E-Mail: email@example.com
Our trivia night sponsors gave generously this year to our annual trivia night fundraiser. We'd like to show our appreciation by publicly thanking them here. You rock!
- Adeline’s Kitchen
- Caitlin Varady
- Creve Coeur Lake Rentals
- Deborah Moulton
- Dramatic License Productions
- Extra Thyme Catering
- Geoff & Melissa Heberle
- John Teipen
- Karen Meyer
- Kathleen Logan-Smith
- Haveli Indian Restaurant
- Jeanne & Gerry Sander
- Maryland Heights Parks & Recreation
- Melissa Moulton
- Mitch Leachman
- Missouri Botanical Garden
- Missouri Coalition for the Environment
- The Open Space Council
- Papaya Grill
- PNC Bank
- The Quarry at Crystal Springs
- Saint Louis Volunteer Meet-Up Group
- Sally Eaton
- St. Louis Audubon Society
- St. Louis Rowing Club
- Susie Meyer
- Town & Country Whole Foods
The Maryland Heights Planning Commission has wisely denied the request by Baldridge Properties to allow a new development on the Dorsett Rd. Pasta House property that would not meet our city's zoning standards. Kudos to the Commission!
For more background, see the post below. And stay tuned for more news about this high-profile property and how it might help -- or hinder -- our city's image. The applicants may appeal.
When we learned of a proposal to tear down the old Pasta House at 12425 Dorsett Road and rebuild, we thought it was an opportunity for positive change. We spoke too soon.
At the Planning Commission meeting on December 11, the engineer and lawyer representing developer Baldridge Properties, LLC, insisted on pushing forward with their initial, uninspired plan for a strip retail building.
You should know:
- The old Pasta House is approximately 3,000 sq. ft.
- The proposed new building would be 6,375 sq. ft.
- To make the building fit on the property, there is only two feet of clearance on the east and west sides--not enough to comply with the city's landscaping code.
- But there is enough room to provide 158% of the parking requirement.
In response to a series of questions posed at the November 27 commission meeting, the developer essentially said, "Yeah, we're not that interested in what you want."
The Commission was not pleased. Neither are we.
- First, there is the problem of not meeting the city's landscape requirement.
- Second, there is a complete lack of effort to cooperate or compromise.
- Third, their plan replaces one eyesore with another and fails to recognize the potential of the Great Streets project that will be conceptualized in the next six months.
If this proposal goes to our City Council as-is, they should respond, "Yeah, we're not that interested in what you want."
Join us for the 6th annual Save Our Park Trivia Night! A benefit to save local farmland and Creve Coeur Park from
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2012
Maryland Heights Community Centre
2344 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Doors Open at 6:15 p.m.
Trivia Starts at 7 p.m.
Table of 8 is $160, individuals $25.
There will be a Raffle, Silent Auction and games throughout the evening. Soda and snacks are provided while they last. You are welcome to bring your own
snacks and drinks.
To reserve your table, download the registration form
or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hurry, space limits us to 21 tables!
Whether or not you foster fond memories of the Pasta House restaurant on Dorsett near McKelvey Road, you no doubt have noticed what an eyesore it has become since it closed.
Take heart: the landowner there has submitted a preliminary development plan to raze the old restaurant and build a new multi-tenant building in its place. No leases have been signed, but tenants could include something along the lines of an eye glass company, cell phone retailer and possibly a small restaurant. On October 9, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved the plan with modifications, which primarily are aimed at improvements to the building's design features.
Another, perhaps greater, concern is how the new building will help or hinder the effort to move Dorsett Road toward becoming a "Great Street" (see post below), that is, more pedestrian and bike friendly with a unique character. Merely replacing the Pasta House with a newer version of the same thing does not contribute to the city's own initiative to bring more distinctive character to the neighborhood.
Many buildings along the Dorsett/McKelvey business district are older and may come up for replacement at some point. We should take every opportunity, including the one with the Pasta House location, to make sure we are creating the community and street-scape that we want, and not just perpetuating the past.