Altogether, 18 speakers had their say over an hour-and-a-half. Opponents of the project were impressive in their diversity. Some have lived in Maryland Heights all their lives, others for only a month. There was Dr. Robert Criss, a professor from Washington University who is a well-known geologist and expert on floodplain development, a mother of two young boys, a retiree, an architect, a business owner, the executive director of the Coalition for the Environment and a mechanic, among others. People -- young, old, male, female, from all walks of life -- stood at the podium and spoke eloquently about why this development should not be allowed.
Five planning commissioners attended the meeting, which was better than the four that showed up at the first hearing on May 10, but still two members shy of the full Planning Commission. Because the Commission does not record the meeting or take detailed minutes, it is hard to see how anyone missing these meetings could be fully informed on the community impact of the project or understand the depth of feeling that runs against it.
The city did not present its report on the development's conceptual plan, as was expected, and therefore the Commission took no action on the proposal. The city has apparently asked for more information from the developer before making their review final. The Commission left the public hearing open until this new information is submitted and reviewed.
The next public hearing will most likely be June 28, July 12 or July 26. Let's use this time to:
-- Educate friends and neighbors on why this development is bad for Maryland Heights;
-- Get more people to sSign our petition; and
-- Call or email your council representatives to let them know how you want them to vote when the time comes.
There is a rumor going around that this development can’t be stopped, but it’s just that: a RUMOR. Working together, we CAN stop this development!