The developer of a proposed Total Access Urgent Care (TAUC) at 13426 Olive Blvd, the site of a former Steak ‘n Shake restaurant, is perplexed that additional amendments were brought forth at the 11th hour.
TAUC has requested a change in zoning from a “C-8” Planned Commercial District to a “PC” Planned Commercial District for the 3.19-acre tract south of Olive Boulevard and east of North Woods Mill Road.
The rezoning issue has already been before the Planning Commission and the Planning and Public Works Committee where amendments were made. However, the City Council did not see these new changes until the morning of its Feb. 16 meeting. At that meeting, additional changes were brought forth by Ward 1 council members Barb McGuinness and Mary Monachella
The proposed new changes would restrict any window signs in the urgent care’s front northern windows and the square footage of signs on its western façade. No temporary signs would be allowed in the setback area and no attention-getting devices would be permitted.
Monachella read the proposed amendments that also included the already approved setbacks, which would be enforced in the ordinance, not just at the site plan level.
“We want to firm up what the doctor has already promised,” Monachella said.
Another inclusion in the ordinance would ensure that the landscape buffer, between the building and Incarnate Word Catholic Church along the eastern property line, would be maintained and preserved at the level it is currently.
“We’re trying to upgrade this end of town where you come into Chesterfield from the east,” Monachella said.
McGuinness said that while she welcomes TAUC to Chesterfield, this is an important quarter in one of the oldest sections of the city, so the council has to be careful as to what goes in there.
Dr. Matt Bruckel, founder of TAUC, noted that he has been working on the project for nearly half a year and to find out about amendments at the last hour is surprising and disappointing.
“We’re looking for an opportunity to succeed in Chesterfield, but I wait with baited breath, because I have my hand on the nuclear button and I’m ready to withdraw the application,” Bruckel said.
In regard to the landscaping requirement, he questioned the ownership rights of the greenery. “I would like the ability to make landscaping decisions on my property,” he said.
“This sounds like Russia. I don’t want the government telling me which trees I can and cannot prune and trim ….”
Justin Wyse, director of planning, pointed out that within the city there are a variety of regulations regarding landscaping and buffering.
Bruckel also noted that he would never agree to window restrictions that are harsher than those for other businesses. “We just want the fair treatment that other businesses in Chesterfield receive,” he said.
Wyse noted that in a planned district, everything is negotiable.
The council gave a first reading on the rezoning as amended at the meeting.