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Residents Ask Council to Oppose Mobil Plan

Those who spoke at at a public hearing Thursday said development will negatively impact property values and the quality of life for residents who live near the gas station at Manchester and North Geyer roads.

Residents asked members of the Kirkwood City Council to oppose a resolution to approve a special use exception permit for the at the corner of Manchester and North Geyer roads, Thursday night.

Safety concerns, decreased property values and a lack of a traffic study were some of the issues raised by the 16 Kirkwood residents or business owners who presented to councilors.

"We already have a huge traffic problem," said Barb Cullmann, of 1043 Simmons Ave. "We don't need anything bigger than what's already there. ... Let's not hurt residents because we want more commercial. We would appreciate a traffic study."

calls for the demolition of business space at 1136-1150 Manchester Road and an extension of the station to Simmons Avenue. The current convenience store would be demolished and a Mobil on the Run would be built on the property. 

The Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Committee approved plans for the expansion under certain conditions that include specifications for a sight-proof fence, lighting and music restrictions and construction of only one curb cut along Simmons Avenue.

John King, an attorney representing Wallis Companies, the owner of the station, said the company has met all of the Planning and Zoning conditions except that deliveries to the 24-hour station occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. King asked councilors that the station be allowed to make deliveries between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Currently there are no restrictions on delivery times for the station.

King told councilors the station is expected to bring between $1.5-2 million in sales which would translate into revenue for the . He also pointed out that plans for the expanded station incorporate more landscaping than the in Kirkwood.

Multiple residents told councilors there is no need to expand the Mobil station given that three operating gas stations and a closed gas station exist between Geyer and Kirkwood roads.

"Business is imporant, but what's more important is the preservation of quality of life of residents," said Catherine Hanna, of 1062 Barry Ct. "There are no sidewalks on Simmons. It's not a good idea."

Roger Manwaring lives at 1048 N. Geyer Rd., the property directly behind the station. He said that he already eperiences a problem with trash from items purchased at the station being thrown into his yard. He said he believes expansion of the station will exacerbate the problem.

"You guys are the last defense we have to this negative development," he told councilors.

Manwaring's wife, Linda, also expressed concerns to councilors. She said that the proposed privacy fence will not lessen noise from the station and that a proposed drive lane behind the station will increase noise.

"We like to have dinner on our porch," she said. "I want my children to be able to laugh and play and hear each other, not compete with noise."

Other residents took issue with the proposed drive lane, which Kevin Kamp, senior project manager with Civil & Environmental Consultants, told councilors was required by the .

Ron Glazer, of 1030 Simmons Avenue said he feared the lane would become a cut-through for traffic.

Councilor Gerry Biedenstein said he would like to get more information from Kirkwood Fire Marshall Leo Meyer on the necessity of the lane. Kamp told councilors Wallis Companies is not opposed to eliminating the lane.

After hearing presentations from Wallis Companies and residents, councilors opted not to vote on the issue. They said they would like more information before making a decision, including delivery time requirements of some Kirkwood gas stations.

A first reading of the resolution to approve a special use exception permit for the Mobil station is scheduled for the council's Dec. 15 meeting. The city has received three petitions opposing the proposed expansion of the station, according to Kirkwood City Attorney John Hessel.

In other council news:

A first reading of a resolution approving a preliminary was rescheduled for the council's Jan. 7 meeting.

Ron G. December 03, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Wallis Companies argued that a Mobil on the Run would generate more tax revenue for Kirkwood Schools. Yet we firmly believe that they will simply syphon off business from existing nearby gas stations and locally owned markets. Building this huge station means demolishing the existing office bldg thereby displacing long time small business owners. If our elected council members truly care about their constituents, they will listen to the numerous Kirkwood residents who have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to this expansion and NOT permit it to proceed. This is simply not needed and unwanted by many who view this as a traffic nightmare, serious safety concern, and invasive encroachment into an otherwise quiet residential area of our community.
Roger December 04, 2011 at 08:29 PM
It's concerning that after the council confirmed that Mobil has not done a traffic study, the council didn't take steps to see that one gets done. This is basic due diligence. It is impossible for the council to know the impact of what they are voting on without it. Of course Mobil hasn't done one of their own free will. They have no need to give themselves a black eye as it will almost certainly contain issues that require them to spend money to resolve. Nonetheless these issues need to be considered and dealt with. It is inconceivable that a development such as this would be allowed at a major intersection without considering the impact of doubling the traffic from the gas station.
Nancy Killoren December 16, 2011 at 06:25 AM
Ron, those business owners elected to rent space for their businesses and now the owner wants to sell and you tell him he can't. If it is such a great spot for them why doesn't one or all of them combined step up and buy the building. How do you know this will be a serious safety concern and a traffic nightmare, have the residents on Simmons and Geyer done their own traffic study to support this statement? As for invasive encroachment into an otherwise quiet residential neighborhood, you have to be kidding. The proposed station is not actually moving any closer to you and is not taking any residential property, it is replacing a commercial structure. I have yet to hear anyone point out that Wallis is going to build a sound wall to actually help lower the noise into the "quiet" neighborhood behind the new station. I would be curious as to when these 2 properties were last residential properties. Do you know? I do live in the neighborhood and would love to see a new station with modern facilities (without a car wash) at this corner.

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