In an effort to gain more control over development, the City of Kirkwood is proposing tightening the approval process for new liquor stores, tobacco stores and car washes.
The Kirkwood City Concil will hold a public hearing Thursday at 7 p.m. about an amendment to the city's zoning code that would require business owners to secure a special use permit before developing the types of businesses. If passed, business owners would need to go before the Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Commission and Kirkwood City Council before regardless of how a property is zoned.
"This would give citizens some sense that something is not going to be stuck in their neighborhood without an opportunity to express concerns if they have some," Kirkwood Mayor Art McDonnell said. "The city felt like this was an opportunity to have some sort of control over things."
The development of the three types of businesses became a source of controversy when Dirt Cheap expressed interest in 915 N. Kirkwood Rd. after the U-Gas owns Dirt Cheap, according to the Webster-Kirkwood Times.
McDonnell said the proposed amendment was triggered in part by Dirt Cheap's interest in 915 N. Kirkwood Rd.
"This type of development does tend to generate some public interest," McDonnell said. "The Dirt Cheap one did."
The proposed amendment comes after the city recently passed a revised zoning code.
"This is something that Planning and Zoning felt was an appropriate addition to our zoning code which they had not included in the passage of the revised zoning code," McDonnell said.
The Kirkwood City Council will take its first vote on the proposed amendment Thursday after the public hearing and then take a second and final vote at its meeting Jan. 17.
As for 915 N. Kirkwood Rd., U-Gas has submitted a letter expressing its intent to appeal the decision of the planning and zoning commission but has yet to submit a revised site plan. The city has revoked a commercial occupancy permit for Dirt Cheap because of the pending appeal from U-Gas.
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