After four months of discussion, the St. Clair Planing and Zoning Board has decided not to recommend that a portion of a city street be vacated.

By a 5-1 vote during their June meeting, the planners opted against the request made by Tom Ritter to vacate the portion of Nashville Street between Mill Hill Road and Maupin Street.

The street, which has not been used by the city for almost 50 years, runs behind Ritter’s business property which fronts Frisco Street.

“Taking everything into account, I think we really need to think about this,” board member Doug Komo said during the June 10 meeting. “Vacating this street could lead to a lot of problems.”

Fellow planner and Ward 2 Alderman Travis Dierker agreed.

“We’re not in the business of vacating streets,” he said. “But I think we can work with Tom on this matter.”

Ritter originally came to the planning board in March asking for the vacation. Discussion followed every month until the June decision.

Ritter, who owns property west of Nashville Street to Frisco Street, said he wants the road vacated so he can have access to his fence, which he wants to rebuild and maintain. He said currently trees and underbrush growing on the undeveloped street prevent him from performing the work.

Ritter attended the planning meetings in March and April. He provided the board with plat information, legal descriptions and certificates of title for his property.

The major concern centers on the easement, which would be abandoned if the street was vacated. Currently, Ameren Missouri and Marlen Gas have lines running along Nashville Street and the city has sewer and water lines there as well.

“We’ve talked about this now for months,” planning board Chairman Myrna Turner said. “What we need to decide is if we want to vacate this street or not. Once we vacate, all easements are gone.”

A survey of the property has been ordered, but it had not been completed by the time the planners met. Turner said the results of the survey shouldn’t matter.

Turner also has mentioned a letter received from Ameren Missouri that states the utility has overhead facilities that are in the proposed vacation area.

City Inspector Jeremy Crowe has said that Matt Perkins, who owns the property on the other side of Nashville Street, is opposed to the vacation. 

With the motion not to vacate the street, the planners said they will recommend to the city that it help Ritter clean up the property so he can access his fence.

Euvalda Young was the planner who voted against the motion. She said since the city has not kept up with or used the street for decades there is no need to keep it.