The zoning districts on Rose Lane do not correlate with the uses, according to a business owner who wants to move into a larger building, but is being discouraged by aldermen.
Clayton Bragg now operates FASTTRACK Erectors at 2006 Rose Lane, which is zoned MI, light manufacturing. His business has grown and now Bragg wants to move into a larger building a few doors down on Rose Lane.
Past experience with other businesses wanting to locate on the street prompted City Engineer Dan Rahn to bring Bragg’s request to the board of aldermen for guidance.
Speaking at the Aug. 7 meeting, Rahn told aldermen he wants from them a sense of how they would view Bragg’s request.
After a half-hour discussion, in which several aldermen voiced objection to the move, Mayor Herb Adams said the reason the proposal was brought before aldermen was to provide guidance for the FASTTRACK owners.
“The administration is trying to be helpful,” said Adams, so the owner does not spend a lot of money until he knows where the issue stands. “We wanted you to talk this through this so he can make a calculated judgment.”
Adams asked aldermen to each give a single argument against the project so Bragg could evaluate his chances of overcoming their objections before taking his planned move to the planning and zoning commission.
Bragg said he would like to move into the larger building and would probably rent out his existing building.
Mike Pigg said I-44 Towing had wanted to move a portion of its business onto Rose Lane recently and was turned down because aldermen said he had to pave the area where heavy equipment would be parked. The two businesses are similar, he said.
“They both need to park heavy equipment,” Pigg said. “What’s good for one is good for all.”
Brad Reed said if most of the uses on the street are M2, the city should change the zoning districts and legalize all the uses.
Ed Gass suggested that Brown talk to the three other businesses on the street to learn if they object to his business.
Mike Bates said his view is the same as it had been for the towing company. He worried about oils from the equipment seeping into the ground and being washed into the Meramec River during high water.
Jerry Eversmeyer said it’s simply a matter of following city zoning.
“The property is not zoned for that use,” Eversmeyer said. “We should stick to that use.”
Only Walter Arnette said he would be in favor of allowing FASTTRTACK to make the move.
“I used to drive those cranes,” Arnette said. “I’ve worked all over St. Louis and I can tell you that all the yards are gravel. Nobody is trying to drive those heavy cranes onto a paved lot. They would chew up the pavement.”
Adams suggested that aldermen examine their own conscience to determine what they want on Rose Lane. If allowing the heavy equipment onto the short, light industrial drive, then it would make sense to approve Bragg’s request.
“If you approve this company it would be hard to turn down the towing business if they come back,” he said.
Adams also noted that the current board of aldermen cannot control future boards’ decisions.
“The reason this street has M2 uses in an M1 zoning district is because previous elected officials have granted variances,” Adams said. “Elected officials created this problem. It looks like this board of aldermen does not want to grant any variances.”