The commission spent two hours on Monday night—including a 20-minute closed door executive session with and Building Commissioner Philip Lum—for a lone agenda item: .
Commissioners listened to a presentation by Jeff Otto, project developer for THF Realty, and pressed him and his team on a number of questions for the development that would be placed at 3350 and 3400 N. Highway 67 as well as 3605 Seville Dr.
“The commission identified some concerns that we hadn’t thought about,” Otto said on Tuesday afternoon. “I didn’t expect approval in the first meeting.”
Otto presented plans for a 150,000-square-foot Walmart facility that would be placed to the south of Lindbergh and to the east of where currently sits on that road. The area would be developed for a 24-hour Walmart Supercenter with an out lot for a sit-down/carryout restaurant.
One by one, commissioners questioned Otto on a number of things surrounding the large development, and he or one of his team members attempted to answer as thoroughly as possible.
Several commissioners asked Otto about the brick on the building, and Otto responded that 51 percent of the building would be brick. Florissant’s ordinance states that businesses must be 100 percent masonry.
“If you want to be in Florissant bad enough, you will stick to the code,” Commissioner Jane Boyle said.
The biggest concern expressed by a number of commissioners was for residents. The new commercial development would back up close to residential areas, such as that of Barcelona Street, Aqueduct Drive and Parc Chateau Lane.
“Being a resident next to there is not ideal,” Boyle said.
Commissioner Lee Baranowski agreed with Boyle’s statement.
“I’m disturbed about the impact on the neighbors,” he said.
Baranowski pointed out that some residents could be in their backyard and would see over the property line into Walmart’s lot.
Otto said that their plan is to place a 6-foot vinyl fence up as well as a 15-foot buffer to serve as a border to the commercial business and the residential area, as Walmart would sit a lower elevation than the residential community.
Another concerning point for commissioners was the addition of a traffic signal on Lindbergh Boulevard for the Walmart.
Traffic engineer and traffic study pointperson Shawn White said that the signal would prove vital for those entering and exiting the Walmart. In addition, she pointed out that the additional traffic flow during a peak period on Saturday would be approximately 350 cars entering and exiting the roadway.
The controversial topic also brought in 10 Florissant residents to the normally sparsely attended meeting.
“I think it will destroy Florissant,” said Nancy Reilly, a resident, shop steward and employee of Dierbergs. “There’s too many ifs, ands or buts surrounding it.”
Reilly also said that she believes the new development would put and , which would be located across the street from Walmart, out of business.
Otto requested the commission postpone its vote until the Oct. 3 meeting to allow time to address some of its concerns such as the masonry, the height of the light fixtures and possible traffic problems.
Otto said that he and his teams are in the process of preparing for the next meeting and hopes that they’ll be able to adequately address concerns and questions from the commission.
In February, the commission recommended approval for one proposal of Walmart’s and recommended denial for the other item.
Previously, the city council unanimously voted down a proposal for a Walmart in the same area, however, that project requested a Tax Increment Financing for the project. The current proposal does not involve a TIF.