Ellisville City Council amends land use ordinance
By: Diane E. Samson
At its Dec. 19 meeting, the Ellisville City Council passed a bill that added a new definition of town center and changed its commercial zoning district code.
The town center of Ellisville is now defined as all properties along Manchester Road between Old State Road and Marel. The Council envisions the future town center of Ellisville to be a vibrant destination that serves as a gathering place and integrates places to live, shop and work.
The new ordinance stipulates parking to be located behind the front building line within the town center. The front building setback for properties within the town center will be 20 feet from the front property line, which will require parking to be located behind the front building line.
Existing properties will be allowed to remain the same and zoning codes for commercial properties not located within the town center will not change. The new code applies to new construction, with the exception of Walmart because that deal was finalized under the old zoning restrictions.
Ellisville Director of Planning and Community Development Ada Hood said that she reached out to Walmart and the new White Castle restaurant to change their formats but, because Ellisville didn’t have the law on the books yet, they were not required to amend their parking designs.
Hood said that just emphasizes the importance of passing these rules.
In areas not located within the town center region, the minimum front building setback line is to be 110 feet from the center line of the road right-of-way. That remains unchanged.
Mayor Paul, who had previously objected to the land use bill, said that half of his concerns with the bill were addressed, mainly that the reference to the Great Streets Initiative was removed from the bill. The part that still concerns him is the new 20-foot set back requirement that is not consistent, he says, with the Great Street’s setback guidelines of 60 feet from the curb with parking in the front.
“The Council adopted the Great Streets Initiative in April 2011. I expect this Council to follow the guidelines they decided to adopt. It is like eating fried chicken on Weight Watchers. Results are going to be better if you don’t deviate from the plan. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point these things out.”
The other issue for him is that the Walmart development will, and other existing properties have, parking in the front, which brings up concerns of different styles of development next to one another.