By a unanimous vote, the Webster Groves city council has moved to close all public hearings, and will not add documents to the public record submitted after Dec. 16, on educational zoning ordinance 8851 and map amendment ordinance 8852 . These ordinances will be postponed until Jan. 20.
Webster Groves City Attorney Helmutt Starr said the reason he wanted the public hearing to remain open through today was to add to the public record all written documents sent in from Webster Groves residents and Webster University.
“At one of the recent public hearings, we entered a city exhibit No.1, which is a listing of all the various emails and letters, feedback forms, presentations, etc., that we have received through the end of November,” Starr said.
Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch said the council was adding over 3,500 pages of documents to the public record concerning the two ordinances.
Councilmember Greg Mueller elaborated on the decision to close public hearing, citing clerical purposes, such as itemization, categorization and the addition of a table of contents to the exhibits of information.
Welch reassured those in attendance of the city council meeting that the council’s process was operating with good intentions.
“This has been a very thoughtful and deliberate process over the last four or five months. We have had a lot of public hearings. We have had over 4,000 pages of input. The council has made a lot of changes (over time) to the original ordinance to accommodate the residents, to accommodate the institutions and to accommodate the community,” Welch said. “I believe we have a struck a balance that will benefit everyone.”
Amended version on 8851 as of Dec. 16:
- Clarifying the campus master plan conversion to an MEC district and removing the term “college” or “university” from the conditional use categories in the A-residential districts and related matters.
Amended version on 8852 as of Dec. 16:
- Certain tracks of land of five acres or more in use per certain educational purposes from their current zoning as conditional uses in the a-residential districts to their new EC-1 or EC-2 or MEC educational campus district designations.