The development of the Hadley Township Redevelopment Area was an issue at last night’s Richmond Height’s City Council meeting.
The council voted unanimously to extend the time to Dec. 4 for Menards, a Midwestern chain of home improvement stores, to sign and fund a preliminary funding agreement for the southern portion of Hadley Township.
The agreement states that the developer will pay the city to cover the cost of consultants to review all the project documentation involved in the Menards' project, said RH City Manager Amy Hamilton in an interview after the meeting. The deadline was extended because Menards hasn’t secured all of the property it needs to develop on the township.
Hamilton said Menards has 98 out of the 100 needed parcels contracted. She added that Richmond Heights has been trying to lure a developer into the area since 2004.
Richmond Heights resident Stepanie Peace said several developers had shown an interest in Hadley over the years but no deal had ever been finalized. She suggested the area be zoned agricultural so local farmers could use the area to grow produce for local farmer’s markets. Mayor James Beck said he wanted to see the outcome of the Menards deal before investigating the idea.
Councilman Michael Jones said he felt residents in the area wanted to see Hadley developed.
At the Nov. 5 meeting, the Council discussed hiring a lobbyist to represent Richmond Heights in the Missouri House and Senate. The City of Fenton acted as a catalyst on the issue, as it sent Mayor Beck a note voicing concerns about the way tax revenue was shared in St. Louis County. The issue was discussed in this year’s Missouri legislative session.
Fenton felt other large cities with a significant retail base like RH should have a lobbyist in the state legislature. Beck said Monday that he would send Fenton a note saying RH is not interested in a lobbyist because he didn’t see St. Louis County tax issues making much headway in the state legislature in the near future.
The Council also approved holding a special election to be held on April 2, 2013, to replace District Three Councilwoman Gina Mitten. Mitten was elected to the 83rd District in the Missouri House of Representatives.