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Residents Ask Council to Reconsider Expanded MRH Parking Lot

Maplewood City Council gave preliminary approval to rezone two residential properties owned by the school district.

Four Maplewood residents shared their concerns about the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District's plan to bulldoze homes at 2544 and 2548 Gerhard Avenue and construct a large parking lot during a Maplewood City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

City council unanimously gave first round approval to rezone the properties from residential to public activity. The properties must be rezoned before the district can pave a parking lot. City council at 2552 and 2554 Gerhard Avenue and 2549, 2551, 2553, 2554, 2556, 2562 and 2564 Florent Avenue for the parking lot.

"The question is: When is enough enough?" asked resident Myles McCabe, who lives on nearby Oakland Avenue. "How many houses are they going to take?"

The district bought the 11 properties near the high school with funds from Proposition Y, a $9 million bond issued passed by voters last April. The district plans to replace the homes on those properties with a 126-space parking lot while replacing the school's current parking lot with a courtyard and outdoor learning space.

During a , commission member Pickett Lema said the north side of the school needed improvements.

“It’s been decades that they have struggled, and its not just the question of the parking," she said. "The whole back of the high school does not accommodate the kind of activity for the kids that they need.”

She said parking was an issue for the premiere of the Joe's Place documentary on April 2, for example.

The council is scheduled to offer a final vote on May 10.

Gary E Holt April 14, 2011 at 12:51 AM
the two residents of the additional properties came to the schoold and ask them if they would please consider purchasing their homes. The New England style home was vacant all winter because the expense to replace the entire steam heat system was much to expensive. The tree issue was thoroughly discussed at a previous meeting and we were assured that tree experts are on board to assure everything possible is being done to save the big trees.

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