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Residents Object to Rezoning Gerhard Avenue Lots for MRH Parking

The Maplewood Planning and Zoning Commission also voted to rezone roughly 10 acres of land near the Sunnen Products Company.

Some neighbors to the north of are concerned that the school district is gobbling up their neighborhood, “like an octopus,” as one resident said during a Maplewood Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Monday night.

The district to make room for a parking lot while replacing the school's current parking lot with a courtyard and other renovations. The district owns nine lots north of the high school that have already been rezoned by the city. The commission met Monday to discuss the rezoning of two more district-owned lots at 2544 and 2548 Gerhard Avenue. Motions to rezone both lots passed unanimously, though commission member Tom Bakersmith cast his vote “with a heavy heart,” he said.

Commission member Pickett Lema said both her and her kids attended MRH and it was time to improve the north side of the high school.

“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 the school had parking issues during the premiere of the Joe's Place documentary on Saturday.

Resident Myles McCabe said the district should make parking arrangements at the or along Big Bend Boulevard. He didn't want to see two more houses demolished for parking.

Resident David Hunn asked City Manager Marty Corcoran to assure the house demolitions would stop with the two properties on Gerhard Avenue. Corcoran said he couldn’t speak for MRH, but he didn't expect any more rezoning.

Sunnen Products Company

The commission also voted to rezone 9.62 acres of land southeast of Hanley and Manchester roads that are owned by Sunnen Products Company into a planned unit development district, making way for a Mini Cooper dealership. The land is currently zoned for houses, apartment buildings and some commercial development.

The dealership, which shares ownership with across Hanley Road in Maplewood, would move from Clayton.

Bakersmith asked about a property that would be razed that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Corcoran said the property would be reviewed, as is every property before it is torn down.

Both rezoning efforts require Maplewood City Council approval. The city will hold two public hearings: one at the April 12 council meeting and another at the May 10 meeting. City council could vote to rezone the properties during the May meeting.

Kylie April 05, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Need that courtyard for the LH Memorial fountain.
RH resident April 10, 2011 at 08:44 PM
A group of MRH parents have a Walking School Bus set up to encourage walking to school. MRH students living within a 1 mile radius of the school are required to walk or ride their bikes to school or drive unless they have to cross a major intersection. The only parking lot MRH high school has barely has enough spaces to house the cars of the faculty/staff (some of whom walk to work), so additional spaces are definitely needed especially when MRH middle school and high school have events such as plays, concerts, and sporting events. Please, be conscious of comments that are not accurate.

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