Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dude, Where's My Clothes?


I'm fresh back from my first Affton Community Betterment Assn. meeting this morning with my report for you, my Afftonians.

The committee as a whole seems a responsible bunch. I am mostly lurking at this point, but as far as I can tell, there are at least three Affton residents present (other than me). Is this great representation? Certainly not with a population of about 20,000. One would think that with the uproar over the Villages at Gravois Creek development, half the blogging residents of Grantwood Village would be there. This perhaps shows that the ACBA is not the power or citizen channel they should be.

In attendance:
Kathy Jadlot (Chair) Employee of Commerce Bank
Hal Deuser of Commerce Bank
Kay Gasen of UMSL (in charge of the grant for Affton)
Two members from the County Planning office
Two members of the County Neighborhood Preservation Dept.
Two members of the County Police
Rep. Pat Yaeger of the 96th district
Three residents involved in various organizations.
and Yours Truly, The Mayor of Affton

Anyway, of particular note was the lengthy report from the Neighborhood Preservation guys. As in any other neighborhood, we seem to have some "wackos"in the area. We all knew this already, but due to a new methodology by the department, they are now certifiable! When people fail to comply with their warnings and court orders about cleaning up their property, the County now sends them to Mental Health Court! In this, evaluations are made and often drugs are prescribed. While this may seem quite an effort, it appears to be working. Most of the patients accept the treatments voluntarily. As one member pointed out, the County is in many cases, "the only family they have now." One resident caught hoarding, has had his home cleaned out by City firemen. Eight 20-yard dumpsters were filled with the stuff in his home and yard. Most of it was unopened model toys, car parts, and small electronics.

On Philo, there is a resident who chooses to answer the door stark naked! We also are the proud neighbors of a resident deeding his TV repair property to NORML. (Apparently he has ancient permits for a greenhouse operation...hmmm.)

Others are just out to be crabby ol' jerks throwing tons of stuff in their yards and pissing off the neighbors. One mentioned at the meeting has reported for court with no attorney. He is verbally abusive to the inspectors and the police and is planning on getting them all fired. He has been ordered to show up with representation at his next hearing or he will become part of a prision work-release program with some hefty fines.

The Gravois Creek development continues to embroil many, incuding folks on the ACBA. The Grantwood Villagers have retained a lawyer to try and fight the development. Personally, I don't think this will be worth the money and it will take a lot of it. It is being speculated that Grant's Farm is "taxing" the parking at their lot this summer to fund the lawsuit. This also makes no sense to me. Since AB owns Grant's Farm and another Busch sold the land to be developed, why would GF side with Grantwood Village?

Everyone seems focused on the density issue now. Largely at issue is whether the parcel is considered continuous even though it is divided by a road and a flood plain which is undevelopable. The density figure is lower if they are counting it as one piece, which is the opinion of the Planning Division. It may be too dense if it is considered two parcels as the Grantwood Village folks contend. The County Planning rep at the meeting was actually ordered not to comment on the issue at our meeting, but directed those concerned to call Gail Ottolino at the Planning Office at 314-615-7260.

Lastly, there will be a public June 21st meeting on the grant program's Strategic Planning component.

6 Comments:

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been in attendance at this meeting myself, I think that you may be mistaken about Grant's Farm taxing the parking. It is the town of Grantwood Village that would be able to levy a tax on the parking since the parking lot is in Grantwood Village.

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Jim Slama said...

I posted the comment about the parking and realized my name was not attached.

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Mayor of Affton said...

Thank you, Mr. Slama for this correction! Resident input is MOST welcome!

We strive for clarity here, but there is much to keep track of in this highly understaffed Mayor's Office.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Mayor of Affton said...

As I wrote that original post, I did find it perplexing that Grant's Farm would "tax" their parking, rather than just adopt a rate hike. How ever did Grantwood Village get a hold of that parking lot?

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Jim Slama said...

Grantwood Village did not "get a hold of that parking lot". Grant's Farm owns the parking lot but it is located in Grantwood Village. Hence their ability to levy a tax if desired. Also, the Commerce Bank representatives are also residents of Affton. The ACBA is a collaborative effort of residents, businesses and St. Louis County departments.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Mayor of Affton said...

Thanks again for the info. That seems odd though does it not? Most of Grantwood Village was built up in the mid 60's and the Grant's Farm history goes far before that. I suppose the parking was added long after the park was opened. I would have thought it would have been unincorporated as the Andy Busch property is.

In looking at the County maps, I do see however that Grant's Farm, and parking lots, are within the GV boundary.

 

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