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Ballwin Residents, Schnucks Agree to Privacy Measures

The agreement approved by the Ballwin Board of Aldermen late Monday includes plans to allow a 10-foot fence meant to obscure parts of the new building at Clarkson and Kehrs Mill roads.

The approved plans for a 10-foot fence and other measures meant to provide more privacy for neighbors of a pending Schnucks grocery store, providing an exception to city law following disputes by neighbors of the project that date back to 2009.

The unanimous decision Monday will allow Schnucks representatives to build a fence two feet higher than what the city presently allows for commercial properties.

Project plans also include a berm around select parts of the property meant to serve as a buffer between the residential and commercial spaces. David Fontana, Vice President of Real Estate for Schnuck Markets, said the details of the berm still are in flux, however, in part because of miscommunication between project engineers.

“There were some plans circulated that did not have the berm everywhere at that height,” Fontana said. “There are a couple of spots where we’ll build the berm to three feet and it’s possible we’ll go higher.”

Fontana said revised plans for the berm will be submitted to the city at a later date.

The 41,000 square-foot store, which is being constructed at the southeast corner of Clarkson and Kehrs Mill roads, was the focus of a lawsuit filed in 2009 on behalf of residents who said the Schnucks would hurt local property values. The court ultimately sided with the City of Ballwin and Schnuck Markets, indirectly green-lighting Ballwin's second .

Since that ruling, neighbors of the site and Schnucks representatives have had  about the project's visual impact on the surrounding area.

Bob Bohlmann, one of several residents with property adjacent to the store, thanked the board Monday for its approval.

"Speaking for those neighbors, I just want to say the surrounding neighbors of the Schnucks property would like to thank the board, the mayor and the city officials for accepting the plan,” Bohlmann said. “All the neighbors supported this plan and we thank everyone for working quickly through the process.”

Charyl June 22, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Maybe Schnucks could plant some landscaping in the property owners yards to hide the ugly fence they will be erecting!
David July 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Schnucks is a major corporation....... a fence and a berm? Please.................{give me a break}. how about buying out the neighborhood since you ruined the resale value on these homes. All this for tax revenue at the residence expence. I'll bet no City official lives next to this fence and berm..... If they do, they were given compensation for their vote or support. This is all about the tax dollars to add to the Citys budget. At who's expence? All these neighbors need to see an attorney and file suit against the City. Let Schnucks or the City buy these innocent people out. The City could bulldoze the affected homes and put a park behind there. I know the houses around there are very nice but this ruined the value. I wish these people a fair end to this unjust rezoning for the benefit of the City.

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