Ellisville City Council members voted to deny a citizens appeal against a Walmart conditional use permit at the council meeting Oct. 3.
Present members voted in favor of the denial 5 to 1, with Councilmember Michelle Murray absent and Mayor Adam Paul voting nay.
Paul said the council's "answers are inadequate for denial."
The appeal's consideration was initially on the agenda prior to public comments, but Councilmember Matt Pirrello moved to postpone call for roll on the issue until after the first set of public comments.
Tom DeBold, who owns property adjacent to the would-be Walmart and submitted the appeal, said there were things "I just don't understand" in the council's response.
DeBold said the residential property backing up to the project area is separated by a 4-foot fence, arguing a point in the appeal to comply with city code, that a neighborhood would not be adversely impacted by the project.
"If the general consensus is since it's a (conditional use permit), it doesn't affect property on my side of the fence, I don't have to agree," DeBold said during public comments.
"I thought a neighborhood was an area," DeBold said. "I didn't know it meant separation by a fence."
Pirrello went back to the city's comprehensive plan and Great Streets initiative master plan, saying both plans "contemplate a 'big box' on that site."
Pirrello added that the Great Streets plan is intended to be a supplement to the comprehensive plan, "merely guidelines for the city moving forward" and is revisited on a 5-year cycle.
"I hope you all can appreciate that some things listed in the appeal can't be substantiated," Pirrello said. "They're only conjecture or prediction."
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