Further delays in creating a “conservation precinct” around the new NGA campus in north St. Louis | politics

By | March 4, 2022

ST. LOUIS – A long-delayed bill restricting some developments around the future location of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has again been held up.

The bill to create a “protection and improvement precinct” near NGA was due to be taken up by the Aldermanic Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee on Thursday afternoon but was delayed by the measure’s sponsor, Alderman Brandon Bosley, 3rd Ward.

Bosley said various issues are still being discussed between parties including NGA, city development officials and NorthSide Regeneration, a developer. Among the issues, Bosley said, is the height of the buildings that would be allowed in the zone.

He did not specify the buildings, but the development group has submitted plans that would include a hotel and office building on the site of the old Pruitt-Igoe condominium complex across from the NGA site across Cass Avenue.

Bosley said he hopes the committee can take up the bill and possible changes next week.

The law, as introduced last spring, would ban new businesses with explosive potential, such as gas stations and businesses that make or use hazardous materials, from the 958-acre area, which would stretch about half a mile from the NGA’s Cass site and Jefferson Ave.

Also excluded would be buildings funded, owned or sponsored by foreign governments “that pose a threat to national security” and utility and communications towers taller than 65 feet. Buildings could not exceed 85 feet.

Bosley said that among the issues discussed was a possible reduction in the zone, which currently extends over an acre from Natural Bridge in the north to Dr. Martin Luther King extends south and includes portions of neighborhoods such as Old North, St. Louis Place, and Jeff-Vander-Lou.

Unlike a similar bill that died in 2018, the measure does not include a provision that would have subjected various other types of proposed businesses to additional city scrutiny, including a public hearing.

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