Affton Group to St. Louis County: Don't Penalize All Non-Profits for the Transgressions of Some
Affton Community Involvement Association Chairman Larry Stone offers his stance on whether the County should limit the number of outdoor sales events hosted by churches and non-profit groups.
Should non-profits be limited in how many public fundraisers they host each year?
St. Louis County's planning and zoning commission will consider changes to their current zoning ordinance related to outdoor sales events hosted by non-profits, schools and churches on Feb. 25. Currently events that include food concessions, amusement rides, parades, fireworks, alcohol sales and tents require a permit or license.
Affton Community Involvement Association chairman Larry Stone submitted the following letter to St. Louis Planning Commission Land Use Manager Gail Choate, dated Feb. 19, in anticipation of the public hearing.
Dear Ms. Choate:
I am writing on behalf of the membership of the Affton Community Involvement Association. As you know, we are a faith-based group created and sponsored by the parishes of St. Dominic Savio and Seven Holy Founders Churches. Our mission is to seek resolution of community issues and concerns in the unincorporated area of Affton, Missouri. This communication is being sent for inclusion in the record of the Public Hearing scheduled for February 25, 2012 on the proposal to amend Section 1003.167 of the Saint Louis County Zoning Ordinance pertaining to sales events for churches, schools, and other not-for-profit organizations.
It is the understanding of our members that the intent to amend the aforesaid section of the Zoning Ordinance is attributable to one or more not-for-profit entities in an area of North Saint Louis County. If it is factual that they are having an inordinate number of daily or weekly events on their parking lots in violation of Section 1003.167 then those specific recalcitrant organizations should be held accountable by the Office of the Director of Public Works. Holding these scofflaws accountable to the provisions of the existing ordinance is preferential to amending the existing ordinance, and potentially adversely impacting all not-for-profit organizations.
Outdoor sales events held by churches, schools and other not-for-profit organizations are integral to the financial well-being of their respective missions.
Penalizing the masses for the sins of a few, so to speak, has potential negative and unnecessary financial consequences. Therefore, we respectfully request the Planning Commission to consider amending the annual limit of four (4) such permits for any parcel per calendar year to a higher (TBD) number and to encourage an appropriate level of enforcement by the Department of Public Works, through which such event permits are obtained. Thank you very much for your consideration of our written commentary on the subject of this public hearing.
Larry C. Stone, Chairman
Affton Community Involvement Association