Shrewsbury Takes Stand Against South County Connector
Aldermen passed a resolution opposing any development that would involve taking residential properties.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed information and a pair of quotes to Barb Dressler. The information and quotes should've been attributed to Karen Diehl.
Shrewsbury has joined nearby Webster Groves in issuing a resolution opposing any South County Connector proposals that would require St. Louis County to take residential property in the city.
The St. Louis County Department of Highways of Traffic’s proposals for a north-south linking route were presented at a series of public meetings this summer where the plans sparked opposition from residents concerned about the use of eminent domain.
The resolution received unanimously approval from the Shrewsbury Board of Aldermen at their regular meeting Tuesday night. Mayor Felicity Buckley said the resolution was modeled on a similar one passed by Webster Groves. Other communities that could be potentially affected by the proposed project include Affton, Maplewood and unincorporated areas of the county.
The county has been looking for a way to provide a major thoroughfare to connect the north and south part of the county to major highways and urban centers for decades. The public meetings held this summer were the beginning of the county’s moves to explore new options for a corridor. Any possible construction is still five to 10 years off.
The city’s statement worried, in part, that any taking of property “causes uncertainty for future planning by homeowners and has the potential to adversely affect the residential property values in the area.” Other areas of concern cited by the document were the damage such a move could cause to Shrewsbury’s sense of community and its tax receipts.
Several residents who addressed the board during the public comment portion of the meeting also voiced opposition to the South County Connector.
Karen Diehl said she was “vehemently opposed” to any route that would break up or take away parts of the city. Of the five routes proposed (each of which contains several variants), Diehl said the one that would develop Des Peres Parkway seemed the least harmful to Shrewsbury and had the benefit of being close to the Shrewsbury Metrolink station.
“Anything that destroys any more of our city, to be quite honest with you, I think is a piece of crap,” Diehl said.