November 26, 2014

OLD TOWN MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT: Meet developer of proposed N. Central at Maryland project on December 10th

WHEN:  Wednesday December 10th, 6:30 PM
WHERE:  St. Joseph Parish Hall
                 106 N. Meramec Avenue

Our neighborhood community has the unique opportunity to meet some members of The Opus Group, the developer who is planning a redevelopment of the properties located at 25 and 111 N. Central.  This is intended to be an introductory short meeting and presentation for those Old Town residents who are interested in hearing first-hand about preliminary plans for the project.  Your feedback is encouraged and will be valuable to the developer as they go forward and seek city approvals.

November 24, 2014

Message Alert to Old Town Clayton Residents

Chief Thorp asked me to relay the following message regarding some questions neighbors had about road closing and police presence. Please feel free to distribute this throughout your own communication channels.

"You may be aware that the building at 7501 Maryland is being used for various activities by the Clayton Police Department. Because of this, you may see an increased police presence nearby.  The Police Department did go door to door in the area to let the neighborhood know they would be using the facility, but we may have missed some of you. In addition to the use of the building, the city does anticipate temporarily making some of the roads in this area local access only, but you will still be able to get in and out of your homes.

As you have probably heard, there are other traffic and parking changes in downtown Clayton.  We will continue to communicate about overall issues through these updates, on claytonmo.gov/news, via Twitter @cityofclayton and on Facebook at City of Clayton, Missouri.  Any updates or changes regarding your neighborhood will be sent just to you.  We are doing everything we can to minimize any inconvenience will still taking every step possible to create a safe environment for our community through the demonstrations that we can reasonably expect, and therefore these steps are prudent.
As always, thank you for being a part of Clayton."

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Regards,
Cheryl Verde
President, Old Town Clayton Neighborhood Association

November 21, 2014

Message to Old Town residents

As we all await the Grand Jury announcement, Pastor Mark Fulmer of The Gathering - United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Bemiston and Maryland, requested that the following  letter be shared with our neighborhood.  Whatever your religious persuasion, Pastor Fulmer's message is a public service invitation to reach out to our Old Town Clayton community.



Contact: Matt Fulmer, Clayton Site Pastor
matt.fulmer@gatheringnow.org
(314)646-7172
 

As Clayton and the St. Louis region anticipate the Grand Jury decision regarding Darren Wilson, we all seem to be holding our breath waiting. We are waiting not only to hear the Grand Jury’s verdict but also to see how our community will respond. The air of waiting is full of division, tension and anger across our community. It’s in these situations especially that Christ teaches us to offer grace and peace to others. At this particular time, that practice is essential.

As people wanting to follow Christ’s example, we at The Gathering United Methodist Church want our church to be a place that responds to the pain we are all experiencing. We are opening our doors to be a place for prayer and respite. We are inviting anyone that would like to have a place for prayer to come join us.


We will offer two prayer services the evening the Grand Jury announcement is made at 6pm. The
services will be held at the Gathering Clayton, 101 N. Bemiston, and at our city location, 2105
McCausland. In addition, our Clayton site will be open in the days following as a place for people to
come for prayer and rest during the tension packed times. The church will be open from noon to 6pm
and we will hold a brief prayer service at the top of each hour.
 

As neighbors and community members, I want to invite you to join us for any of the services. If you
have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
 

Peace,
Matt Fulmer

November 11, 2014

Letter regarding Maryland School Development



With the intent to help keep our neighborhood informed about the Maryland School Development, I have been asked by Susan Ryan from SC Ryan Consulting, LLC to share the following letter from Bruce Korn with our community. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 2014

Dear  Neighbors:                                                                                                                              

On Monday, October 20th , my colleagues Larry Schiffer, Gyo Obata and I appeared before the Clayton City Plan Commission/Architectural Review Board for the first time to present the current plans for the Maryland School Town Homes. This Conceptual Review meeting was the first in a series of public meetings on the proposed development. We participated in open dialogue with board members, and we answered questions regarding the public demand for newly constructed homes that are efficient, easy to maintain and uniquely designed to specifically accommodate professionals and empty nesters. The development documents reviewed at the public meeting are available on the City of Clayton website for the public to review.

Since last spring, we have met with number residents of the Old Town Neighborhood to seek your feedback and ideas. We appreciate your time, as these meetings have been productive and have resulted in several plan modifications we wanted to share with you.  Recent changes include:

·         We have reduced the number of proposed units from 45 to 36 single-family town homes to add more green space to the neighborhood.
·         We have modified the setbacks for the townhomes. The Westmoreland setback was 20 feet and is now approximately 34 feet to the property line and 47 feet to the curb.  The Jackson setback was 10-12 feet and is now approximately 11 feet to the property line and 21 feet to the curb.  The Maryland setback was 17 feet and is now approximately 23 feet to the property line and 31 feet to the curb. These setbacks have been designed to better blend into the current look and feel of the neighborhood.
·         Access to the development is now limited to Jackson and Maryland Ave. The Westmoreland entrance has been removed. As with the original design, each building will provide secure, underground, out-of-sight parking for two vehicles per unit and no home has an individual driveway. We have created a high-hedge along Westmoreland within a landscape setting.
·         As residents of this community ourselves, we know there is a lot of affection for the Maryland School and the memories created there over the years.  We plan to honor those memories by retaining and integrating special architectural features of the school, such as the school’s entrance frieze and urns into the design of the neighborhood.  More information will be forthcoming as plans are solidified.

Unlike other development proposals, the Maryland School Town Homes does not seek tax breaks from the City of Clayton. The development also has many added benefits to the Clayton Community. The Maryland School Town Home community will:

·         add new neighbors who will bring new energy, support and revenue to Clayton restaurants, shops, services and businesses that will help drive our local economy.
·         result in millions of dollars to the Clayton School District that will add more life into the Districts 2003 tax levy, further delaying the need to return to voters for a tax increase.
·         generate nearly $400,000 in annual tax revenues for the Clayton schools and Clayton city services, which will help the school district and city retain their hard-fought AAA bond ratings.
·         bring $17-$20 million in construction spending into our local economy.
·         provide the needed incentive for improvement of the retail area on Forsyth.

We are currently reviewing the feedback received from the ARB and preparing information for the next step in the development process.  For updated photos of the plans, visit www.marylandschooltownhomes.com.

Again, we appreciate your openness, and if you have any questions please feel free to give me a call. 

Bruce Korn
314-575-5898
Maryland School Town Homes

October 20, 2014

Maryland School property is on agenda for Architectural Review Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. today

Shared from Jennifer Taussig.....

Dear Neighbors and Friends, 

A friendly reminder that the Architectural Review Board is meeting at 5:30 p.m. today (Monday, October 20) on the 2nd floor of City Hall to discuss the proposal for multi-family units on the Maryland School property among several other items.  This item is third on the agenda but we are not sure of the exact time. 

We need everyone's help to stop this potential arbitrary rezoning proposal that -- if approved -- will allow multi-family dwellings in an area surrounded on all four sides by single-family residences.  

We hope to see you tonight. 

Best regards,
Jennifer Taussig, "Protect Clayton Neighborhoods"

September 19, 2014

Acknowledgement of attendance prize sponsors

The Old Town Clayton Neighborhood Association is grateful for the generous support of our Annual Meeting with residents and city officials by the following sponsors. Thank you for making this event so successful!  Residents are encouraged to patronize them in return.

2014 Annual Meeting Sponsors
 











September 13, 2014

SAVE THE DATE! September 17th - Annual Old Town Clayton Neighborhood Meeting

*CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER

Statement to the BOA/BOE Joint Meeting 9/9/14 on behalf of “Protect Clayton Neighborhoods” citizens group

The following post represents a public statement made by Steven Rosenblum, Old Town resident, who has requested that it be shared  with the Old Town Clayton community:

"I want to commend the board of Aldermen and the Board of Education for this joint meeting. It is wonderful to see the bonds between these two important political boards being strengthened. First, I want to offer genuine thanks for use of the community garden which continues to be an incredibly successful effort and one that many residents would like to see become permanent.
As most of you know, the Maryland School remains a very popular green space—on any given day you will find some of the following activities going on: fitness boot camps, gardening, basketball, bike riding, dogs and owners enjoying the open space and kids playing on what is left of the play structures. This constant use underscores the need for such an area in this part of the City We have recently heard and will hear more tonight about numerous new multifamily housing projects that are proposed or ready to be proposed within the city of Clayton. My informal calculations total approximately 950 units that will be before the city in the coming months. Within a block of the Maryland School there are plans afoot for more than 500 units all of which are zoned for such use.
For many years, concerned citizens from throughout Clayton have expressed their hope that the City will follow its land use plans, Clayton Century Foundation priorities, and C the Future goals, Parks and Recreation recommendations and zoning ordinances to keep this area green. Unwanted, unlawful, and unneeded construction on this property would be a terrible precedent to set and would result in much unrest throughout the community.
We all need to work together to create great things and the opportunity to do this has never been more pressing than now. We urge both boards to work together to ensure that an equitable solution for this space be put in place and that it be done in a timely and open manner.
Thanks for your time and I hope that we can see some positive results for all involved soon." - Steven Rosenblum

August 3, 2014

26 Reasons St. Louis Is America's Hidden Gem

26 Reasons St. Louis Is America's Hidden Gem - Article from Huffington Post about St. Louis and the "other downtown" - Clayton! A must-read!



July 2, 2014

Public Forums Notice - Wednesday, July 23

Time:  Noon and at 6 p.m.
Location: Clayton City Hall (second floor Council Chambers),  10 N. Bemiston 

Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger and the Board of Aldermen cordially invite/encourage you to attend public forums to discuss the City of Clayton’s FY2015 Operating and Capital Improvements Budget. Although you may attend both, the noon forum is meant for the corporate community and the forum at 6 p.m. for residents.

May 15, 2014

Free Clayton History Lecture this evening

Join us at the free Clayton History Lecture this evening!

http://claytonhistorysociety.org/pdfs/05152014_history_lecture.pdf



























May 2, 2014

Information shared from citizens group, Protect Clayton Neighborhoods (PCN)

Any residents interested in finding out more should contact Paul Taghert, Treasurer of PCN at taghertp@pcg.wustl.edu or Laura Bryant at 202 N Brentwood Blvd Apt 1B Saint Louis, MO 63105-3903 or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/KeepClaytonGreen/ or http://keepclaytongreen.webs.com/ 



Press Release from Citizen’s group, ” Protect Clayton Neighborhoods” 
For Immediate Release 

Clayton, MO, January 30, 2014—A group of concerned citizens has established a grassroots coalition, “Protect Clayton Neighborhoods” (PCN) in response to threats of property rezoning and higher density development in their community’s single-family neighborhoods. 

PCN supports healthy development of commercial and residential properties in Clayton, but strongly opposes the inappropriate or arbitrary rezoning of residential neighborhoods. For example, the Clayton School District (the District) has just announced that it intends to sell the Maryland School property to the highest bidder, a developer that proposes to rezone the entire parcel and build 48 condominiums surrounded by single-family homes. 

In fact, the proposed development by Love Investment Company would require rezoning to a 400 percent increase in density. Furthermore, the City of Clayton’s current Land Use Plan recognizes the parcel as green space and anticipates it to be used as "Public or Quasi-Public" green space for the long term. 

The City of Clayton’s Master Plan, zoning ordinances, and land use plans have all been carefully researched and adopted over time to ensure proper and fair land-use decision-making -- and to prevent inappropriate and/or arbitrary proposals like this one. Unfortunately, the Clayton School District has placed the City of Clayton in a position whereby it must spend time, money and effort to review an unacceptable proposal that is not in accordance with the City's land-use plan, the neighbors' wishes or the community's well-documented needs.

In an attempt to validate its actions, the Clayton School District has stated that “Love’s proposal was selected because it provides both the highest and best use for the property as well as a long-term revenue stream of additional property taxes." It is not clear why the School District is touting a revenue-stream argument, since the City of Clayton never allows "economic concerns" to justify even small property variances, much less residential rezoning. 

As a result, members of the PCN coalition are publicly and adamantly opposing any such effort to arbitrarily alter or revise current zoning and land-use plans.

April 30, 2014

Letter from Maryland School Town Home Developers

Susan Ryan, on behalf of the Maryland School Town Home Developers, requested the opportunity to share the following open letter with the neighborhood to help keep us informed.

April 25, 2014
Dear Neighbors:
 

Recently, several Hanley Place neighbors met with the Maryland School Town Home development team of Clayton resident Larry Schiffer, architect Gyo Obata and me so we could debut information about the new neighborhood proposed for the Clayton area.
 

If you haven’t already visited the Maryland School Town Homes website at www.marylandschooltownhomes.com, we encourage you to do so. Members of our team will be available in the coming months to talk with folks about the Maryland School Town Homes and its progress. It is our goal to provide the community with valuable information as we work through the zoning process that we are required to follow by City of Clayton. This process includes several opportunities for public hearings and community feedback, in addition to the meeting we held in late March.
 

We are encouraged by the strong interest in these new homes, and we have received both support and constructive feedback from Clayton residents and those who wish to live in this beautiful community.
 

A neighbor recently emailed us some questions, and we wanted to share following information in response.
We believe these homes will be most attractive to empty nesters and professionals, although they will certainly be welcoming to families.
 

We have been working with a few members of the City of Clayton staff to ensure we are properly moving through the established city process. No assurances have been given to us by any staff member or elected official regarding the future of this project. As residents and fans of the Clayton community, we believe this project would be good for the city, for the people who desire to live in Clayton, and for future property values in the area.
 

The City of Clayton requires developers to conduct a traffic study. Once that study is completed, it will be available to the public through the city. Parking for residents will be underground, which will free up parking for guests and workmen. Any additional guests and workmen will have access to the streets just as current neighbors do when guests and workmen visit. While we are pleased to have the support of many former elected and city officials, none of them is working on behalf of the development team.
 

The average roof height of the Maryland School Town Homes is 32 feet, which is consistent with many of the homes in the neighborhood. The Westmoreland setback is 20 feet; the Jackson setback is 10-12 feet; and the Maryland setback is 17 feet and 10 feet. These setbacks have been designed to blend into the current look and feel of the neighborhood.
 

New drawings of the development including driveway, garage, trash and utilities will be available on the website when they are completed. The City of Clayton requires developers to conduct an environmental impact study, tree replacement plan and storm water study as part of the established process. Once those are completed, they will be available through the city.
 

We understand that landscaping is important to the charm of the neighborhood. The trees that are on city or city-maintained property can only be removed with city approval. Trees on the property dedicated for the development will be removed only as needed. Landscaping will be designed to blend into the established trees and plantings of the current neighborhood. All of the landscaping requires the approval of the City of Clayton. We will keep the community informed of our plans as we move through the City of Clayton approval process.
 

For more information, please visit the website or email us with your questions.
 

Regards,
Bruce Korn
Co-Developer Bruce Korn and the Maryland School Town Homes, LLC Team
www.marylandschooltownhomes.com
info@marylandschooltownhomes.com


If you have questions, please contact Susan C. Ryan of SC Ryan Consulting, LLC at 314-304-6800 (phone) or 314-983-0998 (fax) or susan.c.ryan@att.net (email)

April 24, 2014

Join Nextdoor Old Town Clayton to keep in touch


*  CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW ENLARGEMENT

April 4, 2014

Mayor Sanger Issues Statement on Postcards about Ballot Proposals

April 2, 2014


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mayor Sanger Issues Statement on Postcards about April 8 Ballot Proposals

CLAYTON, MO (April 2, 2014) – Over the past week, Clayton residents have received mailers from a St. Charles based organization about the April 8 ballot proposals. “The Board of Aldermen and I are sorely disappointed that someone has resorted to sending misleading information to Clayton residents and know you may have questions about inaccurate “vote-no” postcards you may have gotten in the mail. They have a St. Charles return address, and the treasurer is listed as Brad Harmon. Not only is Mr. Harmon not a Clayton resident, he has never contacted anyone within our city government to check any facts,” says Mayor Harold Sanger. 

“Our canvassing, community outreach and day-to-day interactions with our neighbors throughout the city indicate that Clayton residents know how important these proposals are to the future of our community,” says Sanger.

“While some of our citizens may disagree with one or more the ballot proposals and choose to vote no, we respect differences of opinion among all members of our own community, regardless of current or future decisions as we move forward together to keep Clayton strong,” says Sanger.

“Clayton is a community that places a high value on transparency and the honest and open discussion of issues. The Board of Aldermen and I are unanimous in our view that, there is no place in our democracy for secrecy and anonymity – or misinformation - in referendum campaigns. We think you deserve to know the facts about the proposals on the Tuesday, April 8 ballot,” says Sanger.

Six percent.  This is the increase if both ¼-cent sales tax increases are approved. “This small increase will help us maintain our current level of fire and EMS services and allow us to remain competitive in recruiting and retaining businesses. With the increases, Clayton’s sales tax rate will still be lower than many of our neighboring communities,” says Sanger.  The increase will be the city’s first sales tax increase in 16 years. 

The Math:
Current Rate: 8.36%
Add .50
New Rate: 8.86%
.50/8.36= 6% increase

Three-percent.  This is the proposed increase in property taxes from both bond issues.  One will support improvements to more than half of our city’s neighborhood streets and street lighting. The other will replace Shaw Park’s deteriorating 53-year-old ice rink and building with a new, year-round, open-air, multi-purpose, recreational and cultural venue. Together, these proposals will result in a 3 percent increase in the property tax rate. The average homeowner will pay less than $20 a month in additional property taxes, based on average $500,000 home.

The Math (for a $500,000 home)
Current property tax investment, $7,273
Additional $219 (for both proposals) = $7,492
$219/$7,273 = 3% increase

Clayton receives only around 2.25% of the total city tax rate of 8.36%, and around 11% of a resident’s total property tax bill because sales taxes and property taxes are shared with other entities such as the State, Special School District, Metropolitan Zoo Museum District and the Metropolitan Sewer District.

“I encourage you to visit www.ClaytonForward.com to learn more about these important proposals.  Take a few moments to become fully informed and vote in a way that you believe will best protect our property values and keep the quality of our community. I am available to personally answer any questions anyone may have. I can be reached 314-290-8470,” says Sanger.

###

This content is intended only to inform residents about the issues to be presented on Election Day and to encourage everyone to fully inform themselves and participate in the election process. While I [we] feel strongly that each of the ballot issues has merit, this content is not intended to advocate how anyone should vote or to support any outcome of the election. I [We] have confidence that Clayton residents can make informed judgments without campaign advocacy.

March 24, 2014

TONIGHT: Public Invitation to Community Open House Regarding April 8th Ballot Proposals

Monday, March 24th
6 to 8 p.m. – Shaw Park Ice Rink Building
217 S. Brentwood Blvd.

* Parking is available on the street and also at Clayton On The Park’s parking lot, located at 8025 Bonhomme Avenue, Clayton, MO  63105

The Need – Aging infrastructure and park facilities, maintaining current service levels and remaining competitive in attracting and retaining businesses have all become a challenge.

The Plan – Years of planning that involved residents, business leaders, and city officials led the to the creation of strategic plans for growth and development, and reduced expenditures by more than $1 million a year.

The Proposed Solution – Four proposals on the April 8 ballot would provide funding to allow the city to update neighborhood streets and aging Shaw Park facilities, and maintain emergency service levels and economic development programs.

March 8, 2014

Video Presentation by City Manager, Craig Owens - 'Proposals To Sustain The Quality Of Our City"








Informational presentation was given at Shaw Park's ice rink building on March 5th, 2014.

March 3, 2014

News Release: Residents Come Together To Form Yes4Clayton Committee

Contact: Robyn Frankel 314-863-3373, rfrankel@frankelpr.com
OR  Ira Berkowitz 314-547-0014, imberk@inlink.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RESIDENTS COME TOGETHER TO FORM YES4CLAYTON COMMITTEE TO CONTINUE QUALITY OF LIFE IN CLAYTON

March 3, 2014, Clayton, MO – To encourage voters in Clayton to approve four propositions on issues that are critically important to the future of the city, Clayton citizens formed the Yes4Clayton committee. This group of more than 15 community volunteers are working to gain passage of the four proposals on the Tuesday, April 8, 2014 ballot.

“These proposals will provide the funding to maintain the quality of life Clayton residents have come to expect,” said Yes4Clayton committee co-chair Ira Berkowitz.

The two bond issues would provide funding to re-do many of Clayton’s aging neighborhood streets, alleys and street lighting and replace and renovate the antiquated 53-year old Shaw Park ice rink facilities with a year-round, multi-use venue. In addition to a new high school regulation size ice rink that would extend the season from three months to four, the facility would be converted to a turf surface for cultural events, field sports and other activities the rest of the year. The outdoor space also would feature a translucent, open-air, pavilion to provide protection from rain and snow, and a new field house to support the tennis courts, ice rink and field sports.

“Our family has lived in Clayton for 23 years. Outdoor skating at Shaw Park has been one of the special charms of living in Clayton. The current facility is out-of-date and deteriorating. I support the proposed beautifully-designed, open-air new facility, which maintains the best features of the current structure, yet brings many new advantages including year-round opportunities for our community," said Dr. Stacey L. Smith, a Clayton resident who is a former ice dancing champion and Olympian.

The investment for the owner of a $500,000 home would be less than $20 a month, or $219 a year if both bond issues are approved.

If approved by voters, two ¼ cent sales taxes would help the City maintain current fire and EMS levels and continue economic development programs to retain and recruit businesses, keep Clayton competitive and sustain the City’s vitality. The additional ½ cent sales tax would mean a 25-cent increase on a $50 dinner bill.
These four proposals are the result of years of comprehensive planning that involved residents, business leaders and City officials. The City has reduced expenditures by more than $1 million a year and reduced staffing levels by ten positions, but limited revenue growth and rising expenditures continue to present a challenge to maintaining City service levels. The last bond issue for streets was more than 20 years ago, and the last sales tax increase was 16 years ago.

The Yes 4 Clayton committee is co-chaired by Ira Berkowitz and Robyn Frankel. More information about Yes4Clayton and volunteer opportunities is available at www.Yes4Clayton.com.

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