What creates a community? A town, some nation and now a square

March 21, 2016 - accent chair

TOWN AND COUNTRY • As one of Missouri’s many abundant communities, it’s not startling that a pint of epicurean vanilla ice cream fetches as most as $10.99 during a store. Or that $300,000 plantation homes are customarily bought and ripped down to make $2 million mansions in their place.

It’s all about a land.

Town and Country’s temperament comes from a residential zoning. This is a home of a one-acre lot. Unless we wish horses; afterwards you’ll need during slightest 5 acres.


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What creates a community? Town and Country skeleton new square


Buddy, one of a Equine-Assisted Therapy horses housed during a Longview Farm Park barn, grazes as walkers use in a renouned park in Town and Country on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2016. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com


Robert Cohen

Despite being nearby one of a busiest intersections in St. Louis County — Interstate 270 and Highway 40 (Interstate 64) — a municipality does a good pursuit of gripping a nation in Town and Country.

The disdainful encampment of scarcely 11,000 likes white picket fences, and residents tend to get adult in arms about how to best hoop a colourful deer population. Some recently railed opposite Westminster Christian Academy’s offer to build lights for Friday night football — even residents who don’t live tighten to a campus.

Initially shaped as a encampment in 1950, it attracts people for a space, nature, vicinity to hospitals and some of a best private schools income can buy.

Now, 66 years later, a new devise hurdles a aged approach of life while maybe reinforcing it, too.

An Italian-style piazza is on lane to be built on a grassy widespread of new 9 acres pound in a heart of a city during Mason and Clayton roads.

The devise would aside a Mason Village Shopping Center, anchored by a Straub’s grocery store and including shops such as Lewis Co. Salon, where Carole Buck and a elders of famed Ted Drewes solidified custard get their hair done. In a sense, a support mall has served as a surrogate for Main Street in a city that lacks one.


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What creates a community? Town and Country skeleton new square


A mural of Lewis Co. Salon patron Carole Lintzenich Buck from her days behaving and singing on Broadway, hangs in a salon in a Mason Woods Village selling core in Town and Country on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2016. The salon, portion business for some-more than 30 years, is filled with portraits of film stars and a customers. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com


Robert Cohen


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What creates a community? Town and Country skeleton new square


Lewis Good, owners of a Lewis Co. Salon in a Mason Woods Village of Town and Country, jokes with Betsy Lilgendahl of Chesterfield as he finishes her haircut on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2016. “They call me a mayor of a selling center,” pronounced Good, who has owned a salon for some-more than 30 years. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com


Robert Cohen


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What creates a community? Town and Country skeleton new square


Hairstylist Gail Worley finishes her work on Barbara Tackitt of Fenton during a Lewis Co. Salon in a Mason Woods Village selling core in Town and Country on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2016. The salon, portion business for some-more than 30 years, is filled with portraits of film stars and a customers. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com


Robert Cohen

The city snapped adult a land for a new “passive park” devise in 2014, after a encampment sexually fought off a due 150-unit oppulance comparison critical core on a site.

“We consider of it some-more as a entertainment spot,” pronounced Skip Mange, an alderman who is co-chair of a Town Square Task Force. “We are perplexing to build a clarity of community.”

In a sense, it’s as if a city is seeking to build a mark that finds a essence of a place, a judgment that resonates with many residents, according to interviews and feedback about a devise logged during City Hall.

“Unfortunately, we consider a temperament is trustworthy to a socioeconomic accomplishments, and we hatred that,” pronounced Andy Way, 40, a tiny businessman creatively from Georgia. “It would be good to emanate a space to share things, to have picnics, jazz concerts, that are a possess and we are obliged for.”

Some contend they crave for infrequent dining and outside options that they can travel to with their families. The devise would bond to a stream route that spans a city along Clayton Road.

Town and Country is one of 90 municipalities in St. Louis County. Places such as Ferguson, Webster Groves, Kirkwood and Clayton are among a few that have active downtowns that grew adult around categorical streets in a normal way. More typically, suburban cities are a patchwork of housing developments, support malls, schools and parks.

But other municipalities also have town-square character projects in a works.

Wildwood, that was determined in 1995 and has a incomparable geographic footprint than St. Louis, has an 800-acre “Town Center” in several phases of development. It includes a brew of high-density sell and residential areas. Its “new urbanism” facilities are identical to New Town in St. Charles, solely it wasn’t built all during once in a cornfield.

Chesterfield authorized unpractical drawings and zoning in 2008 for a 100-acre “downtown” devise opposite from a strange mall. No growth has taken place.

The trend to emanate centralized assembly places isn’t startling for St. Louis County Planning Director Glenn Powers.

“There is some enterprise to have some stretch relief,” he said. “What we have built over a past 50 years are lots of single-family homes as distant as a eye can see.”


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Town and Country homes


Homes on Blossom Hill Lane in Town and Country as seen on Thursday, Mar 17, 2016. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

New England-style city squares were good for removing things finished in one place and trip, all from a new set of horseshoes to a amicable event during a pub. Cars and highways altered that. Stores, homes and entertainment places could be distant by miles.

“In a altogether spectrum,” Powers said, “malls killed downtown, vast box sell killed malls, now maybe a seductiveness in city centers by suburban municipalities that are means is a pointer that we are cycling behind to downtowns.”

‘Time to make progress’

In a critical devise created about 20 years ago, Town and Country identified a miss of a city core as a weakness. Leaders shaped a charge force. But they lacked momentum.

“It’s about time to make progress,” pronounced City Planner Melanie Rippetoe.

In a same mark as a due city square, residents in 2013 bloody a offer by Allegro Senior Living to build a 150-unit oppulance retirement home that would have shot adult 3 and 4 stories.

“The adults have their hypothetical pitchforks out,” proprietor Bernard Zyk pronounced then.

The Town and Country Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted opposite a project. After Allegro withdrew a plan, a city immediately bought a land for $2.25 million and a Town Square Task Force kicked it in gear.

The latest judgment includes a few restaurants, paths and a vast pond. Previous skeleton for a lonesome theatre and stadium have been scrapped. It’s misleading if a farmers marketplace or food trucks will be welcome. But it’s transparent a residents don’t wish a support mall, swimming pool or celebration atmosphere.

Nor did residents like a thought of relocating City Hall there.


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Town and Country city square


Renderings of a city block judgment due for Town and Country, to be assembled nearby a intersection of Mason and Clayton roads.

Mange, a alderman who is on a charge force, says he hopes skeleton are finish by year’s end. He estimates a devise cost during $3 million, not including growth of a integrate of restaurants.

Town and Country, that has no metropolitan skill tax, is sitting on $13 million in reserves.

“Instead of a income earning 0.5 percent interest, we are investing it in a infrastructure,” Mange said.

The devise is a oppulance some St. Louis County municipalities can’t afford. Elsewhere, growth is indispensable to beget taxation income to account services.

“Poor municipalities are scrambling instead to move in a subsequent Walmart or Home Depot as a final bit strategy,” pronounced Colin Gordon, author of a book “Mapping Decline: St. Louis and a Fate of a American City.”

But Town and Country is already sitting flattering when it comes to sell sales taxation revenue. While vast residential properties rally in a center of a town, it has vast box sell along a city’s edges on Manchester Road and Highway 141.

Gordon pronounced a park would substantially be good for Town and Country. But in a broader context, it’s an painting of how abundant communities use internal zoning — such as exclusions opposite multifamily developments — to strengthen a sold lifestyle.


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Proposed Town Square site in Town and Country


The dull margin during a bottom of this frame, located on Clayton Road usually easterly of Mason Road in Town and Country, is a area where a city block is planned, as seen on Thursday, Mar 17, 2016. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Gordon says that’s a healthy impulse. He pronounced a region’s story was abundant with examples of municipalities that had insulated themselves in that manner. But he pronounced it had resulted in a conditions that continues to make “rich municipalities richer and bad municipalities poorer.”

‘It’s about us’

The city block isn’t a usually devise in Town and Country that seeks to emanate immature space and encampment venues.

A far-reaching paved walking trail along Clayton Road was finished in 2014 with sovereign impulse funds. Longview Farm Park was opened, with wooded paths and horses for children with disabilities. A encampment building there has lots of healthy light, an ideal place for yoga and lectures.


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What creates a community? Town and Country skeleton new square


Kathy Wolff of Chesterfield relaxes during a finish of yoga use taught by instructor Sara Clem during Longview Farm Park on Thursday, Mar 10, 2016. A residence and adjoining assembly room hosts art exhibits and shows, including paintings of birds by Jeff Kapfer. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com


photos by Robert Cohen • rcohen@post-dispatch

Rabia Rafiq, of Accent Chiropractic, pronounced she was tender with a turn of impasse here.

“I am in a cover of commerce to network, though there are people in it that don’t have businesses,” she said. “They are in it since they adore Town and Country. People are unapproachable of this city and they are invested to keep it a good place to live.”

Even a chamber’s president, Mike Schmerold, isn’t a business owner; he is principal during Mason Ridge Elementary School, a usually open propagandize in Town and Country.

He doesn’t live in town. Nor do many who work there, though can’t means to be residents, including all 30 of a officers in a military department. But Schmerold sees a propagandize as a critical integrate to bringing a encampment together.

He likes to see Mason Ridge students go to events during other places around town, such as one of a retirement homes or during a Principia, a shaggy private propagandize for Christian Scientists.

He sees a city block as important.

“We can offer any other assistance if we give a event to get to know one another,” he said. “In my opinion, it’s not about me. It’s about us.”

19 Belle Maison Lane