(no subject)

Hello Neighbors!

This is my last post to this blog, a fun little vehicle for the last 2+ years to get out the information needed regarding the development on Andy Busch's land. A few other posts were tucked in here and there, but since the development issue has been resolved, it's time to put this baby to bed.

Linda Blackburn of Forest Haven has built a website for Grantwood Village, replete with emails and a discussion forum! You can visit this site here http://www.grantwoodvillage.info/! Hopefully this can be a neutral both-sides-of-the-fence place to discuss relevant issues happening within our neighborhood.

Feel free to email Linda Blackburn and send her updates or information!

Thanks for the fun!!

Elise Vandover

(no subject)

Subject: Important ELECTION Tuesday, April 8
Attention GRANTWOOD VILLAGE Residents:

By now you should have received flyers about TWO WRITE-IN CANDIDATES for the Grantwood Village Board of Directors.

During the past few years our Village Board has become increasingly deaf to the wishes of its citizens. Our board consistently IGNORES citizen input and does whatever it wants to. Our citizens have been berated, yelled at and consistently IGNORED during meetings where their input was sought only AFTER a decision had been made.

ON TUESDAY, APRIL 9
you have an opportunity to change the nature of this board by

VOTING for BILL HYPES and NANCY HUMES
two civic minded residents who have filed as
WRITE-IN CANDIDATES

Our Village was once considered among the top 10 municipalities in St. Louis County, along with Ladue, Clayton and Frontenac. For some unknown reason our board seems intent on turning it into a mediocre, unattractive town that just goes along with whatever comes its way.

A few of the concerns of Grantwood Village residents are:

* The cell phone tower contract which was shoved down our throats with the threat of a never before mentioned need for a tax increase despite soaring real estate tax gains
* Unacceptable snow removal which blocks driveways and destroys streets and parkway vegetation
* A trash pick-up contract that eliminated rear pickup and twice weekly service, and instead, places 374 ugly green containers on our streets every Monday.
* Lack of any attempt to offer curbside leaf removal despite expressed interest by citizens who live in this FOREST.
* Excessive expenditures on grounds maintenance, which has resulted in the death of several old trees
* A less than OPEN bid process for Village services
* And, a general LACK of COMMUNICATION with CITIZENS. This blog is fairly well hidden but a few of us have found it. It is NOT enough. Websites are FREE and so is E-Mail. What is the hold-up? Then, too. It costs nothing to actually TALK to your neighbors.

Please VOTE only FOR these TWO write-in candidates

BILL HYPES and NANCY HUMES

It's EASY. When you open your electronic ballot on Tuesday you will be given three choices.

____ Donald Dempsey
____ Kathy Forand
____ Write-in

IGNORE Kathy and Don, who have ignored us, and CHOOSE " WRITE-IN" You will then see a keyboard. Simply type in

B-I-L-L H-Y-P-E-S

You will be asked to "ACCEPT" Do that and then type in

N-A-N-C-Y H-U-M-E-S

and Accept that.

If you are intimidated by the electronic voting process, ASK FOR A PAPER BALLOT. Their names should be on it.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just changed the future of your home and community. Along with Mr. Boone, who seems to be the only reasonable member of the board, they can make a big difference.

THIS IS IMPORTANT! Please VOTE only FOR these TWO write-in candidates - BILL HYPES and NANCY HUMES.

Thank You,

Linda Blackburn
8801 Julia Dent Drive
Resident since 1953


Village Cell Tower Letter posted by Paul Faust

Town of Grantwood Village Village

One Missionary Ridge
Grantwood Village
, MO 63123-2044

Phone: 314-842-4409 Fax: 31A-8A2-8837

March 24, 2008

Dear Villagers,

After six months of discussion, public input, and research, the decision to enter into a contract with U.S. Cellular was finalized at the March Board of Trustees meeting. As your Board, we are committed to acting in the best interest of our residents and our Village. The planned rev­enue from this tower, located on Village Hall property, will ensure that the Village will be able to maintain its current level of services, without requesting a vote to increase residents' property taxes in the foreseeable future.

We understand this issue is contentious. And, in recognizing the concerns of some residents, the Board negotiated the following changes with U.S. Cellular since the February Board meeting:

·    The Tower has been moved 50 feet to the Southeast and will now be at the edge of the Village Hall parking lot, between The Village Hall and Sam's Steakhouse. Never was the Tower to be placed on any Resident's property. This incorrect information was later addressed and determined to indeed be misinformation.

·    The monthly fee to be paid by U.S. Cellular was increased from $1500 to $1800. Should U.S. Cellular, as owners of the Tower, decide to abandon this location, regard­less if other companies are also using it, they must take the Tower down and remove it completely at their own expense.

·    To adhere to Village code and in effort to make this project aesthetically pleasing, there will now be a brick structure rather than merely a privacy fence encompassing the equipment boxes located in front of the Tower. Additionally, the site will be pro­fessionally landscaped to reflect the surrounding green space of our Village.

Issues regarding the safety of Cell Phone Towers were also addressed. Upon extensive research, the Board found no apparent health risks associated with cell phone towers. The Trustees learned, for example, that the use of a cell phone actually exposes the body to stronger radiofrequency waves than the tower itself. Furthermore, the closer a cell phone user is to a tower, the weaker the radiofrequency waves emitted from the phone, thereby minimizing that same impact. We recommend visiting the American Cancer Society's website, www.cancer.org, for more information.

As a Board, we were concerned that if U.S. Cellular was unable to locate a tower in the imme­diate area, that other locations could be considered for this tower, which would either subject the Village to protracted litigation or place a tower nearby without providing any revenue for the Village. When examining our boundaries, we felt that of all potential sites adjacent to or within the Village limits, that the Village Hall property would be the least intrusive, overall, to the 345 homes in the Village. We also thought that it was fiscally irresponsible to pass on this

 



(Villagers, page 2)

 

opportunity if the Tower might potentially be located in a nearby commercial zone or just out­side Village boundaries, yet still visible to residents. While researching the legalities of this proposal, we learned that under Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, communi­ties reserve the rights over general placement and other modifications of the towers. However, we cannot set zoning limitations nor ban them completely. The prospects of a federal lawsuit would be practically and fiscally unreasonable for the Village at this time.

We appreciate the residents who voiced their opinions and concerns over the past three months. Many of you attended the meetings, individually spoke to trustees, and responded to our survey. Some residents chose to distribute flyers that attempted to undermine the efforts of this Board and other residents who were attempting to engage in factual debate of the issues. This was not an easy decision. Grantwood Village prides itself on being a strong, unified community, joined by its love of our neighborhood's history, green space, and camaraderie. It is our hope that the residents recognize the efforts of this Board to protect the fiscal future of your Village for anoth­er seventy years!

 

Sincerely,

 

Grantwood Village Board of Trustees



Robert A. Prebil Chairman

 

Village Board Meeting March 18

Folks,

It has been several days now and I must share my disappointment with the Trustees.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Trustees announced that at a Special (secret) meeting on February 28(??) the Cell Tower had been approved.  They then proceeded to authorize the Chairman to contract and after all their actions they then heard comments from the 25 or so residents in attendance.  All the comments were meaningless since since the Trustees had voted at a Special (secret), albeit legally, for the tower.

Trustee Don Dempsey  asked  why  folks didn't come to meetings more often?  I can answer that.  We don't come more often because you conduct you business in Special (secret) meetings. The newsletter or this blog had nothing from the Trustees about  the cell tower or a Special meeting. 
The Trustees seem to be in a rush to climb in bed with the cell tower company for 25 years (the cell tower company can cancel every 5 years after removing the tower and we can not)  WHY?
Have the politics of Pst, Pst  returned?
I felt rather foolish sitting there listening to what HAD been done. 

The very least the Trustees owe us is the facts, open debates-hearings, public comments, Trustee comments followed by a public, scheduled vote of the Trustees, in that order.

I point out to our Trustees they have the right to use this Blog either individually or as the Board.  Why not publish the newsletter here also? 

The light of day makes a democracy work; Special (secret) meetings kill the process.

Paul Faust
7617 Bracken
Grantwood MO 63123

   

Come and share your opinion!!

Please plan on joining your community at the Grantwood Village Town Hall on Tuesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. to share your views and opinions regarding the proposed cellular tower to be erected on the Town Hall's property site.

The trustees will be there to answer your questions regarding the proposed cellular tower. Plan on attending so your opinion can be heard by the board!

Cell Tower Competitive Bids

 

 

The Board of Trustees
Grantwood Village
One Missionary Ridge
Grantwood MO 63123

March 10, 2008

 
Folks,

 

I am shocked and dismayed at the reluctance to take competitive bids on the cell tower issue.

 

You take bids on the street repairs and island maintenance, yet you want to commit the Village to a 25 year contract without a bidding process?    

 

Please don’t insult any of us with the lame “we think it is a good deal for the Village” drivel.  Without competitive bids you do not know.  Without competitive bids your opinion is based on your conjecture, not facts. On the open market the cell tower lease could be worth twice as much as offered or it may be the same.  Without competitive bids no one knows the facts.

 

If you fail to take competitive bids, you are either in league with US Cellular or you are lazy.  The politics of pst pst and backdoor deals win if you fail to take competitive bids.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Paul A. Faust
7617 Bracken Circle
Grantwood MO 63123

Cell Tower

Folks,

I have received pictures of the proposed cell tower.  Here are the facts as best I can relate.

DESCRIPTION:

It is 130 feet tall "Stealth" pole, which appears as a tapered pole with no protruding antenna.
The 10 foot by 12 foot shelter for equipment at the tower base is concealed by a vinyl fence.
From the city hall parking lot the vinyl fence and tall pole are visible.   Perhaps green vinyl would be better.

A fence on the other side would also block  the equipment view from Bob Gray's side.

This is not a typical cell tower with protruding antenna. 
The proposed cell tower is disguised.

It will be designed by professional engineers and meet all codes.  While it will attract lightning and the lightning strike will be conducted to ground and the homes in the area will be LESS likely to be struck by lightning.  Notice the MUCH larger and taller galvanized steel power poles are along the bike path.  You can walk up to these and touch them.  People are not electrocuted by lightning from these poles either, they are grounded.

I would like to point out a personal experience.  I have a vacation home near Pine Island Florida where Charlie struck with full force.
It leveled all buildings; the only thing left were the cell towers. 

These towers are structurally and electrically SAFE.

MY OPINION:

In my opinion the $18 K in income is more than worth the minor change in views.

I do not believe it will impact any adjacent or Village property values.

Also there was talk that the $18K was the same as a $55 per year tax increase on every home.  I hope all realize that is about a 30% increase in taxes we pay the Village and I won't accept a 30% increase in any of my taxes.  The already obscene increases that have been forced on us due to re-assesment , without our vote, is not the way a democracy should operate.

It is a shame that Bob Gray does not have a computer.
I would hope Bob is willing to compromise and help his neighbors reduce our tax burden with this outside source of income.

To the Trustees, I have to say thank you; something I am not prone to do.  This is an outside source of income and it should be considered by the Village. Thanks also for the letter and the post card vote (please send one for each voter next time to promote domestic tranquility).

Next Village meeting Tuesday February 19, 7:30pm.

Thanks to all for participating.  Our Village is as close as we will ever come to a pure democracy.

Paul Faust
Professional Engineer

Cell Tower

Folks,
I'm all for the cell tower.  It will give us 18K per year that we do not have to pay.
Have any seen the flag pole cell tower out Manchester.
It looks great.
Paul Faust

Here is a timely update for all our bloggers!

What follows below should be self-explanatory. Earlier enacted zoning, which allowed for dense residential development, with all its accompanying issues, has been negated by this new legislation. We seem to be at a long-awaited end. Perhaps this will provide you with some final closure regarding the “Villages at Gravois Creek”, and the strong sense of a community job well-done.

We first became aware of a proposed residential development in October, 2005. Here, 28 months later, we come to a resolution of our contest with the county.

JOURNAL OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI

Tuesday February 5, 2008 6:00 P.M.

BILL NO. 27, 2008, INTRODUCED BY COUNCILMAN CAMPISI, ENTITLED:

AN ORDINANCE

AMENDING THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY ZONING ORDINANCE AND DISTRICT MAPS BY

CHANGING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE "NU" NON-URBAN DISTRICT, THE "R-4"

RESIDENCE DISTRICT, THE "FPR-R4" FLOOD PLAIN RESIDENCE DISTRICT, THE

"MXD" MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT AND THE "FPMXD" FLOOD PLAIN MIXED

USE DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT OF CERTAIN LAND AS PROVIDED HEREIN AND

REPEALING ORDINANCE 22,778 (P.C. 56-07 ST. LOUIS CAMPUS. L.L.C.)

MOVED BY COUNCILMAN CAMPISI, SECONDED BY COUNCILMAN WASINGER, FOR FINAL

PASSAGE OF BILL NO. 27, 2008. UPON ROLL CALL, THE VOTE WAS AS FOLLOWS:

YEAS: ERBY, BURKETT, WASINGER, O'MARA, FRASER, CAMPISI, QUINN

NAYS: NONE

ABSENT: NONE

CHAIR BURKETT DECLARED BILL NO. 27, 2008, FINALLY PASSED.

At this time Councilman Campisi expressed his appreciation to everyone who had assisted with this legislation. He wished the developers all the success with their endeavors and extended his willingness to assist them with any future needs in this regard.

Taking the earlier development to task in court provided everyone the time to reconsider, discuss and arrive at a shared agreement on a better course for this property. What we might have had, in light of the current housing implosion, now seems fairly clear. We would have been faced, along Gravois Road, with a cleared and yet undeveloped tract, prone to erosion; not benefiting anyone. What we have instead is the promise of a low-impact development by an environmentally-savvy organization. Erickson's long-term interests are directly tied to the ongoing viability and marketability of this property. We believe it constitutes a win for the whole surrounding area.

Attached is a .pdf document from our legal team, explaining the outcome of the lawsuit. It is difficult to hold a community together in a protracted lawsuit, let alone pay the monthly bills associated with the litigation. Two and a half years of managing to do this is compelling testimony to the strength of community in this area. Our thanks go out to all those who made up this effort: passing out flyers, soliciting signatures on petitions, speaking out in the papers, on radio, and in the county council sessions, holding placards at a protest, and sending in financial support. What a joy to live in such a neighborhood!

Best regards to you all;

Grassroots on Gravois
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