Cape council OKs Boulevard Local Historic District

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

After a lengthy public hearing lasting more than an hour, the Cape Girardeau City Council approved without dissent the city's first locally designated historic district for an area east of North West End Boulevard.

Familiar arguments that have run throughout the course of the two-year effort to establish the Boulevard Local Historic District were revisited for the council by residents of the area. For those who supported the plan, it means preserving the look and feel of their community near Southeast Missouri State University.

But for the opponents, extra layers of permits to do such things as paint, change the siding or windows or replace a front door represent an attack on personal property rights.

In the end, as council members stated their views, they said they respected the opponents but decided the process, which included a petition signed by more than half the property owners, shouldn't be discarded. For Ward 6 Councilwoman Marcia Ritter, a vote in favor was a vote to support what the neighborhood wants. It also helps the city, she said.

"This takes Cape Girardeau forward," she said.

The Boulevard Historic District is bounded on the west by West End Boulevard, on the south by Broadway and on the east by the university. It includes all property on Park Avenue, Normal Avenue between Henderson Avenue and West End Boulevard, Rockwood Drive, Highland Drive and Hillcrest Drive.

The district needs another council vote, but when finally approved would impose restrictions on building height, appearance and visible alterations to the exterior and landscaping.

It's those restrictions, which require a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission for proposed work, that bothered Linda McLain, 1208 Hillcrest Drive. "Naturally, we think we know best what needs to be preserved and what needs to be updated," she said.

But the organizer of the effort, Mike Sheehan, 510 N. West End Blvd., said the long-term health of the neighborhood as a community of single-family homes is at stake. By adding the additional protections, he said the area will be preserved.

"We want to keep it looking 20 years from now the way it is now, which is pretty much the same as it did 20 years ago," Sheehan said.

In other action, council members were told by city engineer Kelly Green to expect LaSalle Avenue, which will connect the new Interstate 55 exit at mile 102 with Route W, to be open for traffic late this week or early next week.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Cape Girardeau City Council agenda action

City Hall

401 Independence St.

Public hearing

* Held a public hearing regarding the request of a majority of the property owners within the proposed Boulevard Local Historic District to be designated as a Local Historic District and have the "H" historic zoning overlay.

Consent ordinances

* Approved Bill No. 09-141, an ordinance amending the city code regarding the terms of office for the Girardeau Goes Green Advisory Board. All terms will begin July 1, to make the board consistent with other city advisory boards.

* Approved Bill No. 09-144, an ordinance approving the record plat of Jeff Jackson Subdivision. The plat splits one large lot at 815 West Rodney Drive into two lots.

* Approved Bill No. 09-145, an ordinance approving the record plat of Cape West Crossings, Phase II. The plat parcels property at Bloomfield Road and South Mount Auburn Road.

New ordinances

* Approved Bill No. 09-146, an ordinance accepting a general warranty deed from John R. Eck and Patricia A. Eck, for property at the corner of Timon Way and Highway 177. First reading.

* Approved Bill No. 09-147, an ordinance amending the city code by establishing the Boulevard Local Historic District. First reading.

Resolutions

* Approved Bill No. 09-148, a resolution acknowledging receipt of an annexation petition from Norwald Inc. for 49.71 acres along LaSalle Avenue and setting a public hearing regarding the proposed annexation. Reading and passage.

* Approved Bill No. 09-149, a resolution acknowledging receipt of an annexation petition from Meyr Properties LP for 58.3 acres South of LaSalle Avenue and setting a public hearing regarding the proposed annexation. Reading and passage.

Liquor licenses

* Approved a temporary 5 percent beer by-the-drink liquor license for Mary E. Burton-Hitt, d/b/a Southeast Missouri Hospital Foundation, for an event Oct. 22 at the Show Me Center.

* Conditionally approved of a 5 percent beer by-the-drink and Sunday sales liquor license for Richard Davidson, d/b/a Qdoba Mexican Grill LLC, 3019 William St., Suite 101, Richard Davidson, managing officer.

Other business

* Approved Bill No. 09-150, a resolution authorizing application to the Missouri Housing Development Commission for $20,000 in Home Grant Funding for the Bloomfield-Jefferson neighborhood restoration project and $100,000 for three redevelopment areas targeted by the DREAM Initiative and authorizing the city manager to execute all necessary grant documents. The funding, if granted, will pay to rehabilitate six homes.

Pertinent addresses:

401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO.

1208 Hillcrest Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO.

510 N. West End Blvd., Cape Girardeau, MO.

Map of pertinent addresses

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