St. Charles Seminary Zoning Hearing concludes; useful documents here

Post date: Jul 18, 2014 3:23:55 AM

The Zoning Board hearings about St. Charles Seminary’s proposed consolidation into its upper campus concluded Thursday night, July 10. The hearing was mostly dedicated to testimony from neighbors and community members. Neighbors described traffic backups at the current entrance – important, because the Seminary has proposed a new, smaller entrance that we think won’t have enough capacity – and directly disputed the Seminary’s testimony that the current entrance has never experienced significant queues. CNCQ President Susan Guthrie provided nearly 70 photographs showing how conditions along E. Wynnewood Road at the proposed South Highland access point would make that entrance unsafe, how cars back up at the existing entrance, how (counter to the Seminary’s testimony) large trucks do make deliveries to the campus, and how the Seminary does not currently follow zoning code along its boundary with Indian Creek. Other neighbors also testified to the difficulties with the proposed South Highland entrance.

The CNCQ photo presentation is attached to this post, below.

CNCQ also submitted proposed conditions of approval for St. Charles Seminary’s application for a special exception. Our proposed conditions support the Seminary’s stated goals to have a healthy and viable educational institution – in fact, we suggest that the Zoning Board allow all the growth in enrollments that the Seminary asked for – while protecting the community by precisely defining what would be allowed under the special exception and precluding changes in the type or scope of use of the property other than what the Seminary sought in the hearings for its educational mission. We also suggested that the Zoning Board require the Seminary to adhere to Township zoning code along its boundary with Indian Creek and to reject the use of the Seminary’s proposed second entrance on E. Wynnewood Road, directly opposite South Highland Ave, on the grounds that it is unsafe.

We have posted our proposed conditions of approval for the special exception, along with an explanation of the reasoning for each of the line items, in the file below.