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Clayton rejects citizen petition for public vote on Centene expansion

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) - A citizen-led petition effort to force public votes on large development projects in Clayton, like the massive Centene expansion, failed before city leaders.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Centene is planning a huge expansion of its campus in this area. City leaders have already approved the project but many have expressed concerns about the plans.

The petition was signed by 450 Clayton voters who are concerned about the scope and scale of large projects planned for the Clayton area including the plans for Centene.

The petition would have required public votes before permits were issued for buildings more than 200 feet or 10 stories high or 200,000 square-feet of space.

Centene is planning a $772 million complex, which includes office towers, parking garage, retail space apartments, and a theater.

Clayton city officials say the petition is unconstitutional, violates the Clayton charter, and is totally unworkable. City leaders add the effort was too broadly worded and would mean public votes on routine building permits. It would also affect 40 existing buildings.

The Post reports that at this point it's unclear whether the group behind the petition might challenge the city's ruling in court.