Creve Coeur council to vote on proposed assisted living facility

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CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI)-- A battle is brewing in Creve Coeur over a proposed assisted care facility on Lindbergh Boulevard.  City officials say it will allow the aging in Creve Coeur to stay there when the time comes, but some neighbors of the site, at 450 North Lindbergh, are finding plenty wrong with the plan.

The facility, called “The Grove at Creve Coeur” will be a high end facility helping, among others, patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Opponents say the location, just steps from busy Lindbergh Boulevard, could be dangerous of residents were to wander off, as sometimes happens at these centers.

“I think we have to be judged by how we treat people who are vulnerable and I don’t think this is a very good use of that facility and I don’t think this facility belongs here for that reason,” Susan Hibbard, a neighbor of the site said.

But city officials say the developer has pointed out improvements in security at such facliiltes, and state officials appear to have no qualms about assisted care along the busy US highway.

“The state of Missouri has not expressed any concerns and they’re ultimately the ones who issue the license for the facility,” Creve Coeur Community Development Director Paul Langdon said.  “So to some degree we have to trust the state of Missouri to do their job as well.”

There is also the issue of space.  Neighbors say no residential facility of this size has ever been placed on fewer than three acres in their city.  The Grove, a two story, 41 thousand square foot site, would sit on a third less space.

“You’re putting fifty-one people on this lot, so you’re essentially putting an entire neighborhood on a lot that’s less than two acres,” another opponent, Jeff Dickler said.

Dickler also accuses the city of changing zoning rules to accommodate the $17 million project.  Langdon tells us there were changes in the code, but they were made prior to “The Grove” putting in its applications.  As for the space, he’s says there’s plenty of room

“I’m comfortable with it.  It meets all the zoning requirements.”

Langdon believes much of the opposition is simply a fear of the unknown.

“That makes people nervous and that’s true for everyone.  And that’s always true when things change.  And really we’re trying to forecast what might occur, which also makes people nervous.  There’s no certainty, just best guess.”

Dickler is skeptical, believing the city is  fast tracking the project to make money.

“I don’t know.  I always say to people, you want to know what moves the world, follow the money.”

Langdon doesn’t deny there is a financial component to all this.  He points out that many retail businesses on the divided stretch of Lindbergh are struggling because you can’t make a left in most places.  He says an assisted care facility wouldn’t be impacted by traffic patterns and could thrive.

Creve Coeur’s city council is expected to vote on the facility in a Monday night meeting that starts at 7:30.