KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – Action on a proposal to let the Magic House make building additions and expand parking was tabled during Thursday night’s Kirkwood City Council meeting.
Members of the Council seemed to take objections from Magic House neighbors to heart.
“Every time the city appeases the Magic House by approving its various types of expansion, it enables the Magic House to continue its existing way of operating,” said Angenette Ave. resident Miriam Joseph.
Time and again during more than an hour of discussion, the topic of a 2000 letter sent by the Magic House to nearby residents promising there would be no more eastern expansion was brought up.
One Council member said while not legally binding, the long-ago pledge should be considered “ethically binding” by Magic House officials.
But Magic House President Beth Fitzgerald told the Council they need to add 40 more parking spaces to increase safety for visitors – which is more than 500,000 annually.
“Crossing busy streets is not an optimal parkling situation for young children,” she suggested. “And crossing an extremely busy intersection of a major thoroughfare like Kirkwood Road is unnerving.”
Joseph, one of several Angenette Ave. residents to speak out against the expansion idea, suggested parking isn’t even the real issue here.
“It’s solely a way to increase the Magic House footprint and activity area and bring more people to the Magic House every year,” she told the Council. “Which is fine, although again 600,000 people in our backyards.”
Saying he would vote against the expansion bill in its current form, Mayor Tim Griffin suggested that the city attorney work on a substitute bill with input from Council members – which will be considered at their March 2 meeting.
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