KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) — A move Thursday night by the Kirkwood City Council has those living near a proposed development concerned.

The city council changed the wording for the redevelopment request that would allow the developer to ask to use condemnation to obtain properties in the commercial development area southeast of Kirkwood Road and Manchester. The council specified that it would not grant eminent domain.

Previously, the council said that residents’ properties could not be torn down as part of the project. At least four of those homes are in the North Taylor Historic District.

“We went from a very simple statement excluding residential homes and excluding condemnation to a very complicated statement,” resident Ellen Edman said.

She is among those who would have rather not seen the developers get that wiggle room.

Residents have been suspicious since seeing photographers and developers walking around their neighborhood last month.

Kirkwood officials said an independent consultant was only speculating where a new shopping center and parking lot might be built.

Kirkwood Mayor Arthur McDonnell said the change made Thursday would actually protect residents, allowing the possibility of eminent domain to only affect commercial properties inside the redevelopment area.

“We’re not going to except any proposals that come in that include any of the residential property,” he said.

McDonnell added that residents will be able to see the proposals when they come in.

Two council members voted against the change.


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