A long road has led up to the construction of the Schnucks grocery store located on the border of Ballwin, Chesterfield and Clarkson Valley, which is projected to open sometime this summer.
"We're getting a lot of questions with regards to when the store will open," said Schnucks Communications Director Lori Willis, who also is a member of the City of Ballwin's Board of Adjustment. "I don't have an exact date, but I can tell you it's going to be sometime mid summer, in July or August, somewhere around there."
If that timetable is correct, the opening would fall more than 3 years after formal plans for the business were met with controversy around The City of Ballwin, where the business technically resides.
In June of 2009, the Ballwin Board of Aldermen voted against the wishes of the city's planning and zoning commission, and approved Schnucks' request made earlier that year for a zoning change at the proposed site. Representatives of Schnucks described the proposed building as a "boutique-style neighborhood grocery store that is approximately 41,000 square feet," according to court records.
The Ballwin board's decision prompted the lawsuit against Schnuck Markets and the city, as residents of Ballwin and Chesterfield argued against the proposed store by citing property value concerns and traffic-safety issues.
The court , however, arguing that the circuit court could not overrule a zoning change unless it was "clearly arbitrary and unreasonable." This is true even if the court finds that the zoning change is "reasonably doubtful or fairly debatable," Circuit Court Judge John Ross wrote.
Willis said some neighbors near the development in recent weeks have contacted Schnucks about the project, which has inspired others to email Patch characterizing the construction as an eyesore.
"We have continued to keep all nearby neighboring residents informed as much as we can," Willis said. "We have kept the lines of communication open as much as we possibly could during this time frame."
"From our standpoint, everything has come along beautifully," Willis added.