Clayton Board of Aldermen to hear Protect Clayton Neighborhood’s appeal of Centene’s Maryland School redevelopment plans

Clayton’s Board of Aldermen will hear an appeal from a neighborhood group looking to stop Centene Corporation’s redevelopment plans of the Maryland School property Tuesday night.

Centene, the nation’s largest healthcare provider, agreed in July to buy the building from the School District of Clayton with plans to use it to house its employees development program and offer an early childhood center for employees’ children.

A conditional use permit was granted to Centene at the Sept. 12 Board meeting. About two weeks later, a neighborhood group called Protect Clayton Neighborhoods appealed the decision, arguing Centene was not providing greenspace for public use during non-business hours; a condition recommended and agreed upon by the Clayton Plan Commission.

The Board of Aldermen meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Maryland School

According to Board of Aldermen documents, staff is recommending that the appeal be rejected, citing that the neighborhood group cannot prove it is being aggrieved.

Agenda documents for Tuesday’s meeting also state that if the board determines the group has standing, then staff recommends the board uphold its original decision to approve the conditional use permit without the plan commission’s recommendation to require Centene to provide public access to greenspace on their private property.

The neighborhood group, represented by about 25 residences, was on the docket to argue its appeal at the Oct. 24 board meeting, but asked and was granted a motion to delay in order to adequately respond to the legal recommendations by the Board of Aldermen until the next meeting.

The Maryland School building has an appraised value of $1.3 million, according to St. Louis County records. It was last used as a district elementary school in 1980, then was leased to a private school.

Centene is in the midst of a massive, $770 million campus expansion in downtown Clayton. The project will include multiple office towers, parking garages, residential units, a hotel and civic auditorium.

Construction on the project began earlier this year.

The board also is scheduled to discuss a resolution to oppose legislation authorizing a statewide vote regarding or mandating a change in the government structure of St. Louis City and St. Louis County.

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