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Town & Country rejects Tim Hortons after some residents call for 'no fast food'

A rendering of the Maplewood Tim Hortons, which opened in June 2015.
courtesy Show Me Hospitality LLC
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A rendering of the Maplewood Tim Hortons, which opened in June 2015.

(Updated at 10:55 a.m. July 14, 2015 with result of Board of Aldermen vote)

Plans for a Tim Hortons restaurant in Town & Country are uncertain following a rejection by city leaders.

The Board of Aldermen has voted against the request to place one of the donut, bakery and coffee shops in the suburb west of St. Louis.

Officials with Show Me Hospitality, the St. Louis-area franchisee for Tim Hortons, tell St. Louis Public Radio they are not sure about the developers’ plans moving forward.

(Previous story from July 12, 2015 is below)

Last month St. Louis’ first full-service Tim Hortons opened in the inner-ring suburb of Maplewood with a lot of fanfare. Now the Canadian-based chain is getting attention of a different sort for a proposed location in west St. Louis County.

Developers want to put a Reliance Bank branch and a Tim Hortons restaurant on the northeast corner of Ballas and Clayton Rd.

But the idea is facing vocal opposition from some residents of the affluent municipality. Several spoke out against the plan at the last board of aldermen meeting.

Barbara Ann Hughes lives in the area and attended the meeting.

“The way I described it to people when I said the meeting was pretty animated: pitchforks and hoe handles,” Hughes said. “People were not happy.”

The Town & Country Board of Aldermen is likely in for another contentious meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, when a final reading and vote on the development is scheduled.

“We’re trying to listen to both sides,” said Alderwoman Lynn Wright. “It’s a difficult situation, a difficult lot with the cemetery next door.”

“I see both sides but I also know my residents are really worried,” Wright added.

Developers want to put a Reliance Bank branch and a Tim Hortons restaurant on the northeastern corner of Clayton Rd. and N. Ballas Rd. in the west St. Louis County suburb of Town & Country.
Credit source: Mapbox Open Street Map
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Developers want to put a Reliance Bank branch and a Tim Hortons restaurant on the northeastern corner of Clayton Rd. and N. Ballas Rd. in the west St. Louis County suburb of Town & Country.

Hughes is one of the residents who believe the project isn’t a good fit for the area. She plans to attend the meeting and expects a repeat of last month: a full house and lots of people speaking against the project. She said signs opposing Tim Hortons have popped up throughout the region, declaring “no fast food!”

Hughes is also concerned that Tim Hortons would bring too much traffic to the intersection—a sentiment reiterated by Robert Pedroli, a trustee of a nearby subdivision.

“This is going to generate such an amount of traffic that it will destroy the character of the neighborhood and the safety of the intersection,” Pedroli said, noting that there were a lot of “very large and very beautiful homes in very close proximity” to the lot.

“We don’t have a problem with Hortons generally and we don’t have a problem with the right project on this location. It should be something within the (original) zoning rules or if indeed commercial then something that would not create the traffic flow that a Hortons fast food drive-thru would create until midnight at this pretty sleepy intersection,” Pedroli added.

While the lot is zoned for commercial use, Pedroli said it is designed more for office space than a coffee and sandwich shop.

The St. Louis Tim Hortons franchisee referred St. Louis Public Radio to the project developer to discuss the neighbors’ concerns. Developer Chris Pelligreen said he had no comment.

Follow Camille Phillips on Twitter: @cmpcamille.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

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