‘Change is hard.’ Webster Groves kills two-family zoning but some promise more to come | Local Business
Kathy Hart, a former Webster Groves council member, led the effort for the repeal.
“I think people were concerned about protecting their own assets and the character of our community,” Hart said. “There’s a place for (duplexes) in our community, but it’s not in the middle of our single-family neighborhoods.”
Councilmember Laura Arnold thought the zoning changes were largely misunderstood.
The ordinance, Arnold said, was not going to “revolutionize the community,” but instead it was to provide an alternative to a trend of replacing smaller houses with $750,000 infill homes.
“We’re at a point now where we have a big audience in our community who are talking about this,” Arnold said. “It’s time as leaders of this community to figure out what that means in terms of specific policies.”
Webster Neighbors, a group that supported the new zoning, reported $10,399 in donations.
Miller, the resident who led the group, said the ordinance would have filled in the “missing middle” of housing options. Young professionals don’t always want big homes, she said, and seniors who want to stay in Webster Groves don’t always want to live in senior apartments.
Miller was disappointed by the process — the opposition was primarily funded by one person and used fear mongering to persuade voters, she said, calling the effort more “AstroTurf than grassroots.”