Phillips 66/Del Taco News Roundup

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Del Taco saucer is a time machine for me – Bill McClellan, Post-Dispatch
While Alderman Phyllis Young droned on about a grocery store, I spoke with Alex Ihnen. He is one of the leaders in the effort to save the flying saucer-shaped Del Taco building. He is the co-owner and editor of nextstl.com.

Perhaps you are wondering what nextstl.com is. I don't know. Ihnen's business card says: "Be informed. Be engaged. Be part of what's next."

Be part of what's next? It is hard enough for me to stay in the present. I keep slipping into the past.

The Del Taco Kerfuffle – Urban Hoedown
As I said on Twitter yesterday, doing development ward by ward is like doing non-smoking in a restaurant table by table. Because each individual unit is connected in a million different ways, and the geographic differences are pretty much arbitrary, it just doesn’t make sense (unless you’re the King of that particular kingdom) to do anything that way. Ward competing against ward, no overall governing policy or vision or goals…hm, sounds like a miniature of what’s going on in St. Louis County between all those municipalities!

As NextSTL pointed out, the real issue seemed to be the disconnect between the elected officials and their constituents – they didn’t get what the issue was. And you have to love the condescension implied when an elected official assures the other elected officials that the people would support the bill if they just understood it.

Aldermen slow down Del Taco demolition – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
But preservationists now say that they don't believe the verbal commitments of Yackey and Davis. And the very intervention by city leaders, they said, highlights concerns that the city lacks a watertight process to guarantee historic buildings get thorough reviews before demolition.

"Frankly, there's very little trust in the process," said Alex Ihnen, co-owner and editor of nextSTL.com, the urbanist blog and message board. "Those of us who don't like the process aren't going to take them at their word, and are just going to go with what's in the bill."

Aldermen advance blighting, and tax abatement, of Del Taco – St. Louis Beacon
"The (historic) district would not have been listed without this (Del Taco) building," said Lindsey Derrington, a specialist in historic preservation. Derrington. Derrington, as well as a few aldermen and many audience members, encouraged the board to remove any phrasing with the word "demolition" from the bill.

Alderman Scott Ogilvie, I-24th Ward, strongly agreed.

"If we were to demolish every building that at one time had a bad tenant, at this point in 2011, we would have zero buildings left," he said, to applause from the audience. Ogilvie later said to his fellow board members to "face the facts" they what they were approving was sending the building down the road to demolition.

St. Louis Alderman Approve Del Taco Demolition Bill – Fox2now
 

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