Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary filed suit against the City of Webster Groves over the denial of a zoning permit on Sept. 18, to allow the use of building previously purchased.
These buildings are all on the Eden Seminary campus. Webster U. wants to demolish the White House and replace it with green space, and use the Luhr Library building for information technology offices and its chess team and the Wehrli Center for the Alumni Association and Faculty Senate.
Gerard Carmody, Webster University’s attorney, said he wanted the courts to “reverse what we consider an unlawful decision. Failing that, we seek to have a jury decide the damages which we will incur, which we believe may exceed $5 million,” according to the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”
Nearby residents oppose Webster University’s expansion because it threatens their way of life and brings noise, traffic and unwanted students according to an article in the “St. Louis Post- Dispatch.”
The permits needed to access the buildings are based on a vote from the City Council. In this case there were three yes votes and four no votes, resulting in the denial of the permit.
Mayor Gerry Welch said, “I think the case is unfortunate and would hope that there could have been another way to resolve the issues that are involved.” She hopes for “trust between the university and the City that balances the university and community interests.
Those changes should not affect Webster Groves High School students parking or but the foot traffic across Lockwood avenue could congest the busy road navigated by Webster High School Students.