The has agreed to consider establishing a partnership with Habitat for Humanity St. Louis for the development of five City-owned vacant lots in the northeast section of U City.
The motion received unanimous approval after it was amended to add that the partnership be based on an understanding that the new homes will be designed to blend into the neighborhood.
The wording was reworked after Councilman Byron Price voiced concerned about the structures and blending.
Kimberly McKinney, CEO of Habitat for St. Louis said they had not started the design work so could not provide a specific example on what the University City houses would look like. But she assured the council that their architects work with the community to come up with designs that ultimately blend into a neighborhood.
City Manager Lehman Walker said the City does not have any specific design guidelines for any neighborhood other than the historic neighborhoods. He said any private developer could come in and build according to the City’s zoning and building codes.
If all goes well, the homes are slated to be built in 2012. They will be built to meet LEED-certified standards. That certification means the homes are truly built in a "green" way.