The Belleville Zoning Board of Appeals recommended that aldermen approve more than 50 special-use permits so Lindenwood University-Belleville can house students.
What were they thinking?
Don’t they know that Lindenwood is spending $10,000 to $30,000 per house to fix up the properties? That’s not supposed to happen. College towns are supposed to let the locals slap some paint on their crummy old houses and rent them to students at inflated rates.
The established residents are worried about students being bad neighbors, dropping litter and parking their cars everywhere. Things just seemed so much safer before, with the Belleville Police being such a steady presence. Since those students moved in, police have only been in the neighborhoods 1,058 times this year versus 2,082 times in 2010.
Belleville residents, beware. The fate of St. Charles awaits.
Lindenwood will buy up a bunch of decaying neighborhoods, inject money and pretty soon there won’t be a wrong side of the tracks with a great view of the industrial sites. There will be classrooms and athletic facilities and dorms and houses — maybe even frat houses — with roguish, ruffian students.
Lock up your daughters. And let’s boycott that corrupting coffeehouse, where they will just get wild, beatnik ideas. Is there still a pool hall in town that we can close while we’re at it?