A request for a conditional use permit from St. Charles County that would have allowed a local soccer club to develop seven soccer fields and a gravel parking lot along Hwy. Z south of Wentzville has been withdrawn.
The Missouri Thorns Football Club had sought the permit in July; however, the County Council delayed a decision at its July 13 meeting to allow time to work out a compromise between the club and local residents with objections to the plan.
Since then, the club has approached the city of Dardenne Prairie and Great Rivers Greenway about leasing space to build fields in the Bluebird Meadow area along a trail beside Dardenne Creek. That space is currently used as a sod farm. Great Rivers Greenway is a public parks district comprised of interconnecting trails, greenways and parks throughout the greater St. Louis region.
Both Dardenne Prairie and Gateway Greenway officials have said that no action has been taken on any formal proposal. Meanwhile, the permit application remained on the county council’s agenda until its Oct. 13 meeting when Council Chairman Joe Brazil (District 2) made the motion to withdraw the permit after a request from the club that was approved by the council.
“It’s disappointing that this fell apart like this because I thought it would be a very positive thing for the community,” Brazil said.
He said he understood why nearby residents were upset but he thought progress was made in a meeting with the developer. The club, he said, was willing to work with reducing the impact of lighted fields and limiting the hours of operation for the fields.
“Why wouldn’t you want big green fields behind you?” Brazil asked.
He and Councilman Joe Cronin (District 1) noted that the club may be looking at alternative sites in the county, including Dardenne Prairie, and it would be good if the fields become a reality.
“It’s very positive for kids,” Brazil said.