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Developer seeks rezoning near Bluffs of Windcastle

A rezoning request that would lead to development of 38 new lots on 35 acres near the Bluffs of Windcastle subdivision drew the ire of subdivision residents who turned out in force on Dec. 7 to ask the St. Charles County Council to deny it.

The applicant, Lombardo Homes of St. Louis, is seeking a rezoning from single-family residential with a minimum 1-acre lot size to single-family residential with a 20,000-square-foot minimum lot size. The tract is on the east side of Castle Lake Court at Windcastle Place, at the west end of Faredale Lane. A preliminary plat also on the agenda cannot be approved until the council approves the rezoning.

But Windcastle residents in the adjacent 76-home subdivision came before the county’s planning and zoning commission in October and November to oppose the rezoning. The commission recommended denial.

At the commission, in written protests to the county, and before the council on Dec. 7, residents said they were worried that the additional development posed traffic safety concerns. They also said they are worried about smaller lots and a possible lack of custom homes may lower property values. Windcastle home values can range from $500,000 to more than $1 million.

Traffic, however, was the particular concern. If Windcastle Place and Faredale Lane were connected, residents said there would be a large amount of “cut through” traffic between Jacobs Station and Pitman Hill roads.

Mary Callier, one of those residents, told councilmembers that dangerous curves on some sections of road in the subdivision may become more of a hazard with more traffic. Discussions with the developer about connecting streets haven’t been successful, she said.

“Any concerns regarding road safety were met with annoyance and condescension,” Callier said. She also dismissed a traffic study by CBB Transportation Engineers and Planners that said existing roads could handle new traffic.

Brad Goss, an attorney representing Lombardo Homes, said the streets in the subdivision are public streets and a connection should be allowed. The Cottleville Fire Protection District also may require a connection for this many homes.

The council gave a first reading to the bill, but took no final action. The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Dec. 21.

“It seems to me that it’s pretty obvious that this is not a zoning issue,” said Councilmember Terry Hollander [District 5]. “It’s a street issue.”

Councilmember Joe Brazil [District 2] suggested that residents, Councilman John White [District 5], and Lombardo Homes representatives meet to see if there is a compromise that can reached.

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