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St. Charles County Council set to oppose Maryland Heights flood plain development

The St. Charles County Council may go on record opposing the development of 1,800 acres of Missouri River flood plain in Maryland Heights into a major retail, residential, office and entertainment area.

A resolution opposing the redevelopment of the proposed “Maryland Park Lake District” on the flood plain is an agenda item on the council’s Feb. 29 meeting in St. Charles and could be up for a vote at that time.

The resolution states that the council “opposes any proposal to develop flood plain in an area that will most likely flood again.”  It adds that St. Charles County residents experienced major flooding in December that “raised higher and faster than previous floods.”

Civic leaders are being urged to avoid putting home and other development in flood-prone areas and “continuing a pattern of development that can be expected to divert flood waters onto other areas,” the resolution adds.

The resolution notes that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently changed its maps, which put homes and businesses in the flood plain that were not there before.

The resolution also says the council “wants to protect the beauty of this unique area” that sits near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

The council has no authority over a development in St. Louis County, but the resolution would put the county’s opposition  on record. The county isn’t alone – there have been reports of others objecting to the proposed project, including a website titled “Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth.”

The Maryland Heights City Council approved a resolution on Feb. 4 to seek proposals for developing the tract.

Alan Bornstein, a business partner and attorney representing Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke has met with Maryland Heights officials to discuss the projects. The city and Bornstein have discussed the city providing tax incentives for the project.  The city also may look at other development proposals for the site.

County government officials, particularly County Executive Steve Ehlmann, have been concerned about other development proposals in the flood plain, particularly aspects of the city of St. Peters development of its Premier 370 Business Park along the Mississippi River flood plain.

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