Lake Saint Louis officials are hoping they can get access to 38-acres of landlocked park property that could lead to developing a trail along Peruque Creek to St. Charles County’s Quail Ridge Park. But specific plans for the park property, how much those plans will cost, when improvements will be built, and how the city will pay for it all, still have to be determined.
“Our parks department is extremely excited about the opportunity get access to that ground,” said City Administrator Paul Markworth.
In January, the city’s Board of Aldermen and McBride & Son agreed to voluntary annexation agreement on 104 acres near Hwy. K, east of Duello Road. That agreement allows the property to be developed under city guidance. It also allows access to the park land, which was donated to the city by 2 Rivers Church, but has been surrounded by private property. McBride is buying the property adjacent to Heritage of Hawk Ridge subdivision from the church and plans to build as many as 285 homes there.
A planned residential zoning designation and a preliminary development plan for the residential project were approved by the board at its Feb. 16 meeting.
Access to the park property is not expected before next year; however, Markworth said the property grading for the planned residential development could begin this summer or fall with streets poured next summer.
City officials have said they want to develop the 38 acres as a “passive park” that features walking trails, which might link up with other easements and property along the creek controlled by the Lake Saint Louis Community Association and Jeremy Malensky, a developer of 20 new homes on 19 acres near Oak Bluff Preserve subdivision.
The property along the creek is still largely wooded, undeveloped land south and west of the main community lake to Quail Ridge Park, which also has frontage on the creek.
Markworth said that there also are two additional private easements along the creek that the city or county would have to explore gaining access to; however, no development can occur along those easements as they are in a flood plain.
McBride will provide a parking lot and restroom facility at the park property. To pay for whatever the city does, the city may use some revenue from Proposition P, a 10-year, half-cent sales tax for road and park improvements, approved by city voters in August 2013. Markworth said about $450,000 annually from the sales tax goes to the parks department and the city has about $500,000 “in the bank” for park projects. The board will likely take up plans for the park when they set the city’s annual budget.
“It (the park) has been on some people minds here for 12 years. “It’s something we always wanted to do, but didn’t get access to it,” Markworth said. “Now we got it.”