The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen has asked the St. Charles County Council to delay a final decision on a controversial rehabilitation facility to allow nearby city residents more time to research its impact.
The board voted unanimously on Sept. 21 to forward a resolution to the council asking them to table a decision on Sept. 26 on a conditional use permit that would allow a 38-bed facility on an unincorporated 5.68-acre tract along Highway N at Monet Drive.
The tract is just south of the Canvas Cove subdivision in Dardenne Prairie and subdivision residents have been urging the council to delay a decision. They want more time to determine if the new facility will generate more traffic, devalue some of their homes, and possibly add to flooding issues.
“The fear that I have is that the final vote is scheduled on Sept. 26 for the conditional use permit and we still have a lot of questions unanswered,” said Michael Costlow, a member of the Canvas Cove governing board and a spokesperson for residents.
Costlow and other subdivision residents asked the council at their Sept. 12 work session to table their decision on the conditional use permit, which was given a first reading.
The property is zoned single-family, one-acre minimum lot size by the county. The property owner is HFS Revocable Trust. The facility would primarily serve elderly patients in need of short-term physical therapy. The one-story facility would cater to patients staying for two to three weeks.
The county’s planning and zoning commission voted 9-0 at their Aug. 17 meeting to recommend approval of the permit to the council. Council members Mike Elam [District 3] and Joe Cronin [District 1] said they hoped some comprise could be reached. Cronin asked that the developer provide more detailed information to the council.
Costlow told Dardenne Prairie aldermen that some progress had been made but roadblocks have appeared particularly about traffic counts and whether the entrance to the development should be on Monet Drive or on Highway N.
He said residents have been told that the Missouri Department of Transportation [MDOT] which has jurisdiction over Highway N, will not allow a full entrance to the center off of Highway N. A full entrance off of Monet may have a negative impact on property values of homes on that street, he said. He hoped to screen off any entrance on Monet with evergreen trees.
“We really need some more time,” Costlow told aldermen. Even through the city now has no jurisdiction over the property because it is not inside the city limits, the city has an interest because the property may eventually be annexed, he said.
Mayor David Zucker said it would help if the council delayed a decision for about a month to allow time for residents to pinpoint information on access and other issues.
A delay also may allow time for the city to consider filing a remonstrance on the issue, he said. A remonstrance requires five of the seven members of the council to vote in favor to approve the conditional use permit.