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Lake Saint Louis cuts red tape for home improvements

Lake Saint Louis residents may face less bureaucracy and one less governing board looking over their shoulders at their home improvement plans.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance at its Nov. 21 meeting that reduces the responsibilities of the city’s Architectural Review Board [ARB], a six-member citizen advisory committee that reviews and approves new residential construction.

City Administrator Paul Markworth said the ARB had been set up years ago to review construction plans for homes and attachments to homes. The city also has a Development Review Board that reviews commercial construction.

Markworth said over the years, the ARB’s purview expanded to include swimming pools, gazebos, pagodas, parking and boat storage structures and other items. It got to the point where city staff discussed redefining what the ARB should do.

“It was our thinking that rather than require residents to have to go to all these meetings, if they could submit their plans to city staff for some of these items, we could review them at the staff level and cut down on people’s time,” Markworth said. The changes may mean as many as 1,000 fewer applications filed with the ARB annually. ARB members agreed and the ordinance was recommended to aldermen by the city’s planning and zoning commission after a Nov. 3 public hearing.

The ordinance strikes out the phrase, “approved by the Architectural Review Board” from the city code in a number of categories. For example, ARB approval no longer will be required in categories involving off-street parking of vehicles, storage of small boats, screening, detached buildings, elevated decks, patios and gazebos and solar energy systems. Now, the ARB will return to reviewing plans for homes, anything attached to a home with a roof, swimming pool fences and other projects, Markworth said. The city’s building department will be largely in charge of reviewing plans.

Markworth said the ARB should not be confused with the Lake Saint Louis Community Association’s Architectural Control Committee [ACC].

The ACC maintains covenants and restrictions through reviewing plans for homes, alterations, colors and other items within the association’s original boundaries, which includes the older part of the community. The association also manages private recreational amenities in the community.

 

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