Several municipalities in western St. Charles County face the prospect of increasing their size through annexations as they move to round out their boundaries and try to bring in new tax revenue.
Lake Saint Louis and Dardenne Prairie voters approved a number of small annexations of property contiguous with their boundaries on the April 4 ballot that are a step toward bringing now unincorporated property inside their cities.
There is another alternative that may be already at play in both cities. Property owners can voluntarily annex property to a city if boundaries touch. Missouri statutes also allow a city to seek an involuntary annexation that requires a declaratory judgment from a circuit judge and placing properties proposed to be annexed on the ballot. A majority vote of city residents and a majority vote of registered voters who are residents of the parcels to be annexed are required for the annexations to be approved.
The latest voluntary Lake Saint Louis annexation involves a 13-acre property near Duello Road. The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a pre-annexation agreement for the tract, owned by Waterside Crossing LLC, at their April 3 meeting. The board also approved a separate bill to annex the property. The managing member of Waterside Crossing is Hassan Jadali.
City Administrator Paul Markworth said plans for now could allow the development of 46 single-family homes on the site. The pre-annexation agreement calls for a minimum size for ranch-style houses to be 1,100 square feet and 1,500 square feet for two-story style homes. The property would be zoned planned residential.
The subdivision would have fencing similar to the kind approved for McBride Homes’ Wyndstone subdivision being developed nearby.
City voters also approved nine annexations on April 4. The annexations are mostly small vacant tracts along Orf Road in the southwestern part of the city. The city plans to make extensive improvements to the present-two lane Orf Road, which may be an area of future development.
The exceptions among the small properties are a 109-acre parcel and one less than an acre along Hwy. N zoned as highway commercial. The other tracts would come into the city with a residential zoning.
Markworth said two parcels along Lake Saint Louis Boulevard – parcel A is 5.75 acres and parcel B is 4.67 acres – owned by Chapel of the Lake would be combined with two other parcels already inside the city to allow for new subdivision construction. Markworth said improvements may be eight or more years away along Orf Road.
Bringing the properties into the city is “the appropriate thing do” for people who live along the road to have input into road improvements and Orf Road plans, Markworth said.
The city has an annexation agreement with the city of Wentzville that limits annexations of both cities at Duello Road. Lake Saint Louis has already annexed Hwy. N right-of-way in the area.
“The reason for annexing these parcels is the plan of intent for the city is eventually to extend our corporate limits southwest to the intersection of Hwy. N and Duello Road with Duello Road being the western boundary of the city,” Markworth said.
Markworth said the annexations bring uniformity to development in the area, round out boundary lines and reduce confusion about the city limits. Many of the small parcels could be assembled with land next to them to allow for more residential or commercial development. “We think it’s good planning,” he said.
One change the Waterside Crossing annexation may prompt are more fences in the city. The agreement allows one style of fencing on individual lots similar to Wyndstone. The city does not allow fencing within the historic older part of the city included in the Lake Saint Louis Community Associations original boundary area. The association manages recreational amenities within its boundaries, which also is governed by restrictions on issues like fencing.
Alderman Gary Torlina [Ward 1] said at the April 3 meeting that he may sponsor a bill to loosen restrictions and allow a standard style of fencing in subdivisions outside the community association’s boundaries.
Meanwhile, Dardenne Prairie voters approved five annexations on the April 4 ballot although the city and the owners of the two parcels – a 15.75-acre property south of Route 364 and a 16.6-acre property to the north—reached an election-eve pre-annexation agreement to bring their property into the city. One parcel on the ballot was turned down by one vote cast in the area to be annexed.
The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen approved the agreement by a 4-0 vote at special meeting on March 29. Aldermen Kevin Klingerman [Ward 1] and Doug Santos [Ward 2] were absent.
The two parcels are among the largest pieces of unincorporated land that the city can annex and are prime candidates for development that could be sources of tax revenue.
Zucker said the agreement requires the city to consider a commercial zoning for the southern parcel and a residential or planned unit development zoning for the northern parcel with a density up to four single-family houses per acre.
Mayor David Zucker and Markworth said their cities will continue to discuss voluntary annexation agreements with other property owners. They said those agreements can be reached with property owners that their city residents already approved. Voluntarily annexing property into the city would avoid the delay and expense of seeking a judge’s ruling on an involuntary annexation.