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Dardenne Prairie sets sights on annexing eight unincorporated islands inside city

Dardenne Prairie officials are moving ahead with more involuntary annexations of unincorporated islands of property adjacent or surrounded by city boundaries.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved placing eight parcels on the Nov. 7 ballot at a special board meeting on Aug. 22 after holding a public hearing on the proposed annexations.

A majority vote by registered voters in the parcels being annexed and in the city attempting to annex the properties is required for the annexations to be approved. If the propositions fail to gain a majority in either the city or in the annexed property, the annexations fail.

Other requirements include the city adopting a plan of intent to provide services to the areas annexed within three years after the annexations are approved and indicating how the area will be zoned.

In addition, the city has to obtain a declaratory judgment from a circuit court judge stipulating that the annexation is reasonable and necessary and a statement that, if the city doesn’t provide normal municipal services in three years, the annexation is void.

The annexations are part of a plan for bringing as many as 20 or more small, unincorporated parcels into the city.  Five proposed annexations by the city were on the April ballot with four being approved.

The issue came to the fore when the St. Charles County Council approved a conditional use permit last year allowing a 38-bed rehabilitation facility on an unincorporated 5.68-acre tract along Hwy. N and Monet Drive. The tract is largely surrounded by Dardenne Prairie city boundaries.

Mayor David Zucker said the city has little control over how unincorporated area parcels are developed because they are outside city boundaries.“We couldn’t do anything about it,” Zucker said at the Aug. 22 board meeting.

Small parcels of unincorporated property make it hard for the city to develop long ranges plans for future development.

“We want to figure out what’s the smartest and wisest development for the future of that area,” Zucker said. “We can’t really be effective in the management of growth in the future if we don’t have jurisdiction over the parcels that line Hwy. N.”

Zucker said the annexation of the parcels will not provide a large amount of tax revenue for the city. “The financial windfall is minuscule,” he said.

The plans of intent developed by the city for each parcel suggest that total property tax revenue from the eight parcels annually is about $421. The parcels also would not add a significant number of people to the city’s population.

The eight properties on the ballot are:

  • A 2.98-acre parcel at 7283 Hwy. N, between Rondale Court and Monet Drive, known as the Rynders property.
  • A 5.9-acre parcel with a single-family residence at 7275 Hwy. N, on the northeast corner of Hwy. N and Monet Drive, known as the Sunterra property.
  • A 1.5-acre parcel at 1426 Feise Road between Hanley Road and Devon Drive that has a single-family home known as the Unterreiner property.
  • A 14.22-acre parcel at 7717 Hanley Road near the south outer Hwy. 34 owned by a nearby Catholic parish and developed as a recreation complex. The property is known as the St. Charles County Catholic real estate property.
  • A 6-acre parcel with a commercial building at 7800 Hwy. N, known as the Roden Brothers property.
  • A two-acre parcel with a single-family home at 1436 Feise Road, between Hanley Road and Devon Drive, known as the Howerton property.
  • A 4.18-acre parcel with a church at 1332 Feise Road, near Langrove Drive, known as the Connection Christian Church property.
  • A 3.85-acre tract with a single family home at 1967 Hanley Road, near Feise Road, known as the K-Properties property.
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