Lake Saint Louis has plans to get bigger.
At its Jan. 16 meeting, the city’s Board of Aldermen adopted a “plan of intent” as a first step toward adding seven parcels, amounting to about 59 acres, to its boundaries. The plan spells out the services the city can provide to the areas it is proposing to involuntarily annex.
The board also approved individual ordinances seeking to annex each parcel and an ordinance placing the seven parcels on the city’s April 3 ballot. The annexation of each parcel must be approved by a majority of city residents and registered voters who are residents of each parcel in question.
Property owners also can voluntarily annex their property into a city if their boundaries touch. Missouri statutes allow a city to seek an “involuntary” annexation if its boundaries abutt the parcel in question. An involuntary annexation requires a declaratory judgment by a circuit judge on the plan of intent adopted by the city and placing the proposed annexation on the ballot.
The annexations would continue Lake Saint Louis’ policy of trying to bring inside its boundaries small and large pockets of unincorporated land that the city abutts or surrounds.
Acquiring land through annexation could mean more property and sales tax revenue for the city if those parcels are developed. Lake Saint Louis officials believe areas along Duello and Orf roads, and along Hwy. N may attract extensive commercial and residential development.
Last April, city voters approved nine involuntary annexations, most of them along Orf Road in the southwestern part of the city. The city plans to make extensive improvements on the present two-lane road. The tracts ranged in size from 100 acres to less than an acre. The city also has accepted a number of voluntary annexations often involving tracts slated for new subdivisions.
The city views its corporate limits southwest to the intersection of Hwy. N and Duello Road with Duello being the western boundary of the city. The city has an annexation agreement with the city of Wentzville that limits annexations of both cities to that road.
City Administrator Paul Markworth told the board that the city’s proposed annexations may benefit property owners by providing city services as demand for commercial and residential development emerges.
The city sees itself experiencing steady and “comfortable” growth in the next 20 years, Markworth said. The city’s comprehensive plan envisions its population jumping from its current 15,500 population to reaching 21,000 people by 2040 under a “slow growth” scenario. With faster growth, the city predicts it could reach about 28,000 people by 2040.
The seven parcels on the April 3 ballot range from several that are less than an acre to one at 27.9 acres. They are located on Prospect Road, Dobbs Lane, Freymuth Road and Lake Saint Louis Boulevard with three along Orf Road.
The plan of intent and annexation plans discussed by city officials drew only one comment at a public hearing on Jan. 16. Terell Coleman, who owns a 3-acre parcel at 8812 Orf Road, one of the seven parcels approved to be placed on the ballot, asked the city not to annex his property.
“I don’t want to be part of the annexation, I’d rather remain in unincorporated St. Charles County,” Coleman told aldermen.
When pressed by Alderman Gary Turner [Ward 3] and Mayor Karen Schweikert later in the meeting about why he didn’t want to come into the city, Coleman said he wants to keep his well for water and hire his own trash hauler. There are certain rights he would lose coming into the city, he said.
Markworth said the city could work out an agreement with Coleman allowing him to retain some things if he voluntarily annexed his property into the city. But Coleman said he was skeptical of some services promised to residents.
If the city negotiates voluntary annexations with property owners prior to the election, the involuntary annexation measures would become unnecessary.