Approval of new 3-acre subdivisions in the southwestern part of St. Charles County remains elusive.
The St. Charles County Council voted 3-2 at its Jan. 29 meeting to deny a bill seeking the rezoning of a 37.74-acre tract that would allow a subdivision of nine homes with more than 3-acre lots. Silberman Residential LLC, the property owner, asked for a rezoning from agricultural district to single-family residential district.
Councilmember Joe Brazil [District 2], along with councilmembers Mike Elam [District 3] and John White [District 7], voted against the rezoning. Councilmembers Terry Hollander [District 5] and David Hammond [District 4] voted in favor. Councilmembers Joe Cronin [District 1] and Mike Klinghammer [District 6] were absent.
The tract is located on the west side of Old Colony Road about 275 feet south of Rooster Ridge Lane. At the county’s planning and zoning commission meeting on Dec. 20, property owners said prospects for farming were low because of the hilly topography, soil type and forest coverage.
Plans call for a nine-lot residential subdivision, meaning a density of three lots at 5 acres each and six lots at slightly more than 3 acres each. The proposed homes would range from 2,600 to 4,500 square feet and cost between $650,000 and $700,000. Other nearby subdivisions and properties are zoned for minimum 3-acre lots.
The rezoning drew opposition from nearby residents at the Dec. 20 meeting but the commission voted 10-0 to recommend rezoning approval to the council. Many sent letters opposing the rezoning.
The rezoning also ran into opposition from Brazil, who represents this area.
“We have not passed any 3-acre subdivisions in that portion of the county in 20 years,” Brazil said.
Hollander questioned the need for more than three acres. “It seems to me that, if someone is going to put in a $700,000 home, the fact that they are on a 3-acre lot or 5-acre lot doesn’t seem to me to make that big a difference,” he said.
However, Brazil said he also is concerned about whether the soil on the hilly ground could handle septic tanks and whether a new subdivision would add more traffic to local roads and affect the designated wine district in that area.
More development may have an impact on the “expectations” of residents for a rural lifestyle in the area and could crowd the wine district, Brazil said.